January 8 | 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)

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice
is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” ~Matthew 7:24

Abraham is a man of faith, yet he often doubts that God can protect him, as evidenced by the fact that he once more lies to save his own skin (Gen. 20). Sometimes people of faith struggle with doubt. And sometimes those same people take a step so bold that it’s almost unbelievable. In one of the most critical moments of his parenting life, Abraham, the man who struggles to trust in God’s protection, believes God will provide for him in a big way if he obeys. Asked to do the unthinkable, Sacrifice your beloved son, Isaac!, he gets up early in the morning and obeys without delay (Gen. 22:3). He knows that if God is asking him to do something like this, He has a plan and a way to protect the heir He had promised (Gen. 22:8, 13-14). And God does.

Obeying God’s Word requires great faith, and sometimes obedience goes against everything we feel and think! Modern Christians won’t be putting their children on a pyre, but there are plenty of hard things God asks people to do in faith. Stay in a difficult marriage. Leave a lucrative career for vocational ministry. Go on a mission trip to help save orphans. Give away ten-percent or more of that hard earned income. Refuse to get even with someone, instead returning good for evil. Submit to an unreasonable boss. Tell the truth even if it hurts the business. Separate from a colleague who has questionable values.

When Abraham needed a sacrifice to complete his act of obedience, there was a ram in a nearby thicket. God responds to faithful action by providing what we need when we need it. Don’t just listen to the words of the Bible; commit to do what it says (Matt. 7:24)!

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.