Sunday, February 17th

Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 12:31-13:13 

Insight: We use the word love a lot!  It can mean anything from thank you to I like that to you are my everything to please don’t be mad at me and virtually everything in between.  This week we will come to better understand the love God has for us and calls us to have for one another.

Prayer: Loving God, it is so easy for us to say we love you and others, but it is so hard for us to show that love in our words and actions.  Helps us to become the loving people you created us to be. Amen. 

Monday, February 18th

Scripture Reading: 1st Corinthians 12:31

 Insight: Last week in our readings from 1st Corinthians 12 we hear Paul describe the many of the gifts/talents that God give to us in the Body of Christ.  However, in verse 31 we hear of something even better, and more powerful, than everything listed before.  As you know from already reading chapter 13 that Paul is speaking of love.

Prayer: Almighty God, of all the talents and abilities there are in existence, you tell us that none are greater than love.  Help us to value love as greatly as you do.  Amen.

Reflection:  Is being loving that important to you?  If it is, how do you show that in your thoughts, words, and actions?  Is that true just true for those close to you or everyone you interact with?  Why do you think that is? 

Action Step: Make a list or draw a mind map of ways you currently show love to others. Categorize your list into family, friends, co-workers, church peers, and strangers.


Tuesday, February 19th

Scripture Reading: 1st Corinthians 13:1-3 

Insight:  As Paul tells us, love is what makes all other things possible in relationships with others.  In this section of 1st Corinthians, Paul is telling the church in Corinth how to get along with one another.  He is pointedly reminding them it doesn’t matter how talented they are or how important their motives may be, if they are not rooted in and guided by love, they are worthless. 

Prayer: Loving God, we can be so selfish and see others as obstacles or a tool to be used for achieving our goals. Help us to love all as you do. Amen. 

Reflection:  How do you feel about what Paul is saying?  Do you believe that love is the foundation of all healthy relationships, or do you think something else can suffice?  Why or why not?

Action Step: Find a stick you can easily break apart. Think of a time that you did something for someone with less-than-loving motives. Meditate for a few minutes on that situation. Consider how the other person received your actions. As you meditate, break off pieces of the stick and consider how being unloving can chip away at your own heart as well as theirs.

Wednesday, February 20th

Scripture Reading: 1st Corinthians 13:4-7 

Insight: While we have one English word for love, in the Bible there were four Greek words for love.  These four words are: Eros or romantic/physical love; Storge or familial/ social love; Philia or mental/ emotional love; Agape or self-sacrificing/altruistic love.  The word love used in 1st Corinthians 13 is Agape.  In chapter 13, Paul is telling us self-sacrificing/ altruistic love is all of these things but familial, romantic, and emotional love are not.

Prayer: Guiding God, help me to understand the perfect love you have for me and to better understand how you call me to have that same love for others.  Amen.

Reflection: How and where do you experience these different types of love?

Action Step:  Think of a relationship in your life in which you feel loved for who you are; one in which you feel unconditionally loved. Write a letter, poem, or song describing that relationship, or draw a picture.   

Thursday, February 21st

Scripture Reading: 1st Corinthians 13:8-12

Insight:Love can transcend time.Perfect love is not something which is contained to a specific time, location, or phase of life but goes beyond.Paul is trying to get us to understand other things do not have the timeless nature of love even though we may think of them as being more important.

Prayer: God who Loves, help me to remember the love you have for me us unchanging and never ending. Amen.

Reflection: What is a love that you have in your life that has not been ended because of the passage of time?  What is it that makes that love so special? 

Action Step:  Listen to one or two of your favorite songs about love, whether hymns or praise music or sappy love songs. Think about how your ability to act lovingly toward others has developed over time.  

Friday, February 22nd

Scripture Reading: 1st Corinthians 13:13

Insight:  In the church, we readily and regularly talk about the importance of faith and hope, but here Paul says they are important but none as much as love.  Paul is wanting us to understand that a community can be united and stay together because of commonly held beliefs or a shared vision for the future, but nothing keeps us connected as well or as much as loving one another.

Prayer: Forgiving God, forgive me for those times when my heart has hardened towards others.  Help me to have genuine concern for those who fill my life. Amen.

Reflection: I have often heard to have a friend we must first be a friend.  My assumption is that for people to be loving towards us, we must first be loving towards them.  I believe it is easy for all of us to have our defenses up and feel as if, “well I would be more loving to others if they were more loving to me.”  Part of being loving is making ourselves vulnerable which is hard and scary, but, nevertheless, is required for us to experience love in our loves.

Action Step:  Are you currently involved in a ministry that makes the love of God known to others in a meaningful way? Are you serving in a capacity that fits with your talents, your spiritual gifts, and your availability? Does it bring you joy? If so, tell someone outside our church about the ministry. If not, begin to pray about where God is preparing you to serve. Contact Rev. Jen or Rev. Kris for help getting plugged into an ongoing ministry. 

Saturday, February 23rd

Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 12:31-13:13

Reflection: How has my understanding of love grown, changed, or been challenged by my experience of the disciple’s journey this week?

 Sunday, February 24th

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.