Thur. April 11

Thursday April 11, 2019

Today’s Focus                                                                   Amazing Grace                                            

Today’s Scripture Reading                                           Luke 15:1-10                         

Tax collectors and other notorious sinners often came to listen to Jesus teach. This made the Pharisees and teachers of religious law complain that he was associating with such sinful people—even eating with them!

So Jesus told them this story: “If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders. When he arrives, he will call together his friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’ In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away!

“Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins[a] and loses one. Won’t she light a lamp and sweep the entire house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she will call in her friends and neighbors and say, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost coin.’ 10 In the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels when even one sinner repents.”

 Daily Reflection                                                                                 lyrics to Amazing Grace

Amazing grace
How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost
But now I’m found
Was blind, but now I see

‘Twas grace that taught
My heart to fear
And grace my Fears relieved
How precious did
That grace appear
The hour I first believed

Through many dangers
Toils and snares
We have already come
‘Twas grace hath brought
Us safe thus far
And grace will lead us home

When we’ve been there
Ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun
We’ll have no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we first begun

Some questions for reflection

  • How transferable are these stories to our time and place? Can you think of some specific examples?

Today’s discipleship challenge

Share a time when you have been amazed by the abundant grace that God has shared with you.

Today’s prayer

Gracious Lord, I repent of all my sins, known and unknown.  I am truly sorry, and I humbly pray for forgiveness.  I firmly intend to amend my life, and to seek help in mending what is broken.  I ask for strength to turn from sin.  I seek wisdom to place You at the center of my life.  I desire to have complete trust in Your presence and I long to serve You always in newness of life. Amen.

3 thoughts on “Thur. April 11

  1. Pastor Jerry

    Wow! Even though I prepared this message, when I read and prayed over it today, the complexity of the discipleship challenge truly “hit” me.

    There was a time when I was going through incredible turmoil in some personal relationships that I felt as if “God wasn’t living up to promises” for myself. The more I thought and prayed about these relationships, the more angry I became at myself, the people involved in the friction, but also with God for seemingly not intervening. On a rainy afternoon I was so distraught that even in the midst of the heavy rain I decided I would go to one of my favorite outdoor places in the world to pray. There I was in the middle of a spring thunderstorm with no outerwear to protect me from the elements that I decided to bring all the anger, frustration, and hostility inside of me to our God. My internal prayers soon became audible and after a little bit of time I found myself standing on top of a hill with a fist raised to the sky yelling at God at the top of my lungs with words like “you promised you’d never leave my side.” Suddenly in the midst of my rage I realized that the rain had stopped and to the east the sun was shining and a rainbow had appeared. I know it may seem a little silly as you read this, but I believed in that moment that God was sending me a message saying, “here I am…. trust in me…. everything will be OK.” I felt pure unadulterated love and grace in that moment.
    This verse from psalm 94 quickly came to mind “When I thought, “My foot is slipping,”
    your steadfast love, O Lord, held me up.” A few verses later in the psalm we hear “But the Lord has become my stronghold, and my God the rock of my refuge.”
    Abundant grace, abundant mercy, infinite love… meant for all of God’s children.

    Reply
  2. Pastor Jerry

    On a different note.

    I just wanted to mention once again how much I have enjoyed this year’s Mid-week Lenten worship with the other Congregations on Mission Together (CoMiT). Last night once again I felt as if God’s Spirit was “palpable” within our midst. The wonderful table conversations, the interactions between all of our sisters and brothers across Bethlehem, the incredible worship setting. Last night Rev. Tom Keener shared the Good News with us all. At the core of what I took away from his wonderful message was that we should have no fear when we proclaim the love of God, for God’s perfect love should cast away all of our fears! Powerful message in a world which finds most believers carefully picking and choosing the appropriate moments to share the Good News. Thanks be to God for the opportunities our Lord has always provided us! Thanks be to God for the incredible opportunity God has seen fit to bring to us now!

    Reply
  3. Lisa Mantz

    Amazing Grace….How Sweet the Sound!

    If you ever “catch” me alone in the fellowship hall or in the education building…..chances are I am singing this song!!

    Reply

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