Keeping faith at the forefront of everyday life

Regular devotions can be a great foundation for our 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?

– Lisa

Psalm 9:9 

The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.


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

Eucatastrophe! by Sal Huckel

My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest (Isaiah 32:18).

Read Isaiah 32:14–20.

Let’s start with a quote from JRR Tolkien about a literary device that features in his writing: ‘I coined the word “eucatastrophe”: the sudden happy turn in a story which pierces you with a joy that brings tears’.

Tolkien refers to the resurrection as the greatest eucatastrophe producing that essential emotion: Christian joy which produces tears because it is qualitatively so like sorrow, because it comes from those places where Joy and Sorrow are at one, reconciled, as selfishness and altruism are lost in Love (Letter 89).

We see the same effect in our reading today.

When the Lord’s Spirit is poured out from on high, we are promised the transformation of deserted cities and wastelands and the dwelling of justice and righteousness, bringing life-giving fruit! In Isaiah’s day, as in ours, we see a stark contrast between the messianic kingdom that is to come and the worldly government. Perhaps we feel that the present day is the worst we have seen in our lifetimes – though, of course, generations have struggled before in times of great hardship and crisis. Famine, wars, genocide – earthly troubles are not new. But we have an assurance and a hope, both now and in eternity.

We see that there is only one source of security for an insecure world. We pray for the renewal that will eventually come, bringing peace, quietness, confidence, security, rest and blessing. While we look forward to God’s kingdom reigning on earth, we can also pray for renewal and an outpouring in our lives right now. Pray for the Lord to reign in your heart, in your life, in your home. God’s kingdom ruling in our hearts brings his reign closer for others too.

Father God, pour out your Spirit from on high today. Transform my life with your justice and righteousness. I long for your peace, quietness, rest and blessing. Reign in my heart and give us patience and peace in the struggles of this world. May your people share their hope with others as we look for your coming in glory. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Loving God with all my heart by Norma Koehne

Love the Lord with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength (Deuteronomy 6:5).

Read Deuteronomy 6:4–13.

Lately, I have been watching a series on Netflix called Shtisel, which is about Orthodox Jewish families in Israel. What I have found most interesting is the way they constantly remind themselves of God and his words.

I was puzzled by why they touch the doorframe as they enter the house until I read in this text that they write this commandment on their doorframes and gates.

At prayer time, small books containing God’s word in the Old Testament are wrapped onto their hands and tied on their foreheads.

We are blessed that we have God’s full revelation of his love and salvation in the New Testament as well as the Old Testament. How do we, in our busy modern lives, make sure that we love God with all our being, that he is first in our lives and our love? We can take the opportunity to worship God through word and sacrament in church and our homes through morning and evening devotions. We can try to have reminders of God and his goodness around us at all times. Perhaps we can print out Bible verses and put them on the door of the refrigerator, a place we all look at often. Maybe you spend a lot of time travelling and can put a Bible verse in your car where you can see it easily. And, of course, we keep close to God through our prayers throughout the day. Be creative!

There is a warning here to the people of Israel. ‘When you eat and are satisfied, be careful that you do not forget the Lord’ (verses 11b,12). Sadly, that has become the case in so many countries in our affluent western world. We are blessed with so many good things. It is easy to be like the unwise farmer, ‘You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy, eat, drink and be merry’ (Luke 12:19). God preserve us from such arrogance and indifference.

Lord, you know how hard it is for us to love you with our whole heart. Help us through your Spirit to immerse ourselves in your word so we are constantly reminded of your love and goodness. Amen.


God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as you did, this world as it is,
Not as I want it,
Trusting that you will make all things right,
That I may be content in this life,
And joyful with you forever in the next.

– Reinhold Niebuhr (1892–1971) from

Nehemiah 8:10

Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.

Christ the Conqueror by Pastor Reid Matthias

Because everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world (1 John 5:4a).

Read 1 John 5:4–12.

If I write the word ‘conqueror,’ who first comes to mind?

Throughout history, there have been military leaders who have, through often brutal means, enlarged their territory. Genghis Kahn, the Mongol leader, conquered territory from eastern Europe across the entirety of Asia to Japan in the east. According to history, his superior military tactics, along with the Mongols’ expertise on horseback and with bow and arrow, allowed him to subdue any group that tried to stand in his way.

From the Apostle John’s perspective, though, conquering the world is not about taking territory, but actually giving it up. Or, as the NIV translates, ‘overcomes’ the world.

How does this happen? Is it by our superior tactics? Our war-like tendencies? Cutting the world down with weapons of destruction?

No, it is by the power of God and his empowerment of love to his children. ‘Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God … and everyone who has been born of God [i.e. received the Holy Spirit] overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith’ (1 John 5:1,4,5).

This is the victory. Christ the Conqueror through love. The free gift of grace through our faith in Christ Jesus allows us to give up our aspirations of conquering territory and allows God to conquer the terror of sin, death and the devil.

What things has the Holy Spirit helped you conquer in life? What are some things you’d like to ask for help with?

Heavenly Father, thank you for your amazing gift of faith. Thank you that it allows me to see that you have conquered the world so I might live freely in it. Your victory is immense! Praise Christ the Conqueror! 

God uses sights and sounds to get attention by Pastor Steve Liersch

And suddenly from heaven, there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting (Acts 2:2).

Read Acts 2:1–21.

In mid-April 2021, my state of Western Australia experienced severe weather when Cyclone Seroja hit.

It was a deadly tropical cyclone that brought historic flooding and landslides to portions of southern Indonesia and East Timor and later went on to impact WA’s Mid-West region. People who had never experienced a cyclone told of sheltering in their homes and being terrified by the sound outside of the powerful winds. The cyclone wreaked havoc and caused massive destruction and, sadly, well over 100 fatalities in parts of Indonesia.

When wind and rain combine, the last thing we would expect is for a fire to survive. Water quenches the flames, and they are extinguished.

Wind without rain can indeed fan a small spark into a bushfire, which we’ve also seen so often in Australia. The power of the wind is an amazing energy source that, when harvested, can also produce electricity that we can use to benefit our way of life in so many ways.

We know what the normal effects of wind combined with other things can do.

To get Jerusalem’s attention that first Pentecost morning, the sound of a mighty wind was heard. The amazing sight of small tongues of fire could be seen. Speaking in strange languages connected with many nationalities of people.

God used the sights and sounds to get people’s attention long enough for Peter to bring God’s word to the masses.

The Holy Spirit was unleashed into the world and is still doing what it does best – leading people to hear about Jesus as their Lord and Saviour.

What has God used to get your attention to be drawn closer to Jesus?

Come, Holy Spirit. Come and pour yourself anew into my life so that I may be drawn closer to Jesus and be used to help in the work of God’s kingdom. Amen.

Complete conversion by Pastor Stephen Abraham

‘I truly understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation, anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him’ (Acts 10:34,35).

Read Acts 10:34–43.

What would it take for you to completely, wholeheartedly stop barracking for your favourite sporting team? I mean ‘complete conversion’, dropping your team for the one that is your team’s arch-nemesis? Imagine dropping support for Australia and barracking for the USA in Olympic swimming, swapping from Ford to Holden, or the Wallabies to the All Blacks.

I’m what’s called an ‘Apple fanboy’. I’ve used Apple computer technology for 30 years. I know I’m biased, but it would take a miracle for me to switch to another brand!

It was the same for the early church. It took a miracle for Peter to switch from accepting ‘Jews only’ as Christians to ‘Jews and Gentiles’. Simon Peter, a Jew from birth, had been taught his whole life that only the Jews had access to the one true God.

From Acts 10:9, Peter had a God-given vision, where God allowed the eating of unclean animals. And after he woke up, he had an encounter with an unclean enemy, a Roman officer (and you know how the Jews felt about their unclean national captors, Rome!).

Acts 10 is about two conversions: the Roman officer Cornelius’ conversion to Christianity and Peter’s (and the early church’s) conversion to accepting non-Jews as followers of Christ.

The Greek word katalambanomai (Acts 10:34) normally translates as ‘I understand’, but it literally means ‘I am gaining the understanding’.

It’s a word of change, of ‘the lights coming on’ to a new way of thinking. I think this stands not only as a witness to this historical change of acceptance in the early church, but it highlights that God’s community of faith is dynamic. It changes – even if those changes are challenging and confronting. You keep your theology intact, of course. But as the Lutheran Church of Australia and New Zealand, we have been led to make many changes, from presidents to bishops, from hymns only to hymns and songs, from communing at confirmation to a younger-aged first communion (and I could go on – answer the rest for yourself!).

It begs the question: where is God taking us next?

Change can be confronting and painful. But there are times where God shatters our preconceived notions and opens his church up to new possibilities of growth, new ways of being a light to the world and a new acceptance of others.

Heavenly Father, you delight in the wide-eyed wonder and joy of children. Help us adults to strip away our hard edges built from fear and uncertainty, and restore to us the uncomplicated, unquestioning trust that we had as children. Amen.


Heavenly Father,
you have not made us for darkness and death,
but for life with you forever.
Without you we have nothing to hope for;
with you we have nothing to fear.
Speak to us now your words of eternal life.
Lift us from anxiety and guilt
to the light and peace of your presence,
and set the glory of your love before us;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

–  from

 Matthew 6:25

Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear …

Already a subscriber? Click here to login and read this article.
Not a subscriber? Click here to receive stories & upcoming issues in full