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 heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. (Psalm 19:1-2)
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.
O Lord God,we confess the many ways that we suppress your truth in unrighteousness. We know that you are a powerful God; we know that you are a holy God; we know that you are the true King of the World. And yet, we pretend that we are powerful, that we are perfect, that we are king.
Forgive us, Lord,for worshipping ourselves — the idols of our own hearts — rather than you. Root out all self-worship and replace it with a whole-souled worship of you, through Jesus Christ our Lord, 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?
“Neighbor Day” 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 Ephesians 4:1-6
Walk. Did you know that average human being walks at 3 miles per hour? It’s true, or at least I once read that it was. But if it is indeed true, thenI find it interesting that walking is the very first thing that the Apostle Paul says it means to live like a Christian. Being a Christian means that God has made you alive together with Christ (Ephesians 2:4). Living like a Christian means walking “in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called.”
Walking is what carries us forward into our days after we get out of bed. It’s simply putting one foot in front of the other and stepping into our lives. It’s the most mundane of metaphors. And yet, it is one that is used throughout Scripture to describe what it means to experience abundant life with God.
Adam and Eve walked with God in the cool of the day. Abraham walked before God in righteousness. Moses led God’s people on a walk (and then wander) through the wilderness. David, the rest of the psalmists, and the prophets all use walking as a preferred way of talking about having, or lacking, a real, everyday, life-giving relationship with God.
Psalm 1 contrasts the rootlessness of walking in the counsel of the wicked with the rootedness meditating on God’s counsel provides. Isaiah prophesies that those who “walk in darkness” will see a great light which will presumably prevent them from stumbling along spiritually. More positively Proverbs describes God’s Word as a light to walk by, so that your feet don’t get tripped up along life’s path.
So you walk with God. Walking with someone means that they are a part of your life. You are not waving as you pass by their porch. You are journeying alongside one another. You value the same things as you talk, commune, and live alongside one another. The gospel, Paul seems to be telling us, makes us attentive to God: his words and his ways. All these years we’ve been walking in darkness, now we’re learning to walk in the light of the gospel. And as we walk, we listen to what he has to say, and our lives are shaped into something that is “worthy” or balanced by the gospel.
Questions to Ponder:
We’ll explore what it looks like to “walk in a manner worthy of the gospel” throughout the rest of the week. But let’s take a moment to consider the significance of this “walking” metaphor. Why do you suppose that Paul used this metaphor? What change do you think Paul desired in his original audience? In us?
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.
“The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever. He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear 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.” (Psalm 103:8-13)