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
Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart (Jeremiah 29:12-13)
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.
Merciful Father, today we make this good confession:
I am no longer my own, but yours.
Put me to what you will, rank me with whom you will;
put me to doing, put me to suffering;
let me be employed for you, or laid aside for you,
exalted for you, or brought low for you;
let me be full, let me be empty,
let me have all things, let me have nothing:
I freely and wholeheartedly yield all things to your pleasure and disposal.
And now, glorious and blessed God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
you are mine and I am yours. So be it.
And the covenant now made on earth, let it be ratified in heaven. 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: The apostle John explains how our understanding (or lack thereof) of God’s love affects the way that we view ourselves and others. God’s love is key in knowing that we have eternal life in Jesus Christ. Meditate on the passage, noting a few words or a phrase that stood out. Take them to God in prayer.
OT Context: Listing a large amount of sins, Micah tells Israel that Babylon and Assyria will be God’s instruments of judgment against them. Yet in the midst of this, Micah speaks of a Shepherd King who will gather and lead a remnant forward. As you reflect on the passage, pray its truths into your heart.
“Psalms Mix” Readings
We took a break from our Psalms series on Sunday, so this week we are going to sample some excellent devotionals on the Psalms (some you likely didn’t know even existed). Makes a great midday reflection, or group discussion guide.
“I said to myself… ‘Soul, you’ve been rescued from death; Eye, you’ve been rescued from tears; And you, Foot, were kept from stumbling.’ I’m stringing in the presence of God, alive in the land of the living!” —Eugene’s translation (he was a Hebrew scholar as well as a pastor, btw) of Psalm 116:8-9.
One of the ways the Hebrew poets emphasized what they wanted to say was by putting tow or three roughly synonymous statements one on top of the other. Here the psalmist parallels, “Soul, you’ve been rescued from death” with “Eye, you’ve been rescued from tears” and “You, Foot, were kept from stumbling.”
In other words, a dead soul, tearful eyes, and stumbling feet are roughly synonymous. He is not talking about a man embalmed and ready to be dug into the ground; he is talking about himself in the state of biological life but existential death. A medical doctor would certify him alive, but he knows that he is already dead.
The reason the Hebrew could talk this way was because for him the basic fact of life was the reality of God. The Hebrew thought not as a biologist of physiologist but as a theologian. If God was not present and alive in a man’s life, he was dead. The Hebrew author expressed this most forcibly in the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. God had commanded them not to eat of a certain fruit from a certain tree, for if they did they would surely die. And then they ate it, and they died. But they didn’t drop over dead. Yet the realm of death had invaded their existence.
The “land of the living” is the place where everything is in correspondence with its environment, giving up to its created potential—that is, living openly toward God [something that can only truly be done once Christ’s life becomes your own (Colossians 3:4)].
Questions to Ponder:
Is life without God merely breathing out of habit, existing but with nowhere to go? Think about his work of giving you life in Christ in place of death. Go ahead and name ways he continues to give you this gift of 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.
Now may He who has rescued your soul from death, freed your eyes from tears, and kept your feet from stumbling, cause you to stride boldly to the throne of grace, because Jesus the Son has brought you out of darkness and into the land of the living. Amen.