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

“Not to us, LORD, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.” (Ps. 115:1)

Prayer of Confession

Reconciling God, how quickly I belittle others with my thoughts, insult with my words, hate with gestures, and kill with a look. Take a gospel axe to the root of all this hostility, and by the power of your Spirit grow me to be patient, peace-loving, gentle, merciful, and friendly, doing good to my neighbors and enemies alike. Amen. (Prayer based on the Heidelberg Catechism, Questions 105-107)

*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 3 | Read Acts 27

  • 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 story of Jesus doesn’t end with Jesus. It continues in the lives of those who believe in him. The supernatural does not stop with Jesus. Acts makes it clear that these Christians Luke wrote about were no more spectators of Jesus than Jesus was a spectator of God—they are in on the action of God, God acting in them, God living in them. Which also means, of course, IN US. Meditate on the passage, noting a few words or a phrase that stood out. Take them to God in prayer.

Evening Readings:

Pray Psalm 4 | Read 2 Chronicles 5

  • 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

Our Winter series in the Book of James begins this week. 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 1:1-12 (esp. v.5-7)

James has told us that God’s goal is to make us completely whole by his grace (1:4). The way he does this is through the sorts of affliction and sufferings that unsettle us (though previous generations of the church assumed such things). James tells us that joy can be found by looking through our present circumstances to the future humility, freedom, compassion, and faith they are working in us, and by trusting in the God who is over our circumstances to work even our deepest despair into something good for us. 

But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves. Suffering does not inevitably produce joy. Daniel Dorani reminds us that,  “…trials do not always lead to spiritual growth. Suffering can create fear, despair, a determination to “look out for number one,” or anger toward God. Abundance (which is also a trial) can lead to selfish indulgence. Therefore, James now says, we need to ask God for wisdom, so we can gain from trials.”

And that’s exactly James’ point when he says that anyone who lacks wisdom for navigating these trials should, “ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” God delights in making his children wise not only unto salvation (2 Tim. 3:15) but wise in stewarding our suffering well. 

How? “…ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave…driven…tossed by the wind…double-minded…unstable…

Many Christians have been troubled by this verse. Because we know that we doubt, we are tossed about, and often double-minded. We are, to quote C.S. Lewis, “half-hearted creatures fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us…

But half-hearted Christians should take heart because James’ teaching is not that we must have a certain internal stability or pray perfectly in order receive the wisdom that God offers. Instead we must simply ask in faith, and such faith does not preclude doubt. 

Rather faith honestly enfolds doubt with what Tim Keller describes as a “willingness to accept God’s answers. Doubters must be willing to leave their questions and trust God with a whole heart.” And so, James might commend to us, and slightly modify, the sort of faith that says: “I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24) 

REFLECT: How have you experienced God helping your unbelief? How would you describe for a friend what it means to “steward our suffering well”?

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.


“The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.” (Num. 6:24-26)