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July 23rd devo image, a cup of coffee.

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 70 | Read Revelation 21

  • 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 71 | Read 1 Samuel 22

  • 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 Devo comes from Jack Miller:

Read:

Love is patient and kind. —1 Corinthians 13:4a

The word for love in this passage is not the word meaning affection. It has more to do with decisions, a reasoned choice, and carries the idea of showing or proving one’s love. Christian love is love that thinks; love that sees into the heart of things and persists.

This love is not naïve, nor is it unwilling or unable to see evil. It is compassionate, steady, and persistent. Instinctively, when we think about love, we think about who will love me that way. But the thought here is about the love you are called to show to other people! Patience and kindness have to do with how you relate to other people.

The word for patience literally means that the mind is far from getting angry quickly. “Love is patient” means that you put away passionate anger, and because that anger is put away, you can be kind. The word kind here can be translated as good. It has the idea of goodness that is constantly expressing itself in relationships. These two words together carry the idea of comforting others. Comfort means to strengthen others. You don’t show love to—comfort—others in their weakness only to leave them in weakness; you show love with the intent of making them strong.

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)

© 2014 - OPC|Milford