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
Lord, be gracious to us; we long for you. Be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of distress. (Isaiah 33:2)
Prayer of Confession
Confession is formative. It trains us to recognize the ways our hearts have become de-formed and how Christ is at work bringing redemption in our lives. Pray with this in mind.
Father, we humbly bow before you.What is mankind that you are mindful of us? We are too entitled to the trivial things in life. We are too proud in our own eyes, and we hold on to past hurts that reap the bitterness of a controlled life.
Lord, we need help.Please deliver us from how we’ve placed ourselves, our nation and our future prosperity into our own hands. You are the salvation that we need. We believe in Jesus, your son. Help our unbelief. Seal us with the assurance that grabbed our hearts from when we first believed.
We put our hope solely in you, our refuge and strength. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Take a moment to confess your sins, knowing that he hears you.
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).
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: Mark wastes no time in getting down to business—a single-sentence introduction, and not a digression to be found from beginning to end. An event has taken place that radically changes the way we look at and experience the world, and he can’t wait to tell us about it. There’s an air of breathless excitement in nearly every sentence he writes. Meditate on the passage, noting a few words or a phrase that stood out. Take them to God in prayer.
OT Context: First, God. God is the subject of life. God is foundational for living. If we don’t have a sense of the primacy of God, we will never get it right, get life right, get our lives right. Not God at the margins; not God as an option; not God on the weekends. God at center and circumference; God first and last; God, God, God. Genesis gets us off on the right foot. Genesis pulls us into a sense of reality that is God-shaped and God-filled. It gives us a vocabulary for speaking accurately and comprehensively about our lives, where we come from and where we are going, what we think and what we do, the people we live with and how to get along with them, the troubles we find ourselves in and the blessings that keep arriving. Reflect on the passage. Who was the original audience, and what was their situation? How is that relevant to you today?
This section of the Devo focuses on the passage(s) from Sunday’s sermon. Use it to reflect upon the ways Christ has been working in your life this week. Makes a great midday reflection, or group discussion guide. Follow along with our Philippians Reading Plan + Study Guide as we all read Philippians every day this summer.
Read: Philippians 3:1-14 (esp. v.12)
Today’s Devo comes from Saving Grace: Daily Devotions from Jack Miller. Enjoy!
Not that I have already obtained all this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Philippians 3:12
Many people feel that their religion is so right that they have already arrived, and their main job is to criticize those who haven’t arrived. But the fact that we have assurance of forgiveness and God’s love for us, should not teach us to have contempt for others.
Instead we are called to press on, to run to get what we already have. This is strange, but true.You have already been grabbed by Christ and had your relationship with God changed, but now you’re running after the same Christ.
He’s your supreme value, and you’re moving after him. Paul writes very personally about this. He doesn’t say we; he says I. He’s an apostle of God, charged with speaking the truth of God, but now he’s giving a personal example of how he, as a human being, does it.
And he says, in effect, I have only the righteousness of Christ for my foundation, for my acceptance with God, but I am giving it everything I’ve got. He’s very emphatic about the personal aspect here, as he shares his supreme value: “Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13–14).
Questions to Ponder:
Where in your life do you need to “know the power of Jesus’ resurrection”?
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.
Almighty God, we entrust all who are dear to us to your never-failing care and love, for this life and the life to come, knowing that you are doing for them better things than we can desire or pray for; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (Book of Common Prayer 831)