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
Every day I will bless youand praise your name forever and ever.Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised,and his greatness is unsearchable. (Psalm 145:2-3)
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.
Almighty God, we confess how hard it is to be your people. You have called us to be the church, to continue the mission of Jesus Christ to our lonely and confused world. Yet we acknowledge we are more apathetic than active, isolated than involved, callous than compassionate, obstinate than obedient, legalistic than loving.
Gracious Lord, have mercy upon us and forgive our sins. Remove the obstacles preventing us from being your representatives to a broken world. Awaken our hearts to the promised gift of your indwelling Spirit. This we pray in Jesus’ powerful 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: Revelation contains 404 verses into which St. John, the pastor, makes reference to earlier scripture 518 times. The message is clear: This last word on scripture will not being saying anything new. Instead, the Revelation reveals Jesus Christ as the Lamb of God by bidding us to look to the past to the Old Testament promises and to the resurrection; to live in the present as the people of God; and to look toward the future when the triumph of King Jesus will be fully revealed. Meditate on the passage, noting a few words or a phrase that stood out. Take them to God in prayer.
OT Context: Written around the same time as Haggai, Israel had returned from exile in Babylon, but they were discouraged by the slow progress in rebuilding their national identity. Zechariah reminded the people that returning to their homeland would do no good if their hearts did not return to God. Reflect on the passage. Who was the original audience, and what was their situation? How is that relevant to you today?
“Psalms Mix” Readings
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.
Read Psalm 145
If ever a psalm can be called an ‘outpouring’ it is Psalm 145, a river in spate of the attributes of Yahweh. It is best read like that. -Alec Motyer, Psalms by the Day
It’s best to read this psalm all at once. The poetic force comes through better that way. So that’s what I want to encourage you to do this week. Read all 21 verses every day this week. Listen for what David is saying. Make little observations about words and phrases. Spend some time praying the passage back to God. It’s actually designed to help you worship God through prayer and song.
In fact, Psalm 145 is an ‘alphabetic acrostic’. The successive verses take in turn the letters of the Hebrew alphabet (only nun is mysteriously absent: either for poetic reasons, or it was simply lost). No less than 5 of these acrostics are from David, and the deceptive simplicity of this one in particular demonstrates his mastery of the form.
David’s message seems rather straightforward in the first three verses: He’s going to praise his God (elohim = the powerful Creator) every day and forever and ever, because the LORD (Yahweh) is great. So great, in fact, that if you got out a measuring tape, you would never reach the end of His depths or height or width (v.3).
It’s easy to read past these first three verses as being simply the preamble to whatever point David is directing us toward. But to do so is to miss one of the main themes of the psalm.
First, notice that David’s worship of God is personal. God is not some distant deity to be prayed to when a good crop is needed, or the bank account is low, or relational strife has us at the end of our rope. No, David says, God is my God. He may be the Creator of the universe, but David is not dividing his loyalties up. God is his God, and that’s it. Do you have that depth of relationship with God that you can call him my God?
Second, notice that David worships God as the true King. Now David was a king. He had people who looked up to him for guidance, wisdom, and protection. But David doesn’t see himself as the highest authority. Yahweh is his God and King.
David’s worshipful confession is a counter-cultural. Earthly kings, from Eden onward, have tended to rebel against God’s rightful reign. Psalm 2 even describes them plotting (meditating on) ways to get out from what they perceive as being under God’s thumb. But here, God’s kingship is the first reason that King David says God should be worshipped. Why does David approach God so differently?
It is simply this: David experienced true relationship with God. He truly knows God, because he has meditated on God’s Word day and night. He delights in God telling him what to do. And it has made him like an ever growing tree in a tumbleweed world (Psalm 1).
Questions to Ponder:
What about you? Do you delight in God being your King? If not, what troubles you about the idea of God being the one who directs your life? If yes, then how is God’s reign being expressed in your life?
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.
As far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust. (Psalm 103:12-14)