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
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 130 | Read Mark 1
- 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 131 | Read 2 Samuel 21
- 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?
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 The Songs of Jesus
READ Psalm 18:34–45. 34 He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze. 35 You make your saving help my shield, and your right hand sustains me; your help has made me great. 36 You provide a broad path for my feet, so that my ankles do not give way. 37 I pursued my enemies and overtook them; I did not turn back till they were destroyed. 38 I crushed them so that they could not rise; they fell beneath my feet. 39 You armed me with strength for battle; you humbled my adversaries before me. 40 You made my enemies turn their backs in flight, and I destroyed my foes. 41 They cried for help, but there was no one to save them—to the Lord, but he did not answer. 42 I beat them as fine as windblown dust; I trampled them like mud in the streets. 43 You have delivered me from the attacks of the people; you have made me the head of nations. People I did not know now serve me, 44 foreigners cower before me; as soon as they hear of me, they obey me. 45 They all lose heart; they come trembling from their strongholds.
true greatness. Amid the celebration of military prowess exercised in defense of David’s life against those sent into the wilderness to kill him is a remarkable statement—(literally) “your gentleness has made me great” (verse 35). The word comes from the word for “humble” or “meek.” It was the gentleness God exercised toward an imperfect human being that allowed David his success, and it was the gentleness God taught him through hard lessons over the years that, in the end, was his true greatness. Indeed, the height of the Lord’s greatness was revealed in his ability and willingness to become weak and die for us.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, you said that you are “gentle and humble in heart” (Matthew 11:29)—but I so often am not. You were not concerned about your glory and reputation but I am. You never paid people back in anger but I do. Let your gentleness toward me make me gentle to others. 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.
“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” (2 Tim. 1:7)