Scripture reading for May 20th: 2nd Samuel 11-12, 1st Chronicles 20, Psalm 51, 32, Acts 27
Key Scriptures: Acts 27:34-38 “”Therefore I urge you to take some food. For it will give you strength, for not a hair is to perish from the head of any of you.” And when he had said these things, he took bread, and giving thanks to God in the presence of all he broke it and began to eat. Then they all were encouraged and ate some food themselves. (We were in all 276 persons in the ship.) And when they had eaten enough, they lightened the ship, throwing out the wheat into the sea.”
While on his journey to Rome, the ship’s captain that Paul had warned not to proceed had gone ahead anyway. A great storm arose at sea and all on board despaired of life. Paul was encouraged in a vision that none would be lost except the ship and that he would travel to Rome to testify there. Paul shared his vision with the crew and those aboard the ship and encouraged them to eat something. He took the bread, gave thanks, broke it and ate! This was a type of Holy Communion, a remembering of Jesus’ death and indwelling life!
Psalm 51:10 “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, I trust in Your broken Body and shed Blood for cleansing, healing, forgiveness and encouragement. Open doors today of encouragement and hope, where I can break the Bread of Life through sharing Jesus Christ and His mercy for those who are fearful in the midst of a storm.
2nd Samuel 12:13 “David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die.”
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 October 24th: Jeremiah 9-12, Hebrews 9
Key Scriptures: Hebrews 9:24, 27-28 “For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. . . “And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for Him.”
Jesus Christ, our great High Priest, entered the actual Holy of Holies in heaven. He took the ultimate sacrifice, His own blood to atone for our sins. He is coming back to earth again a second time, not to deal with sin again, but to save completely those who are trusting in Him! What wisdom God and Christ have revealed to all who will hear!
Jeremiah 9:23-24 “Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.”
Prayer: Lord, thank You for Your mercy to me to personally pay for my sins with Your own blood. Thank You for revealing Your mercy to me! Amen.
Scripture reading for October 16th: Isaiah 53-56, Hebrews 3
Key Scriptures: Hebrews 3:12-14 “Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end.”
The writer of Hebrews gave a pastoral warning to the members of the church. The sin of unbelief can take us away from Christ and cause eternal loss. Unbelief is deceitful and subtle. We must watch over our own soul and one another. Confidence in Christ must be maintained.
Isaiah 55:10-11 “Seek the Lord while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that He may have compassion on him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.”
Prayer: Lord, thank You for Your great mercy and for Your pastoral care for my soul and Your church. Help me to be careful and watchful, maintaining confidence in Christ’s sacrifice for me. Amen.
Scripture reading for July 27th: Psalm 51-54, 2nd Corinthians 1
Key Scriptures: 2nd Corinthians 1:2-4 “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our afflictions, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”
Paul sends grace to the Church at Corinth from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. He recognized that God was the source of all mercy and comfort. In fact, Paul calls God “The Father of mercies” and “God of all comfort.” Mercy is God’s unmerited favor of grace and forgiveness, given to sinners who deserve wrath. Grace is the opposite of what we deserve! Having received this mercy, we can now share that with others in need.
Psalm 51:10, 13 “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” . . .”Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners will return to You.”
Prayer: Lord, thank You for Your great mercy, beyond what I deserve. May I have grace overflowing today to share with others in need. Amen.
Scripture reading for March 30th: Judges 17-20, Luke 21
Key Scriptures: Luke 21:33-36 “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away. But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap. For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth. But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”
Jesus told His disciples that prayer and watchfulness were necessities to survive the testing that would come upon the earth before His coming again. God’s people must live by faith in every Word He has said!
Judges 17:5-6 “And the man Micah had a shrine, and he made an ephod and household gods, and ordained one of his sons, who became his priest. In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”
Prayer: Lord, forgive me for doing my own thing. Help me to live in faith by Your Word. Amen.
Scripture reading for December 25th: 3rd John, Jude, Revelation 1-2
Key Scriptures: Jude 20-21; “But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith, and pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.”
Revelation 1:7 “Look, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of Him. So shall it be! Amen.”
Both Jude and John, author of the Revelation, encouraged the church to watch and be ready for the return of the Lord Jesus. For those who believed on Jesus Christ and were cleansed by His blood, Christ’s return would bring eternal life and the riches of God’s presence forever! For the world and the unsaved of the earth, Christ’s return with the clouds of believers would be a cause for mourning as they would know the judgment of God was at hand!
Visions of Christ’s return: “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven.” (Daniel 7:13) “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on Me, the One they have pierced, and they will mourn for Him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for Him as one grieves for a firstborn son.” (Zechariah 12:10)
Key Scriptures for December 13th: 2nd Timothy 4, Titus 1-3
Key Scriptures: Titus 3:4-7 “But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by His grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.”
Paul, writing to Titus, emphasized the basic truth of salvation by grace through faith. Because of Jesus Christ, our Savior, we have obtained mercy, washing from sin and renewal by the Holy Spirit in new birth. We stand justified before a Holy God because of what He did for us, not anything we did or can do for Him. We not rejoice in our promised inheritance in God’s household–eternal life! What amazing hope we eagerly expect!
Rejoicing in hope and a future: “”For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. The you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.”” (Jeremiah 29:11-13)
Scripture reading for February 9th: Numbers 11-14
Key Scriptures: Numbers 14:17-19 “Now may the Lord’s strength be displayed, just as you have declared: ‘The Lord is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet He does not leave the guilty unpunished; He punishes the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generations.’ In accordance with Your great love, forgive the sin of these people, just as You have pardoned them from the time they left Egypt until now.”
The Israelites were in rebellion against the Lord’s command to go in and take their promised land. Moses prayed after God spoke of destroying them and making another people through Moses. He prayed that the Lord’s ‘strength’ would be displayed! This ‘strength’ was forgiveness of sin and rebellion and continued patience with His people!
Overflowing Thanksgiving: Thank God for His Strength that makes sinners alive from death! “But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions–it is by grace you have been saved!” (Ephesians 2:5)
Scripture reading for September 23rd: 1st Timothy 1
Key Scriptures for over-comers: 1st Timothy 1:15-19 “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners–of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display His unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on Him and receive eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.”
Paul’s testimony formed the basis of his advice to the younger minister Timothy. Paul knew he was the worst of sinners because he had persecuted and killed Christians. Jesus Christ appeared to him and personally confronted him with his need to repent. God showed His patience and great mercy for Paul as an example to all who would believe on Jesus Christ. In sharing these truths of Christ’s great mercy and patience, Paul’s heart and pen flows with worship to His Lord and King!
Observations for over-comers: Our salvation and new creation life is based on Christ’s patience and mercy and intervention on our behalf. Overcomers base their lives on this truth and live a life of worship! “I will sing of the Lord’s great love forever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations. I will declare that your love stands firm forever, that you established your faithfulness in heaven itself.” (Psalm 89:1-2)