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.”
Scripture reading for May 9th: Acts 4, Psalm 93, Proverbs 31
Key Scriptures: Acts 4:29-31 “”And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to Your servants to continue to speak Your Word with all boldness, while You stretch out Your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the Name of Your holy servant Jesus.” And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the Word of God with boldness.”
The disciples had been threatened and warned to not speak again in the Name of Jesus Christ. They gathered together in prayer and took the threats before the Lord, asking not for deliverance, but for boldness to speak God’s Word! The also asked the Lord to stretch His hand out and heal with signs and wonders in the Name of Jesus. God was so moved by their prayers, that the place they were meeting in was literally shaken by His presence and they were filled with the Holy Spirit and boldness to speak Christ’s Word!
Faith Confession: Lord, give me boldness to open my mouth to preach and speak Your Word to those I come in contact with. I expect You to confirm Your Word with signs, miracles and healings. Amen!
Proverbs 31:8-9 “Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.”
Scripture reading for October 10th: Matthew 16-19
The Pharisees and Sadducees were two groups of religious people that came to Jesus to test Him and sought to discredit Him. (Matthew 16:1-4) One day, they asked Jesus for a sign from heaven to confirm that He was Messiah. Jesus had just fed the 5000 with the loaves and fishes and had been doing many other miracles! (Matthew 14:16-21) Miracles don’t always convince people of truth!
Jesus’ response was to rebuke them. He told them that a wicked and adulterous generation would seek a sign. They would only be given the sign of Jonah, the prophet. He warned His followers to watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees. Jesus explained that the yeast was their teaching that would lead them and others away from the truth He was sharing.
They then traveled to Caesarea Philippi, an area at the source of the Jordan River. Jesus asked His disciples some key questions. “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” (Matthew 16:13) They told him various answers that were common among the people of that day. Jesus then asked them the most important question, “Who do you say that I am?” (Matthew 16:15) Simon Peter immediately answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Matthew 16:16) Jesus commended him for his answer. The Father had revealed this truth to him!
What conclusion have you come to regarding the identity of Jesus Christ? Is He someone who must show you one more “sign” before you will believe? Are you skeptical that He is the Son of God? Do you just feel that He is a prophet sent from God? All of these responses were present when Jesus walked the earth and was doing miraculous signs. Human reasoning and visual proof are well and good, but truth comes by revelation from God the Father. Revelation comes when we are humble and teachable enough to believe. Faith is the key ingredient, and that is a gift from God! (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Jesus concluded his remarks to Peter and the disciples after this discussion with a promise to build His church on ‘this rock’. The “rock” was Peter’s confession of who Christ was, not Peter himself. It is the only secure foundation for eternal life!
Scripture reading for February 4th: Matthew 24:1-28, Psalm 24, Proverbs 7:1-5
As Jesus was nearing the end of His time on earth, He took time to answer the disciple’s questions concerning events that would take place in the future. One characteristic of our great God is that He knows the end from the beginning. He has perfect knowledge of future events and has even written them down, proving that He alone is God. That is the nature of prophesy and Jesus spoke prophetically to His close followers.
They had two questions following His statement that the temple in Jerusalem would be torn down, with not one stone left upon another. They wanted to know when this would happen and what would be the signs leading up to this event and the end of the age. “Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, bu the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. These are the beginnings of birth pains.” (Matthew 24:4-8)
Jesus answered these questions with a straight-forward warning against deception. Deception would be a sign of the coming end of the age. There would be religious deception coming from people who came in His name, but were really not His. These people would be working to deceive many people. This would require watchfulness and discernment. The disciples must know what was real and be able to spot these deceivers. They would need to exercise caution and stay close to the Lord Himself.
There would also be turmoil in the world among the nations and peoples. Wars and rumors of wars would abound and earthquakes and famines would bring destruction and pain to many people. These would be just the beginning of this time of the end. It would be like labor pains in a woman ready to give birth. The time would be near and those who had spiritual eyes could see and know what it would be like. Do you see signs of the end of the age? Are you ready for Jesus’ return?
Scripture reading for September 12th: 2nd Corinthians 12:11-21
Paul continued his defense of his own ministry, blaming the Corinthians for driving him to this. “I ought to have been commended by you, for I am not in the least inferior to the “super-apostles,” even though I am nothing. The things that mark an apostle–signs, wonders and miracles–were done among you with great perseverance.” (2nd Corinthians 12:11-12) Paul did not consider himself to be anything. But he did do the things that mark apostles of Jesus Christ in their midst. God had used him to preach the Gospel and they were saved as a result of his ministry. He had done other signs during his ministry there. This should have brought commendation.
“Now I am ready to visit you for the third time, and I will not be a burden to you, because what I want is not your possessions but you. After all, children should not have to save up for their parents, but parents for their children. So I will very gladly spend for you everything I have and expend myself as well. If I love you more, will you love me less?” Paul wasn’t after their money or possessions, as some of the “false apostles” had been. He considered himself like their parents. He wanted to be with them and bless them, gladly spending himself for their welfare. He loved them as Christ loved them, willing even to lay down his life for them.
Paul went on to explain that all he had written was for their strengthening and that he had written what was needed in the sight of God. ” For I am afraid that when I come I may not find you as I want you to be, and you may not find me as you want me to be. I fear that there may be quarreling, jealousy, outburst of anger, factions, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder. I am afraid that when I come again my God will humble me before you, and I will be grieved over many who have sinned earlier and have not repented of the impurity, sexual sin and debauchery in which they have indulged.” (2nd Corinthians 12:20-21) His love for them warned them of his coming so that they may repent and be found free from these sins! Examine your own life today for these sins! Jesus is coming soon!