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

“The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.” (Ps. 145:8)

Prayer of Confession

Freeing God, help me to face the hard truth about myself, that I am a prisoner to sin. Not only can I do no good without you, I can’t even drum up a desire for you unless you first give it to me. Free me from the cramped cell of my sin and reconcile me to yourself through him who had no sin, Jesus my Savior. Amen. (Prayer based on the Belgic Confession, Questions 14)

*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 3: Galactic Nursery
 | Read: Genesis 1:1

An astronomer once said, “If you wish to bake an apple pie, first you must create a universe.” In creating the heavens and the earth, God crafted a galactic nursery not to supply his own needs, but to meet ours.

Once God’s Word begins speaking forth life, whole universes, planets, stars, and seas will be spun into existence to make a nursery suitable for God’s children.

And the Genesis nursery story is very different from the bedtime stories Pharaoh told God’s children in Egypt. Pagan creation myths said humans existed as slaves for supplying gods and kings with food and sacrifices. Genesis turns such pagan stories upside-down, sowing new seeds in Hebrew children’s dreams. 

Chapter 1 even has a divine nursery rhyme—“Let there be…this, and let there be…that”—with aa proud parent’s chorus echoing down the page: “And it was good!”
 From the Garden of Eden to the desert of the cross, God spared no expense in providing for his children. Here I AM…preparing the nursery.


Who has been tucking you in at night? Which bedtime story do you believe? Are you a slave to a modern Pharaoh, or a child created to love God and be loved? Tonight before bed, tuck yourself in—or tuck in someone you love—by telling the Hebrew story of how the world was made, what kind of parent made it, and who humans are. Try telling it in your own words. If you need help, start by reading chapters 1-3 of The Jesus Storybook Bible. Tonight, don’t fall asleep a slave. Join the Genesis rebellion. Be born again as God’s child.

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 2:14-26

Kent Hughes writes, 


James concludes this section by taking his hearers to the absurd: “You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder” (v. 19). There is not a demon in the universe who is an atheist! There are, no doubt, some who are spirits of atheism, demons who have influenced and danced on the graves of the likes of Bertrand Russell. But all are thoroughgoing monotheists, for they believe God is one (cf. Deuteronomy 6:4, 5). And they are all Trinitarian. They know the Apostles’ Creed is true: God is the Maker, and Jesus is his virgin-born Son. They know the truth of Christ’s death, resurrection, ascension, and coming return. Some, no doubt, can quote the Nicene Creed—that Jesus is

God of God, Light of Light,
Very God of Very God,
Begotten, not made,
Being of one substance with the Father,
By whom all things were made.

Some demons are great theologians, having been unseen interlopers at Nicea and Chalcedon and Worms.

In fact, some demons have better theology than we do! But it does them no good. James says they “shudder”—phrissousin. Literally they “bristle up” like a frightened cat.

James’ point is, there is a belief which is not true faith. Simon the sorcerer is another prime example. Luke records in Acts 8:13 that Simon “believed and was baptized.” But several verses later, after his attempt to buy spiritual power, Luke records Peter as saying to Simon, “You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord. Perhaps he will forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin” (Acts 8:21–23). Simon the sorcerer’s faith did not even benefit him as much as it does the demons, because at least they shudder! Simon foreshadows the multitudes who week after week have said their creedal “I believes,” but have neither faith nor fear of God. 

Real faith is more than mental assent to truth. It is a belief that involves the heart. “… That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved” (Romans 10:9, 10). It is one thing to say, “I believe this airplane will hold me,” it is quite another to fly somewhere in it.

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.


Redeem us from all wickedness, purify us and make us your very own, eager to do what is good. (see Titus 2:14)