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Monday, August 1, 2016

Online Ministry for the Week 8/1-8/7 2016

Daily Readings For the Week

 

God Comforts You (Isaiah 49:13)

All of us need comfort once in a while. Maybe it’s an illness that sets us on life’s sidelines. It might be the pain of hurt or betrayal that causes us to want to withdraw into our shell and never come out. Maybe it’s the grief of loss that makes it feel like life is just not worth living anymore.

We search for comfort in all kinds of places—escape into the latest TV sitcom, food, the Internet. Maybe we have some caring friends who listen and try to understand, but we can only lean on them so much, for we know they have their own lives and responsibilities.

So where do we turn for comfort? Today’s verse tells us to “shout for joy” for “the Lord comforts his people and will have compassion on afflicted ones.” That’s you. And that promise is for you. The Lord will give the comfort you need. Turn to him and pour out your hurt in prayer. He is always there for you.

God’s Promise to Me

  • I am there for you in your time of need.
  • I will give you comfort.
  • I will comfort you and have compassion on you.

With Friends Like These (Job 2:12–13)

  • Think of the last time you tried to comfort someone who was hurting. What did you do right? What did you do wrong?
  • What will you do differently next time?
One way God comforts hurting people is to put caring friends in their lives. And if we’re following God, one day we’ll be one of those caring friends. The apostle Paul says, “Praise be to . . . the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God” (2 Corinthians 1:3–4). God uses our experiences to reach out to others with compassion and comfort. Here are some tips to keep in mind when talking with someone who is hurting:
  • Ask God to guide you before you speak. He will give you the right words to say.
  • Give your hurting friend a chance to share their feelings. Listen closely and ask questions. Don’t try to correct anything the person says.
  • Don’t use clich├ęs or try to give simple answers. Instead, talk about how much you care about your friend.
  • Pray with your friend.
  • Ask if you can do simple things, like chores or errands, to make your friend’s life a little easier.

Response to the Word

Dear God, thank you for putting loved ones in our lives who care about us and comfort us. Teach us to be people who can offer care and comfort to other hurting people. Amen.
Taken from Once a Day At the Table

Prayers

We praise your abiding guidance, O God, for you sent us Jesus, our Teacher and Messiah, to model for us the way of love for the whole universe. We offer these prayers of love on behalf of ourselves and our neighbors,
on behalf of your creation and our fellow creatures. Hear our prayers and make us faithful stewards of the fragile bounty of this earth so that we may be entrusted with the riches of heaven. Open our ears to hear your word and draw us closer to you, that the whole world may be one with you as you are one with us in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Living God, you are the architect of our lives and the builder of the church of Jesus Christ. When you speak, you bring into being that which fulfills your will. By your Word and Spirit, you teach us to be wise about matters we cannot imagine. Thank you for the privilege of contributing to the life and mission of this congregation. Use our tithes and gifts to inspire deeper faith, hope, and love among people in our community. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. (Hebrews 11:1-16)

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