Ascension Sunday

 

Daily Rhythm

Devotional Diary 7 – 13 May 2018

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

Sunday 29 April 2018 is the Seventh Sunday of Easter (Ascension Sunday)

Acts 1:1-11.  Before Jesus ascends into heaven, he twice directs his disciples to stop focusing on earthly kingdoms and glory to focus instead on the Spirit-empowered mission (and the coming of the same Spirit) that lay before them — to be witnesses in all the world. When the angels “interrupt” their wondering gaze, they also (a third time) redirect the disciples to continue in this mission by waiting for the coming of the Spirit in Jerusalem.

Psalm 47 An enthronement psalm celebrating God’s kingship. This Psalm was chosen because ascension language is enthronement language. Jesus ascending into heaven means that Jesus is now enthroned in heaven.

Ephesians 1:15-23Paul encourages the churches connected with the congregation(s) at Ephesus to remember the fullness of who they now are because of what God has made them in Jesus Christ, risen, ascended to the right hand of all power and reigning in, through and beyond the church.

Luke 24:44-53.  We heard this story a few weeks ago to focus on repentance. Today we hear it to focus on ascension and mission. “Power from on high” will come to the apostles to empower a ministry of proclamation of repentance and forgiveness to the whole world.

Monday:

Adoration Focus: Psalm 19:1 “The heavens declare the glory of God.”  Each day focus on a different way in which the glory of God encounters you.  Then respond in lifting up the glory of the name of the Lord.

Confession: 2 Corinthians 3:18 “And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”  This week try to spend time allowing God’s glory to fill your life.  Just wait on the Lord in prayer with an open heart each day.

The Word: See readings above or your own reading plan.

Seeking the Kingdom

Shared Focus:  God’s glory should shine from every aspect of our world.  Our sin has tarnished this glory.  This week pray that we may discover the power of God in our lives so that his glory may shine from us so we may be instruments of his glory in every aspect of life.   Pray for these different aspects of life as God’s Spirit brings them to your mind.  Our prayer is that in each we may clearly see God’s glory.  Today: Our personal witness.

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, may our lives bring you glory in the day ahead.

 Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: Psalm 19:1 “The heavens declare the glory of God.”  Each day focus on a different way in which the glory of God encounters you.  Then respond in lifting up the glory of the name of the Lord.

Confession: See Monday’s confession.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: See Monday’s focus.  Today: Your local church.

Personal Prayers:

Dedication: Dear Lord, may our lives bring you glory in the day ahead.

Wednesday:

Adoration Focus: Psalm 19:1 “The heavens declare the glory of God.”  Each day focus on a different way in which the glory of God encounters you.  Then respond in lifting up the glory of the name of the Lord.

Confession: See Monday’s confession.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: See Monday’s focus.  Your church denomination/affiliation.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Dear Lord, may our lives bring you glory in the day ahead.

Thursday: Ascension Day

Adoration Focus: Psalm 19:1 “The heavens declare the glory of God.”  Each day focus on a different way in which the glory of God encounters you.  Then respond in lifting up the glory of the name of the Lord.

Confession: See Monday’s confession.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: See Monday’s focus. Today: The care of our earth.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Dear Lord, may our lives bring you glory in the day ahead.

Friday:

Adoration Focus: Psalm 19:1 “The heavens declare the glory of God.”  Each day focus on a different way in which the glory of God encounters you.  Then respond in lifting up the glory of the name of the Lord.

Confession: See Monday’s confession.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: See Monday’s focus. Today: Our places of work.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Dear Lord, may our lives bring you glory in the day ahead.

Saturday:

Adoration Focus: Psalm 19:1 “The heavens declare the glory of God.”  Each day focus on a different way in which the glory of God encounters you.  Then respond in lifting up the glory of the name of the Lord.

Confession: See Monday’s confession.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: See Monday’s focus. Today: The ministries/areas of service that we are committed to.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Dear Lord, may our lives bring you glory in the day ahead.

Sunday: Ascension Sunday

Adoration Focus: Psalm 19:1 “The heavens declare the glory of God.”  Each day focus on a different way in which the glory of God encounters you.  Then respond in lifting up the glory of the name of the Lord.

Confession: See Monday’s confession.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: See Monday’s focus. Today: Our shared life of worship.

Personal prayers:

Dedication:  Dear Lord, may our lives bring you glory in the day ahead.

You are chosen!

Daily Rhythm

Devotional Diary 30 April – 6 May 2018

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

Sunday 6 May 2018 is the sixth Sunday of Easter

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

Acts 10:44-48. The Spirit pours upon Cornelius and his household while Peter is in the middle of speaking, even before they are baptized. Peter recognizes it’s time to baptize them and consider them kindred in Christ.

Psalm 98. The Psalm continues the overflow of praise described in the first lesson. Celebrate with it! Enter into the joy of God’s salvation and invite the whole creation to join you!

1 John 5:1-6. Verses 1-5 naturally go together in a “string of pearls” that connects faith, overcoming the world, obedience, and loving God through a deep relationship of trust in Jesus Christ. Verse 6 begins a different “string” (bringing together water, blood, testimony, and life in Jesus Christ — or we might say, baptism, Eucharist, witness, and discipleship) that next week’s lection addresses more fully.

John 15:9-17. Jesus reminds his disciples who have become, over time, his friends, that they did not choose him; he chose them and appointed them to go and bear much fruit.

This week our adoration focus uses words from praise songs that we sing.  We continue our 21 day cycle of confession   (There is a question for each day under confession)

Monday:

Adoration Focus: “The Lord has made known His salvation, His righteousness is shown to every nation.”

Confession: 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: Use the Revised Common Lectionary readings (as above) or your own scripture reading plan.

Seeking the Kingdom

Shared Focus: Let God lead you to one person that you can focus on in prayer this week.  Today pray for: peace, rest and healthy contentment.

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: “Freely, freely you have received, freely, freely give. “ (Words from a Christian song by Carol Owens)

 Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: “You’re the Lion of Judah, the lamb that was slain; You ascended to heaven and evermore will reign.”

Confession: 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: Let God lead you to one person that you can focus on in prayer this week.  Today pray for: a deep sense of meaning through hearing and responding to God’s call to serve.

Personal Prayers:

Dedication: “Freely, freely you have received, freely, freely give. “ (Words from a Christian song)

Wednesday:

Adoration Focus: “My Saviour, my closest friend, I will worship you until the very end.”

Confession: 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: Let God lead you to one person that you can focus on in prayer this week.  Today pray that they may know God’s amazing grace and underserved love in their lives.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: “Freely, freely you have received, freely, freely give. “ (Words from a Christian song)

Thursday:

Adoration Focus: “Jesus, Jesus, risen and exalted one – Jesus.”

Confession: 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:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Let God lead you to one person that you can focus on in prayer this week.  Today pray that even in the face of adversity, hardship and trial they may always know God’s comfort, healing and restoration.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: “Freely, freely you have received, freely, freely give. “ (Words from a Christian song)

Friday:

Adoration Focus: “Almighty God my redeemer, my hiding place, my safe refuge.”

Confession: 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: Let God lead you to one person that you can focus on in prayer this week.  Today pray for the relationship network that surrounds this person, that those relationships may be marked with mutual respect, warmth, care and support.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: “Freely, freely you have received, freely, freely give. “ (Words from a Christian song)

Saturday:

Adoration Focus: “You shed your blood for me, what can I say?”

Confession: 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: Let God lead you to one person that you can focus on in prayer this week.  Today pray about any particular concern that may be lifted up for you in that person’s life.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: “Freely, freely you have received, freely, freely give. “ (Words from a Christian song)

Sunday:

Adoration Focus: “Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise.”

Confession: 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: Let God lead you to one person that you can focus on in prayer this week.  Today pray that they may be released to worship God in spirit and in truth.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: “Freely, freely you have received, freely, freely give. “ (Words from a Christian song)

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)