Scripture reading for July 6th: Matthew 6
Key Scriptures: Matthew 6:7-14 “”And when you pray do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him. Pray then like this: Our Father in heaven, hallowed by Your Name. Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.””
In this Sermon on the Mount, Jesus covered many topics, but focused in on prayer. Prayer was not to be endless repetitions of empty phrases, but should be short and concise and focused on the basics of everyday life. Prayer admits dependency and begins with worship. The disciple is to know and address God as “Our Father”. They are members of a family where the Father is the provider, protector, and mediator of trouble. The Father has plans and purposes that family members know and support in agreement and unity. The Father instructs His children to forgive others their debts just as each of them has been forgiven. If there is no forgiveness, there is no understanding of God’s amazing grace and God cannot give us grace either. It is not salvation by works however, but always salvation and forgiveness by grace alone through faith in God’s mercy offered through the Cross of Jesus Christ. Asking and receiving are all by faith.
Matthew 6:33 “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.’
Faith confession and prayer: Father God, thank You for teaching us to pray simply for our basic needs. I need Your provisions for life and ministry, protection from evil and the evil one, mercy and forgiveness for my sins on a daily basis. I pray today this simple prayer: Our Father Who is in heaven, Hallowed by Your Name! Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom, power and glory! Forever and ever! Amen!
Scripture reading for June 15th: 1st Thessalonians 2
Key Scriptures: 1st Thessalonians 2:7-11 “But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children. So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the Gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us. For you remember, brothers, our labor and toil: we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, while we proclaimed to you the Gospel of God. You are witnesses, and God also, how holy and righteous and blameless was our conduct toward you as believers. For you know how, like a father with his children, we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, Who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.”
Paul loved the Thessalonian believers. He tried to convey his love and that of God for them in using the familiar example of a nursing mother with children. As the mother shares her own milk through her breasts to her growing children, so Paul (and God) shared himself and His Word with them. As a father (and God the Father) would teach and admonish his children, so Paul exhorted, encouraged and charged them to walk worthy of the family Name! God the Father calls each one into His own family, kingdom, and glory! He gives us His Holy Spirit to nurture and guide us into the holiness of His Character and Word that we will reflect His glory.
1st Thessalonians 2:13 “And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the Word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the Word of God, which is at work in you as believers.”
Faith confession and prayer: Father God and the Lord Jesus, thank You for Your amazing love. The examples of a nursing mother and godly father help me to understand Your love and calling. Open a door for me to preach Your love to those hungry for truth today.
1st Thessalonians 2:19-20 “For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at His coming? Is it not you? For you are our glory and joy.”
Scripture reading for January 29th: Genesis 49:50, Galatians 4
Key Scriptures: Genesis 50:24-26 And Joseph said to his brothers, “I am about to die, but God will bring you up out of this land to the land that He swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.” Then Joseph made the sons of Israel swear, saying, “God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones from here.” So Joseph died, being 110 years old. They embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt.”
Galatians 4:4-7 “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.”
Joseph had experienced birth into the covenant family of God and rejection by his brothers as they sold him into slavery. But God was with him and exalted him to be savior of his brothers and also the Gentile world of his day. As he was about to die, he gave a prophetic word concerning his brothers: “God will surely visit you.” He gave instructions for his bones: “You shall carry my bones from here.” Paul stated that we have all becomes “sons of God” through faith in Jesus Christ. God has visited us in Jesus Christ and He is coming again to take us out of here!
Faith confession and prayer: My spirit cries out by the Holy Spirit; “Abba! Father! Jesus is Lord!” Lord, help me to share the Gospel with all who will hear! Carry our bones out of here!
Scripture reading for August 20th: Galatians 4, Psalm 16, Proverbs 12
Key Scriptures: Galatians 4:4-7 “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.”
Those who place their faith in Jesus Christ are adopted into God’s forever family, the Church, as sons of God. The proof of this is the cry of the Holy Spirit within the believer “Abba! Father!” We are no longer slaves of sin and Satan, but truly free. The Holy Spirit enables us to confess this truth.
Faith Confession: I am adopted into God’s forever family, the Church, and now call God my “Abba, Father!” I have been set free from slavery to sin by faith in Jesus Christ. Jesus is my Lord!
Proverbs 12:28 “In the path of righteousness is life, and in its pathway there is no death.”
Scripture reading for August 20th: Psalm 108-111, Galatians 4
Key Scriptures: Galatians 4:4-7 “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba, Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.”
Paul carefully explained God’s amazing plan to redeem those in slavery to sin under the law and it’s curse of death. God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, born of woman, and born under the law. He identified with sinful men, but was Himself without sin for He perfectly kept God’s law. He did this to purchase with His sacrificial death the freedom of all who would believe on Him in faith. All who believe receive the Spirit of God who bears witness in our hearts that we are God’s children and heirs with Christ.
Psalm 108:3-5 “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 above the heavens; Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let Your glory be over all the earth!”
Prayer: O Father, Your amazing love and faithfulness to us brings the joy of being adopted into Your great household! May Your glory be over all the nations as Your children share your love! Amen.
Scripture reading for August 19th: Galatians 4
Key scriptures for over-comers: Galatians 4:4-7 “But when the time had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.”
God’s timing is always perfect! At just the right time, He sent His only Son, Jesus Christ to redeem those under the law of God and in slavery to sin. After paying for mankind’s sins on the cross of Calvary and raising from the dead by the Spirit of Holiness, Jesus and the Father sent the Holy Spirit to live in the hearts of believers. This Gift of the Father testifies to us that we are now adopted ‘sons of God’ and heirs of the promises made to all who have faith. Why would anyone want to go back under the law and it’s condemnation? In Christ God has given us a full inheritance as His children!
Observations for over-comers: Over-comers know the reality of becoming sons of God by faith in Jesus Christ and live a life of faith expecting the full inheritance of eternal life with God the Father! “The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant placers; surely I have a delightful inheritance. . . .You have made known to me the path of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasures at Your right hand.” (Psalm 16:6, 11)
Scripture reading for August 20th: Galatians 4
Those who by faith put their hope in Jesus Christ for salvation and forgiveness of sins are adopted into God’s family and become ‘Sons of God’. As a son has a right to the family estate, so we who believe now are heirs of God!
“You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. For if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:26-28) Paul was teaching the Galatians that in Christ there was no longer any distinction between Jew and Gentile, male or female or slave or free people in their access to God as Father or to the inheritance promised to Abraham by faith. Christ has opened up God’s family to all who believe!
“But when the time had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba”, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.” (Galatians 4:4-7)
What is the inheritance of believers? God promised to be their Father and they His children! God promised them eternal life in His Holy Presence and access to Him! God gave the Holy Spirit as a down payment of the inheritance that now is ours by faith! The Spirit within us cries “Abba, Father!”
Scripture reading for June 24th: Romans 8
“Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so He condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.” (Romans 8:1-4)
Paul explained that he found deliverance from the sinful nature and the condemnation of a life of sin through Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ, God’s Son, was a man like us, but without sin. He was made to be a sin offering for sinful man to pay the penalty for our sins–through His death! Now, through the gift of the Spirit, (from God our Father), we have been declared righteous! This is the same Holy Spirit that raised Jesus Christ from the dead that now gives eternal life to our mortal bodies! (Romans 8:10-11)
Paul next explained that those who are set free from the law of sin and death now live by the Holy Spirit. They must allow the Spirit to lead them in the way of Jesus the Son. In fact, the Holy Spirit confirms that we are children of God, adopted into His family! “For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you have received the Spirit of sonship. And by Him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.” (Romans 8:15-16)
Scripture reading for November 20th: Romans 6-8
Fathers are important people in the lives of their children. God has given fathers the responsibility of modeling for their children the character of God, the Father. They are to teach their children how to love, serve, and give their lives to God and others.
“For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by Him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs–heirs of god and co -heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in His sufferings that we may also share in His Glory.” Romans 8:15-17
When we invite Jesus to be Lord of our lives, the Holy Spirit comes to live in us and we are adopted into the family of God. The Holy Spirit in us confirms that we are children of God and our inner man cries, “Abba”, which is the Greek word for “Daddy”. We become “co-heirs” with Christ in the Father’s family! (Romans 8:17) This means that we are in the will! We have an inheritance from our Daddy, who owns everything! He made the universe, stars, planets, and every living thing visible and invisible!
Paul stated that we will share in glory if we are willing to share in His sufferings. When Jesus lived on earth, he suffered temptations and overcame them by the Holy Spirit. He suffered persecution, physical torture, and even death because of His willing obedience to the Father. He loved us enough to endure the pain and shame of crucifixion so that we might be adopted into Father’s family! (Hebrews 12:1-2) Now that we are part of His family, we obediently submit to suffering to enter into glory!
As you go through your day today, take time to talk to your “Abba” and tell Him how much you appreciate what He has provided! Take any inconvenience or suffering as opportunity to thank Him for the coming glory!
Scripture reading for July 23rd: Romans 8:9-23
The Holy Spirit works within the believer to produce life and peace. (Romans 8:6) One of the first things that He does is help each person who trusts Jesus Christ to know that they are a child of God. “because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of son-ship. And by Him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.” (Romans 8:14-16)
Before we were saved, we had an underlying fear of death. We knew that those who sinned deserved to die and would be judged. God made this evident to Jew and Gentile alike through the law and conscience. But in Christ, the fear of death is removed by the Spirit of Life. We are now adopted into God’s family through the Spirit and have an inner knowledge of God as our true Father in Heaven. We can even call him “Abba”, the Aramaic word for “Daddy”! We have two witnesses, our spirit and the Holy Spirit that we belong to God. This brings great joy and peace! Not only are we children, but heirs and co-heirs with Christ in the kingdom of our Father!
Suffering is in the package, however. If we belong to Christ, we will share in His sufferings while here on this earth as we await our full redemption. (Romans 8:17-18) In fact, Paul tells the Roman believers and us that all of creation is awaiting this future redemption. It is groaning in pains like that of a woman giving birth. “We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.” (Romans 8:22-23)
This suffering is nothing compared to the glory that is to be revealed in us! The best is yet to come! The Spirit is helping us and leading us to this time of complete redemption. He reassures us that we belong to God and encourages us in our suffering, revealing Christ’s glory and a vision of this glorious freedom when we receive our redeemed body!