Scripture reading for October 8th: James 4
Key Scriptures: James 4:1-5 “What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that He has made to dwell in us”?
James addressed the church with several questions. He used the rabbinic method of that day, perfected by Jesus Christ, to cause God’s people to think deeply about their own lives and also about their relationship with God and the world they lived in. There were some who had more friendship with the world than love and commitment to God. They had made a commitment, but were now acting in an adulterous manner towards their Savior by following their own passions instead of Christ’s love and obedience. The result was quarreling and fights among believers. There was internal strife and divided loyalty and hatred which was equal to murder. James asked them to consider that God jealously yearned over them and had given them His Holy Spirit as a down-payment on the future eternal life together. Grace was needed and humbly asking God in faith was the first step.
James 4:6-8 “But He gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, purify your hearts, you double-minded.”
Faith confession and prayer: Father God, forgive your people for their adulterous ways and divided loyalty. Forgive us of the quarreling and fighting and passion for things over our relationship with You. Fill us afresh with You Holy Spirit and give us grace to resist the devil and draw nearer to You with clean hands and a pure heart.
James 4:10 “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you.”
Scripture reading for September 3rd: Psalm 143-145, Philippians 2
Key Scriptures: Philippians 4:5-11 “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore, God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the Name that is above every name, so that at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Paul urged the Corinthians to put on the mind of Christ, which was available to them. This “Christ mind” was humble and serving and put God’s will and others before self. This way of thinking and living brings ultimate reward and glory to Christ and God our Father. This way pleases God and requires faith.
Psalm 145:2-4 “Every day I will bless You and praise Your Name forever and ever. Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and His greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall commend Your works to another, and shall declare Your mighty acts.”
Prayer: Lord, thank You for the mind of Christ and His example of humility and serving. Fill me with His ways. I will praise You and declare Your mighty acts! Amen.
Scripture reading for May 28th: 2nd Chronicles 6-8, Acts 17
Key Scriptures: Acts 17:24-27 “The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself Gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. And He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their was toward Him and find Him.”
Paul found himself in Athens among the philosophers of the city. They loved debating the latest new ideas. Paul preached Jesus Christ to them and pointed them to the Creator of heaven and earth. He stated that this God did not live in temples and was the giver of all life. He even determined each person’s residence and length of time there. This God was worth getting to know!
2nd Chronicles 7:13-14 “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, if my people who are called by My Name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
Prayer: Lord, thank You for Your great knowledge and understanding of all men. Give me boldness like Paul of old to share a testimony of the Creator and redeemer. Amen.
Scripture reading for March 21st: 1st Samuel 16-19
Our culture prizes youth, beauty, intelligence, power, and money! We tend to judge people by what we see or know about their life. Where do they live? What kind of car do they drive? Are they handsome or beautiful? What position do they hold? Who are their friends? I don’t believe it has been much different since the fall of man. We are very driven by our senses and peer pressure. But God sees things differently!
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance, or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1st Samuel 16:7)
What does God see in our heart? What is he looking for? He is looking at the things we truly value. He is looking for a heart after God, a heart that will trust God and live by faith in His Word! (2nd Chronicles 16:9) When we put God first, and not our “self”, He is pleased! He is looking for a “humble and contrite” heart. (Isaiah 66:2) He needs a heart that can be taught, corrected, and shaped for His habitation. If a mere man is going to walk with God, he certainly must be humble and willing to learn. I believe God is looking for a pure heart too. Only those who are pure in heart can see God. (Matthew 5:8)
How does a mere man measure up? God Himself provided the way through a descendant of David, the man after God’s heart! Jesus Christ had the perfect heart! He was fully sold out to God, his Father. He did only what he saw His Father do and said only what He heard His father say!(John 5:19-20) Jesus was humble of heart–and wants to teach us the same! (Matthew 11:28-32) Jesus was pure of heart–completely without sin! He offered His own life on our behalf! If we confess our sins to Him, He will cleanse us of our sins and all unrighteousness! (1st John 1:9) We can have a pure heart too! We can learn from Him by receiving the Holy Spirit of Truth. We can live by faith in His Word! The just shall live by faith!
Praise the Lord, God still looks at the heart! Does He see Jesus Christ as Lord in your heart today? If He is not your King, why not humble yourself and invite Him to live in your heart today! You will be eternally grateful!
“The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in His hands. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.” (John 3:35-36)