January 7 | Daily Devotion

If you plan to read every verse of Scripture this year, use the  Lectio Continua (continuous reading) passages. The  Lectio Semi-continua (shorter reading) is an abbreviated selection of verses from the day’s passages. Lectio Divina (divine reading) is Pastor Lionel Young’s commentary on the daily readings. See the Resources page on the Lectio Divina website for additional study helps.

Lectio Continua: a continuous reading of every verse

Lectio Semi-continua: shorter reading selections from the passages

Lectio Divina (meditation on the text)

“With the coming of dawn, the angels urged Lot, saying,
‘Hurry! Take your wife and your daughters who are here,
or you will be swept away when the city is punished.’
When he hesitated, the men grasped his hands…
and led [the family] safely out of the city…” ~Genesis 19:15-16

The experiences of Lot’s family are a harrowing reminder of just how much culture can influence our lives. Lot and his wife have fallen in love with this beautiful place, and neither can bear the thought of leaving Sodom. They cling to the city like sentimental homeowners deliberately disregarding the threat of a looming storm. Although Lot is a God-follower, the surrounding culture has an eroding effect on both his morals and his influence over his family. The things he is willing to do to appease his neighbors would have once been unthinkable (Gen. 19:6-8). In the end, Lot’s family is so impacted by their time in Sodom that his wife is lost to him and his daughters commit a deplorable sin.

Lot’s story is a cautionary tale reminding us to be “culturally aware.” Influences are all around us, and like the proverbial frog in the kettle, we can gradually become like the culture in which we’re immersed. Sometimes the influences are obvious, like the use of sex in marketing. Other influences are more subtle: the wholesale worship of sports (commentators are even using this turn of phrase) or ambivalent attitudes toward divorce. Be alert to the way culture shapes attitudes and opinions in the world around you. When you pray “deliver us from the Evil One” in the Lord’s prayer, consider the ways in which you may be influenced by the culture in which you live (Matt. 6:13).

Lectio Divina  is written by F. Lionel Young III, who serves as the senior pastor of  Calvary Church  in Valparaiso, Indiana. He is the author of  A New Kind of Missionary, a popular introduction to global Christianity.