Blessed godly grief!

Scripture reading for September 24th: Habakkuk; 2nd Corinthians 7

Key Scriptures: 2nd Corinthians 7:8-11 “For even if I made you grieve with my letter, I do not regret it–though I did regret it, for I see that that letter grieved you, though only for a while. As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us. For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death. For see what earnestness this godly grief has produced in you, but also what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what punishment! At every point you have proved yourselves innocent in the matter.”

Paul had written plainly to the Corinthians this second time to appeal to them to forgive a brother who had been disciplined for sexual sins. He had some regrets at first, that he might offend them, but he ended up rejoicing when their godly grief over this brother’s sin caused him and them to repent and do the right thing. Worldly grief leads only to death–sorrow for sin alone won’t bring forgiveness and life. Godly sorrow leads to repentance and true transformation.

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, help me to receive correction with grace and humility and true repentance. May I not shrink from godly correction of one who may need to experience mercy by repentance.

Habakkuk 3:12-13 “You marched through the earth in fury; You threshed the nations in anger. You went out for the salvation of Your people, for the salvation of Your anointed.”

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We are the Temple!

Scripture reading for September 23rd: 2nd Chronicles 34-35, 2nd Corinthians 6

Key Scriptures: 2nd Corinthians 6:16-18 “What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make My dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me, says the Lord Almighty.”

Under the New Covenant, there is a new temple. The new temple isn’t a building of brick or stone, but it is made up of living stones that are filled with the presence of God. God promised to make His dwelling place among men. He calls men and women to come out from entanglement with the world and it’s human-centered philosophies. No more idols are to defile His temple. God welcomes us as sons and daughters, a living temple where He dwells with us!

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, there is no agreement between Your temple and idols! Deliver me from Your wrath. Fill Your temple (my body) with Your Holy Spirit and dwell in me. I joyfully accept adoption as Your son.

2nd Chronicles 34:25 “Because they have forsaken Me and have made offerings to other gods, that they might provoke Me to anger with all the works of their hands, therefore My wrath will be poured out on this place and will not be quenched.”

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Confidence before Christ!

Scripture reading for September 22nd: 2nd Kings 22-23, Psalm 73, 2nd Corinthians 5

Key Scriptures: 2nd Corinthians 5:6-10 “So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body, and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.”

When we walk by faith in Jesus Christ we can be constantly filled with courage and confidence. It does not matter what is happening to us at the moment, whether we are facing death or suffering in this life. We are confident that it will be better to be with the Lord in our eternal home. We can also have confidence to stand before Christ Jesus at His judgment seat and know we will be rewarded for our faith and obedience. Our confessed sins will be forgiven and forgotten. Praise the Lord!

Psalm 73:23-24 “Nevertheless, I am continually with you; You hold my right hand. You guide me with Your counsel, and afterward You will receive me to glory.”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, You are my courage and confidence in this life and for eternity. I am confident to stand before You because of what Jesus Christ did for me. Guide me each day to do Your will!

2nd Kings 23:25 “Before him there was no king like him (King Josiah), who turned to the Lord with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his might, according to all the Law of Moses, nor did any like him arise after him.”

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Faith unveils the glory!

Scripture reading for September 21st: Nahum, Psalm 149, 2nd Corinthians 4

Key Scriptures: 2nd Corinthians 4:3-6 “And even if our Gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the Gospel for the glory of Christ, Who is the image of God. For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, Who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”

Paul carefully explained to the Corinthians how the Gospel of Jesus Christ brings light to darkened hearts. Satan, the ‘god of this world’, acts to blind the minds and hearts of the unbeliever to block out the light. But those who have believed receive the light and proclaim the Gospel by confessing “Jesus is Lord!” We joyfully become servants of all men, proclaiming the Gospel and sharing the light of Jesus’ glory by living a holy and consecrated life. We long to see Jesus face to face in full glory!

Psalm 149:2 “Let Israel be glad in his Maker, let the children of Zion rejoice in their King! Let them praise His Name with dancing, making melody to Him with tambourine and lyre!”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, fill me with Your light and truth today that I may reflect “Jesus is Lord” to the world You want to reach with the Gospel. May Christ’s light overcome Satan’s dark veil of death today and forever as I call others to take refuge in You.

Nahum 1:7 “The Lord is good, a Stronghold in the day of trouble; He knows those who take refuge in Him.”

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Repentance removes the veil!

Scripture reading for September 18th: 2nd Kings 21, 2nd Chronicles 33, Psalm 71, 2nd Corinthians 3

Key Scriptures: 2nd Corinthians 3:15-18 “Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts. But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord Who is Spirit.”

Paul explained that the Old Covenant Law came with a fading glory. Moses had to put a veil over his face so that the fading glory would not be visible to the Israelites. Their hearts were hard and the Law brought death. But now the New Covenant of eternal life through the Holy Spirit brings life and access for each believer into the Holy of Holies to behold Jesus. We have freedom to enter through the Spirit and Jesus’ blood covering our sins. The veil was torn from top to bottom when Jesus cried: “It is finished!” We are all being transformed by Jesus’ glory into His image by the Holy Spirit. Hallelujah!

Psalm 71:19 “Your righteousness, O God, reaches the high heavens. You Who have done great things, O God, Who is like You?”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for purchasing my freedom to enter Your presence and behold Your glory. Transform me today by the Holy Spirit into Your image. Let the glory increase to Your eternal glory!

2nd Chronicles 33:12-13 “And when he (Manasseh) was in distress, he entreated the favor of the Lord his God and he humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers. He prayed to Him and God was moved by his entreaty and heard his plea and brought him again to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord was God.”

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Forgive and comfort!

Scripture reading for September 17th: Isaiah 64-66, 2nd Corinthians 2

Key Scriptures: 2nd Corinthians 2:5-11 “Now if anyone has caused pain he has caused it not to me, but in some measure–not to put it too severely–to all of you. For such a one, this punishment by the majority is enough, so you should rather turn to forgive and comfort him, or he may be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. So I beg you to reaffirm your love for him. For this is why I wrote, that I might test you and know whether your are obedient in everything. Anyone whom you forgive, I also forgive. Indeed, what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of Christ, so that we would not be outwitted by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his devices.”

Paul’s purpose in his second letter was to encourage the Corinthians to forgive and restore a repentant brother who had been under church discipline. Paul encouraged them to forgive and comfort, and not to hold anything against him. Paul stated that this was a test of their obedience. He also reminded them that Satan’s plans and traps were set for them. Satan would like to see the church divided and bring strife and hatred in through unforgiveness. Christ Jesus is our example of grace.

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for forgiving us and bringing us Your comfort and love by the gift of the Holy Spirit. Continue to inform me of the traps and devices of Satan that I might walk in freedom.

Isaiah 66:2 “All these things My hand has made, and so all these things came to be, declares the Lord. But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at My Word.”

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Comfort in afflictions!

Scripture reading for September 16th: Isaiah 60-63, 2nd Corinthians 1

Key Scriptures: 2nd Corinthians 1:2-5 “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, Who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.”

Paul wrote a second letter to the Corinthian church. As he greeted them, he offered grace and peace and blessing. He blessed God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, confessing faith in God’s great mercy and ability to comfort those in affliction. He lifted up Jesus as God’s Son and the One who suffered death for us. He spoke comfort to them in their afflictions for the sake of Christ. The comfort would flow in abundance from a ‘God of all comfort’!

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for Your comfort in all affliction and trouble. May Your mercy and comfort flow through me and Your people to a hurting world today.

Isaiah 63:9 “In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the angel of His presence saved them; in His love and in His pity He redeemed them; He lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.”

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Safeguarding finances!

Scripture reading for September 15th: Isaiah 56-59, Psalm 70, 1st Corinthians 16

Key Scriptures: 1st Corinthians 16:1-4 “Now concerning the collection for the saints: as I directed the churches of Galatia, so you also are to do. On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that there will be no collecting when I come. And when I arrive, I will send those whom you accredit by letter to carry your gift to Jerusalem. If it seems advisable that I should go also, they will accompany me.”

Paul gave simple and godly instructions to the church concerning an offering that was to go to the church in Jerusalem. There was to be no pressure in the giving. Each person was to put aside something, as God had prospered him and the collection should be taken and stored safely until time to deliver it. Trustworthy people were to be selected to carry the offering to Jerusalem. If they church preferred, Paul was willing to go as well on their behalf. Everything concerning finances was done in an orderly manner with accountability.

Psalm 70:4 “May all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You! May those who love Your salvation say evermore, “God is great!”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for giving such clear instructions concerning kingdom finances and accountability. Help me to give generously and without compulsion to Your kingdom work.

Isaiah 58:10-11 “. . if you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a well-watered garden, a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.”

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Resurrection mystery unfolded!

Scripture reading for September 14th: Isaiah 53-55, Psalm 128, 1st Corinthians 15

Key Scriptures: 1st Corinthians 15:50-53 “I tell you this, brothers; flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.”

Paul explained the mystery of the resurrection, using a seed as an illustration. The seed going into the ground may not have any resemblance to the plant that will grow from it. So the fleshly body that is put in the grave will be raised a spiritual body full of life eternal. Jesus Christ is the fore-runner. His body was buried but raised on the third day a glorious immortal body. As believers in Jesus, we may not understand it, but we wait expectantly for the last trumpet! The best is yet to come!

Psalm 128:5 “The Lord bless you from Zion! May you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life!”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for explaining the mystery of the resurrection body and showing Yours to the disciples. Empower me to share this mystery to bless Your people with heavenly vision and eternal life.

Isaiah 53:10 “Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush Him; He has put Him to grief; when His soul makes an offering for guilt, He shall see His offspring; He shall prolong His days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.”

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Prophesy builds up the Church

Scripture reading for September 11th: Isaiah 49-52, Psalm 69, 1st Corinthians 14

Key Scriptures: 1st Corinthians 14:1-4 “Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy. For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men, but to God; for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the Spirit. On the other hand, the one who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation. The one who speaks in a tongue builds up himself, but the one who prophesies builds up the church.”

As Paul wrote to the church concerning spiritual gifts, he emphasized that they should seek to prophesy above all the other gifts. Tongues builds up the individual who speaks. They allow the Holy Spirit to speak to God through them in mysteries. Prophesy speaks God’s thoughts in a known language and is profitable to the church. It builds up, encourages and comforts all members of the church since what is said can be understood by all. God is a God of order, not confusion. This doesn’t mean that tongues are unimportant. If they are interpreted, they serve the Church like prophesy.

Psalm 69:35-36 “For God will save Zion and build up the cities of Judah, and people shall dwell there and possess it: the offspring of His servants shall inherit it, and those who love His Name shall dwell in it.”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Use me to build up Your church and be an encouragement to Your people through the gift of prophesy.

Isaiah 51:15-16 “I am the Lord your God, Who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar–the Lord of Hosts is His Name. And I have put My words in your mouth and covered you in the shadow of My hand, establishing the heavens and laying the foundation of the earth, and saying to Zion: ‘You are My people.'”

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