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
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” (Psalm 91:1-2)
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.
Surprising God, who would have thought that dying was good?
My instinct is to avoid it. But, in Jesus, I see that dying is the way to life.
Equip me to do what is so difficult—to die to myself and become new.
May I be genuinely sorry for my sin, to hate it more and more,
and to run away from it. Amen.*
Take a moment to confess your sins, knowing that he hears you.
*Prayer borrowed from Philip Reinders’ Seeking God’s Face
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: “Paul’s letter to the Galatian churches helps them, and us, recover the original freedom of the gospel. It also gives direction in the nature of God’s gift of freedom—most necessary guidance, for freedom is a delicate and subtle gift, easily perverted and often squandered.” Meditate on the passage, noting a few words or a phrase that stood out. Take them to God in prayer.
OT Context: “The book of Deuteronomy is organized as a series of addresses given by Moses to the people of Israel in the land of Moab, where they had stopped at the end of the long wilderness journey and were about to enter and occupy Canaan…The great theme of the book is that God has saved and blessed his chosen people, whom he loves; so his people are to remember this, and love and obey him, so that they may have life and continued blessing. The key verses of the book are 6:4–6, and contain the words that Jesus called the greatest of all commandments, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.”Reflect on the passage. Who was the original audience, and what was their situation? How is that relevant to you today?
Each day this devo will tread along a variety of paths connected to the week’s theme in Knowing God. Consider this your invitation to come along for the ride as we head into the wilds of coming to know and experience God’s person and grace.
Read: Acts 17:27–28
If we only had eyes to see and ears to hear and wits to understand, we would know that the Kingdom of God in the sense of holiness, goodness, beauty is as close as breathing and is crying out to be born both within ourselves and within the world. — Frederick Buechner
God lives in heaven. Where is that? Is it in outer space, or farther? The root meaning of the Greek word for “heaven” is “to cover” or “to encompass.” It is the expansive universe and beyond, but it is also the atmosphere that surrounds us. Consider for a moment that second sense of the word. Wave your hands through the air and you have waved them through the heavens.
For those of us who think of God as far away, this is wonderful news. Here’s one way we might pray this part of the prayer: “Our Father, always present to us, you are high above all and as near to us as the air we breathe.”
Reflect: When you pray, do you normally think of God as close—as close as the person next to you or the air around you—or do you think of God as far off? Why? Does where we think about God’s location affect the way we pray?
Meditate for a few minutes upon this phrase from today’s passage:“In him we live and move and have our being.” Throughout the day, say this phrase as a reminderof God’s nearness.
*Today’s Devo is from The Reservoir
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.
Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel. (Luke 2:29-32)