Tim’s Daily Bread Devotional 1.23.22 – The first united Methodist church in Fort Worth

Today’s Bible: Romans 8: 18-31

18 I believe that the sufferings of the present time are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed to us. 19 For a creature with eager longing awaits the revelation of the children of God; 20 for the creation was subjected to futility, not by its own will, but by the will of the one who subdued it, in hope 21 that only the creature will be freed from its bondage to decay and that it will receive the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 We know that the whole creation has so far groaned in labor pains; 23 and not only creation, but ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, sigh within ourselves as we await the adoption, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For and[a] we hope we are saved. Now the hope seen is not hope. Who he hopes for[b] for what is seen? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

26 Likewise, the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray properly, but it is this Spirit who mediates[c] with sighs too deep for words. 27 and god[d] he who searches the heart knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because the Spirit[e] he intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.[f]

28 We know that all things work together for good[g] for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those he knew in advance, he also destined to be conformed to the image of his Son, so that he would be the firstborn in a large family.[h] 30 And those whom he predestined and called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those he justified he glorified.

31 So what about these things? If God is for us, who is against us?

Tim’s pious reflection for today

Paul recalls some of the very difficult circumstances and experiences in life and mentions prayer in this context.

How to pray?

What are the best words?

He answers this question as follows: β€œThe Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray properly, but it is this Spirit who intercedes for sighs, so keep your words. ”

Isn’t there great comfort in that? It’s not about that the right words, because sometimes all we can stand is a sigh too deep for words – and that’s enough.

Our reading today ends with a few questions. After Paul remembers how hard life is, he asks: “Then what about these things?” If God is for us, who is against us? ”

When we live in difficult times – as we all do at one time or another in our lives – what can we say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us?

Here is Paul’s answer:

“Who will separate us from the love of Christ?” Will it be trouble, or trouble, or persecution, or famine, or nudity, or danger, or sword? . . . No, in all these things we are more than a winner through the one who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor present, nor future, nor forces, nor heights, nor depths, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus. Our Lord.”(Romans 8: 35-39, NRSV)

Hymn suggestion

“Make me a prisoner, Lord”

Make me a prisoner, Lord,
And then I will be free.
Make me draw my sword
And I will be the winner.
I am drowning in life alarms
When I stand alone;
Capture me in your arms,
And my hand will be strong.

My heart is weak and poor
Until he mastered the invention;
There is certainly no spring action,
It varies with the wind.
He cannot move freely
Until you forge his chain;
Enslave him with your incomparable love,
And he will rule immortally.

My strength is weak and low
Until I learn to serve;
It lacks the fire it needs to shine,
He misses the breeze for his nerves.
He can’t rule the world
While not driving;
His flag can only be unfurled
When you breathe from heaven.

My will is not mine
Until you make it your own;
If he were to reach the monarchical throne,
Her crown must resign.
He just stands bent over
In the midst of conflict
When he leans on your bosom,
And found his life in you.

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