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
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30)
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.
Good God, you didn’t turn your back on a world plunged up to its neck in physical and spiritual death but set out to rescue it.
We confess that we often and subtly are drawn back into living as though you have not rescued us by your grace and steadfast love.
We worship you for your resolute goodness and wisdom that sought and found us;
We thank you for the blessing that has come to us in Jesus,
And we pray that our lives may be a blessing to others. Amen.
Take a moment to confess your sins, knowing that he hears you.
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 Second Letter to the Corinthians was written during a difficult period in his relation with the church at Corinth. Some members of the church had evidently made strong attacks against Paul, but he shows his deep longing for reconciliation and expresses his great joy when this is brought about.” 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?
Over the next few months our sermon series will explore who God is and what it means for us as His Creation to know Him. 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: 2 Corinthians 9:15
J.I. Packer writes,
“The word ‘grace’ expresses the thought of God acting in spontaneous goodness to save sinners: God loving the unlovely, making covenant with them, pardoning their sins, accepting their persons, revealing Himself to them, moving them to response, leading them ultimately into full knowledge and enjoyment of Himself, and overcoming all obstacles to the fulfillment of this purpose that at each stage arise.
Grace is election-love plus covenant-love, a free choice issuing in a sovereign work. Grace saves from sin and all evil; grace brings ungodly men to true happiness in the knowledge of their Maker. This is the concept of grace with which the New Testament writers work…
Grace in the New Testament is not, then, an impersonal energy automatically switched on by prayers and sacraments,but the heart and hand of the living almighty God. Grace is certainly found in the church, for it is grace that creates the church, but grace is in no sense subject to the church’s control.
God’s love is free, and it is God himself who chooses whom he will save. Sermons and sacraments proclaim the reality of grace, and the church’s prayers invoke it, but it is God alone who exercises it and leads men int the benefits of it.
To the New Testament writers, grace is a wonder. Their sense of man’s corruption and demerit before God, and of the reality and justice of His wrath against sin, is so strong that they find it simply staggering that there should be such a thing as grace at all — let alone grace that was so costly to God as the grace of Calvary.
The hymn writers catch this sense of of wonder with their use of ‘amazed’ and ‘amazing’ in lines such as ‘Amazing love! How can it be that thou, my God, shouldst die for me?; Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all…’
The world is full of wonders—wonders of nature, wonders of science, wonders of craftsmanship—but they pale into insignificance beside the wonder of the grace of God. Nothing we say can do it justice: all words fall short of it: it is in truth, as Paul says, an ‘inexpressible gift’ (2 Cor. 9:15).”
Packer says that “nothing we say can do [grace] justice.” This certainly true. But what do we do with something for which we lack sufficient words? What do you do with the grandeur of a mountain? Or the feeling a work of art evokes? You simply marvel at it. Enjoy and delight in its beauty.
Reflect: When was the last time you simply sat and marveled, truly enjoyed the staggering wonder of God’s grace? Find some time today in the quiet to marvel. Don’t short circuit your time by rushing it, or by trying to fill it. Instead simply ask God to make his grace more powerfully real to you today.
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)