Monthly Archives: January 2018

This is urgent!

Daily Rhythm

Devotional Diary 29 January – 4 February 2018

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

Sunday 4 Feb 2018 is the fifth Sunday after Epiphany

Isaiah 40:21-31  A reading from the “opening salvo” of “Second Isaiah” — a prophecy to Judean exiles in Babylon that their God is sovereign in all the earth and will continue to sustain, support, restore, and lift up God’s servants.

Psalm Response — Psalm 147:1-11, 20c.  The psalm continues the themes of the first reading.

1 Corinthians 9:16-23  Paul writes that he “can’t not” share the gospel, and so has no basis for boasting about his commitment to his ministry. He also describes his strategy of “identification” with others, of coming alongside them and seeking to connect with them as they are.

Mark 1:29-39  Mark recounts, in almost breathless fashion, Jesus’ intensive ministry of healing and exorcism in Capernaum, his withdrawal for prayer, and his determination to move out into the other Galilean villages to proclaim the nearness of the kingdom of God (see Mark 1:14-15).

Monday:

Adoration Focus: “Hallelujah for the Lord our God the Almighty reigns.”  Picture God’s reign and praise him…

Confession: The sign at a poolside read: “Swimming is forbidden in the absence of a saviour.”  This week reflect on the results of swimming (living) without a saviour.  In what areas are you drowning? How can you swim with a saviour in those areas?  Possible focus: Priorities

The Word:  See readings above.  Use at your own discretion during the week.

Seeking the Kingdom

Shared Focus:  The Lord is the life giver. This week pray that his full life may fill our hearts.  Each day focus on a particular individual or couple you may know and picture God’s sustaining, refreshing, guiding and invigorating life filling them and setting them free to really live well… Who will you pray for today?

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: “Swimming is forbidden in the absence of a saviour.”  Don’t face the day ahead without acknowledging your Saviour.

Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: ‘He gave me beauty for ashes.”  Picture God as the transforming, healing, renewing God and praise him…

Confession: The sign at a poolside read: “Swimming is forbidden in the absence of a saviour.”  This week reflect on the results of swimming (living) without a saviour.  In what areas are you drowning? How can you swim with a saviour in those areas? Possible focus: time management.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: See Monday’s Shared Focus.

Personal Prayers:

Dedication: “Swimming is forbidden in the absence of a saviour.”  Don’t face the day ahead without acknowledging your Saviour.

Wednesday:

Adoration Focus: “I am with you always!”   Picture God as the ever-present and caring God and praise him…

Confession: The sign at a poolside read: “Swimming is forbidden in the absence of a saviour.”  This week reflect on the results of swimming (living) without a saviour.  In what areas are you drowning? How can you swim with a saviour in those areas? Possible focus:  Distress and confusion/God’s peace and guiding word.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: See Monday’s Shared Focus.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: “Swimming is forbidden in the absence of a saviour.”  Don’t face the day ahead without acknowledging your Saviour.

Thursday:

Adoration Focus: “The Lord is my shepherd.”  Picture God as the guide who will bring us safely home and praise him…

Confession: The sign at a poolside read: “Swimming is forbidden in the absence of a saviour.”  This week reflect on the results of swimming (living) without a saviour.  In what areas are you drowning? How can you swim with a saviour in those areas? Possible focus: Exhaustion/God’s refreshing living waters..

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: See Monday’s Shared Focus.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: “Swimming is forbidden in the absence of a saviour.”  Don’t face the day ahead without acknowledging your Saviour.

Friday:

Adoration Focus: “God is love.”  Picture God as the source of all love and praise him…

Confession: The sign at a poolside read: “Swimming is forbidden in the absence of a saviour.”  This week reflect on the results of swimming (living) without a saviour.  In what areas are you drowning? How can you swim with a saviour in those areas? Possible focus: our small picture/God’s big picture

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: See Monday’s Shared Focus.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: “Swimming is forbidden in the absence of a saviour.”  Don’t face the day ahead without acknowledging your Saviour.

Saturday:

Adoration Focus: “You are my beloved…”  Picture God as the one who loves you deeply and praise him…

Confession: The sign at a poolside read: “Swimming is forbidden in the absence of a saviour.”  This week reflect on the results of swimming (living) without a saviour.  In what areas are you drowning? How can you swim with a saviour in those areas? Possible focus: lack of trust in God/God’s trustworthiness…

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: See Monday’s Shared Focus.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: “Swimming is forbidden in the absence of a saviour.”  Don’t face the day ahead without acknowledging your Saviour.

Sunday:

Adoration Focus: “Let there be light: and there was light.”   Picture God as the source of all light, radiant and shining like the sun and give him all the praise…

Confession: The sign at a poolside read: “Swimming is forbidden in the absence of a saviour.”  This week reflect on the results of swimming (living) without a saviour.  In what areas are you drowning? How can you swim with a saviour in those areas? Possible focus: worship that opens our eyes to God…

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: See Monday’s Shared Focus.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: “Swimming is forbidden in the absence of a saviour.”  Don’t face the day ahead without acknowledging your Saviour.

The authority of Jesus

Daily Rhythm

Devotional Diary 22 – 28 January 2018

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

Sunday 28 January 2018 is the fourth Sunday after Epiphany

Deuteronomy 18:15-20The people are afraid to hear God’s voice directly. God promises to raise up a future prophet, like Moses, to continue speaking to them. The people will be accountable for what the prophet tells them. And the prophet must speak only God’s word, or die.

Psalm Response: Psalm 111Praise to God for fulfilling promises of deliverance, establishing the nation, and providing guidance for the people.

1 Corinthians 8:1-13. Some in the church in Corinth have no qualms about eating meat that has been offered in pagan rites (which may very well have been nearly all the meat in Corinth!), because they — personally — do not recognize the existence of the gods to whom the meat was offered or the validity of the rites by which they were offered. Paul reminds these “cognoscenti” that while their reasoning may be correct in theory, most folks in Corinth would have been so saturated by the polytheistic culture that following Jesus for them would require them to stay away from any association with other ritual practices. Therefore, he warns them not to engage in any action that could be misinterpreted and so “wound the conscience” of “the weak.”

Mark 1:21-28Jesus teaches with authority and performs an exorcism in the synagogue at Capernaum. In Jewish practice, a person known to be a demoniac would not have been admitted into the synagogue. The presence and prophetic authority of Jesus both surface the demon and cast it out. The people are amazed, and the report about this “went out” (same verb in Greek as the command to the unclean spirit to “come out”) to the entire region of Galilee.

Monday:

Adoration Focus: Each day praise God for a blessing that has touched your life.  Today: Think of home…

Confession: This week examine your use of the power and influence that God has given you.  If God had to ask you to account for your use of the power (gifts, talents, abilities, resources,) he has given you, how would you answer?  Use the prayer of dedication to help you in this process of repentance.   Possible focus: Indecision.

The Word: See readings above. Reflect on them during the week. How is God speaking to you?

Seeking the Kingdom

Shared Focus: Praying for God’s direction and strength in our service in His name.  Today pray for your own life: how is God seeking to send 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: “God I come to you as an empty vessel.  I have no power of own; that is no genuine, life giving power.  Make me an instrument of your power, I ask, and fill me with your life giving Spirit.  I yield myself to your mission and purposes.  Make me sensitive to your promptings.  Lord, I pray that the journey ahead may be a journey of power in “yieldedness” to your Spirit.”

 Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: Each day praise God for a blessing that has touched your life.  Today: Think of people…

Confession: See Monday’s confession.  Possible focus: Pride

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Praying for God’s direction and strength in our service in His name.  Today pray for your church. Pray for a specific part of its life of service.

Personal Prayers:

Dedication: See Monday’s dedication.

Wednesday:

Adoration Focus: Each day praise God for a blessing that has touched your life. Today: Think of creation…

Confession: See Monday’s confession. Possible focus: Success/service

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Praying for God’s direction and strength in our service in His name.  Today pray for ministers of the Gospel that they may lead while following Christ.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: See Monday’s dedication.

Thursday:

Adoration Focus: Each day praise God for a blessing that has touched your life. Today: Think of church…

Confession: See Monday’s confession. Possible focus: the example of Christ.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Praying for God’s direction and strength in our service in His name.  Today pray for your denominational church body:  that it may be empowered for mission.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: See Monday’s dedication.

Friday:

Adoration Focus: Each day praise God for a blessing that has touched your life.  Think of God’s word…

Confession: See Monday’s confession. Possible focus: Sacrifice.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Praying for God’s direction and strength in our service in His name.  Today pray for all who are struggling to see themselves as empowered to serve God.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: See Monday’s dedication.

Saturday:

Adoration Focus: Each day praise God for a blessing that has touched your life.  Think of your country…

Confession: See Monday’s confession. Possible focus: Submission

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Praying for God’s direction and strength in our service in His name.  Today pray for all who are facing opposition and hardship in their service of God.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: See Monday’s dedication.

Sunday:

Adoration Focus: Each day praise God for a blessing that has touched your life.  Think of God…

Confession: See Monday’s confession. Possible focus: being set free to serve.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Praying for God’s direction and strength in our service in His name.  Today pray that in your worship you may serve God by lifting up his name.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: See Monday’s dedication.

Repent and follow!

Daily Rhythm

Devotional Diary 15 – 21 January 2018

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

Sunday 21 January 2018 is the third Sunday after Epiphany

Jonah 3:1-5, 10Jonah finally begins to fulfil his assignment to proclaim God’s judgment to the people of Nineveh (“that great city”). He walks through about one-third of the city’s streets on the first day, announcing that only forty days remain before doom arrives. The response of the entire city is rapid and complete: The entire human population fasts, “and everyone, great and small, put on sackcloth” including the farm animals. God relents and does not bring harm to the city.

Psalm Response: Psalm 62:5-12In God alone our souls in silence wait. In God alone is our help.

1 Corinthians 7:29-31Paul reminds the Christians at Corinth that they should order their lives by the realities of God’s kingdom, not by the standards and practices of “this world” that is “passing away”.

Mark 1:14-20Mark offers the core of Jesus’ proclamation, perhaps the title or tagline of every sermon Jesus preached — “God’s kingdom has drawn near: repent and believe this good news!” Jesus calls some fishermen to leave their livelihood and their families to follow him.

Monday:

Adoration Focus: (Psalm 24:1) The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it…

Confession: Pray: ‘Lord God we pray that in the quiet moments of our lives (as we become more aware of our inner lives and your Spirit in us) that your Spirit may bring about an inner transformation that may empower the outward call of the Gospel.’ Then be still and become aware of God’s life in you.

The Word: See readings above.

Seeking the Kingdom

Shared Focus: Pray for someone who needs encouragement.

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:  Our hands and feet are His.

 Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: (Psalm 23:1) The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.

Confession: Lord God we examine our interaction with our circles of friends and we pray that here we may witness through our lives and words of care and love.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Pray for someone who needs to know that they are loved.

Personal Prayers:

Dedication: Our hands and feet are His.

Wednesday:

Adoration Focus: (Psalm 22:28) …for dominion belongs to the Lord and he rules over the nations.

Confession: Lord we examine the works of our hands and bodies.  In our work enable us to build your Kingdom through works of love, justice and righteousness.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Pray for someone who needs to discover faith in God.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Our hands and feet are His.

Thursday:

Adoration Focus: (Psalm 19:1) The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the word of his hands.

Confession: Lord we examine our church lives.  Forgive us when we are passengers and lead us into callings of service.  Enable us to live out the Gospel of truth through the body of Christ.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Pray for someone who needs to find work.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Our hands and feet are His.

Friday:

Adoration Focus: (Psalm 18:46) The Lord lives!  Praise be to my Rock!  Exalted be God my Savior!

Confession: Lord we pray that we may be guided as to how we can live out our faith in the context of our country.  Lord we find ourselves in this context; enable us to witness and be creative.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus:  Pray for someone who needs strength in a struggle.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Our hands and feet are His.

Saturday:

Adoration Focus: (Psalm 16:11) You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

Confession: Lord we examine our witness when we are among those who do not know us.  When we are in shopping queues or dealing with strangers at work.  Teach us how to build a positive atmosphere in all our contacts and not just among our inner circle.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Pray for someone who needs to find joy in living.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Our hands and feet are His.

Sunday:

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

Confession: Pray for any arena of life where you sense you need to confess and be empowered for new life and direction.  God is with you in every area of life.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Pray for someone who needs reconciliation.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Our hands and feet are His.