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
One generation shall commend your works to another,and shall declare your mighty acts.On the glorious splendor of your majesty,and on your wondrous works, I will meditate. (Psalm 145:4-5)
Prayer of Confession
Confession is formative. It trains us to recognize the ways our hearts have become de-formed and how Christ is at work bringing redemption in our lives. Pray with this in mind.
Heavenly Father,we know and confess that we are guilty of pride and unbelief, and neglect to seek you in our daily lives.
We have been timid disciples, afraid of putting our lives on the line for the good of your reign on the earth. Forgive our prayerless days, our poverty of love, our sloth in the heavenly race, our wasted hours, and our unspent opportunities.
We have sought comfort in possessions, prestige, and power. We have tried to save our lives by building our own little kingdoms.
We ask your forgiveness and seek the renewal of our covenant with you. Conform us to Christ’s image that we might bring you glory. Amen.
Take a moment to confess your sins, knowing that he hears you.
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: Written around the same time as Haggai, Israel had returned from exile in Babylon, but they were discouraged by the slow progress in rebuilding their national identity. Zechariah reminded the people that returning to their homeland would do no good if their hearts did not return to God. Reflect on the passage. Who was the original audience, and what was their situation? How is that relevant to you today?
“Psalms Mix” Readings
This section of the Devo focuses on the passage(s) from Sunday’s sermon. Use it to reflect upon the ways Christ has been working in your life this week. Makes a great midday reflection, or group discussion guide.
Read Psalm 145 again
David’s vision of Yahweh worship broadens in Psalm 145:4-7. He moves from the individual to the family. You can picture it, right? Evening arrives and candles are lit. Young children settling into parents’ laps. Faces aglow as the familiar tales of God’s mighty acts spring to life in the imagination. Familiar characters drifting in to tell their tale of meeting with God. They met, spoke with God himself! Imagine that!
Abraham and Sarah longing for a place to call home and a child to call “Son.” Jacob limping and spent after wrestling with God all night on the banks of the Jabbok. Joseph being delivered and becoming the source of deliverance. And who could forget the Exodus generation who saw God’s patience with Egypt before He led them out of slavery “to show his power and spread his fame throughout the earth” (Ex. 9:16). Or Moses speaking to God face to face as you might with a friend.
Each person a link in the line of the unfolding narrative of the waywardness of the human heart, and the steadfast love of God. These were their stories. They were the family through whom God had promised to bless the whole world. One generation reminding the next of Yahweh’s great works. But what were they to do with such stories?
David anticipates our question and gives two practices to help us respond to God’s wondrous works: meditating on them and talking about them. It is the same command God gave them about His words in Deuteronomy 6:4-9. They were to love God with all their heart, soul, and might. They were to take His words to heart, meditating on them until they could teach them diligently to their children. Wherever the went. Whatever they did. They were to meditate on and talk about God’s words to them. It was to become a way of life and habit of heart.
Generations deeper God would act again, but this time his mighty act would come in a lowly form. As my children’s Jesus Storybook Bible puts it,
“Everything was ready. The moment God had been waiting for was here at last! God was coming to help his people, just as he promised in the beginning. But how would he come? What would he be like? What would he do? Mountains would have bowed down. Seas would have roared. Trees would have clapped their hands. But the earth held its breath. As silent as snow falling, he came in. And when no one was looking, in the darkness, he came.”
And in Jesus Christ, David’s Greater Son, this little acrostic poem began to ring true in deeper, truer, more resonate tones than the poet-king could have ever dreamed. God’s abundant goodness became fully human, yet still fully God. And now one generation of his people commends to the next his greatest work, his mightiest act, his most awesome deed: the true King came to rescue and free his people from all our sin and sorrow (Ps. 130:7-8) by not only displaying, but becoming our righteousness.
Questions to Ponder: Psalm 145 almost says to us: “If the God who does these wondrous things is truly your God then what else can you do but meditate on and talk about his rescue of you?” Think through your own story.How has God acted in mighty ways on your behalf? When have you experienced his rescue? Whereare you still waiting for him to show up?
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.
Show us your steadfast love, O Lord, and grant us your salvation. Let me hear what God the Lord will speak, for he will speak peace to his people, to his saints; but let them not turn back to folly. (Psalm 85:7-8)