Daily Readings

Daily Devotion by Pastor Julia Howard will be posted week by week (also on our FaceBook site found at https://www.facebook.com/

 
October 15, 2018
But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life ~ Jude 1:20, 21

What a great exhortation to start the day! It is a call to strengthen ourselves in the faith by prayer, godliness, and hope! This is the foundation of our Christian Faith and life! Daily we need to be commended to strengthen ourselves, as each day brings its own trials and persecutions. We are not of the world which believes that separation from God and following their own notions is the way of strength. We know that only as we pray in the Holy Spirit can we make our foundation firm, for as we pray in the power of the Holy Spirit, so His wisdom and strength moves within our hearts and directs our prayers. Finally, we are to keep ourselves in the love of God, and that means not only His love for us, but our love for Him. Then, His mercy, which He will show to us on the last day, grants us the knowledge we will be judged accordingly. Eternal life is our hope, our promise, our goal.
Devotion by Pastor Julia

October 14, 2018
“For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” ~ Jeremiah 29:11

We make plans everyday, but not all come to fruition, and not all are good for us in the long run. Our decisions are based on our feelings, and what we think we ought to do. The plans of God in our life look beyond today and tomorrow, they look well into the future. This verse was given to the Isrealites while they were in Babylon as captives. It was a promise of release and return to homeland, back to the “promised land.” God wants to lead us to that promised land as well. Not only here in this life, but in the life beyond. The only way there is to follow Him. When you make your plans, make sure you tap into the great plan maker. He will never lead you astray.
Devotion by Pastor Julia

October 13, 2018
When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed ~ James 1:13, 14

Temptations and trials can be good in our life. The temptations and trials we encounter lead us to great joy and give us the opportunity to boast that we have overcome! Of course, we overcome through the power of Christ. But here, James is talking about the power of being tempted, that is, the power that leads us to sin. And this temptation he says, some attribute to God.

James refutes this. How can God, who is holy, without sin, and One who hates sin lead any of us into sin? It is easy to shift blame for one’s own actions. He made me, or she led me, or they were doing it! But to place that blame on God, when it is contrary to His nature is utter deception and wickedness. God cannot be tempted by anything that is unholy, and neither does He lead us into such a state.

Temptations come to us from our “old man” which is sinful and which is easily led by Satan. James concludes by saying what really leads us into temptation: our evil desires and lusts. Time has not changed mankind. We still fall into the trap, we still follow our “old man”, and we still are weak when we should be strong. But never blame God for how you fall down into sin. Only you are to blame.

God is good and faithful to forgive! That is what one should say when they falles into temptation! He loves you
Devotion by Pastor Julia

October 12, 2018
Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendour, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Your, Lord, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all ~ 1 Chronicles 29:11

David begins this portion in the way the Lord’s Prayer ends by stating the glory and splendour of God. All the excellencies of God, and all others, is in God from the beginning of time. We are to think of Him in a way we do not think of any other, created or not. He is the Sovereign Lord, owner of all things!

David, as great as he was, takes nothing on himself for greatness, but gives it all over and grants that it all belongs to God. It is as if he had said, “My kingdom is great, I have a marvellous home, I sit on a throne of power and prestige, but they all belong to You, Lord!”

What is it in your life that you cling to as yours when you should be giving it over to the greatness of the Lord?
Devotion by Pastor Julia

October 11, 2018
Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls ~ 1 Peter 1:8, 9

Hebrews 11:1 says faith is the things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Yet, when we put our faith in the “unseen” Jesus Christ, His evidence is made very see-able! We love Him because He first loved us, and that too is see-able! He died on the cross for you and me. What greater love can there be than that? Can I physically touch Him? No, that I cannot do, but I can sense His touch in those He sends to minister to me. I see His handiwork in the world around me. I know He is there in my life when I see it all come together in ways I could not have planned and executed had I tried in vain to do so. Faith in Jesus Christ sustains me, enables me to be all I can be, holds me through the valleys and the mountain top experiences. But, greater still is to know that I will one day be with Him in glory! To know that when this life is over, I will be with Him, my Love, my Life, my Saviour! My Lord saved my soul so that I could be with Him! Praise God!
Devotion by Pastor Julia

October 10, 2018
Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves ~ 1 Peter 2:16

We are no longer under the law! Put simply, no one could live up to the law! If we didn’t fall down in one area we were bound to in another. The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ released us from the law and brought us into grace. We are therefore, now free in Jesus Christ due to His paying the price for our freedom. We praise God for His grace!

We also have a responsibility under this wonderful grace – that being to live a life which is honourable to God. We live in freedom, but as Peter put it, we live as slaves under the watchful eye of our Master and Lord. As He is holy, so we ought to be holy. God is not a liar or a deceiver, He is purity and perfection. So we are to strive to be imitators of Him in our daily life.
Devotion by Pastor Julia

October 8, 2018
One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother ~ Proverbs 18:24

Friends can be our great blessing! I have had several who have been an inspiration and coach, guide and confidant. They have walked beside me in times of trouble and joy. Some people are not so blessed to have good friends, as I have had. Friends can lead us down the wrong path and into trouble. Most often it is because they are troubled within, but the trouble escapes from there and surrounds them in all their experiences.

Friends are close, brothers and sisters closer still, but here we are told there is one who sticks even closer than family. This one has a love that is stronger and purer even than all the ties of family. I think the best friend is the Friend of Sinners, Jesus Christ, and the writer may have been referring to God, but I know there is no other who will stand by me to the very end like the Lord will.
Devotion by Pastor Julia

October 7, 2018
For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people…~ 1 Timothy 2:5, 6a

There is only one God, and there is only one way to that God, that being through Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Christ, whom is our mediator, our High Priest, and our Saviour. He sacrificed himself for our freedom, our redemption, our cleansing, and our being able to come close to our Father God. We no longer need an earthly mediator, for we now have a heavenly one who defends our case before God, and against the devil. Jesus Christ our mediator who suffered as a man, was tempted as a man, and who overcame as a man/God so that we might have eternal life.
Devotion by Pastor Julia

 

Daily Bible Reading Suggestions:

1. Use a contemporary translation that is easy for you to understand (e.g. New Revised Standard Version (NRSV); New International Version (NIV); Eugene Peterson’s The Message is especially good).

2. Keep a notebook or journal for you to write down thoughts, ideas, and questions.

3. Before you read, pray for the Holy Spirit to open your mind to understand, and your heart to obey, his Word.

4. Read slowly with an open mind. Read aloud if you find that helpful (many people do!).

5. Express to God in the simplest way the impression the words have made on you. You may want to thank God for the gift they convey, ask the questions they have stirred in you, put into words the longings or needs they have brought up. Keep it simple, praying spontaneously.

“The Christian’s day…also needs definite times of silence, silence under the Word and silence that comes out of the Word. ….Silence is the simple stillness of the individual under the Word of God….Silence is nothing else but waiting for God’s Word and coming from God’s Word with a blessing. But everybody knows that this is something that needs to be practiced and learned, in these days when talkativeness prevails. Real silence, real stillness, really holding one’s tongue comes only as the sober consequence of spiritual stillness.

“But this stillness before the Word will exert its influence upon the whole day….Silence before the Word leads to right hearing and thus also to right speaking of the Word of God at the right time.”
(Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together, Harper & Row, 1954, pp. 79f.)

Daily readings adapted from the Book of Common Prayer are also available at: http://www.crivoice.org/daily.html