Scripture reading for May 6th: Acts 23
Key Scriptures: Acts 23:9-11 “Then a great clamor arose, and some of the scribes of the Pharisees’ party stood up and contended sharply, “We find nothing wrong in this man. What if a spirit or an angel spoke to him?” And when the dissension became violent, the tribune, afraid that Paul would be torn to pieces by them, commanded the soldiers to go down and take him away from among them by force and bring him into the barracks. The following night the Lord stood by him and said, “Take courage, for as you have testified to the facts about Me in Jerusalem, so you must testify also in Rome.””
Jesus is with His people always and in all situations. He is in charge of what His people walk through in their appointed calling. Paul was in the center of God’s will and doing what He was called to do. God was at work on those of the Jews as well as the Gentile soldiers and their handlers as well as the officials of Rome. He placed Paul where He could minister the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all and also had plans to reach even to Rome with Paul. Even a plot of ambush by forty Jews to kill Paul didn’t stop God’s plans. The devil is no match for God’s Spirit-filled people! Paul could rest soundly knowing Jesus was standing by him!
Daniel 3:24-25 “Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished and rose up in haste. He declared to his counselors, “Did we not cast three men bound into the fire?” They answered and said to the king, “True, O king.” He answered and said, “But I see four men unbound, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods.””
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for standing by Your people in every age and every mountain and valley. Thank You for vision and Words of encouragement when the going gets tough. May I testify boldly to the facts of Who You are and Your plan of salvation, knowing that You are standing by me.
Psalm 4:8 “In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.”
Scripture reading for November 18th: Daniel 10-12; John 20
Key Scriptures: John 20:19-23 “On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent Me, even so I am sending you.” And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.”
In the evening after Jesus arose from the tomb, He appeared to His disciples who were waiting behind locked doors and were fearful of the Jews who had crucified their Lord. Jesus simply appeared, a locked door was not able to keep Him out. He spoke peace to the troubled disciples and showed them His hands, scared with the nails and His side, opened with the spear. This was to reassure them that it was really Him. He spoke peace again and then breathed on them, inviting them to receive the Holy Spirit. As they believed on their Resurrected Lord, the breath of God entered them and they were born again. This mirrored God breathing life into Adam, the man He had formed from the dust and clay.
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for Your peace and for walking into my life in spite of my locked door of fear and pride. Thank You for the Father’s gift of the Holy Spirit, God’s breath in me, imparting fresh ability to lead others to Your righteousness that I might shine with Your glory.
Daniel 12:2-3 “And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forevermore.”
Scripture reading for November 12th: Ezekiel 46-48; Psalm 88; John 16
Key Scriptures: John 16:30-33 “Now we know that You know all things and do not need anyone to question You; this is why we believe that You came from God.” Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave Me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with Me. I have said these thing to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
Jesus was giving His disciples a last Word of encouragement and prophetic truth before going to the Garden of Gethsemane and His crucifixion, death, and resurrection. They had confessed faith that He was from God and that they trusted in Him. Jesus plainly told them they would all desert Him and be scattered in a coming hour. Jesus assured them that He would not be alone, but the Father would be with Him. He told them this that they might have peace in trusting in Him. In the world they would experience tribulation and trial, but as they held fast to Him, they would overcome as He overcame! Perseverance was mandatory. Amen!
Psalm 88:18 “You have caused my beloved and my friend to shun me; my companions have become darkness.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, You alone know all things. Continue to speak prophetic truth to my soul concerning coming trials and bring peace to my soul, even though others may abandon me. Let the water of Your Word bring life and freshness in my life and everywhere I share it.
Ezekiel 47:9 “And wherever the river goes, every living creature that swarms will live, and there will be very many fish. For this water goes there, that the waters of the sea may become fresh; so everything will live where the river goes.”
Scripture reading for September 16th: Isaiah 60-63, 2nd Corinthians 1
Key Scriptures: 2nd Corinthians 1:2-5 “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 affliction, 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. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.”
Paul wrote a second letter to the Corinthian church. As he greeted them, he offered grace and peace and blessing. He blessed God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, confessing faith in God’s great mercy and ability to comfort those in affliction. He lifted up Jesus as God’s Son and the One who suffered death for us. He spoke comfort to them in their afflictions for the sake of Christ. The comfort would flow in abundance from a ‘God of all comfort’!
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for Your comfort in all affliction and trouble. May Your mercy and comfort flow through me and Your people to a hurting world today.
Isaiah 63:9 “In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the angel of His presence saved them; in His love and in His pity He redeemed them; He lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.”
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.