Declaring the whole counsel of God!

Scripture reading for May 11th:  1st Samuel 30-31, 1st Chronicles 10, Acts 20

Key Scriptures:  Acts 20:24-28 “But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the Gospel of the grace of God.  And now, behold, I know that none of you among whom I have gone about proclaiming the kingdom will see my face again.  Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all, for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God.  Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which He obtained with His own blood.” 

Paul was meeting for a last time with the Ephesian elders that he had ordained and set over the congregation.  He shared his view of life and ministry.  He wanted to complete what Christ Jesus had laid out for him.  In Ephesus Paul had declared the full and whole counsel of God to the church there.  He had done his part and was therefore innocent of their blood.  They must continue in the Word and be watchful over themselves and the flock of God there.  Paul knew there would be trouble arising from within the church from Satan and warned them.

Faith confession and prayer:  Lord Jesus, I ask to be like Paul the Apostle, fully preaching the whole counsel of God to each congregation to rescue sinners.  I will be diligent to speak Your Word as You direct.

1st Samuel 30:7-8 “And David inquired of the Lord, ‘Shall I pursue after this band?  Shall I overtake them?”  He answered him, “Pursue for you shall surely overtake and shall surely rescue.” 

 

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Confronting Evil Spirits

Scripture reading for May 8th:  1st Samuel 28-29, 1st Chronicles 9, Acts 19

Key Scriptures:  Acts 19:16-20  “And the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.  And this became known to all the residents of Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks.  And fear fell upon them all, and the Name of the Lord Jesus was extolled.  Also many of those who were now believers came, confessing and divulging their practices.  And a number of those who had practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all.  And they counted the value of them and found it came to fifty thousand pieces of silver.  So the Word of the Lord continued to increase and prevail mightily.”

The disciples of Jesus were performing many miracles of healing and deliverance from evil spirits in the Name of Jesus.  Certain Jewish exorcists tried to use the same “formula” and suffered a great beating by the possessed man.  This became widely known and brought conviction on many who brought their demonic materials to the apostles and they burned them up.  The stronghold of demonic activity was brought down by the Word of God and the Name of Jesus.

Faith confession and prayer:  Lord Jesus, thank You for Your Name and authority over evil spirits.  Help me to walk in faith and power to see Your Word increase and prevail in this region and time.  May I never seek help from evil spirits, but confront and overthrow them.

1st Samuel 28:7 “Then Saul said to his servants, “Seek out for me a woman who is a medium, that I may go to her and inquire of her.”  And his servants said to him, “Behold, there is a medium at En-dor.””

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Fear Not!

Scripture reading for May 7th:  1st Samuel 26-27, 1 Chronicles 8, Acts 18

Key Scriptures:  Acts 18:5-10  “When Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia, Paul was occupied with the Word, testifying to the Jews that the Christ was Jesus.  And when they opposed and reviled him, he shook out his garments and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads!  I am innocent.  From now on I will go to the Gentiles.  And he left there and went to the house of a man named Titius Justus, a worshiper of God.  His house was next door to the synagogue.  Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed in the Lord, together with his entire household.  And many of the Corinthians hearing Paul believed and were baptized. And the Lord said to Paul one night in a vision, “Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are My people.””

Paul was experiencing opposition from the Jews in Corinth.  He followed Jesus’ advice and shook out his garment and went to the Gentiles.  In spite of this, the Jewish leader of the synagogue was saved along with his own household!  Jesus spoke to Paul in a vision telling him to speak out without fear because He was with him.  Many more were “His people” in Corinth and needed to hear the Gospel preached.

Faith confession and prayer:  Lord Jesus, help me to not be silent or afraid to boldly share the Good News and reap the harvest You desire from my city.  I believe You have many that You will save!

1st Samuel 26:24 “Behold, as your life was precious this day in my sight, so may my life be precious in the sight of the Lord and may He deliver me out of all tribulation.”  

 

 

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An appointment for judgement!

Scripture reading for May 6th:  1 Samuel 25, 1st Chronicles 7, Acts 17

Key Scriptures:  Acts 17:26-31 “”And He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods  and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward Him and find Him.  Yet He is actually not far from each one of us, for ‘In Him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are indeed His offspring.’  Being then God’s offspring, we out not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man.  The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now He commands all people everywhere to repent, because He has fixed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by a Man whom He has appointed; and this He has given assurance to all by raising Him from the dead.””

Paul spoke plainly about the one true God, creator of man.  God is in control of all men’s life spans.  He determines the exact places they live and time they dwell there.  He wants all men to find Him and is near to them. He sent His Son, Jesus as the way to know Him, raising Him from the dead as proof of His divinity.   In fact, we are all God’s offspring.  It’s time for all to repent of our ignorance of Jesus before the Day of judgment comes and Jesus, raised from the dead, is the appointed judge!

Faith confession and prayer:  Lord Jesus, I trust in You and am thankful for Your boundaries in my life.  In You I live and move and have my being!  Help me to declare Your mercy before our appointment with Jesus!

1st Samuel 25:33 “Blessed be your discretion, and blessed by you, who have kept me this day from bloodguilt and from working salvation by my own hand.”  

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Spared by faith!

Scripture reading for May 5th:  1st Samuel 23-24, 1 Chronicles 6, Psalm 54, Acts 16

Key Scriptures:  Acts 16:25-31 “About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken.  And immediately all of the prison doors were opened and everyone’s bonds were unfastened.  When the jailer woke and saw that the prison doors were open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped.  But Paul cried with a loud voice, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.”  And the jailer called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”  And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, you and your household.”” 

Paul and Silas had been beaten and put in stocks in the dungeon of a Philippian prison.  They were praying and praising God at the darkest hour–midnight, with other prisoners listening in amazement.   In response to their faith, God sent a special earthquake that loosed their bonds and opened the doors!  The jailer fell under conviction, asking what he needed to do for salvation.  Paul’s response was simple:  “Believe on the Lord Jesus!”  He could and would be spared by faith, and his whole household if they too believed!

Psalm 54:4 “Behold, God is my Helper; the Lord is the Upholder of my life.”

Faith confession and prayer:  Lord, I put my trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and receive salvation, for me and for my whole household!  I stand in faith for each one’s personal act of trust in the Lord Jesus.

1st Samuel 24:10 “Behold, this day your eyes have seen how the Lord gave you today into my hand in the cave.  And some told me to kill you, but I spared you.  I said, ‘I will not put out my hand against my lord, for he is the Lord’s anointed.'”

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Unity and direction from the Holy Spirit

Scripture reading for May 4th:  1st Samuel 21-22, 1st Chronicles 5, Psalm 52, Acts 15

Key Scriptures:  Acts 15:25-29 “. . . it has seemed good to us, having come to one accord, to choose men and send them to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, men who have risked their lives for the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ.  We have therefore sent Judas and Silas, who themselves will tell you the same things by word of mouth.  For it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay on you no greater burden than these requirements: that you abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols, and from blood, and from what has been strangled, and from sexual immorality.  If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well.”  

The council at Jerusalem met with the key apostolic leadership of the early church to discuss the division being caused by Jewish believers insisting on circumcision for new Gentile converts.  The council came to one accord as they waited on the Holy Spirit and discussed the situation, looking at Scripture as a guide.  The only requirement for the Gentiles would be to abstain from meat sacrificed to idols and from blood of strangled animals as well as all sexual immorality.  Personal messengers delivered this message.

Psalm 52:9 “I will thank You forever, because You have done it.  I will wait for Your Name, for it is good, in the presence of the godly.”  

Faith confession and prayer:  Lord Jesus, thank you for the Holy Spirit and the unity and direction that He brings to believers in need of direction.  Help me to be filled with the Holy Spirit each day.

1st Samuel 22:5  “Then the prophet Gad said to David, “Do not remain in the stronghold; depart, and go into the land of Judah.”  

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Persecution part of the package!

Scripture reading for May 1st:  1st Samuel 20, 1st Chronicles 4, Psalm 56, 57, 142, Acts 14

Key Scriptures:  Acts 14:19-22 “But Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having persuaded the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead.  But when the disciples gathered about him, he rose up and entered the city, and on the next day he went on with Barnabas to Derbe.  When they had preached the Gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God”

Paul was stoned for preaching the Gospel at Lystra and left for dead.  The other disciples gathered around him and prayed and he arose and entered the city.  The crowd that stoned him had been stirred up by Jews from Antioch, their home mission base.  This did not stop them from their mission!  They continued to preach in Lystra and made many disciples there and even went back to Iconium and Antioch, strengthening the church members.  They understood that persecution and tribulation was a part of kingdom opposition.

Psalm  57:2-3 “I cry out to God Most High, to God Who fulfills His purpose for me.  He will send from heaven and save me; He will put to shame him who tramples on me.”  

Faith confession and prayer:  Lord Jesus, thank You for the privilege of preaching the Gospel and for persecution for the kingdom’s sake.  Help me to boldly trust You each day for strength and help.

1st Samuel 20:3 “. . . But truly, as the Lord lives and as your soul lives, there is but a step between me and death.”

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Called by God to do His Work!

Scripture reading for April 30th:  1st Samuel 18-19, 1st Chronicles 3, Psalm 59, Acts 13

Key Scriptures: Acts 13:1-3   “Now there were in the church at Antioch prophets and teachers, Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a lifelong friend of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.  While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”  Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.”  

The early church sought the will of God by fasting, prayer and worship.  In the gathering of believers, some had the gift of prophesy and spoke prophetically to the believers concerning Saul and Barnabas.  God had already revealed to them a calling to preach to the Gentiles and now their calling was confirmed during a prayer meeting.  The church responded by obediently commissioning them through the laying on of hands.

Psalm 59:17 “O my Strength, I will sing praises to You, for You, O God, are my fortress, the God who shows me steadfast love.”  

Faith confession and prayer:  Lord, You alone have prepared the good works that You want me to do.  Help me daily to see each day’s portion of Your plan as I worship and pray to You alone.  Thank You that You are with me always!

1st Samuel 18:14  “And David had success in all his undertakings, for the Lord was with him.  And when Saul saw that he had great success, he stood in fearful awe of him.”  

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Giants fall!

Scripture reading for April 29th: 1st Samuel 17, 1st Chronicles 2, Acts 12

Key Scriptures: Acts 12:20-24 “Now Herod was angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon, and they came to him with one accord, and having persuaded Blastus, the king’s chamberlain, they asked for peace, because their country depended on the king’s country for food.  On an appointed day Herod put on his royal robes, took his seat upon the throne, and delivered an oration to them.  And the people were shouting, “The voice of a god, and not of a man!”  Immediately an angel of the Lord struck him down, because he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and breathed his last.  But the Word of God increased and multiplied.”

King Herod was an arrogant political power-broker for the Roman government.  He liked being in control and lording his power over the people.  As a group of people from Tyre and Sidon came before him to ask for peace and food, Herod gave a speech.  The people began to worship him to get their needs met.  Herod was soaking it up when suddenly the angel of the Lord struck him down and he was eaten by worms and died.  Failure to give God glory is a deadly sin.

Faith Confession and prayer:  Lord, You alone are God and deserve all worship and glory.  All in authority derive their power from Your throne.  Help me to always walk under Your authority and give You all glory.

1st Samuel 17:48-49 “When the Philistine (Goliath) arose and came and drew near to meet David, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine.  And David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone and slung it and struck the  Philistine on his forehead.  The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the ground.” 

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Testing Once

testing again