St. Matthew's UMC > GPS > GPS Week of January 20, 2019

GPS Week of January 20, 2019

Sunday January 20

Sermon:  Less is More

Scripture:  John 3:22-30, Philippians 2:1-11
For this reason my joy has been fulfilled. He must increase but I must decrease. – John 3:29-30

Monday January 21 – Psalm 118:19-29
This Scripture passage opens with the Psalmist asking to enter the gates of righteousness; or, to enter into and receive the fullness of God’s salvation. In verse 25, the Psalmist asks for “success.” So often we connect success with more, but success in Psalm 118 is about living in the abundance of God’s love and grace. How can you refocus your understanding of success and live in God’s abundance?

Prayer: God I give you thanks for your steadfast love. You have answered me and you are my salvation now and always. Amen.

Activity: Make a list of the things you associate with success. Make a list of what success looks like with God. How do your lists compare? How can you be more aligned with success with God?

Tuesday January 22 – Isaiah 55:1-2
These verses from Isaiah may sound contradictory; “Come buy wine and milk…” and “why do you spend your money for that which is not bread?” However, this Scripture passage is inviting us to thirst for God and delight in what God offers instead of spending money and laboring for things that are not of God. Consider for a moment the things you delight, the things that bring you joy. Where do you find God in these things? How can God be a part of these things?

Prayer: God, you invite me to your waters, to be satisfied by the richness of your love. Help me to delight in you today. Amen.

Activity: Track your moments of joy today or during the week. When do you feel joyful?

Wednesday January 23- Mark 6:7-11
We find in multiple places in the Gospels that Jesus reminds us not to worry about what we will wear, or eat, or even money (Luke 12, Matt. 10, for instance). In Mark 6, Jesus is sending out the disciples and instructs them to take nothing with them on their journey. Instead of worrying about all the things they carry with them they are able to focus on God and caring for others. What things preoccupy you and keep you from focusing on God and caring for others?

Prayer: God, as the disciples were sent, you send me in love and service to others. Focus my heart and mind today and the ways you call me. Amen.

Activity: For us today, unlike the disciples, we rely on technology, social media, computers. Consider giving up Facebook or Instagram for one day, or putting your devices on do not disturb when you pray today.

Thursday January 24 – Hebrews 13:5-6, 1 Timothy 6:6-8
Contentment is a common theme in these passages. Contentment is satisfaction, ease, in our situations, our body and mind. These verses remind us that we find contentment in relationship with God and not in money and possessions. When have you experienced satisfaction and ease in the past few weeks or months? During your prayer and devotion today try to seek contentment.

Prayer: God you are the author of my contentment. Create in my heart today satisfaction, ease and peace with you. Amen.

Activity: Breathe deeply. As you breathe in, breathe in God’s love and grace; as you breathe out the things that hold you back from receiving the fullness and contentment God offers. Continue breathing in and out until you feel relaxed and peaceful.

Friday January 25 – Luke 12:13-21
We have all been taught to prepare and plan for our futures, saving up so we can “relax;” this may sound like the Rich Fool. The Parable of the Rich Fool reads like a harsh warning against providing for our futures. However, this scripture isn’t a warning about taking care of ourselves, but a warning against greed and abundance of things. Abundance is found in God (see further, John 10:10). How can you reframe your understanding of abundance; abundance not in things, but in God’s love? Where do you experience God’s abundant love?

Prayer: God of abundance, sometimes I get confused and try to find abundance in things instead of in you. Center my spirit on your love and grace today. Amen.

Activity: Close your eyes and focus on the word ABUNDANCE. Repeat the word or just imagine the word before you. What imagines or connection come to your mind as you consider abundance? Now focus on ABUNDANT LOVE. How do the imagines or connections change?

Saturday January 26 – Philippians 2:1-11
Philippians 2 makes the surprising connection between complete joy (vs. 2), and the interests of others (vs. 4). Paul, the writer of Philippians, explains that his joy is complete when the Philippians put others before themselves. Instead of joy coming from the things we desire, joy comes when we care for others. Take time today to think of things that bring joy to those around you. How can you create joy for others and share God’s love?

Prayer: God of all joyfulness, so often I focus on making myself happy and not on the needs of others. Inspire me to care for others before myself. Amen.

Activity: Think about the things that bring you joy. Share the things that you take joy in with someone else today.

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