Tag: family devotions

“Right Now Counts Forever”

I stole that title from RC Sproul. Those words are more timely than ever. We all just learned we might be in this state of social isolation for another month. We’re now facing not just 2 weeks but possibly 6 weeks of lost wages, lost investments, lost fellowship opportunities, lost milestones like graduations and weddings and funerals, lost advances in education, in health, in orthodontic progress :). But what if we lived the next 4 weeks in the reality of Romans 8:28? “That for those who love God, all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.”

If you haven’t read the rest of Romans 8 in a while, right now is the perfect time. In that one chapter you will find no condemnation, freedom from sin and death, fulfillment of the law, life and peace, the indwelling Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ in you, the Spirit of life, Jesus Christ risen from the dead, life to our mortal bodies, life through the Spirit, the Spirit of adoption, fellow heirs with Christ through our suffering with Him, future glory revealed in us, redemption of our bodies, hope in salvation, help in our weakness, intercession of the Spirit, calling, purpose, foreknowledge, predestination, conformity to the image of His Son, justification, glorification, God for us, ALL THINGS, Christ Jesus at the right hand of God interceding for us, victory over tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, danger, the sword, and the inseparable love of Christ Jesus our Lord…

What if we took just one hour of each day in April to set our minds on the things of the Spirit rather than the things of the flesh (Rom. 8:5-8). You could choose any hour during which you would normally be filling other obligations outside the home.  Are there lessons or practices you are now missing on Monday? Make that hour count forever.  Tuesday’s playdates canceled? Make that hour count forever.  Ladies Bible Study on Wednesday no longer meeting? Make that hour count forever. Thursday’s client consultation postponed indefinitely? Make that hour count forever. Friday’s date night on hold? Make that hour count forever.

Start now. Instead of spending another hour scrolling through social media and blog posts click on this link to a short 25-minute devotional called “Right Now Counts Forever” given by RC Sproul during his last year on earth. Then read Romans 8.  Spend time in prayer thanking God for the bounteous gifts laid out in that one chapter. Don’t know how to pray? Whatever groanings this Corona Virus has produced inside of you, know that “the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words (Rom. 8:26).” Maybe use part of that hour to memorize a verse a day from that chapter.  By the end of this quarantine you could have the whole thing hidden in your heart!

Below is a list of other ways your family could make an hour a day count forever during the month of April. What a triumph it would be if holy habits cultivated during the Covid quarantine resulted in life long practices among God’s people!

  1. Did you know that there are 30 books in the Bible that contain fewer than 10 chapters? That means they can be read aloud in there entirety by your family in 30 minutes or less. You can alternate daily through the month of April between Old and New Testament books.
  2. Do you have young people in the house? There’s no better time to start reading aloud the wisdom book of Proverbs than on April 1.  There’s one chapter for each day of the month and the last one, Proverbs 31 can be saved for Mother’s Day on May 10.
  3. What’s the best weapon against Covid-19? God’s Word!  Psalms 1, 9, 19, 91, and 119 are great reminders of how God makes Himself known through His Word and that it will stand forever as surely as He is eternally seated on His throne. If you’re not in the habit of singing Psalms try learning Psalm 19. We use the version from the “Book of Psalms for Singing” but you can click here for a link to a more familiar version that even your youngest family members will enjoy.

Since I’m a spreadsheet kind of gal, I’ve put all these options (including memorizing Romans 8) on a calendar to help make April count forever. You can choose just one of the options to redeem that extra hour or all of them and still have time for prayer!  In this time of uncertainty, the promises of God are the only investment that promises guaranteed returns. Isaiah 55:10,11 says,

“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”

Now more than ever, it’s time to keep the feast. Click the link below for a printable copy.

April 2020 Printable

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* I just listened to Allie Beth Stuckey’s podcast “10 Tips to Make Quarantine Count” and she recommends memorizing Romans 8, too! Furthermore she says John Piper just said the same thing! So if you won’t take my word for it, take theirs! And make sure you click this link to Allie’s podcast!

Week 30

Memory Verse: Romans 13:12

“The night is far gone; the day is at hand.  So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.”

Questions:  What are works of darkness and how can light be an armor against them?

Reading #1: Acts 9:1-19

Questions: What stops Saul in his tracks?  What physical affect does the light have on Saul?  In verses 17 and 18 how is his condition resolved?

Reading #2: Acts 22:1-21

Questions:  Describe the works of darkness Saul was engaged in.  Why do you think he includes them in his defense?

Reading #3: Acts 26:12-32

Questions:  According to verses 16-18, what does Jesus say is the purpose of His appearing to Paul?  According to verses 22 and 23 what message were Paul and Moses and the prophets testifying to?  What did they say Jesus would come and indeed came proclaiming?

Reading #4: Ephesians 4:17-5:21

Questions:  According to verses 17-19 what is the condition of the unbeliever’s mind, heart and body?  How does this compare to the description in verses 20-32 of the one who has been taught and learned the truth in Jesus?  Describe what it looks like in Ephesians 5:1-21 to walk as children of the light?

Psalms and Hymns:

Abide With Me:  “Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;  shine through the gloom, and point me to the skies:  Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee: In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.”

Devo 29

“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.  For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples;  but the Lord will Arise upon you, and His glory will be seen upon you.  And nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.” —Isaiah 60:1-3

I just had to throw that passage in one more time since it precedes this week’s memory verse.  AND because it puts a lump in my throat every time I read it.  The Light has come, friend, and HE IS RISEN!  But where did the Light go?  In John 8:12-20, Jesus said, “I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”  Three of His followers actually witnessed the manifestation of that glory in the transfiguration of Christ which we read about in Matthew 17:12-20.  In this passage Jesus articulates what was about to happen to the Light.  He was going to die and rise again. Later in John 8, Jesus says that He is going somewhere that those who are dead in their sins cannot come, somewhere not of this world.  That somewhere is exactly what Isaiah is describing in Isaiah 60:19,20:

“The sun shall be no more your light by day, nor for brightness shall the moon give you light; but the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory.  Your sun shall no more go down, nor your moon withdraw itself;  for the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your days of mourning shall be ended.”

Our final week of study is going to focus a lot more on the ultimate fulfillment of that prophecy, so this devo is actually just a teaser for week 31 when we’ll be diving into the book of Revelation 🙂  But I want to leave you with this quote from the same Apostle John who was one of the witnesses to the transfiguration of Jesus Christ and who was later given the vision of the city to come where that same Lord whom he saw crucified, risen and ascended into glory will reign as our everlasting light.  

“This is the message we have heard from Him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.   If we say we have fellowship with Him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.  But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.  If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:5-9).”

That’s a lot of ifs, so lets break them down.

IF we say we’re Christians but are walking in darkness, 

THEN we’re lying.

IF we are truly walking with Christ in the light, 

THEN we will be in fellowship with other Christians

AND the blood of Jesus has cleansed us from all our sins!

IF we say that we’re not sinners,

THEN we’re lying.

IF we confess our sins,

THEN He’ll forgive us and cleanse us from unrighteousness!

That’s the Gospel folks.   There’s darkness and there’s light.  There’s fellowship with Christ and His church and there’s not. 

There’s confession and forgiveness and the righteousness that comes from being cleansed from your sins and there’s living a lie.  There are no grey areas when it comes to salvation.

Oh friend, has that light shone on you?  Have you come to the brightness of His rising?  It’s there in black and white.  If you confess to Christ that you are a sinner in need of His forgiveness, He who is faithful and just will cleanse you from all your unrighteousness.