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
Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I. (Isaiah 58:8-9)
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.
God of all hope and Father of mercies,we come boldly to the throne of grace today, trusting in Christ’s righteousness and confessing our sins.
Forgive us for lingering in our bad attitudes. Forgive us for grumbling over petty things. Forgive us for writing people off too easily. Forgive us for not following through on our promises. Forgive us for too easily neglecting time with you.
Our priorities, schedules, and busyness rebuke us, Lord. We humble ourselves and offer our prayer 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 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?
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.
The next three days of the devotional come from “The Reservoir” and will help us explore why our picture of God is so important to how we live as Christians.
What comes into our mind when we think about God is the most important thing about us. — A. W. Tozer
We become like the God we worship. If I believe that God not only loves, but is love, then the more I center my life on him, the more loving I will become. If, however, I actually hold a picture of an angry God, I will gradually become an angrier person. If I worship a trustworthy God, I will have an easier time trusting God and other people. But if my image is of an unreliable God, I will likely become increasingly anxious and controlling. It’s vital to uncover the difference between our “professed” images of God—the things we say we believe about him—and our “default” pictures of God—the ideas we hold deep down, perhaps unaware, that are profoundly shaping us.
Read: Psalm 136
Reflect: 1. What are some dominant pictures of God within the culture?
2. Recall your childhood picture of God. Do you think it still shapes the way you see him now?
3. Choose three words to describe God. What might these three words teach you about yourself and your view of God?
4. Do you find yourself relating to God differently in seasons of stress or difficulty than in happier times?
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.
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. (2 Corinthians 13:14)