August 19th devo image, a seagull flying.

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

“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.” (Ps. 106:1)

Prayer of Confession

Good God, thank you that this life is not a random roll of the dice, but is watched over by your favor and fatherly care. That’s easy to confess when the wind is at my back and the sun is on my face; give me the same trust in your will when the circumstances of life turn tragic and are tearstained. Let me understand that even then I am kept by you. In Christ’s name, amen. (Prayer based on the Belgic Confession, Question 13)

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

Reading Plan

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).

Morning Readings:

Pray Psalm 108 | Read Matthew 18

  • 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: Matthew provides the comprehensive context by which we see all God’s creation and salvation completed in Jesus, and all the parts of our lives—work, family, friends, memories, dreams—also completed in Jesus. Lacking such a context, we are in danger of seeing Jesus as a mere diversion from the concerns announced in the newspapers. Nothing could be further from the truth. Meditate on the passage, noting a few words or a phrase that stood out. Take them to God in prayer.

Evening Readings:

Pray Psalm 109 | Read 2 Samuel 10

  • OT Context: “Four lives dominate the two-volume narrative, First and Second Samuel: Hannah, Samuel, Saul, and David. Chronologically, the stories are clustered around the year 1000 b.c., the millennial midpoint between the call of Abraham, the father of Israel, nearly a thousand years earlier (about 1800 b.c.) and the birth of Jesus, the Christ, a thousand years later.” Reflect on the passage. Who was the original audience, and what was their situation? How is that relevant to you today?

Sermon Devo

This summer we are exploring what it means to keep “in step” with the Spirit. Each week we will consider a specific fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5) by looking at other stories and themes throughout Scripture that express this fruit.

Today’s Devo comes from Tim and Kathy Keller

Read: 

Psalm 85:9–13. 9 Surely his salvation is near those who fear him, that his glory may dwell in our land. 10 Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other. 11 Faithfulness springs forth from the earth, and righteousness looks down from heaven. 12 The Lord will indeed give what is good, and our land will yield its harvest. 13 Righteousness goes before him and prepares the way for his steps.

true concord. Love and truth (the meaning of “faithfulness”) must meet in harmony (verse 10). But how can God in faithfulness punish sin yet also in love embrace sinners? Christ reconciles all things in heaven and earth by making peace through his blood (Colossians 1:20). When Jesus bore our punishment on the cross, love and holiness “kissed”—they were both fulfilled at once. Love without holiness is mere sentiment; righteousness and law without a grasp of grace is Pharisaism. Our natural temperaments incline us to one or the other, but the Gospel keeps truth and love together in our lives. And the more they are unified within us, the more we are brought into the deepest relationship with those who believe the Gospel too.

Prayer: Lord, your salvation brings all things together, yet I do not give myself to people in friendship and community. I am too wary of opening myself to others. Let your love heal me of my fears. Draw me closer to your other children, so I can have all you want to give me. Amen.

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.

Benediction

“You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” (Ps. 16:11)

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