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
The Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before him. (Habakkuk 2:20)
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.
Heavenly Father, have mercy on us according to your steadfast love. We confess that we have forgotten your compassion and grace, how You bore us on eagles’ wings and brought us to Yourself; and we have forgotten your glory and holiness, and have not trembled before you in reverential wonder. Forgive us all our sins, we pray, through the finished work of Jesus Christ our Savior. By your Holy Spirit, please purify us and shine the light of Your gospel in our hearts, that we may live and serve You in the joy of resurrection life. 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: Luke is a most vigorous champion of the outsider. An outsider himself, the only Gentile in an all-Jewish cast of New Testament writers, he shows how Jesus includes those who typically were treated as outsiders by the religious establishment of the day: women, common laborers (sheepherders), the racially different (Samaritans), the poor. He will not countenance religion as a club. As Luke tells the story, all of us who have found ourselves on the outside looking in on life with no hope of gaining entrance (and who of us hasn’t felt it?) now find the doors wide open, found and welcomed by God in Jesus. Meditate on the passage, noting a few words or a phrase that stood out. Take them to God in prayer.
OT Context: The Exodus is a powerful and dramatic and true story of God working salvation. The story has generated an extraordinary progeny through the centuries as it has reproduced itself in song and poem, drama and novel, politics and social justice, repentance and conversion, worship and holy living. It continues to capture the imagination of men and women, especially men and women in trouble. It is significant that God does not present us with salvation in the form of an abstract truth, or a precise definition or a catchy slogan, but as story. 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) 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. Follow along with our Philippians Reading Plan + Study Guide as we all read Philippians every day this summer.
Read: Philippians 4:21-23
Gospel Goodbyes. The letter to the Philippians ends with a short, yet instructive goodbye.
Kent Hughes writes,
“Even Paul’s final greetings, brief as they are, would have brought a smile to the fellowship of the gospel:“Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The brothers who are with me greet you. All the saints greet you, especially those of Caesar’s household” (vv. 21, 22). Remember the soldiers guarding Paul? They were handpicked soldiers who received double pay for their services in Rome. And though Paul would have been guarded by only a few of them, the soldiers who were assigned to Paul got the word out. And most certainly these elite troops had access to the household of Caesar.
So it was that some soldiers and cooks and housecleaners and civil servants in Caesar’s house had come to Christ. Here John Calvin cuts to the chase: “it is evidence of divine mercy that the Gospel had penetrated that sink [pit] of all crimes and iniquities.” Yes! Though both the Philippians and Paul were under Roman oppression, there were brothers and sisters within Caesar’s walls who were on their side and praying for them.
Thus this innocuous final greeting trumpets the grand reality that one day the very seat of imperial power will bow its knee and “confess that Jesus Christ [Messiah]) is Lord [Yahweh], to the glory of God the Father” (2:11).
Everything is of God’s grace. “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit” (v. 23). Amen.
Questions to Ponder:
“Everything of God’s grace.” Sit with that for a moment. Then make a list of the things which you have by God’s grace. Pray over them and thank God for his great provision!
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)