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
“I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26)
Prayer of Confession
Christ, the go-between God, who can blame the disbelief of the disciples? If a person dies, I don’t expect to see her walking again or sitting down to a meal. You bled and suffered, died, and were buried, yet rose from the dead with that same body, with its healed wounds and working digestive system. And with that same body you now reign in glory. With your scarred hands lifted, pray for me, Jesus. Amen. (Prayer based on the Westminster Confession, Question 8.4)
*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 71 | Read 2 Corinthians 1
- 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 72 | Read Ezra 3
- OT Context: “Ezra led God’s people into an obedient listening to the text of Scripture. Listening and following God’s revelation are the primary ways in which we keep attentively obedient to the living presence of God among us. Ezra made his mark: Worship and Text continue to be foundational for recovering and maintaining identity as the People of God. 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 8:12-17
What stood out to you yesterday as you read? Here are two words that should stand out to you: debtors and sons (and daughters). We will explore each the rest of the week.
Today let’s first wonder at what Paul says in verse 12, “So then, brothers and sisters, we are debtors, not to the flesh…” What does he mean? Take a minute and read back through Romans 8:1-11. Remember all that now belongs to you in Christ because of God uniting you to Christ and his Spirit now dwelling within you. Paul is trying to get us to look back on who gave us all of the freedom we now enjoy in Christ.
In Christ we are freed from the vicious cycle of sin and death. We’ve talked some about what that cycle looks like but here’s a short list from Galatians 5: “biting and devouring one another with lies and gossip, sexual desire run wild, worshipping anything, everything (including yourself) instead of God), enmity and strife toward someone who has done you wrong, jealousy about your life not going according to your plans, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, and (you’d think Paul wouldn’t have to say it, but he does) orgies.” It’s a pretty detailed description and, lest we let ourselves off the hook too easily, Paul throws in “and things like these.”
Those of us who are “in Christ Jesus” have been given “life and peace” by God’s Spirit who now dwells in us. We have heard the verdict of “no condemnation” spoken over us once and for all time. Paraphrasing Ray Ortlund: We don’t owe the flesh anything, because the flesh hasn’t ever given us anything but bitter misery and heartache. The flesh is like a low-life boyfriend with whom there’s just no future. Christ calls us to himself and gives us hope and a future, a life worth living. How could we ever go back and flirt with the flesh any more? We owe all our happiness to Christ!
REFLECT: If “Christ is in you,” not only do you have a bright future with Christ, but you don’t owe your deadbeat flesh anything. In fact, you owe it to yourself, to pursue your relationship with Christ who has given himself for you.
More than this we owe it to Christ because he has lavished us with such unexpected, undeserved, never-stopping, never-giving-up love.
Take some time to thank God for his loving you to life, and ask him to show you areas of yourself that you’ve held back from him, and to give you the willingness to let them go in order to hold fast to him!
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.
“Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love.” (Ephesians 6:24)