The First 15

Thursday November 4, 2021

by Sharon Reid

Today is Thursday, November 4, and this week we are exploring Jesus’s teaching on the spiritual practice of generosity and how it transforms our thinking.

Opening Prayer

As I enter into prayer, I pause to be still. I breathe slowly and recenter my scattered thoughts upon the presence of God.

Pause and Pray

Holy Spirit, come guide me to rest in these moments of stillness with you. Amen.

Scripture Reading

I choose to rejoice in God’s enduring love, joining with the ancient praise of all God’s people in the words of Psalm 100.

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations. Psalm 100:1-5 NIV

Pause and Pray

As I sit and listen to Jesus teaching, I recognize a change in his tone. He has been challenging me to look deeply into my thoughts and attitudes about generosity and life in the kingdom of God. Perhaps he senses that I have still been filled with anxious thoughts, and so he says,

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” Matthew 6:25-27 NIV

Reflection

Jesus always knows how to lead me to a better way of understanding my life and the world – a kingdom-oriented perspective. I don’t think Jesus is encouraging me to stop striving for my basic needs, he just wants me to stop filling my life with worry and start filling my life with confidence in God’s enduring goodness, faithfulness and love.

Ask: What else do I hear Jesus emphasize in this teaching?

Pause and Pray

Lord, help me examine my attitudes and thoughts as I slowly read Jesus’s words once again.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” Matthew 6:25-27 NIV

Ask: What image, word or phrase stood out to me this time as I listened to Jesus?

Pause and Pray

Lord, help me look inward and notice how much of my thought life is spent on worrying. Transform my thinking from worry to worship and confidence in the One whose love endures forever. Amen.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. – Romans 12:2 NIV

Closing Prayer

Father, prepare me to live this day being faithful to you in every way. Jesus, help me serve others with your compassion and grace. Spirit, transform my inner thoughts and motivations so that all I do, I do to please you. Amen.

The First 15

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