Scripture reading for August 2nd: Matthew 25
Key Scriptures: Matthew 25:41-46 “”Then He will say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave Me no food, I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome Me, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’ Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.””
Jesus was again very clear about God’s judgment of mankind. God the Father has given all judgment to His Son. When the Son of Man comes, He will gather all nations before Him and then separate people one by one into either the sheep, who will be placed on His right hand, or the goats, which will be placed on His left hand. The Son will reward the sheep with eternal life and commendation while the goats will be sent away in disgrace to face eternal punishment in the Lake of Fire. This place of punishment was prepared by God for the devil and his angels but will also be the lot of those who refused Christ’s mercy and went their own way, rebellious as a goat. From Christ’s description, there will be many surprises on that day among both the sheep and the goats. These surprises will be eternal life and blessing or eternal damnation. No intermediate place is ever mentioned!
Matthew 25:30 “‘And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'”
Faith confession and prayer: Father God, You are loving and good in all that You do and Your Word is flawless and true. Help me to listen carefully and obediently and share it as clearly as Jesus did that none might suffer eternal fire. May Your sheepfold be full of those brought to safety through the Good News of Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd.
Ezekiel 34:11-12 “For thus says the Lord God: Behold, I, Myself will search for My sheep and will seek them out. As a shepherd seeks out his flock when is is among his sheep that have been scattered, so will I seek out My sheep, and I will rescue them from all the places where they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness.”
Scripture reading for February 18th: Romans 8
Key Scriptures: Romans 8:14-18 “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by Whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs–heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of adoption given to all who trust in Jesus Christ. From inside we now know God as our Father and call Him “Abba!” (Daddy) The Holy Spirit leads us to know God and His Word and helps us apply it to our life. He reveals our inheritance as children of God. He helps us to endure suffering and persecution here on earth while we await the fullness of redemption–our brand new bodies! He provides vision of the coming glory and gives us power to pray when we don’t even know how to pray. Faith drives out fear as the Spirit of adoption reveals Whose we are and what God has planned for us!
John 6:63 “It is the Spirit Who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The Words that I have spoken to you are Spirit and life.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for the Holy Spirit that cries “Abba! Father!” within me. Fill me with the Holy Spirit afresh today that I might walk in my inheritance and fulfill Your will here on earth until I have the fullness in Your eternal presence and behold Your glory.
Ezekiel 36:27 “And I will put My Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes and be careful to obey My rules.”
Scripture reading for January 26th: Mark 7
Key Scriptures: Mark 7:17-23 “And when He had entered the house and left the people, His disciples asked Him about the parable. And He said to them, “Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, since it enters not his heart, but his stomach, and is expelled?” (Thus He declared all foods clean.) And He said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.””
After a discourse with the Pharisees concerning Jesus and His disciples not holding to the traditions of the elders, Jesus made the statement that nothing from outside a person can defile him. This challenged the Pharisees rules about washing and eating certain foods that were unclean. The disciples also struggled to understand what Jesus had meant and asked Him privately to explain. He explained that food enters the stomach and is eliminated. Food is not a source of inner contamination. But evil resides in the heart and comes out of the mouth and heart through sinful attitudes, judgements, immorality and pride and slander. These all come from inside the heart and render all men unclean. Only God can remedy the inner state. No rules or laws can make one clean or righteous.
Romans 3:20 “For by works of the law no human being will be justified in His sight, since through the law comes the knowledge of sin.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, I am thankful for Your inner cleansing by the blood of my Savior through faith by grace. Help me daily through the Holy Spirit to walk in my redeemed identity, a child of God. Give me discernment of any legalism or attempts to earn Your favor.
Ezekiel 36:25-27 “I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses and from all your idols I will cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put My Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes and be careful to obey my rules.”
Scripture reading for November 12th: Ezekiel 46-48; Psalm 88; John 16
Key Scriptures: John 16:30-33 “Now we know that You know all things and do not need anyone to question You; this is why we believe that You came from God.” Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave Me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with Me. I have said these thing to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
Jesus was giving His disciples a last Word of encouragement and prophetic truth before going to the Garden of Gethsemane and His crucifixion, death, and resurrection. They had confessed faith that He was from God and that they trusted in Him. Jesus plainly told them they would all desert Him and be scattered in a coming hour. Jesus assured them that He would not be alone, but the Father would be with Him. He told them this that they might have peace in trusting in Him. In the world they would experience tribulation and trial, but as they held fast to Him, they would overcome as He overcame! Perseverance was mandatory. Amen!
Psalm 88:18 “You have caused my beloved and my friend to shun me; my companions have become darkness.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, You alone know all things. Continue to speak prophetic truth to my soul concerning coming trials and bring peace to my soul, even though others may abandon me. Let the water of Your Word bring life and freshness in my life and everywhere I share it.
Ezekiel 47:9 “And wherever the river goes, every living creature that swarms will live, and there will be very many fish. For this water goes there, that the waters of the sea may become fresh; so everything will live where the river goes.”
Scripture reading for November 11th: Ezekiel 43-45; Psalm 135; John 15
Key Scriptures: John 15:18-21 “If the world hates you, know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the Word that I said to you: “A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My Word, they will also keep yours. But all these things they will do to you on account of My Name, because they do not know Him who sent Me.”
The world as it is used here refers to the mass of unredeemed humanity under the darkness of sin and the world system of Babylon. Those who are still a captive of sin and Satan have a hatred for Jesus and those who follow Him. The world loves its own but despises disciples of Jesus and the Lord Himself. Disciples have been chosen by Jesus to come out of the world and join the kingdom of heaven. They are grafted into Jesus Christ, the true Vine of Life. Disciples remember the Word of Jesus concerning the world’s hatred and live by faith, loving each other and those still caught in the trap of the devil. They want to see all men saved and know Jesus Christ.
Psalm 135:14 “For the Lord will vindicate His people and have compassion on His servants.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for Your precious Word and Your patient endurance of suffering and persecution by those still under this world system. Your goodness has lead me and others to repentance and my eternal inheritance, Jesus Christ forever and ever.
Ezekiel 44:28 “This shall be their inheritance: I am their inheritance: and you shall give them no possession in Israel; I am their possession.”
Scripture reading for November 10th: Ezekiel 39-42; John 14
Key Scriptures: John 14:25-27 “These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My Name, He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
Peace is not easy to come by in the troubled world we all live in. There are many ‘peace-robbers’ that can cause fear, troubled hearts and shattered lives. The disciples of Jesus lived in such a world as well and Jesus knew that they were about to have their world turned upside down. He prepared them for the coming events by reminding them of His teaching and Words of wisdom. He promised them a “Helper” in the Holy Spirit Who would be sent to them by the Father. The Holy Spirit would continue to teach them and bring everything Jesus taught to their remembrance. The peace of Christ is ours! Now and forever!
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, Your Word brought to my remembrance by the Holy Spirit brings me peace that passes my understanding. You are the “Prince of Peace”!
Ezekiel 39:29 “And I will not hide My face anymore from them, when I pour out My Spirit upon the house of Israel, declares the Lord God.”
Scripture reading for November 9th: Ezekiel 37-39; Psalm 87; John 13
Key Scriptures: John 13:31-35 “When he (Judas) had gone out, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in Him. If God is glorified in Him, God will also glorify Him in Himself, and glorify Him at once. Little children, yet a little while I am with you. You will seek Me, and just as I said to the Jews, so now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going you cannot come.’ A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Judas had just left the upper room to betray Jesus. Jesus announced His soon coming glory: His crucifixion death, burial and resurrection. By this, the Father would receive glory and the Father would glorify His Son–at once! Jesus told His disciples that where He was going they could not come. No other man could go through the experience that Jesus would go through for all mankind. He demonstrated the greatest love mankind would ever know and commanded His disciples to love one another. Love would be the most genuine proof to the world and the Church of discipleship.
Psalm 87:3 “Glorious things of you are spoken, O city of God.” Selah (pause and think about that)
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, I give You glory for Your great sacrifice for me, a sinner and for all sinners. Out of thankfulness and the infilling of Your Holy Spirit, I will love my brothers and sisters and share Your glorious Gospel.
Ezekiel 37:24 “”My servant David shall be king over them, and they shall all have one Shepherd. They shall walk in My rules and be careful to obey My statutes.””
Scripture reading for November 6th: Ezekiel 34-36; Psalm 86; John 12
Key Scriptures: John 12:44-48 “And Jesus cried out and said, “Whoever believes in Me, believes not in Me but in Him Who sent Me. And whoever sees Me sees Him Who sent Me. I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in Me may not remain in darkness. If anyone hears My Words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. The one who rejects Me and does not receive My Words has a judge; the Word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day.”
As Jesus approached the end of His ministry, He plainly called out to whoever would listen, encouraging them to believe in Him and receive His Words. He again proclaimed that He was the Light of the world and His Words would bring light as well. His Word would bring salvation which was His main purpose. Those rejecting His Word and Him would be judged by the Word they rejected. There is a day coming–the ‘last day’, when the judgment will come. Choices determine destiny!
Psalm 86:5 “For You, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon You. Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer; listen to my plea for grace.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord, I believe in You and the Father Who sent You. Your life and Words bring me eternal light. Help me to share Your Word under the power of the Holy Spirit calling men to choose life and light in Jesus Christ as their eternal destiny.
Ezekiel 36:26 “And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”
Scripture reading for November 5th: Ezekiel 31-33; John 11
Key Scriptures: John 11:21-27 “Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever You ask from God, God will give You.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in Me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this? She said to Him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that You are the Christ the Son of God, Who is coming into the world.”“
What we believe about Jesus Christ determines our eternal destiny. Martha believed that Jesus could have saved her brother. She also believed that whatever Jesus asked the Father He would get. Jesus simply stated that Lazarus would rise again. Martha understood this hope through the Word of God. Jesus made an additional revelation: “I am the Resurrection and the Life. Whoever believes in Me, though he die, yet shall he live and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die.” Jesus asked her if she believed this powerful statement. She replied with a clear statement of faith in Jesus Christ and Who He is. Jesus had revealed the path to eternal life to her and all who will respond in faith.
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, I believe You are the Christ, Savior of my soul, Son of the Living God. Thank You for providing for my resurrection and eternal life. I will share this good news!
Ezekiel 33:11 “Say to them, As I live, declares the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die, O house of Israel?”
Scripture reading for November 4th: Ezekiel 28-30; John 10
Key Scriptures: John 10:7-11 “So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the Door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. I am the good Shepherd. The good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.”
Jesus used the analogy of sheep and a shepherd to illustrate His ministry to His true followers. A “good shepherd” would lay his life down for his sheep. He would stretch himself out over the door of the sheepfold during the night hours, protecting them with his own body. Any sheep entering the fold had to pass under his rod of authority before entering. Any wolf would be beaten back. The good shepherd speaks to his sheep and they know his voice. He leads them to green pastures and by still waters. This analogy brings great understanding and comfort to God’s sheep!
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, You are my Good Shepherd and the Door to eternal life and peace. Speak to me daily and lead me through this wilderness of this world to my eternal home with You.
Ezekiel 28:25 “”Thus says the Lord God: When I gather the house of Israel from the peoples among whom they are scattered, and manifest My holiness in them in the sight of the nations, then they shall dwell in their own land that I gave to My servant Jacob.””