Monthly Archives: December 2016

The baptism of Christ

Daily Rhythm

Devotional Diary 2 – 8 Jan 2017

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

8 January 2017 is the First Sunday after Epiphany

Isaiah 42:1-9.  “Here is my servant . . . my chosen . . . I have given you as . . . a light to the nations.”
Psalm Response: Psalm 29.
Acts 10:34-43
Peter, preaching to Cornelius and his household, summarizes the life and ministry of Jesus, “beginning in Galilee after the baptism . . .”
Matthew 3:13-17Matthew’s account of the baptism of Jesus at the Jordan.

We are now in the second week of our three week confessional cycle. You will find this cycle under “Confession” in the daily focus.

Monday:

Adoration Focus: God is so good, He’s so good to me! (A song of praise)

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: See readings above or use your own devotional guide/readings.

Seeking the Kingdom

Shared Focus: Praying for the year ahead.  This is it, we are having it!  Life abundant is God’s gift.  Each day pray for different ways that this life can find its expression in your life and in the community and world around you. Today’s focus: In your heart.

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: Deuteronomy 6:4-6  4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.[a] 5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. (New International Version, ©2010)

 Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: God will make a way where there seems to be no way! (A song of trust)

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: See readings above or use your own devotional guide/readings.

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Praying for the year ahead.  This is it, we are having it!  Life abundant is God’s gift.  Each day pray for different ways that this life can find its expression in your life and in the community and world around you. Today’s focus: In your family circle.

Personal Prayers:

Dedication: Deuteronomy 6:4-6  4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.[a] 5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. (New International Version, ©2010)

Wednesday:

Adoration Focus: Father, Jesus, Spirit, I adore you. Lay my life before you. How I love you. (A love song)

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: See readings above or use your own devotional guide/readings.

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Praying for the year ahead.  This is it, we are having it!  Life abundant is God’s gift.  Each day pray for different ways that this life can find its expression in your life and in the community and world around you. Today’s focus: in your land.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Deuteronomy 6:4-6  4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.[a] 5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. (New International Version, ©2010)

Thursday:

Adoration Focus: Light of the world you came down into darkness (A song of worship)

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: See readings above or use your own devotional guide/readings.

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Praying for the year ahead.  This is it, we are having it!  Life abundant is God’s gift.  Each day pray for different ways that this life can find its expression in your life and in the community and world around you. Today’s focus: in your weekday circles (work, shops etc)

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Deuteronomy 6:4-6  4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.[a] 5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. (New International Version, ©2010)

Friday:

Adoration Focus: Great is the Lord and most worthy of our praise (A psalm song)

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: See readings above or use your own devotional guide/readings.

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Praying for the year ahead.  This is it, we are having it!  Life abundant is God’s gift.  Each day pray for different ways that this life can find its expression in your life and in the community and world around you. Today’s focus: in the struggles and pains of this world. (Try to name a few in your prayers)

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Deuteronomy 6:4-6  4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.[a] 5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. (New International Version, ©2010)

Saturday:

Adoration Focus: Our God is an awesome God! He reigns on high! (A God exulting song)

Confession: Lord I am so self-focussed 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: See readings above or use your own devotional guide/readings.

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Praying for the year ahead.  This is it, we are having it!  Life abundant is God’s gift.  Each day pray for different ways that this life can find its expression in your life and in the community and world around you. Today’s focus: for a specific person you feel draw to pray for.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Deuteronomy 6:4-6  4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.[a] 5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. (New International Version, ©2010)

 Sunday:

Adoration: “Let everything that has breath praise the lord!” (An encouraging song)

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: See readings above or use your own devotional guide/readings.

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Praying for the year ahead.  This is it, we are having it!  Life abundant is God’s gift.  Each day pray for different ways that this life can find its expression in your life and in the community and world around you. Today’s focus: In your church.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Deuteronomy 6:4-6  4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.[a] 5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. (New International Version, ©2010)

Good news for all!

Daily Rhythm

Devotional Diary 26 December 2016 – 1 Jan 2017

1 January is Epiphany Sunday (Jesus the Light of the world!)

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

Isaiah 60:1-6Isaiah prophesies to a people just returning from exile that the day would come when all nations would “stream to their light.”

Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14. In praise of the righteous king who would receive tribute from all nations

Ephesians 3:1-12. Paul says that his imprisonments are enabling the Gentiles, including leaders of the Roman Empire, to learn the mystery that they, too, are invited to become fellow heirs with Christ Jesus.

Matthew 2:1-12Matthew tells of the visit of the Magi and their participation in God’s subversion of Herod’s plan.

Confession focus for the next three weeks:  Each day you will find another aspect of our three-week confessional cycle (you may recognise it, we have used it before) under the confessions for the day.

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 a restlessness within my own spirit?  How can my relationship with God help me with my envy?

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

Seeking the Kingdom

Shared Focus: This week we focus on any healing or forgiveness our world needs to ask for. We reflect on the past year.  In what areas is God prompting you to pray? Today focus on your own heart.

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: “He drew a circle to shut me out – Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.  But Love and I had the wit to win; We drew a circle that took him in!”  (Edwin Markham)  In the day that is before you, draw a circle that includes God.

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: This week we focus on any healing or forgiveness our world needs to ask for. We reflect on the past year.  In what areas is God prompting you to pray? Today focus on your journey in a community of people close to you.

Personal Prayers:

Dedication: “He drew a circle to shut me out – Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.  But Love and I had the wit to win; We drew a circle that took him in!”  (Edwin Markham)  In the day that is before you, draw a circle that includes others.

Wednesday:

Adoration Focus: Praise the Lord… who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed life 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: This week we focus on any healing or forgiveness our world needs to ask for. We reflect on the past year.  In what areas is God prompting you to pray? Today focus on the news that has reached us during the year.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: “He drew a circle to shut me out – Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.  But Love and I had the wit to win; We drew a circle that took him in!”  (Edwin Markham)  In the day that is before you, draw a circle that includes

God’s plans for the new year.

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: This week we focus on any healing or forgiveness our world needs to ask for. We reflect on the past year.  In what areas is God prompting you to pray? Today focus on your life in service and care as a church community.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: “He drew a circle to shut me out – Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.  But Love and I had the wit to win; We drew a circle that took him in!”  (Edwin Markham)  In the day that is before you, draw a circle that includes your church community.

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: This week we focus on any healing or forgiveness our world needs to ask for. We reflect on the past year.  In what areas is God prompting you to pray? Today focus on the peoples of our land.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: “He drew a circle to shut me out – Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.  But Love and I had the wit to win; We drew a circle that took him in!”  (Edwin Markham)  In the day that is before you, draw a circle that includes serving others.

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: This week we focus on any healing or forgiveness our world needs to ask for. We reflect on the past year.  In what areas is God prompting you to pray? Today focus on Africa and our world.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: “He drew a circle to shut me out – Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.  But Love and I had the wit to win; We drew a circle that took him in!”  (Edwin Markham)  In the day that is before you, draw a circle that includes the promptings of God’s Spirit.

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 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:  This week we focus on any healing or forgiveness our world needs to ask for. We reflect on the past year.  In what areas is God prompting you to pray? Today focus on your personal journey of worship.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: “He drew a circle to shut me out – Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.  But Love and I had the wit to win; We drew a circle that took him in!”  (Edwin Markham)  In the day that is before you, draw a circle that includes bowing in worship.

Christmas! The fullness of time!

Daily Rhythm

Devotional Diary 19 – 25 December 2016

25 December is Christmas Day.

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

Preparing for Christmas Eve:

Preparing for Christmas Day:

Monday:

Adoration Focus: The Lord has made his salvation known and revealed his righteousness to the nations.  (Psalm 98:2)

Confession: “Seeking to worship the Christ child.”  Lord forgive us when we seek our own comfort first. Today help us to seek out the Christ child born in a manger.

The Word: See readings above.

Seeking the Kingdom

Shared Focus:  Praying for our world: Pray for progress towards the eradication of poverty and starvation.  Pray through the eyes of God’s compassion.

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 Jesus, you came as a tiny baby to be present to this world, to serve and care and bring life. Today, dear Lord, help me to be present to this world to bring the life of Christ in service and care to others.

 Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: Come let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. (Psalm 95:6)

Confession: “Seeking to worship the Christ child.”  Lord forgive us when we seek to fulfill only our own plans. Today help us to seek out the Christ child.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Praying for our world: Pray for the improvement of basic health services where they are lacking.

Personal Prayers:

Dedication: Lord Jesus, you came as a tiny baby to be present to this world, to serve and care and bring life. Today, dear Lord, help me to be present to this world to bring the life of Christ in service and care to others.

Wednesday:

Adoration Focus: We give thanks to you, O God, we give thanks, for your name is near. (Psalm 75:1)

Confession: “Seeking to worship the Christ child.”  Lord forgive us when we seek peace but are unwilling to sacrifice for peace.  Today help us to seek out the Christ child.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Praying for our world: Pray for the diseases that ravage our world. Focus particularly on HIV, Aids, tuberculosis and malaria.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Lord Jesus, you came as a tiny baby to be present to this world, to serve and care and bring life. Today, dear Lord, help me to be present to this world to bring the life of Christ in service and care to others.

Thursday:

Adoration Focus: All the earth bows down to you; they sing praise to you, they sing praise to your name. (Psalm 66:4)

Confession: “Seeking to worship the Christ child.”  Lord forgive us when we seek to be guided by the idols of our age.  Today help us to seek out the Christ child.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Praying for our world: Pray for the education of the youth and people of our world. Particularly in areas where there are specific challenges and struggles in this area.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Lord Jesus, you came as a tiny baby to be present to this world, to serve and care and bring life. Today, dear Lord, help me to be present to this world to bring the life of Christ in service and care to others.

Friday:

Adoration Focus: (Psalm 31:21) Praise be to the Lord, for he showed his wonderful love to me…

Confession: “Seeking to worship the Christ child.”  Lord forgive us when we seek to succeed and look good at the expense of others. Today help us to seek out the Christ child.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Praying for our world:  Pray against corruption in, pray for the spread of scriptural holiness and Kingdom of God values.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Lord Jesus, you came as a tiny baby to be present to this world, to serve and care and bring life. Today, dear Lord, help me to be present to this world to bring the life of Christ in service and care to others.

Saturday:

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

Confession: “Seeking to worship the Christ child.”  Lord forgive us when we seek revenge and not forgiveness. Today help us to seek out the Christ child.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Praying for our world: Pray for all the homeless and refuges that they may find secure shelter and care.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Lord Jesus, you came as a tiny baby to be present to this world, to serve and care and bring life. Today, dear Lord, help me to be present to this world to bring the life of Christ in service and care to others.

Sunday:

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

Confession: “Seeking to worship the Christ child.”  Lord forgive us when we seek to give value only to that which feeds our frameworks of life. Today help us to seek out the Christ child.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Praying for our world:  Pray that the coming of the Christ child may bring hope to all the children of this world.  Pray that the church may take its mission seriously.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Lord Jesus, you came as a tiny baby to be present to this world, to serve and care and bring life. Today, dear Lord, help me to be present to this world to bring the life of Christ in service and care to others.