Looking for spiritual refreshment? God Pause email devotions are short, meaningful reflections on the following Sunday's lessons and gospel delivered directly to your email box. By Sunday, you'll be ready for an extra meaningful worship experience. 

Our devotion writers are Luther Seminary alumni. Their reflections are a gift to you and to the church.


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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Next Day

In a recent conversation with a newly married colleague, I posed the question, "So how's married life?" The response came, "It's good, but it's different." We sat and chatted about the period of adjustment that's common for most couples as they adjust to the new experience of sharing life together.

In his letter to the Romans, Paul seems to be doing something quite similar. He offers advice and direction on how believers are to live their lives together with Christ. The old habits and rules no longer apply. Life as a believer in Christ takes some getting used to, perhaps even more so because much of it seemingly goes against our very nature.

Throughout the course of our lives as believers, there will be times when following Christ seems easy; yet there will also be times when it seems very difficult. In those times, we will do well to remind ourselves that this new life in Christ is different, but it's also very good.

Father in Heaven, in the midst of the craziness of life, help us to remember to turn to you always. As we struggle amid the hardships in life, including the hardship of battling our own flawed human nature, remind us that through your Son, that battle is already won for us, and give us hope in that promise. Amen.

Scott Dalen
Pastor, Underwood Lutheran Church, Underwood, Iowa
Master of Divinity , 2013

Romans 12:9-21 (NRSV)

9 Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good;
10 love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor.
11 Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord.
12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer.
13 Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.
15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.
16 Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are.
17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all.
18 If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.
19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord."
20 No, "if your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads."
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

This God Pause daily devotion is brought to you by the alumni of Luther Seminary.