Tag: steadfast love
Restore with gentleness!
Scripture reading for March 29th: Galatians 6, Psalm 63, Proverbs 1
Galatians 6: 1-5 “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. For each will have to bear his own load.”
Paul had just warned the Galatian church about the works of the flesh and that those who are involved in those works will not inherit the kingdom of God. He also had warned these believers about going back under the law and trying to work for their salvation. Those caught in these sins must be dealt with in love and gentleness. Walking in the Spirit means we do everything in love. We bear one another’s burdens of weakness and even sin to God in prayer for our brothers and sisters. We should first examine ourselves to be sure we are not operating in sin ourselves or in pride or a haughty spirit instead of the Holy Spirit. We will all have to answer before God for our attitudes and actions!
Psalm 63:3-4 “Because Your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise You. So I will bless You as long as I live; in Your Name I will lift up my hands.”
Prayer: Father God, thank You for Your knowledge and instruction for Your children. Thank You for sharing this knowledge through the Word of God. Help me with this instruction on restoring brothers and sisters caught in sin and transgression or following the lies of our enemy Satan. Keep me from pride and deception in my own heart. I desire to be innocent of great transgression when You judge.
Proverbs 1:7 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
A new and better covenant!
Scripture reading for March 14th: Hebrews 8, Psalm 52, Proverbs 21
Hebrews 8:10-13 “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days declares the Lord. I will put My laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest. For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.” In speaking of a new covenant, He makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.”
God deals justly and righteously with His people through covenant relationship. Covenants spell out clearly the responsibilities of each party. There are blessings for those who joyfully fulfill their responsibilities and curses for those who willfully disregard their obligations. Under the Old Covenant of Law, God’s mercy and instruction offered through His laws brought resistance and rebellion in the human heart. The law was written on tablets of stone, reflecting the unredeemed human heart. But in the New Covenant, made through the Son of God and His sacrifice of blood and body, God made new promises to write His law on the tables of our hearts and give us understanding in our minds by grace through faith. He would forgive our sins and be our God, taking us as His own people! God is faithful to His Covenant!
Psalm 52:8-9 “For I am like a green olive tree in the house of God. I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever. I will thank You forever, for You have done it. I will wait for Your Name, for it is good, in the presence of the godly.”
Prayer: Father God, thank You for this New Covenant of grace through faith in Jesus Christ. I have come to trust in Your steadfast love and grace through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I now have Your laws of love written on my heart and mind and delight to do Your will. I will praise Your Name forever and ever, and live as a green olive tree, full of sap and life through Your Holy Spirit!
Proverbs 21:21 “Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness will find life, righteousness and honor.”
Steadfast love brings reward!
Scripture reading for March 10th: Hebrews 6, Psalm 50, Proverbs 19
Hebrews 6: 9-12 “Though we speak in this way, yet in your case, beloved, we feel sure of better things–things that belong to salvation. For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for His Name in serving the saints, as you still do. And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.”
The writer of Hebrews had issued a warning against those who fall away in the early verses of this passage. But he was encouraging in this passage that commended the believers for their continuing work on behalf of the saints and their steadfast love. He encouraged them to follow the path of the patriarchs of the faith like Abraham, who through faith and patience inherited the promises of God for fruitfulness and blessing. Like Abraham, they may have to go through times of testing when the promises looked out of reach. But through steadfast love in covenant with God, God always comes through and brings glory to Himself by blessing HIs people and fulfilling HIs Word.
Psalm 50:14-15 “Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and perform your vows to the Most High, and call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you and you shall glorify Me.”
Prayer: Father God, thank You for all Your faithfulness to those who have gone before me. Your divine and precious promises have proven true again and again in my life. Help me to continue in the works You have prepared for me with steadfastness and faithfulness to the covenant of love You have made with me through Jesus Christ. I want to inherit all Your promises and lead my family and others to their reward!
Proverbs 19:22-23 “What is desired in a man is steadfast love, and a poor man is better than a liar. The fear of the Lord leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied, he will not be visited by harm.”
Paul’s faithful preaching!
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.”
“He has risen; He is not here!”
Scripture reading for January 23rd: Mark 16, Psalm 16, Proverbs 16
Mark 16: 1-6 “When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint Him. And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. And they were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?” And looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled back–it was very large. And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed. And he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, Who was crucified. He has risen; He is not here. See the place where they laid Him. But go and tell His disciples and Peter that He is going before you to Galilee. There you will see Him, just as He told you.””
Mark describes how the women who followed Jesus came on the first of the week to the tomb where they had witnessed Jesus’ body being laid three days before. They came to anoint His body with spices so that the smell of decaying flesh would be covered. As they came, they wondered how they might access the tomb. The rolling stone door was very heavy. But their fears were soon dispelled by the open door! Inside, they found a young man in white. He calmed their fears by telling them the good news, Jesus Christ was not there anymore! He was alive and risen from the grave! He invited them to view the tomb and HIs resting place. It was empty, except for carefully folded grave-clothes! They were instructed to tell His disciples He would see them in Galilee!
Psalm 16:9-11 “Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure. For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption. You make known to me the path of life; in Your presence there is fullness of joy; at Your right had are pleasures forevermore.”
Prayer: Father God, thank You for Your amazing and steadfast love demonstrated for us through the giving of Your Son to bear our sins on the cross. Thank You that You did not allow Your Son’s body to decay or keep Him in Sheol, but raised Him to life eternal at Your right hand! I offer myself today to go and tell others that they may become disciples! I long for Your eternal presence and pleasures!
Proverbs 16:6 “By steadfast love and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for, and by the fear of the Lord one turns away from evil.”
“Hail! King of the Jews!”
Scripture reading for January 20th: Mark 15, Psalm 15, Proverbs 15
Mark 15:16-20 “And the soldiers led Him away inside the palace (that is, the governor’s headquarters), and they called together the whole battalion. And they clothed Him in a purple cloak, and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on Him. And they began to salute Him, “Hail, King of the Jews!” And they were striking His head with a reed and spitting on Him and kneeling down in homage to Him. And when they had mocked Him, they stripped Him of the purple cloak and put His own clothes on Him. And they led Him out to crucify Him.”
Mark’s account of the trial and crucifixion of Jesus, probably from Peter and possibly his own memory, was full of mockery and derision. The soldiers, course men of the world of Rome, loved to laugh at someone else’s expense. Where they got the purple robe we do not know. But they found thorns growing near-by and quickly fashioned a crown. Placing it on Jesus, they mocked this ‘King of the Jews’, spit on him and repeatedly struck Him, beating Him severely, before crucifying Him. Scoffing and mocking are sins of pride. People seek to elevate themselves and put in total humiliation those they mock. Jesus wisely held His tongue, and in fact, prayed for these men, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34)
Psalm 15:1-2 “O Lord, who shall sojourn in Your tent? Who shall dwell on Your holy hill? He who walks blamelessly and does what is right and speaks truth in his heart;. . .”
Prayer: Glorious Lord, thank You for Your steadfast love and faithfulness to take our sins in Your body on the cross that our sins might be atoned for. Thank You for the Gift, Your Holy Spirit, that enables us to now fear the Lord and live blamelessly through grace during our sojourn in this world. Your righteousness given to us enables us to live in Your Holy Presence forever! Amen! Hallelujah!
Proverbs 16:5-6 “Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the Lord; be assured, he will not go unpunished. By steadfast love and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for, and by the fear of the Lord one turns away from evil.”
Moses wrote of Jesus
Scripture reading for October 28th: Ezekiel 13-15, Psalm 136, John 5
John 5: 43-47 “I have come in My Father’s Name, and you do not receive Me. If another comes in his own name, you receive him. How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God? Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you: Moses, on whom you have set your hope. For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote of Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?”
The Jewish religious leaders were always zealous for the law of Moses and for their rules concerning keeping it. They had come against Jesus’ healing of the man lame from birth because He violated their view of keeping the Sabbath and claiming to be one with His Father. Jesus challenged them and their religious rules. He stated that Moses would be their accuser on judgment day. Moses wrote about Jesus. If they really believed the writings of Moses, the Pentateuch, they would believe in Jesus. If they failed to believe Moses’ writings, they would not be able to trust Jesus’ words either. They were guilty of self-glorification and confirming one another but had not sought the glory that comes from God.
Psalm 136:13-15 “. . to Him Who divided the Red Sea in two, for His steadfast love endures forever; and made Israel pass through the midst of it, for His steadfast love endures forever; but overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red Sea, for His steadfast love endures forever; . . .”
Prayer: Father, You are indeed a loving God Whose love and truth endures forever! Thank You for Your Word and Your Son, Jesus Christ Who is the subject and object of Your Word. I believe all of Your Word and through Jesus know You as my loving Father and through Jesus’ blood I have true peace with You and know that You are the Lord of heaven and earth! Empower me today in sharing Your steadfast love.
Ezekiel 13:9-10 “My hand will be against the prophets who see false visions and who give lying divinations. They shall not be in the council of My people, nor be enrolled in the register of the house of Israel, nor shall they enter the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the Lord. Precisely because they have misled My people, saying, ‘Peace,’ when there is no peace, and because, when people build a wall, these prophets smear it with whitewash.”
God’s amazing mercy!
Scripture reading for May 20th: 2nd Samuel 11-12, 1st Chronicles 20, Psalm 51, 32, Acts 27
Acts 27:21-26 “Since they had been without food for a long time, Paul stood up among them and said, “Men, you should have listened to me and not have set sail from Crete and incurred this injury and loss. Yet now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. For this very night there stood before me an angel of the God to Whom I belong and Whom I worship, and he said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar. And behold, God has granted you all those who sail with you.’ So take heart, men, for I have faith in God that it will be exactly as I have been told. But we must run aground on some island.””
Paul, the prisoner, had sought to direct the crew and captain from sailing into what Paul knew was dangerous weather. They did not listen and for two weeks they had been buffeted by a storm and all hope of escaping was gone. Paul called them all together and shared what an angel of God had revealed to him. God was merciful and granted all who were on the ship their lives but the ship would be lost. God’s Word was true and it happened just as Paul foretold. But God’s mercy is not just to save our physical lives. As the Psalm and reading from Samuel tells us today, God is merciful to all who will call upon Him in repentance and faith. God forgives even murder and adultery for King David!
Psalm 51:1-2 “Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your steadfast love; according to Your steadfast love; according to Your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!”
Prayer: Father, I am so thankful for Your abundant mercy and Your steadfast love of me, a sinner! Thank You for granting me life eternal through Your mercy in Your Son Jesus Christ. Thank You for blotting out my sins and iniquity and delivering me from death. Thank You for washing me from my sins and giving me Your righteousness. I will worship You for Your steadfast love and abundant mercy!
1st Samuel 12:13-14 “David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die. Nevertheless, because by this deed you have utterly scorned the Lord, the child who is born to you shall die.””
A Helper in our weakness!
Scripture reading for June 2nd: 1st Kings 3, 2nd Chronicles 1, Psalm 42, Romans 8
Key Scriptures: Romans 8:26-29 “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And He Who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, in order that He might be the firstborn among many brothers.”
Paul wrote to the Romans concerning God’s help for each believer through the indwelling Holy Spirit. The Spirit bears witness that we are God’s children and God is our Father. The Holy Spirit helps us to pray when we are weak and don’t know how to pray. The Spirit knows all things we are going through and He knows the mind and will of God. When the Spirit intercedes, all things will work out for good to those who love God and are called of God. Faith arises inside us for calling, justification and ultimate glorification in the image of Jesus Christ!
Psalm 42:8 “By day the Lord commands His steadfast love, and at night His song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life.”
Faith confession and prayer: Thank You Lord for the gift of the Holy Spirit. I pray in the Holy Spirit to build my faith and believe all things are working out for my ultimate and eternal good and Your glory! Give me daily wisdom and conform me to Christ’s image!
1st Kings 3:9 “”Give Your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern Your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this Your great people?””
Called by God to do His Work!
Scripture reading for April 30th: 1st Samuel 18-19, 1st Chronicles 3, Psalm 59, Acts 13
Key Scriptures: Acts 13:1-3 “Now there were in the church at Antioch prophets and teachers, Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a lifelong friend of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.”
The early church sought the will of God by fasting, prayer and worship. In the gathering of believers, some had the gift of prophesy and spoke prophetically to the believers concerning Saul and Barnabas. God had already revealed to them a calling to preach to the Gentiles and now their calling was confirmed during a prayer meeting. The church responded by obediently commissioning them through the laying on of hands.
Psalm 59:17 “O my Strength, I will sing praises to You, for You, O God, are my fortress, the God who shows me steadfast love.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord, You alone have prepared the good works that You want me to do. Help me daily to see each day’s portion of Your plan as I worship and pray to You alone. Thank You that You are with me always!
1st Samuel 18:14 “And David had success in all his undertakings, for the Lord was with him. And when Saul saw that he had great success, he stood in fearful awe of him.”