Scripture reading for April 1st: Luke 22
Key Scriptures: Luke 22:24-30 “A dispute also arose among them, as to which of them was to be regarded as the greatest. And He said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those in authority over them are called benefactors. But not so with you. Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves. For who is the greater, one who reclines at table or one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at table? But I am among you as the One who serves. You are those who have stayed with Me in My trials, and I assign to you, as My Father assigned to Me, a kingdom, that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”
Jesus’ disciples argued with each other about who would have the greatest honor and place of authority in the coming kingdom of God. They assumed a soon-to-be revealed physical kingdom. Jesus admonished them that although greatness in this world is associated with being served, it is those who serve now who will enjoy the greatest honor in the coming kingdom. By humbly serving God and other, we gain opportunity to share the Gospel and kingdom of God with them. Jesus Himself set an example of serving and those following Him must have that attitude. The greatest honor in future kingdom of God will be for those serving Jesus in this life with zeal and humility. It’s God’s Word!
Matthew 7:12 “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for Your great example of serving others by giving Your time on earth and life to obeying the Father and serving others. Help me learn from You daily that greatness in Your kingdom is serving God and others. As we give service to others, Lord, open their hearts to Jesus Christ, our Master Servant!
Proverbs 21:25-26 “The desire of the sluggard kills him, for his hands refuse to labor. All day long he craves and craves, but the righteous gives and does not hold back.”
Scripture reading for January 15th: 2nd Timothy 4
Key Scriptures: 2nd Timothy 4:5-8, 22 “As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved His appearing.” . . . .”The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you.”
Paul’s final words to his son in ministry calls him to a reminder of the eternal reward that will come on the Day of Christ when at the Judgment Seat of Christ we will all be rewarded for the deeds done in the body. Paul knew his race was at the end here on earth. He was soon to be beheaded–poured out as a ‘drink offering’! He had maintained his faith and fought a good fight to stay true to Jesus Christ, suffering for the Gospel but anticipating the reward! This reward would also be for Timothy and all others who faithfully followed and endured! God is with us and His grace will bring us through to reward! We will cast our crowns at Christ’s feet!
Daniel 12:18 “But the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, forever and ever.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for the promise of reward from You for faithfulness and endurance through the trials here on earth. Help me to maintain my testimony and finish the good fight in Your grace filled with Your Holy Spirit.
1st Corinthians 3:13-15 “. . .each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.”
Scripture reading for January 14th: 2nd Timothy 3
Key Scriptures: 2nd Timothy 3:12-17 “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
Paul reminded Timothy over and over that those following Jesus and applying God’s Word to their lives would not be universally loved and accepted. The world was full of evil and people under evil’s influence and deception. This would increase as the world population increased but should not affect how believers lived. They must hold on firmly to the basic truths of Scripture. God breathed out the Scriptures and through them man can become wise for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. Scripture is profitable for reproof–addressing wrong-doing and sin, for correction–changing course, and for illumination of our path through this increasingly evil world. God’s Word will equip believers for every good work and brings eternal profit!
Psalm 119:14-15 “In the way of Your testimonies I delight as much as in all riches. I will meditate on Your precepts and fix my eyes on Your ways.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for enduring suffering and teaching Your followers that suffering would come to them in an increasingly evil world. I will study Your Word and faithfully remind my brothers and sisters how profitable it is to become equipped and complete. Help me to rejoice when persecutions come.
Luke 6:22-23 “Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man! Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets.”
Scripture reading for December 15th: Job 4-7, Psalm 99, Revelation 11
Key Scriptures: Revelation 11:15-18 “Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever.” And the twenty-four elders who sit on their thrones before God fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying, “We give thanks to You, Lord God Almighty, Who is and Who was, for You have taken Your great power and begun to reign. The nations raged, but Your wrath came, and the time for the dead to be judged, and for rewarding Your servants, the prophets and saints, and those Who fear Your Name, both small and great, and for destroying the destroyers of the earth.”
John recorded the seven angels blowing the seven trumpets that followed the time of silence in heaven. There were loud voices declaring the victory of God and the Lord Jesus Christ and the beginning of their eternal reign over all creation. The elders around the throne fell on their faces and worshiped God for Who He is and was and will be and for the time of judgment coming for the dead and reward for the saints. God is just and will justly judge all and destroy those who reject Jesus Christ and destroy the earth. Those who honor Him will be fully rewarded for their faith.
Psalm 99:4-5 “The King in His might loves justice. You have established equity; you have executed justice and righteousness in Jacob. Exalt the Lord our God; worship at His footstool! Holy is He!”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, I worship You as the eternal King of kings. I look forward to the appointed time of the judgment and reward! You are just, righteous and holy and my confidence is in Your Word! Help me to share Your Word enabling all to find reward at judgment day.
Job 4:6-7 “Is not your fear of God your confidence, and the integrity of your ways your hope? Remember: who that was innocent ever perished? Or where were the upright cut off?”
Scripture reading for August 11th: Hosea 11-13, Matthew 19
Key Scriptures: Matthew 19:27-30 “Then Peter said in reply, “See, we have left everything and followed You. What then will we have? Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for My Name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”
The rich young man who had come to Jesus inquiring about eternal life, left dejectedly after he heard Jesus’ answer. Jesus told His disciples how hard it was for rich people to enter the kingdom of heaven, and they asked Him about their own sacrifice to follow Him. Jesus promised them a throne of judgment in the new world and eternal life. Those in this life who are prominent because of wealth will be last, and those who renounce riches in this life and follow Jesus will be blessed with eternal reward.
Faith confession and prayer: Lord, I have chosen to follow You and leave this world and its riches for a greater riches in knowing You. Help me to keep walking with You, waiting on You, and calling on You. I want to hold fast to Your love and justice and never turn back.
Hosea 12:6 “So you, by the help of your God, return, hold fast to love and justice, and wait continually for your God.”
Scripture reading for July 22nd: 2nd Kings 4-6, Matthew 5
Key Scriptures: Matthew 5:10-12 “”Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on My account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.””
Jesus had gathered a great crowd of people and he began to teach them. The Sermon on the Mount is the longest recorded message of Jesus and one of the most famous. Jesus taught that it was a blessing to be persecuted for “righteousness sake.” He went on to elaborate what this meant. Those who followed Him would be reviled and persecuted and blasphemed against. Those who follow Jesus live righteous lives and preach repentance from evil. This brings persecution and sometimes death. Followers can rejoice because they have a great reward and they join with a long line of persecuted prophets.
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, I will gladly and with rejoicing take persecution because of You. Help me to stay true to You and Your Word in my actions, words and deeds.
2nd Kings 6:31 “—and he (Joram king of Israel) said, “May God do so to me and more also, if the head of Elisha the son of Shaphat remains on his shoulders today.””
Scripture reading for January 17th: Matthew 13, Psalm 13, Prov. 13
Key Scriptures: Matthew 13:20-23 “As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the Word, immediately he falls away. As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the Word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the Word and it proves unfruitful. As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the Word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”
Jesus used a parable, a story about something common, to teach His disciples about the kingdom of heaven. The parable required thinking and discernment to find the truth being taught. God’s Word was likened to seed sowed on various types of soil in the hearts of hearers. Some was rocky and shallow and quickly dried up, aborting the growth needed for fruit. Some was weedy and the Word was choked out before it produced. Other soil was fertile and the Seed multiplied in harvest.
Faith’s Confession: Father, thank You for considering my heart good soil. I receive Your Word and desire to produce fruit–even a hundred-fold!
Proverbs 13:13 “Whoever despises the Word brings destruction on himself; but he who reveres the commandment will be rewarded.”
Scripture reading for January 7th: Matthew 5, Psalm 5, Prov. 5 (Reading through the New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs one chapter a day, five days each week in 2019–please join me in the trek!)
Key Scriptures: Matthew 5:10-13 “”Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on My account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.””
Jesus took His disciples and others who had gathered to hear Him up on a hillside. There He taught them about the kingdom of heaven and the blessedness of those who were included. This blessedness called for joy and rejoicing and anticipation of the great reward that would come in God’s time. It also included persecution and reviling from the world of sinful men on account of righteousness and their relationship with Jesus Christ. Rejoice now in all things and count on great reward in the fullness of the kingdom of heaven!
Faith’s confession: I am blessed with Christ’s righteousness and presence in me. I joyfully endure any hardship or persecution today, knowing Whose I am. (Action: Pray for God’s blessedness to come to anyone who may be mistreating you now for your love of Jesus. Do an act of kindness to show them Christ’s love.)
Proverbs 5:21 “For a man’s ways are before the eyes of the Lord, and He ponders all his paths.”
Scripture reading for December 29th: Revelation 18-22
Key Scriptures: Revelation 22:12-15 “Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with Me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of Life and may go through the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.”
The last words of Jesus Christ recorded by John, the beloved disciple are “I am coming soon!” Jesus promises that His reward is with him. He will justly reward all who are His through the washing of their robes in His blood. Those who overcome will have access to the Tree of Life and freely go in and out of the New Jerusalem. Those who will be shut out are those who have not repented of sins and have garments stained by them!
Rejoicing in our Reward: “See, the Sovereign Lord comes with power, and His Arm rules for Him. See, His reward is with Him, and His recompense accompanies Him. He tends His flock like a shepherd; He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart; He gently leads those that have young.” (Isaiah 40:10-11)
Scripture reading for April 10th: 2nd Kings 7-11
Key Scriptures: 2nd Kings 8:5-6 “Just as Gehazi was telling the king how Elisha had restored the dead to life, the woman whose son Elisha had brought back to life came to beg the king for her house and land. Gehazi said, “This is the woman, my lord the king, and this is her son whom Elisha restored to life.” The king asked the woman about it and she told him. Then he assigned an official to her case and said to him, “Give back everything that belonged to her, . . “
The Shunammite widow who had give the prophet Elisha a place to stay had obeyed Elisha and left the country during a seven year famine. When she returned, she went to beg the king for her property back. God so arranged that the king was listening to the account of her son being raised from the dead. She recovered all that belonged to her!
Rejoice in reward: God rewards those who trust Him and live generously towards His people! “Anyone who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, . . . And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is My disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward.” (Matthew 10:41-42)