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 righteous in all his ways and faithful in all he does. The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.” (Ps. 145:17-18)

Prayer of Confession

Lord God, by an entirely supernatural work, not less than a new creation, you brought me from death to life. For this, and all your mercy, I thank you. In Jesus’ name, amen. (Prayer based on the Canons of Dort, Question 2.12)

*Prayer borrowed from Philip Reinders’ Seeking God’s Face: Praying with the Bible through the Year

Lent Devo: Backyard Pilgrim

Throughout Lent this year we will follow along over the next 40 days with quotes from Backyard Pilgrim by Matt Canlis which gives us a daily Bible Path (the story of God’s redemption) and Parish Path (a literal path through town where you can walk and ponder what God has shown you through his Word).

Day 30: Holy Suffering | Read: Matthew 4:3-4


When Eve was tempted by the devil to doubt God’s love, she entered into a debate she was doomed to lose. When Jesus faced temptation, he didn’t enter into prolonged discussion, nor did he ad lib. Jesus simply quoted Scripture. He spoke out loud Bible verses he learned as a boy. The first verse he quoted was Deuteronomy 8:3: “man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.” 

Why pick this verse? It’s not just that the devil is tempting Jesus to feed himself with bread. Jesus is pointing us to the one food he’s been eating, even as he fasts. 

What word from the Father has Jesus just heard? “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” The Father’s baptismal words of love are the manna from heaven that sustains Jesus’ forty-day fast in the desert. Even as he suffers, Jesus is still delighting in, living on, and being nourished by the baptismal words his Father immersed him in beside the river. 

“Prove myself to the devil? By no means! I AM God’s beloved son! Whether it looks like it or not. Whether I feel like it or not. Whether the world believes me or not. My Father’s word is the one I will trust—the devil’s litmus tests be damned! Desert or no desert, garden or grave, cross or throne . . . I live by the first word and final love of my Father in heaven.” 

For you, here I AM . . . nourished by love. 


Don’t allow a desert or the devil or difficult circumstances determine your identity. Don’t let people’s praise, your own pride, or some success measure your worth. None of this will last. None of these will nourish you. 

Live instead by the Luke 3:22 words you began to memorize two days ago. Live by the baptismal words of the Father, by the Spirit that sustained Jesus in the desert: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” 

What voices are sabotaging your identity as God’s child? What friend or pastor is helping you to rest in the Father’s love? Find a place to sit and write this person a thank you note. If you are thinking about baptism or renewing your baptism, consider asking them to be a godparent or sponsor. 

Sermon Devo

We are in our Winter series through the book of James. Each day we will dig into a different aspect of this New Testament wisdom book which will, by the end of the week, help to give you a fuller portrait of the kind of lives we are called to live as Christians.  

Read: James 1-5

Read the whole letter in one sitting if you can, or listen to it using the ESV Bible App.

  1. What stood out to you as you read today?
  2. What point does James seem to be making?
  3. Why do you supposed God included the letter of James in Scripture?
  4. What didn’t make sense? What do you still wonder about?

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.


“God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life.” (1 John 5:11-12)