Scripture reading for January 22nd: Mark 5
Key Scriptures: Mark 5:21-24; 35-36 “And when Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered about Him, and He was beside the sea. Then came one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name, and seeing Him, he fell at His feet and implored Him earnestly, saying, “My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay Your hands on her, so that she may be made well and live.” And He went with him.” . . .”While He was still speaking, there came from the ruler’s house some who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?” But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.””
Jesus was approached by a synagogue ruler, Jairus, with a desperate request. He had a little daughter who was near death. He approached Jesus with great humility and asked for a personal visit by Jesus and the laying on of His hands. As they went, Jesus was interrupted by a woman with an issue of blood. He took time to minister to her and free her from her long infirmity. As Jesus was speaking to her, He overheard some messengers from Jairus’s house tell him not to bother the Teacher, as the little girl was dead. Jesus spoke authoritatively, “Do not fear, only believe.” The result was an amazing raising of the 12 year old girl from sickness and death. All were amazed at the immediate miracle!
Jeremiah 32:26-27 “The Word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: “Behold I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for Me?”‘
Faith confession and prayer: You are the Lord of all and nothing is too hard for You! Lord Jesus, help me to defeat all fear and hold fast to You and Your unfailing Word. Use me to speak Your Word and live by faith, inspiring others to trust You and Your eternal Word.
John 11:40 “Jesus said to her, Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?”
Scripture reading for October 21st: Jeremiah 50-51, 2nd Peter 3
Key Scriptures: 2nd Peter 3:9-13 But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill His promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.”
Mankind is very short-sighted. They tend to live for each day and many worry about the future, but fail to prepare for it. Peter called the believers to patient endurance. The Lord is patient with each person, and He wants none to perish. The Day of the Lord’s return will come suddenly and bring everlasting destruction to the earth and the unsaved. But followers of Jesus are looking forward to a New Heaven and New Earth and eternal righteousness! It will happen suddenly too! Amen!
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, help me daily to see the big picture and Your amazing mercy and patience with the lost. Use me to help others see Your patience and prepare them for Your sudden return!
Jeremiah 51:6 “”Flee from the midst of Babylon; let every one save his life! Be not cut off in her punishment, for this is the time of the Lord’s vengeance, the repayment He is rendering her.””
Scripture reading for October 20th: Jeremiah 47, 48, 49, Psalm 80, 2nd Peter 2
Key Scriptures: 2nd Peter 2:20-22 “For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them. What the true proverb says has happened to them: “The dog returns to its own vomit, and the sow, after washing herself, returns to wallow in the mire.””
Peter knows that his time of departure through execution is near. He warns those in the church concerning apostasy. Apostasy is turning back from following Jesus Christ after repentance and a decision to follow Him. Peter warns that it will be worse in the final judgment and in the time before for those that do that. It will be like eating vomit after having a banquet or wallowing again in the mire after being cleansed. Don’t turn back to the world’s slop and filth!
Psalm 80:17-18 “But let your hand be on the Man of Your right hand, the Son of Man whom you have made strong for Yourself! Then we shall not turn back from You; give us life, and we will call upon Your Name!”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, with Your help and intercession for me, I will never turn back from following You. I have had enough slop and mire in the world!
Jeremiah 48:26 “Make him (Moab) drunk, because he magnified himself against the Lord, so that Moab shall wallow in his vomit, and he too shall be held in derision.”
Scripture reading for October 19th: Jeremiah 43, 44, 46, 2nd Peter 1
Key Scriptures: 2nd Peter 1:19-21 “And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”
Peter, along with James and John, were eyewitnesses to the amazing event of the transfiguration. They saw Jesus transfigured in brilliant light along with Moses and Elijah and heard God’s voice, declaring Jesus as His beloved Son. But Peter told the believers that they had the Word of God delivered to them as well. No Scripture came from man’s will or imagination, but those who wrote were carried along by the Holy Spirit and the Word was God’s Word! We must pay attention as surely as Peter heard God’s voice! The entrance of God’s Word brings light to our darkness.
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for Your holy Word. I trust Your Word as Truth and the rule for faith and practice. Fill me with the Holy Spirit to rightly divide Your Word and preach it faithfully. Let the light of Your Word shine through me!
Jeremiah 44:23 “It is because you made offerings and because you sinned against the Lord and did not obey the voice of the Lord or walk in His law and in His statutes and in His testimonies that this disaster has happened to you, as at this day.”
Scripture reading for October 16th: Obadiah, Jeremiah 40-42, Psalm 147, 1st Peter 5
Key Scriptures: 1st Peter 5:6-9 “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you. Be sober-minded’ be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.”
The world of the last days is stressful unless we are fully submitted to the Lord Jesus Christ. Peter encouraged believers to humble themselves fully by casting their anxieties and fears on Christ as an act of trust that Christ hears and will act to strength us and deliver us through the trouble or out of it. It is Satan that is our true adversary. We must resist Him by staying firm in faith. Suffering is a normal part of standing firm in these last days and God’s mighty Hand can deal with all our anxieties.
Psalm 147:2-3 “The Lord builds up Jerusalem; He gathers the outcasts of Israel. He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, I am totally dependent on You and trust You for peace and deliverance from worry and fear in these last days. In Jesus’ Name, I resist Satan’s roaring and threats.
Obadiah 15: “For the day of the Lord is near upon all the nations. As you have done, it shall be done to you; your deeds shall return on your own head.”
Scripture reading for October 15th: Lamentations, Psalm 137, 1st Peter 4
Key Scriptures: 1st Peter 4:7-10 “The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. Above all, keep on loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s grace; . .”
Peter recognized the signs of the last days in his last days on earth. He warned and encouraged the church to stay on track with their heavenly calling to honor Jesus Christ as Lord. They must be vigilant and watchful in order to pray effectively. They must major on love. Loving God with all the hearts and loving one another as the highest proof that Jesus is Lord. Love covers a multitude of sins. Christ Jesus demonstrates this selfless love when He died on the cross for our sins and now welcomes us into His household for eternity. We should serve others and show hospitality as He did.
Psalm 137:4-5 “How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land? If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget its skill!”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, I am watching for Your return and see the signs of the last days in my last days. Fill me again with Your Spirit of love and a servant’s heart that I might honor You and serve Your gracious purposes on earth.
Lamentations 3:21-23 “But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.”
Scripture reading for October 13th: Jeremiah 38, 39, 52, 1st Peter 2
Key Scriptures: 1st Peter 2:1-5 “So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation–if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good. As you come to Him, a Living Stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”
Peter encouraged the new believers to put away their old lives of deceit and malice and envy. Through the nourishment of the pure “milk of the Word” they would grow up in their salvation. Healthy humans don’t stay babies forever, but progress through growing by eating, sleeping, and learning through interactions. Healthy Christ-followers eat the Word of God, rest in Christ Jesus and stay connected to Jesus, the “Living Stone”. In fact, Peter called them “living stones” as well, in the spiritual house Christ was building. Pure “Milk” makes a healthy life!
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You that You are the living Cornerstone of my spiritual house and I am a living stone in that spiritual structure. Fill me with the milk and meat of Your Word that I might grow and mature.
Jeremiah 39:18 “For I will surely save you, and you shall not fall by the sword, but you shall have your life as a prize of war, because you have put your trust in Me, declares the Lord.'”
Scripture reading for October 12th: Jeremiah 30-33, 1st Peter 1
Key Scriptures: 1st Peter 1:10-12 “Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look,”
Peter loved Jesus and His Word! He had denied Christ three times, but was restored by Jesus with three questions concerning his love for Him. Peter knew salvation was found in Jesus Christ alone by grace. He also knew the Scriptures and writings of the prophets were Holy Spirit inspired. Jesus had opened the Scriptures to him and the Holy Spirit, living in him, now revealed truth that enabled him to preach the good news. The prophets of old were serving their generation as well as Peter, the Apostle of Jesus Christ and generations to come should the Lord tarry!
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for Your amazing Word written down through the prophets and confirmed to me by the Holy Spirit. Fill me with Your Spirit today to preach the good news and serve this generation!
Jeremiah 31:33-34 “”For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put My law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be My people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know Me, for the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity and I will remember their sin no more.””
Scripture reading for October 9th: Jeremiah 37, 21, 34, Psalm 79, James 5
Key Scriptures: James 5:7-9 “Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it until it receives the early and the late rains. You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door.”
The Church of Jesus Christ needs patience! Jesus has promised His return for His Church and judgment for the wicked. The Church can be confident that He will come again but the time of this great event is left unknown to believers. No one knows the day or the hour! James uses farmers as an example of patience. They plant the crop and must wait through a whole growing season for the precious fruit to come forth. This requires early rains to get it started and late rains to fill the harvest and mature the fruit. Grumbling about the lack of rain is not faith! We must establish our hearts on God’s faithfulness and truth!
Psalm 79:13 “But we Your people, the sheep of Your pasture, will give thanks to You forever; from generation to generation will will recount Your praise.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for Your great patience with me and with the rebellious of this world. Help me to show Your patience to others and not grumble. I know the Judge is coming soon!
Jeremiah 21:14 “I will punish you according to the fruit of your deeds, declares the Lord; I will kindle a fire in her forest, and it shall devour all that is around her.”
Scripture reading for October 8th: Jeremiah 27, 28, 29, 24, 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.”
James speaks plainly to the church concerning their need for God’s grace. Pride was causing quarreling and fighting and division in the church. God opposes the proud. Satan’s pride got him thrown out of heaven and he was seeking to cause division here. In order to get God’s grace, humility and submission to God was required. The humble must draw near to God through Jesus Christ and find cleansing through repentance and faith in the promises of God. Mocking and laughter concerning sins will only bring God’s opposition. Humility and repentance will bring life and exaltation.
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, I need more grace. I humbly draw near to You each day for strength and truth to resist the devil and live victoriously.
Jeremiah 29:11-13 “”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. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will hear you. You will seek Me and find Me, when you seek Me with all your heart.””