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
Thus says the Lord God:…I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. (Ezekiel 36:22, 26-27)
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.
Gracious God, we confess that we daily sin against you and our neighbors in our thoughts, in our words, and in our actions. Our sins are too heavy to carry, too real to hide, and too deep to undo.
Forgivewhat our lips tremble to name, what our hearts can no longer bear, and what has become for us a consuming fire of judgment.
Set us free from a past that we cannot change; open to us a future in which we can be changed; and grant us grace to grow more and more into the likeness of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray. 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: Revelation contains 404 verses into which St. John, the pastor, makes reference to earlier scripture 518 times. The message is clear: This last word on scripture will not being saying anything new. Instead, the Revelation reveals Jesus Christ as the Lamb of God by bidding us to look to the past to the Old Testament promises and to the resurrection; to live in the present as the people of God; and to look toward the future when the triumph of King Jesus will be fully revealed. Meditate on the passage, noting a few words or a phrase that stood out. Take them to God in prayer.
OT Context: Haggai prophesied to the people of Jerusalem after they had returned from Babylon, but before they rebuilt the temple. The city of Jerusalem lay in ruins. Haggai, together with Zephaniah, called upon the people to stop focusing on on their own economic well-being, and to complete the temple. 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.
Today’s devotional is an excerpt from Tim & Kathy Keller’s excellent devotional on the Psalms: The Songs of Jesus.
Read Psalm 107:17-22
the self-damaged. Here are people who have ruined themselves. They are sick (verse 18) because they have become fools (verse 17). “Fools” in the Bible are not just regular sinners but those who become destructively self-absorbed and self-deceived. The picture is of those who have badly damaged their spiritual and physical health through foolish, self-indulgent lifestyles and addictions.
“In such a context, verse 18 could well call to mind in modern times the drug-addict, but only as one example of man’s perennial determination to get hurt.” When God responds, they are not merely forgiven but healed by his Word (verse 20), particularly by his unfailing love (verse 21).
Believing the Gospel does not only bring pardon for sin but also renovates us wholly—mind, will, and emotions (Romans 6:15–23).
Prayer: Lord, I rejoice in forgiveness of sin, but I still limp along, half crippled by fears, self-pity, anger, self-consciousness, and discouragement. All could be healed so much further if I took the truths of the Gospel more to heart. Bring your Word in deep—let it dwell in me richly—that I can be more freed from the effects of sin. Amen.
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.
He sent out his word and healed them,and delivered them from their destruction.Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love,for his wondrous works to the children of man!(Psalm 107:20-21)