Scripture reading for August 4th: Amos 4-6, Psalm 55, Matthew 14
Matthew 14:10-14 “He (Herod) sent and had John (the Baptist) beheaded in prison, and his head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, and she brought it to her mother. And his disciples came and took the body and buried it, and they went and told Jesus. Now when Jesus heard this, He withdrew from there in a boat to a desolate place by Himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed Him on foot from the towns. When He went ashore He saw a great crowd, and He had compassion on them and healed their sick.”
Matthew told the story of Jesus’ response to the beheading of John the Baptist by Herod due to an oath taken at a drunken party. Jesus lived and ministered in the wicked world of the Roman empire where violence and murder was common and the government was corrupt. This wickedness broke Jesus’ heart and He withdrew to seek His Father’s direction. However, lost and hurting people followed Jesus on foot and were there as He arrived. The compassion of the Father flowed through Jesus to heal all their sick and oppressed and even to feed them a meal! God’s love never fails!
Psalm 55:16-18 “But I call to God, the Lord will save me. Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan, and He hears my voice. He redeems my soul in safety from the battle that I wage, for many are arrayed against me. God will give ear and humble them, He Who is enthroned from of old, because they do not change and do not fear God.”
Prayer: Father God, thank You for Your promises of hearing my prayers and protecting me and all believers from the traps of the wicked. We live in desperate times and I ask for a fresh anointing of power and compassion for the lost and hurting to counter the cruelty of this time. Pour out Your Spirit in conviction of the lost so that they might change and fear God to their salvation in Jesus Christ.
Amos 5:13-15 “Therefore he who is prudent will keep silent in such a time, for it is an evil time. Seek good, and not evil, that you may live; and so the Lord, the God of Hosts, will be with you, as you have said. Hate evil, and love good, and establish justice in the gate; it may be that the Lord, the God of Hosts, will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.”
Scripture reading for July 28th: 2nd Chronicles 24, 2nd Kings 12, Psalm 50, Matthew 9
Matthew 9: 35-38 “And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. When He saw the crowds, He had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.””
Jesus Christ was a man of deep compassion for lost and hurting people. He came to reveal the Father’s heart of love and mercy through teaching the Gospel of the kingdom of heaven and allowing the Father’s compassion to flow through Him in acts of healing and deliverance from evil spirits. He saw people helpless because of sin and Satan’s grip and harassed like sheep without a protecting shepherd. After healing and deliverance of all kinds of sickness and oppression, Jesus instructed His disciples to pray to God, Lord of the harvest, to send out laborers into the harvest field. This prayer was just prior to sending them out as part of the answer to their own asking!
Psalm 50:14-15 “Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving and perform your vows to the Most High, and call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.”
Prayer: Father God, thank You for Your great compassion for helpless and hurting people. I thank You for Your compassion for me and Your mercy through the sacrifice of Your Son Jesus Christ, healing my sinful heart and delivering me from darkness and Satan’s harassment. Lord, send out laborers into Your harvest field to share the Good News and to show Your compassion through healing and deliverance. Send me!
2nd Chronicles 24:13 “So those who were engaged in the work labored, and the repairing went forward in their hands, and they restored the house of God to its proper condition and strengthened it.”
Scripture reading for March 21st: Deuteronomy 6-9, Luke 7
Luke 7:12-16 “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 to her, “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. Fear seized them all, and they glorified God, saying “A great prophet has arisen among us!” and “God has visited His people!”
The reason behind the provisions of the abundant life flowing to us is the Lord’s compassion and mercy. In the story of the raising of the dead son of the widow, we see Jesus’ having compassion on this widow who had lost her only son and the source of her care. Jesus was moved to confront death and brought comfort to the woman by raising the dead son to life with a Word! This miracle caused people to fear God and declare God visiting them. When Jesus forgave the sinful woman who was anointing His feet with her tears, Jesus’ compassion again was evident towards all sinners. Jesus here indicated that this woman’s faith in His compassion and ability to forgive sins had brought salvation and an abundant grace!
Luke 7:48-50 “And He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” Then those who were at table with Him began to say among themselves, “Who is this, Who even forgives sins?” And He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you.””
Prayer: Father God, thank You for Your great compassion! Your love towards sinners and the suffering moves me to seek more of Your compassion in me. I offer myself to You to allow Your compassion that will bring people to honor You and believe Your Word and experience salvation through faith by grace.
Deuteronomy 9:6 “Know, therefore, that the Lord your God is not giving you this good land to possess because of your righteousness, for you are a stubborn people.”
Scripture reading for January 10th: Genesis 16-18, Mark 6
Mark 6:30-32 “The apostles returned to Jesus and told them all that they had done and taught. And He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. And they went away in the boat to a desolate place by themselves.”
A key to enjoying life is to get plenty of rest and have leisure time. But life happens and our schedules can become overloaded and so jam-packed that the normal rhythms of life are crowded out. We become over-stimulated and stressed out. Jesus and the disciples found themselves in this same predicament from doing the wonderful work of ministry to the sick and afflicted. Crowds of people pressed them and there was not even time to eat a leisurely meal. Jesus recognized their true need of rest and gave an invitation for them to come away to a desolate place for leisure and quiet rest. If you find yourself in this same type of stress today, please listen to Jesus’ Words and allow the Holy Spirit to lead you to a quiet place for recharging! Even good work can take the sap out of us and requires refreshing in Jesus’ presence. But sometimes crowds follow us and compassion triumphs over a tired body!
Mark 6:33-34 “Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they ran there on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. When He went ashore He saw a great crowd, and He had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And He began to teach them many things.”
Prayer: Father God, thank You for Your ability to anticipate the needs of Your people and provide for them. Help me to recognize Your invitation to come away with You alone and to willingly respond and be actively present with You. Forgive me for the many distractions that I allow to keep me from Your invitation. Give me wisdom and extra strength to show compassion to those You do bring into my path for ministry. You and Your Word are my true source of rest and abundance!
Genesis 18:14 “Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the appointed time next year, I will return to you, about this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son.”
Scripture reading for July 19th: Matthew 15
Key Scriptures: Matthew 15:27-31 “She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed instantly. Jesus went on from there and walked beside the Sea of Galilee. And He went up on the mountain and sat down there. And great crowds came to Him, bringing with them the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute, and many others, and they put them at His feet, and He healed them, so that the crowd wondered, when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled healthy, the lame walking, and the blind seeing. And they glorified the God of Israel.”
Jesus had just healed instantly the Canaanite woman’s daughter who was oppressed by a demon. Her faith had brought Jesus’ mercy and healing power. Jesus then walked by the Sea of Galilee and went up on a hillside as great crowds of people brought to Him all manner of sick and hurting people. He healed them all and brought great awe and wonder as He performed miraculous healings and restoration. The people began to praise the God of Israel for what they were experiencing! God was in their midst as the Son of God, Jesus Christ shared the Father’s love and mercy, and had compassion on the hungry people.
Matthew 15:32 “Then Jesus called His disciples to Him and said, “I have compassion on the crowd because they gave been with Me now three days and have nothing to eat. And I am unwilling to sent them away hungry, lest they faint on the way.”
Faith confession and prayer: Father, thank You for Your great compassion on those wounded by sin and sickness and hunger in this fallen world. As You called Your disciples to share Your compassion, fill me with love and compassion and use me to bring healing and restoration and food to the hungry! All glory to the God of Israel!
Psalm 57:5, 11 “Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let Your glory be over all the earth!”
Scripture reading for March 23rd: Luke 15
Key Scriptures: Luke 15:18-24 “I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.” And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. And bring the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.”
Jesus gave a series of parables about lost things. There was the lost sheep, one out of a hundred. There was the lost coin, one out of ten silver coins. In each of these parables, there was great rejoicing as the lost was found. Jesus said these represented the joy in heaven over a sinner who repents. And then there was the story of the lost son, one of two, who chose to take his inheritance from his father and wasted it in the far country. This son was reduced to feeding pigs and at that point came to himself. He decided to go home and beg his father for mercy. The father was watching, and saw the returning son. He ran to greet him, hugging and kissing him. When the son confessed and asked for a slaves job, the father restored him to sonship and threw a party! Lessons on our Father’s heart abound in this amazing story!
Luke 15:7 “Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for revealing our Father’s great compassion and heart to restore what as sinners we foolishly wasted. May the joy of heaven be increased through my life and sharing of this Good News!
Psalm 86:15 “But You, O Lord are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.”
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 12: Luke 7, Psalm 51, Proverbs 20
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 to her, “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 back to his mother.”
Jesus encountered a funeral procession with the body of a young man who had recently died and followed by the mother and a crowd of mourners. Luke says Jesus was moved by compassion to speak to the mother, telling her not to weep. He then came and touched the bier where the body lay and spoke to the young man, telling him to arise. The young man immediately sat up and began to speak! The love of Jesus moved Him to speak comfort and life in the face of hopeless grief and death.
Faith Confession: Lord Jesus, thank You for filling me with Your great love and compassion through the Holy Spirit. Help me to allow You to use me to speak life into places of fear and death. Action step: As God directs, speak life to someone you know who is in fear or despair.
Proverbs 20:28 “Steadfast love and faithfulness preserve the king, and by steadfast love his throne is upheld.”
Scripture reading for September 10th: Proverbs 12-14, Colossians 3
Key Scriptures: Colossians 3:12-15 “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another, and if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these, put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.”
Learning and living go together in our walk with Jesus Christ. As we follow Jesus, His example is to guide our conduct and His Holy Spirit is to fill us with the fruit of His Holy character. We are one with Christ and other believers in one body, His Church!
Proverbs 14:2-3 “Whoever walks in uprightness fears the Lord, but he who is devious in his ways despises Him. By the mouth of a fool comes a rod for his back, but the lips of the wise will preserve them.”
Prayer: Lord, clothe me today with Your Holy Spirit and Christ’s character so that I might reflect Your goodness to the people You love and died for. Amen.
Scripture reading for February 9th: Leviticus 12-15, Mark 2
Key Scriptures: Mark 2:15-17 “And as He reclined at table in His house, many tax collectors and sinners were reclining with Jesus and His disciples, for there were many who followed Him. And the scribes of the Pharisees, when they saw that He was eating with sinners and tax collectors, said to His disciples, “Why does He eat with tax collectors and sinners?” And when Jesus heard it, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”
Jesus chose to invite sinners to have fellowship with Him. He ate with them and even invited Matthew, a despised tax collector, to follow Him. The religious leaders questioned how Jesus could be willing to be with ‘sinners and tax collectors’ and Jesus spoke plainly to them. He had come to minister to those who were in need of healing, not those who did not need it. God taught His people in the Old Testament to minister to the unclean, lepers, and bring restoration.
Leviticus 14:1-3 “The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “This is the law of the leprous person for the day of his cleansing. He shall be brought to the priest, and the priest shall look. Then, if the case of the leprous disease is healed in the leprous person, the priest shall command them to take for him who is to be cleansed two live clean birds. . . “
Prayer: Holy Father, thank You for caring for the sinner and the hurting. May your compassion fill my heart today to bring healing, encouragement and hope. Amen.