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

My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. (1 John 2:1)

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.

Father, we confess that we do not live up to the family name.

We are more ready to resent than to forgive, more ready to manipulate than to serve, more ready to fear than to love, more ready to keep our distance than to welcome, more ready to compete than to help. At the root of this behavior is mistrust and self-love. We do not love one another as we should, because we do not believe that you love us as you do.

Forgive us our cold unbelief. Show us what it cost you to give up your Son that we might become your sons and daughters. We ask this in the name of Jesus, our only righteousness. 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 119:137-152 | Read 2 John 1

  • 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.

Evening Readings:

Pray Psalm 119:153-168 | Read Habakkuk 1

  • OT Context: Written as a dialogue with God, Habakkuk complains about the moral decay of Israel. It is in this environment that Habakkuk tells us that “the righteous shall live by faith,” which becomes a major theme of the apostle Paul’s writings in the New Testament. 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 62:1-4

Whereas David had learned the practice of finding rest in God alone, his enemies only find pleasure in scheming up ways to take him down. He’s like a wall that has become structurally unsound. On his own he’s falling to pieces. On his own he has no hope of staying upright. But, as we’ve already seen, he’s confident that God is for him as his refuge and rescue. So, he won’t be shaken, at least not overly much, because his God cannot be shaken.

Something we might miss, though, is that David’s opposition is not some random group of baddies from a rival nation. They are his subjects. People who owe David their allegiance as their king, but all they can think of is trying to “thrust him down from his high position.” The psalm calls them liars. They are duplicitous hypocrites who, as Tremper Longman puts it, “traffic in deception.”

I want to suggest one more thing that they are: They are us. You and me. 

Every single one of us has found ourselves in their position. We’ve lied, delighted in seeing someone fall, or been polite to someone’s face, but cursed them in our hearts. The Apostle Paul reflects on this reality in Romans 3:10-12 as he quotes Psalms 14 and 53: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” 

This is the dual truth that our hearts hold. It’s the truth that the psalms won’t let us forget: we’re David and we’re his rebellious subjects. The psalms demand this kind of honesty from us if we want to draw out all their wisdom. Absolute and brutal honesty. 

So here’s the honest truth we face in Psalm 62: Our spiritual condition apart from Christ is worse than we think. Sin slithered into our hearts in the Garden and ever since every human heart has rebelled against and sought to usurp God’s place as the true King of Creation. Our sin is more treacherous, more destructive, and more offensive to God than we ever dared imagine. 

But cheer up! The story isn’t over. We can be brutally honest about our sin, because Christ is no half-hearted Savior. He is the rock, he’s the refuge, and he’s the salvation of rebellious, double-minded people like you and me. And he can transform the hardest of  hearts, even among his people, into a heart like David’s that finds its rest in God alone.  

Questions to Ponder:

Think through the last 24 hours. In what ways has your heart been like David’s opponents? Deceptive and rebellious? Take some time to confess those things to God. Then move forward in the freedom, forgiveness, and new identity that God has given to you in Christ. 

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

Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure. (1 John 3:2-3)

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