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 the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly. (Psalm 5:3)
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.
O Lord, we want to enter your presence,awed by your majesty, greatness, and glory, yet encouraged by your love. Yet there is a coldness in our hearts, a hardness toward you, an unwillingness to admit our sin and need for you.
Forgive us, for Jesus’ sake. Come near and strengthen us until Christ reigns supreme within us, in every thought, word, and deed. Give us a faith that purifies the heart, overcomes the world, works by love, fastens us to you, and always clings to the cross. 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: The story of Jesus doesn’t end with Jesus. It continues in the lives of those who believe in him. The supernatural does not stop with Jesus. Acts makes it clear that these Christians Luke wrote about were no more spectators of Jesus than Jesus was a spectator of God—they are in on the action of God, God acting in them, God living in them. Which also means, of course, in us.Meditate on the passage, noting a few words or a phrase that stood out. Take them to God in prayer.
OT Context: “Holy” is the word that sets God apart and above our attempts to enlist him in our wish-fulfillment. The first thing that strikes us as we read Leviticus in this light is that this holy God is actually present with us and virtually every detail of our lives is affected by the presence of this holy God; nothing in us, our relationships, or environment is left out. The second thing is that God provides a way (the sacrifices and feasts and Sabbaths) to bring everything in and about us into his holy presence, transformed in the fiery blaze of the holy. Reflect on the passage. Who was the original audience, and what was their situation? How is that relevant to you today?
We are currently in between major sermon series, so our devotional for the next few weeks will bePREVIEW of what the Men and Women at OPC|Milford will be reading and discussing this Winter: Genesis 12-50 (Women’s Groups + Revelation (Men’s Groups)
Read: Genesis 15
We conclude our week with John Calvin’s commentary on Genesis 15. Calvin wrote in the mid-1500s, which might tempt us to think his words will be irrelevant for us today, but his application of our passage today helps us to see all we really need to be happy.*
“In calling himself Abram’s “reward” (v 1), God teaches Abram to be satisfied with himself alone. By this voice, God daily speaks to all his faithful ones. Having once undertaken to defend us, he will take care to preserve us in safety under his hand and to protect us by his power. God also ascribes to himself the office of a shield, to make himself the protector of our salvation. So we should not be excessively fearful in any dangers.
Since people surrounded with innumerable desires of the flesh are at times unstable, and too much addicted to the love of the present life, God declares that he alone is sufficient for the perfection of a happy life to the faithful. It ought to be deeply engraved on our minds that in God alone we have the highest and complete perfection of all good things.
We will be truly happy when God favors us [as his children]. For he not only pours upon us the abundance of his kindness, but offers himself to us,that we may enjoy him. Now what is there more which people can desire when they really enjoy God?
Whoever is fully persuaded that their life is protected by the hand of God, and that they can never be miserable while God is gracious to them, will find the best remedy for all evils. Not that the faithful can be entirely free from fear and care, as long as they are tossed by the tempests of this life; but because the storm is hushed in their own breast, faith triumphs over fear.
Credited to Him as Righteousness
The faith of Abram is commended, because by it he embraced the promise of God. It is also commended because by it Abram obtained righteousness in the sight of God, and that by imputation. Just as we understand that they to whom sin is imputed are guilty before God, so those to whom he imputes righteousness are approved by him as just. So Abram was received into the number and rank of the just by the imputation of righteousness.”
What do you think you need to be truly happy? Do you think of knowing God himself as the greatest blessing you have, or are you more fixated on the other things he gives you?
*Some might be surprised to hear that Calvin had a theology of happiness, but there it is right in print above. Church history is full of surprises 🙂
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.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. (Psalm 16:6-7)