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.
Dear heavenly Father, when we were dead in our sins and trespasses, you raised us to new life in Christ. We praise you for so great a salvation, so glorious a hope, and so firm a standing in grace. We humble ourselves before you today, in gratitude and repentance.
Forgive us for our attitudes that deny your grace. Forgive us for our words that violate peace. Forgive us for our habits that sabotage beauty. Forgive us for our passivity that accepts the unacceptable. Forgive us for our pettiness that robs people we love. Forgive us for our unbelief that robs you of glory.
Have mercy on us, Lord; have mercy on me. In Jesus’ strong and loving 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 first letter to the Corinthians is a classic of pastoral response: affectionate, firm, clear, and unswerving in the conviction that God among them, revealed in Jesus and present in his Holy Spirit, continued to be the central issue in their lives, regardless of how much of a mess they had made of things.” 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.
Hebrews is one of my favorite letters in the New Testament. I return to it in times of uncertainty and moments when my mind simply needs to remember what is secure and true and worth putting our hope in. I wonder if that’s how the original hearers felt the first time this letter was read aloud to them. Did they turn the poetic phrases over in their mind throughout the week as they baked bread, tilled fields, and prayed together a dinner? Their world was filled with anxiety, persecution, and the growing sense that there was no place for them in this world.
What words do you speak (Hebrews is a written down sermon, after all) to people beset on every side by enemies and betrayals? You use the only words that have stood the test of time: God’s own. The sermon in Hebrews was purposefully filled with allusions, direct quotes, and all the redemptive themes of the Old Testament in order to root our hope in God’s unchanging person, promises, plan, and presence.
Reflect: Take a few minutes to read through each of passages listed above. What does each tell you about God’s unchanging nature? About his presence with you now and in the future?
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.
Yes, Lord, walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you; your name and renown are the desire of our hearts. My soul yearns for you in the night; in the morning my spirit longs for you. (Isaiah 26:8-9)