Time to repent

Daily Rhythm

Devotional Diary 18 – 24 March 2019

24 March is the third Sunday in Lent.

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

 Isaiah 55:1-9. A prophetic song in which God promises mercy, pardon, and abundant provision to those who repent and trust in God.

Psalm 63:1-8.  A Psalm of trust. “My soul thirsts for you, my flesh faints for you … my soul is satisfied as with a rich feast, my mouth praises you with joyful lips.” This psalm enables the congregation to sing and pray with deep physicality in response to the offer of abundant provision for all who will repent and trust in God.

1 Corinthians 10:1-13.  The pattern of the baptized life is to be one of continual repentance, trusting that God will not test us beyond our strength.

Luke 13:1-9. Time is available for repentance and response — the fig tree and the gardener.

This week: Our adoration focus reflects on Psalm 8.  We continue with our 21-day cycle of confession.  In our shared prayer focus we pray for people we know who are involved in certain professions and work. 

Monday:

Adoration Focus: O Lord, our Lord, your greatness is seen in all the world!  (Psalm 8:1)

Confession: Lord forgive me when I rely only on my own strength and I ignore your call to share in the richness of your infinite resources.  Help me to “plug-in” and to live out of your power.

The Word: Use readings above or your own devotional aids.

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Pray for someone you know who is in the police force.

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:  “One Step enough for me…  “  Lord I thank you that you do not go so far ahead that I have no hope of following. Lord, by your help I commit myself to today’s “Step”.

 Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: O Lord, our Lord…Your praise reaches up to the heavens… (Psalm 8:1)

Confession: Lord forgive me when I fill my life with hurry and never touch base with your order and love.  Help me to listen to your breathing and to be filled with your breath.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Pray for someone you know who is in the government.

Personal Prayers:

Dedication: “One Step enough for me…  “  Lord I thank you that you do not go so far ahead that I have no hope of following. Lord, by your help I commit myself to today’s “Step”.

Wednesday:

Adoration Focus: When I look at the sky, which you have made… what is man that you think of him?  (Psalm 8:3+4)

Confession: Lord forgive me when I live only for what I can get.  Lord, I find it so hard not to get swallowed by the spirit of materialism, and sometimes I don’t even recognise that I am guided by its ethics.  Set me free that I may be guided by your values.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Pray for someone you know who is involved in children’s work.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: “One Step enough for me…  “  Lord I thank you that you do not go so far ahead that I have no hope of following. Lord, by your help I commit myself to today’s “Step”.

Thursday:

Adoration Focus: When I look at the… moon and stars, which you set in their places – what is… mere man that you care for him? (Psalm 8:3+4)

Confession: Lord, I do not have a firm faith, at times I doubt and am unable to trust you. O Lord strengthen my faith I pray that I may find my peace in you.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Pray for someone you know who is involved in adult education.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: “One Step enough for me…  “  Lord I thank you that you do not go so far ahead that I have no hope of following. Lord, by your help I commit myself to today’s “Step”.

Friday:

Adoration Focus: What is man… Yet you made him inferior only to yourself… (Psalm 8:4+5)

Confession: Lord, I am so reluctant to actively witness to your glory.  Lord forgive me and show me how to witness in loving and creative ways.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Pray for someone you know who is in the healing profession.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: “One Step enough for me…  “  Lord I thank you that you do not go so far ahead that I have no hope of following. Lord, by your help I commit myself to today’s “Step”.

Saturday:

Adoration Focus: What is man… you crowned him with glory and honour. You appointed him ruler over everything you made…(Psalm 8:4,5+6)

Confession: Lord I am so self-focused I find it difficult to praise others and even to really lose myself in my praise of you.  Forgive me Lord and give my heart wings to rise up in praise.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Pray for someone you know who is involved in the farming industry.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: “One Step enough for me…  “  Lord I thank you that you do not go so far ahead that I have no hope of following. Lord, by your help I commit myself to today’s “Step”.

Sunday:

Adoration Focus: O Lord, our Lord, your greatness is seen in all the world! (Psalm 8:9)

Confession: Lord you have said, “Seek first the Kingdom of God.”  I have sought first my own kingdom.  Forgive me and help me to have Godly priorities.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus:  Pray for someone you know who is in the ordained ministry.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: “One Step enough for me…  “  Lord I thank you that you do not go so far ahead that I have no hope of following. Lord, by your help I commit myself to today’s “Step”.

Lent lament!

Daily Rhythm

Devotional Diary  11 – 17 March 2019

17 March is the second Sunday in Lent.

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

Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18. God establishes a covenant with Abram to make him a “father of many nations.”

Psalm 27. When we embrace the covenant God makes with us in baptism, we can sing “The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”

Philippians 3:17-4:1.Our citizenship (the strongest Roman analogy to covenant) is in heaven, and the power of God manifest   in Christ’s resurrection will transform us to be conformed to the body of Christ’s glory.

Luke 13:31-35. Jesus laments over the resistance of “Jerusalem” to the word of God.

This week’s focus: Making a difference by going into the world as a Kingdom of God person. For our confession we revisit our 21-day cycle of confession (found under the Confession focus for each day).

Monday:

Adoration Focus: Lord God, you are the fountain of love.

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

The Word: Use above readings or your own devotional aids.

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Reflect on your surroundings through the Kingdom of God window.  Focus on God’s will being done on earth as it is in heaven.  Ponder the values of God’s Kingdom: His love, righteousness, justice and peace.  Think of His care for the outcast and poor and despised.  List any prayer concerns that are raised up by God’s Spirit within your heart.  Using this exercise make a list of prayer concerns that you can pray into each day this week.  You are invited to write these into the shared focus points for each day.  If needs be, come back to this reflective exercise and renew your list during the week.

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:  Living Christ, open our eyes to see you in the world around us; open our hearts to the inclusiveness of your love; and open our minds to reflect on your purpose to reconcile all things to yourself. (IBRA)

 Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: Lord God, you are the fountain of joy.

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: See Monday’s shared focus.

Personal Prayers:

Dedication: Living Christ, open our eyes to see you in the world around us; open our hearts to the inclusiveness of your love; and open our minds to reflect on your purpose to reconcile all things to yourself. (IBRA)

Wednesday:

Adoration Focus: Lord God, you are the fountain of all hope.

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: See Monday’s shared focus.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Living Christ, open our eyes to see you in the world around us; open our hearts to the inclusiveness of your love; and open our minds to reflect on your purpose to reconcile all things to yourself. (IBRA)

Thursday:

Adoration Focus: Lord God, you are the fountain of comfort.

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: See Monday’s shared focus.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Living Christ, open our eyes to see you in the world around us; open our hearts to the inclusiveness of your love; and open our minds to reflect on your purpose to reconcile all things to yourself. (IBRA)

Friday:

Adoration Focus: Lord God, you are the fountain of peace.

Confession: Lord forgive me for alienated 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: See Monday’s shared focus.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Living Christ, open our eyes to see you in the world around us; open our hearts to the inclusiveness of your love; and open our minds to reflect on your purpose to reconcile all things to yourself. (IBRA)

Saturday:

Adoration Focus: Lord God, you are the fountain of trust and faith.

Confession: Lord forgive me when I invest huge resources for my own entertainment but will be 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: See Monday’s shared focus.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Living Christ, open our eyes to see you in the world around us; open our hearts to the inclusiveness of your love; and open our minds to reflect on your purpose to reconcile all things to yourself. (IBRA)

Sunday:

Adoration Focus: Lord God, you are the fountain of praise and worship.

Confession: Lord forgive me when I give all for my own ambitions and loose 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: See Monday’s shared focus.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Living Christ, open our eyes to see you in the world around us; open our hearts to the inclusiveness of your love; and open our minds to reflect on your purpose to reconcile all things to yourself. (IBRA)

Friends share temptations

Daily Rhythm

Devotional Diary  4 – 10 March 2019

10 March is the first Sunday in Lent.

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

Deuteronomy 26:1-11. The first part of the ritual instruction for the offering of tithes of first fruits in the temple. This ritual calls for the one making the offering to confess God as deliverer of the people and provider of the harvest now enjoyed in the promised land. In this way, the ritual both reminds and reinforces the identity of the family with the people and the people with the story of their God.

Psalm 91:1-2, 9-16. By singing or praying this psalm, the congregation confesses God’s continued promise of protection for God’s people.

Romans 10:8b-13.  Paul declares God’s intention to save all who believe upon and confess Jesus as Lord.

Luke 4:1-13.  Luke recounts the temptation of Jesus following his baptism and a period of fasting in the wilderness prior to the beginning of his public ministry. Jesus consistently confesses his identity in response to the temptations to choose another way.

Monday:

Adoration Focus: 1 John 1:5: “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.”

Confession: Lord forgive us when we have looked at suffering through hardened eyes, give us your eyes of love.

The Word: Use readings above or your own devotional aid.

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week we pray for God’s mission among us.  Today:  Lord we pray for all who have crossed boundaries to go out in mission in the name of Christ.  We pray that we may learn from their courage and sense of mission.

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 Christ, the Master Carpenter who at the last, through wood and nails, purchased our whole salvation, wield well your tools in the workshop of your world, so that we, who come rough-hewn to your bench, may here be fashioned to a truer beauty of your hand.  We ask it for your name’s sake.  (Source unknown)

 Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: 1 John 2:2: “He (Jesus Christ) is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only ours but also for the sins of the whole world.”

Confession: Lord, forgive us when we have looked at the poor through hardened eyes, give us your eyes of love.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week we pray for God’s mission among us.  Today:   As we seek to reach beyond ourselves we pray that we would always build on the rock and sure foundation, Jesus Christ.

Dedication: O Christ, the Master Carpenter who at the last, through wood and nails, purchased our whole salvation, wield well your tools in the workshop of your world, so that we, who come rough-hewn to your bench, may here be fashioned to a truer beauty of your hand.  We ask it for your name’s sake.  (Source unknown)

Ash Wednesday:

Adoration Focus: 1 John 3:1: “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!”

Confession: Lord, forgive us when we have looked at our neighbour through hardened eyes, give us your eyes of love.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week we pray for God’s mission among us.  Today:  Loving with God’s heart, praying with God’s heart.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: O Christ, the Master Carpenter who at the last, through wood and nails, purchased our whole salvation, wield well your tools in the workshop of your world, so that we, who come rough-hewn to your bench, may here be fashioned to a truer beauty of your hand.  We ask it for your name’s sake.  (Source unknown)

Thursday:

Adoration Focus: 1 John 3:16: “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.”

Confession: Lord, forgive us when we have looked at those close to us through hardened eyes, give us your eyes of love.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week we pray for God’s mission among us.  Today:  Praying for your church that we may enter into God’s mission more deeply.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: O Christ, the Master Carpenter who at the last, through wood and nails, purchased our whole salvation, wield well your tools in the workshop of your world, so that we, who come rough-hewn to your bench, may here be fashioned to a truer beauty of your hand.  We ask it for your name’s sake.  (Source unknown)

Friday:

Adoration Focus: 1 John 4:8: “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”

Confession: Lord, forgive us when we have looked those of other races through hardened eyes, give us your eyes of love.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week we pray for God’s mission among us.  Today:  Identify part of God’s mission to transform our world and pray into it.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: O Christ, the Master Carpenter who at the last, through wood and nails, purchased our whole salvation, wield well your tools in the workshop of your world, so that we, who come rough-hewn to your bench, may here be fashioned to a truer beauty of your hand.  We ask it for your name’s sake.  (Source unknown)

Saturday:

Adoration Focus: 1 John 5:11: “And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.”

Confession: Lord, forgive us when we have looked at the young through hardened eyes, give us your eyes of love.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week we pray for God’s mission among us.  Today:  Pray into an area of mission where God may be calling you to serve.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: O Christ, the Master Carpenter who at the last, through wood and nails, purchased our whole salvation, wield well your tools in the workshop of your world, so that we, who come rough-hewn to your bench, may here be fashioned to a truer beauty of your hand.  We ask it for your name’s sake.  (Source unknown)

Sunday:

Adoration Focus: 2 John 3: “Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son, will be with us in truth and love.”

Confession: Lord, forgive us when we have looked at ourselves through hardened eyes, give us your eyes of love.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week we pray for God’s mission among us.  Today:  Pray for the church at large that the church may join hands in serving the mission of God.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: O Christ, the Master Carpenter who at the last, through wood and nails, purchased our whole salvation, wield well your tools in the workshop of your world, so that we, who come rough-hewn to your bench, may here be fashioned to a truer beauty of your hand.  We ask it for your name’s sake.  (Source unknown)