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
“How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!” (Ps. 133:1)
Prayer of Confession
Just and forgiving God,I want to repent of my “repentance.” I’ve tried to repent, usually out of fear or anxiety, and sometimes as a pious way to earn your forgiveness.
But when I see the beauty of your kindness, when the mercy of Christ grips my heart, I’m led back to you.
Today, I joyfully turn from all my sin and walk in your ways because of your acceptance of me. Amen. (a prayer based on the Westminster Confession, 15.2)
*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: “The two letters Peter wrote exhibit the qualities of Jesus that the Holy Spirit shaped in him: a readiness to embrace suffering rather than prestige, a wisdom developed from experience and not imposed from a book, a humility that lacked nothing in vigor or imagination.” Meditate on the passage, noting a few words or a phrase that stood out. Take them to God in prayer.
OT Context: “Twice in Judges (17:6 and 21:25) there is the telling refrain: “At that time there was no king in Israel. People did whatever they felt like doing.” But we readers know that there was a king in Israel: God was king. And so, while the lack of an earthly king accounts for the moral and political anarchy, the presence of the sovereign God, however obscurely realized, means that the reality of the kingdom is never in doubt.” Reflect on the passage. Who was the original audience, and what was their situation? How is that relevant to you today?
“When Christ calls a man, He bids him come and die. That is why the rich young man was so loath to follow Jesus, for the cost of his following was the death of his will. In fact, every command of Jesus is a call to die, with all our affections and lusts.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship
This week we have been considering what it means to multiply through discipleship. We have looked at how discipleship shapes our lives. Today we are exploring the cost of discipleship.
Think of the main areas of your life:
Money and possessions Self-image
Private thought life
Other (add here):
Look at each area and ask the following questions:
“Am I willing to obey whatever God says about this life-area no matter how I feel about it?
“Am I willing to thank God for whatever happens in this area whether I understand it or not?”
“Is there something in this area I am relying on more than God for my hope and meaning in life?”
“Are there problems or limitations in my life I think are too big for God to remove?”
Reflect: On the basis of your evaluation — choose one or two areas of your life that you most need to acknowledge Christ’s lordship more deeply.
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 pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.” (Eph. 3:16-17)