Abiding in the vine

Daily Rhythm

Devotional Diary 23 – 29 April 2018

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

Sunday 29 April 2018 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 isn’t 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 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.

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)