Scripture reading for February 21st: Leviticus 12-14, Psalm 111, Hebrews 5
Key Scriptures: Hebrews 5:7-9 “In the days of His flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to Him who was able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His reverence. Although He was a Son, He learned obedience through what He suffered. And being made perfect, He became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, . . .”
Although Jesus Christ was God’s Son, He came to earth as a man in human flesh. As a man, He experienced pain, temptation, and human fears. But Jesus never gave into sin. Instead He called out to His Father and steadfastly obeyed in the face of the fires of great suffering and death because He took upon Himself all our sins. Through this obedience, Jesus is now the only source of eternal salvation to all who believe on Him and obey His Word.
Faith Confession and Prayer: I trust fully in Jesus Christ, my High Priest, who identified with me and bore my sins in His body on the cross, offering Himself as the sin offering and making atonement for me. Lord, help me to walk in obedience and faith through my trials today, praying without ceasing for Your grace.
Leviticus 14:20 “And the priest shall offer the burnt offering and the grain offering on the altar. Thus the priest shall make atonement for him, and he shall be clean.”
Psalm 111:1-2 “Praise the Lord! I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart, in the company of the upright, in the congregation. Great are the works of the Lord, studied by all who delight in them.”
Scripture reading for October 18th: Hebrews 5, Psalm 59, Proverbs 24
Key Scriptures: Hebrews 5:7-9 “In the days of His flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to Him who was able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His reverence. Although He was a Son, He learned obedience through what He suffered. And being made perfect, He became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey Him.”
Jesus was the Son of God, but came to earth in a human body, subject to all its weakness and limitations. Jesus relied upon prayer and reverent submission to His Father in heaven and obeyed Him perfectly. He learned obedience through suffering because of it. Because of His willing and perfect obedience, He could become the source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him!
Faith Confession: I believe in Jesus Christ, Son of God and my Savior and freely choose to obey His Word. He is the source of my salvation from the consequences of sin and my power to live a life free from sin by obeying Jesus. I bow in reverence to Jesus Christ, my Savior!
Psalm 59:9-10 “O my Strength, I will watch for You, for You, O God, are my Fortress. My God in His steadfast love will meet me; God will let me look in triumph on my enemies.”
Scripture reading for October 15th: Hebrews 2, Psalm 56, Proverbs 21
Key Scriptures: Hebrews 2:9-10 “But we see Him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone. For it was fitting that He, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering.”
The writer of Hebrews shared how God the Father sent His Son from heaven to earth, to take a position lower than the angels. Jesus willingly suffered death, taking the penalty for our sins upon His own body and suffering that taste of death for each one who would believe on Him. God then crowned His own Son with glory and honor, declaring Him perfect through His obedient life, by raising Him from death. Jesus is the founder of all salvation!
Faith Confession: I believe in Jesus Christ, Son of God and Son of Man, who is the source of all creation and the founder of all salvation. I am a son destined for glory through His suffering on my behalf.
Proverbs 21:21 “Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness will find life, righteousness, and honor.”
Scripture reading for November 12th: Lamentations 3-5, Ezekiel 1, 1st Peter 4
Key Scriptures: 1st Peter 4:12-14 “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when His glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.”
Life will have its trials and tests. We will be called upon to suffer because we bear the Name of Jesus Christ as our Lord. When we suffer for doing good or as a believer, we can rejoice and be glad. God will bless us with His Spirit of glory resting upon us to give us grace to endure and the sure hope of eternal reward in God’s presence.
Lamentations 3:22-23 “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.”
Prayer: Lord, thank You for Your faithful mercies and mighty Hand! Help me to rejoice in suffering and trials, relying on Your steadfast love and new mercies each day. Amen.
Scripture reading for November 8th: Jeremiah 48-50, 1st Peter 2
Key Scriptures: 1st Peter 2:21-25 “For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in His steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in His mouth. When He was reviled, he did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but continued entrusting Himself to Him who judges justly. He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live for righteousness. By His wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.”
Suffering was a part of Christ’s life on earth. His suffering set an example of patience and faith for all His followers. Suffering will be a part of every believer’s life on earth as well. We must keep our eyes on the Great Shepherd Jesus Christ and allow His healing wounds to steadfast faith.
Jeremiah 50:4-5 “”In those days and in that time, declares the Lord, the people of Israel and the people of Judah shall come together, weeping as they come and they shall seek the Lord their God. They shall ask the way to Zion, with faces turned toward it, saying, ‘Come, let us join ourselves to the Lord in an everlasting covenant that will never be forgotten.'”
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for showing me and Your followers the Way to Zion! Thank You for the everlasting covenant through the blood You shed. By Your stripes I am healed. Amen.
Scripture reading for November 14th: 1st Peter 5
Key Scriptures for over-comers: 1st Peter 5:8-11 “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.”
Peter understood spiritual warfare and the true nature of the enemy. Satan, the devil, is always looking for openings to attack believers. Over-comers are always on the alert for spiritual attacks and know how to stand firm in their faith. They know that this war is going on everywhere that God’s people reside. Suffering is usually temporary and will soon pass. God restores us and strengthens us as we trust Him.
Observations for over-comers: Over-comers live in a state of alert, ready to stand in truth for their faith. “Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who finds great delight in His commands. . . He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. His heart is secure, he will have no fear; in the end he will look in triumph on his foes.” (Psalm 112:1,7-8)
Scripture reading for November 11th: 1st Peter 4
Key Scriptures for over-comers: 1st Peter 4:12-17 “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when His glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. However, if you suffer as a Christian, don not be ashamed but praise God that you bear that Name!”
Peter encouraged believers not to be shocked at the suffering that would come their way because of their faith. This is normal because Jesus Himself suffered. In fact, you are blessed if you suffer for Christ and godly living because the Holy Spirit rests on you. Believers should never be involved in sin and and then call the consequences of that persecution!
Observations for over-comers: Suffering will come to believers living dedicated lives for Christ! “Trouble and distress have come upon me, but Your commands are my delight. Your statutes are forever right; give me understanding that I may live.” (Psalm 119:143-144)
Scripture reading for October 19th: Hebrews 5
Key Scriptures for over-comers: Hebrews 5:7-10 “During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, He offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the One who could save Him from death, and He was heard because of His reverent submission. Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from what He suffered and, once made perfect, He became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him and was designated by God to be High Priest in the order of Melchizedek.”
Jesus’ life, death and resurrection stand as a beacon light for those who by faith chose to follow Him. Jesus was a man of prayer–not just superficial prayer, but intense focused prayer. He prayed to know and submit to the Father’s will and purposes, even suffering. He was God’s Son, but was asked by His Father to suffer death on behalf of sinful mankind. His reverent submission to His Father’s will is instructive for all who follow Him. He is the source of eternal salvation to all who reverently submit to Him and obey His word!
Observations for over-comers: Through Christ, we who believe have become sons of God, adopted into His family. We also learn obedience and reverent submission to His will, even if it means suffering! “It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn Your decrees.” (Psalm 119:71)
Scripture reading for December 17th: 1st Peter 1-5
Before ascending to heaven, John recorded Jesus restoring Peter after serving him a breakfast on the shores of Galilee. He asked Peter three times if he loved Him. Peter responded “yes, Lord” to make up for the three denials! Jesus then told him how he would suffer and die for God’s glory. (John 21:15-19)
Peter mentioned suffering numerous times in his letters. Although Peter told his readers that they were a chosen people and royal priesthood, he warned them that they will be treated unjustly because Christ was also treated unjustly. (1st Peter 2:9) “For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God. But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. In this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving an example that you should follow in His steps.” (1st Peter 2:19-21)
Christ’s attitude in His own unjust suffering should be ours. ” He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in His mouth.” “When they hurled their insults at Him, He did not retaliate; when He suffered, he made no threats. Instead, He entrusted Himself to Him who judges justly.” (1st Peter 2:22-23) He was perfectly obedient to the Father.
Suffering for Christ is a part of life as a true Christian in this world. (1st Peter 4:1-2) Suffering has a purifying effect when we have the right attitude. When we focus on Christ, His purposes become clearer. We cease from sin and live more fully for our Lord. We should be ready to share the reason for our hope with others who note our joy and calm demeanor in the face of suffering. (1st Peter 3:15)
” Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as if something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when His glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of Glory and God rests on you.” Rejoice today in your trials and expect blessing and glory!
Scripture reading for November 17th: Acts 27-28
Do you really believe that God can cause all things to work together for good for those who love Him? (Romans 8:28) Today, we read about events in Paul’s journey to Rome for trial before Caesar. These events were dangerous, exciting, and could have been fatal. But God worked them for good and His purposes stood through all the trouble!
The trip from Caesarea to Rome was nearly 2000 miles by ship. It was decided that Paul would travel by a Roman navy ship in the fall season when travel in that direction was more difficult. As they made their way north, the centurion in charge of the prisoners, Julius, gave special favor to Paul by allowing his friends to minister to his needs. (Acts 27:1-3) As travel became more difficult, Paul warned the centurion and crew of impending danger and possible loss of life. They ignored Paul’s advice and sailed on. A great storm hit the ship and tossed it around for days. The crew threw the cargo overboard and after more days of battering, all gave up hope of being saved. (Acts 27:20)
Paul, again directed with a word from the Lord, encouraged the crew and passengers. He told them that an angel of God had given him a word, “Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.” The ship would be destroyed but God would spare the passengers and crew! All 276 men on board made it safely to shore when they followed Paul’s advice! (Acts 27:42-44)
As Paul was warming himself over a fire after swimming ashore, a viper jumped from the fire and fastened itself on Paul’s hand. (Acts 28:1-6) Paul quickly shook the snake off into the fire and no swelling or death occurred. This opened the islanders to Paul’s Gospel message and he began to minister to those present with miracles of healing!
When you are committed to God, life takes on a new quality of supernatural direction and hope. God truly does work all things for His will! We can go through shipwrecks, storms, and even snake-attacks and trust that all works out for our good and His glory! Are you ready for today’s episode in your life?