Scripture reading for September 15th: Isaiah 56-59, Psalm 70, 1st Corinthians 16
1st Corinthians 16: 11-12, 21 “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act as men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love. . . . I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. If anyone has no love for the Lord; let him be accursed. Our Lord, Come! The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.”
Paul closed this letter of encouragement and teaching to this church family with simple words of truth. Watchfulness was needed because of the false teachers who sough to draw them away from the Gospel truth. They must stand firm in their faith yet show love to all–even to those who might be opposed to them and the truth of the Gospel. But loving our Lord was not an option, but an essential. Paul reminded them that anyone who did not love Jesus and claimed to be a believer was under a curse. God’s grace is a gift to be received and held on to. Paul assured them of this and of his own love for them as he wrote this letter of correction and instruction as their father in the faith.
Isaiah 59:19-21 “”So they shall fear the Name of the Lord from the west, and His glory from the rising of the sun; for He will come like a rushing stream, which the wind of the Lord drives. And a Redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob who turn from transgression,” declares the Lord. “And as for Me, this is My covenant with them,” says the Lord; “My Spirit that is upon you, and My Words that I have put in your mouth, shall not depart out of your mouth, or out of the mouth of your offspring, or out of the mouth of your children’s offspring,” says the Lord, “from this time forth and forevermore.””
Prayer: Father in heaven, thank You for Your love shown to us in Jesus Christ, Who laid down His life for us. Thank You for the Gift of the Holy Spirit to abide in us always and release Your love in us and through us to a lost world. I love you and pray for grace in my children and grand-children and all offspring to know You and be filled with the promised Holy Spirit. Let it not depart from them forever! Amen!
Psalm 70::4-5 “May all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You! May those who love Your salvation say evermore, “God is great!” But I am poor and needy; hasten to me, O God! Your are my Help and my Deliverer; O Lord, do not delay.”
Scripture reading for August 8th: Hosea 1-3, Matthew 16
Matthew 16: 24-26 “Then Jesus told His disciples, “If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”
As Jesus approached the time of His departure and His encounter with death, Jesus called His disciples to a full dedication of their lives in following Him. This was a choice for each person to make freely from their own will, Jesus did not force or coerce anyone. This choice involved taking up a cross and following Jesus, even to death. Those wanting to save their lives must be willing to lose it. Anyone who would lose their life in following Jesus would find life eternal!
Matthew 16:26-28 “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come with His angels in the glory of His Father, and then He will repay each person according to what they have done. Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.”
Prayer: Father God, I look forward to the Day of Christ when He comes with all His angels in the glory of His Father. I know there is nothing I can give for my own soul. I trust solely in Jesus Christ and His sacrifice on the cross. I am willing to follow Jesus Christ and take up my cross, dying to myself and living fully for Your will. Indwell me today by the Holy Spirit and lead me into Your will and everlasting peace.
Hosea 2:18-20 “And I will make for them a covenant on that day with the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the creeping things of the ground. And I will abolish the bow, the sword, and war from the land, and I will make you lie down in safety. And I will betroth you to Me forever. I will betroth you to me in faithfulness, and you shall know the Lord.”
Scripture reading for March 15th: Numbers 30-33, Psalm 35, Luke 3
Luke 3:15-18 “As the people were in expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Christ, John answered them all, saying, “I baptize you with water, but He Who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of Whose sandal I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire, to clear His threshing floor and to gather the wheat into His barn, but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire.” So with many other exhortations he preached good news to the people.”
John the Baptist was Jesus’ cousin, born slightly before Him. John was called by God to be a prophet and to prepare the way for Jesus Christ. In doing so, He confronted the sins of the people and called them to repentance and to baptism as an act of cleansing. This preparation was not the end, but the entrance into a new relationship with God. Jesus Christ would complete the work necessary for the cleansing of all mankind from sin and its power on the cross through offering His body and blood. He would take the keys of death and hell from Satan and open the curtain for all who would believe to be in God’s presence. He would baptize His followers with the Holy Spirit, the gift of the Father, and fire to deeply cleanse and empower them. This all was amazing ‘good news!’
Numbers 31:21-23 “Then Eleazar the priest said to the men in the army who had gone to battle: “This is the statute of the law that the Lord has commanded Moses: only the gold, the silver, the bronze, the iron, the tin, and the lead, and everything that can stand the fire, you shall pass through the fire, and it shall be clean.”
Prayer: Father God, I thank You for preparing the way for Your Son to bring salvation to me and all mankind. I know that my faith through Your grace has brought salvation. Repentance too is a gift of grace received humbly by faith. Help me to share the ‘good news’ with those headed for the fire of Your judgment, that they might receive the gift of eternal life and be filled with the Holy Spirit and holy fire.
Psalm 35:27-28 “Let those who delight in my righteousness shout for joy and be glad and say evermore, “Great is the Lord, Who delights in the welfare of His servant!” Then my tongue shall tell of your righteousness and of your praise all the day long.”
Dear family and friends,
On this Easter Sunday, April 12th, 2020, Mary and I would like to tell you how much we appreciate each one of you. Each person has had an impact on our lives. You are each unique and wonderfully made. God has used each of you to shape us and help us along life’s journey. No one is insignificant. Thank you for being who God made you to be and for loving us and our Lord Jesus Christ.
It is my life mission to love God and worship Him and to love those made in His image. (Matthew 22:37-40) My love for God involves obedience to His Word and following the Holy Spirit each day to do the works He has laid out for me.(Ephesians 2:10, John 15:9-10) My desire follows Jesus’ mission and desire–to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10, Matthew 28:18-20). Jesus Christ is God’s Son, sent to earth in a human body to show us the love of our Father God in Heaven. Jesus came to save sinful mankind from the penalty of sin, which is death.(Hebrews 9:26-28) The first death is the death of our body but the second death follows the Judgment at the Great White Throne for those who rejected Christ’s atonement. (Revelation 20:14-15) Eternal life with God is far better than the second death–the Lake of fire! (Seems obvious!)
Because sin leads to death, Jesus was crucified and died on a cross as a substitute for all who will repent–admit their sins–and ask God for mercy and pardon through Jesus. Jesus’ body was laid in a tomb, sealed and guarded by Roman soldiers. Scripture says He descended into Hell and announced His victory, taking the keys of death and hell from Satan. (1st Peter 3:18-20, Revelation 1:18) Jesus is now alive(Matthew 28:5-7) and reigns at God’s right hand, there making intercession for those who come to Him in faith. He is able to save us to the uttermost,(Hebrews 7:25) because He is alive. We are granted access through the torn veil, His own body! (Hebrews 10:19-22)
If you have not repented of your sins, today is the day to go to Jesus by faith! He will not cast you out but will give you pardon and the gift of eternal life. Receive Him today and join the family of God in thanksgiving and worship! In His Love, John and Mary Morse
Scripture reading for June 12th: Ezra 9-10, Nehemiah 1-2, Acts 28
Key Scriptures: Acts 28:23-24 “They arranged to meet Paul on a certain day, and came in even larger numbers to the place where he was staying. From morning till evening he explained and declared to them the kingdom of God and tried to convince them about Jesus from the Law of Moses and the Prophets. Some were convinced by what he said, but others would not believe.”
The Apostle Paul made it safely to Rome and was placed in a rented house under guard. Many Jews came to visit him and he preached Christ to them from the Scriptures. Some believed and others did not. The power of the Gospel was spread in Rome as God had directed.
Nehemiah 1:5-6 “Then I said: “O Lord, God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant of love with those who love Him and obey His commands, let Your ear be attentive and Your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before You day and night for Your servants, the people of Israel.”
Prayer: Lord, great and awesome God, Lord of heaven and earth, grant boldness to me today to preach Your word to all You send me to. Amen!
Scripture reading for April 27th: 1st Kings 7-10, John 17
Key Scriptures: John 17:13-15 “But now I am coming to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them Your Word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that You take them out of the world, but them You keep them from the evil one.”
Jesus prayed for Himself, His disciples, and those who would believe as a result of their message. He stated that He had given them His Father’s Word. This would result in the hatred of the world and their need of protection from the evil one, Satan. Protection would come through prayer and the Father’s power.
1st Kings 8:44-45 “If Your people go out to battle against their enemy, by whatever way you shall send them, and they pray to the Lord toward the city that you have chosen and the house that I have built for Your Name, then hear in heaven their prayer and their plea, and maintain their cause.”
Prayer: Holy Father, thank You for Your Word and answers to our prayers and the prayer of Your Son, Jesus Christ. Keep me from the world and the evil one today. Amen.
Scripture reading for April 5th: 1st Samuel 6-9, John 1
Key Scriptures: John 1:29-34 “The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! This is He of Whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who ranks before me, because He was before me.’ I myself did not know Him, but for this purpose I came baptizing with water, that He might be revealed to Israel.” And John bore witness: “I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on Him.”
John the Baptist, Jesus’ cousin, proclaimed prophetically the Name and mission of Christ Jesus. His job was to call all people to humility and cleansing through water baptism. This would prepare the way for the One who would baptize His followers with the Holy Spirit and fire!
1st Samuel 9:15-16 “Now the day before Saul came, the Lord had revealed to Samuel: “Tomorrow about this time I will send to you a man from the land of Benjamin, and you shall anoint him to be prince over My people Israel. He shall save My people from the hand of the Philistines.”
Prayer: Lord, thank You for anointing Jesus, Your Son, to lead Your people and save them from their enemies! Amen!
Scripture reading for March 28th: Judges 9-12, Luke 19
Key Scriptures: Luke 18:13-14 “But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Jesus told the story of two men who went to the temple to pray. The first, a Pharisee, prayed arrogantly, exalting his own goodness in keeping the law. The second, a tax collector, asked God for mercy and confessed his sins. Jesus plainly stated that the one who humbled himself was justified by God.
Judges 10:14-16 “”Go and cry out to the gods whom you have chosen; let them save you in the time of your distress.” And the people of Israel said to the Lord, “We have sinned; do to us whatever seems good to you. Only please deliver us this day.” So they put away the foreign gods from among them and served the Lord and He became impatient over the misery of Israel.”
Prayer: Lord, have mercy on me today for my sins and poor choices. I humble myself before You and ask for Your deliverance. Amen.
Scripture reading for March 27th: Jude 5-8, Luke 18
Key Scriptures: Luke 18:6-8 “And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. And will not God give justice to His elect, who cry to Him day and night? Will He delay long over them? I tell you, He will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on earth?””
Jesus told a parable about an unjust judge and a woman who came again and again for justice. The unjust judge finally grants her request to keep her from wearing him out. Jesus used this story to explain the kind of faith needed by those who would be living in the time before He returned. God always is moved by people using their faith!
Judges 6:12, 14 “And the angel of the Lord appeared to him (Gideon) and said to him, “The Lord is with you, O mighty man of valor.” . . “And the Lord turned to him and said, “Go in this might of yours and save Israel from the hand of Midian; do not I send you?””
Prayer: Lord, increase my ability to hear and believe Your holy Word and live by faith each day. Amen.
Scripture reading for February 9th: Leviticus 12-15, Mark 2
Key Scriptures: Mark 2:15-17 “And as He reclined at table in His house, many tax collectors and sinners were reclining with Jesus and His disciples, for there were many who followed Him. And the scribes of the Pharisees, when they saw that He was eating with sinners and tax collectors, said to His disciples, “Why does He eat with tax collectors and sinners?” And when Jesus heard it, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”
Jesus chose to invite sinners to have fellowship with Him. He ate with them and even invited Matthew, a despised tax collector, to follow Him. The religious leaders questioned how Jesus could be willing to be with ‘sinners and tax collectors’ and Jesus spoke plainly to them. He had come to minister to those who were in need of healing, not those who did not need it. God taught His people in the Old Testament to minister to the unclean, lepers, and bring restoration.
Leviticus 14:1-3 “The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “This is the law of the leprous person for the day of his cleansing. He shall be brought to the priest, and the priest shall look. Then, if the case of the leprous disease is healed in the leprous person, the priest shall command them to take for him who is to be cleansed two live clean birds. . . “
Prayer: Holy Father, thank You for caring for the sinner and the hurting. May your compassion fill my heart today to bring healing, encouragement and hope. Amen.