Scripture reading for February 12th: Romans 4
Key Scriptures: Romans 4:19-24 “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.” But the words “it was counted to him” were not written for his sake alone, but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in Him Who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, Who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.”
Paul used the father of faith, Abraham as a teaching point on justification by faith alone. Abraham was counted righteous when he believed God’s promise of offspring and inheritance despite the condition of his body or Sarah’s womb. This was 430 years before the giving of the Law and before circumcision. Abraham simply believed that God was able to fulfil His promise no matter what he thought or his physical condition. Because of his faith, God gifted him ‘righteousness’. This was written down for the Jews and for Gentiles of every age. Through faith alone by grace alone we are justified–made just before God. We should be fully convinced that God will do what He has promised for He is totally faithful. We have an inheritance awaiting us!
Romans 4:13 “For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord, thank You for saving Jew and Gentile by faith and giving all promise of eternal inheritance in Your family! I am fully convinced You are faithful to Your promises and will share the Good News today with others! Grant me open doors and grace!
Genesis 15:5-6 “And He brought him outside and said, “look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then He said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” And he believed the Lord, and He counted it to him as righteousness.”
Scripture reading for February 11th: 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.”
God’s amazing wisdom and grace for righteousness was made available to Jew and Gentile. Although they were all sinners under God’s wrath, God provided redemption through His Son’s blood to all who would believe on Jesus Christ. God demonstrated his righteousness and divine forbearance-patience in delaying justified judgment–by justifying those who came to faith in Jesus. The Jews had the Law and Prophets that bore witness to God’s righteousness. They still could not keep it by their works. The Gentiles had their conscience where God’s Law was written and nature that declared God’s power and authority but they could not earn righteousness. But God gave freely to all who believe in Jesus the free gift of His grace!
Psalm 103:2-4 “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits, Who forgives all your iniquity, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from the pit, Who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy. . .”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for the covering of Your blood over my sins and Your patience with me and other sinners. Give me grace today to patiently declare Your righteousness and amazing grace through Jesus to those You send me to.
Romans 3:10-12 “as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”” (Psalm 14:1-3)
Scripture reading for February 10th: Romans 2
Key Scriptures: Romans 2:1-5 “Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one 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.”
How easy it is to become judgmental of others and condemn bad behavior and ungodly attitudes! Paul warned the Jewish believers against judging the Gentiles or others while still doing the same things themselves. This is hypocrisy and is spotted and ridiculed by others on a regular basis. But even worse, this behavior is sinful and unless repented of will bring God’s wrath on those practicing it. Just because God’s wrath is not evident today does not mean that God has overlooked it. Without our repentance, He stores it up for the day of wrath. He is kind and patient with all sinners, giving time to repent. It is His goodness that leads us to repentance–a change of mind and behavior. There will be no excuses when we stand before God.
Genesis 3:12 “The man said, “The woman whom You gave me, she gave me the fruit of the tree, and I ate.””
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for Your amazing kindness and patience with me, a sinner. Thank you for sending Gospel messengers to lead me to repentance and faith. I ask the Lord Jesus to defend me on the day of wrath, not my worthless excuses.
Romans 2:15-16 “They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them on that day when, according to my Gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.”
Scripture reading for February 9th: Romans 1
Key Scriptures: Romans 1:16-20 “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. for what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For His invisible attributes, namely, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.”
Paul wrote a letter to the Roman church where he laid out in terms that both Jew and Gentile could understand, the Gospel of Jesus Christ and man’s universal need for salvation and God’s righteousness. He was not ashamed of the Gospel message–Jesus Christ, Son of God, crucified for our sins, buried and raised from the dead to God’s right hand. This message, when preached and believed in faith brings salvation from God’s wrath to Jews and Gentiles. It gives right-standing with God to those once under His wrath because Jesus Christ took God’s wrath against sin on the cross. God has revealed the truth about His eternal power and divine nature to all men through creation. Man has pushed this truth out of their thinking but that will be no excuse when they stand before Him. Those without Christ will face God’s eternal wrath.
Psalm 19:1-3 “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims His handiwork. Day to day pours out speech and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for revealing the power of God for salvation through Your life, crucifixion, burial and resurrection. I desire to preach the Good News every day I am given on this earth. Fill me with the Holy Spirit today for this task.
Isaiah 52:7 “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.””
Scripture reading for February 2nd: Mark 12
Key Scriptures: Mark 12:28-31 “And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that He answered them well asked Him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” Jesus answered, “The most important commandment is ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is One. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.””
Jesus had been disputing with the scribes and Pharisees concerning different current religious and political issues. They were trying to trap Jesus by their questions but were not successful. One scribe asked about the greatest commandment and Jesus gave a simple answer, quoted from the Scriptures of Moses. The greatest commandment was to love God fully and completely and the second greatest was to love your neighbor as yourself. These two commandments summed up the whole law of God. It was all about love and love drew obedience from the heart. The scribe had to agree with Jesus and Jesus told him he was not far from the kingdom!
Deuteronomy 6:3 “Hear therefore, O Israel, and be careful to do them, that it may go well with you, and that you may multiply greatly, as the Lord, the God of your fathers, has promised you, in a land flowing with milk and honey.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, I love You will all my heart, soul, mind and strength through the Holy Spirit You gave me. I desire to love my neighbor as myself. Help me daily to walk in Your love and let Your love flow through me.
Romans 5:5 “. . .and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us.”
Scripture reading for January 28th: Mark 9
Key Scriptures: Mark 9:42-48 “”Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea. And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off; it is better for your to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame than with two feet to be thrown into hell. And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell, where the worm does not die and the fire is not quenched. For everyone will be salted with fire.””
Sin is destructive and terrible. Because of sin, man is destined to eternal punishment in the Lake of Fire made for the devil and his angels. Jesus wanted all who followed Him to know the terrible reality of hell and the seriousness of sin that will bring that judgment. Sin is offense against God and God’s law defining sinful acts and attitudes. At its core, sin is selfishness–the desire to be God placed in the human heart because of Adam’s sinfulness and disobedience. The members of our body can lead us into sin so Jesus used radical amputation of hands, feet, and eyes as illustrations of the violent means we should take to avoid sinning. The first step to deliverance is admitting the problem–confession. The next is repentance–a change of mind and direction away from the sinful acts.
Romans 3:23 “. . .for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, I am again struck by the destructiveness of sin and its terrible affects on the sinner and their family and friends. Forgive me and have mercy on my family and friends. Thank You for taking the judgment for my sins. Hallelujah! You are so worthy of praise!
Romans 3:24-26 “and we 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.”
Scripture reading for June 11th: Proverbs 16-18, Romans 15
Key Scriptures: Romans 15:5-7, 13 “May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.” . . .”May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”
By God’s grace we are empowered to live in harmony with one another. God gives us endurance and encouragement to stay in unity through the infilling of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit gives us God’s power to rest in Jesus Christ and live in peace and joy because we know we are God’s children and declared righteous. We have the Blessed Hope of Jesus’ soon return.
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You today for the fruit of the Holy Spirit in my life, bringing patience and endurance in this trying time. May I live in the power of the Holy Spirit today to live in steadfast love and harmony with Your Church sharing the hope we have in Christ Jesus, making my enemies my peace-filled friends.
Proverbs 16:6-7 “By steadfast love and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for, and by the fear of the Lord one turns away from evil. When a man’s ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.”
Scripture reading for June 10th: Proverbs 14-15, Romans 14
Key Scriptures: Romans 14:15-19 “For is your brother is grieved by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. By what you eat, do not destroy the one for whom Christ died. So do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil. For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.”
Everything we do as believers should be motivated by love. If we have a brother or sister that believes that something we are eating is defiled and harmful, we must be mindful of their beliefs and not cause them to stumble. We should help them to see that God’s kingdom is not based on rules and regulations, but righteousness through faith in Christ Jesus. As we rest in Christ Jesus and His righteousness, we can enjoy peace with God and the joy of sins forgiven.
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, help me to walk in love towards my brothers and sisters today in all that I do and say. I have kingdom joy and peace today from resting in Jesus Christ for my righteousness.
Proverbs 14:15-16 “The simple believes everything, but the prudent gives thought to his steps. One who is wise is cautious and turns away from evil, but a fool is reckless and careless.”
Scripture reading for June 8th: Proverbs 8-10, Psalm 144, Romans 12
Key Scriptures: Romans 12:14-20 “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.””
Paul explained to the new Roman believers what following Christ looked like in everyday attitudes and actions. Christ’s attitudes and actions were very different from the culture they lived in. They were to live in humble harmony with all other believers, whether in joy or sorrow. They were to seek to bless and be a blessing with those persecuting them or active enemies. They were never to consider revenge or paying back evil for evil, because God’s Word plainly stated that revenge was God’s alone to give. Good would always triumph over evil as love never fails!
Psalm 144:15 “Blessed are the people to whom such blessings fall! Blessed are the people whose God is the Lord.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord, You have blessed me with Your Holy Spirit, infilling my body I have dedicated to You. Help me to grow in grace and obedience in my attitudes and actions towards others.
Proverbs 8:34 “Blessed is the one who listens to Me, watching daily at My gates, waiting beside My doors.”