Scripture reading for January 5th: 1st Timothy 2
Key Scriptures: 1st Timothy 2:1-6 “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiving be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, Who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For their is one God and there is one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, Who gave His life as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.”
Prayer and godly living go hand in hand. Paul taught Timothy and us that all types of prayers and thanksgiving for all people, and especially political and spiritual leaders, would yield great benefits. Those under authority who pray for those in authority help to set the atmosphere of their own lives and the community, state or nation of which they reside. God is pleased with the faith exhibited through prayers. Jesus Christ is seated at God’s right Hand to intercede for us in agreement with our prayers and He alone gave His life and blood to ransom all men. This testimony stands true and must be shared with all men before Christ Jesus returns!
Psalm 32:6 “Therefore let everyone who is godly offer prayer to You at a time when You may be found; surely in the rush of great waters, they shall not reach him.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, I believe You are the One and only mediator between God and man. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit to enable me to pray effectively and give continual thanksgiving for all men and those in authority. I want a quiet and godly life, sharing the Gospel, and pleasing my Savior!
Micah 6:8 “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”
Scripture reading for October 23rd: Jeremiah 6-8, Hebrews 8
Key Scriptures: Hebrews 8:1-2 “Now the point in what we are saying is this: we have such a High Priest, One who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, a Minister in the holy places, in the true tent that the Lord set up, not man.”
Hebrews was written to Jewish believers who understood the Old Testament and God’s law. They were used to going through the priesthood of Aaron to cover sins with a sacrifice of animal blood. But Jesus Christ shed His own blood and offered it in the true “Holy of Holies” in heaven on our behalf. His work done, He is enthroned with the Father at His right hand. Hallelujah! Because He intercedes for us, we can stand before His throne!
Jeremiah 7:9-10 “Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, make offerings to Baal, and go after other gods that you have not known, and then come and stand before Me in this house, which is called by My Name, and say, ‘We are delivered!’–only to go on doing all these abominations?”
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for delivering me from sins and their penalty. Now I am free to worship and serve You alone, the enthroned King of Kings! Amen!
Scripture reading for October 22nd: Jeremiah 2-5, Hebrews 7
Key Scriptures: Hebrews 7:23-25 “The former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office, but He holds His priesthood permanently, because He continues forever. Consequently, He is able to save to the uttermost those who draw to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.”
The writer of Hebrews shows that Jesus is the perfect High Priest, after the order of Melchizedek. His priesthood is eternal and He always lives to make intercession for those who come to God through Him. In fact, He is the only Mediator between God and man! We are thankful, because all of us humans need a Mediator because we have all sinned! Our Mediator, Jesus, will keep us safe when the end comes!
Jeremiah 5:30-31 “An appalling and horrible thing has happened in the land: the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule at their direction; My people love to have it so, but what will you do when the end comes?”
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for Your eternal intercession for me. Help me to share Your love with those opposed to You so they won’t be condemned in the coming judgment. Amen.
Scripture reading for January 29th: Exodus 28-31
A priest’s job is to mediate between men and God. Men who are dealing with God must be holy and proper. “These are the garments they are to make: A breastpiece, an ephod, a robe, a woven tunic, a turban and a sash. They are to make them for your brother Aaron and his sons so they may serve Me as priests.” (Exodus 28:4)
The ephod was to be made by a skilled craftsman of gold, purple and scarlet yarn–finely made linen. The colors represented heaven and royalty and blood sacrifice. On each shoulder was placed an onyx stone engraved with the names of six sons of Israel. The priest was to carry their names before the Lord as he ministered.
The breastpiece contained two special stones. (Exodus 28:30) These stones were to enable Aaron to make godly decisions in accordance with God’s will. These stones’ names meant “lights” and “perfections”. They have to do with the treasures of wisdom and knowledge hidden only in God.
The turban for Aaron’s head was made of fine linen. It had a special gold plate with “Holy to the Lord” engraved on it. Aaron was to wear that plate on the front of his turban whenever he ministered. (Exodus 28:36-39) It signified holy separation to God.
The New Testament teaches that Jesus Christ is our High Priest forever living to make intercession for us! (Hebrews 7:23-25) He carries our names on his breastpiece like precious stones and we are over His heart! In Him are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge! (Colossians 2:2-3) He stands as the only mediator between God and man. (1st Timothy 2:5-6) He offered Himself as the sacrifice for our sins. He is a man, priest and king!
“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence so that we may receive mercy and find help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:14-16
Scripture reading for May 21st: Job 8-10
Job’s dilemma of suffering the loss of his family, property, and health in such a short time caused much pondering of heart and brought his friends to sit with him. Job had been the greatest man of the East! (Job 1:3) He now was a sad and broken man suffering terribly. He maintained his innocence of known sin and his trust in God throughout this ordeal. He had many questions and no real answers! His friends were sincerely trying to help, but their frame of reference was past experience (Eliphaz) and now in today’s reading, logic.
Bildad the Shuhite had been listening to Job and Eliphaz discuss his plight. Bildad rebuked Job and began by citing God’s justice. He flatly stated that Job’s children got what they deserved when they were killed by the mighty wind. God punished them for their sins because God is always just! It was just logical when looked at in this way. Bildad encouraged Job to plead with the Almighty if he was pure and upright and God would restore him. The implication was that he was not really pure, but needed God’s mercy himself if he was to be restored.
Job responded to Bildad with some agreement. He knew that although he was unaware of known sin, he still carried shame before God. He knew of God’s greatness and his insignificance in comparison. Job tells of the greatness of God and how easily God could crush him because of His strength. If it was His justice, Job felt he would also be in trouble. (Job 9:19) Job longed for a mediator who could bridge the gap between man and God. Someone who could “lay his hand on both of us.” (Job 9:33-35) Someone who could remove God’s rod of wrath from Job would enable him to speak without fear.
This deep inner longing of Job is in the heart of every man. We long for a way to bridge the gap between our small world of sin and suffering and the great world of God and his strength and justice. We know we are guilty and suffer here on this earth because our disobedience. We know that punishment awaits us later because of God’s justice. We also know that we are eternal beings because eternity is in our heart. Without help, we struggle to figure it out!
Scripture reading for May 21st: Job 8-10
When you talk with unbelievers, one of the main accusations against God and this idea of a supreme being is the injustice that is in the world. How can a loving God allow such suffering of innocent people? If God is all powerful, why does He allow evil to happen to good people? If He is indeed just, does this mean that all suffering people are suffering because God is punishing them? This is hard to discern. For many, these questions keep them from knowing God and embracing Him by faith! These are not new questions asked only in our age, however. They were also discussed in the time of Job!
The next friend of Job to speak was Bildad the Shuhite. He told Job that his words were like a blustering wind! He told Job that when his children sinned, God merely gave them over to the penalty of their sin! (Job 8:2-4) He was sure that God gave people what they deserved and he pointed Job to past generations and what they had experienced. (Job 8:8-9) He did encourage Job to plead with God for mercy and told him that God could restore him if he were really pure and upright. (Job 8:5-6)
Job answers his friend with a question: ” How can any mortal man be righteous before God?” (Job 9:2) Job seems to understand God’s greatness, holiness and omniscience. He also seems to understand the great gap between him and God. He feels the need for a mediator, one who could arbitrate for him with this great God. (Job 9:32-35) Job speaks plainly to God about his need to understand what he has done wrong. (Job 10:2) He is not sure if he is guilty. Even if he is innocent, Job is hurting so much that he feels shame! (Job 10:15) He hurts so bad that he wishes he could have died before birth. He asks for a reprieve before he does die! (Job 10:20)
Suffering encourages us to ask the hard questions about our own life. Job truly wanted to know if he was guilty of sin and if so, what was that sin? Job grappled with his mortality and God’s great power and knowledge. He tried to understand the justice of God in a situation that felt unfair. His own friend Bildad had tried to help him see an aspect of God’s justice, but it was not feeling right in Job’s spirit. Job did not know what sin was causing this suffering. We know that God said that Job was blameless! (Job 1:8)
Another thing to take note of is God’s answer to Job’s prayer for a mediator. We now have a mediator who will stand before God on our behalf! Jesus Christ is the one mediator between God and man! He is a man like us and understands our suffering and weakness and is able to help us when we suffer and are tempted! God is just and very compassionate and merciful to each of us through His own Son, Jesus Christ! (1st Timothy 2:5-6)