Series – This is God’s Church
Sermon – Sharing Our Faith
Scripture Readings: Philemon 1:1-7, 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10
When I remember you in my prayers, I always thank my God because I hear of your love for all the saints and your faith toward the Lord Jesus. I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective when you perceive all the good that we may do for Christ. I have indeed received much joy and encouragement from your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you, my brother. (Philemon 1:4-7)
Monday October 28 — Psalm 51
The 51st Psalm is one of many psalms that are attributed to King David. It is a penitential psalm that is David’s response to being confronted by Nathan after his affair with Bathsheba. (For the full story, read 2 Samuel 11 and 12.) We often read and pray this psalm on Ash Wednesday as we confess our sins and our need for God’s grace. What’s noteworthy is that when David asks to be restored to the “joy of [God’s] salvation” (Psalm 51:12), he promises to share his faith. How might Psalm 51 apply to your life? How would you describe your own experience of God’s grace?
• Prayer: Forgiving God, I confess that I am a sinner and need your grace and forgiveness. Restore me to the joy of your salvation and help me share my faith with others. Amen.
Tuesday October 29 — Luke 1:1-4, Acts 1:6-8
The prologue to Luke’s Gospel sets the stage for the story of Jesus’ life and ministry that follows. Luke tells Theophilus that what follows was written, “so that you may know the truth concerning the things about which you have been instructed” (Luke 1:4). Consider the possibility that Luke’s account of Jesus’ life is a resource that allows everyone who reads the Gospel to be a witness to everything that God has done. How does your life testify to what you have learned about Jesus?
• Prayer: God of All Ages, thank you for the faithfulness of the Gospel writers who have told us what we need to know about Jesus. Help me testify to what I’ve learned. Amen.
Wednesday October 30 — Luke 24:28-35
The account of Easter evening, when Jesus journeyed to Emmaus with Cleopas and his companion, ends with the two disciples experiencing their hearts burning and returning to Jerusalem to share the good news of their encounter with the resurrected Jesus. According to Luke, they simply told the others “what had happened” (Luke 24:35). Think about your own relationship with Jesus. How can you tell someone else about what has happened in your life?
• Prayer: Faithful God, I am amazed that your son, Jesus, died for me and was raised for me. Show me how to tell the story to someone who needs to hear it today. Amen.
Thursday October 31 — Luke 24:44-49
Before he ascends to heaven, Jesus leaves his disciples with instructions. (Every Gospel and the book of Acts has an account of Jesus’ commission to his disciples.) He says that they are witnesses of all that has happened — and witnesses are supposed to testify. He also says that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed. How might you share your experience of the life-changing power of God’s love and grace and your experience of God’s forgiveness?
• Prayer: Merciful God, grant me the courage I need to acknowledge my sin and my need for forgiveness. Grant me the courage I need to tell someone about your grace. Amen.
Friday November 1 — 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10
The New Testament is clear that Jesus’ earliest disciples took seriously Jesus’ commission to be witnesses and share their experience of God’s love and grace in both word and deed. The opening verses of the first letter to the Thessalonians affirms that the Gospel is shared in both word and deed. The good news is both proclaimed (in words) and embodied in the lives of the believers. The Thessalonians “imitated” Paul and “became an example …” (1 Thessalonians 1:6-7). Consider your life, what is it saying about what you believe? How does your life proclaim the good news?
• Prayer: God of Love, I know that all too often my actions do not match the words I profess as a follower of Jesus. Forgive my failure to trust and obey. Show me your way. Amen.
Saturday November 2 — Philemon 1:1-7
Even though it is only nineteen (19) verses in length, Paul and Timothy’s letter to Philemon has challenged Bible readers and interpreters from the time it was written through the present age. Focus today on the prayer of thanksgiving in verses 4-7. Read these words again. How might they apply to your life? Would someone be able to pray this way about you? What needs to happen in your life so that “the sharing of your faith may become effective …” (Philemon 1:6)?
• Prayer: Gracious God, make the sharing of my faith effective today. Help me be aware of the good that I can do in your name and for your sake. Help me share my faith. Amen.