Nurturing faith in between Sundays

With many people still facing uncertainty, grief or economic pressures due to the COVID pandemic, plus the devastation of floods and bushfires close to home and war overseas, we can all benefit from reading or hearing some encouraging words and experiencing a sense of God’s closeness. Nurturing our faith at home through regular devotions strengthens our relationship with Jesus and helps to open our hearts to the work of the Holy Spirit. We pray that you will be blessed by the devotional materials here and in the Church@Home resources collection online at


James 1:2,3
Consider it pure joy whenever you face trials, because the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 


These reflections are adapted from a collection of devotions written for our LCANZ family and friends to help us to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus no matter what we face. You can find these and many others on the LCA website at and you can subscribe to receive them daily via email by clicking on the link on that same page.

PTL – praise the Lord by Pastor Tim Klein

Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you (Psalm 67:5).

Read Psalm 67.

I know a person, though unable to speak, who praises God with loud cries. I know another who, when singing, sings with tear-washed cheeks. And still, another who sings with arms raised high, head lifted up, heart open and eyes closed, all attention on the Lord. I know another person who, at one point, would respond to every good thing, saying ‘PTL’!

We are all called to praise the Lord. We each praise the Lord in our own unique way, for our own reasons, yet our praise is shared. This word from Psalm 67 says it: ‘Let all the peoples praise you’.

In Revelation, chapter 5, John is given a vision of millions and millions of people praising God around his throne: ‘The Lamb who was killed is worthy to receive power, riches, wisdom, strength, honour, glory, and praise.’

And then there were more! ‘All beings in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and in the sea offer praise. Together, all of them were saying, “Praise, honour, glory, and strength forever and ever to the one who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”’

Do you love to praise the Lord? What are some of your memorable times of praising the Lord? What are your reasons for praising the Lord?

Mostly, our praises to the Lord are carried in singing – from the classic hymn Praise to the Lord (LH 442) to Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus and Tim Tscharke’s Singing All Praises to Benjamin Hastings’ O Praise the Name (Anástasis).

Perhaps you might finish your time of reflection by calling to mind your reasons to praise the Lord and spending some time in praise.

Lord, you are gracious to us and bless us. You shine your face on us. You judge the peoples of the earth with equity and guide the nations upon earth. Your earth yields more than enough for all the world’s needs. You have truly blessed us. And so, with all the nations, we praise you, O Lord. Amen.

Home and away by Stuart Gray

So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it (2 Corinthians 5:9).

Read 2 Corinthians 5:1–10.

My wife and I enjoy camping. We have the freedom to easily explore our country with relatively few encumbrances. But when camping, we are exposed to the elements, the wind and rain, the hot and cold.

So, we also enjoy our home where we feel grounded and largely protected from the elements. Home is where our community lives. But we can’t have both lifestyles at the same time.

In this passage, Paul talks about living our lives in an ‘earthly tent’ that is temporary, frail and vulnerable. But we look forward to being with God, which Paul describes as ‘an eternal house in heaven’. God’s house is permanent.

Paul says in verse one that we know if the earthly tent is destroyed, we have a building from God. In verse four, Paul says we know that as long as we are in our bodies, we are away from the Lord, but because God has given us the Holy Spirit as a deposit, a guarantee of what is to come, we are always confident of our heavenly destination.

Paul’s words, ‘we know’ and ‘always confident’, show no doubt. That’s the power of the Holy Spirit. ‘We live by faith, not by sight.’ While we are in our earthly bodies, we groan and are burdened, but by faith, we are confident that our destination is the eternal house in heaven.

So how does Paul resolve this dilemma of wanting to be with God while living in our earthly bodies? We do so by making it our goal to please God, whether we are at home in the body or away from it.

And Paul says that what we do with our lives matters as we will all ‘appear before the judgement seat of Christ so that each may receive due recompense for actions done in the body, whether good or evil’.

Heavenly Father, give us the will, power and strength to do what is pleasing to you. Give us clarity about our purpose in life so that we may fully live a life that is acceptable to you. We ask this through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour. Amen.



O God,
You alone are unutterable,
from the time you created all things
that can be spoken of.

You alone are unknowable,
from the time you created all things
that can be known.

All things cry out about you,
those which speak,
and those which cannot speak.

All things honour you;
those which think,
and those which cannot think.

For there is one longing, one groaning,
that all things have for you.

All things pray to you that perceive your plan
and offer you a silent hymn.

In you, the One,
all things abide,
and all things endlessly run to you
who are the end of all.
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
– Saint Gregory of Nazianzus (330-389AD),
sourced from

2 Timothy 1:7
For the spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline.

A faithful spirit by Carolyn Ehrlich

‘Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit’, Elisha replied (2 Kings 2:9b).

Read 2 Kings 2:1–12.

Elisha was Elijah’s protégé. Elisha was transitioning to take on his job. But he recognised the faithful spirit of Elijah. Elisha asked that he take over his work and receive a double portion of his faithfulness. And it was granted.

At the same time as taking on the faithful spirit of Elijah, Elisha was different from Elijah. We recognise Elijah as a great prophet, but Elisha did more miracles, Elisha spent more time with people, and Elisha showed tenderness and ongoing compassion for others, which was quite different from Elijah’s prophetic ministry.

Even though Elisha asked for and inherited a double portion of Elijah’s spirit, he did not try and replicate Elijah. Instead, he worked with the strengths that God had given him.

So, we need to admire the faithfulness of others, and we need to replicate those spiritual gifts, but we need to do it in our own God-led way. How God leads and directs me is different to how God leads and directs you.

It is within this diversity that we can collectively act as one body of Christ.

Ask God today to lead you into realising your God-given gifts, talents and strengths to his glory

Heavenly Father, you have given each of us unique gifts and talents. Like Elisha, I pray that you will fill me with a spirit of faithfulness to you. Thank you for all that you have given me. Show me how to use my unique gifts, talents and strengths for your glory this day and always. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.

There’s something about them … by Georgie Schuster

When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realised that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus (Acts 4:13).

Read Acts 4:5–21.

We like things that make sense. One plus one equals two, and all is right with the world. But it can be confronting when something doesn’t appear to add up.

The educated men (rulers, elders, teachers of the law, the high priest etc) would have done their research on Peter and John as they sought reasons to silence them.

Initially fishermen by trade, one could expect their skillset and expertise to be confined to that profession. But then they hung around the itinerant Jesus, who challenged long-held traditions and understandings and was crucified for his troubles. Reports had been made of his resurrection, but he had since disappeared off the face of the earth.

Still, his influence seemed to be spreading. Peter and John were going around healing people using Jesus’ name! Now, these same men stood before the hierarchy and spoke with boldness. They even had the audacity and courage to quote Scripture, naming Jesus as the one whom the psalmist referenced … in front of some of the same men who orchestrated Jesus’ crucifixion.

So how did they go from being ordinary, uneducated fishermen to men of courage who performed miracles and spoke with authority? Well, they did spend time – a lot of time – with Jesus. He seemed to have a profound and life-changing impact on these two extraordinary men … and they weren’t (and aren’t) the only ones!

How does spending time with Jesus impact you and influence your words and actions?

Dear God, thank you for all the ways we get to spend time together. You share your love and refresh my soul in many different ways. You show me paths to walk and people to connect with. I look forward to what you have in store for me today! In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.

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