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 whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders; where morning dawns, where evening fades, you call forth songs of joy. (Psalm 65:8)
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 bow ourselves before you and confess that we have too often forgotten that we are your sons and daughters. Sometimes we carry on our lives as if you do not exist, and we fall short of being credible witnesses to you.
We have denied you with silence, passivity, and cowardice. We have betrayed you by our idolatry, disobedience, and selfishness. Instead of following your ways, we have turned to our own ways. Instead of honoring you, we have desired the applause of man.
For these things we ask your forgiveness and your enabling grace. Transform us into courageous ambassadors for Christ. Give us clear minds and open hearts so we may be your witnesses in a lost world.Draw us closer to you and embolden us to be your servants regardless of what we are doing, where we are, or whom we are with. For the sake of Jesus our Savior, 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: Matthew provides the comprehensive context by which we see all God’s creation and salvation completed in Jesus, and all the parts of our lives—work, family, friends, memories, dreams—also completed in Jesus. Lacking such a context, we are in danger of seeing Jesus as a mere diversion from the concerns announced in the newspapers. Nothing could be further from the truth. Meditate on the passage, noting a few words or a phrase that stood out. Take them to God in prayer.
OT Context: First, God. God is the subject of life. God is foundational for living. If we don’t have a sense of the primacy of God, we will never get it right, get life right, get our lives right. Not God at the margins; not God as an option; not God on the weekends. God at center and circumference; God first and last; God, God, God. Genesis gets us off on the right foot. Genesis pulls us into a sense of reality that is God-shaped and God-filled. It gives us a vocabulary for speaking accurately and comprehensively about our lives, where we come from and where we are going, what we think and what we do, the people we live with and how to get along with them, the troubles we find ourselves in and the blessings that keep arriving. Reflect on the passage. Who was the original audience, and what was their situation? How is that relevant to you today?
This section of the Devo focuses on the passage(s) from Sunday’s sermon. Use it to reflect upon the ways Christ has been working in your life this week. Makes a great midday reflection, or group discussion guide. Follow along with our Philippians Reading Plan + Study Guide as we all read Philippians every day this summer.
Today’s Devo comes from Jack Miller’s Saving Grace.
Read Philippians 2:1-11 (esp. v.8)
“…And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross…”
Jesus emptied himself—made himself nothing. He took the form of a servant, and he was made in human likeness—a great step down from being equal with the Father. He took a second step down by humbling himself and becoming obedient to the point of death. Then he took a third step down by dying the death of the criminal and the sinner on the cross. He goes all the way down and down and down to redeem you and me.
God proves that he really loves you by the gift of his Son. He’s telling you this to melt your heart. He wants you to see that you don’t need to be ruled by fear because he controls everything. God’s great work of redemption is at the center of history, which is moving toward a great destination. That destination is the glory of the Father in Jesus Christ in which we’ll all be enjoying one another and enjoying God throughout eternity. If you’re a part of that plan, it can make you so excited that you might even forget to worry for awhile.
Questions to Ponder:
What fear tends to rule you right now? What might the gospel say about that fear?
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.
I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure. (Psalm 16:8-9)