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
The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders; where morning dawns, where evening fades, you call forth songs of joy. (Psalm 65:8)
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.
Lord Jesus, We sin – Would you grant that we may never be content with our sin?Kill our envy and command our tongues. Give us grace to be holy, kind, gentle, pure, peaceable,
to live for you and not for self,
to copy your words, acts, spirit,
to be transformed into your likeness, to be consecrated wholly to you,
to live entirely to your glory.
Deliver us from attachment to things unclean, from wrong associations, from the predominance of evil passions, from the sugar of sin as well as its audacity, that with deep contrition, earnest searching, we may come to you, cast ourselves on you, trust in you, cry to you, be delivered by you. 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: Matthew provides the comprehensive context by which we see all God’s creation and salvation completed in Jesus, and all the parts of our lives—work, family, friends, memories, dreams—also completed in Jesus. Lacking such a context, we are in danger of seeing Jesus as a mere diversion from the concerns announced in the newspapers. Nothing could be further from the truth. Meditate on the passage, noting a few words or a phrase that stood out. Take them to God in prayer.
OT Context: First, God. God is the subject of life. God is foundational for living. If we don’t have a sense of the primacy of God, we will never get it right, get life right, get our lives right. Not God at the margins; not God as an option; not God on the weekends. God at center and circumference; God first and last; God, God, God. Genesis gets us off on the right foot. Genesis pulls us into a sense of reality that is God-shaped and God-filled. It gives us a vocabulary for speaking accurately and comprehensively about our lives, where we come from and where we are going, what we think and what we do, the people we live with and how to get along with them, the troubles we find ourselves in and the blessings that keep arriving. Reflect on the passage. Who was the original audience, and what was their situation? How is that relevant to you today?
This section of the Devo focuses on the passage(s) from Sunday’s sermon. Use it to reflect upon the ways Christ has been working in your life this week. Makes a great midday reflection, or group discussion guide. Follow along with our Philippians Reading Plan + Study Guide as we all read Philippians every day this summer.
Read: Philippians 2:19-30
Yesterday we noted in a general way that Paul is providing the Philippians with two flesh and blood examples of what it looks like to live in a manner worthy of our heavenly citizenship. Today we are going to get into the details of what this looked like in Timothy’s life.
Paul starts off by giving Timothy high praise: “I have no one like him, who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare…you know Timothy’s proven worth, how as a son with a father he has served with me in the gospel. ”We have, in a sentence, the measure of the kind of man that Timothy was: someone who had taken to heart the Christ hymn and Paul’s teaching on living worthy of the gospel (2:1-18): doing nothing out of selfish ambition, attentive to the work that God was doing in him. Most of all, it seems he had a “genuine concern” for the spiritual welfare of others.
The word for genuine concern here carries with it the anxious or intensive care that a doctor gives to her patient, a shepherd gives to his sheep, or a hound gives to something that has caught his nose. Timothy was intent on seeing their salvation worked out into gospel-worthy living. He wants to see them advance in their faith and to embody, as Timothy had learned, the mindset which belonged to them because they belonged Christ (2:5).
“…how as a son with a father he has served with me in the gospel…”
There is so much we could comment on in this phrase. Timothy has proven his character. He is loyal and humble like a son who has learned the family business well from his father. Maybe another way to put it is that Timothy knows what he’s about. He has ambitions, but not to the extent that they lead him to seek a more prominent role for himself. He’s not grumbling or arguing, rather he’s pursuing unity with Paul, his spiritual father, for the sake of the gospel moving forward in the lives of more and more people.
Questions to Ponder:
Where has God given you a “genuine concern” for others to live in a manner worthy of the gospel? How has this shape the way you care for the faith of others?
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)