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
I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul makes its boast in the LORD; let the humble hear and be glad. Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together! I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. (Psalm 34:1-4)
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).
Pray Psalm 119:97-136 | Read Romans 13
- 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.
Pray Psalm 119:137-176 | Read Numbers 14
- 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 today’s devotional comes from “The Reservoir” and will help us explore why our picture of God is so important to how we live as Christians.
GOD IS CLOSER THAN WE CAN IMAGINE
And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age. — Jesus (Matthew 28:20)
Earlier in the week, we looked at 2 Chronicles 6:18–21 and asked how Solomon could be so aware of God’s surpassing greatness and yet still feel confident that God would hear his prayers.
In the verse above, Jesus tells us that Solomon’s confidence was not misplaced. God is greater than we can fathom, but he’s also closer and more accessible than we can imagine. Better yet, for us born after the earthly life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, we know that the kingdom of God is not only magnificent, it has come near.
Read: Psalm 73:28; Acts 17:27–28; Matthew 4:17
- In Matthew 4:17, Jesus announces that “the kingdom of heaven has come near.” What do you think he means?
- There is evidence that although God draws close to human beings in the Old Testament, when Jesus arrives, in the New Testament, he seems to be announcing an increased level of access. What has changed?
- Sometimes we use the term “transcendence” (God is above and beyond all things) to talk about God’s greatness and “immanence” (God is present, active, and near) to express God’s accessibility. Which aspect of God’s character do you find harder to understand?
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.
Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. (Hebrews 13:20 & 21)