Scripture reading for May 21st: 2nd Samuel 13-14, Acts 28
Key Scriptures: Acts 28:7-10 “Now in the neighborhood of that place were lands belonging to the chief man of the island, named Publius, who received us and entertained us hospitably for three days. It happened that the father of Publius lay sick with fever and dysentery. And Paul visited him and prayed, and putting his hands on him healed him. And when this had taken place, the rest of the people on the island who had diseases also came and were cured. They also honored us greatly, and when we were about to sail, they put on board whatever we needed.”
Paul and the two hundred seventy-five others on the ship all made it in safely to shore from the shipwreck. The ruler, Publius, received them and took care of them for three days. Paul found out the Publius’ father was sick with a fever and dysentery and visited him and laid hands on him praying for his healing. God answered and the sick people from the island flocked to Paul for prayer and all were cured! This brought great joy to the people and those ship-wrecked were loaded with blessings when they were ready to leave.
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for Your great generosity to heal those who are sick, regardless of race, color or creed. Empower me today to act in faith, praying for those who are sick and in need. Pour out Your blessings on the outcasts and give them life!
2nd Samuel 14:14 “We must all die; we are like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again. But God will not take away life, and He devises means to that the banished one will not remain an outcast.”
Scripture reading for May 20th: 2nd Samuel 11-12, 1st Chronicles 20, Psalm 51, 32, Acts 27
Key Scriptures: Acts 27:34-38 “”Therefore I urge you to take some food. For it will give you strength, for not a hair is to perish from the head of any of you.” And when he had said these things, he took bread, and giving thanks to God in the presence of all he broke it and began to eat. Then they all were encouraged and ate some food themselves. (We were in all 276 persons in the ship.) And when they had eaten enough, they lightened the ship, throwing out the wheat into the sea.”
While on his journey to Rome, the ship’s captain that Paul had warned not to proceed had gone ahead anyway. A great storm arose at sea and all on board despaired of life. Paul was encouraged in a vision that none would be lost except the ship and that he would travel to Rome to testify there. Paul shared his vision with the crew and those aboard the ship and encouraged them to eat something. He took the bread, gave thanks, broke it and ate! This was a type of Holy Communion, a remembering of Jesus’ death and indwelling life!
Psalm 51:10 “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, I trust in Your broken Body and shed Blood for cleansing, healing, forgiveness and encouragement. Open doors today of encouragement and hope, where I can break the Bread of Life through sharing Jesus Christ and His mercy for those who are fearful in the midst of a storm.
2nd Samuel 12:13 “David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die.”
Scripture reading for May 19th: 2nd Samuel 9-10, 1st Chronicles 18-19, Psalm 89, Acts 26
Key Scriptures: Acts 26:19-23 “Therefore, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, but declared first to those in Damascus, then in Jerusalem and throughout all the region of Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds in keeping with their repentance. For this reason the Jews seized me in the temple and tried to kill me. To this day I have had the help that comes from God, and so I stand here testifying both to small and great, saying nothing but what the prophets and Moses said would come to pass: that Christ must suffer and that, by being the first to rise from the dead, He would proclaim light both to our people and to the Gentiles.”
Paul was able to testify before King Agrippa, presenting his own testimony of encountering Jesus and how Jesus Christ came to save both Jew and Gentile. Paul was in jail because of the Jews’ resistance to the message. Paul was standing before King Agrippa because of God’s direction and help. Repentance and turning to God was required of all who would believe and respond!
Psalm 89:1 “I will sing of the steadfast love of the Lord, forever; with my mouth I will make known Your faithfulness to all generations.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for my testimony of being confronted with Who You are, Lord and Savior! Open doors for me to courageously share this message with small or great in the power of the Holy Spirit.
2nd Samuel 10:12 “. . .Be of good courage, and let us be courageous for our people, and for the cities of our God, and may the Lord do what seems good to Him.”
Scripture reading for May 18th: 2nd Samuel 7-8, 1st Chronicles 17, Psalm 132, Acts 25
Key Scriptures: Acts 25:16-19 “I answered them that it was not the custom of the Romans to give up anyone before the accused met the accusers face to face and had opportunity to make his defense concerning the charges laid against him. So when they came together here, I made no delay, but on the next day took my seat on the tribunal and ordered the man to be brought. When the accusers stood up, they brought no charge in his case of such evils as I supposed. Rather they had certain points of dispute with him about their own religion and about a certain Jesus, Who was dead, but whom Paul asserted to be alive.”
The Jews came to Cesarea where Paul was imprisoned awaiting trial. Roman custom was for his accusers to face him and for him to give a defense. The Jews came but had no real charges that would break Roman law. Paul’s defense was his belief in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This confused Festus, the Roman governor. Paul had appealed his case to the Emperor Caesar. Festus shared the facts with King Agrippa and a hearing with Paul was set up. Another opportunity to share Christ was arranged at the highest levels of government. God was at work!
Psalm 132:1 “Remember, O Lord, in David’s favor, all the hardships he endured, . . .”
Faith confession and prayer: I understand that much conflict and many hardships await those who preach Your Gospel. Help me to boldly declare Jesus Christ and His eternal Kingdom.
2nd Samuel 7:12-13 “When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish His kingdom. He shall build a house for My Name, and I will establish the throne of His kingdom forever.”
Scripture reading for May 15th: 1st Chronicles 14-16, Acts 24
Key Scriptures: Acts 24:24-27 “After some days Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish, and he sent for Paul and heard him speak about faith in Christ Jesus. And as he reasoned about righteousness and self-control and the coming judgment, Felix was alarmed and said, “Go away for the present. When I get an opportunity I will summon you.” At the same time he hoped that money would be given him by Paul. So he sent for him often and conversed with him. When two years had elapsed, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus. And desiring to do the Jews a favor, Felix left Paul in prison.”
Paul was always sharing the Gospel. God put Paul in prison but the Gospel went forth, even to the Roman official in charge of him. As Paul shared, reasoning with Felix and his wife, about the coming judgment, they fell under conviction and became uncomfortable. Their real motive for talking with Paul was to obtain a bribe, not to listen to him preach! But God left Paul there for two years, for more opportunities to share with those He wanted to hear. Paul must be faithful and trust God for His plans to be worked out.
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, sometimes it is hard to understand Your timing and my need for faith and patience and faithfulness in a hard field You put us in. Fill me daily with Your Holy Spirit and joy and give me grace and patience to share with those whose motives may be contrary.
1st Chronicles 16:23-24 “Sing to the Lord, all the earth! Tell of His salvation from day to day. Declare His glory among the nations, His marvelous works among all the peoples!”
Scripture reading for May 14th: 2nd Samuel 6, 1st Chronicles 13, Psalm 60, Acts 23
Key Scriptures: Acts 23:8-11 “For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, nor angel, nor spirit, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all. Then a great clamor arose, and some of the scribes of the Pharisees’ party stood up and contended sharply, “We find nothing wrong in this man. What if a spirit or an angel spoke to him?” And when the dissension became violent, the tribune, afraid that Paul would be torn to pieces by them, commanded the soldiers to go down and take him away from among them by force and bring him into the barracks. The following night the Lord stood by him and said, “Take courage, for as you have testified to the facts about Me in Jerusalem, so you must testify also in Rome.””
Paul, led by the Holy Spirit, testified of his hope in the resurrection. As a Pharisee, he was a believer in the supernatural but the Saducees did not believe. Paul used this to divide the Jews who had come to accuse him. The result was a great argument that brought the Roman officials to take Paul out of the courtroom. Jesus appeared again to Paul as he was under house arrest. Jesus instructed him to be courageous. He would be used to testify to the facts about Jesus in Rome as well.
Psalm 60:12 “With God we shall do valiantly; it is He Who will tread down our foes.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord, fill me with the power of the Holy Spirit and I will testify to the facts of Jesus Christ before all men. I will testify of Jesus Christ with all my might as an act of worship.
1st Samuel 6:14 “And David danced before the Lord with all his might. And David was wearing a linen ephod.”
Scripture reading for May 13th: 2nd Samuel 3-5, 1st Chronicles 12, Psalm 122, Acts 22
Key Scriptures: Acts 22:6-10 “”As I was on my way and drew near to Damascus, about noon a great light from heaven suddenly shone around me. And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?’ And I answered, ‘Who are You Lord?’ and He said to me, ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, Whom you are persecuting.’ Now those who were with me saw the light but did not understand the voice of the One Who was speaking to me. And I said, ‘What shall I do, Lord?’ And the Lord said to me, ‘Rise and go into Damascus, and there you will be told all that is appointed for you to do.'”
Paul was intent on finding Christ’s followers and locking them up. But Jesus met him and changed his plans. The risen and exalted Jesus confronted Paul in a great flash of light that knocked him to the ground. As he asked who Jesus was, Jesus revealed Himself to Paul and gave him instructions for the next steps needed on a new journey with new objectives. He would now work with Jesus, Son of David, Son of God and other Christ followers to share the Gospel he once berated and extend the peace of Jerusalem.
Psalm 122:6 “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem! May they be secure who love you!”
Faith confession and prayer: I am thankful that Jesus confronted me with who He is: Lord and Savior! I have committed myself to preach His Gospel of repentance and faith to all He directs me to. Lord fill me with Your love and the Holy Spirit.
2nd Samuel 5:10 “And David became greater and greater, for the Lord, the God of Hosts, was with Him.”
Scripture reading for May 12th: 2 Samuel 1-2, 1st Chronicles 11, Psalm 96, 106, Acts 21
Key Scriptures: Acts 21:10-14 “While we were staying for many days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. And coming to us, he took Paul’s belt and bound his own feet and hands and said, “Thus says the Holy Spirit, ‘This is how the Jews at Jerusalem will bind the man who owns this belt and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.'” When we heard this, we and the people there urged him not to go up to Jerusalem. Then Paul answered, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be imprisoned but even to die in Jerusalem for the Name of the Lord Jesus.” And since he would not be persuaded, we ceased and said, “Let the will of the Lord be done.””
Paul was heading to Jerusalem where he knew that persecution and imprisonment awaited him, even possible death. A prophet, Agabus, warned Paul of what would happen to him but God had directed Paul in his mission. His friends tried to dissuade Paul from going, but Paul set his face towards Jerusalem and all agreed that God’s will must be done! Sometimes His will involves suffering, persecution, and eternal life through death!
Psalm 96:3 “Declare His glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, help me to live faithful to Your Word and will, even if it will bring hardship. I believe Your grace is sufficient for every trial and Your will is always best.
Psalm 106:47 “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.”
Scripture reading for May 11th: 1st Samuel 30-31, 1st Chronicles 10, Acts 20
Key Scriptures: Acts 20:24-28 “But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the Gospel of the grace of God. And now, behold, I know that none of you among whom I have gone about proclaiming the kingdom will see my face again. Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all, for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God. Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which He obtained with His own blood.”
Paul was meeting for a last time with the Ephesian elders that he had ordained and set over the congregation. He shared his view of life and ministry. He wanted to complete what Christ Jesus had laid out for him. In Ephesus Paul had declared the full and whole counsel of God to the church there. He had done his part and was therefore innocent of their blood. They must continue in the Word and be watchful over themselves and the flock of God there. Paul knew there would be trouble arising from within the church from Satan and warned them.
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, I ask to be like Paul the Apostle, fully preaching the whole counsel of God to each congregation to rescue sinners. I will be diligent to speak Your Word as You direct.
1st Samuel 30:7-8 “And David inquired of the Lord, ‘Shall I pursue after this band? Shall I overtake them?” He answered him, “Pursue for you shall surely overtake and shall surely rescue.”
Scripture reading for May 8th: 1st Samuel 28-29, 1st Chronicles 9, Acts 19
Key Scriptures: Acts 19:16-20 “And the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. And this became known to all the residents of Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks. And fear fell upon them all, and the Name of the Lord Jesus was extolled. Also many of those who were now believers came, confessing and divulging their practices. And a number of those who had practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted the value of them and found it came to fifty thousand pieces of silver. So the Word of the Lord continued to increase and prevail mightily.”
The disciples of Jesus were performing many miracles of healing and deliverance from evil spirits in the Name of Jesus. Certain Jewish exorcists tried to use the same “formula” and suffered a great beating by the possessed man. This became widely known and brought conviction on many who brought their demonic materials to the apostles and they burned them up. The stronghold of demonic activity was brought down by the Word of God and the Name of Jesus.
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for Your Name and authority over evil spirits. Help me to walk in faith and power to see Your Word increase and prevail in this region and time. May I never seek help from evil spirits, but confront and overthrow them.
1st Samuel 28:7 “Then Saul said to his servants, “Seek out for me a woman who is a medium, that I may go to her and inquire of her.” And his servants said to him, “Behold, there is a medium at En-dor.””