Daily Devotions
7 June 2021

Image by George Hiles

Now I know that the Lord saves His anointed;  -----  Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.  

Psalm 20 : 6a + 7

Reading:

1 Samuel 16:4-13

From a human point of view, we tend to judge people by appearances: how attractive they are, how wealthy they seem to be, whether they are top performers in their sport, own the right car, or whether they appear to be powerful.   Employers have unique sets criteria when selecting the right person for leadership.  But from God’s perspective He does not judge by outward appearances, but from the attitude of the heart.  When God was directing Samuel to choose a new king to succeed King Saul, who had been removed from his throne, for willfully disobeying God, He chose David the youngest son of Jesse’s family who lived in Bethlehem, a shepherd of his father’s sheep.  Samuel went through each of the sons, feeling sure that each one had the right charisma to be a good leader. God knew that David had a mighty heart and had the potential to be a good king and who would be directed by the word of God.   God views matters differently and goes beyond surface talk and personal observations, He examines the heart.

God continues to search for people who have a thirst and hunger for an intimate relationship with Him.  The Lord calls each of us daily to hear and obey His intention for our lives.  This is revealed to us through His divine Word, the Holy Bible.  We are to love God with all our heart, mind, and soul.  This love will enable us to live upright, loving and humble lives.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”

Proverbs 3 : 5 – 6

Prayer:

O Lord God You are the way, the truth and the life.  Teach us, Lord to serve You as You deserve, to give and not to count the cost, to labour and not to ask for any reward save that of knowing that we do

Your will and give You all the glory.  

Amen.

8 June 2021

Image by Steven Coffey

Bring joy to your servant, Lord,
for I put my trust in you.

You, Lord, are forgiving and good,
abounding in love to all who call to you.

Psalm 86:4-5

Reading:

Matthew 10:24-39

Jesus proclaims, ”Whoever does not take up the cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for My sake will find it.” (Matthew 10:38-39 NRSV). These are hard words by Jesus. Take up the cross and lose my life? Sometimes I feel that is not what I signed up for. I am more comfortable with Jesus’ saying about life and having it abundantly.(John10 : 10). I have discovered that these sayings by Jesus are not mutually exclusive. I have found that abundant life is the life we find when we take up the cross and follow Jesus. That is our real and true life, life lost in the life of Jesus. The Apostle Paul states to the church at Rome, “For if we have been united with Him in a death like His, we will certainly be united with Him in a resurrection like His.”(Romans 6:5 NRSV). Death and resurrection are therefore not just about the end of our lives, but have to do with our lives here and now. The fruit of life in fellowship with Jesus, is therefore abundant life here and now, and the promise of new life in the world to come.

Prayer:

Dear Lord of our lives, we fill our lives with so many things of lesser value,

and leave little time for the things that matter.

Our lives are rushed. Help us to learn to be quiet, to wait and slow down,

and to surrender our time and lives to You

for Jesus Christ sake.

Amen.

9 June 2021

Image by Fabien BELLANGER

“'Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!' The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress." 

Psalm 46:10-11

Reading:

Luke 18:1-8

The Parable in Luke 18 follows on from Jesus's teaching in Luke 17:20-37 when the Pharisees asked Jesus when the Kingdom of God will come. Their question was about an earthly kingdom in which the Roman empire would be overthrown and the throne of David would be established. Jesus tells them about the eternal Kingdom of God which was already in their midst, and then describes what the days will be like leading up to the coming of the Son of man. In Luke 18:8 Jesus asks the question "When the Son of man comes, will he find faith on earth?" The danger we face is that our faith in Christ and our love for him and for each other will be swallowed up by our daily troubles  or even  by the sheer ordinariness of daily life.

So how can we endure? How can we be found with faith and love?

Jesus tells the parable in Luke 18 and  gives the answer in verse 1: "And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart." Jesus' answer to the question how to endure to the end is, Pray! Pray! Pray! And don't grow weary of praying.

In the words of Pastor John Piper: "Faith is the furnace of our lives. Its fuel is the grace of God. And the divinely appointed shovel for feeding the burner is prayer."

And unlike the unjust judge in the parable, we pray to the Almighty who has adopted us as His children. 

Romans 8:15 For you did not receive a spirit of slavery that returns you to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship, by whom we cry, "Abba! Father! Paul also says in Romans 8:31–33, "If God is for us, who is against us? . . . Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies."

Therefor let us remain faithful in our prayer life and bring all our petitions to the Lord in prayer, knowing that He will help us in our weakness and even in our prayers:

Romans 8:26 -And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.

Prayer:

Our Father in Heaven.

We thank you that we can approach you with everything and lay it before your throne.

We thank you that you already know what we need even before we pray

Teach us to always depend on you dear Lord

and help us when we grow weary and stumble

We ask this in Jesus name

Amen

11 June 2021

Image by Michael Baccin

He makes grass grow for the cattle,
and plants for people to cultivate—
bringing forth food from the earth:
wine that gladdens human hearts,
oil to make their faces shine,
and bread that sustains their hearts.

Psalm 104:14-15

Reading:

John 6:25-59

In John 6 we recall that Jesus feeds about 5000 plus people with 5 barley loaves and 2 small fish and still had left overs! The people then followed Jesus from place to place. When Jesus speaks to the crowd about bread, they do not grasp the difference between bread for physical survival and bread that nourishes the soul. While it is true that human beings do not live by bread alone, it is also true that they do not live long without it. Spiritual nourishment is what Jesus offers them and us. Just like we cannot survive without bread to nourish the body, so we cannot live without the bread that nourishes the soul. Jesus uses the illustration of the wilderness manna, to bring to the attention of His hearers, that it is God who provides this bread. Bread represents the hospitality of God. When Jesus tells the crowd that He is the bread of life,(vs 37), He states that He is the gracious bread of God’s  gift of grace. God gives Jesus to sustain and nourishes our lives.  In the Exodus story (Exodus 16), God provide for the people by giving a day’s worth of manna for 40 years.(Exodus 16:35), a reminder that we, like the Hebrews before us, are in God’s hand of  providence day by day.

Prayer:

O God, continue to feed us with the bread of life,

that we may taste Your love and grace, Your goodness and mercy

for Jesus Christ sake.

 Amen.