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

“Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” (Eph. 5:14)

Prayer of Confession

Good Shepherd, keep me alert to your unconventional friends and followers, wherever they may be found: people of faith who stand against what is wrong and pursue what is right; people who love God and serve their neighbors; people who nail pretense and pride, ego and arrogance. Wherever your church is, make it recognizable by its likeness to Jesus. Amen.  (Prayer based on the Belgic Confession, Question 29)

*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 85 | Read 2 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 86 | Read Ezra 10

  • 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?

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 8:18-25

“And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we are saved…”

There’s so much in these verses for us to see! Let’s start by getting our feet under us. Yesterday we saw how Creation longs to be renewed, and how, as Ray Ortlund puts it, “Everything suffering and death take away from us God will give back to us, and in better condition.”

Now that’s a sure promise to build your life upon! Our bodies and all Creation will experience full redemption. But more than this we will finally and fully experience our adoption as sons and daughters of God.See that line there?

“…as we wait early for adoption as sons…”

What does this mean? After all, didn’t Paul already say that we have been adopted (Rom. 8:15)? Tim Keller explains,

How can Paul tell us to wait for this, when in verse 15 he has said we are already adopted?! It means that though we are legally adopted, we have not yet received the fullness of family resemblance, and not yet enjoyed the final celebration of our status. We are adopted, and will be made into full family members.

This is great news for us! But let’s put the two ideas together. 

Death no longer gets the final word on us. We’ve quite literally been adopted out of the prison camp of death and into the kingdom of God’s beloved Son (Colossians 1:13). Our adoption is legal and binding, but we have not fully experienced what it is like to dwell in the house of our Father, the good King, forever (Psalm 23). So we are taking on the family traits now so that when we arrive we’ll be ready to celebrate our homecoming!

Death cannot take this from us and so we have hope! And yet death is not a natural part of The Lion King’s circle of life. We don’t want to become fertilizer (as one little boy put it)! 

“…we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, inwardly groan…

Paul was being utterly realistic when he wrote that line. We groan with the pains of age and sorrow. We long because our memory extends to happier days gone by but also with the hope of eternal joy set before us by our risen Savior Jesus Christ. 

REFLECT: George Herbert, that great Anglican poet said, “Death used to be an executioner, but the Gospel makes him just a gardener.” I love that image. Death is simply planting us so that we can rise into the undying lands of the New Creation. This is what it means to be a child of God. It is to have unshakeable, undying hope. Spend some time today thanking God for being your Father who has brought you into his family. 

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.


“Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (Heb. 13:20-21)