Category: Gospels

Save us! Lord!

Scripture reading for July 27th: 2nd Chronicles 22-23, 2nd Kings 11, Psalm 131, Matthew 8

Matthew 8: 23-27 “And when He got into the boat, His disciples followed Him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but He was asleep. And they went and woke Him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” And He said to them “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then He rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey Him?”

Matthew record many of Jesus’ miracles of healing and casting out demons. In this passage, Jesus is asleep in the boat with His disciples as they travel across the Sea of Galilee. A great storm arose and buffeted the boat, causing great fear that all would drown and they would perish! They decided it was time to wake Jesus up! As a typical Rabbi, always working with His disciples, Jesus asks them a question: “Why are you afraid?” After the rebuke for their lack of faith, the definition of fear, Jesus took simple action by rebuking the wind and waves and there was a great calm on the sea and a great searching in the disciples hearts. They now had a question: “What sort of man is this?”

Psalm 131:2-3 “But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me. O Israel, hope in the Lord from this time forth and forevermore.”

Prayer: Father God, I have often cried out like the disciples in times of distress and uncertainty. Like the newly weaned child, I think I still need my mother’s milk. You calm me with Your Words of assurance and rebuke and the storm subsides! As I get older, I still ponder what kind of Son of Man that would love me and give me His peace and eternal hope!

2nd Kings 11:12 “Then he brought out the king’s son and put the crown on him and gave him the testimony. And they proclaimed him king and anointed him, and clapped their hands and said, “Long live the king!”” (I say “Amen King Jesus!”)

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Judging others with specks!

Scripture reading for July 26th: 2nd Kings 9-10, Psalm 49, Matthew 7l

Matthew 7: 1-5 “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured back to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”

Jesus had a good sense of humor. In this passage from the sermon on the mount, Jesus used specks of dirt in an individual eye and contrasted that with logs in the one who judges eyes! Humans have the propensity to see others faults and be blind to their own. Jesus warned against judging others harshly or at all. The measure we use to judge others will be used on us by God! We must all go to God to have the log taken out of our own eyes first in order to be able to help others with their problems. Hypocrisy is not acceptable in God’s kingdom of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.

Psalm 49:7-8 “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.

Prayer: Father God, forgive me for judging others based on my own feelings or prejudice against their attitudes or actions. By the Holy Spirit, teach me righteousness, peace, and joy as my practice of daily living that will be pleasing to You and allow You to use my life to show others Your great love. Thank You for the mercy and grace that came when You sent Jesus Christ as the ransom for my sins.

Psalm 49:15 “But God will ransom my soul from the power of Sheol, for He will receive me.”

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Searching questions!

Scripture reading for July 25th: 2nd Kings 7-8, 2nd Chronicles 21, Matthew 6

Matthew 6:25-29 “”Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.””

Human beings are full of fear. They are born under the lie that they can be like God, but soon realize how little they can control. Fears attack our thought processes concerning life’s basic necessities of food, shelter and clothing. Jesus cut through this human line of fear thinking with a challenge to faith. “Isn’t live more than clothing or food?” “Aren’t you more valuable than the birds?” “Does your worry add any time to your life?” “Why are you anxious?” Jesus emphasized that God supplies the birds with food, and humans are of much more worth! He told of the beauty that God clothes the flowers that are so temporary and how God will cloth us as well. God takes amazing care of His people as well! Read the story in 2nd Kings 8 for a blessing!

2nd Kings 8:5-6 “And while he (was telling the king how Elisha had restored the dead to life, behold, the woman whose son he had restored to life appealed to the king for her house and her land. And Gehazi said, “My lord, O king, here is the woman, and here is her son whom Elisha restored to life.” And when the king asked the woman, she told him. So the king appointed an official for her, saying, “Restore all that was hers, together with all the produce of the fields from the day that she left the land until now.””

Prayer: Father God, thank You for Your amazing goodness and provision for Your people. I am so blessed by how You cared for the Shunamite widow and her son, restoring her property and all the crops in the years she was in exile. You gave her the son and then restored him to life as well! Deliver me from spirits of fear and use me to bless others and tell them of Your amazing goodness through Your Son Jesus Christ!

Matthew 6:33 “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore, do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

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Salt and Light

Scripture reading for July 22nd: 2nd Kings 4-6, Matthew 5

Matthew 5: 13-16 “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. You are the light of the World. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father Who is in heaven.”

Jesus began to teach His disciples and followers about their identity as designed by God. He used familiar examples of salt and light to help those in darkness of sin understand God’s plan for their lives. Jesus had earlier demonstrated God’s plan to salt the earth’s people with miracles of healing and deliverance and to bring light to those in Satan’s darkness of sin. Each human life is to be like salt–adding God’s “flavor” to their surroundings. Each person is to bear the light of God’s life wherever they are in this world. God’s light shines through us in the good works we do in response to God’s goodness and the infilling Holy Spirit. Christ’s disciples were to be ‘salt’ and ‘light’ bringing glory to Father God!

Matthew 5:43-45 “”You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father Who is in heaven.””

Prayer: Father God, I often find it hard to believe that my life can be ‘salt’ and ‘light’ to those around me. Fill me again with Your Holy Spirit and bring out the preserving and flavoring ‘salt’ of Your love and goodness. Flood my inner man with Your Word which is a light to my path and brings light to the World. Help me to love my enemies and pray for those who would persecute me and Your followers. Amen!

2nd Kings 5:13-14 “So he (Naaman the Syrian with leprosy) turned and went away in a rage. But his servants came near and said to him, “My father, it is a great word the prophet has spoken to you: will you not do it? Has he actually said to you, ‘Wash and be clean’?” So he went and dipped himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the Word of the man of God, and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.”

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Repentance and calling!

Scripture reading for July 21st: 2nd Kings 2-3, Psalm 48, Matthew 4

Matthew 4:17-22 “From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” While walking by the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And he said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

Jesus Christ began His ministry after spending forty days in the wilderness being tempted by the devil. His opening statement was “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Jesus, the King, had arrived on earth and was calling out to all who would listen and believe His Word. His next step was to begin to call individuals to Himself and train and equip them to reach lost people and spoil the devil’s kingdom. These first two He called, Simon Peter and Andrew, were brothers who were fishermen by trade. Jesus challenged them to fish for men! They dropped their nets and accepted His call to them. They changed their mind (repentance) concerned their occupation and calling and Jesus used their obedience to build His Church through calling and equipping disciples!

Psalm 48:9-10 “We have thought on your steadfast love, O God, in the midst of your temple. As Your Name, O God, so Your praise reaches to the ends of the earth. Your right hand is filled with righteousness.”

Prayer: Father God, thank You for calling us to repentance and faith to follow Your Son Jesus Christ, our only Savior! Your steadfast love and faithfulness to us causes us to praise You! Your righteousness is made known through Your Son and those who in faith follow Him take His Name and praise to the ends of the earth! Teach me daily how to fish for men, casting the Gospel net to bring in a great catch!

2nd Kings 2:9-10 “When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Ask what I shall do for you, before I am taken from you.” And Elisha said, Please let there be a double portion of your spirit on me. And he said, “You have asked a hard thing; yet, if you see me as I am being taken from you, it shall be so for you, but if you do not see me, it shall not be so.”

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The Father’s Declaration!

Scripture reading for July 20th: 2nd Chronicles 19-20, 2nd Kings 1, Psalm 20, Matthew 3

Matthew 3:13-17 “Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented Him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented. And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on Him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is My Beloved Son, with Whom I am well pleased.””

Matthew recorded the story of Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan river by John the Baptist. John humbly recognized that Jesus was His Lord and should be baptizing him. John knew that Jesus would baptize His followers with the Holy Spirit and fire and warned people to prepare their hearts in repentance. But Jesus was fulfilling His Father’s instructions by identifying with sinful man’s need of cleansing by being baptized Himself in preparation for the infilling of the Holy Spirit. After the Spirit descended on Jesus from an open heaven, His Father spoke in declaration: “This is My Beloved Son, with Whom I am well pleased.” As triumphant believers, we will hear a similar declaration at the fullness of our salvation: “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much. Enter into the joys of the Master.” Matthew 25:21, 23

Psalm 20:6-7 “Now I know that the Lord saves His anointed; He will answer Him from His holy heaven with the saving might of His right Hand. Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we will trust in the Name of the Lord our God.”

Prayer: Father God, I believe Your great declaration concerning Jesus Christ. I thank You for Your plan of salvation and cleansing us from sin pictured in the baptism of Jesus Christ. As Jesus went under the water, signifying dying for our sins, He then came up out of the water, signifying His resurrection and the completion of our salvation. By faith in Jesus Christ I know I am Your child and I await hearing Your declaration over my life at the resurrection.

2nd Chronicles 20:20 “And they rose early in the morning and went out into the wilderness of Tekoa. And when they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Hear me, Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem! Believe in the Lord your God, and you will be established; believe His prophets and you will succeed.”

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Joyous birth–plots to murder!

Scripture reading for July 19th: 1st Kings 22, 2nd Chronicles 18, Matthew 2

Matthew 2: 13-15 “Now when they had departed, behold an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the Child and his mother to Egypt, and remain there util I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy Him.” And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt I called My Son.”

God’s amazing plans to send His Son to earth as a human being in order to save His people don’t always appear to run smoothly. In the first few months after his birth, wise men from the East come seeking the Child, lead by a star. They stop and visit with Herod, king of Judea on their way to find this Child King. Herod appears interested but is really threatened and plotting murder. God intervenes by speaking to the wise men to go home another way. He then instructs Joseph to take the Child and His mother Mary to Egypt until the murderous threats are removed. God’s plan is always done God’s way and is not always without intrigue and fulfilment of prior prophetic words. God’s Word never fails! Jesus never fails!

Matthew 2:19-20 “But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, “Rise, take the Child and His mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the Child’s life are dead.””

Prayer: Father God, thank You for Your amazing plans, spoken by the prophets of old and written down for us to build our faith in Your faithfulness. Thank You for recording the trials and plots surrounding Your Son, giving us insight into the spiritual warfare that is around us daily. Tune my ear to listen to Your instructions and follow You closely as You work out Your plan for my life.

2nd Chronicles 18:25-27 “And the king of Israel said, “Seize Micaiah and take him back to Amon the governor of the city and to Joash the king’s son, and say, ‘Thus says the king, put this fellow in prison and feed him with meager rations of bread and water until I return in peace.’ And Micaiah said, “If you return in peace, the Lord has not spoken by me.” And he said, “Hear all you people.””

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God’s amazing plan to send His Son!

Scripture reading for July 18: 1st Kings 19-21, 2nd Chronicles 17, Psalm 129, Matthew 1

Matthew 1: 17-21 “So all the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations, and from David to the deportation to Babylon fourteen generations, and from the deportation to Babylon to the Christ fourteen generations. Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call His Name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

God is intimately involved with each person. He knows their names and the plans He has for them. He has times and seasons that He Alone has set to accomplish His purposes. He had this special history of the generations of people from Abraham, the father of faith, until David, king of Israel and flowing down through Jehoshaphat for 42 generations to Joseph a descendant of David. God chose Mary, also a descendant of David, to be the mother of His Son. He spoke to Mary and she agreed with His plan. God spoke to Joseph and calmed his fears caused by Mary’s pregnancy. Even the Name, Jesus, was given for God’s amazing Son who would save His people from their sins!

Psalm 129:4-5 “The Lord is righteous; He has cut the chords of the wicked. May all who hate Zion be put to shame and turned backward!”

Prayer: Father God, I am in awe of Your amazing plan to send Your Son to earth in human likeness specifically to save us from our sins. The virgin birth, His sinless life, and His willing sacrifice of His own life that I might have life is amazing love demonstrated to me and all sinners. Fill me with the Holy Spirit and love to share this Good News with those who have not heard!

2nd Chronicles 17:3-6 “The Lord was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the earlier ways of his father David. He did not seek the Baals, but sought the God of his father and walked in His commandments, not according to the practices of Israel. Therefore the Lord established the kingdom in his hand. And all Judah brought tribute to Jehoshaphat, and he had great riches and honor. His heart was courageous in the ways of the Lord.”

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Clothed with power and compassion!

Scripture reading for April 13th: Judges 12-16, Psalm 146, Luke 24

Luke 24: 45-51 “Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His Name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And behold I am sending the promise of My Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”

Although the disciples had walked with Jesus for three years, they still needed Jesus to open their minds to understand the Scriptures. The fact of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection for the sins of the world was the call for men everywhere to repent had been hidden from them. The would also need God’s clothing to accomplish this mission of preaching and being a witnesses to all nations. The Holy Spirit, the Promise of the Father would be sent at the appointed time. The Father’s heart of love and compassion would cover them like clothing and empower them to defeat spiritual foes and set captives free!

Psalm 146:8-9 “The Lord sets the prisoners free; the Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous. The Lord watches over the sojourners; He upholds the widow and the fatherless, but the way of the wicked He brings to ruin.”

Prayer: Father God, thank You for opening my mind to understand the Scriptures. It is an ongoing revelation of Your grace and glory that empowers me to share the Good News in Word and deed to the lost, widow, orphan, and sojourners. Fill me afresh with Your Holy Spirit and love to do spiritual exploits and bring Good News to the lost.

Judges 15:14-15 “When he came to Lehi, the Philistines came shouting to meet him. Then the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon him, and the ropes that were on his arms became as flax that has caught fire, and his bonds melted off of his hands. And he found a fresh jawbone of a donkey, and put out his hand and took it and with it he struck 1,000 men.”

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Extravagant mercy for the asking!

Scripture reading for April 12th: Judges 9-11, Psalm 17, Luke 23

Luke 23:39-43 “One of the criminals who were hanged railed at Him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation?” And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.” And he said, “Jesus, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” And He said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.””

Jesus was crucified, an innocent man, to pay for the sins of all mankind. On His right and left, were two guilty criminals receiving what was due them under Roman law. As they hung there knowing death was immanent, one of the criminals mocked Jesus, ridiculing His claim to be Christ. The other criminal simply called out to Jesus to remember him when He came into His kingdom, indicating that he believed Jesus was a king and would be receiving a kingdom. Jesus gave an amazing response: “Today you will be with Me in Paradise.” This response gives hope to all lost sinners. If we will come in faith believing in Jesus, He will give mercy in abundance, just for the asking!

Psalm 17:1-2 “Hear a just cause, O Lord; attend to my cry! Give ear to my prayer from lips free of deceit! From Your presence let my vindication come! Let Your eyes behold the right.”

Prayer: Father God, thank You for Your abundant mercy. We can trust You to forgive, heal, and deliver if we simply ask. You have done everything necessary for our salvation. Help me to simply ask and rest in Your provision and trust You to do whatever seems good to You. Open doors to share this simple truth and good news with those under the sentence of death.

Judges 10:13-16 “Yet you have forsaken Me and served other gods; therefore I will save you no more. Go and cry out to the gods whom you have chosen; let them save you in the time of your distress.” And the people of Israel said to the Lord, “We have sinned; do to us whatever seems good to You. Only please deliver us this day.” So they put away the foreign gods from among them and served the Lord, and He became impatient over the misery of Israel.”

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