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Out of the Boat

This week, Upper Room Daily Reflections features excerpts from Loving the World with God: Fourth Day Living by Rebecca Bruff.

Today’s Reflection

THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW reminds us that following Jesus might sometimes mean stepping out of our comfortable boat of the familiar into the fluid and uncertain reality of life….
Following Jesus is risky. We probably will have to step out of our comfort zones. And loving the world with God is iffy business. We will face frustrations, questions, and discouragement. What if we give our time and energy to others in need, but we don’t see any results? What if we work hard for mercy and justice, and it doesn’t seem to make a difference? What if we get up at four o’clock in the morning to provide breakfast at a shelter, and no one thanks us? What if we spend all day building a wheelchair ramp for an elderly couple, and they never smile at us? What if we go to Guatemala to build a clinic, but we come back with an infection? What if we follow Jesus into the world to share the mercy and love of God, and it just doesn’t look like the kingdom has come?

—Rebecca Bruff
Loving the World with God: Fourth Day Living

From page 64 of Loving the World with God: Fourth Day Living by Rebecca Bruff. Copyright © 2014 by The Upper Room. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

What if you share God’s mercy and love today? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came toward Jesus.
—Matthew 14:29, NRSV

This Week: pray to love others as Jesus loves. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Did You Know?

On March 1, 2019, the World Day of Prayer, you are invited to join the staff of The Upper Room in responding to the prayer requests submitted on The Upper Room Prayer Wall. Mark your calendar and sign up to receive updates, tips, and tools as we approach this day of prayer with prayer partners around the world. Sign up here.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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

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{ 10 comments… add one }

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling January 23, 2019, 12:29 am

    Yes, I shared God’s mercy and love today by taking time to feed my mum lunch and accompany her. Nobody at home today.

    Thank you God for strength to get my mum out of bed for lunch.

    Blessings

  • Jill January 23, 2019, 3:47 am

    What if we simply remain faithful to God each day, moment by moment – and trust His sovereignty? Are we working to please man, to earn some earthly pat on the back…or are we serving our Saviour with an eternal perspective? Easy for me to type this at this very early quiet hour? For, I too, get discouraged. God, in Your mercy, assist me to continue in steadfastness to You, for You. Yes, to just do the next thing You place in front of me. May I not grow weary of serving You.
    Father – continue to grant Mary the ability to love her parents well.
    When I awoke this morning there was an email from dad – mom’s friend passed away last evening. I don’t know if mom was awake when the phone call came. I suspect this is going to be very hard, but I hope that somehow she knows that Wanda is in a better place, no longer suffering. Wanda has been ready, for some time now, to leave her earthly home and walk into the arms of her Saviour. She was surrounded by her family last evening.

    • Rusty January 23, 2019, 6:47 am

      Prayers for your mom as she copes during this difficult time. And prayers for you, Jill. I am grateful for your words this morning. And Lord I also pray for Mary this morning. I, also, am grateful for her care given to her parents.

  • robert moeller January 23, 2019, 6:46 am

    One of the lessons I learned as an adult Boy Scout leader was at the Order of the Arrow introduction camp out. Do good to others without expecting any thanks. How many times did Jesus do good things for people and then was not thanked? Later I learned that very often we will not see the benefit of any work we do for God. We do our part and that is important, but the whole job is not ours alone. It is a tough experience, we all hope to see some results from out effort. Lord, help us to do what You ask us to do .

    We may have a warm up, above freezing even during the day, but the forecast says down to 2 tonight.

    Prayers for warmth for everyone feeling the cold, God’s comfort and help to those with health issues, peace to to everyone in stressful situations, and thanks to God for all that God has done for us. Lord, You are with us always.
    Thank You, Lord.

    Prayers for Gloria at the passing of her friend Wanda and prayers for Wanda’s family. This is one of those “let go, let God” moments. As we grow older we experience more of them. Thankfully Wanda is at peace with the Lord.

    Prayers for Larry, Jill, and Becky as they care for Gloria.

    Thankful that Mary is a great help to her parents and Mary is a great help to Marcy.

    Healing for Andrea and Lowell.

    Prayers for Julie and Megan.

  • Betsy January 23, 2019, 7:08 am

    I like what you learned in Scouts, Robert. The Order of the Arrow. Through various work with groups through the years, I’ve had to learn that I plant the seeds, but only God is in charge of the results. Sometimes hard to accept in this results oriented world society. To God be the glory.

    Taking my brother to hospital today for a new infusion medication. Praying for some relief go him with his MS symptoms. Rainy and dreary here, so hoping for safe travels. Blessings to all.

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling January 23, 2019, 7:19 am

      Betsy, may God bless you for caring and loving your brother.

      Robert, may God bless you for caring and loving Erich.

      Blessings

  • Connie January 23, 2019, 7:54 am

    I will persevere with the hope of receiving the crown of life.
    Glad to hear about baby Harrison.
    Prayers for Jill’s Mother in the loss of her friend. Very hard for her as she is struggling herself to stay afloat.
    More snow, but a little warmer. 8 below earlier this week.
    Thankful for:
    A good report at the dr. for my husband Mon.

    • Connie January 23, 2019, 7:57 am

      Sending God’s love and mercy to Marcy today along with mine. Glad she is home with little Lucy.

  • Julie January 23, 2019, 8:23 am

    I like this new reflection format of excerpts from the same book each week. However, I agree with everyone’s comments. We should not expect recognition or even results for our efforts to support God’s work on earth. The reward is knowing that God knows and we have stored up treasure in heaven.
    Prayers for Gloria as she mourns another friend. Prayers for Jill and Larry as they support Gloria in her grief.
    Prayers for Mary and her parents. May her parents health improve and may the Lord bless Mary for her loving care of others.
    Prayers for Rusty and his insights.
    Prayers for Robert and Erich. May Erich start his job soon and may he and God recognize what a support and help Robert is to him.
    Prayers for Betsy and her family, especially Kelsey and Harrison. May all be healthy and well.
    Prayers for Connie and her husband and prayers of thanksgiving for a good doctor report.
    Prayers for Andrea and Lowell and may they both be back to full health soon.
    Prayers for Lou and her children. May her youngest hear positive news from her first choice college soon.
    Prayers for Marcy and may she be well and have less pain today. Virtual hugs dear friend.
    My fingers are very sore and swollen. Touching anything no matter how soft is agony. Tazzie performed an experiment today. I watched as he laid to balls side by side and hit one and watched as they both moved! It was adorable.
    Prayers dear UR family

  • Andrea January 23, 2019, 12:54 pm

    Thank you, Julie, for typing out your prayers for us today, with your sore fingers. I pray your fingers and toes will heal.

    May God bless and watch over Marcy, relieve her of discomfort, and provide for all her needs.

    God bless all dear UR friends and visitors.

    My mother’s mantra was Be Kind. Even when someone else is ungrateful or unkind toward another, the latter can choose to respond kindly and, when treated unkindly, with quiet detachment, rather than pouring gasoline on the flames. I once read that a Jewish religious scholar said, Kindness is the highest wisdom. I believe this parallels the Apostle John’s words, Love one another.

    Today I am grateful for sunshine sparkling on a dusting of new snow, a fresh croissant, and positive feedback on my progress from my physical therapist. Lowell is walking without the big ortho boot and sees his orthopedist on Friday.

    Wishing all a blessed day.

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