The Generous King!

Scripture reading for August 10th: Hosea 7-10, Matthew 18

Matthew 18: 21-28 “Then Peter came up and said to Him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times. “Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. When he began to settle, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. And since he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all he had, and payment to be made. So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, “Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the debt.”

Jesus told a parable in response to Peter’s question about the frequency that forgiveness should be offered to a brother who sinned against you. In the parable, a king was settling accounts and a subject came before him who owed him ten thousand talents–a huge sum of money. The king ordered the man’s goods liquidated and he and his family sold into slavery. The man appealed humbly to the king, and the king kindly forgave the debt and released him. What followed was astounding! That forgiven man went and found a man that owed him only a small amount and demanded payment by seizing him and choking him. When the man asked for mercy, he refused and threw him in prison. When the king heard this, he took action and threw him in jail until the debt was paid.

Matthew 18:32-35 “Then his master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt. So also My heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.”

Prayer: Generous heavenly Father, thank You for Your great mercy in forgiving me my sins and wiping out my debts, which were many. Forgive me when I have not been generous with mercy towards others who have offended me or did wrong to me. I want Your mercy, not judgment. Fill me with the grace to forgive and show mercy.

Hosea 10:12 “Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground, for it is the time to seek the Lord, that He may come and rain righteousness upon you.”

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Healed instantly by Jesus!

Scripture reading for August 9th: Hosea 4-6, Psalm 58, Matthew 17

Matthew 17: 14-18 “And when they came to the crowd, a man came up to Him and kneeling before Him, said, “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and he suffers terribly. For often he falls into the fire, and often into the water. And I brought him to Your disciples, and they could not heal him.” And Jesus answered, “O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him here to Me.” And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him, and the boy was healed instantly.”

Matthew told the story of Jesus, Peter, James and John returning from the Mount of Transfiguration. There was a crowd gathered and Jesus was approached humbly by a man whose son was an epileptic and had seizures that sought to destroy him. This man had gone to the other disciples but they were unable to help the child. Jesus rebuked them and the people for their lack of faith and twisted thinking. Even though Jesus had taught His disciples to pray for the sick and believe God for miracles, these men were not believing God to see the needed healing. Jesus simply rebuked the evil spirit behind the sickness and immediate healing was the result. Oh that as followers of Jesus, we walked continuously by faith in God’s Holy Word and the knowledge of God’s compassionate heart to heal and deliver.

Hosea 6:2-3 “After two days he will revive us; on the third day He will raise us up, that we may live before Him. Let us know, let us press on to know the Lord; His going out is sure as the dawn; He will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth.”

Prayer: Father God, forgive me when I only see life through my own eyes and don’t know You or Your Word as I should. As a follower of Jesus Christ, fill me with Your Holy Spirit and grace to truly heal and deliver those suffering under Satan’s bondage and darkness. Send the rain of Your Spirit to water the earth and bring reward to the righteous and escape from judgment.

Psalm 58:10-11 “The righteous will rejoice when he sees the vengeance; he will bathe his feet in the blood of the wicked. Mankind will say, “Surely there is a reward for the righteous; surely there is a God Who judges on earth.”

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The secret to finding true life!

Scripture reading for August 8th: Hosea 1-3, Matthew 16

Matthew 16: 24-26 “Then Jesus told His disciples, “If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”

As Jesus approached the time of His departure and His encounter with death, Jesus called His disciples to a full dedication of their lives in following Him. This was a choice for each person to make freely from their own will, Jesus did not force or coerce anyone. This choice involved taking up a cross and following Jesus, even to death. Those wanting to save their lives must be willing to lose it. Anyone who would lose their life in following Jesus would find life eternal!

Matthew 16:26-28 “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come with His angels in the glory of His Father, and then He will repay each person according to what they have done. Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.”

Prayer: Father God, I look forward to the Day of Christ when He comes with all His angels in the glory of His Father. I know there is nothing I can give for my own soul. I trust solely in Jesus Christ and His sacrifice on the cross. I am willing to follow Jesus Christ and take up my cross, dying to myself and living fully for Your will. Indwell me today by the Holy Spirit and lead me into Your will and everlasting peace.

Hosea 2:18-20 “And I will make for them a covenant on that day with the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the creeping things of the ground. And I will abolish the bow, the sword, and war from the land, and I will make you lie down in safety. And I will betroth you to Me forever. I will betroth you to me in faithfulness, and you shall know the Lord.”

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Truth that offends!

Scripture reading for August 5th: Amos 7-9, Matthew 15

Matthew 15: 7-12 “You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said, “This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me; in vain do they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.” And He called the people to Him and said to them, “Hear and understand: it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person. Then the disciples came and said to Him, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heart this saying?”

Jesus was not one to sugar-coat sin in the lives of people, particularly those claiming to be the most religious and righteous. The Pharisees had confronted Jesus about His disciples not washing their hands when they ate. Jesus spoke strongly back to them with questions about why they had broken God’s laws for the sake of their traditions. He openly called them “hypocrites.’ They were pointing fingers at others problems but ignorant of their own issues. They claimed to honor God and keep His Word, but were only giving lip service and not obeying the heart of God. They were blind guides leading blind people–both would fall into the ditch! This hypocrisy came from hearts that were not submitted to God, but rather became offended when Jesus spoke Truth to them. God’s Plumb Line of Truth tests all men’s hearts.

Matthew 15:13-14 “He answered, “Every plant that My heavenly Father has not planted will be rooted up. Let them alone: they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.”

Prayer: Father God, forgive me for the times I have judged others but purposely ignored my own faults and breaking of God’s Word. I want to be one who worships God in sincerity and Truth and teaches and lives out God’s Word in heart-felt submission. Deliver me from offense and finger-pointing. Rather empower me to walk in the Holy Spirit and live out Your Truth.

Amos 7:7-8 “This is what He showed me: behold, the Lord was standing beside a wall built with a plumb line, with a plumb line in His hand. And the Lord said to me, “Amos, what do you see?” And I said, “A plumb line.” Then the Lord said, “Behold, I am setting a plumb line in the midst of my people Israel; I will never again pass them by.”

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Compassion in desperate times!

Scripture reading for August 4th: Amos 4-6, Psalm 55, Matthew 14

Matthew 14:10-14 “He (Herod) sent and had John (the Baptist) beheaded in prison, and his head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, and she brought it to her mother. And his disciples came and took the body and buried it, and they went and told Jesus. Now when Jesus heard this, He withdrew from there in a boat to a desolate place by Himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed Him on foot from the towns. When He went ashore He saw a great crowd, and He had compassion on them and healed their sick.”

Matthew told the story of Jesus’ response to the beheading of John the Baptist by Herod due to an oath taken at a drunken party. Jesus lived and ministered in the wicked world of the Roman empire where violence and murder was common and the government was corrupt. This wickedness broke Jesus’ heart and He withdrew to seek His Father’s direction. However, lost and hurting people followed Jesus on foot and were there as He arrived. The compassion of the Father flowed through Jesus to heal all their sick and oppressed and even to feed them a meal! God’s love never fails!

Psalm 55:16-18 “But I call to God, the Lord will save me. Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan, and He hears my voice. He redeems my soul in safety from the battle that I wage, for many are arrayed against me. God will give ear and humble them, He Who is enthroned from of old, because they do not change and do not fear God.”

Prayer: Father God, thank You for Your promises of hearing my prayers and protecting me and all believers from the traps of the wicked. We live in desperate times and I ask for a fresh anointing of power and compassion for the lost and hurting to counter the cruelty of this time. Pour out Your Spirit in conviction of the lost so that they might change and fear God to their salvation in Jesus Christ.

Amos 5:13-15 “Therefore he who is prudent will keep silent in such a time, for it is an evil time. Seek good, and not evil, that you may live; and so the Lord, the God of Hosts, will be with you, as you have said. Hate evil, and love good, and establish justice in the gate; it may be that the Lord, the God of Hosts, will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.”

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Jesus’ prophetic warning!

Scripture reading for August 3rd: Amos 1-3, Matthew 13

Matthew 13: 47-50 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind. When it was full, men drew it ashore and sat down and sorted the good into containers but threw away the bad. So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Gospel preaching is likened by Jesus to the casting of a fishing net into the sea of humanity. The Gospel is offered without charge to all people of every status and ethnic background. It draws people through God’s Truth bringing conviction on rebellious hearts. Some respond to the conviction and repent and are changed into “good fish” caught in the Gospel net. Others never repent, although they may hang out in the church and appear caught in the ‘net’ of God’s Truth. In the end, at the judgment, the net will be pulled in and angels will separate the ‘good’ fish from those who never received God’s Truth. Those cast away will be sent to the fiery lake and suffer eternal punishment away from God and His people.

Matthew 13:41-43 “The Son of Man will send His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.”

Prayer: Father, thank You for the prophets and apostles You sent to bring prophetic warnings to me and all mankind. Thank You for Jesus, Your final Word from heaven. His message is a trumpet of “Good News” that all may repent and turn to Him for forgiveness of sins and salvation with eternal life. Use me today to share this message of hope delivering those headed for eternal punishment.

Amos 3:6-7 “Is a trumpet blown in a city, and the people are not afraid? Does disaster come to a city, unless the Lord has done it? For the Lord God does nothing without revealing His secret to His servants the prophets.”

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The sign of the prophet Jonah!

Scripture reading for August 2nd: 2nd Kings 13-14; 2nd Chronicles 25; Psalm 53; Matthew 12

Matthew 12: 38-42 “Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered Him, saying, “Teacher, we wish to see a sign from You.” But He answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here. The queen of the South will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here.”

Jesus Christ had preached repentance to all He was sent to. He had demonstrated that He was the Son of God by signs and wonders and miracles. Still, the religious leaders of the Jews demanded more signs before they would respond. Jesus answered them by telling them the greatest “sign” that He was the Son of God–His resurrection from the grave after three days and nights. He explained that this coming event was patterned after an earlier event in the life of the prophet Jonah. Jonah was in rebellion to God’s instructions to preach to the people of Nineveh. God appointed a great fish to swallow Jonah after he was thrown overboard. Jonah spent three days and nights in that fish before he was vomited out on Nineveh’s doorstep. He preached and they repented in a great revival.

Psalm 53:1-2 “The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” they are corrupt, doing abominable iniquity; there is none who does good. God looks down from heaven on the children of man to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God.”

Prayer: Father God, thank You for the preaching ministry of your prophets, apostles and of Jesus Christ, Himself. Forgive us for being like Jonah and running away from Your call to be witnesses of Your grace to those who are lost and mocking You. Help us to believe the greatest sign You have given us, the resurrection of Jesus Christ after three days. Empower me to preach this Good News to the lost today.

2nd Chronicles 25:14-16 “After Amaziah came from striking down the Edomites, he brought the gods of the men of Seir and set them up as his gods and worshiped them, making offerings to them. Therefore the Lord was angry with Amaziah and sent to him a prophet, who said to him, “Why have you sought the gods of a people who did not deliver their own people from your hand?” But as he was speaking, the king said to him, “Have we made you a royal counselor? Stop! . .”

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Repentance and rest!

Scripture reading for August 1st: Jonah, Matthew 11

Matthew 11:20-22 “Then He began to denounce the cities where most of His mighty works had been done, because they did not repent. “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I tell you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you.”

Jesus called out those who were hard-hearted and resisted His Gospel message of faith and repentance preached with signs and wonders and significant miracles. The people saw the miracles and heard God’s call to repentance, but they resisted. Jesus said that the wicked cities of Chorazin, Tyre, and Sidon would have repented if those works were done in them. He stated that it would be more bearable for them on Judgment Day than for those who saw Jesus’ miracles and heard His message. Jesus called them to come to Him and find rest for their souls from the heavy yoke of sin and coming judgment.

Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Prayer: Father God, Thank You for sending Jesus, Your Son to draw us to repentance and faith and to show us Your heart of love for lost and hurting man. I have found the rest of coming to Jesus Christ and following Him. His yoke is easy and His burden is light! Use me today to share the Good News and call all to find rest in following Jesus Christ! Judgment Day is coming and our Father wants all saved!

Jonah 3:3-5 “So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh, according to the Word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city, three day’s journey in breadth. Jonah began to go into the city, going a day’s journey. And he called out, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” And the people of Nineveh believed God. They called for a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them to the least of them.”

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Seek the lost sheep!

Scripture reading for July 29th: Joel, Matthew 10

Matthew 10: 1, 5-8 “And He called to Him His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every affliction. . . . These twelve Jesus sent out instructing them, “Go nowhere among the Gentiles and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. An proclaim as you go, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying; give without pay.”

In response to their own praying to Father God for laborers to go into His harvest field, Jesus now instructs His twelve chosen disciples, including Judas, to go out to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. They were to go proclaiming the kingdom of heaven was at hand–now appearing in Christ and those who were His disciples. Not only that, they were given authority to heal all sickness and diseases and to cast out demons in demonstration of God’s kingdom authority and compassionate rule. They were especially sent to lost sheep–those Israelites in need of compassion and harassed by Satan and sickness and sin.

Matthew 10:40 “Whoever receives you receives Me, and whoever receives Me receives Him Who sent Me.”

Prayer: Father God, Your amazing mission of saving the lost sheep and using those You call and equip is dear to me. Thank You for those You used in my life to declare God’s kingdom and to minister healing and deliverance. Thank You that all benefits in the Kingdom are received by grace through faith–they can’t be bought or bargained for. I am in awe that though my witness, I represent You to lost people like the prophets of old and the disciples of our Lord!

Joel 2:12 “”Yet even now,” declares the Lord, “return to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your hearts and not your garments.” Return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and He relents over disaster.””

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Compassion leads to action!

Scripture reading for July 28th: 2nd Chronicles 24, 2nd Kings 12, Psalm 50, Matthew 9

Matthew 9: 35-38 “And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. When He saw the crowds, He had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.””

Jesus Christ was a man of deep compassion for lost and hurting people. He came to reveal the Father’s heart of love and mercy through teaching the Gospel of the kingdom of heaven and allowing the Father’s compassion to flow through Him in acts of healing and deliverance from evil spirits. He saw people helpless because of sin and Satan’s grip and harassed like sheep without a protecting shepherd. After healing and deliverance of all kinds of sickness and oppression, Jesus instructed His disciples to pray to God, Lord of the harvest, to send out laborers into the harvest field. This prayer was just prior to sending them out as part of the answer to their own asking!

Psalm 50:14-15 “Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving and perform your vows to the Most High, and call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.”

Prayer: Father God, thank You for Your great compassion for helpless and hurting people. I thank You for Your compassion for me and Your mercy through the sacrifice of Your Son Jesus Christ, healing my sinful heart and delivering me from darkness and Satan’s harassment. Lord, send out laborers into Your harvest field to share the Good News and to show Your compassion through healing and deliverance. Send me!

2nd Chronicles 24:13 “So those who were engaged in the work labored, and the repairing went forward in their hands, and they restored the house of God to its proper condition and strengthened it.”

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