Scripture reading for April 28th: Acts 17
Key Scriptures: Acts 17:16-21 “Now while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him as he saw that the city was full of idols. So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the devout persons, and in the marketplace every day with those who happened to be there. Some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers also conversed with him. And some said, “What does this babbler wish to say?” Others said, “He seems to be a preacher of foreign divinities”–because he was preaching Jesus and the resurrection. And they took him and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? For you bring some strange things to our ears. We wish to know therefore what these things mean. Now all the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there would spend their time in nothing except telling or hearing something new.”
Driven to Athens by the persecution and death threats, Paul was vexed in his spirit as he saw that this city was full of idols. His remedy was to present the truth of Jesus Christ to whoever would hear him. He first went to the Jews in the local synagogue. He started there because they were his own people and the Old Testament Scriptures were a great opening to preach from. He then went to the marketplace and shared with whoever God put in his path. There he ran into the intellectuals of the city who invited him to come to what was the town square or people’s university and to share his new teaching. This group was always out for something new, just for the sake of being “woke” in their day. Oh that God’s people today would engage with our time and culture with Christ’s Gospel and reveal the true and living God Who supplies all our needs!
Acts 17:29-30 “Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now He commands all people everywhere to repent, . .”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, fill me with the Holy Spirit and boldness to confront in love the idolatry of our time and culture with the truth of Your Gospel of Jesus death and resurrection. May all people everywhere repent as You have commanded and avoid eternal death!
Luke 13:3 “No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”
Scripture reading for February 9th: Romans 1
Key Scriptures: Romans 1:16-20 “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. for what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For His invisible attributes, namely, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.”
Paul wrote a letter to the Roman church where he laid out in terms that both Jew and Gentile could understand, the Gospel of Jesus Christ and man’s universal need for salvation and God’s righteousness. He was not ashamed of the Gospel message–Jesus Christ, Son of God, crucified for our sins, buried and raised from the dead to God’s right hand. This message, when preached and believed in faith brings salvation from God’s wrath to Jews and Gentiles. It gives right-standing with God to those once under His wrath because Jesus Christ took God’s wrath against sin on the cross. God has revealed the truth about His eternal power and divine nature to all men through creation. Man has pushed this truth out of their thinking but that will be no excuse when they stand before Him. Those without Christ will face God’s eternal wrath.
Psalm 19:1-3 “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims His handiwork. Day to day pours out speech and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for revealing the power of God for salvation through Your life, crucifixion, burial and resurrection. I desire to preach the Good News every day I am given on this earth. Fill me with the Holy Spirit today for this task.
Isaiah 52:7 “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.””
Scripture reading for September 21st: Nahum, Psalm 149, 2nd Corinthians 4
Key Scriptures: 2nd Corinthians 4:3-6 “And even if our Gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the Gospel for the glory of Christ, Who is the image of God. For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, Who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”
Paul carefully explained to the Corinthians how the Gospel of Jesus Christ brings light to darkened hearts. Satan, the ‘god of this world’, acts to blind the minds and hearts of the unbeliever to block out the light. But those who have believed receive the light and proclaim the Gospel by confessing “Jesus is Lord!” We joyfully become servants of all men, proclaiming the Gospel and sharing the light of Jesus’ glory by living a holy and consecrated life. We long to see Jesus face to face in full glory!
Psalm 149:2 “Let Israel be glad in his Maker, let the children of Zion rejoice in their King! Let them praise His Name with dancing, making melody to Him with tambourine and lyre!”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, fill me with Your light and truth today that I may reflect “Jesus is Lord” to the world You want to reach with the Gospel. May Christ’s light overcome Satan’s dark veil of death today and forever as I call others to take refuge in You.
Nahum 1:7 “The Lord is good, a Stronghold in the day of trouble; He knows those who take refuge in Him.”
Scripture reading for July 3rd: Ecclesiastes 1-3, Psalm 45, 2nd Timothy 1
Key Scriptures: 2nd Timothy 1:8-12 “Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share in suffering for the Gospel by the power of God, Who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of His own purpose and grace, which He gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, Who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel, for which I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher, which is why I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know Whom I have believed, and I am convinced that He is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me.”
Paul encouraged Timothy, who had a problem with timidity, not to be ashamed of his testimony of Jesus Christ or of Paul, in jail because of his testimony. God had called them both to a holy calling: to preach and testify of Jesus Christ and also to suffer because of that. This calling was rooted in eternity. Paul was not ashamed because he knew Jesus Christ and was convinced of Jesus’ power to keep him safe for eternity and to watch over the gospel message and bring fruit.
Psalm 45:6 “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever. The scepter of Your kingdom is a scepter of uprightness; . .”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, I love and trust You and Your ability to keep me through the suffering that may come as a result of my testimony and preaching of Your Gospel. Give me boldness and courage to fulfill my holy calling.
Ecclesiastes 3:14 “I perceived that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it. God has done it, so that people fear before Him.”
Scripture reading for May 13th: 2nd Samuel 3-5, 1st Chronicles 12, Psalm 122, Acts 22
Key Scriptures: Acts 22:6-10 “”As I was on my way and drew near to Damascus, about noon a great light from heaven suddenly shone around me. And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?’ And I answered, ‘Who are You Lord?’ and He said to me, ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, Whom you are persecuting.’ Now those who were with me saw the light but did not understand the voice of the One Who was speaking to me. And I said, ‘What shall I do, Lord?’ And the Lord said to me, ‘Rise and go into Damascus, and there you will be told all that is appointed for you to do.'”
Paul was intent on finding Christ’s followers and locking them up. But Jesus met him and changed his plans. The risen and exalted Jesus confronted Paul in a great flash of light that knocked him to the ground. As he asked who Jesus was, Jesus revealed Himself to Paul and gave him instructions for the next steps needed on a new journey with new objectives. He would now work with Jesus, Son of David, Son of God and other Christ followers to share the Gospel he once berated and extend the peace of Jerusalem.
Psalm 122:6 “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem! May they be secure who love you!”
Faith confession and prayer: I am thankful that Jesus confronted me with who He is: Lord and Savior! I have committed myself to preach His Gospel of repentance and faith to all He directs me to. Lord fill me with Your love and the Holy Spirit.
2nd Samuel 5:10 “And David became greater and greater, for the Lord, the God of Hosts, was with Him.”
Scripture reading for May 1st: 1st Samuel 20, 1st Chronicles 4, Psalm 56, 57, 142, Acts 14
Key Scriptures: Acts 14:19-22 “But Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having persuaded the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead. But when the disciples gathered about him, he rose up and entered the city, and on the next day he went on with Barnabas to Derbe. When they had preached the Gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God”
Paul was stoned for preaching the Gospel at Lystra and left for dead. The other disciples gathered around him and prayed and he arose and entered the city. The crowd that stoned him had been stirred up by Jews from Antioch, their home mission base. This did not stop them from their mission! They continued to preach in Lystra and made many disciples there and even went back to Iconium and Antioch, strengthening the church members. They understood that persecution and tribulation was a part of kingdom opposition.
Psalm 57:2-3 “I cry out to God Most High, to God Who fulfills His purpose for me. He will send from heaven and save me; He will put to shame him who tramples on me.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for the privilege of preaching the Gospel and for persecution for the kingdom’s sake. Help me to boldly trust You each day for strength and help.
1st Samuel 20:3 “. . . But truly, as the Lord lives and as your soul lives, there is but a step between me and death.”
Scripture reading for January 23rd: Genesis 41-42, Mark 16
Key Scriptures: Mark 16:14-16 “Afterward He appeared to the eleven themselves as they were reclining at table, and He rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who saw Him after He had risen. And He said to them, “God into all the world and proclaim the Gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.”
Genesis 41:38-40 “And Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find a man like this, in whom is the Spirit of God?” Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has shown you all this, there is none so discerning and wise as you are. You shall be over my house and all my people shall order themselves as you command.”
Jesus had appeared to several disciples and women who had come to the tomb. They had told the disciples they had seen Jesus alive but the disciples refused to believe. Now Jesus appeared to them all, rebuking them for their hard hearts and unbelief. They were commanded to get to work sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ–the wisest and most discerning man, full of the Spirit of God! Through resurrection from death, Jesus was declared the Ruler of God’s House!
Faith confession and Prayer: Lord, forgive me for my unbelief and at times hardness of heart. Thank You for the gift of the Holy Spirit within me and the great commission to go into all the world and preach the Gospel! Keep reminding me that faithful obedience means life to those who believe.
Scripture reading for October 11th: Philemon, Psalm 54, Proverbs 19
Key Scriptures: Philemon 4-7 “I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers, because I hear of your love and of the faith that you have toward the Lord Jesus and for all the saints, and I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ. For I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you.”
Paul wrote to Philemon, a friend and fellow church member, from prison. This letter accompanied Onesimus, Philemon’s run-away slave who had been miraculously saved under Paul’s ministry in Rome. Paul wrote to ask Philemon to receive Onesimus as a brother. As he began the letter, he thanked God for Philemon’s faith and love for Jesus and for his ministry of refreshing the other believers in the church. He prayed that Philemon would possess a full knowledge of every good thing in him through the sharing of his faith.
Faith Confession: Through the sharing of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I have come to a more complete knowledge of everything I have in Jesus Christ my Lord. Lord, fill me with faith and love to refresh the saints!
Proverbs 19:23 “The fear of the Lord leads to life, and whoever has it rest satisfied; he will not be visited by harm.”
Scripture reading for September 20th: 2nd Thessalonians 2, Psalm 39, Proverbs 4
Key Scriptures: 2nd Thessalonians 2:13-15 “But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers, beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. To this He called you through our Gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter.”
Paul was thankful for the believers in Thessalonica who had come to Christ as a result of his ministry there. He noted that they had been sanctified, set apart, by the Holy Spirit and had believed the true Gospel. They had heard God’s call to salvation through that Gospel and now needed to stand firm in the truth they had believed. Glory awaits those who are truly saved and living in truth.
Faith Confession: I thank God for the Gospel of grace through faith in Jesus Christ. That Gospel called me into relationship and through the Holy Spirit I am standing firm in the truth.
Psalm 39:7-8 “And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in You! Deliver me from all my transgressions. Do not make me the scorn of the fool.!”
Scripture reading for March 1st: Mark 16, Psalm 44, Proverbs 13
Key Scriptures: Mark 16:14-16 “Afterward, He appeared to the eleven themselves as they were reclining at table, and He rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who saw Him after He had risen. And He said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.””
Jesus appeared to His disciples after His resurrection from the grave. His first words to them were a rebuke, a word of chastisement, for their unbelief. According to Jesus, this was hardness in their hearts to believing truth that was revealed to them by His own prophetic words and those who saw Him after He arose. He then sent them on a world-wide mission of preaching or proclaiming the gospel. How people received it or rejected it would determine eternal salvation or eternal condemnation.
Faith Confession: I believe Jesus Christ as God’s resurrected Son and obey Him by going into the world He placed me in to share and proclaim the gospel. The results are up to each person and God.
Psalm 44:7-8 “But You have saved us from our foes and have put to shame those who hate us. In God we have boasted continually, and we will give thanks to Your Name forever.”