Scripture reading for May 26th: 2nd Samuel 21-23, Psalm 18, Romans 3
Key Scriptures: Romans 3:21-26 “But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it–the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by His grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, Whom God put forward as a propitiation by His blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in His divine forbearance He had passed over former sins. It was to show His righteousness at the present time, so that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”
Paul was explaining to the Romans God’s plan to make His righteousness available to all people, Jews and Gentiles. This righteousness came by faith in Jesus Christ, not in keeping the Law. All men and women have sinned and no human effort or works can justify them. But God’s plan was to provide redemption and covering (propitiation) for sins through His Son’s blood shed on the cross. The shed blood satisfied God’s demand for justice–payment for sins. God can now be the justifier of all who come by faith in His Son. Praise the Lord!
Psalm 18:30; 2nd Samuel 22:31 “This God–His way is perfect; the Word of the Lord proves true; He is a shield for all those who take refuge in Him.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for providing a covering and cleansing for my sins and all sins through faith in the blood of Jesus. Help me to pass the Good News of this Gift to others today.
Scripture reading for May 15th: 1st Chronicles 14-16, Acts 24
Key Scriptures: Acts 24:24-27 “After some days Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish, and he sent for Paul and heard him speak about faith in Christ Jesus. And as he reasoned about righteousness and self-control and the coming judgment, Felix was alarmed and said, “Go away for the present. When I get an opportunity I will summon you.” At the same time he hoped that money would be given him by Paul. So he sent for him often and conversed with him. When two years had elapsed, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus. And desiring to do the Jews a favor, Felix left Paul in prison.”
Paul was always sharing the Gospel. God put Paul in prison but the Gospel went forth, even to the Roman official in charge of him. As Paul shared, reasoning with Felix and his wife, about the coming judgment, they fell under conviction and became uncomfortable. Their real motive for talking with Paul was to obtain a bribe, not to listen to him preach! But God left Paul there for two years, for more opportunities to share with those He wanted to hear. Paul must be faithful and trust God for His plans to be worked out.
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, sometimes it is hard to understand Your timing and my need for faith and patience and faithfulness in a hard field You put us in. Fill me daily with Your Holy Spirit and joy and give me grace and patience to share with those whose motives may be contrary.
1st Chronicles 16:23-24 “Sing to the Lord, all the earth! Tell of His salvation from day to day. Declare His glory among the nations, His marvelous works among all the peoples!”
Scripture reading for January 28th: Genesis 47-48, Galatians 3, Psalm 25
Key Scriptures: Genesis 47:15-16 “And he (Jacob) blessed Joseph and said, “The God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, the God who has been my Shepherd all my life long to this day, the Angel who has redeemed me from all evil, bless the boys; and in them let my name be carried on, and the name of my fathers, Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth.”
Galatians 3:26-28 “. . .for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.”
Jacob had come to Egypt to be with his children. Upon seeing Joseph, whom he thought had been killed, he wept and was even more blessed to see the children that Joseph had produced. As Jacob blessed the two boys of Joseph, Ephraim and Manasseh, he adopted them as his own. As such they would have Abraham and Isaac as their fathers and be in line for inheritance–a double portion! The Apostle Paul stated to the Galatians that in Christ Jesus–offspring of Abraham and King David, we who believe become “Abraham’s offspring” and heirs according to promise! Not by works but through faith this is so! Amen!
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for Your heavenly blessing of my life through the gift of the Holy Spirit! I am privileged to become “Abraham’s offspring” by faith and receive the promise of eternal inheritance!
Psalm 25:21 “May integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait for You.”
Scripture reading for January 16th: Genesis 28-29, Mark 11
Key Scriptures: Genesis 28:20-22 “Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear, so that I come again to my father’s house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God, and this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, shall be God’s house. And of all that You give me I will give a full tenth to You.””
Mark 11:20-24 “As they passed by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots. And Peter remembered and said to Him, Rabbi, Look! The fig tree that You cursed has withered.” And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore, I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
Jesus taught His disciples that there was great power in faith and in speaking by faith. Our words can move mountains and appropriate God’s promised blessings. Jacob’s dream of the ladder to heaven and God’s promises to provide for him and bring him back to his father’s house brought forth a vow to God and God’s Word to him came to pass.
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, I thank You for Your amazing promises and powerful Word that brings faith to believe, confess Your promise and receive Your blessings. Prompt me to speak in faith to move a mountain today!
Scripture reading for November 1st: James 2, Psalm 69, Proverbs 3
Key Scriptures: James 2:14-17 “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”
God likes to ask us questions that cause self-examination and bring repentance. James used the example of seeing or hearing about a brother or sister in need of food and clothing because of a trial in their life. If we say we believe that God cares for the poor and needy and meets their needs but do nothing ourselves, our faith is empty and of no value and could cause others to stumble and lead us to ruin. We are to act on what we believe and show that our faith is real.
Faith confession: Lord, I want to act on what I believe and trust in Your Word. Forgive me for being slow to follow at times and give me clear direction by the Holy Spirit. “Let not those who hope in You be put to shame through me, O Lord God of Hosts.”
Psalm 69:5-6 “O God, You know my folly; the wrongs I have done are not hidden from You. Let not those who hope in You be put to shame through me, O Lord God of Hosts; let not those who seek You be brought to dishonor through me, O God of Israel.”
Scripture reading for July 26th: 1st Corinthians 16, Psalm 149, Proverbs 25
Key Scriptures: 1st Corinthians 16:13-14, 22-24 “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love. . . .If anyone has no love for the Lord, let him be accursed. Our Lord, come! The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.”
Paul loved concise final words and encouragement. These short sentences summarize points he had brought up in the longer body of the letter. He encouraged watchfulness against divisions and judging others. They were to remain strong in faith so he again brought up love and its supreme importance in all things. Faith works by love. Our love for Jesus is foundational as well as our love for each other. Paul sent his love as well!
Faith Confession: Lord, thank You for these short and plain reminders of what is important. Thank You for Your love and the love of other believers that encourages my faith. Help me to be a faithful and loving messenger.
Proverbs 25:13 “Like the cold of snow in the time of harvest is a faithful messenger to those who send him; he refreshes the soul of his masters.”
Scripture reading for July 19: 1st Corinthians 11, Psalm 144, Proverb 20
Key Scriptures: 1st Corinthians 11: 27-32 “Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill and some have died. But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged.”
The Lord’s table is for all believers but is not to be taken lightly or without proper reverence and understanding. Each person should judge himself and repent of known sin or omission, recognizing that Christ Jesus took our sins in His own body on the cross. Another aspect is recognizing the corporate body of Christ, the Church. Repenting of division, strife, and lack of love also allows the grace available through Holy Communion to flow in our lives.
Faith Confession: I believe that I should judge myself and my need of God’s grace as well as any sins against others in Christ’s body by repentance before partaking of Holy Communion. It is a meal that heals for those who believe.
Psalm 144:1-2 “Blessed be the Lord, My Rock, Who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle; He is my steadfast love and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield and He in whom I take refuge, Who subdues peoples under me.”
Scripture reading for March 27th: Luke 18, Psalm 62, Proverbs 31
Key Scriptures: Luke 18:2-8 “He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.'” And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. And will not God give justice to His elect, who cry to Him day and night?. . . I tell you, He will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on earth?””
Jesus told this story to call His disciples to faithfulness in prayer. Prayer calls for trust in God and His desire and ability to answer His people. Jesus is concerned about finding His people living by faith when He returns for them.
Faith Confession: Lord, I know that you hear and answer prayer. You do it in a timely manner–‘speedily!’ I want to be found in faith when You return for Your people. I will pour out my heart to You alone!
Psalm 62:7-8 “On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty Rock, my refuge is God. Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.”
Scripture reading for March 26th: Luke 17, Psalm 61, Proverbs 30
Key Scriptures: Luke 17:20-21 “Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them, “The kingdom of God is not coming in ways that can be observed, nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!” or ‘There!” for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.””
Jesus preached the Gospel of the kingdom, proclaiming that it was near. The Pharisees asked Him when it would actually come. He answered them by telling them that it would come in ways that were not openly visible or able to be observed. The kingdom of God would come inside of each person through the key of repentance and faith. God’s kingdom would not be political or material in its initial appearance, but it would bring righteousness, peace and joy.
Faith Confession: I believe that Christ’s kingdom rule is in my heart through faith in Jesus Christ and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. I experience this kingdom rule through understanding righteousness by faith, peace with God, and joy of hope in all His promises. Jesus is Lord of my life!
Proverbs 30:5 “Every Word of God proves true; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.”