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
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy we have been born anew to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. (1 Peter 1:3)
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.
Dear heavenly Father,we love you because you first loved us and gave Jesus as a sacrifice for our sins. We humble ourselves before you today because of your promise to complete your work in our lives. We praise you for your loving welcome, daily mercies, and sufficient grace.
Forgive us for treasuring the pleasures of the world more than the riches of grace. Forgive us for dwelling too much on our fears and too little on your beauty. Forgive us for rehearsing the failings of others more than the truths of the gospel. Forgive us for being quick to whine and slow to worship.
We offer our confession in Jesus’ name and for your glory. 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 letter to the Romans is a piece of exuberant and passionate thinking. This is the glorious life of the mind enlisted in the service of God. Paul takes the well-witnessed and devoutly believed fact of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth and thinks through its implications. How does it happen that in the death and resurrection of Jesus, world history took a new direction, and at the same moment the life of every man, woman, and child on the planet was eternally affected? What is God up to? What does it mean that Jesus “saves”? What’s behind all this, and where is it going? 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?
Read: Hebrews 1:1-3
Kent Hughes does an excellent job of explaining how God has spoken in the past and through Christ, so we will let him lead us through our devo today:
“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.
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” (Psalm 91:1-2)