DAILY DEVOTIONS

15 nov 2021

Image by Nic Y-C

“You are a king, then!” said Pilate. 

Jesus answered,

“You are right in saying I am a king. 

In fact, for this reason I was born,

and for this

I came into the world.”

John 18 : 37

“Christ has no body on earth but ours.  No hands, no feet but ours.  Ours are the eyes with which He sees and which He shows Christ’s compassion to the world.  Ours are the feet with which He walks.  Ours are the hands with which He blesses all the world.”  Teresa of Avila.

To think that Jesus came to us as a King, humbly and without glory.  Yet He came to save the world from all their sins.  This can only bring us to a point of thanksgiving and praise.  It is often difficult to praise our Lord and yet when we come before Him, He gives us the words and the music.  Singing hymns often help us to express ourselves.  When we are downhearted and depressed, that is precisely when we need to praise Him.  If it is difficult to pray and praise Him, we can simply thank Him that He is present with us in whatever the situation maybe.  True praise and thanksgiving to our almighty God and His Son Jesus, should not depend on our feelings.  The simple coming into His presence and lifting our hearts to Him, brings Him closer. As we experience His presence, we cannot help but sing to His praise and glory.

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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.

(Based on Ephesians 1 : 3 – 18 )

 

16 nov 2021

Image by Ray Hennessy

I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits,
   and in his word I put my hope.
I wait for the Lord
   more than watchmen wait for the morning,
   more than watchmen wait for the morning.

Psalm 130:5-6

A devotion from the Rev. Andrew Murray. (Waiting on God.)

How intensely the morning light is often waited for: by sailors in a shipwrecked vessel; by a benighted traveler in a dangerous country; by an army that finds itself  surrounded by an enemy. The morning light will show what hope of an escape there may be. The morning may bring life and liberty. And so, the saints of God in darkness have longed for the light of His countenance., more than watchmen for the morning. Our waiting on God can have no higher object than simply having God’s light shine on us, in us and through us. “ For God made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light  of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.”(2 Cor. 4:6). Just as the sun shines its beautiful , life-giving light on the earth, so God shines into our hearts the light of His glory, of His love, in Christ His Son. Our hearts and life are meant to have the light of God filling and gladdening them all day. God’s love shine on us without ceasing. Simple faith in God’s Living Word(Jesus) and love, is to be the opening of the eyes and the heart, to receive and enjoy the unspeakable glory of God’s grace.

Image by Charles Chen

Prayer:

Lord, the light of your love is shining

In the midst of the darkness shining

Jesus, light of the world, shine upon us

Set us free by the truth you now bring us

Shine on me, shine on me.

   

Shine Jesus shine

Fill this land with the Father’s glory

Blaze, Spirit,  blaze

Set our hearts on fire

Flow river, flow

Flood the nations with grace and mercy

Send forth your word

Lord, let there be light.

Amen

 

17 nov 2021

Image by Prashant Saini

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well.  This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands

1 John 5:1,2

In his letter to the Phillipians Paul expressed his appreciation and affection for the Philippian believers and encouraged them to live out their faith in joy and unity.

When we take time to think about what we have and where we are, we all have much to be joyful for. But often the pace and the pressure of life squeeze the joy from us. We get tired and overwhelmed, especially towards the end of the year where it feels as if the pace of life becomes to fast to keep up, and we find  that some days—or months— are very difficult to get through. Sometimes we search for joy in acquiring possessions,  visiting places, or seeing people. Though these may bring us joy, it is often fleeting.

Paul wrote that he poured out his life as an offering for the sake of Christ, leading him to find great joy and contentment in Christ’s service.
True joy comes through humble faith in the saving work of Jesus Christ, knowing that we  are united with Christ. That we can take comfort in His love. True joy comes from having the same mindset as Christ in our relationships with each other.
He loved us enough to humble himself for us.  His humility was a mark of love for his people.
We find joy and contentment when we center our lives on Christ, living  and expressing our love for him by serving others above ourselves.

Image by Isaac Benhesed

Prayer:

Bless us with Love, O Merciful God; That we may Love as you Love! That we may show patience, tolerance, Kindness, caring and love to all!

Amen

 

18 nov 2021

Image by Pisit Heng

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

This scripture says, “Soon and very soon, Look! He is coming with the clouds.”

Here we experience God’s timing which does not fit our time frame because John of Patmos lived a very long time ago.  But we learn in this reading that John lived in a time when the world was overwhelmed by people seeking power and oppressing everyone else and faith was challenged or banned.  Sound familiar.  Well, it is if you look around today, watch the news or social media.  The leaders today seem to be just reaching for power and wealth, only  for themselves, a selected few, while others are suffering.  We live in a world which is far removed from Jesus’ way, far from the reign of Jesus.  Jesus’ way was and is a way of life concentrating on love for God and for our neighbour and where justice reigns.

Scripture promises us when Jesus comes again that “every eye will see Him” even those who pierced him and those who continue to deny Him today.

We must sincerely seek to follow Jesus’ way and make on our daily walk, a point of seeing God in the people with whom we come in contact.  Hopefully, they will also see the light and love of Jesus in our eyes and our lives.

Image by Billy Huynh

Prayer:

O Lord Jesus Christ, You have said that You are the way, the truth, and the life.  Help us not to stray from You, who is the way, nor to lose our trust in You, who is the truth, nor to rest in anything other than You, who is the life. 

Heavenly Father guide us as we seek to follow Your will, to allow Your light and love to shine through our eyes and help us to recognize You in the people we meet.  Amen.

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19 nov 2021

Image by Aleksandra Sapozhnikova

When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,
we were like those who dreamed.
Our mouths were filled with laughter,
our tongues with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations,
“The Lord has done great things for them.”

Psalm 126:1-2

One of the greatest lessons of the Old Testament is that God  when constituting the people of Israel, made certain that certain rituals were woven into the fabric of the life of the community.  Exodus 12 gives detailed instructions on how, when, and where to eat the Passover meal. In today’s reading Moses reminds the people that they are a people formed by God. The people are reminded of what they are to do when they enter the promised land. Not only will they possess the land and settle in it, but they also  have  to offer “the first fruit of the ground “, to God. By offering their firstfruits  to God , they are reminded that they have not possessed and settled the land by their own doing. It is a gift from God. It is a divine expression and a constant reminder of the grace in which they dwell. Nothing they do, nothing they can do, will alter God’s gift of grace to them. When the people bring their firstfruits to the Lord, they do so as a sign of gratitude for the lavish gifts God has poured out on them. Thanksgiving and dedication is our response to the lavish gifts of love, forgiveness, grace and mercy God has poured out on us through the death and resurrection of Jesus. We do it annually, because God has woven His grace into the fabric of our lives as a community.

Image by Andrik Langfield

Prayer:

Eternal God, whom we adore, make us a grateful people.

Fill our lives with joy.

May the gratitude we feel become the hopefulness with which we worship and serve.

Give us grace to express our thanksgiving for all You have given through Jesus Christ,

Your Son, our Lord and Saviour.

  Amen.

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