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.”
Scripture reading for September 22nd: 2nd Kings 22-23, Psalm 73, 2nd Corinthians 5
Key Scriptures: 2nd Corinthians 5:6-10 “So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body, and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.”
When we walk by faith in Jesus Christ we can be constantly filled with courage and confidence. It does not matter what is happening to us at the moment, whether we are facing death or suffering in this life. We are confident that it will be better to be with the Lord in our eternal home. We can also have confidence to stand before Christ Jesus at His judgment seat and know we will be rewarded for our faith and obedience. Our confessed sins will be forgiven and forgotten. Praise the Lord!
Psalm 73:23-24 “Nevertheless, I am continually with you; You hold my right hand. You guide me with Your counsel, and afterward You will receive me to glory.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, You are my courage and confidence in this life and for eternity. I am confident to stand before You because of what Jesus Christ did for me. Guide me each day to do Your will!
2nd Kings 23:25 “Before him there was no king like him (King Josiah), who turned to the Lord with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his might, according to all the Law of Moses, nor did any like him arise after him.”
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.”
Scripture reading for September 18th: 2nd Kings 21, 2nd Chronicles 33, Psalm 71, 2nd Corinthians 3
Key Scriptures: 2nd Corinthians 3:15-18 “Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts. But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord Who is Spirit.”
Paul explained that the Old Covenant Law came with a fading glory. Moses had to put a veil over his face so that the fading glory would not be visible to the Israelites. Their hearts were hard and the Law brought death. But now the New Covenant of eternal life through the Holy Spirit brings life and access for each believer into the Holy of Holies to behold Jesus. We have freedom to enter through the Spirit and Jesus’ blood covering our sins. The veil was torn from top to bottom when Jesus cried: “It is finished!” We are all being transformed by Jesus’ glory into His image by the Holy Spirit. Hallelujah!
Psalm 71:19 “Your righteousness, O God, reaches the high heavens. You Who have done great things, O God, Who is like You?”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for purchasing my freedom to enter Your presence and behold Your glory. Transform me today by the Holy Spirit into Your image. Let the glory increase to Your eternal glory!
2nd Chronicles 33:12-13 “And when he (Manasseh) was in distress, he entreated the favor of the Lord his God and he humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers. He prayed to Him and God was moved by his entreaty and heard his plea and brought him again to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord was God.”
Scripture reading for September 16th: Isaiah 60-63, 2nd Corinthians 1
Key Scriptures: 2nd Corinthians 1:2-5 “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, Who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.”
Paul wrote a second letter to the Corinthian church. As he greeted them, he offered grace and peace and blessing. He blessed God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, confessing faith in God’s great mercy and ability to comfort those in affliction. He lifted up Jesus as God’s Son and the One who suffered death for us. He spoke comfort to them in their afflictions for the sake of Christ. The comfort would flow in abundance from a ‘God of all comfort’!
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for Your comfort in all affliction and trouble. May Your mercy and comfort flow through me and Your people to a hurting world today.
Isaiah 63:9 “In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the angel of His presence saved them; in His love and in His pity He redeemed them; He lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.”
Scripture reading for September 15th: Isaiah 56-59, Psalm 70, 1st Corinthians 16
Key Scriptures: 1st Corinthians 16:1-4 “Now concerning the collection for the saints: as I directed the churches of Galatia, so you also are to do. On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that there will be no collecting when I come. And when I arrive, I will send those whom you accredit by letter to carry your gift to Jerusalem. If it seems advisable that I should go also, they will accompany me.”
Paul gave simple and godly instructions to the church concerning an offering that was to go to the church in Jerusalem. There was to be no pressure in the giving. Each person was to put aside something, as God had prospered him and the collection should be taken and stored safely until time to deliver it. Trustworthy people were to be selected to carry the offering to Jerusalem. If they church preferred, Paul was willing to go as well on their behalf. Everything concerning finances was done in an orderly manner with accountability.
Psalm 70:4 “May all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You! May those who love Your salvation say evermore, “God is great!”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for giving such clear instructions concerning kingdom finances and accountability. Help me to give generously and without compulsion to Your kingdom work.
Isaiah 58:10-11 “. . if you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a well-watered garden, a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.”
Scripture reading for September 14th: Isaiah 53-55, Psalm 128, 1st Corinthians 15
Key Scriptures: 1st Corinthians 15:50-53 “I tell you this, brothers; flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.”
Paul explained the mystery of the resurrection, using a seed as an illustration. The seed going into the ground may not have any resemblance to the plant that will grow from it. So the fleshly body that is put in the grave will be raised a spiritual body full of life eternal. Jesus Christ is the fore-runner. His body was buried but raised on the third day a glorious immortal body. As believers in Jesus, we may not understand it, but we wait expectantly for the last trumpet! The best is yet to come!
Psalm 128:5 “The Lord bless you from Zion! May you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life!”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for explaining the mystery of the resurrection body and showing Yours to the disciples. Empower me to share this mystery to bless Your people with heavenly vision and eternal life.
Isaiah 53:10 “Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush Him; He has put Him to grief; when His soul makes an offering for guilt, He shall see His offspring; He shall prolong His days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.”
Scripture reading for September 11th: Isaiah 49-52, Psalm 69, 1st Corinthians 14
Key Scriptures: 1st Corinthians 14:1-4 “Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy. For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men, but to God; for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the Spirit. On the other hand, the one who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation. The one who speaks in a tongue builds up himself, but the one who prophesies builds up the church.”
As Paul wrote to the church concerning spiritual gifts, he emphasized that they should seek to prophesy above all the other gifts. Tongues builds up the individual who speaks. They allow the Holy Spirit to speak to God through them in mysteries. Prophesy speaks God’s thoughts in a known language and is profitable to the church. It builds up, encourages and comforts all members of the church since what is said can be understood by all. God is a God of order, not confusion. This doesn’t mean that tongues are unimportant. If they are interpreted, they serve the Church like prophesy.
Psalm 69:35-36 “For God will save Zion and build up the cities of Judah, and people shall dwell there and possess it: the offspring of His servants shall inherit it, and those who love His Name shall dwell in it.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Use me to build up Your church and be an encouragement to Your people through the gift of prophesy.
Isaiah 51:15-16 “I am the Lord your God, Who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar–the Lord of Hosts is His Name. And I have put My words in your mouth and covered you in the shadow of My hand, establishing the heavens and laying the foundation of the earth, and saying to Zion: ‘You are My people.'”
Scripture reading for September 8th: 2nd Kings 20, Isaiah 38-40, Psalm 68, 1st Corinthians 11
Key Scriptures: 1st Corinthians 11:23-26 “For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when He was betrayed took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it, and said, “This is My body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same way also He took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.”
Paul gave further instructions concerning the Lord’s supper to the Corinthian believers. Some there had been taking this sacrament without proper understanding and personal repentance. The partaking of the bread and cup were to be done in remembrance of Jesus Christ, Whose body and blood they represented. They were to examine their hearts and repent of known sin because Jesus Christ was coming again for those eagerly awaiting Him. The cup of the Lord’s supper was prophetic of the Wedding Supper of the Lamb, ushering in the Church as Christ’s eternal ‘Bride’! Proper wedding garments come only through Jesus’ sacrifice!
Psalm 68:24-26 “Your procession is seen, O God, the procession of my God, my King, into the sanctuary–the singers in front, the musicians last, between them virgins playing tambourines. “Bless God in the great congregation, the Lord, O You Who are Israel’s Fountain!””
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for the bread and the cup, representing Your body and Your blood, shed for my redemption. I look in anticipation to Your return in power and glory for Your people!
Isaiah 40:30-31 “Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles’ they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”
Scripture reading for September 7th: Isaiah 36-37, Psalm 123, 1st Corinthians 10
Key Scriptures: 1st Corinthians 10:31-33 “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God, just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved.”
Paul concluded his remarks about eating meat from idol temples with an appeal to a simple principle: Do all to the glory of God! We should not purposely try to offend or condemn others whose conscience may be weak or undeveloped in these matters of choice and limiting our own freedom. Our goal should be the salvation of as many as possible and we should act and work to that end, glorifying God by fulfilling His purposes.
Psalm 123:1-2 “To You I lift up my eyes, O You Who are enthroned in the heavens! Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maidservant to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to our God, till He has mercy on us.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, I will keep my eyes on You and with Your help, do all I do to Your glory! May there be a great harvest of souls saved from destruction!
Isaiah 37:16 “”O Lord of Hosts, God of Israel, enthroned above the cherubim, You are the God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; You have made heaven and earth.””