Use this devo as you are able, in whole or in part. Don’t feel compelled to read it all. Simply read and meditate upon whatever catches your attention. The goal is enjoying time with God through His Word and in prayer. Questions about the devotional elements?
Call to Prayer
The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders; where morning dawns, where evening fades, you call forth songs of joy. (Psalm 65:8)
Prayer of Confession
Confession is formative. It trains us to recognize the ways our hearts have become de-formed and how Christ is at work bringing redemption in our lives. Pray with this in mind.
Father of mercies and God of all comfort, we praise and bless you for the great salvation you have freely given us in the gospel.
We find great peace in the finished work of Jesus.
We find great joy in the ongoing work of your Spirit.
We find great hope in the future blessings of heaven.
As your beloved daughters and sons, we confess our sins, longing for the day we will be made perfect in love.
Forgive us for being more irritable than charitable; quicker to rush to judgment than to run into your presence; and far more inclined to pout than to pray. Forgive us for demanding too much of others and expecting too little from you. Forgive us for doubting that you really love us as much as you say you do. Forgive us and free us, in Jesus’ name, we humbly pray. Amen.
Take a moment to confess your sins, knowing that he hears you.
This reading plan will help you to develop the habit of being in God’s Word each morning and evening. Come to this time with expectation. Expect God to reveal himself to you. Expect that he delights in you being there, even when you’ve wandered away. Growing a spiritual habit is a slow, patient process. So be kind to yourself as you grow!
Readings are hyperlinked. Simply hover over the passage or click Morning/Evening Reading (email version).
Praying the Psalms: Read slowly. Take note of words and phrases. Bring them before the Lord in prayer and personalize the passage as you pray.
NT Context: The writer of Hebrews was concerned that his readers were still dealing with external practices instead of being aware of their righteousness in Jesus Christ. Hebrews proclaims that the Jewish law, the prophets, and the Biblical narrative of the Old Testament all point to and are fulfilled in Christ. Meditate on the passage. What is the main point? Why is it important today?
OT Context: Amos prophesied during a period when Assyria was ebbing in power and both Israel and Judah were prospering. Israel saw a “golden age,” but Amos had the hard job of telling them that they were about to be overrun again. Reflect on the passage. What’s one way you can immediately apply this text to your life?
“Songs for Every Season” Readings
This section of the Devo focuses on the passage(s) from Sunday’s sermon. Use it to reflect upon the ways Christ has been working in your life this week. Makes a great midday reflection, or group discussion guide.
Read Psalm 13:1-2 (again)
Did you notice anything new as you read those two verses for the second time? Yesterday we focused on David calling God by his covenant-making and covenant-keeping name: Yahweh. David didn’t hold anything back from God, and we don’t need to hold anything back either, because God in Jesus Christ didn’t hold himself back by entering into our suffering.
That’s our ultimate hope, but in the moment we’re right there with David in Verse 1. Eugene Peterson translates that raw emotion well: “Long enough, God—you’ve ignored me long enough. I’ve looked at the back of your head long enough!” The hurt is personal. God is not some distant deity for David. No. David’s constant longing in the Psalms is to “behold God’s face” (11:7; 17:15; cf. 27:4, 8; 34:5). Now it’s as though his friendship with Yahweh has clouded over. He feels forsaken (Psalm 22).
Now David’s spends his days with his stomach tied up in knots trying to find a scenario that does not finish in a dead end. And then, to top it all off, David’s enemy stands there taunting his ineptitude, mocking his inability to figure this out on his own (v.2). But it’s worse than that.
David asks the same question four times in these two verses: “How much longer…?” Sound familiar? How many times have you and I asked this in recent weeks? The problem for David and for us is of timing and our wrestling with God’s “delays.”
Perhaps the real danger for David and for us is not that we’ll blow up at God, but that we will wear out. Maybe that’s what you’re feeling right now? Just plain worn out. Exhausted by waiting for God to provide rescue, healing, and help? And all the while, our troubles seem to go on much longer than we think that God in His mercy would allow.
What we really need, then, is an expanded sense of God and his mercy. Our trouble with God’s timing is really that we have far too large a view of ourselves and far too small a view of what God’s goodness, mercy, faithfulness, and steadfast love can and do look like in our lives. So as we hurl our woes at God. Let’s also ask Him to expand our experience and understanding of his mercy and love. Ask Him to bring relief, but also ask that He would bring with it a deeper relationship for you with Himself. Because, as we will see, that’s what we’ll see David experienced.
Prayer of Examen
Turn your attention to Christ who is present with you now. With him, review the ordinary events and emotions of the last 24 hours with gratitude.
Where did you move with or feel close to Jesus today?
Where did you resist or feel far from Jesus today?
Where is Jesus leading you tomorrow? Ask for joy as you follow him.
Think back through your day and confess any sinful attitudes, words, or actions.
Now may the God for whom you wait, lift you up out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire and set your feet upon a rock, and may He place you in the shadow of His wings until the storms of destruction pass by. Amen. (Psalm 40:2 + Psalm 57:1)