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 Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before him. (Habakkuk 2:20)
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.
Have mercy on us according to your steadfast love. We confess that we have forgotten your compassion and grace, how You bore us on eagles’ wings and brought us to Yourself; and we have forgotten your glory and holiness, and have not trembled before you in reverential wonder.
Forgive us all our sins, we pray, through the finished work of Jesus Christ our Savior.
By your Holy Spirit, please purify us and shine the light of Your gospel in our hearts, that we may live and serve You in the joy of resurrection life. 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).
Pray Psalm 8 | Read 2 Corinthians 1
- 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 Second Letter to the Corinthians was written during a difficult period in his relation with the church at Corinth. Some members of the church had evidently made strong attacks against Paul, but he shows his deep longing for reconciliation and expresses his great joy when this is brought about.” Meditate on the passage, noting a few words or a phrase that stood out. Take them to God in prayer.
Pray Psalm 9 | Read Numbers 34
- 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: Exodus 20:16 + Exodus 23:1 + Proverbs 25:18
We have discussed God as a truth-teller this week. Today we will look at how God calls us as his image bearers to be truth-tellers through the ninth commandment. Obeying the 9th Commandment is not as easy as it sounds. It is requires more than merely avoiding lying and telling the truth.
This is hard for us to understand sometimes. We live in a world where it’s easy to share and “like” ideas and articles that align with our perspective. It’s a world of shallow half-truths and slanderous, clickbait headlines. This sort of “truth-shading” pulls the opposite direction of our truth-telling God, it reveals our fallenness and, in the words of the Heidelberg Catechism, aligns us with “the devil’s own works.”
In fact, it might be good for us, to read how the Heidelberg sums up the implications of this truth-telling command.
HC Question 112: What is required in the ninth commandment?
Answer: I must not give false testimony against anyone,
twist no one’s words,
not gossip or slander,
nor condemn or join in condemning anyone
rashly and unheard.1
Rather, I must avoid all lying and deceit
as the devil’s own works,
under penalty of God’s heavy wrath. 2
In court and everywhere else,
I must love the truth, 3
speak and confess it honestly,
and do what I can
to defend and promote
my neighbour’s honour and reputation. 4
1. Ps 15; Prov 19:5, 9; 21:28; Mt 7:1; Lk 6:37; Rom 1:28-32.
2. Lev 19:11, 12; Prov 12:22; 13:5; Jn 8:44; Rev 21:8.
3. 1 Cor 13:6; Eph 4:25.
4. 1 Pet 3:8, 9; 4:8.
I love Kevin DeYoung’s response to this part of the catechism: “Yikes…Am I really like the devil when I reinterpret a story to benefit me and purposefully reconstruct the facts of every narrative to make my point?” I’ll say it again: Obeying the 9th Commandment is not easy.
“The ninth commandment forbids us from lying, but it does far more than that. It demands that we deliberately seek out the truth. Even in an age of skimming, in an age in which we are drowning in a glut of information, it demands that we pursue the whole truth rather than risk promoting a lie. It demands that we resist the lazy temptation to have our views shaped by a skim and that we instead do the hard work of pursuing facts. For as the Catechism warns us, we are in danger of doing the work of the devil.”
Reflect: God not only speaks the truth, he calls us to speak the truth as well. Spend some time reading through the passages connected the catechism. If one stands out to you, spend some time in prayer about it.
*I would encourage you to read the Challies article which was written in 2013, but speaks to our current struggles even if the circumstances are dated.
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.
On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. (Psalm 63:6-7)