Original Documents

Click below to see readings for the week:

Read Luke 15:1-10

Friday

Read Luke 15:1-10

One day when many tax collectors and other outcasts came to listen to Jesus, 2 the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law started grumbling, “This man welcomes outcasts and even eats with them!” 3 So Jesus told them this parable:

4 “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them—what do you do? You leave the other ninety-nine sheep in the pasture and go looking for the one that got lost until you find it. 5 When you find it, you are so happy that you put it on your shoulders 6 and carry it back home. Then you call your friends and neighbors together and say to them, ‘I am so happy I found my lost sheep. Let us celebrate!’ 7 In the same way, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine respectable people who do not need to repent.

8 “Or suppose a woman who has ten silver coins loses one of them—what does she do? She lights a lamp, sweeps her house, and looks carefully everywhere until she finds it. 9 When she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together, and says to them, ‘I am so happy I found the coin I lost. Let us celebrate!’ 10 In the same way, I tell you, the angels of God rejoice over one sinner who repents.”

Good News Translation (GNT)
Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

Think

"...there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine respectable people who do not need to repent." (Verse 7)  I love that each of us has the power to start a party in heaven.

Pray

Teach me to choose your will as daily I repent of my own and learn that your will is best and will - in the power of the Spirit become my own.

Read Luke 14:25-33

Thursday

Read Luke 14:25-33

25 Once when large crowds of people were going along with Jesus, he turned and said to them, 26 “Those who come to me cannot be my disciples unless they love me more than they love father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and themselves as well. 27 Those who do not carry their own cross and come after me cannot be my disciples. 28 If one of you is planning to build a tower, you sit down first and figure out what it will cost, to see if you have enough money to finish the job. 29 If you don't, you will not be able to finish the tower after laying the foundation; and all who see what happened will make fun of you. 30 ‘You began to build but can't finish the job!’ they will say. 31 If a king goes out with ten thousand men to fight another king who comes against him with twenty thousand men, he will sit down first and decide if he is strong enough to face that other king. 32 If he isn't, he will send messengers to meet the other king to ask for terms of peace while he is still a long way off. 33 In the same way,” concluded Jesus, “none of you can be my disciple unless you give up everything you have.

Good News Translation (GNT)
Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

Think

How do we let go of the things that we have in order to follow Jesus more freely and fully?

Pray

All to Jesus I surrender all to him I freely give, I will ever love and trust him, in his presence daily live.


Read Philemon 1-21

Wednesday

Read Philemon 1-21

1 From Paul, a prisoner for the sake of Christ Jesus, and from our brother Timothy—

To our friend and fellow worker Philemon, 2 and the church that meets in your house, and our sister Apphia, and our fellow soldier Archippus:

3 May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.

4 Brother Philemon, every time I pray, I mention you and give thanks to my God. 5 For I hear of your love for all of God's people and the faith you have in the Lord Jesus. 6 My prayer is that our fellowship with you as believers will bring about a deeper understanding of every blessing which we have in our life in union with Christ. 7 Your love, dear brother, has brought me great joy and much encouragement! You have cheered the hearts of all of God's people.

8 For this reason I could be bold enough, as your brother in Christ, to order you to do what should be done. 9 But because I love you, I make a request instead. I do this even though I am Paul, the ambassador of Christ Jesus, and at present also a prisoner for his sake.[a] 10 So I make a request to you on behalf of Onesimus, who is my own son in Christ; for while in prison I have become his spiritual father. 11 At one time he was of no use to you, but now he is useful[b] both to you and to me.

12 I am sending him back to you now, and with him goes my heart. 13 I would like to keep him here with me, while I am in prison for the gospel's sake, so that he could help me in your place. 14 However, I do not want to force you to help me; rather, I would like for you to do it of your own free will. So I will not do anything unless you agree.

15 It may be that Onesimus was away from you for a short time so that you might have him back for all time. 16 And now he is not just a slave, but much more than a slave: he is a dear brother in Christ. How much he means to me! And how much more he will mean to you, both as a slave and as a brother in the Lord!

17 So, if you think of me as your partner, welcome him back just as you would welcome me. 18 If he has done you any wrong or owes you anything, charge it to my account. 19 Here, I will write this with my own hand: I, Paul, will pay you back (I should not have to remind you, of course, that you owe your very self to me.) 20 So, my brother, please do me this favor for the Lord's sake; as a brother in Christ, cheer me up!

21 I am sure, as I write this, that you will do what I ask—in fact I know that you will do even more.

Footnotes:
Philemon 1:9 the ambassador of Christ Jesus, and at present also a prisoner for his sake; or an old man, and at present a prisoner for the sake of Christ Jesus.
Philemon 1:11 The Greek name Onesimus means “useful.”
Good News Translation (GNT)
Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

Think

This is one whole letter in the New Testament; Paul writing to Philemon to ask for the release of Onesimus.  How do we advocate for other members of the body of Christ?

Pray

Lord show me where I can speak up to make a difference for others.


Read Jeremiah 18:1-11

Tuesday

Read Jeremiah 18:1-11

 The Lord said to me, 2 “Go down to the potter's house, where I will give you my message.” 3 So I went there and saw the potter working at his wheel. 4 Whenever a piece of pottery turned out imperfect, he would take the clay and make it into something else.

5 Then the Lord said to me, 6 “Don't I have the right to do with you people of Israel what the potter did with the clay? You are in my hands just like clay in the potter's hands. 7 If at any time I say that I am going to uproot, break down, or destroy any nation or kingdom, 8 but then that nation turns from its evil, I will not do what I said I would. 9 On the other hand, if I say that I am going to plant or build up any nation or kingdom, 10 but then that nation disobeys me and does evil, I will not do what I said I would. 11 Now then, tell the people of Judah and of Jerusalem that I am making plans against them and getting ready to punish them. Tell them to stop living sinful lives—to change their ways and the things they are doing.

Good News Translation (GNT)
Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

Think

"11 Now then, tell the people of Judah and of Jerusalem that I am making plans against them and getting ready to punish them. Tell them to stop living sinful lives—to change their ways and the things they are doing." - Jeremiah 18:11.  I can imagine the potter getting really angry with the clay that won't co-operate and throwing it down to grab a new lump to work with.  As we respond to evil in the world there is a time for anger - but there is also a time for rebuilding.

Pray

Lord as you lovingly created me help me to recognize your purpose in all that I am.


Read Psalm 1

Monday

Read Psalm 1

Happy are those
   who reject the advice of evil people,
   who do not follow the example of sinners
   or join those who have no use for God.
2 Instead, they find joy in obeying the Law of the Lord,
   and they study it day and night.
3 They are like trees that grow beside a stream,
   that bear fruit at the right time,
   and whose leaves do not dry up.
They succeed in everything they do.

4 But evil people are not like this at all;
   they are like straw that the wind blows away.
5 Sinners will be condemned by God
   and kept apart from God's own people.
6 The righteous are guided and protected by the Lord,
   but the evil are on the way to their doom.

Good News Translation (GNT)
Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

Think

I'm relieved to see some leaves budding on my pruned back grape vine.  What season are you in?

Pray

Lord I don't pay attention to my roots; they don't drink deep enough from your stream of life.  Help me to dig deeper.


Read Luke 14:25-33

Friday

Read Luke 14:25-33

25 Once when large crowds of people were going along with Jesus, he turned and said to them, 26 “Those who come to me cannot be my disciples unless they love me more than they love father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and themselves as well. 27 Those who do not carry their own cross and come after me cannot be my disciples. 28 If one of you is planning to build a tower, you sit down first and figure out what it will cost, to see if you have enough money to finish the job. 29 If you don't, you will not be able to finish the tower after laying the foundation; and all who see what happened will make fun of you. 30 ‘You began to build but can't finish the job!’ they will say. 31 If a king goes out with ten thousand men to fight another king who comes against him with twenty thousand men, he will sit down first and decide if he is strong enough to face that other king. 32 If he isn't, he will send messengers to meet the other king to ask for terms of peace while he is still a long way off. 33 In the same way,” concluded Jesus, “none of you can be my disciple unless you give up everything you have.

Good News Translation (GNT)
Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

Think

None of you can be my disciple unless you give up everything you have.

Pray

Lord I want to be your disciple.  Loosen my grip on the things I think I 'have.'

Read Luke 14:1 and 7-14

Thursday

Read Luke 14:1 and 7-14

14 One Sabbath Jesus went to eat a meal at the home of one of the leading Pharisees; and people were watching Jesus closely.

7 Jesus noticed how some of the guests were choosing the best places, so he told this parable to all of them: 8 “When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not sit down in the best place. It could happen that someone more important than you has been invited, 9 and your host, who invited both of you, would have to come and say to you, ‘Let him have this place.’ Then you would be embarrassed and have to sit in the lowest place. 10 Instead, when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that your host will come to you and say, ‘Come on up, my friend, to a better place.’ This will bring you honor in the presence of all the other guests. 11 For those who make themselves great will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be made great.”

12 Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a lunch or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or your rich neighbors—for they will invite you back, and in this way you will be paid for what you did. 13 When you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind; 14 and you will be blessed, because they are not able to pay you back. God will repay you on the day the good people rise from death.”

Good News Translation (GNT)
Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

Think

If we believe in the resurrection of Jesus we believe in Luke 14:14: "God will repay you on the day the good people rise from death."  But something else is important - if you live as Jesus invited us to in verse 12-14 - we will find that we are not only blessed in the next life; but in this life to.

Pray

Lord teach me to stop asking: "What's in it for me?" and instead teach me to ask: "How can I help you?"