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
In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly. (Psalm 5:3)
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.
Do not be distant, O Lord, lest I become so mired in yesterday’s hurts, that I miss entirely the living gifts this day might hold. Let me neither ignore my pain, pretending all is okay when it isn’t, nor coddle and magnify my pain, so that I dull my capacity to experience all that remains good in this life.
For joy that denies sorrow is neither hard-won, nor true, nor eternal. It is not real joy at all. And sorrow that refuses to make space for the return of joy and hope, in the end becomes nothing more than a temple for the worship of my own woundedness.
So give me strength, O God, to feel this grief deeply, never to hide my heart from it. Recreate my heart, O God, by your Word and your Spirit’s deep work within my very being. 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: The story of Jesus doesn’t end with Jesus. It continues in the lives of those who believe in him. The supernatural does not stop with Jesus. Acts makes it clear that these Christians Luke wrote about were no more spectators of Jesus than Jesus was a spectator of God—they are in on the action of God, God acting in them, God living in them. Which also means, of course, in us. Meditate on the passage, noting a few words or a phrase that stood out. Take them to God in prayer.
OT Context: “Holy” is the word that sets God apart and above our attempts to enlist him in our wish-fulfillment. The first thing that strikes us as we read Leviticus in this light is that this holy God is actually present with us and virtually every detail of our lives is affected by the presence of this holy God; nothing in us, our relationships, or environment is left out. The second thing is that God provides a way (the sacrifices and feasts and Sabbaths) to bring everything in and about us into his holy presence, transformed in the fiery blaze of the holy. Reflect on the passage. Who was the original audience, and what was their situation? How is that relevant to you today?
This section of the Devo focuses on the passage(s) for Sunday’s sermon. Go ahead and read the following passage(s) and use theParables Reading Plan + Study Guideto journal what stands out and what you have questions about in the passages. Below is a helpful commentary that can help to fill in the gaps.
Read: Luke 12 Start this week off by reading all of Luke 12. There’s a lot there. So break the chapter down into sections, and see what shines out to you from the passages. Here’s one way:
WHAT TO FEAR AND WHAT NOT TO FEAR
12:1-12 Encouragements and warnings. Don’t fear humans. Fear being in opposition to God.
I’LL SAY TO MYSELF, “SELF . . .”
12:13-21 Parable of the rich fool. The rich fool fears missing out on all good times he could have by spending his money, when what he should fear is God.
12:22-31 Parables of the ravens and the lilies. Jesus tells us what to fear and not to fear.What makes his list of things to fear?: Nothing. Why? Because God has given you everything you really need in this world: the promise of citizenship and “just-what-you-need” provision in his kingdom.
12:32-34 “Don’t be afraid, little flock . . .” Again the theme of what not to fear turns up. Don’t be afraid, because your Heavenly Father delights to give you a place in his kingdom as your inheritance.
ATTENTIVE TO THE SAVIOR
12:35-40 Parable of Jesus’ coming and service at the banquet. If you’re not afraid of missing out or lacking what you really need, then you can be appropriately watchful/attentive to Christ. Attentiveness to Christ is the true indication of faithfulness to Christ.
12:41-48 Application (to Peter). If we are really part of God’s kingdom (a status the Father delights to give us, remember), then Jesus’ words to Peter show that we kind of have no choice but to attentively, faithfully serve Jesus. Much is required of citizens of the kingdom of Heaven, but the reward is greater than we ever dared hope.
FIRE ON THE EARTH
12:49-59 The divisiveness of the gospel. Things are really heating up. Jesus is “undeceiving” the crowds from their misinformed ideas and hopes about him. It’s odd to think of Jesus bringing division and judgment and not peace.
But consider this: Jesus is consumed by the fire of judgment on the cross in order to bring his people true and lasting peace. But you have to “read the signs” correctly. “The winds of judgment will one day blow, so settle up with God,” Jesus is saying. Seek him while he may be found (Isaiah 55:6).
Believing in this kind of forecast, however, is going to put you into conflict with those who read the spiritual weather report differently than you. Perhaps even your father, your daughter, your friend? Are you fearful of that? Or are you ready to trust Christ, and Christ alone?
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.
On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. (Psalm 63:6-7)