The Lover seeks the loved

 

Daily Rhythm

Devotional Diary 27 August – 2 September 2018

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

Sunday 2 September is the fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost

 

Song of Solomon 2:8-13. A suitor calls on his beloved to prepare for their uniting.

Psalm 45:1-2, 6-9.  A fitting response to the first reading with its celebration of young love and marriage.

James 1:17-27. Be the first fruits of God’s generosity toward others. Stay away from excess and impurity. Actively do the word. Restrain the tongue. Make sure the weak and vulnerable are protected.

Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23. Pharisees and scribes from Jerusalem confront Jesus about why his disciples do not follow the customary hand washing rituals before eating. Jesus insists that true cleanness is not a matter of external cleansing, but the cleansing of the “inner self.” Uncleanness results not from anything external, but only and always from what is inside.

Monday:

Adoration Focus:  Spend some time just sitting at the feet of God each day and worship in the presence of His glory.  Complete these phrases in different ways each day:  Lord you are wonderful because….  Thank you Lord for…..

Confession: This week our focus is the engaged life.  Confess ways in which you have quit or put your arrow back into the quiver.  Offer your mind to God for a new spirit of Kingdom of God engagement: Be a Kingdom Builder!  How is He calling you to engage?  Link this to the Shared focus below.

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

Seeking the Kingdom

Shared Focus: Listen to God, how is He calling you to pray? Engage your mind in your prayers. God is asking, “What do you want me to do for (with) you?”  Area of focus: Making the difference.

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)

Transforming Bible Verse “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you”.  (Matthew 7:7)

 Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: Spend some time just sitting at the feet of God each day and worship in the presence of His glory.  Complete these phrases in different ways each day:  Lord you are wonderful because….  Thank you Lord for…..

Confession: See Monday’s Confession.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Listen to God, how is He calling you to pray? Engage your mind in your prayers. God is asking, “What do you want me to do for (with) you?” Area of focus:  Meeting a need.

Personal Prayers:

Transforming Bible Verse “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you”.  (Matthew 7:7)

Wednesday:

Adoration Focus: Spend some time just sitting at the feet of God each day and worship in the presence of His glory.  Complete these phrases in different ways each day:  Lord you are wonderful because….  Thank you Lord for…..

Confession: See Monday’s Confession.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Listen to God, how is He calling you to pray? Engage your mind in your prayers. God is asking, “What do you want me to do for (with) you?”  Area of focus:  Discovering a new avenue of service.

Personal prayers:

Transforming Bible Verse “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you”.  (Matthew 7:7)

Thursday:

Adoration Focus:  Spend some time just sitting at the feet of God each day and worship in the presence of His glory.  Complete these phrases in different ways each day:  Lord you are wonderful because….  Thank you Lord for…..

Confession: See Monday’s Confession.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Listen to God, how is He calling you to pray? Engage your mind in your prayers. God is asking, “What do you want me to do for (with) you?”  Area of focus: The mission of your church community.

Personal prayers:

Transforming Bible Verse “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you”.  (Matthew 7:7)

Friday:

Adoration Focus: Spend some time just sitting at the feet of God each day and worship in the presence of His glory.  Complete these phrases in different ways each day:  Lord you are wonderful because….  Thank you Lord for…..

Confession: See Monday’s Confession.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Listen to God, how is He calling you to pray? Engage your mind in your prayers. God is asking, “What do you want me to do for (with) you?”  Area of focus:  An area that is facing threat.

Personal prayers:

Transforming Bible Verse “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you”.  (Matthew 7:7)

Saturday:

Adoration Focus: Spend some time just sitting at the feet of God each day and worship in the presence of His glory.  Complete these phrases in different ways each day:  Lord you are wonderful because….  Thank you Lord for…..

Confession: See Monday’s Confession.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Listen to God, how is He calling you to pray? Engage your mind in your prayers. God is asking, “What do you want me to do for (with) you?” Area of focus: A confusing issue…

Personal prayers:

Transforming Bible Verse “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you”.  (Matthew 7:7)

Sunday:

Adoration Focus: Spend some time just sitting at the feet of God each day and worship in the presence of His glory.  Complete these phrases in different ways each day:  Lord you are wonderful because….  Thank you Lord for…..

Confession: See Monday’s Confession.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Listen to God, how is He calling you to pray? Engage your mind in your prayers. God is asking, “What do you want me to do for (with) you?” Area of focus: Worship.

Personal prayers:

Transforming Bible Verse “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you”.  (Matthew 7:7)

He has the words of life!

Daily Rhythm

Devotional Diary 20 – 26 August 2018

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

Sunday 26 August is the fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost

1 Kings 8:1, 6, 10-11, 22-30, 41-43.  Highlights of the story of the dedication of the temple complex in Jerusalem with extended portions of the dedicatory prayer by King Solomon. In this prayer, Solomon calls on promises in the covenant with David to ask God to sustain the dynasty and to hear the prayers prayed in or toward the temple.

Psalm 84. A psalm in praise of the beauty of the temple and its worship.

Ephesians 6:10-20.  Put on the whole armour of God as defence against surrounding evil spiritual strongholds and pray constantly for all sisters and brothers in Christ.

John 6:56-69.  Jesus continues to contrast those who “chew on his flesh and live into eternity” with those who “ate the manna in the wilderness and died” while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum. The point is so clear and offensive, perhaps particularly in that context, that many of his followers abandon him; but Peter and an unspecified number of others remain because they are convinced he has the words of life.

Monday:

Adoration Focus: Each day focus on the loving heart of our Father God and each day thank him for a different aspect of that heart.  Today: Never-ending love….

Confession: Become aware of your thoughts and emotions as they are right now. Where/on what is your life focused? Remember your focus determines your fulfillment.  Hebrew 12:2: “Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus”.  Why should you focus on Jesus?   Each day renew your focus:  How will you move to becoming more Christ-focused today?

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

Seeking the Kingdom

Shared Focus:  Our prayer is that the Father’s will may be done on this earth.  Each day reflect on our world and pray for the Father’s will to be done in a new and specific way.  Today: Your life.

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)

Transforming verse: Hebrews 12:1-2 (A description of focus) “… let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus…”

 Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: Each day focus on the loving heart of our Father God and each day thank him for a different aspect of that heart.  Today: Forgiving love…

Confession: See Monday’s Confession focus

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

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Our Prayer is that the Father’s will may be done on this earth.  Each day reflect on our world and pray for the Father’s will to be done in a new and specific way. Today: In your work place/home.

Personal Prayers:

Transforming verse: Hebrews 12:1-2 (A description of focus) “… let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus…”

Wednesday:

Adoration Focus: Each day focus on the loving heart of our Father God and each day thank him for a different aspect of that heart. Today: Restoring love (Think Prodigal Son)

Confession: See Monday’s Confession focus

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

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Our Prayer is that the Father’s will may be done on this earth.  Each day reflect on our world and pray for the Father’s will to be done in a new and specific way. Today: Your land.

Personal prayers:

Transforming verse: Hebrews 12:1-2 (A description of focus) “… let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus…”

Thursday:

Adoration Focus: Each day focus on the loving heart of our Father God and each day thank him for a different aspect of that heart.  Today: Assuring Love.

Confession: See Monday’s Confession focus

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

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Our Prayer is that the Father’s will may be done on this earth.  Each day reflect on our world and pray for the Father’s will to be done in a new and specific way. Today: Your family.

Personal prayers:

Transforming verse: Hebrews 12:1-2 (A description of focus) “… let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus…”

Friday:

Adoration Focus: Each day focus on the loving heart of our Father God and each day thank him for a different aspect of that heart.  Today: Joyful love.

Confession: See Monday’s Confession focus

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

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Our Prayer is that the Father’s will may be done on this earth.  Each day reflect on our world and pray for the Father’s will to be done in a new and specific way. Today: In a difficult situation.

Personal prayers:

Transforming verse: Hebrews 12:1-2 (A description of focus) “… let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus…”

Saturday:

Adoration Focus: Each day focus on the loving heart of our Father God and each day thank him for a different aspect of that heart.  Today: Communicative love.

Confession: See Monday’s Confession focus

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

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Our Prayer is that the Father’s will may be done on this earth.  Each day reflect on our world and pray for the Father’s will to be done in a new and specific way. Today: Your world.

Personal prayers:

Transforming verse: Hebrews 12:1-2 (A description of focus) “… let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus…”

Sunday:

Adoration Focus: Each day focus on the loving heart of our Father God and each day thank him for a different aspect of that heart.  Today: Ever present love.

Confession: See Monday’s Confession focus.

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

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Our Prayer is that the Father’s will may be done on this earth.  Each day reflect on our world and pray for the Father’s will to be done in a new and specific way.  Today: Your church.

Personal prayers:

Transforming verse: Hebrews 12:1-2 (A description of focus) “… let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus…”

It’s time to get chewing!

Daily Rhythm

Devotional Diary 13 –  19 August 2018

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

Sunday 19 August is the thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost

1 Kings 2:10-12, 3:3-14.  Solomon succeeds David as King and follows David’s advice (in the preceding and intervening verses) to consolidate his power by isolating or ordering the death of David’s most powerful adversaries. Some years later, he has a dream in which he asks the Lord for discernment to govern, and God promises him wisdom beyond that of any before or since.

Psalm 111.  A psalm of praise in a time of national and religious stability and prosperity. The last verse is the reason this psalm was chosen as a response to the first reading.

Ephesians 5:15-20. The writer advises the churches to be clear minded and grounded in the Holy Spirit. The regular singing of psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs and giving thanks to God in all things are good practices to sustain such groundedness.

John 6:51-58. Here the language of eating the flesh and drinking the blood of Christ becomes graphic and specific. The Greek verb changes here from “phagein,” a generic term for eating with some symbolic overtones, to “trogein,” a much more specific verb meaning “to chew upon.” This verb was explicitly physical in its referents at the time. The meaning of the teaching for the gospel’s audience: Those, and only those, who gather to offer the Eucharist and so receive the blessed and transformed bread and wine have eternal life. Indeed, the gospel commends Holy Communion as THE means, par excellence, of abiding in Jesus Christ (verse 56).

Monday:

Adoration Focus: Psalm 104: 1 “O Lord my God, you are very great; you are clothed with splendour and majesty.”

Confession: Our “thought chains” can bind us and suffocate the fullness of life that Christ wants to give us.  This week identify some thought chains in your life and bring them to God, he is the one who can renew your mind.  Allow God to direct you in a positive thought direction.

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

Seeking the Kingdom

Shared Focus: Pray for someone who needs God’s touch in a special way.

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)

Transforming verse: Keep this verse before you through the week ahead:  Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

 Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: Psalm 104:2 “He wraps himself in light as with a garment…”

Confession: See Monday’s confession.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Pray for someone who needs to know that they are appreciated.

Personal Prayers:

Transforming Verse: Keep this verse before you through the week ahead:  Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

Wednesday:

Adoration Focus: Psalm 104:2-3 “…he stretches out the heavens like a tent and lays the beams of his upper chambers on their waters…”

Confession: See Monday’s confession.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Pray for someone who needs boldness to confront an issue.

Personal prayers:

Transforming Verse: Keep this verse before you through the week ahead:  Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

Thursday:

Adoration Focus: Psalm 104:3 “He makes the clouds his chariot and rides on the wings of the wind…”

Confession: See Monday’s confession.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Pray for someone who needs to discover their purpose.

Personal prayers:

Transforming Verse: Keep this verse before you through the week ahead:  Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

Friday:

Adoration Focus: Psalm 104:4 “He makes winds his messengers, flames of fire his servants.”

Confession: See Monday’s confession.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Pray for someone who needs guidance in a struggle.

Personal prayer:

Dedication: Keep this verse before you through the week ahead:  Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

Saturday:

Adoration Focus: Psalm 104:5 “He set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved.”

Confession: See Monday’s confession.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Pray for someone who needs to be re-united.

Personal prayers:

Transforming Verse: Keep this verse before you through the week ahead:  Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

Sunday:

Adoration Focus: Psalm 104:33 “I will sing to the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.”

Confession: See Monday’s confession.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Pray for someone who needs peace.

Personal prayers:

Transforming Verse: Keep this verse before you through the week ahead:  Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”