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
“Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me!” (Ps. 66:20)
Prayer of Confession
Faithful Savior, teach me what it means to have you as my portion, finding my deepest satisfaction in you. Show me the way to find in you my only comfort in life—whatever it brings—and in death. Lead me to hope in you and know what it is for my soul to be well in all things. Amen. (Prayer based on the Heidelberg Catechism, Question 1)
*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 44 | Read Luke 17
- 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: Luke is a most vigorous champion of the outsider. An outsider himself, the only Gentile in an all-Jewish cast of New Testament writers, he shows how Jesus includes those who typically were treated as outsiders by the religious establishment of the day: women, common laborers (sheepherders), the racially different (Samaritans), the poor. He will not countenance religion as a club. As Luke tells the story, all of us who have found ourselves on the outside looking in on life with no hope of gaining entrance (and who of us hasn’t felt it?) now find the doors wide open, found and welcomed by God in Jesus. Meditate on the passage, noting a few words or a phrase that stood out. Take them to God in prayer.
Pray Psalm 45 | Read 2 Kings 6
- 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 2:8-10
We have only three verses to work with this week. But, oh, what depths are hidden in these three! Yesterday we took some time to observe the final lines of Jonah’s prayer. What did you see?
Tim Keller summarizes the main point this way:
…This prayer has a sobering aspect. In verse 8 Jonah says that “those clinging to empty idols forfeit the grace that is theirs.”
Jonah rightly says that idolatry blocks people from receiving grace. But what people is he referring to?
In the context he is saying that pagans who worship literal statues and idols forfeit the grace of God. While that statement is true, we can’t help but read it in light of Jonah’s relapse into anger and confusion at God’s mercy to the Ninevites, which we will see when we get to chapter 4 of the book of Jonah.
In other words, despite his breakthrough here, Jonah has not grasped grace as deeply as we might at first think he has. There is still a sense of superiority and self-righteousness that will cause him to explode in anger when God has mercy on those Jonah sees as his inferiors. He sees the literal idols that the pagans worship and doesn’t see the more subtle idols in his own life that keep him from fully grasping that he too, just like the heathen, lives only, equally by God’s grace.”
REFLECT: We’ll unpack this more the rest of the week, but for now let’s ask ourselves why does God’s grace seem so difficult for Jonah to grasp?
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 the pure in heart, for they will see God.” (Matthew 5:8)