Scripture reading for October 7th: Jeremiah 25, 35, 36, 45, Psalm 133, James 3
Key Scriptures: James 3:6-10 “And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.”
James knew the power of the small tongue. He likened it to a fire, starting small but soon spreading to cover a whole life. He told how this fire was started in hell and by Satan. This fire is also like a beast that cannot be tamed. All creatures have been put under man’s dominion, but the tongue cannot be tamed. Evidence of this is that we can use our tongue to bless God and then in the same breath curse people made in God’s image. Only yielding our tongues to the Holy Spirit will tame the beast and put out the fire bringing peace and unity.
Psalm 133:1-2 “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! It is like the precious oil on the head, running down on the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down on the collar of his robes!”
Faith confession and prayer: I thank You that I can give my tongue to You as an instrument of unity and worship. Fill me with the Holy Spirit to bless Your Name and those made in Your image!
Jeremiah 35:13 “”Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Go and say to the people of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, Will you not receive instruction and listen to My Words? declares the Lord.””
Scripture reading for March 19th: Deuteronomy 6-9, Luke 7
Key Scriptures: Luke 7:12-15 “As He drew near to the gate of the town, behold a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother and she was a widow, and a considerable crowd from the town was with her. And when the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said, “Do not weep.” Then He came up and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And He said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” And the dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother.”
As God had commanded His people in the Old Testament law, Jesus was caring and compassionate towards a widow. This widow had lost her only son and would be left without support. The funeral procession was passing by and Jesus reached out and touched the bier containing the body. He spoke to the body of the man and commanded him to arise. To the amazement of all (except Jesus), the young man arose and began to speak!
Faith Confession and prayer: Lord, thank You for Your demonstrated compassion for the hurting and for orphans and widows. Fill me with Your heart of love and compassion and use me to bring life and restoration. Multiply Your kingdom!
Deuteronomy 7:12-13 “And because you listen to theses rules and keep and do them, the Lord your God will keep with you the covenant and the steadfast love that He swore to your fathers. He will love you and bless you, and multiply you.”
Scripture reading for March 18th: Deuteronomy 4-5, Luke 6
Key Scriptures: Luke 6:46-49 “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord’ and do not do what I tell you? Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and does them, I will show you what he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well-built. But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.”
Hearing the Word of God brings great accountability to obey the truth received and revealed. Jesus told this story of a man building a house. Only the one building on the rock of obedience will have a rock foundation. Storms will come breaking against our life. Hearing and obeying is the only safe choice. Failure will be exposed by a great eternal ruin.
Faith confession: I am trusting in Jesus Christ, and His perfect obedience to God’s Word. I build my life on Jesus and trust in the power He gives me through the Holy Spirit and grace to weather the storms of life and possess eternal life.
Deuteronomy 5:32-33 “You shall be careful therefore to do as the Lord your God has commanded you. You shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left. You shall walk in all the way that the Lord your God has commanded you, that you may live, and that it may go well with you, and that you may live long in the land that you shall possess.”
Scripture reading for March 4th: Numbers 6-7, Hebrews 13
Key Scriptures: Hebrews 13:20-21 “Now may the God of peace Who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the Great Shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to Whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.”
The Jewish believer who wrote Hebrews, ended his letter with a wonderful benediction or blessing. He speaks a prayer of blessing over believers that the “God of peace” Who raised Jesus Christ, His Son, from the dead, would equip them with all they needed to do His will and be pleasing in His sight. The “Great Shepherd” Jesus Himself would enable them. His glory would be eternal! Amen!
Numbers 6:22-27 “The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, ‘Thus you shall bless the people of Israel: you shall say to them, “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.” So shall you put My Name upon the people of Israel and I will bless them.”
Faith Confession and prayer: I receive the blessings of God through Jesus Christ my Lord and Great Shepherd, risen from the dead by my Father of peace. Lord, equip me afresh today to do Your will and bring You eternal glory. Amen!
Scripture reading for February 10th: Exodus 22-24, Psalm 109, Ephesians 6
Key Scriptures: Exodus 23:25-27 “You shall serve the Lord your God, and He will bless your bread and your water, and I will take sickness away from among you. None shall miscarry or be barren in your land; I will fulfill the number of your days. I will send My terror before you and will throw into confusion all the people against whom you shall come, and I will make all your enemies turn their backs towards you.”
Our merciful God promised His people healing and divine health under the old covenant at Mt. Sinai. He would bless them with fruitfulness and long life as well as defeating all their enemies. Their responsibility was simply to serve the Lord and worship Him alone. Under the New Covenant with Jesus Christ, we stand in Christ Jesus against all the tricks of the enemy, knowing he is a defeated foe! Amen!
Faith Confession and Prayer: Lord Jesus, I trust You for my health, healing, and fruitfulness and defeat of my foes. Help me to stand in the armor You have provided.
Ephesians 6:10-12 “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”
Psalm 109:31 “For He stands at the right hand of the needy one; to save him from those who would condemn his soul to death.”
Scripture reading for January 20th: Genesis 32-34, Mark 13, Psalm 145
Key Scriptures: Mark 13:31-33 “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My Words will not pass away. But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the time will come.”
Genesis 32:24-28 “And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. Then he said, “Let me go, for the day has broken.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” And he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” Then he said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.””
Jacob was afraid of his coming meeting with Esau. He prayed for God’s help and favor but stayed up all night in a wrestling match with a ‘man’ who later was found to be God or an angel representing God. He did not sleep but kept alert in prevailing prayer. Jesus said that that was to be the posture of His disciples concerning His return in power and glory.
Faith Confession and prayer: Father, thank You for the examples and warnings of Scripture concerning the need for Your people to remain alert and ready, even wrestling to lay hold of the promised blessings. Keep me in Your Word and the power of the Holy Spirit so I might prevail!
Psalm 145:14 “The Lord upholds all who are falling and raises up all who are bowed down.”
Scripture reading for January 15th: Genesis 26-27, Mark 10
Key Scriptures: Genesis 27:26-29 “Then his father Isaac said to him, “Come near and kiss me, my son.” So he came near and kissed him. And Isaac smelled the smell of his garments and blessed him and said, “See, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field that the Lord has blessed! May God give you of the dew of heaven and of the fatness of the earth and plenty of grain and wine. Let peoples serve you, and nations bow down to you. Be lord over your brothers, and may your mother’s sons bow down to you. Cursed be everyone who curses you, and blessed be everyone who blesses you!””
Jesus’ disciples tried to keep parents from bringing their children to their Master. But Jesus rebuked them and welcomed the children, laying His hands on them and blessing them! In our Genesis reading, there is competition for the father’s blessing by Isaac’s two sons. Jacob schemes to lay hold and obtains it. Esau’s bitter cry is of a blessing missed!
Faith Confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, I want Your hand of blessing laid on me with Your declaration of “Well done, good and faithful servant!” Let me help others to obtain your blessing!
Mark 10:13-16 “And they were bringing children to Him that He might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it, He was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” And He took them in His arms and blessed them, laying His hands on them.”
Scripture reading for August 30th: Ephesians 6, Psalm 24, Proverbs 20
Key Scriptures: Ephesians 6:1-4 “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”
Faithfulness to Christ involves all ages and begins in the family. The family is ordained by God to train and discipline children. To please God, children must honor their parents and obey them. This foundation will lead to a life of God’s blessing and a long life. Fathers are to take care not to treat children harshly and provoke anger, but to instruct them in the things of God under the direction of the Holy Spirit.
Faith Confession: Father, thank You for Your patient instruction and discipline of all Your children and the promise of eternal life! Help me to continue to instruct my children and grandchildren in the fear and love of our heavenly Father, that they might be blessed and have eternal life.
Proverbs 20:7 “The righteous who walks in his integrity–blessed are his children after him.”
Proverbs 20:11 “Even a child makes himself known by his acts, by whether his conduct is pure and upright.”
Scripture reading for July 6th: Psalm 130-134
Key Scriptures: Psalm 133:1-3 “How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity! It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron’s beard, down upon the collar of his robes. It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the Lord bestows His blessing, even life forevermore.”
As the twelve tribes assembled, they became one family before the Lord. This psalm decreed the blessing of unity upon the brothers as they gathered to worship in God’s presence. The ultimate blessing that the Lord bestowed was eternal life in His presence! Sounds like what Jesus Christ prayed in his final High Priestly prayer before the cross!
The blessing of unity: “For Your granted Him authority over all people that He might give eternal life to all those you have given Him. Now this is eternal life: that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent.” . . . “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in Me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as You are in Me and I am in You. May they also be in Us so that the world may know that You sent Me and have loved them even as you have loved Me.” (John 17:2-3, 20-23)
Scripture reading for June 20th: Psalms 75-78
Key Scriptures: Psalm 78:5-7 “He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which He commanded our forefathers to teach their children, so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget His deeds but would keep His commands.”
God wants the generations to know Him and His marvelous Word. His plan is for fathers and mothers to instruct the children who would in turn teach their children. It was like a relay race in passing on the knowledge of God and His Word! If one generation dropped the baton and failed, there would be eternal loss!
Thankful for God’s plan: “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”–which is the first commandment with a promise–“That it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” Fathers, do not exasperate your children, instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:1-4)