Scripture reading for June 2nd: 1st Kings 3, 2nd Chronicles 1, Psalm 42, Romans 8
Romans 8:18-23 “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him Who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from the bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves who have the firstfruits of the Spirit grown inwardly as we wait for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.”
Paul further explained that through the Holy Spirit, we have adoption into God’s family in token form for now. We are infilled by the Holy Spirit, but live in our bodies of flesh that still suffer pain, loneliness and longing for fullness of God’s promised redemption. We are promised a glorious body, like Jesus’ glorified body when He comes again. In the mean time, creation is under the bondage of sin and decay as well as human beings, saved and unsaved. As believers we groan inwardly too, awaiting Jesus’ return and anticipating with eager longing our full redemption. This is like the bride waiting for the Bridegroom!
Romans 8:23-25 “And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.”
Prayer: Father God, as I get older, I understand the groaning inwardly of my spirit for the fullness of redemption when Christ returns. That is my hope, the “Blessed Hope” of the glorious appearing of the Lord Jesus Christ! Thank You for the Holy Spirit, my down-payment of that coming glory Who groans with me, comforts me, and encourages me to be patient and wait and work!
Romans 8:26-27 “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself interceded for us with groaning to deep for words. And He Who searches the heart knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”
Psalm 42:1-2 “As a deer pant for flowing streams, so pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirst for God, the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?”
Scripture reading for February 18th: Romans 8
Key Scriptures: Romans 8:14-18 “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by Whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs–heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of adoption given to all who trust in Jesus Christ. From inside we now know God as our Father and call Him “Abba!” (Daddy) The Holy Spirit leads us to know God and His Word and helps us apply it to our life. He reveals our inheritance as children of God. He helps us to endure suffering and persecution here on earth while we await the fullness of redemption–our brand new bodies! He provides vision of the coming glory and gives us power to pray when we don’t even know how to pray. Faith drives out fear as the Spirit of adoption reveals Whose we are and what God has planned for us!
John 6:63 “It is the Spirit Who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The Words that I have spoken to you are Spirit and life.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for the Holy Spirit that cries “Abba! Father!” within me. Fill me with the Holy Spirit afresh today that I might walk in my inheritance and fulfill Your will here on earth until I have the fullness in Your eternal presence and behold Your glory.
Ezekiel 36:27 “And I will put My Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes and be careful to obey My rules.”
Scripture reading for February 17th: Romans 7
Key Scriptures: Romans 7:21-25 “So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.”
Most commentators agree that Paul is here reflecting on his life as a strict Pharisee who loved God’s law and tried hard to apply it to his life. He wanted to obey and please God, but found within another law, that of sin and death, at work in his members. He ended up in a wretched condition feeling enslaved by the law of sin at work in spite of his desire to live in obedience to God. But thanks be to God Who by grace provided the remedy through Jesus Christ our Lord! Paul understood at last how to be free from the condemnation that trying to keep God’s law through human effort brought. By faith through grace He was set free! Thanks be to God!
Psalm 103:2-4 “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits, Who forgives all your iniquity, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from the pit, Who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, . .”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for Your gift of grace to me and all who will believe. Thank you for delivering me from the law of sin and death and my flesh. Help me to live in the power of the Holy Spirit today in joy and freedom.
Galatians 5:16-18 “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.”
Scripture reading for April 15th: John 7, Psalm 75, Proverbs 13
Key Scriptures: John 7:37-39 “On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water'” Now this He said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.”
Jesus attended the Feast of Tabernacles where on the last day the tradition was to get two jars of water from the pool of Siloam and pour them out before the Lord as a remembrance of God supplying water from the rock during the Israelites’ wilderness experience. Jesus called Israel to look to Him and believe in Him to quench their spiritual thirst. He promised ‘rivers of living water’ as those who believed in Him were filled with the Holy Spirit.
Faith Confession: I believe in Jesus and receive the Holy Spirit. The infilling of the Spirit satisfies my thirst and empowers me to proclaim the good news of Jesus, Son of God and Savior.
Proverbs 13:14 “The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death.” vs. 25 “The righteous has enough to satisfy his appetite, but the belly of the wicked suffers want.”
Scripture reading for December 31st: Malachi 1-4 and Revelation 22
Key Scriptures: Revelation 22:17-20 “The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price. I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book. He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come Lord Jesus!”
Jesus Christ ends the Revelation given to John with three “I am coming soon!” declarations. The Holy Spirit and the Bride(Christ’s Church) all are calling out to all men to “Come!” The message is simple. It must not be added to or taken away from! Old and New Testaments agree!
Malachi 4:1-3 “For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble. The day that is coming shall set them ablaze, says the Lord of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch. But for you who fear My Name, the Sun of Righteousness shall rise with healing in His wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall. And you shall tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet, on the day when I act, says the Lord of hosts.”
Prayer: Lord, I long for Your coming. Thank You that it will be soon! Help me to offer the invitation to all You send me to. Amen.
Scripture reading for August 23rd: Galatians 6
Key Scriptures for over-comers: Galatians 6: 7-10 “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please the sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”
Deception is always possible if we get off into the flesh or believe the lies of our adversary. Anything can be justified by our flesh and often we think that because of what we have done for God or how long we have walked with God that we can justify a little sowing to the sinful nature. However, what we sow we will reap! There are only two fields and two harvest that will definitely come. The field of the flesh will always yield destruction and the field of the Spirit eternal life! We must not grow weary or give up sowing to the Spirit. We are to be especially helpful to the family of God.
Observations for over-comers: Perseverance in sowing to the Spirit marks the life of an over-comer and there will be a rich harvest of eternal life for all who finish well! “Tell the righteous it will be well with them, for they will enjoy the fruit of their deeds. Woe to the wicked! Disaster is upon them! They will be paid back for what they have done.” (Isaiah 3:10-11)
Scripture reading for September 18th: 1st Thessalonians 5
“Now, brothers, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.” (1st Thessalonians 5:1-2) Paul concluded his letter to the young believers with a final reminder about the coming of Jesus Christ. He repeated the teaching of Jesus about no one knowing the day or the hour. (Matthew 24:36, 43-44) In fact, people would be thinking that everything was normal when the Lord would suddenly return like a thief in the night. The return of Christ requires watchfulness and readiness on the part of His Church!
“So then, let us not be like others, who sleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath, but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1st Thessalonians 5:6-9) God appointed His people for salvation from His coming wrath upon sinners who refuse repentance. Those who continue to sin, live in darkness. The Church lives in the light of Christ and His word.
“May God Himself, the god of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The One who calls you is faithful and He will do it.” (1st Thessalonians 5:23-24) Paul’s final prayer is for the believers complete sanctification. Jesus will complete in us what He began!
Scripture reading for May 13th: John 7:31-53
After delaying His appearance at the Feast of Tabernacles, halfway through the celebration Jesus appeared in the Temple and began to teach there. His teaching amazed many and caused much discussion about who Jesus was. Some tried to seize Him and others put their faith in Him. (John 7:30-31)
It was during this last day of the Feast, that Jesus came to the Temple. “On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If any one is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” By this He meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to later receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.” (John 7:37-39)
On the last day of this feast of Tabernacles, it was the custom to draw large jars of water from the Pool of Siloam and to pour them out before the Lord, celebrating how Moses brought water from the rock in the wilderness to refresh God’s people. This was done in anticipation of the coming of the Messiah, who would take them to their ‘Promised Land” and provide food and eternal refreshing. In this context, the Jews who heard Jesus would have paid attention. Some thought that they had heard a great prophet, and others thought the He was the Christ. (John 7:40-41)
As we look at this prophetic word from Jesus, we now know that Jesus was speaking of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on those who would put their faith in Him as the Messiah. On the Day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit was poured out on the church and each believer received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:1-4) Out of their mouths flowed a new language of praise to God and power to be witnesses to all the world. This gift empowered the Church to live fruitfully and to be ready for the coming of Jesus Christ at any time.
We are all just passing through this life, the world is not our home! We have been given rivers of living water to bring refreshing to those who will hear! The King is coming soon! Let those waters flow here in this wilderness!