Romans 6:1-11 (KJV)

1 What then are we to say? Should we continue in sin in order that grace may abound? 2 By no means! How can we who died to sin go on living in it? 3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. 7 For whoever has died is freed from sin. 8 But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin, once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus

Psalm 23:4 (KJV)

4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley,  I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff— they comfort me   

DEVOTION – Ellen M. Williamson (Indiana)

Even though I grew up outside one of Central America’s most violent cities, I was never touched by the violence until Guillermo disappeared.  Though shaken, I stayed calm, fully expecting my friend to be found unharmed because “in all things God works for the good of those who love him” (Rom. 8:28, NIV).  Surely God would never let anything happen to Guillermo, the inspiring worship leader and thoughtful friend whose 20th birthday was just around the corner;  Guillermo, who kept in touch with me after I moved far away; Guillermo, who noticed me and told me I looked pretty the first time I ever wore makeup.  Now I was putting on makeup for his funeral.

That funeral was the most powerful, beautiful event I had ever experienced.  Guillermo touched many lives by living unreservedly for God.  Now, through his death, we who knew him were challenged to follow his world – changing example.

The promise in Romans 8:28 is still true.  Guillermo is more alive now than he ever was on this earth, and many people are living with a new sense of purpose.  At the time we did no understand, but in Guillermo’s life and since his death, God really has been working for good.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Even in tragedy we can trust God’s promises.

PRAYER:All-powerful God, help us to trust you and to follow you in everything, without holding back.  I Jesus’ name.  Amen.