Scripture reading for September 24th: Habakkuk; 2nd Corinthians 7
Key Scriptures: 2nd Corinthians 7:8-11 “For even if I made you grieve with my letter, I do not regret it–though I did regret it, for I see that that letter grieved you, though only for a while. As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us. For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death. For see what earnestness this godly grief has produced in you, but also what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what punishment! At every point you have proved yourselves innocent in the matter.”
Paul had written plainly to the Corinthians this second time to appeal to them to forgive a brother who had been disciplined for sexual sins. He had some regrets at first, that he might offend them, but he ended up rejoicing when their godly grief over this brother’s sin caused him and them to repent and do the right thing. Worldly grief leads only to death–sorrow for sin alone won’t bring forgiveness and life. Godly sorrow leads to repentance and true transformation.
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, help me to receive correction with grace and humility and true repentance. May I not shrink from godly correction of one who may need to experience mercy by repentance.
Habakkuk 3:12-13 “You marched through the earth in fury; You threshed the nations in anger. You went out for the salvation of Your people, for the salvation of Your anointed.”
Scripture reading for May 28th: 1st Chronicles 22-25, Psalm 78, Romans 5
Key Scriptures: Romans 5:18-21 “Therefore, as one trespass lead to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the One man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. Now the law came to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Paul explained that Adam’s sin of disobedience to God’s simple command not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil brought death to all men. But the second ‘Adam’ Jesus Christ’s perfect obedience made eternal life and righteousness available to all men under the sentence of death. The law was given to reveal and increase man’s awareness of sins and the need for grace. God’s grace abounds for eternal life to all who confess their sins and ask for grace by faith.
Psalm 78:38 “Yet He, being compassionate, atoned for their iniquity and did not destroy them; He restrained His anger often and did not stir up all His wrath.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for Your compassion and restraint for us descendants of Adam. I receive the ‘abounding grace’ provided by Your Son, Jesus Christ. Fill me with joy and grace to share Your compassionate gift of eternal life!
1st Chronicles 22:9-10 “Behold, a son shall be born to you who shall be a man of rest. I will give him rest from all his surrounding enemies. For his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quiet to Israel in his days. He shall build a house for My Name. He shall be my son, and I will be His Father, and I will establish His royal throne in Israel forever.”
Scripture reading for February 27th: Leviticus 24-25, Psalm 81, Hebrews 9
Key Scriptures: Hebrews 9:27-28 “And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for Him.”
God’s decrees are sure and predictable. Because of sin, man has an appointment with death. Following along after death is judgment for the sins committed. But God, being rich in mercy, sent His Son Jesus Christ to keep our appointment with death in our place by bearing our sins. He rose again from the dead and rules at God’s right hand until all enemies are under His feet. He will come again, not to deal with sin, but to save all who believe on Him and take them into their full inheritance forever.
Faith Confession and prayer: I thank Jesus Christ for keeping my appointment with death and judgment by bearing my sins in His body on the cross. Help me to wait with patience for His return and entering into my full inheritance with Him forever. Open my mouth to preach the Gospel that none would have to keep their appointment with death.
Leviticus 25:38 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt to give you the land of Canaan, and to be your God.”
Psalm 81:10 “I am the Lord your God, Who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.”
Scripture reading for February 18th: Leviticus 1-3, Psalm 27, Hebrews 2
Key Scriptures: Hebrews 2:9-10, 14-15 “But we see Him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone.” . . .”Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death He might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.”
The writer of Hebrews was sharing about how God sent Jesus to earth as the perfect and final sacrifice for our sins and to deliver us from the fear of death. Sin brings death and fear of punishment. Jesus came in a human body to experience death for us and destroy the devil who is enslaving us. But death did not hold Jesus, now crowned with glory and honor, at God’s right hand as our High Priest, made perfect through suffering.
Faith Confession and prayer: Thank You Jesus for sending Jesus as the perfect sacrifice. Help me to share the good news of Jesus suffering and death that all men might be delivered from the fear of death.
Leviticus 3:7-8 “If he offers a lamb for his offering, then he shall offer it before the Lord, lay his hand on the head of his offering and kill it in front of the tent of meeting; and Aaron’s sons shall throw its blood against the sides of the altar.”
Psalm 27:13 “I believe that I shall look on the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.”
Scripture reading for July 30th: 2nd Corinthians 2, Psalm 1, Proverbs 27 (using Psalm 1 today to switch to using odd-numbered Psalms for balance of year.)
Key Scriptures: 2nd Corinthians 2:14-17 “But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of Him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things? For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s Word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.”
Paul likened his life to that of a conquered prisoner being led by a conquering king. He was in a triumphal procession and where ever he was led, he and his fellow believers manifested the sweet fragrance of Christ Jesus. This fragrance brought salvation and life to those being saved, but it brought death to those rejecting the message. Paul and his companions did nothing for money or fame, but as those commissioned by God, they spoke in Christ by the Holy Spirit.
Faith Confession: I have been conquered by Christ Jesus and He leads me each day in triumphal procession, manifesting His sweet fragrance to those around me. I pray for salvation and life as people make decisions that will affect them for eternity.
Psalm 1:5-6 “Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; for the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.”
Scripture reading for June 3rd: Acts 21, Psalm 110, Proverbs 17
Key Scriptures: Acts 21:10-13 “While we were staying for many days, a prophet named Agabus come down from Judea. And coming to us, he took Paul’s belt and bound his own feet and hands and said, “Thus says the Holy Spirit, ‘This is how the Jews at Jerusalem will bind the man who owns this belt and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.'” When we heard this, we and the people there urged him not to go up to Jerusalem. Then Paul answered, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be imprisoned but even to die in Jerusalem for the Name of the Lord Jesus.””
Paul had had many warnings of coming imprisonment. God always prepares His own for what is ahead and His Presence guides them through the storms and trouble. We naturally want to protect our loved ones from suffering or trials. God’s people count it all joy when the trials come, knowing that the testing of their faith brings endurance and helps complete Christ’s work in others and us.
Faith Confession: Lord, thank You for this record of Paul’s faith confession that encourages me to stand true to You no matter what the consequences. I trust You for grace sufficient to each trial in my life.
Psalm 110:3 “Your people will offer themselves freely on the day of Your power, in holy garments; from the womb of the morning, the dew of your youth will be yours.”
Scripture reading for August 6th: Psalm 72-75, 2nd Corinthians 7
Key Scriptures: 2nd Corinthians 7:9-11 “As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us. For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death. For see what earnestness this godly grief has produced in you, but also what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what punishment! At every point you have proved yourselves innocent in the matter.”
Paul was rejoicing because his difficult letter of correction had resulted in a godly grief over their sin and resulted in true repentance. Sometimes, people can have worldly grief. This is usually being sorry that they were found out. This results in no change of heart or mind and eventually spiritual death and eternal separation from God. Godly sorrow brings life and restoration.
Psalm 75:1-2 “We give thanks to You, O God; we give thanks, for Your Name is near. We recount Your wondrous deeds. “At the set time that I appoint I will judge with equity.””
Prayer: Lord, correct me and convict me when I need it. Bring godly sorrow that leads me always to repentance and life. May I stand in Your grace when I face You as judge. Amen.
Scripture reading for September 26th: Hosea 10-14
Key Scriptures: Hosea 13:14 “I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death. Where, O death, are your plagues? Where, O grave, is your destruction?”
Hosea had a Word of God for the remnant that would trust in Him. God, who alone had the power over death, would ransom them from the grave and redeem them from death! God asked two questions of “death” and the “grave”. The answer was that “death” and the “grave” would have no plague or power to destroy God’s people or to negate God’s power over them! This verse was quoted by Paul in the New Testament and given to encourage Christ’s church about the certain victory they have in Christ!
Rejoicing in our victory through Christ: “”Where, O death is your victory? Where, O death is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!” (1st Corinthians 15:55-56)
Scripture reading for August 30th: Jeremiah 41-44
Key Scriptures: Jeremiah 42:19-22 “”O remnant of Judah, the Lord has told you, ‘Do not go to Egypt.’ Be sure of this: I warn you today that you made a fatal mistake when you sent me to the Lord your God and said, ‘Pray to the Lord our God for us; tell us everything He says and we will do it. I have told you today, but you still have not obeyed the Lord your God in all He sent me to tell you. So now, be sure of this: You will die by the sword, famine and plague in the place where you want to go to settle (Egypt).””
Jeremiah had been asked by the leaders of the remnant left in Jerusalem whether they should stay there under the Babylonian rule or go to Egypt. Jeremiah prayed and God answered: ‘Stay in Jerusalem.’ But the leaders knew better than God. God warned them what would happen if they went but they chose to disobey! Rebellion is stubborn and won’t listen to reason!
Lord, give me and obedient heart: “The rest of mankind that were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold silver, bronze, stone and wood–idols that cannot see or hear or walk. Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality or their thefts.” (Revelation 9:20-21)
Scripture reading for August 6th: 2nd Corinthians 7
God had made amazing promises to His people! He promised to be a Father to them and to adopt them as His own sons and daughters. He would be their God and they would be His people! “Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.” (2nd Corinthians 7:1)
Paul pleaded with the church in Corinth to allow the promises of God to motivate them in pursuit of holiness. They were to break off unholy alliances with unbelievers and pursue everything that would please the Lord. They were to take the Word of God seriously. Sin contaminates body and spirit and hinders our relationship with God our Father. We must respect and honor Him enough to leave sin behind and pursue holiness.
Paul wrote to them to help them see areas that needed work. “Even if I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it. Though I did regret it–I see that my letter hurt you, but only for a little while–yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us. Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.” (2nd Corinthians 7:8-10) When the Holy Spirit is at work through God’s Word, it produces sorrow for disobedience in the believer. This sorrow should produce repentance, a change of mind and action, that leads to holiness and life! Paul was now happy that the church members had responded properly. Have you experienced this ‘godly sorrow’ and truly repented?