Scripture reading for November 24th: Zechariah 2-5; Psalm 93; 1 John 3
Key Scriptures: 1st John 3:7-10 “Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness 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 is it evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.”
John was concerned about deception in the church. False teachers came and spread the lie that it did not matter how you lived, receiving Christ in your spirit was all that was needed. John set the record straight by repeating the same thing several times and ways. If you practice sin, you are of the devil. If you practice righteousness and love your brothers and sisters, you are born of God and His “Seed” abides in you. We are not saved by works, but by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. God’s “Seed”, His Word and Spirit, come to live in us and transform us into Christ’s image. Our fruit shows which one we belong to: either the devil or God.
Psalm 93:5: “Your decrees are very trustworthy; holiness befits Your house, O Lord, forevermore.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, I don’t ever want to be deceived. Thank You for the Holy Spirit and Your “Seed”, the Word given as grace gifts to form Christ’s holy character in me.
Zechariah 4:6 “Then he said to me, “This is the Word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of Hosts.””
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 November 14th: 1st Peter 5
Key Scriptures for over-comers: 1st Peter 5:8-11 “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.”
Peter understood spiritual warfare and the true nature of the enemy. Satan, the devil, is always looking for openings to attack believers. Over-comers are always on the alert for spiritual attacks and know how to stand firm in their faith. They know that this war is going on everywhere that God’s people reside. Suffering is usually temporary and will soon pass. God restores us and strengthens us as we trust Him.
Observations for over-comers: Over-comers live in a state of alert, ready to stand in truth for their faith. “Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who finds great delight in His commands. . . He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. His heart is secure, he will have no fear; in the end he will look in triumph on his foes.” (Psalm 112:1,7-8)