Inheritance determined by faith!
Scripture reading for May 26th: Romans 9, Psalm 105, Proverbs 12
Romans 9:6-10 “But it is not as though the Word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of promise are counted as offspring. For this is what the promise said: “About this time next year I will return, and Sarah shall have a son.”
Paul was perplexed about his own Jewish people. They had every advantage to find faith and God’s righteousness. But the truth Paul shared was that not every descendant of Abraham in the flesh was actually part of God’s elect. It was only the children of promise, conceived by faith, that were part of God’s forever family. Abraham and Sarah themselves had to trust God and leave their former land and relatives behind and go to a land God would show them. They were promised offspring as numerous as the stars but had no children of their own. When they were beyond childbearing, God again promised them a child. Isaac was born because they counted God as able to bring life from their dead bodies! It is only believing God and acting in faith that delights God. Our ancestry won’t help us without faith.
Psalm 105:4-6 “Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His presence continually! Remember the wondrous works that He has done, His miracles, and the judgments He uttered. O offspring of Abraham, His servant, children of Jacob, His chosen ones!”
Prayer: Father, I thank You that you made salvation and adoption into Your forever family a matter of faith for both Jew and Gentile. Thank You for drawing me through the Gospel of Jesus Christ to believe and receive the Holy Spirit of adoption. Thank You for those like Abraham, Sarah, Isaac and Jacob who walked with you by faith and received the promises. Use me today to share this truth and delight You.
Proverbs 12:22 “Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are His delight.”
Scripture reading for May 25th: Romans 8, Psalm 104, Proverbs 11
Romans 8:31-34 “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He Who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God Who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the One Who died–more than that, Who was raised–Who is at the right hand of God, Who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?. . .”
Paul wanted to encourage these Roman believers about the Father’s care for them. God the Father is for us! He gave His own Son to save us even when we were lost sinners! He has declared us righteous through faith. Who can oppose us? What other need can we have that He will not meet? Jesus Christ died to free us from Satan’s accusations, sin’s power and penalty. Who can condemn us? It is Jesus Christ Who died for us Who is the Judge and now our advocate at God’s right hand! The Holy Spirit lives in us and helps us to pray. We have the Holy Trinity on our side! That’s enough to bring shouts of praise!
Psalm 104:1-2 “Bless the Lord, O my soul! O Lord my God, You are very great! You are clothed with splendor and majesty, covering yourself with light as with a garment, stretching out the heavens like a tent.”
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I bless You with all my heart and soul and strength! You are great and abounding in love and mercy. Thank You that You are for me and the Holy Spirit is with me always helping me to pray and walk worthy of my calling. Thank You for Jesus interceding for me today. Open doors to witness of Your love in Jesus Christ and Father’s heart to see all saved and guided to You!
Proverbs 11:2-3 “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom. The integrity of the upright guides them, but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them.”
Dead to the law, alive to Jesus!
Scripture reading for May 24th: Romans 7, Psalm 103, Proverbs 10
Romans 7: 2-6 “For a married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies she is released from the law of marriage. Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she marries another man she is not an adulteress. Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to Him Who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God. For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code.”
Paul used the analogy of a husband and wife who are married. As long as both live, they are bound to each other. If the husband dies, the wife is free to remarry. In the same manner, the Jews were ‘married to the law’. The law could only show them sin and stir up rebellion in them. As believers in Christ, Christ had died on the cross to pay the price for broken law. He was raised to eternal life in victory over sin and death. All Jews or Gentiles who will believe on Jesus, will die to the law and be freed from it’s penalty of death. We through grace receive the Holy Spirit Who empowers us to live for God and bear fruit for His glory! Hallelujah! We are free!
Psalm 103:11-12 “For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His steadfast love toward those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does He remove our transgressions from us.”
Prayer: Father, thank You for Your steadfast love towards us. Thank You for removing our sins from us through sending Your own Son to die in our place under Your law. Since He was sinless, He arose victorious over sin and death! In His victory, we have grace to also live in victory! Fill us with Your Holy Spirit and power to live for Your pleasure and will, sharing Your amazing grace and love.
Proverbs 10:23 “The blessing of the Lord makes rich, and He adds no sorrow with it.”
Sin has lost its dominion!
Scripture reading for May 23rd: Romans 6, Psalm 102, Proverbs 9
Romans 6:10-14 “For the death He died He died to sin, once for all, but the life He lives He lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under the law but under grace.”
Sin has the power to hold all men and women in its grip. Sin uses our flesh and its passions to dominate us and hold us in slavery. Sometimes it is drugs, other times food, other times sexual desire, or a lust for money or power or control that enslaves us. Sin always leads to death and eternal separation from God. But God our loving Father sent His Son to conquer sin and defeat death on the cross. At just the right time, Jesus came to earth as a man and lived in complete obedience to His Father in order to be a Holy Sacrifice for sin. Dying on the cross, going to hell to announce His victory and strip the keys of death and hell from Satan, Jesus rose victorious. By grace through faith, we defeat sin and its power and penalty!
Psalm 102:12-13 “But You, O Lord, are enthroned forever; You are remembered throughout all generations. You will arise and have pity on Zion; it is the time to favor her; the appointed time has come.”
Prayer: Father God, You have shown us favor, and in Your mercy have fulfilled Your appointed time by sending Jesus Christ. Help me today to live in resurrection power by presenting my body and its members to You for Your service. Through grace and the blood of Jesus Christ, cleanse me of all sin and its passions. Help me to lead others to leave their sinful and simple ways and live eternally with You.
Proverbs 9:23 “Leave your simple ways, and live, and walk in the way of insight.
God’s amazing love demonstration!
Scripture reading for May 22nd: Romans 5, Psalm 101, Proverbs 8
Romans 5:6-11 “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person–though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die--but God shows His love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by His blood, much more shall we be saved by Him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by His life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through Whom we have now received reconciliation.”
God is never early or late, but always has perfect timing. Sending His Son to earth to save the ungodly was at just the right time. Among men, no one willingly would die for an ungodly person, but God was putting on a love demonstration. Love never fails! Faith works by love! The greatest love ever witnessed by man was Jesus Christ, the Son of God offering His blameless life in place of ungodly sinners! This brings great joy and rejoicing to those who by faith understand and experience justification. We have been given the gift of righteousness and now are brought back into God’s family as sons and daughters. This is the greatest ‘wisdom’ we can find in this life. It brings favor with God and eternal life!
Psalm 101:1-2 “I will sing of steadfast love and justice; to You, O Lord, I will make music. I will ponder the way that is blameless. . .”
Prayer: Father God, thank You for demonstrating to us who were dead in our sins Your amazing love. Thank You for making Jesus the Way back to You and adopting us back into Your family. We rejoice in Your love and goodness and ever reflect on His blameless life. Use us to help others find this peace with God and eternal life! “O, for a thousand tongues to sing My great Redeemer’s praise.”
Proverbs 8:35-36 “For whoever finds me (Wisdom) finds life and obtains favor from the Lord, but he who fails to find me injures himself; all who hate me love death.”
Unwavering faith of Abraham
Scripture reading for May 19th: Romans 4, Psalm 100, Proverbs 7
Romans 4: 18-22 “In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, “So shall your offspring be.” He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what He had promised. That is why his faith was counted to him as righteousness.”
God’s promises are precious and should be treasured and trusted. Abraham was promised fatherhood of many nations. He was shown the stars of heaven and told that would be what his offspring would be like in number. Time and barrenness of Sarah, his wife, tested their faith in that promise. When God again reminded them of that promise, Abraham was near 100 years old and Sarah 90 years. Against human understanding, Abraham and Sarah trusted God and received the promise! His faith was counted as righteousness as a gift of grace. Their dead reproductive systems were made alive and Isaac was brought into the world. Faith in Jesus Christ brings eternal life to our dead-in-sin souls as well! Hallelujah!
Psalm 100:1-2 “Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into His presence with singing! Know that the Lord, He is God! It is He Who made us, and we are His; we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture.”
Prayer: Father God, Hallelujah! I shout praises to Your Name and serve You with gladness because of Your promise of righteousness and eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ! I am convinced that You have done and will do what You promise for me and all who believe by faith in Your Son. Fill me with your Spirit and empower me to share this Good News with those still in bondage to sin and self. Amen!
Proverbs 7:24-25 “And now, O sons, listen to me, and be attentive to the words of my mouth. Let not your heart turn aside to her (the prostitute) ways; do not stray to her path, for many a victim has she laid low, and all her slain are a mighty throng.”
Grace as a gift to all!
Scripture reading for May 18th: Romans 3, Psalm 99, Proverbs 6
Romans 3:21-25 “But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it--the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by His grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, Whom God put forward as a propitiation by His blood, to be received by faith. This was to show Gods righteousness, because in His divine forbearance He had passed over former sins. It was to show His righteousness at the present time, so the He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”
Man’s deepest need is righteousness. Our sin nature and subsequent rebellion against God and His Word has brought darkness over our hearts. God gave the Law, the ten commandments, to the Jews to reveal sin and cause them to confess their need for God’s forgiveness and grace. They were to bring a blood sacrifice as a covering for their sin to the priest. But God never intended to give righteousness through keeping the law, a form of works. God showed His righteousness through His Son, coming to earth in a human body and living without sin in complete obedience and surrender to His Father. God’s righteousness is now a gift to all who will believe on His Son and trust His blood sacrifice on their behalf.
Psalm 99:3-4 “Let them praise Your great and awesome Name! Holy is He! The King in His might loves justice. You have established equity; You have executed justice and righteousness in Jacob.”
Prayer: Father God, I thank You for Your amazing plan to place all mankind on level ground at the foot of Your Son’s cross. Thank You for Your justice in meeting our need of forgiveness through paying our penalty of death for our sins through Jesus Christ. Thank You for justifying us through faith and grace! Thank You for wiping away the guilt of my sins and restoring righteousness through repentance. Amen!
Proverbs 6:32-33 “He who commits adultery lacks sense; he who does it destroys himself. He will get wounds and dishonor, and his disgrace will not be wiped away.”
God’s kindness leads us to repent
Scripture reading for May 17th: Romans 2, Psalm 98, Proverbs 5
Romans 2: 2-5 “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.”
It’s human nature to see the faults and sins of others and judge them harshly, often when we are involved in some of the same faults. This was the reasoning of Paul with the Roman believers who were judging others. God is the righteous Judge who sees each person and will judge each one impartially. He is also patient, giving time to each person to confess and turn from sinful practices. Paul emphasizes that many people judge God’s kindness and patience as approval and don’t change themselves. God’s kindness and patience is meant to lead them to repentance and deliverance from the final judgment in the day of God’s wrath. We are not to play games and blame others, but rather look in the mirror and act.
Psalm 98:3-4 “He has remembered His steadfast love and faithfulness to the house of Israel. All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises!”
Prayer: Father God, thank You for Your kindness and patience with me, giving me time to repent instead of judging me. Forgive me when I have judged others or been impatient with them, yet tolerated sinful thoughts and behavior in my own life. Fill me with Your kindness and remember Your covenant of mercy and love through Jesus Christ to remove my sins and fill me with the joy of salvation.
Proverbs 5:21-22 “For a man’s ways are before the eyes of the Lord, and He ponders all his paths. The iniquities of the wicked ensnare him, and he is held fast in the cords of his sin.”
Faith brings mutual encouragement!
Scripture reading for May 16th: Romans 1, Psalm 97, Proverbs 4
Romans 1: 8-12 “First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world. For God is my witness, Whom I serve with my spirit in the Gospel of His Son, that without ceasing I mention you always in my prayers, asking that somehow by God’s will I may now at last succeed in coming to you. For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you–that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.”
Paul, writing to Roman followers of Jesus, wanted to encourage them by his own walk of faith and was asking God that he would be able to come and be with them. He wanted to encourage them in the faith and impart some spiritual gift to this body of believers to help them to grow stronger in their faith and increase the testimony of faith going out from that church. When believers share stories of faith and God at work in their lives, everyone is mutually encouraged and faith rises to believe God’s Word and pray for more miracles and salvations. This brings transformation and joy to the believers as the Light of God’s Word, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, advances against the darkness, driving it totally away at Christ’s return!
Psalm 97:10-12 “O you who love the Lord, hate evil! He preserves the lives of His saints; He delivers them from the hand of the wicked. Light is sown for the righteous, and joy for the upright in heart. Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous, and give thanks to His holy Name!”
Prayer: Father God, I love You and trust You daily to use me in the encouragement of other believers. I desire to impart spiritual Truth and the Gospel message that people may be saved and come into God’s family. I desire the Light of the World, Jesus Christ to be exalted and shine through my life brighter and brighter each day until I go to be with You or Your return for Your Bride! Amen!
Proverbs 4:18 “The path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day.”
“Come.” “Enter the city by the gates.”
Scripture reading for December 30th: Job 40-42, Psalm 150, Revelation 22
Revelation 22:14-17 “Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates. Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. “I Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the Root and the Descendant of David, the Bright Morning Star.” The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” Let the one who hears say, “Come” And let the one who is thirsty come: let the one who desires take the water of life without price.”
The Revelation of Jesus Christ closes with a further description of the Holy City and its river of Life and the throne of God and the Lamb. All His servants come through Him, the Gate, and will worship Him and see His Face and have His Name on their foreheads. God’s glory will light their lives and they will reign with Him forever. If anyone wants to be truly blessed, they must was their robes and respond to the invitation to “Come” that the Spirit and the Bride are offering to any that are thirsty. All may come without cost for the free gift of the Water of Life and eat of the Tree of Life. Jesus Christ, Himself, declares three times that He is coming soon! He assures us that it is He Who has sent His angel to testify about His coming to the Churches! The final prayer of the Bride: “Come, Lord Jesus!”
Psalm 150:1-2, 6 “Praise the Lord! Praise God in His sanctuary; Praise Him in His mighty heavens! Praise Him for His mighty deeds; Praise Him according to His excellent greatness!” . . . “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!”
Prayer: Father God, thank You for sending Your Son to earth as the Son of God and Son of Man to reveal the way to Your eternal home–prepared for us! We are eager to see the Holy City and our place You prepared for us. But most of all, we long to see Your face and behold Your glory and worship forever! You truly have given us far, far, more that we deserve! Praise our Lord!
Job 42:10-11 “And the Lord restored the fortunes of Job, when he had prayed for his friends. And the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before. Then came to him all his brothers and sisters and all who had know him before, and ate bread with him in his house. And they showed him sympathy and comforted him for all the evil that the Lord had brought upon him. And each of them gave him a piece of money and a ring of gold.”