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.
God of grace, you love us, but we have not loved you. You call, but we have not listened. We walk away from neighbors in need, wrapped up in our own concerns. By our actions and our attitudes we praise what you condemn. Help us to admit our sin, so that as you come to us in mercy we may repent, turn to you, and receive forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Redeemer. 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).
Pray Psalm 124 | Read Luke 13
- 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 125 | Read Exodus 7
- OT Context: The Exodus is a powerful and dramatic and true story of God working salvation. The story has generated an extraordinary progeny through the centuries as it has reproduced itself in song and poem, drama and novel, politics and social justice, repentance and conversion, worship and holy living. It continues to capture the imagination of men and women, especially men and women in trouble. It is significant that God does not present us with salvation in the form of an abstract truth, or a precise definition or a catchy slogan, but as story. 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. Use it to reflect upon the ways Christ has been working in your life this week. Makes a great midday reflection, or group discussion guide. Follow along with our Parables Reading Plan + Study Guide as we all read the Parables every day this Fall.
Read: Luke 6:47-49
In Paul’s message this coming weekend, he will focus on what we are building our lives upon using Matthew’s version of the parable. Here’s something special for today, though.
Notice the “earthiness” of Luke’s version. Go back and read it again. The man digs down deep. Can you hear the shovel tearing open the soil? The heavy thud as stones are set in place and the foundation takes form? The violent floodwaters as they thunder and break across the well-laid rocks of the house’s foundation? Luke gives us two verses packed with imagery to awaken our biblical imagination and to sharpen our understanding of the way our inner world is formed.
Our inner worlds, our hearts, were created to be places of worship (1 Peter. 3:15). We were created to worship God as our Maker and, in Christ, as our Redeemer. Yet, all of us know that our affections are often fickle. We love and worship and stake our lives upon many things besides Jesus and, as we do, we create what the Bible calls idols. An idol is anything more important to you than God. Anything that absorbs your heart and imagination more than God. Anything so central to your life that losing it diminishes you and drives you into the arms of anxiety and fear. God on the other hand is continually described as the only rock, refuge, shield form the storms of life who brings life and peace (Romans 8:6) to those who make him the foundation of their lives.
Here’s the question I want to ask you today: Does this parable bring you assurance or feelings of condemnation? There are many Christians who read this and immediately think of all the ways in which their lives are not measuring up to Jesus’ standard.
Good news, friend! Your acceptance before God the Father is not contingent on the quality of your faith! Your acceptance with God is placed completely on Jesus Christ who is your Rock and Redeemer. If you are a Christian, then make this parable a matter of worship before God. Thank him for moving you off of the sandy foundations you had set for yourself and securing you within the deep foundations of his steadfast love for you in Christ!
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.
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” (Psalm 91:1-2)