DAILY DEVOTIONS

02 aug 2021

Image by Camila Cordeiro

Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life.  He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.  John 6 : 35

Jesus is referring here to spiritual nourishment.  Jesus is our source of nourishment and strength, spiritually and physically.  Food helps us to keep healthy and keeps us alive, but it does not help us meet our need for affection interaction and compassion, our basic human contact, something we have sadly lacked during the various lock down periods of the last 16 months, or our spiritual wellbeing.  Jesus knows this spiritual wellbeing is crucial  to our emotional  and overall health.  God is the source of meeting all our physical and our spiritual needs.  He made us to be part of a community of fellowship, something that has been sadly lacking during the various lock downs of the past 16 months, but through the work of His Holy Spirit He enabled us to join together in Spiritual fellowship.  Through His spiritual support and the supplying of our physical and emotional needs, He also welcomes us now into eternal life.

Jesus says He is the bread of life which sustains us spiritually so that we can live a full life here on earth and in eternity.  Jesus provides us with spiritual food.  Through Christ, God is always ready to feed us. We cannot turn to Jesus by our own doing, only God, Jesus’, and our Father, can call us and lead us to Him.

“ The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want, He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul.” 

Psalm 23 : 1 – 3a

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, Bread of Life, help us to grow in our understanding and acceptance of who You truly are.  Thank you for being our Bread of Life and that You provide both for our physical and spiritual needs.  We praise You Lord Jesus, that through the sacrifice of Your death and resurrection You became our salvation, Spiritual sustenance, and eternal life.

Amen        

03 aug 2021

Image by Greg Jeanneau

for I delight in your commands
because I love them.
I reach out for your commands,

which I love, that I may meditate 

on your decrees.

Psalm 119:47-48

I remember the first time I responded to an altar call. It was not a response to God’s love, but rather out of fear of judgement and condemnation. I have since discovered that Jesus’ call to repentance, is almost a request to respond to God’s love. Central to Jesus’ proclamation of the presence of the Kingdom of God/ the Kingdom of Heaven, is the reality of God’s love. All the healing and preaching , even His death and resurrection, were part of His larger goal, to reveal God’s love to the world. It is to the celebration of God’s love, that we are all invited, like Simon, Andrew, James and John. The parable of the Great Banquet, (Matthew 22:1-10; Luke 14: 15-24), makes it clear that everyone is invited. Like the servants in the parable, Jesus keeps on inviting everyone and patiently waits for a response. The writer of the Book of Revelation, changes the invitation to a pastoral call: “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will go in and eat with him/her and they with me.”(Revelation 3:20)

Prayer:

God of love, grace and mercy,

Thank you for the invitation to Your Kingdom.

Give us grace to respond to Your invitation, daily.

In the name of Jesus Christ , our Lord and Saviour.

Amen

      

04 aug 2021

Image by Mark Harpur

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. 

The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me

 and gave himself for me.

Gal 2:20

Reading:
Luke 17:11-17

 

As Jesus enters a village, ten men suffering from leprosy approach him, calling out to him, but keeping their distance because they are unclean.

The Jewish historian Josephus wrote that lepers were treated “as if they were, in effect, dead men”. The Mosaic Law required that a leper had to be cut off from society, including his own family. He had to wear torn clothing, have his head uncovered, cover his lips and shout “Unclean! Unclean!” wherever he went to warn others to keep their distance (Lev. 13:45).

Leprosy was considered to be highly contagious, and the horrifying effects of leprosy were clear  for all to see. People would stay away from lepers as far as they could. It is much easier turn a blind eye to people or situations that make us uncomfortable, than to get involved.

Jesus however does not ignore or shy away from them, but engages with not only 1 but the whole group. He immediately sends them to show themselves to the priests to confirm that they were healed as  was stipulated by the law, in order for them to be accepted back into society.

Jesus requires an act of faith from these men. He tells them to present themselves to the priests though nothing in their situation had changed.  Only whilst on their journey in faithful obedience, were they healed.

Ten men prayed for mercy and grace, but  only one returned to give thanks. To give thanks to Jesus is to praise and glorify God. Not only did this man find healing but Salvation. 

In our sinfulness we are all lepers before God. But salvation is open to all who call in faith upon the Lord. The only condition is that we take Him at His word, that whoever believes in His Son Jesus will not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16)

Our Saviour heals our hurt and our brokenness and cleanses us from the disease of sin.

For this our response should ever be to glorify God at the feet of Jesus with thankful hearts.

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, we worship you as our Saviour. We give thanks and praise for Your love, compassion, Your healing and restoration. We thank you Lord for your Grace and Mercy that are new each day. 

Help us to live out this gift of grace and mercy. Open our eyes to the needs of others and guide us in your wisdom

We ask this in Your Holy name

Amen

      

05 aug 2021

Image by June O

(You were taught), “ To put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.  

Ephesians 4 : 24

In the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Ephesians he gives sound advice on how to build up a community.  One often says to two quarreling siblings, “You don’t have to like each other, but you need to be kind to one another.”  A little kindness goes a long way to heal a situation.  As followers of Christ our kindness in our interaction with others, shows that we are followers of Christ.

Among Christians it is popular to say, ”What would Jesus do?”  It would be better for us to ask, “Are we imitating Jesus in our lives?”

Our tongues can be a very dangerous part of our bodies.  They can have the ability to inflame a situation or to calm it; it can build people up or destroy them; it can make people feel loved or feel destroyed and broken.

Paul warns us against harmful, misguided, judgemental and damaging words, spoken without fore thought, that can cause much hurt and can break relationships.  Yet words spoken in love can build people up, can make them feel loved and comforted and can bring hope and healing into a situation.

It is significant that God created the world with the spoken word.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”  John 3 : 16

“If you are self-controlled in your speech, you must be self-controlled in your thinking.”  Francois Fenelon

Prayer:

We thank you Lord Jesus for the gift of communication, the expression of our thoughts and ideas.  Help us to use care as we speak to others that we may be your instrument in building up, bringing hope and love into all situations.  We thank you for those who live and speak out the way of Christ among us.  Help us to do the same.  Help us to be careful as we speak to others.  We ask this in the loving name of Christ Jesus.  

Amen

      

06 aug 2021

Image by lucas wesney

I love you, Lord, my strength.

The Lord is my rock,

my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield and the horn of my salvation,

my stronghold.

Psalm 18:1,2

I am of the view that Jesus does not condemn wealth and possessions, but warns against seeing possessions as treasure. Possessions are the things we need to make life reasonably comfortable, but more important to be used in service to the less fortunate, in seeking justice and to use every opportunity to transform the world into what God wants it to be. The Apostle Paul reminds us of this responsibility:” For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God; “ (Romans 8: 19.). We should therefore regard material blessings given beyond our necessities to be used generously to help others. But treasure also call us to be rich. To be rich toward God. Rich in love, service, forgiveness and grace. We are called to treasure up every opportunity to show God’s and to do good to others. The only command Jesus left us is: “Love one another as I have loved you.”(John 15: 12.). We are also called to be rich in faith, to trust God. “For we walk by faith and not by sight,” the Apostle Paul reminds us.(2 Corinthians 5: 7.) This calls us to trust where we cannot see. Somehow Covid and lockdown called us to trust God with the present and the future. To live abundantly therefore means to live for Christ and with Christ, a life that derives all its joy, power, and love from a living relationship with Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.

Prayer:

Dear Lord and Saviour, help us to treasure Your love above all things.

Remind us constantly how much You love us.

Grant us generous hearts and charitable souls.

For the sake of Jesus and His Kingdom.

Amen