Category: General epistles-BibleTrekToday

This beast is not tamed!

Scripture reading for October 7th: Jeremiah 25, 35, 36, 45, Psalm 133, James 3

Key Scriptures: James 3:6-10 “And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.”

James knew the power of the small tongue. He likened it to a fire, starting small but soon spreading to cover a whole life. He told how this fire was started in hell and by Satan. This fire is also like a beast that cannot be tamed. All creatures have been put under man’s dominion, but the tongue cannot be tamed. Evidence of this is that we can use our tongue to bless God and then in the same breath curse people made in God’s image. Only yielding our tongues to the Holy Spirit will tame the beast and put out the fire bringing peace and unity.

Psalm 133:1-2 “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! It is like the precious oil on the head, running down on the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down on the collar of his robes!”

Faith confession and prayer: I thank You that I can give my tongue to You as an instrument of unity and worship. Fill me with the Holy Spirit to bless Your Name and those made in Your image!

Jeremiah 35:13 “”Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Go and say to the people of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, Will you not receive instruction and listen to My Words? declares the Lord.””

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True Faith brings works!

Scripture reading for October 6th: Jeremiah 22, 23, 26, Psalm 77, James 2

Key Scriptures: James 2:18-23 “But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that God is One; you do well. Even the demons believe–and shudder! Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”–and he was called a friend of God.”

James, the pastor of the Jerusalem church and half-brother of Jesus, was writing to help Jewish believers understand the relationship of faith and works. He carefully explained that true faith will show itself by corresponding works. He used Abraham as an example. Abraham believed God’s promise for a son who would become a nation of people. God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac. Abraham believed the promise, and obeyed God by taking Isaac to the mountain to sacrifice him. He showed his trust by obedience! He was called a ‘friend of God’.

Psalm 77:11-12 “I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember Your wonders of old. I will ponder all your work, and meditate on Your mighty deeds.”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, I want an active faith that produces good works and pleases You. Thank You for godly examples in Scripture for me to meditate on. Thank You for Your example of perfect obedience, giving Your life for sinners like me!

Jeremiah 23:18 “For who among them (the prophets) has stood in the council of the Lord to see and hear His Word, or who has paid attention to His Word and listened?”

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The crown of Life!

Scripture reading for October 5th: Jeremiah 17-20, James 1

Key Scriptures: James 1:12-15 “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love Him. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and He Himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.”

James writes to the Church of Jesus Christ concerning trials and testing. He encourages believers to count it all joy when trials come because trials produce patience and endurance and lead to eternal reward. He even says that those who stand firm under trials will receive a crown of life, promised by God the Father. We are never to accuse God of tempting us, however. James reminds us that God tempts no one. Temptations occur when our own selfish desires lure us into sin and we give in. Sin fully developed leads to death.

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, help me to joyfully accept trials and tests and to resist temptations. I trust You for strength and discernment to identify temptations and cut them off, awaiting my eternal reward.

Jeremiah 17:9-10 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick, who can understand it? “I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.””

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Praying in the Holy Spirit!

Scripture reading for July 15th:1st Kings 17-18, Psalm 119, Jude

Key Scriptures: Jude 17-23 “But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. They said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.”

Jude was the half-brother of Jesus Christ. Jude called Jesus “Lord” and warned believers concerning the words of the apostles concerning the scoffers of the last days before the Lord Jesus would return. The believers must build themselves up in their faith by praying in the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God helps us to pray when we don’t know how to pray or what to pray for. The Spirit helps us to pray for the doubting and to show mercy to those who need salvation, even snatching them from the fire of judgment.

Psalm 119:105 “Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord, thank You for the gift of the Holy Spirit, living in me and bringing Your Word to my remembrance and helping me to pray. Empower me today with Holy Spirit led prayers to show mercy and see sinners snatched from the fire.

1st Kings 18:41 “And Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink, for there is a sound of the rushing of rain.”

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Boasting in our merciful God!

Scripture reading for January 31st:  Exodus 4-6, Galatians 6

Key Scriptures:  Exodus 6:5-7  “Moreover, I have heard the groaning of the people of Israel whom the Egyptians hold as slaves, and I have remembered My covenant.  Say therefore to the people of Israel, ‘I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from slavery to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great acts of judgment.  I will take you to be My people, and I will be your God, and you shall know that I am the Lord your God, Who has brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.” 

God told Moses that He had heard the groaning of Israel and had seen their bondage and suffering.  He is our God who sees and hears, and has the will and power to deliver.  “I will” marks the confident assurance by which God states His plans to bring His people out of bondage by His own arm and with great acts of judgment.  He desires to be their God and have them for His own people!  Oh that we would as confidently boast in our amazing living God!

Faith confession and prayer:  Father, thank You for Your great heart of mercy and for being aware and active in my salvation.  I will ever boast of Jesus Christ and Your great act of deliverance of me and all others through placing our judgment on Your Son.

Galatians 6:14-15  “But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.  For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation.”  

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God delivers His people!

Scripture reading for January 30th:  Exodus 1-3, Galatians 5

Key Scriptures:  Exodus 3:7-10  “Then the Lord said, “I have surely seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters.  I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites.  And now, behold, the cry of the people of Israel has come to Me, and I have also seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them.  Come, I will send you to Pharaoh. . . “ 

God sees everything and knows what is happening to His people.  He knows their bondage and fear.  He understands their suffering and the hard taskmasters of sin and the devil.  He, Himself, promises that He will deliver them from the bondage and take them to a land flowing with milk and honey.  His plan then was to send Moses to Pharaoh in His place and use him to bring His people out of bondage in Egypt.  But Jesus Christ is God’s ultimate and final word on freedom.  In Him, through faith, we have been set free forever!

Galatians 5:1 “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” 

Faith confession and prayer:  I believe in Jesus Christ, who has set me free from the bondage of sin and death!  Lord, deliver me from all evil and empower me to enter the land of promise enjoying the milk of Your Word and the sweetness of Your presence with me today!

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God will visit you!

Scripture reading for January 29th:  Genesis 49:50, Galatians 4

Key Scriptures:  Genesis 50:24-26  And Joseph said to his brothers, “I am about to die,  but God will bring you up out of this land to the land that He swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.”  Then Joseph made the sons of Israel swear, saying, “God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones from here.”  So Joseph died, being 110 years old.  They embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt.”  

Galatians 4:4-7  “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.  And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba!  Father!”  So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.”  

Joseph had experienced birth into the covenant family of God and rejection by his brothers as they sold him into slavery.  But God was with him and exalted him to be savior of his brothers and also the Gentile world of his day.  As he was about to die, he gave a prophetic word concerning his brothers:  “God will surely visit you.”  He gave instructions for his bones:  “You shall carry my bones from here.”  Paul stated that we have all becomes “sons of God” through faith in Jesus Christ.  God has visited us in Jesus Christ and He is coming again to take us out of here!

Faith confession and prayer:  My spirit cries out by the Holy Spirit; “Abba!  Father!  Jesus is Lord!”  Lord, help me to share the Gospel with all who will hear!  Carry our bones out of here!

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Inheritance through adoption!

Scripture reading for January 28th:  Genesis 47-48, Galatians 3, Psalm 25

Key Scriptures:  Genesis 47:15-16  “And he (Jacob) blessed Joseph and said, “The God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, the God who has been my Shepherd all my life long to this day, the Angel who has redeemed me from all evil, bless the boys; and in them let my name be carried on, and the name of my fathers, Abraham and Isaac;  and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth.”

Galatians 3:26-28 “. . .for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.  For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.  There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.  And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.”

Jacob had come to Egypt to be with his children.  Upon seeing Joseph, whom he thought had been killed, he wept and was even more blessed to see the children that Joseph had produced.  As Jacob blessed the two boys of Joseph, Ephraim and Manasseh, he adopted them as his own.  As such they would have Abraham and Isaac as their fathers and be in line for inheritance–a double portion!  The Apostle Paul stated to the Galatians that in Christ Jesus–offspring of Abraham and King David, we who believe become “Abraham’s offspring” and heirs according to promise!  Not by works but through faith this is so!  Amen!

Faith confession and prayer:  Lord Jesus, thank You for Your heavenly blessing of my life through the gift of the Holy Spirit!  I am privileged to become “Abraham’s offspring” by faith and receive the promise of eternal inheritance!

Psalm 25:21 “May integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait for You.”  

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God sent me!

Scripture reading for January 27th:  Genesis 45-46, Galatians 2, Psalm 108

Key Scriptures:  Genesis 45:5-8  “And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life.  For the famine has been in the land these two years, and there are yet five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvest.  And God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to keep alive for you many survivors.  So it was not you who sent me here, but God.  He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt.”  

Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ.  It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.  And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

There are no ‘accidents’ or ‘luck’ or ‘fate’ in God’s view of life on earth.  God controls events, weather, individuals and nations to bring about His merciful purposes.  Even the evil intentions of Joseph’s brothers were turned to work out for their salvation years later.  This betrayed brother became third highest ruler in Egypt and in control of grain in a time of famine through the will of God.  Paul, like Joseph of old, also recognized God’s amazing plan for his own sinful life.  In Christ Jesus alone we experience salvation and eternal preservation!

Faith confession and prayer:  Lord Jesus, thank You for sending Your Son Jesus to prepare the way for my preservation and eternal grace!  May I be as Paul the Apostle, identified with Christ Jesus in crucifixion and resurrection!  Lord, send me!

 

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Overcome with compassion!

Scripture reading for January 24th:  Genesis 43-44, Galatians 1, Psalm 24

Key Scriptures:  Genesis 43:29-31 “And he lifted up his eyes and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother’s son, and said, “Is this your youngest brother, of whom you spoke to me?  God be gracious to you, my son!”  Then Joseph hurried out, for his compassion grew warm for his brother, and he sought a place to weep.  And he entered his chamber and wept there.  Then he washed his face and came out.  And controlling himself he said, “Serve the food.”

Galatians 1:3-5 “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forever and ever.   Amen.”

God had brought Benjamin, along with his brothers who had sold Joseph into slavery, to Egypt during the seven years of famine.  When Joseph saw Benjamin for the first time, he was overcome with compassion and had to withdraw and weep at God’s grace.  After composing himself, he was able to serve food to his brothers in the time of famine.  How like Jesus Christ, our Brother, who God sent before us sinners, to serve us living bread through His tears of compassion, shed on the cross and in the Garden.  Hallelujah!

Faith Confession and prayer:  Amazing Lord and Father, I stand in awe of Your great compassion for Your brothers and sisters.  How through Your great compassion and weeping, You give us living Bread that feeds us for eternity!  Fill me with Your compassion for lost brothers!

 

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