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
“Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” (Ephesians 5:14)
Prayer of Confession
Shepherding God, if left to me, my faith would flounder and I would undoubtedly be lost and wandering.
Thank you that my salvation rests on your undeserved mercy and unfailing promises.
I am kept and protected because you have laid down your life for me. Amen.
*Prayer borrowed from Philip Reinders’ Seeking God’s Face: Praying with the Bible through the Year
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: “In his letters to two young associates—Timothy in Ephesus and Titus in Crete—we see Paul encouraging and guiding the development of just such leadership. What he had learned so thoroughly himself, he was now passing on, and showing them, in turn, how to develop a similar leadership in local congregations. This is essential reading because ill-directed and badly formed spiritual leadership causes much damage in souls. Paul in both his life and his letters shows us how to do it right.” Meditate on the passage, noting a few words or a phrase that stood out. Take them to God in prayer.
OT Context: “People who want God as an escape from reality, from the often hard conditions of this life, don’t find this much to their liking. But to the man or woman wanting more reality, not less—this continuation of the salvation story—Joshua’s fierce and devout determination to win land for his people and his extraordinary attention to getting all the tribes and their families name by name assigned to their own place, is good news indeed. Joshua lays a firm foundation for a life that is grounded.” Reflect on the passage. Who was the original audience, and what was their situation? How is that relevant to you today?
RESTORE* Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. Psalm 51:12
Jack Miller writes,
As a youngster, I had a cow to care for. In the pasture, there was a spring where I took the cow to drink. Once, the spring was so clogged with leaves and dirt that there was no water. A friend, using a shovel, dug into the spring and cleared out the debris. At first, it looked worse than ever; mud and leaves were everywhere. But when the water was released, the spring once again flowed clean and clear. In Psalm 51 David says that his joy in knowing God had been reduced to a trickle by sins for which he had not repented. David needed joy restored and the way forward was through repentance.
When we first meet Christ, we are overwhelmed by joy. But often, the spring from which the joy flows, gets clogged up by sin. If we have a superficial view of our sin, then we will not turn daily to God for grace and forgiveness; and we won’t experience the joy of our salvation. But if we come to Christ moment by moment, the dominant theme of our life will be joy. This joy is more than mere ordinary happiness; it’s what Peter calls “inexpressible and filled with glory” (1 Peter 1:8); and it flows freely when our sins are confessed. How glorious to know the love of the Father and the forgiveness guaranteed to us because of the death and resurrection of his Son.
*Today’s Devo comes from Jack Miller’s Saving Grace: Daily Devotions.
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.
“Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (Hebrews 13:20-21)