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
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy we have been born anew to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. (1 Peter 1:3)
Prayer of Confession
Confession is formative. It trains us to recognize the ways our hearts have become de-formed and how Christ is at work bringing redemption in our lives. Pray with this in mind.
Gracious God, we confess that we have longed too much for the comforts of this world. We have loved the gifts more than the giver. In your mercy, help us to see that all the things we pine for are shadows, but you are substance; that they are quicksands, but you are mountain; that they are shifting, but you are anchor. We plead your forgiveness on the merits of Jesus Christ. Accept his worthiness for our unworthiness, his sinlessness for our transgressions, his fullness for our emptiness, his glory for our shame, his righteousness for our dead works, his death for our life. We pray in Jesus’s name. Amen.
Take a moment to confess your sins, knowing that he hears you.
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).
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: The story of Jesus doesn’t end with Jesus. It continues in the lives of those who believe in him. The supernatural does not stop with Jesus. Acts makes it clear that these Christians Luke wrote about were no more spectators of Jesus than Jesus was a spectator of God—they are in on the action of God, God acting in them, God living in them. Which also means, of course, in us. Meditate on the passage, noting a few words or a phrase that stood out. Take them to God in prayer.
OT Context: “Holy” is the word that sets God apart and above our attempts to enlist him in our wish-fulfillment. The first thing that strikes us as we read Leviticus in this light is that this holy God is actually present with us and virtually every detail of our lives is affected by the presence of this holy God; nothing in us, our relationships, or environment is left out. The second thing is that God provides a way (the sacrifices and feasts and Sabbaths) to bring everything in and about us into his holy presence, transformed in the fiery blaze of the holy. Reflect on the passage. Who was the original audience, and what was their situation? How is that relevant to you today?
This section of the Devo focuses on the passage(s) for Sunday’s sermon. Go ahead and read the following passage(s) and use theParables Reading Plan + Study Guideto journal what stands out and what you have questions about in the passages. Below is a helpful commentary that can help to fill in the gaps.
Read: Luke 13:34-35 + Deuteronomy 32:9-12 + Ruth 2:12
There are so many themes present in our parable this week, and our passages today help to bring two more into focus: 1) God’s longing for his relationship with his people to be restored, and 2) his people’s ongoing rejection of his prophets, Messiah, and Yahweh himself. All of this is at play in Jesus’ lament over Jerusalem in Luke 13:34-35.
The context for Jesus’ sorrow is that he has just been given what we might call a friendly warning from a particular group of Pharisees who are (perhaps?) genuinely concerned for Jesus’ safety: “Get out of here, man! Herod wants to kill you!”
King Herod had receive some confusing reports about exactly who Jesus was (Luke 9:9). Some said Elijah, while others said John the Baptist come back from the dead. After taking in these reports, the monarch concludes that it’s not likely to be John “re-capitated” so perhaps this Jesus is another pesky prophetwith whom this tired tetrarch will have to contend. It is not a pleasing prospect for Herod, but better to get on with it and bid the rabbi come for a visit, “Who knows, perhaps Jesus will provide some entertainment with one of his miracles?
Jesus, however, gives no response and Herod’s curiosity eventually turns to rage. History tells us that Herod was likely fearing that another uprising, messianic or otherwise, would remove him from favor in the eyes of his Roman overlords.
Herod’s death threat doesn’t seem to phase Jesus, who responds in a way both belittling to Herod’s political position and revealing of Jesus’ ultimate goal (I’ll paraphrase): “Go tell that fox, I’ve got bigger fish to fry. I’m busy today and tomorrow healing and casting out demons, and then I’ve got an appointment in Jerusalem the day after. So as you can see, I’ve got more pressing kingdom matters to attend to before, obviously, I’m put to death like all the other prophets Jerusalem has killed.”
Then, as he turns toward the city, lament rolls out in an ancient sigh: “Jerusalem…Jerusalem…how often I’ve longed to gather your children, like I did in that howling waste of the wilderness, to gather your children like a hen, encircling you, caring for you, keeping you as the apple of my eye, spreading out my wings to keep you safe…but you refused, you turned away! It’s too late now…” (Luke 13:34-35 and Deut 32:10-11).
Yahweh himself had come down to encircle His people in the howling wilderness waste of their sin and sorrow, but they rejected His tender words, they refused to see the Boaz-like protection He had come to provide (Ruth 2:12).
Ponder: In the gospel Jesus has brought us under His wings. We are safe, secure in his sheltering love. We can confidently say that we are “the apple of God’s eye” and will be forevermore. Spend some time worshiping God for this wonderful, heart-assuring truth today.
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.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. (Psalm 16:6-7)