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?
Read: Acts 5:12–21a
We must also “seek first his kingdom and his righteousness.” What is the object of our quest? The Church? Heaven? No; we are to seek God’s righteousness—His sway, His rule, His reign in our lives. — George Eldon Ladd
Today we find the apostles just months after they abandoned Jesus in his hour of greatest need. Yet here they are, emboldened by the resurrection and filled with the Holy Spirit, working miracles and being arrested for the sake of the gospel. There in prison, an angel opens the doors, frees them, and charges them to go to the temple and speak. Pay attention in verse 20 to what the angel says they are to speak. It can be translated, “all the words of this Life” or “the whole message about this way of life.”
Recall that our theme this series is about becoming like Jesus in all of life. The good news of Jesus isn’t only about his death and resurrection. That is the foundation, to be sure—apart from which we have no hope. But the whole message is more: Jesus has died and risen to make the kingdom of God available to us now and forever. He has made possible a new way of living, a new life in and through and with him.
1. Today’s passage lines up with the Great Commission: “Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:20 The Message). What “all” did Jesus command? What is “the whole message about this life” (Acts 5:20)?
2. Why was there such opposition against the apostles preaching this life? What were the religious leaders afraid of?
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)