Scripture reading for September 16th: Isaiah 60-63, 2nd Corinthians 1
Key Scriptures: 2nd Corinthians 1:2-5 “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, Who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.”
Paul wrote a second letter to the Corinthian church. As he greeted them, he offered grace and peace and blessing. He blessed God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, confessing faith in God’s great mercy and ability to comfort those in affliction. He lifted up Jesus as God’s Son and the One who suffered death for us. He spoke comfort to them in their afflictions for the sake of Christ. The comfort would flow in abundance from a ‘God of all comfort’!
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for Your comfort in all affliction and trouble. May Your mercy and comfort flow through me and Your people to a hurting world today.
Isaiah 63:9 “In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the angel of His presence saved them; in His love and in His pity He redeemed them; He lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.”
Scripture reading for September 15th: Isaiah 56-59, Psalm 70, 1st Corinthians 16
Key Scriptures: 1st Corinthians 16:1-4 “Now concerning the collection for the saints: as I directed the churches of Galatia, so you also are to do. On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that there will be no collecting when I come. And when I arrive, I will send those whom you accredit by letter to carry your gift to Jerusalem. If it seems advisable that I should go also, they will accompany me.”
Paul gave simple and godly instructions to the church concerning an offering that was to go to the church in Jerusalem. There was to be no pressure in the giving. Each person was to put aside something, as God had prospered him and the collection should be taken and stored safely until time to deliver it. Trustworthy people were to be selected to carry the offering to Jerusalem. If they church preferred, Paul was willing to go as well on their behalf. Everything concerning finances was done in an orderly manner with accountability.
Psalm 70:4 “May all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You! May those who love Your salvation say evermore, “God is great!”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for giving such clear instructions concerning kingdom finances and accountability. Help me to give generously and without compulsion to Your kingdom work.
Isaiah 58:10-11 “. . if you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a well-watered garden, a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.”
Scripture reading for September 14th: Isaiah 53-55, Psalm 128, 1st Corinthians 15
Key Scriptures: 1st Corinthians 15:50-53 “I tell you this, brothers; flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.”
Paul explained the mystery of the resurrection, using a seed as an illustration. The seed going into the ground may not have any resemblance to the plant that will grow from it. So the fleshly body that is put in the grave will be raised a spiritual body full of life eternal. Jesus Christ is the fore-runner. His body was buried but raised on the third day a glorious immortal body. As believers in Jesus, we may not understand it, but we wait expectantly for the last trumpet! The best is yet to come!
Psalm 128:5 “The Lord bless you from Zion! May you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life!”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for explaining the mystery of the resurrection body and showing Yours to the disciples. Empower me to share this mystery to bless Your people with heavenly vision and eternal life.
Isaiah 53:10 “Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush Him; He has put Him to grief; when His soul makes an offering for guilt, He shall see His offspring; He shall prolong His days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.”
Scripture reading for September 11th: Isaiah 49-52, Psalm 69, 1st Corinthians 14
Key Scriptures: 1st Corinthians 14:1-4 “Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy. For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men, but to God; for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the Spirit. On the other hand, the one who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation. The one who speaks in a tongue builds up himself, but the one who prophesies builds up the church.”
As Paul wrote to the church concerning spiritual gifts, he emphasized that they should seek to prophesy above all the other gifts. Tongues builds up the individual who speaks. They allow the Holy Spirit to speak to God through them in mysteries. Prophesy speaks God’s thoughts in a known language and is profitable to the church. It builds up, encourages and comforts all members of the church since what is said can be understood by all. God is a God of order, not confusion. This doesn’t mean that tongues are unimportant. If they are interpreted, they serve the Church like prophesy.
Psalm 69:35-36 “For God will save Zion and build up the cities of Judah, and people shall dwell there and possess it: the offspring of His servants shall inherit it, and those who love His Name shall dwell in it.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Use me to build up Your church and be an encouragement to Your people through the gift of prophesy.
Isaiah 51:15-16 “I am the Lord your God, Who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar–the Lord of Hosts is His Name. And I have put My words in your mouth and covered you in the shadow of My hand, establishing the heavens and laying the foundation of the earth, and saying to Zion: ‘You are My people.'”
Scripture reading for September 10th: Isaiah 45-48, 1st Corinthians 13
Key Scriptures: 1st Corinthians 13:4-8 “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. . .”
Paul, as a godly pastor, knew that any discussion of spiritual gifts must involve love. The Holy Spirit opens a flow of God’s love in the hearts of His people. (Romans 5:5) God’s love is a perfect love and must be explained to those coming out of an idolatrous culture. God’s love is patient and kind, not arrogant and rude. It does not envy or boast and is not irritable or resentful. God’s love flows from the infinite source of His heart for He is Love! O how we need the Holy Spirit’s river of God’s love!
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You that You demonstrated God’s love for us through Your life, death, and resurrection! Fill me with Your love that I might demonstrate it to the world You send me to.
Isaiah 45:22-23 “”Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other. By Myself I have sworn; from My mouth has gone out in righteousness a Word that shall not return: ‘To Me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear allegiance.'”
Scripture reading for September 9th: Isaiah 41-44, 1st Corinthians 12
Key Scriptures: 1st Corinthians 12:3-7 “Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus is accursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit. Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord’ and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God Who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.”
The Corinthian church flowed with the gifts of the Holy Spirit and Paul wanted to help them understand what these gifts were and how the Holy Spirit empowers His people for service. First of all, the Holy Spirit glorifies Jesus Christ as Lord. No one can curse God and be filled with the Holy Spirit. No one can confess Jesus Christ as Lord except by the Holy Spirit. The varieties of gifts, activities, and service given by God to His people through the Holy Spirit for the good of all, never for harm or evil.
Faith confession and prayer: I am thankful for the Holy Spirit enabling me to confess Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. Fill me with the Holy Spirit and Your gifts to empower me to be a blessing to Your body, the Church and to reach the lost with the Gospel.
Isaiah 44:3-5 “For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on dry ground; I will pour My Spirit upon your offspring, and My blessing on your descendants. They shall spring up among the grass like willows by flowing streams. This one will say, ‘I am the Lord’s,’ another will call on the name of Jacob, and another will write on his hand, ‘The Lord’s,’ and name himself by the name of Israel.”
Scripture reading for September 8th: 2nd Kings 20, Isaiah 38-40, Psalm 68, 1st Corinthians 11
Key Scriptures: 1st Corinthians 11:23-26 “For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when He was betrayed took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it, and said, “This is My body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same way also He took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.”
Paul gave further instructions concerning the Lord’s supper to the Corinthian believers. Some there had been taking this sacrament without proper understanding and personal repentance. The partaking of the bread and cup were to be done in remembrance of Jesus Christ, Whose body and blood they represented. They were to examine their hearts and repent of known sin because Jesus Christ was coming again for those eagerly awaiting Him. The cup of the Lord’s supper was prophetic of the Wedding Supper of the Lamb, ushering in the Church as Christ’s eternal ‘Bride’! Proper wedding garments come only through Jesus’ sacrifice!
Psalm 68:24-26 “Your procession is seen, O God, the procession of my God, my King, into the sanctuary–the singers in front, the musicians last, between them virgins playing tambourines. “Bless God in the great congregation, the Lord, O You Who are Israel’s Fountain!””
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for the bread and the cup, representing Your body and Your blood, shed for my redemption. I look in anticipation to Your return in power and glory for Your people!
Isaiah 40:30-31 “Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles’ they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”
Scripture reading for September 7th: Isaiah 36-37, Psalm 123, 1st Corinthians 10
Key Scriptures: 1st Corinthians 10:31-33 “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God, just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved.”
Paul concluded his remarks about eating meat from idol temples with an appeal to a simple principle: Do all to the glory of God! We should not purposely try to offend or condemn others whose conscience may be weak or undeveloped in these matters of choice and limiting our own freedom. Our goal should be the salvation of as many as possible and we should act and work to that end, glorifying God by fulfilling His purposes.
Psalm 123:1-2 “To You I lift up my eyes, O You Who are enthroned in the heavens! Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maidservant to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to our God, till He has mercy on us.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, I will keep my eyes on You and with Your help, do all I do to Your glory! May there be a great harvest of souls saved from destruction!
Isaiah 37:16 “”O Lord of Hosts, God of Israel, enthroned above the cherubim, You are the God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; You have made heaven and earth.””
Scripture reading for September 1st: Isaiah 33-35, 1st Corinthians 6
Key Scriptures: 1st Corinthians 6:15,18-20 “Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never!” , , ,”Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? Your are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”
Corinth was a city known for it’s gross sexual immorality. Many church members had been saved out of that culture. Paul patiently explained that as believers, they were now part of Christ’s Body which was holy. By taking their bodies and joining them sexually with another person that was not their spouse, they were sinning against their own body and the Holy Spirit Who lived in them. God purchased us with the price of His own Son’s blood! Let His Glory shine through us in holiness! This is everlasting joy!
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, I welcome the Holy Spirit to my body! Thank You for redeeming me with the precious blood of Your body. Shine the light of Your holiness through me bringing glory to Your Name and everlasting joy!
Isaiah 35:10 “And the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads’ they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.”
Scripture reading for August 31st: Isaiah 30-32, 1st Corinthians 5
Key Scriptures: 1st Corinthians 5:9-13 “I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people–not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler–not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.””
There was gross immorality in the church at Corinth. Paul wrote to them concerning the handling of this problem. The world is full of sexual immorality but it should not be in the church. God’s Word is clear concerning this truth. Those who claim to be ‘brothers’ or ‘sisters’ and are living in immorality, idolatry, drunkenness, or other sins are not to be taken into the fellowship of the church unless they repent. Those inside the church must be disciplined by church leadership. God will take care of those outside.
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for clear instruction for Your church in dealing with gross immorality among those who call themselves believers. Help Your leaders to faithfully apply this instruction.
Isaiah 30:15 “For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” But you were unwilling . . .”