Tag: life

An encouraging Word!

Scripture reading for November 12th: Ezekiel 46-48; Psalm 88; John 16

Key Scriptures: John 16:30-33 “Now we know that You know all things and do not need anyone to question You; this is why we believe that You came from God.” Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave Me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with Me. I have said these thing to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

Jesus was giving His disciples a last Word of encouragement and prophetic truth before going to the Garden of Gethsemane and His crucifixion, death, and resurrection. They had confessed faith that He was from God and that they trusted in Him. Jesus plainly told them they would all desert Him and be scattered in a coming hour. Jesus assured them that He would not be alone, but the Father would be with Him. He told them this that they might have peace in trusting in Him. In the world they would experience tribulation and trial, but as they held fast to Him, they would overcome as He overcame! Perseverance was mandatory. Amen!

Psalm 88:18 “You have caused my beloved and my friend to shun me; my companions have become darkness.”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, You alone know all things. Continue to speak prophetic truth to my soul concerning coming trials and bring peace to my soul, even though others may abandon me. Let the water of Your Word bring life and freshness in my life and everywhere I share it.

Ezekiel 47:9 “And wherever the river goes, every living creature that swarms will live, and there will be very many fish. For this water goes there, that the waters of the sea may become fresh; so everything will live where the river goes.”

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Once for all!

Scripture reading for October 24th:  Hebrews 9, Psalm 63, Proverbs 28

Key Scriptures:  Hebrews 9:11-14 “But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, He went through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation), He entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of His own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.  For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.”  

Jesus Christ offered His own blood as the perfect and only sacrifice on the altar in the actual Most Holy Place in God’s presence in heaven.  This perfect sacrifice is mediated by Jesus who Himself is our High Priest.  His sacrifice alone has the power to cleanse our conscience from dead works and enable us to serve the living God instead of dead idols.  This offering is already made and is effective for all time and all who will believe.

Faith Confession:  I trust in the shed blood of Jesus Christ as the final and only sacrifice for my sins and the sins of the world.  I am forgiven by grace through faith alone and serve the living God whose steadfast love draws my praise!

Psalm 63:3-4 “Because Your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise You.  So I will bless You as long as I live; in Your Name I will lift up my hands.”

 

 

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Life-giving speech and attitudes!

Scripture reading for August 28th:  Ephesians 4, Psalm 22, Proverbs 18

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.”  

The Holy Spirit from the Father marks each believer as a redeemed child of God.  As God’s children, we are being shaped inside to reflect His love and character to those around us.  Our actions and attitudes must begin to line up with the Word.  The fruit of the Holy Spirit and Christ living in us will affect our speech and how we treat others made in God’s image.  Our speech should now be life-giving, reflecting kindness and grace to our neighbors.

Faith Confession:  Father, thank You for marking me as Your redeemed child.  Help me to reflect this truth in my attitudes, speech and behavior today.

Proverbs 18:21 “Death and life are in the power of the tongue; and those who love it will eat its fruits.”  

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Earnest Prayer in Christ’s Church

Scripture reading for May 21st:  Acts 12, Psalm 101, Proverbs 8

Key Scriptures:  Acts 12:1-5 “About that time Herod the king laid violent hands on some who belonged to the church.  He killed James, the brother of John with the sword, and when he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also.  This was during the days of Unleavened Bread.  And when he had seized him, he put him in prison, delivering him over to four squads of soldiers to guard him, intending after the Passover to bring him out to the people.  So Peter was kept in prison, but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church.”  

King Herod hated the believers and followers of Jesus.  He also wanted to please the Jews to appease them.  So he violently seized James, the brother of John, and put him to death.  He arrested Peter, but it was during the Passover celebration week.  Not wanting to disrupt this, he decided to postpone Peter’s execution.  But the church was praying!  The result was an angelic intervention that freed Peter and brought about the death of his guards and the death of King Herod.  God knows how to turn the tables when His people pray!

Faith Confession:  Lord, thank You for Your care for Your people.  I trust Your care and ways for both James and Peter and for me and Your church.  Help me to always earnestly pray and seek You in times of persecution.

Proverbs 8:35-36 “For whoever finds Me finds life and obtains favor from the Lord, but he who fails to find Me injures himself; all who hate Me love death.”  

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Be an example of godliness!

Scripture reading for September 27th:  Isaiah 7-10; 1st Timothy 4

Key Scriptures:  1st Timothy 4:11-13, 15-16 “Command and teach these things.  Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching.”  . . .”Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress.  Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching.  Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.” 

Paul encouraged Timothy to set the example of Christ’s godliness in character, word, and deed.  The Gospel must be lived out to give a clear message and present Christ Jesus accurately.  Sound doctrine and sound living brings salvation to preacher and congregation.

Isaiah 8:11-13 “For the Lord spoke thus to me with His strong hand upon me, and warned me not to walk in the way of this people, saying: “Do not call conspiracy all that this people calls conspiracy, and do not fear what they fear, nor be in dread.  But the Lord of Hosts, Him you shall honor as holy.  Let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread.”  

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, help me by Your Holy Spirit to stay in sound doctrine and to apply it to my own life in action and attitude.  I want to bring salvation to myself and others, honoring You as holy.  Amen.

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Godly grief and repentance.

Scripture reading for August 6th:  Psalm 72-75, 2nd Corinthians 7

Key Scriptures: 2nd Corinthians 7:9-11 “As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting.  For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us.  For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.  For see what earnestness this godly grief has produced in you, but also what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what punishment!  At every point you have proved yourselves innocent in the matter.”  

Paul was rejoicing because his difficult letter of correction had resulted in a godly grief over their sin and resulted in true repentance.  Sometimes, people can have worldly grief.  This is usually being sorry that they were found out.  This results in no change of heart or mind and eventually spiritual death and eternal separation from God.  Godly sorrow brings life and restoration.

Psalm 75:1-2  “We give thanks to You, O God; we give thanks, for Your Name is near.  We recount Your wondrous deeds.  “At the set time that I appoint I will judge with equity.””

Prayer:  Lord, correct me and convict me when I need it.  Bring godly sorrow that leads me always to repentance and life.  May I stand in Your grace when I face You as judge.  Amen.

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The Spirit Speaks!

Scripture reading for April 24th:  2nd Samuel 21-23, John 14

Key Scriptures:  2nd Samuel 23:1-4 “Now these are the last words of David:  . . . . The Spirit of the Lord speaks through me; His word is on my tongue.  The God of Israel has spoken; the Rock of Israel has said to me:  When one rules justly over men, ruling in the fear of God, He dawns on them like the morning light, like the sun shining forth on a cloudless morning, like rain that makes grass to sprout from the earth.”  

King David’s last words are in the form of a song.  In this introduction, God is called the “God of Israel” and the “Rock of Israel.”  David declared that he ruled in the “fear of God” and allowed the “Spirit of the Lord” to speak His word through him.  God was like a bright light, like the sun shining forth. and like rain causing the earth to bring forth vegetation.

John 14:6  “Jesus said to him, “I am the way and the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me.  If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also.”  

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, thank You that You revealed Your Father to us.  Fill me with Your Holy Spirit and let Your word and life shine in me.  Water my life with the rain from Heaven!  Amen.

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God my “Stronghold”

Scripture reading for April 11:  1st Samuel 20-23, John 5

Key Scriptures: John 6:28-29  “Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear His voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of  judgment.”  

Jesus told His disciples that He would be the source of resurrection and eternal life.  His voice would bring people out of their graves.  But not everyone would enjoy eternal life, some who had done evil would suffer judgment and eternal punishment.  God knows how to protect His people and punish those who do evil!

1st Samuel 23:14  “And David remained in the strongholds in the wilderness, in the hill country of the wilderness of Ziph.  And Saul sought him every day, but God did not give him into his hand.” 

Prayer:  Father, thank You for the promise of resurrection life and reward and Your protection in this life.  Help me to live in faith and make You my “Stronghold”.  Amen.

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Rejoicing in Real Life!

Scripture reading for February 27th:  Deuteronomy 30-33

Key Scriptures:  Deuteronomy 30:19-20  “This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses.  Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to His voice and hold fast to Him.  For the Lord is your life, and He will give you many years in the land He swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”  

God invited the Israelites to choose life.  In doing so, they and their children would enjoy a life of loving God and hearing His voice.  He would be their life and bless them with long life in the land of promise!  This involved a faith choice, an act of their will.  If they failed to choose the curses of sin and death would overtake them!

Rejoicing in real life:  Jesus Christ calls all men to repent and choose eternal life through Him!  “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;  I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”  “I (Jesus) am the way, the Truth and the Life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me.”  (John 10:10, 14:6)

 

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Escaping the corruption in the world!

Scripture reading for November 15th:  2nd Peter 1

Key Scriptures for over-comers:  2nd Peter 1:2-4  “Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.  His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness.  Through these He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.”

Peter’s last letter begins with a blessing, speaking grace and peace over the believers.  This grace and peace comes through the knowledge of Jesus Christ.   Jesus Christ purchased eternal life and all we need to live a godly life here on earth until Jesus comes.  Believers also have the privilege of participating in the divine nature through the indwelling Holy Spirit!  The Holy Spirit empowers us to live a life pleasing to God and free from the power of our old nature.

Observations for over-comers:  God has provided all we need for living a godly life here on this earth.  His Word and faithful promises call us to live in Christ’s power and character through the indwelling Holy Spirit.  “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him.  He will be like a tree planted by the water . . .”  (Jeremiah 17:7-8)

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