Scripture reading for May 27th: 2nd Samuel 24, 1st Chronicles 21, Romans 4
Key Scriptures: Romans 4:3-7 “For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.” Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. And to the one who does not work but believes in Him Who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works: “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.”
Paul used both Abraham and David as models for followers of Jesus Christ. As Abraham believed God’s promise of a coming son, God counted him as righteous through his obedient trust. As David appealed to God for forgiveness after his sin against God, so God forgave him and covered his sins. In the New Testament times, believers trust in the Son of David, Who offered His own body and blood to save us from the penalty and power of sin. We are declared ‘righteous’ by faith.
2nd Samuel 24:10 “But David’s heart struck him after he had numbered the people. And David said to the Lord, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done. But now, O Lord, please take away the iniquity of Your servant, for I have done very foolishly.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord, thank You for Your great mercy towards all of us sinners! I believe on the Lord Jesus, Son of God, Son of David for justification from sin. I will declare the ‘Good News’!
1st Chronicles 21:25-26 “So David paid Ornan 600 shekels of gold by weight for the site. And David built there an altar to the Lord and presented burnt offerings and peace offerings and called on the Lord, and the Lord answered him with fire from heaven upon the altar of burnt offering.”
Scripture reading for January 3rd: Genesis 8-10, Matthew 3
Key Scriptures: Genesis 8:14-17,20 “In the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth had dried out. Then God said to Noah, “Go out from the ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your sons’ wives with you. Bring out with you every living thing that is with you of all flesh–birds and animals and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.” . . . “Then Noah built an altar to the Lord and took some of every clean animal and some of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar.”
The Lord gave Noah instructions upon entering and now upon leaving the ark. God’s Word was critical to success in escaping the destruction of the flood and now in entering a new world, washed from violence by the flood. Noah and his family built an altar to worship God and offer acceptable sacrifices. When God smelled the offerings, He was pleased and made a covenant with Noah, promising blessing and no more water judgment! Baptism is a symbol of water judgment on sins!
Matthew 3:1, 11-12 “In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”. . . “I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in His and, and He will clear His threshing floor and gather His wheat into the barn, but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire.”
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for clear instructions to our forefathers warning of coming judgment and taking them through. Cleanse my heart, by Your Holy Spirit, and make it an altar where You dwell and we meet each day. Amen.
Scripture reading for January 6th: Genesis 12-14
Abram and his nephew Lot were prosperous in the new land God had taken them to. Abram had built an altar to the Lord in Bethel and began to call upon the Lord. (Genesis 13:3-4) Lot and his herdsmen began to quarrel with Abram’s herdsmen. Abram was a peacemaker and decided they should separate. He gave Lot the choice of where he would settle. Lot had his eyes on the fertile plain and the city of Sodom. Sodom was a wicked city and the men there were sinning greatly in the sight of the Lord. (Genesis 13:13)
After Lot had moved, the Lord spoke to Abram, telling him to lift up his eyes and look in each direction. All that he could see would be given to him and his descendants forever! God reaffirmed that He would make Abram’s offspring as numerous as the dust of the earth. God encouraged Abram to walk through the land and survey it. Abram moved his tent near Hebron and built an altar to the Lord there. (Genesis 13:18) God blessed Abram for his faith and willingness to let God lead him to where he was supposed to be. This is a helpful hint for us in our walk. We can be selfish and reach out to take, or we can more wisely worship the Lord and follow Him!
Some time later, we find some kings attacking Sodom and carrying off Lot and his family, as well as the goods of Sodom. Abram took his men and went in pursuit. He recovered all the people plus the goods. (Genesis 14:16) As he returned, both the king of Sodom and Melchizedek, king of Salem (Jerusalem), came to meet Abram. Melchizedek, a priest of the Most High God, met Abram with bread and wine and blessed him. Abram responded by giving a tithe of everything to this mysterious priest and king. (Genesis 14:20)
Jesus Christ is said to be a priest after the order of Melchizedek, having the power of an endless life! (Hebrews 7:15-17) As a priest, Jesus intercedes for us before the throne. (Romans 8:34) He served His disciples bread and wine at the Last Supper and told them to do it often in remembrance of Him. (Matthew 26:26-29) He is also King of Kings and will reign in the Jerusalem during the millennium! (Revelation 20:4-5) Jesus alone is worthy of our worship, tithes, and dedication!