DAILY DEVOTIONS

25 Oct 2021

Image by frank mckenna

May the Lord answer

you when you are in distress;
   may the name of the

God of Jacob protect you.

Psalm 20:1

As the ruler or overseer of the synagogue in Capernaum, Jairus was a well known religious leader.
Jesus was also well known. To the common folk he was a miracle healer who could resolve their troubles and illnesses
To many of the Scribes and Pharisees, he was someone to be despised, an evil person doing his work with the help of Beelzebub (Mark 3:22)
Some of the religious leaders believed in him, but would never confess it openly as they were concerned about the impact of their social status or their job security (John 3:1-3)
Jesus on the other hand knew each person intimately. Knew their situation and their hearts.  

(John 2:23-25)
When Jairus approached Jesus, desperate to save his daughter's life, the fear of losing his  child overruled all other considerations. When he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet, and pleaded earnestly with him.
Jesus did not ignore Jairus or judged him for who or what he was or how he had behaved in the past.
He was compassionate. He heard the earnest cries for help. He walked with Jairus by his side in his most extreme time of need.
Jairus must have been frustrated when Jesus was delayed by the woman. But one can only wonder if he was not also encouraged by what he heard next
The woman fell at Jesus's feet, not in a plea for help, but to testify  in reverence and fear to Jesus and all that could hear, that her faith in Him had just healed her from 12 years of intense and humiliating suffering.
It is interesting to note that Jairus's daughter was 12 years old and this woman had suffered for 12 years.
Jesus said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”
Then when the absolute worst had happened and Jairus was told to give up because his daughter had died, it was Jesus who told Jairus "don't be afraid; just believe.
Jairus's faith was rewarded when Jesus took his child by the hand and raised her from the dead to the astonishment of all who were present.
In Jesus it is never too late. In Jesus it is never over. In Him there is love, mercy, grace, healing and forgiveness. He is ever faithful. In Him there is life. Turn to him.

Prayer:

My Jesus, my Savior
Lord there is none like you
All of my days, I want to praise
The wonders of your mighty love
My comfort, my shelter
Tower of refuge and strength
Let every breath, all that I am
Never cease to worship You

Amen.

Daniel Jacobi / Darlene Zschech / P. Eltermann

26 Oct 2021

Image by Tobias Reich

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.

Romans 8:18

The apostle Peter wrote with a pastoral heart. He wrote to Christians scattered over the Roman Empire and living under the persecution of Rome and emperor Nero. Peter’s primary goal is to offer encouragement and hope to people who lived daily under the threat of death. Peter speaks to their pain and suffering, and in their suffering offers them the hope of life that comes from a living relationship with Jesus. In seeking to keep their hope and faith alive, Peter uses the image of a stone. Stones have no life, they are dead objects, but Perter presents Jesus as “The living Stone.” He wants to underscore the truth that the living Christ breathes life into that which has no life.  Peter says that Jesus is the perfect “Living Stone”, who became “the Corner Stone”.  Everyone that allows herself/himself to be built into the “Living Stone”, finds life and becomes “ living stones”,  to be used by God for the Honour and glory of God’s name and the extension of God’s kingdom. We therefore become God’s preferred building material, through which God seeks to transform the world into The Kingdom of God and of His Christ. Living stones are movable objects to be used and placed where God needs is most.

Prayer:

Gracious God, whose love for us is greater than we know or understand,

thank You for Your grace that allows us into Your presence.

We are grateful that You believe in us, even though You are aware of our shortcomings

and failures. Help us to respond more creatively to Your love and trust.

In the name of Jesus, our Lord and Saviour.

Amen

27 Oct 2021

Image by Jairo Gonzalez

“I will be a Father to you, and you shall be my sons and daughters,”  says the Lord Almighty.  

2 Corinthians 6 : 18

Naomi experienced great suffering in her life after loosing her husband and two sons.  She felt forsaken by God.  But one day after years of suffering she decided to live again.  She encourages her two daughters-in-law to return to their family homes. Orpah takes Naomi’s advice, but Ruth decides to pledge her loyalty and love and to follow her mother-in-law, not only that, but she decides to follow Naomi’s God, the God of Israel.  Together they take one step forward at a time.  Their lives as widows are not easy.  Together they pledge a loyalty and love for each other and for God.

The Lord is good.  It is a truth we can sing about even in difficult times, because He will not desert us even in the darkest situations.  His mercy and grace endures forever.  He is our strength and refuge in times of trouble.

If we hold fast to this, then we shall find in Him a place of retreat and defense.  The Lord not only loves us, but He knows us most intimately.  This will make us long to walk with Him in holiness all the days of our lives.

Prayer:

O Lord our God, grant us grace to desire You with our whole being, that so desiring we may seek and find You, and so finding You, may love You, and loving You, may hate those sins from which You have redeemed us. 

Amen.

28 Oct 2021

Image by Ray Hennessy

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4 : 6 – 7

Many people cannot explain the fear that haunts them, others know what causes the fear in their lives.

There is one certain factor which can help us overcome our fears and that is a living and active faith in Jesus Christ.  Fear and faith cannot co-exist in the same life.  One still has many doubts.  Your faith will prove itself to be ineffective if it does not lead you to a more profound awareness of Jesus Christ.  A sincere love for Him makes His presence a living reality.

Faith becomes alive and meaningful through a love for Christ and our fellowman and when we rely on it during difficult times.

“Trust the past to God’s mercy, the present to God’s love, and the future to God’s providence.”  (Augustine of Hippo)

Place your trust in God our Father, put Him to the test, even for the little things and you will soon find that he is actively working on the big issues.  The only way to control our anxieties and fears is to take refuge in the greater influence of God, as we yield our lives to Jesus Christ as the Lord of our lives.

Prayer:

Show us your ways, O Lord.  Fill us with Your Holy Spirit to teach us Your paths, give us confidence in You and guide us in Your truth.  May our trust and our hope be in You always, for You are our Saviour, Lord and our Messiah, Jesus Christ.  Amen.

30 Oct 2021

Image by Ricardo Frantz

Here I am Lord.

Is it I lord?

I have heard

You calling in the night.

I will go Lord,

If You lead me;

I will hold Your

people in my heart.

(chorus WOV 830)

Jesus sends seventy of His followers on a training mission, out into the villages to spread the good news of God’s kingdom; a kingdom of love, forgiveness and eternal life. Jesus first tells them to take no extra baggage. Do not carry a money purse, a bag or even an extra pair of sandals. What they have is enough for the journey. The disciples needed good traveling shoes and a light load. They needed  shoes to withstand the hardships of the journey. St Paul reminded the church at Ephesus that their feet should be fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.(Ephesians 6: 15). Shoes speak of a deep and profound faith in God whose presence accompany them on the journey. As we continue our  journey through this challenging and uncertain time, let us be mindful of the unseen presence of God. The very presence of Christ is woven into our lives for every step of our journey.

Prayer:

O God, our  Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer

We thank You for Your love, grace and forgiveness, revealed in Jesus.

We lift to Your grace those in desperate places, those in lonely places,

those in broken places and those in fearful places.

Wherever we find ourselves on the journey, thank You for being there.

In the name of Jesus, our Lord and Saviour.

  Amen.