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

“Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations. The LORD is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does.” (Ps. 145:13)

Prayer of Confession

Covenant God, thank you for your promises, which are full of blessing and life. Thank you most for your promise to send your Son, the powerful Jesus, to crush the head of the devil and to bring my life blessing. In the strong name of Jesus, amen.(Prayer based on the Belgic Confession, Questions 17)

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

Lent Devo: Backyard Pilgrim

Throughout Lent this year we will follow along over the next 40 days with quotes from Backyard Pilgrim by Matt Canlis which gives us a daily Bible Path (the story of God’s redemption) and Parish Path (a literal path through town where you can walk and ponder what God has shown you through his Word).


Day 12: Getting Lost | Read: Genesis 3


Genesis 3 could be called: “Directions for getting lost.” Several times Adam and Eve stand at the crossroads and look not for the ancient paths (Jeremiah 6:16), but for new and better ones. The serpent is only too pleased to point the way to doubting God’s goodness as a parent and to doubting each other as friends. This week traces five forks in the road that Adam and Eve took on a pilgrimage toward losing what God had freely given: 

  1. Doubting God’s goodness as a parent 
  2. Staying silent while your best friend’s getting poisoned. 
  3. Covering yourself with fig leaves 
  4. Blaming others for your getting lost 
  5. Hiding from God 


The good news is that God won’t let his children be lost so easily. God comes looking. And when he finds us “fallen,” he doesn’t throw down a rope. He doesn’t tell us to pick ourselves up. God doesn’t even give us a command. 

Instead, God asks his children a question—“Where are you?”not for his sake, but for ours. God already knows where his children are. We are the ones who think we’re still hiding. And God, patient parent that he is, waits for us. God waits for us to be willing to be found. This week, don’t hide. Let God find you right where you already are. 

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.  

James 3:13-4:12
Our exploration of the wisdom that God gives (James 3:13-4:12) will be aided by coming to terms with what Christians should mean when we talk about God giving us wisdom, and fortunately the gifted and pleasantly British theologian, J.I. Packer, provides us with an illustration for how we often go wrong in our thinking about wisdom. It’s a little bit longer quote, so settle in, but I promise it’ll be worth it. Packer writes: 

“…what sort of thing is God’s gift of wisdom? What effect does it have on a person? Here many go wrong. We can make clear the nature of their mistake by an illustration. If you stand at the end of a platform at York Station, you can watch a constant succession of engine and train movements which, if you are a railway enthusiast, will greatly fascinate you. 

But you will only be able to form a very rough and general idea of the overall plan in terms of which all these movements are being determined (the operational pattern set out in the working timetable, modified if need be on a minute-to-minute basis according to the actual running of the trains). 

If, however, you are privileged enough to be taken by one of the higher-ups into the magnificent electrical signal-box that lies athwart platforms 7 and 8, you will see on the longest wall a diagram of the entire track layout for five miles on either side of the station, with little glowworm lights moving or stationary on the different tracks to show the signalmen at a glance exactly where every engine and train is. 

At once you will be able to look at the whole situation through the eyes of those who control it: you will see from the diagram why it was that this train had to be signalled to a halt, and that one diverted from its normal running line, and that one parked temporarily in a siding. The why and the wherefore of all these movements becomes plain once you can see the overall position. 

Now, the mistake that is commonly made is to suppose that this is an illustration of what God does when he bestows wisdom: to suppose, in other words, that the gift of wisdom consists in a deepened insight into the providential meaning and purpose of events going on around us, an ability to see why God has done what he has done in a particular case, and what he is going to do next. 

People feel that if they were really walking close to God, so that he could impart wisdom to them freely, then they would, so to speak, find themselves in the signal-box; they would discern the real purpose of everything that happened to them, and it would be clear to them every moment how God was making all things work together for good. 

Such people spend much time poring over the book of providence, wondering why God should have allowed this or that to take place, whether they should take it as a sign to stop doing one thing and start doing another, or what they should deduce from it. If they end up baffled, they put it down to their own lack of spirituality. Christians suffering from depression, physical, mental or spiritual (note, these are three different things!) may drive themselves almost crazy with this kind of futile inquiry.

For it is futile: make no mistake about that. It is true that when God has given us guidance by application of principles he will on occasion confirm it to us by unusual providences, which we will recognize at once as corroborative signs. But this is quite a different thing from trying to read a message about God’s secret purposes out of every unusual thing that happens to us. So far from the gift of wisdom consisting in the power to do this, the gift actually presupposes our conscious inability to do it…

REFLECT: Packer has given us much to consider (he has two excellent chapters in his classic Knowing God on the theme of wisdom that are worth the price of the book). But for now let’s consider this question:

Have I built my life in Christ more on my ability to walk faithfully and forcing God to give me the inside scoop, or have I built my life in Christ on humbly asking God for the wisdom I lack (James 1:5), humbly accepting the wisdom of God’s Word (1:21), and humbly doing what God says is good and right (3:13)?

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 wait for the LORD, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.” (Ps. 130:5)