Home arrow News arrow GUIDE TO PRAYER & STUDY / Week of May 14-20, 2017
GUIDE TO PRAYER & STUDY / Week of May 14-20, 2017 PDF Print E-mail
Written by CGUMC   
Saturday, 13 May 2017

MAY 14: “THE POWER OF SMALL BALL”
Philippians 4:4-9; John 14:6-14

Things I want to remember from today’s worship service:
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Monday, May 15:  Read 2 Peter 1:4-8.
Hall of Famer Willie Mays told young baseball players, “In order to excel…you must also be prepared to work hard and be willing to accept constructive criticism. Without 100 percent dedication, you won't be able to do this.” Peter urges Christians to give 100 percent dedication to growing spiritually. Commentator William Barclay writes, “We do not earn salvation, but we have to bend every energy towards the Christian objective of a lovely life....Life is at its noblest and best when our effort cooperates with God’s grace to produce the necessary loveliness.” What daily choices are you making to allow God’s power to build a beautiful character in you? In Peter’s list of qualities which make up a “winning” character for eternity, which of the qualities do you see most present in your life today? Prayer: Lord Jesus, I’m willing to make every effort to become the person you call me to be—or at least I want to be willing to do that. Please add your power to my effort. Amen.

Tuesday, May 16:  Read 1 Timothy 4:8-16.
Cardinal great Lou Brock said, “You can't be afraid to make errors because no one can ever master the game of baseball, or conquer it. You can only challenge it.” His comment captures well the essence of how Paul encourages his protégé Timothy about life. Don’t be afraid — you cannot be a “great” Christian without continued learning, growth and experience. N.T. Wright writes that Christians need to “go into training just as much as an athlete does. And this sort of training will make you the kind of person who reflects God’s image.” Does it surprise you to know the Christian life is something you have to work at—and something, moreover, which will take the same kind of hard work as going into training for athletics? How’s your appetite for spiritual training? Are you “in shape” or “out of shape” spiritually? Prayer: Lord, help me to be more of a “gym rat” than a “couch potato” spiritually. Give me an inner hunger and thirst for your righteousness. Amen.
    
Wednesday, May 17:  Read 1 Corinthians 9:24-27.
Slugger Reggie Jackson said a baseball swing “is a very finely tuned instrument. It is repetition, and more repetition, then a little more after that.” The apostle Paul (with no baseball to write about!) used images from the races and boxing of his day to describe his disciplined approach to living as a Christian. In what parts of life has it felt (or feels now) like a real “fight” to live as God wants you to, to break damaging thought or behavior patterns? What differences can you think of between serious spiritual training and what Paul called “shadowboxing”? Prayer: Lord Jesus, It took serious resolve for you to go to the cross to be my Savior. Help me be resolute and purposeful in living as your follower. Amen.   

Thursday, May 18
:  Read Philippians 3:10-14.
“Baseball wasn’t easy for me,” Cubs’ great Ryne Sandberg said. One essential lesson for us all is that the road to exceptional accomplishments is not easy, in baseball or in life. Paul pictured a determined, forward-looking, life-long pursuit of “the prize of God’s upward call.” Whatever your age or life stage, how can you live your life in such a way that you, too, are pursuing the goal of living the life God has called you to? What choices can you make this week, this month, which will empower you to run God’s race with eyes for nothing but the prize? In verse 13, Paul shared an essential truth in pursuing God's goals: “I forget about the things behind me and reach out for the things ahead of me.” Are you letting anything from your past define you in the present? Ask God to help you focus on the things ahead. Prayer: O God, I want to set aside what lies behind, focus on what is to come, and press on toward your goal for my life and for the world around me. Amen.

Friday, May 19:  Read Matthew 25:1-13.
The great Yankee catcher Yogi Berra once succinctly said baseball “ain't like football. You can't make up no trick plays.” Jesus told this sobering parable to teach a similar point—that there are no “trick plays” for entering heaven. We can’t borrow someone else’s spiritual training and preparation—we need to have prepared ourselves. When exam day comes, it’s too late to start studying for the exam. In reading this parable, did you identify more with the prepared or the unprepared bridesmaids? Are you prepared to be at the “wedding banquet of the Lamb” (see Revelation 19:9)? Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for inviting me to your “wedding banquet,” not as a guest, but as an active participant. Help me value that privilege highly, and stay connected with you every day. Amen.

Saturday, May 20:

Reflect on your week’s readings, and join us for our special Homecoming worship service at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday. Bring a friend with you! Worship is our human response to the goodness, mercy and love of God. It is also a moment in which God speaks to us, renews us, forgives us and reminds us of who we are, and Whose we are. The Body of Christ is incomplete if you’re absent!


Last Updated ( Saturday, 13 May 2017 )
 
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