July 13th devo image, a street with white stone walls.

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

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 54 | Read Revelation 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: 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.

Evening Readings:

Pray Psalm 55 | Read 1 Samuel 14

  • 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?

Sermon Devo

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.

This week we are looking at love as part of the fruit the Spirit produces in the lives of followers of Christ.

Read: Galatians 5:16-26

Tim Keller notes,

“Paul always chooses his images carefully. And it is very revealing that he talks about “acts” of the sinful nature (v 19), but then switches to speak of “the fruit of the Spirit” (v 22). The single word “fruit” takes us to the world of agriculture, and tells us four things about how the Spirit works.

First, Christian growth is gradual—as gradual as a turnip or potato growing. With botanical growth, you never see it happening—you can only measure it after a time. With the growth of the fruit of the Spirit, it might be growing in a Christian’s life, but they never realize until a trouble or difficulty shows up and they think: A couple of years ago I would never have been so patient or self-controlled in this situation. That shows that the fruit of the Spirit has been growing, gradually and unnoticed.

Second, the growth of the Spirit’s fruit is inevitable. There will be growth…If someone has the Spirit in them—if they are a Christian—the fruit will grow. Whatever a Christian’s life is like, the fruit of the Spirit will burst through. It’s inevitable. This is encouraging…but it is also challenging. It forces us to ask, if we’ve been Christians for a few years or more: Is there fruit growing in my life? We are saved by faith, not by growing fruit; but we are not saved by fruitless faith. A person saved by faith will be a person in whom the fruit of the Spirit grows.”

Reflect: We’ll cover the next two aspects of the fruit tomorrow, but for now:

1. Examine yourself. How can you see the fruit of the Spirit growing in your life?

2. Do you have natural characteristics which could be confused with the fruit of the Spirit?

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.

Benediction

“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)

© 2014 - OPC|Milford