Devotions

Estranged families – 21st October 2019

Lord I hold before you today those families that have become estranged from one another. Whatever the causes of the animosity prompt them to reach out in love and concern for each other. Help them to develop a will to heal and be healed. I ask it in the name of Jesus Christ – AMEN.

Heavy hearts – 20th October 2019

Lord I pray for people going to worship today with heavy hearts. Help them to find in the worship inspiration, joy and relief for their troubles. Touch them deeply and point them to the all-sufficiency of Christ. Comfort and sustain them. I ask this in the name of Jesus Christ – AMEN.

Emigrating – 19th October 2019

Lord, I ask your blessing on those people planning to emigrate in order to find greener pastures in a different country. Help and guide them in all their plans. Help them to get their documents in order and their arrangements for their arrival complete. I ask in Christ’s name – AMEN.

Medical scientists – 18th October 2019

Lord bless the work of medical scientists as they research possible cures for Alzheimer’s disease. Give them persistence and the necessary “breakthroughs” to encourage them on their way forward in this difficult field. And give them success. I ask it in Christ’s name – AMEN.

Alzheimer’s – 17th October 2019

I pray today Lord, for people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Help them as they journey onwards to both receive and express love. Be especially near to their loved ones as they try to find new ways to love and care and thread their unfamiliar path. I ask in Jesus’ name – AMEN.

Love – 16th October 2019

Lord, fill me more and more with your love. Let me receive your love and be grateful for it, ever thanking you for the greatest gift I have ever had. Show me how to be loving towards my work colleagues, my friends and family members. I ask it in Jesus Christ’s name – AMEN.

Open to your Grace – 15th October 2019

Lord help me more and more to open myself to your grace. Remind me again and again that your grace is sufficient for me – in good times and in bad. Encourage me to rely less on my own capability and strength and to depend on your resources. I ask it in the name of Christ – AMEN.

LEARNING THE LESSONS

“Now learn this lesson from the fig tree”.

Mk 13:28 NIV

If we are watching, and go on watching, and look deeply, we will in all probability start to see below the surface appearance of things. Eventually we may start to “tie up” different things, work out connections, and perceive the meaning of things. In referring to “the lesson of the fig tree” Jesus was challenging the disciples to “work things out”. The climate of apocalyptic thinking posed the conundrum of the future. It spoke of cataclysmic events, disasters, threats and dangers. But it pointed forward to the future and people are always fascinated by what might happen in the future which is so uncertain. And Jesus challenges us to live the present in the light of the future. “Written into the challengeto watch is the exhortation to perceive the meaning of things. Ordinary (and extraordinary) everyday events have an eternal significance, if only we can see it. The relationship of the destruction of Jerusalem to the final coming of Christ is a case in point. Jesus is hinting that everything that happens to us is projected onto the screen of eternity. We are becoming what we eternally shall be. Everything has a double point of reference – now and then. We are called to live the now in the light of the then. To live by this perspective is to be truly ‘broad-minded’” (D. English, The Message of Mark, p210).

If you believe in heaven as an eventual abiding place you will make decisions now that will tie in with that. Your ideas of heaven will partially influence what you do now. It is not only the past that influences the present. The future does too.

PRAYER THOUGHT

Lord, help me to shape my life by believing in your coming kingdom.

Police officers – 14th October 2019

I pray today Lord for police officers, that you will protect them from danger as they deal with dangerous people. Bring them safely home to their loved ones at the end of the day. Imbue them with courage and the sense of vocation to serve others. I ask it in Jesus’ name – AMEN.

STICKING AND STAYING WITH CHRIST

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me”.

Gal 2:20 NIV

The secret of living the Christian life is to know that Christ lives in you, no matter what your circumstances might be. It is more than “being good”. It is not escapism. It is living in all the hardships, problems, stresses, strains, inhospitable outward conditions and demands – with Christ as your companion, guide, friend and Lord. It is true that you may experience moments of “glory”, but those are fleeting. Reality is hard, but Jesus wants you to live in the real world. He lived there himself, facing opposition, misunderstanding, sometimes disloyalty and death. He calls you to take up your cross and follow him.

“The clue to surviving the difficult days, which will in Mark’s gospel be seen to be the secret of all the life of the disciple, is to follow in the steps of Jesus himself. The way he took for our salvation was death and resurrection. He went the way of the cross. God raised him from the dead. So we are called to take up our cross and follow him day by day, in faith that day by day God will raise us to new life in Christ (Romans 8:9-11). As we die to all to which he died, we shall live to all to which he rose (D. English, The Message of Mark, p210).

Prayer and meditation is undoubtedly the secret of remaining “in Christ”. Communicating with Christ means you think about him – and grow more into him all the while.

PRAYER THOUGHT

Lord, help me to be “crucified with Christ”.

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