Scripture reading for September 20th: 2nd Kings 21, 2nd Chronicles 33, Psalm 71, 2nd Corinthians 3
2nd Corinthians 3:7-12 “Now if the ministry of death, carved in letters of stone, came with such glory that the Israelites could not gaze at Moses’ face because of its glory, which was being brought to an end, will not the ministry of the Spirit have even more glory? For if there was glory in the ministry of condemnation, the ministry of righteousness must far exceed it in glory. Indeed, in this case, what once had glory has come to have no glory at all, because the glory that surpasses it. For if what was being brought to an end came with glory, much more will what is permanent have glory. Since we have such a hope, we are very bold. . .”
Paul explained to the believers in Corinth the amazing truths concerning the glory of the ministry of righteousness by faith in Jesus Christ. Under the old covenant, the Law, the glory on Moses’ face after meeting with God was fading away and Moses used a veil to shield the people from that fading glory. The Law could only reveal sin and bring condemnation before God. Its glory was fading because it was temporary until Christ was revealed and the New Covenant of righteousness by faith. Paul explained that this Covenant comes with far-exceeding glory that instead of fading away grows ever brighter in intensity on those following Christ by faith! Amen!
Psalm 71:14-16 “But I will hope continually and will praise You yet more and more. My mouth will tell of Your righteous acts, of Your deeds of salvation all the day, for their number is past my knowledge. With the mighty deeds of the Lord God I will come, I will remind them of Your righteousness, Yours alone.”
Prayer: Holy Father, You alone are God and Your amazing mercy to forgive us all our sins and wickedness and to give us Your gift of righteousness is worthy of all praise. Your promise of ever-increasing and far-exceeding glory to those who humbly follow Jesus stretches my mind! I vow with the psalmist, “I will praise You yet more and more!”
2nd Chronicles 33:12-13 “And when he was in distress, he entreated the favor of the Lord his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers. He prayed to Him, and God was moved by his entreaty and heard his plea and brought him back again to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord was God.”
Scripture reading for September 2nd: 2nd Chronicles 28, 2nd Kings 17, Psalm 66, 1st Corinthians 7
Key Scriptures: 1st Corinthians 7:29-31 “This is what I mean, brothers; the appointed time has grown very short. From now on, let those who have wives live as though they had none, and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no goods, and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away.”
Paul was writing to the Corinthian church concerning the perilous times that they lived in. He believed the time was short to live for Christ on this earth and that eternity would soon be entered by all. In light of life’s shortness and eternity’s great length and advantage, believers should live with eternity in mind. They should not let relationships, emotions, or greed and attachment to the world’s goods take center stage. All these pass away when we stand before the Lord. Fulfilling God’s will is foremost!
Psalm 66:8-9 “Bless our God, O peoples; let the sound of His praise be heard, Who has kept our soul among the living and has not let our feet slip.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, help me today to live for eternity and proclaim Your great love and redemption through Jesus Christ. Thank You for reminding me again that the appointed time is near!
2nd Kings 17:38-39 ” . . . You shall not fear other gods, but you shall fear the Lord your God, and He will deliver you out of the hand of all your enemies.”
Scripture reading for July 21st: 2nd Kings 2-3, Psalm 48, Matthew 4
Key Scriptures: Matthew 4:23-25 “And He went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the Gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people. So His fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought Him all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains, those oppressed by demons, epileptics, and paralytics, and He healed them. And great crowds followed Him from Galilee and the Decapolis, and from Jerusalem and Judea, and from beyond the Jordan.”
Jesus began His ministry following 40 days of temptation by the devil in the wilderness. He began in His home region in Galilee in synagogues by preaching repentance and the Gospel of the kingdom. He also had a wonderful healing ministry where as many sick who were brought were healed and demonic spirits were cast out. Jesus set a great example for those who would follow Him. Great crowds from all the region came to hear Jesus and receive healing. Those who came were both Jews and Gentiles.
Psalm 48:10 “As Your Name, O God, so Your praise reaches to the ends of the earth. Your right hand is filled with righteousness.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, I praise you today for Your great salvation and healing of my soul from sin and death. May Your Name be praised among all nations and use me to proclaim it, in word and deed.
2nd Kings 2:14 “Then he took the cloak of Elijah that had fallen from him and struck the water, saying, “Where is the Lord, the God of Elijah?” And when he had struck the water, the water was parted to the one side and to the other, and Elisha went over.”
Scripture reading for June 29th: 1st Kings 8, Psalm 30, 1st Timothy 3
Key Scriptures: 1st Timothy 3:14-16 “I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these things to you so that, if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth. Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness: He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.”
Paul was writing to help Timothy understand how to behave in Christ’s “household”, the Church! The Church of Jesus Christ is likened to a building held up by a single pillar–the Truth of God’s Word and Son, Jesus Christ. God revealed the “mystery of godliness” by sending His own Son in human flesh. He vindicated Him by resurrection through the power of the Holy Spirit and the witness of the Spirit on Christ Jesus without limit. His Name is proclaimed among all nations and He is believed on in the world.
1st Kings 8:10 “And when the priests came out of the Holy Place, a cloud filled the house of the Lord, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, You alone are the pillar and ground of Truth, the living Word of God. Help me to hold this mystery with worship and awe of Your unsurpassing glory and godliness.
Psalm 30:4 “Sing praises to the Lord, O you His saints, and give thanks to His holy Name.”
Scripture reading for March 9th: Numbers 15-18, Psalm 113, Colossians 3
Key Scriptures: Colossians 3:12-16 “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the Word of Christ dwell in your richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”
Paul lists many character and behavior traits of Christ Jesus that should now be “put on” by His disciples. Christ-followers have a desire and spirit-given ability to be like Him. Forgiveness and love are not accessories but staples of Christian character. They produce peace and thankfulness. As Christ’s Word indwells us, our hearts begin to sing songs of worship and adoration to God! What a blessed way to live!
Numbers 15:40-41 “So you shall remember and do all My commandments, and be holy to your God. I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt to be your God: I am the Lord your God.”
Faith Confession and prayer: Lord, help me today to put on the clothing of Christ Jesus, my Lord. I want to allow His Word to dwell in me and sing praises to His Name forevermore!
Psalm 113:2 “Blessed be the Name of the Lord from this time forth and forevermore!”
Scripture reading for November 6th: Jeremiah 41-43, James 5
Key Scriptures: James 5:13-16 “Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess you sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.”
James concluded his letter to the church with practical instructions on living by faith with corresponding actions. No matter what the circumstance, prayer, praise, thanksgiving and actions prompted by faith will bring God’s response. Faith shows itself by corresponding actions! The people who came to Jeremiah for God’s direction, however, did not want to obey God!
Jeremiah 42:2-3 “. . .and said to Jeremiah the prophet, “Let our plea for mercy come before you, and pray to the Lord your God for us, for all this remnant–because we are left with but a few, as your eyes see us–that the Lord your God may show us the way we should go, and the thing we should do.”
Prayer: Lord, thank You for Your promises of response to the faith of Your people. Keep me from unbelief and failing to act on Your instructions. Amen.
Scripture reading for June 26th: Psalms 93-96
Key Scriptures: Psalm 96:11-13 “Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it; let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them. Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy; they will sing before the Lord, for He comes, He comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples in His truth.”
The psalmist brings forth a new song for the earth to sing. He commands the heavens to rejoice and the earth to be glad. He asks that the seas resound and those living in the ocean depths. He can see fields jubilant and and trees singing as the Lord God returns to the earth to judge the world and people in righteousness and truth! The people are to ascribe glory, strength and honor to the Supreme Ruler and Judge of all!
Let heaven, earth, and mankind rejoice: “Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing: “To Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever.”” (Revelation 5:13)
Scripture reading for May 30th: Psalm 6-10
Key Scriptures: Psalm 8:1-2 “O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth! You have set Your glory above the heavens. From the lips of children and infants You have ordained praise because of Your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.”
King David rejoiced in God’s majestic name and wrote psalms of praise, including this one. Here David declared that God’s glory was above even the heavens, the moon and stars which God had made. This surpassing glory brought praise from the hearts of children and infants. Their praise silenced the foe and avenger. Jesus quoted from this passage to silence His foes!
Rejoicing in God’s majestic glory: “But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things He did and the children shouting in the temple area, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they were indignant. “Do You hear what these children are saying?” they asked Him. “Yes,” replied Jesus, have you never read, “‘From the lips of children and infants You have ordained praise’?” (Matthew 21:15-16)
Sunday July 20th, 2014
Summer is flying by! What a blessing to see the crops growing and a harvest maturing! Gardens are producing all kinds of vegetables and fruits and sweet corn is delicious! What an opportunity to gather with God’s people and thank Him for the abundance we enjoy! He is the source of all blessings and we are indebted to Him! Worship, prayer, and a listening ear for His Word will bless you on Sunday! He is worthy of our gathering and praise!
In His Love, Pastor John and Mary
Scripture reading for January 17th: Genesis 48-50
Have you ever been at the bedside of a loved one who was soon to enter eternity? Joseph or someone in the family took down Jacob’s last words to each family member. He gave a special blessing to Joseph’s two sons, Ephriam and Manasseh. He then spoke prophetic words over the other sons. (Genesis 49:9-20)
The blessing of Joseph’s sons effectively made Joseph the first-born. Israel blessed Joseph and adopted the boys. In this way, Joseph would get the double portion. ( The first-born was to get a double portion of the inheritance.) The other brothers had tried to kill Joseph and cut him out, but God re-established his place and doubled the inheritance! Israel also chose Ephraim over Manasseh. The younger over the older. All blessing and God’s reward comes not from birth order but Divine order!
Judah also received a word in Genesis 49:8-12. Judah was told that his brothers would praise him. (His name means “praise”.) His hand would be on the neck of his enemies and his father’s sons would bow down to him. He was called a “lion’s cub”. Jesus was the offspring of Judah in the genealogy of Matthew 1:3. He is known as the “Lion of Judah” (Revelation 5:5) He triumphed over all God’s enemies! (Colossians 3:15) He is King of Kings and rules over nations! (Revelation 15:3-4)
Israel made Joseph swear to take his bones back to the promised land of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Israel). He believed in God returning to that land. He wanted to be buried there in order to receive his future inheritance. Israel got his wish and awaits the resurrection in the near future
“You are a lion’s cub, O Judah; you return from the prey, my son. Like a lion he crouches and lies down, like a lioness–who dares to rouse him? The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongs and the obedience of the nations is his.” Genesis 49:9-10.