Nurturing a strong faith foundation

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

Exodus 33:14

My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.


These reflections are from a collection of devotions written for our LCANZ family and friends to help us to keep our eyes on Jesus. They can be used by families, small groups and individuals as part of daily faith practice. You can find these and more on the LCA website at

Serving the Lord by Pastor Mark Lieschke

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters (Colossians 3:23).

Read Colossians 3:18–25.

The kind of behaviour Paul is talking about in these verses is not surprising. It would have been generally thought of as noble in the society of that day. He is not presenting a completely new morality for Christians.

What he is doing is saying something very new about the motivation for this behaviour. This is continually emphasised in the phrases ‘as is fitting in the Lord’, ‘this pleases the Lord’, ‘reverence for the Lord’, ‘working for the Lord’ and ‘the Lord Christ you are serving’.

In the repeated references to Jesus, we are reminded that as Lord, he is Lord in the everyday lives of believers and our relationships with other people.

What a great challenge, responsibility and privilege! We are called to live and serve. But instead of being motivated by rules, regulations and laws, we are encouraged, inspired and energised to reflect the love of Christ because of his presence and power within us.

Rather than being pressed, forced and coerced into serving, rather than being under the threat of punishment if we don’t do what’s expected of us, rather than feeling obligated and duty-bound, we’re freed to give of ourselves as Christ has given of himself to us.

The service we offer, then, while never perfect, is the very love and grace of God, offered by our hands, voices, ears and hearts. It is Jesus Christ himself serving those around us. He comes, he acts, he gives, he forgives, he blesses, and he loves as we live in loving relationships with those around us – and especially those in our homes and family life.

Gracious Lord Jesus, thank you for coming to serve us. Thank you for releasing us from the pressure of living under the law and enabling us to serve you freely in gratitude for your love and grace. Bless us in our serving, especially those who are near and dear to us. Bind us together as sisters and brothers in Christ and give us your grace as we serve one another. In your name, we pray. Amen.

Like living stones by Marlene Cooper

You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood offering spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God through Christ Jesus (1 Peter 2:4b).

Read 1 Peter 2:4–10.

A striking feature of farming areas in the north of England is the network of dry-stone walls crisscrossing the landscape. These walls, some ages-old, have been built to last come wind or weather. Skilled craftsmen choose the stones and their place within the wall with ancient wisdom. Essential to the structure and set into the walls at intervals are the vital ‘through stones’ – large penetrating stones, which serve as linchpins, holding each stone secure in the wall’s fabric.

Peter writes to believers experiencing the ‘great persecution’ (Acts 8:1). Their reliance on Christ has been threatened as they have fled into unfamiliar territory, losing the happy, supportive fellowship of their own congregations. ‘You are like living stones’, he writes. You are not scattered, lying loose across the field. Rather, you are purposefully taken up to be set wisely into the walls of a spiritual house of God. Keeping these ‘stones’ secure and rock-steady in the wall is the mighty ‘through stone’, Christ, the immovable Cornerstone. He is the precious Chosen One, who, through his Spirit, works to unify believers into walls of a house built to last. Here, all the stones together ring out their praise and offer their prayer in a united service of worship.

What an image of grace! Living stones in a wall of praise! Interconnected for mutual support and encouragement. It graces us to live for others, invites us to sing, ‘Make us your building, sheltering others, walls made of living stone’*. The events of life may sometimes cause us to feel unsteady, perhaps isolated and scattered, far from our spiritual home. But here is the assurance that we are in the Builder’s hands. No doubt or anxiety can separate us from his wisdom and love. The gift we receive daily as children of God’s love, through Christ our Cornerstone, holds us steady and secure in the walls of God’s house by the power and persistence of the Spirit who always builds to last.

Lord Jesus, our unfailing Cornerstone, hold us close to you and to one another as you build us into the walls of God’s house. Open our hearts and lives to sing your praise together, resting in your wise and gracious hands when we meet the shocks and storms of life. Amen.

*Bernadette Farrell, 1993



A short sigh to God the Father…
O God, Father of all poor, miserable souls!
Give us all your grace and enlighten us with
your truth.
To you be praise, glory and thanks forever.
– Martin Luther (1483-1546AD), from


Be to me, O God,
a bright flame before me,
a guiding star above me,
a smooth path beneath me,
and a kindly shepherd behind me,
today, tonight, and forever.
–  St Columba (521–597AD), Iona, from

Psalm 27:1a 

The Lord is my light and my salvation whom shall I fear?

One true hope by Maria Rudolph

But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my Saviour; my God will hear me (Micah 7:7).

Read Micah 7:7–12.

Often, I have heard Christian people say, ‘Family is the most important thing’. We are certainly taught to honour our father and mother (Exodus 20:12) and be humble and gentle to all people (Ephesians 4:2), not least the members of our own family.

But relationships with others is somewhat out of our control. They can never give us complete satisfaction and fulfilment, no matter how much we pursue positive relationships with others.

Sometimes things go wrong. As we are reminded by the prophet Micah (7:6), ‘a son dishonours his father, a daughter rises up against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law – a man’s enemies are the members of his own household’. And the prophet Isaiah even reminds us, ‘Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!’

Although our closest friends and family may forsake us at some point in our lives, God never will. God can always be trusted; he is always constant. God is always close to you – in times of joy and in times of need.

God is, in fact, the most important thing and should come before all other things in our lives. When we have God as our number one, all other things will fall into place. It doesn’t mean the hardships will stop and everything works out for the better. But when we look to God above all else, we know where our help comes from. We can put things in perspective, and we can have confidence in him.

Have you been challenged in family relationships?

Loving God, thank you for your constant, unfailing love. Help me put my trust in you completely. Help me be forgiving and loving with people who hurt me, particularly my own family members. Help me to love in the way you love me, unconditionally and loving even the unworthy and unlovable. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Christ’s love meets our every need by Kimberley Pfeiffer

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want (Psalm 23:1).

Read Psalm 23.

Do you ever think about why ‘I shall not want’ comes after ‘The Lord is my shepherd’?

Often when we think of Christ as our Good Shepherd, we imagine ourselves as his sheep. Maybe we are prone to getting into trouble or wandering off, and we remember Jesus, our Shepherd, who guides and protects us, keeping us on a safe path. The Good Shepherd also provides for the sheep so that they lack nothing. In this prayer, we also receive the gift of contentment that we find in Christ. Contentment in God is opened up for us in Christ.

In Christ, you are given a new life where you walk with God. What does this mean? It means that every morning as you rise, God’s blessings are made new. God is with you on the days you dread giving you courage; the days filled with sadness giving you hope; sounding the heavenly choir with you on the joyous days; and comforting you when you are grieved.

God is faithful; he can do no other, and he wants to give you everything you need at the proper time. So, as you pray this psalm, give thanks to God for his goodness and mercy and his love that is always shining on you. Thanks be to God for all the gifts that come out of his abundant mercy: life, love, peace, courage, faithfulness and joy, to name a few. They certainly make any worldly wants seem pretty minor by comparison.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for opening up to us the abundance of your love in Christ. Send us your Spirit so that we can faithfully look to you when we find ourselves in want. Please send your Holy Spirit to help us when we are tempted to find satisfaction in worldly things. Help us to grow in your love so that we can share your gifts with those you have called us to love and serve. In Christ, our Lord, Amen.

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