Scripture reading for August 6th: Hosea 1-3, Matthew 16
Key Scriptures: Matthew 16:15-19 “He (Jesus) said to them (disciples), ” But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter Replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father Who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.””
Jesus was questioning His disciples at a location in Israel known for its idolatry. He asked them who people said He was and then who they said He was. Peter answered boldly: “You are the Christ, Son of the living God.” Jesus confirmed his answer as a revelation from God, and stated that the declaration would be the ‘rock’ on which He would build His Church! Hell and idolatry would not prevail against those who proclaimed “Jesus is the Christ!”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, I believe You are the Christ, Son of the living God! I thank You for revealing God to me, building Your Church, and protecting it from Hell’s domination. Use me to share the Good News that Jesus is the Christ!
Hosea 2:19-20 “And I will betroth you to Me forever. I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy. I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness. And you shall know the Lord.”
Scripture reading for August 5th: Amos 7-9, Matthew 15
Key Scriptures: Matthew 15:32-37 “Then Jesus called His disciples to Him and said, “I have compassion on the crowd because they have been with Me now three days and have nothing to eat. And I am unwilling to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way.” And the disciples said to Him, “Where are we to get enough bread in such a desolate place to feed so great a crowd?” And Jesus said to them, “How many loaves do you have?” They said, “Seven, and a few small fish.” And directing the crowd to sit down on the ground, He took the seven loaves and the fish, and having given thanks He broke them and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And they all ate and were satisfied. . . .”
Jesus had compassion on the crowds of people that had followed Him and were with Him in the wilderness to hear God’s Word. He was concerned for their welfare and asked the disciples to feed them physically as He had given them a spiritual feast of God’s Word. There were few resources, but Jesus took what they had and blessed it, giving thanks and breaking it to give to the disciples. They, in turn, broke it again and gave it to the people! The bread and fish multiplied in their hands and all needs were met! They even had left-overs!
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for Your great compassion and desire to empower Your disciples by Your Word. Help me to obey You and feed the people real ‘bread’, the Word of God!
Amos 8:11 “”Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord God, “when I will send a famine on the land–not a famine for bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the Words of the Lord.””
Scripture reading for August 4th: Amos 4-6, Psalm 55, Matthew 14
Key Scriptures: Matthew 14:28-33 “And Peter answered Him, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” Jesus immediately reached out His hand and took hold of him saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped Him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God.””
Jesus had been alone praying while He had sent the disciples on ahead in a boat. A storm arose in the middle of the night and Jesus came to them, walking on the water. They were terrified, but Peter asked Jesus to have him come to Him on the water. Jesus issued the invitation and at His Word, Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water. The wind and waves then caught his attention and he began to sink. Crying out to Jesus, Jesus took his hand and rebuked him for his lack of faith.
Psalm 55:16 “I call to God, and the Lord will save me.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, I know all things are possible at Your Word. Help me to overcome doubt and get out of my boat of self-sufficiency and walk with You. You are the Son of God!
Amos 5:14-15 “Seek good, and not evil, that you may live; and so the Lord, the God of Hosts, will be with you, as you have said. Hate evil, and love good, and establish justice in the gate; It may be that the Lord, the God of Hosts, will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.”
Scripture reading for August 3rd: Amos 1-3, Matthew 13
Key Scriptures: Matthew 13:47-50 “”Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind. When it was full, men drew it ashore and sat down and sorted the good into containers but threw away the bad. So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.””
Jesus taught in parables so that those who heard would have to think and seek out the meaning. Those with ears would hear the truth and those with hard hearts would not understand or come to the wrong conclusion. This prophetic parable of the fishing net cast into the sea should have been easily understood around the Sea of Galilee. Good fish and inedible fish are caught in the net. They are sorted out and the good are kept and the inedible are cast away. The kingdom of heaven will catch men but not all will be “good.” The end of the age will bring a great separation!
Amos 3:7 “For the Lord God does nothing without revealing His secret to His servants the prophets.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for prophetic truth in Your parables. Help me to cast a clear Gospel message and cast the net to bring men and women into the kingdom. May all receive Your grace through Jesus Christ so as not to be cast away!
Scripture reading for July 31st: 2nd Kings 13-14, 2nd Chronicles 25, Psalm 53, Matthew 12
Key Scriptures: Matthew 12:9-13 “He went on from there and entered their synagogue. And a man was there with a withered hand. And they asked Him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”–so that they might accuse Him. He said to them, “Which one of you who has a sheep, if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not take hold of it and lift it out? Or how much more value is a man than a sheep! So it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” Then He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” and the man stretched it out, and it was restored, healthy like the other.”
Jesus was a Jew, raised under the Law of Moses, and taught to honor the Sabbath by doing no work. The religious leaders opposed Jesus because He had healed on the Sabbath. They asked Him directly about healing on the Sabbath and Jesus asked them a question concerning helping their animals in trouble on the Sabbath. He then applied the obvious truth to human beings, who were much more valuable than sheep. He demonstrated God’s mercy by restoring the man’s withered hand on the Sabbath.
Psalm 53:6 “Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion! When God restores the fortunes of His people, let Jacob rejoice, let Israel be glad!”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for Your ministry of restoring those who stretch out their hands to You! I stretch out my hands today with courage, asking for continued restoration in my life.
2nd Chronicles 25:8 “But go, act, be strong for the battle. Why should you suppose that God will cast you down before the enemy. For God has power to help or to cast down.””
Scripture reading for July 30th: Jonah, Matthew 11
Key Scriptures: Matthew 11:27-30 ““All things have been handed over to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him. Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.”“
Jesus had been telling His disciples about the work of the prophets and John the Baptist in preparing the way before Him. Some people had rejected the message of the prophets and John the Baptist as well. Jesus was revealing the Father through His ministry of miracles, healing and preaching Good News. He called to whoever would hear, giving an invitation to learn from Him, getting to know Him and finding rest. His yoke of discipleship was easy and His burden was light!
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, I am learning from You as I humbly take Your yoke of knowing and following You. Help me to rest in You alone for salvation and knowing the Father.
Jonah 3:8-9 “. . .but let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and let them call out mightily to God. Let everyone turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands. Who knows? God may turn and relent and turn from His fierce anger, so that we may not perish.”
Scripture reading for July 29th: Joel, Matthew 10
Key Scriptures: Matthew 10:34-39 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. Whoever loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”
After observing Jesus ministering and healing, He sent out the twelve hand-picked disciples to do ministry with additional instructions concerning their reception. They were going out as sheep among wolves. There would be great persecution and even some loss of life–the sword would be raised against them! Their enemies would even come from among their own families. The Gospel message would offend and cause conflict between close relatives. These disciples must choose Jesus and take up their cross to find the life He offered: eternal life and everlasting joy!
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for speaking plainly and laying out the choice of following You with our whole heart. I choose to follow You, losing my life for Your amazing life! Lead me onward today!
Joel 2:32 “And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the Name of the Lord shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the Lord has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom the Lord calls.”
Scripture reading for July 28th: 2nd Chronicles 24, 2nd Kings 12, Psalm 50, Matthew 9
Key Scriptures: Matthew 9:27-30 “And as Jesus passed on from there, two blind men followed Him, crying aloud, “Have mercy on us, Son of David.” When He entered the house, the blind men came to Him, and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to Him, “Yes, Lord.” Then He touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith be it done to you.” And their eyes were opened. And Jesus sternly warned them, “See that no one knows about it.””
Jesus had just raised a dead girl to life and healed a woman who touched His garment of 12 years of hemorrhaging. As He moved on, two blind men followed crying out in faith to Jesus for their healing, using the divine title, ‘Son of David.’ Jesus asked them if they believed that He was able to do what they were asking and they replied in the affirmative. One touch from the Master Jesus and a Word brought instant healing! He sent them away warning them to tell no one!
Psalm 50:15 “. . . and call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will glorify Me.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, I believe that You can do all things and that I bring You glory when I call on You for help, healing, or deliverance. Help me to humbly ask for help as I labor restoring Your House.
2nd Chronicles 24:13 “So those who were engaged in the work labored, and the repairing went forward in their hands, and they restored the House of God to its proper condition and strengthened it.”
Scripture reading for July 24th: 2nd Kings 9-10, Psalm 49, Matthew 7
Key Scriptures: Matthew 7:21-23 “”Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of My Father Who is in heaven. On that day many will say to Me, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your Name, and cast out demons in Your Name, and do many mighty works in Your Name?’ And then will I declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you workers of lawlessness.””
As Jesus was ending His message, He gave a warning to the people listening and to His own disciples. Some who called Him “Lord” would not enter the kingdom of heaven! Confession of Jesus as Lord but with no repentance and obedience to God’s Word was futile. Even doing works in Jesus’ Name without a humble and submissive relationship would result in being cast out of God’s presence. These are sobering and searching words.
Psalm 49:7-9 “Truly no man can ransom another, or give to God the price of his life, for the ransom of their life is costly and can never suffice, that he should live on forever and never see the pit.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, I call you ‘Lord’ and desire to live a life of obedience to You and my Father in heaven. I trust fully in Your grace through faith in Jesus Christ.”
2nd Kings 10:28-29 “Thus Jehu wiped out Baal from Israel. But Jehu did not turn aside from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which he made Israel to sin–that is, the golden calves that were in Bethel and in Dan.”