Daily faith practice brings blessings


Regular devotions are a powerful part of an active home-worship life. They can help nurture our faith and even that of our families, as they strengthen our relationship with Jesus, increase our trust in God and our openness to the call of his Spirit. We pray that you will receive blessings from the devotional materials here and in the Church@Home resources collection collated and shared on the special webpage at There are also other faith-building and practical resources available through this webpage. If you have internet access and a printer, why not print some and mail or deliver them to those who may otherwise miss out?


Psalm 61:2 

From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.


These reflections are from a fresh set of devotions written for our LCANZ 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

The One by Rachael Stelzer

‘Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures’ (Luke 24:45).

Read Luke 24:36b–48.

The disciples huddled in a closed room, confused and afraid. They had heard strange stories, first from the women and then from an out-of-breath Cleopas, of appearances by their teacher, whom they had seen taken down from the cross and placed in the tomb. And, suddenly, he was there in their midst. The One. The teacher. The master. And in their shock, panic and emotion, they cried out in fear. ‘It’s a ghost!’

What happened next could have come from a TV sitcom, complete with canned laughter. Jesus did everything he could to convince these overwhelmed people that he was alive, real and with them. He told them to look at his hands and side, to recognise the scars they had watched him receive. Then when that didn’t work for some, he asked them to bring him some food, to prove through normal human digestion that he wasn’t a ghost with food falling through him. What a hysterical picture he must have seemed! The disciples knew Jesus as one who loved to share food with them. Then he taught them, as he always had, of the importance of his role on earth, now with the benefit of hindsight and perspective. And they recognised his voice and teaching, and it all began to make sense.

Jesus went to such lengths to change his disciples’ fear and confusion to joy and confidence. And Jesus still transforms his followers today.

What fears, panic and confusion do we go through? What stories have we heard? And do we recognise the One, the Teacher, the Master, for who he really is when he stands among us?

Jesus still lovingly shows us who he is. Through his word, people and church, Jesus teaches us, laughs with us, calms us and speaks to us, despite the many other voices that clamour for our attention. May we continue to learn from him, to recognise his voice and ways, and know the confidence and joy of the risen King.

Risen Lord Jesus, open my eyes to see you. Open my ears to hear you. And open my mind to learn from you. I know you will help me in the challenges of the day ahead. Thank you. Amen.  

In Jesus’ name by Ruth Olsen

‘If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it’ (John 14:14).

Read John 14:1–14.

Wow, what a promise Jesus gives us! And what an invitation, opportunity and responsibility! Jesus invites us to work with him! He invites us to pray the kind of prayers that change us and reach beyond ourselves, the ones that touch the Father’s heart for others, reflecting to the Father the heart of Jesus for those being prayed for. He desires to bring glory to the Father – through us!

Jesus is the way to the Father. Jesus is our home base, our safe place and our security. The more we grow in trusting and knowing him, the more we will be enabled to see through his eyes, as it were. He reveals the Father to us as someone who is for us because that’s how Jesus is – for us! He said anyone who has seen him has seen the Father. We look to Jesus, and we are awakened to God as the Father who is for us. And we come to the Father through Jesus’ relationship with the Father. Wow, isn’t that worth taking time to ponder, to chew over? As we grow in knowing Jesus, we will also know the Father as well. And we recognise what the Father is like by how Jesus is. He earnestly desires for us to know the Father.

Tucked into that relationship of love, acceptance and belonging, is an overflowing heart of prayer. In trusting Jesus to meet our needs (including through others), we are increasingly set free to focus away from self and recognise how he wants to bless others, also in answer to our prayers, words and actions. Amazingly, Jesus says anyone who believes in him will also do what he has been doing and even greater things. And in the verses following our reading from John 14–16, he introduces us to the promised Holy Spirit, his Spirit of truth, who is our enabler, helper, teacher and trainer.

Holy Spirit of Jesus, only you can enable us to do and pray what Jesus desires so that Jesus can give glory to the Father through us also. Open this up further to us. Give us insight and draw us into a closer relationship and communication with you. Amen.


Be at peace
by Saint Francis De Sales

Do not look forward in fear to the changes in life;
rather, look to them with full hope that as they arise,
God, whose very own you are,
will lead you safely through all things;
and when you cannot stand it,
God will carry you in his arms.

Do not fear what may happen tomorrow;
the same understanding Father who cares for
you today will take care of you then and every day.
He will either shield you from suffering
or will give you unfailing strength to bear it.
Be at peace, and put aside all anxious thoughts
and imaginations.

Isaiah 35:4

Say to those with fearful hearts, ‘Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you’.

Recognising God’s voice by Nick Schwarz and Pastor Brian Schwarz

‘My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, and no-one will snatch them out of my hand’ (John 10:27,28).

Read John 10:22–30.

A visitor to Israel, observing a shepherd leading a flock of sheep, once conducted an experiment. He put on the shepherd’s cloak, took hold of the shepherd’s crook and called the sheep to follow him. But the sheep just ignored him. Why? Because what they heard was a strange voice.

Even though the man now looked somewhat like their shepherd, they recognised that he was a fake, an impostor. He was not to be trusted like their real shepherd – the one who knew them intimately, who cared for them daily and was prepared to sacrifice his life to keep them safe.

Sadly, there are pastors, teachers and leaders who masquerade as shepherds of God’s flock but whose voices sound different to that of Jesus, the Good Shepherd.

Rather than stressing what God has done for us through Jesus, they emphasise what you must do to win God’s favour. Rather than giving glory to Jesus, they tend to seek glory for themselves. Rather than acting as humble servants, they act like proud bosses.

False shepherds can do great damage to God’s flock. Beware of them.

Become so familiar with the voice of Jesus that you can quickly detect the difference between those who are genuine shepherds and those who are not.

Dear God, we thank you for shepherds whose voices are in tune with the voice of Jesus, the Good Shepherd. Bless them. Help us to become so familiar with Jesus’ voice that we can quickly recognise true shepherds from imposters. Amen.

Simple, yet difficult by Pastor Peter Bean

‘Love one another’ (John 15:17).

Read John 15:9–17.

Simple, eh? How many philosophers, songwriters, poets and authors have echoed the Bible’s words: love one another, with the implication that all will be well. Perhaps the cartoonist Leunig captures it best in his cartoon where he states, ‘Love one another and you will be happy; it’s as simple and as difficult as that. There is no other way’.

So, yes, it is simple as that, but it is also very difficult. We all know and have experienced that in our everyday living with our family and friends, not to even mention the loving enemies part. Simple as, yet difficult as.

It would be great if I, and if you, could love one another and all life’s problems disappeared. But it doesn’t work like that, and Jesus knows it better than anyone. Perhaps that’s why before he tells us to love one another, he spells out that the Father loves him, and he remains in the Father’s love.

Just the same Jesus loves us, and we can remain in his love. Then we can love another. It’s not through our own strength or ability; it’s because we, you, I, are first loved unconditionally.

Living in that love allows us to love ourselves and love others. This enables us to look beyond those things that distract from loving. Sharing in the joy that Jesus offers and promises (verse 11) allows us to continue to love when it seems humanly impossible. For me (and that person), replacing negative thoughts about someone with the love of Jesus has changed the way I think, act and speak. It’s this love won for us and given to us by Jesus that allows us to love one another. It’s as simple and as difficult as that!

Lord Jesus, thank you for loving me as your Father loves you. Help me to live in this love. And through your presence and with your help, help me to love all those I encounter. Amen.

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