Scripture reading for October 13th: Jeremiah 38, 39, 52, 1st Peter 2
1st Peter 2: 18-23 “Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust. For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in His steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in His mouth. When He was reviled, He did not revile in return; When He suffered, He did not threaten, but continued entrusting Himself to Him Who judges justly.”
Peter encouraged submission to all authorities, even those who were abusive or unjust. Suffering is part of following Jesus Christ. Our Lord set the example for us in His trial, death and resurrection. God looks upon His people suffering unjustly as an act of grace towards those mistreating them. God’s goodness leads people to repentance. Jesus Christ suffered unjustly for our sins and prayed for forgiveness for those so mistreating Him. Because of this, He ransomed all who will in faith look to Him. Peter wanted believers to follow in that example to see God’s enemies saved if possible. This is radical love in action.
1st Peter 2:24 “He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By His wounds you have been healed.”
Prayer: Father God, I struggle to fully submit to unrighteous authority. Forgive me of my sin of pride and teach me the way of the cross and Jesus Christ My Lord. Help me to learn from those in Scripture who also suffered unjustly under rebellious authority yet remained true to God and His Word. Use me to show Your amazing grace to those needing redemption and Your healing for their souls.
Jeremiah 38:6 “So they took Jeremiah and cast him into the cistern of Malchiah, the king’s son, which was in the court of the guard, letting Jeremiah down by ropes. And there was no water in the cistern, but only mud, and Jeremiah sank into the mud.” (Response of king Zedekiah to Jeremiah’s Word from the Lord.)
Scripture reading for March 10th: Numbers 19-21, Colossians 4
Key Scriptures: Colossians 4;2-6 “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open a door for the Word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison–that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak. Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”
Disciples of Jesus are called to a life of prayer. Ministry doors are opened through prayer. Boldness to preach comes through prayer and the infilling of the Holy Spirit. Clear Gospel presentation comes as a result of prayer. Gracious speech and words spoken in season come through those who are connected to Jesus through a life of steadfast prayer. Paul, in prison for preaching, encouraged prayer for his ministry efforts–not release from jail!
Numbers 21:16-18 “And from there they continued to Beer; that is the well of which the Lord said to Moses, “Gather the people together, so that I may give them water.” Then Israel sang this song: “Spring up, O well! –Sing to it!–the well that the princes made, that the nobles of the people dug, with the scepter and with their staffs.”
Faith Confession and prayer: Lord, You alone are the source of all ministry, empowerment, fruitfulness, and open doors! I pray with the Israelites of old: “Spring up, O Well!” Fill me with living water to boldly preach Your Word.
Scripture reading for October 5th: Isaiah 29-31 and 2nd Timothy 4
Key Scriptures: 2nd Timothy 4:16-18 “At my first defense no one came to stand by me, but all deserted me. May it not be charged against them! But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into His heavenly kingdom. To Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.”
Paul was writing his last words here on earth to Timothy, his son in the ministry. He showed mercy to those who had deserted him and focus on the priority of the Gospel message being fully preached. He declared his faith in God’s power and presence. His merciful Father would be given glory forever and ever!
Isaiah 30:18 “Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore He exalts Himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice: blessed are all those who wait for Him.”
Prayer: Lord, thank You for the confidence You inspire in me concerning Your faithfulness, justice and mercy! You have been merciful to me and I trust in Your mercy forever and ever. Amen.
Scripture reading for June 5th: 2nd Chronicles 27-30, Acts 23
Key Scriptures: 2nd Chronicles 30:8-9 “Do not be like your fathers and your brothers, who were faithless to the Lord God of their fathers, so that He made them a desolation, as you see. So not now don’t be stiff-necked as your fathers were, but yield yourselves to the Lord and come to His Sanctuary, which He has consecrated forever, and serve the Lord your God, that His fierce anger may turn away from you. For if you return to the Lord, your brothers and your children will find compassion with their captors and return to this land. For the Lord your God is gracious and merciful and will not turn away His face from you if you return to Him.”
Hezekiah lead Israel in a revival of worship and repentance. He urged the not to be stubborn, but to seek the Lord for His mercy by returning to God. God was merciful and full of compassion to those who humbly repented. God stands by His people and gives courage!
Acts 23:11 “The following night the Lord stood by him and said, “Take courage for as you have testified to the facts about Me in Jerusalem, so you must testify also in Rome.”
Prayer: Lord, thank You for Your great mercy and for standing with Your people. Give me courage today. Amen.