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
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23)
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: Matthew 6:19-21 + Luke 12:33-34 + James 1:9-11
Today’s passages round out our look at Jesus’ teaching in Luke 12. Just as a reminder Jesus is teaching his disciples what to fear and not to fear in this life. It’s an incredibly salient chapter for this very moment in our culture.
Michael Card notes that,
“As the impact of the parable (about the Rich Fool) is soaking in, Jesus proceeds with his list of what to fear and what not to fear. Don’t worry about food or clothes, he tells his listeners. Considering the fact that they have already been sent out on a mission with no food or extra clothes, this should be a lesson they are beginning to understand. Before it was sparrows he alluded to; now it is ravens.
God provides for them and they do not sow or reap. They have no storerooms (unlike the idiot in the parable he had just told), and yet God feeds them. The sparrows, the ravens: they are all parables to the person who has the eyes to see and the ears to hear.
Lilies . . . they are parables too. Just look at them. They didn’t spin or sew their beautiful adornment, and yet they outshine Solomon on his best day. So why worry about clothes? Don’t worry about what you will eat or drink. Instead, seek the kingdom of God and all the rest will come.
By not worrying about the wrong things, Jesus’ disciples will be free to worry about the right things. Luke 12:32 sounds to me like the finale of this beautifully illustrated and orchestrated sermon on what to and what not to fear.
The final note is, “Don’t be afraid, little flock.” They have already been given all that they could be given: the kingdom. They should simply let everything else go. Finally comes the maxim, that memorable phrase: “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
May we learn this lesson from our Lord Christ Jesus as well.
MEDITATE: Spend some time meditating on the passages. Ask God to help you to see where fear is present in your life. Entrust that area to him, and then tell a friend so they can encourage you to keep trusting him with it!
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.
Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. (Psalm 62:5-6)