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
“Shout for joy to God, all the earth! Sing the glory of his name; make his praise glorious.” (Ps. 66:1-2)
Prayer of Confession
Holy God, I confess I’m not far from murder because I see shoots of it snaking through my heart. The ugly wish for another to fail, bitter sarcasm, anger I throw like grenades, even the secretly guarded prejudice I keep locked down. Kill off this ugly root and grow the good fruit of love. In Christ who died for me. Amen. (Prayer based on the Heidelberg Catechism, Question 106)
*Prayer borrowed from Philip Reinders’ Seeking God’s Face: Praying with the Bible through the Year
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 14 | Read Luke 2
- 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: Mark wastes no time in getting down to business—a single-sentence introduction, and not a digression to be found from beginning to end. An event has taken place that radically changes the way we look at and experience the world, and he can’t wait to tell us about it. There’s an air of breathless excitement in nearly every sentence he writes. Meditate on the passage, noting a few words or a phrase that stood out. Take them to God in prayer.
Pray Psalm 15 | Read 1 Kings 14
- 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?
This week marks our 10th year as a church. So in celebration of God’s faithfulness, we are re-running a series of devotions from the Psalm 13 about God’s faithfulness in his person, promises, and provision.
Read Psalm 13:1-2 (again)
Did you notice anything new as you read those two verses for the second time? Yesterday we focused on David calling God by his covenant-making and covenant-keeping name: Yahweh. David didn’t hold anything back from God, and we don’t need to hold anything back either, because God in Jesus Christ didn’t hold himself back by entering into our suffering.
That’s our ultimate hope, but in the moment we’re right there with David in Verse 1. Eugene Peterson translates that raw emotion well: “Long enough, God—you’ve ignored me long enough. I’ve looked at the back of your head long enough!” The hurt is personal. God is not some distant deity for David. No. David’s constant longing in the Psalms is to “behold God’s face” (11:7; 17:15; cf. 27:4, 8; 34:5). Now it’s as though his friendship with Yahweh has clouded over. He feels forsaken (Psalm 22).
Now David’s spends his days with his stomach tied up in knots trying to find a scenario that does not finish in a dead end. And then, to top it all off, David’s enemy stands there taunting his ineptitude, mocking his inability to figure this out on his own (v.2). But it’s worse than that.
David asks the same question four times in these two verses: “How much longer…?” Sound familiar? How many times have you and I asked this in recent weeks? The problem for David and for us is of timing and our wrestling with God’s “delays.”
Perhaps the real danger for David and for us is not that we’ll blow up at God, but that we will wear out. Maybe that’s what you’re feeling right now? Just plain worn out. Exhausted by waiting for God to provide rescue, healing, and help? And all the while, our troubles seem to go on much longer than we think that God in His mercy would allow.
What we really need, then, is an expanded sense of God and his mercy. Our trouble with God’s timing is really that we have far too large a view of ourselves and far too small a view of what God’s goodness, mercy, faithfulness, and steadfast love can and do look like in our lives. So as we hurl our woes at God. Let’s also ask Him to expand our experience and understanding of his mercy and love. Ask Him to bring relief, but also ask that He would bring with it a deeper relationship for you with Himself. Because, as we will see, that’s what we’ll see David experienced.
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.
“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” (Matthew 5:5)