The First 15

Tuesday December 29, 2020

by First Methodist Mansfield

Opening Prayer

As I enter into this time of prayer and reflection, I pause to be still; to breathe slowly; to recenter my scattered senses upon the presence of God.

Lord, please help me to be still and listen for what you have to say to me in these quiet moments.

Scripture Reading

“To the angel of the church in Ephesus write:

These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands. 2 I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. 3 You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary.

4 Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. 5 Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.”

Revelation 2:1-5


I remember times in my life when I heard God’s voice so clearly. I was fully committed and unwavering in what I was called to do. The joy of the Lord was my strength. Why does everyday seem like a new struggle to get back there? Marriage is fun as newlyweds but now it’s ten years in and I still have to mow the yard before I take Max for his yearly checkup while Lindsey Kay helps her older parents pack up Christmas decorations. The work we do for the Lord moves ahead of the Lord of the work without us noticing.

“You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first.” What is God saying to you here? How does this apply to your life? Let us together seek God first today. Let’s listen to his guidance so everything we do today is grounded in gratitude for his grace. Let us be earnest and repent for not putting Christ first and before everything else, until the zeal of the Lord consumes us.   

Closing Prayer

When you are finished with your time of reflection, close out this time with this prayer. 

My God, let me know and love you, so that I may find my happiness in you. Since I cannot fully achieve this on earth, help me to improve daily until I may do so to the full. Enable me to know you ever more on earth, so that I may know you perfectly in heaven. Enable me to love you ever more on earth, so that I may love you perfectly in heaven. In that way my joy may be great on earth, and perfect with you in heaven. O God of truth, grant me the happiness of heaven so that my joy may be full in accord with your promise. In the meantime let my mind dwell on that happiness, my tongue speak of it, my heart pine for it, my mouth pronounce it, my soul hunger for it, my flesh thirst for it, and my entire being desire it until I enter through death in the joy of my Lord forever. Amen.—St. Augustine 

The First 15

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