Scripture reading for April 21st: Acts 12
Key Scriptures: Acts 12:1-5 “About that time Herod the king laid violent hands on some who belonged to the church. He killed James the brother of John with the sword, and when he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. This was during the days of unleavened Bread. And when he had seized him, he put him in prison, delivering him over to four squads of soldiers to guard him, intending after the Passover to bring him out to the people. So Peter was kept in prison, but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church.”
Life in God’s kingdom is the only real life! But it is not always full of joy and delights here in this life. Those that live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution and James and Peter found out personally. James, the brother of John, one of the “Sons of Thunder” was probably beheaded by King Herod. It may be he resisted. Peter, the head disciple was arrested and put in prison and guarded by 4 squads of soldiers. They did not mess around with these Christ-followers. Because of Passover week, Herod just kept him guarded in jail, waiting until after the celebration to execute him in front of the Jews, many who were pleased to get rid of these ‘false teachers’. But God’s people were praying and it is not over even when it looks like it. A miraculous deliverance was brought about by angelic intervention and a squad of soldiers lost their lives for failure to guard their prisoner!
Acts 12:6-7 “Now when Herod was about to bring him out, on that very night, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries before the door were guarding the prison. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood next to him, and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him, saying, “Get up quickly.” And the chains fell off his hands.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You that life following You is never dull and boring. Help me to learn how to trust you like James and Peter in every situation. Take me by the hand and lead me step by step, and wake me up if necessary!
Psalm 34:6-7 “This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and delivers them.”
Scripture reading for June 11th: Acts 27, Psalm 116, Proverbs 23
Key Scriptures: Acts 27:34-37 “”. . .Therefore I urge you to take some food. For it will give you strength, for not a hair is to perish from the head of any of you.” And when he had said these things, he took bread, and giving thanks to God in the presence of all he broke it and began to eat. Then they all were encouraged and ate some food themselves. (We were in all 276 persons in the ship.)
Paul had warned the ship captain not to sail because of a coming storm. But the ship had sailed and the storm arose, threatening to sink the ship. Paul was encouraged by an angel who assured him not to be afraid because God had granted protection to Paul and all who traveled with him. He shared this message and encouraged the men to eat. He acted prophetically by faith in God’s Word!
Faith Confession: Thank You for Your Word that brings faith and encouragement of Your divine protection. Thank You for angels who serve You and us, the heirs of salvation.
Psalm 116:5-7 “Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; our God is merciful. the Lord preserves the simple; when I was brought low, He saved me. Return, O my soul, to your rest; for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.”
Scripture reading for May 21st: 1st Chronicles 17-20, Acts 12
Key Scriptures: Acts 12:6-8 “Now when Herod was about to bring him out, on that very night, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries before the door were guarding the prison. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood next to him, and a light shone in the cell. He struck peter on the side and woke him, saying, “Get up quickly.” And the chains fell off his hands. And the angel said to him, “Dress yourself and put on your sandals.”
God sent an angel to rescue Peter from execution by Herod. Peter was secured in the jail by being chained between two guards and others watched outside the cell. But none of this was a problem for the angel who rescued Peter. Peter though he was dreaming or seeing a vision, but to his astonishment, the doors opened and he was free! God blessed His servant with His faithfulness.
1st Chronicles 17:26-27 “And now, O Lord, You are God, and You have promised this good thing to Your servant. Now You have been pleased to bless the house of Your servant, that it may continue forever before You, for it is You, O Lord, who have blessed, and it is blessed forever.”
Prayer: Father, thank You for Your faithfulness to those who serve You. You are able to save and rescue and bless. Amen.
Scripture reading for March 10th: Judges 13-17
Key Scriptures: Judges 13:3-5 “The angel of the Lord appeared to her and said, “You are sterile and childless, but you are going to conceive and have a son. Now see to it that you drink no wine or other fermented drink and that you do not eat anything unclean, because you will conceive and give birth to a son. No razor may be used on his head, because the boy is to be a Nazirite, set apart to God from birth, and He will begin the deliverance of Israel from the hands of the Philistines.””
God sent an angelic messenger to an Israelite woman and her husband to prepare them to give birth to a son who would begin to deliver Israel. She was barren but God would bring this blessed son who would be set apart from conception to serve God’s purposes!
Rejoice in angelic messengers: God uses angels to deliver special announcements to His people. “But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to give him the name John. He will be a joy and a delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, for He will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from birth.” (Luke 1:13-15)