Scripture reading for November 15th: 1st Thessalonians 2, Psalm 78, Proverbs 11
1st Thessalonians 2: 17-20 “But since we were torn away from you, brothers, for a short time, in person not in heart, we endeavored the more eagerly and with great desire to see you face to face, because we wanted to come to you–I, Paul, again and again–but Satan hindered us. For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at His coming? Is it not you? For you are our glory and joy.”
Because of persecution, Paul and his ministry team had to leave Thessalonica quickly. They only had a short time to minister the Gospel to them but Paul wrote back to them to encourage them to stand firm and cast prophetic vision of the joy that they all would share at Christ’s coming. This prophetic vision is what God uses to counter our enemy, Satan. Paul identified the power behind the persecution as coming from Satan. Satan was just a hinderance, not a major road block! Steadfast faith and righteous living will bring eternal joy and reward in Christ’s return. We must strengthen our flesh with the indwelling Holy Spirit and the food of God’s Word.
Psalm 78: 37-39 “Their heart was not steadfast toward Him; they were not faithful to His covenant. Yet He, being compassionate, atoned for their iniquity and did not destroy them; He restrained His anger often and did not stir up all His wrath. He remembered that they were but flesh, a wind that passes and comes not again.”
Prayer: Father God, thank You for defeating our hindering enemy, Satan. Thank You for prophetic vision in Your Word and flowing through the body of Christ that encourages me day by day to stay steadfast and walk in righteousness and Truth. I look forward to the soon coming of Jesus and the joy and crown of my family and friends in Christ’s return celebration.
Proverbs 11:19 “Whoever is steadfast in righteousness will live, but he who pursues evil will die.”
Scripture reading for November 14th: 1st Thessalonians 1, Psalm 77, Proverbs 10
1st Thessalonians 1:6-10 “And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the Word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. For not only has the Word of the Lord sounded forth from you in Macedonia and Achaia, but your faith in God has gone forth everywhere, so that we need not say anything. For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven, Whom He raised from the dead, Jesus, Who delivers us from the wrath to come.”
The Thessalonian believers were strong in their faith and their testimony of Jesus Christ. But some believers had already died and there was confusion among them about what events of the end times to look for. Some false teachers had tried to confuse them about Christ’s bodily return. Paul refers to Jesus’ return in each chapter of this short letter. His goal was to strengthen their faith through a deeper understanding of salvation and Jesus’ return to reward the faithful. These rewards awaited the living as well as those who had already died and were with the Lord. Paul assured them that God was faithful and those who had already died would rise first. He commended them for their repentance and patience to wait for Jesus who had already delivered them from the coming wrath of God against sin.
Psalm 77:19-20 “Your way was through the sea, Your path through the great waters; yet Your footprints were unseen. You lead Your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.”
Prayer: Father God, thank You for Your encouraging Word through the apostles of Jesus. Thank You for revealing Jesus Christ as the Way through the waters of judgment and the only escape from Your righteous wrath against sin. The hope of salvation brings me joy and my faith is a stronghold in this world. Use me to encourage others and to share the Good News of Jesus’ return for His own.
Proverbs 10:28-29 “The hope of the righteous brings joy, but the expectation of the wicked will perish. The way of the Lord is a stronghold to the blameless, but destruction to evildoers.”
Scripture reading for November 13th: John 21, Psalm 76, Proverbs 9
John 21: 20-24 “Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them, the one who also had leaned back against Him during the supper and had said, “Lord, who is it that is going to betray You?” When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?” Jesus said to him, “If it is My will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow Me!” So the saying spread around that this disciple was not to die; yet Jesus did not say that he was not to die, but, “If it is My will that he remain until I come, what is that to you?” This is the disciple who is bearing witness about these things, and who has written these things, and we know that his testimony is true.
After the resurrection, Jesus Christ met with His disciples to complete their equipping for the mission He was sending them on–to be His witnesses. Peter had denied Jesus three times and Jesus asked him three times if he loved Him. Peter responded in the affirmative, vowing his love. After each response, Jesus reiterated His command to Peter to feed His lambs and sheep. After the third time, Jesus prophetically told Peter how he would give his life for the Master and Gospel. This caused Peter to wonder about John, who was also near at the time. What about John’s future before Jesus’ return? Jesus told him that was not to be his concern, instead Peter was to concentrate on following Him day by day. Jesus has a unique path for each of His followers that requires focus and daily obedience! Wisdom must prepare, set the table and wait.
Psalm 76:11-12 “Make your vows to the Lord your God and perform them; let all around Him bring gifts to Him Who is to be feared, Who cuts off the spirit of princes, Who is to be feared by the kings of the earth.”
Prayer: Father God, thank You for Your patience in restoring Peter and reaffirming Your call. Thank You for calling me to follow You. It is my choice and desire to follow You each day of my life. Keep me from distractions and looking at other disciples with wonder or jealousy instead of keeping my focus on Your appointed work for me. May my testimony of You be steadfast and true and I be found faithful to You.
Proverbs 9:1-2 “Wisdom has built her house; she has hewn her seven pillars. She has slaughtered her beasts; she has mixed her wine; she has also set her table.”
Scripture reading for November 10th: John 20, Psalm 75, Proverbs 8
John 20:26-29 “Eight days later, His disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Then He said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see My hands; and put out your hand, and place it in My side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” Thomas answered Him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen Me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.””
Romans 10:17 declares that faith comes by hearing the Word of God. Thomas, the doubting disciple, stated that he could not believe unless he saw Jesus himself and put his fingers in His wounds. Jesus, knowing Thomas’ weakness of faith, met him right where he was. Jesus showed Himself to Thomas and the other disciples by coming right through locked doors. He specifically invited Thomas, who had been missing on other appearances of Jesus after His resurrection, to place his fingers in the nail wounds and his hand in Jesus’ side. This brought a firm declaration from Thomas of faith. Jesus’ Word to Thomas brought faith, as it will to all who hear and choose to believe. Seeing was just a bonus that we will all enjoy one day when we are privileged to see Jesus Christ face to face when He comes again!
Psalm 75:9-10 “But I will declare it forever; I will sing praises to the God of Jacob. All the horns of the wicked I will cut off, but the horns of the righteous shall be lifted up.”
Prayer: Righteous Father, I will declare the truth of Jesus’ resurrection and salvation through His body and shed blood. I will praise You for exalting those who hear and believe and counting them righteous. Jesus Christ is my Lord and God Almighty! I look forward to the day of Jesus’ return in power and glory when my faith in Him will become sight! Come, Lord Jesus! Come!
Proverbs 8:4-6 “To you, O men, I call, and My cry is to the children of man. O simple ones, learn prudence; O fools, learn sense. Hear, for I will speak noble things and from My lips will come what is right. . .”
Scripture reading for November 9th: John 19, Psalm 74, Proverbs 7
John 19: 23-27 “When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took HIs garments and divided them into four parts, one part for each soldier; also His tunic. But the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom, so they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be.” This was to fulfill the Scripture which says, “They divided My garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots.” 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.”
Jesus Christ, God’s Son, was keenly focused on His Father’s Word and the complete fulfilment of it. Even on the cross, Jesus was mindful of what was going on around Him. As He hung naked on the cross, the soldiers gambled for who would get His garments. As Jesus observed His mother nearby, the Word of God concerning God’s care for orphans and widows flowed through Jesus’ heart for His Mother. As His earthly care of His mother would soon be ending, He assigned to John this sacred task. John took Jesus’ mother into his own home and cared for her. In spite of the scoffing of the crowds, the mocking of the soldiers, and their worldly gambling for the clothes of His crucified Son, God was at work fulfilling His unchangeable Word as a witness to His love and care for those created in His image!
Psalm 74:22-23 “Arise, O God, defend Your cause; remember how the foolish scoff at You all the day! Do not forget the clamor of Your foes, the uproar of those who rise up against You, which goes up continually!”
Prayer: Father God, Your amazing love for us shines forth from the cross of Jesus as He fulfills Your Word and shows compassion for His own mother and His faithful disciples. Thank You for fulfilled Scripture as an eternal witness of Your love and Truth. Through the Holy Spirit, keep this Truth flowing through me as Your adopted son to those still mocking and scoffing that they might be saved and live eternally with You!
Proverbs 7:1-3 “My son, keep My Words and treasure up My commandments with you; keep My commandments and live; keep My teaching as the apple of your eye; bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart.”
Scripture reading for November 8th: John 18, Psalm 73, Proverbs 6
John 18: 35-38 “Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered You over to me. What have You done?” Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But My kingdom is not from the world.” Then Pilate said to Him, “So You are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world–to bear witness to the Truth. Everyone who is of the Truth listens to My voice.” Pilate said to Him, “What is Truth?””
The Jews had turned Jesus over to Pilate, the Roman governor as an insurrectionist because they wanted to execute Him. Pilate questioned Jesus concerning His kingdom and title. Jesus told Pilate that His kingdom was not of this world. He also admitted that His purpose was to bear witness to the Truth of His Kingship and kingdom. Pilate was mystified. He had heard Jesus’ claims and was confused about whether they were Truth. This is the state of many in our world today. They know about Jesus and have heard His Gospel, but their hearts refuse to listen to Truth. They instead believe a lie and remain in a state of confusion and end up in eternal judgment. They point their finger at Jesus in accusation instead of lifting their hands in worship. Only the Truth, Jesus Christ, Son of God, can set us free!
Psalm 73:27-28 “For behold, those who are far from You shall perish; You put an end to everyone who is unfaithful to You. But for me, it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord God my Refuge, that I may tell of all Your works.”
Prayer: Father God, thank You for the Truth of Jesus as King and Your heavenly kingdom. Thank You for revealing the Truth to me and all who believe, saving us from eternal judgment and confusion in this life. Open the eyes and hearts of my friends and family to see the Truth of the Gospel today. Use me in any way You can to share the Gospel Truth with a heart of compassion and love reflecting Your Son.
Proverbs 6:12-13 “A worthless person, a wicked man, goes about with crooked speech, winks with his eyes, signals with his feet, points with his finger, . “
Scripture reading for November 7th: John 17, Psalm 72, Proverbs 5
John 17:13-19 “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 that You keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the Truth; Your Word is Truth. As You sent Me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate Myself, that they also may be sanctified in Truth.”
Jesus closed His time with His disciples in the upper room with His longest recorded prayer. He had shared with them the truths of the coming Holy Spirit and of the coming sorrow of His own death and the joy of His resurrection. He had given them instructions concerning their mission to reach a lost world with the Good News and warned them of the world’s hatred of Him and them and now prayed for their protection. He asked His Father to set them apart and make them holy through His Word. He proclaimed His Word as Truth! It was absolute Truth that would not change or be altered by time, culture or the whims of fallen man. In His Name and through His Word, they would be blessed forever and they would bless all nations with the Gospel! In holiness, Christ’s joy of seeing all saved would be fulfilled!
Psalm 72:16-17 “May there be abundance of grain in the land; on the tops of the mountains may it wave; may its fruit be like Lebanon; and may people blossom in the cities like the grass of the field! May His Name endure forever, His fame continue as long as the sun! May people be blessed in Him, all nations call Him blessed!”
Prayer: Father God, thank You for Jesus’ prayer for His disciples and for us who through their message now believe the Good News and are being sanctified in the Truth, God’s Word. We say ‘Amen!” to His prayer and that of the psalmist! May Your Name endure forever and Your joy be fulfilled through us! May all people receive the blessing that comes through faith in Jesus Christ and bless Him forever!
Proverbs 5:18-19 “Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth, a lovely deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight; be intoxicated always in her love.”
Scripture reading for November 6th: John 16, Psalm 71, Proverbs 4
John 16: 20-24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy. When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. In that day you will ask nothing of Me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in My Name, He will give it to you. Until now you have asked nothing in My Name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.”
Jesus spoke plainly to the remaining eleven disciples right before His final prayer with them before going to the Garden of Gethsemane. He told them that they would experience some deep sorrow, but that the world around them would be rejoicing over His coming crucifixion. It would be like a woman giving birth and experiencing the birth-pains of the coming new life. But as the woman’s sorrow and anguish were turning into joy at the new life of the child, so His disciples would have joy following His resurrection. They would receive new power and authority to pray directly to the Father and find answers. Whatever was asked in Jesus’ Name, our Father in Heaven would give it to us that our joy might be full!
Psalm 71:22-23 “I will also praise You with the harp for Your faithfulness, O my God; I will sing praises to You with the lyre, O Holy One of Israel. My lips will shout for joy, when I sing praises to You; my soul also, which You have redeemed.”
Prayer: Father God, thank You that Jesus’ death and resurrection has brought believers access to talk with You concerning our needs. I praise You for Your redemption and for the privilege of prayer. Help me to keep my heart pure and focused on Your overcoming grace bestowed on us through Jesus Christ to meet every need as we walk by faith through a world of woes and sorrows to the glory of heaven!
Proverbs 4:23,24 “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. Put away from you crooked speech, and put devious talk far from you.”
Scripture reading for November 3rd: John 15, Psalm 70, Proverbs 3
John 15: 18-24 “”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. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have been guilty of sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. Whoever hates Me hates My Father also.””
Being a follower of Jesus, our Master, is not a bed of roses. Jesus has called His followers out of the world system of greed and self-promotion into the kingdom of heaven. Greatness in His kingdom is based on serving and a servant is not above his Master. Jesus explained that those still in the world hated and persecuted Him and they would also hate and persecute all followers. Those called out of the world had listened and obeyed Jesus’ Word and that group would also hear and obey the words of the disciples. When the world hates Jesus or us, His followers, it is a hatred of the Father and a failure to learn about the Father through Jesus’ Word. When the Word is preached, all hearers become accountable. When people reject and hate Jesus and His Word, the Word will, ultimately be their judge.
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! You are my help and my deliverer; O Lord, do not delay!”
Prayer: Father God, it is a great privilege to know You through Jesus Christ and His Word and works. Thank You for revealing salvation to me and reminding me that the world will hate me because You have called me out of the world system. Thank You for the indwelling Holy Spirit Who daily helps me to turn away from all evil and show Your love to those still in this world! I rejoice in Your amazing salvation!
Proverbs 3:7-8 “Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.”
Scripture reading for November 2nd: John 14, Psalm 69, Proverbs 2
John 14: 25-31 “These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My Name, He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. You heard Me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place you may believe. I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on Me, but I do as the Father has commanded Me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us go from here.”
Jesus, in one of His last teachings to His disciples before going to the Garden of Gethsemane, told them of a new ‘Helper’, the Holy Spirit, Who the Father would send to them to instruct them and help them remember all He was teaching. He reinforced His soon departure, but told them He would return, giving them His blessing of peace and encouraging them not to give in to fear. Even though in the coming dark time, Satan would come close, Satan was not in control. Jesus was following His Father’s plan and instructions. He was demonstrating His love for His Father through total obedience in laying His life down for the sins of mankind. This message would be taken to the world. His zeal for building God’s ‘House’ would consume Him as He took on the reproaches of sinful man. Full understanding would come with the Father’s Gift, bringing to them sound wisdom and understanding of God’s plan and Word.
Psalm 69:9 “For zeal for Your house has consumed me, and the reproaches of those who reproach You have fallen on me.”
Prayer: Father God, thank You for Your love, wisdom and wonderful plan of salvation. Through Jesus Christ, all believers now have eternal life and a place in Father’s house. Even though Satan seeks to lay claim to us, Jesus has overcome by taking all the claims Himself and paying them off. Fill me with the Holy Spirit and empower me to share these amazing truths that reveal Your heart of mercy and love.
Proverbs 2:6-8 “For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding; He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice and watching over the way of His saints.”