A bridge at night with the text, "April 23, 2021. OPCM daily devo."

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

“I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26)

Prayer of Confession

God of grace, the gospel is like a key that opens up all of heaven and unlocks dead-bolted human hearts.

As you send your church to declare the good news, remind us that we carry a key and not a hammer; convince us that the gentle gospel promises fit the contours of human life, opening minds to know and receive the forgiveness of sins through what Jesus has done.

Today, unbolt my heart to accept the grace of Jesus. Amen.

*Prayer borrowed from Philip Reinders’ Seeking God’s Face: Praying with the Bible through the Year

Reading Plan

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).

Morning Readings:

Pray Psalm 96 | Read 1 Timothy 3

  • 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: “In his letters to two young associates—Timothy in Ephesus and Titus in Crete—we see Paul encouraging and guiding the development of just such leadership. What he had learned so thoroughly himself, he was now passing on, and showing them, in turn, how to develop a similar leadership in local congregations. This is essential reading because ill-directed and badly formed spiritual leadership causes much damage in souls. Paul in both his life and his letters shows us how to do it right.” Meditate on the passage, noting a few words or a phrase that stood out. Take them to God in prayer.

Evening Readings:

Pray Psalm 97 | Read Joshua 7

  • OT Context: “People who want God as an escape from reality, from the often hard conditions of this life, don’t find this much to their liking. But to the man or woman wanting more reality, not less—this continuation of the salvation story—Joshua’s fierce and devout determination to win land for his people and his extraordinary attention to getting all the tribes and their families name by name assigned to their own place, is good news indeed. Joshua lays a firm foundation for a life that is grounded.” Reflect on the passage. Who was the original audience, and what was their situation? How is that relevant to you today?

Sermon Devo

INTERCESSION OF THE HIGH PRIEST*

Read: Hebrews 7:23–27

Jesus Christ carries on intercession for us in heaven; the Holy Ghost carries on intercession in us on earth; and we the saints have to carry on intercession for all men. — Oswald Chambers

“We do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses. . . . Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness” (Hebrews 4:15–16). Now that we have considered Jesus’ “high priestly prayer” in John 17, we find ourselves once again considering how his intercession for us continues today.

Perhaps the idea of a priest brings to mind someone set apart, unreachable. The author of Hebrews goes to great lengths to make Jesus’ priesthood accessible to us. The atoning sacrifice of Jesus was done once and lasts forever. His intercessions for us are unending.

Reflect:

1. Do you find it difficult or easy to approach God boldly? Why?

2. It can be easier to agree with someone powerful than to make a stand on our own. Jesus, our high priest, is always interceding for us. So we can come into agreement with what he is saying about us to the Father. As we conclude these two months on prayer, we invite you to approach the throne of grace with boldness, agreeing with Jesus about what he has accomplished and what he prays for us. Examples: “Father, I agree with Jesus that I am cleansed from all my sin.” “Father, I agree with Jesus that I have been given every spiritual blessing.”

*This week’s devos come from The Reservoir by Christopher Hall and Carolyn Arends

Evening Prayer of Examen

  • 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.

Benediction

“Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love.” (Eph. 6:24)

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