August 2nd devo image, three horses.

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 fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise.” (Ps. 111:10)

Prayer of Confession

Surprising God, your electing love upends the ways I expect things to unfold. I admit I have little clue about the mystery of your choices, and explanations outrun my understanding. Humble me to rest in your good pleasure, the grace from beyond time that guards and guides my life and this world. Amen. (A prayer based on The Westminster Shorter Catechism, Q20)

*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 82 | Read Matthew 5

  • 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 83 | Read 1 Samuel 28

  • 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.

Read:  Titus 3:4-7 + Ephesians 2:6-7

What do we mean when we say that God is kind?  Think about it for a second. We tell a friend that the comfort they spoke was kind. We tell our children to be kind. There are inspiring organizations that are dedicated to “random acts of kindness.” Recently I even saw a sign, presumably at a Hobby Lobby or similar store, that said “Have courage and be kind.”

They are words to aspire to, yes, but how do we measure kindness? What is our standard? Is it simply being a little bit nicer than the person next door? This week we will explore what makes Christian kindness distinct (a hint: it has to do with God’s kindness).

For now simply read the passages again and ask the following questions:

  1. What does this tell me about God’s kindness?
  2. What does this tell me about people?
  3. If I really believed these passages were true, how would God’s kindness change me?

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

“Mercy, peace, and love be yours in abundance.” (Jude 2)

© 2014 - OPC|Milford