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
“Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Cor. 15:57)
Prayer of Confession
Most High God, who can fully grasp this head-spinning resurrection news?
Like the disciples, we are still caught off guard, resurrection seeming stranger than fiction.
With all who doubt and struggle, I pray for a faith that sends us in search of Jesus, and that we might find him alive in us. 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: “Paul is unswervingly confident that Christ occupies the center of creation and salvation. Writing with both humility and the energies of most considerate love, Paul exhibits again what Christians have come to appreciate so much in Paul—the wedding of a brilliant and uncompromising intellect with a heart that is warmly and wonderfully kind. Meditate on the passage, noting a few words or a phrase that stood out. Take them to God in prayer.
OT Context: “The book of Deuteronomy is organized as a series of addresses given by Moses to the people of Israel in the land of Moab, where they had stopped at the end of the long wilderness journey and were about to enter and occupy Canaan…The great theme of the book is that God has saved and blessed his chosen people, whom he loves; so his people are to remember this, and love and obey him, so that they may have life and continued blessing. The key verses of the book are 6:4–6, and contain the words that Jesus called the greatest of all commandments, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.”Reflect on the passage. Who was the original audience, and what was their situation? How is that relevant to you today?
Read: 2 Timothy 3:10-17 + Revelation 3:13-14
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the servant of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
Scripture, Saint Paul tell us, is able to “make you wise for salvation” because it is “breathed out by God” who is the source of salvation. The term “God-breathed” can be a little confusing, Kent Hughes explains, “More literally, all Scripture is breathed into by God.” Think of it like this: When you speak, your word is “you-breathed”—your breath, conditioned by your mind, pours forth in speech. You quite literally breathe out your words. In fact, this belief that Scripture was “breathed into by God” perfectly expresses the view of the first-century Jews about the Old Testament writings.
Now the question becomes: What do we do with these words that have been breathed into by God?
First we must listen to them. Listening is more than simply perceiving and interpreting sound waves with our rather incredible auditory faculties. Listening is receiving. Encountering and contemplating. Tasting and savoring.
The Apostle Paul puts a finer point on how to receive these divine words and their eternal value: learn from, be corrected by, and receive from them training in how to live according to our created design. Knowing God’s word is one thing, but Revelation tells us that we have to “have an ear to hear what the Spirit says…the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness.”
Theologian John Webster once wrote, “We’re involved in a collision between the voice of God and our stubbornness and repudiation.In our easy-going ways as tolerant moderns, we tend not to see the Christian life in quite these terms…the Church’s hearing is a gift of the Holy Spirit. We are sinners; we do not know how to hear. Right hearing is not within the range of our competence. It’s given to us, given by the activity of God’s Spirit in which God opens the ears of the deaf, making it possible for us to become true hearers of God’s Word.”
Reflect: How have you collided with God’s voice in His word this week? How is God by His Spirit helping you to truly hear him?
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.
“Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:29)