Scripture reading for September 16th: Isaiah 60-63, 2nd Corinthians 1
Key Scriptures: 2nd Corinthians 1:2-5 “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, Who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.”
Paul wrote a second letter to the Corinthian church. As he greeted them, he offered grace and peace and blessing. He blessed God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, confessing faith in God’s great mercy and ability to comfort those in affliction. He lifted up Jesus as God’s Son and the One who suffered death for us. He spoke comfort to them in their afflictions for the sake of Christ. The comfort would flow in abundance from a ‘God of all comfort’!
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for Your comfort in all affliction and trouble. May Your mercy and comfort flow through me and Your people to a hurting world today.
Isaiah 63:9 “In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the angel of His presence saved them; in His love and in His pity He redeemed them; He lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.”
Scripture reading for August 8th: Psalm 79-82, 2nd Corinthians 9
Key Scriptures: 2nd Corinthians 9:6-8 “The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.”
As Paul was encouraging the Corinthians to give an offering to help the needy in Jerusalem, he shared the spiritual law of sowing and reaping. When you give, it is like sowing seed. Seed that is sown has the potential of producing a harvest. If God blesses the seed, it will increase and you will reap. The more seed you sow, the greater the potential of great increase. God loves to give increase and bless those who sow in faith into His kingdom. They abound in grace and have sufficiency!
Psalm 79:13 “But we Your people, the sheep of Your pasture, will give thanks to You forever; from generation to generation we will recount Your praise.”
Prayer: Lord, thank You for Your great generosity in blessing Your people’s giving. Help me to keep a generous spirit and be a cheerful giver. Thank You for the abundant harvest. Amen.
Scripture reading for April 24th:1st Chronicles 28-29, 2nd Chronicles 1-3
Key Scriptures: 1st Chronicles 29:16-18 “O Lord our God, as for all this abundance that we have provided for building You a temple for Your Holy Name, it comes from Your hand, and all of it belongs to You. I know, my God, that You test the heart and are pleased with integrity. All these things have I given willingly and with honest intent. And now I have seen with joy how willingly Your people who are here have given to You. O Lord, God of our Fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Israel, keep this desire in the hearts of Your people forever, and keep their hearts loyal to You.”
King David had set an example of giving before the people of God and they responded with great generosity and joyful giving. David recognized that all that they gave came from God, the giver of every good gift! He prayed that God would keep this attitude of willing giving and loyalty in the hearts of His people!
Rejoicing in cheerful giving: “Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all you need, you will abound in every good work.” (2nd Corinthians 9:7-8)
Scripture reading for June 16th: Psalms 67-72
God delights in blessing His people! The Aaronic blessing begins Psalm 67. God’s blessing means that He lavishes His best gifts and presence on those He loves and calls to be His children. His face is shining or beaming with a smile of love and joy as He beholds His own people. This smile means abundant provisions of food and water. It means health to our bodies and protection from enemies. It means love and fruitfulness in our relationships, homes and business. The Hebrew word “selah” follows this first verse and is a term meaning to pause and ponder the preceding thought.
Why does God love to bless His people? Surely it is because he loves and delights in His people. But this psalm states another reason for the blessing. God wants to use a blessed people to share the knowledge of His ways on the earth among all peoples. (Psalm 67:2) God desires the worship of all who are made in His image! He is their guide, ruler and judge! We are blessed to be a blessing! Nothing really belongs to us. We are blessed in order to share and bless others. We must keep the blessing moving and not hoard it for our own use!
The result of being a blessing is that the earth will yield its harvest. The harvest ultimately is souls that will come to know and worship the Lord through the witness of God’s people. God wants all the ends of the earth to fear Him! (Psalm 67:6-7) We set up a cycle of blessing when we give to tithes and offerings so that others may hear of Him! As we give, we become like God who is the ultimate giver of everything. As we give, God is praised and He moves upon the lost and draws them to salvation. As we give, we are blessed by God again with more abundance so that we can give even more to Him. The cycle goes on and multiplies!
“Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.” 2nd Corinthians 9:10-11