Sermon: Good Dirt
Scripture Reading: Luke 8:1-8 and Luke 9:1-6
He said to them, “Take nothing for your journey, no staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money—not even an extra tunic. Whatever house you enter, stay there, and leave from there. Wherever they do not welcome you, as you are leaving that town shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” (Luke 9:3-5)
Monday July 16 — Luke 8:1-15
Beginning in Luke 8:11, Jesus explains the Parable of the Sower. Jesus teaches that good soil is like those who hear and receive God’s word fully and then choose to “bear fruit.” Another way of saying that is: good soil is when we listen to God’s word and show that God’s word is with us in our daily lives. Living God’s word can be as simple as a kind act, volunteering at church or as challenging as directly addressing the injustice in our world. Spend time in prayer and reflection today about how you stay in God’s word and live God’s word in your life.
• Prayer: God with me, I have placed your word in my heart so Imay know you more. Guide me to live in your ways today and every day. Amen.
Tuesday July 17 — Psalm 25:1-10
This Psalm, written by David, is an example of someone seeking to live in God’s word. David asks God to “Lead me in your truth, and teach me (vs. 5).” David recognizes the reality of our own imperfection, but asks God to show him mercy and love. You may have experienced denying God and God’s call in your life. Consider if you have missed an opportunity to follow God call? How did God show you grace in the midst of that? The Psalm ends with a reminder of God’s steadfast love and faithfulness. Today, remember that God’s call is not a “one and done,” but instead God’s call continues through each of for our lifetime. How can you choose to respond to God’s call today?
• Prayer: Calling God, I lift up my soul to you and seek your call in my life. Teach me to listen for your voice and respond to your love. Amen.
Wednesday July 18 — Isaiah 6:1-8
The story of Isaiah being called by God is vivid. Seraphs with six wings that touch Isaiah’s lips with burning coals? Sounds terrifying. It is in this way that Isaiah encountered God and was able to respond “Here am I (6:8).” God does not always call in such extreme ways. Sometimes God’s call is gentle (see 1 Kings 19:11-13). God’s voice is often a calling to see the hurt and pain in the world, to see the needs of God’s people, to care for others and for God’s creation. Pause sometime today, and ask God to help you hear God’s voice, ask to see the needs in the world or to recognize God in creation. Wonder today, about your own calling.
• Prayer: God of Isaiah, I wish to hear your call in my life. I ask that your powerful and awesome presence be in my life so I can respond like Isaiah saying, “Here am I.”
Thursday July 19 — 1 Samuel 3:1-11
God called Samuel very differently than God called Isaiah. And, it took Samuel a few times, and the help of Eli, to be able to recognize that God was calling. This story reminds us that 1) God doesn’t give up on calling us… God just keeps calling; and 2) God uses people in our lives to help us respond. Who has God used in your life to call you? or Who is God using right now to call you? How can you choose to respond like Samuel and say, “Speak for your servant is listening (vs. 11)?”
• Prayer: In community God and through others we know you more. Inspire me to recognize your calling in my life through the witness of others. Show me how to serve you each day. Amen.
Friday July 20 — Acts 2:36-39
In Acts 2, Peter has been fervently preaching; so much so that people think he is drunk! But the crowd pays close attention when Peter tells them everyone can receive God’s love and forgiveness. They eagerly ask the apostles “How can we respond?” Peter tells them these promises are available for all people and it is God who is calling them. While we know how personal God’s call is (like Isaiah and Samuel) it is amazing to see that God’s call is for everyone. Imagine what our world would be like if we all answered God’s call! Pray today for God’s call to not just be heard in your life, but for God’s call to be heard all around the world.
• Prayer: God, you love and grace are available for all people. Help me envision a world where all can respond to your call. Help me to be a person who invites all to seek you. Amen.
Saturday July 21 — Acts 2:41-47, John 10:10
As we consider the greatness of God’s call we wonder about what God’s call looks like. Acts 2:41-47 is a glimpse living out God’s call in community. Each need was provided for, they shared meals, they praised God and had glad, generous hearts. John 10, tells us that Jesus came so that all may have abundant life. Abundant life is witnessed in Acts – and it is the amazing potential of life in Christian community. When we all respond to God’s call, God’s people are cared for and we share in abundant life. What a wonderful vision of God’s kingdom here on earth! When have you experienced God’s kingdom here on earth? What can you do to share in abundant life with others?
• Prayer: Abundant God, I seek to experience your kingdom on earth and to bear witness to your kingdom each day. Grant me your vision of abundant life so I may live into it each day. Amen.