Scripture reading for September 28th: 1st John 1, Psalm 44, Proverbs 8
1st John 1: 1-4 “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life–the Life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the Eternal Life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us–that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.”
According to Holy Scripture, joy and rejoicing mark the Holy Trinity. God delighted in creation and He and His Son were there from the beginning. God is the ‘Living God’ Who gives the ‘breath of life’ to mankind. He created man and set him in the Garden of Eden (delights)! The psalmist says that God planted Israel in their land and set them free because He delighted in them. The writer of Proverbs stated that “Wisdom” was beside God as a ‘master Workman’, daily delighting in God and rejoicing before Him. I believe that “Wisdom” is Jesus Christ, God’s Son, the Master Workman! He also delighted in the children of men! Now in 1st John, John states he writes this letter concerning the Word of Life that our joy may be complete!
Psalm 44:1-3 “O God, we have heard with our ears, our fathers have told us, what deeds You performed in their days, in the days of old: You with Your own hand drove out the nations, but them You planted; You afflicted the peoples, but them You set free; for not by their own sword did they win the land, nor did their own arm save them, but Your right hand and Your arm, and the light of Your face, for You delighted in them.”
Prayer: Praise the Father! Praise the Son! Praise the Holy Spirit! Three in One, all our Joy and Delight! Thank You for making Jesus Christ, Son of God, our Wisdom, our Joy, our Salvation, and our Eternal Life! Thank You for making us in Your image and delighting over us! Thank You for making our joy complete by forgiveness of our sins and adoption into Your forever family! May I proclaim this truth each day!
Proverbs 8:29-31 “. . .when He (Wisdom) marked out the foundations of the earth, then I was beside Him, like a master Workman, and I was daily His Delight, rejoicing before Him always, rejoicing in His inhabited world and delighting in the children of man.”
Scripture reading for August 16th: 1st Corinthians 12, Psalm 13, Proverbs 8
1st Corinthians 12:24-28 “But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues.”
Pride and envy can easily slip into the church around the spiritual gifts and gift people God appoints. Paul here carefully points out that God puts His body together with many varied parts and different giftings. This is not to cause division, but to bring greater unity and interdependence. Not everyone has every gift or is appointed by God to fill positions of leadership. God calls leaders to be servants and those with gifts to serve others to His glory. Each person should care for the others. We are mutually dependent on God and those whom He has gifted. God has dealt bountifully with His family in supplying abundant gifts and gift people to serve. His wisdom through the Holy Spirit brings justice and blessings.
Psalm 13:5-6 “But I have trusted in Your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, because He has dealt bountifully with me.”
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for Your church! I am amazed and blessed by the various members and the gifts You have placed in them and through them to serve Your people. Help me to walk in wisdom to use the gifts You have formed in me of teaching and evangelism and helps. I rejoice each day at new opportunities to serve You by serving others! You have dealt bountifully with me and Your family!
Proverbs 8:20-21 “I (wisdom) walk in the way of righteousness, in the paths of justice, granting an inheritance to those who love me, and filling their treasuries.”
Scripture reading for August 1st: 1st Corinthians 1, Psalm 2, Proverbs 28
1st Corinthians 1:18-25 “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.” Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 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 wrote this letter to the believers in Corinth, a city where he had spend considerable time preaching the Gospel. The result was many were saved as they believed in the message of the cross and Christ Jesus offering Himself there for the sins of the world. This message was foolishness to all who were perishing, both Jew and Gentile. But God, in His infinite wisdom, chose this simple message to save those who would believe. This put all men on level ground at the foot of Christ’s cross. Anyone who trusts in his own mind and reasoning will be a fool. Those who choose Christ will become wise and walk in wisdom. The choice is available to all for a limited time! Today is the best day to kiss the Son!
Psalm 2:10-12 “Now therefore, O kings, be warned, O rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish in the way, for His wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in Him,”‘
Prayer: Father God, thank You for Your amazing wisdom and mercy found in the message of the cross and the Son of God Who offered Himself there for all as a sacrifice for sin. I humbly bow before You and pay homage to Jesus Christ, Son of God. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit and wisdom to share this message with both wise and foolish that they may believe and be saved from the coming wrath.
Proverbs 28:26 “Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.”
Scripture reading for July 4th: Luke 5, Psalm 132, Proverbs 8
Luke 5: 27-32 “After this He went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax booth. And He said to him, “Follow Me.” And leaving everything, he rose and followed Him. And Levi made Him a great feast in his house, and there was a large company of tax collectors and others reclining at table with them. And the Pharisees and their scribes grumbled at His disciples, saying, “Why do You eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” And Jesus answered them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.””
No one can come to Christ unless they are called. God, Who is Wisdom, sent His Son, Jesus Christ, Who was made Wisdom from God to call lost sinners and broken ‘children of men’ to follow Him. Those humble enough to listen and respond find joy and rejoicing in God’s House and look forward to table fellowship with Jesus. He blesses the poor with salvation and takes care of their needs. He brings beauty for ashes and the oil of joy instead of mourning and death. But in Jesus’ time on earth, religious folks stood in judgment of His call to sinners. They refused to listen to the fact that all have sinned and need a physician! Are you listening today? What is your response to Jesus’ call?
Psalm 132:13-16 “For the Lord has chosen Zion; He has desired it for His dwelling place; “This is My resting place forever; here I will dwell, for I have desired it. I will abundantly bless her provisions; I will satisfy her poor with bread. Her priests I will clothe with salvation, and her saints will shout for joy.””
Prayer: Father God, thank You for Your call to me in my life as a young child to follow Jesus and to preach Your Good News. My heart is grieved because of many who judge instead of listen and respond. Help me to model Your love and patience and mercy towards the lost. Anoint my life with power and purity to clearly present Jesus Christ, Son of God and Savior. May heaven rejoice with each new saint born of God!
Proverbs 8:4-5 “”To you, O men, I call, and My cry is to the children of man. O simple ones, learn prudence; O fools, learn sense. Hear, for I will speak noble things and from My lips will come what is right.””
Scripture reading for April 7th: Matthew 2, Psalm 70, Proverbs 8
Matthew 2: 7-11 “Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found Him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship Him.” After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house they saw the child with Mary His mother, and they fell down and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered Him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.”
“Wise men (and women) still seek Him!” is a popular bumper sticker with believers in our culture. In the time of Jesus’ birth, God revealed to some men renowned for their wisdom the birth of a King, the Son of God. God sent a “star” to lead them across the desert and wilderness to the exact location of this Child Who was a King. They stopped to inquire of the local king, Herod, about this Child’s birth and location. Herod had asked the Jewish leaders about where the King would be born and they had revealed “Bethlehem” through the prophesies of Micah. Herod sent them to locate this Child with instructions to return and reveal the location. They went onward, led by the star, and found the child. Great joy and worship and the giving of expensive gifts resulted! They were warned not to return to Herod. They obeyed as only “wise” men could! Show your wisdom by seeking Him, worshiping Him and obeying!
Psalm 70:4 “May all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You! May those who love Your salvation say evermore, “God is great!””
Prayer: Father God, You Alone are the All-Wise God! In Your Son is hidden all the treasures of true Wisdom and Knowledge! I seek Your instruction as silver and Your Wisdom as fine gold and jewels! Nothing I desire can compare with Jesus Christ, the Wisdom and Knowledge of God My Father! I shout with the psalmist: “God is Great!” and thank You for leading me to Jesus, the Pearl of great price.
Proverbs 8:20-23 “Take My instruction instead of silver, and knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is better than jewels, and all that you may desire cannot compare with her.”
Scripture reading for April 3rd: James 3, Psalm 66, Proverbs 4
James 3: 13-18 “Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but it is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.”
The letter of James is often likened to the proverbs wisdom of the Old Testament. Like the Jewish rabbi’s, James asks a question about who is wise and understanding. James answers his own question, stating that the wise are meek and do good works in a righteous manner. This is contrasted with those who are jealous and selfish and because of this bring disorder and chaos. God’s wisdom is likened to a godly woman in Proverbs 31 and again in Proverbs 4 where lady wisdom will keep you and guard you if you love her! Like the godly woman, wisdom is pure, peaceable, gentle and full of mercy and good fruits. Godly wisdom brings in a harvest of righteousness and peace in contrast to the worldly wisdom’s disorder and demonic activity. Let’s fall in love with Jesus, the true Wisdom from God!
Psalm 66:1-4 “Shout for joy to God, all the earth; sing the glory of His Name; give to Him glorious praise! Say to God, “How awesome are Your deeds! So great is Your power that all Your enemies come cringing to You. All the earth worships You and sings praises to You; they sing praises to Your Name.”
Prayer: Father God, I shout for joy and sing glory to Your Name for the Wisdom of God in Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior! Through the Holy Spirit help me to walk in the purity and gentleness of Your Wisdom in all my actions and relationships. Keep me from jealousy and selfish ambition. Use me to make peace with my brothers and sisters and reap a harvest of righteousness and peace in my own life. Amen!
Proverbs 4:5-6 “Get wisdom; get insight; do not forget, and do not turn away from the Words of My mouth. Do not forsake her, and she will keep you; love her, and she will guard you.”
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.”
Scripture reading for March13th: Hebrews 7, Psalm 51, Proverbs 20
Hebrews 7:21-22; 26-28 “. . but this One was made a Priest with an oath by the One Who said to Him: “The Lord has sworn and will not change His mind, ‘You are a Priest forever.'”. . .“For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a High Priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since He did this once for all when He offered up Himself. For the law appoints men in their weakness as high priests, but the Word of oath, which came later than the law, appoints a Son Who has been made perfect forever.”
The Old Testament Aaronic priesthood was formed around a designated person, Aaron, and a tribe of Israel, the Levites. Those priests served under the rules of God’s Law, as laid out in Leviticus. They were men who served while they lived and offered sacrifices for themselves as well as the people. But God made an oath, swearing by Himself, that His Son, Jesus Christ, would be a priest forever. This priesthood would not be Levitical and flow from Aaron but would be like that of Melchizedek. Jesus becomes the perfected High Priest through His own sacrifice of His body and blood. He died to cleanse us from our sins and rose again to live forever seated at God’s right hand as our eternal and final Priest and King!
Psalm 51:6 “Behold, You delight in Truth in the inward being, and You teach me wisdom in the secret heart.”
Prayer: Father God, Your plans and purposes are amazing and complete. I am thankful for Jesus Christ, my High Priest and the only Sacrifice I will ever need for my sins. You have given me the Holy Spirit of God to bring Truth to my inward being and teach me wisdom and integrity. I am made righteous by Christ Jesus! Use me to proclaim these blessings that my children and friends might also be so blessed!
Proverbs 20:7 “The righteous who walks in his integrity–blessed are his children after him.”
Scripture reading for February 17th: Acts 19, Psalm 35, Proverbs 4
Acts 19:13-17 “Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists undertook to invoke the Name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “I adjure you by the Jesus Whom Paul proclaims.” Seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva were doing this. But the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?” And the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. And this became known to all the residents of Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks. And fear fell upon them all, and the Name of the Lord Jesus was extolled. Also many of those who were now believers came, confessing and divulging their practices.”
This amazing story took place over twenty years after Pentecost. Earlier, Paul had lead twelve disciples who were only familiar with John’s baptism of repentance into the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues and prophesy. Miracles were being done with just aprons from Paul’s clothing being placed on the sick and infirmed and healing taking place. Some sons of the Jewish high priest had evidently observed Paul and other believers invoking the Name of Jesus. They tried to use the same formula, but the demon addressed them with a question: “Who are you?” These exorcists knew about Jesus that Paul preached, but they did not know Jesus! The evil spirit did know Jesus and Paul, but did not see Jesus in them! The result was a bad beating and humiliation but growth for Christ’s Church!
Psalm 35:27-28 “Let those who delight in My righteousness shout for joy and be glad and say evermore, “Great is the Lord Who delights in the welfare of His servant!” Then my tongue shall tell of Your righteousness and of Your praise all the day long.”
Prayer: Thank You Father, for the amazing stories of the Gospel spreading and the gradual unfolding of Your plan among Jew and Gentiles. The joy and delight of people healed of sickness and infirmity and delivered from evil spirits brings joy to our hearts as Your children. May evil spirits not ask the question “Who are you?” of us as we confront them in faith and the wisdom and insight of Your Holy Spirit.
Proverbs 4:7-9 “The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight. Prize her highly, and she will exalt you; she will honor you if you embrace her. She will place on your head a graceful garland; she will bestow on you a beautiful crown.”