Category: Minor prophets

Do you have eternal life?

Scripture reading for November 26th: Zechariah 9-11; 1st John 5

Key Scriptures: 1st John 5:12-15 “Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the Name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life. And this is the confidence that we have toward Him, that if we ask anything according to His will He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of Him.”

The devil always wants to get us into doubting our faith and our relationship with God. The aged Apostle John wrote to the early church to give them confidence. It is really quite simple: if you have Jesus Christ, God’s Son, you have life eternal. If you do not have Jesus Christ as Lord in your life, you abide in death. Having confidence in our relationship with Jesus Christ means knowing that what God’s Word says is true. Faith rests on God’s Word, not our feelings. We can now pray effectively and confidently to find the help we need to live victoriously by faith overcoming the devil!

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, I am thankful for Your trustworthy Word and the confidence that comes as I believe that You are God’s Son and my Savior. I call on You daily to fill me with Your Holy Spirit and strength to do Your will.

Zechariah 10:1 “Ask rain from the Lord in the season of the spring rain, from the Lord Who makes the storm clouds, and He will give them showers of rain, to everyone the vegetation of the field.”

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Confidence on judgment day

Scripture reading for November 25th: Zechariah 6-8; 1 John 4

Key Scriptures: 1st John 4:14-18 “And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent His Son to be the Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as He is so are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.”

John did not want believers to live in fear, unsure of their salvation. In fact, if believers are living in fear of punishment on judgment day, they have not been perfected in Christ’s love. They have failed to lay hold of the truth of Jesus by faith. Jesus is God’s Son and Savior of the world. Jesus is “Love.” When we are able to freely confess that Jesus is God’s Son and our Savior, we know by God’s unfailing Word that God abides in us and we in Him. We can love God because He first loved us and demonstrated that love through Jesus Christ. His perfect love is a choice, not an emotion, based on Who He is: Love!

Faith confession and prayer: Father God, thank You for Jesus Christ, Your only Son and my Savior. I confess Jesus Christ as My Lord and Savior and receive His amazing love. Because of this, I can have confidence on judgment day.

Zechariah 8:16-17 “These are the things that you shall do: Speak the truth to one another; render in your gates judgments that are true and make for peace; do not devise evil in your hearts against one another, and love no false oath, for all these things I hate, declares the Lord of Hosts.”

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Are you of God? Or Satan?

Scripture reading for November 24th: Zechariah 2-5; Psalm 93; 1 John 3

Key Scriptures: 1st John 3:7-10 “Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s Seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. By this is it evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.”

John was concerned about deception in the church. False teachers came and spread the lie that it did not matter how you lived, receiving Christ in your spirit was all that was needed. John set the record straight by repeating the same thing several times and ways. If you practice sin, you are of the devil. If you practice righteousness and love your brothers and sisters, you are born of God and His “Seed” abides in you. We are not saved by works, but by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. God’s “Seed”, His Word and Spirit, come to live in us and transform us into Christ’s image. Our fruit shows which one we belong to: either the devil or God.

Psalm 93:5: “Your decrees are very trustworthy; holiness befits Your house, O Lord, forevermore.”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, I don’t ever want to be deceived. Thank You for the Holy Spirit and Your “Seed”, the Word given as grace gifts to form Christ’s holy character in me.

Zechariah 4:6 “Then he said to me, “This is the Word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of Hosts.””

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Abiding forever!

Scripture reading for November 23rd: Haggai; Zechariah 1; Psalm 138; 1 John 2

Key Scriptures: 1st John 2: 15-17 “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world–the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life–is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.”

Affections help us to set priorities and guide us through life. The Apostle John warned the believers not to set their affection on this world. Love of this world, its desires and appetites and the things that worldly people hold in high esteem, will block out a person’s ability to love the Father. Besides, all these things and activities are temporal and passing away. If we love the Father and those created in His image, we will seek to share God’s love and plan of salvation. We will do the will of the Father and instead of having temporary pleasure but eternal loss. We will enjoy life eternally resting in God’s presence and peace.

Psalm 138:8 “The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me; Your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of Your hands.”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, I love You and the Father and have set my heart to do Your will while on my temporary assignment in this world. Give me daily reminders of Your great love and faithfulness and my need to hold this world lightly with an open hand.

Haggai 2:9-10 “The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine, declares the Lord of Hosts. The latter glory of this house shall be greater than the former, says the Lord of Hosts. And in this place I will give peace, declares the Lord of Hosts.”

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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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