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. . . .”
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.