Category: Minor prophets

God’s Mighty Hand!

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.”

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Delighting God!

Scripture reading for September 25th: Zephaniah, Psalm 74, 2nd Corinthians 8

Key Scriptures: 2nd Corinthians 8:1-5 “We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints–and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us.”

Paul commended the Macedonian churches for their gracious giving. These churches were in severe persecution and were suffering physically and economically. But Paul was impressed with their joyful hearts and gracious giving, even beyond their means. They did not need to be persuaded, but begged to be part of the relief of other brothers and sisters. Their giving was marked by giving of themselves to the Lord first and then their offerings.

Psalm 74:12 “Yet God my King is from of old, working salvation in the midst of the earth.”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, You are my King, working salvation. Keep my heart in step with Yours, full of mercy and generosity. I give myself to You to dwell in my midst and open my hands to give as You direct.

Zephaniah 3:17 “The Lord your God is in your midst, a Mighty One Who will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by His love; He will exult over you with loud singing.”

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Blessed godly grief!

Scripture reading for September 24th: Habakkuk; 2nd Corinthians 7

Key Scriptures: 2nd Corinthians 7:8-11 “For even if I made you grieve with my letter, I do not regret it–though I did regret it, for I see that that letter grieved you, though only for a while. As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us. For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death. For see what earnestness this godly grief has produced in you, but also what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what punishment! At every point you have proved yourselves innocent in the matter.”

Paul had written plainly to the Corinthians this second time to appeal to them to forgive a brother who had been disciplined for sexual sins. He had some regrets at first, that he might offend them, but he ended up rejoicing when their godly grief over this brother’s sin caused him and them to repent and do the right thing. Worldly grief leads only to death–sorrow for sin alone won’t bring forgiveness and life. Godly sorrow leads to repentance and true transformation.

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, help me to receive correction with grace and humility and true repentance. May I not shrink from godly correction of one who may need to experience mercy by repentance.

Habakkuk 3:12-13 “You marched through the earth in fury; You threshed the nations in anger. You went out for the salvation of Your people, for the salvation of Your anointed.”

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Faith unveils the glory!

Scripture reading for September 21st: Nahum, Psalm 149, 2nd Corinthians 4

Key Scriptures: 2nd Corinthians 4:3-6 “And even if our Gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the Gospel for the glory of Christ, Who is the image of God. For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, Who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”

Paul carefully explained to the Corinthians how the Gospel of Jesus Christ brings light to darkened hearts. Satan, the ‘god of this world’, acts to blind the minds and hearts of the unbeliever to block out the light. But those who have believed receive the light and proclaim the Gospel by confessing “Jesus is Lord!” We joyfully become servants of all men, proclaiming the Gospel and sharing the light of Jesus’ glory by living a holy and consecrated life. We long to see Jesus face to face in full glory!

Psalm 149:2 “Let Israel be glad in his Maker, let the children of Zion rejoice in their King! Let them praise His Name with dancing, making melody to Him with tambourine and lyre!”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, fill me with Your light and truth today that I may reflect “Jesus is Lord” to the world You want to reach with the Gospel. May Christ’s light overcome Satan’s dark veil of death today and forever as I call others to take refuge in You.

Nahum 1:7 “The Lord is good, a Stronghold in the day of trouble; He knows those who take refuge in Him.”

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Sheep on the right please!

Scripture reading for August 19th: Micah 5-7, Matthew 25

Key Scriptures: Matthew 25:31-34 “”When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. Before Him will be gathered all the nations, and He will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And He will place the sheep on His right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.'”

Jesus concluded His final message before His suffering with a parable of sheep and goats. He told how people of the nations would come before His glorious throne and be separated in judgment. The ‘sheep’ would have a place on His right hand, but the goats would be placed on the left. The ‘sheep’ would enter into their full inheritance, prepared from the world’s foundation. The ‘goats’ would be sent to eternal damnation in the lake of fire. This final judgment will be based on response of faith to follow Jesus as their ‘Good Shepherd’.

Faith confession and prayer: Jesus, Your throne is glorious and You are King of Kings! You see the hearts of all men and are full of mercy. Help me to follow You like a dependent ‘sheep’ follows the shepherd.

Micah 6:8 “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.”

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Power to endure!

Scripture reading for August 18th: Micah 1-4, Psalm 10, Matthew 24

Key Scriptures: Matthew 24:9-14 “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for My Name’s sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this Gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”

Jesus was answering His disciples questions concerning His prophesy about the destruction of the temple. They asked ‘when’ that would happen and ‘what’ would be the sign of His return at the end of the age. As to ‘when’, Jesus stated that no one but His Father knew the exact date or time. But the followers of Jesus would suffer great persecution and hatred from the nations of the world. Many believers would fall away and betray others. False teachers would lead many astray and lawlessness would increase. But the true believers would endure and preach the Gospel to all nations and be saved!

Psalm 10:17 “O Lord, You hear the desire of the afflicted; You will strengthen their heart; You will incline Your ear. . .”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord, thank You for Your call to preach the Gospel to all nations before the end of the age. Fill me with power and strengthen my heart to endure and hasten Your return through obedience!

Micah 3:8 “But as for me, I am filled with power, with the Spirit of the Lord, and with justice and might, to declare to Jacob his transgression and to Israel his sin.”

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Greatness through serving!

Scripture reading for August 12th: Hosea 14, 2nd Chronicles 26-27, Psalm 61, Matthew 20

Key Scriptures: Matthew 20:25-28 “But Jesus called them to Him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.””

The mother of James and John came to Jesus and requested a special favor. She wanted them to sit on Jesus’ right and left when He came into His kingdom rule. In reply, Jesus asked them if they were able to drink the cup that He would drink? He further told them it was not His prerogative to grant this honor, but His Father. Greatness in God’s sight is being a servant, humble and obedient, even unto death. Jesus, Himself, is our example.

Psalm 61:4 “Let me dwell in Your tent forever! Let me take refuge under the shelter of Your wings!” Selah

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for the promised reward for those who put their faith in You and seek Your presence and favor. Help me to serve You and others, pleasing to You and honoring You.

2nd Chronicles 26:4-5 “And he (Uzziah) did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, according to all that his father Amaziah had done. He set himself to seek God in the days of Zechariah, who instructed him in the fear of God, and as long as he sought the Lord, God made him prosper.”

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Reward in the new world!

Scripture reading for August 11th: Hosea 11-13, Matthew 19

Key Scriptures: Matthew 19:27-30 “Then Peter said in reply, “See, we have left everything and followed You. What then will we have? Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for My Name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”

The rich young man who had come to Jesus inquiring about eternal life, left dejectedly after he heard Jesus’ answer. Jesus told His disciples how hard it was for rich people to enter the kingdom of heaven, and they asked Him about their own sacrifice to follow Him. Jesus promised them a throne of judgment in the new world and eternal life. Those in this life who are prominent because of wealth will be last, and those who renounce riches in this life and follow Jesus will be blessed with eternal reward.

Faith confession and prayer: Lord, I have chosen to follow You and leave this world and its riches for a greater riches in knowing You. Help me to keep walking with You, waiting on You, and calling on You. I want to hold fast to Your love and justice and never turn back.

Hosea 12:6 “So you, by the help of your God, return, hold fast to love and justice, and wait continually for your God.”

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Decisive break from sin!

Scripture reading for August 10th: Hosea 7-10, Matthew 18

Key Scriptures: Matthew 18:7-9 “”Woe to the world for temptations to sin! For it is necessary that temptations come, but woe to the one by whom the temptation comes! And if your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life crippled or lame than with two hands or two feet to be thrown into the eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into the hell of fire.””

Jesus had some hard teachings. In this passage he was warning His disciples of the dangerous consequences of leading innocent others into sin with your walk, actions, or what you are watching. Sin is serious business and has eternal destructive consequences–the ‘hell of fire!’ Jesus wasn’t teaching mutilation, but was illustrating the urgency and necessity of dealing with sin and leading others into sin that believers must have to avoid judgment.

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for delivering me from myself and the penalty and consequences of sin. Help me to be quick to depart from sin and to bring my body under Your control to avoid leading others into sin.

Hosea 10:12 “Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the Lord, that He may come and rain righteousness upon you.”

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Third day hope!

Scripture reading for August 7th: Hosea 4-6, Psalm 58, Matthew 17

Key Scriptures: Matthew 17:22-23 “As they were gathering in Galilee, Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men. And they will kill Him, and He will be raised on the third day.” And they were greatly distressed.”

Jesus shared a deep truth with His disciples concerning His coming appointment with death. He shared how He would be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be killed. He also shared that on the third day after this terrible event, He would be raised from the dead. This truth surely concerned these disciples. Scripture records “And they were greatly distressed.” Hope would come alive on the third day!

Psalm 58:10-11 “The righteous will rejoice when he sees the vengeance; he will bathe his feet in the blood of the wicked. Mankind will say, “Surely there is a reward for the righteous; surely there is a God Who judges on earth.”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for Your truthfulness with Your disciples concerning coming events. Your mercy through Your death and resurrection on the third day brings hope of eternal reward.

Hosea 6:1-3 “”Come, let us return to the Lord; for He has torn us, that He may heal us; He has struck us down, and He will bind us up. After two days He will revive us; and on the third day He will raise us up, that we may live before Him. Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord; His going out is sure as the dawn; He will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth.””

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