Scripture reading for October 14th: 2nd Kings 24-25, 2nd Chronicles 36, Psalm 126, 1st Peter 3
Key Scriptures: 1st Peter 3:13-16 “Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your heart honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.”
Peter encouraged the church to do good works, even if it brought suffering. Suffering for righteousness was part of the package. There should be no fear of those who trouble us, because we honor Christ as Lord of all. He is holy and will protect and defend us. Our job is to be ready to make a defense when asked the reason for our hope and peace, and to make the defense with gentleness and respect. Honoring Christ as holy exalts Him and gives us a clear conscience.
Psalm 126:5-6 “Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! He who goes out weeping; bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, I honor You alone as holy and will be prepared to give a defense to all who ask the reason of my hope. Help me to humbly reflect Your holiness and character as I share the gospel. I look forward to the shouts of joy in heaven because of those who are saved!
2nd Chronicles 36:15 “The Lord, the God of their fathers, sent (His Word) persistently to them by His messengers, because He had compassion on His people and on His dwelling place.”
Scripture reading for November 9th: Jeremiah 51-52, Lamentations 1-2, 1st Peter 3
Key Scriptures: 1st Peter 3:14-17 “But even if you should suffer for for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.”
Suffering for righteousness will bring blessings to the believer. We are not to be afraid or troubled by those who persecute us for our good behavior and love of Christ. We should always be ready to share the hope of Jesus with those who are doing the persecuting. Pray that God opens the doors of their hearts and that we have an opportunity to share the work of our God in saving sinners.
Jeremiah 51:10 “The Lord has brought about our vindication; come let us declare in Zion the work of the Lord our God.”
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I sanctify You as Lord in my heart today. Give me opportunity and boldness to share the hope of the Gospel with those who persecute me or are hostile to You and Your Church. Amen.
Scripture reading for September 26th: Isaiah 3-6; 1st Timothy 3
Key Scriptures: 1st Timothy 3:16 “Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness: ‘He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.'”
Paul was writing to encourage his young “son” in the faith to choose godly leaders in Christ’s Church. There were numerous qualifications involving personal character and demonstrated ability and faithfulness that Paul had laid out. In summary, Paul stated it was all about a relationship with Jesus Christ, Son of God and raised from the dead. In Christ, this mystery was fully revealed to all who would believe.
Isaiah 6:1-3 “In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above Him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings; with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said: “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of hosts; the who earth is full of His glory!””
Prayer: Lord, may I continue to grow in godliness through a deeper relationship and walk with my Lord Jesus Christ, the “Holy, Holy, Holy One.” May His Glory fill the earth! Amen.
Scripture reading for December 26th: Revelation 3-7
Key Scriptures: Revelation 4:2-3, 8 “At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. And the One who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian. A rainbow, resembling an emerald, encircled the throne. . .Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under his wings. Day and night they never stopped saying: “Holy, holy holy is the Lord God Almighty who was, and is, and is to come.””
John was worshiping the Lord and saw a door open in heaven and the voice of the Lord inviting him to come up! Immediately he was transported through the door and beheld the throne of heaven and the Majesty seated there. He also saw the creatures around the throne and listened to their worship! They were saying the same thing that Isaiah beheld over 700 years earlier! HOLY! HOLY! HOLY!
Isaiah’s vision: “In the year King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on the throne, high and exalted, and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above Him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of His glory.” (Isaiah 6:1-3)
Scripture reading for December 7th: Colossians 4, 1st Thessalonians 1-3
Key Scriptures: 1st Thessalonians 3:12-13 “May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. May He strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all His holy ones.”
Paul desired greatly to come and minister again to the Thessalonians. He had asked God to make a way, and for God to increase their love for each other through His indwelling presence. Paul wanted them to be blameless and holy when Jesus Christ returned to earth with all His holy ones to take His Bride away! This prayer for them would inspire them to seek God for His righteousness and to live holy lives in expectancy!
Joyful in hope at Christ’s return: “Yes, Lord, walking in the way of Your laws, we wait for You; Your Name and renown are the desire of our hearts. My soul yearns for you in the night; in the morning my spirit longs for you. When your judgments come upon the earth, the people of the world learn righteousness.” (Isaiah 26:8-9)
Scripture reading for July 28th: Isaiah 2-6
Key Scriptures: Isaiah 6:1-3 “In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above Him were seraphs, each with six wings: With tow wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of His glory.”
Isaiah describes the vision he was allowed to see of the throne of God. He was overcome with the glory of the Lord and confessed his uncleanness and need of cleansing. The sight of God’s throne and the heavenly beings worshiping there was overwhelming. Their continual cry was “Holy, Holy, Holy!” Over six hundred years later, John was caught up into heaven and given a similar opportunity to view God’s throne and those worshiping there.
The Holy Throne: “In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, . . . Each of the four living creatures had six wings and covered with eyes all around, even under his wings. Day and night they never stopped saying “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.” (Revelation 4:6-8)
Scripture reading for March 13th: Judges 18-21
Key Scriptures: Judges 18:18-20 “When these men went into Micah’s house and took the carved image, the ephod, the other household gods and the cast idol, the priest and said to them, “What are you doing?” The answered him, “Be Quiet! Don’t say a word. Come with us, and be our father and priest. Isn’t it better that you serve a tribe and clan in Israel as priest rather than just one man’s household?” Then the priest was glad. He took the ephod, the other household gods and the carved image and went along with the people.”
The tribe of Dan had turned to idolatry and a form of religion. They had no King or did not remember the Lord and His Word. This story tells of an idolatrous family and tribe whose priest served for dishonest gain!
Thankful for godly leadership: God commands leaders to live godly examples and not work for money but for Him! “Surely you remember, brothers, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you. You are witnesses, and so is God, of how holy, righteous and blameless we were among you who believed.” (1st Thessalonians 22:9-10)
Scripture reading for October 21st: Hebrews 7
Key Scriptures for over-comers: Hebrews 7: 23-26 “Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; but because Jesus lives forever, He has a permanent priesthood. Therefore He is able to save completely those who come to God through Him, because He always lives to intercede for them. Such a High Priest meets our need–one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens.”
Levitical priests were appointed by men and served until their deaths. When they went before God, they needed a sacrifice for their own sins as well as the sins of the people they represented. But Jesus Christ became a priest after the order of Melchizedek based on several amazing truths. He was appointed a Priest forever by God’s oath, not by men. He could serve as a permanent Priest because of His endless life, being raised from the dead. He offered Himself, His body and blood, as the atonement sufficient to pay the penalty of the sins of all mankind and He sat down, His work of salvation finished once for all!
Observations for over-comers: Jesus Christ, our High Priest, meets every need we have or will ever have. He alone can save us completely! “The Lord has sworn and will not change His mind: “You are a Priest forever, in the Order of Melchizedek.”” (Psalm 110:4, Hebrews 7:17)
Scripture reading for August 4th: 2nd Corinthians 6
Key scriptures for over-comers: 2nd Corinthians 6:14, 16-18 “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. . . .For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said, “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and the will be My people.” “Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.” “I will be a Father to you, and you will be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”
Paul warned the Corinthians to be careful in their relationships and close associations with people from the world. Unbelievers have nothing in common with believers, and are in fact spiritually hostile to God and His people. God wants to live in each believer and be their God totally and for each believer to belong exclusively to Him. This requires a separation of what is holy from that which is profane or worldly. Our bodies are now the temple of the Holy Spirit and are set apart to God for His use. We are to separate from all that would defile God’s temple or tempt us to compromise our relationship with God!
Observations for over-comers: Separation from evil influences, unbelievers, and sinful practices is mandatory for over-comers. Separation to God for His purposes is the best approach, as all else will drop off. “Then Ezra the priest stood up and said to them, “You have been unfaithful; you have married foreign women, adding to Israel’s guilt. Now make confession to the Lord, the God of you fathers, and do His will. Separate yourselves from the peoples around you and from your foreign wives.” (Ezra 10:10-11)
Scripture reading for December 4th: Revelation 4
“After this I looked and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first hear speaking to me like a trumpet said, “Come up here and I will show you what must take place after this.” At once I was in the Spirit and there before me was a throne in heaven with Someone sitting on it. And the One who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian. A rainbow, resembling an emerald, encircled the throne.” (Revelation 4:1-3)
John received a supernatural revelation of the unseen reality that was invisible to all humans without divine assistance. The first thing John described was the throne. The throne had Someone sitting on it. John could only describe that “One” as having the appearance of sparkling gems and radiating the colors of a rainbow completely encircling Him. Jasper is crystal clear and carnelian is brilliant red. John had no physical description other than the glorious color and blazing light coming in flashes of lightning and peals of thunder. (Revelation 4:5)
Around this brilliant throne, there were twenty-four other thrones with elders dressed in white with crowns of gold. In the center of the throne, there were four living creatures and they never stopped crying, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is , and is to come.” (Revelation 4:8) The elders responded to their worship by falling down and casting their crowns before the throne crying, “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for You created all things, and by Your will they were created and have their being.” The unseen realities around God’s Holy Throne throb with worship, light, and glory! By God’s amazing grace, we who believe on Jesus will see this eternal throne in our glorified bodies!