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)

“The Lord is . . . patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Pet. 3:9)

Prayer of Confession

God my Redeemer, it was your prodigal love that sent your Son, Jesus Christ, to be lifted up on the cross—a love that seeks and saves the lost. As I trust in Jesus today, may I know your love that withholds the condemnation I deserve, and lavishes the acceptance I do not. Amen. (Prayer based on the Westminster Confession, Question 7.3)

*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 23: Holy Dust | Read: Luke 2:12 and Isaiah 9:6


The first thing Jesus did to say “Here I am” on our behalf was to become human. The first place Jesus went to recreate humans and relaunch Genesis was inside Mary’s womb. Jesus, the Son of God, allowed himself to be knit together as a human child. Remember how God’s creative work in Genesis began not with words, but with God’s presence hovering over the waters, pregnant with power?

So too in the Gospels does Jesus’ creative work begin not with words, but with his own powerful presence inside Mary’s amniotic waters. Jesus has said nothing, but his silent presence in embryonic form speaks volumes about the length he goes to step into our skin and the distance he travels to rescue lost children.

Once Jesus does speak, it’s not with wise and persuasive words, but with infant gurgles and babish cries. Robert Southwell captures this surprising strategy to win God’s children back in his Christmas poem, New Heaven, New War: 

This little babe so few days old,
Is come to rifle Satan’s fold;
All hell doth at his presence quake,
Though he himself for cold do shake;
For in this weak unarmèd wise
The gates of hell he will surprise.

God’s upside-down invasion of the world has begun. 

For you, here I AM . . . in the flesh. 


Lost in modernity, we intellectualize God and ask: “Where are you?” Each Christmas, Jesus surprises us with his answer from a manger: “Here I AM.” 

Could your walk today include a few minutes near the birthing ward of a hospital? If not, keep your eye out for a shed, stable, or alley where Jesus might have been born had he arrived today. Thank God for his willingness to invade the world so humbly. Thank God for knowing what it is to be human. Anticipate tomorrow by asking: “What will Jesus do next to identify with who I am?” 

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 1:1-5:12 (a longer reading to be sure, but haven’t you enjoyed building up your Scripture reading skills?)

  1. What stood out to you as you read today?
  1. What point does James seem to be making?
  1. How does this portion of Scripture connect to what came before? How does it connect to what comes after?
  1. What didn’t make sense? What do you still wonder 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.


“The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.” (Num. 6:24-26)