First Steps – August 21, 2023

Every preacher likes object lessons.  Like parables, they help convey a deeper theological message.  While reading 2 Corinthians 1:3-7, I thought of a garden hose.  

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and 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.  For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.  If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer.  And our hope for you is firm because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.

A garden hose doesn’t work properly unless water flows in and out of it.  It must have both.  The same is true for the Christians.  God’s Spirit flows in so that it can flow out.  It must have both.  In the above passage, God comforts one person (flows in) so that person can comfort someone else (flows out).  

When we fail to allow God to flow in our lives or we fail to use what we have received, we stop the flow of things.  We miss out on how God is comforting us and how God would comfort someone else.  In and out—that is how it works.  This week, don’t stop the flow of God’s work.


 This Week’s Readings:
*Monday – Galatians 3
*Tuesday – Galatians 4
*Wednesday – Galatians 5
*Thursday – Galatians 6
*Friday – 1 Corinthians 1

Prayer Requests:
-Teachers, students, and parents as they adjust to the new school year.
-Our unwillingly absent members.
-Heal those who are sick and protect those who are not.
-Comfort those who are grieving and in distress.
-Wisdom for our leaders as they navigate through uncertain times. 
-Guidance for those seeking to find their way.
-Continued Growth Inside and Outside the Walls of St. Paul UMC.

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done.” – Philippians 4:6