Scripture reading for November 20th: 1st Thessalonians 5, Psalm 81, Proverbs 14
1st Thessalonians 5: 5-11 “For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, are drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so we might live with Him. Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”
Paul called the Thessalonian believers to walk in the light of Jesus Christ and His soon return. He contrasted those in the world with sleepers at night in darkness. These also got drunk at night, because of living in darkness without the light of Jesus Christ. Believers were children of light and daytime. They were awake to spiritual truths and filled with the Holy Spirit instead of drunk with alcoholic beverages. They realized the truth of salvation from the coming judgment of the wicked and their eternal damnation. Through Jesus Christ, the future was bright with God’s eternal light and promise of eternal life with Him! Fruit flows from within our lives as we live as children of the light. We sing with joy and shout in victory!
Psalm 81:1-3 “Sing aloud to God our Strength; shout for joy to the God of Jacob! Raise a song; sound the tambourine, the sweet lyre with the harp. Blow the trumpet at the new moon, at the full moon, on our feast day.”
Prayer: Father God, thank You for the Light of Truth in Jesus Christ. Thank You for revealing eternal life and escape from wrath through repentance and faith. Use believers and me to encourage others and build them up in their faith as the day of Christ Jesus draws near. Bring holy conviction on those who are foolish and have not given thought to their ways. I shout for joy to Jesus Christ my Lord!
Proverbs 14:14-15 “The backslider in heart will be filled with the fruit of his ways, and a good man will be filled with the fruit of his ways. The simple believes everything, but the prudent give thought to his steps.”
Scripture reading for October 20th: John 5, Psalm 60, Proverbs 24
John 5: 12-17 “They asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk’?” Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, as there was a crowd in the place. Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse happen to you.” The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus Who had healed him. And this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because He was doing these things on the Sabbath. But Jesus answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I am working.””
The religious Jews were always looking for a way to trap Jesus and accuse Him of wrong-doing. Their laws were strictly observed and law-breakers punished. However, they missed the Spirit of the Law, love for God and our neighbors. Jesus went to Jerusalem for a feast and found a man lame for thirty-eight years. He asked him if he wanted to be well. The man told Jesus he had no one to help him get into the healing pool. Jesus simply told him to take up his bed and walk. Immediately, he was healed. It was a Sabbath day when Jesus did this miracle, and the Jews were on it. Jesus answered the Jews, telling them that His Father and He were both at work, tending to the hurting and lost. That ‘work’ personified ‘love’. Jesus warned the man to sin no more that something worse might befall him.
Psalm 60:11-12 “Oh, grant us help against the foe, for vain is the salvation of man! With God we shall do valiantly; it is He Who will tread down our foes.”
Prayer: Father God, thank You for sending Your Son to show us the Father’s heart to work healing and restoration for the hurting and lost. Thank You for showing religious people the true heart of the God Who created heaven and earth. Use me today to tend to Your hurting people in the vineyard of this world. As You and Your Son Jesus are working, lay out work for me to restore Your people to fruitfulness.
Proverbs 24:30-31 “I passed by the field of a sluggard, by the vineyard of a man lacking sense, and behold, it was all overgrown with thorns; the ground was covered with nettles, and its stone wall was broken down.”
Scripture reading for September 14th: 1st Timothy 4, Psalm 34, Proverbs 29
1st Timothy 4:11-14 “Command and teach these things. Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you. Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress. Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.”
Paul called his son in the faith to live out the message of the Gospel. Our life and daily conduct should reflect the character of Christ and the love of God through purity of speech and conduct. We never earn our salvation through works or keeping God’s laws. We can invite the Holy Spirit to apply God’s Word to every area of our heart and soul. As we humbly seek to follow Christ’s example, we will set an example to other believers that will help them to live effectively in God’s grace. Paul also told Timothy to develop the gift that he had. We know Timothy was a pastor/teacher. As he lived out the Word and flowed in the gift received by the laying on of hands, God would work through him to complete his salvation and to see others saved.
Psalm 34:15-16 “The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous and His ears toward their cry. The face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth.”
Prayer: Father God, I am humbled by the calling of pastor and teacher that You have entrusted to me. Fill me with the Holy Spirit each day and by grace through faith lead me in applying Your Word to every area of my life. I want to be a good example to my family, children and grandchildren, and the community You place me in. I am trusting You to bring my salvation to fullness at Christ’s return and to save others.
Proverbs 29:18 “Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint, but blessed is he who keeps the law.”
Scripture reading for February 24th: Acts 24, Psalm 40, Proverbs 9
Acts 24: 24-27 “After some days Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish, and he sent for Paul and heard him speak about faith in Jesus Christ. And as he reasoned about righteousness and self-control and the coming judgment, Felix was alarmed and said, “Go away for the present. When I get an opportunity I will summon you.” At the same time he hoped that money would be given him by Paul. So he sent for him often and conversed with him. When two years had elapsed, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus. And desiring to do the Jews a favor, Felix left Paul in prison.”
Proverbs states that the fear of man is a snare. Worldly leaders like Felix were always looking for political advantage or personal advantage as with a bribe. They were not guided by the integrity that comes from God’s Word, but by their flesh. Godly people are sometimes, like Paul, placed by God under their authority. God loves them too and gives all people opportunity to hear the truth of Jesus and allows them freedom to chose who they will serve. God’s message of deliverance shows no partiality and He desires all to be saved an enter into His salvation. Wise people are teachable. Fools and scoffers turn sour and hateful.
Psalm 40:9-10 “I have told the glad news of deliverance in the great congregation; behold, I have not restrained my lips, as You know, O Lord. I have not hidden Your deliverance within my heart; I have spoken of Your faithfulness and Your salvation; I have not concealed Your steadfast love and Your faithfulness from the great congregation.”
Prayer: Father God, Thank You for the ‘Glad News’ of salvation given to your Church to share in the great congregation of mankind. Forgive me when I have restrained my lips and not told of Your faithfulness and salvation. Use me like Paul, to faithfully and fully declare Your Son, Jesus Christ, to all You send me to. May none be lost or suffer as scoffers and fools. Help me to faithfully declare the Gospel to all nations!
Proverbs 9:8-9 “Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you; reprove a wise man, and he will love you. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.”
Scripture reading for April 27th: Acts 16
Key Scriptures: Acts 16:25-30 “About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s bonds were unfastened. When the jailer woke and saw that the prison doors were open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. But Paul cried with a loud voice, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.” And the jailer called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas. Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.””
Because of preaching Jesus, Paul and Silas were beaten and placed in stocks in the dungeon of a Philippian jail. Not dismayed, they were worshiping God about midnight when a peculiar earthquake rocked the jail. It loosed all the shackles and opened the doors, causing the jailer to wake up in despair. Thinking that the prisoners had escaped, he prepared for suicide knowing the government would hold him accountable. Paul called out to him, stopping his final act. The jailer came and fell down before the freed prisoners and asked the preachers an amazing question: “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” Paul and Silas were ready with a simple answer that would apply to the jailer and his family! It is still true today and has brought other household salvations.
Acts 16:33-34 “And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their wounds; and he was baptized at once, he and all his family. Then he brought them up into his house and set food before them. And he rejoiced along with his entire household that he had believed in God.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You that you make it easy to know how we can be saved, not just from ourselves, but from sin and it’s deadly consequences. I pray for salvation for my household and the rejoicing that results from repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. Shake up my world today with Your salvation grace as I walk with You.
Acts 4:13 “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other Name (Jesus) under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.
Scripture reading for February 22nd: Romans 10
Key Scriptures: Romans 10:8-13 “But what does it say? “The Word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart? (that is, the Word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing His riches on all who call on Him. For everyone who calls on the Lord will be saved.””
Our salvation, whether Jew or Gentile, is based on faith. We believe in our heart and confess with our mouth that “Jesus is Lord” and God gives us His righteousness. This puts everyone on the same level ground. God is not partial to a certain race or a particular group or religion. God looks at the heart of each person and can see faith or unbelief. This is not just an intellectual process where a person acknowledges with his mind. He listens to each person’s words of confession and knows if the “Jesus is Lord” comes from the heart. When faith is found, His riches are freely given to everyone who calls on His Holy Name!
Psalm 145:1-2 “I will extol You, my God and King, and bless Your Name forever and ever. Every day I will bless you and praise Your Name forever and ever.”
Faith confession and prayer: I believe with all my heart in Jesus Christ, Son of God. Jesus Christ is my Lord! Help me to clearly proclaim the way of salvation to all who You put in my path. May the Lordship of Jesus be visible in my attitudes and actions as well as my words.
Acts 4:12 “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other Name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
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 January 13th: 2nd Timothy 2
Key Scriptures: 2nd Timothy 2:8-10;14-15 “Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my Gospel, for which I am suffering, bound with chains as a criminal. But the Word of God is not bound! Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.” . . .”Remind them of these things, and charge them before God not to quarrel about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers. Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the Word of truth.”
Paul’s reminder to Timothy continues as he wrote to him from prison in Rome and would soon suffer martyrdom. He calls to his remembrance Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, son of David, Son of God. Paul had unashamedly preached Jesus Christ and was now suffering and bound by chains. But Paul reminded Timothy not to be ashamed of his imprisonment or to fear his own. The Word of God was not chained and was producing the fruit of salvation and eternal glory in those who would receive. Paul encouraged Timothy to preach clearly the Word of God to his hearers and to continually present himself to God as His workman. God’s grace would enable him to rightly preach the whole truth and not be ashamed at Christ’s appearing. He wanted Timothy to hear “Well done, faithful servant!”
Psalm 126:5-6 “Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy. He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, I will endure suffering for the sake of sharing the Seed of Your Word bringing salvation and eternal glory to those lost and in darkness. Keep my mind and heart focused on You alone! May the “unchained” Word go forth from me turning many to You!
Daniel 12:3 “And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.”
Scripture reading for September 24th: Habakkuk; 2nd Corinthians 7
Key Scriptures: 2nd Corinthians 7:8-11 “For even if I made you grieve with my letter, I do not regret it–though I did regret it, for I see that that letter grieved you, though only for a while. As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us. For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death. For see what earnestness this godly grief has produced in you, but also what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what punishment! At every point you have proved yourselves innocent in the matter.”
Paul had written plainly to the Corinthians this second time to appeal to them to forgive a brother who had been disciplined for sexual sins. He had some regrets at first, that he might offend them, but he ended up rejoicing when their godly grief over this brother’s sin caused him and them to repent and do the right thing. Worldly grief leads only to death–sorrow for sin alone won’t bring forgiveness and life. Godly sorrow leads to repentance and true transformation.
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, help me to receive correction with grace and humility and true repentance. May I not shrink from godly correction of one who may need to experience mercy by repentance.
Habakkuk 3:12-13 “You marched through the earth in fury; You threshed the nations in anger. You went out for the salvation of Your people, for the salvation of Your anointed.”
Scripture reading for August 25th: Isaiah 17-19, Psalm 62, 1st Corinthians 1
Key Scriptures: 1st Corinthians 1:21-25 “For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”
Paul’s letter to the Corinthian church, which he had founded by preaching there for over two years, was written to help correct some wrong doctrine caused by false teachers and to recenter them on Jesus Christ and the Gospel. This church had both Jews and Gentiles. The Gentile Greeks used intellectual pursuits to find God and the Jews were seeking supernatural signs. But Paul preached Jesus Christ crucified as his central message. Those who humbly listened and received, found God’s wisdom in Jesus Christ and the supernatural life He offers.
Psalm 62:7 “On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty Rock, my Refuge is God.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, I have found wisdom in Jesus Christ, my Salvation, my Rock, my Glory, and my Refuge! Help me to preach Jesus Christ and Him crucified and resurrected to the nations, as You have planned!
Isaiah 19:21 “And the Lord will make Himself known to the Egyptians, and the Egyptians will know the Lord in that day and worship with sacrifice and offering, and they will make vows to the Lord and perform them.”