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

“Since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. . . . Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Heb. 4:14, 16)

Prayer of Confession

Lord Jesus, in your ascension you brought me into fellowship with the Father and the Holy Spirit, the eternal community of divine persons. May your church be one as you are one, God in three persons, and may that unity catch the attention of a broken world. Amen. (Prayer based on the Belgic Confession, Question 27)

*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 125 | Read Philippians 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: “This is Paul’s happiest letter. And the happiness is infectious. Before we’ve read a dozen lines, we begin to feel the joy ourselves—the dance of words and the exclamations of delight have a way of getting inside us. This letter guides Christians on how to honor each other as they endure overwhelming circumstances” Meditate on the passage, noting a few words or a phrase that stood out. Take them to God in prayer.

Evening Readings:

Pray Psalm 126 | Read Esther 7

  • OT Context: Esther was a Jewish orphan in Persia who rose into prominence as she learned of a plot to eradicate the Jews. As the only book in the Bible that has no mention of God, Esther shows us that God is working even when we are not aware of it.” 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 8:31-39

This week we have been looking at Paul’s four unanswerable questions in our passage to help us to know the height and breadth and depth of God’s love for us in Christ. Today we turn to his final question, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?”

When romantic love between humans becomes endangered, or a friendship experiences external pressures that threaten to tear it apart, our natural response is to ask this sort of a question: Is this the thing that ends our marriage? Are we friends anymore? Is there a future here? Will you just abandon me later? 

We know that life can be brutal. Things don’t always turn out the way we want. 

Elizabeth Elliot, the missionary, author and professor, knew this well.* As a missionary she and her husband Jim experienced many disappointments and losses. One year a flood devastated the Amazonian village where they were ministering and washed away a year’s hard labor. Another time their translation notes—in which their team had invested years—were stolen.

Ultimately a breakthrough in their work came when Jim and the other men of their missionary team were able to finally make contact with the Waorani people they had been working to reach for years! The whole team sang hymns and praised God the night before the men travelled into the rainforest to meet with some of the tribe, but even this success ended tragically when all five men were speared to death, leaving Elizabeth and many others widowed with very young children, and in the exact kind of circumstances Paul is describing: afflicted, distressed, persecuted, and in danger. 

This is to be expected in the life of Christians, Paul tells us. Suffering isn’t a detour on the highway of life. It’s the main road. Psalm 44, which Paul quotes, points us to this reality, which Ray Ortlund summarizes well, “The world is one vast slaughterhouse—what a perspective! It is not pretty, but it does match the facts, because God’s people do suffer. And they cannot always make sense of it.”

Yet Paul isn’t depressed. He’s not distraught and wondering if God has abandoned him and the other Christians who were part of the early church. Instead he is strangely confident. Bold, brash even in his assertion about what suffering in this life means for a Christian. He says, “…in ALL these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am SURE that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” 

Wow! Notice the words in caps: ALL these things…I am SURE…don’t stand a chance of separating me from Christ’s love. Paul essentially says,

“You could kill me or put me through a hellish existence; the Roman government could come for me; my current circumstances could bankrupt me, or I could lose everything in the future; you could abandon me on Everest or drown me in the Marianna Trench but there ain’t no way you could separate me (or anyone else in Christ) from the love of God!” 

It’s a “stick that in your pipe and smoke it” gospel moment. If we get the gospel at this level, if we are so confident in God’s person, then even the things that shake us to our core cannot ultimately destroy us! And that, my friends, is a promise that you can build your life upon!

REFLECT: We’ve just finished our final week in Romans 8. Take some time and reflect on how God might want you to respond to the assurances and comforts he has spoken to you here. Write it out and post it on your fridge, your mirror, or on the dash in your car. Don’t let your mediation on what God has done for you in Christ stop here!

*Elizabeth Elliot’s experiences ultimately lead her to write extensively on the theme of trusting God when we do not understand him.

One of her books, a novel entitled No Graven Image, features a heroine, Margaret, who performing Bible translation work in Ecuador. Her efforts are ultimately thwarted because just as she’s on the verge of a breakthrough with her translation work, she accidentally plays a role in the death of her main contact who knows the unwritten dialect she’s working to translate Scripture into. Margaret is devastated, and there’s no campy Christian ending to the tale either.

I’ll leave you to read the rest of the story, but Elliot’s point is clear: Suffering often clarifies for us the graven images in our lives that we sometimes mistake for the real God. 

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.


“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!” (Rev. 5:13)