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
In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength. (Isaiah 30:15)
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.
Gracious Father,we confessthat we have longed too much for the comforts and treasures of this world rather than for your enduring Kingdom.
We have loved the gifts more than the Giver.
In your mercy, help us to see that the things we strive for are shadows, but you are the substance; that they are quicksand, but you are a mighty rock; that they are shifting, but you are an anchor.
Thank you for forgiving us through the riches of Christ and freeing us to live a new life, faithfully devoted to him.
In Jesus’ name. 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: “Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians was written during a difficult period in his relation with the church at Corinth. Some members of the church had evidently made strong attacks against Paul, but he shows his deep longing for reconciliation and expresses his great joy when this is brought about.” 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 Numbers plunges us into the mess of growing up. The pages in this section of the biblical story give us a realistic feel for what is involved in being included in the people of God, which is to say, a human community that honors God, lives out love and justice in daily affairs, learns how to deal with sin in oneself and others, and follows God’s commands into a future of blessing. And all this without illusions. The Bible, our primary text for showing us what it means to be a human being created by God and called to a life of obedient faith and sacrificial love, nowhere suggests that life is simple or even “natural.” We need a lot of help.Wise discipline is required in becoming a people of God. Reflect on the passage. Who was the original audience, and what was their situation? How is that relevant to you today?
Over the next few months our sermon series will explore who God is and what it means for us as His Creation to know Him. Each day this devo will tread along a variety of paths connected to the week’s theme in Knowing God. Consider this your invitation to come along for the ride as we head into the wilds of coming to know and experience God’s person and grace.
February 22, 2021 Read: 1 John 4:1-21
Love divine, all loves excelling
Joy of heaven, to earth come down
Fix in us thy humble dwelling
All Thy faithful mercies crown
Jesus, Thou art all compassion
Pure, unbounded love Thou art
Visit us with thy salvation
Enter every trembling, every trembling heart
Charles Wesley wrote these words in 1747 and, as with most old hymns, we could spend an afternoon mining the scriptural references embedded in this one verse.
The rest of the hymn touches on what this Love does within us now (“take away the love of sinning” by his loving Spirit) and what this love will ultimately lead us to do in the New Creation (“cast our crowns before thee, lost in wonder, love and praise.”). Here’s a link to the rest of the hymn.
This week, as you might have guessed, we are talking about The God Who Is Loving. There is so much to cover but today I want us to simply start with meditating on St. John’s twice-repeated line, “God is love” (1 John 4:8, 16).Read the verses around it. Let God’s Word inform and reshape your understanding.
But be honest about how you tend to think about those three words: God. Is. Love.
Write it down.
Ask God to expand your understanding and enliven your belief about his love this week.
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.
Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel. (Luke 2:29-32)