Scripture reading for January 18th: Mark 1
Key Scriptures: Mark 1:9-11, 14-15 “In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And when He came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on Him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are My beloved Son; with You I am well pleased.”. . . .”Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the Gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the Gospel.””
Mark wrote this Gospel account of Jesus’ life with much of the eye-witness information gotten from the Apostle Peter, one of the original twelve disciples. He wrote this for the believers in Rome, many who were Gentiles and not acquainted with Jewish history or customs. He records the story of Jesus beginning with John the Baptist and Jesus’ baptism. John baptized in water and called all Jews to repent for the forgiveness of their sins in preparation for the kingdom of God. Jesus was baptized, not because He had sin, but to identify with all sinful men that He might offer Himself on their behalf. Jesus was baptized and heaven opened with God’s voice declaring, “You are My beloved Son, with You I am well pleased.” God confirmed Jesus’ Sonship with the Holy Spirit descending and resting on Him! After this, Jesus was tempted for forty days and then after the temptation and John the Baptist’s arrest, He began His ministry with John’s message of repentance and a call to believe the Gospel. The kingdom of heaven was at hand and the King was inviting all!
Isaiah 40:3 “A voice cries; “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.””
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, I believe You are God’s beloved Son and I have repented of my sins. Thank You for the gift of the Holy Spirit and the mission to testify and preach the Gospel of the King Jesus to the world. Let Your voice be heard through me today!
Matthew 24:14 “And this Gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”
Scripture reading for October 28th: Ezekiel 13-15, Psalm 136, John 5
Key Scriptures: John 5:24-27 “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears My Word and believes Him Who has sent Me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life. Truly, truly I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son also to have life in Himself. And He has given Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man.”
Jesus spoke the truth plainly to those accusing Him of breaking the Sabbath by healing and calling God His Father. He claimed equality with the Father in having eternal life in His own Person. He also claimed authority to execute judgment, something reserved for God alone. Hearing Jesus and believing the Father Who sent Him results in escape from judgment (death), and entry into life eternal. Jesus emphasized these truths by double-stating “Truly, truly!” He speaks these truths today to us afresh! Amen! Amen!
Psalm 136:1 “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, and His steadfast love endures forever.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, I believe You are the Son of God, sent by the Father as Savior of all who will believe. Thank You for Your good gift of Eternal Life and Your steadfast love for ever and ever! I repent of my sins and rest in Your promise.
Ezekiel 14:6 “Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord God: Repent and turn away from your idols, and turn away your faces from all your abominations.”
Scripture reading for July 20th: 2nd Chronicles 19-20, 2nd Kings 1, Psalm 20, Matthew 3
Key Scriptures: Matthew 3:11-12 “I baptize you with water for repentance, but He Who is coming after me is mightier than I, Whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will clear His threshing floor and gather His wheat into the barn, but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire.”
John the Baptist, Jesus’ cousin, was called by God to a prophetic ministry in Israel similar to that of Elijah. John, dressed in camel’s hair with a leather belt, called all people to repentance in preparation for the coming Messiah. The repentance was acted out through water baptism by all who received his message. But John spoke of the One coming after him, Who would be greater than him. This One would baptized with the Holy Spirit and fire! He would gather His wheat into the barn but burn the chaff with unquenchable fire. The Messiah would be judge of all!
Psalm 20:6 “Now I know that the Lord saves His anointed; He will answer Him from His holy heaven with the saving might of His right hand.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for the baptism of the Holy Spirit and fire. Purify my heart and life today and empower me to proclaim Jesus as Messiah and Lord.
1st Kings 1:8 “They answered him, “He wore a garment of hair, with a belt of leather about his waist.” And he said, “It is Elijah the Tishbite.””
Scripture reading for June 5th: Proverbs 6-7, Psalm 7, Romans 11
Key Scriptures: Romans 11:5-10 “So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace. But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace. What then? Israel failed to obtain what it was seeking. The elect obtained it, but the rest were hardened, as it is written, “God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that would not see and ears that would not hear, down to this very day.” and David says, “Let their table become a snare and a trap, a stumbling block and a retribution for them; let their eyes be darkened so that they cannot see, and bend their backs forever.””
Paul explained to the Romans how God chose grace as the means of salvation for all people, Jew and Gentile. If we could work for our salvation, grace would not be grace! Those who believed the Gospel obtained grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Those who refused to believe but sought to keep the law by human effort were hardened and were overcome by a spirit of stupor. They would miss the grace of God freely offered.
Psalm 7:12-13 “If a man does not repent, God will whet His sword; He has bent and readied His bow; He has prepared for him His deadly weapons, making His arrows fiery shafts.”
Faith confession and prayer: I believe in salvation through grace by faith as Your plan for all men. I have repented of my own dead works and trust Jesus Christ as Lord. Help me warn and preach Your Gospel that all may avoid Your wrath.
Proverbs 6:23 “For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light, and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life, . . “
Scripture reading for May 19th: 2nd Samuel 9-10, 1st Chronicles 18-19, Psalm 89, Acts 26
Key Scriptures: Acts 26:19-23 “Therefore, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, but declared first to those in Damascus, then in Jerusalem and throughout all the region of Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds in keeping with their repentance. For this reason the Jews seized me in the temple and tried to kill me. To this day I have had the help that comes from God, and so I stand here testifying both to small and great, saying nothing but what the prophets and Moses said would come to pass: that Christ must suffer and that, by being the first to rise from the dead, He would proclaim light both to our people and to the Gentiles.”
Paul was able to testify before King Agrippa, presenting his own testimony of encountering Jesus and how Jesus Christ came to save both Jew and Gentile. Paul was in jail because of the Jews’ resistance to the message. Paul was standing before King Agrippa because of God’s direction and help. Repentance and turning to God was required of all who would believe and respond!
Psalm 89:1 “I will sing of the steadfast love of the Lord, forever; with my mouth I will make known Your faithfulness to all generations.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for my testimony of being confronted with Who You are, Lord and Savior! Open doors for me to courageously share this message with small or great in the power of the Holy Spirit.
2nd Samuel 10:12 “. . .Be of good courage, and let us be courageous for our people, and for the cities of our God, and may the Lord do what seems good to Him.”
Scripture reading for April 16th: Ruth 1-2, Acts 3
Key Scriptures: Acts 3:17-21 “”And now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. But what God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that His Christ would suffer, He thus fulfilled. Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets long ago.””
Peter and John were going to the temple to pray when they encountered a lame beggar by the roadside. The man asked them for money, but they had something better: The Name of Jesus! Peter explained to the crowd that had gathered how this notable miracle had taken place and what their response should be. Many of these people were the same ones who had demanded the crucifixion of Jesus and asked for the release of a criminal. Peter called them to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. They could enjoy a time of refreshing just like the healed beggar!
Faith confession and prayer: Jesus, thank You for the power of Your Name to bring healing, salvation and deliverance. Use me today to share the love of God and the good news of Jesus Christ, Lord and healer.
Ruth 2:12-13 “The Lord repay you for what you have done, and a full reward be given you by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge! Then she said, “I have found favor in your eyes, my lord, for you have comforted me and spoken kindly to your servant, though I am not one of your servants.””
Scripture reading for April 15th: Judges 19-21, Acts 2
Key Scriptures: Acts 2:36-39 “Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.” Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to Himself.””
Peter, after the baptism of the Holy Spirit, preached to a crowd gathered in Jerusalem for Pentecost. He declared Jesus Christ as Lord and Christ. Those who heard him were convicted and asked what they could do. Peter gave clear instructions: “Repent and be baptized.” He also instructed them to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit was for all who believed in Jesus and repented of sins, even Gentiles! This was prophetic preaching and three thousand were saved and baptized that day. Doing what was right in God’s eyes brought salvation and the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Faith confession and prayer: Lord, You alone are my King, Lord, and Christ! Help me today to share this good news in the power of the Holy Spirit. I trust You to bring conviction and draw people to Christ Jesus. I know obedience to the Gospel brings salvation and eternal life.
Judges 21:25 “In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”
Dear family and friends,
On this Easter Sunday, April 12th, 2020, Mary and I would like to tell you how much we appreciate each one of you. Each person has had an impact on our lives. You are each unique and wonderfully made. God has used each of you to shape us and help us along life’s journey. No one is insignificant. Thank you for being who God made you to be and for loving us and our Lord Jesus Christ.
It is my life mission to love God and worship Him and to love those made in His image. (Matthew 22:37-40) My love for God involves obedience to His Word and following the Holy Spirit each day to do the works He has laid out for me.(Ephesians 2:10, John 15:9-10) My desire follows Jesus’ mission and desire–to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10, Matthew 28:18-20). Jesus Christ is God’s Son, sent to earth in a human body to show us the love of our Father God in Heaven. Jesus came to save sinful mankind from the penalty of sin, which is death.(Hebrews 9:26-28) The first death is the death of our body but the second death follows the Judgment at the Great White Throne for those who rejected Christ’s atonement. (Revelation 20:14-15) Eternal life with God is far better than the second death–the Lake of fire! (Seems obvious!)
Because sin leads to death, Jesus was crucified and died on a cross as a substitute for all who will repent–admit their sins–and ask God for mercy and pardon through Jesus. Jesus’ body was laid in a tomb, sealed and guarded by Roman soldiers. Scripture says He descended into Hell and announced His victory, taking the keys of death and hell from Satan. (1st Peter 3:18-20, Revelation 1:18) Jesus is now alive(Matthew 28:5-7) and reigns at God’s right hand, there making intercession for those who come to Him in faith. He is able to save us to the uttermost,(Hebrews 7:25) because He is alive. We are granted access through the torn veil, His own body! (Hebrews 10:19-22)
If you have not repented of your sins, today is the day to go to Jesus by faith! He will not cast you out but will give you pardon and the gift of eternal life. Receive Him today and join the family of God in thanksgiving and worship! In His Love, John and Mary Morse
Scripture reading for December 2nd: Revelation 2, Psalm 107-108, Proverbs 24
Key Scriptures: Revelation 2:2-5 “”I know your works, your toil and patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for My Name’s sake, and you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.””
Jesus revealed Himself to John during worship on Patmos. He gave John letters to seven churches that John was an overseer in. John was to write down and deliver these prophetic warnings from the Great Shepherd. From the letter to Ephesus, we can see that Jesus saw both the good and the evil. He commended them and reprimanded them, calling for repentance from a loss of first love. This was a life-giving rebuke from the Savior!
Faith Confession: Lord, thank You for speaking to Your Church and people. Thank You for watching over us and speaking truth plainly. Forgive me for waning love; Your Goodness has lead me to repentance and life.
Proverbs 24:26 “Whoever gives an honest answer kisses the lips.”
Scripture reading for July 19: 1st Corinthians 11, Psalm 144, Proverb 20
Key Scriptures: 1st Corinthians 11: 27-32 “Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill and some have died. But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged.”
The Lord’s table is for all believers but is not to be taken lightly or without proper reverence and understanding. Each person should judge himself and repent of known sin or omission, recognizing that Christ Jesus took our sins in His own body on the cross. Another aspect is recognizing the corporate body of Christ, the Church. Repenting of division, strife, and lack of love also allows the grace available through Holy Communion to flow in our lives.
Faith Confession: I believe that I should judge myself and my need of God’s grace as well as any sins against others in Christ’s body by repentance before partaking of Holy Communion. It is a meal that heals for those who believe.
Psalm 144:1-2 “Blessed be the Lord, My Rock, Who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle; He is my steadfast love and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield and He in whom I take refuge, Who subdues peoples under me.”