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

“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” (Isa. 6:3)

Prayer of Confession

Merciful and just God, I rage against the regularity of evil in the world. Thank you that you are a just judge and will punish all such sin, now and in eternity. Yet when the tables get turned, I see how puny my anger is next to yours. And along with justice, I pray for mercy. Forgive me in Jesus’ name, amen. (Prayer based on the Heidelberg Catechism, Question 10)

*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 19: Abraham | Read: Genesis 22:10-11

Abraham says “Here I am” to God twice in Genesis 22: first at home, and then atop Mount Moriah on the edge of sacrificing his only son, Isaac. This is almost unthinkable to modern ears, but it was all too common in Abraham’s day. 

During the three day journey to the mountain’s heights, there are things Abraham knows and doesn’t know. Abraham knows that God has promised him grandchildren through Isaac. Abraham knows that the pagan gods saw child sacrifice as the highest offering but that God keeps revealing how different He is from the pagan gods. 

Abraham does not know how God will keep his promise. He doesn’t know whether Isaac will follow his father up the mountain, nor whether God will give him new instructions along the way. Abraham is greatly troubled but growing in faith. He believes God can be trusted. 

Abraham trusts God’s ability to find ways of doing things that are unexpected and unprecedented. On Mount Moriah, whatever peace Abraham had did not come from the absence of fear. It came from his faith in God’s promise to provide. It came from the faith Abraham had in God’s goodness, the same goodness Adam and Eve were tempted to doubt. 

Here i am . . . beginning to believe. 


Today as you walk, imagine Abraham’s walk up the mountain. Think about Abraham and Isaac’s mixture of fear, confusion, and faith. 

What trial are you facing? Do you trust God to provide the best way into, through, and out of it? Or are you seeking some way to bypass the trial? God’s speed can be slow, but he promises to walk with us each step of the way. Any shortcut the devil promises is really a longer, lonelier road. Stay with your pilgrimage. 

Keep walking with the Lord and with others, especially when you can’t see the end in sight. 

Pray: “Lord, Here I am . . . greatly troubled, but trusting you.” 

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.  

Read: James 4:13-5:6

Dan Dorani helps us today in understanding our passage by noting that,

“When James denounces hoarding, oppression, indulgence, and financial violence, he is not simply denouncing several random acts of wickedness. Abuse of wealth is the final mark of a life of worldly “wisdom” James described in 3:13–4:3. Abuse of wealth is another form of envy, coveting, strife, and grasping.

More precisely, oppression is the last element in a series of offenses against gospel humility. Remember that James presents the gospel by showing his readers that no one passes the three tests of true religion. True religion controls the tongue, looks after widows and orphans, and is unpolluted by the world (1:26–27). James 2 addresses indifference to the needy, James 3 takes up failures of speech, and James 4 and 5 denounce pollution by the world. James reaches a climax in his twofold call to humility: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” (4:6), and “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up” (4:10).

The next section of James examines three sins of pride, three acts that fail to show humility before God. First, we can malign and judge our brothers (4:11–12). Second, we can make presumptuous plans about our future (4:13–17). Third, we can use financial power to oppress the poor and indulge ourselves (5:1–6).

James 5:1–6 assesses the last and most serious of these offenses. Slander is often private and may be more a slip of speech than an act of malice. Proud planning can, likewise, be more thoughtless than malicious. Further, while it is public, it often harms the planner more than it harms others. But oppression is public and detrimental to others. Further, the kind of oppression James describes involves systematic perversion of justice. It shreds the fabric of society. When James laments wage fraud (5:4) and the condemnation of the innocent (5:6), we enter the sphere of legal abuse. James’s rich people are perverting both the economic and the legal system of the land.”

REFLECT: We will dig into these themes more tomorrow, but for today, let’s spend some time in prayer asking God to help us to see where in our lives we are in need of “gospel humility.”

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.


“Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the one whose sin the LORD does not count against them.” (Ps. 32:1-2)