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September 1st devo image, a coffee shop.

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

“I will praise you, Lord, among the nations; I will sing of you among the peoples. For great is your love, reaching to the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies.” (Ps. 57:9-10)

Prayer of Confession

Covenant God, how could your people be so close to the promise—almost tasting the milk and honey—and yet fail to receive it? Keep my heart from failing to grab hold of your promises. Take this heart and make it yours so that I give up everything rather than run against your will. In the Savior’s name, amen. (Prayer based on the Heidelberg Catechism, Question 94)

*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 126 | Read Matthew 27

  • 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: Matthew provides the comprehensive context by which we see all God’s creation and salvation completed in Jesus, and all the parts of our lives—work, family, friends, memories, dreams—also completed in Jesus. Lacking such a context, we are in danger of seeing Jesus as a mere diversion from the concerns announced in the newspapers. Nothing could be further from the truth. Meditate on the passage, noting a few words or a phrase that stood out. Take them to God in prayer.

Evening Readings:

Pray Psalm 127 | Read 2 Samuel 19

  • OT Context: “Four lives dominate the two-volume narrative, First and Second Samuel: Hannah, Samuel, Saul, and David. Chronologically, the stories are clustered around the year 1000 b.c., the millennial midpoint between the call of Abraham, the father of Israel, nearly a thousand years earlier (about 1800 b.c.) and the birth of Jesus, the Christ, a thousand years later.” Reflect on the passage. Who was the original audience, and what was their situation? How is that relevant to you today?

Sermon Devo

This summer we are exploring what it means to keep “in step” with the Spirit. Each week we will consider a specific fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5) by looking at other stories and themes throughout Scripture that express this fruit.

Today’s devotional comes from Tim and Kathy Keller’s God’s Wisdom for Navigating Life

Read:Proverbs 17:27

The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint, and whoever has understanding is even-tempered. (17:27)

CALM WORDS. An even-tempered person is cool spirited. A hot-spirited person is excitable, impatient, and insistent on having their say now. A cool-spirited person is calm and patient. The wise know what they have to say may be true and crucial, but they also know God is in charge and only he can open hearts (cf. Acts 16:14; John 6:44).

“Three reasons can be found for this praise of calmness. First, it allows time for a fair hearing (Proverbs 18:13; cf. verse 17); second, it allows tempers to cool (15:1: “A gentle answer”); and third, its influence is potent: “A gentle tongue can break a bone” (25:15).152 Jesus never gave way to unrestrained or inflamed speech even when under the greatest affliction (Isaiah 53:7) or the greatest provocation (1 Peter 2:23). Keep in mind, though, Jesus is not merely an example to live up to. As your Savior he can send you his Holy Spirit, which gives us an inner love for him and changes us into his likeness.

Are your words always even tempered and calm? When was the last time they were not? What was the result?

Prayer: Father, when Elijah listened for you, you were not in the earthquake, wind, or fire but in the “still, small voice.” Though my sin should provoke you, you do not respond to me in wrath but in grace. Make my words calm and gracious, too. Amen.

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

“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” (2 Tim. 1:7)

© 2014 - OPC|Milford