Scripture reading for June 16th: Proverbs 24-25, Psalm 41, 1st Thessalonians 2
Key Scriptures: 1st Thessalonians 2:13-16 “And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the Word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the Word of God, which is at work in you believers. For you, brothers, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea. For you suffered the same things from your own countrymen as they did from the Jews, who killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets and drove us out, and displease God and oppose all mankind by hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles that they might be saved–so as always to fill up the measure of their sins. But wrath has come upon them at last!”
Paul commended the Thessalonian believers for receiving the Word of God for what it really was. God’s Word is alive and powerful, able to transform the soul from death to life eternal. It changes attitudes and rebellious behaviors and enables perseverance during suffering. In fact, suffering in believers lives comes from the unsaved world and sometimes our own relatives. They are under God’s wrath and oppose the Word of God. Jesus was betrayed by one of His own disciples and was crucified by His own people.
Psalm 41:9 “Even my close friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted his heel against me.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for the Word of God. I receive it and desire its work in me for transformation and salvation. Anoint me to preach the Word of God in the face of adversity!
Proverbs 24:10 “If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small.”
Scripture reading for May 23rd: 1st Chronicles 24-27, Acts 14
Key Scriptures: Acts 14:1-3 “Now at Iconium they entered together into the Jewish synagogue and spoke in such a way that a great number of both Jews and Greeks believed. But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers. So they remained for a long time speaking boldly for the Lord, who bore witness to the word of His grace granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands.”
As Paul and his missionary team went from city to city, they went to Jews first at the local synagogue. The Gospel message of Jesus Christ brought great controversy and division. They were prepared for this and continued to speak boldly and allow the Lord to work with them confirming their message with signs and wonders. God’s army moves under His direction.
1st Chronicles 24:19 “These had as their appointed duty in their service to come into the house of the Lord according to the procedure established for them by Aaron their father, as the Lord God of Israel had commanded him.”
Prayer: Lord, thank You for order and direction of Your people enabling them to follow Your example of boldness in the face of opposition. Grant me courage to speak today. Amen.
Scripture reading for May 9th: 2nd Kings 13-16, Acts 4
Key Scriptures: Acts 4:27-29 “. . for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever Your hand and Your plan had predestined to take place. And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to Your servants to continue to speak Your Word with all boldness. . .”
The disciples had been threatened by the Jewish council after the great miracle of healing for the lame beggar. They joined together and prayed a powerful prayer, recognizing the opposition that Jesus Christ had Himself endured from those He appointed to authority. They asked to speak boldly God’s Word!
2nd Kings 16:2-3 “Ahaz was twenty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. And he did not do what was right in the eyes of the Lord his God, as his father David had done, but he walked in the way of the kings of Israel. He even burned his son as an offering, according to the despicable practices of the nations. . .”
Prayer: Lord, reveal any compromise in my life. Help me to do right in Your eyes and speak boldly Your Word to Your people as well as the lost. Amen.
Scripture reading for January 12th: Genesis 32-35, Matthew 10
Key Scriptures: Matthew 10:34-38 “”Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. Whoever loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me.””
Jesus was talking to His disciples after He had sent them out two by two to the land of Israel. He warned them of the spiritual conflict they and future generations of believers would face. Our love for Jesus must surpass all other relationships! Conflict is inevitable! God will protect and bless His own!
Genesis 32:9-11 “And Jacob said, “O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, O Lord who said to me, ‘Return to your country and to your kindred, that I may do you good,’ I am not worthy of the least of all the deeds of steadfast love and all the faithfulness that You have shown to Your servant. . . . .Please deliver me from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau, for I fear him, that he may come and attack me, the mothers with the children. But You said, ‘I will surely do you good . . .'”
Prayer: Lord, we are weak when it comes to facing opposition, especially from our own family. May we be encouraged and made bold through Your Word and example. Protect our family by Your blood. Amen
Scripture reading for May 9th: Nehemiah 3-4
God’s people are wired for work! When a vision is present, focus of energy and teamwork can result in a miraculous amount of work being done and great accomplishments. It takes leadership and discipline to get people to work together. There are many hindrances that try to hold up progress and destroy the vision. The leader must assess the situation, cast the vision, organize the team of workers, and deal with the hindrances in a timely and effective manner. He can’t run a popularity contest or seek to appease those who would hinder or hold up the work.
Nehemiah was an effective leader. He was chosen by God as he prayed for the city of Jerusalem, burdened for it’s broken-down walls. Nehemiah was given favor, authority, and materials from the king to go and rebuild the broken walls of his beloved city. His plan of action was formulated as he assessed the situation for himself after arriving there. (Nehemiah 2:11-16) He decided to put families in charge of rebuilding the section of wall nearest their own homes. (Nehemiah 3) This brought personal responsibility to bear on how the job would be done and how fast they would work.
Nehemiah had to deal with opposition, both external and internal. This is spiritual warfare that is ever-present in the life of a believer seeking to do God’s will. He prayed first (Nehemiah 4:4-5) and then posted a guard. He armed half the men while the others worked. He kept a trumpeter by his side to sound the alarm if any family was attacked and needed help. (Nehemiah 4:17-20) Everyone worked together and kept ready to meet any opposition.
This is a good plan for each person in God’s family. We are each assigned work to do by the Lord. There will be opposition and it must be dealt with to avoid setback and defeat. The Holy Spirit is the trumpeter in our lives who lets us know when trouble is coming. As we work and fight together the work gets done quickly. We remember that we are fighting for our own protection and that of our family. Personal responsibility and God’s grace insure the victory!
“Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.” Nehemiah 4:14