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

“Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Cor. 15:57)

Prayer of Confession

Jesus, friend of sinners, your resurrected life is not a private experience or a soothing metaphor but a stubborn public reality. May your well-attested resurrection impel me to openly announce the outrageously good news—that sins are forgiven through what you have done when the gospel promise is received in true faith. Amen. (Prayer based on Heidelberg Catechism, Question 84)

*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 53 | Read 1 Corinthians 8

  • 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 54 | Read 2 Chronicles 30

  • 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 8:5-11

We ended yesterday by noting that we cannot make ourselves live according to the ANYthing. We lack the life-imparting power we so desperately long for. Instead what happens in the gospel is that we are made alive by God’s Spirit. 

So today we’re asking: What does it mean to be made alive by the Spirit of God? 

“…those who live according to the spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit…”

The English translation here can be a bit misleading because there is no verb for live in the Greek. Ray Ortlund explains it this way, Paul’s literal wording is “those who are according to the Spirit” Paul is describing “two diametrically opposed orientations to life underlying and controlling the way we live.” 

How do you become someone who “is according to the Spirit”? The answer is all throughout Romans, but especially in Romans 6:3-4: “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” 

You have to be united to Christ in death and resurrection! Revealing Christ to us and then giving us union with Christ is the work that God by his Spirit does in us by grace through faith. Those who are according to the Spirit are first united to Christ by the Spirit so that they can walk in newness of life. 

“Because of our union with Christ, we have new potential,” writes Paul David Tripp, 

“Paul is saying that because of our union with Christ, the life that now animates us, that is, ignites new thoughts, desires, and actions, is not ours; it’s Christ’s. The gospel is not a system of self-reformation. The gospel is about a union that rescues and transforms us. There is something more than a desire for change and a commitment to self-discipline that changes us…Because we are united to him, we are empowered by him to do what we could never have done before.”

This is a much neglected teaching in the Christian life. Yet union with Christ is how we are made “alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Romans 6:11), and this wondrous doctrine of the Christian faith is essential in order for us to understand how it is that Christians come to be “those who are according to the Spirit” and where our new spiritual appetites come from: they come from Christ, and they are meant to spiritually sustain us on our journey. More tomorrow, but for now let’s reflect.

REFLECT: Union with Christ means that we have “new potential” for pleasing God. How have you experienced this new potential? How has you felt that potential being thwarted in your life?

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

“Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:29)

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