Week 32 Day 3
I. Prayer to enter the Lord’s presence:
Be still for a moment. “Lord, I give the day that is now past to you. It is yours. I give the day that is to come to you; help me to see where you are working and to join you there. Speak to me during these moments. I commit them and myself to you.”
II. Prayer of Confession:
“Lord, you are faithful to forgive me and cleanse me of my sin when I confess it to you. I confess my sin(s) of ______________. Thank you for forgiveness.” (1 John 1:9)
III. Prayer of Thanksgiving:
Choose to be thankful, speak out loud of what God has done.
“Thank you, Father, for _________________. Fill my heart and my mouth with gratitude throughout this day.”
IV. Scripture Reflection
Matthew 5:38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ 39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. 41 If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42 Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. “Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
In the sermon on the mount Jesus does not deliver a “new law” to take the place of the law Moses received on Mt. Sinai. Jesus is showing the kind of heart that was always intended in God’s commands. Don’t see these as rules to be obeyed but as challenges to your heart. If you are called to give, do it joyfully. If someone is unkind to you, forgive them fully. If someone demands from you and you are called to serve and they are ungrateful, refuse to throw a personal pity party. This is about what God is doing in our hearts more than about what we are doing in our actions. Clearly what happens in our hearts will show up in our lives but the focus here is at the core of our being. God is making us into certain kinds of people…we are “becoming” his. From this “being” will flow wise and good “doing.” But we will must not “do” in order to feel good or look good…we are to be people who “do” because God is good and he is doing a good work in our hearts.
Today or sometime this week…look for opportunities to serve and love others in ways that you cannot get credit for. It may be simply sending an anonymous letter of encouragement or paying for someone’s coffee without them knowing. It may be something much more involved than either of those. The point of this “activity” is to intentionally train your heart to give for the glory of God and the good of others…period.
V. Prayer for others:
Pray specifically for the concerns of your life and the lives of others.
VI. Prayer of commitment:
“Lord God, I commit to love you with all my heart and with all my soul and with all my strength and with all my mind and to love my neighbor as myself. Empower me today to love you and others with everything that I am.” (Luke 10:27)
This Month’s Scripture Memory:
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.