January 20 | 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)

“‘I am God, the God of your father, ‘ he said. ‘Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make you into a great nation there.’” ~God to Jacob, Genesis 46:3

Genesis, literally translated “the book of beginnings, “ focuses on individuals like Adam, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph, but their stories fit into a larger narrative. For example, Joseph’s story of betrayal and blessing advances God’s greater purpose for the people of Israel: They settled in the region of Goshen in Egypt at the invitation of first Joseph and then Pharaoh himself. The people acquired property and did quite well for themselves while growing in number (Gen. 47:27).

Have you thought of your life as part of a larger story? God blesses individuals for their own sake as well as for the good of others. He is at work for you, showing you grace on the adventurous journey of life and making you fruitful in the land of your suffering (Gen. 41:52). At the same time, He is at work through you. Others are impacted by the choices you make. Your family, your friends, and your fellow citizens, regardless of race or religion, can receive blessing through you.

You are part of God’s story, the great narrative of blessing that extends from Abraham in Genesis 12, through Israel’s growth and trials, the life of Jesus Christ, and the missions story of the last two millennia. Do you play your part well, even when it is difficult? Have you embraced the fact that God utilizes the hard parts of your story to contribute to the good of others? It requires faith to keep your eyes fixed on Jesus, the Lord of your story, but you can trust Him. Sure, He rebukes those who lack faith because He wants His followers to trust Him. Yet, even when your trust wavers, He’s willing to help you the moment that you ask (Matt. 14:30-31).

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.