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

Why, God, would you give up your glory to take on our broken human nature? Why, Jesus, would you come to the scene of our crimes with the purpose of bearing our punishment? Why would you bitterly suffer and die for us, unless this is glory. Where comprehension fails, help me to simply receive this marvelous mystery in faith. Amen. (Prayer based on the Belgic Confession, Question 20)

*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: What Has Jesus Done for Us?


Preview As fallen creatures, we lack the ability to fully respond to God’s searching questions. 

This week, God’s Son responds on our behalf. 

Jesus answers for us—in our place—reversing the spiral of human sin and recapitulating us back into relationship with our Heavenly Father. 

From the beginning, the Father has always been asking his lost children: “Where are you?” 

Next week during Passion Week, Jesus answers for us: “Here I am.” Jesus does this in many places and in countless ways. This week we consider seven. 

Where was Jesus found for us? And by being found in our shoes, what has Jesus accomplished on our behalf? 


Many modern churches ignore Passion Week, skipping the days between Palm Sunday and Easter. These are full of sin, sadness and suffering—realities we would rather avoid. But older churches have a Passion Week tradition of walking with Jesus by visiting Stations of the Cross, stopping to remember the most painful steps of Jesus’ pilgrimage in our shoes. You may wish to visit such a church one day this week, or you may choose to increase your vigilance in looking out for signs of suffering along the way and in the people you meet. Remember Jesus’ words in Matthew 25:44–45:

They also will answer, “Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?” He will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.” 

All of us fail Jesus in countless ways. This week, begin to recognize him in others. Also begin to recognize the many ways he has responded generously on your behalf. The Savior of the world is about to save us from ourselves. 

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 5:12-20

James appears to end his letter with a bit of a hodgepodge of teachings on wisdom. Take some time today to see if you can catch the theme. Go ahead. Spend a few minutes reading and writing down in your own words what each teaching seems to be about.

Okay. What did you see?

Let’s start with verse 12. Dan Doriani notes that, “Students of James puzzle over the place of this verse in the structure of the epistle. Its connection to the rest of chapter 5 is a challenge. From Martin Luther to Martin Dibelius and beyond, theologians who question the structural cohesiveness of James cite 5:12 as a prime example of its tendency to drop disjointed aphorisms into the text.”

Though the placement may be odd, James is simply doing what he’s done throughout the letter. He is meditating and rephrasing his older brother Jesus’ teaching. Again this meditation comes from The Sermon on the Mount where Jesus says, “But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. And do not take an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil” (Matthew 5:34-37).

Jesus himself, however, is simply building off of what God had already said in Numbers 30:2; Deuteronomy 23:21; and Leviticus 19:12. But what’s his point? Each passage points to one central reality: human beings are not always good on their word. We often miss the mark on what we’ve said we would do and sometimes we purposely bend the truth to save face.

Doriani continues, “James flatly prohibits the use of oaths because even the honest use of oaths testifies that something is amiss in the community. If believers reliably told one another the truth, what need would there be of oaths to guarantee truth-telling? If I must take towering oaths to buttress my speech, I admit paradoxically that my speech is unreliable without such support. The greater the weight of a man’s oaths in the short run, the greater the doubt about his veracity in the long run.

Instead, we should tell the truth so consistently that oaths become superfluous, a waste of words. The existence of oaths, as a convention of speech, proves we live in a deceitful age. The family of God should be so truthful that we never need oaths or vows to verify our words.”

REFLECT: James has put a high emphasis on the nature and use of our words in his letter. So it’s no surprise that our speech makes one final appearance here at the end. Take a few minutes to review teachings James has give for wise speaking. What commonalities stick out to you? How might God be calling you to respond?

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)