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 is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him.” (Nahum 1:7)
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 Renovare to reflect on the fruit of the Spirit:
Read: Galatians 5:22-23
LIVING WELL AS EMBODIED SELVES
I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. — Romans 12:1
The term embodied self might at first glance seem strange or unfamiliar. It simply means that we are a whole person—body and soul. God loves bodies. Jesus’ body was raised from the dead, and our bodies will also be raised (1 Corinthians 15:50–57). We are not simply souls or spirits. We possess souls, but our souls indwell bodies—bodies that we can use to live well in God’s kingdom. When we invite Jesus into our lives, the Holy Spirit takes up residence in our bodies (1 Corinthians 6:19). Think of the fruit of the Spirit mentioned by Paul in today’s reading. Every characteristic in Paul’s list manifests itself through our bodies. Loving people demonstrate their love through how they conduct themselves in their bodies; the same can be said for joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. So Christian spiritual life is embodied spiritual life. That is, our bodies are the means by which we manifest the reality of God’s kingdom.
1. Why is it important to think of ourselves as a whole person—body and soul—rather than as a soul that will escape the body at death?
2. Practically speaking, how can you “present your body as a living sacrifice” (Romans 12:1) today?
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.
“The God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” (1 Pet. 5:10)