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

Saving Lord, you save me from sin by Christ’s death, but you also raise me with him to a new life. Because I am grafted into Christ, strengthen me this day to walk in that new life, producing good fruits of gratitude. Amen. (Prayer based on the Heidelberg Catechism, Question 74)

*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 25: Holy Baptism | Read: Luke 3:21-22


Many people miss the significance of Jesus’ baptism. At this point in his life, Jesus is doing nothing to draw any attention, nothing to warrant public praise. He is 30 years old. He has no followers. He is a carpenter from a backwater village. Many standing on the banks of the Jordan River would have judged Jesus’ life a disappointment. 

But then a voice from heaven makes a different judgment. And the voice doesn’t counter people’s disapproval with boasts about what Jesus can really do: “You haven’t seen nothing yet! Just wait till you see Jesus multiply loaves of bread! Wait till I crown him King of Kings! Wait till I raise him from the dead and reveal him to be the Savior of the World!” 

The voice says nothing about what Jesus will do. The Father simply announces who Jesus is. Then the Father tells us how he feels about Jesus:“That’s my boy! I love him! I am so pleased with who he is!” 

It is being God’s child that matters most. And knowing we needed the same reorientation of our own identity, Jesus heard the Father’s voice on our behalf. We still struggle to hear, but Jesus has heard for us, in our place. If you’ve never seen the heavens open, or heard a heavenly voice, trust Jesus’ eyes and ears more than your own. 

For you, here I AM . . . hearing the Father’s love. 


Each stage of Jesus’ life removes another barrier to humans being children of God. First, God’s Son was born in human flesh.  

Then, Jesus became a teenager and showcased the goodness of growth. Next, God’s Son took years to model the glory of ordinary human life. Today, Jesus heard the Father’s love for him and for us, even as onlookers may have looked on with disappointment. With his human ears, Jesus heard the Father for us, so that in Christ we are no longer measured by what we do; we are loved for who we are—the beloved children of God. 

As you walk, silently memorize Luke 3:22. Even if you never hear God’s audible delight, trust Jesus’ ears more than your own. 

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 5:1-12

Kent Hughes continues to help us understand what James is talking about by zeroing in on what James means when he says, “be patient.”

“James’ Spirit-directed wisdom for his afflicted brothers and sisters was given in the form of a command: “Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord’s coming” (v. 7a). This is not passive resignation, but rather patient, expectant waiting on the Lord.

To make sure they understand exactly what he means, James provides a rich example: “See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the fall and spring rains” (v. 7b). The “fall” (literally early) rains come in late October and early November in Palestine. Farmers still eagerly await these because they aid planting and make seed germination possible. Heavy rains come in December through February. And finally the spring rains come in April and May. These rains represent a process apart from which there can be no harvest. All farmers must patiently submit to this process. To fight against it, to bite their nails, to insist they must have fruit in the middle of the process is futile.

In submitting to God’s process, they will inevitably undergo stressful times when it appears the rains will never come. But these times can be spiritually beneficial to them as they call upon their faithful God. “The soul would have no rainbow if the eye had no tears.” So they wait in positive confidence that the process will take place and that there will be a harvest/Second Coming. During this time they grow spiritually, the fullness of time grows, and Jesus will come. The key is to submit expectantly to his hidden timetable, trusting wholeheartedly in his goodness.”

REFLECT: Think again of that farmer. Farmers “patiently submit” to the process that God decides. Take a walk today and pay close attention to the weather. Notice the clouds, the wind, the temperature. Spend some time thanking God for his control over the “weather” in your own circumstances as well and ask him for a willingness to submit expectantly and trust whole heartedly in his goodness.

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)