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
Beloved, let us love one another for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. (1 John 4:7)
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.
Gracious God, we confess that we daily sin against you and our neighbors in our thoughts, in our words, and in our actions.
Our sins are too heavy to carry, too real to hide, and too deep to undo. Forgive what our lips tremble to name, what our hearts can no longer bear, and what has become for us a consuming fire of judgment. Set us free from a past that we cannot change; open to us a future in which we can be changed; and grant us grace to grow more and more into the likeness of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray. 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: 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 62:5-8
David talks to himself in these verses. He is still and silent before God as he rehearses the lesson of verses 1-2. Why? He’s already told us that God is the only rock, fortress, and salvation he needs. Why does he remind his soul to wait in silence for God alone? It’s because David recognized our faith is far more fickle than we care to admit. Day by day, hour by hour, and even moment by moment our faith needs renewal. Alexander MacLaren, a Scottish minister in the 1800s, put it well: “No emotions, however blessed, deep and real, will last unless perpetually renewed.”
It’s the ongoing battle to have our hearts shaped by the truths our minds know.It’s the ever-present tension we feel in our life in Christ. So how do you enter into the fray?You preach to yourself. You remind yourself of what is true because of Jesus, because of the gospel.
Tim Keller once described preaching the gospel to yourself as an all day activity. Starting off the day with prayer and asking God to “make us happy enough in the grace of Jesus to avoid being proud, cold, scared, and hooked.”I love that.
It’s at the heart of what David is preaching to hissoul. It’s a morning, noon, or evening “quick strike” on your idols where you get into God’s presence through his Word and prayer in order to catch yourself in those feelings of pride, coldness, fear, and addiction. Here’s how you can do it from Psalm 62:5-8:
When you areproud and too self-congratulatory or disdainful of people who you don’t think have it together, then the gospel reminds you that you didn’t have it together and you still don’t! God is the one on whom your salvation rests (v.6-7). All that you have is a gift from God.
When you arecold and too absorbed in your own concerns to really be compassionate and gracious and warm and joyful to the people around you, then the gospel reminds you that Jesus didn’t stay at a cold distance. Philippians 2 tells us that he didn’t stay wrapped up in his heavenly concerns, but instead graciously and compassionately entered into our the wreckage of our sin, so that you could truly call God your rock, your refuge, and salvation (v.6-7).
When you arescared and too anxious and worried, then the gospel reminds you that God is the true and only source of your hope (v.5), not whatever it is that has you tied up in knots, or anxious to prove yourself, or worried about what others think of you.
When you arehooked and too exhausted to resist what you know you should, then the gospel reminds you that you can confess your sin and “pour out your heart before him” (v.8) without fear of being condemned for what Christ has already forgiven. In other words: you can trust him at all times, because in all ways hewas, is, and will bea refuge for you from your sin (v.8).
Questions to Ponder:
Think back on the last 3-4 hours. Ask yourself: Have I been proud, scared, cold, or hooked in the last 3-4 hours? (the answer is usually “Yeah.”). Now pray and ask God, ”How does the graceyou have given me in the gospel deal with this?” Confess your sin and move forward in faith!
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.
Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul. (3 John 2)