The First 15

Tuesday November 2, 2021

by Sharon Reid

Today is Tuesday, November 2, 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 reflect on God’s goodness, joining with the ancient praise of all God’s people in the words of Psalm 116.

What shall I return to the Lord
for all his goodness to me?
I will lift up the cup of salvation
and call on the name of the Lord.
I will fulfill my vows to the Lord
in the presence of all his people. – Psalm 116:12-14 NIV

Pause and Pray

Jesus is teaching a whole crowd of people about life in the kingdom of God as he sits on the slope of a mountainside. He seems particularly interested in teaching me to look more deeply into my thoughts and motivations. As I read his words, I imagine myself being close enough to easily hear Jesus speak, as he says,

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” – Matthew 6:19-21 NIV

Reflection

This teaching from Jesus rattles me just a bit. I have to admit that I do focus a great deal of time and energy on storing up what helps me, and those I love, feel comfortable and secure. But, have I become so consumed with investing in earthly treasures that I have no time or energy remaining to invest in “kingdom of God treasures,” acts of generosity, compassion, and kindness?

Jesus helps me evaluate if I am where I want to be when he says, “It’s obvious, isn’t it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being.” (v. 21 MSG).

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.

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” – Matthew 6:19-21 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 pay attention to what and who I am treasuring. I invite you to transform my thoughts to reflect the thoughts of Christ. May all my thoughts, words and deeds be driven by my deep desire to please you in all things. Amen.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:7 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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