Scripture reading for July 24th: 2nd Kings 9-10, Psalm 49, Matthew 7
Key Scriptures: Matthew 7:21-23 “”Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of My Father Who is in heaven. On that day many will say to Me, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your Name, and cast out demons in Your Name, and do many mighty works in Your Name?’ And then will I declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you workers of lawlessness.””
As Jesus was ending His message, He gave a warning to the people listening and to His own disciples. Some who called Him “Lord” would not enter the kingdom of heaven! Confession of Jesus as Lord but with no repentance and obedience to God’s Word was futile. Even doing works in Jesus’ Name without a humble and submissive relationship would result in being cast out of God’s presence. These are sobering and searching words.
Psalm 49:7-9 “Truly no man can ransom another, or give to God the price of his life, for the ransom of their life is costly and can never suffice, that he should live on forever and never see the pit.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, I call you ‘Lord’ and desire to live a life of obedience to You and my Father in heaven. I trust fully in Your grace through faith in Jesus Christ.”
2nd Kings 10:28-29 “Thus Jehu wiped out Baal from Israel. But Jehu did not turn aside from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which he made Israel to sin–that is, the golden calves that were in Bethel and in Dan.”
Scripture reading for April 15th: Judges 19-21, Acts 2
Key Scriptures: Acts 2:36-39 “Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.” Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to Himself.””
Peter, after the baptism of the Holy Spirit, preached to a crowd gathered in Jerusalem for Pentecost. He declared Jesus Christ as Lord and Christ. Those who heard him were convicted and asked what they could do. Peter gave clear instructions: “Repent and be baptized.” He also instructed them to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit was for all who believed in Jesus and repented of sins, even Gentiles! This was prophetic preaching and three thousand were saved and baptized that day. Doing what was right in God’s eyes brought salvation and the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Faith confession and prayer: Lord, You alone are my King, Lord, and Christ! Help me today to share this good news in the power of the Holy Spirit. I trust You to bring conviction and draw people to Christ Jesus. I know obedience to the Gospel brings salvation and eternal life.
Judges 21:25 “In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”
Scripture reading for January 9th: Matthew 7, Psalm 7, Prov. 7
Key Scriptures: Matthew 7:21-23 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to Me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your Name, and cast out demons in Your Name, and do many mighty works in Your Name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you workers of lawlessness.'”
Jesus taught His disciples that confession of faith was not enough in and of itself to guarantee entrance into the kingdom of heaven. Even works done in the Name of Jesus would not qualify a person for entrance. Confession and good works must be accompanied by complete submission to God and yielding to His will in every area of life. Faith confessions must be demonstrated by humble obedience to God’s will and word.
Faith’s confession: Jesus, I confess that You are Lord of my life. I pray that Your kingdom would come and Your will would be done in my life on earth as in heaven. Deliver me from pride and presumption, and fill me with Your Holy Spirit that I may truly know You better each day.
Proverbs 7:1-3 “My son, keep My words and treasure up My commandments with you; keep My commandments and live; keep My teaching as the apple of your eye; bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart.”
Scripture reading for September 9th: Colossians 2
Paul wrote to the Colossians, some of whom he had never met. He had struggled for them in prayer with a goal in mind. “My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” (Colossians 2:2-3) Paul’s pastor’s heart was with the church and earnestly desired their highest good. This was found in full understanding of Christ and love of the brethren.
But starting out right is only the first step to a journey of knowing Christ and meeting Him face to face one day. Christ’s followers must grow! “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world, rather than on Christ.” (Colossians 2:6-8) The danger of not growing in Christ and being deeply rooted in Him is deception by our enemy, Satan and this worldly system. Humanistic philosophy puts man at the center of everything instead of Christ!
“For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been give fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority.” (Colossians 2:9-10) Through the Holy Spirit, the church has been given fullness in the God-Man, Jesus Christ. Christ Jesus is over all worldly powers and authorities, including Satan! Christians must be rooted in Him!
Scripture reading for January 9th: Matthew 7
Jesus concluded His message to the people on kingdom living with an encouragement to seek God. They must be people who would be persistent to find what they needed from God. They must ask! They must seek! They must knock! All these verbs are in the continual sense of ‘ask and keep on asking, etc’. “Everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Matthew 7:8) God is a loving Father who will give good gifts to those that seek Him!
But Jesus also warned His followers early in His ministry to watch out for false prophets. He likened them to wolves dressed up as a sheep! What an example Jesus used in that rural cultural setting! He told them that they would know the false prophets by their fruit. Bad trees don’t produce good fruit! “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 7:21) False prophet may do miracles and prophesy in His Name, but will go to hell!
Every person is building a spiritual house. You can hear the Word of God and not do it! That person is building on the sand! Those that hear and then apply it to their lives are likened to a man building his house on a rock. Storms of life come and test the foundation. Those on the sand collapse under the pressure and are destroyed. Those on the rock survive every storm! Which kind of builder are you?