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
For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Galatians 5:14)
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.
O Lord God, we confess the many ways that we suppress your truth in unrighteousness. We know that you are a powerful God; we know that you are a holy God; we know that you are the true King of the World. And yet, we pretend that we are powerful, that we are perfect, that we are king.
Forgive us, Lord,for worshipping ourselves — the idols of our own hearts — rather than you. Root out all self-worship and replace it with a whole-souled worship of you, through Jesus Christ our Lord, 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?
“Neighbor Day” 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.
This week’s devo will focus on loving our neighbors. Today’s devo is shared from The Reservoir: A Spiritual Formation Devotional.
Read: “It shall come to pass in the latter daysthat the mountain of the house of the Lordshall be established as the highest of the mountains,and shall be lifted up above the hills;and all the nations shall flow to it,and many peoples shall come, and say:“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,to the house of the God of Jacob,that he may teach us his waysand that we may walk in his paths.”
For out of Zion shall go forth the law,and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.He shall judge between the nations,and shall decide disputes for many peoples;and they shall beat their swords into plowshares,and their spears into pruning hooks;nation shall not lift up sword against nation,neither shall they learn war anymore.“ (Isaiah 2:2-4)
SHALOMPeace will prevail one day; yes, and so prevail that the instruments of destruction shall be beaten into other shapes and used for better purposes. — Charles Spurgeon
Shalom is the Hebrew word for peace. God’s longing for peace among individuals, cultures, and nations is reflected in today’s reading.
God’s vision for the world can help us as we pray and act. Shalom is not just the absence of conflict. It is the profound presence of the wholeness, health, and vitality that characterize a world that is completely in harmony with itself. Shalom is the realization of all the glorious potential God built into the world at creation; it is the state of serene concord and orderly creativity that allows the full, unhindered flourishing of all things—individually and collectively.
Isaiah’s vision of shalom presupposes a right relationship with God as the foundation for healthy, full relationships throughout the world. Isaiah is convinced there can be no real, lasting peace without God as its intimate, personal center.
Questions to Ponder:
1. Does the picture Isaiah paints of peace bring you hope or seem too good to be true?
2. Take a few minutes to pray for shalom—for wholeness, peace, and health. Pray for shalom with God, yourself, your neighbors, and the created world. Consider practices that will usher in shalom in these areas.
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.
My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord,and let all flesh bless his holy name forever and ever.(Psalm 145:21)