Scripture reading for June 25th: Romans 9, Psalm 126, Proverbs 2
Key Scriptures: Romans 9:30-33 “What shall we say, then? That Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is, a righteousness that is by faith: but that Israel who pursued a law that would lead to righteousness did not succeed in reaching that law. Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were based on works. They have stumbled over the stumbling stone, as it is written, “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense; and whoever believes in Him will not be put to shame.””
Paul earnestly desired that the Jews, his own people, would be saved. But by God’s design, the only path to salvation and righteousness was by faith and not human effort and works. The Gentiles trusted in Christ and received salvation and righteousness as a gift. The Jews sought to keep the law and missed out, stumbling over the ‘stumbling stone’, Jesus Christ, Son of God. Faith is resting from our effort and works and trusting in Jesus alone.
Faith Confession: I believe in Jesus Christ, my Rock of salvation and righteousness. Lord, give me boldness to share Jesus’ message of grace to all I meet.
Psalm 126:5-6 “Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.”
Scripture reading for January 21st: Matthew 15
What would you and I do if we came to Jesus for help for our kids, and Jesus refused to answer us? Worse yet, what if He referred to us with a racial slur of the day, calling us “dogs?” Would we press on with getting down in front of Jesus with a more desperate plea? Matthew records just such an incident in Jesus’ ministry!
“Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to Him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon possession.” “Jesus did not answer her a word.” (Matthew 15:21-23a) This Canaanite woman was a Gentile and yet recognized Jesus as the “Son of David” and “Lord”. She appealed to Jesus for mercy. “The woman came and knelt before Him. “Lord, help me!” she said. He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.” “Yes, Lord,” she said, ” but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.” (Matthew 15:25-27) Jesus then commended this woman for her great faith! Her faith brought healing to her daughter immediately!
Jesus told this woman from outside the family of Abraham, that healing was the ‘children’s bread’! In other words, God gladly provides what His children need! He sent Jesus to those children who would have faith in His ability to provide and asked and kept on asking! This woman was persistent. She refused to be offended and sought the crumbs under the Master’s table! Jesus marveled at her “great faith”! He always honors faith! Why not press in today and ask Jesus for healing or help! If you are a child of His by faith, it belongs to you!
Scripture reading for July 28th: Romans 11:13-36
Olive trees were common in Israel. They were a source of food and of oil for cooking and light. Olive trees live for hundreds of years and are tough enough to survive in the harsh climate and endure periods of little rainfall. The olive tree had deep roots that went into the rocky soil to anchor it and nourish the branches.
Paul used an analogy of a tame olive tree representing Israel. (Romans 11:16b-24) Gentiles were ‘wild olive shoots’ that God grafted into the ‘Israel olive tree”. Those Jews who hardened themselves from Israel were likened to tame olive branches or shoots that were pruned or broken off by God because of their lack of faith. Paul warned the Gentiles who had been grafted in not to become arrogant and think that somehow they had earned their place and the Jews were inferior. They should live in holy fear of God who could also remove them from this special tree! (Romans 10:20-21)
Paul also encouraged the Gentiles and Jewish Christians in Rome that God was also able to graft the broken natural branches of the Jews back into this tree. In fact, this is God’s plan after the full number of Gentiles are saved! (Romans 11:25-27) God loves the Jews and they will again have opportunity to be grafted in because of God’s faithful promises to the patriarchs! (Romans 11:28-29)
God is so amazing! His ways are above our ways and we our response should be worship! Paul worshiped God for His amazing plan to save Jew and Gentile through the Gospel! “Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable His judgments, and His paths beyond tracing out! Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been His counselor? Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever! Amen!” (Romans 11:33-36)
Have you taken time lately to praise God for His mercy to you? Have you thanked Him for His mercy to Israel and through Israel by sending Jesus Christ as our Savior? Today is a great time to write or speak a personal doxology of praise to our amazing Lord and Savior! There is none like Him!