The Christian Year

Eat of him!

Daily Rhythm

Devotional Diary 6 – 12 August 2018

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

Sunday 12 August is the twelfth Sunday after Pentecost

2 Samuel 18:5-9, 15, 31-33. David’s son Absalom had begun a civil war against his father. Still, David orders to his army were to “deal gently” with him. When Absalom was found stuck in a tree, he was executed and brought to David. David wept bitterly.

Psalm 130.  A psalm often used at funerals and an appropriate response to the story of David’s deep grief over Absalom. John Wesley heard this psalm sung by the choir on the day of his turning to God at Aldersgate, May 24, 1738.

Ephesians 4:25—5:2.  The writer encourages the congregations to give up practices that lead to broken relationships with God and others and engage in practices that build up community.

John 6:35, 41-51. Jesus says the Father, not his own teaching, draws people to “eat of him,” “the true bread that is coming down from heaven.” Those who “eat of him” are receiving eternal life.

Monday:

Adoration Focus: Each day reflect on the best moments you have known in your life and give God praise for a different moment each day.

Confession: Each day reflect on God’s perfection and purity.  Experience His abundant love, His righteousness and justice.  Then let His light shine into your life.  Remember He comes to save and not condemn.  Into what area of your life is His hand of love and transformation reaching?

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom

Shared Focus: This week we pray for women (9 August is Women’s Day).  Today: Praying for Women’s groups who are working for God’s Kingdom.

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: My commitment: Today I will strive to co-operate with God and all who are seeking to build a world that reflects the loving reign of God.

 Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: Each day reflect on the best moments you have known in your life and give God praise for a different moment each day.

Confession: Each day reflect on God’s perfection and purity.  Experience His abundant love, His righteousness and justice.  Then let His light shine into your life.  Remember He comes to save and not condemn.  Into what area of your life is His hand of love and transformation reaching?

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week we pray for women.  Today: Praying for all women who are focussed on building a better world for all.

Personal Prayers:

Dedication: Today I will strive to co-operate with God and all who are seeking to build a world that reflects the loving reign of God.

Wednesday:

Adoration Focus: Each day reflect on the best moments you have known in your life and give God praise for a different moment each day.

Confession: Each day reflect on God’s perfection and purity.  Experience His abundant love, His righteousness and justice.  Then let His light shine into your life.  Remember He comes to save and not condemn.  Into what area of your life is His hand of love and transformation reaching?

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week we pray for women.  Today: Praying for all women who are investing in the lives of others and seeking to ground them in Kingdom of God values.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Today I will strive to co-operate with God and all who are seeking to build a world that reflects the loving reign of God.

Thursday:

Adoration Focus: Each day reflect on the best moments you have known in your life and give God praise for a different moment each day.

Confession: Each day reflect on God’s perfection and purity.  Experience His abundant love, His righteousness and justice.  Then let His light shine into your life.  Remember He comes to save and not condemn.  Into what area of your life is His hand of love and transformation reaching?

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week we pray for women.  Today: Praying for all women who face put downs and abuse simply because they are women.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Today I will strive to co-operate with God and all who are seeking to build a world that reflects the loving reign of God.

Friday:

Adoration Focus: Each day reflect on the best moments you have known in your life and give God praise for a different moment each day.

Confession: Each day reflect on God’s perfection and purity.  Experience His abundant love, His righteousness and justice.  Then let His light shine into your life.  Remember He comes to save and not condemn.  Into what area of your life is His hand of love and transformation reaching?

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week we pray for women.  Today: Praying for all those who are struggling to provide for their children and themselves because they are living below the bread line.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Today I will strive to co-operate with God and all who are seeking to build a world that reflects the loving reign of God.

Saturday:

Adoration Focus: Each day reflect on the best moments you have known in your life and give God praise for a different moment each day.

Confession: Each day reflect on God’s perfection and purity.  Experience His abundant love, His righteousness and justice.  Then let His light shine into your life.  Remember He comes to save and not condemn.  Into what area of your life is His hand of love and transformation reaching?

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week we pray for women.  Today: Praying for a world that acknowledges God’s call for us to live and work as equal partners in this world.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Today I will strive to co-operate with God and all who are seeking to build a world that reflects the loving reign of God.

Sunday:

Adoration Focus: Each day reflect on the best moments you have known in your life and give God praise for a different moment each day.

Confession: Each day reflect on God’s perfection and purity.  Experience His abundant love, His righteousness and justice.  Then let His light shine into your life.  Remember He comes to save and not condemn.  Into what area of your life is His hand of love and transformation reaching?

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week we pray for women.  Today: Giving thanks for all that God has given us through the lives of the wonderful women that we share in life with.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Today I will strive to co-operate with God and all who are seeking to build a world that reflects the loving reign of God.

The wild work of God!

Daily Rhythm

Devotional Diary 4 – 10 June 2018

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

Sunday 10 June is the third Sunday after Pentecost

1 Samuel 8:4-11. The elders of the people ask Samuel to appoint a king over them so they will be like the other nations.

Psalm 138. The psalm praises God as source of life and protection for the people.

2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1. We pick up in the middle of Paul’s extended argument for the validity of his claim to authority among the Christians in Corinth. Here, Paul notes that the kind of suffering and physical challenges he faces are signs precisely of the death of Christ at work in him, that the life of Christ may be made known to them.

Mark 3:20-35. Jesus’ power has become so great (and wild!) that some begin to accuse him of casting out demons by the power of Satan. Even his family come to try to restrain him. Jesus names blasphemy against the Holy Spirit as the only unforgivable sin, and those who do the will of the Father as his mother, brothers, and sisters.

Monday:

Adoration Focus: Our Father who is in heaven…  On Monday and Tuesday we focus on praising the Father.  Today: He is “transcendent” (high above all).

Confession: Ephesians 5:22-23: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”  This week let the Spirit of God examine your heart against the fruit of the Spirit.  Then, where is a lack, allow the Spirit to fill you with His life and grow His fruit.  Today’s focus: Love.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom

Shared Focus: Remember: Pray positively. Remember as you pray to picture the outcome of your prayers.  Visualise God’s response.  What “picture prayers” is He calling you to this week?   Focus: Your family…

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:  Spirit of the living God fall afresh on me, break me, melt me, mould me; Spirit of the living God fall afresh on me

 Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: Our Father who is in heaven…  On Monday and Tuesday we focus on praising the Father.  Today: He is love…

Confession: See Monday’s confession. Today’s focus: Joy.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus:  See Monday’s Shared Focus.  Today’s focus: Your friends…

Personal Prayers:

Dedication: Spirit of the living God fall afresh on me, break me, melt me, mould me; Spirit of the living God fall afresh on me

Wednesday:

Adoration Focus: On Wednesday and Thursday we focus on praising the Son.  Today: He is the revealer – “whoever has seen me has seen the Father”.

Confession: See Monday’s confession.  Today’s focus: Peace.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: See Monday’s Shared Focus.  Today’s focus: Your life…

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Spirit of the living God fall afresh on me, break me, melt me, mould me; Spirit of the living God fall afresh on me

Thursday:

Adoration Focus: On Wednesday and Thursday we focus on praising the Son.  Today: He is the one who emptied himself even to die on a cross.

Confession: See Monday’s confession. Today’s focus: Patience.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: See Monday’s Shared Focus.  Today’s focus:  Your home/work environment…

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Spirit of the living God fall afresh on me, break me, melt me, mould me; Spirit of the living God fall afresh on me

Friday:

Adoration Focus: On Friday and Saturday we focus on the Holy Spirit: Today: He is our comforter…

Confession: See Monday’s confession. Today’s focus: Kindness.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: See Monday’s Shared Focus.  Today’s focus: Someone outside your normal circle of life…

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Spirit of the living God fall afresh on me, break me, melt me, mould me; Spirit of the living God fall afresh on me

Saturday:

Adoration Focus: On Friday and Saturday we focus on the Holy Spirit: Today: He is God in us!

Confession: See Monday’s confession. Today’s focus: Goodness.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: See Monday’s Shared Focus.  Today’s focus: Your church…

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Spirit of the living God fall afresh on me, break me, melt me, mould me; Spirit of the living God fall afresh on me

Sunday:

Adoration Focus: Today we worship Father, Son and Holy Spirit: Holy, Holy, Holy!

Confession: See Monday’s confession. Today’s focus: faithfulness.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: See Monday’s Shared Focus.  Today’s focus: A church not your own…

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Spirit of the living God fall afresh on me, break me, melt me, mould me; Spirit of the living God fall afresh on me

What’s in the heart comes out the heart!

Daily Rhythm

Devotional Diary 14 – 20 August 2017

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

20 August 2017 is the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost.

Genesis 45:1-15.  The other “bookend” of the Joseph story—Joseph, now second in command in Egypt, reveals his identity to his brothers and promises to provide land, food, and protection for the family during the famine and beyond.

Psalm 133.The blessing of living together in unity—a fitting response to the Genesis reading for today.

Romans 11:1-2a, 29-32. Paul concludes his excursus on the theological connection between God’s covenant with Israel and the Jewish-Gentile church with a strong affirmation of Israel’s place in God’s saving intent toward the whole world. All—Jew and Gentile—receive salvation by God’s mercy and grace, not by merit. God’s calling and gifts cannot be called back. Israel’s place is permanently secure while Gentiles are like grafts of a wild olive tree into a domesticated olive tree.

Matthew 15:10-28. Jesus tells the crowd that it is what comes out of the heart that pollutes us. Then Jesus discovers great faith coming from a foreigner (the Canaanite woman) who won’t take “no” for an answer.

Monday:

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

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 the Lectionary readings above or any other Scripture reading plan you are following.

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Spend a few moments thinking of the many resources that God has placed in and on this earth to sustain and enhance our lives.  Focus on how we as humanity are using these resources and how God would lead us and guide us into good stewardship and a healthy sustainable way of living.  Pray for this vision of life.

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”)

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: 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: Lord, help us to use the resources that you have given us responsibly and in ways that reflect your Kingdom and rule. Today focus on what the use of these resources should express: Care, love, nurture, creativity….  Rather than possession, selfishness, control, power and domination.   Pray that our world’s values may be renewed.

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

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 generation. (Psalm 102:12)

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 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.

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, 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: 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.

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: 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: We pray for guidance as to how you would have us use the resources of gifts and abilities you have placed within 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”)

Sunday:

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

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: 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.

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”)