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
But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble. (Psalm 59:16)
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.
Do not be distant, O Lord, lest I become so mired in yesterday’s hurts, that I miss entirely the living gifts this day might hold. Let me neither ignore my pain, pretending all is okay when it isn’t, nor coddle and magnify my pain, so that I dull my capacity to experience all that remains good in this life.
For joy that denies sorrow is neither hard-won, nor true, nor eternal. It is not real joy at all. And sorrow that refuses to make space for the return of joy and hope, in the end becomes nothing more than a temple for the worship of my own woundedness.
So give me strength, O God, to feel this grief deeply, never to hide my heart from it. Recreate my heart, O God, by your Word and your Spirit’s deep work within my very being. 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 story of Jesus doesn’t end with Jesus. It continues in the lives of those who believe in him. The supernatural does not stop with Jesus. Acts makes it clear that these Christians Luke wrote about were no more spectators of Jesus than Jesus was a spectator of God—they are in on the action of God, God acting in them, God living in them. Which also means, of course, in us. Meditate on the passage, noting a few words or a phrase that stood out. Take them to God in prayer.
OT Context: “Holy” is the word that sets God apart and above our attempts to enlist him in our wish-fulfillment. The first thing that strikes us as we read Leviticus in this light is that this holy God is actually present with us and virtually every detail of our lives is affected by the presence of this holy God; nothing in us, our relationships, or environment is left out. The second thing is that God provides a way (the sacrifices and feasts and Sabbaths) to bring everything in and about us into his holy presence, transformed in the fiery blaze of the holy. Reflect on the passage. Who was the original audience, and what was their situation? How is that relevant to you today?
This section of the Devo focuses on the passage(s) for Sunday’s sermon. Go ahead and read the following passage(s) and use theParables Reading Plan + Study Guideto journal what stands out and what you have questions about in the passages. Below is a helpful commentary that can help to fill in the gaps.
Read: Luke 12:16-21 + Ecclesiastes 5:10-20
Plan to spend some time meditating on our parable in Luke 12 and Ecclesiastes 5:10-20.
Begin with a short prayer to prepare your heart to read God’s Word:
“May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.” -Psalm 19:14
“Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.” -Psalm 119:18
Or, as Bach used to write at the start of his day: Jesu Juva (Jesus help!)
Then read each passage slowly and MEDITATE (pray the passage back to God):
Adoration: How can I love and praise God on the basis of what I’ve read?
Repentance: How do I fail to realize this in my life? What wrong behavior, harmful emotions or attitudes result when I forget this?
Gospel Thanks: How can I thank Jesus as the ultimate revelation of this attribute of God and the ultimate answer to this sin or need of mine?
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.
Be present, O merciful God, and protect us through the hours of this night, so that we who are weary from the changes and chances of this life may rest in your eternal changelessness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (Book of Common Prayer, 133)