Scripture reading for June 15th: Philippians 1, Psalm 119, Proverbs 26
Philippians 1:27-30 “Only let your manner of life be worthy of the Gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the Gospel, and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God. For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in Him but also suffer for His sake, engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.”
Paul wrote a positive and encouraging letter to the Church at Philippi. He stated upfront, that God had begun a good work in them and would see it through to the Day of Christ. (1:6) Paul was in jail in Rome and faced uncertainty concerning his ultimate fate at the hands of the Romans. He knew that he could very well be executed and shared his heart about this possibility. But his pastoral concern was for the church. He wanted them to continue in the faith and stay steadfast, even as this would result in suffering just as he was. They were to have no fear of those afflicting them. This peace of God on their lives would bring conviction on their tormentors. God was at work and all who trust in Him will ultimately be kept safe!
Psalm 119:75-77 “I know, O Lord, that Your rules are righteous, and that in faithfulness You have afflicted me. Let Your steadfast love comfort me according to Your promise to Your servant. Let Your mercy come to me, that I may live; for Your law is my delight.”
Prayer: Father God, You are faithful in all our afflictions, working all things for our good and salvation. Help me to live in Your peace in today’s afflictions and to pray for those who are tormenting me. Keep me from fear, evil speech, gossip, or judging others. Use my lips to declare Your love and Truth to those You send me to. My desire is to live a life worthy of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, my Lord.
Proverbs 26:20 “For lack of wood the fire goes out, and where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases. As charcoal to hot embers and wood to fire, so is a quarrelsome man for kindling strife.”
Scripture reading for March 21st: Hebrews 13, Psalm 57, Proverbs 26
Hebrews 13: 13-17 “Therefore let us go to Him, outside the camp and bear the reproach He endured. For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come. Through Him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge His Name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.”
In Jesus Christ, all blood sacrifice is fully complete to atone or cover all our sins and that of all sinners. But those who are redeemed have other sacrifices that we can make. These include the continuously thankful heart that flows out of our lips with praise for our generous God in providing Jesus Christ. God has prepared good works and told us to be generous and kind, reflecting His heart of love and compassion to all mankind. These should be given like a sacrifice with joy and thankfulness to God, Who is to receive all glory in the earth and in heaven. When we live a life of worship and praise, it brings us joy and God pleasure because His covenant love is reflected to a lost world and wins souls. Leaders in the church watch over each believer to encourage them in these sacrifices and will give account.
Psalm 57:10-11 “For Your steadfast love is great to the heavens, Your faithfulness to the clouds. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let Your glory be over all the earth!”
Prayer: Father God, I thank You and praise You today for Your steadfast love and faithfulness to me and all peoples. Thank You for the leaders in Your family that watch over me and those that I have been privileged to watch over. Help me to be continually joyful and thankful, reflecting Your great love and faithfulness to those I serve and walk through this wilderness with. Let Your glory be over all the earth.
Proverbs 26:27 “Whoever digs a pit will fall into it, and a stone will come back on him who starts it rolling.”
Scripture reading for February 24th: Acts 24, Psalm 40, Proverbs 9
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 Jesus Christ. 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.”
Proverbs states that the fear of man is a snare. Worldly leaders like Felix were always looking for political advantage or personal advantage as with a bribe. They were not guided by the integrity that comes from God’s Word, but by their flesh. Godly people are sometimes, like Paul, placed by God under their authority. God loves them too and gives all people opportunity to hear the truth of Jesus and allows them freedom to chose who they will serve. God’s message of deliverance shows no partiality and He desires all to be saved an enter into His salvation. Wise people are teachable. Fools and scoffers turn sour and hateful.
Psalm 40:9-10 “I have told the glad news of deliverance in the great congregation; behold, I have not restrained my lips, as You know, O Lord. I have not hidden Your deliverance within my heart; I have spoken of Your faithfulness and Your salvation; I have not concealed Your steadfast love and Your faithfulness from the great congregation.”
Prayer: Father God, Thank You for the ‘Glad News’ of salvation given to your Church to share in the great congregation of mankind. Forgive me when I have restrained my lips and not told of Your faithfulness and salvation. Use me like Paul, to faithfully and fully declare Your Son, Jesus Christ, to all You send me to. May none be lost or suffer as scoffers and fools. Help me to faithfully declare the Gospel to all nations!
Proverbs 9:8-9 “Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you; reprove a wise man, and he will love you. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.”
Scripture reading for January 20th: Mark 15, Psalm 15, Proverbs 15
Mark 15:16-20 “And the soldiers led Him away inside the palace (that is, the governor’s headquarters), and they called together the whole battalion. And they clothed Him in a purple cloak, and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on Him. And they began to salute Him, “Hail, King of the Jews!” And they were striking His head with a reed and spitting on Him and kneeling down in homage to Him. And when they had mocked Him, they stripped Him of the purple cloak and put His own clothes on Him. And they led Him out to crucify Him.”
Mark’s account of the trial and crucifixion of Jesus, probably from Peter and possibly his own memory, was full of mockery and derision. The soldiers, course men of the world of Rome, loved to laugh at someone else’s expense. Where they got the purple robe we do not know. But they found thorns growing near-by and quickly fashioned a crown. Placing it on Jesus, they mocked this ‘King of the Jews’, spit on him and repeatedly struck Him, beating Him severely, before crucifying Him. Scoffing and mocking are sins of pride. People seek to elevate themselves and put in total humiliation those they mock. Jesus wisely held His tongue, and in fact, prayed for these men, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34)
Psalm 15:1-2 “O Lord, who shall sojourn in Your tent? Who shall dwell on Your holy hill? He who walks blamelessly and does what is right and speaks truth in his heart;. . .”
Prayer: Glorious Lord, thank You for Your steadfast love and faithfulness to take our sins in Your body on the cross that our sins might be atoned for. Thank You for the Gift, Your Holy Spirit, that enables us to now fear the Lord and live blamelessly through grace during our sojourn in this world. Your righteousness given to us enables us to live in Your Holy Presence forever! Amen! Hallelujah!
Proverbs 16:5-6 “Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the Lord; be assured, he will not go unpunished. By steadfast love and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for, and by the fear of the Lord one turns away from evil.”
Scripture reading for June 17th: Proverbs 26-28, 1st Thessalonians 3
1st Thessalonians 3: 6-10 “But now that Timothy has come to us from you, and has brought us the good news of your faith and love and reported that you always remember us kindly and long to see us, as we long to see you–for this reason, brothers, in all our distress and affliction we have been comforted about you through your faith. For now we live, if you are standing fast in the Lord. For what thanksgiving can we return to God for you, for all the joy that we feel for your sake before our God, as we pray most earnestly night and day that we may see you face to face and supply what is lacking in your faith.”
Paul was in jail for his faith and sent Timothy to the Thessalonians to see how the church there was holding up under persecution. Timothy brought a good report of the believer’s faith and love and their steadfast devotion to Christ Jesus. This comforted Paul and encouraged him. He was deeply grateful to God for this grace in a newly established church family. His prayer was that he be able to come and further strengthen their faith through teaching and preaching more of God’s Word. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God and allowing the Holy Spirit to apply it to our lives! (Romans 10:17) Jesus is coming soon!
1st Thessalonians 3:11-12 “Now may our God and Father Himself, and our Lord Jesus, direct our way to you, and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all as we do for you, so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints.”
Prayer: Lord, thank You for Your Word which brings faith, first for salvation, and then for growing holiness and deeper faith. Help me to stand firm in faith in You and Your Truth as I wait for the soon return of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Let me hear reports of faithfulness and love among those that you have sent me to as well. This will comfort and encourage me and others!
Proverbs 28:20 “A faithful man will abound with blessings, but whoever hastens to be rich will not go unpunished.”
Scripture reading for August 26th: Ephesians 2, Psalm 20, Proverbs 16
Key Scriptures: Ephesians 2:4-9 “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ–by grace you have been saved–and raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages He might show the immeasurable riches of His grace in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works so that no one may boast.”
Paul shared with the Ephesians the richness of God’s heart of mercy and the gift of His grace through His amazing love for us as sinners. He forgave our sins through Christ’s sacrifice and then raised us up with Christ, seating us in the heavenly realms in Him. We can claim no merit or credit for these gifts. All boasting is in God’s great grace and mercy and love!
Faith Confession: I boast in God’s mercy shown me (and the world) in Christ Jesus. I repent (turn away) from my sins and I accept with thanksgiving the gift of forgiveness of my sins, eternal life and resurrection from death.
Proverbs 16:6-7 “By steadfast love and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for, and by the fear of the Lord one turns away from evil.”
Scripture reading for August 22nd: Psalm 115-118, Galatians 6
Key Scriptures: Galatians 6:7-10 “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.”
Paul encouraged believers to continue to do good works. This was not to earn salvation, but to insure their reward. He taught them the spiritual law of sowing and reaping. What is sowed is what will be reaped. What is sowed will reap more that what was sowed. The harvest takes time–patience is required. A blessed field to sow in is within the household of faith because of God’s faithfulness to us, His family.
Psalm 115:1 “Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to Your Name give glory, for the sake of Your steadfast love and Your faithfulness.”
Scripture reading for July 31st: Psalm 58-61, 2nd Corinthians 3
Key Scriptures: 2nd Corinthians 3:16-18 “But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”
Paul taught that the Jews had a veil over their faces that prevented them from beholding the glory of God revealed through Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit removes the veil when anyone turns to the Lord in repentance and faith. Believers can now, with freedom, behold Christ’s glory and be transformed by His presence living in them through the gift of the Holy Spirit. The ultimate transformation comes at Christ’s return.
Psalm 59:10,17 “My God in His steadfast love will meet me; God will let me look in triumph on my enemies.” . . .”O my Strength, I will sing praises to You, for You, O God, are my fortress, the God who shows me steadfast love.”
Prayer: Lord, thank You for taking away the veil of selfishness over my heart through revelation of Your Son, Your love and faithfulness. I will sing Your praises among the nations! Amen.
Scripture reading for July 30th: Psalm 55-57, 2nd Corinthians 2
Key Scriptures: 2nd Corinthians 2:14-16 “But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of Him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things.”
Paul was writing to the Corinthians for the second time. He described the Church of Jesus Christ as a triumphal victory procession, lead by the Savior. All who had been won over by the Savior’s love and grace, followed willingly. Their lives radiated the fragrance of Jesus Christ, His love and His sacrifice on the cross to save sinners. Those who saw and believed were saved and came to life eternal. Those who rejected, went on to eternal death. What an amazing picture!
Psalm 57:9-11 “I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to You among the nations. For Your steadfast love is great to the heavens, Your faithfulness to the clouds. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let Your glory be over all the earth!”
Prayer: Thank You Lord for your great love and faithfulness to me. May Your fragrance flow from my life today to bring salvation to the lost. Amen.
Scripture reading for May 21st: 1st Chronicles 17-20, Acts 12
Key Scriptures: Acts 12:6-8 “Now when Herod was about to bring him out, on that very night, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries before the door were guarding the prison. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood next to him, and a light shone in the cell. He struck peter on the side and woke him, saying, “Get up quickly.” And the chains fell off his hands. And the angel said to him, “Dress yourself and put on your sandals.”
God sent an angel to rescue Peter from execution by Herod. Peter was secured in the jail by being chained between two guards and others watched outside the cell. But none of this was a problem for the angel who rescued Peter. Peter though he was dreaming or seeing a vision, but to his astonishment, the doors opened and he was free! God blessed His servant with His faithfulness.
1st Chronicles 17:26-27 “And now, O Lord, You are God, and You have promised this good thing to Your servant. Now You have been pleased to bless the house of Your servant, that it may continue forever before You, for it is You, O Lord, who have blessed, and it is blessed forever.”
Prayer: Father, thank You for Your faithfulness to those who serve You. You are able to save and rescue and bless. Amen.