July 20th devo image, a tan curtain.

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 earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.” (Ps. 24:1)

Prayer of Confession

Creating God, you create out of love. You confront chaos and call out goodness and joy; you work with emptiness to fashion and form design and structure; from nothing you summon life. And that is a wonder to be savored and enjoyed forever. Amen. (A prayer based on the Belgic Confession, Q12)

*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 64 | Read Revelation 18

  • 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 65 | Read 1 Samuel 19

  • 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. Today’s devotional comes from Tim and Kathy Keller’s “God’s Wisdom for Navigating Life”

Read: Proverbs 19:11

A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense. (19:11)

TOUCHINESS. A body part that is injured or inflamed responds with instant recoil when touched. The Hebrew word for patience here means a relaxed face rather than one that instantly snarls when provoked. When people say something you don’t like, do you shoot right back? Or do you slow your response and act rather than react? What is so touchy about us? We feel we must defend our glory or honor. It is our ego that is so sensitive.

This should tell us something. We don’t notice body parts unless there is something wrong with them. We don’t say, “My elbows are working great today!” But the ego calls attention to itself every minute. Sin has distorted our identity, the very basis of our sense of self. We need saving, repairing grace. If our ego was working properly, we would know that true glory is to let a slight or irritation go without paying back. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). That is real glory. Do you fairly easily feel hurt, slighted, and put down, and do you take criticism very hard?

Prayer: Lord, today I was very touchy with someone. Yes, I was tired and stressed out over many things. But so what? You were under far greater stress and never shot back an angry word. Let me wonder and praise you for your patience until it begins to grow in me. Amen.

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

“I have put my words in your mouth and covered you with the shadow of my hand—I who set the heavens in place, who laid the foundations of the earth, and who say to Zion, ‘You are my people.’” (Isa. 51:16)

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