Scripture reading for August 19th: Micah 5-7, Matthew 25
Key Scriptures: Matthew 25:31-34 “”When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. Before Him will be gathered all the nations, and He will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And He will place the sheep on His right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.'”
Jesus concluded His final message before His suffering with a parable of sheep and goats. He told how people of the nations would come before His glorious throne and be separated in judgment. The ‘sheep’ would have a place on His right hand, but the goats would be placed on the left. The ‘sheep’ would enter into their full inheritance, prepared from the world’s foundation. The ‘goats’ would be sent to eternal damnation in the lake of fire. This final judgment will be based on response of faith to follow Jesus as their ‘Good Shepherd’.
Faith confession and prayer: Jesus, Your throne is glorious and You are King of Kings! You see the hearts of all men and are full of mercy. Help me to follow You like a dependent ‘sheep’ follows the shepherd.
Micah 6:8 “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.”
Scripture reading for January 28th: Genesis 47-48, Galatians 3, Psalm 25
Key Scriptures: Genesis 47:15-16 “And he (Jacob) blessed Joseph and said, “The God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, the God who has been my Shepherd all my life long to this day, the Angel who has redeemed me from all evil, bless the boys; and in them let my name be carried on, and the name of my fathers, Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth.”
Galatians 3:26-28 “. . .for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.”
Jacob had come to Egypt to be with his children. Upon seeing Joseph, whom he thought had been killed, he wept and was even more blessed to see the children that Joseph had produced. As Jacob blessed the two boys of Joseph, Ephraim and Manasseh, he adopted them as his own. As such they would have Abraham and Isaac as their fathers and be in line for inheritance–a double portion! The Apostle Paul stated to the Galatians that in Christ Jesus–offspring of Abraham and King David, we who believe become “Abraham’s offspring” and heirs according to promise! Not by works but through faith this is so! Amen!
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for Your heavenly blessing of my life through the gift of the Holy Spirit! I am privileged to become “Abraham’s offspring” by faith and receive the promise of eternal inheritance!
Psalm 25:21 “May integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait for You.”
Scripture reading for November 7th: 1st Peter 1, Psalms 73-74, Proverbs 7
Key Scriptures: 1st Peter 1:3-7 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to His great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this your rejoice, through now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith–more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire–may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
Peter begins his letter to the church with rejoicing in Jesus and joy at believers ‘new birth’! This new life is brought about by faith and is laid hold of by faith. Faith must be proved genuine and is often tested by trials and temptations here on earth. Genuine faith will result in “glory, honor and praise” at the return of Jesus Christ for His Church! We will be caught up in His glory forever!
Faith Confession: I have been born again into a living hope through faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I rejoice in the coming inheritance I will receive, at the revelation of Jesus Christ when He comes for me and all His people of faith.
Psalm 73:24 “You guide me with Your counsel, and afterward You will receive me to glory.”
Scripture reading for August 23rd: Psalm 118-121, Ephesians 1
Key Scriptures: Ephesians 1:16-20 “I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which He has called you, what are the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His great might, that He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places.”
After Paul’s glorious introduction in his letter to the Ephesians, he thanks God for the believers and prays for understanding of God’s amazing power exhibited through Christ’s resurrection from the dead and His seating at the Father’s right hand. This understanding would come through the Holy Spirit.
Psalm 119:104-105 “Through Your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way. Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
Prayer: Lord, thank You for Your body, the Church. Fill us again with the Spirit of wisdom and understanding and guide us in Your ways through Your unchanging Word. Amen.
Scripture reading for December 4th: Galatians 5-6, Ephesians 1-3
Key Scriptures: Ephesians 1:13-14 “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession–to the praise of His glory.”
The gospel is powerful and effective in bringing salvation. A preacher preaches the word of truth and God gives grace to repent, believe and receive the promise of eternal life. This salvation includes a mark of God’s ownership, the gift of the Father–the precious Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is a deposit of God’s grace and glory that marks us a belonging to God as a member of His family and declared righteous. We are saved and await the full redemption at Christ’s return!
Thankful for promised inheritance: “The days of the blameless are known to the Lord, and their inheritance will endure forever.” (Psalm 37:18) Amen!
Scripture reading for September 4th: Lamentations 2-5, Ezekiel 1
Key Scriptures: Lamentations 3:21-24 “Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassion’s never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him.””
Jeremiah wrote Lamentations as a series of poems lamenting the fall of Jerusalem and the suffering of God’s people. Each chapter is a new cry of anguish as waves of tears wash his eyes for the destruction he witnessed. In the midst of these ‘laments’, Jeremiah remembers God’s great love and compassion. This brings him hope in the midst of his grief and despair! God alone was his ‘portion’ or ‘inheritance’, and worth waiting on!
A Living Hope: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade–kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.” (1st Peter 1:3-5)
Scripture reading for March 6th: Joshua 18-22
Key Scriptures: Joshua 18:1-3 “The whole assembly of the Israelites gathered at Shiloh and set up the Tent of Meeting there. The country was brought under their control, but there were still seven Israelite tribes who had not yet received their inheritance. So Joshua said to the Israelites: “How long will you wait before you begin to take possession of the land that the Lord, the God of your fathers, has given you? . .”
The Israelites had entered the land and taken control of it by God’s help. But seven of the tribes had not taken possession of their allotted inheritance. Joshua asked them how long they would wait to claim what was theirs!
Rejoice in our inheritance: Jesus Christ, our Joshua, has allotted His people an eternal inheritance–the Kingdom of Heaven! We possess it by faith! “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by My Father, take your inheritance, the Kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. . .” (Matthew 25:34)
Scripture reading for February 3rd: Leviticus 20-23
Key Scriptures: Leviticus 20:22-24 “Keep all my decrees and laws and follow them, so that the land where I am bringing you to live may not vomit you out. You must not live according to the customs of the nations I am going to drive out before you. Because they did all these things, I abhorred them. But I said to you, “You will possess their land; I will give it to you as an inheritance, a land flowing with milk and honey.” I am the Lord your God, who has set you apart from the nations.””
Disobedience could cost the Israelites their inheritance. The land would ‘vomit’ them out if they did not follow God’s instructions completely! They failed! But fortunately for us, God sent His Son to perfectly obey the Law that we might have an eternal inheritance in His glorious Presence!
Cause for rejoicing: Jesus Christ is our Champion, having perfectly obeyed His Father and offered His own body and blood for our redemption! “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade–kept in heaven for you. . .” (1st Peter 1:3-4)
Scripture reading for March 6: Joshua 13-17
Some people are positive and exude strength and courage! God commanded Joshua and the nation of Israel to be strong and courageous! (Joshua 1:8) When we choose to believe God’s Word and act on it, our lives change from sight-driven to faith-driven. Caleb’s destiny changed from “dying in the desert” to “possessing the promised land”! In our reading today, we listen in on Caleb as he prepares to receive his portion of inheritance in the promised land.
Caleb and Joshua are the only two left out of 603,550 Israelite males that left Mt. Sinai for the promised land. (Numbers 1:46) They were two of the twelve spies and the only ones to bring back a good report! God rewarded them by sparing their lives and allowing them to have what they proclaimed in faith! (Numbers 14:24) Caleb’s inheritance included the fortress at Hebron where the Anakites lived. (Joshua 14:15) They were large people and renowned fighters. This made no difference to Caleb! He was still confident in God’s ability to give him the land! (Joshua 14:12) Joshua blessed Caleb and sent him off to his inheritance!
Caleb is one of my favorite people in the Bible. He exudes confidence! He maintains an attitude of faith and confidence even in his older years. At 85 we find him strong and vigorous and ready for battle! He isn’t in retirement or sitting out life in a rocking chair. He understands what belongs to him, and is ready to take it and possess it! He is praising God and making the good confession! That’s my kind of man!
What obstacle do you face today? What excuses have you been making for not attacking it? Learn from Caleb how to walk by faith and confess God’s ability to help you! “Now then, just as the Lord promised, he has kept me alive for forty-five years since the time he said this to Moses, while Israel moved about in the desert. So here I am today, 85 years old! I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then. Now give me this hill country that the Lord promised me that day! You yourself heard that the Anakites were there and that their cities were large and fortified, but, the Lord helping me, I will drive them out just as He said!” (Joshua 14:10-12)