Scripture reading for August 28th: Isaiah 26-29, Psalm 65, !st Corinthians 4
Key Scriptures: 1st Corinthians 4:9-13 “For I think that God has exhibited us apostles as last of all, like men sentenced to death, because we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men. We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute. To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are poorly dressed and buffeted and homeless, and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we entreat. We have become, and are still, like the scum of the world, the refuse of all things.”
Paul wrote to the believers in Corinth about his life as an apostle. He felt like he was on display and viewed by the world as a fool. He was physically weakened and buffeted by persecution and worked to supply his own needs. When reviled, he chose to bless. When persecuted, he patiently endured. When openly slandered, he humbly entreated. The world and even some in the church often do not understand Christ’s grace flowing through His appointed leaders as examples for them. In all this, Paul kept on correcting, blessing and encouraging others to follow Christ Jesus.
Psalm 65:4 “Blessed is the one you choose and bring near, to dwell in Your courts! We shall be satisfied with the goodness your Your house, the holiness of Your temple!”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, I thank You for the examples of mature believers in Your Word and in the churches I have been a part of. Empower me by Your Holy Spirit to live a life of humility, peace, love and faith even when mistreated or slandered.
Isaiah 26:3 “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.”
Scripture reading for August 27th: Isaiah 23-25, 1st Corinthians 3
Key Scriptures: 1st Corinthians 3:10-13 “According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw–each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done.”
Paul used the example of our spiritual life as a building. As a preacher of the Gospel, he laid a foundation–Jesus Christ as Lord. Each person who received Christ is building on that foundation. Believers must be careful and thoughtful about what materials they are using. The attitudes and actions that we use day by day contribute to the building. Each person’s building –spiritual house– will be tested by fire on the Day of Christ at the judgment seat of Christ. Some works will not pass through the fire. Others done in obedience to Christ will result in reward. The believer will be saved but as through the fire.
Faith confession and prayer: I believe the Church’s One Foundation is Jesus Christ the Lord. Help me Lord, as I live on earth as a believer to be careful how I build my life by obeying Your Word and living by the Holy Spirit.
Isaiah 25:9 “It will be said on that day, “Behold, this is our God; we have waited for Him, that He might save us. This is the Lord; we have waited for Him; let us be glad and rejoice in His salvation.”
Scripture reading for August 26th: Isaiah 20-22, 1st Corinthians 2
Key Scriptures: 1st Corinthians 2:9-13 “But. as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love Him”–these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit Who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.”
God gives us the gift of the Holy Spirit living inside of us. We become a temple of the Holy Spirit and reflect His glory and can know and comprehend spiritual truths and revelation of God’s Word because God’s own Spirit empowers us. God wants us to have understanding. He is Light and Light drives out darkness. The unsaved man cannot know these truths because they live in darkness and the futility of human understanding and philosophy. We who have the Spirit can convey truth to others who have the Spirit.
Faith confession and prayer: Thank You Lord for the amazing gift of Your Holy Spirit to live inside of me, revealing truth to my inner man. Fill me with Your Spirit and empower me with the ability to impart spiritual truth from Your Word and heart.
Isaiah 22:22 “And I will place on his shoulder the key of the house of David. He shall open, and none shall shut; and He shall shut, and none shall open.”
Scripture reading for August 25th: Isaiah 17-19, Psalm 62, 1st Corinthians 1
Key Scriptures: 1st Corinthians 1:21-25 “For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”
Paul’s letter to the Corinthian church, which he had founded by preaching there for over two years, was written to help correct some wrong doctrine caused by false teachers and to recenter them on Jesus Christ and the Gospel. This church had both Jews and Gentiles. The Gentile Greeks used intellectual pursuits to find God and the Jews were seeking supernatural signs. But Paul preached Jesus Christ crucified as his central message. Those who humbly listened and received, found God’s wisdom in Jesus Christ and the supernatural life He offers.
Psalm 62:7 “On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty Rock, my Refuge is God.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, I have found wisdom in Jesus Christ, my Salvation, my Rock, my Glory, and my Refuge! Help me to preach Jesus Christ and Him crucified and resurrected to the nations, as You have planned!
Isaiah 19:21 “And the Lord will make Himself known to the Egyptians, and the Egyptians will know the Lord in that day and worship with sacrifice and offering, and they will make vows to the Lord and perform them.”
Scripture reading for August 24th: Isaiah 14-16, Matthew 28
Key Scriptures: Matthew 28:5-9 “But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for He has risen, as He said. Come, see the place where He lay. Then go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead, and behold, He is going before you to Galilee; there you will see Him. See, I have told you.” So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell His disciples. And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of His feet and worshiped Him.”
According to Scripture, at least three women went early in the morning to properly care for Christ’s body. These women were surprised to find the stone rolled away and even more frightened to see an angel and hear him speak to them. The angel told them not to be afraid and gently invited them to see where Christ had been laid and then sent them off to tell the disciples the Good News and that they would see Him in Galilee! As they were running away to tell the news, Jesus appeared to them with a cheerful greeting. This brought them to worship and adoration in overwhelming joy!
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, I worship You and rejoice in Your resurrection and victory over death and the grave! I will follow You and share with the afflicted that You are their refuge and salvation!
Isaiah 14:32 “What will one answer the messengers of the nation? “The Lord has founded Zion, and in her the afflicted of His people find refuge.””
Scripture reading for August 21st: Isaiah 11-13, Psalm 118, Matthew 27
Key Scriptures: Matthew 27:45-51 “Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” And some of the bystanders, hearing it, said, “This man is calling Elijah.” And one of them at once ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine, and put it on a reed and gave it to Him to drink. But the others said, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save Him.” And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up His spirit. And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split.”
The curtain that covered the Holy of Holies was thick and blocked the entrance to the mercy seat and cherubim that guarded it. As Jesus endured His darkest hours here on earth, He suffered death and the feeling of separation from God that it brings. He cried out in anguish to His Father, feeling forsaken and fulfilling prophesy. His final breath yielded up His spirit. The temple curtain (veil) ripped from top to bottom! Access to God was granted through Jesus’ broken body to the Holy of Holies! Amazing grace! His Righteousness is our gate!
Psalm 118:19-20 “Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them and give thanks to the Lord. This is the gate of the Lord; the righteous shall enter through it.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for Your costly sacrifice, taking my place on Your cross. You opened the gate of righteousness and I thank You forever and ever!
Isaiah 12:2 “Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and He has become my Salvation.”
Scripture reading for August 20th: Isaiah 7-10, Psalm 22, Matthew 26
Key Scriptures: Matthew 26:58, 73-75 “And Peter was following Him (Jesus) at a distance, as far as the courtyard of the high priest, and going inside he sat with the guards to see the end.”. . . .”After a little while the bystanders came up and said to Peter, “Certainly you too are one of them, for your accent betrays you.” Then he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, “I do not know the man.” And immediately the rooster crowed. And Peter remembered the saying of Jesus, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly.”
Following Jesus’ arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane, Peter followed Jesus at a distance because he wanted to see what would happen. While in the courtyard of the High Priest were Jesus was being tried, Peter denied Jesus three times. Following the third denial, Scripture records that a rooster crowed. It also fulfilled Jesus’ prophetic Word that Peter, who claimed he would stick with Jesus no matter what, would actually deny Him three times. Luke records that Jesus looked at Peter at this point. Peter met His gaze and went out and wept bitterly at his own failure of His Lord. He learned the hard way that distance can lead to denial!
Psalm 22:24 “For He has not despised or abhorred the affliction of the afflicted, and He has not hidden His face from him, but has heard, when he cried to Him.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord, but for Your grace and help, I could be like Peter in his weakest hour. Help me by Your grace and power through the Holy Spirit to follow You closely and to look at Your face and ask when I need mercy!
Isaiah 8:13 “But the Lord of Hosts, Him you shall honor as holy. Let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread.”
Scripture reading for August 17th: Isaiah 4-6, Matthew 23
Key Scriptures: Matthew 23:1-5 “Then Jesus said to the crowds and to His disciples, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat, so do and observe whatever they tell you, but not the works they do. For they preach, but do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger. They do all their deeds to be seen by others. . .”
One of Jesus’ teachings in the last week of His life involved warning the people about the practice of the Pharisees and scribes. They were preachers who sat in the seat of authority in Israel and taught the Word of God. Jesus encouraged them to listen to them because of their position but not to follow their practice! They were play-actors, putting on a show for others to see but not practicing what they preached! This would bring God’s judgment on those involved!
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, deliver me from any hidden hypocrisy–preaching but not practicing–Your Word. Empower me with the Holy Spirit to help people know You by preaching practicing Your Word.
Isaiah 5:20 “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.”
Scripture reading for August 14th: Isaiah 1-3, Psalm 9, Matthew 22
Key Scriptures: Matthew 22:11-14 “”But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment. And he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment? And he was speechless. Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.””
Jesus told another parable about a wedding feast for the son of a king. This king sent his servants to call the invited guests to the wedding feast but they would not come. The invited guests made excuses and had other interests and refused and even killed the king’s servants. The king destroyed them and their city and then invited whoever would come from the highways and byways. The wedding hall was full, but when the king entered he asked one man who had no white wedding garment how he had entered. The man was speechless with no excuse–and suffered a humiliating ejection into outer darkness!
Psalm 9:17 “The wicked shall return to Sheol, all the nations that forget God.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for providing white garments for all included in Your wedding feast. May I never be speechless before You.
Isaiah 1:18 “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.”
Scripture reading for October 19th: Isaiah 64-66, Jeremiah 1, Hebrews 6
Key Scriptures: Hebrews 6:10-12 “For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for His name in service to the saints, as you still do. And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.”
After warning them again of the dangers of falling away from Christ, the writer of Hebrews encourages them to steadfast service and full confidence in Christ and His promises. They were to guard against sluggishness (spiritual laziness) by imitating those who set a good example of faith and patience. God’s promises are awaiting their faithful perseverance.
Isaiah 64:8 “But now, O Lord, You are our Father; we are the clay and You are our Potter; we are all the work of Your hand.”
Prayer: Lord, help me to keep my confidence in You and Your promises firm and growing. As clay, I need You as the Potter in my daily life. Amen.