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)
Scripture reading for August 12th: 2nd Corinthians 11
The church in Corinth had been attacked by false teachers that Paul referred to as ‘super apostles’. These teachers were charismatic and used terms familiar to the church that enabled them to pull off their deception. Paul was filled with a ‘godly jealousy’ and set out to expose the ‘serpent’s cunning’ that was operating through these men.
“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. But I do not think I am in the least inferior to those “super apostles.”” (2nd Corinthians 11:3-5)
These teachers were preaching “Jesus”, but not the same Jesus Christ, Son of God and risen Lord that Paul preached. Their “Jesus” was a counterfeit! They had a spirit that was given through their ministry, but it was not the Holy Spirit, the gift of the Father. They also had a ‘gospel’, but it was not the true gospel of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, a gift of God’s grace! These false teachers used counterfeit in such a way to deceive those in the church and pull them away from true faith!
“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. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.” (2nd Corinthians 11:13-15) Church beware!
Scripture reading for March 5th: Joshua 9-12
Sometimes the days aren’t long enough to get done everything that we would like to. Joshua had just such a day when he responded to the call to help the Gibeonites. Joshua prayed to the Lord and asked God to cause the sun to stand still while the nation of Israel attacked it’s enemies. God listened and performed a great miracle!
The Gibeonites had earlier deceived the Israelites in order to save their own lives. Joshua made a covenant with them and then found out that they had lied to him. (Joshua 9:22-23) As a result, this Canaanite tribe became servants to Joshua and Israel. A lack of prayer and discernment caused this problem. A short time later, five Amorite kings had formed an alliance and were attacking Gibeon. God spoke to Joshua and told him to go and attack and He would give him the victory. (Joshua 10:7-8) Joshua and his troops marched all night long. God helped the Israelites out with a heavy downpour of hailstones, killing more of the enemy than did the Israelites! The fight was going well, but daylight would soon be gone. Joshua prayed for the sun to stand still and God listened causing it to stand still in the sky for nearly a day! (Joshua 10:12-14)
For the sun to stand still in the sky, the earth had to quit rotating! Only God could make this happen! The hail storm that killed the enemy but did not affect the Israelites was also a miracle! (Joshua 10:11) God always works with His people and loves to give them victory over their enemy, Satan!
At the end of this story, Joshua brought the five kings out of the cave and had his men put their feet on the kings’ necks. (Joshua 10:24-25) He instructed them to be strong and courageous! They got a visual picture of victory and where God wants our enemy Satan! (Romans 16:20)
Do you have a difficult request that only God can help with? With God, nothing is impossible! (Luke 1:37) If we ask Him in faith, He is able to deliver the most difficult request. Ask Him and honor Him with the opportunity to defeat your enemy and get glory!