Scripture reading for June 19th: Philippians 3, Psalm 121, Proverbs 28
Philippians 3:7-12 “But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith-that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and may share His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained this or am already made perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me His own.”
Paul’s commitment to the Lord and the Gospel of Jesus Christ had cost him everything in this world. He was now facing possible execution and reflecting on his own journey with these believers he loved and sought to inspire and encourage. He viewed the loss of everything in this world as ‘rubbish’. He even viewed the loss of his freedom, his imprisonment, and his sufferings as a means to grow in a relationship with Jesus. He humbly admitted that he hadn’t arrived yet, but his attitude was to press on to lay hold of Christ, knowing Christ had laid hold of him. His trust in the Lord to keep his life safe and give him righteousness brought great freedom and boldness to live a life of pursuit of God’s kingdom and will!
Psalm 121:7-8 “The Lord will keep you from all evil; He will keep your life. The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.”
Prayer: Father God, thank You for this precious counsel from Jesus Christ through Paul. Thank You for the righteousness You have given me by grace through faith. Thank You that it is available to all who will repent and believe, forsaking the ‘rubbish’ of this world. Fill me with the Holy Spirit and boldness today that I may declare Your glorious Gospel and press on to lay hold of Jesus Christ as He has laid hold of me.
Proverbs 28:1 “The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion.”
Scripture reading for September 29th: 2nd Corinthians 10
Key Scriptures: 2nd Corinthians 10:1-6 “I, Paul, myself entreat you, by the meekness and gentleness of Christ–I who am humble when face to face with you, but bold toward you when I am away!--I beg of you that when I am present I may not have to show boldness with such confidence as I count on showing against some who suspect us of walking according to the flesh. For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.”
Paul entreated the Corinthians to receive him and his message of the Gospel of Christ. God had assigned to Paul the mission to the Gentiles. False teachers had tried to undermine Paul’s authority and credibility and to undermine the message of salvation by grace through faith. Paul planned on boldly confronting them and had powerful weapons to do that with. It was not flesh and blood he was dealing with, but demonic strongholds of false religion and false doctrines being argued by those in opposition. He came with humility and gentleness in the spirit of Jesus Christ to them, appealing to them to lay hold of the truth and obey it fully. The powerful spiritual weapons that Paul referred to were the Word of God, passionate prayer, holy living, humility and the power of the Holy Spirit to act boldly. These weapons destroy strongholds and bring confrontation to those opposing.
2nd Corinthians 10:13 “But we will not boast beyond limits, but will boast only with regard to the area of influence God assigned to us, to reach even you.”
Faith confession and prayer: Father God, I humbly thank You for the assignment you have given me to be a pastor and teacher in Your Church. I rely on the Holy Spirit to reveal Your Word to me and empower me with boldness to use the spiritual weapons that are mighty through God to destroy strongholds, refute arguments, and bring every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. My boast is in Jesus Christ, the only wise God and Savior.
2nd Corinthians 10:17-18 “”Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.”
Scripture reading for May 13th: Acts 28
Key Scriptures: Acts 28:23-26 “When they had appointed a day for him, they came to him at his lodging in greater numbers. From morning till evening he expounded to them, testifying to the kingdom of God and trying to convince them about Jesus both from the Low of Moses and from the Prophets. And some were convinced by what he said, but others disbelieved. And disagreeing among themselves, they departed after Paul had made one statement: “The Holy Spirit was right in saying to your fathers through Isaiah the prophet: “‘Go to this people, and say, “You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive.”
After wintering on the island that they shipwrecked on, Paul continued on to Rome as a prisoner on another ship with the Roman soldier assigned to guard him. At Rome he was given the privilege of a private rented residence and a soldier to guard him but was otherwise free to meet with believers and others seeking God. Paul got together with the local Jewish leaders and shared the Gospel with them from the Old Testament Scriptures. Some believed and some did not but disagreed. Paul separated from them and announced a mission to the Gentiles and preached the Gospel with boldness for over two years as a prisoner but free. God’s provision and directions were received and followed.
Acts 28:30-31 “He lived there two whole years at his own expense, and welcomed all who came to him, proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, it is amazing that Paul, a prisoner, is given such freedom and provision to do Your work. His bold preaching and steady witness is an encouragement to me. Let Your Word ring out from my lips each day no matter the circumstances.
2nd Timothy 4:1-2 “I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, Who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the Word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.”
Scripture reading for April 9th: Acts 4
Key Scriptures: Acts 4:27-31 “. . for truly in this city there were gathered together against Your holy servant Jesus, Whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever Your hand and Your plan had predestined to take place. And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant Your servants to continue to speak Your Word with all boldness, while You stretch out Your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the Name of Your holy servant Jesus.” And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the Word of God with boldness.”
Peter and John had just been before the Sanhedrin and were warned to never again speak or teach in the Name of Jesus. They told the Sanhedrin that they must listen to God and speak what they saw and heard from Him. After more severe warnings, they were let go for the man that was healed of his lameness from birth was over 40 years old. They went back to the gathering of disciples and shared what had happened. They all began to lift their voices in prayer and thanksgiving to God, declaring God’s plans and asking protection and power to speak His Word even more boldly! In answer, God shook the gathering place and they went out in great power.
Acts 4:33 “And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, shake my house and my church house as Your people gather to praise You and ask for more boldness! Work with us in signs and wonders to draw sinners to Jesus and heal broken people. Make me bold as the Lion of Judah! Amen! Let it be so!
Proverbs 28:1 “The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion.”
Scripture reading for March 10th: Numbers 19-21, Colossians 4
Key Scriptures: Colossians 4;2-6 “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open a door for the Word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison–that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak. Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”
Disciples of Jesus are called to a life of prayer. Ministry doors are opened through prayer. Boldness to preach comes through prayer and the infilling of the Holy Spirit. Clear Gospel presentation comes as a result of prayer. Gracious speech and words spoken in season come through those who are connected to Jesus through a life of steadfast prayer. Paul, in prison for preaching, encouraged prayer for his ministry efforts–not release from jail!
Numbers 21:16-18 “And from there they continued to Beer; that is the well of which the Lord said to Moses, “Gather the people together, so that I may give them water.” Then Israel sang this song: “Spring up, O well! –Sing to it!–the well that the princes made, that the nobles of the people dug, with the scepter and with their staffs.”
Faith Confession and prayer: Lord, You alone are the source of all ministry, empowerment, fruitfulness, and open doors! I pray with the Israelites of old: “Spring up, O Well!” Fill me with living water to boldly preach Your Word.
Scripture reading for September 11th: Colossians 4, Psalm 32, Proverbs 28
Key Scriptures: Colossians 4:2-6 “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it, with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the Word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison–that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak. Walk in wisdom towards outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”
Paul’s final instructions contained a call to prayer for the church and for him and his ministry as a prisoner in a Roman jail. He never asked to get out, but for open doors for God’s Word and boldness to declare the mystery of Christ Jesus the Lord. He wanted to make it clear and know when to speak and what to say to each person, not wasting any precious time. Watchful prayers and faithful witnessing will bring God-directed results!
Faith Confession: Lord, help me to watch and pray for missionaries and evangelists who are preaching the Word. Give me open doors and boldness as I preach Your unchanging Word. Season my speech with the saltiness of the Gospel.
Proverbs 28:20 “A faithful man will abound with blessings, but whoever hastens to be rich will not go unpunished.”
Scripture reading for May 9th: Acts 4, Psalm 93, Proverbs 31
Key Scriptures: Acts 4:29-31 “”And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to Your servants to continue to speak Your Word with all boldness, while You stretch out Your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the Name of Your holy servant Jesus.” And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the Word of God with boldness.”
The disciples had been threatened and warned to not speak again in the Name of Jesus Christ. They gathered together in prayer and took the threats before the Lord, asking not for deliverance, but for boldness to speak God’s Word! The also asked the Lord to stretch His hand out and heal with signs and wonders in the Name of Jesus. God was so moved by their prayers, that the place they were meeting in was literally shaken by His presence and they were filled with the Holy Spirit and boldness to speak Christ’s Word!
Faith Confession: Lord, give me boldness to open my mouth to preach and speak Your Word to those I come in contact with. I expect You to confirm Your Word with signs, miracles and healings. Amen!
Proverbs 31:8-9 “Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.”
Scripture reading for September 11th: Proverbs 15-18, Colossians 4
Key Scriptures: Colossians 4:2-6 “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it, with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the Word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison–that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak. Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”
Believers are to be people of prayer. Pastors and missionaries need prayer and ask for it. Paul’s specific request was for open doors to preach God’s Word, the Gospel. He asked for boldness and clarity of speech for himself and for those he was writing to. Salt seasoning of speech is for all believers.
Proverbs 15:1-2 “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouths of fools pour out folly.”
Prayer: Lord, I ask You for open doors for Your Word today. May my speech be bold for you yet filled with wisdom and compassion, seasoned with salt by the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Scripture reading for June 12th: Ezra 9-10, Nehemiah 1-2, Acts 28
Key Scriptures: Acts 28:23-24 “They arranged to meet Paul on a certain day, and came in even larger numbers to the place where he was staying. From morning till evening he explained and declared to them the kingdom of God and tried to convince them about Jesus from the Law of Moses and the Prophets. Some were convinced by what he said, but others would not believe.”
The Apostle Paul made it safely to Rome and was placed in a rented house under guard. Many Jews came to visit him and he preached Christ to them from the Scriptures. Some believed and others did not. The power of the Gospel was spread in Rome as God had directed.
Nehemiah 1:5-6 “Then I said: “O Lord, God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant of love with those who love Him and obey His commands, let Your ear be attentive and Your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before You day and night for Your servants, the people of Israel.”
Prayer: Lord, great and awesome God, Lord of heaven and earth, grant boldness to me today to preach Your word to all You send me to. Amen!
Scripture reading for May 23rd: 1st Chronicles 24-27, Acts 14
Key Scriptures: Acts 14:1-3 “Now at Iconium they entered together into the Jewish synagogue and spoke in such a way that a great number of both Jews and Greeks believed. But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers. So they remained for a long time speaking boldly for the Lord, who bore witness to the word of His grace granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands.”
As Paul and his missionary team went from city to city, they went to Jews first at the local synagogue. The Gospel message of Jesus Christ brought great controversy and division. They were prepared for this and continued to speak boldly and allow the Lord to work with them confirming their message with signs and wonders. God’s army moves under His direction.
1st Chronicles 24:19 “These had as their appointed duty in their service to come into the house of the Lord according to the procedure established for them by Aaron their father, as the Lord God of Israel had commanded him.”
Prayer: Lord, thank You for order and direction of Your people enabling them to follow Your example of boldness in the face of opposition. Grant me courage to speak today. Amen.