Monthly Archives: April 2021

Abiding in the vine.

Daily Rhythm

Devotional Diary 26 April – 2 May 2021

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

Sunday 2 May 2021 is the fifth Sunday of Easter

Acts 8:26-40. An angel sends Philip, deacon and evangelist, to “hop on board” the chariot of an Ethiopian official puzzling over the meaning of Isaiah 53. Philip re-reads it through the story of the life, execution, and resurrection of Jesus. The man is baptized and will become a “road evangelist” in his own right.

Psalm 22:25-31. The “turnaround” verses of this psalm of profound lament were chosen as the response to the first lesson because of verse 27: “All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord; and all the families of the nations shall worship before him.”

1 John 4:7-21.  The deep heartbeat of life in the Risen Lord — Abide in love; abide in the Spirit given to all who confess Jesus as Son of God; abide in God and you will abide in love; love one another.

John 15:1-8. Abide in Christ, the true vine, and you will bear much fruit, and even more as the Father prunes you. Bear no fruit, because you are not abiding in Christ, and you may expect to be cut off and cast away. The Father’s will is not to cast you away, but that you abide in Christ and bear much fruit.

This week our praise focus uses words from the Methodist Hymn Book.  This week we also begin a new cycle of our 21 day confession focus (you will find this in the Confession step below).  We are asked the same questions (you may recognise them from before) but God’s Spirit will work in new ways.

Monday:

Adoration Focus: “All praise to our redeeming Lord who joins us by His grace.” (Hymn 745)

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 or use own devotional aid.

Seeking the Kingdom

Shared Focus: This week: praying for your country.  Today’s focus:  We begin by thanking God for the amazing gift of a land filled with such diversity, creativity and potential. Then pray that God may heal our land. Heal our land Lord!

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: “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.” (Hymn 516)

Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: Christ, who knows all His sheep, will all in safety keep.” (Hymn 639)

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: praying for your country.  Today’s focus: Shalom, a peace that includes all and is fair and just…

Personal Prayers:

Dedication: “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.” (Hymn 516)

Wednesday:

Adoration Focus: “Eternal life to all mankind Thou hast in Jesus given.” (Hymn 561)

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: praying for your country.  Today’s focus: That even in the face of our fears we may risk love, care and generosity.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.” (Hymn 516)

Thursday:

Adoration Focus: “O Love that wilt not let me go, I rest my weary soul in Thee.” (Hymn 448)

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: praying for your country.  Today’s focus: People in unjust and abusive work situations whose hearts are being hardened, that they may know who they are in Christ: God’s children created to love…

Personal prayers:

Dedication: “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.” (Hymn 516)

Friday:

Adoration Focus: “Stronger His love than death or hell, its riches are unsearchable…” (Hymn 434)

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: praying for your country.  Today’s focus: For a change of heart in those who are self-serving, that we may know that we are called to serve…

Personal prayers:

Dedication: “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.” (Hymn 516)

Saturday:

Adoration Focus: “What hast Thou done for me?  O, think on Calvary!” (Hymn 203)

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: praying for your country.  Today’s focus: That the goodness of God may rise up within the peoples and communities of our land…

Personal prayers:

Dedication: “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.” (Hymn 516)

Sunday:

Adoration Focus: “Christ above all glory seated!  King triumphant, strong to save!” (Hymn 225)

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: praying for your country.  Today’s focus:  All those who gather for worship, that we may have a deep awareness of our connectedness with all of life around us and that we worship on behalf of our surrounding world.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.” (Hymn 516)

The good Shepherd

Daily Rhythm

Devotional Diary 19 – 25 April 2021

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

Sunday 25 April 2021 is the fourth Sunday of Easter

Acts 4:5-12.  The leaders who had Peter arrested for healing the lame man and proclaiming the resurrection of Jesus demand by what authority he acted. Peter boldly proclaimed it was by the power and name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, and that all salvation there is comes through him.

Psalm 23.

1 John 3:16-24. By the authority and power of the Risen Christ, we are led to love not in words only, but also in truth and in action.

John 10:11-18.  The authority of the Risen Lord, the Good Shepherd over his flock, comes from knowing his sheep by name, caring for them, and laying down his own life to protect them. Jesus also notes his “flock” includes people not in “this fold,” and he extends the same mission and care to them.

Monday:

Adoration Focus: This week focus on the greatness of God.  Each day praise God for a different aspect of His greatness.

Confession: “Without worship you shrink, it is as brutal as that.” (Peter Schaeffer, Equus)  In our confessions we reflect on how we diminish God in our lives.  Today: Ignoring God.

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

Seeking the Kingdom

Shared Focus: When God’s great purpose and plan has its way with our world all creation will be renewed.  This week pray out of this future vision for our world today: that God’s Kingdom may come.  Focus: worship

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: Holy Spirit come, recreate us that we may be renewed to reflect your New Creation.

 Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: This week focus on the greatness of God.  Each day praise God for a different aspect of His greatness.

Confession: “Without worship you shrink, it is as brutal as that.” (Peter Schaeffer, Equus)  In our confessions we reflect on how we diminish God in our lives.  Today: Ignoring God’s Word.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: When God’s greatness has its way with our world all creation will be renewed.  This week pray out of this future vision for our world today: that God’s Kingdom may come.  Focus: care

Personal Prayers:

Dedication: Holy Spirit come, recreate us that we may be renewed to reflect your New Creation.

Wednesday:

Adoration Focus: This week focus on the greatness of God.  Each day praise God for a different aspect of His greatness.

Confession: “Without worship you shrink, it is as brutal as that.” (Peter Schaeffer, Equus)  In our confessions we reflect on how we diminish God in our lives.  Today: Ignoring the gift of prayer.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: When God’s greatness has its way with our world all creation will be renewed.  This week pray out of this future vision for our world today: that God’s Kingdom may come.  Focus: Resources

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Holy Spirit come, recreate us that we may be renewed to reflect your New Creation.

Thursday:

Adoration Focus: This week focus on the greatness of God.  Each day praise God for a different aspect of His greatness.

Confession: “Without worship you shrink, it is as brutal as that.” (Peter Schaeffer, Equus)  In our confessions we reflect on how we diminish God in our lives.  Today: Ignoring the gift of creation.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: When God’s greatness has its way with our world all creation will be renewed.  This week pray out of this future vision for our world today: that God’s Kingdom may come.  Focus: Joy

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Holy Spirit come, recreate us that we may be renewed to reflect your New Creation.

Friday:

Adoration Focus: This week focus on the greatness of God.  Each day praise God for a different aspect of His greatness.

Confession: “Without worship you shrink, it is as brutal as that.” (Peter Schaeffer, Equus)  In our confessions we reflect on how we diminish God in our lives.  Today: Ignoring the call to praise.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: When God’s greatness has its way with our world all creation will be renewed.  This week pray out of this future vision for our world today: that God’s Kingdom may come. Focus: Security

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Holy Spirit come, recreate us that we may be renewed to reflect your New Creation.

Saturday:

Adoration Focus: This week focus on the greatness of God.  Each day praise God for a different aspect of His greatness.

Confession: “Without worship you shrink, it is as brutal as that.” (Peter Schaeffer, Equus)  In our confessions we reflect on how we diminish God in our lives.  Today: Ignoring the call to be transformed by the Spirit of God.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: When God’s greatness has its way with our world all creation will be renewed.  This week pray out of this future vision for our world today: that God’s Kingdom may come. Focus: Healed relationships.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Holy Spirit come, recreate us that we may be renewed to reflect your New Creation.

Sunday:

Adoration Focus: This week focus on the greatness of God.  Each day praise God for a different aspect of His greatness.

Confession: “Without worship you shrink, it is as brutal as that.” (Peter Schaeffer, Equus)  In our confessions we reflect on how we diminish God in our lives.  Today: Ignoring the gift of worship.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: When God’s greatness has its way with our world all creation will be renewed.  This week pray out of this future vision for our world today: that God’s Kingdom may come.   Focus: Unity, belonging.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Holy Spirit come, recreate us that we may be renewed to reflect your New Creation.

Breaking bread

Daily Rhythm

Devotional Diary 12 – 18 April 2021

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

Sunday 18 April 2021 is the third Sunday of Easter

Acts 3:12-19. After a lame beggar is cured by the power of the Risen Lord through Peter and John, Peter invites the wondering crowd to repent and follow Jesus. Five thousand of them do!

Psalm 4. Thanks to God for vindication and rebuke/teaching to those who criticize or disgrace.

1 John 3:1-7.  We are God’s children now as we abide in Jesus. Abiding in Jesus enables us to live more and more without sin. Repentance is no one-time act, but a lifelong commitment to abide in Jesus. That is why we continue to purify ourselves that we may be like him when he appears.

Luke 24:36b-48. After his appearance to two dispirited disciples heading toward Emmaus, Jesus tells the rest of those gathered at another meal to proclaim repentance and forgiveness of sins in his name.

Monday:

Adoration Focus: Spend a minute just glorying in the perfect love of God.

Confession: This week in your confessions reflect on what lines God is calling you to cross in order to live out resurrection in Jesus Christ.   Possible focus for today:  Rediscover the joy of prayer…

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

Seeking the Kingdom

Shared Focus: Today pray for a friend.

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 Lord, help me today to cross the line of revival and live out the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: Spend a minute just glorying in the perfect mind of God.

Confession: See Monday’s confession.  Possible focus for today: Receiving God’s word through scripture.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Today pray for a neighbour.

Personal Prayers:

Dedication: Dear Lord, help me today to cross the line of revival and live out the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Wednesday:

Adoration Focus: Spend a minute just glorying in the perfect power of God.

Confession: See Monday’s confession. Possible focus for today: Seeing all people as sacred…

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Today pray for someone you have difficulty getting on with.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Dear Lord, help me today to cross the line of revival and live out the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Thursday:

Adoration Focus: Spend a minute just glorying in the perfect grace (undeserved love and merit) of God.

Confession: See Monday’s confession. Possible focus for today:  Finding new joy in living.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Today pray for someone who is ill.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Dear Lord, help me today to cross the line of revival and live out the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Friday:

Adoration Focus: Spend a minute just glorying in the perfect plan, purpose and future we have in God.

Confession: See Monday’s confession. Possible focus for today: Living with a sense of conversation with God.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Today pray for someone who is far away from you.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Dear Lord, help me today to cross the line of revival and live out the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Saturday:

Adoration Focus: Spend a minute just glorying in the perfect justice and righteousness of God.

Confession: See Monday’s confession. Possible focus for today: Optimism and expectation…

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Today pray for someone who is facing a challenge.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Dear Lord, help me today to cross the line of revival and live out the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Sunday:

Adoration Focus: Spend a minute just glorying in the perfect holiness of God.

Confession: See Monday’s confession. Possible focus for today:  Worshipping with all your heart, soul, mind and strength…

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Today pray for someone who worships with you.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Dear Lord, help me today to cross the line of revival and live out the Good News of Jesus Christ.