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
Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I. (Isaiah 58:8-9)
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.
Lord, we confess our sin. Although You never fail us, in our moments of trial and testing, we quickly question your character and promises—forgetting your past faithfulness. Our wisdom, rather than your Word, has been our lens for judging what is real. Although you have given the supreme sacrifice for us in Jesus Christ, we doubt your love when you ask us to give things up. We have been weak in our trust and love. Please forgive us and heal us and deliver us by your mercy. 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: 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.
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 Guideas we all read the Parables every day this Fall.
Our reading today takes us to a trio of passages that express God’s character as a shepherd toward his people. Here’s what I would like us to do today. Read each passage and then take note of how Jesus is the perfect representation of each characteristic.
So for example. Read Isaiah 40:10-11.
Ask: How is Jesus Christ like a shepherd who cares for his flock? In what ways does He gather his sheep into his arms through the gospel? How does he display gentleness in the gospel?
Now try Psalm 23. You could spend an afternoon and a day in this passage, so simply focus on what stands out to you this time.
Ask: How does Jesus display these characteristics? How is he meeting you at present as your shepherd?
Alright, now try Revelation 7:17. It’s an odd picture isn’t it? The Lamb has become the Shepherd who guides them to springs of living water, so that God can wipe away every tear from their eyes. Here we look ahead to the end.
Pray: Spend a few moments in quiet prayer thanking God that Jesus will complete his work of leading lost sheep home to God.
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.
Yes, Lord, walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you; your name and renown are the desire of our hearts. My soul yearns for you in the night; in the morning my spirit longs for you. (Isaiah 26:8-9)