Scripture reading for August 31st: 2nd Corinthians 7, Psalm 24, Proverbs 19
2nd Corinthians 7: 8-11 “For even if I made you grieve with my letter, I do not regret it–though I did regret it, for I see that that letter grieved you, though only for a little while. 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 had urged them earlier in his letter to forgive the brother who had been in gross immorality. (2nd Corinthians 2:1-9) He explained to them the working of ‘godly grief’ that leads to true repentance and a change of direction. Some people only experience ‘worldly grief’, which is being sorry that your wrong choice of action was found out. This kind of grief produces death, whereas, godly grief produces repentance and true salvation. Its fruit is eagerness to do what is right, willingness to discipline those who are in sin, and upholding the integrity of God’s Word. Since we are all sinners, we all need godly sorrow to produce the necessary repentance. God will give the repentant clean hands and a pure heart. A man of understanding will gain knowledge through reproof.
Psalm 24:3-5 “Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully. He will receive blessing from the Lord and righteousness from the God of his salvation.”
Prayer: Father God, thank You for sending those who will reprove me in love when I have done wrong. Thank You for giving me ‘godly sorrow’ over my sins, bringing true repentance and life. As an elder in Your Church, help me to correct others with grace and tears, following the example of Jesus Christ and His apostles. Give our nation’s people this gift of godly sorrow over sins and true repentance leading to life.
Psalm 19:25 “Strike a scoffer, and the simple will learn prudence; reprove a man of understanding, and he will gain knowledge. ”
Scripture reading for March 14th: Hebrews 8, Psalm 52, Proverbs 21
Hebrews 8:10-13 “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days declares the Lord. I will put My laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest. For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.” In speaking of a new covenant, He makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.”
God deals justly and righteously with His people through covenant relationship. Covenants spell out clearly the responsibilities of each party. There are blessings for those who joyfully fulfill their responsibilities and curses for those who willfully disregard their obligations. Under the Old Covenant of Law, God’s mercy and instruction offered through His laws brought resistance and rebellion in the human heart. The law was written on tablets of stone, reflecting the unredeemed human heart. But in the New Covenant, made through the Son of God and His sacrifice of blood and body, God made new promises to write His law on the tables of our hearts and give us understanding in our minds by grace through faith. He would forgive our sins and be our God, taking us as His own people! God is faithful to His Covenant!
Psalm 52:8-9 “For I am like a green olive tree in the house of God. I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever. I will thank You forever, for You have done it. I will wait for Your Name, for it is good, in the presence of the godly.”
Prayer: Father God, thank You for this New Covenant of grace through faith in Jesus Christ. I have come to trust in Your steadfast love and grace through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I now have Your laws of love written on my heart and mind and delight to do Your will. I will praise Your Name forever and ever, and live as a green olive tree, full of sap and life through Your Holy Spirit!
Proverbs 21:21 “Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness will find life, righteousness and honor.”
Scripture reading for March 1st: Acts 27, Psalm 43, Proverbs 12
Acts 27:33-38 “As day was about to dawn, Paul urged them all to take some food, saying, “Today is the fourteenth day that you have continued in suspense and without food, having taken nothing. Therefore I urge you to take some food. For it will give you strength, for not a hair is to perish from the head of any of you.” And when he had said these things, he took bread, and giving thanks to God in the presence of all he broke it and began to eat. Then they all were encouraged and ate some food themselves. (We were in all 276 persons in the ship.) And when they had eaten, they lightened the ship, throwing the wheat into the sea.”
Paul was a prisoner of Rome under the control of a centurion named Julius. He had favor with him and Paul was allowed to visit his friends before boarding the ship. It was nearing winter, and sailing was treacherous. Paul warned them about possible loss, but the ship’s owner and captain called the shots. During the trip, a storm arose that caused them to despair of life! For fourteen days they drifted in the gale winds. Paul spoke up as the time of approaching land drew near. He encouraged the men to take heart and eat. He told them not a hair of their head would perish. He blessed the bread and ate, along with the 275 others on this ship. He gave a word of wisdom–light and truth making souls glad.
Psalm 43:3-4 “Send out Your light and truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to Your dwelling! Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding Joy, and I will praise You with the lyre, O God, my God!”
Prayer: Father God, thank You for giving words of wisdom to Your servants to be a blessing and encouragement to all people and to show signs to the lost of Your love and care. Your Word brings light and truth to my soul. It leads me to Your holy dwelling and lifts anxiety from my heart replacing it with joy and gladness. Let Your Word bring hope, salvation and encouragement through my lips!
Proverbs 12:25 “Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.”
Scripture reading for February 18th: Romans 8
Key Scriptures: Romans 8:14-18 “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by Whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs–heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of adoption given to all who trust in Jesus Christ. From inside we now know God as our Father and call Him “Abba!” (Daddy) The Holy Spirit leads us to know God and His Word and helps us apply it to our life. He reveals our inheritance as children of God. He helps us to endure suffering and persecution here on earth while we await the fullness of redemption–our brand new bodies! He provides vision of the coming glory and gives us power to pray when we don’t even know how to pray. Faith drives out fear as the Spirit of adoption reveals Whose we are and what God has planned for us!
John 6:63 “It is the Spirit Who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The Words that I have spoken to you are Spirit and life.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for the Holy Spirit that cries “Abba! Father!” within me. Fill me with the Holy Spirit afresh today that I might walk in my inheritance and fulfill Your will here on earth until I have the fullness in Your eternal presence and behold Your glory.
Ezekiel 36:27 “And I will put My Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes and be careful to obey My rules.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.
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.