Monthly Archives: February 2018

A crucified Saviour?

Daily Rhythm

Devotional Diary 26 February – 4 March 2018

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

Sunday 4 March 2018 is the third Sunday of Lent.

Exodus 20:1-17. God speaks the “Ten Words” (as they are known in Judaism), beginning with an important identity statement: “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.”

Psalm 19.  A psalm declaring Creation’s praise of God and our praise of God’s instruction (“Torah”).

1 Corinthians 1:18-25.  Paul notes what must have been obvious — proclaiming a crucified man as Messiah and Saviour can be a stretch for all people, Jewish or Gentile. But for those who “get it,” it is a powerful, life-changing message that opens up a new understanding of God and the world.

John 2:13-22.  Jesus makes Temple worship impossible at the busiest time of the year — the Passover sacrifice. He confronts those who had turned the Temple courtyard into a marketplace, and they ask him what sign of authority he has for doing this. He tells them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”

Monday:

Adoration Focus: Each day simply repeat this verse a number of times and then allow your heart to give thanks to God: “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)   By the end of the week aim to know it off by heart.

Confession: Christ was stripped naked and crucified.  This week allow God to strip you of all that pulls your life away from your following and worship of Christ.  Focus question:  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.

Seeking the Kingdom

Shared Focus: Praying for the world that Christ died for. Today: The broken…

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: Then Jesus said to his disciples: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” Matthew 16:24

 Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: Each day simply repeat this verse a number of times and then allow your heart to give thanks to God: “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)   By the end of the week aim to know it off by heart.

Confession: Christ was stripped naked and crucified.  This week allow God to strip you of all that pulls your life away from your following and worship of Christ.  Focus question: 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:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Praying for the world that Christ died for. Today: The lost…

Personal Prayers:

Dedication: Then Jesus said to his disciples: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” Matthew 16:24

Wednesday:

Adoration Focus: Each day simply repeat this verse a number of times and then allow your heart to give thanks to God: “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)   By the end of the week aim to know it off by heart.

Confession: Christ was stripped naked and crucified.  This week allow God to strip you of all that pulls your life away from your following and worship of Christ.  Focus question: 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: Praying for the world that Christ died for.  Today: The bitter…

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Then Jesus said to his disciples: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” Matthew 16:24

Thursday:

Adoration Focus: Each day simply repeat this verse a number of times and then allow your heart to give thanks to God: “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)   By the end of the week aim to know it off by heart.

Confession: Christ was stripped naked and crucified.  This week allow God to strip you of all that pulls your life away from your following and worship of Christ.  Focus question: 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: Praying for the world that Christ died for. Today: The cut off..

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Then Jesus said to his disciples: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” Matthew 16:24

Friday:

Adoration Focus: Each day simply repeat this verse a number of times and then allow your heart to give thanks to God: “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)   By the end of the week aim to know it off by heart.

Confession: Christ was stripped naked and crucified.  This week allow God to strip you of all that pulls your life away from your following and worship of Christ.  Focus question: 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: Praying for the world that Christ died for. Today: The confused…

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Then Jesus said to his disciples: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” Matthew 16:24

Saturday:

Adoration Focus: Each day simply repeat this verse a number of times and then allow your heart to give thanks to God: “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)   By the end of the week aim to know it off by heart.

Confession: Christ was stripped naked and crucified.  This week allow God to strip you of all that pulls your life away from your following and worship of Christ.  Focus question: 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:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Praying for the world that Christ died for. Today: The rebellious…

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Then Jesus said to his disciples: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” Matthew 16:24

Sunday:

Adoration Focus: Each day simply repeat this verse a number of times and then allow your heart to give thanks to God: “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)   By the end of the week aim to know it off by heart.

Confession: Christ was stripped naked and crucified.  This week allow God to strip you of all that pulls your life away from your following and worship of Christ.  Focus question: 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: Praying for the world that Christ died for. Today: The burdened…

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Then Jesus said to his disciples: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” Matthew 16:24

Take up your cross and follow!

Daily Rhythm

Devotional Diary 19 – 25 February 2018

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

Sunday 25 Feb 2018 is the second Sunday of Lent.

Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16  El Shaddai (God of the Mountains/God of Compassion) calls Abram to be exclusively loyal and offers to covenant with him to make him (to be renamed Abraham) the father and Sarai (to be renamed Sarah) the mother of many nations.

Psalm Response: Psalm 22:23-31The Lord’s acts of deliverance for one people in one age will lead to generations of praise to the Lord worldwide.

Romans 4:13-25Paul reminds the Jewish-Christian congregations in Rome that the founding stories of Judaism point to a God who graciously offers to include people in covenant on the basis of faith, not perfect obedience to the law.

Mark 8:31-38Following Jesus means following him to his death, and possibly our own. Jesus tells the disciples that he will suffer and die at the hands of the religious authorities. Peter rebukes him privately, but Jesus rebukes Peter in front of all the other disciples. Jesus then turns to the crowds to declare that all who want to be his followers must take up their cross and follow him. If you’re in this for yourself, you will lose everything. But if you’re in this to follow Jesus and see the gospel lived, even if you die, you’ve gained it all.

 Confessions during Lent:  During this time we will be using our cycle of confessional prompts which you will find under the confessional focus for each day.  (Every time you use these questions let God’s Spirit search your heart and go deeper.  Then allow Him to fill your heart with his love.)  Remember God offers us transformation and hope.

Monday:

Adoration Focus:  Hallelujah for the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Each day focus on some way in which God reigns.  Today: His unfolding plan.

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? (Every time you use these questions let God’s Spirit search your heart and go deeper.  Then allow Him to fill your heart with his love.)

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

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week you are asked to focus on an area and then pray as the Spirit of God leads you to.  Today: Praying for your church.

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 Spirit of God, mighty river, flow over me, in me, through me.  O Spirit of God, cleanse me, purify the channels of my life.  O spirit of God, bear me along with thy flood of life-giving service…  O Spirit of God, mighty fire…, may the flames of thy love ever blaze upon the altar of my heart. (Charles Devanesan)

 Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: Hallelujah for the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Each day focus on some way in which God reigns.  Today: His ever-present offer of 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.  (Every time you use these questions let God’s Spirit search your heart and go deeper.  Then allow Him to fill your heart with his love.)

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week you are asked to focus on an area and then pray as the Spirit of God leads you to.  Today: Praying for your town/city.

Personal Prayers:

Dedication: O Spirit of God, mighty river, flow over me, in me, through me.  O Spirit of God, cleanse me, purify the channels of my life.  O spirit of God, bear me along with thy flood of life-giving service…  O Spirit of God, mighty fire…, may the flames of thy love ever blaze upon the altar of my heart. (Charles Devanesan)

Wednesday:

Adoration Focus: Hallelujah for the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Each day focus on some way in which God reigns.  Today: The repeated cycles of life and the opportunity for renewal within them.

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. (Every time you consider these things let God’s Spirit search your heart and go deeper.  Then allow Him to fill your heart with his love.)

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week you are asked to focus on an area and then pray as the Spirit of God leads you to.  Today: Praying for your province.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: O Spirit of God, mighty river, flow over me, in me, through me.  O Spirit of God, cleanse me, purify the channels of my life.  O spirit of God, bear me along with thy flood of life-giving service…  O Spirit of God, mighty fire…, may the flames of thy love ever blaze upon the altar of my heart. (Charles Devanesan)

Thursday:

Adoration Focus: Hallelujah for the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Each day focus on some way in which God reigns.  Today: the glory of creation.

Confession: Lord, make me aware of the pride in my life.  Pride that keeps me aloof and apart; pride that is rooted in an 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 you are asked to focus on an area and then pray as the Spirit of God leads you to.  Today: Praying for your country.

Personal prayers:

Dedication:            O Spirit of God, mighty river, flow over me, in me, through me.  O Spirit of God, cleanse me, purify the channels of my life.  O spirit of God, bear me along with thy flood of life-giving service…  O Spirit of God, mighty fire…, may the flames of thy love ever blaze upon the altar of my heart. (Charles Devanesan)

Friday:

Adoration Focus: Hallelujah for the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Each day focus on some way in which God reigns.  Today:  The judge who restores all things to righteousness.

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: This week you are asked to focus on an area and then pray as the Spirit of God leads you to.  Today:  Praying for your continent.

Personal prayers:

Dedication:            O Spirit of God, mighty river, flow over me, in me, through me.  O Spirit of God, cleanse me, purify the channels of my life.  O spirit of God, bear me along with thy flood of life-giving service…  O Spirit of God, mighty fire…, may the flames of thy love ever blaze upon the altar of my heart. (Charles Devanesan)

Saturday:

Adoration Focus: Hallelujah for the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Each day focus on some way in which God reigns.  Focus:  The fact that life is sustained moment by moment

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 you are asked to focus on an area and then pray as the Spirit of God leads you to.  Today:  Praying for your world.

Personal prayers:

Dedication:            O Spirit of God, mighty river, flow over me, in me, through me.  O Spirit of God, cleanse me, purify the channels of my life.  O spirit of God, bear me along with thy flood of life-giving service…  O Spirit of God, mighty fire…, may the flames of thy love ever blaze upon the altar of my heart. (Charles Devanesan)

Sunday:

Adoration Focus: Hallelujah for the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Each day focus on some way in which God reigns.  Focus:  The Resurrection.

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 you are asked to focus on an area and then pray as the Spirit of God leads you to.  Today: Praying for the church universal (the whole entire church).

Personal prayers:

Dedication:            O Spirit of God, mighty river, flow over me, in me, through me.  O Spirit of God, cleanse me, purify the channels of my life.  O spirit of God, bear me along with thy flood of life-giving service…  O Spirit of God, mighty fire…, may the flames of thy love ever blaze upon the altar of my heart. (Charles Devanesan)

Temptation

Daily Rhythm

Devotional Diary 12 – 18 February 2018

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

Sunday 18 Feb 2018 is the first Sunday of Lent.

 Genesis 9:8-17.  God makes a covenant with the earth not to destroy the earth by flood again. The rainbow is the sign of this covenant.

Psalm 25:1-10.  Israel seeks God’s deliverance from enemies. Unlike the people destroyed in the flood, Israel claims it has sought to follow God’s way and wishes to learn it still better.

1 Peter 3:18-22.  Peter links the death and resurrection of Jesus with the story of Noah’s flood and the sacrament of baptism.

Mark 1:9-15.  Immediately after his baptism, the Spirit drove Jesus into the desert for a period of testing surrounded by wild animals, Satan, and ministering angels — all to prepare him to spend his life declaring the good news of the kingdom of God.

Monday:

Adoration Focus: Focus on the death and resurrection of Jesus.  Each day thank God for an aspect of his nature as seen in this event. Today: Full Life

Confession: “I invite you, therefore…to observe a holy lent: by self examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s Holy Word.” (The United Methodist Book of Worship).  How will you do this today?

The Word: See readings above.

Seeking the Kingdom

Shared Focus: Christ’s death and resurrection offers our world life and light in the midst of death and darkness.  This week choose a different focus for this transforming life of God each day and pray into that situation.

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: “May the almighty and merciful God, who desires not the death of a sinner but that we turn from wickedness and live, accept your repentance, forgive your sins, and restore you by the Holy Spirit to newness of life. Amen.”  (Ash Wednesday Benediction: The United Methodist Book of Worship)

 Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: Focus on the death and resurrection of Jesus.  Each day thank God for an aspect of his nature as seen in this event. Today: Victory

Confession: “I invite you, therefore…to observe a holy lent: by self examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s Holy Word.” (The United Methodist Book of Worship) How will you do this today?

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Christ’s death and resurrection offers our world life and light in the midst of death and darkness.  This week choose a different focus for this transforming life of God each day and pray into that situation.

Personal Prayers:

Dedication: “May the almighty and merciful God, who desires not the death of a sinner but that we turn from wickedness and live, accept your repentance, forgive your sins, and restore you by the Holy Spirit to newness of life. Amen.”  (Ash Wednesday Benediction: The United Methodist Book of Worship)

Wednesday:  Ash Wednesday: The beginning of Lent

Adoration Focus: Focus on the death and resurrection of Jesus.  Each day thank God for an aspect of his nature as seen in this event. Today: Surprise…

Confession: “I invite you, therefore…to observe a holy lent: by self examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s Holy Word.” (The United Methodist Book of Worship) How will you do this today?

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Christ’s death and resurrection offers our world life and light in the midst of death and darkness.  This week choose a different focus for this transforming life of God each day and pray into that situation.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: “May the almighty and merciful God, who desires not the death of a sinner but that we turn from wickedness and live, accept your repentance, forgive your sins, and restore you by the Holy Spirit to newness of life. Amen.”  (Ash Wednesday Benediction: The United Methodist Book of Worship)

Thursday:

Adoration Focus: Focus on the death and resurrection of Jesus.  Each day thank God for an aspect of his nature as seen in this event.  Today: Turning darkness to light

Confession: “I invite you, therefore…to observe a holy lent: by self examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s Holy Word.” (The United Methodist Book of Worship) How will you do this today?

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Christ’s death and resurrection offers our world life and light in the midst of death and darkness.  This week choose a different focus for this transforming life of God each day and pray into that situation.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: “May the almighty and merciful God, who desires not the death of a sinner but that we turn from wickedness and live, accept your repentance, forgive your sins, and restore you by the Holy Spirit to newness of life. Amen.”  (Ash Wednesday Benediction: The United Methodist Book of Worship)

Friday:

Adoration Focus: Focus on the death and resurrection of Jesus.  Each day thank God for an aspect of his nature as seen in this event. Today: New beginnings

Confession: “I invite you, therefore…to observe a holy lent: by self examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s Holy Word.” (The United Methodist Book of Worship) How will you do this today?

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Christ’s death and resurrection offers our world life and light in the midst of death and darkness.  This week choose a different focus for this transforming life of God each day and pray into that situation.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: “May the almighty and merciful God, who desires not the death of a sinner but that we turn from wickedness and live, accept your repentance, forgive your sins, and restore you by the Holy Spirit to newness of life. Amen.”  (Ash Wednesday Benediction: The United Methodist Book of Worship)

Saturday:

Adoration Focus: Focus on the death and resurrection of Jesus.  Each day thank God for an aspect of his nature as seen in this event.  Today: Tranformation…

Confession: “I invite you, therefore…to observe a holy lent: by self examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s Holy Word.” (The United Methodist Book of Worship) How will you do this today?

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Christ’s death and resurrection offers our world life and light in the midst of death and darkness.  This week choose a different focus for this transforming life of God each day and pray into that situation.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: “May the almighty and merciful God, who desires not the death of a sinner but that we turn from wickedness and live, accept your repentance, forgive your sins, and restore you by the Holy Spirit to newness of life. Amen.”  (Ash Wednesday Benediction: The United Methodist Book of Worship)

Sunday:

Adoration Focus: Focus on the death and resurrection of Jesus.  Each day thank God for an aspect of his nature as seen in this event. Today: Worshipping the resurrected Christ…

Confession: “I invite you, therefore…to observe a holy lent: by self examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s Holy Word.” (The United Methodist Book of Worship) How will you do this today?

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Christ’s death and resurrection offers our world life and light in the midst of death and darkness.  This week choose a different focus for this transforming life of God each day and pray into that situation.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: “May the almighty and merciful God, who desires not the death of a sinner but that we turn from wickedness and live, accept your repentance, forgive your sins, and restore you by the Holy Spirit to newness of life. Amen.”  (Ash Wednesday Benediction: The United Methodist Book of Worship)