Nurturing our spiritual life

We can all benefit from reading or hearing some encouraging words and experiencing a sense of God’s closeness during the week, as well as at Sunday worship. Therefore, we include these devotional pages for every reader – not just for those who are unable to attend church services regularly. Nurturing our faith at home through regular devotions strengthens our relationship with God. We pray that you will be blessed by these reflections. You will find further prayer, devotional and Bible study resources through the Worship Planning Page from the LCANZ’s Commission on Worship at and online worship links at


Psalm 145:18
The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.


These reflections are 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.

Worth everything by Pastor Jim Strelan

In his joy [he] went and sold all he had and bought the field (Matthew 13:44b).

Read Matthew 13:44–46.

What does it mean to you to know you have a God who loves you unconditionally, promises to be with you always, willingly forgives you and lets you start again, and only has open arms for you? What value do you put on that compared to many other things you might have that are of worth?

If your heart is set on something, then nothing will get in the way of you achieving it. You will make sacrifices, forego things, and persevere because you have put value on that thing, and it’s worth everything.

The man in Jesus’ parable who finds a treasure is so overwhelmed and so excited at his discovery that he willingly, with great joy, sells everything to gain it. The treasure for this man and the exquisite pearl for the second man in Jesus’ parable is worth everything.

Jesus says that the kingdom of heaven is like this. Where Christ is king, there is a shift in mindset. All the things in life we enjoy, all the things that are precious to us, all the things we consider to be of great value, all those things we don’t hold onto so tightly that we’re not prepared to let them go. They have great value, but when we are in the kingdom – where Christ rules – that connection means more than anything. Many things bring us joy, but there is no greater joy than being in the kingdom.

The great thing is that the treasure is already in the field, and the pearl is already there. Neither man created the treasure. Neither man actually earned it nor deserved it. But on finding it, both men recognised the value. It was worth everything.

Spend a moment reflecting on the value of the gift you have been given. Acknowledge how much poorer you would be without it. And thank God. What he gives is worth everything.

Thank you, God, for giving me the greatest gift of all and for the joy it brings. Amen.

Rejected to accepted by Sonia Hulme

Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no-one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner? (Luke 17:17,18)

Read Luke 17:11–19.

In our house, we have a rule. When dinner is over, everyone who ate should stick around and help clean up. That’s how we show gratitude to the cook. It’s amazing, then, how many nights the cook can identify with Jesus’ question in today’s story of the healing of the ten lepers. In our family, it translates to ‘Were not all seven fed? Where are the other six??’. Yes, despite the rule and without us noticing, children seem to slip away and must be retrieved from all over the house to wash, dry and put away the mess of the day. The very act of coming back shows gratitude, especially if they do it without being forced (we’re still working on that!).

The leper who returned to give thanks after receiving miraculous healing from Jesus was an outsider on not one but two counts. Firstly, he was from Samaria. According to the Jews, he was not included in God’s family. Secondly, he had an illness that resulted in complete social rejection. So, he really did know about life on the edge of society, and his gratitude is correspondingly heartfelt.

Over and over, Jesus specialises in going to the margins, to the outsider and drawing them in, including them, making them whole. In response, those who have been healed of much, forgiven much and loved much respond with great gratitude. I, too, was an outsider before Jesus came to me. Perhaps I still feel on the edge, rejected by others, invisible, unlovely in my own – or others’ – eyes. I am exactly the one he comes to touch and heal and love. He is not afraid of my wounds, sins, and shame. He embraces me, makes me whole and delights in my grateful response. My gratitude is a gift to him and a witness to the world of just how much he has done for me. I truly am a recipient of amazing grace!

Before you came along, I, too, was an outsider in your kingdom. Help me look with eyes of compassion on those who are still lingering on the edge of your love. Let my gratitude show itself in my love for those who are unwelcome because they are different. Amen.



Lord of light and darkness,
Find us in the darkness,
Find us in the light.

Lord of work and stillness,
Make our work of worth,
Make our stillness yours.

Lord of our past and future,
Cover our anxiety with love,
Cover our hopes with grace.

Lord of everything,
Fill those who have nothing,
Fill us with the right longing.

We are your people,
In darkness and light,
In work and stillness,
In anxiety and hope,
Having nothing,
Yet possessing everything.
Sourced from

John 16:22
So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.

Justice requires wisdom by Pastor Glenn Crouch

… they saw that he had wisdom from God to administer justice (1 Kings 3:28b).

Read 1 Kings 3:16–28.

We often mistakenly equate wisdom and knowledge. Of course, knowledge is very valuable and useful, but just because you know a lot, it doesn’t mean you make good decisions. Wisdom in Scripture refers to practical skills (including decision-making) that lead to living a life that glorifies God. This includes making decisions that promote justice.

In our reading, we see Solomon has no knowledge about who the true mother is, so he devises a test to discover the truth. We may gasp in horror at his proposal, as surely most did within Solomon’s court. This was not something that Israel’s king should propose! But without shedding a drop of blood, Solomon discovers who the mother really is, and she is reunited with her child.

How do you fare when it comes to making wise decisions? How much thought do you give when posting a social media post or sending an email? Do you consider whether some item you want to share is actually true and what effect it may have on those who read or hear it?

I know there are times when my decisions have lacked wisdom. I am so thankful that our Lord Jesus died for all my sins and that through my baptism, I can receive forgiveness – not just today, but every day! Forgiveness is available not only when we make poor decisions but also when we don’t listen to wise advice.

Almighty God, please forgive me for the thoughtless ways I have acted or spoken. Through your Holy Spirit, grant me your wisdom so that I make good decisions and that my words and deeds glorify your name. I ask this through your precious Son. Amen.

At the table by Dianne Eckermann

For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted (Luke 14:11).

Read Luke 14:1,7–14.

Throughout his ministry, Jesus dined with many different people in various places. Jesus ate with a tax collector and a Pharisee, as in the reading today. He fed a crowd with a couple of fish and some loaves of bread and dined with his friends Lazarus, Mary and Martha. He attended wedding feasts and ate more privately with his disciples at the Last Supper.

These settings have one common feature: Jesus uses these mealtimes to teach others. When he went to eat in the house of a prominent Pharisee, we are told that he was carefully watched. Perhaps some of the other guests were interested in seeing where it was that Jesus chose to sit at the table. However, Jesus also observed that guests picked seats of honour at the table. Jesus chose this moment to talk about humility.

Our modern society generally sets little store by where we sit at a dinner table, so we are unlikely to suffer the humiliation of being moved to a less important place. However, Jesus’ words still hold a message for today, encouraging us to not overestimate our own importance but humbly accept who we are, and we know we are beloved children of God.

While Jesus understands the social hierarchy of his time, in the second part of this reading, he encourages his host to consider those in greatest need, the poor or those with disabilities, and invite them to dine. Unlike close friends and relatives, it is unlikely they can return the favour; however, humbly inviting them will provide happiness for those in need as well as their host.

This is exactly how God receives us. We will never be able to repay the grace and mercy offered to us. Humbly and thankfully, we accept.

Heavenly Father, we humbly thank you for the way in which you know us in all our imperfections yet receive us as your children. Amen.

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