DAILY DEVOTIONS

11 Oct 2021

Image by Garrick Sangil

My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him.  He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress; I shall never be shaken. 

Psalm 62 : 1 – 2

READING : Extract from : “Leaning on God” by Joyce Rupp

“Some people lean against fence posts

When their bodies ache from toil.

Some people lean on oak trees,

Seeking cool shade on hot, humid days.

Some people lean on crutches

When their limbs won’t work for them;

And some people lean on each other

When their hearts can’t stand alone.

-- But the day of truth always comes

When I finally yield to You, God,

Knowing You are a steady stronghold,

A refuge when times are tough.  

Thank You for offering me strength,

For being the oak tree of comfort;

Thank You for being the sturdy support

When the limbs of my life are weak.”

We all have times when we need to lean on something or someone.   The time when Jesus needed to lean on someone the most, was when He and His friends were in the Garden of Gethsemane before His crucifixion, but they fell asleep!  He spoke to them with deep feeling, “Could you not keep awake for just one hour?”  But Jesus had learnt all His life to lean on the One He came to know in His quiet times of prayer, His Father God.

Our western culture encourages us to be independent and self-sufficient, keeping ourselves under control, particularly men, who must not cry!!!!

The Book of Psalms is filled with images of God as a shelter, a strong-hold in times of difficulties, a rock and a fortress who shields us and strengthens us.

Through Jesus’ teaching we have learnt that we can take all our struggles, our pains, illnesses and difficulties to Him and He will intercede with God on our behalf.

Prayer:

Our Lord God, who dwells within us, who is with us in good times and in bad, we turn our hearts again to You, accepting Your promise that nothing can come between us and Your love for us.  We bring all our troubles and difficulties to the loving arms of Jesus, who promised us that He will intercede on our behalf, so that all the glory may be given to You,

our Father God.

Amen.

12 Oct 2021

Image by joseph d'mello

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Each of us has heard the account of Pentecost, in The Acts of the Apostles, many times. One of the experiences of Pentecost is the gift of a Pentecostal language of faith, suggests David Mosser.( Preaching Annual 2007). It was the Spirit sent by God that made Pentecost happen. The Spirit appeared to the eyes as tongues of fire, but sounded to the ears sounded like the rush of a mighty wind. (Acts 2:1-4). The place was filled with people speaking in many languages of the mighty acts of God. David Mosser suggests that every Christ follower should learn the Pentecostal language of love, mercy, grace, forgiveness and acceptance. The Holy Spirit at Pentecost accepted and embraced all who were present;  different nationalities, race, culture and ethnicity.

Learning a new language is an arduous task. It takes  an ample amount of daily devotion for its mastery, it is a matter of constant discipline.  If we likened the learning of God’s language of love, mercy, grace, forgiveness and acceptance, to the learning of a foreign language, then it would need constant attention and practice in order to speak it fluently. For Jesus, speaking God’s language meant sacrifice, suffering, death and resurrection. Speaking the language of faith, is not dependent upon our own strength and wisdom, but it is a gift given by God, to be received by the whole people of God and to be used by the community of faith to “ declare the  praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light .”(1 Peter 29b).

Prayer:

Holy and Everlasting God, Creator of all humankind,

we praise You for Your love, mercy, grace, forgiveness and acceptance ,

through the death and resurrection of Jesus, Your Son, our Lord.

Forgive our stutter in expressing the Pentecostal language.

Help us to be more dedicated in our speech of Your love, mercy, grace and forgiveness.

Teach us to accept all as Christ has accepted us.

Amen

13 Oct 2021

Image by Jasper Gronewold

 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord,

who is the Spirit.

2 Cor 3:18

Moses spend 40 days and nights with God on Mount Sinai during which time he did not eat or drink. The glory of God had sustained him.
On returning from his meeting with God on Mount Sinai, we read that Moses' face was radiant, shining with light.
It could be no other way, Moses was in the presence of the Almighty, the creator of Heaven and earth. Whoever is in His presence will never be able to hide it.
We do not know exactly what it looked like, but we do know that it frightened both his brother Aaron and the rest of the nation, because they were afraid to come near Moses. Perhaps it was not only his appearance that scared them but also what it implied: The visible reminder of the glory of the Almighty, was also a stark reminder of their own shortcomings and failures, having violated the Law they promised to keep (Ex 24:3), and worshiping a Golden calf.
But although they failed and sinned and were punished for it, God remained merciful, and forgave and renewed His covenant with them and once again provided them with the Ten Commandments.
As followers and believers of Christ, we are recipients of the glorious new Covenant in the the New Testament. This means that every moment of our lives we are living in the Holy presence of God. The Veil between the Holy of Holies had been torn  at the moment of Jesus’ death, His sacrifice was sufficient atonement for our sins. He is the way into the Holy of Holies, open for all people for all time.
And unlike the reflected glory which eventually disappeared from Moses' face, the glory of His covenant will never fade. In walking with Christ, the Spirit continuously transforms us into the image and likeness of Christ.

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, we thank you for the gift of life. We thank you for the forgiveness of our sins, and that we can live life to the fullest in you.

Transform our lives o Lord, so that there is less of us and more of you

Open our eyes to those in need around us and help us to be your image bearers and to proclaim your love to the world.

We ask this in your Holy name.

Amen

14 Oct 2021

Image by Chris Charles

From the fullness of His grace, we have all received one blessing after another.  For the law was given through Moses: grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

John 1 : 16 – 17

Grace is the unmerited favour of God; it is the favour or love which adapts itself to our own personal needs.  It is the kindness by which God show His love and blessing to His sinful and undeserving members of His creation, His people.  It was shown to us through Jesus Christ, as the great love from a loving, but Holy God, shared with us, granting us forgiveness for the many ways where we have strayed from Him and hurt Him.  The initiative came from God and dealt with our sins.

Prayer:

All glorious God, we give You thanks:

In Your Son, Jesus Christ, You have given us every

Spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms.

You chose us, before the world was made,

To be Your holy people, without fault in Your sight.

You adopted us as Your children in Christ.

You have set us free by His blood,

You have forgiven our sins.

You have made known to us Your secret purpose,

To bring heaven and earth into unity in Christ.

You have given us Your Holy Spirit,

The seal and pledge of our inheritance.

All praise and glory be Yours, O God,

For the richness of Your grace,

For the splendour of Your gifts,

For the wonder of Your love.

Amen

Written by Archbishop, Emeritus, Desmond Tutu – Inspired by Ephesians 1:3–18)

15 Oct 2021

Image by Look Up Look Down Photography

Shout for joy to God, all the earth!
Sing the glory of his name;
make his praise glorious.

Psalm 66:1-2

Jeremiah is often called: “ the weeping prophet.” God chose Jeremiah to be a prophet in one of the most difficult chapters in the life of Israel and Judah. Both nations are now living in exile in Babylon. Before exile, life in Judah had been difficult because of corrupt leaders and military failures and this left Judah weak and vulnerable. The people of Judah had become callous and neglectful of their relationship with God. As life became more difficult many abandoned their faith, losing sight of their covenant relationship with God. The consequences of their spiritual and national weakness resulted in exile in Babylon. In exile all the nation wanted to hear was how and when God will liberate them. Jeremiah’s message of hope and life, lies the news the people do not want to hear. Jeremiah encourages the exile to live life. The exiles wanted their suffering to end, but Jeremiah encourages them to build houses, settle down, live from the land, get married, have families and pray for the prosperity of Babylon. God’s will for them is not to stop living. Jeremiah is warning that strange and unfamiliar times and circumstances, could lull us into a spiritual sleep. His encouragement to the exiles is to continue to do the familiar things, that nourishes and sustains life in the present. This pandemic has brought with it a strange kind of ‘exile. We have discovered that life is not always easy. Covid has reminded us that in spite of the scientific advances, there is no easy fix. So let us remain faithful to that which sustains life and our relationship with God and others. Worship and celebration at the Lord’s Table, even when we do it virtually, remind us that we are not alone and that we are part of “ a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb.”(Revelation 7: 9a) Jesus calls us to live our lives fully, even in the midst of hard times.

Prayer:

O God, Your holy mountain is immovable,

yet the wind of Your Spirit is ever changing.

Your love, o God, is everlasting and

Your presence is fresh and new each day.

Your word stands forever, and

Your Spirit breathes new life and brings fresh

beginnings to each new day.

We give thanks in the name of Jesus Christ our Saviour.

Amen