Scripture reading for January 18th: Mark 13, Psalm 13, Proverbs 13
Mark 13: 24-27 “”But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And then He will send out the angels and gather His elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.””
Jesus’ last major teaching of His disciples was a warning of the coming time of great tribulation before Jesus’ second coming. Jesus told them that the tribulation would be time of great shaking of the earth and even the heavens. It would culminate with the return of “The Son of Man” in the clouds with power and great glory. The angels would gather all the elect, those trusting in Jesus Christ, from the ends of the earth and heaven! The righteous would be rewarded by their faith in Jesus and faithfulness to God’s Word. They had heeded the warning of Scripture and now will rejoice in salvation and their eternal reward. Everlasting singing and worship will mark the redeemed and they drink the fountain of Life!
Psalm 13:5-6 “But I have trusted in Your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, because He has dealt bountifully with me.”
Prayer: Father God, You have dealt bountifully with me and I am thankful and rejoice in my promised salvation! I revere Your Word of warning for those still despising Your Word. Have mercy on them and send Your workers with Good News that they might not bring destruction on themselves or their families. I look forward with joy to Your return with the clouds of heaven and power and great glory!
Proverbs 13:13-14 “Whoever despises the Word brings destruction on himself, but he who reveres the commandment will be rewarded. The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death.”
Scripture reading for January 17th: Mark 12, Psalm 12, Proverbs 12
Mark 12: 38-40 “And in His teaching He said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes and like greetings in the marketplaces and have the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts, who devour widow’s houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”
Jesus taught His disciples to be discerning and watchful. In this world and even among religious folks, pride and love of position often is a trap of the devil to catch men. The Scribes wore religious clothing and symbols of their piety, but stole goods from the widows. They loved seats of honor, and prayed long prayers to show off. But their hearts were far from God and His commandments. God will arise and care for the poor and needy, widows, and orphans. God protects and defends them. He promises safety and deliverance to the righteous. They can count on having joy from their pure hearts and will delight God in their faithfulness. His Word is pure, tried and tested!
Psalm 12:5-6 “”Because the poor are plundered, because the needy groan, I will now arise,” says the Lord; “I will place him in the safety for which he longs.” The words of the Lord are pure words, like silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times.”
Prayer: Father, thank You for reminding me that You care for the poor, needy, widows, and orphans. Your Word is pure and true for all generations. Help me to walk by faith. Forgive me for the times I have been like those scribes, prideful and self-righteous. Use my lips to declare Your pure Word, warning and calling those lost in this world and deceived in Your church to peace and faithfulness, Your delight and my joy!
Proverbs 12:20-22 “Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil, but those who plan peace have joy. No ill befalls the righteous, but the wicked are filled with trouble. Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are His delight.”
Scripture reading for January 13th: Mark 10, Psalm 10, Proverbs 10
Mark 10: 13-16 “And they were bringing children to Him that He might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it, He was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to Me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” And He took them in His arms and blessed them, laying His hands on them.”
All children are special in God’s sight. He loves them and longs to bless them, but people often hinder the children from coming to Jesus! These disciples were rebuking parents who were bringing their children to Jesus. Jesus got angry with them! He insisted on the children being allowed to come to Him. When they did, He used them again as an illustration of how their simple faith and trust was what the kingdom of heaven was all about. They loved Jesus and found joy in His blessing. In fact, Jesus loves the fatherless and abused children and those who are oppressed and held back by mistreatment! He promises to stand up for them and bring justice! But His greatest desire was and is to bless abundantly!
Psalm 10:17-18 “O Lord, You hear the desire of the afflicted; You will strengthen their heart; You will incline Your ear to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more.”
Prayer: Father God, thank You for Your heart towards the children, particularly the fatherless, the abused, the oppressed and the abandoned. I love how You long for them to come to You. Help me to bring them to You in prayer and to see Your blessing extended to them causing joy and hope to arise and giving joy to Your heart. Forgive me for neglecting the children or hindering them. Let all barriers be removed!
Proverbs 10:28-29 “The hope of the righteous brings joy, but the expectation of the wicked will perish. The way of the Lord is a stronghold to the blameless, but destruction to evildoers.”
Scripture reading for March 23rd: Luke 15
Key Scriptures: Luke 15:18-24 “I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.” And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. And bring the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.”
Jesus gave a series of parables about lost things. There was the lost sheep, one out of a hundred. There was the lost coin, one out of ten silver coins. In each of these parables, there was great rejoicing as the lost was found. Jesus said these represented the joy in heaven over a sinner who repents. And then there was the story of the lost son, one of two, who chose to take his inheritance from his father and wasted it in the far country. This son was reduced to feeding pigs and at that point came to himself. He decided to go home and beg his father for mercy. The father was watching, and saw the returning son. He ran to greet him, hugging and kissing him. When the son confessed and asked for a slaves job, the father restored him to sonship and threw a party! Lessons on our Father’s heart abound in this amazing story!
Luke 15:7 “Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for revealing our Father’s great compassion and heart to restore what as sinners we foolishly wasted. May the joy of heaven be increased through my life and sharing of this Good News!
Psalm 86:15 “But You, O Lord are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.”
Scripture reading for May 15th: Acts 8, Psalm 97, Proverbs 4
Key Scriptures: Acts 8:4-8 “Now those who were scattered went about preaching the Word. Philip went down to the city of Samaria and proclaimed to them the Christ. And the crowds with one accord paid attention to what was being said by Philip when they heard him and saw the signs that he did. For unclean spirits, crying out with a loud voice, came out of many who had them, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed. So there was great joy in that city.”
Jesus had promised that His followers would suffer persecution. This happened after Stephen was martyred. The persecution caused the disciples to scatter out of Jerusalem into many other towns and regions. Philip, one of the first deacons, was scattered to Samaria. There he proclaimed Christ and preached the Word and God stretched out His hand in signs and healings and demonic evictions. Great joy was spread as the Word of God spread by those persecuted believers!
Faith Confession: Lord Jesus, help me to boldly proclaim Your truth wherever the Spirit takes me. I want the joy and light of Your truth and healing presence to flow among all people in my path.
Proverbs 4:18 “But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day.”
Scripture reading for May 8th: Acts 3, Psalm 92, Proverbs 30
Key Scriptures: Acts 3:6-10 “But Peter said, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I gave to you. In the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!” And he took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. And leaping up, he stood and began to walk, and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God, and recognized him as the one who sat at the Beautiful Gate of the temple asking for alms. And they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.”
Peter and John were going to the temple for prayer when they were met by a beggar asking for alms. They did not have money, but gave him more than he asked for. They spoke a word of faith in the Name of Jesus and reached out for his hand. As they did, God worked a miracle of healing and the man leaped up and began to walk and praise God. The miracle brought awe and wonder to all!
Faith Confession: I am a believer in Jesus Christ. I believe that through the Name of Jesus I have authority and power to confront sickness, disease, and demonic power and to trust God for results. (Action Step: In faith step out to help someone the Lord puts in your path. Trust Jesus for results)
Psalm 92:4 “For You, O Lord, have made me glad by Your work; at the works of Your hands I sing for joy.”
Scripture reading for April 26th: John 16, Psalm 84, Proverbs 22
Key Scriptures: John 16:20-22 “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy. When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again and your hearts will rejoice and no one will take your joy from you.”
Jesus plainly told the disciples that they would experience a time of great anguish and sorrow as He was crucified and died. He likened it to a woman at the time of giving birth. He told them that the world would rejoice as they were in anguish. But that sorrow was not the end, they would see Him again and then they would have joy that no one could ever take away
Faith confession: Thank You Lord for the comfort of Your word! Even the times of sorrow that we have here while the world rejoices will soon be turned around. No one can take my joy away!
Psalm 84:5-7 “Blessed are those who dwell in Your house, ever singing Your praise! As they go through the Valley of Baca (tears), they make it a place of springs; the early rain also covers it with pools. They go from strength to strength; each one appears before God in Zion.”
Scripture reading for November 27th: Ezekiel 38-40, 3 John
Key Scriptures: 3 John 2-4 “Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul. For I rejoiced greatly when the brothers came and testified to your truth, as indeed you are walking in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.”
John, the Apostle, wrote this short letter to a beloved friend, Gaius. Gaius may have been saved under John’s ministry. His prayer for this friend was for God’s blessing and good health as he walked with the Lord Jesus. John was blessed by the testimony of other believers who had been with Gaius and saw how he walked in the truth of the Gospel and welcomed other traveling ministers and missionaries. In doing so, he was helping fulfill the Lord’s command to take the Gospel to the nations. This is how to walk in truth.
Ezekiel 39:28-29 “Then they shall know that I am the Lord their God, because I sent them into exile among the nations and then assembled them into their own land. I will leave none of the remaining among the nations anymore. And I will not hide My face anymore from them, when I pour out my Spirit upon the house of Israel, declares the Lord God.”
Prayer: Lord, thank You for the Truth of the Gospel revealed to me by the Holy Spirit. May there be reports of my walking in Your truth bringing a smile to You and others. Amen.
Scripture reading for October 25th: Jeremiah 13-15, Hebrews 10
Key Scriptures: Hebrews 10:23-27 “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. For if we go on sinning deliberately, after receiving a knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.”
God honors faithfulness and application of truth revealed. Christians have a great responsibility to live in obedience and hold Christ’s return in their thinking and actions. God is faithful and also just! Willful sinning when the knowledge of God’s truth has been received will bring judgment and eternal loss. What a joy to delight in His Word!
Jeremiah 15:16 “Your words were found, and I ate them, and Your words became to me a joy and delight of my heart, for I am called by Your Name, O Lord, God of Hosts.”
Prayer: Lord, Thank You for Your faithfulness and Holy Word of encouragement and warning. May I always delight in Your Word and be called by Your great Name! Amen.
Scripture reading for August 28th: Psalm 129-132 and Ephesians 4
Key Scriptures: Ephesians 4:29-32 “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
Christians are not under the law anymore, but under grace through faith in Christ Jesus. They have been forgiven of their sins and cleansed in their hearts. The Holy Spirit dwells inside them to lead them in the new life of grace. This changes our speech, attitudes and past anger and malice towards others. Our attitudes and actions should now reflect Christ Jesus living within our hearts.
Psalm 132:13-16 “for the Lord has chosen Zion; He has desired it for His dwelling place:”This is My resting place forever; here I will dwell, for I have desired it. I will abundantly bless her provisions; I will satisfy her poor with bread. Her priests I will clothe with salvation, and her saints will shout for joy.”
Prayer: Lord, dwell in me today, fill me with Your Holy Spirit and clothe me with salvation and joy! I will proclaim Your grace to others. Amen.