Scripture reading for July 26th: Matthew 20
Key Scriptures: Matthew 20:17-22 “And as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, He took the twelve disciples aside, and on the way He said to them, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem. And the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn Him to death and deliver Him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified, and He will be raised on the third day.” Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came up to him with her sons, and kneeling before Him she asked him for something. And He said to her, “What do you want?” She said to him, “Say that these two sons of mine are to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in Your kingdom.” Jesus answered, “You do not know what your are asking. Are you able to drink the cup I am to drink?” They said to Him, “We are able.””
Jesus was leading His disciples to Jerusalem for His final Passover with them. While on the way, He again took them aside and carefully explained in even more detail His coming betrayal, trial, flogging, and death by crucifixion to be followed in three days by resurrection. It is not clear if the mother of James and John overheard this conversation, but clearly she suspected the coming kingdom of heaven and asked Jesus a favor for her boys. She asked for positions of honor in the kingdom. Jesus did not deny this request, but stated that she did not know what she was asking! There would be a cost involved, the drinking of a cup! What was in this cup required God’s grace and empowerment. They replied, “We are able!” Jesus stated that they would indeed drink His cup but the honor of seating belonged to the ones chosen by His Father alone. Their boldness was not condemned by Jesus, but it aggravated the other disciples. Jesus admonished them all to not seek greatness but to become slaves to God, chief servants.
Matthew 20:23 “He said to them, “You will drink My cup, but to sit at My right hand and at My left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by My Father.””
Faith confession and prayer: Father, all reward and glory belongs to You alone! I am blessed to be Your son and a servant of others for Jesus’ sake. Give me grace to drink Your cup and enjoy the fellowship of Your sufferings with a grateful heart. Being with You for eternity is my most amazing gift!
Matthew 20:26-28 “It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.””
Scripture reading for May 11th: Acts 26
0000 Scriptures: Acts 26:15-18 “And I said, ‘Who are You Lord?‘ And the Lord Said, ‘I am Jesus Whom you are persecuting. But rise and stand upon your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and witness to the things in which you have seen Me and to those in which I will appear to you, delivering you from your people and from the Gentiles–to whom I am sending you to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.”
Paul shared his testimony again. This time before King Agrippa and Festus the governor. Paul told of his encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus. He quoted to them the appointment he received from the risen Jesus to appear before Gentiles. His assignment was to open their eyes that were in darkness and to bring them light. He was to deliver them from the power of Satan and return them to the power of God. By repentance and faith they would receive forgiveness of sins and righteousness before God. In the testimony of his encounter with Jesus, he effectively preached the Gospel and then specifically called them to repentance and faith. Like Paul, we should waste no opportunity to share our testimony and the Gospel!
Acts 26:27-29 “King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you believe.” And Agrippa said to Paul, “In a short time would you persuade me to be a Christian?” And Paul said, “Whether short or long, I would to God that not only you but also all who hear me this day might become such as I am–except for these chains.””
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for the clear appointment and mission You gave to Paul and all who follow You. Give me open doors to share my testimony and the Gospel today as I seek Your will.
Acts 16:30-31 “Then he brought them (Paul and Silas) 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.”
Scripture reading for December 7th: Nehemiah 1-3, Revelation 5
Key Scriptures: Revelation 5:11-13 “Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb Who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To Him Who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”
Worship in heaven is awesome to behold and enter into. John was shown the throne room of heaven and the activity going on there. There was a seven-sealed scroll in the right hand of God. The question went out as to who was worthy to open the scroll and break the seals. No one in heaven or on earth was able to open the scroll or look in it. Then one of the elders spoke, “Behold the Lion of the tribe of Judah, has conquered, so that He can open the scroll and its seven seals.” As John looked, he saw “a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain,” the Lord Jesus Christ alone was worthy! Worship flowed as Christ Jesus took the scroll!
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, You alone are worthy to receive all my worship, allegiance, and service, now and forever and ever! You are the Lion of the tribe of Judah, and the Lamb slain for my sins and the sins of the world.
Nehemiah 1:5-6 “And I said, “Oh Lord God of heaven, the great and awesome God Who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those Who love Him and keep His commandments, let Your ear be attentive and Your eyes open, to hear the prayer of Your servant that I now pray before You day and night for the people of Israel Your servants, confessing the sins of the people of Israel, which we have sinned against You. Even I and my father’s house have sinned.”
Scripture reading for June 10: Acts 26, Psalm 115, Proverbs 22
Key Scriptures: Acts 26:15-18 “And I said, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. But rise and stand upon your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and witness to the things in which you have seen Me and to those in which I will appear to you, delivering you from your people and from the Gentiles–to who I am sending you to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.'”
Paul was sharing with King Agrippa the testimony and witness of his encounter with Jesus Christ on the Damascus road. He told of Jesus appearing to him and appointing him to be His witness and servant. Jesus would enable him through the Gospel to turn people from darkness to light and deliver them from Satan’s power to restoration of a relationship with God by forgiveness of sins. This was available for all who would receive and repent!
Faith Confession: Thank You Lord Jesus for opening my eyes and appointing me to be your skillful servant and witness. (Faith action: Share the Good News of Jesus with someone God places in your path today.)
Proverbs 22:29 “Do you see a man skillful in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men.”
Scripture reading for September 3rd: Psalm 143-145, Philippians 2
Key Scriptures: Philippians 4:5-11 “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore, God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the Name that is above every name, so that at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Paul urged the Corinthians to put on the mind of Christ, which was available to them. This “Christ mind” was humble and serving and put God’s will and others before self. This way of thinking and living brings ultimate reward and glory to Christ and God our Father. This way pleases God and requires faith.
Psalm 145:2-4 “Every day I will bless You and praise Your Name forever and ever. Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and His greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall commend Your works to another, and shall declare Your mighty acts.”
Prayer: Lord, thank You for the mind of Christ and His example of humility and serving. Fill me with His ways. I will praise You and declare Your mighty acts! Amen.