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

“Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. . . . The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.” (Ps. 126:2-3)

Prayer of Confession

Living God, why am I shy to venture out and make disciples? Your words are an invitation to experience a fetching way of life. Teach me that following Jesus is not a spectator sport but a full-contact experience, joining with your Holy Spirit who is already at work in the world. Send me with courage, knowing that your mission is not dependent on my persuasive words but your Holy Spirit’s powerful work. Amen. (Prayer based on the Canons of Dort, Question 3/4.14)

*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 103 | Read Galatians 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 letter to the Galatian churches helps them, and us, recover the original freedom of the gospel. It also gives direction in the nature of God’s gift of freedom—most necessary guidance, for freedom is a delicate and subtle gift, easily perverted and often squandered.” Meditate on the passage, noting a few words or a phrase that stood out. Take them to God in prayer.

Evening Readings:

Pray Psalm 104 | Read Nehemiah 9

  • OT Context: “Nehemiah started out as a government worker in the employ of a foreign king. Then he became—and this is the work he tells us of in these memoirs—a building contractor, called in to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. His coworker Ezra was a scholar and teacher, working with the Scriptures. Nehemiah worked with stones and mortar. The stories of the two men are interwoven in a seamless fabric of vocational holiness. Neither job was more or less important or holy than the other. Nehemiah needed Ezra; Ezra needed Nehemiah. God’s people needed the work of both of them. We still do. 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

Yesterday we concluded by saying that the Law of God sets love in motion toward God, neighbors, and ourselves, which means that obeying God’s law has everything to do with loving and sacrificially serving our neighbors. Because of Christ we no longer look at our obedience as the measure of our acceptance with God. Instead we obey as a matter of holiness, of growing up in Christ, of taking on the family traits of our adoptive family. 

This means that when we read a command like “Do Not Kill” (the 6th commandment, if you’re counting), we understand that truly keeping this command is not merely a matter of not murdering another person, but also, paraphrasing the Westminster Larger Catechism: 

soberly using our food, drink, medicine, sleep, work, and recreations to the benefit of others and not only ourselves; cultivating love, compassion, meekness, gentleness, kindness, being peaceable, being mild and courteous in our speech and behavior, forbearing with others, maintaining a readiness to be reconciled when conflict arises, patiently seeking to forgive when harmed, and requiting good for evil; comforting and supporting the distressed in their time of need, and protecting and defending the innocent (WLC, Q135). 

Writing around 100 years earlier, Calvin notes:

“Each man ought to concern himself with the safety of all….We are accordingly commanded, if we find anything of use to us in saving our neighbors’ lives, faithfully to employ it; if there is anything that makes for their peace, to see to it; if anything harmful, to ward it off; if they are in any danger, to lend a helping hand.

That’s quite a list from our Christian ancestors! What am I driving at? The reason we do something like Neighbor Day is not simply to “do good” to others. It is a direct, loving, joy-filled, walking-according-to-the-Spirit obedience to what God says is best for us and for society! Imagine a world where everyone looked around and found things they could do to save their neighbors and neighborhoods from poverty! A world where inadequate nutrition and housing are met with a direct response from God’s people. Isn’t that the world we all want? 

It’s a world that we, weakened by the flesh, could not create on our own. In our flesh all we can look forward to is fleshly obedience to the sixth commandment which produces, as Ray Ortlund notes, at best “demoralizing failure” and “(far worse) an illusion of success” in perfectly obeying God. No wonder Paul says at the end of Romans 7: “Who will deliver me from this body of death?” Romans 8 is all about living in sync with the freedom that Christ has secured for you which must inevitably lead to desiring to obey God’s perfect moral law.

REFLECT: Want to know how to live a Spirit-directed life? Start with the 10 Commandments. Turn them over in your mind and consider, as have so many previous generations of the church, what it might look like to obey them in relationship to your neighbors.

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.


“Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.” (Jude 21)