Temptation

Daily Rhythm

Devotional Diary 24 February – 1 March 2020

Readings for this week with thanks to www.umcdiscipleship.org 

1 March  2020 is the First Sunday of Lent

 

Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-7.  Adam and Eve are tempted by a serpent to distrust God and eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Psalm Response: Psalm 32. A voice of wisdom from one who has sinned, confessed, and known God’s forgiveness.

Romans 5:12-19. Jesus Christ as the New Adam who frees us from the power of sin and death.

Matthew 4:1-11. Matthew’s story of Jesus tempted by the devil in the wilderness.

Lent is a time for examination, confession and rebirth.  Beginning with this week we are repeating a 21-day cycle of confession.  You will find the daily focus for this cycle in the confession slot for each day.  Allow God to speak to you in new ways and lead you into a deeper sense of healing and freedom.

Monday:

Adoration Focus: Psalm 11:1 In the Lord I take refuge.

Confession: In what areas am I envious?  Does this envy “drive” my life in any way?  How does this indicate a restlessness within my own spirit?  How can my relationship with God help me with envy?

The Word:  See readings above or use your own devotional guides.

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Let us not forget to pray for ourselves.  Today pray that this week may be one in which you are drawn closer to God.  How is God speaking to you?

Personal prayers: (Use this section to list people you need to pray for or situations of personal concern that you need to bring before God in prayer)

Dedication: O God, the Holy Spirit, come to us and among us: come as the wind, and cleanse us; come as the fire and burn; come as the dew, and refresh…  (Eric Milner-White, 1884-1964)

 Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: Psalm 13:5 But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.

Confession: Does a seething anger just wait to rise up within my heart?   Do I find that I am quite controlled until I unexpectedly burst out in a rage?  Do I drive my car aggressively?  Ask God to allow you to acknowledge your anger and release its hold over your life.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: We continue to pray for ourselves.  Today pray that you may discover new joy in serving God as he calls you.  Pray that you may be open to this call as it comes to you.

Dedication: O God, the Holy Spirit, come to us and among us: come as the wind, and cleanse us; come as the fire and burn; come as the dew, and refresh…  (Eric Milner-White, 1884-1964)

Wednesday: Ash Wednesday

Adoration Focus: Psalm 13:6 I will sing to the Lord, for he has been good to me.

Confession: In the face of crying needs we often choose not to notice or even deliberately ignore them.  Ask God to open your heart to his call to serve.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: We continue to pray for ourselves.  Today pray that you may know the strengthening hand of God in your weaknesses.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: O God, the Holy Spirit, come to us and among us: come as the wind, and cleanse us; come as the fire and burn; come as the dew, and refresh…  (Eric Milner-White, 1884-1964)

Thursday:

Adoration Focus: Psalm 16:8 I have set the Lord always before me.  Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

Confession: Lord, make me aware of the pride in my life; pride that keeps me aloof and apart.  Pride that is rooted in insecurity and a need to prove myself.  Pride that makes me humiliate other human beings.  Lord, help me to make myself vulnerable and to serve rather than be served.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: We continue to pray for ourselves.  Today pray that you may experience this week as a healing week so that you may reflect God’s love and life more clearly.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: O God, the Holy Spirit, come to us and among us: come as the wind, and cleanse us; come as the fire and burn; come as the dew, and refresh…  (Eric Milner-White, 1884-1964)

Friday:

Adoration Focus: Psalm 18:2 The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer…

Confession: Lord, forgive me for alienating myself from this world that you love.  Help me to reach out in love and care.  Help me to make a difference.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: We continue to pray for ourselves.  Today pray that you may be enabled to rest in the knowledge that you are loved as you journey day by bay.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: O God, the Holy Spirit, come to us and among us: come as the wind, and cleanse us; come as the fire and burn; come as the dew, and refresh…  (Eric Milner-White, 1884-1964)

Saturday:

Adoration Focus: Psalm 18:2 …my God is my rock in whom I take refuge.

Confession: Lord, forgive me when I invest huge resources for my own entertainment but am resentful about a minor offering to alleviate another’s deep suffering.  Lord God, I pray for a generous heart.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: We continue to pray for ourselves.  Today pray that your relationships with others may grow in significant ways.  How is God speaking to you?

Personal prayers:

Dedication: O God, the Holy Spirit, come to us and among us: come as the wind, and cleanse us; come as the fire and burn; come as the dew, and refresh…  (Eric Milner-White, 1884-1964)

Sunday:

Adoration Focus: Psalm 18:2 He (the Lord) is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

Confession: Lord, forgive me when I give all for my own ambitions and lose your call to share in love in important relationships in my life.  Help me to count the cost of loving and discover new joy in giving.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: We continue to pray for ourselves.  Today pray that this day may be one in which you learn to worship God in Spirit and in truth.  Give yourself to God in worship today!

Personal prayers:

Dedication: O God, the Holy Spirit, come to us and among us: come as the wind, and cleanse us; come as the fire and burn; come as the dew, and refresh…  (Eric Milner-White, 1884-1964)

Transfiguration!

Daily Rhythm

Devotional Diary 17 – 23 February 2020

Readings for this week with thanks to www.umcdiscipleship.org 

23 February 2020 is Transfiguration Sunday

Exodus 24:12-18. The mystery and awe of God’s holy presence: God calls Moses up on the mountain, and Moses enters the cloud of God’s glory.

Psalm 99

2 Peter 1:16-21. Peter says, “We had been eyewitnesses of his majesty … we were with him on the holy mountain … So we have the prophetic message more fully confirmed.”

Matthew 17:1-9Matthew’s account of the Transfiguration.

Monday:

Adoration Focus: Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice. (Psalm 105:3)

Confession: This week we look at certain resources that God has given us.  How are we using/abusing them? Today simply try to name some resources’ and begin to examine your use of them.

The Word: See readings above or use your own devotional resources.

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Pray for your church: Today: that we may be wholehearted worshippers.

Personal prayers: (Use this section to list people you need to pray for or situations of personal concern that you need to bring before God in prayer)

Dedication:  “So keep Jesus before your eyes.  Don’t hesitate to go anywhere he leads you; don’t stay where you are and don’t look back, but look forward with eagerness to what lies ahead.” (from “Rule for a new brother” by H van der Looy)

Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: How many are your works, O Lord! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. (Psalm 104:24)

Confession: Lord, help us to use the resources that you have given us responsibly and in ways that reflect your Kingdom and rule.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Pray for your church:  Today: that we may be connected and caring.

Personal Prayers:

Dedication: “So keep Jesus before your eyes.  Don’t hesitate to go anywhere he leads you; don’t stay where you are and don’t look back, but look forward with eagerness to what lies ahead.” (from “Rule for a new brother”)

Wednesday:

Adoration Focus: Praise the Lord… who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. (Psalm 103:5)

Confession: We focus on the resources of this earth.  Water, land, minerals, fuel, forests, etc.  In our short –sightedness and greed we have cause much damage and suffering.  Lord help us, each one, to take the call to conserve and to be responsible to heart

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Pray for your church: Today: that we may be listening and responding…

Personal prayers:

Dedication: “So keep Jesus before your eyes.  Don’t hesitate to go anywhere he leads you; don’t stay where you are and don’t look back, but look forward with eagerness to what lies ahead.” (from “Rule for a new brother”)

Thursday:

Adoration Focus: But you, O Lord, sit enthroned forever; your renown endures through all generations. (Psalm 102:12)

Confession: We focus on the resource of money.  Lord, our use of money reflects our priorities.  Help us to place this important area under your direction, and to seek your Kingdom first in this area also.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Pray for your church: Today: that we may be warmly welcoming.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: “So keep Jesus before your eyes.  Don’t hesitate to go anywhere he leads you; don’t stay where you are and don’t look back, but look forward with eagerness to what lies ahead.” (from “Rule for a new brother”)

Friday:

Adoration Focus: I will sing of your love and justice; to you, O Lord, I will sing praise. (Psalm 101:1)

Confession: Lord, you have made vast spiritual resources available to us.   You have given us all we need to live a full life of love.  Enable us to open up your gifts and to share these with each other.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Pray for your church: Today: that we may be able to more out of our comfort zone as God leads us.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: “So keep Jesus before your eyes.  Don’t hesitate to go anywhere he leads you; don’t stay where you are and don’t look back, but look forward with eagerness to what lies ahead.” (from “Rule for a new brother”)

Saturday:

Adoration Focus: Know that the Lord is God.  It is he who made us, and we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. (Psalm 100:3)

Confession: We pray for guidance as to how you would have us use the gifts and abilities you have placed within us.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Pray for your church: Today: that we may be able to care for suffering, empathise with others and care for “the least of them”.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: “So keep Jesus before your eyes.  Don’t hesitate to go anywhere he leads you; don’t stay where you are and don’t look back, but look forward with eagerness to what lies ahead.” (from “Rule for a new brother”)

Sunday:

Adoration Focus: The Lord reigns, let the nations tremble; he sits enthroned between the cherubim, let the earth shake. (Psalm 99:1)

Confession: Today we bring the resource of time before you, O God.  Help us to use time wisely.  We thank you for this gift.  May our use of it reflect your love, your order, and your priorities.  Release us from all that “drives” our time in inappropriate ways.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Pray for your church: Today: that we may be able to risk as we offer ourselves as “sacrifices of praise”.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: “So keep Jesus before your eyes.  Don’t hesitate to go anywhere he leads you; don’t stay where you are and don’t look back, but look forward with eagerness to what lies ahead.” (from “Rule for a new brother”)

What would Jesus do?

Daily Rhythm

Devotional Diary 10  –  16 February 2020

Readings for this week with thanks to www.umcdiscipleship.org 

16 February 2020 is the Sixth Sunday after Epiphany

Deuteronomy 30:15-20From Moses’ final sermon: There are two ways—life and prosperity or death and endless troubles. The way of life requires us to walk in God’s ways and not bow down to or serve any other gods.

Psalm 119:1-8.

1 Corinthians 3:1-9. Despite their spiritual riches, Christians in Corinth were still living by the flesh as cliques forming around preferred leaders. To live by the Spirit is to recognize they are God’s field, God’s building.

Matthew 5:21-37. “You have heard it said… but I tell you.” Part I of two weeks of Rules of Relationships. This week: Overcoming sin.

 Monday

Adoration Focus: We are called to respond to God in many ways. In our adoration focus we look at some of these ways.  Today, “Glory in the name of the Lord”

Confession: How do we “reserve our worship”?  This week we examine ways we do this and pray that we may worship God always, everywhere and whole-heartedly.  Today’s focus: Only when I feel like it.

The Word:  See readings above or use own devotional guide.

Seeking the Kingdom: The church has a role to play in all areas of life.  This week we pray for some of these concerns that the church is called to.

Shared Focus: Christ came to bring reconciliation.  Pray that the church may make this ministry of reconciliation relevant.  Pray that the peoples of your land may come closer together in creativity and peace.

Personal prayers: (Use this section to list people you need to pray for or situations of personal concern that you need to bring before God in prayer)

Dedication:  Remember the bracelets with the letters W W J D on them?  Those bracelets remind us to ask the question, “What Would Jesus Do?” in every situation of our lives.  This week as you face each day why not ask yourself that question and as you ask it, let Christ live in and through you.

Tuesday 

Adoration Focus: Today, “Lift up His holy name.”

Confession: How do we “reserve our worship”?  This week we examine ways we do this and pray that we may worship God always, everywhere and whole-heartedly.  Today’s focus: Only when we get our way.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: The call goes out from the prophets to facilitate economic justice.  Pray that the church may be a creative part of this process.   Thank God for those within the church whose are reflecting on this issue from God’s perspective and are voicing Godly concerns.

Dedication: “What Would Jesus Do?”  (See Monday’s dedication)

Wednesday

Adoration Focus: Today, “Love the Lord your God.”

Confession: How do we “reserve our worship”?  This week we examine ways we do this and pray that we may worship God always, everywhere and whole-heartedly.  Today’s focus: Only when our power base is not threatened.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: The call goes out to feed the poor and alleviate poverty.  Pray that the church may take this call to heart and reach out in compassion.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: “What Would Jesus Do?” (See Monday’s dedication)

Thursday

Adoration Focus: Today, “Praise His holy name.”

Confession: How do we “reserve our worship”?  This week we examine ways we do this and pray that we may worship God always, everywhere and whole-heartedly.  Today’s focus: Only when it costs us little.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: The call goes out for the church to be part of the fight against crime and corruption.  Pray that we may build relationships across all barriers and that mutual love and respect for life may be our guide as peoples in our land.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: “What Would Jesus Do?” (See Monday’s dedication)

Friday 

Adoration Focus: “Prostrate yourself before the Lord.”

Confession: How do we “reserve our worship”?  This week we examine ways we do this and pray that we may worship God always, everywhere and whole heartedly.  Today’s focus: Only when it suites our timetable.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus:  The call goes out for the church to care for people with HIV/AIDS.  Pray that the church may deal with this issue with deep compassion and embrace all who suffer.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: “What Would Jesus Do?” (See Monday’s dedication)

Saturday 

Adoration Focus: Today, “Sing a new song to His name.”

Confession: How do we “reserve our worship”?  This week we examine ways we do this and pray that we may worship God always, everywhere and whole heartedly.  Today’s focus: Only when I can make sense of my situation.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: The call goes out to the church to help build family life.  Pray that we may promote healthy families and good family dynamics. Pray for families that do not fit the traditional mould, that they too may find a place of belonging in our communities.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: “What Would Jesus Do?” (See Monday’s dedication)

Sunday 

Adoration Focus: Today, “Bow before the name of the Lord.”

Confession: How do we “reserve our worship”?  This week we examine ways we do this and pray that we may worship God always, everywhere and whole heartedly.  Today’s focus: Only when I’m in church?

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus:  The call goes out to the church to strengthen the moral fibre of our country.  Lord, you have called us to a whole new way of life.  Help us not to compromise the values of your call and help us to promote these values in every way we can.  May your holiness spread throughout the land.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: “What Would Jesus Do?” (See Monday’s dedication)