Scripture reading for May 26th: 2nd Samuel 21-23, Psalm 18, Romans 3
Key Scriptures: Romans 3:21-26 “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 God’s righteousness, because in His divine forbearance He had passed over former sins. It was to show His righteousness at the present time, so that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”
Paul was explaining to the Romans God’s plan to make His righteousness available to all people, Jews and Gentiles. This righteousness came by faith in Jesus Christ, not in keeping the Law. All men and women have sinned and no human effort or works can justify them. But God’s plan was to provide redemption and covering (propitiation) for sins through His Son’s blood shed on the cross. The shed blood satisfied God’s demand for justice–payment for sins. God can now be the justifier of all who come by faith in His Son. Praise the Lord!
Psalm 18:30; 2nd Samuel 22:31 “This God–His way is perfect; the Word of the Lord proves true; He is a shield for all those who take refuge in Him.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for providing a covering and cleansing for my sins and all sins through faith in the blood of Jesus. Help me to pass the Good News of this Gift to others today.
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 December 31st: Revelation 22, Psalm 149-50, Proverbs 14
Key Scriptures: Revelation 22:17-21 “The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price. I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book. He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.”
We end this year’s devotions with the last words of John’s revelation and the last words of Jesus Christ to His Church, the Bride. The Bride, through the Holy Spirit is praying to the Lord Jesus saying, “Come!” I believe this simple prayer has two aspects. The Bride is asking God to bring in the thirsty and those still to be saved. The Bride is asking Jesus to come for them. The Lord Jesus answers: “Surely I am coming soon.” The Brides answer is “Amen.” It all occurs by grace through faith!
Faith confession: Lord Jesus, I join the Bride in praying “Come.” May the lost and thirsty come to You and find refreshing in the river of life and healing food in the tree of life flowing from Your glorious throne! “Amen.” Hallelujah forever and ever!
Psalm 149:1 “Praise the Lord! Sing to the Lord a new song; His praise in the assembly of the godly!
Psalm 150:6 “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!”
Scripture reading for December 30th: Revelation 22, Psalm 147-48, Proverbs 13
Key Scriptures: Revelation 22:1-5 “Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His servants will worship Him. They will see His face, and His Name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.”
John’s final vision of the Holy City was of the river flowing from the throne of God and the tree of life growing on either side. These trees produced twelve kinds of fruit and leaves brought healing to the nations. No more idols would be found inside the city or temple, for God’s throne and the Lamb would dwell in it. This would bring eternal light and no more darkness or the deeds of darkness. The Lamb and God Almighty would reign forever and ever in a glorious kingdom of light.
Faith Confession: It will be” joy unspeakable and full of glory” to behold the Lamb and see His glorious face and worship Him forever and ever! No more darkness! Eating of the Tree of Life!
Proverbs 13:12 “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.”
Scripture reading for December 26th: Revelation 20, Psalm 143-44, Proverbs 11
Key Scriptures: Revelation 20:4-6 “Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the Word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with Him for a thousand years.”
John saw thrones and saints seated on those thrones given the authority to judge. These saints were those coming through the great tribulation through martyrdom because of their faithfulness to the testimony of Jesus and the Word of God. Their faith and faithfulness had brought the fulfillment of God’s promise of eternal life. This is the first resurrection and those participating are most blessed and holy! They will rule with Christ during the millennial reign.
Faith Confession: I am thankful for Christ’s promise that those who believe in Him shall never die but have eternal life. They will be part of the first resurrection of the righteous. Lord help me to stay faithful and true to Your testimony and holy Word.
Proverbs 11:30-31 “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and whoever captures souls is wise. If the righteous is repaid on earth, how much more the wicked and the sinner.”
Scripture reading for December 25th: Revelation 19, Psalm 141-42, Proverbs 10
Key Scriptures: Revelation 19:11-16 “Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The One sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems, and He has a Name written that no one knows but Himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the Name by which He is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following Him on white horses. From His mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On His robe and on His thigh He has a Name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.”
John beheld an awesome sight. Heaven opened and Jesus the King of kings rode forth on a blazing white horse wearing a blood-dipped robe. Following were a great host of saints, all wearing garments made white by His blood. A sharp sword came from His mouth to make war and rule over His enemies. His own bloody garment showed His love for His people. He is their defender!
Faith Confession: I believe and pray that I will be counted in the number of those following the King of Kings in His blood-dipped robe. An old hymn states: “We shall see the King when He comes!” Amen!
Psalm 141:8 “But my eyes are toward You, O God, my Lord; in You I seek refuge; leave me not defenseless!”
Scripture reading for December 24th: Revelation 18, Psalm 139-40, Proverbs 9
Key Scriptures: Revelation 18:4-7 “Then I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, My people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues; for her sins are heaped high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. Pay her back as she herself has paid back other, and repay her double for her deeds; mix a double portion for her in the cup she mixed. As she glorified herself and lived in luxury, so give her a like measure of torment and mourning, . . “
God’s heart is that all made in His image would not be found in the wicked city of Babylon, involved in its false religion and materialism. John heard a voice from heaven calling out to God’s people and giving stern warning of the impending doom of that city and its residents. God remembered their sins and was about to repay. In contrast, the sins of God’s people had been cast away and carried away by their Savior, the Lord Jesus.
Faith Confession: I am thankful that I heard the call from heaven to come out of ‘Babylon’ and look for God’s City–the New Jerusalem. I thank God that He graciously forgave me through the sacrifice of His Son and remembers my sins no more! Hallelujah!
Proverbs 9:10-11 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight. For by Me your days will be multiplied, and years will be added to your life.”
Scripture reading for December 23rd: Revelation 17, Psalm 137-38, Proverbs 8
Key Scriptures: Revelation 17:3-6 “And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness, and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was full of blasphemous names, and it had seven heads and ten horns. The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and jewels and pearls, holding in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of her sexual immorality. And on her forehead was written a name of mystery: “Babylon the great, mother of prostitutes and of earth’s abominations.” And I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.”
John’s vision portrayed a great scarlet beast that was carrying a woman decked out as a prostitute with a golden cup full of abominations. Abominations are sinful acts that God detests and are in direct rebellion against His holy Word. This woman had caused the downfall and destruction of many men and women on earth and had also orchestrated the persecution and death of the followers of Jesus. She was drunk with their blood!
Faith Confession: I believe the warnings of Scripture and ask my Lord Jesus to keep me safe from the seductions of this evil world system of Babylon’s false religion and humanism. Give me wisdom and let my mind never stray from You and the holy city of Your habitation.
Psalm 137:4-6 “How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land? If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget its skill! Let my tongue stick to the roof of my mouth, if I do not remember you, if I do not set Jerusalem above my highest joy!”