October 28th devo image, a yellow tree in a field.

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

“Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.” (Ps. 84:10)

Prayer of Confession

Purposeful God, there is a definite grain to the universe, a way this world works, a holy and common wisdom that shines in what you have created and how you continue to handle it. Give me the good sense to pay attention to it—to observe, enjoy, learn from, and live it. Amen. (Prayer based on the Belgic Confession, Question 2 and the Westminster Confession 5.1)

*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 58 | Read Luke 24

  • 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 59 | Read 2 Kings 13

  • 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 3:1-10

Who knows? God may turn and relent…” The sheer helplessness in the desperate tone of the king’s decree must have left Jonah speechless. Were they serious? Sure, their turning was surprising and dramatic. Opulent tunics were replaced with plain beggar’s garb. Ashes were scattered and sat upon as a sign of true grief over sin. A fast (an actual fast!) was decreed not just for the men, women and children in this vast and sinful city, but for their animals as well. 

The trees of the field may as well have clapped their hands because the word of Yahweh went forth and accomplished just what he intended (Isaiah 55:11-12). It didn’t make any sense. Unless…unless…

Unless salvation really does belong to Yahweh and he can bring it to whomever he darn well, and out of his sheer goodness, pleases. Maybe Jonah had spoken a little more truth than he realized (2:9)?

Think of how their response must have unraveled all he thought he still knew to be true! Ninevites wear garish clothes they’ve pilfered from their conquered foes. They dance on the ashes of their enemies. They don’t don the costume of penitent sinners who collapse in the ashes of repentance. 

Jonah had preached the kind of sermon that was sure to enflame their wrath but the heat of Yahweh’s judgment had melted their hearts instead! He had condemned their evils in a way that his heart had surely longed to do for years to say! “Forty days and Nineveh will be overthrown!” 

REFLECT: We are left with two thoughts to reflect upon. First, without much knowledge of Yahweh this pagan king throws himself more naturally upon Yahweh’s mercy than Jonah, prophet of Yahweh, did. How can this be? Second, God responds to this mass (though, historically temporary) repentance with mercy. What does this tell us about his character?

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 the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” (Matthew 5:9)

© 2014 - OPC|Milford