Scripture reading for December 26th: Revelation 20, Psalm 143-44, Proverbs 11
Key Scriptures: Revelation 20:4-6 “Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the Word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with Him for a thousand years.”
John saw thrones and saints seated on those thrones given the authority to judge. These saints were those coming through the great tribulation through martyrdom because of their faithfulness to the testimony of Jesus and the Word of God. Their faith and faithfulness had brought the fulfillment of God’s promise of eternal life. This is the first resurrection and those participating are most blessed and holy! They will rule with Christ during the millennial reign.
Faith Confession: I am thankful for Christ’s promise that those who believe in Him shall never die but have eternal life. They will be part of the first resurrection of the righteous. Lord help me to stay faithful and true to Your testimony and holy Word.
Proverbs 11:30-31 “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and whoever captures souls is wise. If the righteous is repaid on earth, how much more the wicked and the sinner.”
Scripture reading for September 7th: Colossians 1
Key Scriptures for over-comers: Colossians 1:24-27 “Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of His body, which is the Church. I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness–the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations but is now disclosed to the saints. To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
Paul rejoiced as he suffered in jail for preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He rejoiced that he had the privilege to serve Christ’s body, the Church, through preaching the full word of God and suffering in his flesh! He had held nothing back so that their faith would rest on the firm foundation of God’s word and the faith that came from hearing it. There was a mystery that had been hidden from other generations and the Jews that God now revealed to all those “saints” who trusted in Christ. This “mystery” was that Christ Jesus would live in each believer through the indwelling Holy Spirit and revealing the glory of Christ in ever increasing measure.
Observations for over-comers: We are the temple of the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ, who indwells us and sets us apart to enjoy His presence and glory forever! “I said to the Lord, “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.” As for the saints who are in the land, they are the glorious ones in whom is all My delight.” (Psalm 16:2-3)
Scripture reading for September 29th: Philippians 1:1-26
Paul wrote this letter to the Philippian church while in chains imprisoned in Rome. Paul was himself practicing what he wrote to the church he had founded, by maintaining a positive tone and encouraging words. He viewed himself to be a prisoner for Jesus Christ! (Philippians 1:13) The letter was written to the saints in Christ Jesus at Philippi and the overseers and deacons to encourage them to persevere. Christ had begun His work in them and He would see it through to completion! (Philippians 1:6)
Paul prayed a beautiful prayer for these saints. “And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ–to the glory and praise of God.” (Philippians 1:9-11) Paul’s heart for this church was that they grow in love. This love would come from an understanding of God’s will for purity and holiness in their personal conduct. God wants to use each person to bring glory to Himself. Jesus Christ is the only source of true love and righteousness. The day of Christ’s return will bring rewards to those who are by choice living to please and glorify God.
Paul encouraged the Philippians to understand that even suffering and persecution can work out God’s plans. What he was enduring in the Roman jail was furthering the cause of the Gospel. Many in the Roman guard got to hear because of his imprisonment. Other believers were encouraged to be bold because of Paul’s attitude and joy to serve God even in prison.
Paul made a conscious choice to rejoice! He understood that through prayers and the Holy Spirit everything would turn out for his deliverance. He was not sure what that deliverance might look like at that moment. “I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:20-21) Oh that we might grow in grace to embrace such an attitude and make a daily choice to rejoice!