Blessings from everyday faith-life support

Even as COVID-19 restrictions continue to ease around Australia and New Zealand, we know that not everyone has been able to return to in-person worship with their faith family. For this reason, and because even those able to attend face-to-face church services receive blessings through an active home-worship life, we will continue sharing special devotional materials to support LCA/NZ members. Most of these are from the Church@Home resources collection on a special webpage at There is also other faith-building content available through this page. If you have internet access and a printer, why not print off some resources and mail or deliver them to those who may otherwise miss out?



These reflections are from a fresh set of devotions written for our LCA/NZ family and friends to help us to keep our eyes on Jesus. They can be used by families and individuals as part of the Church@Home resources. You can find these and more on the LCA website at

A divided heart by Chelsea Pietsch

‘You have not lied just to human beings but to God’ (Acts 5:4).

Read Acts 5:1–11.

When Christ calls us to follow him, the call is absolute. Drop everything, come. Jesus shakes up our world.

Understandably, this can cause us some uncertainty or even anxiety. We want to follow Jesus, but we’re also scared about what it will mean for us. We’re nervous about letting go of our place in the world. These fears can lead to hypocrisy. We want to appear to our friends in the church to be trusting Christ, but sometimes the things we do in secret suggest otherwise.

In our passage, we meet a couple, Ananias and Saphira, who struggle with this very thing. They are a wealthy couple who sell a piece of property, and they pretend to bring all of the proceeds to the apostles to distribute according to need, as was the custom in the early church (see Acts 4:32–37 for further context). But in reality, they keep some of the money for themselves.

When Peter asks them directly whether the amount they handed over was the full amount, they lie. He sees their lie and calls it out. But God sees their lie, too, and they fall dead. Their death is a result of their hypocrisy.

Have you ever told a lie to preserve an image of yourself as an upright Christian? What are some things you are reluctant to relinquish for fear of losing your place in the world?

Dear Lord, forgive us when we have lied to ourselves, to others, and you. Protect us from hypocrisy, and let your gospel bear fruit in us. Amen.  

Attitude to authority by Pastor Joshua Pfeiffer

‘Let every person be subject to the governing authorities; for there is no authority except from God, and those authorities that exist have been instituted by God’ (Romans 13:1).

Read Romans 13:1–7.

Sometimes Christians who claim to surrender to Christ as the Lord of their life are at the same time quite dismissive and even rebellious in their attitude toward other authorities, such as parents, bosses, teachers, or governments. Sadly, I know this from my own life (Psalm 25:7)!

We learn from the Scriptures, however, that our attitude to authority is a spiritual issue. Luther picks up on this in his explanation to the fourth commandment, where we are called to honour our father and mother. He says, ‘we should fear and love God so that we should not despise or anger our parents and other authorities’.

Notice the connection between our life before God and our life before others whom God sets over us.

In our text, St Paul focuses on our attitude toward the governing authorities wherever we live. He says that when we consider how we act toward those in our governments, we do well to remember that all true authority finds its source in God and that the government, and those in authority, have been instituted by God for our good. We are to be subject to them as a fundamental attitude, and this means specific things, too, like paying our taxes. There are, of course, limits to this. For example, if we are asked by the government to engage in something that is an offence to God (Acts 5:29). But it’s quite likely St Paul was writing to Christians who lived under governments far less friendly to them than most of us do.

God is rich in his goodness toward this world. Are we able to recognise that even our governing authorities are, in fact, a gift from God? Through them, he has provided a well-ordered society and protection for the weak and vulnerable. No government will ever do this flawlessly, of course. Still, we owe them our honour as those who exercise authority in this world on God’s behalf.

Heavenly Father, thank you for our government. Please give wisdom to our leaders as they navigate the many complex issues facing our community. Lead us by your Spirit to subject ourselves to them and honour them. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Help by Pastor Jim Strelan

‘You are my help and my deliverer’ (Psalm 70:5).

Read Psalm 70.

There are those, both believers and unbelievers, who seem to think that if you are a Christian, then everything will always go well for you. You know that that isn’t true.

You have your share of struggles. In fact, you may well have had more than your share. But if others know that you are a believer, if you have openly spoken about the goodness of God, then you open yourself up to ridicule. Your God is supposed to care about you and he’s supposed to be on your side. So how come you are in this predicament now? And that only makes things even harder.

There comes a time when we can only cry out to God to bring us through. We do not deny our faith when we speak openly and honestly to God and let him hear our anguish. The psalms are full of this kind of thing. In this psalm, the lamenter is desperate for release and so asks God to deliver and to do it quickly. God is not only able to help and deliver, but he is also the help, and he is the deliverer.

That’s his nature. That’s his desire. Not a magic wand waved over you so that it all disappears. Not always an instant cure or an immediate turnaround of circumstances. ‘Quickly’ is what you want, and when you express that, God understands the desperation of your situation. But he is true to himself. He will help, and he will deliver. Those who question your faith (that’s what some believers like to do) and ridicule you will be silenced. In the end, that is why we can rejoice and be glad in him, even while we cry out.

God, help me. Look and see my struggles and deliver me. I put my hope in you. Amen.

God is our source of peace by Kimberley Pfeiffer

‘My steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed’ (Isaiah 54:10).

Read Isaiah 54:10–17.

Do you ever dare wonder about the magnitude of God’s love for you? Do you ever wonder why he chooses to focus his steadfast love and compassion on you? Do you wonder why God wants you to prosper and for everything that comes from you, such as your children, to also flourish? Does it ever scare you a little and lead you to think, maybe God loves you more than you can love yourself?

In the text from Isaiah 54, we are reminded that worldly calamities are real, and they can throw us off course. This text talks about natural disasters, violence, and oppression. Here, God offers comfort to the Israelite people, reminding them that his love is true stability and a source of peace.

When life throws us a curveball, we tend to cling to visible things, usually people or possessions. But for us, the church, God has revealed himself as the true source of strength and stability. It is from him that we receive the very good gifts of stability and order in this world, such as loving families, safe homes, and peaceful communities.

When we look for comfort in the things of this world, we will ultimately be disappointed. But when we look to God for comfort, his steadfast love flows into our lives and transforms the way we perceive all reality – even a reality that is frightening. This is the peace that surpasses all understanding that keeps our hearts and minds safe in Christ Jesus.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for revealing your true nature to us in the Holy Scriptures. Thank you for sending Christ to fulfil and be the way to your peace. Lord, strengthen us as we grow through hardship, joy, and ordinary times. Bless our hearts in our longing for rest in you. Amen.


Almighty God,

Our personal suffering leads us to cry out in pain and we shrink in fear when we experience sickness, anxiety or the death of loved ones.

Teach us to trust you, knowing that you bring good into all things.

May the churches we belong to be signs of your providential care.

Make us true disciples of your Son who taught us to listen to your word and to serve one another.

In confidence we ask this in the name of your Son, and in the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

– From the National Council of Churches in Australia’s
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity Biblical Reflections and Prayers


Isaiah 41:10

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.

Matthew 5:4

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Matthew 11:28

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

Psalm 23:4

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.

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