Home > Reading > Daily Reading – March 16, 2023

Romans 5:12–21 (Listen)

Death in Adam, Life in Christ

12 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—13 for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. 14 Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.

15 But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. 16 And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. 17 For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.

18 Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. 19 For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. 20 Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21 so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Thursday of the Third Week in Lent

You might not think that using logic when reading the Bible would be beneficial, but it really is. If you can work a sudoku puzzle, then you can think logically! When you solve a riddle, you’re thinking logically. You use logic every day in conversations, solving problems, and even when doing devotions. 
In the Bible there are rhetorical devices that were used and recorded by the biblical writers. At least one of them was a form of logic called “Qal va homer” in Hebrew, which translates “light to heavy.” To give you an example of this, take Jesus’ words to the Pharisees who pushed Him to explain healings done on the Sabbath, “If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out?” He follows that statement with, “How much more valuable is a person than a sheep!” Jesus moves from the smaller example — a sheep in trouble — to a larger example — a human being who is in trouble, and who is more valuable than a sheep. 

We see other examples of this in the Scriptures as the question is posed, “How much more”? In Paul’s letter to the Romans, the apostle uses this technique repeatedly to remind humans of what Christ has done for us.

Sin came into the world through the first man Adam, but Jesus brought the free gift of grace for all who believe. One man brought death —which is no small thing — but one man brought new life, which is definitely a bigger, more heavier thing! One man committed a trespass which led to the condemnation for all humanity. But one man, through a single act of righteousness brought justification and eternity!  One person’s disobedience created a world of sinners. But one person’s obedience created an alien righteousness. That is, a righteousness that is not our own.

All of this is both a reality check and the good news. St. Paul wanted the Roman Christians to know just how much Jesus loved them. He promises a new life for all who trust in Him, and He has put an end to our last enemy — death. Our loving Savior has destroyed the power of death and thereby has loved and freed us through His self-giving sacrifice on the cross of Calvary. An action that happened over 2000 years ago has lasting effects for us today. Not only that, Christ’s saving power extended not only to those who knew Him personally — that’s the small part — but also to believers throughout all time and place — which is the bigger part! 

Prayer: Gracious heavenly Father, we give You thanks for the incredible gift of grace and mercy You have given us through Jesus Christ. It’s no small thing, but rather something for which we stake our lives on. Help us to always trust in Your love that frees us from sin and death so that we might live and serve in your holy name. We pray this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Devotion written by The Rev. Dr. Amy C. Little

Jeremiah 10:11–24 (Listen)

11 Thus shall you say to them: “The gods who did not make the heavens and the earth shall perish from the earth and from under the heavens.”

12   It is he who made the earth by his power,
    who established the world by his wisdom,
    and by his understanding stretched out the heavens.
13   When he utters his voice, there is a tumult of waters in the heavens,
    and he makes the mist rise from the ends of the earth.
  He makes lightning for the rain,
    and he brings forth the wind from his storehouses.
14   Every man is stupid and without knowledge;
    every goldsmith is put to shame by his idols,
  for his images are false,
    and there is no breath in them.
15   They are worthless, a work of delusion;
    at the time of their punishment they shall perish.
16   Not like these is he who is the portion of Jacob,
    for he is the one who formed all things,
  and Israel is the tribe of his inheritance;
    the LORD of hosts is his name.
17   Gather up your bundle from the ground,
    O you who dwell under siege!
18   For thus says the LORD:
  “Behold, I am slinging out the inhabitants of the land
    at this time,
  and I will bring distress on them,
    that they may feel it.”
19   Woe is me because of my hurt!
    My wound is grievous.
  But I said, “Truly this is an affliction,
    and I must bear it.”
20   My tent is destroyed,
    and all my cords are broken;
  my children have gone from me,
    and they are not;
  there is no one to spread my tent again
    and to set up my curtains.
21   For the shepherds are stupid
    and do not inquire of the LORD;
  therefore they have not prospered,
    and all their flock is scattered.
22   A voice, a rumor! Behold, it comes!—
    a great commotion out of the north country
  to make the cities of Judah a desolation,
    a lair of jackals.
23   I know, O LORD, that the way of man is not in himself,
    that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps.
24   Correct me, O LORD, but in justice;
    not in your anger, lest you bring me to nothing.

Romans 5:12–21 (Listen)

Death in Adam, Life in Christ

12 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—13 for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. 14 Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.

15 But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. 16 And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. 17 For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.

18 Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. 19 For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. 20 Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21 so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

John 8:21–32 (Listen)

21 So he said to them again, “I am going away, and you will seek me, and you will die in your sin. Where I am going, you cannot come.” 22 So the Jews said, “Will he kill himself, since he says, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come’?” 23 He said to them, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. 24 I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins.” 25 So they said to him, “Who are you?” Jesus said to them, “Just what I have been telling you from the beginning. 26 I have much to say about you and much to judge, but he who sent me is true, and I declare to the world what I have heard from him.” 27 They did not understand that he had been speaking to them about the Father. 28 So Jesus said to them, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me. 29 And he who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to him.” 30 As he was saying these things, many believed in him.

The Truth Will Set You Free

31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”


Morning Psalms

Psalm 27 (Listen)

The Lord Is My Light and My Salvation

Of David.

27:1   The LORD is my light and my salvation;
    whom shall I fear?
  The LORD is the stronghold of my life;
    of whom shall I be afraid?
  When evildoers assail me
    to eat up my flesh,
  my adversaries and foes,
    it is they who stumble and fall.
  Though an army encamp against me,
    my heart shall not fear;
  though war arise against me,
    yet I will be confident.
  One thing have I asked of the LORD,
    that will I seek after:
  that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
    all the days of my life,
  to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD
    and to inquire in his temple.
  For he will hide me in his shelter
    in the day of trouble;
  he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;
    he will lift me high upon a rock.
  And now my head shall be lifted up
    above my enemies all around me,
  and I will offer in his tent
    sacrifices with shouts of joy;
  I will sing and make melody to the LORD.
  Hear, O LORD, when I cry aloud;
    be gracious to me and answer me!
  You have said, “Seek my face.”
  My heart says to you,
    “Your face, LORD, do I seek.”
    Hide not your face from me.
  Turn not your servant away in anger,
    O you who have been my help.
  Cast me not off; forsake me not,
    O God of my salvation!
10   For my father and my mother have forsaken me,
    but the LORD will take me in.
11   Teach me your way, O LORD,
    and lead me on a level path
    because of my enemies.
12   Give me not up to the will of my adversaries;
    for false witnesses have risen against me,
    and they breathe out violence.
13   I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the LORD
    in the land of the living!
14   Wait for the LORD;
    be strong, and let your heart take courage;
    wait for the LORD!

Psalm 147:13–20 (Listen)

13   For he strengthens the bars of your gates;
    he blesses your children within you.
14   He makes peace in your borders;
    he fills you with the finest of the wheat.
15   He sends out his command to the earth;
    his word runs swiftly.
16   He gives snow like wool;
    he scatters frost like ashes.
17   He hurls down his crystals of ice like crumbs;
    who can stand before his cold?
18   He sends out his word, and melts them;
    he makes his wind blow and the waters flow.
19   He declares his word to Jacob,
    his statutes and rules to Israel.
20   He has not dealt thus with any other nation;
    they do not know his rules.
  Praise the LORD!


Evening Psalms

Psalm 126 (Listen)

Restore Our Fortunes, O Lord

A Song of Ascents.

126:1   When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion,
    we were like those who dream.
  Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
    and our tongue with shouts of joy;
  then they said among the nations,
    “The LORD has done great things for them.”
  The LORD has done great things for us;
    we are glad.
  Restore our fortunes, O LORD,
    like streams in the Negeb!
  Those who sow in tears
    shall reap with shouts of joy!
  He who goes out weeping,
    bearing the seed for sowing,
  shall come home with shouts of joy,
    bringing his sheaves with him.

Psalm 102 (Listen)

Do Not Hide Your Face from Me

A Prayer of one afflicted, when he is faint and pours out his complaint before the LORD.

102:1   Hear my prayer, O LORD;
  let my cry come to you!
  Do not hide your face from me
    in the day of my distress!
  Incline your ear to me;
    answer me speedily in the day when I call!
  For my days pass away like smoke,
    and my bones burn like a furnace.
  My heart is struck down like grass and has withered;
    I forget to eat my bread.
  Because of my loud groaning
    my bones cling to my flesh.
  I am like a desert owl of the wilderness,
    like an owl of the waste places;
  I lie awake;
    I am like a lonely sparrow on the housetop.
  All the day my enemies taunt me;
    those who deride me use my name for a curse.
  For I eat ashes like bread
    and mingle tears with my drink,
10   because of your indignation and anger;
    for you have taken me up and thrown me down.
11   My days are like an evening shadow;
    I wither away like grass.
12   But you, O LORD, are enthroned forever;
    you are remembered throughout all generations.
13   You will arise and have pity on Zion;
    it is the time to favor her;
    the appointed time has come.
14   For your servants hold her stones dear
    and have pity on her dust.
15   Nations will fear the name of the LORD,
    and all the kings of the earth will fear your glory.
16   For the LORD builds up Zion;
    he appears in his glory;
17   he regards the prayer of the destitute
    and does not despise their prayer.
18   Let this be recorded for a generation to come,
    so that a people yet to be created may praise the LORD:
19   that he looked down from his holy height;
    from heaven the LORD looked at the earth,
20   to hear the groans of the prisoners,
    to set free those who were doomed to die,
21   that they may declare in Zion the name of the LORD,
    and in Jerusalem his praise,
22   when peoples gather together,
    and kingdoms, to worship the LORD.
23   He has broken my strength in midcourse;
    he has shortened my days.
24   “O my God,” I say, “take me not away
    in the midst of my days—
  you whose years endure
    throughout all generations!”
25   Of old you laid the foundation of the earth,
    and the heavens are the work of your hands.
26   They will perish, but you will remain;
    they will all wear out like a garment.
  You will change them like a robe, and they will pass away,
27     but you are the same, and your years have no end.
28   The children of your servants shall dwell secure;
    their offspring shall be established before you.

This daily prayer and Bible reading guide, Devoted to Prayer (based on Acts 2:42), was conceived and prepared by the Rev. Andrew S. Ames Fuller, director of communications for the North American Lutheran Church (NALC). After several challenging years in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been provided with a unique opportunity to revitalize the ancient practice of daily prayer and Scripture reading in our homes. While the Reading the Word of God three-year lectionary provided a much-needed and refreshing calendar for our congregations to engage in Scripture reading, this calendar includes a missing component of daily devotion: prayer. This guide is to provide the average layperson and pastor with the simple tools for sorting through the busyness of their lives and reclaiming an act of daily discipleship with their Lord. The daily readings follow the Lutheran Book of Worship two-year daily lectionary, which reflect the church calendar closely. The commemorations are adapted from Philip H. Pfatteicher’s New Book of Festivals and Commemorations, a proposed common calendar of the saints that builds from the Lutheran Book of Worship, but includes saints from many of those churches in ecumenical conversation with the NALC. The introductory portion is adapted from Christ Church (Plano)’s Pray Daily. Our hope is that this calendar and guide will provide new life for congregations learning and re-learning to pray in the midst of a difficult and changing world.

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