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

Jesus, friend of sinners—what friend would stand in my place like you? You presented yourself in my name, taking the wrath that was aimed at me; you offered yourself on the cross, pouring out your precious blood for the cleansing of all my sins. Thank you Jesus, my friend, my Savior and High Priest forever. Amen. (Prayer based on the Belgic Confession, Question 21)

*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 31: When Darkness Reigns | Read: Luke 22:53


Jesus is about to face his darkest hours. At this pivotal moment in his ministry of recreating humanity, Jesus’ words do two things. First, knowing the cruelty he is about to endure, Jesus names the darkness—darkness. Jesus never offered a tidy answer to why there is evil. Christians do that. We are too quick to explain why bad things happen or to comfort with clichés. Jesus puts the emphasis not upon explaining evil, but defeating it. He entered into sin, suffering, and death to conquer them on our behalf.

Secondly, Jesus has been teaching in the open air in broad daylight. Nobody has been willing or able to lay a hand upon him. But now the night has come, and Jesus is confronting his accusers. Now it is as if Jesus is saying, “Give me, my Father, and the Holy Spirit your worst, and we will give you our best. Let your kingdom of darkness reign, and we will answer it with the light of a new dawn.” Does this sound familiar?

Remember Genesis. “In the beginning . . . darkness was over the surface of the deep.” Now humans have added to the Tohu-Wabohu chaos our many sins and our twisted justice. But there remains a God who still says, “Let there be light.” When darkness reigns, God will again say, “Let us make!” (Genesis 1:26)

For you, here I AM . . . facing the darkness.


As you walk, notice the dark places—a shadow, a hidden street, drawn curtains. What have you done under cover of darkness? What sins do you commit under cover of night? Let Jesus call you out. Speak to a friend, pastor, or priest about your confession. Let God’s Spirit bring you out of darkness and into the light.

“If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin” (1 John 1:6–7).

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

Read: James 5:12-20

James concludes his letter by saying, “brothers and sisters, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, 20 let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.

Kent Hughes notes, “James’ great concern is not just that we are able to discern apostasy, but that we do something about it: “My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner away from his error will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins” (vv. 19, 20). This is spiritual reclamation.

Restoration covers over a multitude of sins. “Covering” sins signifies forgiveness, and “a multitude of sins” indicates the extent of forgiveness. It is always a multitude of sins that is covered! When I was brought to Christ, millions of sins were covered over, and it was the same with you.”

REFLECT: Spend some time reflecting on how Christ has lovingly, joyfully covered your multitude of sins, removing them from you “as far as the East is from the West” (Psalm 103). 

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)