Tim’s Daily Bread Devotional 6.17.21

By June 17, 2021Daily Bread

Thank you for sharing this early moment of your day with me, with God, and with the thoughts and words of this reading that I hope you will carry with you throughout the coming day and night.

Today’s Scripture:

Romans 8:25-28 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

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 as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes[a] with sighs too deep for words. 27 And God,[b] who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit[c] intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.[d]

28 We know that all things work together for good[e] for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.

Tim’s Devotional Reflection for Today

There are some books that are known by their first lines.  The Bible:  “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”  Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities:  “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”  A much more recent example, published in 1981, is “Life is difficult.”  That is the first line of M. Scott Peck’s The Road Less Traveled.  It’s a simple line, but it resonated with people.  The reason they are so memorable, the reason that you know what book that is from, is because everyone read those words and said “Amen.”  Everyone connected with that sentence and began to mull over the implications of what Peck had to say about the acceptance of that fact and how that acceptance can shape our lives for the better.

That statement, those three words, that little sentence was certainly true in the Apostle Paul’s day.  It was true every time he sat down and dictated one of his letters or occasionally when he took the pen with his own hand.  “Life is difficult.”  Time and again the Apostle Paul even lists reasons why “life is difficult” and gives examples of the difficulties of his own life and the difficulties in the lives of those to whom he wrote.

The letter to the Romans is no exception.  Paul has several lists of difficulties in his letter to the Romans.  But that’s really not Paul’s point for writing.  Paul’s message is not to tell people “life is difficult” – everybody knows that’s the case – but rather to give people a perspective on life that could be called the Christian perspective.  He describes in detail some of the ways that life can be difficult—what he calls “the sufferings of this present time.”  He lists hardship, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril, sword, and death itself.  But, he doesn’t leave it at that.  He gives us a perspective on those very difficult realities:

I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us. (vs. 18)

31 What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us?  (vs. 31)

Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (vss. 35, 37-39)

In today’s reading Paul says that “we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words.”  Have you had that experience of having no idea what to pray or how to pray, but can only sigh?  Those sighs that are too deep for words are enough.

There is a lot of theology woven into hymns. To enhance today’s reading, I recommend listening to “Make Me a Captive, Lord”. I hope you will take a few moments to let the words of this message and the emotion that always connects us to music connect with your soul. I am so grateful for you, for our church, and for the Love that will see us all through this very difficult time. Please stay safe and well and we’ll be together again in spirit tomorrow morning!

Grace and Peace,

Dr. Tim Bruster
Senior Pastor


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