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
But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. (Romans 3:21-22)
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.
Heavenly Father, your love brings life to dead souls, light to darkened minds, and strength to weak wills. Depending on our own strength we stumble; proclaiming our own goodness we sin; glorying in our own righteousness we corrupt everything we touch; indulging in self-pity we blind ourselves to the needs of those around us.
Please forgive us and help us to believe that no wrong we have done, and no good we have failed to do, is too great for you to forgive through the merits of Jesus Christ your Son. 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: Written by Jesus’ half-brother, Jude makes the point that grace does not mean that Christians can live any way the want to. Meditate on the passage, noting a few words or a phrase that stood out. Take them to God in prayer.
OT Context: Written as a dialogue with God, Habakkuk complains about the moral decay of Israel. It is in this environment that Habakkuk tells us that “the righteous shall live by faith,” which becomes a major theme of the apostle Paul’s writings in the New Testament. Reflect on the passage. Who was the original audience, and what was their situation? How is that relevant to you today?
“Psalms Mix” Readings
This section of the Devo focuses on the passage(s) from Sunday’s sermon. Use it to reflect upon the ways Christ has been working in your life this week. Makes a great midday reflection, or group discussion guide.
Read Psalm 62:7-10
David’s trust in God continues to build. His language picks up steam. Now God is not only a rock, he is a mighty “granite-strength” rock. God is David’s source of refuge, his safe-harbor in the storm. He is only one David trusts to help him and to restore his reputation. This is what happens as our faith grows and deepens.Our eyes begin to see in true and proper perspective. God becomes big and people become small. Watch for how that happens throughout the rest of the psalm.
In verse 9, David tells us that everyone from the poor to the cultural elites share in common this one trait: they are transient, and even if they may appear substantial, don’t buy into the illusion. Money, Power, Success? David says, “Don’t set your heart on them.”
Each becomes an idol as as those who put their hope in them obsess over them and become willing to even threaten and steal in order to get them. Each promises to give you staying power, security, and significance, but they never produce their desired effect.
They are so insubstantial, David says, that you could pile all the idols of the human heart on a scale opposite of God and you would find that “they are nothing; together they are only a breath.” Breath (hebel) is the same word often translated in Ecclesiastes as meaningless. The idea here is that these idols are insubstantial because they have no lasting power. Like your the warmth of your breath, they are there one instant and gone the next. Yet, despite their feather-lightness it is difficult for our hearts to shake free of them.
David has been encouraging us all throughout this psalm to trust in God alone. And that, it turns out, is the key to these idols losing their grip on us. If God has truly become our rock, our salvation, and our help, then we have to begin asking why we are looking at momentary things to produce things in our lives that have eternal weightiness. As the Apostle Paul said in Colossians 3: “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”
Questions to Ponder:
Think back on the last 24 hours. What things did you “set your heart on”? Make a short list and then process it with God through prayer.
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.
Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul. (3 John 2)