Scripture reading for November 30th: Ezra 5-6, Psalm 95, 3rd John
Key Scriptures: 3rd John 4-8 “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. Beloved, it is a faithful thing you do in all your efforts for these brothers, strangers as they are, who testified to your love before the church. You will do well to send them on their journey in a manner worthy of God. For they have gone out for the sake of the Name, accepting nothing from the Gentiles. Therefore we ought to support people like these, that we may be fellow workers for the truth.”
The Apostle John wrote his third epistle to an elder named Gaius. John was overjoyed that this leader in the church was walking in the truth and leading others in the church to walk that way as well. The believers there were also supportive of other Gospel workers who went out from the church to the Gentiles. They gave towards the work and John commended them. When believers give to support God’s workers, they become fellow workers with them, sharing in the reward.
Psalm 95:6-7 “Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our Maker! For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, You are my Lord and the One worthy of worship. Lead me to work for You each day reaching the lost and help me to support workers who are also working in the harvest of souls.
Ezra 6:22 “And they kept the Feast of Unleavened Bread seven days with joy, for the Lord had made them joyful and had turned the heart of the King of Assyria to them, so that he aided them in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel.”
Scripture reading for November 27th: Zechariah 12-14; Psalm 94; 2nd John
Key Scriptures: 2nd John 6-9 “And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments; this is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, so that you should walk in it. For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist. Watch yourselves, so that you may not lose what we have worked for, but may win a full reward. For everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.”
Deception is a mark of the devil and his agents in this world. Lying is the antithesis of God the Father and Jesus the Truth and is the native language of the devil. John again mentions those false teachers and calls them ‘antichrist’ as well as deceivers. This word means ‘counterfeit’. They were in the visible church but really not believers in Jesus Christ, Son of God. They advocated false doctrines and were under a deceiving spirit trying to rob believers of their full reward. The true believers could stay safe by abiding in Jesus’ love and showing love for Him by obedience to all His commandments. These were summed up in two: love God and love your brothers and sisters.” This is our “work” of faith, to believe and follow Jesus’ teaching in His love. Watchfulness is needed over our own souls and those of other believers because the ‘antichrist’ is already here.
Psalm 94:12-13 “Blessed is the man whom You discipline, O Lord, and whom You teach out of your law, to give him rest from days of trouble, until a pit is dug for the wicked.”
Faith confession and prayer: Father, deliver me from the evil one! Fill me each day with Your Word and Spirit, and discipline me if needed. Give me the watchful eyes of an under-shepherd to help brothers and sisters live in Your love and abide in Your Word, receiving their full reward.
Zechariah 13:9 “And I will put this third into the fire, and refine them as one refines silver, and test them as gold is tested. They will call upon My Name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘They are My People’; and they will say, ‘The Lord is my God.'”
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.””
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.”
Scripture reading for November 20th: Ezra 3-4, Psalm 92; 1 John 1
Key Scriptures: 1st John 1:6-10 “If we say we have fellowship with Him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice he truth. But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us.”
John was the youngest of the disciples when he began following Jesus and wrote his Gospel and these letters to the church when he was older and more mature. He explained to the church that true fellowship with Jesus brought light, truth, and joy into our life and Christ’s Church. We can’t walk in darkness and truly have fellowship with Jesus. We can’t say we have no sin if we are living it it and cover it up and expect forgiveness and peace. We must walk in the light of Jesus’ Word and confess all sins, repenting and turning away from them. The blood of Jesus cleanses us and we can have true fellowship with others cleansed and walking in the light.
Psalm 92:12-13 “The righteous flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. They are planted in the house of the Lord; they flourish in the courts of our God.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, I desire to walk in the Light of Your Word and have true fellowship with You and other disciples. Help me to confess sin and walk in righteousness and truth.
Ezra 3:11 And they sang responsively, praising and giving thanks to the Lord, “For He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever toward Israel.” And all the people shouted with a great shout when they praised the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid.”
Scripture reading for November 17th: Daniel 7-9; Psalm 91; John 19
Key Scriptures: John 19:25-30 “So the soldiers did these things, but standing by the cross of Jesus were His mother and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw His mother and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold your son!” Then He said to the disciple, “Behold your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home. After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.” A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to His mouth. When Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished,” and He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.”
Jesus was alert and in command, even from the cross. He was aware of Scripture being fulfilled as the soldiers gambled for His garment and as He called out, “I thirst.” He was aware of His mother and honored her by assigning the disciple He loved, John, to care for His mother as if she were his mother. As He drank the sour wine, He knew that in this bitter cup all had been completed to purchase mankind’s salvation from sin and death. He cried out, “It is finished” and gave up His spirit as His final sacrifice, tasting death for all. What a beloved Savior we have!
Psalm 91:14-15 “”Because he holds fast to Me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows My Name. When he calls to Me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him.””
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for Your faithfulness to fulfill Scripture and fully finish the work necessary for my salvation and that of the world. I will hold fast to You in love, trusting You to be with me and protect me and bring me into Your everlasting kingdom.
Daniel 7:13-14 “I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came One like a Son of Man, and He came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before Him. And to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him; His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall never pass away and His kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.”
Scripture reading for November 12th: Ezekiel 46-48; Psalm 88; John 16
Key Scriptures: John 16:30-33 “Now we know that You know all things and do not need anyone to question You; this is why we believe that You came from God.” Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave Me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with Me. I have said these thing to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
Jesus was giving His disciples a last Word of encouragement and prophetic truth before going to the Garden of Gethsemane and His crucifixion, death, and resurrection. They had confessed faith that He was from God and that they trusted in Him. Jesus plainly told them they would all desert Him and be scattered in a coming hour. Jesus assured them that He would not be alone, but the Father would be with Him. He told them this that they might have peace in trusting in Him. In the world they would experience tribulation and trial, but as they held fast to Him, they would overcome as He overcame! Perseverance was mandatory. Amen!
Psalm 88:18 “You have caused my beloved and my friend to shun me; my companions have become darkness.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, You alone know all things. Continue to speak prophetic truth to my soul concerning coming trials and bring peace to my soul, even though others may abandon me. Let the water of Your Word bring life and freshness in my life and everywhere I share it.
Ezekiel 47:9 “And wherever the river goes, every living creature that swarms will live, and there will be very many fish. For this water goes there, that the waters of the sea may become fresh; so everything will live where the river goes.”
Scripture reading for November 11th: Ezekiel 43-45; Psalm 135; John 15
Key Scriptures: John 15:18-21 “If the world hates you, know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the Word that I said to you: “A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My Word, they will also keep yours. But all these things they will do to you on account of My Name, because they do not know Him who sent Me.”
The world as it is used here refers to the mass of unredeemed humanity under the darkness of sin and the world system of Babylon. Those who are still a captive of sin and Satan have a hatred for Jesus and those who follow Him. The world loves its own but despises disciples of Jesus and the Lord Himself. Disciples have been chosen by Jesus to come out of the world and join the kingdom of heaven. They are grafted into Jesus Christ, the true Vine of Life. Disciples remember the Word of Jesus concerning the world’s hatred and live by faith, loving each other and those still caught in the trap of the devil. They want to see all men saved and know Jesus Christ.
Psalm 135:14 “For the Lord will vindicate His people and have compassion on His servants.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for Your precious Word and Your patient endurance of suffering and persecution by those still under this world system. Your goodness has lead me and others to repentance and my eternal inheritance, Jesus Christ forever and ever.
Ezekiel 44:28 “This shall be their inheritance: I am their inheritance: and you shall give them no possession in Israel; I am their possession.”
Scripture reading for November 9th: Ezekiel 37-39; Psalm 87; John 13
Key Scriptures: John 13:31-35 “When he (Judas) had gone out, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in Him. If God is glorified in Him, God will also glorify Him in Himself, and glorify Him at once. Little children, yet a little while I am with you. You will seek Me, and just as I said to the Jews, so now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going you cannot come.’ A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Judas had just left the upper room to betray Jesus. Jesus announced His soon coming glory: His crucifixion death, burial and resurrection. By this, the Father would receive glory and the Father would glorify His Son–at once! Jesus told His disciples that where He was going they could not come. No other man could go through the experience that Jesus would go through for all mankind. He demonstrated the greatest love mankind would ever know and commanded His disciples to love one another. Love would be the most genuine proof to the world and the Church of discipleship.
Psalm 87:3 “Glorious things of you are spoken, O city of God.” Selah (pause and think about that)
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, I give You glory for Your great sacrifice for me, a sinner and for all sinners. Out of thankfulness and the infilling of Your Holy Spirit, I will love my brothers and sisters and share Your glorious Gospel.
Ezekiel 37:24 “”My servant David shall be king over them, and they shall all have one Shepherd. They shall walk in My rules and be careful to obey My statutes.””
Scripture reading for November 6th: Ezekiel 34-36; Psalm 86; John 12
Key Scriptures: John 12:44-48 “And Jesus cried out and said, “Whoever believes in Me, believes not in Me but in Him Who sent Me. And whoever sees Me sees Him Who sent Me. I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in Me may not remain in darkness. If anyone hears My Words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. The one who rejects Me and does not receive My Words has a judge; the Word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day.”
As Jesus approached the end of His ministry, He plainly called out to whoever would listen, encouraging them to believe in Him and receive His Words. He again proclaimed that He was the Light of the world and His Words would bring light as well. His Word would bring salvation which was His main purpose. Those rejecting His Word and Him would be judged by the Word they rejected. There is a day coming–the ‘last day’, when the judgment will come. Choices determine destiny!
Psalm 86:5 “For You, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon You. Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer; listen to my plea for grace.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord, I believe in You and the Father Who sent You. Your life and Words bring me eternal light. Help me to share Your Word under the power of the Holy Spirit calling men to choose life and light in Jesus Christ as their eternal destiny.
Ezekiel 36:26 “And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”