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New every morning is your love, great God of light, and all day long you are working for good in the world. Stir up in us desire to serve you, to live peacefully with our neighbors and all your creation, and to devote each day to your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

"A Liturgy for Morning Prayer," Upper Room Worshipbook

Used by permission from the Book of Common Worship, © 2018 Westminster John Knox Press. All rights reserved. This prayer appears in “A Liturgy for Morning Prayer” in Upper Room Worshipbook.

 

Today's Reflection

The Jesus story has shaped civilizations and culture for more than 2,000 years. We know that Jesus is like us; and so, in him, we can find our humanity. Jesus shows us how to live fully for God and for others. As a leader, Jesus sets an example by his words and deeds full of grace and rooted in God’s love. As his followers, we must ask ourselves, what compelling reason might there be to follow Jesus today? Why Jesus?

—Bener Agtarap, Curtis Brown, Ready, Set, Plant: The Why and How of Starting New Churches (Discipleship Resources, 2021)

Today's Question

How would you respond to the author’s question in today’s quote? Join the conversation.

Today's Scripture

And [Jesus] said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him.
—Matthew 4:19-20 (NRSV)

Prayer for the Week

Each day this week, add a different person or group of people to this simple prayer:

Lord,
Help me plant seeds of faith so _________ will get a chance to experience the fullness and unfailing love of God through Jesus and see the glory of God’s children at work in the world.
Amen.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

2021 still has a long way to go. Visit The Upper Room Online Store and save 45% on The Upper Room Disciplines 2021 with the promo code DISC45. Includes both regular print and enlarged print, while supplies last.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.

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Today's Reflection

We develop new faith communities in Jesus’ name so more people will get a chance to experience the fullness and unfailing love of God through Jesus. We plant new churches so that many will see the glory of God’s children at work in the world. As a church planter, your responsibility is to lead people to knowing Christ and to walk with them as a fellow follower of Christ. You invite new disciples to grow in their faith and service along with other disciples of Jesus as together, you share the love of God with all God’s children in need of God’s welcoming and redeeming love.

—Bener Agtarap, Curtis Brown, Ready, Set, Plant: The Why and How of Starting New Churches (Discipleship Resources, 2021)

Today's Question

How have you experienced “God’s welcoming and redeeming love”? How can you invite others to experience it too? Join the conversation.

Today's Scripture

So we have known and believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them.
—1 John 4:16 (NRSV)

Prayer for the Week

Each day this week, add a different person or group of people to this simple prayer:

Lord,
Help me plant seeds of faith so _________ will get a chance to experience the fullness and unfailing love of God through Jesus and see the glory of God’s children at work in the world.
Amen.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

2021 still has a long way to go. Visit The Upper Room Online Store and save 45% on The Upper Room Disciplines 2021 with the promo code DISC45. Includes both regular print and enlarged print, while supplies last.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.

4 Comments | Join the Conversation.

 

Today's Reflection

However slow progress may feel at times, we take fresh encouragement from the reality that God is the One who is initiating. We are not the primary carriers of the good news; God is the One who is whispering the hope of a purposeful and abundant life into the hearts of people. God is the One who creates a heartfelt hunger for forgiveness, justice, reconciliation, and healing. God has set God’s affections upon our neighbors and communities long before we showed up. Acknowledging that work is how we plant like Jesus.

—Ben Ingebretson, Plant Like Jesus: The Church Planter's Devotional (Upper Room Books, 2021)

Today's Question

What encouragement do you find in the idea that God is already at work in the people around you? Join the conversation.

Today's Scripture

The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.
—John 1:9, NIV

Prayer for the Week

God of love,
plant me in the soil of your grace.
Nurture me with the strength of Christ,
the vine of everlasting life.
Enlighten me with the wisdom of your Spirit,
which flows through me today and all days.
Abide in me,
that I may abide in you
and live in your love.
In your holy name, I pray. Amen.

(Based on John 15 and adapted from The Abingdon Worship Annual 2012.)
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

Interested in soul care resources for spiritual leaders? Subscribe to From the Center, a monthly email newsletter from The Upper Room curated specifically for clergy and church leadership.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.

2 Comments | Join the Conversation.

 

Today's Reflection

Jesus did not fit the mold for how religious professionals conduct themselves, and neither should we. Being church with your friends creates an affiliation that can build bonds as strong and, in many ways, as satisfying as family. This is how we plant like he did.

—Ben Ingebretson, Plant Like Jesus: The Church Planter's Devotional (Upper Room Books, 2021)

Today's Question

How do your relationships in the family of God influence your life? Join the conversation.

Today's Scripture

[Jesus said] “Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”
—Mark 3:35, NIV

Prayer for the Week

God of love,
plant me in the soil of your grace.
Nurture me with the strength of Christ,
the vine of everlasting life.
Enlighten me with the wisdom of your Spirit,
which flows through me today and all days.
Abide in me,
that I may abide in you
and live in your love.
In your holy name, I pray. Amen.

(Based on John 15 and adapted from The Abingdon Worship Annual 2012.)
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

Interested in soul care resources for spiritual leaders? Subscribe to From the Center, a monthly email newsletter from The Upper Room curated specifically for clergy and church leadership.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.

2 Comments | Join the Conversation.

 

Today's Reflection

Developing a new ministry must begin with a clear personal and corporate sense of identity that is deeply rooted in the gospel. Identity is where Jesus began, and identity is the wellspring from which all other efforts and plans pour forth. The entire Sermon on the Mount of Jesus in Matthew is a survey of identity markers for kingdom people and well worth a regular reading. That self-awareness that we are given in the kingdom is a rich and beautiful picture.

—Ben Ingebretson, Plant Like Jesus: The Church Planter's Devotional (Upper Room Books, 2021)

Today's Question

When starting something new, how does focusing on your identity guide your decisions? Join the conversation.

Today's Scripture

“You are the salt of the earth. . . . You are the light of the world.”
—Matthew 5:13-14, NIV

Prayer for the Week

God of love,
plant me in the soil of your grace.
Nurture me with the strength of Christ,
the vine of everlasting life.
Enlighten me with the wisdom of your Spirit,
which flows through me today and all days.
Abide in me,
that I may abide in you
and live in your love.
In your holy name, I pray. Amen.

(Based on John 15 and adapted from The Abingdon Worship Annual 2012.)
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

Interested in soul care resources for spiritual leaders? Subscribe to From the Center, a monthly email newsletter from The Upper Room curated specifically for clergy and church leadership.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.

3 Comments | Join the Conversation.

 

Today's Reflection

Setbacks and speed bumps are common in church planting. A survey of the book of Acts would include setbacks because of persecution, betrayal, internal conflict, popular resistance, and incarceration; that’s not an inspiring list! It has been observed, however, that despite a wide range of setback experiences, the mission of Jesus always seems to advance over the long run. This is the meta-narrative of Acts and of church history. We could say that it is also likely to be our personal narrative and our ministry experience. Setbacks will come. In those moments, Jesus would have us return again to the place he first called us and where he reminds us to stay fishing.

—Ben Ingebretson, Plant Like Jesus: The Church Planter's Devotional (Upper Room Books, 2021)

Today's Question

How does remembering God’s call in your life help you during setbacks? Join the conversation.

Today's Scripture

[Jesus] said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.
—John 21:6, NIV

Prayer for the Week

God of love,
plant me in the soil of your grace.
Nurture me with the strength of Christ,
the vine of everlasting life.
Enlighten me with the wisdom of your Spirit,
which flows through me today and all days.
Abide in me,
that I may abide in you
and live in your love.
In your holy name, I pray. Amen.

(Based on John 15 and adapted from The Abingdon Worship Annual 2012.)
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

Interested in soul care resources for spiritual leaders? Subscribe to From the Center, a monthly email newsletter from The Upper Room curated specifically for clergy and church leadership.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.

5 Comments | Join the Conversation.