Scripture reading for April 1st: Joshua 9-13, Luke 16
Luke 16:10-13 “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful with that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own? No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”
Faithfulness is the first requirement of a good steward. Jesus said that what we have to manage here on earth is a test of our faithfulness and He considers all earthly wealth as ‘very little.’ Earthly wealth is also ‘unrighteous’ and fleeting. When we leave this earth, nothing will go with us. Scripture also teaches that the love of money is the root of all evil and this might be why Jesus called it ‘unrighteous.’ As a steward we actually serve God, Who owns it all. (The earth is the Lord’s!) The Pharisees were lovers of money and justified themselves concerning their use of it. Jesus reminded them that God knows all hearts and what we justify that’s sinful is an abomination in God’s sight. Not one person can serve both God and money!
Luke 16:14-15 “The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all these things, and they ridiculed him. And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.”
Prayer: Father God, thank You for the stewardship that you have given me. Forgive me for not always being faithful in the little. Help me to use the money and resources You give me to manage in ways that further Your kingdom. I realize that like the tribe of Levi, You are my priceless Inheritance, my Portion, and my eternal Reward!
Joshua 13:32-33 “These are the inheritances that Moses distributed in the plains of Moab, beyond the Jordan east of Jericho. But to the tribe of Levi Moses gave no inheritance; the Lord God of Israel is their inheritance, just as He said to them.”
Scripture reading for August 30th: 1st Corinthians 4
Key Scriptures: 1st Corinthians 4:1-5 “This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful. But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, Who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God.”
Each person is given a ‘conscience’ and has God’s inner witness that their deeds are on target or missing the mark. Paul admonished the believers about being judges of another believer. It is impossible for us as humans to fully know another person and their true motives. In fact, Paul said he couldn’t accurately judge himself. Only God can truly and fairly judge each believer. At the judgement seat of Christ all hidden motives and purposes will come to light. Christ alone is the perfect and final Judge Who never misses truth.
1st Corinthians 4:6 “I have applied all these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, brothers, that you may learn by us not to go beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up in favor of one against another.”
Faith confession and prayer: Father, thank You for making me a servant of Christ and steward of the mysteries of God. Help me to stay faithful and true to Your Word and avoid the temptation to make judgments of people and their motives. May I set an example for other believers to follow in the power of the Holy Spirit. My highest desire is to be commended by You as my judge.
1st Corinthians 4:20 “For the kingdom of God does not consist of talk but in power.”
Scripture reading for March 24th: Luke 16
Key Scriptures: Luke 16:10-14 One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own? No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all these things, and they ridiculed Him.”
Jesus had just told his disciples and those listening, including some Pharisees, the parable of the dishonest manager. The Pharisees who were given management in God’s house were lovers of money. They made fun of Jesus because He was not rich and had no possessions. They viewed money as a measure of God’s blessing for obedience. Jesus spoke plainly of our stewardship of money and possessions as “very little” that demanded faithfulness. How we manage the little determines if we can be given more. All we have here belongs to God and He is keeping an account. He is our Master, not the money! We serve Him alone in how we steward His money.
Luke 16:15 “And He said to them, “You (Pharisees) are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, You alone are my Lord and Master, not the money or possessions You have blessed me with. Help me to be the faithful steward of “very little” so that I can bless You and Your kingdom.
Proverbs 28:20 “A faithful man will abound with blessings, but whoever hastens to be rich will not go unpunished.”
Scripture reading for July 10th: 1st Corinthians 4, Psalm 137, Proverbs 13
Key Scriptures: 1st Corinthians 4:1-4 “This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful. But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me.”
Instead of exalting church leaders, they should be viewed as servants of the Lord Jesus and stewards of the mysteries of God revealed in Him. Each steward’s first requirement before God is faithfulness. Only God can judge each person’s faithfulness and reward him. We cannot even judge ourselves with accuracy. Wait on the Lord and He alone will judge with truth.
Faith Confession: I am a servant of Christ Jesus by God’s grace and a steward of God’s Word and truth revealed in Jesus Christ. Lord, help me not to judge others or even myself presumptuously. I will wait on the Lord alone.
Proverbs 13:14 “The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death.”
Scripture reading for November 30th: Daniel 1-3, Revelation 2
Key Scriptures: Revelation 2:9-11 “‘I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich) and the slander of those who say that they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who conquers will not be hurt by the second death.'”
John was taking dictation from Jesus Christ for the churches he had been assigned to oversee. Smyrna was a church undergoing persecution from Jews under Satan’s deception and Jesus told them that they would have a short time of imprisonment and possible martyrdom. They were to be faithful and the reward was a crown of life eternal–never to be hurt by the second death. The second death is the lake of fire made for the devil and his angels and followers.
Daniel 3:27 “And the satraps, the prefects, the governors, and the king’s counselors gathered together and saw that the fire had not had any power over the bodies of those men. The hair of their heads was not singed, their cloaks were not harmed, and no smell of fire had com upon them.”
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for Your promises to those who suffer persecution in the last days and example from Daniel. Help me to stay faithful and reap the reward–a crown of eternal life! Amen.
Scripture reading for October 25th: Jeremiah 13-15, Hebrews 10
Key Scriptures: Hebrews 10:23-27 “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. For if we go on sinning deliberately, after receiving a knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.”
God honors faithfulness and application of truth revealed. Christians have a great responsibility to live in obedience and hold Christ’s return in their thinking and actions. God is faithful and also just! Willful sinning when the knowledge of God’s truth has been received will bring judgment and eternal loss. What a joy to delight in His Word!
Jeremiah 15:16 “Your words were found, and I ate them, and Your words became to me a joy and delight of my heart, for I am called by Your Name, O Lord, God of Hosts.”
Prayer: Lord, Thank You for Your faithfulness and Holy Word of encouragement and warning. May I always delight in Your Word and be called by Your great Name! Amen.
Scripture reading for July 11th: Psalm 144-147
Key Scriptures: Psalm 145:8-12 “The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. The lord is good to all; He has compassion on all He has made. All you have made will praise You, O Lord; Your saints will extol You. they will tell of the glory of Your kingdom and speak of your might, so that all men may know of your mighty acts and the glorious splendor of Your kingdom.”
God’s heart of compassion for the hurting, lonely, poor,, needy, orphan and widow is known by all His people. They are thankful for His great heart of compassion and unfailing love of God for His creation. His people are especially thankful, because without God’s compassion and mercy, they know they would not know the glory of His kingdom and be able to tell of His mighty acts!
The God of all Comfort: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all Comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.” (2nd Corinthians 1:3-5)
Scripture reading for January 18th: Exodus 5-8
Key Scriptures: Exodus 6:6-9 “Therefore, say to the Israelites: I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. I will take you as My own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. And I will bring you to the land I swore with uplifted hand to give to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob. I will give it to you as a possession. I am the Lord.”
God is The Lord! He will do as He says! Nothing will deter His word and will. He desires to be our Lord and us to be His people. He has promised His people a land as an everlasting possession. He will deliver us from our enemies. He will bring it to pass!
Cause for thankfulness and joy: God is faithful and true to His promises, what He says, He will do. “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away.” (Matthew 24:35)
Scripture reading for July 10th: 1st Corinthians 4
“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power. What do you prefer? Shall I come to you with a whip, or in love with a gentle spirit?” (1st Corinthians 4:10-11)
Paul considered the Corinthians believers as his own spiritual children. Through the preaching of the Gospel, he had laid a strong foundation for their spiritual walk and become their ‘father’. Their worldly behavior was bringing them into danger so he wrote to warn them and call them to imitate his own spiritual walk. This walk included hardship, suffering, ridicule, slander, and fear of death! (1st Corinthians 4:9-13) In spite of this, Paul worked hard and blessed those who sought to mistreat him! His life demonstrated the spiritual power of Jesus Christ living in him and helping him to show the fruit of love for the lost who would harm him.
The kingdom of God is not just a matter of words and spiritual ideas, but it is a kingdom of power! Christ Jesus enables His followers to live largely and generously in a hostile world. They live by the power of the Spirit indwelling them and love all in order to win them to Christ. This is how Paul urged his spiritual children to follow Christ! Does your live exhibit the power of Christ? Are you just talking the talk, or walking the walk of power through following the Holy Spirit! Will Christ come to you with a whip? Or love with a gentle spirit?
Scripture reading for February 11: Numbers 1-4
The book of Numbers is so named because of all the counting and lists of numbers. God was apparently very interested in numbers and specifically assigned jobs to each family group. According to the reading today, there were 603,550 men 20 years old or more that could serve in the army and fight from 11 of the tribes. (Numbers 1:46) The only tribe excluded from the duty to fight was Levi. The Levites belonged to God and were set apart to serve in the Tabernacle. (Numbers 3:5-7)
Many people think that God doesn’t really care about numbers or individual people. The reading today shows just the opposite. God cared about each person and family group. He wanted the leaders to know how many they had to help with the work and protection of the nation. God uses people and knows each one by name! He knows the purpose and jobs that He has designed and gifted them to do. God is looking for people who are faithful, available, and teachable!
To the Gershonites clans was given the care of the tent curtains and coverings. (Numbers 3:21-26) God assigned the Kohathites to be in charge of the sanctuary. (Numbers 3:27-32) He assigned the Merarite clans to carry the poles of the tabernacle. (Numbers 3:33-37) All these men were called by God to do a specific job and to do it as unto the Lord. (Numbers 3:38)
God is still looking for faithful and available workers. They must be teachable and willing to obey orders. When He finds these workers, He shows Himself strong on their behalf. They are blessed and God’s love and protection covers their homes and families. He blesses “F.A.T. ” people! (Faithful, Available, Teachable)
1st Corinthians 12:18– “But in fact, God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, exactly as he wanted them to be.”