GPS October 13, 2019
Sermon: Emulate Christ
Scripture Reading: Luke 15:1-10, John 13:31-35
“Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.” – John 13:34-35, The Message
Things I’d like to remember from today’s message:
Monday October 14- John 13:1-17
In this familiar passage, Jesus is washing the disciples’ feet. We see, the disciples’ teacher and leader, our Savior, Jesus acting as a servant. He washes his disciples’ stinky, callused, tired feet AND THEN Jesus commands them to love one another as he loves them. We hear the story so many times we may have forgotten the radical-ness of what Jesus is commanding. Love with total and extreme humility. How are you loving with humility today?
Prayer: Humble God, teach me to love with humility like your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Activity: Today, place yourself intimately in the Scripture. Use all your senses as you read the passage. What do you hear, see, smell, taste, and feel as you read? During the day recall the senses you experienced in this Scripture. How can you choose to emulate Christ today?
Tuesday, October 15- Luke 15:11-32
The parable of the Prodigal Son, comes directly after two other parables of the lost and found. What we witness in all three parables of Luke 15 is a God whose love does not ever give up. God’s love is extraordinary. God’s love extends to those of us who are lost and struggling. Look around for those who are lost – or remember a time when you were lost. How can you love EXTRAordinarily like God today?
Prayer: Searching God, thank you for always seeking the lost and finding us with your extraordinary love. Amen.
Activity: Read the story of the Prodigal Son in a busy and bustling place today; the grocery store, a mall food court, a metro station. Wonder about the experience of being lost. Do you notice people who look lost today or do you feel lost in the crowd? Pray for God’s love to be known with those who are lost. Pray that you will receive God’s love when you feel lost.
Wednesday, October 16- Matthew 25:34-40
The King in this parable tells those who have gathered, “the blessed,” that when they cared for the hungry, thirsty, sick, naked, imprisoned strangers they were caring for the King. When we love others the way Christ loved us we are loving God fully. What opportunities do you have to serve those in need this week? Sign up for Rise Against Hunger, volunteer with a new mission. Find a way to show your love for others and love God this week.
Prayer: God of love, I desire to serve your people and show you love. Equip me today to be your servant. Amen.
Activity: Visit St. Matthew’s website and check out all of the missions we are involved in or visit the Welcome Desk at St. Matthew’s and pick up a Missions brochure. Pray for each of the missions at St. Matthew’s individually and those who are leading missions. Do you feel called to any of the Missions or eager to learn more? Try a new way to serve God today.
Thursday, October 17-Luke 14:12-14
Jesus gives a clear command in this passage. This Scripture isn’t just about emulating Christ, but about following Christ’s commands. In Luke 14, we see Jesus teaching that we should invite the poor, crippled, lame and blind to our banquet table. And following this passage in Luke 15, Jesus eats with tax-collectors and sinners. Jesus is commanding and then leading by example; reminding us to be in relationship and care for those who are different from us. How are you extending God’s love to those who are different from you?
Prayer: Christ, my Lord, guide me to find ways to love those on the margins. Amen.
Activity: Have lunch, a cup of coffee, a “watercooler chat” with someone you don’t know as well, or someone who is different from you. Focus on learning about their story – not about telling your own – what surprised you? What challenged you? How can you learn and grow in your love for God as you encounter people who are different from you?
Friday, October 18 – Luke 9:23-25
In verse 23, Jesus tells the disciples to “deny themselves.” Or, to let go of their selfish desires and choose to live as Jesus has modeled for them. One way to consider this Scripture is to hear Jesus’ call to reckless love. Reread the Scripture. How are you being called to let go of selfish desires? How is Jesus calling you to give up your life to share God’s reckless love? Today, look for opportunities to put others before yourself.
Prayer: In your extraordinary love and grace I desire to live, O God. Equip me to deny myself and lift up your love. Amen.
Activity: Consider your conversations today. How many times do you talk about yourself? How much do you talk about what you want? How often do you try to push your own ideas, agenda, or perspective? Today, listen to other’s perspectives first, try to understand their ideas before suggesting your own, invite others to tell their stories before sharing your own.
Saturday, October 19 – Mark 12:30-31
Our Reckless Love sermon series began with Mark 12 – love God with all you have and love your neighbor as yourself. We have focused on beginning with love, expanding our circles, lavishing love, having openhearted love, valuing the vulnerable, and emulating Christ. How has your understanding of God’s love changed? How can you continue to work towards loving recklessly? Spend time reflecting on God’s love in your life today and work to extend that love to others.
Prayer: God of reckless love, today I start with love, expand the circle of those I love, guide me to lavish love on others with a full and open heart. Teach me to value the vulnerable as I work toward emulating Christ. Amen.
Activity: Write out the words, “Love God, Love Neighbor.” Write them on a few post-its and leave them as a reminder in your car, at your desk, on your mirror. Or, write it on paper and color or decorate the paper and post it where you’ll see it everyday. You could even take a poster board and the words “Love God, Love Neighbor” and color and decorate with your family or friends. Place the poster board in a community space or your Sunday School room. Spend time in prayer today and reflect on how you can truly love God and love your neighbor.