G.I.F.T. 8-23-20

Growing In Faith Together
August 23, 2020


TODAY’S TEXTS
Isaiah 51:1–6
Psalm 138
Romans 12:1–8
Matthew 16:13–20


GATHERED BY GRACE
In Isaiah, the people are bid to look to their spiritual ancestors as the rock from which they were hewn. Jesus declares that the church will be built on the rock of Peter's bold confession of faith. Paul urges us to not be conformed to this world, but to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice, using our individual gifts to build up the body of Christ.

Discuss in your household or small group:
* What do you think of Peter’s quick response?
* What does it mean to be called “the Rock”? Describe faith that is like a rock.
* What does the reference to building the church on a rock mean?
* How do you respond to the question “Who do you say that I am?”
DAILY BIBLE READINGS
These readings are related to the Sunday readings. M-W reflect upon the past Sunday’s readings and Th-Sa prepare for the next Sunday. Try to take time each day to read the assigned Bible passage.

Sunday Matthew 16:13-20 

Monday 1 Samuel 7:3-13 

Tuesday Psalm 18:1-3 
Wednesday Isaiah 28:14-16 
Thursday Ephesians 5:6-9
Friday Psalm 26:1-3
Saturday Jeremiah 15:10-14
Sunday Matthew 16:21-28

Next Sunday: Jeremiah 15:15-21; Psalm 26:1-8; Romans 12:9-21; Matthew 16:21-28

PRAYERS FOR THIS WEEK
For the Week: Help me be wise in using the gifts you have given me.

Throughout the Day: Rock of Ages, help me to build my life on you.

Blessing to Share: May you be transformed by the renewing of your mind through the mercy of God.

For mealtime say responsively: Look to the rock from which you were hewn: to the quarry from which you were dug.

Summer Mealtime Prayer:

Thank you for the world so sweet.

Thank you for the food we eat.

Thank you for the birds that sing.
Thank you, God, for everything. Amen


FOR FURTHER REFLECTION
Devotional Practice: 
Find a stone to hold as you pray this week. We often refer to God as our rock, or Jesus as the rock of our faith. Reflect on how God has been a rock for you in life. Give thanks.

Summer Ritual: 
This summer is unlike any other. School, in some form is starting soon. Pay attention to each day. In the midst of it all, we are still called to Love God with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind, and our neighbor as ourselves. At the end of the day take time to reflect on where you spent your time, what you did with it, and how you felt or experienced it. What things presently occupy your mind and heart? Thank God for the day.

SCATTERED TO SERVE
In the Romans text for this week, Paul talks about how God’s grace empowers different forms of service among Christians (and how all those forms build up the body of Christ).

What gifts has God given you to use in service toward others?
* Sending cards of encouragement?
* Going to the grocery store for someone who is homebound?
* Sorting food at the Foodbank? (socially distanced)
* Listening to a friend who is confused or sad?
* Giving money to disaster relief...world hunger.... CommUnity Food Bank?


Whatever gifts you have received from God, look for a way this week to use them in God’s service.
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Written by Pam Larabee-Zierath


Gathered by Grace, Scattered for Service
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