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
In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly. (Psalm 5:3)
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.
Heavenly Father, where can we go that you are not already present, waiting for us, and ready to bind up the wounds that sin has inflicting upon us, that we have inflicted upon ourselves? Yet do not, dear Lord, let us dwell there. No! Have mercy upon us…
…because we wander from your path into ways that seem right to us. Lord, have mercy!
…because we mistake your patience with us for acceptance of our sin. Lord, have mercy! …because we hold onto our grudges to the bitter end. Lord, have mercy! …because we so easily forget your lovingkindness in favor of lesser loves. Lord, have mercy!
Have mercy on us, Lord, in all these things and more! And thank you! Your love is better than life itself, and so we entrust ourselves to you, and say Amen in Jesus’ merciful name.
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: “Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians is a classic of pastoral response: affectionate, firm, clear, and unswerving in the conviction that God among them, revealed in Jesus and present in his Holy Spirit, continued to be the central issue in their lives, regardless of how much of a mess they had made of things.” Meditate on the passage, noting a few words or a phrase that stood out. Take them to God in prayer.
OT Context: “The book of Numbers plunges us into the mess of growing up. The pages in this section of the biblical story give us a realistic feel for what is involved in being included in the people of God, which is to say, a human community that honors God, lives out love and justice in daily affairs, learns how to deal with sin in oneself and others, and follows God’s commands into a future of blessing. And all this without illusions. The Bible, our primary text for showing us what it means to be a human being created by God and called to a life of obedient faith and sacrificial love, nowhere suggests that life is simple or even “natural.” We need a lot of help.Wise discipline is required in becoming a people of God. Reflect on the passage. Who was the original audience, and what was their situation? How is that relevant to you today?
Over the next few months our sermon series will explore who God is and what it means for us as His Creation to know Him. Each day this devo will tread along a variety of paths connected to the week’s theme in Knowing God. Consider this your invitation to come along for the ride as we head into the wilds of coming to know and experience God’s person and grace.
Read: Matthew 11:18-19
Today’s devo comes from Tim and Kathy Keller’s God’s Wisdom for Navigating Life.
“For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is proved right by her deeds.” (Matthew 11:18–19)
WISDOM IN PERSON. In Proverbs 8 wisdom is depicted as an actual person with whom God created the world. Also in Proverbs 1–9 God’s wisdom is personified as a woman whom we must know personally if we are to live a wise life. And here Jesus makes a remarkable reference to his wisdom and then speaks of wisdom as “her,” thereby identifying himself with God’s wisdom in Proverbs.
Colossians 1:15–17 and John 1:1–6 tell us that it was Jesus himself who was present with the Father at creation. And as Woman Wisdom offers her disciples food and drink (9:1–3), so Jesus offers himself as the Christian’s food and drink (John 6:53). In short, as Proverbs calls all people to become wise by entering into a relationship with the wisdom that created the world, so the gospel calls all people to get the consummate wisdom, the gospel and the indwelling Spirit of God, through a relationship with Jesus Christ.
See how personal Christianity is, for its deepest secret of wisdom comes not through massive learning and education but through an intimate relationship with a humble man who was as willing to identify with a wise woman as with Solomon and the kings of old.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, if you had stayed in heaven, you would have been a glorious abstraction. But in the pages of the gospel I see perfect holiness in human form. I long for closer personal intimacy with you. Speak to me through your Word. Be real to me in prayer. 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.
You have put gladness in my heart, more than when grain and wine and oil increase. I lie down in peace; at once I fall asleep; for only you, Lord, make me dwell in safety. (Psalm 4:7-8)