The First 15

Tuesday September 29, 2020

by First Methodist Mansfield

Opening Prayer

Begin this new day by praying this prayer out loud. As you are able, consider kneeling as a physical expression of your commitment to Jesus as Lord of your life and the one you desire to lead you this day. Alternatively, you might consider placing a hand over your heart as you pray this prayer.

I am no longer my own, but thine.
Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt.
Put me to doing, put me to suffering.
Let me be employed by thee or laid aside for thee,
exalted for thee or brought low for thee.
Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and heartily yield all things
to thy pleasure and disposal.
And now, O glorious and blessed God,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
thou art mine, and I am thine. So be it.
And the covenant which I have made on earth,
let it be ratified in heaven. Amen.

The Wesley Covenant Prayer was written by Rev. John Wesley, the 18th century Anglican priest who was the founder of the Methodist Movement.

Scripture Reading

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Philippians 2:5-11


In Ephesians 4:1, Paul describes who we are as “prisoners for the Lord.” When I imagine what it’s like to be a prisoner, my mind goes to a restricted existence with sloppy cafeteria food and a regimented routine that varies very little day-to-day. The sound of sliding metal bars and the Law & Order soundtrack audibly stamping the judge’s verdict. To live life in such dreary conditions, as a prisoner under the burdensome penalty of our guilt, seems hopeless.

And yet Christ comes to us in the nature of a servant. He makes himself nothing for us, like our culture is prone to view prisoners. He came to put on the chains and take the sentence we deserve so we could be bound to him and not to the grave. If you’ve never been bound to Jesus, then being a prisoner for him won’t make any sense. I mean who wants to voluntarily sign up to be a prisoner? If you’ve ever shared a cell with Jesus, you would. Being a prisoner for the Lord is freedom. How will you be a prisoner for Jesus today? Who will you serve?

Closing Prayer

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

Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought me in safety to this new day: Preserve me with your mighty power, that I may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all I do direct me to the fulfilling of your purpose, through Jesus Christ my Lord. AMEN.

The First 15

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