Scripture reading for November 12th: Lamentations 3-5, Ezekiel 1, 1st Peter 4
Key Scriptures: 1st Peter 4:12-14 “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when His glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.”
Life will have its trials and tests. We will be called upon to suffer because we bear the Name of Jesus Christ as our Lord. When we suffer for doing good or as a believer, we can rejoice and be glad. God will bless us with His Spirit of glory resting upon us to give us grace to endure and the sure hope of eternal reward in God’s presence.
Lamentations 3:22-23 “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.”
Prayer: Lord, thank You for Your faithful mercies and mighty Hand! Help me to rejoice in suffering and trials, relying on Your steadfast love and new mercies each day. Amen.
Scripture reading for November 9th: Jeremiah 51-52, Lamentations 1-2, 1st Peter 3
Key Scriptures: 1st Peter 3:14-17 “But even if you should suffer for for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.”
Suffering for righteousness will bring blessings to the believer. We are not to be afraid or troubled by those who persecute us for our good behavior and love of Christ. We should always be ready to share the hope of Jesus with those who are doing the persecuting. Pray that God opens the doors of their hearts and that we have an opportunity to share the work of our God in saving sinners.
Jeremiah 51:10 “The Lord has brought about our vindication; come let us declare in Zion the work of the Lord our God.”
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I sanctify You as Lord in my heart today. Give me opportunity and boldness to share the hope of the Gospel with those who persecute me or are hostile to You and Your Church. Amen.
Scripture reading for November 8th: Jeremiah 48-50, 1st Peter 2
Key Scriptures: 1st Peter 2:21-25 “For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in His steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in His mouth. When He was reviled, he did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but continued entrusting Himself to Him who judges justly. He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live for righteousness. By His wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.”
Suffering was a part of Christ’s life on earth. His suffering set an example of patience and faith for all His followers. Suffering will be a part of every believer’s life on earth as well. We must keep our eyes on the Great Shepherd Jesus Christ and allow His healing wounds to steadfast faith.
Jeremiah 50:4-5 “”In those days and in that time, declares the Lord, the people of Israel and the people of Judah shall come together, weeping as they come and they shall seek the Lord their God. They shall ask the way to Zion, with faces turned toward it, saying, ‘Come, let us join ourselves to the Lord in an everlasting covenant that will never be forgotten.'”
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for showing me and Your followers the Way to Zion! Thank You for the everlasting covenant through the blood You shed. By Your stripes I am healed. Amen.
Scripture reading for November 7th: Jeremiah 44-47, 1st Peter 1
Key Scriptures: 1st Peter 1:14-19 “As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written,”Your shall be holy for I am holy.” And if you call on Him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefather, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.”
Peter called the church to live righteous and holy lives, modeled after God and His Son Jesus Christ. He pointed out that God would judge each man impartially, according to his deeds. This should bring a holy fear and a trust in the redeeming blood of Christ as our only hope of standing before a holy God.
Jeremiah 44:10-11 “They have not humbled themselves even to this day, nor have they feared, nor walked in My law and My statutes that I set before you and before your fathers. Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I will set My face against you for harm, to cut off all Judah.”
Prayer: Lord, I humbly accept the sacrifice of Christ’s body and blood as my only covering for my sin. I honor you with obedience and reverence. Amen.
Scripture reading for November 6th: Jeremiah 41-43, James 5
Key Scriptures: James 5:13-16 “Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess you sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.”
James concluded his letter to the church with practical instructions on living by faith with corresponding actions. No matter what the circumstance, prayer, praise, thanksgiving and actions prompted by faith will bring God’s response. Faith shows itself by corresponding actions! The people who came to Jeremiah for God’s direction, however, did not want to obey God!
Jeremiah 42:2-3 “. . .and said to Jeremiah the prophet, “Let our plea for mercy come before you, and pray to the Lord your God for us, for all this remnant–because we are left with but a few, as your eyes see us–that the Lord your God may show us the way we should go, and the thing we should do.”
Prayer: Lord, thank You for Your promises of response to the faith of Your people. Keep me from unbelief and failing to act on Your instructions. Amen.
Scripture reading for November 5th: Jeremiah 37-40, James 4
Key Scriptures: James 4:6-10 “But He gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you.”
Pride is a terrible sin. It got the devil kicked out of heaven as he is the ‘king of the proud.’ Pride keeps us from admitting that we are sinners in great need of God’s amazing grace. It keeps us from true repentance and life. The remedy is to resist the devil and draw near to the throne of Grace by Jesus Christ. Humble repentance will bring cleansing and exaltation.
Jeremiah 37:19-20 “Where are your prophets who prophesied to you, saying, ‘The king of Babylon will not come against you and against this land?’ Now hear, please, O my lord the king: Let my humble plea come before you and do not send me back to the house of Jonathan the secretary, lest I die there.”
Prayer: Lord, I humbly draw near to You, the only King who can save me. Help me to resist the devil and the pride that easily ensnares me and receive Your abundant grace. Amen.
Scripture reading for November 2nd: Jeremiah 34-36, James 3
Key Scriptures: James 3:6-9 “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.”
James, pastor of the Jerusalem church and half-brother of Jesus Christ, loved to give practical wisdom to God’s people. He cautioned them concerning the tongue. Our speech gets us into trouble with God and others. We cannot tame the tongue ourselves. Only God by His grace and the power of the Holy Spirit can enable us to speak righteously and obey Him.
Jeremiah 35: 15 “I (God) have sent to you all My servants the prophets, sending them persistently, saying “Turn now every one of you from his evil way, and amend your deeds, and do not go after other gods to serve them, and then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to you and your fathers. But you did not incline your ear or listen to Me.”
Prayer: Lord, forgive me for using my tongue to do evil and harm others. Help me to listen to You and live by faith in every Word. Amen.
Scripture reading for November 1st: Jeremiah 30-33, James 2
Key Scriptures: James 2:20-24 “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 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. You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.”
James stressed that true faith was demonstrated by corresponding works. If anyone truly believes God and trusts His Word, that person must act on what God has said. Abraham was told to offer his son to God and he obeyed, demonstrating that his faith was authentic. Faith that shows no corresponding actions is dead.
Jeremiah 33:16-17 “Thus says the Lord: “Keep your voice from weeping, and your eyes from tears, for there is a reward for your work, declares the Lord, and they shall come back from the land of the enemy. There is hope for your future, declares the Lord, and your children shall come back to their own country.””
Prayer: Lord Jesus, help me to live by faith today and do the works that You have laid out for me. I believe You for the salvation of my children and grandchildren and those to come! Amen.
Scripture reading for October 31st: Jeremiah 27-29, James 1
Key Scriptures: James 1:12-13 “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 was the pastor of the church of Jesus in Jerusalem. Most of his congregation were of Jewish background. He encouraged them to maintain their faith during trials. The trails may have included family members enticing them to come back to Judaism. Paul warned them that God tempted no man, but desires come from within and sin is acting on the desires. Sin would lead to death, contrary to God’s good plan of salvation through faith.
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
Prayer: Thank You Lord for Your good plans and encouragement from Your Word and promise of eternal reward. Deliver me from evil, for Yours is the Kingdom, power and glory forever! Amen.
Scripture reading for October 30th: Jeremiah 23-26, Hebrews 13
Key Scriptures: Hebrews 13:7-9 “Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the Word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings, for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, which have not benefited those devoted to them.”
The writer of Hebrews concludes his letter with an encouragement to the believers to remember and obey and imitate their leaders. Their main Leader, Jesus Christ, was unchangeable! Godly living was through the grace found in Jesus Christ, not in what a person ate or in strange teachings.
Jeremiah 23:18 “For who among them has stood in the council of the Lord to see and to hear His Word, or who has paid attention to His Word and listened?”
Prayer: Lord, thank You for godly leaders who stand in the council of the Lord and teach His Word. May I pay attention and listen. Amen.