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
“Let the beloved of the LORD rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the LORD loves rests between his shoulders” (Deuteronomy 33:12).
Prayer of Confession
God, when I count on my pious actions to make me right with you, I get the gospel confused. I’m flattering myself, relying on my capacity to gain your approval.
Today, help me first to trust only in Jesus, transferring my heart’s confidence to him and so making mine all of his satisfaction, righteousness, and holiness. Amen. (a prayer based on the Heidelberg Catechism, Q61)
*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?
Read: Genesis 12 + Genesis 15
This week we are looking at the story of Abraham for Father’s Day (so it’s gonna get interesting).
In The Jesus Storybook Bible,Sally Lloyd-Jones traces a thread in Genesis which many miss in the storyline of Scripture. It’s right there in plain sight and yet, because many of us tend to read the Bible as a series of disconnected stories about God, we miss it. Do you want to know is? Brace yourself. Are you ready? Here it is:Genesis 12 follows right on the heels of Genesis 11.
Why is this insight so important?
It’s important because if you were reading the Bible as a story that is primarily about God, then you would notice that Genesis 11 is a story about a city named Babel which contrasts human wisdom and self-sufficiency with God’s wisdom and purposes. God comes down to see the tower and lovingly confuses their languages, because as Sally puts it, “God knew, however high they reached, however hard they tried, people could never get back to heaven by themselves. People didn’t need a staircase, they needed a Rescuer. Because the way back to heaven wasn’t a staircase; it was a Person. People could never reach up to Heaven, so Heaven would have to come down to them…”
The story moves on from the foolishness of Babel to a story where God begins to unveil his plan to rescue the people he loves. Do you see?It’s a contrast of human wisdom and God’s wisdom. And what we get in Genesis 12 is a story of God coming down, in his infinite wisdom, to make a people for himself out of an idol worshipper from Ur named Abram.
You’ve got to love God’s masterful storytelling! Abram enters from stage left not as a righteous man but as an unrighteous one. He’s from Ur of the Chaldeans (where Ur-Nammu built a ziggurat on which to worship Nanna, the moon god of ancient Mesopotamia). Abram gets married to Sarai, but (literary foreshadowing) she is barren. If you’ve been following along with the story of Genesis, then you know that ever since the Fall in Eden, we’ve been looking for this promised “offspring” of the woman that will crush the serpent and the curse.
Is this the best that God has?A moon god worshipping pagan with a wife who is unable to bring forth an offspring? The tower at Babel is starting to look better and better. But this is Yahweh’s wisdom. Impossible! Stranger than fiction! And yet…wise in ways that humans could never dream up. Sarai would take Abram by the hand and go with him far from everything they knew. And long after they were dead and gone, their tale would be told with each progressing generation of their massive family “how faith compelled and bore them on, how barren Sarah bore a son.”
The boy would be called Laughter and we’re meant to laugh at the wisdom of God so intricately worked into the life of Abraham and Sarah to give them this “impossible son,” so that one day, as Sally puts it, “God would send another baby, a baby promised to a girl who didn’t even have a husband. But this baby would bring laughter to the whole world. This baby would be everyone’s dreams come true.”
Reflect: Read the story of Abraham and Sarah today. Laugh in wonder at God’s wisdom which, as the Apostle Paul says, seems like foolishness to humans, but turns out to be wiser by infinity than our best and brightest ideas. Ask God do help you trust his wisdom even when his plans for your life don’t make much sense to you.
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.
“May you be ‘filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.'” (Philippians 1:11)