Out to the World

God has placed each one of us where he wants us to be and ensured that we have what we need to do ministry. But, I think that there are times that we become overwhelmed when we look at all of the things that seem stacked against us that we don’t even know where to start, so we just do the minimum or we don’t do at all. We, as a church, must be willing to give ourselves and our church over to God and the Holy Spirit. But we have to work together not just with each other in our church, but with other churches when we can.

Sermon Audio

Prayers and Reflections

Power, Providence, and Purpose

Herod kept Peter in prison, guarded by sixteen soldiers. He had learned that Peter had a habit of escaping when jailed, so he was determined that he wouldn’t get out again. The night before the trial started, Peter, bound by two chains, slept between two soldiers. But, just as it looks like all is lost, look what happened in verse five. “The church was earnestly praying to God for him,” and an angel appears and hits Peter to wake him, and they walk out.

The church was praying for Peter, but what was Peter doing? Even though he was bound in chains and lying between two soldiers, Peter was asleep! And he was sleeping so soundly, the angel had to hit him to wake him! Peter had the peace that passes understanding. This is what Paul was talking about in Philippians 4:6. Peter, facing death, wasn’t anxious about it.

We see this over and over again in scripture. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had it in the furnace, Daniel had it in the lion’s den, Job had it when Satan was persecuting him, and we can have it too.

I don’t know about you, but I want that kind of peace. However, I have to admit, I don’t have it yet.

Sermon Audio

Prayers and Reflections

Remembering Our Baptism

Matthew 3:13-17

We can only be baptized once but we can “renew” our vows and be reminded  of the vows baptism represents.  When we remember our baptism, we are not just remembering the act of baptism or the day it occurred.  We are focusing that we belong to Jesus and have become children of God.  Who we are and who we will be is a product of our faith in Jesus.  We all want to be Children of God.

God told those gathered around the Jordan River, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” Can you imagine God saying that to you, “you are my beloved child, and I love you?” That’s what God says to every child – you are loved, without condition; you don’t have to prove anything to be loved; just say “yes” to my love, open your heart, and let me love you and then let my love flow through you to others.

Sermon Audio

Prayers and Reflections

New Year’s Resolution

Matthew 2:1-12

The Magi traveled for months following a star to see an infant king of a different people, a different race, a different set of beliefs. What do you think people told them about this crazy idea to follow the star? I expect somebody told them not to go, they should stick around and continue their normal life instead of giving it up to chase a dream.‌‌‌

But, they went. And now they are on this long, hard journey.‌‌‌

The Middle East is one of the most cloud-free places on earth, but that doesn’t mean that there are never any clouds. I have to figure that the Magi had to experience at least a couple of nights on their journey that were cloudy and dark. They couldn’t see the star that they were following.‌‌‌

Do you think they got discouraged? 

Maybe on those dark nights, they questioned themselves, questioned their own sanity at setting out on the trip. Possibly, they wondered why they felt compelled to make the journey to find this king of others. It could be that, if there was a time that they couldn’t see the star, they wondered if they had missed the event, they were too late to see this king. Maybe some even gave up and went back to their homes, but before they left they tried to get others to give up and come with them.‌‌‌

But then, the ones that stayed the course get to Bethlehem. They see the star stopped over the house and are overcome with joy. They urge their camels faster and faster, get to the child and his mother Mary and immediately fall down and worship him. They give him their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, but more than that, they give him their gift of themselves.‌‌

Sermon Audio

Joy in Waiting

Matthew 11:2-11

Most of us do not like waiting. It’s hard! But, sometimes in our rush to get to what we are waiting for, we miss the joy that we can find in the wait.

Matthew 11:2-11

When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples to ask him, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?” Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.” As John’s disciples were leaving, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed swayed by the wind? If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear fine clothes are in kings’ palaces. Then what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written: “ ‘I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.’ Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. 


Prayers for December 11-17

Thanks to Creighton University for the daily Advent prayers.

I lift my heart up to you, Lord,
to thank you for the blessings
you shower on me each day.
You are the ‘joy of my soul.’
I know that in your great love,
I am held and protected by you.
I pray and listen to the good news you send;
I ask and feel the healing.
I am freed by you
from the things in this world
that let me hide from you.
I rejoice, I rejoice, down to my soul.
Help me to prepare my heart
to be open and able to receive your immense love.

Oh, God of wisdom,
I want to praise you and give you my life.
Like a loving parent,
you bless me.
You have watched over me,
knowing my history
and the path that led me to you.
Thank you for the peace
you promise peace in my life.
I ask that I be always aware
of the strength of your great power.
May it never leave me.
So many people before me
in so many generations,
have served you so humbly,
answering your call.
Please give me the wisdom and courage
to be your humble servant.

Oh, Adonai, dearest Lord,
Compassionate God of justice,
so many areas of my life seem imprisoned
but you promise me real freedom
and peace in my life.
Renew my spirit and free my soul.
Please, open my heart which you have bathed in the longing of Advent.
I am awe-struck as your glory fills the earth and I want to follow you in caring for other.
Grant me the grace to see how you shine your light on the poor who have such a special place in your heart.

Oh, Jesus who descended from Jesse,
you are a sign of God’s love.
I feel hopeful and expectant,
filled with a rebirth of joy and love.
I depend you so much.
You are a rock for my belief
and a sign of God’s love.
Fill me with your praise!
I want to sing your glory,
filled with joy
for the message of hope you send.
I don’t always understand
when you are acting on my behalf.
Thank you for the message of hope you send me.
Give me true faith and love
as I celebrate the mystery
of how you came to be with us.

Oh, Jesus, you hold the key
that will unlock my constricted heart.
It gives me great hope
that Mary said yes to you and your plan.
She was filled with the Spirit
and put aside her own doubts.
I know you are ready to answer my prayers,
ease my doubts and calm my fears.
Sometimes I don’t hear your messengers
because they aren’t what I expect.
They aren’t wearing wings or halos
but are the people standing in front of me.
How many times have I not listened?
How often have I balked at your messages
and your messengers?
Fill me with the light of your Spirit
and enter, in all your glory
into my life.
Let me rejoice!

Loving God,
It is growing in my heart:
An awareness and gratitude of your constant love for me;
Like the sun rising in the East
to warm and comfort my life
and to bring new growth.
Thank you for these weeks of prayer.
In the spirit of the season
my waiting, my patience,
feels sacred.
Bless my heart with generosity
and make me ready to receive you.
Come, Lord Jesus! Come!

Oh, King of us all. I find myself standing before your strength and splendor watching, waiting and filled with total joy. You have lifted my mind in hope.
Now help me to open my life the the coming of the Spirit.
I want to be like Mary, your mother. Her wonderful courage and strength inspire me to do the same. She simply said Yes and the impossible was done.
Thank you for this Advent journey. The anticipation has filled my life and made me long for a closer relationship with you.
My life gets so busy that I forget to focus. Thank you for guidance. Thank you for the quiet moments when I have felt your love.
Nothing will be impossible with God.

Prepare the Way of the Lord

Matthew 3:1-12

Sunday before last, I was fussing about 24/7 Christmas music before Thanksgiving and I said I wasn’t ready for Christmas. Now we are three weeks before Christmas and I’m still not ready for what most people think of when asked if they are ready for Christmas. My tree isn’t out and decorated, I haven’t pulled out lights to check or hang. I haven’t started shopping for presents or ingredients for yummy goodies.‌

But, that’s OK. These things will get done…or they won’t. Generally there’s a thing or two on my checklist that doesn’t get done and nobody knows but me so no biggie.‌

However, if you ask me if I am ready for Christmas meaning am I ready for Christ’s return, I would answer yes, for the most part.  I don’t have a checklist of the things I need to do to get ready for Jesus on my refrigerator. But I probably should. ‌Christians can get as caught up as anyone in the hubbub, stress, and worry over the holiday of Christmas. Sure, we may share Facebook memes that tell people to put Christ back in Christmas or stress Jesus is the reason for the season or get verbal when a clerk tells us happy holidays instead of merry Christmas, but that doesn’t mean that the arrival of our Savior is at the forefront of our thoughts. And, it doesn’t mean that we are checking our checklist to determine if we are ready for His return.‌

Y’all know that we do have a checklist for that right? It may not be on our refrigerator, but we do have one and it’s right here in the Bible.

Sermon Audio

Daily Prayers

Thanks to Creighton University for the daily Advent prayers.


Dear Lord, Through the darkness, I look for your wisdom. I want my heart to be open to you. But sometimes in these days, it seems that so many things come between us.   Help me to be awake and aware of the radiance you bring to my life. Help me to be grateful each day for the blessings of family and friends. Let me be a peacemaker in my own life, and in the world. Let me pray especially for this difficult world and those who are so in need of an end to violence. My heart begs for this as my Advent prayer today.


Almighty God, I hear it over and over: you are coming to me.   I feel my heart stir in anticipation, and I sense that you are inviting me to enter more deeply into the mystery of your birth.   Help me to feel renewed patience settle in my heart, and to lift my face in joy.   I have been like a lost lamb, but I hear your voice calling me and I feel how deeply you want me to return. Somehow I know that you rejoice in my desire to find you.   Help me not to be afraid to say out loud, to believe: Here is God, coming into my life.


Lord, like a loving parent, you offer me your comforting hand and tell me not to be afraid.   Help me to wait for your coming with patience and to listen to what you ask of me.   I want so much to be one of  “your people” and to live my life in you.   Thank you for the way you bless my life. Thank you for listening to my prayers and for planting deep in my heart the knowledge that with you, nothing is impossible.


God of Strength, I need your courage. You offer to make firm the knees that are weak. Only you know how frightened I so often am.   And you do offer me strength. There is the promise of your Son’s coming and knowing that you will save me. I can’t do this on my own no matter how often I think I can.   Give me the humility to ask for your help and open heart to accept your healing and love in my life.


Jesus, I can see your special love of those who are so often invisible in this world. You sent your mother to give hope to the poor by appearing to Juan Diego. Open my heart to fill with compassion for those who are hungry and without dignity. Grant me the ability to live simply and to see you in the faces of those around me. In the darkness of these Advent nights let me be guided by the light of your word. Give me the humility to be led by you and the wisdom to learn from you. I am grateful for the Savior who awaits us, and eagerly await the time of rejoicing. Let me look forward in hope and turn to you with great trust, knowing you will guide my steps along the unknown path of this day.


Jesus, in the darkness of these Advent nights let me be guided by the light of your word. Give me the humility to be led by you and the wisdom to learn from you.   I feel your light in my life and in the world. I am grateful for the Savior who awaits us, and eagerly await the time of rejoicing. Let me look forward in hope and turn to you with great trust, knowing you will guide my steps along the unknown path of this day.


Jesus, in the darkness of these Advent nights let me be guided by the light of your word. Give me the humility to be led by you and the wisdom to learn from you.   I feel your light in my life and in the world. I am grateful for the Savior who awaits us, and eagerly await the time of rejoicing. Let me look forward in hope and turn to you with great trust, knowing you will guide my steps along the unknown path of this day.

Preparing to Prepare Our Hearts

Revelation 21:1-5

We, as Christians, live in a tenuous reality. We have one foot in the world and one foot in eternity. And there are times that the balance is difficult to maintain. We can find the world weighing heavy; dragging us into it and away from advent, away from what is coming.

Do we live like we have one foot in eternity, or do we live like we have one foot in the grave?

Often, we are like the disciples who, in Matthew 24:3, came to Christ privately asking Him for signs of the end of the age. Some find themselves asking God “when?” When Lord will you return and get us out of here? When will we not have to worry? Worry about all of the things going on in the world, the crime we hear about, the prices of things, our family, our jobs, our church?

Have you ever considered that when we are worrying about things and praying for our Lord’s return we are moving the foot we have in eternity closer to the foot we have in the world. We may think it’s the opposite, but, in reality, we aren’t focusing on what is coming – on advent – we are focusing on what we want to get away from here on earth.

While it doesn’t always, this year Thanksgiving falls three days before the start of Advent. What a great transition! We get the opportunity to be thankful as we move into the season of expectation, the season of hope while we wait on the coming of our Lord.

Sermon Audio

Daily Prayers

Take the time this week to list the things for which you are thankful!

What Kind of Christian Are You?

Acts 11:19-30

I saw a post this week where a fellow said that he was looking forward to seeing more blood-bought, red-hot, fired-up, soul-redeeming, devil-stomping, Spirit-filled, sin-hating, Bible-believing churches appearing. Churches brought about not by our might or poser, but by His Spirit.

This sounds great on the surface, but the more I thought about it, something wasn’t setting well with me. It took a few days but I finally figured it out. He never mentioned love.

Y’all, I spent some time in my youth in a church that gave the appearance of having all of the attributes the guy said he was looking forward to seeing. None of those attributes helped me when I was drifting. In fact, they drove me away from trying to develop a personal relationship with Jesus because they made me feel that God could only love me if I did all of the “right” things and never sinned. They didn’t teach me about the love that God had for me, they taught me a list of rules and made me believe that if I didn’t follow those rules that I was unlovable by God.

For many years, I wasn’t able to believe that God loved me warts and all so I had no inclination to work on removing the warts.

This is why I preach far more on love than I do about sin. Until we really get it through our thick skulls and scar-tissue wrapped hearts that God LOVES us period, the rest of it doesn’t matter.

Sermon Audio


Daily Prayers

WEEK OF 11/13/22

Sunday, November 13

Acts 11:19-21

19 Now those who had been scattered by the persecution that broke out when Stephen was killed traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, spreading the word only among Jews. 20 Some of them, however, men from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch and began to speak to Greeks also, telling them the good news about the Lord Jesus. 21 The Lord’s hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord.

Thank you, Lord, for giving us your word. In it, we learn of the early church and how it grew because people were willing to speak Jesus. Following your will and living into the call you place on our lives can be frightening but doing that is the only way we can truly be your people. Help us, Lord, place your hand on us. Still not only our fears but our own will. In the name of Jesus, we pray, Amen.

Monday, November 14

Acts 11:22-24

22 News of this reached the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. 23 When he arrived and saw what the grace of God had done, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts. 24 He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord.

Father God, thank you for your Spirit that calls and directs us! We see from your word that if we are true to you, people will see and accept your grace. Even in a place such as Antioch, when the disciples spoke Jesus, people listened and turned to you. And because they did, your Holy Spirit convicted them, and they themselves became disciples. Fill us with your Spirit and make us ever mindful of Him. In Jesus’ name, we pray, Amen.

Tuesday, November 15

Acts 11:25-26

25 Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, 26 and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.

 Father, thank you for your Spirit that continuously calls us to repentance. It is only through your Spirit that we can learn your truth. It is only through your Spirit that our Spirits receive soothing and calmness in troubled times. Help us hear and respond to your Spirit when He calls us to a life with you. In Jesus’ name, we pray, Amen.

Wednesday, November 16

Acts 11:27-28

27 During this time some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. 28 One of them, named Agabus, stood up and through the Spirit predicted that a severe famine would spread over the entire Roman world. (This happened during the reign of Claudius.)

Lord, thank you for your prophets who, through your Spirit, give us warnings and instructions from you. Through your same Spirit, we are able to discern truth from lies when we listen. Help us listen so intently that we discover your will. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen

Thursday, November 17

Acts 11:29-30

29 The disciples, as each one was able, decided to provide help for the brothers and sisters living in Judea. 30 This they did, sending their gift to the elders by Barnabas and Saul.

Father, through your Spirit, we have a connection to you, Jesus, and our brothers and sisters across the globe. As we are able and as we are called, Lord, let us help those in need not as a replacement for speaking Jesus but in addition to speaking Jesus. In His name, we pray, Amen

Friday, November 18

Romans 10:12-13

12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Father God, we are not so different from the early church. We are surrounded by people that need you, but to reach them, we must listen to you and put aside the biases and fears that prevent us from sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Sometimes, Lord, we are foolish enough to think we control who you welcome into your Kingdom, forgetting that “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” But everyone can’t hear about Jesus if we don’t speak Jesus. In the name of Christ alone, Amen

Saturday, November 19

Father, we join with your people across the earth to praise you! Your love for us is vast, and you are faithful even when we are not. (Psalm 117)  Clear our minds of any worries or fears that interfere with us hearing your Spirit. Open our hearts and minds to hear and receive your Spirit. Please lead us to respond to the call you place on our lives. We lift up our Sunday School teachers and the workers in your church, and we thank you for them. We lift up our preachers as they prepare to bring your word. In Jesus’ name, we pray, Amen.

Standing in God’s Way

Acts 11:1-18

If you have listened to my sermons over the last couple of weeks, this text sounds very familiar. It sounded so familiar to me, it got me thinking that I should have some recollection of what is basically the same text, being preached over and over again for weeks. I searched my memory, I dug out old bibles where I noted the date a text was preached, I went through my husband’s sermons, and I looked through my own. Nada! I couldn’t find anywhere that Acts 10 through 11 had been preached consecutively.

I can kind of understand why. It could seem redundant or even boring not only to the congregation, but also to the preacher. However, I have to admit that bored is the last thing I feel as I reading and studying this even if I am reading and studying it over and over again.

If we consider the entirety of Acts that we have looked at up to now, we can see that Luke has actually shown us the same thing over and over again already. There is a basic theme running throughout what we have already looked at.

Luke is telling us about the growth of the early church. One of the biggest hurdles to growth was overcoming the prejudices that hindered the spread of the Gospel. However, from the election of the Hellenized Jews in chapter six, to the outreach to the Samaritans and the eunuch, Luke has been preparing his readers to hear, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.”

As we see from our text though, many still needed to hear it.



Sunday, November 6

Acts 11:1-3

1 The apostles and the believers throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God. 2 So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers criticized him 3 and said, “You went into the house of uncircumcised men and ate with them.”

Thank you, Lord, for your plan to make salvation available to all who have faith in your Son, Jesus. Give us the courage to accept the task you give us. Let us break traditions when we need to and stand for those that need to hear about your love. In the name of Jesus, we pray, Amen.

Monday, November 7

Acts 11:4-8

4 Starting from the beginning, Peter told them the whole story: 5 “I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision. I saw something like a large sheet being let down from heaven by its four corners, and it came down to where I was. 6 I looked into it and saw four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, reptiles and birds. 7 Then I heard a voice telling me, ‘Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.’ 8 “I replied, ‘Surely not, Lord! Nothing impure or unclean has ever entered my mouth.’ 

Help us, Lord, remember the lesson that you showed Peter; your teaching that shows us that we are to reach out to all people without prejudice. Our job, as your disciples, is to reach out to those who are your creation created in your image. In Jesus’ name, we pray, Amen.

Tuesday, November 8

Acts 11:9-12

9 “The voice spoke from heaven a second time, ‘Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.’ 10 This happened three times, and then it was all pulled up to heaven again. 11 “Right then three men who had been sent to me from Caesarea stopped at the house where I was staying. 12 The Spirit told me to have no hesitation about going with them. These six brothers also went with me, and we entered the man’s house.

 Father, thank you for your Spirit that continuously calls us to repentance. It is only through your Spirit that we can learn your truth. It is only through your Spirit that our Spirits receive soothing and calmness in troubled times. Help us hear your Spirit when He calls us to a life with you. In Jesus’ name, we pray, Amen.

Wednesday, November 9

Acts 11:13-15

13 He told us how he had seen an angel appear in his house and say, ‘Send to Joppa for Simon who is called Peter. 14 He will bring you a message through which you and all your household will be saved.’ 15 “As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came on them as he had come on us at the beginning.

Lord, thank you for Jesus. Our relationship with you begins with faith in Him. When we speak Jesus send your Spirit not only to those we speak to, but also our own self. May the guidance of your Spirit lead us to produce the fruits of your Spirit. I pray especially for gentleness in our speech and in our manner. The battle doesn’t belong to us Father, it belongs to you. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen

Thursday, November 10

Acts 11:16-17

16 Then I remembered what the Lord had said: ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ 17 So if God gave them the same gift he gave us who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could stand in God’s way?”

Dearest Lord, may we ask ourselves the same question that Peter asked himself. It is not for us to decide who you can call to yourself; it is for us to introduce others to Jesus. Forgive us for the times that we have gotten your way. In Jesus’ name, we pray, Amen

Friday, November 11

Acts 11:18

18 When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, “So then, even to Gentiles God has granted repentance that leads to life.”

Father God, you call all peoples to come to you in faith and repentance. May we open ourselves up to the vastness of your vision for your kingdom. Help us remember that your ways are different from ours; your ways are higher than ours and there is much that we don’t know or understand. But we do know that a relationship with you begins with faith and hope in you. Let your Spirit speak to us and show us your ways Lord. In the name of Christ alone, Amen

Saturday, November 12

Father, we put our hope in you! (Psalm 42:5) Thank you for another day to see your glorious world. Thank you for the opportunities you gave us this week to tell others about our Savior. Forgive us for the times we missed, and help us in the coming week to hear your Spirit so that we won’t miss any chance to witness others. We lift up our speaker tomorrow; may they speak your truth with grace. In Jesus’ name, we pray, Amen.

Still the Same Way

Acts 10:30-48

Paul, in Romans 3:10-11, quoted Psalm 14:3 when he said that no one is righteous, no not one. No one understands; no one seeks God. Martin Luther, the Catholic priest who started the reformation, said that Paul wasn’t just talking about those who do not seek God, but also those who don’t seek Him in the way He wants to be sought and found. He goes on to say that God wants us to look for and find Him through faith, in humility not relying on what we think we know or what we presume.

Jesus says in Matthew 5:6, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”

Do you want to be righteous? Do you hunger and thirst for it so badly that you are willing to rethink deeply held convictions and compare them to what Jesus said? Righteousness in the Bible means being righteous and doing righteousness. Peter was being righteous, and Cornelius was doing righteousness, but God wants both!

If we concentrate on being righteous and dismiss doing righteousness we may think because we believe in Jesus, it’s okay for us to neglect obeying God and serving others. It can also lead to Gnostic-like thinking that says we can do anything we want with our bodies because it is our souls that will live eternally.

However, if we are more concerned with doing righteousness and neglect being righteous, we find ourselves thinking that keeping rules and regulations are the way to God instead of realizing that God loves us not because we keep laws, but because we love, trust, and have faith in Jesus.

It can make us become judgmental. We begin thinking that because we keep the laws and regulations, everyone should. And, if they don’t, we judge their worthiness to God.

Being a righteous person in God’s eyes requires both. Just because I concern myself with missions and outreach to others doesn’t mean I can disregard God’s laws.

Just because I follow God’s laws doesn’t mean I can neglect others or make judgements on their acceptability to God or their salvation.

Our sharing the gospel with others doesn’t start with converting people from their sinful lifestyle, our sharing the gospel should start with converting people from their unbelief.

Sermon Audio

Daily Prayers

Sunday, October 30
Acts 10:30-33

30 Cornelius answered: “Three days ago I was in my house praying at this hour, at three in the afternoon. Suddenly a man in shining clothes stood before me 31 and said, ‘Cornelius, God has heard your prayer and remembered your gifts to the poor. 32 Send to Joppa for Simon who is called Peter. He is a guest in the home of Simon the tanner, who lives by the sea.’ 33 So I sent for you immediately, and it was good of you to come. Now we are all here in the presence of God to listen to everything the Lord has commanded you to tell us.”

Father, we praise you for your omniscience. You are already at work in the lives of those not committed to you yet. Your prevenient grace begins to prepare hearts long before we get the opportunity to share the Gospel. Lord, you have given us inordinate power and responsibility. Our words to others can help them want Your Spirit to grow, or they can cause someone to crush your Spirit and send your Spirit away. Father, help us live up to the trust you place in us to grow your kingdom through our words and actions. In the name of Jesus, we pray, Amen.

Monday, October 31
Acts 10:34-38

Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism 35 but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right. 36 You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, announcing the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. 37 You know what has happened throughout the province of Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached—38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him. 

Praise to you, Lord, for your fairness! Unlike us, who choose people based on our own criteria, you choose people based on their Creator. We have a choice with everyone we meet; we can be part of the bridge you use to reach others or help Satan block it. Use us as your bridge to share the Gospel with others. In Jesus’ name, we pray, Amen.

Tuesday, November 1
Acts 10:39-40

39 “We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a cross, 40 but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen. 

Lord, thank you for reaching out to me before I knew you. Because of that and the people you placed in my path to bridge the way to you, I came to faith in the risen Christ. When I am tempted to condemn someone Father, instead remind me to speak Jesus crucified, dead, resurrected, and ascended for all people. In Jesus’ name, we pray, Amen.

Wednesday. November 2
Acts 10:41-43

“He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen—by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42 He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead. 43 All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

Lord, it is so amazing that you trust your totally failable creation to be a part of your plan. Please help us, Father. Help us live up to the trust you place in us. Help us remember that it is your plan that we share the Gospel with others, Lord, not in a way that condemns others but in a way that lifts Jesus up to them. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen

Thursday, November 3
Acts 10:44

While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message.

I praise you, Holy Spirit! As God’s Spirit, you come when we speak Jesus. You come to us, and you come to those to whom we speak. Because of you and through you, we are able to fulfill God’s plan for us in this world. Prevent me from blocking you from myself and from others. In Jesus’ name, we pray, Amen

Friday, November 4
Acts 10:45-49

The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles. 46 For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God. Then Peter said, 47 “Surely no one can stand in the way of their being baptized with water. They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.” 48 So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days.

How blessed we all are that you accept anyone who turns to you. Thank you for your Spirit that continually calls us to repentance. Thank you for bearing with us when we try to run from your voice that says, “I love you, come back to me.” In the name of Christ alone, Amen

Saturday, November 4

Lord, I look back over this past week and see the times I failed you. Satan whispers that these failures make you not want me; they make me unworthy to worship you. Because of this, it could be easy to skip church and stay in bed, go to the lake, or go shopping before everyone else gets out of church. Silence his voice, Lord. Remind me that I am your beloved child. Fill me with your peace, love, acceptance, and forgiveness. I don’t have to defeat Satan because you already have. Bless our preachers with your words and, as they speak Jesus, send your Spirit to fall on us all. In Jesus’ name, we pray, Amen.