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

“Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom. One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts.” (Ps. 145:3-4)

Prayer of Confession

Son of the Father, the testimony about you is wide and long: ancient Hebrew Scripture and prophets along with New Testament apostles and witnesses together sing out the truth that all things were created through you. Jesus, the whole Bible and my heart witnesses that you are the Son of God, the Christ. Amen. (Prayer based on the Belgic Confession, Questions 10)

*Prayer borrowed from Philip Reinders’ Seeking God’s Face: Praying with the Bible through the Year

Reading Plan

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).

Morning Readings:

Pray Psalm 37 | Read Romans 16

  • 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 letter to the Romans is a piece of exuberant and passionate thinking. This is the glorious life of the mind enlisted in the service of God. Paul takes the well-witnessed and devoutly believed fact of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth and thinks through its implications. How does it happen that in the death and resurrection of Jesus, world history took a new direction, and at the same moment the life of every man, woman, and child on the planet was eternally affected? What is God up to? What does it mean that Jesus “saves”? What’s behind all this, and where is it going? Meditate on the passage, noting a few words or a phrase that stood out. Take them to God in prayer.

Evening Readings:

Pray Psalm 38 | Read 2 Chronicles 22

  • OT Context: “Sovereignty, God’s sovereignty, is one of the most difficult things for people of faith to live out in everyday routines…This story makes it clear that it was not God’s idea that the Hebrews have a king, but since they insisted, he let them have their way. But God never abdicated his sovereignty to any of the Hebrew kings; the idea was that they would represent his sovereignty, not that he would delegate his sovereignty to them. Reflect on the passage. Who was the original audience, and what was their situation? How is that relevant to you today?

Sermon Devo

We are in our Winter series through the book of James. Each day we will dig into a different aspect of this New Testament wisdom book which will, by the end of the week, help to give you a fuller portrait of the kind of lives we are called to live as Christians.  passage that will be preached on Sunday.  

Read: 2:14-26

Two quick notes: 

  1. Lent begins this week, so our James devotional will get a little bit shorter, and there will be a short meditation each day of Lent, starting on Wednesday when we will explore why Christians can say momento mori with both realism and hope. 
  1. This week we will let Kent Hughes show us how James hopes to illuminate us about the nature of “real faith.”

Hughes writes, 

Illumination through Rhetorical Questions 

James begins his argument with two rhetorical questions which (in the Greek) demand negative answers: “What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him?” (v. 14). James seems at first glance to be saying that faith alone does not save, a truth he will again express in verse 24: “You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.” 

This puts James in apparent contradiction with the Apostle Paul who argues for faith alone in Romans 3:28—“For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from the works of the law” (NASB) (cf. Romans 4:5; Galatians 3:6–14; Ephesians 2:8–10). 

Paul says unequivocally that salvation is sola fide, by faith alone. Is this a huge contradiction within the New Testament Scriptures? Martin Luther, who was battling for the Reformation doctrine of salvation through faith alone, thought so, and in the preface to his 1522 edition of the New Testament he called James a “right strawy epistle.”

However, there is no real contradiction between James and Paul regarding faith, for Paul’s teaching about faith and works focuses on the time before conversion, and James’ focus is after conversion.

As Douglas Moo has pointed out, “Paul denies any efficacy to pre-conversion works, but James is pleading for the absolute necessity of post-conversion works.” Paul was fighting against tradition which promoted a false works salvation. James was fighting against a “lite” faith which minimized the necessity of works after coming to Christ. Paul says works cannot bring us to Christ. James says after we come to Christ they are imperative.”

REFLECT: James wants us to wake up to the reality that “faith lite” just won’t do. As Kent Hughes puts it: “Paul says works cannot bring us to Christ. James says after we come to Christ they are imperative.” Spend some time today thanking God for this distinction and the fact that Jesus lived the life that you (and I!) should have, died the death we deserve, and makes a way for us to now please God in the ways that James is talking about!

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 me the wonders of your great love, you who save by your right hand those who take refuge in you from their foes. Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings.” (Ps. 17:7-8)