Scripture reading for January 2nd: Genesis 1-2, Psalm 19, Mark 1 (5 day Chronological reading plan from www.BibleClassMaterial.cogm)
Key Scriptures: Genesis 1:1-3 “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.”
God is there in the beginning as the great “I AM.” He created everything by His powerful Word (Son) out of nothing through the hovering Holy Spirit. At the beginning of Mark’s Gospel, thought to be the first written of New Testament accounts, we have Jesus Christ introduced by God the Father as He comes up out of the waters of the Jordan. The Holy Spirit descended upon Him like a dove fluttering from a torn-open heaven. God declares that Jesus is His beloved Son, pleasing to Him!
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, Son of God, We call out to the lost world today in Your Name to hear and receive the simple truth of One true God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Creator of heaven and earth. Holy Spirit, hover over Your Word and bring light in Jesus Christ.
Mark 1:1,9-11 “The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. . . . .In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And when He came up out of the water, immediately He saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on Him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are My beloved Son; with You I am well pleased.”
Psalm 19:1 “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims His handiwork.”
Scripture reading for September 6th: Proverbs 5-7, Colossians 1
Key Scriptures: Colossians 1:15-17 “He (Christ Jesus) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all created things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”
Jesus Christ is God! He alone is over all creation, visible and invisible. He is over all authority in heaven and on earth. He created all things and He sustains all things. He is before all things and will endure after all things! What an awesome God we serve! We would do well to pay attention to Him in everything!
Proverbs 5:1 “My son, pay attention to My wisdom, listen well to My words of insight, that you may maintain discretion and your lips may preserve knowledge.”
Prayer: Lord, I worship You for Who You are–God Almighty, my Creator, author of all wisdom and giver of knowledge. Give me ears to hear Your instruction today and always. Amen.
Scripture reading for May 28th: 2nd Chronicles 6-8, Acts 17
Key Scriptures: Acts 17:24-27 “The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself Gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. And He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their was toward Him and find Him.”
Paul found himself in Athens among the philosophers of the city. They loved debating the latest new ideas. Paul preached Jesus Christ to them and pointed them to the Creator of heaven and earth. He stated that this God did not live in temples and was the giver of all life. He even determined each person’s residence and length of time there. This God was worth getting to know!
2nd Chronicles 7:13-14 “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, if my people who are called by My Name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
Prayer: Lord, thank You for Your great knowledge and understanding of all men. Give me boldness like Paul of old to share a testimony of the Creator and redeemer. Amen.
Scripture reading for August 21st: Jeremiah 9-13
Key Scriptures: Jeremiah 10:10-12 But the Lord is the true God; He is the living God, the eternal King. When He is angry, the earth trembles; the nations cannot endure His wrath. “Tell them this: ‘These gods, who did not make the heavens and the earth, will perish from the earth and from under heaven.” But God made the earth by His power; He founded the world by His wisdom and stretched out the heavens by His understanding.”
Idols are simply objects made in images but without life. They can do nothing for those who make them or those who worship them. In fact, they are destined to perish, along with those who hold them. But God alone is the living God who made the heavens and the earth. He is the eternal King who rules the nations! In Him we can find true life and One worthy of worship!
Rejoicing in the Living God: “Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine Being is like gold or silver or stone–an image made by man’s design and skill. In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now He commands all people everywhere to repent. For He has set a day when He will judge the world with justice by the Man He has appointed. He has given proof of this to all man by raising Him from the dead.” (Acts 17:29-31)
Scripture reading for September 8th: Colossians 1
Paul wrote a letter to the church at Colosse to counter some false teachers that had come into the church and were adding to the gospel human traditions and philosophy. They were also promoting the worship of angels. Paul’s emphasis was on correct doctrine concerning the supremacy of Christ and proper Christian conduct and character.
“He (Christ) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” (Colossians 1:15-17) One of the areas that Satan always attacks is the truth of God as creator of all things. We see this in the intellectual world of our present culture. Paul exalted Christ as the One God who created all things and who holds all things together! He exalted Him as the creator of angels and all authority, therefore supreme over all authority.
“And He is the head of the body, the church; He is the beginning and the firstborn from the dead, so that in everything He might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through His blood, shed on the cross.” (Colossians 1:18-20) Not only is Christ the creator, but He is also the head of the Church. He earned this position by His death on behalf of sinners and His resurrection to become the firstborn back from death! It is only through His blood that we are saved! Christ is supreme!
Sunday August 17th, 2014
Dear Friends of Jesus,
Praise the Lord for His marvelous Word! Praise Him for the glory of creation! Praise the Lord for His righteousness revealed in Jesus Christ, the final Word from God!
Today God’s people gather again to celebrate eternal life through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ! We gather united through our dependency on His shed blood, which alone can cleanse us from the power of sin and from sin’s penalty of eternal death. We gather to pray, study God’s Word, worship, and have fellowship with those on the journey of faith. Don’t miss out! Join in the celebration! The King is coming soon!
In His Love, Pastor John and Mary
Scripture reading for June 16th: Psalms 60-66
King David was honest with his feelings and heart thoughts as he prayed to the Lord. This series of psalms has a great emphasis on David’s prayer and praise life. David had many fears and many enemies who sought his life, and he shared his thoughts with the Lord. As ruler of God’s people he had the burden of many responsibilities. He asked God to hear his petitions. Sometimes he was confident that God did hear, and at other times seemed to wonder if God would hear him. (Psalm 60:1; Psalm 61:1; Psalm 63:1; Psalm 64:1) He was a lot like me and you in this respect!
The last two psalms in this set are praise songs to the God who is the “hope of the ends of the the earth”! (Psalm 65:5) It is amazing that David was so in tune with the revealed heart of God! God’s heart has always been for all men to know and love Him. He desires close fellowship for every individual and will eventually have all nations worshiping Him! (Psalm 66:4) God is the creator, founder of the mountains and roaring seas. He has shown his wonders to all mankind through the daily provisions of man’s needs. He waters the land and brings forth grain in abundance for all peoples, just or unjust! God decorates the hills and valleys and brings joy to His people! (Psalm 65:13-14) He is the God who makes His enemies cringe before Him and all the earth will bow down to Him in praise and adoration! (Psalm 66:2-4)
Psalm 66 ends with a declaration of praise to the Lord for answered prayer! David’s doubts and petitions have ended with God bringing an answer! God’s faithfulness and love have produced new praise and thanksgiving from David and from God’s people! He truly answers prayer and is worthy of praise! He is our personal God of Hope and the hope of the ends of the earth!
“”You answer us with awesome deeds of righteousness, O God our Savior, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas, . .” Psalm 65:5
Scripture reading for June 23rd: Psalms 104-106
One of the attributes of God is that He is good! Thankfully, God has been good to me and I have personally experienced that goodness for over 60 years! In these last three psalms, the psalmist reflects on the goodness of God to His people because of who He is. Let’s reflect with this psalmist about God, the greatest subject that the human mind could contemplate!
Psalm 104 begins praising God who wraps Himself with light! This God is clothed in splendor and majesty! (Psalm 104:1-2) He by His great power has stretched out the heavens like a tent canopy and decorated the sky with jewels of light. He is the one who used the winds as His messengers and the lightening bolts as His servants. (Psalm 104:4) He set the earth on its foundations and formed it’s surface, covering it with water. He created the plants and animals and the birds of the air and fish of the sea. (Psalm 104:24-25) This majestic God is the source of all food, breath, and life! He is worthy of continual praise for His goodness! (Psalm 104:33-35)
In Psalm 105 God is worshiped for His faithfulness to His covenant! (Psalm 105:8-9) History is filled with the record of God’s miracles and deliverance on behalf of His people. The people of God have been cared for by God’s power and wisdom. He saved them from famine through Joseph and delivered them from Egypt through Moses. God brought the people out of slavery, loaded down with silver and gold. He fed them and watered them on their journey (Psalm 105:37-41). This was because of His promises to Abraham and the covenant that God faithfully kept!
Psalm 106:1 declared God’s goodness was without limit and His love was from everlasting to everlasting! God’s love also included His discipline for He only disciplines those He loves! Some of the judgments recorded included the death of the unbelieving generation in the wilderness! God dealt with unbelief, rebellion, idolatry, grumbling and disobedience! (Psalm 106: 32-39) God’s people have had a history of unfaithfulness, but He has remained faithful and will forever!
Take a moment today to remember God and His faithfulness to you personally. Look back over your life and offer thanks and worship for God’s creation, provision, healing, deliverance and discipline that you have experienced!
Scripture reading for October 30th: Hebrews 1:1-14
We serve a living God! This great God and Father of us all is a God who speaks to His people. The Bible is the story of God’s speaking to man to reveal His plan of redemption through His Son, Jesus Christ. The unnamed writer of Hebrews wrote to Jewish Christians who were going through intense persecution. Some of them were tempted to return to their past religion. The writer of Hebrews encourages them and us today to listen to God’s final Word!
“In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, and through whom He made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by His powerful word. After He had provided purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.” (Hebrews 1:1-3)
God had spoken to His people many times in the past. The Holy Scriptures contained the records of God’s communication with Moses, Noah, Abraham and the many prophets. But God’s final word came in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ. God appointed Jesus as heir of all things, having made the universe and all it contained through His powerful word. Jesus Christ now upholds all things by His word and is the exact representation of God the Father. It is through Jesus Christ that we have purification of our sins. Jesus is now seated at God’s right hand in Heaven and is our mediator with God on our behalf.
The Jews understood and reverenced angels. Hebrews declared that Jesus was superior to angels in many ways. (Hebrews 1:4-14) His name was above all other names. Jesus was declared the Son of God and His Father declared that all angels should worship Him. The Father declared His Son was ‘God’ and gave Him a throne and kingdom lasting forever. His Son would be eternal and would outlast the creation He made. The angels were only ministering spirits, sent to serve the heirs of salvation.
Have you listened to God’s final Word from heaven? Do you want to know what God is like? Listen to Jesus and observe His life and teaching! He is worthy of our worship!
Scripture reading for October 4th: Colossians 1:1-19
The Colossian Church was under attack by false teachers. These teachers were promoting religious rituals and were using mystical techniques to move the church members away from Christ and His holiness. It all seemed good on the surface, but it was not of God or Christ or from the Holy Spirit!
“To the holy and faithful brothers in Christ at Colosse: Grace and peace to you from God our Father. We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints–the faith and love that spring from hope that is stored up for you in heaven and that you have already heard about in the word of truth, the Gospel that has come to you.” (Colossians 1:2-6a) Paul addressed the ‘holy and faithful brothers’ at Colosse. There was evidently a faithful remnant who were truly saved and filled with the love of Christ. Paul told them that he was praying for them with thanksgiving for the work of Christ in them. The Gospel of Christ always produces fruit of love and faith in those that receive it.
“For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord, and may please Him in every way, bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you might have great endurance and patience. . .” (Colossians 1:9-11)
I love Paul’s prayers and have often prayed this prayer for myself and others. Paul knew that the best way to love these believers was through prayer. God would give them knowledge of His will as he prayed for them. Paul’s goal was to have them please God, living a life of good works that would bear fruit. The best way to keep them from the false teachers was to pray that the Truth would flood their souls! Why not take time today to pray this prayer for yourself or a loved one? It’s a good way to stay ‘holy and faithful’!