Scripture reading for September 19th: 2nd Timothy 1, Psalm 37, Proverbs 1
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 was suffering in prison in Rome and writing what was to be his last letter that we have in Scripture. He believed that God had sent him to Rome to preach the Gospel, even to those who imprisoned him. He urged Timothy, who was also facing persecution, not to be ashamed of his own testimony of faith in Jesus or of him as His prisoner. Paul’s own example was one of confession of the Gospel of Jesus Christ as God’s Son and Savior through His atoning death and powerful resurrection to life eternal. Paul knew Jesus Christ and was fully convinced of Christ’s ability and power to keep his life and soul eternally, no matter what might happen to him! God’s grace was sufficient and His Holy Spirit would uphold him.
Psalm 37:23-25 “The steps of a man are established by the Lord, when He delights in his way; Though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the Lord upholds his hand. I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not see the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread.”
Prayer: Father God, thank You for the confidence that I have through these Holy Scriptures and the records of Paul and Timothy’s life and faith. Forgive me for sometimes shrinking back from boldly sharing my faith in Jesus Christ. Fill me with the Holy Spirit and boldness to live victoriously, even in suffering, and proclaim Your faithfulness to all who will hear and see. May the wise hear and understand!
Proverbs 1:5-6 “Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance, to understand a proverb and a saying, the words of the wise and their riddles.”
Scripture reading for August 11th: 1st Corinthians 9, Psalm 10, Proverbs 5
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.”
After finding Jesus Christ as Lord, Paul was a free man from the law of God. Jesus had taken the penalty for his (and our) sins and given him the Holy Spirit and the law of Christ which is love. Paul became a willing bond-servant of God, offering his own self as a witness and preacher of the Good News to win lost people to God. He sought to find a way to relate to each person in order to share the Good News. His focus was their salvation, regardless of their background or religious upbringing. He knew God’s heart of compassion for hurting and oppressed people and for the sake of the Gospel allowed the Holy Spirit to use him for their healing and deliverance through faith in Jesus.
Psalm 10:17-18 “O Lord, You hear the desire of the afflicted; You will strengthen their heart; You will incline Your ear to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, so that man who is of the earth may not strike terror no more.”
Prayer: Father, thank You for hearing the cries of the afflicted and hurting, the fatherless and oppressed and acting for them by sending Your Son. Thank You that You see all of our ways and ponder all our paths that You might win us to You by sending servants like Paul. Fill me with Your compassion and love and send me today to those in need of Your grace. Pour out Your blessings through the Gospel!
Proverbs 5:21 “For a man’s ways are before the eyes of the Lord, and He ponders all his paths.”
Scripture reading for April 11th: Matthew 4, Psalm 72, Proverbs 10
Matthew 4: 17-23 “From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” While walking by the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed Him. And going on from there He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets, and He called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed Him. And He went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the Gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people.”
Jesus came back in the power of the Holy Spirit from His forty-day encounter with Satan in the wilderness. He immediately began to preach repentance and call people to enter the kingdom of heaven. He began calling disciples from among the fishermen working at the Sea of Galilee. This was the area of Israel where a trade route brought many Gentiles through the area and the area Isaiah had prophesied about a “great light” appearing! Those called to follow Jesus, responded immediately! They were promised by Jesus a new type of ‘fishing’! Jesus then went throughout that area teaching and proclaiming the Good News of the kingdom of heaven and healing and miracles were being done among the people in need of His kingdom! Praise the Lord! The whole earth was being filled with His glory!
Psalm 72:18-19 “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, Who alone has done wondrous things. Blessed be His glorious Name forever; may the whole earth be filled with His glory! Amen and Amen!”
Prayer: Father God, Thank You for Your amazing call to those first fishermen to follow You and become fishers of men. The amazing love of King Jesus was and is being demonstrated by the covering of sins and offenses against You and the healing of hearts, bodies and souls damaged by sickness and sin. Through Jesus, I have found the fountain of Life! Use me to share the Gospel and Your glory to all! Amen!
Proverbs 10:11-12 “The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence. Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses.”
Scripture reading for February 6th: Acts 10, Psalm 26, Proverbs 26
Acts 10: 44-48 “While Peter was still saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the Word. And the believers from among the circumcised who had come with Peter were amazed, because the Gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out even on the Gentiles. For they were hearing them speaking in other tongues and extolling God. Then Peter declared, “Can anyone withhold water for baptizing these people, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” And he commanded them to be baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to remain for some days.”
Peter was a devout Jew, trained in the Old Testament Scriptures and the traditions of Judaism. He was also a man of prayer, and while praying God gave him a vision that challenged his understanding of Old Testament laws. In a vision, God called Peter first to eat what was lowered from heaven–foods the law declared unclean. But this was to prepare Peter to go to the home of a Gentile, Cornelius, without hesitation. Cornelius was a God-fearing man who loved God and gave alms to the poor. His heart of love got God’s attention and God sent Peter to share the Gospel. While sharing, the Holy Spirit was poured out from Heaven and Cornelius and his household spoke in tongues and glorified God. Peter then understood that God wanted the Gentiles to enjoy salvation and baptized them.
Psalm 26:8 “O Lord, I love the habitation of Your house, and the place where Your glory dwells.”
Prayer: Father God, thank You for showing no partiality between Jew and Gentile! Thank You for freely pouring out the Holy Spirit and the gifts on all people. Help me, as You helped Peter, to understand Your ways when my own prejudices and past religious training blocks me from knowing or doing Your will. Pour out Your Spirit as I share the Word of God with those who are hungry for truth.
Proverbs 26:28 “A lying tongue hates its victims, and a flattering mouth works ruin.”
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.”