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 86 | Read Matthew 7

  • 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 87 | Read 1 Samuel 30

  • 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 Psalm 13:5-6
In this psalm David is clinging to God, despite his troubles, as his only hope in life and in death (“Look! Answer me, Yahweh, my God!…lest I sleep in death.”). Today we get to see why he trusted God. And it all comes down to a mysterious, difficult to translate, three letter, two syllable Hebrew word: hesed. 

Hesed is variously translated into English as: mercy, love, loving-kindness, steadfast love, faithfulness, compassion, gracious favor, and many more throughout the Old Testament. If you’ll forgive one further language nerd fact, hesed also has “linguistic gravity,” which simply means that it has a tendency to draw other words into its orbit to help convey its meaning: goodness (Ps 23:6), faithfulness (Ps 89:24), covenant (Deut 7:9), mercy (Ps 103:4), truth (Ps 57:3) to name a few.*

What does all this have to do with David and his troubles? Well, David understood that hesed is the defining characteristic of God.  So what does it mean?

In a phrase, hesed is “when the person from whom I have a right to expect nothing gives me everything.” It’s love, mercy, grace, faithfulness, and a thousand other things buried deep in the heart of God. All of it given to frail, failing, rebellious, messed up me and you. We’ve done nothing to earn it. We can’t buy it. We simply receive it as a gift, because hesed is just the way Yahweh is in the depth of His being toward his people.

Now check out what David says in Verse 5. “But I have trusted in your hesed(steadfast love); my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.”

Do you see what’s happened? David’s lamenting, pleading, how-much-longer-ing and then, all of a sudden, his lament pivots to praise as he remembers and trusts in God’s hesed. David’s like a rock climber setting his anchor into the rock face. God’s hesed is anchoring David’s faith. He’s staking everything on it as he takes the leap…full of confidence that God will give him exactly what he needs to land with feet planted on the other side.

Questions to Ponder:

  1. How about you? How have you experienced God’s hesed for you in Christ?
  2. How does hesed help you understand kindness being part of the fruit God’s Spirit produces in us?

*I’ve borrowed freely from Michael Card’s Inexpressible: Hesed and the Mystery of God’s Lovingkindness in writing this summary of hesed. Check it out and thank me later.

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.


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