Sunday, February 3rd

Scripture Reading: Matthew 25:31-46 

Insight: The Scripture reading above will be our guiding passage for the week.  Read these verses carefully and intentionally so that you might better understand how Jesus Christ is calling you to live your life on a daily basis. 

Prayer: All-Loving God, hearing words of judgement are hard and uncomfortable, but even in these verses help me to remember your defining characteristic is love.  Amen.

 Monday, February 4th

Scripture Reading: Matthew 25:31-33

 Insight: The idea of judgement is something none of us enjoy.  We enjoy even less the idea of our loving Jesus being the one who is doing it.  However, the Gospels, and Jesus himself, are explicit that one day we will have to stand in judgement, and it will be before him. 

Prayer: Loving God, help the idea of judgement not be something which causes me to flee from or fear you.  Instead, help me to respond in faith, seeking to more sincerely follow you with my life.  Amen.

 Reflection: What in your life do you most see as sheep-like thoughts or actions?  What in your life do you most see as goat-like thoughts or actions? 

Action Step: Draw a line down the center of a sheet of paper. Write the heading “goat” on the left column and “sheep” on the right. Spend 5 minutes writing what God has revealed to you about your sheep-like and goat-like thoughts and actions in each column.   

 Tuesday, February 5th

Scripture Reading: Matthew 25:34-36

 Insight: As much as we may struggle with the idea, Jesus Christ cares about our actions.  Jesus, and God for that matter, care about what we do, and what we do impacts what we receive.  However, instinctually we know this to be true.  The more good we do, the more blessed we are.  This blessing doesn’t necessarily mean wealth and prosperity. In my life I know the kinder and more loving I am, usually, the kinder and more loving others are to me which is a blessing. 

Prayer: Gracious God, help me not to think of you as some “scorekeeper” who tracks all my rights and wrongs.  Help me to see you as a loving parent who wants me to live the fullest life I can which is a life in you. Amen.

Reflection: When was the last time you helped someone without the hope or expectation that they would do something in return for you?  How did that make you feel?

Action Step: Today, identify someone who has a need. Who do you know that is hungry, thirsty, naked, a stranger, sick, or in prison? (Consult our church prayer list or ask one of our pastors if you are stuck.) Write their name down on a note.

 Wednesday, February 6th

Scripture Reading: Matthew 25:37-40

 Insight: What has always fascinated me about these verses is that these people who did these loving and compassionate acts did so without knowing they were doing them for the King (who we understand to be Jesus). In that, these people did these acts because doing so was who they were, and they were not doing them for the sake of reward or to avoid punishment.

Prayer: Guiding God, lead my thoughts and actions so that I am doing what you desire not because of what it might get me or even keep me from facing. Help me to follow you because it is your desire for my life. Amen. 

Reflection: When you are not consciously thinking about your actions and just “act”, do you find that you are normally more or less loving?  What is usually happening in your life when you are more loving?  What about less?

Action Step: Throughout the day today, pray for the person on the card from yesterday. Imagine the love that Jesus has and how Jesus would treat that person if they were standing in front of him. Ask God to reveal a need that the person has that you are equipped to meet.

Thursday, February 7th

Scripture Reading: Matthew 25:41-43

Insight: The idea of Hell, or eternal separation from God is terrifying which we would prefer to ignore, but my understanding is that our loving God does not force God’s self on anyone.  So, if someone doesn’t want to have anything to do with God, God will honor that, BUT God is always right there pursuing us and waiting/longing for the moment to be invited into our lives.

Prayer: Pursuing God, help me to invite and embrace you in my life, trusting you want what is best for me, a life of blessing, the fullness of life which is only found in you. Amen.

Reflection: How do you respond to the idea of Hell or eternal separation from God?  What do you think about God forcing God’s self on those who want nothing to do with God? 

Action Step:  Today is the day to call or visit the person for whom you have been praying. Ask them if the help you feel equipped to offer is something they would find helpful. If so, do it. Depending on how well you know the person, describe to them how God has revealed God’s love for them to you during this week. Tell them that your offer of helping them comes from your love for Jesus.

  Friday, February 8th

Scripture Reading: Matthew 25:44-46

Insight: What the “goats” make clear in their protest is that when they saw people hurting, suffering, and alone, that it wasn’t the King they saw.  You can infer from their response that if it was the King they saw in those situations, they gladly would have helped.  Instead they saw people that didn’t matter to them enough to help.

Prayer: Forgiving God, forgive me for the times when I have looked upon another human being, seen their suffering, and responded with hardness of heart instead of having the compassion you desire from all your children. Amen.

Reflection: What makes it easier to keep you from being moved by compassion to help someone?  Is it easier if they look different, believe differently, or have “caused” their own suffering?  What is it for you? 

Action Step:  Think of a situation in the past where you saw someone suffering and did not have compassion, and now regret it. Pray for forgiveness, and that next time you’ll have compassion and courage to act. Accept God’s forgiveness and let the regret go.

 Saturday, February 9th

Reflection: How have I grown, changed, and/or been challenged by what I have experienced through my journey as a disciple this week?

Sunday, February 10th

Action Step: Join us this morning in worship at Quail Springs UMC at 8:30am, 9:45am, or 11:00am as we begin the next step in our Disciple’s Journey together.