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August 30th devo image, penguins.

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

“I will praise you, Lord, among the nations; I will sing of you among the peoples. For great is your love, reaching to the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies.” (Ps. 57:9-10)

Prayer of Confession

Covenant God, how could your people be so close to the promise—almost tasting the milk and honey—and yet fail to receive it? Keep my heart from failing to grab hold of your promises. Take this heart and make it yours so that I give up everything rather than run against your will. In the Savior’s name, amen. (Prayer based on the Heidelberg Catechism, Question 94)

*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 122 | Read Matthew 25

  • 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 123 | Read 2 Samuel 17

  • 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:Proverbs 15:1

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. (15:1)

HELPING THE ANGRY. The first way to help an angry person is to surround them with nonangry speech. Abrasive words create more anger. In fact, a single harsh word can be a spark to stir up a blazing fire or rage. The word harsh means painful. When we argue, our words can have two quite different purposes. We can speak to simply make the truth clear (which may be painful to hear), or we can speak specifically to inflict pain, to make the other person feel foolish or bad. Of course we tell ourselves and others that the former motive is what drives us, but usually it is the latter. And one zinger word can destroy a relationship and put up a wall of bitterness that lasts years or a lifetime.

In contrast, the gentle answer means speaking patiently, tenderly, as affirmatively as possible, and always calmly. One of the best ways to help an angry person learn patience is to surround him with patient people. A gentle answer must still be truthful (Ephesians 4:15) but filled with evident concern and no ill will.

When was the last time you had an argument? What were your motives? Were your words gentle?

Prayer: Lord, when your disciples let you down in your hour of greatest need in Gethsemane, your words were so gentle (Matthew 26:41) and without any rancor. Even when you are stern with me, you overwhelm me with love. Let me be the same with everyone. 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

“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” (2 Tim. 1:7)

© 2014 - OPC|Milford