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
All your works shall give thanks to you, O Lord, and all your saints shall bless you! (Psalm 145:10)
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, save me entirely from sin. Enable me to recognize my death to sin; when it tempts me, may I be deaf to its voice. Help me to recognize sin’s effect in me: the idleness, envy, meanness, and pride. Forgive, and kill, all my vices; have mercy on my unbelief, on my corrupt and wandering heart.
Grant me to walk as Christ walked, to live in the newness of his life — the life of love, the life of faith, the life of holiness. And fill me with your grace daily that my life be a fountain of love to Christ and for my neighbor, all for your sake, 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).
Pray Psalm 140 | Read Revelation 10
- 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.
Pray Psalm 141 | Read Zechariah 5
- 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 145:10-13a
“…some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.”
C.S. Lewis wrote these words to his goddaughter, Lucy Barfield, on the dedication page of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. I think they are a fitting start for our psalm today.
Sometimes when we come to a poem like this in Scripture, it reads like “a not very interesting collection of clichés.” It feels naïve, unrealistic, childish even. Don’t you know that the world is breaking apart around us, David? God’s kingdom often feels like a distant dream. Like a place that might exist somewhere in a fairy tale: a kingdom that eternally gets better with each day, where the citizens love and give thanks to the King (v.10), because he is good to all (v.9) and he abounds in giving everything he has to those who have no right to expect anything from him (the definition of hesed in v.8).
The psalms speak this way so often that, without the psalms of lament, we might well shout at the page: Reality check! That’s not the way things really work down here! “But the author of Psalm 145,” notes pastor-scholar Michael Wilcock, “has worked through all that. It is not inexperience, but experience that enables him to write as he does. He has long since been reoriented, and has discovered on the far side of trial and suffering and mystification that in the end this IS how things are.”
Yes, there is much evil in the world, but David is taking the long view. Later in verse 20 he will describe the end of the wicked with one word: destruction. “All this darkness is a small and passing thing.” Evil, suffering, and death have an expiration date. They will end. God’s kingdom is forever. Those who traffic in and profit from them will end. God’s people will glorify and enjoy him forever. No rose-colored glasses here. David’s confidence isn’t in his ability as a human king to restore order to the world through political edicts or military might, but in God the true King “putting all things to rights” (a lovely British phrase). His hope was in that “there is far kingdom a ways from here beyond the storm and the sea” that Jesus established through his life, death, and resurrection.
Sometimes these realities are better heard in song. If the language of Psalm 145 seems distant to you today, allow the words of the song below to breathe life into your biblical imagination of what God’s kingdom is and will be.
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 Lord is faithful in all his words and kind in all his works. The Lord upholds all who are falling and raises up all who are bowed down. (Psalm 145:13b-14)