Scripture reading for May 25th: 2nd Samuel 18-20, Psalm 34, Romans 2
Key Scriptures: Romans 2:1-5 “Therefore you have no excuse, O man, everyone of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. Do you suppose, O man–you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself–that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.”
Paul carefully explained to the Romans that judging others for sins they were committing would bring God’s wrath. To them God’s patience was being mistaken for God’s approval of deeds He had stated in His Word as sinful. These sins were enumerated in Romans chapter one. Suppressing God’s Word and truth resulted in a downward spiral of ongoing judgment leading to sexual perversion and idolatry. Failure to repent would lead to eternal wrath! Beware! Thankfully, God has kindly provided the way to escape His wrath and the bondage of practicing sin through faith in His Son.
Psalm 34:16 “The face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth.”
Faith confession and prayer: Thank You Lord Jesus for Your kindness and patience with me and all sinners, allowing time to repent and believe. Use me to faithfully declare the Gospel that none may face Your wrath.
2nd Samuel 18:33 “And the king (David) was deeply moved and went up to the chamber over the gate and wept. And as he went, he said, “O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would I had died instead of you, . .”
Scripture reading for May 22nd: 2nd Samuel 15-16, Psalms 3, 63, Romans 1
Key Scriptures: Romans 1:28-32 “And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strive, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.”
Paul’s opening to his letter to the Roman church began with an explanation of the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to save those who by faith would believe. He explained that the Gospel was for Jews first and then for Gentiles. However, for those who refused to believe, consequences would inevitably come upon their lives as they turned toward darkness instead of the Gospel light. Choices have consequences and rejecting God’s Word leads to all forms of evil and death.
Psalm 3:3 “But You, O Lord, are a Shield about me, my Glory and the Lifter of my head.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, I know the power of the Gospel personally in that I have been born again and believe on Jesus Christ. Give me grace to boldly declare the powerful Gospel in clarity and the anointing that comes from the Holy Spirit so that none would be turned over by God!
2nd Samuel 16:13 “So David and his men went on the road, while Shimei went along on the hillside opposite him and cursed as he went and threw stones at him and flung dust.”
Scripture reading for May 20th: 2nd Samuel 11-12, 1st Chronicles 20, Psalm 51, 32, Acts 27
Key Scriptures: Acts 27:34-38 “”Therefore I urge you to take some food. For it will give you strength, for not a hair is to perish from the head of any of you.” And when he had said these things, he took bread, and giving thanks to God in the presence of all he broke it and began to eat. Then they all were encouraged and ate some food themselves. (We were in all 276 persons in the ship.) And when they had eaten enough, they lightened the ship, throwing out the wheat into the sea.”
While on his journey to Rome, the ship’s captain that Paul had warned not to proceed had gone ahead anyway. A great storm arose at sea and all on board despaired of life. Paul was encouraged in a vision that none would be lost except the ship and that he would travel to Rome to testify there. Paul shared his vision with the crew and those aboard the ship and encouraged them to eat something. He took the bread, gave thanks, broke it and ate! This was a type of Holy Communion, a remembering of Jesus’ death and indwelling life!
Psalm 51:10 “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, I trust in Your broken Body and shed Blood for cleansing, healing, forgiveness and encouragement. Open doors today of encouragement and hope, where I can break the Bread of Life through sharing Jesus Christ and His mercy for those who are fearful in the midst of a storm.
2nd Samuel 12:13 “David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die.”
Scripture reading for May 19th: 2nd Samuel 9-10, 1st Chronicles 18-19, Psalm 89, Acts 26
Key Scriptures: Acts 26:19-23 “Therefore, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, but declared first to those in Damascus, then in Jerusalem and throughout all the region of Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds in keeping with their repentance. For this reason the Jews seized me in the temple and tried to kill me. To this day I have had the help that comes from God, and so I stand here testifying both to small and great, saying nothing but what the prophets and Moses said would come to pass: that Christ must suffer and that, by being the first to rise from the dead, He would proclaim light both to our people and to the Gentiles.”
Paul was able to testify before King Agrippa, presenting his own testimony of encountering Jesus and how Jesus Christ came to save both Jew and Gentile. Paul was in jail because of the Jews’ resistance to the message. Paul was standing before King Agrippa because of God’s direction and help. Repentance and turning to God was required of all who would believe and respond!
Psalm 89:1 “I will sing of the steadfast love of the Lord, forever; with my mouth I will make known Your faithfulness to all generations.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for my testimony of being confronted with Who You are, Lord and Savior! Open doors for me to courageously share this message with small or great in the power of the Holy Spirit.
2nd Samuel 10:12 “. . .Be of good courage, and let us be courageous for our people, and for the cities of our God, and may the Lord do what seems good to Him.”
Scripture reading for May 18th: 2nd Samuel 7-8, 1st Chronicles 17, Psalm 132, Acts 25
Key Scriptures: Acts 25:16-19 “I answered them that it was not the custom of the Romans to give up anyone before the accused met the accusers face to face and had opportunity to make his defense concerning the charges laid against him. So when they came together here, I made no delay, but on the next day took my seat on the tribunal and ordered the man to be brought. When the accusers stood up, they brought no charge in his case of such evils as I supposed. Rather they had certain points of dispute with him about their own religion and about a certain Jesus, Who was dead, but whom Paul asserted to be alive.”
The Jews came to Cesarea where Paul was imprisoned awaiting trial. Roman custom was for his accusers to face him and for him to give a defense. The Jews came but had no real charges that would break Roman law. Paul’s defense was his belief in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This confused Festus, the Roman governor. Paul had appealed his case to the Emperor Caesar. Festus shared the facts with King Agrippa and a hearing with Paul was set up. Another opportunity to share Christ was arranged at the highest levels of government. God was at work!
Psalm 132:1 “Remember, O Lord, in David’s favor, all the hardships he endured, . . .”
Faith confession and prayer: I understand that much conflict and many hardships await those who preach Your Gospel. Help me to boldly declare Jesus Christ and His eternal Kingdom.
2nd Samuel 7:12-13 “When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish His kingdom. He shall build a house for My Name, and I will establish the throne of His kingdom forever.”
Scripture reading for May 14th: 2nd Samuel 6, 1st Chronicles 13, Psalm 60, Acts 23
Key Scriptures: Acts 23:8-11 “For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, nor angel, nor spirit, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all. Then a great clamor arose, and some of the scribes of the Pharisees’ party stood up and contended sharply, “We find nothing wrong in this man. What if a spirit or an angel spoke to him?” And when the dissension became violent, the tribune, afraid that Paul would be torn to pieces by them, commanded the soldiers to go down and take him away from among them by force and bring him into the barracks. The following night the Lord stood by him and said, “Take courage, for as you have testified to the facts about Me in Jerusalem, so you must testify also in Rome.””
Paul, led by the Holy Spirit, testified of his hope in the resurrection. As a Pharisee, he was a believer in the supernatural but the Saducees did not believe. Paul used this to divide the Jews who had come to accuse him. The result was a great argument that brought the Roman officials to take Paul out of the courtroom. Jesus appeared again to Paul as he was under house arrest. Jesus instructed him to be courageous. He would be used to testify to the facts about Jesus in Rome as well.
Psalm 60:12 “With God we shall do valiantly; it is He Who will tread down our foes.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord, fill me with the power of the Holy Spirit and I will testify to the facts of Jesus Christ before all men. I will testify of Jesus Christ with all my might as an act of worship.
1st Samuel 6:14 “And David danced before the Lord with all his might. And David was wearing a linen ephod.”
Scripture reading for May 13th: 2nd Samuel 3-5, 1st Chronicles 12, Psalm 122, Acts 22
Key Scriptures: Acts 22:6-10 “”As I was on my way and drew near to Damascus, about noon a great light from heaven suddenly shone around me. And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?’ And I answered, ‘Who are You Lord?’ and He said to me, ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, Whom you are persecuting.’ Now those who were with me saw the light but did not understand the voice of the One Who was speaking to me. And I said, ‘What shall I do, Lord?’ And the Lord said to me, ‘Rise and go into Damascus, and there you will be told all that is appointed for you to do.'”
Paul was intent on finding Christ’s followers and locking them up. But Jesus met him and changed his plans. The risen and exalted Jesus confronted Paul in a great flash of light that knocked him to the ground. As he asked who Jesus was, Jesus revealed Himself to Paul and gave him instructions for the next steps needed on a new journey with new objectives. He would now work with Jesus, Son of David, Son of God and other Christ followers to share the Gospel he once berated and extend the peace of Jerusalem.
Psalm 122:6 “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem! May they be secure who love you!”
Faith confession and prayer: I am thankful that Jesus confronted me with who He is: Lord and Savior! I have committed myself to preach His Gospel of repentance and faith to all He directs me to. Lord fill me with Your love and the Holy Spirit.
2nd Samuel 5:10 “And David became greater and greater, for the Lord, the God of Hosts, was with Him.”
Scripture reading for May 12th: 2 Samuel 1-2, 1st Chronicles 11, Psalm 96, 106, Acts 21
Key Scriptures: Acts 21:10-14 “While we were staying for many days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. And coming to us, he took Paul’s belt and bound his own feet and hands and said, “Thus says the Holy Spirit, ‘This is how the Jews at Jerusalem will bind the man who owns this belt and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.'” When we heard this, we and the people there urged him not to go up to Jerusalem. Then Paul answered, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be imprisoned but even to die in Jerusalem for the Name of the Lord Jesus.” And since he would not be persuaded, we ceased and said, “Let the will of the Lord be done.””
Paul was heading to Jerusalem where he knew that persecution and imprisonment awaited him, even possible death. A prophet, Agabus, warned Paul of what would happen to him but God had directed Paul in his mission. His friends tried to dissuade Paul from going, but Paul set his face towards Jerusalem and all agreed that God’s will must be done! Sometimes His will involves suffering, persecution, and eternal life through death!
Psalm 96:3 “Declare His glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, help me to live faithful to Your Word and will, even if it will bring hardship. I believe Your grace is sufficient for every trial and Your will is always best.
Psalm 106:47 “Save us, O Lord our God, and gather us from among the nations, that we may give thanks to Your Holy Name and glory in Your praise.”
Scripture reading for May 5th: 1st Samuel 23-24, 1 Chronicles 6, Psalm 54, Acts 16
Key Scriptures: Acts 16:25-31 “About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately all of the prison doors were opened and everyone’s bonds were unfastened. When the jailer woke and saw that the prison doors were open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. But Paul cried with a loud voice, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.” And the jailer called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, you and your household.””
Paul and Silas had been beaten and put in stocks in the dungeon of a Philippian prison. They were praying and praising God at the darkest hour–midnight, with other prisoners listening in amazement. In response to their faith, God sent a special earthquake that loosed their bonds and opened the doors! The jailer fell under conviction, asking what he needed to do for salvation. Paul’s response was simple: “Believe on the Lord Jesus!” He could and would be spared by faith, and his whole household if they too believed!
Psalm 54:4 “Behold, God is my Helper; the Lord is the Upholder of my life.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord, I put my trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and receive salvation, for me and for my whole household! I stand in faith for each one’s personal act of trust in the Lord Jesus.
1st Samuel 24:10 “Behold, this day your eyes have seen how the Lord gave you today into my hand in the cave. And some told me to kill you, but I spared you. I said, ‘I will not put out my hand against my lord, for he is the Lord’s anointed.'”
Scripture reading for May 4th: 1st Samuel 21-22, 1st Chronicles 5, Psalm 52, Acts 15
Key Scriptures: Acts 15:25-29 “. . . it has seemed good to us, having come to one accord, to choose men and send them to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, men who have risked their lives for the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ. We have therefore sent Judas and Silas, who themselves will tell you the same things by word of mouth. For it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay on you no greater burden than these requirements: that you abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols, and from blood, and from what has been strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well.”
The council at Jerusalem met with the key apostolic leadership of the early church to discuss the division being caused by Jewish believers insisting on circumcision for new Gentile converts. The council came to one accord as they waited on the Holy Spirit and discussed the situation, looking at Scripture as a guide. The only requirement for the Gentiles would be to abstain from meat sacrificed to idols and from blood of strangled animals as well as all sexual immorality. Personal messengers delivered this message.
Psalm 52:9 “I will thank You forever, because You have done it. I will wait for Your Name, for it is good, in the presence of the godly.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for the Holy Spirit and the unity and direction that He brings to believers in need of direction. Help me to be filled with the Holy Spirit each day.
1st Samuel 22:5 “Then the prophet Gad said to David, “Do not remain in the stronghold; depart, and go into the land of Judah.”