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

Lord God, I’m sluggish in faith, thick of head, and I need your Holy Spirit’s power to help me see Jesus in all the Scriptures and in the breaking of bread. Kindle in me a burning heart of rich faith that opens my eyes and recognizes you as Lord. Amen. (Prayer based on the Heidelberg Catechism, Question 65)

*Prayer borrowed from Philip Reinders’ Seeking God’s Face: Praying with the Bible through the Year

Reading Plan

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).

Morning Readings:

Pray Psalm 45 | Read 1 Corinthians 4

  • 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.

Evening Readings:

Pray Psalm 46 | Read 2 Chronicles 26

  • 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?

Sermon Devo

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. In Ray Ortlund’s very readable commentary, Supernatural Living for Natural People, he notes,

The key word in Romans 8 is Spirit. In chapters 1-7, the word Spirit appears only five times. In chapters 9-16 Spirit occurs eight times. But here in chapter 8 the word Spirit suddenly bursts onto the scene 21 times – usually referring to the Holy Spirit of God – more often than in any other chapter of the entire New Testament.

So God’s provision for weak Christians is the Holy Spirit. We do need to get tough on our sinful impulses. But our own self-monitoring cannot actually change us. God’s transforming provision for sinning Christians is the sin-expelling Holy Spirit. The reason grace succeeds where law fails is that, while law is empowered by our own good intentions, grace is empowered by the Holy Spirit.

We need a fresh rediscovery of the Holy Spirit in our lives and in our churches today. I am thankful for the honesty of John Stott:

The best way to begin is to stress the importance of our subject by confessing our great need of the power of the Holy Spirit today. We are ashamed of the general worldliness of the church and disturbed by its weakness, its steadily diminishing influence on the country as a whole. Moreover, many of us are oppressed by our own personal failures in Christian life and Christian ministry. We are conscious that we fall short both of the experience of the early church and of the plain promises of God in his Word. We are thankful indeed for what God has done and is doing, and we do not want to denigrate his grace by minimizing it. But we hunger and thirst for more. We long for ‘revival,’ an altogether supernatural visitation of the Holy Spirit in the church, and meanwhile for a deeper, richer, fuller experience of the Holy Spirit in our own lives.

We do not need more frightening punishments and more withering scoldings. We need the all-sufficiency of Jesus applied in rich measure to our deepest points of personal need. And that is what the Holy Spirit does. He internalizes the triumphs of Christ crucified within the depths of the human being, so that our inclinations start changing from evil to good. The law cannot do that. The law tells us to pump harder, but the Holy Spirit makes springs of living water flow from within. The law tells us to pedal faster, but the Holy Spirit fills our sails. And that is the power of real holiness.”

REFLECT: Romans 8 reminds me of William Cowper’s hymn “Love Constraining to Obedience” where he writes,

To see the Law by Christ fulfilled,
To hear His pardoning voice,
Changes a slave into a child
And duty into choice.

This is the work of the Spirit in us. He helps us hear God’s pardoning voice. He cries within our hearts that we are children of God (Romans 8 + Galatians 4). Duty turns into delightful choice!

Is this your experience of the Christian life? Ask God in pray to grow this mindset within you by his Spirit.

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.

Benediction

“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)

© 2014 - OPC|Milford