First Steps – November 29, 2021

Currently, I’m studying 1 and 2 Thessalonians. The Apostle Paul wrote these letters to a community that was persecuted for their faith. I’m grateful that we don’t live in that same environment. The early Christian martyrs often suffered many atrocities because of their faith. They were killed by the sword, mauled by lions, burned, beheaded, and even branded with hot irons. Many were tortured for days before martyrdom. Early Christians made life-death decisions when they chose to follow Christ.

Our (my) society doesn’t have the same struggles and many times pales in comparison in reference to the amount of persecution. They had persecution; we have discomforts. When seen through the lens of the early Christians, I’m overwhelmed with how good I have it. I would imagine the same would be for you.

This week I hope that you would reflect on the gifts and blessings you have received. I hope you give thanks to God for his grace and mercy. I hope you ponder how fortunate you are to be born at a particular time and in a particular place. I hope that you will consider all that has been laid so that a decision to follow Christ isn’t met with the tip of a sword.

This Week’s Readings:
*Monday – Hebrews 5 | Hebrews 6 | Hebrews 7 | Hebrews 8
*Tuesday – Hebrews 9 | Hebrews 10 | Hebrews 11
*Wednesday- Hebrews 12 | Hebrews 13 | Jude 1-24
*Thursday – James 1 | James 2 | James 3 | James 4 | James 5
*Friday- 1 Peter 1 | 1 Peter 2 | 1 Peter 3 | 1 Peter 4 | 1 Peter 5

Please Pray for:
• An end to the Covid Crisis.
• Our children as they cope with world issues.
• All ministry events inside and outside the walls of St. Paul.
• Families in crisis.
• Loved ones battling illness.
• Those seeking to find their way.
• The St. Paul Church family.
• The United Methodist Church family.
• Our leaders, our country, and our world.
“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