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

“Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens. Our God is a God who saves; from the Sovereign LORD comes escape from death.” (Ps. 68:19-20)

Prayer of Confession

Loving Lord, faith feels risky, but there’s no way to live without trust. I pray, then, for a faith that amazes you, entrusting my life to you alone, humbly and patiently loving you, fearing you, and honoring you with all my heart. 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 23 | Read Romans 9

  • 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:The letter to the Romans is a piece of exuberant and passionate thinking. This is the glorious life of the mind enlisted in the service of God. Paul takes the well-witnessed and devoutly believed fact of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth and thinks through its implications. How does it happen that in the death and resurrection of Jesus, world history took a new direction, and at the same moment the life of every man, woman, and child on the planet was eternally affected? What is God up to? What does it mean that Jesus “saves”? What’s behind all this, and where is it going?Meditate on the passage, noting a few words or a phrase that stood out. Take them to God in prayer.

Evening Readings:

Pray Psalm 24 | Read 2 Chronicles 15

  • OT Context: “Sovereignty, God’s sovereignty, is one of the most difficult things for people of faith to live out in everyday routines…This story makes it clear that it was not God’s idea that the Hebrews have a king, but since they insisted, he let them have their way. But God never abdicated his sovereignty to any of the Hebrew kings; the idea was that they would represent his sovereignty, not that he would delegate his sovereignty to them. Reflect on the passage. Who was the original audience, and what was their situation? How is that relevant to you today?

Sermon Devo

We are in our Winter series through the book of James. Each day we will dig into a different aspect of this New Testament wisdom book which will, by the end of the week, help to give you a fuller portrait of the kind of lives we are called to live as Christians.  passage that will be preached on Sunday.  

Read: James 1:19-27

James tells us to be quick to hear, and we observed that this hearing (shema) was at the heart of Israel’s worship of God. It was a hearing that elicits only one proper response: loving, wholehearted obedience (Deut. 6:5). Russ Ramsey put it this way: God’s people were to…

“…worship the Lord, and they were to understand why they should. The call to worship wasn’t a detached decree to render affection to an unknown deity—the God who called them was anything but detached. This command was a call to remember. They were to rehearse in their minds and hearts and homes this story—their story—the story of how the Maker of heaven and earth had called their people to himself and bound himself to them as their God.”

This story of God’s covenantal calling extends all the way back to Genesis 1. As Robert Alter translates it, “When God began to create heaven and earth, and the earth then was welter and waste and darkness over the deep and God’s breath hovering over the waters, God said…”

God began to create and the first thing that he does is speak. If you’ve been reading your Bible for a while, this is nothing new, but try to consider it again as if for the first time. God creating comes from from his speech. Literally, God speaks, and everything springs forth in obedient response to his words. Why am I telling you this?

This is the Creation framework from which James is writing. All of Creation understands how to respond rightly to its Creator’s voice. That is until the pinnacle of his Creation, human beings, rebel against his voice. They become slow to hear the word of the Lord, and quick to speak their own understandings, quick to get angry and turn on one another, quick to use their words to blame, and at least one of their children becomes quick to murder. So when James says, “take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen…” he is calling everyone to a response that we’ve been slow to give ever since the Fall. 

Biblical hearing always starts with listening to God, heeding what he’s saying to us, and only then moves outward toward others. In other words, our relationship with God (hear|obeying his words) is what gives the proper framing for how we relate to other people. And when we stop hearing and obeying him, the early history of humanity reminds us that we are more quick to kill with both our words and our fists than we ever dared believe. 

So today we get the bad news. Our hearing is worse than we thought! Tomorrow we’ll see where the kind of hearing James is talking about come from as we dig into what it means to “humbly accept the word planted in you…

REFLECT: If it’s true that all of Creation understands how to respond rightly to its Creator’s voice, how would you describe the way that sin has damaged humanity’s hearing? How have you experienced restoration to your hearing in Christ?

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.


“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.” (Jer. 31:3)