Monthly Archives: August 2017

The cost…

Daily Rhythm

Devotional Diary 28 August – 3 September 2017

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

3 September 2017 is the Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost.

 

Exodus 3:1-15. God calls Moses from a burning bush and commissions him to collaborate in delivering the Israelites from Egyptian oppression. Moses questions his worthiness for the task, and God answers each excuse.

Psalm 105:1-6, 23-26, 45c.

Romans 12:9-21. Last week’s text reminds us we are one body. This week’s focus is on being one body in Christ—loving one another, respecting and forgiving one another, loving and reaching out in care to enemies, and blessing even those who persecute us. Even as Christ overcame the power of sin and death, so his body, the church, is called to overcome evil with good.

Matthew 16:21-28. Last week, the confession. This week: the cost of that confession. Jesus tells the disciples that he must go to Jerusalem, where he will be killed. Peter rebukes him, and Jesus tells Peter that he is a stumbling block to him by thinking as humans think. Any who will be disciples of Jesus must lay claims to themselves aside, pick up a crucifix, and follow him.

Monday:

Adoration Focus: Jesus said, “I am the light of the world…” (John 8:12)  Reflect on how God’s light has shone into your life in the past day and give God praise for this gift of grace!  Small moments?

Confession: Let the light of God examine the dark areas of your soul this week.  Acknowledge your darkness and your need of God’s light.  Pray that you may be filled with the light of Christ and let his light drive out the darkness.  “Fill me, Oh Lord, with your life!”   Today’s focus: the habits of your life.

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

Seeking the Kingdom

Shared Focus: This week lift up the dark areas of life.  Remember that the darkness will never put out the light of Christ.  Pray God’s light into these dark areas.  (Each day reflect on a different area e.g. violence and abuse, drug abuse, alcoholism, crime, materialism, oppression, unbelief and hardness of heart, selfishness, sexual abuse and immorality…)

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, let your light shine through my life!

 Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: Jesus said, “I am the light of the world…” (John 8:12)  Reflect on how God’s light has shone into your life in the past day and give God praise for this gift of grace!  Through other people?

Confession: Let the light of God examine the dark areas of your soul this week.  Acknowledge your darkness and your need of God’s light.  Pray that you may be filled with the light of Christ and let his light drive out the darkness.  “Fill me, Oh Lord, with your life!”  Today’s focus: negative thought patterns.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: See Monday’s shared focus.

Personal Prayers:

Dedication: Lord Jesus, let your light shine through my life!

Wednesday:

Adoration Focus: Jesus said, “I am the light of the world…” (John 8:12)  Reflect on how God’s light has shone into your life in the past day and give God praise for this gift of grace!  Through creation?

Confession: Let the light of God examine the dark areas of your soul this week.  Acknowledge your darkness and your need of God’s light.  Pray that you may be filled with the light of Christ and let his light drive out the darkness.  “Fill me, Oh Lord, with your life!”  Today’s focus: unforgiveness and grudges.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: See Monday’s shared focus.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Lord Jesus, let your light shine through my life!

Thursday:

Adoration Focus: Jesus said, “I am the light of the world…” (John 8:12)  Reflect on how God’s light has shone into your life in the past day and give God praise for this gift of grace!  Through animals/pets?

Confession: Let the light of God examine the dark areas of your soul this week.  Acknowledge your darkness and your need of God’s light.  Pray that you may be filled with the light of Christ and let his light drive out the darkness.  “Fill me, Oh Lord, with your life!”  Today’s focus: insecurities that stop you from loving.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: See Monday’s shared focus.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Lord Jesus, let your light shine through my life!

Friday:

Adoration Focus: Jesus said, “I am the light of the world…” (John 8:12)  Reflect on how God’s light has shone into your life in the past day and give God praise for this gift of grace!   Through reading the bible?

Confession: Let the light of God examine the dark areas of your soul this week.  Acknowledge your darkness and your need of God’s light.  Pray that you may be filled with the light of Christ and let his light drive out the darkness.  “Fill me, Oh Lord, with your life!”  Today’s focus: hating llife.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: See Monday’s shared focus.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Lord Jesus, let your light shine through my life!

Saturday:

Adoration Focus: Jesus said, “I am the light of the world…” (John 8:12)  Reflect on how God’s light has shone into your life in the past day and give God praise for this gift of grace!  Through Christ?

Confession: Let the light of God examine the dark areas of your soul this week.  Acknowledge your darkness and your need of God’s light.  Pray that you may be filled with the light of Christ and let his light drive out the darkness.  “Fill me, Oh Lord, with your life!”  Today’s focus:  Trapped in stress and pressures.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: See Monday’s shared focus.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Lord Jesus, let your light shine through my life!

Sunday:

Adoration Focus: Jesus said, “I am the light of the world…” (John 8:12)  Reflect on how God’s light has shone into your life in the past day and give God praise for this gift of grace!  Through worship?

Confession: Let the light of God examine the dark areas of your soul this week.  Acknowledge your darkness and your need of God’s light.  Pray that you may be filled with the light of Christ and let his light drive out the darkness.  “Fill me, Oh Lord, with your life!”  Today’s focus: too self-absorbed to worship.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: See Monday’s shared focus.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Lord Jesus, let your light shine through my life!

Peter’s confession

Daily Rhythm

Devotional Diary 21 – 27 August 2017

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

27 August 2017 is the Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost.

 

Exodus 1:8-2:10 — A pharaoh who did not know the family of Joseph made his descendants into hard-labour slaves and tried to reduce their numbers by infanticide. The Hebrew midwives and the daughter of Pharoah had other ideas, so Moses was raised in the royal household.

Psalm 124

Romans 12:1-8 — Paul calls the Christians at Rome to offer themselves fully to God.

Matthew 16:13-20 — In a stronghold of Roman authority, Jesus asks the disciples who others say he is. Peter confesses, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

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: 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 won devotional aid.

Seeking the Kingdom: The church (remember, you are 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 to our situation.  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: Today I choose to follow you…”  (Song of commitment)

Tuesday 

Adoration Focus: Today, “Lift up His holy name.”

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.

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: The call goes out from the prophets to facilitate justice.  Pray that the church may be a creative part of this process.   Thank God for those within the church who are reflecting on this issue from God’s perspective and are voicing Godly concerns.

Personal Concerns:

Dedication: Today I choose to follow you…”  (Song of commitment)

Wednesday

Adoration Focus: Today, “Love the Lord your God.”

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:

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: Today I choose to follow you…”  (Song of commitment)

Thursday

Adoration Focus: Today, “Praise His holy name.”

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:

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.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Today I choose to follow you…”  (Song of commitment)

Friday 

Adoration Focus: “Prostrate yourself before the Lord.”

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:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus:  The call goes out for the church to care for people with HIV/AIDS and all desease.  Pray that the church may deal with this issue with deep compassion and embrace all who suffer.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Today I choose to follow you…”  (Song of commitment)

Saturday 

Adoration Focus: Today, “Sing a new song to His name.”

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:

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 particularly in an accepting and embracing way.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Today I choose to follow you…”  (Song of commitment)

Sunday 

Adoration Focus: Today, “Bow before the name of the Lord.”

Confession: Lord I am so self-focused 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:

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 our land.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Today I choose to follow you…”  (Song of commitment)

 

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”)