Scripture reading for November 20th: 1st Thessalonians 5, Psalm 81, Proverbs 14
1st Thessalonians 5: 5-11 “For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, are drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so we might live with Him. Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”
Paul called the Thessalonian believers to walk in the light of Jesus Christ and His soon return. He contrasted those in the world with sleepers at night in darkness. These also got drunk at night, because of living in darkness without the light of Jesus Christ. Believers were children of light and daytime. They were awake to spiritual truths and filled with the Holy Spirit instead of drunk with alcoholic beverages. They realized the truth of salvation from the coming judgment of the wicked and their eternal damnation. Through Jesus Christ, the future was bright with God’s eternal light and promise of eternal life with Him! Fruit flows from within our lives as we live as children of the light. We sing with joy and shout in victory!
Psalm 81:1-3 “Sing aloud to God our Strength; shout for joy to the God of Jacob! Raise a song; sound the tambourine, the sweet lyre with the harp. Blow the trumpet at the new moon, at the full moon, on our feast day.”
Prayer: Father God, thank You for the Light of Truth in Jesus Christ. Thank You for revealing eternal life and escape from wrath through repentance and faith. Use believers and me to encourage others and build them up in their faith as the day of Christ Jesus draws near. Bring holy conviction on those who are foolish and have not given thought to their ways. I shout for joy to Jesus Christ my Lord!
Proverbs 14:14-15 “The backslider in heart will be filled with the fruit of his ways, and a good man will be filled with the fruit of his ways. The simple believes everything, but the prudent give thought to his steps.”
Scripture reading for June 1st: Romans 13, Psalm 109, Proverbs 16
Romans 13: 10-14 “Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.”
Believers are in a battle with darkness, the flesh and the devil. In order to stand victorious, we must put on spiritual armor each day. We are to live a life of love in the power of the Holy Spirit and grace that comes from God’s mercy in our own lives. Each day brings us closer to the time of our Lord’s return for us. This should motivate us to cast off all the works of darkness from our past live in the flesh. We do this through daily consecration of our life to God and the infilling of the Holy Spirit. After putting off these old besetting sins, we put on the armor of light! Light comes from God’s Word and obedience. Light comes through the illumination of the Holy Spirit living within us, revealing truth and the path of holiness. Light comes from the “Light of the World”, Jesus Christ, the Living Word and coming King!
Psalm 109:26-28 “Help me, O Lord my God! Save me according to Your steadfast love! Let them know that this is Your hand; You, O Lord, have done it! Let them curse, but You will bless! They arise and are put to shame, but Your servant will be glad!”
Prayer: Father God, I am blessed and filled with joy today at Your steadfast love for me, a lost sinner! Clothe me again today with the armor of Light and Truth! Fill me with Your Holy Spirit and the power to put off my old ways of sin and walk in the newness of life through Your love and mercy. I know that the time is short and want to be ready for Your Son’s return and help others as well, particularly my family!
Proverbs 16:31-32 “Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained in a righteous life. Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty.”
Scripture reading for May 16th: Romans 1, Psalm 97, Proverbs 4
Romans 1: 8-12 “First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world. For God is my witness, Whom I serve with my spirit in the Gospel of His Son, that without ceasing I mention you always in my prayers, asking that somehow by God’s will I may now at last succeed in coming to you. For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you–that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.”
Paul, writing to Roman followers of Jesus, wanted to encourage them by his own walk of faith and was asking God that he would be able to come and be with them. He wanted to encourage them in the faith and impart some spiritual gift to this body of believers to help them to grow stronger in their faith and increase the testimony of faith going out from that church. When believers share stories of faith and God at work in their lives, everyone is mutually encouraged and faith rises to believe God’s Word and pray for more miracles and salvations. This brings transformation and joy to the believers as the Light of God’s Word, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, advances against the darkness, driving it totally away at Christ’s return!
Psalm 97:10-12 “O you who love the Lord, hate evil! He preserves the lives of His saints; He delivers them from the hand of the wicked. Light is sown for the righteous, and joy for the upright in heart. Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous, and give thanks to His holy Name!”
Prayer: Father God, I love You and trust You daily to use me in the encouragement of other believers. I desire to impart spiritual Truth and the Gospel message that people may be saved and come into God’s family. I desire the Light of the World, Jesus Christ to be exalted and shine through my life brighter and brighter each day until I go to be with You or Your return for Your Bride! Amen!
Proverbs 4:18 “The path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day.”
Scripture reading for October 26th: Ezekiel 7-9, John 3
John 3:16-20 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the Name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment: the Light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than the Light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the Light and does not come to the Light, lest his works should be exposed.”
Nicodemus, a Pharisee, had come to Jesus at night to ask some questions. Jesus spoke plainly to him concerning his need of new birth by faith. He then declared to Nicodemus the path of eternal life–believing on Him! Nicodemus coming to Jesus in darkness to find true ‘light’ is a parabolic story. All mankind is in the dark concerning the Father and eternal life. Sin has darkened each soul. Darkened souls don’t like the light, because it exposes them. They think they can hide in the darkness and continue to do their own things. But God sees it all and has provided a remedy by sending Jesus Christ. Those who believe on Him will escape God’s wrath against sin and find grace and life in the Light.
John 3:35-36 “The Father loves the Son and has given all things into His hand. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.”
Prayer: Father God, thank You for Your great love. Thank You that You did not justly condemn me to eternal death under Your wrath but offered Your only Son to take my place and bear the curse of my sins on the cross of Calvary. My prayer today is for each of my family to receive that love through believing in Jesus Christ and living a life of faith and holiness out of honor and respect for all Your love provided.
Ezekiel 8:12-13 “Then He said to me, “Son of man, have you seen what the elders of the house of Israel are doing in the dark, each in his room of pictures? For they say, “The Lord does not see us, the Lord has forsaken the land.” He said also to me, “You will see still greater abominations that they commit.””
Scripture reading for March 7th: Numbers 8-11, Colossians 1
Colossians 1: 9-13 “And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. May you be strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, Who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.”
When you love someone, you want to please them. Pleasing the one you love requires that you get to know them. When the One you love is God, getting to know Him Who is infinite, is a daunting task and knowing how to please Him is challenging. Paul’s way to help the believers at Colossae, was to pray for them to be filled with a knowledge of God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding. This kind of understanding can only come by revelation through the Holy Spirit. This is the light of God’s Truth. This is the only path to pleasing God and bearing fruit in good works. God supplies the knowledge of His will and then empowers us through the Holy Spirit to grow and produce fruit. This is the fire of God’s glory in us. To God be all glory for qualifying us to share the inheritance of the saints in light!
Colossians 1:15-17 “He is the image of the invisible God, the Firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities, all things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”
Prayer: Father God, as Your child, I want to please You! Fill me today with a deeper knowledge of Your will and give me spiritual wisdom and understanding to bear fruit for Your glory. Strengthen me with power in my inner man so that I might have patience and endurance as I run this race of faith. In You all things were created and they all hold together. Lead me with Light and Fire!
Numbers 9:15-17 “On the day that the tabernacle was set up, the cloud covered the tabernacle, the tent of the testimony. And at evening it was over the tabernacle like the appearance of fire until morning. So it was always: the cloud covered it by day and the appearance of fire by night. And whenever the cloud lifted from over the tent, after that the people of Israel set out, and in the place where the cloud settled down, there the people of Israel camped.”
Scripture reading for July 2nd: Matthew 4
Key Scriptures: Matthew 4:12-17 “Now when He heard that John had been arrested, He withdrew into Galilee. And leaving Nazareth He went and lived in Capernaum by the sea, and in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, so that what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: “The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles–the people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light, and for those dwelling in the region and the shadow of death, on them a light has dawned.” From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.””
Jesus Christ heard that John the Baptist had been arrested by King Herod for preaching repentance and confronting Herod’s sinful sexual life. Jesus withdrew to His own childhood region of Israel but moved to another town from Nazareth, Capernaum by the sea. This area was on a trade route where peoples from all over the world would visit on their way to trade in other parts of the world. It was known as “Galilee of the Gentiles” but had been the home property given to Zebulun and Naphtali, tribes of Israel. Isaiah the Prophet had spoken about this area in Isaiah 9:1-2, about 700 years before Christ’s birth. Jesus began preaching right where John the Baptist left off. He began where the land of the Jews was particularly darkened by the shadow of death and brought great light by preaching the Word of God. God’s Word would bring deliverance from death and its dark shadow and the dawning of a new day! Herod’s kingdom of darkness and death would be overcome by the kingdom of Light!
Isaiah 60:1-2 “Arise, shine, for your Light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon You, and His glory will be seen upon You. And nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of Your rising.”
Faith confession and prayer: Father God, thank You for sending Jesus to light up my world of darkness! Thank You for loving Gentiles as You loved Jews. Through the baptism of the Holy Spirit, Your light shines through me. Let the preaching of repentance, faith and miracles of healing flow through my life and today’s ministry opportunities.
Matthew 4:23-24 “And He went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the Gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people. So His fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought him all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains, those oppressed by demons, epileptics, and paralytics, and He healed them.”
Scripture reading for May 28th: Ephesians 5
Key Scriptures: Ephesians 5:3-6 “But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.
Immorality and idolatry go hand in hand in the world of the sinner but should have no part in the life of a follower of Christ Jesus. Paul wrote the believers in Ephesus a clear warning against continuing in past personal sins of immorality and in the culture of immorality in the land. Repentance means a change of mind, heart, and direction away from the culture of sinners to that of Christ. Immorality includes filthy talk and crude jokes. It includes watching lewd movies and pornography. It also includes homosexuality, adultery and fornication–any sex outside of marriage of a man and a woman. It includes incest and bestiality or coveting another’s body in lust. Beware, no one practicing such things will inherit the unsearchable riches of Christ Jesus! Believers must reflect the light of truth in Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 5:7-8 “Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore, do not be partners with them; for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, give me discernment and grace to avoid all the temptations of the culture of immorality and idolatry in my assigned mission field. Keep me from deceptive words and the allure of the flesh. Remind me often that I am light in the Lord to my family and church. Help me to use the limited time left in my life in wisdom and fruitfulness,
Ephesians 5:15 “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.”
Scripture reading for March 17th: Luke 11
Key Scriptures: Luke 11:33-36 “No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar or under a basket, but on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light. Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light but when it is bad, your body is full of darkness. Therefore be careful lest the light in you be darkness. If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, it will be wholly bright, as when a lamp with its rays gives you light.”
Jesus used light and darkness often in his teaching. Here he talked about the lighting of a lamp dispelling darkness. He stated that the eye is the lamp of our body and that when the eye is functioning properly, our whole being is flooded with light. When the eye ceases to function, darkness comes over us. Our eye takes light and reveals natural and spiritual truth. If the light coming in is really darkness, we have a big problem. Jesus was talking about deception that brings darkness to the soul from lying spirits of evil. A humble and teachable heart invites Jesus to bring true light into our souls and flood our being with pure light. The entrance of God’s Word brings true light, revealing spiritual truth and exposing deception.
John 8:12 “Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
Faith confession and prayer: Thank You Jesus that the entrance of Your Word brings light to my soul. Help me to let Your light shine today through my life and testimony, illuminating the darkness of this world. Give me discernment to keep me from deception.
Psalm 119:130 “The unfolding of Your Words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple.”
Scripture reading for November 20th: Ezra 3-4, Psalm 92; 1 John 1
Key Scriptures: 1st John 1:6-10 “If we say we have fellowship with Him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice he truth. But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us.”
John was the youngest of the disciples when he began following Jesus and wrote his Gospel and these letters to the church when he was older and more mature. He explained to the church that true fellowship with Jesus brought light, truth, and joy into our life and Christ’s Church. We can’t walk in darkness and truly have fellowship with Jesus. We can’t say we have no sin if we are living it it and cover it up and expect forgiveness and peace. We must walk in the light of Jesus’ Word and confess all sins, repenting and turning away from them. The blood of Jesus cleanses us and we can have true fellowship with others cleansed and walking in the light.
Psalm 92:12-13 “The righteous flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. They are planted in the house of the Lord; they flourish in the courts of our God.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, I desire to walk in the Light of Your Word and have true fellowship with You and other disciples. Help me to confess sin and walk in righteousness and truth.
Ezra 3:11 And they sang responsively, praising and giving thanks to the Lord, “For He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever toward Israel.” And all the people shouted with a great shout when they praised the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid.”
Scripture reading for June 19th: Song of Solomon 1-3, Psalm 72, 1st Thessalonians 5
Key Scriptures: 1st Thessalonians 5:8-11 “But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation, for God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with Him. therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”
Paul encouraged the Thessalonians to live in the light as children of the light. Christ will come again soon. Whether awake (alive) or asleep (body resting in the grave) we live with Him and for Him. God has not destined His people for wrath but for salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. We should encourage each other to continue in faith as we wait for Christ’s return.
Song of Songs 2:4 “He brought me to the banqueting house, and His banner over me was love.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for the light of Your Word and Your love shed abroad in my heart by the Holy Spirit. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit and encouragement for others. I long to be with You.
Psalm 72:19 “Blessed be His glorious Name forever; may the whole earth be filled with His glory! Amen and Amen!”