The Kingdom Law of Love

Scripture reading for June 2nd: Romans 14, Psalm 110, Proverbs 17

Romans 14:15-19 “For if your brother is grieved by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. By what you eat, do not destroy the one for whom Christ died. So do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil. For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. So then let us then pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.”

God’s people are governed in His kingdom by the law of love. The central focus is not rules about foods, eating or drinking, or not eating or not drinking. We must all respect our brothers and sisters and their current growth and understanding. Mature believers should limit their liberties to help the younger believers. God’s kingdom rule is one of love and righteousness through faith in Jesus. As we rest in Jesus, we have peace with God and with those around us in HIs kingdom. This promotes joyful living and friendship with God and others.

Psalm 110:1-3 “The Lord says to my Lord: “Sit at My right hand, until I make Your enemies Your footstool.” The Lord sends forth from Zion Your mighty scepter. Ride in the midst of Your enemies. Your people will offer themselves freely on the day of Your power, in holy garments; from the womb of the morning, the dew of your youth will be yours.”

Prayer: Father God, I thank You for Your rule of righteousness, peace and joy coming from faith in Your Word and grace through Jesus Christ. Your scepter is one of righteousness! I give myself to You freely to be filled with Your Spirit and love for my brothers and sisters. Make me sensitive to their needs and growth in faith (or the lack of it); that I may love them properly, bring peace, and build them up.

Proverbs 17:17 “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”

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The armor of Light!

Scripture reading for June 1st: Romans 13, Psalm 109, Proverbs 16

Romans 13: 10-14 “Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.”

Believers are in a battle with darkness, the flesh and the devil. In order to stand victorious, we must put on spiritual armor each day. We are to live a life of love in the power of the Holy Spirit and grace that comes from God’s mercy in our own lives. Each day brings us closer to the time of our Lord’s return for us. This should motivate us to cast off all the works of darkness from our past live in the flesh. We do this through daily consecration of our life to God and the infilling of the Holy Spirit. After putting off these old besetting sins, we put on the armor of light! Light comes from God’s Word and obedience. Light comes through the illumination of the Holy Spirit living within us, revealing truth and the path of holiness. Light comes from the “Light of the World”, Jesus Christ, the Living Word and coming King!

Psalm 109:26-28 “Help me, O Lord my God! Save me according to Your steadfast love! Let them know that this is Your hand; You, O Lord, have done it! Let them curse, but You will bless! They arise and are put to shame, but Your servant will be glad!”

Prayer: Father God, I am blessed and filled with joy today at Your steadfast love for me, a lost sinner! Clothe me again today with the armor of Light and Truth! Fill me with Your Holy Spirit and the power to put off my old ways of sin and walk in the newness of life through Your love and mercy. I know that the time is short and want to be ready for Your Son’s return and help others as well, particularly my family!

Proverbs 16:31-32 “Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained in a righteous life. Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty.”

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What transformation looks like!

Scripture reading for May 31st: Romans 12, Psalm 108, Proverbs 15

Romans 12: 9-18 “Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection, outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.”

Although our salvation totally depends on God’s grace by faith, the process of sanctification and transformation is a joint action of us humbly submitting to Christ Jesus and allowing the Holy Spirit to guide us and instruct us in God’s ways. The Holy Spirit brings a river of God’s love into our hearts. This makes genuine love possible towards others, especially brothers and sisters in Christ. We have a heightened sense of good and evil, hating evil and embracing good. We become generous and gracious, showing affection and giving honor. We have zeal, love in action, instead of laziness. We are humble and peace-making, and live in an understanding way towards others with their needs or faults. With God living in us, we can do valiantly and defeat our worldly passions and our foe, Satan.

Psalm 108:12-13 “Oh grant us help against the foe, for vain is the salvation of man! With God we shall do valiantly; it is He Who will tread down our foes.”

Prayer: Father God, Thank You for Your wonderful gift of the Holy Spirit to lead me in the process of transformation. I humbly invite Your Helper to instruct me, empower me to make needed changes and live valiantly in triumph over my foes and my own flesh. I confess that my own efforts are feeble at best, without Your help. Through You, I will do valiantly and see You tread down my enemies! Amen!

Proverbs 15:33 “The fear of the Lord is instruction in wisdom, and humility comes before honor.”

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Mercy triumphs over judgment!

Scripture reading for May 30th: Romans 11, Psalm 107, Proverbs 14

Romans 11: 32-36 “For God has consigned all to disobedience, that He may have mercy on all. Oh, the depth of the riches and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and how inscrutable His ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been His counselor?” “Or who has given a gift to Him that He might be repaid?” For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever. Amen.”

Paul ends his discourse on his desire for the salvation of his own people, the Jews, with this summary and worship. God’s wisdom is wiser than any human wisdom. His knowledge and understanding of man and his deepest needs stretches human ability to comprehend. Because of the darkness of sin over the human mind and soul, there is no man who has not sinned and who is able to advise God! There is nothing we can do or give to God to repay Him, because He has created it all and owns it all! All we can do is worship Him for His amazing grace and His work on our behalf through creation and the cross!

Psalm 107:19-21 “Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and He delivered them from their distress. He sent out His Word and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction. Let them thank the Lord for His steadfast love, for His wondrous works to the children of man!”

Prayer: Father God, thank You for hearing my cry and the cries of the disobedient and hurting throughout our history. Thank You for providing the answer to my greatest need, Your mercy given as a gift of grace through Your Son Jesus Christ! I humbly accept all You have provided and honor You with holy reverence and worship! Let Your kingdom come and Your will be done for all who call upon Your Name! Amen!

Proverbs 14:30 “A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot.”

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Faith brings God’s riches to all!

Scripture reading for May 29th: Romans 10, Psalm 106, Proverbs 13

Romans 10:8-13 “But what does it say? “The Word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is the Word of faith that we proclaim): because if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing His riches on all who call on Him. For “everyone who calls on the Name of the Lord will be saved.””

Faith comes from hearing and receiving the Word of God. The Apostle Paul had preached and taught God’s Word to these Roman believers, carefully laying it out in this letter. Keeping the law was not possible for any Jew and God, through His Son, put both Jew and Gentile on the level ground of hearing and faith. Anyone who hears the Gospel of grace and through faith in Jesus Christ believes in his heart that Jesus Christ, God’s Son, died and was raised from the dead to justify them will be saved. No one who puts their faith in Jesus will come to shame! All will receive Christ’s abundant riches of salvation and forgiveness of sins simply for calling on the Name of Jesus! “Thank You Lord!” is all we can say! Amen!

Psalm 106:47-48 “Save us, O Lord our God, and gather us from among the nations, that we may give thanks to Your Holy Name and glory in Your praise. Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting! And let all the people say, “Amen!” Praise the Lord!”

Prayer: Father God, Thank You for the indescribable riches of salvation given to me and all who call upon Jesus Christ! Blessed be Your Name and Son, Jesus Christ forever and ever! Thank You for making it plain to me that I can do nothing on my own to save myself. Thank You for the gift of the Holy Spirit, living in me, to teach me Your wise instruction and prepare me for full salvation when Jesus comes again.

Proverbs 13:1-2 “A wise son hears his father’s instruction, but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke. From the fruit of his mouth a man eats what is good, but the desire of the treacherous is for violence.”

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Inheritance determined by faith!

Scripture reading for May 26th: Romans 9, Psalm 105, Proverbs 12

Romans 9:6-10 “But it is not as though the Word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of promise are counted as offspring. For this is what the promise said: “About this time next year I will return, and Sarah shall have a son.”

Paul was perplexed about his own Jewish people. They had every advantage to find faith and God’s righteousness. But the truth Paul shared was that not every descendant of Abraham in the flesh was actually part of God’s elect. It was only the children of promise, conceived by faith, that were part of God’s forever family. Abraham and Sarah themselves had to trust God and leave their former land and relatives behind and go to a land God would show them. They were promised offspring as numerous as the stars but had no children of their own. When they were beyond childbearing, God again promised them a child. Isaac was born because they counted God as able to bring life from their dead bodies! It is only believing God and acting in faith that delights God. Our ancestry won’t help us without faith.

Psalm 105:4-6 “Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His presence continually! Remember the wondrous works that He has done, His miracles, and the judgments He uttered. O offspring of Abraham, His servant, children of Jacob, His chosen ones!”

Prayer: Father, I thank You that you made salvation and adoption into Your forever family a matter of faith for both Jew and Gentile. Thank You for drawing me through the Gospel of Jesus Christ to believe and receive the Holy Spirit of adoption. Thank You for those like Abraham, Sarah, Isaac and Jacob who walked with you by faith and received the promises. Use me today to share this truth and delight You.

Proverbs 12:22 “Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are His delight.”

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Powerful questions!

Scripture reading for May 25th: Romans 8, Psalm 104, Proverbs 11

Romans 8:31-34 “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He Who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God Who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the One Who died–more than that, Who was raised–Who is at the right hand of God, Who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?. . .”

Paul wanted to encourage these Roman believers about the Father’s care for them. God the Father is for us! He gave His own Son to save us even when we were lost sinners! He has declared us righteous through faith. Who can oppose us? What other need can we have that He will not meet? Jesus Christ died to free us from Satan’s accusations, sin’s power and penalty. Who can condemn us? It is Jesus Christ Who died for us Who is the Judge and now our advocate at God’s right hand! The Holy Spirit lives in us and helps us to pray. We have the Holy Trinity on our side! That’s enough to bring shouts of praise!

Psalm 104:1-2 “Bless the Lord, O my soul! O Lord my God, You are very great! You are clothed with splendor and majesty, covering yourself with light as with a garment, stretching out the heavens like a tent.”

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I bless You with all my heart and soul and strength! You are great and abounding in love and mercy. Thank You that You are for me and the Holy Spirit is with me always helping me to pray and walk worthy of my calling. Thank You for Jesus interceding for me today. Open doors to witness of Your love in Jesus Christ and Father’s heart to see all saved and guided to You!

Proverbs 11:2-3 “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom. The integrity of the upright guides them, but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them.”

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Dead to the law, alive to Jesus!

Scripture reading for May 24th: Romans 7, Psalm 103, Proverbs 10

Romans 7: 2-6 “For a married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies she is released from the law of marriage. Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she marries another man she is not an adulteress. Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to Him Who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God. For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code.”

Paul used the analogy of a husband and wife who are married. As long as both live, they are bound to each other. If the husband dies, the wife is free to remarry. In the same manner, the Jews were ‘married to the law’. The law could only show them sin and stir up rebellion in them. As believers in Christ, Christ had died on the cross to pay the price for broken law. He was raised to eternal life in victory over sin and death. All Jews or Gentiles who will believe on Jesus, will die to the law and be freed from it’s penalty of death. We through grace receive the Holy Spirit Who empowers us to live for God and bear fruit for His glory! Hallelujah! We are free!

Psalm 103:11-12 “For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His steadfast love toward those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does He remove our transgressions from us.”

Prayer: Father, thank You for Your steadfast love towards us. Thank You for removing our sins from us through sending Your own Son to die in our place under Your law. Since He was sinless, He arose victorious over sin and death! In His victory, we have grace to also live in victory! Fill us with Your Holy Spirit and power to live for Your pleasure and will, sharing Your amazing grace and love.

Proverbs 10:23 “The blessing of the Lord makes rich, and He adds no sorrow with it.”

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Sin has lost its dominion!

Scripture reading for May 23rd: Romans 6, Psalm 102, Proverbs 9

Romans 6:10-14 “For the death He died He died to sin, once for all, but the life He lives He lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under the law but under grace.”

Sin has the power to hold all men and women in its grip. Sin uses our flesh and its passions to dominate us and hold us in slavery. Sometimes it is drugs, other times food, other times sexual desire, or a lust for money or power or control that enslaves us. Sin always leads to death and eternal separation from God. But God our loving Father sent His Son to conquer sin and defeat death on the cross. At just the right time, Jesus came to earth as a man and lived in complete obedience to His Father in order to be a Holy Sacrifice for sin. Dying on the cross, going to hell to announce His victory and strip the keys of death and hell from Satan, Jesus rose victorious. By grace through faith, we defeat sin and its power and penalty!

Psalm 102:12-13 “But You, O Lord, are enthroned forever; You are remembered throughout all generations. You will arise and have pity on Zion; it is the time to favor her; the appointed time has come.”

Prayer: Father God, You have shown us favor, and in Your mercy have fulfilled Your appointed time by sending Jesus Christ. Help me today to live in resurrection power by presenting my body and its members to You for Your service. Through grace and the blood of Jesus Christ, cleanse me of all sin and its passions. Help me to lead others to leave their sinful and simple ways and live eternally with You.

Proverbs 9:23 “Leave your simple ways, and live, and walk in the way of insight.

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God’s amazing love demonstration!

Scripture reading for May 22nd: Romans 5, Psalm 101, Proverbs 8

Romans 5:6-11 “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person–though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die--but God shows His love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by His blood, much more shall we be saved by Him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by His life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through Whom we have now received reconciliation.”

God is never early or late, but always has perfect timing. Sending His Son to earth to save the ungodly was at just the right time. Among men, no one willingly would die for an ungodly person, but God was putting on a love demonstration. Love never fails! Faith works by love! The greatest love ever witnessed by man was Jesus Christ, the Son of God offering His blameless life in place of ungodly sinners! This brings great joy and rejoicing to those who by faith understand and experience justification. We have been given the gift of righteousness and now are brought back into God’s family as sons and daughters. This is the greatest ‘wisdom’ we can find in this life. It brings favor with God and eternal life!

Psalm 101:1-2 “I will sing of steadfast love and justice; to You, O Lord, I will make music. I will ponder the way that is blameless. . .”

Prayer: Father God, thank You for demonstrating to us who were dead in our sins Your amazing love. Thank You for making Jesus the Way back to You and adopting us back into Your family. We rejoice in Your love and goodness and ever reflect on His blameless life. Use us to help others find this peace with God and eternal life! “O, for a thousand tongues to sing My great Redeemer’s praise.”

Proverbs 8:35-36 “For whoever finds me (Wisdom) finds life and obtains favor from the Lord, but he who fails to find me injures himself; all who hate me love death.”

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