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November 3rd devo image, a stone wall.

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

Reading Plan

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).

Morning Readings:

Pray Psalm 66 | Read John 4

  • 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.

Evening Readings:

Pray Psalm 67 | Read 2 Kings 16

  • 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?

Sermon Devo

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 continues to lead us forward in our exploration of Jonah 4 this week, 

“Jonah’s great anger, however, shows that he was not merely perplexed by a theological conundrum. When he says he wants to die (verse 3) and God, with remarkable gentleness, chastises him for his inordinate anger (verse 4), we see that 

Jonah’s real problem was at the deepest level of his heart. Perhaps we could say that all theological problems play themselves out not merely in our intellects but in our commitments, desires, and identities. When Jonah says, in effect, “Without that—I have no desire to go on,” he means he has lost something that had replaced God as the main joy, reason, and love of his life. 

He had a relationship with God, but there was something else he valued more. His explosive anger shows that he is willing to discard his relationship with God if he does not get this thing. When you say, “I won’t serve you, God, if you don’t give me X,” then X is your true bottom line, your highest love, your real god, the thing you most trust and rest in. 

Here is Jonah saying to God, who should be the only real source of his meaning in life, “I have no source of meaning!” What was it for Jonah? Nineveh’s repentance was pleasing to God, but it was threatening to Israel’s national interests. The will of God and the political fortunes of Israel seemed to be diverging. One would have to be chosen, and Jonah leaves no doubt as to which of those two concerns was more important to him. Of course, anyone who cared for his own country would have been anxious about Assyria’s survival. It was a terrorist state. 

Jonah, however, did not turn to God with his anxiety, trusting in him as so many of the psalm writers had done. If he had to choose between the security of Israel and loyalty to God, well, he was ready to push God away. That is not just concern and love for one’s country; that is a kind of deification of it….

As a missionary, Jonah should have been glad that the Ninevites had taken a first step. Coming to full faith in God does not usually happen overnight, as it did with the sailors in Jonah’s boat. The people of the city showed their willingness to repent, and Jonah should have prepared to help them continue in their journey by teaching them the character of this new God, the Lord, and what it means to be in a covenant relationship with him. Instead he was furious that they had even begun to move toward God. Rather than going back into the city to teach and preach, he stayed outside it, in hopes that maybe God would still judge it (Jonah 4:5).

REFLECT: Where in your life do you find yourself saying to God, “I won’t serve, God, if you don’t give me ________”? How do you think God intends to dislodge your allegiance to that thing? What might happen if you let him?

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.

Benediction

“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:10)

© 2014 - OPC|Milford