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

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 48 | Read Luke 19

  • 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.

Evening Readings:

Pray Psalm 49 | Read 2 Kings 8

  • 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 2:8-10

As Jonah concludes his poem prayer, he contrasts idols with Yahweh’s steadfast love. He says, “those clinging to empty (vaporous) idols forfeit the steadfast love (hesed) that is theirs.”

What’s he saying? We get that idols are like a mist. They have no staying power. But what does it meant to give up your rights to steadfast love? Why do we need this steadfast love? And whose steadfast love is it anyway? 

In order to fully understand these final lines, we are going to need to dig a little deeper into this mysterious, difficult to translate, three letter, two syllable Hebrew word: hesed.

Hesed is variously translated into English as: mercy, love, loving-kindness, steadfast love, faithfulness, compassion, gracious favor, and many more throughout the Old Testament. If you’ll forgive one further language nerd fact, hesed also has “linguistic gravity,” which simply means that it has a tendency to draw other words into its orbit to help convey its meaning: goodness (Ps 23:6), faithfulness (Ps 89:24), covenant (Deut 7:9), mercy (Ps 103:4), truth (Ps 57:3) to name a few.*

What does all this have to do with Jonah and his troubles with Nineveh? Well, being a prophet, Jonah would have understood that hesed is the defining characteristic of God.  So what exactly does it mean?

In a phrase, hesed is “when the person from whom I have a right to expect nothing gives me everything.” It’s love, mercy, grace, faithfulness, and a thousand other things buried deep in the heart of God. All of it given to frail, failing, rebellious, messed up me and you. We’ve done nothing to earn it. We can’t buy it. We simply receive it as a gift, because hesed is just the way Yahweh is in the depth of His being toward his people.

Earlier in the week a quote from Tim Keller helped us see the Jonah was still holding onto his prejudice against the Ninevites. “How could people like that get in on Yahweh’s hesed?” Jonah had seriously failed to recognize the broadness of Yahweh’s hesed. 

What he should have seen was that Yahweh was simply making good on the promise he had made Abraham. All the peoples of the world were going to be blessed by Abraham’s descendants. Jonah was part of this promise. In fact, if he had eyes to see it, and a heart to receive it, he would have seen that he was part of extending to blessing to all the nations…including that great yet wicked city Nineveh! 

REFLECT: God’s hesed eventually did come to all nations through God sending Jesus, a more faithful prophet (priest and king!) than Jonah. Jesus delivered the message of judgment and salvation at the cost of his life. Jonah’s message delivered Nineveh from judgment for a season, but the message of Christ’s gospel delivers us once and for all time! Read through that description of hesed one more time. Then spend some time today thanking God for the gift of his hesed love for you!

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)