Scripture reading for July 12th: Matthew 10
Key Scriptures: Matthew 10:28-33 “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear Him Who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore, you are of more value than many sparrows. So everyone who acknowledges Me before men, I also will acknowledge before My Father Who is in heaven, but whoever denies Me before men, I also will deny before My Father Who is in heaven.”
There is a cost associated with following Jesus Christ. As Jesus was sending out the Twelve apostles on a mission, He carefully explained that they would be going out as lambs among wolves (10:16) and they would suffer persecution and hatred because of His Name. He told them to have no fear of those persecuting them but rather to have a reverent fear of God Himself, Who alone could destroy soul and body in hell. Jesus reminded them that God even numbers the hairs on our heads so He knows all things and holds His people closely. As followers of Jesus, His disciples must never be ashamed and freely confess Him before men, even our own family. Those that shrink back and deny Jesus will find that Jesus will deny them before His Father. Thus we have “fear not” men who hate and misuse you but “fear” Him before Whom we must give an account.
Matthew 10:34 “”Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household.””
Faith confession and prayer: Father God, I hold You in awe and respect for Who You are. Thank You for this clear instruction on the cost of following Jesus, Your Son. Empower me today to boldly and without fear declare my faith with my own household and the harvest field You send me to.
Daniel 12:2-3 “And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to everlasting contempt. And those that are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.”
Scripture reading for June 21st: Job 1-3, Romans 7
Key Scriptures: Romans 7:21-25 “So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God Through Jesus Christ our Lord!”
Paul describes the battle that he had as a sinner trying to keep God’s law in his own power. The law of sin always opposed him and took him captive. He answered his own question about deliverance: “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” Job experienced a similar battle and found faith to be the answer.
Job 3:25-26 “For the thing that I fear comes upon me, and what I dread befalls me. I am not at ease, nor am I quiet; I have no rest, but trouble comes.”
Prayer: Lord, thank You for winning the battle with sin and defeating death through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Scripture reading for June 5th: Psalm 24-28
Key Scriptures: Psalm 27:1-3 “The Lord is my light and my salvation–whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life–of whom shall I be afraid? When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh, when my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall. Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident.”
David faced many enemies and obstacles from his enemies. He learned that his real ‘stronghold’ was the Lord Himself and His flawless word. There was no need to live in fear. The light of God’s truth would enable him to face whatever trouble might come with strong confidence and calm assurance!
Rejoicing in confidence: “God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like Him. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” (1st John 4:17-18)
Scripture reading for January 2nd: Genesis 3-5
We are introduced to the “serpent” who was “more crafty” than any of the other animals that God had made. This “serpent” talked to the woman Eve. His words contradicted what God had told Adam and Eve. They were words designed to appeal Eve’s desire for that which was forbidden by God. The serpent had the ability to craft a plan that got around truth. Eve was taken in by it and took the forbidden fruit. She gave it to her husband who ate as well. They suddenly are aware of their nakedness and hide, covering themselves. Rather than being clothed with God’s Glory, shame now clothed them with a fig leaf!
God was walking in the garden. He reached out to those made in His image. He called out seeking to connect with those who were now lost! He knew what they had done but wanted to help them re-connect. When they emerged shaking in fear, God asked them to confess what they had done and take responsibility. They attempted to blame someone else or God himself! Neither wanted to confess or admit guilt.
Today, do a quick survey of your life. Ask the Holy Spirit if there are things you are doing that you need to take responsibility for. Confess them to the Lord and ask for forgiveness and cleansing. It’s the only way I know to get rid of sin and reconnect with God!
The blame game: The man said, “The woman you put here with me–she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” Genesis 3:12
Truth: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1st John 1:9