Scripture reading for November 24th: 2nd Peter 1, Psalm 85, Proverbs 18
2nd Peter 1: 17-21 “For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to Him by the Majestic Glory, “This is My Beloved Son, with Whom I am well pleased,” we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with Him on the holy mountain. And we have the prophetic Word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention to as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”
Peter was writing his final letter to the Church before his departure from this life. He retold his eye-witness account of the transfiguration of Jesus Christ with James and John. They heard the Father, described as the ‘Majestic Glory’, declare the Sonship of Jesus and His Divine pleasure with His Son. This Word made a deep impression on Peter and he encouraged the Church to pay close attention to this Word, and all Scripture. Peter emphasized that Scripture was not man’s idea or thoughts, but all Scripture is prophetic in nature and comes through men who were empowered to speak and inspired to speak by the Holy Spirit. The Words of Scripture came from God’s mouth and carry the power of life and death. They are God’s gift to His children.
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.”
Prayer: Father God, thank You for Your Word, Your Son, and the Holy Spirit! Your generosity has given me everything I need for life and godliness. I trust every Word of prophesy as instruction, correction, and training in Your righteous character. Open my ears to hear Your ‘Majestic Glory’ and use my tongue to bring life to others through speaking Scripture prophetically in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Proverbs 18:20-21 “From the fruit of a man’s mouth his stomach is satisfied; he is satisfied by the yield of his lips. Life and death are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.”
Scripture reading for August 18th: 1st Corinthians 14, Psalm 15, Proverbs 10
1st Corinthians 14:26-33 “What then, brothers? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up. If any speak in a tongue, let there be only two or at most three, and each in turn, and let someone interpret. But if there is no one to interpret, let each of them keep silent in church and speak to himself and to God. Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others weigh what is said. If a revelation is made to another sitting there, let the first be silent. For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all be encouraged, and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets. For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.”
God’s people are commanded to gather together for worship, prayer, and teaching of the Word. God speaks to His people through gift-people and through spiritual gifts given by the Holy Spirit to edify, exhort and comfort God’s people. Each person has a gift or manifestation of the Spirit that may be shared, but never to cause confusion. God is a God of peace and order. He gave instructions about the use of gifts. Two or three at most should speak in tongues publicly, but only if there is one who can interpret. Tongues are a sign for unbelievers. Prophesy can be given by two or three, each in turn and care taken that all would understand and be encouraged and built up. Each person is responsible to follow God’s instructions in a humble and submissive spirit of love for God and those present.
Psalm 15:1-3 “O Lord, who shall sojourn in Your tent? Who shall dwell on Your holy hill? Who who walks blamelessly and does what is right and speaks truth in his heart; who does not slander with his tongue and does no evil to his neighbor, nor takes up reproach against a friend; . .”
Prayer: Father God, thank You that You are a God of order and peace, not of confusion. Help me as a pastor and overseer to instruct Your people in these simple instructions. Help me to always invite the Holy Spirit to move through Your people in the gifts and to bring clarification and understanding so all may be edified. Build up Your church that they might do mighty exploits for You and share Your wisdom.
Proverbs 10:13-14 “On the lips of him who has understanding, wisdom is found, but a rod is for the back of him who lacks sense. The wise lay up knowledge, but the mouth of a fool brings ruin near.”
Scripture reading for September 13th: Isaiah 49-52, Psalm 69, 1st Corinthians 14
1st Corinthians 14: 1-5 “Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy. For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God; for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the Spirit. On the other hand, the one who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation. The one who speaks in a tongue builds up himself, but the one who prophesies builds up the church. Now I want you all to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues, unless someone interprets, so that the church may be build up”
Paul wrote to instruct the new Corinthian believers on the proper use of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. There had been confusion in their midst as those speaking in tongues were talking in their spiritual languages and no one was interpreting. Unbelievers could not understand and were confused and believers also could not be edified because they did not understand what was being said. However, prophesy is speaking in a known language under the influence of the Holy Spirit and it is profitable for all who hear. It builds up the believers in the Church and it brings conviction on the unbelievers. If tongues are spoken, they need to be interpreted. Tongues plus the gift of interpretation is the same as prophesy. Then all can be edified. Jesus Christ modeled prophesy in His living and His speaking as Isaiah the prophet foresaw.
Isaiah 50:4-5 “The Lord has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with a word him who is weary. Morning by morning He awakens; He awakens my ear to hear as those who are taught. The Lord God has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious; I turned not backward.”
Prayer: Father God, thank You for the Holy Spirit and the gifts He brings to build up Your Church. Thank You for those given gifts of prophesy and tongues and words of wisdom and knowledge. Teach my tongue through Your Holy Spirit to speak words that builds up Your Church and encourages those who are weary. Open my ears to hear Your voice and direction in each opportunity.
Psalm 69:30-32 “I will praise the Name of God with a song; I will magnify Him with thanksgiving. This will please the Lord more than an ox or a bull with horns and hoofs. When the humble see it they will be glad; you who seek God, let your hearts revive. For the Lord hears the needy and does not despise His own people who are prisoners.”
Scripture reading for October 25th: John 2
Key Scriptures: John 2:13-17 “The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple He found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers sitting there. And making a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And He poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. And He told those who sold the pigeons, “Take these things away; do not make My Father’s house a house of trade.” His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for Your house will consume Me.””
Jesus took His disciples to their first Passover together at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. As Jesus entered the temple, He found Jews there selling sheep and oxen and money-changers who would change the currency of those wanting to purchase sacrifices, all for a price. This angered Jesus, and he drove them all out with a whip fashioned from chords of rope. He overturned the tables of the money-changers and warned them not to make God’s house a house of trade. He was fulfilling what was written in the Old Testament Scriptures concerning the Messiah: “Zeal for Your House will consume Me.” (Psalm 69:9) He stated that the temple was “My Father’s House.” The Jewish temple leaders demanded a sign from Jesus of why He would do these things. Jesus prophesied to them about His death and resurrection.
John 2:18-21 “So the Jews said to Him, “What sign do you show us for doing these things?” Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?” But He was speaking about the temple of His body.”
Faith confession and prayer: Father, fill me with the same zeal as Your Son for Your house. I know that now I am Your house and my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and that Your people as they gather are Your temple. Let the message of Your life, death and resurrection bring resurrection life to those outside the family of God today.
John 2:22 “When therefore He was raised from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the Word that Jesus had spoken.”
Scripture reading for September 13th: 1st Corinthians 14
Key Scriptures: 1st Corinthians 14:1-5 “Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy. For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God; for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the Spirit. On the other hand, the one who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation. The one who speaks in a tongue builds up himself, but the one who prophesies builds up the church. Now I want you all to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues, unless someone interprets, so that the church may be built up.”
Paul was writing to bring some order and understanding to the exercise of the gifts of the Holy Spirit in the church. Evidently, in the services, many were speaking in tongues in a public manner and no one was interpreting. Speaking in tongues is good for the individual believer and it edifies or builds him or her up. But when used in the body, without interpretation, it doesn’t help anyone but the speaker. When tongues are interpreted, then, like prophesy, the church is edified and built up because all can understand what the Spirit is saying. That’s why Paul says that they should desire especially to prophesy (give a message in a known language) or to speak in a tongue and interpret. All must be done in love and for the common good. Tongues are a sign gift for the unbeliever to speak to his heart by the Spirit. Prophesy is for the church to speak to God’s people.
1st Corinthians 14:21-22 “In the Law it is written, “By people of strange tongues and by the lips of foreigners will I speak to this people and even then they will not listen to Me, says the Lord.” Thus tongues are a sign not for believers but for unbelievers, while prophecy is a sign not for unbelievers but for believers.”
Faith confession and prayer: Father God, thank you for the gifts of the Spirit. Each one is given by You as You will for the purpose You intend and are always filled and empowered by love. Help me to understand the Holy Spirit and allow Him to use me in the gifts that are appropriate and to instruct others in Your body on the proper use of these gifts. Thank You for speaking to Your people and the lost!
1st Corinthians 14:26-28 “What then, brothers? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up. If any speak in a tongue, let there be only two or at most three, and each in turn, and let someone interpret. If there is no one to interpret, let each of them keep silent in church and speak to himself and to God.”
Scripture reading for May 4th: Acts 21
Key Scriptures: Acts 21:10-14 “While we were staying for many days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. And coming to us, he took Paul’s belt and bound his own feet and hands and said, “Thus says the Holy Spirit, ‘This is how the Jews at Jerusalem will bind the man who owns this belt and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.'” When we heard this, we and the people there urged him not to go up to Jerusalem. Then Paul answered, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be imprisoned but even to die in Jerusalem for the Name of the Lord Jesus.” And since he would not be persuaded, we ceased and said, “Let the will of the Lord be done.””
Paul was set on going to Jerusalem and on the way, stopped by Philip the evangelist’s home and stayed there many days. A known prophet from Judea came by and in a prophetic act and word, told Paul what was coming as he would reach Jerusalem. The disciples and Philip tried to talk Paul into avoiding Jerusalem. Paul, although moved by their concern, knew the will of the Lord. He was ready to face whatever lie ahead for the Name of Jesus, even death as a martyr. Those there recognized that God’s will must be done, no matter how they felt emotionally about Paul or how much Paul loved them.
Mark 14:36 “And He said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from Me. Yet not what I will, but what You will.””
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for being with us and strengthening us for coming times of trial. Thank You for prophetic words and warnings. May I always follow Your will, no matter what my personal feelings or even urgings of my own family and friends.
Matthew 16:21-22 “From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. And Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord! This shall never happen to You.””
Scripture reading for April 22nd: Acts 13
Key Scriptures: Acts 13:1-4 “Now there were in the church at Antioch prophets and teachers, Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a lifelong friend of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off. So being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus. When the arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the Word of God in the synagogues of the Jews.”
The Book of Acts switches here from the ministry of Peter to the ministry of Paul and his missionary calling to the Gentiles. In this passage, we have the leaders of the church in Antioch worshiping the Lord and fasting when, through one of the prophets present, a word of wisdom from the Holy Spirit came forth. We note that this was a word of confirmation, not initial direction. The Holy Spirit had already spoken the Barnabas and Saul about their ministry personally. It was now confirmed through the prophesy given during worship. The leaders were obedient and laid hands on Saul and Barnabas and sent them off. As they went on their way, it is emphasized that they were sent off by the Holy Spirit and they preached the gospel in the synagogues of the Jews first, as God’s chosen people to bring Jesus into the world. They hardened their hearts and Paul and Barnabas turned to reach the Gentiles, also God’s plan!
Acts 13:44-46 “The next Sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the Word of the Lord. But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and began to contradict what was spoken by Paul, reviling him. And Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly saying, “It was necessary that the Word of God be spoken first to you. Since you thrust it aside and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we are turning to the Gentiles.””
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for the message of eternal life and forgiveness of sins through Jesus Christ. Thank You for the gift of prophecy in Your church. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit and use me to speak Your Word boldly to those in need of confirmation and salvation.
Acts 13:48 “And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the Word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed.”
Scripture reading for September 11th: Isaiah 49-52, Psalm 69, 1st Corinthians 14
Key Scriptures: 1st Corinthians 14:1-4 “Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy. For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men, but to God; for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the Spirit. On the other hand, the one who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation. The one who speaks in a tongue builds up himself, but the one who prophesies builds up the church.”
As Paul wrote to the church concerning spiritual gifts, he emphasized that they should seek to prophesy above all the other gifts. Tongues builds up the individual who speaks. They allow the Holy Spirit to speak to God through them in mysteries. Prophesy speaks God’s thoughts in a known language and is profitable to the church. It builds up, encourages and comforts all members of the church since what is said can be understood by all. God is a God of order, not confusion. This doesn’t mean that tongues are unimportant. If they are interpreted, they serve the Church like prophesy.
Psalm 69:35-36 “For God will save Zion and build up the cities of Judah, and people shall dwell there and possess it: the offspring of His servants shall inherit it, and those who love His Name shall dwell in it.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Use me to build up Your church and be an encouragement to Your people through the gift of prophesy.
Isaiah 51:15-16 “I am the Lord your God, Who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar–the Lord of Hosts is His Name. And I have put My words in your mouth and covered you in the shadow of My hand, establishing the heavens and laying the foundation of the earth, and saying to Zion: ‘You are My people.'”
Scripture reading for July 24th: 1st Corinthians 14, Psalm 147, Proverbs 23
Key Scriptures: 1st Corinthians 14:1-4 “Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy. For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God; for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the Spirit. On the other hand, the one who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation. The one who speaks in a tongue builds up himself, but the one who prophesies builds up the church.”
Paul encouraged the church to pursue love and to seek diligently the spiritual gifts, especially prophesy. Speaking in tongues is wonderful, but it is speaking to God and builds up the individual. It is an equivalent to prophesy if it is interpreted. But prophesy in a known tongue edifies the church and encourages and consoles it. Prophesy tells forth the mind of God through a gifting of the Holy Spirit.
Faith Confession: Lord, thank You for the gifts of the Holy Spirit. I pursue love and desire the gifts, especially prophesy that I might be used to build up and encourage Your body, the Church.
Proverbs 23:23-24 “Buy truth, and do not sell it; buy wisdom, instruction, and understanding. The father of a righteous man will greatly rejoice; he who fathers a wise son will be glad in him.”
Scripture reading for May 31st: Acts 19
Key Scriptures for over-comers: Acts 19:1-2,5-7 “While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples and asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” . . .”On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. There were about twelve men in all.”
Nearly twenty years after Pentecost, Paul encountered some disciples of John who had believed in Jesus. They had only received John’s baptism of repentance so Paul baptized them in the name of Jesus Christ and then placed his hands on them. As he did this, the Holy Spirit fell on them and they began to speak in tongues and prophesy in the same manner as the original day of Pentecost. Later in this chapter, Paul preached boldly and a revival of repentance broke out where many came and confessed their evil deeds and burned their occult and sorcery paraphernalia. Power was needed to confront the darkness in that city!
Observations for over-comers: Over-comers are filled with the Holy Spirit and empowered to confront the forces of evil. They seek to help other believers walk in God’s power and anointing as well. “You have exalted my horn like that of a wild ox; fine oils have been poured upon me. My eyes have seen the defeat of my adversaries; my ears have heard the rout of my wicked foes.” (Psalm 92:10-11)