Daily devotions

Tuesday 24th May 2022

Psalm 116:15 “Precious in the sight of the Lord

                                is the death of saints.”

Proverbs 12:28 “In the way of righteousness there is life;

                                   along that path is immortality.”

Deuteronomy 30:15 “See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction.”

‘Gone to God’. ‘Passed on’. ‘Snuffed it’. ‘Pegged out’. There are so many phrases we use to describe a death all of them marking that event which will come to everyone eventually.

We are familiar with the physical facts of death. The lifeless body. The need for burial or cremation. The clearing of houses. But what about the soul? What happens to that part when our bodies fail?

There are many societies in the world which have elaborate arrangements to allow the deceased’s soul to leave. Even Jesus hung about a bit before ascending to heaven. In the Christian faith it’s all to do with the living of a righteous life walking in the ways of God. The Psalmist makes clear that God delights in his saints (believers) and their reward is immortality.

In Deuteronomy 30 Moses describes in his third address to the Israelites the choice they face as they are poised to enter the Promised Land. The choice between death and oblivion and death and eternal life. It all depends on their acceptance of God and the need to walk with Him. Just as relevant today as in the time of Moses.

 

Wednesday 18th May 2022

Psalm 8:3-8

When I consider your heavens,  the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars,
 which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
 human beings that you care for them?

Have you ever taken the time to just stop and marvel at what you see? Especially if you are out at night, in the country with no street lights, and look up to sky and just watch the night sky full of stars. It not as easy to see them in the city lights, but certainly worth taking time out to see the stars that God flung into space. Of course it is not just the stars in the night sky but the wonders of all creation.

In this Psalm of David he must have been thinking just this when “putting pen to paper” to write down his love and awe of his and our amazing creator. This psalm really makes you think seriously about God, when you think that he made us in his image, and to be able to care for the creation in which he placed us.  We are his amazing creation, his beloved people. What we are is very special and we in his image are to love one another as he loves us. Just like the stars we need to shine out in awe of the God who breathed life into us and know that God indeed loves us and in this love we trust and obey to remain always caring for the creation around us.

Eternal Father we thank you for loving us completely and for the wonderful gift of life and the beauty of all that we see in your creation. Amen.

 

Tuesday 17th May 2022

Genesis 2:15 “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.”

However one believes the world was created there can be no doubt that it is a masterpiece. It abounds with riches and beauty which is a constant source of wonder. And yet we abuse it dreadfully.

God, in putting Adam in the Garden of Eden left him with choices to make between good and evil and we are told he made the wrong choice. We are still making wrong choices today particular in our duty of care towards God’s garden. We plunder its riches; we pollute its land, sea and air; we scrabble and fight to obtain more than we need.

Lord, help us to see this behaviour isn’t sustainable and guide us to nurture your creation by sharing and caring to benefit all people living in Your bountiful garden. Amen

 

Thursday 12th May 2022

A time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak. Ecclesiastes 3:7 NIV.

How long can you sit in silence in a room with others comfortably, without feeling uncomfortable? It certainly is not an easy thing to do. If this is difficult how easy will it be to sit in silence and listen for the voice of the Holy Spirit.  To still your soul is something we should all do to rediscover our faith and to make it a discipline, hopefully daily. Belief in God is our discipline of faith which guides us daily.  In silence you can find solace in times of grief and then the time to speak is with our comforter, Jesus Christ. 

David said of this call to silence, “my hope is from Him. . . He is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I shall not be shaken.” (Psalm 62:6) Let us take our time of silence.Take out all the electronics that take up our time and cause you to be distracted. Settle down and be silent, be still and know your God. Hear his voice in the silence.  Bring your heart and soul an inner peace daily with God.  When your children come up and give you a hug without saying anything, it is such a lovely feeling. Just to feel the love given in a hug. Then let us give the Lord our God a hug and feel the love flowing into each one of us. In the silence Lord.

Loving Father, we give you all the praise and glory, in all that we do in your precious name. Amen.

 

Tuesday 10th May 2022

Psalm 55:1, 2 “Listen to my prayer, O God,

  do not ignore my plea;

  hear me and answer me.

    My thoughts trouble me and I am distraught…”

Psalm 64: 1, 2 “Hear me, O God, as I voice my complaint;

  protect my life from the threat of the enemy.

    Hide me from the conspiracy of the wicked,

  from the noisy crowd of evildoers.”

 

We all get anxious at times. Occasionally we get very anxious or distraught. We complain to or shout at anyone nearby who will listen. We have all been faced by someone who wants to unburden themselves even though we don’t really want to know.

The psalmists’ anxiety shows in what sounds like whining and whinging to God. Shouldn’t we be more reasonable and humble in our petitions to Him? Well, no, Scripture seems to say you can tell God anything and everything that is on your mind. It’s just that He won’t necessarily answer your request in a way you hoped for.

Unlike most of us God is happy to listen however much we moan, complain, even demand because He knows that we will feel better for getting our worries off our chests.

 

 

Wednesday 4th May 2022

Jeremiah 29:12–14 12Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “

Prayer is important in all our lives; it is as necessary to us as the oxygen we need daily to live our lives. As Christians we know the importance of praying daily helping us to be on an even keel with God, through the Holy Spirit. The very air we breathe comes from God and we give thanks for this. It is necessary to give us life. we can forget to pray quite easily, but we certainly cannot forget to breathe. Yet, why should we make a difference?  In today’s verses there is an open letter from God telling us that when we pray, God hears us and that if we really want to find God he will show himself to us. When we pray we are talking to God, we are in conversation with God, we just need to be open and honest, and above all trust in his word, just as we trust in the air that we breathe to keep us alive and kicking. Will we be happy and jubilant in our prayer life and show others that, yes we can be knowing we have the Lord’s assurance that he is with us. Through his Holy Spirit we can share the love for one another.

Heavenly Father; It is such a privilege to pray to you and with you. Thank You that we may come at any time, to speak with you and bring our petitions before you for your will be done here on earth as it is in Heaven. Amen

 

Tuesday 3rd May 2022

Psalm 57:4 “I am in the midst of lions;

    I lie among ravenous beasts-

    men whose teeth are spears and arrows,

    whose tongues are sharp swords.”

Proverbs 25:18 “Like a club or a sword or a sharp arrow

  is the man who gives false testimony against his neighbour.”

Proverbs 12:18 “Reckless words pierce like a sword,

  but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”

 

We all like to gossip. To pass on news that we think might impress or improve our standing amongst our acquaintances. We do not stop to think how the information might hurt others.

Psalm 57 is thought to have been written while David was hiding from Saul in a cave. Saul had become jealous of David after he had slain Goliath with a sling and a stone.

Solomon is credited with many of the proverbs. Most are pithy two liners just as relevant today as they were when Solomon became king in 970 BC.

Proverb 12:18 points out the way for us to heal not wound.

 

Friday 29th April 2022

“Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you.”

1 Peter 5:7

 

What do you do when you settle down to pray? Do you have candles and set up a quiet space away from all the buzz of the world around you, or have you just sat down at a convenient time to pray without thinking about it? There is so much going on around us at times, and we find it difficult to take time away to pray. Also we sometimes are so worried about things bothering us, knocking off our sleep patterns, and how we behave towards one another.  But believe that even when we are so bowed down, God is still there holding out his hand to help us because he cares deeply for us all.  Have you sat in church and your mind is so full of the worldly things that you cannot concentrate on the service going on around you? Even to the point you are way ahead of yourself wondering what the best time will be to get the turkey, or the roast in the oven.

It is so easy to let the cares of your daily life take over that prayer time seems to slip by until you are really brought down by the cares of everyday life therefore; forgetting to turn back to our time to be with God.  Peter knew all about distractions and prompted the new believers to turn to God and know how much he loved them and to let God take the worries and distractions away. God wants to take away our worries that are bowing us down because in his love for us he takes them upon his shoulders. Put your trust in God and he will carry you through the worries. And in turn we can be aware of just how much God loves and cares for us and we can give him all the praise and glory without any distraction and give him our full attention as he does for us.

 Loving Lord, we give you thanks for your loving care for us holding us in your everlasting love. Amen.

 

Tuesday 26th April 2022

Acts 7:59, 60 “While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’ Then he fell on his knees and cried out, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them.’ When he had said this, he fell asleep.”

Revelation 6:9 “When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained.”

‘He’s a martyr to the cause.’ ‘What a martyr!’  We tend to use the term ‘martyr’ lightly implying amused derision. There was nothing laughable about the martyrdom of Stephen. He fearlessly proclaimed the word of God and berated the church officials for their ungodly behaviour. He even forgave them as he was being stoned to death.

It is said that the God fearing Abel, slain by his jealous brother Cain was the first martyr and there have been many since. Maybe the defenders of the steel works in Mariupol in doggedly refusing to abandon their country and their freedom will be considered martyrs.

To be a martyr you are expected to have always followed a creed, religious or otherwise, through thick and thin before making the ultimate sacrifice. Thankfully few of us have to face this final outcome but we should always calmly and resolutely proclaim our beliefs in the face of ‘amused derision’.

 

Wednesday 20th April 2022

“When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the time and died for us sinners.”

Romans 5:6

How many times in a day do you turn to your mobile and play a game on it?  There are so many games that make you jump through hoops to get better than a friend or another person on the same app. It is so frustrating when you almost reach the top and something in the game jumps up and knocks you right back to the beginning. Having to start all over again. We have this in our real lives as well, when something happens to knock us down and we have to start over again.  But remember the truth in today’s verse; God is always close to us, He watches over us all in his grace.  And his love and mercy are renewed every morning.

He gives us hope and encouragement to turn to him daily and helps us back up to stand once more being held in his love. Jesus came to give us life just when we needed it most and through Christ’s love and God’s amazing love we know that we are never alone in dark days and in good days. When we get knocked down God is there taking us by the hand and lifting us up to be able to carry on. All we need to do is give thanks and praise God for all he has and will do for us.

 

Loving Father we give you all the praise and glory and our thanks for loving us enough to take away our sins and lift us up daily to love one another as you have loved us. Amen.