Monthly Archives: February 2017

Temptation

Daily Rhythm

Devotional Diary 27 February – 5 March 2017

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

5 March  2017 is First Sunday of Lent

 

Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-7.  Adam and Eve are tempted by a serpent to distrust God and eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Psalm Response: Psalm 32. A voice of wisdom from one who has sinned, confessed, and known God’s forgiveness.

Romans 5:12-19. Jesus Christ as the New Adam who frees us from the power of sin and death.

Matthew 4:1-11. Matthew’s story of Jesus tempted by the devil in the wilderness.
Lent is a time for examination, confession and rebirth.  Beginning with this week we are repeating a 21-day cycle of confession.  You will find the daily focus for this cycle in the confession slot for each day.  Allow God to speak to you in new ways and lead you into a deeper sense of healing and freedom.

Monday:

Adoration Focus: Psalm 11:1 In the Lord I take refuge.

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

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

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Let us not forget to pray for ourselves.  Today pray that this week may be one in which you are drawn closer to God.  How is God speaking to 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)

Dedication: O God, the Holy Spirit, come to us and among us: come as the wind, and cleanse us; come as the fire and burn; come as the dew, and refresh…  (Eric Milner-White, 1884-1964)

 Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: Psalm 13:5 But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.

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: We continue to pray for ourselves.  Today pray that you may discover new joy in serving God as he calls you.  Pray that you may be open to this call as it comes to you.

Dedication: O God, the Holy Spirit, come to us and among us: come as the wind, and cleanse us; come as the fire and burn; come as the dew, and refresh…  (Eric Milner-White, 1884-1964)

Wednesday: Ash Wednesday

Adoration Focus: Psalm 13:6 I will sing to the Lord, for he has been good to me.

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 continue to pray for ourselves.  Today pray that you may know the strengthening hand of God in your weaknesses.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: O God, the Holy Spirit, come to us and among us: come as the wind, and cleanse us; come as the fire and burn; come as the dew, and refresh…  (Eric Milner-White, 1884-1964)

Thursday:

Adoration Focus: Psalm 16:8 I have set the Lord always before me.  Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

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 continue to pray for ourselves.  Today pray that you may experience this week as a healing week so that you may reflect God’s love and life more clearly.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: O God, the Holy Spirit, come to us and among us: come as the wind, and cleanse us; come as the fire and burn; come as the dew, and refresh…  (Eric Milner-White, 1884-1964)

Friday:

Adoration Focus: Psalm 18:2 The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer…

Confession: Lord, forgive me for alienating 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: We continue to pray for ourselves.  Today pray that you may be enabled to rest in the knowledge that you are loved as you journey day by bay.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: O God, the Holy Spirit, come to us and among us: come as the wind, and cleanse us; come as the fire and burn; come as the dew, and refresh…  (Eric Milner-White, 1884-1964)

Saturday:

Adoration Focus: Psalm 18:2 …my God is my rock in whom I take refuge.

Confession: Lord, forgive me when I invest huge resources for my own entertainment but am 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 continue to pray for ourselves.  Today pray that your relationships with others may grow in significant ways.  How is God speaking to you?

Personal prayers:

Dedication: O God, the Holy Spirit, come to us and among us: come as the wind, and cleanse us; come as the fire and burn; come as the dew, and refresh…  (Eric Milner-White, 1884-1964)

Sunday:

Adoration Focus: Psalm 18:2 He (the Lord) is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

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: We continue to pray for ourselves.  Today pray that this day may be one in which you learn to worship God in Spirit and in truth.  Give yourself to God in worship today!

Personal prayers:

Dedication: O God, the Holy Spirit, come to us and among us: come as the wind, and cleanse us; come as the fire and burn; come as the dew, and refresh…  (Eric Milner-White, 1884-1964)

Transfiguration!

Daily Rhythm

Devotional Diary 20 – 26 February 2017

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

26 February 2017 is Transfiguration Sunday

 

Exodus 24:12-18. The mystery and awe of God’s holy presence: God calls Moses up on the mountain, and Moses enters the cloud of God’s glory.

Psalm 99

2 Peter 1:16-21. Peter says, “We had been eyewitnesses of his majesty … we were with him on the holy mountain … So we have the prophetic message more fully confirmed.”

Matthew 17:1-9Matthew’s account of the Transfiguration.

Monday:

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

Confession: This week we look at certain resources that God has given us.  How are we using/abusing them? Today simply try to name some resources’ and begin to examine your use of them.

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

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Pray for your church: Today: that we may be wholehearted worshippers.

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” by H van der Looy)

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: Lord, help us to use the resources that you have given us responsibly and in ways that reflect your Kingdom and rule.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Pray for your church:  Today: that we may be connected and caring.

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”)

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

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Pray for your church: Today: that we may be listening and responding…

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 generations. (Psalm 102:12)

Confession: 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.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Pray for your church: Today: that we may be warmly welcoming.

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, 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.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Pray for your church: Today: that we may be able to more out of our comfort zone as God leads 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”)

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: We pray for guidance as to how you would have us use the gifts and abilities you have placed within us.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Pray for your church: Today: that we may be able to care for suffering, empathise with others and care for “the least of them”.

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: 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.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Pray for your church: Today: that we may be able to risk as we offer ourselves as “sacrifices of praise”.

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”)

Love your neighbour…

Daily Rhythm

Devotional Diary 13 – 19 February 2017

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

19 February 2017 is the Seventh Sunday after Epiphany

Leviticus 19:1-2, 9-18.  Social holiness defined— loving your neighbor, whatever their condition, as you love yourself.

Psalm 119:33-40.

1 Corinthians 3:10-11, 16-23.  Paul reminds the Christians in Corinth they are the temple of God. They are to honor their bodies as God has made them and be grateful for all leaders who lay or build on the foundation of Christ.

Matthew 5:38-48  “You have heard it said… but I tell you,”  Part 2! The nearing of the kingdom of God means we are to (and now can!) treat those who harm us, oppressors and enemies very differently than we may have been trained.

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 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.