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
Resurrected Lord, your crafty Holy Spirit gets into the deepest places of human lives, loosing locked-down hearts and softening crusty ones. You turn evil to good, overhauling stubborn resistance into a life yielded to you so that I produce good fruit. I praise you for this surprising good 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
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 75 | Read 2 Corinthians 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: “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 76 | Read Ezra 5
- 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 8:14-16
The Heidelberg Catechism, like our passage today, begins with a triumphant affirmation:
Question: What is your only comfort in life and in death?
Answer: That I am not my own, but belong – body and soul, in life and in death – to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ. He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil. He also watches over me in such a way that not a hair can fall from my head without the will of my Father in heaven; in fact, all things must work together for my salvation. Because I belong to him, Christ, by his Holy Spirit, assures me of eternal life and makes me whole-heartedly willing and ready from now on to live for him.
If you believe that is true, then that is a reality you can build your life on. Belonging. Life and death. Our tab fully, eternally paid. Freedom from oppressive spiritual forces. Being cared for down to the very hairs we fear are creating a “widows peak.” Active providential oversight of my rescue from the fomenting waters of my sin. Assurance of life that goes on and on getting better with each day.
Ray Ortlund notes that in these verses, “Paul identifies three ways we can know for sure that God loves us, three warrants for assurance of our salvation…
- First, God’s children are led by God’s Spirit…The Christian experience is not a static state but an ongoing pilgrimage, as the Spirit leads us to put to death specific sins here and there in our personalities and finances and schedules and relationships and goals, and so forth. God knows better than we do where we need to move forward into deeper life by dying to ourselves. So he puts his finger on this and then on that, giving us the courage to keep moving forward, one step at a time. And Paul is saying that that progress in sanctification is how we prove that we really are ‘sons of God’. God’s true children are growing and changing and seeing things in a new way.
- that God’s children have been psychologically liberated from dread and have begun to taste delight: “‘For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!” (v. 15). Through Christ, we enter into a new relationship with God – not only a new theology, but also a new relational nearness…No longer is God the dreaded slave-master we thought he was…the Holy Spirit of adoption, the Spirit of acceptance and overflowing love, enables us to perceive God as our dear heavenly Father.
- God’s children receive the witness of the Holy Spirit to their own spirits that they belong to God: ‘The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God’ (verse 16). According to verse 15, our hearts cry out to God. But verse 16 is even more profound. The Spirit himself bears witness to our spirits. This is a mystery, but very real and wonderful. The third warrant for assurance of salvation is the personal touch of God in the depths of your being.”
REFLECT: Have you experienced the witness of the Holy Spirit indicating that you are a child of God? Describe these experiences. And then spend some time thanking God for his reassurance of your adoption in Christ!
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)