Scripture reading for June 27th: 1st Kings 6, 2nd Chronicles 3, 1st Timothy 1
1st Timothy 1:12-16 “I thank Him Who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because He judged me faithful, appointing me to His service, though 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. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, the foremost, Jesus Christ might display His perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in Him for eternal life.”
Paul was ever thankful for the opportunity and strength to serve. Although as a religious person, he had been a blasphemer of Christ and lived in unbelief, God granted him mercy and called him into His service of ministry to Jew and Gentile. As one of the ‘foremost’ sinners, Paul understood Christ’s amazing mercy and salvation by grace through faith. He could effectively use his own testimony of God’s mercy and patience to share with others living in sin. God used him to reach many lost sinners, which was the goal and purpose of Jesus Christ coming into this world and offering His body and blood for our salvation and justification.
1st Timothy 1:17 “To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.”
Prayer: Thank You Lord for having patience with me and showing me Your mercy through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I acknowledge Your mission of saving lost sinners and offer myself to be used to reach those who still need salvation. Overflow Your grace in my life along with Christ’s love and faith to reach many lost souls and produce a harvest to Your glory that will build Your House.
1st Kings 6:12-13 “Now the Word of the Lord came to Solomon, “Concerning this house that you are building, if you will walk in My statutes and obey My rules and keep all My commandments and walk in them, then I will establish My Word with you, which I spoke to David your father. And I will dwell among the children of Israel and will not forsake My people Israel.”
Scripture reading for May 25th: 2nd Samuel 18-20, Psalm 34, Romans 2
Romans 2:6-11 “He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, He will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. For God shows no partiality.“
Paul explained to the Roman believers that faith must have accompanying works. Those who were patiently doing good works and serving God through their relationship with Jesus Christ would receive eternal life. Those that lived for themselves and lived in rebellion to God’s truth would receive only wrath and the fury of God’s anger at the judgment. The psalmist stated that God sees the righteous and listens for their cries but stands against those who are evil to eliminate them from the earth! God is impartial! But it is not God’s will that any should be cut off or perish. King David’s cry over Absalom, his rebellious son, shares the heart of God in that he would rather have died instead of the son.
Psalm 34: 15-16 “The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous and His ears toward their cry. The face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth.”
Prayer: Father God, I am thankful that Your eyes are upon the righteous and Your ears listen for our cry! I am thankful that You would rather show mercy and sent Your Son to take the place of rebellious sinners like me. Lord give me Your heart and help me to live reflecting Your impartiality and grace through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
2nd Samuel 18:33 “And the king was deeply moved and went up to the chamber over the gate and wept. And as he went, he said, “O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!”
Scripture reading for May 20th: 2nd Samuel 11-12, 1st Chronicles 20, Psalm 51, 32, Acts 27
Acts 27:21-26 “Since they had been without food for a long time, Paul stood up among them and said, “Men, you should have listened to me and not have set sail from Crete and incurred this injury and loss. Yet now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. For this very night there stood before me an angel of the God to Whom I belong and Whom I worship, and he said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar. And behold, God has granted you all those who sail with you.’ So take heart, men, for I have faith in God that it will be exactly as I have been told. But we must run aground on some island.””
Paul, the prisoner, had sought to direct the crew and captain from sailing into what Paul knew was dangerous weather. They did not listen and for two weeks they had been buffeted by a storm and all hope of escaping was gone. Paul called them all together and shared what an angel of God had revealed to him. God was merciful and granted all who were on the ship their lives but the ship would be lost. God’s Word was true and it happened just as Paul foretold. But God’s mercy is not just to save our physical lives. As the Psalm and reading from Samuel tells us today, God is merciful to all who will call upon Him in repentance and faith. God forgives even murder and adultery for King David!
Psalm 51:1-2 “Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your steadfast love; according to Your steadfast love; according to Your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!”
Prayer: Father, I am so thankful for Your abundant mercy and Your steadfast love of me, a sinner! Thank You for granting me life eternal through Your mercy in Your Son Jesus Christ. Thank You for blotting out my sins and iniquity and delivering me from death. Thank You for washing me from my sins and giving me Your righteousness. I will worship You for Your steadfast love and abundant mercy!
1st Samuel 12:13-14 “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. Nevertheless, because by this deed you have utterly scorned the Lord, the child who is born to you shall die.””
Scripture reading for March 8th: Numbers 12-14, Psalm 28, Colossians 2
Colossians 2: 13-15 “And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This He set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in Him.”
All mankind is born in sin and shaped in iniquity because of Adam’s sin and rebellion. Our spiritual condition is “dead in trespasses.” But our God is rich in mercy and full of grace and love towards those made in His image. Through the cross of Calvary, He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to pay the record of debt against mankind because of sin. The legal demand that the soul that sins must die was met by Jesus taking this demand and nailing it to His cross. In doing so, He paid the debt we owed and triumphed over death and hell and Satan and his fallen angels. He heard our cry for mercy and forgave us all of our sins! Hallelujah! We are free! We appropriate the freedom through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ!
Psalm 28:6-7 “Blessed be the Lord! For He has heard the voice of my pleas for mercy. The Lord is my strength and my shield; in Him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.”
Prayer: Father God, thank You for hearing Moses’ cry for mercy when You could have legally destroyed Your rebelling people. Thank You for Your steadfast love and mercy through Jesus Christ and His death on the cross on our behalf. Thank You for canceled sins and debt and disarmed rulers and authorities! Blessed be Your Name forever and ever!
Numbers 14:17-19 “And now, please let the power of the Lord be great as You have promised, saying, ‘The Lord is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, forgiving iniquity and transgression, but He will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, to the third and fourth generation.’ Please pardon the iniquity of this people, according to the greatness of Your steadfast love, just as you have forgiven this people, from Egypt until now.””
Scripture reading for October 6th: James 2
Key Scriptures: James 2:1-4 “My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or “Sit down at my feet,” have you not then made distinction among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?”
James now begins to deal with the sin of discrimination in the church. There were those who were showing partiality to people of higher social and economic status and elevating them while treating people of poorer economic and social status with deference. James calls them out and tells them that they are acting as judges and that this type of thinking is evil. We can apply this teaching in many ways in our culture and time. We may discriminate against people on the basis of their race or ethnic background. We may show partiality to people of like political persuasion and shun or treat as second class citizens those we disagree with. As James says, this is wrong and we are acting in pride and judging people. Times may change but the sins are the same! The remedy is allowing God’s love for all to flow.
James 2:8-9 “If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors.”
Faith confession and prayer: Father God, thank You for the royal law of loving my neighbor as myself. I thank You also that You are not partial and that you show perfect love and justice and are the only One capable of judging. Forgive me for showing partiality and help me to value each person as precious and love them as my neighbor and myself.
James 2:13 “For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.”
Scripture reading for July 6th: Matthew 6
Key Scriptures: Matthew 6:7-14 “”And when you pray do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him. Pray then like this: Our Father in heaven, hallowed by Your Name. Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.””
In this Sermon on the Mount, Jesus covered many topics, but focused in on prayer. Prayer was not to be endless repetitions of empty phrases, but should be short and concise and focused on the basics of everyday life. Prayer admits dependency and begins with worship. The disciple is to know and address God as “Our Father”. They are members of a family where the Father is the provider, protector, and mediator of trouble. The Father has plans and purposes that family members know and support in agreement and unity. The Father instructs His children to forgive others their debts just as each of them has been forgiven. If there is no forgiveness, there is no understanding of God’s amazing grace and God cannot give us grace either. It is not salvation by works however, but always salvation and forgiveness by grace alone through faith in God’s mercy offered through the Cross of Jesus Christ. Asking and receiving are all by faith.
Matthew 6:33 “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.’
Faith confession and prayer: Father God, thank You for teaching us to pray simply for our basic needs. I need Your provisions for life and ministry, protection from evil and the evil one, mercy and forgiveness for my sins on a daily basis. I pray today this simple prayer: Our Father Who is in heaven, Hallowed by Your Name! Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom, power and glory! Forever and ever! Amen!
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.”
Scripture reading for January 1st: 1st Timothy 1, Luke 19
Key Scriptures: 1st Timothy 1:15-17 “The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display His perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in Him for eternal life. To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.”
We begin this new year with a declaration by the Apostle Paul of the mission of Jesus Christ: to save sinners. We also hear afresh and anew Paul’s confession of his great sinfulness and need of Christ’s mercy. Paul praised Jesus’ perfect patience with his own sinfulness and how now, in his saved and transformed life, he was to become an example to all sinners of Christ’s patience and mercy. All Paul could do was worship and give all honor and glory to God and Jesus Christ! We begin our year declaring these truths for our own lives. We are sinners saved by Christ’s great mercy! Christ’s mission and now ours is to declare Christ’s saving mercy for sinners through the Gospel and through our own transformed lives. We declare Christ Jesus and God the Father as eternally worthy of our praise! We declare this to be a year of worship and salvation!
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, You are the King Eternal and the only God my Savior! Thank you for showing mercy to me, a foremost sinner and blasphemer. Help me to declare Your mission of mercy through my daily walk, words and service in 2021. I will do all as daily worship to the King Eternal!
Luke 19:9-10 “And Jesus said to him (Zacchaeus the tax collector), “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
Scripture reading for July 28th: 2nd Chronicles 24, 2nd Kings 12, Psalm 50, Matthew 9
Key Scriptures: Matthew 9:27-30 “And as Jesus passed on from there, two blind men followed Him, crying aloud, “Have mercy on us, Son of David.” When He entered the house, the blind men came to Him, and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to Him, “Yes, Lord.” Then He touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith be it done to you.” And their eyes were opened. And Jesus sternly warned them, “See that no one knows about it.””
Jesus had just raised a dead girl to life and healed a woman who touched His garment of 12 years of hemorrhaging. As He moved on, two blind men followed crying out in faith to Jesus for their healing, using the divine title, ‘Son of David.’ Jesus asked them if they believed that He was able to do what they were asking and they replied in the affirmative. One touch from the Master Jesus and a Word brought instant healing! He sent them away warning them to tell no one!
Psalm 50:15 “. . . and call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will glorify Me.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, I believe that You can do all things and that I bring You glory when I call on You for help, healing, or deliverance. Help me to humbly ask for help as I labor restoring Your House.
2nd Chronicles 24:13 “So those who were engaged in the work labored, and the repairing went forward in their hands, and they restored the House of God to its proper condition and strengthened it.”
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.”