Scripture reading for February 25th: Leviticus 19-20, Hebrews 7
Key Scriptures: Hebrews 7:22-26 “This makes Jesus the guarantor of a better covenant. The former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office, but He holds His priesthood permanently, because He continues forever. Consequently, He is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.”
God declared on oath that His Son, Jesus Christ, would be a Priest forever. Since He rose from the dead, He is alive and will live forever. This sets Him apart from the Levitical priesthood. They were sinful men who died and were buried, thus unable to continue as priests. When anyone turns to Jesus as their Priest, they are eternally secure in Him and His intercession for them with His own blood. Praise the Lord!
Faith Confession and Prayer: I have strong confidence in my salvation and inheritance because God’s Word promises me that I possess it through faith in Jesus Christ, my ‘forever Priest!’ Help me today with holy separation from the world and separation to You alone!
Leviticus 20:24, 26 “But I have said to you, ‘You shall inherit their land, and I will give it to you to possess, a land flowing with milk and honey.’ I am the Lord your God, who has separated you from the peoples.” . . . .You shall be holy to Me, for I the Lord am holy and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be mine.”
Scripture reading for October 22nd: Jeremiah 2-5, Hebrews 7
Key Scriptures: Hebrews 7:23-25 “The former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office, but He holds His priesthood permanently, because He continues forever. Consequently, He is able to save to the uttermost those who draw to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.”
The writer of Hebrews shows that Jesus is the perfect High Priest, after the order of Melchizedek. His priesthood is eternal and He always lives to make intercession for those who come to God through Him. In fact, He is the only Mediator between God and man! We are thankful, because all of us humans need a Mediator because we have all sinned! Our Mediator, Jesus, will keep us safe when the end comes!
Jeremiah 5:30-31 “An appalling and horrible thing has happened in the land: the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule at their direction; My people love to have it so, but what will you do when the end comes?”
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for Your eternal intercession for me. Help me to share Your love with those opposed to You so they won’t be condemned in the coming judgment. Amen.
Scripture reading for February 21st: Numbers 14-17, Mark 10
Key Scriptures: Mark 10:41-45 “And Jesus called them to Him and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve and to give His life a a ransom for many.”
Jesus settled a dispute among the disciples about how to obtain seats of honor in the coming kingdom. He explained that the world system exercised authority in a dominating manner. But His followers would humbly serve others. Greatness would come through serving and Jesus, Himself, was going to set the prime example of giving His own life for mankind.
Numbers 14:18-19 “‘The Lord is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, forgiving iniquity and transgression, but he will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, to the third and the fourth generation.’ Please pardon the iniquity of this people according to the greatness of your steadfast love, just as you have forgiven this people, for Egypt until now.””
Prayer: Lord, give me a servant’s heart like Moses and Jesus, willing to serve others with my life. Amen.
Scripture reading for May 8th: Ezra 8-10, Nehemiah 1-2
Key Scriptures: Nehemiah 1:3-4 “They said to me, “Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.” When I (Nehemiah) heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.”
Nehemiah was a servant (cup-bearer) to the king of Persia. He heard a report from Jerusalem that the rebuilding of the city and its walls had stopped and the people there were demoralized and in trouble. This caused him to weep and fast before the Lord. He repented of sin and confessed wickedness. He poured out his heart in prayer and opened his life for God’s purposes.
Thankful for men who weep: Jesus Christ, too, wept, over Jerusalem and then offered Himself as the One who would give His life to save His people! “As He approached Jerusalem and saw the city, He wept over it and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace–but now it is hidden from your eyes.” (Luke 19:41-42)
Scripture reading for June 25th: Psalms 107-110
Psalm 110 is one of David’s psalms that was used by Jesus Christ to instruct his adversaries. When Jesus was being tested by the teachers of the law, Jesus quoted Psalm 110:1 and attributed it to King David speaking under the power of the Holy Spirit. “The Lord said to my lord: “Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet.” (Psalm 110:1) “David himself calls him ‘Lord.’ How then can he be his son?” (Mark 12:36-37a) Jesus’ question was designed to help these teachers of the law connect with the plain teaching of God’s Word that the Messiah would be a son of David as well as his Lord! (2nd Samuel 7:12, 13, 16)
The Messiah would come from the line of David. He would sit at God’s right hand and rule until He put all His enemies under His feet. The Messiah would be declared a priest as well as a king! These offices were not combined in the Old Testament history of God’s people. But Melchizedek was one person in history who was both a priest and a king. (Genesis 14:18-20) (Hebrews 5:5-10, 6:19-7:28) Melchizedek was the King of Salem (Peace) and a priest of the Most High God. The descendant of David who was to come would be like Melchizedek!
Priests normally did not sit down while at work. But Messiah would sit down, because His work of sacrifice on behalf of the people was completed! (Acts 5:31) (Ephesians 1:20) Jesus now is interceding for us as a Priest before God, seated at His right hand! (Romans 8:34)
Jesus is now ruling in the midst of His enemies, waiting for them to bow their knees! (Psalm 11o:2-3) He is marshaling His troops for a day of battle! There is a coming day of wrath where all enemies who have not become one of his troops by bowing their knees will suffer a crushing defeat! (Psalm 110:5-6) This King will judge nations and crush rulers of the earth! He will be refreshed after the battle and exalted as the King of Glory! (Psalm 110:7) Truly, this King is the Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, Son of David, David’s Lord!
Scripture reading for September 3rd: Daniel 7-9
Daniel was not only a distinguished man known for his character and hard work, he was also known for his ability to pray and understand God’s word. Even after Daniel had been in Babylon for nearly 70 years, he was still studying the Scriptures. (Daniel 9:1-3) Jeremiah had written a letter that went to Jerusalem to the exiles right before the fall of Jerusalem. In this letter, Jeremiah had told the exiles that God would bring them back to Jerusalem after 70 years. (Jeremiah 29:10-14) These scriptures encouraged those in captivity to call out to God for restoration!
Daniel then began to pray and call on the Lord. Obedience to God’s word when we pray is powerful. We know that God’s word is true and we can pray easily in faith. Jeremiah had given the time of captivity and also promised God’s restoration. Daniel began to confess sins and call on God for mercy. “Now, our God, hear the prayers and petitions of Your servant. For Your sake, O Lord, look with favor on Your desolate sanctuary. Give ear, O God, and hear; open Your eyes and see the desolation of the city that bears Your Name. We do not make requests because we are righteous, but because of Your great mercy. O Lord, Listen! O Lord, Forgive! Oh Lord, hear and act! For Your sake, O my God, do not delay, because Your city and Your people bear Your Name.” (Daniel 9:17-19)
While Daniel was still praying, God sent the angel Gabriel with an answer and insight. Daniel was given the prophesy of the “70 weeks” decreeing the time line for God’s restoration program. It went beyond just rebuilding the temple, however. Gabriel told of the coming “Anointed One” and told how this “Anointed One” would be cut off. He told of bringing sin to an end and atoning for wickedness. He told how everlasting righteousness would be established. (Daniel 9:24-27)
Daniel’s word from Gabriel in answer to prayer is an amazing prophesy that has been much discussed over the years. Some of it has been fulfilled in the coming of Jesus Christ, God’s “Anointed One” and Messiah. Part of it will be fulfilled at the end of the age when Antichrist sets up the abomination in the temple. Praise God for a man who knows how to pray and study Scripture! Why not try it yourself?
Scripture reading for January 30: Exodus 32-34
In our reading today, the nation of Israel quickly turned away from their commitment to obey God alone. Moses was on the mountain in the cloud and fire for 40 days. He was receiving the tablets with the 10 Words from the Lord. The people came to Aaron, who was left in charge and asked for gods who would lead them. Aaron gave in quickly and asked for gold earrings and ornaments. The people gave freely and soon Aaron had fashioned a golden calf as the god that led the people from Egypt. They made hasty plans for a festival, built an altar and sacrificed. They bowed down to the calf-god made by Aaron. God’s anger and jealousy was aroused!
God spoke to Moses about the idolatry and told him to leave Him alone so He could destroy them. (Exodus 32:8-10) God’s verdict–“They are a stiff-necked people.” Stubborness is as the evil of idolatry and rebellion is as the sin of divination. (1st Samuel 15:23) Sin leads to death! God is jealous! (Exodus 34:14) God had just written the tablets on which he emphasized with two commands the order to have no gods before Him and to make no idols. (Exodus 20:3-6) Moses smashed the tablets in holy anger indicating the breaking of God’s Word by the very people who had sworn to obey! (Exodus 32:19; Exodus 24:3)
Moses, however did pray and intercede with God, asking Him to spare the people. He asked on the basis of God’s reputation and promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Moses was well aware of the Covenant and God’s promises! These were precious promises that caused these patriarchs to live by faith and walk by faith. God listened but judgment still fell on those who sinned.
Moses called for those on the Lord’s side and the Levites stepped up. They had to strap on swords and execute those who participated in the idolatry, even if it was their brother, friend or neighbor! (Exodus 33:27-2) Three thousand were executed that day. Sin is deadly, particularly idolatry! God is jealous! Israel was His Bride! From her would come His Son, the Messiah!
The lessons for us today are plain. This loving and compassionate God (Exodus 34:6-7) will not tolerate idolatry and sexual immorality. These nearly always occur together because they are closely related. Lying goes with them, too. Note Aaron’s response about just throwing the gold into the fire and an idol coming out! We are all born into idolatry. The “self” or “Big I” is our first and biggest idol! We are stiff-necked because we don’t want to get rid of this idol and truly worship God. The sword represents a slaying of the flesh! The flesh must be crucified! Idolatry is a work of the flesh. (Galatians 6:19-20) The sword of the Spirit, the Word of God brings conviction which can lead us to repent and forsake idolatry! We must walk by the Spirit and allow His fruit to grow in our lives.
Bow your neck today in reverence and prayer to the merciful and compassionate Lord who paid to free us from the sin of idolatry. No more stiff-necks among the people of God! Jesus is interceding for us like Moses of old. Instead of smashing the tablets, He kept them fully for us and shed His blood to cleans us from sin and death! What a Savior!