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
Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you (Ephesians 5:14)
Prayer of Confession
Lord God, I’m sluggish in faith, thick of head, and
I need your Holy Spirit’s power to help me see Jesus in all the Scriptures and in the breaking of bread.
Kindle in me a burning heart of rich faith that opens my eyes and recognizes you as Lord. Amen.
*Prayer borrowed from Philip Reinders’ Seeking God’s Face: Praying with the Bible through the Year
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: “Paul is unswervingly confident that Christ occupies the center of creation and salvation. Writing with both humility and the energies of most considerate love, Paul exhibits again what Christians have come to appreciate so much in Paul—the wedding of a brilliant and uncompromising intellect with a heart that is warmly and wonderfully kind. Meditate on the passage, noting a few words or a phrase that stood out. Take them to God in prayer.
OT Context: “The book of Deuteronomy is organized as a series of addresses given by Moses to the people of Israel in the land of Moab, where they had stopped at the end of the long wilderness journey and were about to enter and occupy Canaan…The great theme of the book is that God has saved and blessed his chosen people, whom he loves; so his people are to remember this, and love and obey him, so that they may have life and continued blessing. The key verses of the book are 6:4–6, and contain the words that Jesus called the greatest of all commandments, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.”Reflect on the passage. Who was the original audience, and what was their situation? How is that relevant to you today?
Read: Hebrews 1:1-3
God’s people are to listen to what he says. I think we’ve firmly established that we should listen to the God who spoke Creation and us into being. We’ve also seen that whatever words have been “breathed into by God” are meant to be put to good use by us. They are meant to show and restore our true identity (Psalm 19), which is why we come to them with posture of Samuel, “Speak, for your servant listens…”
Here’s what I’d like for us to contemplate today: What it means that God has spoken definitively through Christ. Kent Hughes provides us with some excellent insights:
“In the past,” says the writer, “God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways” (v. 1)—literally, “in many parts and many ways.” The emphasis here is on the grand diversity of God’s speech in the Old Testament. God utilized great devices to instruct his prophets.
God spoke to Moses at Sinai in thunder and lightning and with the voice of a trumpet. He whispered to Elijah at Horeb in “a still small voice” (1 Kings 19:12, KJV). Ezekiel was informed by visions and Daniel through dreams. God appeared to Abram in human form and to Jacob as an angel. God declared himself by Law, by warning, by exhortation, by type, by parable.
And when God’s seers prophesied, they utilized nearly every method to communicate their message. Amos gave direct oracles from God. Malachi used questions and answers. Ezekiel performed bizarre symbolic acts. Haggai preached sermons. And Zechariah employed mysterious signs.
The significance of this immensely creative and variegated communication is that it dramatically demonstrated God’s loving desire to communicate with his people. It was never hackneyed, never boring, never inscrutable, never irrelevant. It was always adequate for the time. It was always progressive, revealing more of God and his ways. It was always in continuity with the previous words of God.
Through God’s cosmic and prophetic eloquence men and women rose to live life on the highest plane. Abraham achieved the faith to offer his own son. Moses withstood Pharaoh through mighty miracles. David slew Goliath. Daniel achieved and maintained massive integrity in Babylon. But in all of this (its adequacy, its progressiveness, its continuity, its power), God’s eloquence was never complete. As grand as it was, it was nevertheless fragmentary and lacking.
But no more! For in Christ came an astonishing eloquence, the ultimate speech of God—“but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son” (v. 2a). Jesus is God’s final word. The Greek here is simply inhuios, “in Son”—emphasizing that the person of his Son contains everything. He is the ultimate medium of communication. God has spoken to us in his Son!
Question: If Christ contains everything that God wants to communicate to us, then what do you suppose we should do with Christ’s Word?
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.
Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. (Hebrews 13:20-21)