Monthly Archives: December 2019

The Light of all the World!

Daily Rhythm

Devotional Diary 30 December 2019 – 5 Jan 2020

5 January is Epiphany Sunday (Jesus the Light of the world!)

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

Isaiah 60:1-6Isaiah prophesies to a people just returning from exile that the day would come when all nations would “stream to their light.”

Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14. In praise of the righteous king who would receive tribute from all nations

Ephesians 3:1-12. Paul says that his imprisonments are enabling the Gentiles, including leaders of the Roman Empire, to learn the mystery that they, too, are invited to become fellow heirs with Christ Jesus.

Matthew 2:1-12Matthew tells of the visit of the Magi and their participation in God’s subversion of Herod’s plan.

Confession focus for the next three weeks:  Each day you will find another aspect of our three-week confessional cycle (you may recognise it, we have used it before) under the confessions for the day.

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 a restlessness within my own spirit?  How can my relationship with God help me with my envy?

The Word: See readings above (also additional comments/questions on readings) or use your own devotional aid.

Seeking the Kingdom

Shared Focus: This week we focus on any healing or forgiveness our world needs to ask for. We reflect on the past year.  In what areas is God prompting you to pray? Today focus on your own heart.

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: “He drew a circle to shut me out – Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.  But Love and I had the wit to win; We drew a circle that took him in!”  (Edwin Markham)  In the day that is before you, draw a circle that includes God.

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: This week we focus on any healing or forgiveness our world needs to ask for. We reflect on the past year.  In what areas is God prompting you to pray? Today focus on your journey in a community of people close to you.

Personal Prayers:

Dedication: “He drew a circle to shut me out – Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.  But Love and I had the wit to win; We drew a circle that took him in!”  (Edwin Markham)  In the day that is before you, draw a circle that includes others.

Wednesday:

Adoration Focus: Praise the Lord… who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed life 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: This week we focus on any healing or forgiveness our world needs to ask for. We reflect on the past year.  In what areas is God prompting you to pray? Today focus on the news that has reached us during the year.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: “He drew a circle to shut me out – Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.  But Love and I had the wit to win; We drew a circle that took him in!”  (Edwin Markham)  In the day that is before you, draw a circle that includes

God’s plans for the new year.

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: This week we focus on any healing or forgiveness our world needs to ask for. We reflect on the past year.  In what areas is God prompting you to pray? Today focus on your life in service and care as a church community.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: “He drew a circle to shut me out – Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.  But Love and I had the wit to win; We drew a circle that took him in!”  (Edwin Markham)  In the day that is before you, draw a circle that includes your church community.

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: This week we focus on any healing or forgiveness our world needs to ask for. We reflect on the past year.  In what areas is God prompting you to pray? Today focus on the peoples of our land.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: “He drew a circle to shut me out – Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.  But Love and I had the wit to win; We drew a circle that took him in!”  (Edwin Markham)  In the day that is before you, draw a circle that includes serving others.

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: This week we focus on any healing or forgiveness our world needs to ask for. We reflect on the past year.  In what areas is God prompting you to pray? Today focus on Africa and our world.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: “He drew a circle to shut me out – Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.  But Love and I had the wit to win; We drew a circle that took him in!”  (Edwin Markham)  In the day that is before you, draw a circle that includes the promptings of God’s Spirit.

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 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 we focus on any healing or forgiveness our world needs to ask for. We reflect on the past year.  In what areas is God prompting you to pray? Today focus on your personal journey of worship.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: “He drew a circle to shut me out – Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.  But Love and I had the wit to win; We drew a circle that took him in!”  (Edwin Markham)  In the day that is before you, draw a circle that includes bowing in worship.

The Word became flesh…

Daily Rhythm

Devotional Diary 23 – 28 December 2019

25 December is Christmas Day

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

Preparing for Christmas Eve:

Isaiah 9:2-7

Psalm 96

Titus 2:11-14

Luke 2:1-20

Preparing for Christmas Day:

Isaiah 52:7-10

Psalm 98

Hebrews 1:1-12

John 1:1-14

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 born in a manger.

The Word: See readings above.

Seeking the Kingdom

Shared Focus:  Praying for our world: Pray for progress towards the eradication of poverty and starvation.  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: Praying for our world: Pray for the improvement of basic health services where they are lacking.

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: Praying for our world: Pray for the diseases that ravage our world. Focus particularly on HIV, Aids, tuberculosis, cancer 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: Praying for our world: Pray for the education of the youth and people of our world. Particularly in areas where there are specific challenges and struggles in this area.

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: Praying for our world:  Pray against corruption in, 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: Praying for our world: Pray for all the homeless and refuges 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 frameworks of life. Today help us to seek out the Christ child.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Praying for our world:  Pray that the coming of the Christ child may bring hope to all the children of this world.  Pray that the church 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.

It is the Sunday before Christmas…

Daily Rhythm

Devotional Diary 16 – 22 December 2019

22 December is the fourth Sunday of Advent.

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

Isaiah 7:10-16.‘Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: the virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.

Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19. A psalm calling on the shepherd to come and restore us.

Romans 1:1-7. Christ Jesus is the promised one.

Matthew 1:18-25. Joseph comes to accept that his fiancé is pregnant and that this is God’s plan and purpose.

 Preparing to bow before our Lord: the infant in the manger.

Monday:

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

Confession: This Christ Child is our Lord.  “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 that stops your knee from bowing and your tongue from confessing.  Pray that in your life Jesus may be proclaimed as Lord and King.  Bow before your Lord in a manger.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom

Shared Focus: Pray for all those who know nothing of God’s love for them.  Pray that this Christmas that 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 I bow my knee and declare in my words and actions that You are the Lord.

Tuesday:

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

Confession: See Monday’s confession.

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 I bow my knee and declare in my words and actions that You are the Lord.

Wednesday:

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

Confession: See Monday’s confession.

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 I bow my knee and declare in my words and actions that You are the Lord.

Thursday:

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

Confession: See Monday’s confession.

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 I bow my knee and declare in my words and actions that You are the Lord.

Friday:

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

Confession: See Monday’s confession.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

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

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Today I bow my knee and declare in my words and actions that You are the Lord.

Saturday:

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

Confession: See Monday’s confession.

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 I bow my knee and declare in my words and actions that You are the Lord.

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 people unto me.”

Confession: See Monday’s confession.

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 your life?

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Today I bow my knee and declare in my words and actions that You are the Lord.