Scripture reading for September 14th: Isaiah 53-55, Psalm 128, 1st Corinthians 15
Key Scriptures: 1st Corinthians 15:50-53 “I tell you this, brothers; flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.”
Paul explained the mystery of the resurrection, using a seed as an illustration. The seed going into the ground may not have any resemblance to the plant that will grow from it. So the fleshly body that is put in the grave will be raised a spiritual body full of life eternal. Jesus Christ is the fore-runner. His body was buried but raised on the third day a glorious immortal body. As believers in Jesus, we may not understand it, but we wait expectantly for the last trumpet! The best is yet to come!
Psalm 128:5 “The Lord bless you from Zion! May you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life!”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for explaining the mystery of the resurrection body and showing Yours to the disciples. Empower me to share this mystery to bless Your people with heavenly vision and eternal life.
Isaiah 53:10 “Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush Him; He has put Him to grief; when His soul makes an offering for guilt, He shall see His offspring; He shall prolong His days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.”
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 October 10th: 1st Thessalonians 2:9-3:13
” We also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe.” God’s word has power to work inside of those who will receive it. The Thessalonians had chosen to believe the word of God and embrace it as coming from God, not just men.
This is an argument in our culture today: “How can I know for sure that the Bible is God’s word, and not just men’s.” Jesus taught us that God’s word is Spirit and life. It is like seed or sperm, having the power to produce God’s life within us. (John 6:63) (1st Peter 1:23) All Scripture is inspired by God and the writers of Scripture were moved on by God and given what to write. (2nd Peter 1:20-21)
The Thessalonians had suffered persecution from their own countrymen for turning away from the idols of that culture. Paul suffered too, as he preached the Gospel in that region. Paul taught the Thessalonians that Satan was behind this. God’s wrath had already fallen on some who were hindering them. (1st Thessalonians 1:14-18)
Paul sent Timothy to the church to encourage and strengthen them in their faith. He was concerned that the trials might shake the church and cause them to fall away. He knew the ways of the tempter and carried this church on his heart. Timothy brought back a good report of their faith and love. “Therefore, brothers, in all our distress and persecution, we were encouraged about you because of your faith. For now we really live, since you are standing firm in the Lord. How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we have in the presence of our God because of you?
What a joy it was for Paul to know that his congregation was strong! He erupted in prayer again: “May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. May He strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all His holy ones.” (1st Thessalonians 3:12-13)