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.

Transfiguration

Daily Rhythm

Devotional Diary  25 February – 3 March 2019

3 March is transfiguration Sunday

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

Exodus 34:29-35 The radiant face of Moses after speaking to the Lord.

Psalm 99 The Lord reigns, He is mighty, worship him. He speaks from the cloud.

2 Corinthians 3:12-4:2 We are being transformed into the Son’s likeness, reflecting his glory.

Luke 9:28-43 Jesus shows his glory as he gathers up the prophets and the law. He is the Son of God.

This week’s focus:  In our shared focus we use extracts from “We are your children” (Found in “An Anglican Prayer Book 1989; Church of the Province of Southern Africa).

Monday:

Adoration Focus: (Psalm 38:15) But I trust in you, O Lord; and you, O Lord my God, will answer me.

Confession: This week for our confession you are asked to reflect on this prayer each day.  Let the Spirit of God speak to you in a fresh way each day through these words.

“Almighty God, Spirit of purity and grace, in asking your forgiveness I cannot claim a right to be forgiven but can only rely on your unlimited love.

I cannot hide behind my good works

I cannot hide behind extenuating circumstances

I cannot hide behind my human nature

I cannot hide behind the temptations I faced

I cannot hide behind peer group pressure

I can only say through the death of Christ my Lord.  Amen”  (John Baillie)

The Word: See readings above and use creatively during the week.

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Father, you inspired the prophets of old; grant that your Church may faithfully proclaim your truth to the world.  Lord hear us.

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: “Since without you we can do no good thing:  May your Spirit make us wise; May your Spirit guide us; May your Spirit renew us; May your Spirit strengthen us…”  (Church of the Province of the West Indies)

 Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: (Psalm 37:4) Seek your happiness in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desire.

Confession: See Monday’s confession.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: You prayed for your church to be one; unite all Christians that the world may believe.  Christ hear us

Personal Prayers:

Dedication: “Since without you we can do no good thing:  May your Spirit make us wise; May your Spirit guide us; May your Spirit renew us; May your Spirit strengthen us…”  (Church of the Province of the West Indies)

Wednesday:

Adoration Focus: (Psalm 36:7) How precious, O God, is your constant love!  We find protection under the shadow of your wings.

Confession: See Monday’s confession.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: You taught us through Paul, your apostle, to pray for kings and rulers; bless and guide all who are in authority.  Christ heal us.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: “Since without you we can do no good thing:  May your Spirit make us wise; May your Spirit guide us; May your Spirit renew us; May your Spirit strengthen us…”  (Church of the Province of the West Indies)

Thursday:

Adoration Focus: (Psalm 35:10)  With all my heart I will say to the Lord, “There is no-one like you. …”

Confession: See Monday’s confession.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: You lived as an exile in Egypt; protect and comfort all refugees.  Christ heal us,

Personal prayers:

Dedication: “Since without you we can do no good thing:  May your Spirit make us wise; May your Spirit guide us; May your Spirit renew us; May your Spirit strengthen us…”  (Church of the Province of the West Indies)

Friday:

Adoration Focus: (Psalm 34:8)  Find out for yourself how good the Lord is.  Happy are those who find safety with him.

Confession: See Monday’s confession.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: You were unjustly condemned by Pontius Pilate: strengthen our brothers and sisters who are suffering injustice and persecution.  Christ hear us.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: “Since without you we can do no good thing:  May your Spirit make us wise; May your Spirit guide us; May your Spirit renew us; May your Spirit strengthen us…”  (Church of the Province of the West Indies)

Saturday:

Adoration Focus: (Psalm 33:11)  But his plans endure forever; his purposes last eternally.

Confession: See Monday’s confession.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: You cured by your healing touch and word: heal the sick and bless those who minister to them.  Christ hear us.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: “Since without you we can do no good thing:  May your Spirit make us wise; May your Spirit guide us; May your Spirit renew us; May your Spirit strengthen us…”  (Church of the Province of the West Indies)

Sunday:

Adoration Focus: (Psalm 32:7)  You are my hiding place; you will save me from trouble.

Confession: See Monday’s confession.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus:  Lord Jesus, you called your disciples to take up the cross: deepen in each of us a sense of vocation.  Christ hear us.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: “Since without you we can do no good thing:  May your Spirit make us wise; May your Spirit guide us; May your Spirit renew us; May your Spirit strengthen us…”  (Church of the Province of the West Indies)

 

God is working for us!

Daily Rhythm

Devotional Diary 18 – 24 February 2019

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

24 February 2019 is the Seventh Sunday after Epiphany

Genesis 45:3-11, 15. Joseph summarises his story: God is at work preserving and caring for God’s people.

Psalm 37:1-11, 39-40. A response to the Joseph story: if we trust in the Lord, he works through the circumstances of  our lives.

1 Corinthians 15:35-38, 42-50. How are the dead raised? It is a story of continuity and also transformation.

Luke 6:27-38. The sermon on the plain continues. What is our attitude towards ‘enemies’? How do we judge those who demand our time and attention?

 This week’s suggestion:  Don’t be too quick to move off the adoration focus.  Read the verse and spend a couple of minutes meditating on it and responding before moving into confession.

Monday:

Adoration Focus: Yet you are near, O Lord, and all your commands are true. (Psalm 119:151)

Confession: Lord we are small you are big.  Forgive our pride.

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

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: God calls and we offer ourselves in response, discovering who we are. This week pray focussed prayers for the world as you encounter it.  What circles do you engage with?  As you pray for these areas each day, begin to think of ‘call’: What service may God be calling you to?  Or how may God be guiding you in terms of the service that you are already involved in?

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: Lord we are small you are big.  Give us love, strength, guidance and power to go where you send.

 Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: The Lord is God and he has made his light shine upon us.  (Psalm 118:27)

Confession: Lord we are small you are big.  Forgive our self-sufficiency.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: See Monday’s focus. Today think home.

Dedication: Lord we are small you are big.  Give us love, strength, guidance and power to go where you send.

Wednesday:

Adoration Focus:  For great is His love towards us… (Psalm 117:2)

Confession: Lord we are small you are big.  Forgive our short-sightedness and distorted vision.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus:

Personal prayers: See Monday’s focus. Today think church.

Dedication: Lord we are small you are big.  Give us love, strength, guidance and power to go where you send.

Thursday:

Adoration Focus: The Lord protects the simple hearted… (Psalm 116:6)

Confession: Lord we are small you are big. Forgive our inability to realise the gift of your Spirit.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus:

Personal prayers: See Monday’s focus. Today think friendship circles.

Dedication: Lord we are small you are big.  Give us love, strength, guidance and power to go where you send.

Friday:

Adoration Focus: Not to us, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.  (Psalm 115:1)

Confession: Lord we are small you are big. Forgive our tendency to hold all the praise for ourselves.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: See Monday’s focus. Today think neighbourhood.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Lord we are small you are big.  Give us love, strength, guidance and power to go where you send.

Saturday:

Adoration Focus: Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord… (Psalm 114:7)

Confession: Lord we are small you are big.  Forgive our parochial care that limits the spread of your kingdom.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: See Monday’s focus. Today think land.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Lord we are small you are big.  Give us love, strength, guidance and power to go where you send.

Sunday:

Adoration Focus: From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised.  (Psalm 113:3)

Confession: Lord we are small you are big.  Forgive us when we worship a “small” God.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: See Monday’s focus. Today think world.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Lord we are small you are big.  Give us love, strength, guidance and power to go where you send.

Like a tree planted by the water…

Daily Rhythm

Devotional Diary 11 – 17 February 2019

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

17 February 2019 is the Sixth Sunday after Epiphany

Jeremiah 17:5-10. The contrast between the person who trust is in their own strength alone and the person who’s trust is in the Lord. They are like a tree planted by the water.

Psalm 1. There could be no better response to our reading from Jeremiah than this psalm: The one whose delight is in the law of the Lord is like a tree planted by streams of water…

1 Corinthians 15:12-20. But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.

Luke 6:17-26. The beatitudes in Luke’s Gospel: Blessings then woes.

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)