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.
Dear heavenly Father,we love you because you first loved us and gave Jesus as a sacrifice for our sins. We humble ourselves before you today because of your promise to complete your work in our lives. We praise you for your loving welcome, daily mercies, and sufficient grace.
Forgive us for treasuring the pleasures of the world more than the riches of grace. Forgive us for dwelling too much on our fears and too little on your beauty. Forgive us for rehearsing the failings of others more than the truths of the gospel. Forgive us for being quick to whine and slow to worship.
We offer our confession in Jesus’ name and for your glory. 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: 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.
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.
January 14 Read: 2 Timothy 3:10-17 + Revelation 3:13-14
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the servant of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17.
Our first passage today comes from 2 Timothy where Paul is encouraging a young pastor named Timothy to continue in what he has learned and firmly believed (the gospel).
Scripture is able to “make you wise for salvation” because it is “breathed out by God” who is the source of salvation. “God-breathed” can be a little confusing, Kent Hughes explains, “More literally, all Scripture is breathed into by God.” Think of it like this: When you speak, your word is “you-breathed”—your breath, conditioned by your mind, pours forth in speech. You quite literally breathe out your words. In fact, this belief that Scripture was “breathed into by God” perfectly expresses the view of the first-century Jews about the Old Testament writings.
But what do we do with these words that have been breathed into by God?Paul tells us to make use of their eternal and infinite value: we learn from God’s words, are corrected by them, and receive training in how to live according to our created design. Knowing God’s word is one thing, but Revelation tells us that we have to “have an ear to hear what the Spirit says…the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness.”
Theologian John Webster once wrote, “We’re involved in a collision between the voice of God and our stubbornness and repudiation. In our easy-going ways as tolerant moderns, we tend not to see the Christian life in quite these terms…the Church’s hearing is a gift of the Holy Spirit. We are sinners; we do not know how to hear. Right hearing is not within the range of our competence. It’s given to us, given by the activity of God’s Spirit in which God opens the ears of the deaf, making it possible for us to become true hearers of God’s Word.”
Reflect: How have you collided with God’s voice in His word this week? How is God by His Spirit helping you to truly hear him?
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)