On the three-legged stool of God's presence with us--Public Presence, Private Presence, Practicing Presence--the Daily Office (Latin, divine service/duty) is designed to stimulate the Private Presence of each Christian. At Grace, we desire to help our members spend time with the Lord daily. Our Daily Office consists of prayers and Scripture readings for every day of the week. The daily Bible readings cover the whole Bible in one year. Each day contains readings from the Psalms and Wisdom Literature, the Pentateuch and History of Israel, the Chronicles and Prophets, and the Gospels and Epistles.
The spiritual discipline of Bible reading and study is no mere box to be checked off in a “daily Christian to do” list. We must not read God’s Word mindlessly. Rather, as we read the text we should expect the Holy Spirit to teach us things about God, to show us how we have fallen short of His glory, and at the same time reassure us of how Christ fills that need in the gospel. As we learn to converse with the Holy Spirit about the glory of Christ in His Gospel, we will worship God and be better prepared to serve The Lord in our church and culture. So, we must ask God to engage our mind, will and emotions, in order for us to see the glory of God in Christ and to motivate us to take part in God’s mission of being a blessing to the world. To do these things here are some questions to ask yourself as you listen to God speaking to you through His Word:
In the area of doctrine:
-What is God calling me to believe about Him?
-How should I praise God as a result of this teaching?
In the area of character:
-How does Christ fulfill what God requires of me?
-What is God showing me about my heart in this passage?
-What sins do I need to confess? How do I need to change?
In the area of community:
-Who does God have to help me grow as a Christian?
-How can I help the community? Build the church?
In the area of culture:
-Am I a part of what God is doing in His Kingdom?
Similarly, the spiritual discipline of prayer cannot be viewed simply as a daily entry on a “self-righteousness” ledger. Prayer is sweet communion with the Living God. The Holy Spirit applies His Word to our present circumstances and propels us to honor Christ in them. In response to God’s gracious speech to us in the gospel, we speak words of adoration and recommit our hearts to Him.
As you use this devotional format, our hope is that you will keep these things in mind and expect to encounter God as He lovingly encounters and speaks to you as His child.