Scripture reading for December 24th: Job 28-30, Revelation 18
Key Scriptures: Revelation 18:4-8 “Then I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, My people lest your take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues; for her sins are heaped high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. Pay her back as she herself has paid back others, and repay her double for her deeds; mix a double portion for her in the cup she mixed. As she glorified herself and lived in luxury, so give her a like measure of torment and mourning, since in her heart she says, ‘I sit like a queen, I am no widow, and mourning I shall never see.’ For this reason her plagues will come in a single day, death and mourning and famine, and she will be burned up with fire; for mighty is the Lord God Who has judged her.””
John hears another angelic voice from heaven calling out to the people still on earth who belong to Jesus Christ. The call is for a holy separation to God and His kingdom. They are warned that the sins of this corrupt world system of humanism and false religion have risen to the point of judgment. That judgment will come in a single day from the Lord God Almighty through the fire of His wrath. The people living in the world system of “Babylon” are living in greed and luxury, thinking proudly of themselves and their great accomplishments. They are deceived by their own pride and do not realize that their destruction will come suddenly.
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for sending someone to warn me of my need to repent and come out of the man-centered world system of ‘Babylon’. Keep me in the fear of the Lord and use me to warn others of the coming judgment and way of escape through Jesus Christ.
Job 28:20, 28 “From where, then, does wisdom come? And where is the place of understanding?” . . .”And He said to man, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to turn away from evil is understanding.”
Scripture reading for November 27th: Zechariah 12-14; Psalm 94; 2nd John
Key Scriptures: 2nd John 6-9 “And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments; this is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, so that you should walk in it. For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist. Watch yourselves, so that you may not lose what we have worked for, but may win a full reward. For everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.”
Deception is a mark of the devil and his agents in this world. Lying is the antithesis of God the Father and Jesus the Truth and is the native language of the devil. John again mentions those false teachers and calls them ‘antichrist’ as well as deceivers. This word means ‘counterfeit’. They were in the visible church but really not believers in Jesus Christ, Son of God. They advocated false doctrines and were under a deceiving spirit trying to rob believers of their full reward. The true believers could stay safe by abiding in Jesus’ love and showing love for Him by obedience to all His commandments. These were summed up in two: love God and love your brothers and sisters.” This is our “work” of faith, to believe and follow Jesus’ teaching in His love. Watchfulness is needed over our own souls and those of other believers because the ‘antichrist’ is already here.
Psalm 94:12-13 “Blessed is the man whom You discipline, O Lord, and whom You teach out of your law, to give him rest from days of trouble, until a pit is dug for the wicked.”
Faith confession and prayer: Father, deliver me from the evil one! Fill me each day with Your Word and Spirit, and discipline me if needed. Give me the watchful eyes of an under-shepherd to help brothers and sisters live in Your love and abide in Your Word, receiving their full reward.
Zechariah 13:9 “And I will put this third into the fire, and refine them as one refines silver, and test them as gold is tested. They will call upon My Name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘They are My People’; and they will say, ‘The Lord is my God.'”
Scripture reading for October 1st: Jeremiah 11-13, 2nd Corinthians 12
Key Scriptures: 2nd Corinthians 12:7-10 “So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest on me.”
Paul carefully explained how God had given him great revelations, even catching him up to the third heaven. He heard things that he could not reveal or explain. God allowed a thorn in Paul’s flesh from Satan, to keep him from conceit. Conceit is pride that puffs up a person and allows deception. Paul sought God for deliverance, but God assured him that His power would be made perfect in weakness and His grace would be sufficient to keep him. Paul’s boast now was in his weakness so Christ’s power would flow through him.
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for Your amazing grace that can keep me from pride and deception. Help me to boast only in You and my many weaknesses that Your power may work through me to accomplish Your will.
Jeremiah 13:15-17 “Hear and give ear; be not proud, for the Lord has spoken. Give glory to the Lord your God before He brings darkness, before your feet stumble on the twilight mountains, and while you look for light He turns it into gloom and makes it deep darkness. But if you will not listen, my soul will weep in secret for your pride; my eyes will weep bitterly and run down with tears, because the Lord’s flock has been taken captive.”
Scripture reading for November 21st: 1st John 3, Psalm 93-94, Proverbs 17
Key Scriptures: 1st John 3:7-10 “Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as He is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are the children of God and who are the children of the devil: . .
John tenderly tells the members of Christ’s church how to keep from being deceived. Everyone born of God has God’s seed in them. God’s seed, the Word, produces good fruit and not continual sinning or violation of His Word. It destroys the devil’s works in them. If someone claims to be born of God and lives in sin, they are lying for they are still under the devil. Don’t be deceived, look at the fruit!
Faith Confession: I am thankful that I am born of God through the living Word, by faith in Jesus Christ. I live now by the indwelling Holy Spirit Who applies God’s Word to my life. Lord keep me from deception this day!
Psalm 93:5 “Your decrees are very trustworthy; holiness befits Your house, O Lord, forevermore.”
Scripture reading for October 16th: Hebrews 3, Psalm 57, Proverbs 22
Key Scriptures: 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.”
This letter contains a warning against unbelief and falling away from the living God. It is possible to let go of our confidence in Christ Jesus and again be overcome by the sin of unbelief. We are charged by God’s Word to exhort one another to stand firm and watch over each other and our own hearts for hardening through the deception of sin. Today is the day to be watchful!
Faith Confession: I am watchful today for sin’s deception in my life. I do not want to be hardened by the sin of unbelief and fall away from the faith. Help me to watch over my own heart and others in my life who believe and exhort them today.
Psalm 57:1 “Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in You my soul takes refuge, in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, till the storms of destruction pass by.”
Scripture reading for September 20th: Ecclesiastes 9-11; 2nd Thessalonians 2
Key Scriptures: 2nd Thessalonians 2:9-12 “The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing; because they refuse to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”
In the last days, unbelievers will be deceived by Satan through a man called “the lawless one.” This individual will have power and use false signs and wonders to dazzle and deceive. God will send this delusion upon those who refuse salvation and trust in His Word, the Truth. Believers will be protected by truth!
Ecclesiastes 9:1 “But all this I laid to heart, examining it all, how the righteous and the wise and their deeds are in the hand of God. Whether it is love or hate, man does not know; both are before Him.”
Prayer: Lord, thank You that You know all things are in control. Give me Your Truth each day as my daily food and drink! Amen.
Scripture reading for August 10th: Psalm 86-89, 2nd Corinthians 11
Key Scriptures: 2nd Corinthians 11:2-5 “For I feel a divine jealousy for you, since I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ. But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the One we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the One you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough.”
False teachers were after the Corinthian believers. They came disguised as “apostles of Christ”. They preached ‘Jesus’, but it was not Jesus Christ, Son of God, crucified and raised from the dead. They had a ‘spirit’, but it was not the Holy Spirit of God. They proclaimed a ‘gospel’, but it was not the pure Gospel of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Paul was concerned for their souls and wrote to warn them. Oh that men and women would listen to truth and discern the cunning serpent!
Psalm 85:8-9 “Let me hear what God the Lord will speak, for He will speak peace to His people, to His saints; but let them not turn back to folly. Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him, that glory may dwell in our land.”
Prayer: Lord Jesus, give me discernment to know truth from error. Open my ears to hear You speak and keep me from folly. Amen.
Scripture reading for February 1st: Exodus 31-34, Matthew 25
Key Scriptures: Matthew 24:3-5 “As He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be and what will be the sign of Your coming and of the end of the age?” And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in My Name, saying ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray.””
Jesus answered the disciples questions concerning His earlier comments about the destruction of the Temple. He prefaced the answer with a warning about deception. Deception would mark the time prior to His return again for His people. This deception would even take in some of God’s people. We can look back in history to see that God’s people were deceived with a golden calf!
Exodus 32:7-8 “And the Lord said to Moses, “Go down, for your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves. They have turned aside quickly out of the way that I commanded them. They have made for themselves a golden calf and have worshiped it and sacrificed to it and said, “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!””
Prayer: Lord, deliver me from deception and the lure of false ‘gods’. Thank you for your loving warnings in Your Word. Amen
Scripture reading for August 11th: 2nd Corinthians 11
Key scriptures for over-comers: 2nd Corinthians 11:2-4, 13-14 “I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to Him. But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough. . . . .For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.”
The apostle Paul was concerned for the church at Corinth. Some fast-talking ‘super-apostles’ had come into the church and were preaching a ‘different gospel’ about a ‘different Jesus’ and ‘different spirit’ than the authentic Gospel of Jesus Christ, Lord and Savior. They were out to deceive the believers and lead them astray and some of the church members were falling for it. Paul was jealous for their souls and sought to expose Satan’s masquerade in these false ‘apostles’! According to Jesus Christ, these ‘false’ apostles will mark the last days! (Matthew 24:4)
Observations for over-comers: Believers must know the true Gospel of salvation by grace through faith and have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and be filled with the Holy Spirit to avoid deception. “Buy the truth and do not sell it; get wisdom, discipline and understanding.” (Proverbs 23:23)
Scripture reading for March 22nd: Luke 13
Key scriptures for over-comers: Luke 13:23-25 “Someone asked Him, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?” He said to them, “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’ “But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.”
There was concern among those who heard Jesus teach about the need for repentance that only a few people would actually be saved. They asked Jesus this very question. His answer was to encourage them to ‘make every effort to enter through the narrow door.’ We know that Jesus Christ alone is the gate or door to enter the kingdom of God. (John 10:1,7) (John 14:6) Repentance is the necessary heart condition to enter this narrow door. Jesus had just plainly told the people, “Unless you repent, you too will all perish.” (Luke 13:5) The key to the ‘door’ is repentance and this requires taking responsibility for our sin and turning to Jesus for forgiveness and grace. Through personal faith in Jesus Christ, we enter the ‘narrow’ Door!
Observations for over-comers: Jesus warned that many would try to enter their own way and be left outside knocking and pleading for admittance. They would be denied access because of no ‘key’! “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” (Proverbs 14:12)