Tag: word of God

Christ shines in the darkness!

Scripture reading for October 24th: Ezekiel 1-3, John 1

John 1:1-5 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him was not any thing made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.”

The apostle John was in his eighties when he wrote this Gospel of Jesus Christ. John was a young man when he was called by Jesus to follow Him. He was now old and an overseer of churches in Asia. He wrote to counter false teachers in the church who were denying the deity of Jesus Christ. As an eye-witness of Christ’s glory, John wrote to clarify that Jesus was the Son of God and Creator of all things. Jesus was and is the source of all life and light and came from heaven to earth as the Son of Man to bring a revelation of God the Father and His love to a dark world of lost people. John uses the word “believe” ninety-eight times. Faith by ‘believing’ brings adoption into God’s forever family.

John 1:9-13 “The true Light, which gives Light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, but the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own people did not receive Him. But to all who did receive Him, who believed in His Name, He gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.”

Prayer: Father God, thank You for Old Testament descriptions of the likeness of Your throne and the human form on it. But thank You for the clear and final revelation of the Word made flesh in Jesus Christ, Son of God! He is the true Light of the world bringing light and eternal life to all who will repent of sins and self-centeredness and believe on Him.

Ezekiel 1:26-28 “And above the expanse over their heads there was the likeness of a throne, in appearance like sapphire; and seated above the likeness of a throne was a likeness of a human appearance. And upward from what had the appearance of His waist I saw as it were gleaming metal, like the appearance of fire enclosed all around. And downward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and there was brightness around Him. Like the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud on the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness all around. Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord.”

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Ransomed by Christ’s blood!

Scripture reading for October 12th: Jeremiah 30-33, 1st Peter 1

1st Peter 1: 17-21 “And if you call on Him as Father Who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you who through Him are believers in God, Who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.”

Peter, one of Jesus’ inner circle of apostles, wrote two letters to the Church reminding them of basic truths and calling the Church of Jesus Christ to faith and obedience and holiness in preparation for Christ’s return. Although good deeds are an important evidence of saving faith, Peter reminded the believers of their initial salvation. They had been born again when they responded in faith to the Word of God preached by the apostles and other believers. The Word brought new life and Truth. The ransom for their souls was paid by Jesus Christ when He died and shed His blood to redeem all under sentence of death because of sin. Our faith and hope are anchored in Jesus Christ, the living, abiding Word of God.

1st Peter 1:22-23 “Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding Word of God. . .”

Prayer: Father God, thank You for new birth in my life through the living Word of God. Thank You for paying the ransom to buy my freedom and for gathering me into Your family and keeping me as the Good Shepherd You are. Fill me afresh with the Holy Spirit and let Your amazing love flow through me towards brothers and sisters and those You desire to add to Your family. I will proclaim Your love to all!

Jeremiah 31:10-11 “”Hear the Word of the Lord, O nations, and declare it in the coastlands far away; say, ‘He Who scattered Israel will gather him, and will keep him as a shepherd keeps his flock.’ For the Lord has ransomed Jacob and has redeemed him from hands too strong for him.”

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You will lack nothing!

Scripture reading for April 11th: Judges 7-8, Luke 22

Luke 22: 35-38 “And He said to them, “When I sent you out with no moneybag or knapsack or sandals, did you lack anything?” They said, “Nothing.” He said to them, “But now let the one who has a moneybag take it, and likewise a knapsack. And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one. For I tell you that this Scripture must be fulfilled in me: ‘And He was numbered with the transgressors.’ For what is written about Me has its fulfilment.” And they said, “Look, Lord, here are two swords.” And He said to them, “It is enough.””

Jesus was always aware of Scripture that must be fulfilled. He knew the concerns of His disciples about their own welfare and how they might care for themselves. He challenged them to remember being sent out without any visible support to minister and how they had lacked nothing! God had cared for them! It would be no different now. However, Jesus allowed them to take a moneybag and knapsack this time. But why does Jesus tell them to sell their cloak to buy a sword? I believe Jesus was thinking of the Scripture being fulfilled concerning being ‘numbered with the transgressors.’ It was not that they would have to use the sword, but that they would look the part of ‘transgressors.’ Later, at the arrest in the Garden, Jesus rebuked Peter for using the sword and healed the man whose ear had been cut off!

Luke 22:48-51 “. .but Jesus said to him, “Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?” And when those who were around Him saw what would follow, they said, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?” And one of them struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his right ear. But Jesus said, ‘No more of this!” And He touched his ear and healed him.””

Prayer: Father God, I thank You that Your Presence with us is sufficient for every need we will face as we walk through the trials and tests of this journey. Thank You for Your amazing provision and empowerment by the Holy Spirit, the ‘torch in our jar!’ Empower me to ‘blow the trumpet’ of the Gospel to announce Your victory over death, hell, sin and the grave! The only ‘sword’ I need is Your Word!

Judges 7:16-18 “And he divided the 300 men into three companies and put trumpets into the hands of all of them and empty jars, with torches inside the jars. And he said to them, “Look at me, and do likewise. When I come to the outskirts of the camp, do as I do. When I blow the trumpet, I and all who are with me, then blow the trumpets also on every side of all the camp and shout, ‘For the Lord and for Gideon.'”

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Like a mother and father!

Scripture reading for June 15th: 1st Thessalonians 2

Key Scriptures: 1st Thessalonians 2:7-11 “But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children. So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the Gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us. For you remember, brothers, our labor and toil: we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, while we proclaimed to you the Gospel of God. You are witnesses, and God also, how holy and righteous and blameless was our conduct toward you as believers. For you know how, like a father with his children, we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, Who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.”

Paul loved the Thessalonian believers. He tried to convey his love and that of God for them in using the familiar example of a nursing mother with children. As the mother shares her own milk through her breasts to her growing children, so Paul (and God) shared himself and His Word with them. As a father (and God the Father) would teach and admonish his children, so Paul exhorted, encouraged and charged them to walk worthy of the family Name! God the Father calls each one into His own family, kingdom, and glory! He gives us His Holy Spirit to nurture and guide us into the holiness of His Character and Word that we will reflect His glory.

1st Thessalonians 2:13 “And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the Word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the Word of God, which is at work in you as believers.”

Faith confession and prayer: Father God and the Lord Jesus, thank You for Your amazing love. The examples of a nursing mother and godly father help me to understand Your love and calling. Open a door for me to preach Your love to those hungry for truth today.

1st Thessalonians 2:19-20 “For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at His coming? Is it not you? For you are our glory and joy.”

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Adversity and the Word of God

Scripture reading for June 16th:  Proverbs 24-25, Psalm 41, 1st Thessalonians 2

Key Scriptures:   1st Thessalonians 2:13-16  “And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the Word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the Word of God, which is at work in you believers.  For you, brothers, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea.  For you suffered the same things from your own countrymen as they did from the Jews, who killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets and drove us out, and displease God and oppose all mankind by hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles that they might be saved–so as always to fill up the measure of their sins.  But wrath has come upon them at last!”

Paul commended the Thessalonian believers for receiving the Word of God for what it really was.  God’s Word is alive and powerful, able to transform the soul from death to life eternal.  It changes attitudes and rebellious behaviors and enables perseverance during suffering.  In fact, suffering in believers lives comes from the unsaved world and sometimes our own relatives.  They are under God’s wrath and oppose the Word of God.  Jesus was betrayed by one of His own disciples and was crucified by His own people.

Psalm 41:9  “Even my close friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted his heel against me.”

Faith confession and prayer:  Lord Jesus, thank You for the Word of God.  I receive it and desire its work in me for transformation and salvation.  Anoint me to preach the Word of God in the face of adversity!

Proverbs 24:10  “If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small.”

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Resting in Jesus for Holiness!

Scripture reading for February 20th:  Leviticus 8-11, Psalm 110, Hebrews 4

Key Scriptures:  Hebrews 4:11-13  “Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience.  For the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.  And no creature is hidden from His sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.”

Nothing is hidden from our Lord, visible or invisible.  There is no place where we can hide or nothing that will cover up any sin or disobedience to God’s eternal Word.  The Word of God is alive and active.  It is able to search out the hidden places of our hearts and inner man.  Our only hope of holiness is to confess sin and repent, resting our hope on the Word of God that speaks mercy through Jesus and His shed blood.

Faith Confession and prayer:  I rest in the shed blood of Jesus Christ and God’s Word promising forgiveness and cleansing to all who come to Jesus.  Lord, help me to preach the whole Word of God to each person and congregation that they might rest in Jesus.

Leviticus 11:44  “For I am the Lord your God.  Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy.”  

Psalm 110:3  “Your people will offer themselves freely on the day of Your power, in holy garments; from the womb of the morning, the dew of Your youth will be Yours.”  

 

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The truthful witness saves lives!

Scripture reading for May 29th:  Acts 18, Psalm 107, Proverbs 14

Key Scriptures: Acts 18:5-8  “When Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia, Paul was occupied with the Word, testifying to the Jews that the Christ was Jesus.  And when they opposed and reviled him, he shook out his garments and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads!  I am innocent.  From now on I will go to the Gentiles.”  And he left there and went to the house of a man named Titius Justus, a worshiper of god.  His house was next door to the synagogue.  Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed in the Lord, together with his entire household.”  

The disciples of Jesus were not always well-received.  They were often opposed and reviled and even beaten and imprisoned for sharing the Gospel.  Here, Paul shared the Word of God concerning Jesus with the Jews, his brothers.  They rejected it and Paul made a faith declaration:  “Your blood be on your own heads.”  Choices have consequences but rejecting Jesus has eternal loss and punishment as a result.

Faith Confession:  My calling as a disciple of Jesus is to declare God’s Word concerning Jesus as the Christ.  If I faithfully declare, I am not responsible for the people’s choice to believe or reject.

Proverbs 14:25, 27 “A truthful witness saves lives, but one who breathes out lies is deceitful.” . . . “The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death.”  

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Spreading the Word!

Scripture reading for May 22nd:  Acts 13, Psalm 102, Proverbs 9

Key Scriptures:  Acts 13:48-52 “And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the Word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed.  And the Word of the Lord was spreading throughout the whole region.  But the Jews incited the devout women of high standing and the leading men of the city, stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and drove them out of their district.  But they shook off the dust from their feet against them and went to Iconium.  And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.”  

Paul and Barnabas had been sent off by the church on a missionary journey to preach to the Gentiles.  As they preached the Word of God, many Gentiles believed.  This caused the Jews to incite persecution.  Paul and Barnabas simply shook the dust off their feet as Jesus had instructed them and went on their way.  Those who believed were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit!  Unbelievers were filled with wrath!

Faith Confession:  The Word of God brings salvation to the humble and causes persecution from the religious.  Help me to respond appropriately to persecution and use me to spread Your Word throughout the place You put me.  Thank You for filling me with joy and the Holy Spirit!

Psalm 102:12  “But You, O Lord, are enthroned forever; You are remembered throughout all generations.”  

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The Word of God Works!

Scripture reading for September 13th:  Proverbs 22-25, 1st Thessalonians 2

Key Scriptures: 1st Thessalonians 2:13-14 “And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the Word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the Word of God, which is at work in you believers.  For you became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea.”

Paul commended the Thessalonians for their faith in receiving the Gospel he preached as God’s Word.  The Word of God was working inside these believers and producing the fruit of changed lives.  We should thank God for faithful pastors and disciples of Jesus who proclaim God’s Truth to His people.

Proverbs 22:17-18 “Incline your ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply your heart to My knowledge, for it will be pleasant if you keep them within you, if all them are ready on your lips.”

Prayer:  Lord, thank You for sending me those who wisely preached the Word of God.  Help me daily to hear Your Word and keep it in my heart, sharing it with others.  Amen.

 

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King of Kings Comes!

Scripture reading for December 26th:  Revelation 19

Key Scriptures for over-comers:  Revelation 19:11-14, 16 “I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True.  With justice He judges and makes war.  His eyes are like blazing fire, and on His head are many crowns.  He has a name written on Him that no one knows but He Himself.  He is dressed in a rob e dipped in blood, and His Name is the Word of God.  The armies of heaven were following Him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean.”  . . .”On His robe and on His thigh He has this name written:  KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.”  

Observations for over-comers:  Christians are the only ones on earth who know for sure who will come to judge the earth and redeem the faithful!  We do not know when, but Jesus’ coming is sure!  “Sing, O Daughter of Zion; shout aloud, O Israel!  Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, O Daughter of Jerusalem!  The Lord has taken away your punishment, He has turned back your enemy.  The Lord, the King of Israel, is with you; never again will you fear any harm.”  (Zephaniah 3:14-15)

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