James Nicolson

An ordained minister in the Methodist Church of Southern Africa. Currently based in Johannesburg, Gauteng. My focus is on the local church and experiencing the word of God and Wesley's 'means of grace' into Sunday worship that transforms our daily lives into the fullness Jesus speaks of.

Christ the King!

Daily Rhythm

Devotional Diary 12 – 18 November 2018

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

Sunday 25 November is the final Sunday of the Christian Year: Christ the King!

 2 Samuel 23:1-7David’s final song: “One who rules over the people justly… is like the light of the morning, the rising sun of a cloudless morning glistening off the dew.”

Psalm 132:1-5, 11-12A plea to God to remember David’s devotion in wishing to build a temple for God and God’s promise to sustain David’s line if his descendants kept God’s covenant.

Revelation 1:4b-8. The opening salutation to John’s vision: “Grace to you from the one who was, and is and is to come, and from the seven spirits … and from Jesus Christ, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.”

John 18:33-37. Jesus answers the charge that some call him “King of the Jews”: “My kingdom is not from this world.”

 This week: Our adoration focus is based on a prayer edited by Neil Dixon in “Companion to the Lectionary.”  The prayers of intercession are based on a prayer in “The Methodist Service Book.”

Monday:

Adoration Focus: Ever-living God, source of power and love, all praise and glory belongs to you.

Confession: This week we focus on defences, barriers, and excuses; things we hold on to that keep us from full life in Christ.  Today: Fears

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

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Hear us, Lord God, as we pray for your one holy Church: make us all one, so that the world may believe.

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)

Transforming Verse:   “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV)

 Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: Ever-living God, source of forgiveness and hope, all praise and glory belongs to you.

Confession: This week we focus on defences, barriers, excuses, things we hold on to that keep us from full life in Christ.  Today: Hidden hurts.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: We pray that every member of the Church may truly and humbly serve you: grant that your name may be glorified by all people.

Personal prayers

Transforming Verse:   “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV)

Wednesday:

Adoration Focus: Ever-living God, shown to us in Jesus your Son, all praise and glory belongs to you.

Confession: This week we focus on defences, barriers, excuses; things we hold on to that keep us from full life in Christ.  Today: Not wanting to let go…

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Guide and strengthen all ministers of your gospel: make them faithful in your service.

Personal prayers:

Transforming Verse:   “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV)

Thursday:

Adoration Focus: Ever-living God, constantly present in our lives by your Spirit, all praise and glory belongs to you.

Confession: This week we focus on defences, barriers, excuses; things we hold on to that keep us from full life in Christ.  Today:  Things we value more than God…

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Inspire and lead all who govern and hold authority in the nations of the world: establish justice and peace among all people.

Personal prayers:

Transforming Verse:   “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV)

Friday:

Adoration Focus: Ever-living God, ceaselessly working in human history, all praise and glory belongs to you.

Confession

The Word: This week we focus on defences, barriers, excuses; things we hold on to that keep us from full life in Christ.  Today:  Timing: not at the moment Lord…

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Have compassion on all who suffer from any sickness, grief or trouble: deliver them from their distress.

Personal prayers:

Transforming Verse:   “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV)

Saturday:

Adoration Focus: Ever-living God, head of your Church, guide of your people, all praise and glory belongs to you.

Confession: This week we focus on defences, barriers, excuses; things we hold on to that keep us from full life in Christ.  Today: What about others? Surely not me!

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Give us courage to do your will in all that we undertake: reveal the life of Christ within us.

Personal prayers:

Transforming Verse:   “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV)

Sunday:

Adoration Focus: Ever-living God, lover of our souls, all praise and glory belongs to you.

Confession: This week we focus on defences, barriers, excuses; things we hold on to that keep us from full life in Christ.  Today:  I’m not that bad…

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus:  We praise you for all your saints who have entered your eternal glory: bring us all to share in your heavenly kingdom.

Personal prayers:

Transforming Verse:   “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV)

Don’t be too impressed!

Daily Rhythm

Devotional Diary 12 – 18 November 2018

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

Sunday 18 November is the twenty-sixth Sunday after Pentecost

1 Samuel 1:4-20. A barren woman named Hannah, whose husband has two wives, prays for a child while the other wife despises her.

Canticle of response: 1 Samuel 2:1-10.  “The Song of Hannah.”

Hebrews 10:11-14, (15-18), 19-25.  Christ’s self-offering in obedience to God throughout his life in the face of suffering and death enables us to appear before God without shame. It also emboldens us to offer ourselves as witnesses to God’s salvation through love and good deeds now and until the end of the age.

Mark 13:1-8. The disciples express their awe at the size of the renovated temple campus. Jesus declares it will all be destroyed, but that his disciples should live fearlessly and ignore all claimants to messiahship during those days.

In our adoration and confessional focus this week we follow a suggestion from “Signposts to Spirituality” by Trevor Hudson.

Monday:

Adoration Focus: “Ask God to reveal where He has been present to you in the past day. Then ask, “What have I to be thankful for?”” Possible focus: in God’s embrace.

Confession: “In the past day, what strong moods have I experienced and what attitudes lie beneath them? For what do I need to ask forgiveness?  For what do I need God’s help and guidance today/tomorrow?”  Thought: cleansing

The Word: Use the readings suggested above or your own scripture reading plan.

Seeking the Kingdom

Shared Focus: Praying for God’s direction and strength in our service in his name.  Today pray for your own life: how is God seeking to send 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)

Transforming Verse: “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.”  (Romans 8:16 NIV)

 Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: “Ask God to reveal where He has been present to you in the past day. Then ask, “What have I to be thankful for?”” Possible focus: food for the hungry.

Confession: “In the past day, what strong moods have I experienced and what attitudes lie beneath them? For what do I need to ask forgiveness?  For what do I need God’s help and guidance tomorrow?” Thought: A new beginning…

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Praying for God’s direction and strength in our service in his name.  Today pray for your church. Pray for a specific part of its life of service.

Personal Prayers:

Transforming Verse: “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.”  (Romans 8:16 NIV)

Wednesday:

Adoration Focus: “Ask God to reveal where He has been present to you in the past day. Then ask, “What have I to be thankful for?”” Possible focus: leading, guiding prompting, gentle whispers.

Confession: “In the past day, what strong moods have I experienced and what attitudes lie beneath them? For what do I need to ask forgiveness?  For what do I need God’s help and guidance tomorrow?”  Thought: Breathe in and out, deeply, slowly…

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Praying for God’s direction and strength in our service in his name.  Today pray for ministers of the Gospel that they may lead while following Christ.

Personal prayers:

Transforming Verse: “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.”  (Romans 8:16 NIV)

Thursday:

Adoration Focus: “Ask God to reveal where He has been present to you in the past day. Then ask, “What have I to be thankful for?”” Possible focus: awesome glory.

Confession: “In the past day, what strong moods have I experienced and what attitudes lie beneath them? For what do I need to ask forgiveness?  For what do I need God’s help and guidance tomorrow?”  Thought: Let God’s Spirit fill you…

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Praying for God’s direction and strength in our service in his name.  Today pray for your wider church body or denomination, that it may reach out in Christ’s name.

Personal prayers:

Transforming Verse: “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.”  (Romans 8:16 NIV)

Friday:

Adoration Focus: “Ask God to reveal where He has been present to you in the past day. Then ask, “What have I to be thankful for?”” Possible focus: comforting, councelling, healing.

Confession: “In the past day, what strong moods have I experienced and what attitudes lie beneath them? For what do I need to ask forgiveness?  For what do I need God’s help and guidance tomorrow?”  Thought: Walk in step with God’s Spirit; find a new rhythm…

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Praying for God’s direction and strength in our service in his name.  Today pray for all who are struggling to see themselves as empowered to serve God.

Personal prayers:

Transforming Verse: “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.”  (Romans 8:16 NIV)

Saturday:

Adoration Focus: “Ask God to reveal where He has been present to you in the past day. Then ask, “What have I to be thankful for?”” Possible focus: forgiving, restoring.

Confession: “In the past day, what strong moods have I experienced and what attitudes lie beneath them? For what do I need to ask forgiveness?  For what do I need God’s help and guidance tomorrow?”  Thought: Find a new centre out of which to live…

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Praying for God’s direction and strength in our service in his name.  Today pray for all who are facing opposition and hardship in their service of God.

Personal prayers:

Transforming Verse: “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.”  (Romans 8:16 NIV)

Sunday:

Adoration Focus: “Ask God to reveal where He has been present to you in the past day. Then ask, “What have I to be thankful for?”” Possible focus: in community, through others, a warm touch.

Confession:  “In the past day, what strong moods have I experienced and what attitudes lie beneath them? For what do I need to ask forgiveness?  For what do I need God’s help and guidance tomorrow?”  Thought: Bow/kneel before your God and worship…

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Praying for God’s direction and strength in our service in his name.  Today pray for that in your worship you might serve God by lifting up his name.

Personal prayers:

Transforming Verse: “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.”  (Romans 8:16 NIV)

She gives all!

Daily Rhythm

Devotional Diary 5 – 11 November 2018

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

Sunday 11 November is the twenty-fifth Sunday after Pentecost

Ruth 3:1-5; 4:13-17 Naomi guides Ruth through the customs of Hebrew culture to enable her legitimately to find a husband, home, and children. In this way, Ruth becomes the great grandmother of Israel’s future king, David.
Psalm Response: Psalm 127.  Verses 1-2 focus on the emptiness of life without trust in God’s presence and provision. Verses 3-5 speak of the blessing of having children. The theme that binds these two together is the term “house” in verse 1, taken figuratively in the second part to refer to a “household.”
Hebrews 9:24-28.  Unlike the Aaronic priest who enters annually into the Holy of Holies with the blood of a bull and a goat to make ritual atonement, through the incarnation and his life of intercession and obedience even unto death, Jesus Christ entered into heaven itself, offering himself once for all to remove sin, not merely “cover” it (the word usually translated “atonement” in Hebrew means “cover”). At the judgment, Christ will acquit those who have eagerly waited for him.
Mark 12:38-44.  The story of the “widow’s mite” comes immediately after warnings by Jesus about the “home-devouring” practices of the scribes who were expected to use the temple treasury funds to support widows and orphans but used it to support their own lavish lifestyles instead. That is why the widow has only a penny to give, but also why she gives it all — that perhaps others might still be helped, even if meagerly, by what she can offer. Her situation is also a sign of the corruption of this present age and the need for the arrival of the age to come.

Monday:

Adoration Focus: Each day focus on a miracle that will lead you into praising God.  Today: Sun shine, light of the world.

Confession: What barriers are preventing you from serving God in this world? Each day bring your life to God asking to be set free so that you can respond to his call on your life.  Today’s focus being set free from: Blaming others.

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

Seeking the Kingdom

Shared Focus: Visualise God’s loving reign in our world today and pray that his will may be done in some specific way to express His Kingdom.  Today’s focus: Children.

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)

Transforming Verse:  “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV)

Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: Each day focus on a miracle that will lead you into praising God. Today: New growth, discovery.

Confession: See Monday’s confession.  Today’s focus: being set free from: Prejudice.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Visualise God’s loving reign in our world today and pray that his will may be done in some specific way to express His Kingdom. Today’s focus: Students

Personal Prayers:

Transforming Verse:  “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV)

Wednesday:

Adoration Focus: Each day focus on a miracle that will lead you into praising God.  Today: Love, God’s heart.

Confession: See Monday’s confession.  Today’s focus: being set free from: Anger.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Visualise God’s loving reign in our world today and pray that his will may be done in some specific way to express His Kingdom. Today’s focus: Families.

Personal prayers:

Transforming Verse:  “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV)

Thursday:

Adoration Focus: Each day focus on a miracle that will lead you into praising God. Today: Forgiveness, clean slate

Confession: See Monday’s confession.  Today’s focus: being set free from: Guilt.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Visualise God’s loving reign in our world today and pray that his will may be done in some specific way to express His Kingdom. Today’s focus: The stuggling.

Personal prayers:

Transforming Verse:  “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV)

Friday:

Adoration Focus: Each day focus on a miracle that will lead you into praising God. Today: Worship, connecting with holiness.

Confession: See Monday’s confession.  Today’s focus: being set free from: bitterness, unforgiveness.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Visualise God’s loving reign in our world today and pray that his will may be done in some specific way to express His Kingdom. Today’s focus: Communities.

Personal prayers:

Transforming Verse:  “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV)

Saturday:

Adoration Focus: Each day focus on a miracle that will lead you into praising God. Today: Our bodies, worshipping God with all we have.

Confession: See Monday’s confession.  Today’s focus: being set free from: being overwhelmed and paralysed.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Visualise God’s loving reign in our world today and pray that his will may be done in some specific way to express His Kingdom. Today’s focus: Organisations.

Personal prayers:

Transforming Verse:  “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV)

Sunday:

Adoration Focus: Each day focus on a miracle that will lead you into praising God. Today: Peace in the midst of confusion.

Confession: See Monday’s confession.  Today’s focus: being set free from: hurt.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Visualise God’s loving reign in our world today and pray that his will may be done in some specific way to express His Kingdom. Today’s focus: Churches.

Personal prayers:

Transforming Verse:  “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV)