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

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23)

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, our boast is in Christ and our hope is in you.

Forgive us, for our sins are many. Free us, for you alone are able.

We confess our love for money. Have mercy on us, Lord.
We confess our misuse of words. Have mercy on us, Lord.
We confess putting our jobs above our relationships. Have mercy on us, Lord.
We confess making excuses quicker than we offer apologies. Have mercy on us, Lord.
We confess our pettiness, our selfishness, and our unforgiveness. Have mercy on us, Lord.

For the glory of your name, forgive and change us, in Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Take a moment to confess your sins, knowing that he hears you.

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 98 | Read James 5

  • 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: How do we cope with the inconsistencies of life? Focusing on perseverance in the midst of trials, James exhorted believers to live out what they proclaimed. This letter is a call to faithfulness to the gospel in the midst of very difficult circumstances. Meditate on what this passage reveals about who Christ is and what he’s accomplished.

Evening Readings:

Pray Psalm 99 | Read Jonah 2

  • OT Context: Famous for being in the belly of a fish for three days, Jonah also has profound implications because all of the heathens are more compassionate and quick to repent than the prophet was. Jonah tells us how God has always had a plan to reach all nations with His glory. Reflect on the passage. In what ways do other parts of the Bible shed light on the text?

“Psalms Mix” 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 57:4-6

David’s foes come to life in a flurry of images: they are lions ready to consume David with spear teeth and sword tongues. The poetry reveals what David is up against: men who are ruthless in their pursuit of him and don’t mind a quick massacre of anyone who stands in support of David (1 Samuel 22). Not only are their weapons ready to devour him like the mouths of wild, ravenous beasts, but they accuse, slander and conspire against him with their deathly sharp tongues. 

And now David is in their midst, like Daniel who was literally in the lions’ den (Dan. 6). Whether he’s forced to lie down or does it out of bold trust in God, David is at peace. How can he be at peace? It’s because he knows that he is safe in the hands of a loving, faithful, and mighty God.

Tim Keller notes, “David is surrounded by danger, as if standing in the midst of roaring beasts (verse 4). He cries for help (verses 1–2) but suddenly simply praises God, “Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth” (verse 5). Deeper than disaster, danger, and distress is the desire for God to be glorified. 

Do you and I have that kind of confidence in God? Do we believe that God can fulfill his purpose in us as we delight in him, even if our circumstances remain unchanged? 

This might require a shift in how we pray. Have you ever noticed that Jesus taught his disciples to pray “Hallowed be your name” before “Give us this day our daily bread”? It’s more than simple word order. It’s a re-ordering of our heart’s affections. It’s the difference between “gimme” and a recognition that when it comes to God “all is gift.” 

David doesn’t worship God because of what God can give him. David understood that you can’t use God. Saul had tried that. It didn’t go well. Instead, David worships God because of the beauty he sees in God’s person and in His promises. He’s not like the “gods” of the other nations who made you slavishly work to appease them. No, God Most High freely sends out his steadfast love and faithfulness to his people.

It’s hard at first to go to God without having an agenda or Yahweh-do list. But as his people learn, like David, to come to him simply to delight themselves in being in his presence, it becomes true freedom.

Questions to Ponder:

How about you? Are you slavishly working to satisfy your cravings for control or release amidst conflict? What do you think would happen if instead of saying “God, you’ve got to do this!” You prayed, “God be glorified in my life. All that I am is yours (1 Corinthians 6:19). You know my circumstances, you know what I think will be best, but glorify yourself by providing for me what is truly best.”?

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

Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen. (Jude 24-25)

© 2014 - OPC|Milford