Sunday, July 31, 2016

Thought for Monday August 1


Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
A clean heart create for me, O God,
and a steadfast spirit renew within me.
Cast me not off from your presence,
and your Holy Spirit take not from me.
Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.

 Matthew 14: 22 – 36  Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus.  But when he saw how strong the wind was he became frightened; and, beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!”

Have I ever started something with great enthusiasm and then lost confidence (or nerve, or energy) and given up?  If so, did I call out to Jesus for help or just sink?

Action:  If there is something you have given up on doing, pick it up again and ask Jesus to help you carry on.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Thought for Friday July 29


Lord, in your great love, answer me.
Those outnumber the hairs of my head
who hate me without cause.
Too many for my strength
are they who wrongfully are my enemies.
Must I restore what I did not steal?
Lord, in your great love, answer me.

Jeremiah 26: 1 - 9  Thus says the LORD:  Stand in the court of the house of the LORD and speak to the people of all the cities of Judah who come to worship in the house of the LORD; whatever I command you, tell them, and omit nothing. Perhaps they will listen and turn back,  each from his evil way, so that I may repent of the evil I have planned to inflict upon them for their evil deeds.
Am I prepared to stand in the court of the house of the Lord?  Do I speak against all evil or only the issues I know my friends, family and peers agree with? 

Action: Fast with France.   The French Bishops have called for a day of fasting  today (Friday July 29).  Let’s stand with them.  Fast for Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, Nice, Paris, Brussels, Zliten, Baghdad, Quetta, Aleppo, Munich, Ouagadougou, San Bernardino and everywhere else that has experienced a terror attack.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Thought for Thursday July 28


Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob.
Praise the LORD, O my soul;
I will praise the LORD all my life;
I will sing praise to my God while I live.
 Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob.

Jeremiah 18: 1 – 6  This word came to Jeremiah from the LORD: Rise up, be off to the potter’s house; there I will give you my message.  I went down to the potter’s house and there he was,  working at the wheel.  Whenever the object of clay which he was making turned out badly in his hand,  he tried again, making of the clay another object of whatever sort he pleased.

Do I have the patience and perseverance to just keep trying?  Does it give me hope to think God will continue to work on me?

Action:  Rise up and keep working to be the person God is calling you to be.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Thought for Wednesday July 27


God is my refuge on the day of distress.
But I will sing of your strength
and revel at dawn in your mercy;
You have been my stronghold,
my refuge in the day of distress.
God is my refuge on the day of distress.

 Matthew 13: 44 – 46  The Kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field, which a person finds and hides again, and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

What do I treasure?  Does my treasure bring me joy?

Action:   Share what you treasure with someone who lacks joy.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Thought for Tuesday July 26


The Lord is kind and merciful.
Merciful and gracious is the LORD,
slow to anger and abounding in kindness.
He will not always chide,
nor does he keep his wrath forever.
The Lord is kind and merciful.
 

Matthew 13: 36 – 43  His disciples approached him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”


When I hear something I don’t understand, do I ask for an explanation or just blow it off?   How much work does it take to understand the issues facing my society?


Action:  Spend some time trying to fully understand one issue in your community so that you can respond to it as a Christian.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Thought for Monday July 25


Those who sow in tears shall reap rejoicing.
Restore our fortunes, O LORD,
like the torrents in the southern desert.
Those that sow in tears
shall reap rejoicing.
Those who sow in tears shall reap rejoicing.

Matthew 20: 20 – 28   Jesus said in reply, “You do not know what you are asking.  Can you drink the chalice that I am going to drink?”   They said to him, “We can.”

Am I living out the challenge of being Christian?    How do I think I would respond if I were asked to make a huge sacrifice for the Kingdom of God?
 
Action:  Be honest and identify those things you would not be willing to sacrifice.  Don’t worry about doing anything about it yet.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Thought for Friday July 22


Lord, show us your mercy and love.
Will you not instead give us life;
and shall not your people rejoice in you?
Show us, O LORD, your kindness,
and grant us your salvation.
Lord, show us your mercy and love.

 John 20: 1 – 2, 11 - 20   When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus there, but did not know it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Mary!”  She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni,” which means Teacher.

Have I ever not recognized someone who called me by name?  How important is it to call people by name?

Action:   Do something for someone today that you would normally only do for someone who calls you by your name.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Thought for Thursday July 21


With you is the fountain of life, O Lord.
For with you is the fountain of life,
and in your light we see light.
Keep up your mercy toward your friends,
your just defense of the upright of heart.
With you is the fountain of life, O Lord.


Matthew 13: 10 – 17  Amen, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.


What do I see that even the “prophets” of my society seem blind to?  Am I doing anything about it?


Action:  The next time you see something that doesn’t seem right, speak up even if no one else around you seems to notice the problem.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Thought for Wednesday July 20


The Lord gave them bread from heaven.
Man ate the bread of angels,
food he sent them in abundance.
He stirred up the east wind in the heavens,
and by his power brought on the south wind.
The Lord gave them bread from heaven.

Matthew 13: 1 – 9   A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and birds came and ate it up.

What is it in our culture that seems to eat up the word of God?  What have I done to help sow God’s words?

Action:   Take a few extra minutes today to think about something you remember from scripture and see if you can get it to grow a little.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Thought for Tuesday July 19


Let us sing to the Lord; he has covered himself in glory.
At the breath of your anger the waters piled up,
the flowing waters stood like a mound,
the flood waters congealed in the midst of the sea.
The enemy boasted, "I will pursue and overtake them;
I will divide the spoils and have my fill of them;
I will draw my sword; my hand shall despoil them!"
Let us sing to the Lord; he has covered himself in glory.


Matthew 12: 46 – 50  While Jesus was speaking to the crowds, his mother and his brothers appeared outside, wishing to speak with him. But he said in reply to the one who told him, "Who is my mother?”


How do I think Jesus’ mother responded to this?  How would my mother have responded to this?


Action:  Call your Mother (or another important family member) today just to say hello.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Thought for Monday July 18


Let us sing to the Lord; he has covered himself in glory.
I will sing to the LORD, for he is gloriously triumphant;
horse and chariot he has cast into the sea.
My strength and my courage is the LORD,
and he has been my savior.
He is my God, I praise him;
the God of my father, I extol him.
Let us sing to the Lord; he has covered himself in glory.

Matthew 12: 38 – 42  Just as Jonah was in the belly of the whale three days and three nights, so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights.

Have I ever been stubborn and spent time  “in the belly of the whale” instead of doing what I knew I should do?  How long does it take me to change after I know I should?

Action:  If there is some change you have been dreading or avoiding maybe now is the time to get on with it.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Thought for Friday July 15


I will take the cup of salvation, and call on the name of the Lord.
How shall I make a return to the LORD
for all the good he has done for me?
The cup of salvation I will take up,
and I will call upon the name of the LORD.
I will take the cup of salvation, and call on the name of the Lord.

 
Matthew 12: 1 – 8  When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, "See, your disciples are doing what is unlawful to do on the sabbath."


Do I ever judge people about their observance of the Sabbath?  Do I ever criticize people (in my mind or to others) at church because of the way they are dressed, or when they arrive, or how their kids act, or whether they receive Communion?


Action:  Make a point of going to church this weekend and appreciating the presence of everyone who is there without judging anyone.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Thought for Thursday July 14


From heaven the Lord looks down on the earth.
Let this be written for the generation to come,
and let his future creatures praise the LORD:
“The LORD looked down from his holy height,
from heaven he beheld the earth,
To hear the groaning of the prisoners,
to release those doomed to die.”
From heaven the Lord looks down on the earth.

Matthew 11: 28 – 30  Jesus said: “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.”


Do I find relief with Jesus?  Does my relationship with him add to my burdens or lighten them?


Action:  If you put your nose to the grindstone last week, take a well-deserved rest this week.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Thought for Tuesday July 12


God upholds his city forever.
Great is the LORD and wholly to be praised
in the city of our God.
His holy mountain, fairest of heights,
is the joy of all the earth.
God upholds his city forever.

Matthew 11: 20 – 24  Jesus began to reproach the towns where most of his mighty deeds had been done, since they had not repented.


What does it take for me to repent?  What mighty deeds have I seen?


Action:  Look at the extraordinary things around and ask yourself if any inspire repentance.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Thought for Monday July 11


To the upright I will show the saving power of God.
“Why do you recite my statutes,
and profess my covenant with your mouth,
Though you hate discipline
and cast my words behind you?”
To the upright I will show the saving power of God.
 
Matthew 10: 34 – 11: 1  Whoever receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward
 
How often do I listen to things I really don’t want to hear?  What is a prophet’s reward?

Action:  Speak up about something that bothers you even though you know it may make you unpopular.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Thought for Friday July 8


The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.
Trust in the LORD and do good,
that you may dwell in the land and be fed in security.
Take delight in the LORD,
and he will grant you your heart’s requests.
The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.


Matthew 10: 16 – 23  You will be hated by all because of my name, but whoever endures to the end will be saved.

How important is it to me to be liked?  Will I risk being disliked [or hated] to share Jesus’ love with others?

Action:  Take a risk for Jesus today.

 

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Thought for Thursday July 7


Remember the marvels the Lord has done.
The king sent and released him,
the ruler of the peoples set him free.
He made him lord of his house
and ruler of all his possessions.
Remember the marvels the Lord has done

Matthew 10: 7 – 15  The laborer deserves his keep.

Do I do enough to deserve everything I have?  Are there people who do not deserve their keep?

Action:  Do some good work today – Nose to the grindstone sort of stuff.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Thought for Wednesday July 6


Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
Give thanks to the LORD on the harp;
with the ten-stringed lyre chant his praises.
Sing to him a new song;
pluck the strings skillfully, with shouts of  gladness.
Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.


Matthew 10: 1 – 7  Jesus summoned his Twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits to drive them out and to cure every disease and every illness. The names of the Twelve Apostles are these: first, Simon called Peter, and his brother Andrew; James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew, Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James, the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddeus; Simon the Cananean, and Judas Iscariot who betrayed Jesus.

Do I feel that Jesus has chosen me for something special?   What special gifts do I have?

Action:  Make a list of 12 things you want to do for other people and start doing them.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Thought for Tuesday July 5


In justice, I shall behold your face, O Lord.
Hide me in the shadow of your wings.
I in justice shall behold your face;
on waking, I shall be content in your presence.
In justice, I shall behold your face, O Lord.

Matthew 9: 32 – 38  A demoniac who could not speak was brought to Jesus, and when the demon was driven out the mute man spoke.

Do I take being able to speak for granted or do I recognize it as a gift?  Do I use the power of speech as a gift from God or …?

Action:  When you speak to people today be aware of the powerful gift speech is.