Tag: love

Fanning the flame!

Scripture reading for January 12th: 2nd Timothy 1

Key Scriptures: 2nd Timothy 1:6-10 “For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear, but of power and love and self-control. Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share in the suffering for the Gospel by the power of God, Who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of His own purpose and grace, which He gave us in Christ Jesus before the world began, and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, Who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel, . . .”

In his last letter before leaving this world, Paul affectionately addressed his son in the faith, Timothy with a reminder. Timothy had come from a line of people who were marked by their faith in God. Timothy also had come to faith and had been ordained by Paul through the laying on of his hands and had received the gift of the Holy Spirit and a holy calling to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit enabled Timothy to be bold and powerful in loving God and sharing God’s love with a hurting and sometimes hateful world. Paul reminded him of this Gift and encouraged him to fan the flames of God’s passionate love and power through the exercise of this Gift. Suffering would result, but life and immortality would flow for Timothy and those who received the Gospel message and God’s purpose would be fulfilled.

Deuteronomy 6:4 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is One. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, Thank You for the Gift of Your Holy Spirit to give me boldness, power, and passionate love for You and for Your people. I want to fan into flames the Gift You have provided and that is in me. Give me more grace and power to live a holy life and reach the lost!

Leviticus 19:18 “You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.”

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Christ’s overflowing grace!

Scripture reading for January 4th: 1st Timothy 1

Key Scriptures: 1st Timothy 1:5, 12-14 “The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. . . I thank Him Who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because He judged me faithful, appointing me to His service, through formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.”

Paul’s letter to Timothy, a young pastor who Paul considered his “son” in the faith, was written to encourage Timothy to preach God’s Word and live it out as an example to those he ministered to. Paul testified of his own call and appointment to ministry by Jesus Christ, in spite of his egregious lifestyle of a blasphemer and persecutor of God’s people. Paul had been ignorant and had acted in unbelief and when he repented, Jesus gave him overflowing grace and new faith and a river of His love for the lost. No one is too hardened that God’s grace cannot save and bring needed transformation. Paul had a clear conscience and a pure heart through faith in Jesus Christ!

Psalm 51:1 “Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, I thank You for calling me to salvation and to preach Your Word. This was in spite of my own sinful and selfish lifestyle. Help me to maintain a clear conscience and pure heart as I learn to fulfill Your calling and raise up others to serve You.

Matthew 4:19-20 “And He said to them, “Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed Him.”

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God is Faithful!

Scripture reading for June 24th:  1st Kings 5, 2nd Chronicles 2, 2nd Thessalonians 3

Key Scriptures:  2nd Thessalonians 3:1-5 “Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the Word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you, and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men.  For not all have faith.  But the Lord is faithful.  He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.  And we have confidence in the Lord about you, that you are doing and will do the things that we command.  May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.”

Paul asked the believers at Thessalonica to pray for him and his ministry team.  He asked that the Word of God would be speedily advanced and honored by those who heard it.  He also asked to be delivered from wicked and evil men who had no faith and refused to accept God’s Word.  Paul assured them that God was faithful!  He would answer prayers!  He would establish them and guard them from the evil one!  He would direct their hearts in loving God and being patient and firm in Christ Jesus!  He would build His Church and hell’s gates would not prevail.  To God be all glory!

2nd Chronicles 2:5  “The house that I am to build will be great, for our God is greater than all gods.” 

Faith confession and prayer:  Thank You Lord for all Your precious promises!  May Your Church be built through Your faithfulness and my obedience.  Protect me and Your Church from the evil one and help me to love and obey.

1st Kings 5:4-5  “But now the Lord has given me rest on every side.  There is neither adversary or misfortune.  And so I intend to build a house for the Lord my God, as the Lord said to David my father, . .”

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Saved for Christ!

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!”

 

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Loved and chosen by God!

Scripture reading for June 15th:  Proverbs 22-23, Psalm 117, 1st Thessalonians 1

Key Scriptures:  1st Thessalonians 1:2-7  “We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father you work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.  For we know, brothers loved by God, that He has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not only in Word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction.  You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake.  And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the Word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia.”

As Paul began his letter to the Thessalonian believers, he encouraged them by telling them of his prayers for them.  Paul thanked God for their “work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope” in the Lord Jesus.  They had received the Word of God in much affliction and had demonstrated their faith by works of repentance and true change.  These believers became examples of Jesus Christ and the power of the Gospel among the growing church in Macedonia.  God was glorified!

Psalm 117:2  “For great is His steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.  Praise the Lord!”

Faith confession and prayer:  Lord Jesus, help me today to do works of faith in the love of God, being steadfast in hope and full of joy as I obey Your Word.  Use my example to encourage other believers and bring God glory.

Proverbs 23:19  “Hear, my son, and be wise, and direct your heart in the way.”  

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Generosity and Love!

Scripture reading for April 17th:  Ruth 3-4, Psalm 37, Acts 4

Key Scriptures:  Acts 4:32-35 “Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common.  And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all.  There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold and laid it at the apostles’s feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need.”  

The early church brought many diverse people together in unity around Jesus Christ and His vision to reach the world and make disciples.  Material things took a lower priority and believers shared their goods.  Great power and grace rested on the apostles and their preaching brought new souls into the kingdom.  Believers’ hearts were filled with generosity and love for each other.

Faith Confession and prayer:  Lord Jesus, thank You for this amazing revelation of the early church and its love and generosity.  Help me to be powerful in Your grace through the Gospel message and generous to those in need.

Ruth 4:13-14 “So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife.  And he went in to her, and the Lord gave her conception, and she bore a son.  Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the Lord, Who has not left you this day without a redeemer, and may his name be renowned in Israel!  He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age, . . .”

Psalm 37:4 “Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.”

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Singing with overflowing Love!

Scripture reading for March 9th:  Numbers 15-18, Psalm 113, Colossians 3

Key Scriptures:  Colossians 3:12-16 “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.  And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.  And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body.  And be thankful.  Let the Word of Christ dwell in your richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”

Paul lists many character and behavior traits of Christ Jesus that should now be “put on” by His disciples.  Christ-followers have a desire and spirit-given ability to be like Him.  Forgiveness and love are not accessories but staples of Christian character.  They produce peace and thankfulness.  As Christ’s Word indwells us, our hearts begin to sing songs of worship and adoration to God!  What a blessed way to live!

Numbers 15:40-41 “So you shall remember and do all My commandments, and be holy to your God.  I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt to be your God:  I am the Lord your God.”  

Faith Confession and prayer:  Lord, help me today to put on the clothing of Christ Jesus, my Lord.  I want to allow His Word to dwell in me and sing praises to His Name forevermore!

Psalm 113:2 “Blessed be the Name of the Lord from this time forth and forevermore!”

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The Word Dwells Richly in Me!

Scripture reading for September 10th:  Colossians 3, Psalm 31, Proverbs 27

Key Scriptures:  Colossians 3:14-17 “And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.  And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body.  And be thankful.  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.  And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the Name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”  

God is Love.  Love is a basic covering for those in Christ Jesus.  When we live in love, there is harmony and peace in our hearts and between other believers.  Thankfulness and faith go hand in hand and pleases God.  We can easily be thankful when we let Christ’s unchanging Word dwell in our hearts and flow through us to inform our actions and to share with others.  God’s Word is wisdom, melody of song, and rich instruction for hungry hearts.

Faith Confession:  I am clothed with love as I am filled with the Holy Spirit.  God’s peace fills my heart and I seek to allow the Word of God to dwell within me and come out of my life and mouth in thanksgiving, praise, and godly instruction in wisdom.

Psalm 31:19 “Oh, how abundant is Your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you and worked for those who take refuge in you, in the sight of the children of mankind!” 

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The richness of His Mercy!

Scripture reading for August 26th:  Ephesians 2, Psalm 20, Proverbs 16

Key Scriptures:  Ephesians 2:4-9  “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ–by grace you have been saved–and raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages He might show the immeasurable riches of His grace in Christ Jesus.  For by grace you have been saved through faith.  And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works so that no one may boast.”  

Paul shared with the Ephesians the richness of God’s heart of mercy and the gift of His grace through His amazing love for us as sinners.  He forgave our sins through Christ’s sacrifice and then raised us up with Christ, seating us in the heavenly realms in Him.  We can claim no merit or credit for these gifts.  All boasting is in God’s great grace and mercy and love!

Faith Confession:  I boast in God’s mercy shown me (and the world) in Christ Jesus.  I repent (turn away) from my sins and I accept with thanksgiving the gift of forgiveness of my sins,  eternal life and resurrection from death.

Proverbs 16:6-7  “By steadfast love and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for, and by the fear of the Lord one turns away from evil.”   

 

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Life in Jesus!

Scripture reading for August 14th: 2nd Corinthians 13, Psalm 12, Proverbs 8

Key Scriptures: 2nd Corinthians 13:11-14 “Finally, brothers, rejoice.  Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.  Greet one another with a holy kiss.  All the saints greet you.  The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”  

Paul ended his letter with final instructions and a benediction or blessing.  He was a loving pastor who wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to instruct God’s church in restoring a repentant brother and healing divisions in the church caused by false teachers and people following men.  Joy was prescribed and a focus on restoration and peacemaking.  Tenderness and affection was to flow from all saints to all fellow believers.  This was enabled by the grace of our Lord and God’s love and gift of the Holy Spirit to help us.

Faith confession:  I thank You God for the grace of our Lord Jesus and the love of God the Father, and the fellowship of the precious Holy Spirit enabling me to live life in joy and maintaining the unity of the Trinity in the Church.

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; and all who hate Me love death.”  

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