Scripture reading for May 18th: Galatians 3
Key Scriptures: Galatians 3:1-6 “O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? Did you suffer so many things in vain–if indeed it was in vain? Does He Who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law or by hearing with faith–just as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”?
Paul had lots of questions after a proclamation of the Galatian believers “foolishness”. He was trying to get them to reason with him about their salvation and receiving the Holy Spirit of adoption and empowerment. He asked if they received the Spirit by the works of the law or by hearing with faith? The obvious answer was “hearing by faith”. He asked if they started by the Spirit giving them new birth and new life, would they finish the process of perfection by works of the flesh? He was talking about circumcision being added to them by Jewish false teachers. Abraham, their father, was declared righteous by God through faith long before the law was given or circumcision. The Galatians must repent and turn to Christ alone for their salvation and sanctification.
Galatians 3:13-14 “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us–for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”–so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for becoming a curse by taking on Your own body the sins of mankind and dying on the cross for our sins. I received the Holy Spirit by faith and am empowered to share this Gospel with all who will listen! By faith alone through grace I will be perfected. We are one in Christ Jesus our Lord!
Galatians 3:27-28 “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
Scripture reading for December 3rd: Revelation 3, Psalm 107-8, Proverbs 25
Key Scriptures: Revelation 3:10-12 “Because you have kept My Word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell upon the earth. I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown. The one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God. Never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the Name of My God, and the Name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down from My God out of heaven and My own new Name.”
Jesus is coming soon! That is His Word for His Church, encouraging them to patiently endure throughout the trials of life on earth. A crown awaits those who endure and conquer! A permanent place in God’s presence is our reward. We will have His Name, God’s Name and the name of our new home, the New Jerusalem, written on us! We will be marked as His own for eternity!
Faith Confession: I believe Jesus is coming soon and He has redeemed me from the far country of sin! Lord, help me daily to patiently endure the trials and to conquer my fears, Satan’s tricks, and my flesh. I desire my full reward to cast at Your nail-scared feet!
Psalm 107:1-3 “Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever! Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom He has redeemed from trouble and gathered in from the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south.”
Scripture reading for August 19th: Galatians 3, Psalm 15, Proverbs 11
Key Scriptures: Galatians 3:11-14 “Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.” But the law is not of faith, rather “The one who does them shall live by them.” Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us–for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”–so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.”
No one can be justified by keeping God’s law because the law is not of faith but of works and human effort. But God’s amazing plan was to sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to perfectly keep the law of God and be crucified in our place, becoming a curse for us. Through faith in Jesus, the blessings of Abraham comes to all who believe–Jew or Gentile. All who have faith receive the Holy Spirit and are adopted into God’s family. What a blessing!
Faith Confession: Thank You God for sending Jesus Christ to take the curse of broken law in my place through His hanging on the cross of Calvary. I have received adoption through the gift of the Holy Spirit, who daily enables me to walk in grace and righteousness.
Psalm 15:1-2 “O Lord, who shall sojourn in Your tent? Who shall dwell on Your holy hill? He who walks blamelessly and does what is right and speaks truth in his heart; . . .”
Scripture reading for December 1st: Galatians 1-4
Key Scriptures: Galatians 3:10-13 “All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.” Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, “The righteous will live by faith.” The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, “The man who does these things will live by them.” Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.”
The Jews had relied on the Law of God for years and sought to obey but failed again and again. Paul explained the reason why: “All who rely on observing the law are under a curse.” This is because the law can only reveal sin, it can not cure it. Righteousness comes by faith in Jesus Christ and His perfect obedience of the Law and then offering Himself to be hung on a cross. His act of loving obedience redeemed sinners from the curse of trying to obey the law!
Rejoicing in Christ’s Redemption: “Cursed is the man who does not uphold the words of this lay by carrying them out.” Then all the people shall say, “Amen!” (Deuteronomy 27:26) “Be sure to bury him that same day, because anyone who is hung on a tree is under God’s curse.” (Deuteronomy 21:23)
Scripture reading for November 20th: Romans 5-9
Key Scriptures: Romans 5:9-11 “Since we have now been justified by His blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through Him! For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to Him through the death of His Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through His life! Not only is this so, but we rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.”
Paul clearly taught justification by faith in the death of Jesus Christ, God’s only Son. It was through the shed blood that our sins were atoned for, saving all believing sinners from God’s wrath. It not only saved us by His death and blood, but we were reconciled to God and restored through Jesus’ resurrection to eternal life! God’s mighty deeds and acts of love on behalf of His people bring songs of praise that will echo throughout eternity!
The rejoicing of the Redeemed: “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say this–those He redeemed from the hand of the foe,. . . He sent forth His Word and healed them; He rescued them from the grave. Let them give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for men.” (Psalm 107:1-2, 20-21)
Scripture reading for August 8th: Isaiah 34-37
Key Scriptures: Isaiah 35:8-10 “And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness. The unclean will not journey on it; it will be for those who walk in that Way; wicked fools will not go about on it. No lion will be there, nor will any ferocious beast get up on it; they will not be found there. But only the redeemed will walk there, and the ransomed of the Lord will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.”
Isaiah saw a highway in the wilderness with a signpost: “Way of Holiness”! He noticed that only the redeemed could walk there as they journeyed to Zion with songs of joy and rejoicing in their hearts and on their lips. The unclean would not have access nor would the wicked or any of the ferocious beasts. As they journeyed towards their heavenly city, joy would overtake them and crown their heads–forever!
Rejoicing in complete joy: “If you obey my commands, you will remain in My love, just as I have obeyed My Father’s commands and remain in His love. I have told you this so that My joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.” (John 15:10-11)
Scripture reading for September 22nd: Ephesians 1:1-23
Paul wrote a wonderful letter to the church at Ephesus that is a legacy to us today. Paul describes who we are in Christ and records some classic prayers that he as a pastor prayed for the church. This book has been an encouragement to Christians of every age and time and speaks to us today from the heart of God! It’s opening address, “To the saints in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus”, can be taken personally by those who belong to Christ! A saint is one set apart for God by faith in Jesus Christ.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy ad blameless in His sight. In love, He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will–to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that He lavished on us in all wisdom and understanding.” (Ephesians 1:3-8)
As we read Paul’s opening call to these faithful saints to praise God, we are swept into consideration of what God, our Father, has done for us. The magnitude of our blessings–“every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms”–is more than we can comprehend! We note that God initiates everything that we receive. He chose us to be in Christ before the foundation of the world. (Romans 5:8) He provided His Son, Jesus Christ, for our redemption through the shedding of His blood that we might receive forgiveness of our sins and adoption as sons. God did it all with a lavish display of His love in Christ’s sacrifice and resurrection!
“And you were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the Gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit.” (Ephesians 1:13) It is by faith, through believing in Christ, that we are included in the company of the saints. The Holy Spirit is a gift, marking us as His own! What a revelation of the love of God!