Scripture reading for April 30th: Acts 19
Key Scriptures: Acts 19:8-10 “And he entered the synagogue and for three months spoke boldly, reasoning and persuading them about the kingdom of God. But when some became stubborn and continued in unbelief, speaking evil of the Way before the congregation, he withdrew from them and took the disciples with him, reasoning daily in the hall of Tyrannus. This continued for two years, so that all the residents of Asia heard the Word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks.
Paul went to Ephesus and found disciples there who had not even heard about the Holy Spirit and had only been baptized with John the Baptist’s baptism of repentance. Paul explained their need to believe in Jesus Christ and they did and were baptized in the Name of Jesus. As Paul laid his hands on them, they were also baptized in the Holy Spirit and began speaking in tongues. He then entered the synagogue there and began ministry of the Word of Jesus. Some believed and some were hardened. This caused him to withdraw to another location with the disciples of Jesus. He stayed two years and God used him to preach, teach and perform extraordinary miracles and the whole of Asia heard the Word!
Acts 19:11-12 “And God was doing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, so that even handkerchiefs or aprons that had touched his skin were carried away to the sick, and their diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for sending out missionaries who will preach and teach and raise up disciples. Give me boldness today and confirm Your Word with miracles that all the region where I am placed will hear Your Word and disciples will be made.
Ephesians 4:11-12 “And He gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, . . .”
Scripture reading for May 9th: Acts 4, Psalm 93, Proverbs 31
Key Scriptures: Acts 4:29-31 “”And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to Your servants to continue to speak Your Word with all boldness, while You stretch out Your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the Name of Your holy servant Jesus.” And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the Word of God with boldness.”
The disciples had been threatened and warned to not speak again in the Name of Jesus Christ. They gathered together in prayer and took the threats before the Lord, asking not for deliverance, but for boldness to speak God’s Word! The also asked the Lord to stretch His hand out and heal with signs and wonders in the Name of Jesus. God was so moved by their prayers, that the place they were meeting in was literally shaken by His presence and they were filled with the Holy Spirit and boldness to speak Christ’s Word!
Faith Confession: Lord, give me boldness to open my mouth to preach and speak Your Word to those I come in contact with. I expect You to confirm Your Word with signs, miracles and healings. Amen!
Proverbs 31:8-9 “Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.”
Scripture reading for January 15th: Matthew 11
Jesus talked about the generation of Jews that were living in the time He ministered on earth. “To what can I compare this generation? They are like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling out to others: “We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.” For John (the Baptist) came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and “sinners.” But wisdom is proved right by her actions.” (Matthew 11:16-19) The Jews of Jesus day had excuses for everything they saw. They made accusations that enabled them to stay smug and live as usual.
Jesus likened them to children playing games. Some played the flute and danced, inviting others to join in. This was the ministry of Jesus! He performed miracles and turned water into wine at a wedding feast. He was accused of being a glutton and friend of sinners by the religious people of that day. The miracles served only to make them more skeptical and hardened. John the Baptist came calling people to repentance and to mourn over their sins. He lived in the desert and dressed like a prophet. These same religious people accused him of having a demon!
We must be careful how we react to Jesus and to the people God sends to call people to Himself! He pronounced ‘woe’ on Korazin and Capernaum, the places He ministered the most but was rejected and judged! It would be more bearable for Sodom than for them on Judgment Day! (Matthew 11:23-24)
Scripture reading for May 6th: John 4:43-54
Jesus was never one to do miracles just to satisfy someone’s curiosity. He knew each person and what they needed to help them with faith. He sometimes surprised people with His comments and offended others. In today’s reading, Jesus makes a strong statement to a royal official seeking healing for his son.
Jesus left the Samaritan village where He had ministered to the woman at the well, and headed for Galilee and His home town. Jesus noted that a prophet had no respect among the people He grew up with. Upon arrival, a certain ruler came to Jesus with a desperate request. He had a son who was sick and near death. He believed that Jesus could come and heal his boy. “Unless you people see miraculous signs and wonders,” Jesus told him, “you will never believe.” The royal official said, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” Jesus replied, “You may go. Your son will live.” (John 4:48-50)
This royal official was not deterred at Jesus comment about miraculous signs. He was not seeking a sign, but needed a miracle to spare his son. He was desperate to have Jesus come and touch this son. He ignored the remark about the signs and Jesus honored his faith with a word of knowledge. His son would live and not die! This man exercised faith by “taking Jesus at His word”. “Consequently, faith comes by hearing the message, and the message is heard through the Word of Christ.” (Romans 10:17)
Upon arrival at his home, this ruler found his son had recovered and that the recovery began at the exact hour he had received the word from Jesus. This truth brought faith to the whole household and all came to trust in Jesus Christ! Jesus had done this miracle so that this man and his family could come to faith. They were not curiosity seekers or just looking for something to excite them. They sought Jesus for a recovery for this son and their faith was rewarded!
This story teaches us the simple truth of trusting the word of Jesus. Jesus honors faith and He speaks a word to us that strengthens our faith. Miracles can help people to trust in Jesus. We should always seek the Lord for His miraculous work to flow through us. Take Jesus at His word! Miracles are still happening!
Scripture reading for March 5th: Joshua 9-12
Sometimes the days aren’t long enough to get done everything that we would like to. Joshua had just such a day when he responded to the call to help the Gibeonites. Joshua prayed to the Lord and asked God to cause the sun to stand still while the nation of Israel attacked it’s enemies. God listened and a great miracle helped bring victory!
The Gibeonites had earlier deceived the Israelites in order to save their own lives. Joshua made a covenant with them and then found out that they had lied to him. (Joshua 9:22-23) As a result, this Canaanite tribe became servants to Joshua and Israel. A lack of prayer and discernment caused this problem. A short time later, five Amorite kings had formed an alliance and were attacking Gibeon. God spoke to Joshua and told him to go and attack and He would give him the victory. (Joshua 10:7-8) Joshua and his troops marched all night long and the fight was on. God helped the Israelites out with a heavy downpour of hailstones, killing more of the enemy than did the Israelites! The fight was going well, but daylight would soon be gone. Joshua prayed to the Lord. God listened to this man and the sun literally stood still in the sky for nearly a day! (Joshua 10:12-14)
This miracle is very interesting because of what must have happened to bring it about. For the sun to stand still in the sky, the earth had to quit rotating! This would be very difficult because the earth is rotating at 24,000 miles per hour! (Joshua 10:11)
At the end of this story, Joshua brought the five kings out of the cave and had his men put their feet on the kings’ necks. (Joshua 10:24-25) They got a visual picture of victory and we see what God wants us to do to our enemy Satan! (Romans 16:20)
What do we learn from this ancient record of Joshua’s exploits? With God, nothing is impossible! (Luke 1:37) If we ask Him in faith for what we need, He is able to deliver even the most difficult and humanly impossible requests. All we have to do is ask in faith, believing! Do you have a request that sounds too difficult for the Lord? Ask Him today!
Scripture reading for September 12th: 2nd Corinthians 12:11-21
Paul continued his defense of his own ministry, blaming the Corinthians for driving him to this. “I ought to have been commended by you, for I am not in the least inferior to the “super-apostles,” even though I am nothing. The things that mark an apostle–signs, wonders and miracles–were done among you with great perseverance.” (2nd Corinthians 12:11-12) Paul did not consider himself to be anything. But he did do the things that mark apostles of Jesus Christ in their midst. God had used him to preach the Gospel and they were saved as a result of his ministry. He had done other signs during his ministry there. This should have brought commendation.
“Now I am ready to visit you for the third time, and I will not be a burden to you, because what I want is not your possessions but you. After all, children should not have to save up for their parents, but parents for their children. So I will very gladly spend for you everything I have and expend myself as well. If I love you more, will you love me less?” Paul wasn’t after their money or possessions, as some of the “false apostles” had been. He considered himself like their parents. He wanted to be with them and bless them, gladly spending himself for their welfare. He loved them as Christ loved them, willing even to lay down his life for them.
Paul went on to explain that all he had written was for their strengthening and that he had written what was needed in the sight of God. ” For I am afraid that when I come I may not find you as I want you to be, and you may not find me as you want me to be. I fear that there may be quarreling, jealousy, outburst of anger, factions, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder. I am afraid that when I come again my God will humble me before you, and I will be grieved over many who have sinned earlier and have not repented of the impurity, sexual sin and debauchery in which they have indulged.” (2nd Corinthians 12:20-21) His love for them warned them of his coming so that they may repent and be found free from these sins! Examine your own life today for these sins! Jesus is coming soon!
Scripture reading for October 15th: Mark 1-3
Mark’s Gospel is concise and active. It is alive with the Good News of God here with us and in love with us. This revelation is found in Jesus Christ, the Son of God and Son of Man! Mark wastes little time with preliminaries of the Jewish history of the Christ and prophesies of His birth. He gets right down to the action of Jesus living among His people and loving and serving them by teaching, healing, and casting out devils. He ate with the people and told them stories that opened up for them the kingdom of heaven and their own need for a relationship with the Father. One story of a healing is the subject of our study today.
As a result of a spectacular healing of a man with leprosy, people were coming from everywhere to find the man who could bring these miraculous results. Crowds gathered wherever Jesus went. He returned to Capernaum where he had done miracles and a crowd quickly gathered. There were so many that people were crowded around the house to hear Him preach the word. A group of men brought a friend who was paralyzed to Jesus for healing. Because of the crowd, there was no way to get him inside, so they carried him up on the roof. They opened a hole big enough to let the man down and lowered him into the room.
When Jesus saw the faith of the friends, He immediately responded to the man by saying: “Son, your sins are forgiven.” (Mark 2:5) This caused some religious leaders who were present to begin to think about how wrong this statement was to come from a mere man. After all, only God could forgive sins! (Mark 2:7)
Jesus had immediate understanding of their thoughts and sought to help them believe. He asked them why they were thinking these things and asked them which was easier to say, “Your sins are forgiven” or “Get up, take up your bed and walk”? In order to remove their objection, he told the man to get up, take up his bed, and walk. This the man did to the amazement of the crowd!
This story should help us to see how faith should motivate us to seek Jesus for answers to whatever problems we face. Jesus honors faith and no problem is too hard for Him. We may not have faith ourselves, but believing friends can also be a great blessing by taking us to Jesus. The obstacles must be pushed or broken through so we are not discouraged or denied! What friend do you know that needs help today to get to Jesus? Take a few minutes of your day to pray for him. As the Lord leads, get another friend or two and go and lift him to Jesus together! What a joy to delight Jesus with your faith! What a blessing faith-filled friends are! Miracles are waiting for those who break through! He truly is God!