Readings and Devotions for June 28 through July 4, 2015

Devotion: Use this resource at home to guide your household’s daily devotions. You can do this alone, as a couple, as a family; in the morning, during the day, or at night. Find a routine that works best for you.

Pray: Light a candle and open your devotion time with a prayer.
God of all Creation:
you have proclaimed Jesus to be your Son,
and save all who have faith in him.
Fill us with the faith and the courage
to proclaim the gospel of your love,
that both friend and stranger may know your salvation. Amen

Reflect: Reflect on the key verses from Sunday’s reading.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel; it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed through faith for faith; as it is written, “The one who is righteous will live by faith.” Romans 1:16-17

Study: Study the reading and consider the background.
Crucifixion (execution on a cross) was a shameful way to die. The Roman government used crucifixion to humiliate rebels and others who dared defy Rome. Seen from the outside, by those without faith, Jesus’ death on the cross would have been something to be ashamed of, not something to boast about. But Paul declares clearly that he is not ashamed of the gospel. We are far removed from the shame of death on a cross. But there are still ways in which our culture views the gospel as shameful or embarrassing: the idea that we are saved not by our own worth or deed by God’s grace, the call to forgive in the face of persecution, the commandment to love our enemy.

Read: Read the following daily readings to deepen your understanding of Sunday’s text. After the reading, ask the follow-up questions.

Follow the book of Romans, as Paul explains humanity’s relationship with God’s righteousness.

Sunday, Romans 1:1-17, Gospel as Salvation

Monday, Romans 2:1-16, A Warning about Judgment

Tuesday, Romans 2:17-3:8, The Jews and the Law

Wednesday, Romans 3:9-20, None Is Righteous

Thursday, Romans 3:21-31, Righteousness through Faith

Friday, Romans 4:1-12, The Example of Abraham

Saturday, Romans 4:13-25, God’s Promise Realized through Faith

What is Paul’s purpose for writing Romans? How does he describe God’s righteousness?

Connect: Connect in conversation with others in your household. Discuss the following questions, or simply check in with “Highs” and “Lows.”

  • What was a high point of your day? What was a low point?
  • What sins do you consider unforgivable? What sins can be easily overlooked? Does God make a distinction between the two?
  • What shames or embarrasses you about your life in faith? What would make that shame or embarrassment lessened?

Do: By acting on what we learn, we make God’s word come alive. Do the following activity this week.
1) Pray for someone (by name) who needs to hear God’s Good News.
2) Share something about your faith and your experience of God with someone.

Bless:Close your devotion with a blessing.
Saving God, reveal the beauty of your grace to us in the reading of the scriptures today. Amen.

Adapted by Lorinda H. M. Hoover, from material which is Copyright © 2015 Clergy Stuff. Used and adapted with Permission. Find more at www.ClergyStuff.com. New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used with permission. All rights reserved. Blessing written by Pr. Chip Borgstadt.

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