Scripture reading for September 14th: Isaiah 53-55, Psalm 128, 1st Corinthians 15
1st Corinthians 15: 1-8 “Now I want to remind you, brothers, of the Gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the Word I preached to you–unless you have believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures; that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then He appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some who have fallen asleep.
Paul gave the church at Corinth a simple summary of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Gospel covers the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ in accordance with the Scriptures of the Old Testament. Paul had received this Gospel from Jesus Christ Himself and that was the basis of all his preaching. Christ confirmed His resurrection from the dead by appearing in His resurrection body to Peter and all His disciples plus a crowd of five hundred and even to Paul. The Gospel message is God’s message of love to lost mankind. Through the Gospel, God reveals His righteousness as well as His justice in Jesus Christ. It is the power of God for salvation to the Jew and Gentile.
Isaiah 55:10-11 “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My Word be that goes out from My mouth; it shall not return to Me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”
Prayer: Father God, thank You for sending Your Word, first through the holy prophets of the Old Testament and then in the person of Your Son, Jesus Christ. Thank You for the Gospel message of Jesus’ virgin birth, obedient life, sacrificial death and glorious resurrection. Thank You for accomplishing this mission of salvation for us, lost sinners living in darkness. Multiply fruit through my submitted life.
Psalm 128:1-2 “Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in His ways! Your shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you.”
Scripture reading for August 3rd: Amos 1-3, Matthew 13
Matthew 13: 47-50 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind. When it was full, men drew it ashore and sat down and sorted the good into containers but threw away the bad. So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
Gospel preaching is likened by Jesus to the casting of a fishing net into the sea of humanity. The Gospel is offered without charge to all people of every status and ethnic background. It draws people through God’s Truth bringing conviction on rebellious hearts. Some respond to the conviction and repent and are changed into “good fish” caught in the Gospel net. Others never repent, although they may hang out in the church and appear caught in the ‘net’ of God’s Truth. In the end, at the judgment, the net will be pulled in and angels will separate the ‘good’ fish from those who never received God’s Truth. Those cast away will be sent to the fiery lake and suffer eternal punishment away from God and His people.
Matthew 13:41-43 “The Son of Man will send His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.”
Prayer: Father, thank You for the prophets and apostles You sent to bring prophetic warnings to me and all mankind. Thank You for Jesus, Your final Word from heaven. His message is a trumpet of “Good News” that all may repent and turn to Him for forgiveness of sins and salvation with eternal life. Use me today to share this message of hope delivering those headed for eternal punishment.
Amos 3:6-7 “Is a trumpet blown in a city, and the people are not afraid? Does disaster come to a city, unless the Lord has done it? For the Lord God does nothing without revealing His secret to His servants the prophets.”
Scripture reading for June 16th: Proverbs 24-25, Psalm 41, 1st Thessalonians 2
1st Thessalonians 2:3-8 “For our appeal does not spring from error or impurity or any attempt to deceive, but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the Gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God Who tests our hearts. For we never came with words of flattery, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed–God is witness. Nor did we seek glory from people, whether from you or from others, though we could have made demands as apostles of Christ. 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.”
Paul reminds these faithful believers of how he presented his Gospel appeal. Paul and Silas had just come to them after their experience of beating and imprisonment and then God freeing them from the jail and the jailer and his family getting saved. Paul had simply and powerfully preached the Gospel to these Thessalonians, not holding back anything for fear of man but to fulfill God’s commands to him. He had been gentle among them and loved them in the short time he was there with them. He treated them with integrity and sacrificially served them. God was his witness! Paul had done his part and God had done his part and the believers there had responded in faith in the midst of affliction!
Psalm 41:12-13 “But you have upheld me because of my integrity, and set me in Your presence forever. Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting! Amen and Amen!”
Prayer: Father God, thank You for calling me to preach Your Gospel of grace through Your Son Jesus Christ! Thank You for this example of grace among the Thessalonian believers through the simple and powerful preaching of Paul in the Holy Spirit. Help me to love the people deeply and share my life and Your Word with them through Your Holy Spirit. Use me to rescue those being taken away to death!
Proverbs 24:10-12 “If you falter in the day of adversity, your strength is small. Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, “Behold, we did not know this,” does not He Who weighs the heart perceive it?”
Scripture reading for May 24th: 2nd Samuel 15-17, Psalm 3, 63, Romans 1
Romans 1:1-6 “Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the Gospel of God, which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning His Son, Who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of Holiness by His resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, through Whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of His Name among all nations, including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ.”
As Paul set about to write this letter to Roman believers, He declared Jesus Christ as the prophesied Son of God, descended from David through his flesh, but declared to be God’s Son by His resurrection from the dead. The power of God raised Him up through the Spirit of Holiness–God’s Holy Spirit. Resurrection life had entered Jesus’ body and brought resurrection after three days and three nights in the grave. This same Jesus had met Paul on the Damascus road and called Paul to believe and appointed him an apostle to share the Gospel with all nations. God had done it all and was now calling all men to salvation and holiness through the powerful Holy Spirit.
Psalm 3:8 “Salvation belongs to the Lord, Your blessing be on Your people!”
Psalm 63:2-3 “So I have looked upon You in the Sanctuary, beholding Your power and glory. Because Your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise You.”
Prayer: Father, Thank You for the amazing salvation brought to us by Jesus Christ, Your Son! Your power displayed in raising Jesus from the dead humbles me and makes me thankful and willing to follow You all the days of my life and for eternity. Use me to declare Your Son to all nations and call all to salvation in the power and anointing of Your Holy Spirit. Where You are my King, there will Your servant be!
2nd Samuel 15:21 “But Ittai answered the king (David), “As the Lord lives, and as my lord the king lives, wherever my lord the king shall be, whether for death or for life, there also will your servant be.”
Scripture reading for May 19th: 2nd Samuel 9-10, 1st Chronicles 18-19, Psalm 89, Acts 26
Acts 26:19-23 “”Therefore, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, but declared first to those in Damascus, then in Jerusalem and throughout all the region of Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds in keeping with their repentance. For this reason the Jews seized me in the temple and tried to kill me. To this day I have had the help that comes from God, and so I stand here testifying both to small and great, saying nothing but what the prophets and Moses said would come to pass: that the Christ must suffer and that, by being the first to rise from the dead, He would proclaim light both to our people and to the Gentiles.””
Paul, in God’s grace was given opportunity while in prison to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the Roman rulers and kings. Jesus had called him out of the darkness of dead religion and showed him Who He was and gave him a mission to reach the Gentiles. Paul shared that testimony with all who would listen, including King Agrippa. He sought to bring the light of Jesus Christ into that ruler’s life by speaking the Word of God. God’s righteousness and justice gives each person the opportunity to hear and repent of sin and find peace with God and deliverance. The choice is given but the decision is up to us! Jesus’ love and justice through His cross and sacrifice can bring victory over death and the grave to all who will choose. He will judge the world from His throne based on truth and righteousness.
Psalm 89:13-14 “You have a mighty arm; strong is Your hand, high Your right hand. Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; steadfast love and faithfulness go before You.”
Prayer: Father God, thank You for the righteousness and justice that are the foundation of Your eternal throne! Thank You for the Gospel message that makes Your righteousness available to all men, Jew or Gentile, by faith in Your Son Jesus Christ, Who is lifted high at Your right hand. Empower me to preach this Gospel to all and bring repentance, victory, justice and equity to all who respond in faith.
1st Chronicles 18:13-14 “. . .And the Lord gave victory to David wherever he went. So David reigned over all Israel, and he administered justice and equity to all his people.”
Scripture reading for January 25th: Galatians 1, Psalm 24, Genesis 43-44
Galatians 1:11-16 “For I would have you know, brothers, that the Gospel that was preached by me is not man’s gospel. For I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ. For you have heard of my former life in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God violently and tried to destroy it. And I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people, so extremely zealous was I for the traditions of my fathers. But when He Who set me apart before I was born, and Who called me by His grace, was pleased to reveal His Son to me, in order that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, . .”
As we begin this first letter from Paul to the church at Galatia, Paul is explaining to the believers there where he had gotten the Gospel message that he had preached to them. He emphasized that he did not get it from man, nor even from those men who had walked with Jesus and were the original apostles. He was not taught it from some book or philosopher. He had obtained it through God’s grace to him as a sinner who was violently persecuting the church. God, through revelation, gave the Gospel message to Paul. God revealed that He had set Paul apart from before his birth to call him to preach this Gospel message to the Gentiles. Paul had entered into the abundant life of Jesus Christ through revelation and faith in God’s Word. God is no respecter of persons, as we all enter through revelation and faith!
Psalm 24:9-10 “Lift up your heads, O gates! And lift them up O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is the King of glory? The Lord of hosts, He is the King of glory.”
Prayer: Father God, Thank You for the true Gospel message of salvation through Your Son, Jesus Christ, the King of glory! Thank You for revelation of Jesus Christ to our world in a human body and for revealing Him to the disciples and then to the apostle Paul and to many others and to me. I recognize that I have been set apart from before birth and called to preach Your Gospel. Grant abundant revelation each time I share the Gospel of the King of glory!
Genesis 43:33-34 “And they sat before him, the firstborn according to his birthright and the youngest according to his youth. And the men looked at one another in amazement. Portions were taken to them from Joseph’s table, but Benjamin’s portion was five times as much as any of theirs. And they drank and were merry with him.”
Scripture reading for September 6th: 1st Corinthians 9
Key Scriptures: 1st Corinthians 9:19-23 “For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the Gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.”
Paul went into detail concerning his own life of serving all people for the sake of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Paul clearly understood the importance of winning souls for Christ as his priority. He had a right to receive offerings and get support from the church, but limited his right and worked with his own hands to provide for his needs that he might not cause any to stumble. He lived under the law although freed from law-keeping that he might win Jews. He did not keep the Jewish law around Gentiles but lived under the law of Christ (love God and love people) in order to win them. Around those with weak consciences he became weak (although strong) to win them. He desired all men to be saved and share in the blessings of eternal life in Christ. He did this out of love and Christ’s call on his life to preach.
1st Corinthians 9:16-17 “For if I preach the Gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel! For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward, but if not of my own will I am still entrusted with a stewardship.”
Faith confession and prayer: Father, thank You for Your call to me to preach the Gospel. I willingly accept that call and want to freely share the Good News of Jesus Christ. Help me through the Holy Spirit to be a servant to all people that I might win some and enjoy sharing with them the blessings of eternal life with You forever and ever. As a steward, may I be found faithful.
1st Corinthians 9:26-27 “So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.”
Scripture reading for July 8th: Matthew 8
Key Scriptures: Matthew 8:14-17 “And when Jesus entered Peter’s house, He saw his mother-in-law lying sick with a fever. He touched her hand, and the fever left her, and she rose and began to serve Him. That evening they brought to Him many who were oppressed by demons, and He cast out the spirits with a word and healed all who were sick. This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah: “He took our illnesses and bore our diseases.””
Some in the church today declare that Jesus only came to forgive sins and that the healing miracles He did were just for the early church when He was with them. These gifts passed away with the first apostles. But Jesus clearly demonstrated the Gospel by healing the sick and delivering those bound with evil spirits. His authority to do these works was evident to all and was also evident in His disciples as they also were sent out on mission. This was all a fulfilment of prophecy recorded in Isaiah 53 and applied to Jesus and His ministry of healing and deliverance as He went into the places of need and where hurting people were. In fact, Matthew 8:2-3 records a leper with a statement for Jesus: “If you will, you can make me clean.” Jesus answered, “I will; be clean!” Jesus is willing and able and on His cross in His own body bore our sicknesses and diseases! Praise His Name!
Isaiah 53:4-5 “Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God and afflicted. But He was pierced for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities; upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with His wounds we are healed.”
Faith Confession and prayer: Father God, thank You for sending Jesus, Your Son, to bear our sins, sickness and disease in His own body on our behalf. Thank You for the full Gospel of healing and grace to forgive sins. Fill me with the Holy Spirit to preach that full Gospel and to see healing and deliverance and salvation from sins bondage.
Mark 16:15, 17-18 “Go into all the world and proclaim the Gospel to the whole creation. . . And these signs will accompany those who believe: in My Name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues’ they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
Scripture reading for June 14th: 1st Thessalonians 1
Key Scriptures: 1st Thessalonians 1:2-7 “We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. For we know, brothers loved by God, that He has chosen you, because our Gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the Word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and to Achaia.”
Paul commended the Thessalonian believers for their strong stand of faith and steadfast hope in Jesus Christ as Lord. He was convinced that God had chosen them for salvation through the Word of Christ that he and other brothers had preached. This Word came to them not just as words preached, but with the power of the Holy Spirit bringing a deep conviction of sin, righteousness and judgment. This godly conviction brought godly sorrow for sin and repentance as they received the Word of God with joy in the Holy Spirit. Their example spread to all believers in Macedonia and Achaia and brought many into Christ’s fellowship. Conviction is the necessary precursor to repentance which brings salvation and deliverance from God’s wrath.
1st Thessalonians 1:9- “For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, . . “
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for the ‘full conviction’ of the full Gospel that brought me to know my need of repentance and faith. I give myself to use as an instrument to preach the Gospel in the power of the Holy Spirit and full conviction, offering deliverance from Your wrath.
1st Thessalonians 1:10 “. . and to wait for His Son from heaven, Whom He raised from the dead, Jesus Who delivers us from the wrath to come.”
Scripture reading for May 17th: Galatians 2
Key Scriptures: Galatians 2:15-16, 19-20 “We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners; yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.”. . . .”For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ Who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me.
Justification means being made “just” before a holy God. Our sins are forgiven on the basis of Jesus Christ’s substitutionary death for sin and sinners on Calvary’s cross by means of crucifixion. Paul explained that we appropriate this justification by faith in Jesus Christ alone, not by our own efforts to keep God’s law. In fact, by the works of the law, no flesh can or will be justified. Paul further described how he viewed his own justification. His old man and sinful flesh were by identification, through faith, crucified with Christ. Paul, the sinner, died on that cross and was also buried with Christ. But as Jesus Christ rose from the dead through justification by God through the Spirit of Holiness, Paul identified with that resurrection and claimed the life of the resurrected Jesus in his own body!
Galatians 2:21 I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for inviting me to believe and identify with You in Your death on the cross, burial, and resurrection to a new life. Help me to clearly communicate the full Gospel and simple faith in Christ Jesus.
1st Corinthians 15:3-4 “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received (the Gospel): that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. . . .”