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, . .”
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!”
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.”
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.”
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!”
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!”
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.”
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.”
Scripture reading for July 26th: 1st Corinthians 16, Psalm 149, Proverbs 25
Key Scriptures: 1st Corinthians 16:13-14, 22-24 “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love. . . .If anyone has no love for the Lord, let him be accursed. Our Lord, come! The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.”
Paul loved concise final words and encouragement. These short sentences summarize points he had brought up in the longer body of the letter. He encouraged watchfulness against divisions and judging others. They were to remain strong in faith so he again brought up love and its supreme importance in all things. Faith works by love. Our love for Jesus is foundational as well as our love for each other. Paul sent his love as well!
Faith Confession: Lord, thank You for these short and plain reminders of what is important. Thank You for Your love and the love of other believers that encourages my faith. Help me to be a faithful and loving messenger.
Proverbs 25:13 “Like the cold of snow in the time of harvest is a faithful messenger to those who send him; he refreshes the soul of his masters.”
Scripture reading for July 23rd: 1st Corinthians 13, Psalm 146, Proverbs 22
Key Scriptures: 1st Corinthians 13:4-8 “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. . . .”
As Paul writes to the Corinthians about the gifts of the Holy Spirit, he adds this special word concerning love. The love that Paul speaks of is God’s amazing love given to believers as a fruit of the Holy Spirit indwelling them. This love is patient and kind not arrogant or boastful. It rejoices in truth and goodness. This love is not pushy, irritable or resentful. It bears all things and believes all things. Grounded in hope, it never fails or ends but confidently waits for God’s Word to come to pass.
Faith Confession: Lord, thank You for Your amazing love, shed abroad in my heart by the Holy Spirit empowering me to live and act in the manner of Jesus Christ.
Psalm 146: 4-7 “Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, who keeps faith forever; who executes justice for the oppressed, who gives food to the hungry.”