Scripture reading for September 19th: 2nd Timothy 1, Psalm 37, Proverbs 1
2nd Timothy 1: 8-12 “Therefore, do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share in suffering for the Gospel by the power of God, Who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of His own purpose and grace, which He gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, Who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel, for which I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher, which is why I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know Whom I have believed, and I am convinced that He is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me.”
Paul was suffering in prison in Rome and writing what was to be his last letter that we have in Scripture. He believed that God had sent him to Rome to preach the Gospel, even to those who imprisoned him. He urged Timothy, who was also facing persecution, not to be ashamed of his own testimony of faith in Jesus or of him as His prisoner. Paul’s own example was one of confession of the Gospel of Jesus Christ as God’s Son and Savior through His atoning death and powerful resurrection to life eternal. Paul knew Jesus Christ and was fully convinced of Christ’s ability and power to keep his life and soul eternally, no matter what might happen to him! God’s grace was sufficient and His Holy Spirit would uphold him.
Psalm 37:23-25 “The steps of a man are established by the Lord, when He delights in his way; Though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the Lord upholds his hand. I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not see the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread.”
Prayer: Father God, thank You for the confidence that I have through these Holy Scriptures and the records of Paul and Timothy’s life and faith. Forgive me for sometimes shrinking back from boldly sharing my faith in Jesus Christ. Fill me with the Holy Spirit and boldness to live victoriously, even in suffering, and proclaim Your faithfulness to all who will hear and see. May the wise hear and understand!
Proverbs 1:5-6 “Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance, to understand a proverb and a saying, the words of the wise and their riddles.”
Scripture reading for August 29th: 2nd Corinthians 5, Psalm 22, Proverbs 17
2nd Corinthians 5:6-10 “So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and be at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.”
Paul taught the believers that judgment was coming for all believers at the judgment seat of Christ where each person individually would receive reward or suffer loss, depending on how they used their allotted time on earth and were obedient to live by faith in God’s Word. Paul encouraged them that they could be of good courage at all times if they lived a life of faith, following the Lord faithfully. They could have courage in this life as well as confidence in the life to come and before Christ at His judgment seat. It is only by faith that we can please God. Faith brings confidence and assurance in the unseen realities and promises of God.
Psalm 22:27-28 “All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations shall worship before You. For kingship belongs to the Lord, and He rules over the nations.”
Prayer: Father God, Your Word and Your justice through Your Son Jesus Christ give me great courage and confidence. Thank You for leading me into a life of faith. Thank You for calling me out of this self-centered world system to live in freedom serving You in obedience, worship and good works. Help me to remind others of their need to live by faith and the confidence all can have who rely on Jesus Christ.
Proverbs 17:15 “He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous are both alike an abomination to the Lord.”
Scripture reading for March 7th: Hebrews 3, Psalm 47, Proverbs 16
Hebrews 3:12-15 “Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. As it is said, “Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.””
The Psalmist knew the power of worship to help God’s people maintain their confidence in the King of all the earth. Worship involves the whole person: spirit, soul, and body! We clap our hands and shout with our voices as an act of worship with our bodies. We experience the joy of God’s presence with us and in us in our souls. Our spirit chooses to humbly reverence (fear) the great God of heaven and His Holy Word. As we worship, God is magnified to us. We become aware of Who He is and Whose we are! He speaks to our hearts and encourages us. Worship keeps our hearts soft and pliable and full of joy! We are blessed!
Psalm 47:1-2 “Clap you hands all peoples! Shout to God with loud songs of Joy! For the Lord, the Most High, is to be feared, a great King over all the earth.”
Prayer: Great God of Heaven, King over all the earth, I reverence You and choose to worship You with all my heart, soul, mind and strength of my body! You, Alone, are worthy! My confidence comes from the joy of Your presence with me and from the precious promises of Your Word. I have discovered Your amazing love and goodness and my life is blessed! Amen!
Proverbs 16:20 “Whoever gives thought to the Word will discover good, and blessed is he who trusts in the Lord.”
Scripture reading for November 28th: Zechariah 9-11, 1st John 5
1st John 5:2-5 “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world–our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.”
John concludes his letter to encourage the church with a simple test of believer’s love for God and salvation. If we truly love God, we willingly seek to obey His Word. Obedience is not hard or begrudging, but joyful and freely given, coming from faith in God and His holy Word. This willing obedience of faith is the key to victory over the world and the forces of darkness and the antichrist. Simply believing on Jesus Christ as God’s Son gives us confidence of our salvation and God bears witness in our spirit that we possess eternal life and that God is our Father. Faith requires humility and the choice to trust God’s Son for all needs and promises. God want’s us secure in Christ, not in fear of the world or Him.
1st John 5:12-13 “Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the Name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.”
Prayer: Father God, thank You for these encouraging truths about the simplicity of salvation. I place my trust fully in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, for my salvation and the gift of eternal life. I seek to live each day in obedience to Your holy and true Word, awaiting the fullness of all You have promised. Fill me with the Holy Spirit and give me open doors to share Your great Son with a lost and dying world.
Zechariah 9:9 “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is He, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”
Scripture reading for March 1st: Leviticus 26-27, Psalm 112, Hebrews 10
Hebrews 10: 32-36 “But recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, sometimes being publicly exposed to reproach and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated. For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one. Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may received what is promised.”
The Hebrew believers suffered great persecution for their faith in Jesus Christ. Sometimes, their own families disowned them and they were imprisoned and lost their property, the family inheritance. The writer of Hebrews encouraged these believers to cling tightly to their confidence in Christ and His eternal promises. They have something better and ever-lasting. Shrinking back to the law and Judaism would cause their destruction. Pressing on in faith would bring great reward as God had promised to all who would believe! Endurance and confidence are byproducts of true faith.
Hebrews 10:37-39 “For, ‘Yet a little while, and the coming One will come and will not delay; but my righteous one shall live by faith and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.” But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.”
Prayer: Father God, help me to cling tightly to Your promises and the promise of Jesus’ return with a full reward for those eagerly awaiting Him. There is nothing in this world that compares to You! Help me to do Your will here on earth and live confidently in faith and endurance, sharing the great reward with whoever will believe and receive! In Christ Jesus I shall never be moved or fear bad news!
Psalm 112:6-7 “For the righteous will never be moved; he will be remembered forever. He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord.”
Leviticus 26:9, 11-12 “I will turn to you and make you fruitful and multiply you and will confirm My covenant with you. . . I will make My dwelling among you, and My soul shall not abhor you. And I will walk among you and will be your God and you shall be My people.”
Scripture reading for February 18th: Leviticus 4-7, Hebrews 3
Hebrews 3: 1-6 “Therefore, holy brothers, you who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession, who was faithful to Him Who appointed Him, just as Moses also was faithful in all God’s house. For Jesus has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses–as much more glory as the builder of a house has more honor than the house itself. (For every house is built by someone, but the Builder of all things is God.) Now Moses was faithful in all God’s house as a servant, to testify to the things that were to be spoken about later, but Christ is faithful over God’s house as a Son. And we are His house if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope.”
When we receive Jesus Christ as God’s Son and His sacrifice for the atonement for our sins, we become members of the band of heaven-bound brothers and sisters. The writer to these Jewish believers sought to reassure them of their heavenly calling and to the faithfulness of Jesus Christ and His superiority to Moses. Moses was truly a man of God and a prophet of God, but Moses was a servant in God’s Old Covenant house. Moses faithfully spoke God’s laws to God’s people. But Jesus was God’s Son and the architect and builder of God’s New Covenant house–the Church. Christ was faithful even unto death on a cross and in spite of the rejection of the Jewish leadership of His Messianic revelation. His example calls all men to confidence and hope and to stand firm in faith. Beware of falling away!
Hebrews 3:12-14 “Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end.”
Prayer: Father God, thank You for Jesus Christ, the Son of God Who was faithful to You and completely obeyed Your Word and will. I want to be part of His eternal House–the Church. Give me grace to stand firm and guard my heart against unbelief and falling away in my relationship with Jesus Christ. Keep me from unintentional sins and willful sins that will harden my heart.
Leviticus 5:14-16 “The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “If anyone commits a breach of faith and sins unintentionally in any of the holy things of the Lord, he shall bring to the Lord as his compensation, a ram without blemish out of the flock, valued in silver shekels, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, for a guilt offering. He shall also make restitution for what he has done amiss in the holy thing and shall add a fifth to it and give it to the priest.”
Scripture reading for August 11th: Hebrews 4
Key Scriptures: Hebrews 4:6-10 “Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience, again He appoints a certain day, “Today,” saying through David so long afterward, in the words already quoted, “Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.” For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken of another day later on. So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from His.”
Rest and peace are marks of those who have entered Christ’s kingdom by faith. God invited His people to enter into the promised land but they failed to enter because of unbelief and disobedience that resulted. They hardened their hearts and resisted hearing His voice, insisting that Moses would hear for them. The rest that was promised was acted out by the Jews each week as a celebration of the Sabbath where no work was done but time was taken to listen to God’s Word and rest in His great love and provision. This Sabbath was from sundown on Friday to sundown on Saturday evening. But the writer of Hebrews declared that God had appointed another day, “today,” to give His people rest under the New Covenant in Jesus Christ. Every day as it arrived was called “today” and was a day of rest in the finished work of Christ for our salvation, healing and provision. We must be diligent to enter into it on a daily basis!
Hebrews 4:11-12 “Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. For the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Hebrews 4:16 “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
Faith confession and prayer: Father, thank You for the ‘rest’ that we have today in Jesus Christ. I have ceased from my ‘work’ of trying to be good and keeping law and I now rest today in the finished obedience of Jesus Christ in the power of Your Holy Spirit. Reveal to me anything You see through Your Word that would disrupt my rest in Christ.
Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.”
Scripture reading for November 25th: Zechariah 6-8; 1 John 4
Key Scriptures: 1st John 4:14-18 “And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent His Son to be the Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as He is so are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.”
John did not want believers to live in fear, unsure of their salvation. In fact, if believers are living in fear of punishment on judgment day, they have not been perfected in Christ’s love. They have failed to lay hold of the truth of Jesus by faith. Jesus is God’s Son and Savior of the world. Jesus is “Love.” When we are able to freely confess that Jesus is God’s Son and our Savior, we know by God’s unfailing Word that God abides in us and we in Him. We can love God because He first loved us and demonstrated that love through Jesus Christ. His perfect love is a choice, not an emotion, based on Who He is: Love!
Faith confession and prayer: Father God, thank You for Jesus Christ, Your only Son and my Savior. I confess Jesus Christ as My Lord and Savior and receive His amazing love. Because of this, I can have confidence on judgment day.
Zechariah 8:16-17 “These are the things that you shall do: Speak the truth to one another; render in your gates judgments that are true and make for peace; do not devise evil in your hearts against one another, and love no false oath, for all these things I hate, declares the Lord of Hosts.”
Scripture reading for September 22nd: 2nd Kings 22-23, Psalm 73, 2nd Corinthians 5
Key Scriptures: 2nd Corinthians 5:6-10 “So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body, and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.”
When we walk by faith in Jesus Christ we can be constantly filled with courage and confidence. It does not matter what is happening to us at the moment, whether we are facing death or suffering in this life. We are confident that it will be better to be with the Lord in our eternal home. We can also have confidence to stand before Christ Jesus at His judgment seat and know we will be rewarded for our faith and obedience. Our confessed sins will be forgiven and forgotten. Praise the Lord!
Psalm 73:23-24 “Nevertheless, I am continually with you; You hold my right hand. You guide me with Your counsel, and afterward You will receive me to glory.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, You are my courage and confidence in this life and for eternity. I am confident to stand before You because of what Jesus Christ did for me. Guide me each day to do Your will!
2nd Kings 23:25 “Before him there was no king like him (King Josiah), who turned to the Lord with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his might, according to all the Law of Moses, nor did any like him arise after him.”
Scripture reading for November 25th: 1st John 5, Psalm 97-98, Proverbs 19
Key Scriptures: 1st John 5:11-15 “And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. Whoever has the Son has life; Whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the Name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life. And it is the confidence that we have toward Him, that if we ask anything according to His will He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of Him.”
John assured his readers of the reality of salvation by faith in Jesus Christ. Salvation was a gift that came by faith alone. It was a gift of God the Father, coming through the obedience of His only Son, Jesus Christ. We can have confidence in Jesus Christ. We can ask God for anything in His will and expect to receive it. Praise the Lord for confidence in Jesus! Ask largely and receive gratefully!
Faith Confession: I am confident of my salvation because I simply and dependently believe on Jesus Christ, Son of God and His finished work on the cross. I am thankful that I can ask God in His Name for anything in His will!
Psalm 97-11-12 “Light is sown for the righteous, and joy for the upright in heart. Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous, and give thanks to His Holy Name!”