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
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” (1 Pet. 1:3)
Prayer of Confession
Resurrected Lord, you’re different now. Ascending to the Father, your humanity takes on a new and startling form. You’re immortal but still fully human, full of resurrection life yet quick to respond to our needs. Like Mary, may we see you through our tears and hear you call our name. Amen. (Prayer based on the Belgic Confession, Question 19)
*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 43 | Read 1 Corinthians 3
- 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: “Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians is a classic of pastoral response: affectionate, firm, clear, and unswerving in the conviction that God among them, revealed in Jesus and present in his Holy Spirit, continued to be the central issue in their lives, regardless of how much of a mess they had made of things.” Meditate on the passage, noting a few words or a phrase that stood out. Take them to God in prayer.
Pray Psalm 44 | Read 2 Chronicles 25
- OT Context: “Sovereignty, God’s sovereignty, is one of the most difficult things for people of faith to live out in everyday routines…This story makes it clear that it was not God’s idea that the Hebrews have a king, but since they insisted, he let them have their way. But God never abdicated his sovereignty to any of the Hebrew kings; the idea was that they would represent his sovereignty, not that he would delegate his sovereignty to them. Reflect on the passage. Who was the original audience, and what was their situation? How is that relevant to you today?
We are in our Spring series in Romans 8. Each day we will dig into a different aspect of this incomparable chapter and see how it alters the way we live “in Christ!”
Read: Romans 8:1-2
During our first week in a series I like to survey what a variety of pastors and scholars have to say about our passage. Here’s what Tim Keller says in his commentary:
“Verse 1 has a double introduction. “Therefore,” Paul begins—in other words, these verses are the consequence of truths he has just been setting out. “Since we have been justified through faith”—these consequences will be the benefits that flow from the great doctrine of justification by faith that Abraham and David knew and lived by, and which was finally and eternally seen and secured at the cross. Paul is saying: In light of all that we have seen, here are three realities that justification brings…
First, there is peace with God (v 1). This is not the same as the peace of God (Philippians 4:7). The peace of God is a calm and satisfied heart in the midst of troubles and pressures. The peace of God is peace with regard to the cares of the world. It is subjective. But peace with God means that the state of hostilities between God and us is now over. Peace with God is peace with regard to God. It is objective, and happens whether or not I feel happy and secure.
“Peace with God” means that, until salvation, there is a war going on between God and us. When we disobey God, two things happen. The first is that when you sin, you not only break his law, but you assume the right or authority to do so—you claim kingship over yourself and your world. But God claims kingship over the same things. Whenever two parties claim absolute kingly control over something, there is a war. The second is that our disobedience means that God has a problem with us. It is not just that we are hostile to him. Paul has already told us that God’s wrath is upon us (Romans 1:18)….God’s anger is not the same as ours. It is not vengeful or vindictive; it is legal. There is a sentence on us, and it cannot just be discarded. The debt cannot be wished away.
This is why we cannot simply turn back to God, as though we on our side can do all that is necessary to be at peace once more. We need it to become true that we “were reconciled to him … [and] have now received reconciliation” (v 9–10)—that his anger has been taken away. Peace with God is not something that we achieve.
REFLECT: Sit with this statement for a few minutes. Consider it from all angles. “Peace with God is not something we achieve.” Now ask: How am I experiencing this peace in my life today?
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.
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” (Eph. 3:20-21)