Monthly Archives: December 2017

Shine like the dawn!

Daily Rhythm

Devotional Diary 25 – 31 December 2017

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

Sunday 31 December 2017 is the first Sunday after Christmas (Watchnight Sunday).

Isaiah 61:10-62:3.  The prophet speaks not only of the restoration of Jerusalem but of its “vindication” that “shines out like the dawn, and her salvation like a burning torch.”

Psalm 148. All the orders of creation join in praise to God.

Galatians 4:4-7. God’s adoption of all baptized into Christ makes us God’s children and heirs to the promises of God’s covenant.

Luke 2:22-40.  Luke describes the song (Simeon) and the prophecy (Anna) that accompany the presentation of Jesus at the temple at the time of his family’s offering of the sacrifice for the firstborn.

Monday:

Adoration Focus:  This week picture yourself kneeling at the manger. Try to take in what is before you and then respond in praise.  Today’s focus:  Love that puts everything on the line.

Confession: When we see how far God’s love has gone, we become aware of how we guard and restrict our love. Let God’s love set you free so that your love may reach out beyond these restrictive boundaries. Today’s focus: Putting restrictions on your love.

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

Seeking the Kingdom

Shared Focus:  This week we pray for the gift of new birth (new beginnings, new opportunities, new vision, new energy, new freedom, new life.)  Today: Pray for the youth.

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: Dear Christ, as you were born into this world through God’s love, enable me to be born into this same love today.

 Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: This week picture yourself kneeling at the manger. Try to take in what is before you and then respond in praise.  Today’s focus:  Reconciling love.

Confession: See Monday’s confession. Today’s focus: The call to love something/someone outside of yourself.

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

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week we pray for the gift of new birth (new beginnings, new opportunities, new vision, new energy, new freedom, new life.) Today: Pray for a deadlocked situation.

Personal Prayers:

Dedication: Dear Christ, as you were born into this world through God’s love, enable me to be born into this same love today.

Wednesday:

Adoration Focus: This week picture yourself kneeling at the manger. Try to take in what is before you and then respond in praise.  Today’s focus: “In spite of” love.

Confession:  See Monday’s confession.  Today’s focus: Learning to love “in spite of”.

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

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week we pray for the gift of new birth (new beginnings, new opportunities, new vision, new energy, new freedom, new life.) Today: Pray for a family member.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Dear Christ, as you were born into this world through God’s love, enable me to be born into this same love today.

Thursday:

Adoration Focus: This week picture yourself kneeling at the manger. Try to take in what is before you and then respond in praise.  Today’s focus:  Love that invites a response.

Confession: When we see how far God’s love has gone, we become aware of how we guard and restrict our love. Let God’s love set you free so that your love may reach out beyond these restrictive boundaries. Today’s focus:  Investing in someone else’s growth.

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

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week we pray for the gift of new birth (new beginnings, new opportunities, new vision, new energy, new freedom, new life.)  Today: Pray for your country.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Dear Christ, as you were born into this world through God’s love, enable me to be born into this same love today.

Friday:

Adoration Focus: This week picture yourself kneeling at the manger. Try to take in what is before you and then respond in praise.  Today’s focus:  Love expressing God’s heart.

Confession: When we see how far God’s love has gone, we become aware of how we guard and restrict our love. Let God’s love set you free so that your love may reach out beyond these restrictive boundaries. Today’s focus: Having a heart of love (the very center of who you are).

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

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week we pray for the gift of new birth (new beginnings, new opportunities, new vision, new energy, new freedom, new life.)  Today: Pray for your church community.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Dear Christ, as you were born into this world through God’s love, enable me to be born into this same love today.

Saturday:

Adoration Focus:  This week picture yourself kneeling at the manger. Try to take in what is before you and then respond in praise.  Today’s focus:  Love taking root in your heart.

Confession: When we see how far God’s love has gone, we become aware of how we guard and restrict our love. Let God’s love set you free so that your love may reach out beyond these restrictive boundaries. Today’s focus:  Reclaiming what you have been created for: love.

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

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week we pray for the gift of new birth (new beginnings, new opportunities, new vision, new energy, new freedom, new life.)  Today: Pray for someone you care for.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Dear Christ, as you were born into this world through God’s love, enable me to be born into this same love today.

Sunday:

Adoration Focus: This week picture yourself kneeling at the manger. Try to take in what is before you and then respond in praise.  Today’s focus:  Love showing us the way.

Confession: When we see how far God’s love has gone, we become aware of how we guard and restrict our love. Let God’s love set you free so that your love may reach out beyond these restrictive boundaries. Today’s focus: Loving God.

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

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week we pray for the gift of new birth (new beginnings, new opportunities, new vision, new energy, new freedom, new life.) Today: Pray for your own life.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Dear Christ, as you were born into this world through God’s love, enable me to be born into this same love today.

Mary consents.

Adventsgesteck

Daily Rhythm

Devotional Diary 18 – 24 December 2017

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

24 December 2017 is the Fourth Sunday of Advent.

2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16.  Nathan brings good news and a reality check to David. The good news: God intends to establish David’s lineage permanently, though conditionally. The reality: God has been present with God’s people by being in their midst as they have travelled (the tabernacle, “incarnation”) and has no need for David to build a temple.

Luke 1:47-55. The Song of Mary. If you don’t hear and feel Mary pregnant with the end of this age and the hope for the coming one in this song, you’re not listening or singing her song yet!

Romans 16:25-27. A concluding doxology that joins the eternal praise of God for revealing the mystery of salvation intended for the whole world in Jesus Christ.

Luke 1:26-38. The angel Gabriel announces to Mary that she will become pregnant by God and bear the Son of the Most High whose throne will be eternal. She consents. Do we?

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.

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

Seeking the Kingdom

Shared Focus:  This week’s focus: Praying for Africa. Today: Pray for progress towards the eradication of poverty in Africa.  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: This week’s focus: Praying for Africa. Today: Pray for the improvement of basic health services in Africa.

 

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: This week’s focus: Praying for Africa. Today: Pray for the diseases that ravage our continent. 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: This week’s focus: Praying for Africa. Today: Pray for the education of the youth and people of Africa.

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: This weeks focus: Praying for Africa. Today:  Pray against corruption in Africa, 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: This weeks focus: Praying for Africa. Today: Pray for all the homeless 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 framework of life. Today help us to seek out the Christ child.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week’s focus: Praying for Africa. Today:  Pray that the coming of the Christ child may bring hope to all the children of Africa.  Pray that the church in Africa 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.

You ain’t seen nothing yet!

 

Daily Rhythm

Devotional Diary 11 – 17 December 2017

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

17 December 2017 is the Third Sunday of Advent.

Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11. The Spirit of the Lord anoints a prophet to bring good news to the oppressed, the broken-hearted, the captives, the prisoners, and the mourning — good news that includes “the day of vengeance of our God.” Why? None of these folks will get much good news unless the current social order is destroyed. When the current order is destroyed, rebuilding of God’s “ancient ruins” can begin (verse 4). In the meantime, the prophet rejoices, clothed in the hope this good news brings (verses 8-11).

Psalm 126. A Psalm of Ascent, one of the Psalms sung by pilgrims as they made their way to the temple after it was rebuilt after the return from exile, as prophesied by Isaiah.

I Thessalonians 5:16-24Final greetings include a prayer that the people may now be and remain “sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (verse 23).

John 1:6-8, 19-28The witness of John the Baptizer concerning his own identity. He is clear he is not the Messiah. The Messiah would have an even more radical ministry than the one this baptizing prophet had introduced. “I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals” could be roughly paraphrased, “If you think I’m the Messiah or even claim to be, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!”

Monday:

Adoration Focus: “He is the Lord and He reigns on high.” Kevin Prosch  (In our adoration focus this week we focus on words that we sing.)

Confession: “He is Lord, He is Lord.  He has risen from the dead and He is Lord. Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.”  This week allow God’s Spirit to examine your heart and show you where there is a stubbornness/sin that stops your knee from bowing and your tongue from confessing.  Then reflect on what your life could be as you proclaim Jesus as Lord and King.  Today’s focus: Caught on a treadmill.

The Word: Use the above Revised Common Lectionary readings or your own reading plan.

Seeking the Kingdom

Shared Focus: Pray for all those who know nothing of God’s love for them.  Pray that this Christmas love may penetrate their hearts.

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, be the cloud that leads me by day and the pillar of fire that leads me by night.  I will face you in every moment of this day: You are my Lord and King!

 Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: “To God be the glory great things he has done!” Fanny J Crosby

Confession: See Monday’s confession. Today’s focus: Fear of loss of control.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Pray for a world that needs to share God’s love with each other.   Pray that as we realise that all people are loved by God that we may in turn love each other.

Personal Prayers:

Dedication: Today, be the cloud that leads me by day and the pillar of fire that leads me by night.  I will face you in every moment of this day: You are my Lord and King!

Wednesday:

Adoration Focus: “Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.” Kevin Prosch

Confession: See Monday’s confession. Today’s focus: Love of comforts.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Pray that God’s saving power may be known in our lives.   The biblical term “to save” carries with it the sense of being made whole.  Pray that you may know this wholeness in your life.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Today, be the cloud that leads me by day and the pillar of fire that leads me by night.  I will face you in every moment of this day: You are my Lord and King!

Thursday:

Adoration Focus: “He is the King of kings, he is the Lord of lords.” Virgil Meares

Confession: See Monday’s confession. Today’s focus: Fear of what you may become/miss out on.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Pray for our world as we embrace the coming of the Prince of Peace.  Being aware of your world, pray God’s peace into any situation you are led to.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Today be the cloud that leads me by day and the pillar of fire that leads me by night.  I will face you in every moment of this day: You are my Lord and King!

Friday:

Adoration Focus: “He has risen from the dead and He is Lord.” Kevin Prosch

Confession: See Monday’s confession. Today’s focus: The riches that the Lord has to offer you.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Pray that on this day we may all know that Jesus is with us.  Pray this particularly for those who are in grief and alone at this time.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Today be the cloud that leads me by day and the pillar of fire that leads me by night.  I will face you in every moment of this day: You are my Lord and King!

Saturday:

Adoration Focus: “Jesus is the Lord, my Master and my Saviour.”

Confession: See Monday’s confession. Today’s focus: The nature of the Lord of heaven and earth.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Pray for those whom the church sometimes chooses to “forget”.  Pray for the shut-ins, the poor, the homeless, the hungry, the powerless, the lost. Thank God that he never forgets.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Today, be the cloud that leads me by day and the pillar of fire that leads me by night.  I will face you in every moment of this day: You are my Lord and King!

Sunday:

Adoration Focus: “Lift Jesus higher, lift Jesus higher, life him up for the world to see: He said, “If I am lifted up, I will draw all men unto me.”

Confession: See Monday’s confession. Today’s focus: Falling down in worship before the Lord.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Pray that this day of rest may be one in which we are empowered by the God who has come to us.   In what way would you pray for this empowering in you life?

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Today, be the cloud that leads me by day and the pillar of fire that leads me by night.  I will face you in every moment of this day: You are my Lord and King!