Thursday of the Fourth Week of Lent

Today’s Reading: Romans 8:11-19

“The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.” – Romans 8:16-17

The Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God. Likewise the Holy Spirit bore witness to Jesus’ spirit that He was the Son of God. This testimony was made public at His Baptism, and was echoed at His Transfiguration. And it was for our sake, so that we might be instructed against all natural assumption regarding what the life of God’s children should look like. Not the outward appearance of glory, but only the sure word that proclaims that we are beloved by God and well-pleasing for Jesus’ sake can serve as our comfort in distress in temptation, and in death.

The Spirit bears witness in the Word of God. He testifies to what He has seen in time. “This is what it looks like to be a child of God,” He says. “Look at Jesus. Look at what He, who was beloved and well-pleasing to His Father, has suffered in your place so that you, with Him, might hear this sure word as well: ‘You are My beloved child; in you I am well-pleased.’”

If you want to know what it looks like to be a child of God, look to the perfect life of God’s Son that our Father is most certainly pleased with. That’s the life the Spirit witnesses. It is the life that was lived for us. It is the life that is ours by faith.  And so as Christians, we find comfort when our life is swallowed up by His – in status, pain, and in the hope of glory.

Prayer: Every wound that pains or grieves me, By Thy stripes, Lord, is made whole; When I’m faint, Thy cross revives me, Granting new life to my soul. Yea, Thy comfort renders sweet Every bitter cup I meet; For Thy all atoning Passion Has procured my soul’s salvation (Jesus, Grant That Balm and Healing, LSB 421:4).

This devotion was written by Rev. John Preus – Pastor at Trinity Lutheran in Clinton.

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