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 their God will save his people on that day as a shepherd saves his flock. They will sparkle in his land like jewels in a crown. How attractive and beautiful they will be!” (Zech. 9:16-17a)
Prayer of Confession
God of truth and light,my sworn enemies—the world, my own flesh, and the devil—are not always obvious opponents. They are shifty prowlers, usually hidden and wickedly crafty. So make me wise to their schemes but mostly alert to your grace. In Jesus’ name, amen. (a prayer based on the Heidelberg Catechism, Q127)
*Prayer borrowed from Philip Reinders’ Seeking God’s Face: Praying with the Bible through the Year
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: Revelation contains 404 verses into which St. John, the pastor, makes reference to earlier scripture 518 times. The message is clear: This last word on scripture will not being saying anything new. Instead, the Revelation reveals Jesus Christ as the Lamb of God by bidding us to look to the past to the Old Testament promises and to the resurrection; to live in the present as the people of God; and to look toward the future when the triumph of King Jesus will be fully revealed.Meditate on the passage, noting a few words or a phrase that stood out. Take them to God in prayer.
OT Context: “Four lives dominate the two-volume narrative, First and Second Samuel: Hannah, Samuel, Saul, and David. Chronologically, the stories are clustered around the year 1000 b.c., the millennial midpoint between the call of Abraham, the father of Israel, nearly a thousand years earlier (about 1800 b.c.) and the birth of Jesus, the Christ, a thousand years later.” Reflect on the passage. Who was the original audience, and what was their situation? How is that relevant to you today?
This summer we are exploring what it means to keep “in step” with the Spirit. Each week we will consider a specific fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5) by looking at other stories and themes throughout Scripture that express this fruit.
Use this devotional from Jack Miller on the fruit of the Spirit
Read: Galatians 5:16-26
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22–23
Notice how the fruit of the Spirit are arranged. The first three—love, joy, and peace—are attitudes; the others are relational qualities. When asked which fruit they lack, many people say patience and self-control. What people really want is a life that’s under control. They want the end product, not the love, joy, and peace that creates it.
Patience and control cannot be built on a self-centered life. The whole point is that faith working through love is the foundation for all the fruit. How can you be patient with a person you don’t love?
The Spirit of Jesus—the Holy Spirit—is the originator of love. All the others flow out of that. What’s the difference between a work and a fruit? A work is something I make. A fruit is something that grows, largely apart from my interference. I can’t make a tree: it grows.
The root of the Spirit’s ministry is love. The fruit of the Spirit doesn’t mean anything if you have no sense of direction. The fruit of the Spirit is for export—it’s not just for ourselves. Christ honors himself by producing fruit in us to bring glory to himself. He will not rest until he gets that honor. This is your calling.
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.
“May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our LORD Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.” (1 Thess. 5:23-24)