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 6th: Jeremiah 22, 23, 26, Psalm 77, James 2
Key Scriptures: James 2:18-23 “But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that God is One; you do well. Even the demons believe–and shudder! Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”–and he was called a friend of God.”
James, the pastor of the Jerusalem church and half-brother of Jesus, was writing to help Jewish believers understand the relationship of faith and works. He carefully explained that true faith will show itself by corresponding works. He used Abraham as an example. Abraham believed God’s promise for a son who would become a nation of people. God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac. Abraham believed the promise, and obeyed God by taking Isaac to the mountain to sacrifice him. He showed his trust by obedience! He was called a ‘friend of God’.
Psalm 77:11-12 “I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember Your wonders of old. I will ponder all your work, and meditate on Your mighty deeds.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, I want an active faith that produces good works and pleases You. Thank You for godly examples in Scripture for me to meditate on. Thank You for Your example of perfect obedience, giving Your life for sinners like me!
Jeremiah 23:18 “For who among them (the prophets) has stood in the council of the Lord to see and hear His Word, or who has paid attention to His Word and listened?”
Scripture reading for July 28th: 2nd Chronicles 24, 2nd Kings 12, Psalm 50, Matthew 9
Key Scriptures: Matthew 9:27-30 “And as Jesus passed on from there, two blind men followed Him, crying aloud, “Have mercy on us, Son of David.” When He entered the house, the blind men came to Him, and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to Him, “Yes, Lord.” Then He touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith be it done to you.” And their eyes were opened. And Jesus sternly warned them, “See that no one knows about it.””
Jesus had just raised a dead girl to life and healed a woman who touched His garment of 12 years of hemorrhaging. As He moved on, two blind men followed crying out in faith to Jesus for their healing, using the divine title, ‘Son of David.’ Jesus asked them if they believed that He was able to do what they were asking and they replied in the affirmative. One touch from the Master Jesus and a Word brought instant healing! He sent them away warning them to tell no one!
Psalm 50:15 “. . . and call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will glorify Me.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, I believe that You can do all things and that I bring You glory when I call on You for help, healing, or deliverance. Help me to humbly ask for help as I labor restoring Your House.
2nd Chronicles 24:13 “So those who were engaged in the work labored, and the repairing went forward in their hands, and they restored the House of God to its proper condition and strengthened it.”
Scripture reading for July 14th: 2nd Chronicles 15-16, 1st Kings 16, Philemon
Key Scriptures: Philemon 3-7 “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers, because I hear of your love and faith that you have toward the Lord Jesus and for all the saints, and I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ. For I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you.”
Paul wrote this short letter to a fellow-worker in the Gospel who had a church in his home. He commended Philemon for his love and faith and prayed that his sharing of his faith would result in full knowledge of all the blessings of Christ Jesus. Faith is like a muscle, that when exercised and shared grows stronger. God reveals Himself to us more and more as we possess what we already have. Paul had been comforted by the reports of the ministry of this brother and was filled with joy. Encouragement flows from Paul’s heart to this minister.
Faith confession and prayer: Lord, give me open doors today to share my faith in Jesus Christ with love to those You send. As I share my faith, open my mind to know fully every good thing that is mine in Your kingdom.
2nd Chronicles 15:1-2 “The Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded, and he went out to meet Asa and said to him, “Hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin: The Lord is with you while you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you, but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you.”
Scripture reading for June 15th: Proverbs 22-23, Psalm 117, 1st Thessalonians 1
Key Scriptures: 1st Thessalonians 1:2-7 “We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father you work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. For we know, brothers loved by God, that He has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not only in Word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the Word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia.”
As Paul began his letter to the Thessalonian believers, he encouraged them by telling them of his prayers for them. Paul thanked God for their “work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope” in the Lord Jesus. They had received the Word of God in much affliction and had demonstrated their faith by works of repentance and true change. These believers became examples of Jesus Christ and the power of the Gospel among the growing church in Macedonia. God was glorified!
Psalm 117:2 “For great is His steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord!”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, help me today to do works of faith in the love of God, being steadfast in hope and full of joy as I obey Your Word. Use my example to encourage other believers and bring God glory.
Proverbs 23:19 “Hear, my son, and be wise, and direct your heart in the way.”
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!