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
“For this God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end.” (Ps. 48:14)
Prayer of Confession
Everlasting God, I shop for pleasure, looking to consume happiness; I hustle for meaning, striving to make a difference. But the more I consume the less I enjoy, and the harder I work the more life slips out of my reach. Help me understand the simple truth that none of my work or worry, nor any of life’s pleasures, does any good without your blessing. Amen. (Prayer based on the Heidelberg Catechism, Question 125)
*Prayer borrowed from Philip Reinders’ Seeking God’s Face: Praying with the Bible through the Year
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).
Pray Psalm 64 | Read John 3
- 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: In deliberate parallel to the opening words of Genesis, John presents God as speaking salvation into existence. This time God’s word takes on human form and enters history in the person of Jesus. Jesus speaks the word and it happens: forgiveness and judgment, healing and illumination, mercy and grace, joy and love, freedom and resurrection. Everything broken and fallen, sinful and diseased, called into salvation by God’s spoken word. Jesus, in this account, not only speaks the word of God; he is the Word of God. Meditate on the passage, noting a few words or a phrase that stood out. Take them to God in prayer.
Pray Psalm 65 | Read 2 Kings 15
- OT Context: “Sovereignty, God’s sovereignty, is one of the most difficult things for people of faith to live out in everyday routines…This story makes it clear that it was not God’s idea that the Hebrews have a king, but since they insisted, he let them have their way. But God never abdicated his sovereignty to any of the Hebrew kings; the idea was that they would represent his sovereignty, not that he would delegate his sovereignty to them. Reflect on the passage. Who was the original audience, and what was their situation? How is that relevant to you today?
This Fall our sermon series is in Jonah. Follow along here as we explore this work of literary genius (it is really multilayered and complex) and theological profundity (we discover much about the nature of God, humans, and redemption in just 4 chapters)
READ: Jonah 4:1-9
Tim Keller writes,
“Assyria was the greatest power in the world, and the cruelest. It is understandable that, at first, Jonah did not want to go and preach in its capital. Yet when he finally announced God’s coming judgment, there was massive repentance. In response, God granted a reprieve and did not destroy the city. It was nothing short of astonishing.
Many modern readers respond to such a story with skepticism. We are quick to believe accounts of mass violence, but it’s harder to believe that the various classes and people of a great city would unite and agree to turn away from injustice.
However, that is what happened. It shows that the Word of God is more powerful than we can imagine. This would lead us to expect that the book would end in chapter 3 on a note of triumph, with “and Jonah returned to his own land rejoicing.” Instead, events take an unexpected turn. “But what God did was so terrible to Jonah, that he burned with anger” (verse 1).
The reaction is shocking and inexplicable. Do artists get angry when a prominent museum accepts their art for an installation? Do musicians get angry when they are given a standing ovation at Carnegie Hall? Why, then, when Jonah has just preached to the toughest audience of his life—and they have responded positively down to the last person—would he melt down in furious rage?”
REFLECT: We are rightly shocked by Jonah’s meltdown. But how often do we meltdown when things don’t go the way we wanted them to? Once again we find ourselves in Jonah’s place. How will God rescue Jonah and us from ourselves?
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.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:10)