Scripture reading for June 11th: Proverbs 16-18, Romans 15
Key Scriptures: Romans 15:5-7, 13 “May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.” . . .”May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”
By God’s grace we are empowered to live in harmony with one another. God gives us endurance and encouragement to stay in unity through the infilling of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit gives us God’s power to rest in Jesus Christ and live in peace and joy because we know we are God’s children and declared righteous. We have the Blessed Hope of Jesus’ soon return.
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You today for the fruit of the Holy Spirit in my life, bringing patience and endurance in this trying time. May I live in the power of the Holy Spirit today to live in steadfast love and harmony with Your Church sharing the hope we have in Christ Jesus, making my enemies my peace-filled friends.
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. When a man’s ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.”
Scripture reading for November 15th: 2nd Peter 2, Psalm 85-86, Proverbs 13
Key Scriptures: 2nd Peter 2:6-10 “. . .if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes He condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; and if He rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard; then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority.”
As Peter faced his own execution, he wrote to believers concerning God’s ability to punish the wicked and also to save and keep the righteous. God is faithful and is a righteous judge. He will punish the wicked who are captured by sinful flesh and resist and despise God’s authority. He will deliver the righteous from trials. The Lord is true to His Word!
Faith Confession: I trust God to right all wrongs and to keep me at peace in the midst of this world and it’s evil people. To Him be all glory and praise!
Psalm 85:8-9 “Let me hear what God the Lord will speak, for He will speak peace to His people, to His saints; but let them not turn back to folly. Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him, that glory may dwell in our land.”
Scripture reading for June 19th: Romans 5, Psalm 122, Proverbs 29
Key Scriptures: Romans 5:6-10 “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person–though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die–but God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by His blood, much more shall we be saved by Him from the wrath of God. For if while were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by His life.”
Paul clearly stated that we are all sinners, for all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory. In that state of sin and separation from God, when we were actually under God’s wrath against sin, Christ came at just the right time and died for all sinners. He did this to demonstrate God’s love to all sinners and provide a way for their salvation from God’s wrath. Christ’s death and shed blood bring justification and reconciliation. His resurrected life guarantees our salvation!
Faith confession: I receive justification, reconciliation and eternal security in the City of God through faith in Jesus Christ’s death and shed blood. I thank Him for resurrection life that His resurrection from the dead guarantees for me and all who repent and believe.
Psalm 122:6-7 “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem! “May they be secure who love you! Peace be within your walls and security within your towers!”
Scripture reading for August 30th: Psalms 136-139 and Ephesians 6
Key Scriptures: Ephesians 6:23-24 “Peace be to the brothers and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with love incorruptible.”
Paul closed his letter to the Ephesians with a blessing. He gave them a blessing of peace. Our Lord Jesus promised His disciples that “in Me you may have peace.” (John 16:33) He gave them the blessing of “love with faith.” Love never fails and faith works by love. He blessed them with grace–grace that would cover all those who loved Jesus Christ, the loving and faithful Son of God.
Psalm 138:1-2 “I give You thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart; before the gods I sing Your praise; I bow down toward Your Holy Temple and give thanks to Your Name for Your steadfast love and Your faithfulness, for You have exalted above all things Your Name and Your Word.”
Prayer: Lord, thank You for Your love and faithfulness! I receive the blessing of Your peace, love, faithfulness, and amazing grace! Amen.
Scripture reading for July 2nd: Job 27-29, Romans 14
Key Scriptures: Romans 14:7-9, 17 “For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and lived again, that He might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.” …”For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”
Paul, writing to the Roman Christians, encouraged them to refrain from judging one another based on human rules and traditions. They were judging others based on their habits. The kingdom of God was not based on external habits, but brings the fruit of inner righteousness, peace and joy through the presence of God the Holy Spirit within. The Holy Spirit gives each person a healthy “fear of the Lord”.
Job 29:28 “And He said to man, ‘ Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to turn away from evil is understanding.'”
Prayer: Lord, thank You for the indwelling Holy Spirit bringing us into Your kingdom. Let me share the righteousness, peace and joy with others. Amen.
Scripture reading for September 9th: Colossians 3
Key Scriptures for over-comers: Colossians 3:15-17 “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”
Paul gave the Colossians simple advice about practically living in anticipation of Christ’s return. They were to rest in all that Christ had done for them and cultivate a thankful soul. Allowing God’s word to dwell in them, teaching others the word of God, and admonishing in love those needing correction would produce an atmosphere of continual peace. This would result in worship–both personal and corporate! Songs of worship and thanksgiving would flow from believers as they did their daily work with thanksgiving and great gratitude to God from whom all things flowed into their lives.
Observations for over-comers: A thankful heart based on living out the promises of God’s word produces abundant peace and rich worship to overcome the world, flesh and Satan’s traps! “If only you had paid attention to My commands, your peace would have been like a river, you righteousness like the waves of the sea.” (Isaiah 48:18)
Scripture reading for July 1st: Romans 14
Key Scriptures for over-comers: Romans 14:19-23 “Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a man to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble. It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother to fall. So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he approves. But the man who has doubts is condemned if he eats, because it is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.”
In Paul’s time, eating meat sacrificed to idols was a big issue. Some believed that this meat would pollute them spiritually. Others were concerned that this would cause unbelievers to think that believers were serving idols too. Paul taught the law of love. When we love others, we do what is best for them and try and keep peace. Each person should serve God with a clear conscience, acting in faith in whatever they believe in these disputable matters. This doesn’t mean that we ignore sin and fail to lovingly pray for and confront believers that are still caught in sinful lifestyles. We must do all that we do to the glory of God and live by faith to please Him!
Observations for over-comers: “The kingdom of God is not a matter of eating or drinking, but righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit!” (Romans 14:17)“Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will turn back to You.” (Psalm 51:12-13)
Scripture reading for July 2nd: Romans 14
“For by the grace given me, I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.” (Romans 12:3) Paul had exhorted the believers to dedicate their bodies to God and renew their minds with His word. He had instructed them to think soberly about their own lives, calling, and gifts. Some, however, were not as strong as others in their faith and walk of liberty with the Lord.
“Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters. One man’s faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak eats only vegetables. The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him. Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.” (Romans 14:1-4) Some of the believers with ‘stronger’ faith were passing judgment on those who limited what they could eat to vegetables. Those with ‘weaker’ faith were also passing judgment on those who ate everything. Under Christ’s New Covenant of grace, each person would answer to God in matters like diet that were disputable.
As New Testament believers and children of God, we must seek to please the Father by walking in faith. It is Christ who will enable each believer to stand before the Father through what He has done on our behalf. We must not judge one another on matters that are disputable!
Scripture reading for July 31st: Romans 14:1-23
The body of Christ is composed of people from different walks of life and different spiritual experience. Some come from religious backgrounds. Others come with no spiritual training and are eager to learn what is expected. Paul knew that the church at Rome was very diverse, with many Jews and Gentiles of different backgrounds. He wrote to help them understand how to practice the command of Jesus to “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Romans 13:9-10)
“Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters. One man’s faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him. Who are you to judge someone else’s servant?” (Romans 14:1-4a) We enter into pride when we judge someone else. Some matters, such as eating meat sacrificed to idols, are disputable. The strong person knows that the idol is nothing and that the meat is made clean by prayer and thanksgiving. The weaker person may feel polluted by the meat and believe that they have sinned by eating it. As long as what they do is motivated by their faith, neither one is to judge the other and cause disunity or division over eating meat! We do not show love when bringing strife over matters like this.
“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men.” (Romans 14:17-18) The Holy Spirit wants to lead us in loving our brothers and sisters, not in judging them on matters of conscience that are not clearly dealt with in Scripture. We can please God by walking in love and faith that God will deal with each person according to their faith.
“So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he approves. But the man who has doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.” (Romans 14:22-23) Be quiet and live by faith!