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

Lord, be gracious to us; we long for you. Be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of distress. (Isaiah 33:2)

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.

Heavenly Father, for your steadfast love, we bless you. 

For your patience and kindness, we praise you. For your daily mercies, we trust you. Forgive our sins, for they are real and many.

We confess loving relief from our pain more than change in our hearts.
We confess thinking too often of ourselves and too seldom of you.
We confess that it’s easier to be cynical than hopeful.
We confess under-trusting the gospel and over-honoring our fears.
We confess seeking our fiefdoms first and your kingdom last. 

Have mercy on us, Lord; have mercy on me. In Jesus’ name and for his glory, we offer our prayer and ask for forgiveness. Amen.

Take a moment to confess your sins, knowing that he hears you.

Reading Plan

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).

Morning Readings:

Pray Psalm 102 | Read 1 Peter 2

  • 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: How do we cope with the inconsistencies of life? Focusing on perseverance in the midst of trials, James exhorted believers to live out what they proclaimed. This letter is a call to faithfulness to the gospel in the midst of very difficult circumstances. Meditate on what this passage reveals about who Christ is and what he’s accomplished.

Evening Readings:

Pray Psalm 103 | Read Jonah 4

  • OT Context: Famous for being in the belly of a fish for three days, Jonah also has profound implications because all of the heathens are more compassionate and quick to repent than the prophet was. Jonah tells us how God has always had a plan to reach all nations with His glory. Reflect on the passage. In what ways do other parts of the Bible shed light on the text?

“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 57:11

The way David concludes his song leaves us with some questions. What happens next? Does Saul catch up with David (read the rest of 1 & 2 Samuel to find out)? And why does David repeat the same line he used in Verse 5? For the sake of symmetry, or is there something more? To start, let’s remember that repeated words and phrases in Hebrew poetry are the author’s way of saying: “Pay attention! This is important!” So what does David think is so important? 

One thing only: that God’s glory would spread over all the earth (v.11). That might seem odd to us, but this was part of the promise that God made to Abraham in Genesis 12:3. All the nations of the world would be blessed through Abraham. And the only way to be blessed in Scripture is to come into a covenant relationship with God, to begin worshipping and glorifying him as God Most High (Ps. 57:2). 

That was the nation of Israel’s mission. They were to be “a light for the nations, that [God’s] salvation may reach to the end of the earth” (Isaiah 49:6). Worship of God was supposed to extend as to the ends of the earth through his people. As the prophet Habakkuk poetically expressed it: “the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea” (Habakkuk 2:14).

So on one level when David says, “Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let your glory be over all the earth!” He’s seeing his troubles in direct relationship with God’s greatness in the skies and heavens (verses 9–11). He sees, to paraphrase Tolkien, that “there is light and high beauty forever beyond the reach of any evil shadows in this world.” But on a theological level David also seems to see his story as being caught up into what God is doing to “let his glory be over all the earth.” 

And one day, David’s faith-filled hopes would be realized in his Greater Son, Jesus, who when faced with betrayal and death prayed to his Father that “the Son may glorify you” (John 17:1). Jesus faced the terrors of the cross by taking refuge in the steadfast love (hesed) and faithfulness of the Father, his heart was steadfast in God. It’s as though David’s resolve in Psalm 57:11 for God’s glory was perfectly achieved in the resurrection and exaltation of Christ. If that’s true, then…

Christians are living embodiments of David’s prayer that God’s glory would be over all the earth, that the knowledge of his glory would fill the earth as the waters cover the sea. 

Do you see what that means for us? It means that Christians can pray the words of Psalm 57 alongside Jesus because he was “tempted in every respect as we are, yet without sin.” It means that we can draw near to God Most High, even more boldly than David, “that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16). That promise of mercy and grace means that you can come to your heavenly Father full of confidence that he wants to hear from you, even if you haven’t cleaned yourself up. You can bring your anxiety, your depression, your failings, your doubts, your everything to him, because Jesus has made a way for “ends of the earth” people like you and me to be called children of God.

Questions to Ponder:

Are you boldly drawing near to God in your time of need? Jesus is no half-hearted Savior. Set aside some time today and pray the words of Psalm 57 again. Only this time remember that Jesus was steadfast so that you might be able to stand fast amidst the storms of destruction in your life. He’s given you bold access to the throne room of God the Father who delights when you draw near. So draw near!

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.

Benediction

Now may the Savior who is tempted in every way as we are, yet without sin, make you steady in trials, faithful in temptations, content with providence, and hopeful in troubles. Amen.

© 2014 - OPC|Milford