Scripture reading for March 25th: Deuteronomy 23-26, Luke 11
Key Scriptures: Luke 11:27-28 “As He said these things, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, “Blessed is the womb that bore You, and the breasts at which You nursed!” But He said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the Word of God and keep it.””
Jesus had cast a demon out of a man that was mute and the man began to speak. The crowd was amazed but some accused Jesus of casting out spirits by the power of the devil. Jesus explained that the devil would not cast out the devil–it would be a house divided. People freed from demons must be careful to fill their souls with God or worse would happen. Blessed people are those who hear God’s Word and obey it! They are His ‘treasured possession’ and close relative.
Faith Confession and prayer: Lord, thank You for Your Holy Word that is for my instruction and cleansing. Help me today to find those who need deliverance and freedom and I will share Your Word of freedom. You consider them ‘treasured possessions!’
Deuteronomy 26:18-19 “And the Lord has declared today that you are a people for His treasured possession, as He has promised you, and that you are to keep all His commandments, and that He will set you in praise and in fame and in honor high above all nations that He has made, and that you shall be a people holy to the Lord your God, as He promised.”
Scripture reading for December 20th: Revelation 16, Psalm 135-36, Proverbs 7
Key Scriptures: Revelation 16:13-15 “And I saw, coming out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs. For they are demonic spirits, performing signs, who go abroad to the kings of the whole world, to assemble them for battle on the great day of God the Almighty. “Behold, I am coming like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake, keeping his garments on, that he may not go about naked and be seen exposed!” And they assembled them at the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon.”
As the angels of God’s wrath poured out the sixth of seven bowls on the earth, John saw in the spirit unclean demonic spirits released through the mouth of the false prophet. These evil spirits would be sent to the kings of the earth to deceive them into assembling on the great day of the Lord for the battle of Armageddon. Those who believe in Jesus are warned to stay awake and be clothed in righteous garments when that day arrives. It will come upon the world as a thief, but believers will be ready!
Faith Confession: I trust God to keep me safe from deception and will do my part to stay in faith in Christ Jesus and wearing the robe of His righteousness, alert for His soon return. Lord help me to warn those who are not dressed and awake!
Proverbs 7:24-25 “And now, O sons, listen to Me, and be attentive to the words of My mouth. Let not your heart turn aside to her (the adulteress) ways; do not stray into her paths, . . .”
Scripture reading for June 27th: Romans 11, Psalm 128, Proverbs 4
Key Scriptures: Romans 11:2-5 “God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew. Do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he appeals to God against Israel? “Lord, they have killed your prophets, they have demolished Your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life.” But what is God’s reply to him? “I have kept for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace.”
Elijah was a powerful prophet sent to God’s people to expose their sins and backsliding. Israel had a history of killing the prophets sent to them and Elijah was a hunted and wanted man for his convicting message. However, God has a way of keeping His people in the midst of persecution and apostasy. His grace by faith is powerful. Even now, a remnant is being kept by His grace!
Faith Confession: I believe that God has the power and ability to keep His people and me in times of apostasy and trouble. Lord, thank You for the godly remnant that You are now preserving by Your grace! It is well with me for I am blessed!
Psalm 128:1-2 “Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in His ways! You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be blessed, and it shall be will with you.”
Scripture reading for June 21st: Romans 7, Psalm 124, Proverbs 31
Key Scriptures: Romans 7:21-25 “So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.”
Paul described to the Roman believers how he had a war going on inside of his soul and body before his encounter with Christ. Paul wanted to do right and knew the law of God in his mind, but his body wanted to serve the law of sin–breaking God’s law. Paul was wretched and wondered how he could be delivered. Then he met Jesus Christ and found the deliverance he needed through faith and grace.
Faith confession: I have victory over sin in my members through faith in Jesus Christ and the gift of His grace. What a blessed man I am!
Psalm 124:7-8 “We have escaped like a bird from the snare of the fowlers; the snare is broken, and we have escaped! Our help is in the Name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.”
Scripture reading for January 7th: Matthew 5, Psalm 5, Prov. 5 (Reading through the New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs one chapter a day, five days each week in 2019–please join me in the trek!)
Key Scriptures: Matthew 5:10-13 “”Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on My account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.””
Jesus took His disciples and others who had gathered to hear Him up on a hillside. There He taught them about the kingdom of heaven and the blessedness of those who were included. This blessedness called for joy and rejoicing and anticipation of the great reward that would come in God’s time. It also included persecution and reviling from the world of sinful men on account of righteousness and their relationship with Jesus Christ. Rejoice now in all things and count on great reward in the fullness of the kingdom of heaven!
Faith’s confession: I am blessed with Christ’s righteousness and presence in me. I joyfully endure any hardship or persecution today, knowing Whose I am. (Action: Pray for God’s blessedness to come to anyone who may be mistreating you now for your love of Jesus. Do an act of kindness to show them Christ’s love.)
Proverbs 5:21 “For a man’s ways are before the eyes of the Lord, and He ponders all his paths.”
Scripture reading for December 29th: Revelation 18-22
Key Scriptures: Revelation 22:12-15 “Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with Me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of Life and may go through the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.”
The last words of Jesus Christ recorded by John, the beloved disciple are “I am coming soon!” Jesus promises that His reward is with him. He will justly reward all who are His through the washing of their robes in His blood. Those who overcome will have access to the Tree of Life and freely go in and out of the New Jerusalem. Those who will be shut out are those who have not repented of sins and have garments stained by them!
Rejoicing in our Reward: “See, the Sovereign Lord comes with power, and His Arm rules for Him. See, His reward is with Him, and His recompense accompanies Him. He tends His flock like a shepherd; He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart; He gently leads those that have young.” (Isaiah 40:10-11)
Scripture reading for November 1st: James 1
Key Scriptures for over-comers: James 1:22-25 “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it–he will be blessed in what he does.”
There is a danger in being regularly exposed to God’s word. The danger is that we hear and know about what God asks of His people but we become complacent or defiant about applying God’s word to our own lives. This is likened to a person who looks in the mirror to examine his face for dirt but when he looks away that person forgets what he saw! But those who look intently at God’s word in order to do it will be blessed beyond measure!
Observations for over-comers: Over-comers look intently into God’s word to obey it knowing that God’s smile awaits them! “My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity.” (Proverbs 3:1-2)
Scripture reading for May 3rd: John 20
Key Scriptures for over-comers: John 20:29-31 “Then Jesus told him, “Because you (Thomas) have seen Me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name.”
Jesus showed Himself to the disciples the first day He arose and allowed them to touch Him and see the wounds. Thomas was not there the first time and consciously decided that he would not believe unless he also could touch the wounds and see for himself. A week later, Jesus came and went directly to Thomas and offered his wounds to be touched. He encouraged him not to be a doubter but to believe! Jesus then went on to state that those who would believe without seeing would be blessed as well. Jesus gave the rest of those who would follow Him the eye-witness accounts and also the written accounts of the many miraculous signs that Jesus did that they might have ample evidence to believe. Those who believe are blessed and will receive eternal life in His name!
Observations for over-comers: God always honors faith! It is the only way we can please Him! “Blessed are those You choose and bring near to live in Your courts! We are filled with the good things of Your house, of Your holy temple.” (Psalm 65:4)
Scripture reading for January 7th: Matthew 5
Many focus on the Beatitudes as a wonderful statement of kingdom life and blessings. But Jesus spoke at length about many other common beliefs held among the people. He reminded the people with “you have heard it said:” and then countered the common sayings with God’s perspective. These truths ran counter to the current religious teaching of the day. They also challenge us today in that the religious world still holds some of the same perspectives.
“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment.” (Matthew 5:21-22a) Jesus took one of the Ten Commandments and showed that under kingdom rules, anger with another also was capable of bringing judgment. Murder starts in the heart with feelings of anger and disparaging comments like “You fool!”! God looks at the heart, not just the actions!
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body that for your whole body to be thrown into hell.” (Matthew 5:27-29) Jesus took another of the commandments and showed that adultery also started in the heart. God doesn’t just look at the acts in the kingdom He rules, he looks at the heart. Breaking this command is serious business! Better to lose an eye than to go to hell! Maybe it’s time to listen to Jesus!
Scripture reading for October 7th: Matthew 5-7
Matthew recorded one of the longest discourses of Jesus in the Bible that is known as the “Sermon on the Mount”. The kingdom of heaven was the subject of this great teaching. God was King over the nation of Israel and they were blessed to be His loyal subjects!
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3) God’s kingdom people know that they can do nothing on their own. They need God! As a result, God blesses them with the kingdom as a gift!
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek for they will inherit the earth.” (Matthew 5:4-5) Kingdom people are meek and mourn over sin. They are humble and recognize their need of God’s mercy. God promises them comfort and a great inheritance!
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God.” (Matthew 5:6-8) They hunger and thirst for righteousness and are satisfied by their King, who is their righteousness. They are merciful because they have received mercy. Kingdom kids are pure in heart because they have a new heart given as a gift from their King!
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:9-10) They are peacemakers for they are sons of their Father who gives peace! These kids are blessed when they are persecuted for their righteousness because they have heavenly vision of the glory to come. They have a reward in heaven that no one can steal or destroy. (Matthew 5:7-12) They will see their King’s face one day and bask in His glory!
Kingdom kids are blessed to be the light of the world. They reflect the glory of their King everywhere they go. They are the salt of the earth! (Matthew 5:13-16) They help stop the corruption of sin and bring out God’s saving and preserving message of Gospel hope. They are a people who love God and love their neighbors from their heart! What a blessed life!