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
Incarnate God, this body you’ve given me—good and beautiful as it is—bleeds, breaks down, and eventually will betray me. Thank you, God, for the deep hope that one day, by the power of Christ, I will walk on strong limbs, listen to the sound of glory, see true blue skies, think clearly, dance unfettered and free, and kneel before you lost in wonder and worship. Thank you that my future is not some ethereal existence but a truly human resurrected life. Amen.(Prayer based on Heidelberg Catechism, Question 57)
*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 67 | Read 1 Corinthians 15
- 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 68 | Read Ezra 1
- 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 8:1-11
Ray Ortlund has given us so much to consider this week that it seems a shame to not finish the week out with his insights on the final verse of this passage:
If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you —Romans 8:11
“Of course, the Bible is not saying that God will make you eighteen again forever. Initially, that might seem attractive. But God is saying more, because when you were eighteen your youthful body was dead even then. God will raise our bodies, which even now are ‘dead’ (v. 10) and ‘mortal’ (v. 11), and he will ‘give life’ to our bodies at the resurrection of the just.
God is promising that you are going to be better than when you were at your best – better by far. You have never experienced yet what you are going to be. You and I have never experienced real life. We have seen it, because whatever God did in raising Jesus on that first Easter Sunday he will do for us too. We will become invulnerable to death and disease and pain and aging. No more medications, no more walkers, no more arthritis, no more cancer or headaches or MS or sexually transmitted diseases. No need for sleep. No sinful urges raging within. No possibility of injury. Instead, full energy, full capacities, full intensity, full control, full alertness, acute sensitivity to everything worthy in an atmosphere of unmixed, holy joy forever and ever. That is the triumph of God’s Spirit in all of God’s children!
Everything that this sad life steals from us, whether through drugs or war or a drunk driver or genetic disorder or disease or just plain old age – God will restore it all through the Holy Spirit, who already lives within us. Therefore, if we have the Spirit, the real crisis is past. The real crisis is not out in the future at our moment of death. Death will be a release, because the real crisis was 2000 years ago on a cross near Jerusalem where Jesus won our righteousness for us. So now, ‘because of [Christ’s] righteousness,’ God freely and gladly sends to us his Spirit, the Lord and Giver of life, to live within us. And the Spirit is not going anywhere until he has completed his restoring miracle on that great and final Day.
What you and I are right now is hardly the consummation of our existence. It is the merest beginning. Consider the goodness and power of God. How weak we think he is! How mean we think he is! How prudish we think he is! How uncertain we feel our happiness to be! Let’s listen again to the gospel and drink in with thankful joy the promises of God. Nothing is more certain than this: God will keep his good word to you, for all that it is worth, for he has given you the pledge of his Holy Spirit.”
REFLECT: Becoming a Christian is not just new beliefs but also new relationship with God. How should this affect the way you talk about Christianity?
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)