Daily Devotionals

Bring some Spirit-filled peace into your hectic schedule every weekday morning with this new Daily Devotional.

  • Start your day with God
  • Renew your spirit
  • Refocus your faith

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Isaiah 61:11 NLT

'The Sovereign Lord will show his justice to the nations of the world. Everyone will praise him! His righteousness will be like a garden in early spring, with plants springing up everywhere.'

I recently discovered that most plants self-propagate. We have a wonderful wall of cornflowers along the leading edge of our lawn all summer – I mentioned these on Day 3 – the product of some wildflowers sown in pots on our veranda. They easily take over what was barren lawn and bring life and joy not only to the landscape but to all our visitors. Their blue heads, held erect, sway in the breeze and give voice to the wonder of our creator God.
Luke 13:19 NLT

'It is like a tiny mustard seed that a man planted in a garden; it grows and becomes a tree, and the birds make nests in its branches.'

When we visit our local garden centre, our favourite spot is the table with what we call the “orphan plants”. These are heavily discounted since they are not in prime condition and no one appears to want them. We, however, love them. We load up, save a fortune, and the majority of these beauties perform out of their skin for our enjoyment. It’s as if they are so grateful to have been given a home in our flowerbeds that they strive with all their might to bring maximum enjoyment to our lives. Some of these plants are just so small when we pick them up. I can think of a Spanish daisy in particular that flowered and spread to fill a newly dug bed in front of our Heath Robinson greenhouse. When we wanted to move it, in order to construct the greenhouse and protect it from damage, I noticed a tiny remnant had been left behind after transfer. Well, this remnant is now a large plant all of its own, so giving back 100-fold from our original investment.
Isaiah 61:11 NLT

'The Sovereign Lord will show his justice to the nations of the world. Everyone will praise him! His righteousness will be like a garden in early spring, with plants springing up everywhere.'

As we emerge from winter, we look forward to the hellebores flowering, the winter rose revealing that life is stirring once again. It is the precursor of all that lies ahead, in a garden that is largely empty of colour apart from the diverse shades of the evergreens. We know the deciduous plants will soon bud as the soil shudders in anticipation of new birth sprouting from within.
Amos 9:14 NLT

'I will bring my exiled people of Israel back from distant lands, and they will rebuild their ruined cities and live in them again. They will plant vineyards and gardens; they will eat their crops and drink their wine.'

Taken from everything familiar and placed in an alien culture, today there are more than 30 million refugees and a further 41 million displaced people in our world. More than half of the refugees are under 18 years old. Every one of these people is an image-bearer of God. Each with a home and a history now behind them and out of reach or immediate recovery. Having visited refugee camps, these are not any place I’d want my family, friends or foes to be forced to live.
Isaiah 58:11 NLT

'The Lord will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring.'

The garden at St Cuthbert’s Oratory is a delight. What was once a wilderness is now emerging into a cultivated space of colour and perfume. However, this is the result of hard work. We removed two large hedges, then cut in beds for plants in a large lawned area. This was back-breaking work, but together we pressed on to create a space for all our visiting pilgrims and ourselves to enjoy. Whatever the weather, retreatants will find their way to the garden.
Psalm 3:5-6 NLT

'I lay down and slept, yet I woke up in safety, for the Lord was watching over me. I am not afraid of ten thousand enemies who surround me on every side.'

Sleeping well is supposed to be a sign of a clear conscience. Scientists recently identified the best guarantee of a good night’s sleep was having something worth getting up for the next day. The key to a happy life is purposefulness, they report. Fortunately, the two are related for I can confidently lay down to sleep knowing that whatever happens overnight, however traumatic my problems, God is the sole guarantee that I shall prosper within my circumstances.
Psalm 3:4 NLT

'I cried out to the Lord, and he answered me from his holy mountain.'

We can theorise about God and enjoy an interesting dialogue or sermon, but the reality of daily living is where we discover the reality of whether God is truth.
Psalm 3:3 NLT

'But you, O Lord, are a shield around me; you are my glory, the one who holds my head high.'

A shield is a vital piece of defensive armour. It protects the individual from the blows and missiles from an enemy in the field of battle. As scripture reminds us, the Christian life is a battle. God offers us all-round protection from the enemy. Yet, the shield has to be lifted in our own defence. If I enter into life having left my armour at home, I cannot be surprised if I am wounded. Paul tells us to “Put on the whole armour of God” (Ephesians 6:11, KJV). Here the shield is the faith that ensures we shall advance against all odds. It is only through maintaining my faith that I can consistently resist the attacks of the devil.
Psalm 3:2 NLT

So many are saying, “God will never rescue him!”

Faith in God has always been a personal choice. Assurance is a matter of applied conviction. I lean on a promise that I can know within my heart and subjectively experience, yet cannot prove beyond reasonable doubt. My testimony, drawing upon scripture and the tradition of the Church, cannot establish that no other logical explanation can be derived from the facts I present. After all, faith is and will always remain “the reality of what we hope for…the evidence of things we cannot see” (Hebrews 11:1, NLT).
Psalm 3:1 NLT

'O Lord, I have so many enemies; so many are against me.'

I’ve a tendency to wake in the early hours and often, hard as I try, fail to get back to sleep. My mind fills with anxiety and no matter what I do, God’s peace eludes me. While these are mental thoughts, I can feel them within my physical body; a gnawing in my stomach and a tightening across my chest.