Scripture reading for September 16th: 2nd Corinthians 1
Key Scriptures: 2nd Corinthians 1:8-11 “For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God Who raises the dead. He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and He will deliver us. On Him we have set our hope that He will deliver us again. You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.”
Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians came after the church and Paul had experienced some difficult trials and persecution. Disciples of Jesus and ministers of His Gospel will suffer persecution. Jesus did not tell His disciples life would be easy. He told them that the student would not be above the teacher, as He would suffer and even be crucified, so they would also suffer. Paul and his ministry team suffered in Asia such that they felt they were going to die. But the suffering worked in their favor. They learned to rely on God Who even raises the dead. They also relied on the prayers of the saints to help them and God answered prayer and delivered them. They placed their hope in God and were not disappointed!
Matthew 24:9 “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for My Name’s sake.”
Faith declaration and prayer: Father God, I have set my hope on You alone! Thank You for sustaining me through life’s trials and tests and allowing me to share Your great comfort with others. Help me to continue to trust in Your faithfulness and to pray for my brothers and sisters who are also going through fiery trials. I know we will not be disappointed!
2nd Corinthians 1:3-4 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, Who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”
Scripture reading for May 1st: 1st Samuel 20, 1st Chronicles 4, Psalm 56, 57, 142, Acts 14
Key Scriptures: Acts 14:19-22 “But Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having persuaded the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead. But when the disciples gathered about him, he rose up and entered the city, and on the next day he went on with Barnabas to Derbe. When they had preached the Gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God”
Paul was stoned for preaching the Gospel at Lystra and left for dead. The other disciples gathered around him and prayed and he arose and entered the city. The crowd that stoned him had been stirred up by Jews from Antioch, their home mission base. This did not stop them from their mission! They continued to preach in Lystra and made many disciples there and even went back to Iconium and Antioch, strengthening the church members. They understood that persecution and tribulation was a part of kingdom opposition.
Psalm 57:2-3 “I cry out to God Most High, to God Who fulfills His purpose for me. He will send from heaven and save me; He will put to shame him who tramples on me.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for the privilege of preaching the Gospel and for persecution for the kingdom’s sake. Help me to boldly trust You each day for strength and help.
1st Samuel 20:3 “. . . But truly, as the Lord lives and as your soul lives, there is but a step between me and death.”
Scripture reading for February 26th: Mark 13, Psalm 41, Proverbs 10
Key Scriptures: Mark 13:24-27 “”But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from heaven and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And then He will send out the angels and gather His elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.””
Jesus gave a final prophetic warning to His disciples and us concerning the events surrounding His return in power and glory. He described a great tribulation with trouble and wars upon the earth. The world system would be shaken to the core, affecting even the visible creation. After that tribulation, the Son of Man, Jesus Christ, would appear in power and glory to gather His people. How blessed would be those who were ready for His return!
Faith Confession: Lord, I believe in Your sudden and glorious return for Your people. I humbly seek to be ready and help others to prepare for this amazing event, not wanting to lead anyone astray!
Proverbs 10:16-17 “The wage of the righteous leads to life, the gain of the wicked is sin. Whoever heeds instruction is on the path to life, but he who rejects reproof leads others astray.”