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
When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? (Psalm 8:3-4).
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.
God of all hope and Father of mercies,we come boldly to the throne of grace today, trusting in Christ’s righteousness and confessing our sins.
Forgive us for lingering in our bad attitudes. Forgive us for grumbling over petty things. Forgive us for writing people off too easily. Forgive us for not following through on our promises. Forgive us for too easily neglecting time with you.
Our priorities, schedules, and busyness rebuke us, Lord. We humble ourselves and offer our prayer in Jesus’ name. 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.
The next two days of the devotional come from “The Reservoir” and will help us explore why our picture of God is so important to how we live as Christians.
GOD IS GREATER (AND BETTER) THAN WE IMAGINE Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; his greatness is unsearchable. — Psalm 145:3
The psalmist tells us that God’s greatness is “unsearchable”—his greatness is so vast that we can’t begin to understand all of it. This means that while encounters with God are significant, God is always greater than our particular experience of him. It reminds us that while the language we have to describe God is helpful,
God will always be more than anything we can say about him. And it helps us see that while our theology and traditions can serve to point us to God, he will always transcend our doctrines and denominations. God is big! The good news is that we will eternally be discovering more and more of his unsearchable greatness.
Read: 2 Chronicles 6:18–21; Acts 17:28
1. Does the idea of God’s greatness being “unsearchable” excite you or frighten you? Why?
2. Have the churches you’ve attended done a good job of remembering the greatness of God? Have they ever tried to reduce God to a more describable size?
3. In 2 Chronicles 6, King Solomon is praying a prayer of dedication over the temple. He recognizes that the temple can’t begin to contain God’s greatness, but he still boldly asks God to hear the prayers that are prayed there. On what basis, do you think, did Solomon believe he could ask an unfathomably great God to pay attention to his prayers.
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.
Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered… I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. (Ps. 32:1-2, 5)