Scripture reading for November 14th: Ezekiel 46-48, John 16
John 16: 19-22 “Jesus knew that they wanted to ask Him, so He said to them, “Is this what you are asking yourselves, what I meant by saying, ‘a little while and you will not see Me, and again a little while and you will see Me’? Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy. When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.”
As Jesus explained how He would go away for a time and then they would see Him again, the disciples struggled to understand. Jesus, perceiving this, used a woman giving birth as an illustration of how this event would affect them. As the labor brought pain and lament in the time immediately before the birth, so the disciples would experience pain and lament. The world would rejoice. As the woman quickly forgot the anguish of the birth, joyful at the new baby and new life, so the disciples would also rejoice at Jesus appearing again, having conquered death. He would confirm His resurrection to them in such a way that no one could ever rob them of their joy and hope! They would ask the Father for their needs and receive in Jesus’ Name! Amen!
John 16:23-24 “”In that day you will ask nothing of Me. Truly truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in My Name, He will give it to you. Until now you have asked nothing in My Name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.””
Prayer: Father God, thank You for these amazing truths and promises of joy and answered prayer. Forgive me for my unbelief in failing to ask You at times for my needs and power to accomplish Your will. Let the river of Your love through the Holy Spirit flow in me, the new ‘temple’, to reach the lost and dying in this world. Encourage me that everywhere that river flows, life will result! Amen!
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
John 15: 18-23 “”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 this 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. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have been guilty of sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. Whoever hates Me hates My Father also.””
In this last major message before the cross, Jesus explained to His disciples that they had been called out of the world system and into the family and house of God. Because of this, the world would hate them. They were no longer a part of the world system of idolatry, self-exaltation and greed. As the world, political and religious, hated Jesus, so it would hate those who followed Him by faith. All this hatred was because those in the world did not know the Father Who loved them enough to send His only Son to buy them back from the darkness of sin and death. Jesus came and spoke the Word to them and demonstrated God’s love and mercy with miracles and healing. Knowledge brings responsibility and judgment if not applied.
Psalm 135:1-4 “Praise the Lord! Praise the Name of the Lord, give praise, O servants of the Lord, who stand in the house of the Lord, in the courts of the house of our God! Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good; sing to His Name, for it is pleasant! For the Lord has chosen Jacob for Himself, Israel as His own possession.”
Prayer: Holy Father in heaven, thank You for Your Word and Your Son Who revealed You to us in teaching and living a holy life before us. We praise You and declare Your goodness and mercy! Thank You for choosing us and placing Your glory within us by the gift of Your Holy Spirit. Use me today to share the Good News of a Savior and Father Who loves us and forgives sin and cleanses us from hatred and lies.
Ezekiel 43:1 “Then he led me to the gate, the gate facing east. And behold the glory of the God of Israel was coming from the east. And the sound of His coming was like the sound of many waters, and the earth shone with His glory.”
Scripture reading for November 10th: Ezekiel 40-42; John 14
John 14: 1-6 “”Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to Myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going” Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him “I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.””
The disciples were troubled about Jesus sharing with them His betrayal by one of them and His coming departure. Jesus reassured them and encouraged them to keep on trusting in Him. His departure had a purpose. He was preparing a place for them to be with Him forever and ever. He would come again and take them with Him to be with Him forever. Those who love Him would seek to obey His Words and they would receive another Helper Who would instruct them and guide them in the Truth–the Spirit of Truth. The Spirit of Truth would uniquely be only with them and those trusting Jesus and knowing Him. Jesus Christ was the only Way to Father’s house, the Truth, and eternal Life. We are being ‘measured’ for our mansion!
John 14:15-17 “”If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of Truth, Whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. You know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.””
Prayer: Father God, how I long to live in Your eternal holiness and presence. Thank You for making that possible for me and any who will choose to believe in Your Son, Jesus Christ. I believe He is the only Way to Your House. Thank You for the Holy Spirit Who is with me now and forever, preparing and guiding me in obeying Your Word and sharing Your truth with those still looking for the Path to Your house.
Ezekiel 40:2-3 “In visions of God He brought me to the land of Israel, and set me down on a very high mountain, on which was a structure like a city to the south. When He brought me there, behold there was a man whose appearance was like bonze, with a linen cord and a measuring reed in his hand. . .”
Scripture reading for November 9th: Ezekiel 37-39, Psalm 87, John 13
John 13: 14-20 “”If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. I am not speaking of all of you: I know whom I have chosen. But the Scripture will be fulfilled, ‘He who ate My bread has lifted his heel against Me.’ I am telling you this now, before it takes place, that when it does take place you may believe that I am He. Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives Me; and whoever receives Me receives the One Who sent Me.””
Jesus had washed the disciples feet at the Last Supper and when He had finished, He instructed those disciples who would become apostles–“sent out ones.” This great Master, Lord and Teacher showed them what their mission was–serving and loving one another. As servants, these apostles were not ‘greater’ than their Master and Lord. It would be a blessed act to apply these Words of Jesus. Those who would respond to their apostolic message would receive them. In receiving them, they would receive Jesus Who sent them. In receiving Jesus, they would also receive the One Father Who sent Him. Those receiving would be given by grace the gift of the Father–the Holy Spirit and keys of God’s kingdom.
Ezekiel 39:7 “And My holy Name I will make known in the midst of My people Israel, and I will not let My holy Name be profaned any more. And the nations shall know that I am the Lord, the Holy One of Israel.”
Prayer: Father God, the Holy One of Israel and Most High, thank You for sending Jesus Christ, Master, Lord, Teacher, and Savior to set an example for His followers of servant leadership. Thank You for marking each of those who believe with Your Holy Spirit and writing our names in Your register. Use me to share this Good News with all nations that all may know You and the Father Who sent You.
Psalm 87:5-6 “And of Zion it shall be said, “This one and that one were born in her”; for the Most High Himself will establish her. The Lord records as He registers the peoples, “This one was born there.” Selah
Scripture reading for November 8th: Ezekiel 34-36, Psalm 86, John 12
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.”
Jesus was nearing the end of His earthly mission and He made clear that His mission was from God and His Words were absolute truth that was to be received and obeyed. His mission was to reveal the Father to people in darkness and to provide a “way” back to God’s family through the sacrifice of His own body and blood. He was not on earth to judge people or condemn them, but to save them from the penalty of their sins–eternal death. He was there to reverse the curse of sin and death and provide grace for eternal life. His mission would be continued by those who believed His Word and received Him. The gathering of God’s people had begun and their cleansing with the clean water of repentance and faith.
Ezekiel 36: 23-26 “And I will vindicate the holiness of My great Name, which has been profaned among the nations, and which you have profaned among them. And the nations will know that I am the Lord, declares the Lord God, when through you I vindicate My holiness before their eyes. I will take you from the nations and gather you from all the countries and bring you into your own land. 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.”
Prayer: Holy Father, thank You for having mercy on me when I was in the darkness of sin and headed for death. Thank You for those who shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ with me that I might be gathered into Your forever family. Thank You for the ultimate sign of Your favor, the blessed Holy Spirit, Who marks me as belonging to You and leads me to know and obey Your eternal Word. I will praise You for eternity!
Psalm 86:17 “Show me a sign of Your favor, that those who hate me may see and be put to shame because You, Lord, have helped me and comforted me.”
Scripture reading for November 7th: Ezekiel 31-33, John 11
John 11:47-50 “Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what He did, believed in Him, but some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. So the chief priest and the Pharisees gathered the council and said, “What are we to do? For this Man performs many signs. If we let Him go on like this, everyone will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.” But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all. Nor do you understand that it is better for you that one man should die for the people, not that the whole nation should perish.””
Jesus had just raised His friend Lazarus from the grave after three days. Many Jews who witnessed this became believers in Jesus as the Messiah. Some were of another opinion and went to tell the Pharisees and the high priest, Caiaphas. The council of seventy was convened to discuss the problem of Jesus. There was concern that Jesus would continue to make converts and this would bring the judgment of Rome upon the Jews and they would lose everything. Caiaphas spoke out, advocating Jesus’ death to save the nation. Little did he realize that the Spirit of God spoke through him in prophetic truth. Jesus would not only save the nation, but all the children of God scattered among the nations. This set in motion Jesus’ death by crucifixion.
John 11:51-53 “He did not say this of his own accord, but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, and no for the nation only, but also to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad. So from that day on they made plans to put Him to death.”
Prayer: Father God, thank You for Your Word revealing Your plan of forgiveness for us as wicked sinners. Thank You that Jesus Christ, Your Son, willingly and freely came to earth to give His life in place of ours. Use me to share this amazing Good News and call people to repentance and faith and eternal life in Your household forever.
Ezekiel 33:10-11 “”And you, son of man, say to the house of Israel, Thus you have said: ‘Surely our transgressions and our sins are upon us, and we rot away because of them. How then can we live?’ 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
John 10: 14-19 “I am the Good Shepherd. I know My own and My own know Me, just as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to My voice. So there will be one flock, one Shepherd. For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of My own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from My Father.” There was again a division among the Jews because of these words.”
Jesus used a familiar illustration for His instruction of the Jews concerning His role and mission on earth. He was the “Good Shepherd” who knew and loved His sheep. His sheep would listen to His voice and knew Him as their “Shepherd”. As a Good Shepherd, Jesus stated plainly that He would lay His life down for the sake of the sheep, a reference to the crucifixion to come. This would protect them from the ‘wolf’, or Satan. Jesus plainly stated that His Father loved Him and this obedient sacrifice was assigned to Him by the Father. These amazing words brought division among the Jews. Some said Jesus was demonically possessed or insane and others refuted them with the fact that Jesus had opened the blind man’s eyes. And Jesus had a bigger flock as well–His sacrifice was for the whole of mankind!
John 10:4-6 “When He has brought out all His own, He goes before them, and the sheep follow Him, for they know His voice. A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” This figure of speech Jesus used with them, but they did not understand what He was saying to them.”
Prayer: Father God, thank You for the loving and merciful gift to us ‘sheep’ of the ability to hear Your voice and know Your Son, Jesus Christ, as the “Good Shepherd” Who laid His life down on the cross for me and all who will choose to believe on Him. Protect me always from the voices of strangers and assure me daily of Your precious love and promises of eternal life in Your presence.
Ezekiel 28:25-26 “”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. And they shall dwell securely in it, and they shall build houses and plant vineyards. They shall dwell securely, when I execute judgments upon all their neighbors who have treated them with contempt. Then they will know that I am the Lord their God.””
Scripture reading for November 3rd: Ezekiel 25-27, Psalm 85, John 9
John 9: 1-7 “As He passed by, He saw a man blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. We must work the works of Him Who sent Me wile it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” Having said these things, He spit on the ground and made mud with saliva. Then He anointed the man’s eyes with the mud and said to him, “Go wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing.”
Jesus came to this earth to fully obey His Father and reveal His Father’s great love and compassion for those living in the darkness of sin and this fallen world created by Adam[s disobedience. As Jesus walked by on the Sabbath, His eyes saw a man blind from birth. The disciples asked Jesus why this man was born blind. They assumed it was because of sin–either the man’s or his parents. Jesus declared that neither was the real issue. The Father sent Jesus into this fallen world to be the “Light of the World” and to open blind eyes to the hidden reality of their Father’s love and compassion. God our Father gives to sinners freely and generously what they don’t deserve or can’t get for themselves. Blind eyes opened bring forth the harvest God our Father desires! Praise our Lord!
Psalm 85:10-12 “Steadfast love and faithfulness meet; righteousness and peace kiss each other. Faithfulness springs up from the ground and righteousness looks down from the sky. Yes, the Lord will give what is good, and our land will yield its increase.”
Prayer: Father God, thank You that you are always working to bring salvation and light to those in the darkness of sin and death. You are the Light of the world! Your steadfast love and faithfulness are on display in Your Son Jesus Christ, the Righteous Servant. You have given us what is truly good for us, forgiveness of sins and eternal life in Your Presence. Let the earth bring forth the harvest of souls!!
Ezekiel 26:20 “. . then I will make you (the city of Tyre) go down with those who go down to the pit, to the people of old, and I will make you to dwell in the world below, among ruins from of old, with those who go down to the pit, so that you will not be inhabited; but I will set beauty in the land of the living.”
Scripture reading for November 2nd: Ezekiel 22-24, Psalm 134, John 8
John 8: 39-44 “They answered Him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would be doing the works Abraham did, but now you seek to kill Me, a Man Who has told you the truth that I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did. You are doing the works your father did.” They said to Him, “We were not born of sexual immorality. We have one Father–even God.” Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of My own accord, but He sent Me. Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear My Word. Your are of your father, the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
The Jews came to Jesus and Jesus told them that if they would abide in His Word, they would know the truth and the truth would make them free. This offended them and they claimed that they were never slaves and did not need to be free. Jesus stated that everyone who sinned was a slave of sin. Freedom from sin could only come through Him. This really offended them and they were seeking to find a way to kill Jesus. Jesus carefully explained that if they were truly Abraham’s children, and God was their Father, they would love Him and believe His Word. But since they sought to kill Jesus and rejected the truth, they were under their true father, the devil. The fruit of this fatherhood is murder and lies! The fruit of true children of God is love, joy, peace and humble obedience and intercession for God’s people.
Ezekiel 22:30 “And I sought for a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the breach before Me for the land, that I should not destroy it, but I found none.”
Prayer: Holy Father, thank You for revealing Your love and heart to me through Jesus Christ, Your Son. I respond to Your love by loving You and seeking humbly to obey. I stand against the evil one, Satan, and his lies and murdering ways. Forgive those who are under that spirit and use me to share Your love and the Gospel that they might be saved and bless Your Name forever and ever.”
Psalm 134: 1-2 “Come, bless the Lord, all you servants of the Lord, who stand by night in the house of the Lord. Lift up your hands to the holy place and bless the Lord!”
Scripture reading for November 1st: Ezekiel 19-21, John 7
John 7: 12-18 “And there was much muttering about Him among the people. While some said, “He is a good man,” others said, “No, He is leading the people astray.” Yet for fear of the Jews no one spoke openly of Him. About the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and began teaching. The Jews therefore marveled, saying, “How is it that this man has learning, when He has never studied?” So Jesus answered them, “My teaching is not mine, but His Who sent Me. If anyone’s will is to do God’s will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on My own authority. The one who speaks on his own authority seeks his own glory; but the one who seeks the glory of Him Who sent Him is true, and in Him there is no falsehood.”
The people who heard Jesus, other than His disciples, had mixed opinions about Him and His teachings. Some considered Jesus was possibly Elijah the Prophet or maybe the Christ, and others felt that His teaching was contrary to the truth. Jesus spoke plainly to explain why there were conflicting opinions. He stated that His teaching was not His own, but came from God the Father Who had sent Him to earth. He explained that motives of the heart determine how His teaching was received. Those who truly wanted to do God’s will would know that His teaching was from God. Those who had other motives of judging or self-promotion would not know the truth, thus division would result based on heart motives.
John 7:40-43 “When they heard these words, some of people said, “This really is the Prophet.” Others said, This is the Christ.” But some said, “Is the Christ to come from Galilee? Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the offspring of David, and comes from Bethlehem, the village where David was? So there was division among the people over Him.”
Prayer: Father God, You alone know our hearts and the motives and opinions we hold. Forgive us for selfish motives and opinions instead of seeking to do Your will alone. Examine my heart and cleanse my motives. I believe Jesus is God’s Son and Your Word is truth to be listened to and obeyed. I desire to worship You only and find my will in Yours.
Ezekiel 20:30-32 “”Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord God: Will you defile yourselves after the manner of your fathers and go whoring after their detestable things? When you present your gifts and offer up your children in fire, you defile yourselves with all your idols to this day. And shall I be inquired of by you, O house of Israel? As I live, declares the Lord God, I will not be inquired of by you.””