Scripture reading for November 8th: John 18, Psalm 73, Proverbs 6
John 18: 35-38 “Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered You over to me. What have You done?” Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But My kingdom is not from the world.” Then Pilate said to Him, “So You are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world–to bear witness to the Truth. Everyone who is of the Truth listens to My voice.” Pilate said to Him, “What is Truth?””
The Jews had turned Jesus over to Pilate, the Roman governor as an insurrectionist because they wanted to execute Him. Pilate questioned Jesus concerning His kingdom and title. Jesus told Pilate that His kingdom was not of this world. He also admitted that His purpose was to bear witness to the Truth of His Kingship and kingdom. Pilate was mystified. He had heard Jesus’ claims and was confused about whether they were Truth. This is the state of many in our world today. They know about Jesus and have heard His Gospel, but their hearts refuse to listen to Truth. They instead believe a lie and remain in a state of confusion and end up in eternal judgment. They point their finger at Jesus in accusation instead of lifting their hands in worship. Only the Truth, Jesus Christ, Son of God, can set us free!
Psalm 73:27-28 “For behold, those who are far from You shall perish; You put an end to everyone who is unfaithful to You. But for me, it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord God my Refuge, that I may tell of all Your works.”
Prayer: Father God, thank You for the Truth of Jesus as King and Your heavenly kingdom. Thank You for revealing the Truth to me and all who believe, saving us from eternal judgment and confusion in this life. Open the eyes and hearts of my friends and family to see the Truth of the Gospel today. Use me in any way You can to share the Gospel Truth with a heart of compassion and love reflecting Your Son.
Proverbs 6:12-13 “A worthless person, a wicked man, goes about with crooked speech, winks with his eyes, signals with his feet, points with his finger, . “
Scripture reading for June 2nd: Romans 14, Psalm 110, Proverbs 17
Romans 14:15-19 “For if your brother is grieved by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. By what you eat, do not destroy the one for whom Christ died. So do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil. For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. So then let us then pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.”
God’s people are governed in His kingdom by the law of love. The central focus is not rules about foods, eating or drinking, or not eating or not drinking. We must all respect our brothers and sisters and their current growth and understanding. Mature believers should limit their liberties to help the younger believers. God’s kingdom rule is one of love and righteousness through faith in Jesus. As we rest in Jesus, we have peace with God and with those around us in HIs kingdom. This promotes joyful living and friendship with God and others.
Psalm 110:1-3 “The Lord says to my Lord: “Sit at My right hand, until I make Your enemies Your footstool.” The Lord sends forth from Zion Your mighty scepter. Ride in the midst of Your enemies. Your people will offer themselves freely on the day of Your power, in holy garments; from the womb of the morning, the dew of your youth will be yours.”
Prayer: Father God, I thank You for Your rule of righteousness, peace and joy coming from faith in Your Word and grace through Jesus Christ. Your scepter is one of righteousness! I give myself to You freely to be filled with Your Spirit and love for my brothers and sisters. Make me sensitive to their needs and growth in faith (or the lack of it); that I may love them properly, bring peace, and build them up.
Proverbs 17:17 “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”
Scripture reading for December 1st: Esther 1-3, Psalm 139, Revelation 1
Revelation 1: 4-8 “John, to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from Him Who is and Who was and Who is to come, and from the seven Spirits that are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ the Faithful Witness; the Firstborn of the dead and the Ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him Who loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood and made us a kingdom, priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of Him. Even so. Amen. “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “Who is and Who was and Who is to come, the Almighty.””
John the Apostle, was by this time an old man. He was suffering exile on the Isle of Patmos for preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ and wrote this amazing letter to the seven churches of Asia that God had assigned Him oversight for. John writes a letter of love and grace from the heart of God the Father and Jesus Christ, conveying God’s Word and prophetic insight concerning the things to come. This God we serve is the great “I Am,” and is described by John as the One Who was in existence from everlasting, the ‘Alpha’ and Who is now present and Who also is the One Who is to come in time yet known. Our Father knows it all–past, present, and future! He knows the end from the beginning and His will will be done on earth as in heaven. He will come again with the clouds to receive glory and dominion forever and ever! That is Truth!
Psalm 139:3-4 “You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, You know it altogether.”
Prayer: Father God, I am in awe of Who You are–the God Who always was, and is now and will exist in eternity future. You truly know all things and have revealed Your plans to us through Your Word and the prophets and apostles. You place us where You desire and fulfill Your purposes through those who serve You. Use me today to bring others to know You through the Good News of Jesus Christ our Lord.
Esther 2:16-17 “Now Esther was winning favor in the eyes of all who saw her. And when Esther was taken to king Ahasuerus, into his royal palace, in the tenth month, which is the month of Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign, the king loved Esther more than all the women, and she won grace and favor in his sight more than all the other virgins, so that he set the royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti.”
Scripture reading for March 18th: Luke 12
Key Scriptures: Luke 12:27-32 “Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith! And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to you. Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”
Jesus instructed His disciples about fear and worry. They had no reason to be anxious about life and its many needs. Jesus called their attention to the ravens for food provision and the beautiful lilies for clothing. God takes care of creation and man, made in His image, is of even higher value. It is the world without knowledge of God that is fearful and striving for these material needs. But God’s children are to seek His kingdom and all these material needs will be taken care of as well as their eternal care and provision. God knows our needs better than we do! Seeking Him and His kingdom is our greatest need and brings the greatest reward! It is His pleasure to freely give those who believe in Jesus the eternal kingdom as a gift! Amen!
Luke 11:9 “And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for this simple instruction on life’s fears and daily worries. I cast all these needs on You and my loving Father. I will ask and receive, seek and find, and knock persistently on the kingdom door until it is opened for me and my household. Jesus You are the Door!
Daniel 7:27 “And the kingdom and the dominion and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High; His kingdom shall be an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey Him.”
Scripture reading for December 1st: Esther 1-3, Psalm 139, Revelation 1
Key Scriptures: Revelation 1:4-7 “John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from Him Who is and Who was and Who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ the Faithful Witness, the Firstborn of the dead, the Ruler of kings on earth. To Him Who loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood and made us a kingdom, priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him, and all tribes of earth will wail on account of Him. Even so. Amen.”
John was imprisoned on the Isle of Patmos for preaching the Gospel. He was likely in his late eighties at this time and had been an Apostle of Jesus Christ, a missionary and church planter and now an overseer. Writing to the seven churches he oversaw, he described God the Father and Jesus Christ to them. They are the eternal Ones, having past existence, present reality and perfect future existence. Jesus Christ, the Son, loves us now and demonstrated His love by giving His blood for our freedom. He made us part of His kingdom and priesthood. To Him and the Father belong eternal glory and dominion. Jesus is coming soon and every eye will behold Him!
Psalm 139:23-24 “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, You have redeemed me by Your blood and freed me from my sins by Your divine grace and favor. Guide me today to fulfill Your will and prepare me for Your soon return.
Esther 2:17 “. . the king loved Esther more than all the women, and she won grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins, so that he set the royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti.”
Scripture reading for February 27th: Mark 14, Psalm 42, Proverbs 11
Key Scriptures: Mark 14:22-24 “And as they were eating, He took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to them, and said, “Take, this is My body.” And He took a cup, and when He had given thanks He gave it to them, and they all drank of it. And He said to them, “This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. Truly, I say to you, I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.””
Jesus celebrated His last Passover with His disciples and prepared them for His coming death. His broken body and shed blood were to be offered before God as a ransom for the sins of mankind. These symbols of broken bread and the cup of fruit of the vine would come to bring remembrance to believers of all ages of Christ’s sacrifice. It is now a way of believers identifying with Christ and looking ahead to the coming fullness of the Kingdom when they will share the cup with Jesus at the wedding of the Lamb!
Faith Confession: I trust in the final sacrifice of Jesus Christ of His body and blood as the only hope for my righteousness! I look forward to partaking in the wedding supper of the Lamb!
Psalm 42:1-2 “As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?”
Scripture reading for July 11th: Psalm 144-147
Key Scriptures: Psalm 145:8-12 “The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. The lord is good to all; He has compassion on all He has made. All you have made will praise You, O Lord; Your saints will extol You. they will tell of the glory of Your kingdom and speak of your might, so that all men may know of your mighty acts and the glorious splendor of Your kingdom.”
God’s heart of compassion for the hurting, lonely, poor,, needy, orphan and widow is known by all His people. They are thankful for His great heart of compassion and unfailing love of God for His creation. His people are especially thankful, because without God’s compassion and mercy, they know they would not know the glory of His kingdom and be able to tell of His mighty acts!
The God of all Comfort: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all Comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.” (2nd Corinthians 1:3-5)
Sunday June 22nd, 2014
Mary and I would like to thank all who prayed and sent us notes and encouragement this past week. My father went home to the Lord last Saturday night and we had a wonderful home-going service on Wednesday. We could feel the prayers and God’s presence was with us in a special way. My mom, after 68 years of marriage, is working through this with God’s help.
Jesus is the Hope of all the earth! In Him, all families of the earth find true blessings of righteousness and peace! His Kingdom is a kingdom of righteousness and peace based on His eternal love and faithfulness! Let us gather to worship, pray, and honor His Word as it is taught and preached! The King is coming soon!
In His Love,
Pastor John and Mary