Scripture reading for October 31st: John 12, Psalm 67, Proverbs 31
John 12: 44-50 “And Jesus cried out and said, “Whoever believes in Me, believes not in Me but in Him Who sent Me. And whoever sees Me sees Him Who sent Me. I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in Me may not remain in darkness. If anyone hears My Words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. The one who rejects me and does not receive My Words has a judge; the Word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day. For I have not spoken on My own authority, but the Father Who sent Me has Himself given Me a commandment–what to say and what to speak. And I know that His commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told Me.””
Jesus Christ came to reveal the Father to His lost children, Jew and Gentile. All mankind lived in darkness and because of sin they could not see the glory of God their Father in heaven. Jesus came down specifically to bring light to that darkness. He was the ‘Light of the World’ and here declares that anyone who believes in Him, also believes in the Father Who sent Him. He proclaimed only the Words of His Father in Heaven, that man might know their Father’s love and desire for their salvation and restoration. Jesus was not on earth as a judge, but as Light. His Words were eternal life to those who would believe, but would also judge those who refused to come to the Light and see. Real ‘equity’ is offered by our Father to all nations, tongues, and tribes through His Son and His Bride, the Church who shares this Good News! All people are under the same offer of mercy and will be judged for failure to respond.
Psalm 67:4-5 “Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for You judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations upon earth. (Selah) Let the peoples praise You, O God; let all the peoples praise You!”
Prayer: Father God, thank You that You want all nations to know You through Your Son Jesus Christ. I gladly repent and receive this Good News. You are wise, kind, merciful, and loving as revealed by Jesus Christ. Through Your Spirit, cloth me with strength and dignity and use me to share Your Wisdom and kindness to all nations that they might worship You. Let all receive and none be judged by Your Word.
Proverbs 31:25-26 “Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.”
Scripture reading for October 16th: John 1, Psalm 56, Proverbs 20
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.”
John, the beloved Apostle of Jesus Christ, begins his Gospel account focusing on Jesus Christ as the “Word.” The Genesis account of creation is the record of God’s creation through speaking His Word. Out of nothing, at His Word, the various elements of creation were formed. “All things were made through Him” is John’s proclamation! This includes life itself, the living creatures great and small as well as man made in God’s image and likeness. But death came on the scene through man’s disobedience and men were plunged into darkness. But God sent His Son to reveal God’s light and life in each human life: “His life was the Light of men.” Jesus Christ, born of a woman, but the Son of God, reveals grace and truth through the light of His perfectly obedient life. He gave His life to reveal the Father to all in darkness!
Psalm 56:12-13 “I must perform my vows to You, O God; I will render thank offerings to You. For You have delivered my soul from death, yes, my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of life.”
Prayer: Father God, thank You for Jesus Christ, the Word of Life. In the light of His life, my inner darkness has been revealed and chased away by His glorious Light. You have delivered me from darkness, kept my feet from falling, and enabled me to walk before You in the Light of Life! Use me this day to testify to those still in darkness of Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh, the Light of Life to all mankind!
Proverbs 20:24, 27 “A man’s steps are from the Lord; how then can man understand his way?” . . .”The spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all his innermost parts.”
Scripture reading for January 5th: Mark 4, Psalm 4, Proverbs 4
Mark 4:13-17 “And He said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all parables? The sower sows the Word. And these are the ones along the path, where the Word is sown; when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the Word that is sown in them. And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: the ones who, when they hear the Word, immediately receive it with joy. And they have no root in themselves, but endure for a while; then, tribulation or persecution arises on account of the Word, immediately they fall away. . .”
Jesus asked His disciples if they understood His parable of the sower and the soils, telling them if they couldn’t understand this parable, all other parables would also be beyond their comprehension. He explained to them the meaning of this key parable, repeated in three Gospels. The sower is Jesus or any of God’s appointed messengers. The Word of God is the Seed. Those who receive have soil in their hearts. For those whose heart is hard like the path, the Seed finds no place to lodge and Satan carries it away. Some with rocky soil, receive the Word with joy initially. The Seed finds crevices to lodge, but when persecution or trouble arises because of the Word, these fall away. Some soil is weedy, and the weeds, cares of this life, choke the Word and it is unfruitful. But the good soil produces an abundance.
Psalm 4:7-8 “You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound. In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.”
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for sending those who sowed Your Word into my life. My mother, my Sunday School teachers, my pastors, and Your messengers all sowed. Thank You for softening the ground of my heart and faithfully weeding to cultivate Your precious Seed. May the harvest abound with more “grain and new wine” of souls saved and filled with Your Holy Spirit and the resulting joy!
Proverbs 4:18-19 “But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day. But the path of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know over what they stumble.”
Scripture reading for November 15th: Daniel 1-3, Psalm 88, John 17
John 17: 11-16 “And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your Name, which you have given Me, that they may be one, even as We are One. While I was with them, I kept them in Your Name, which You have given Me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. But now I am coming to You, and these things I speak in the world that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them Your Word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that You take them out of the world, but that You keep them safe from the evil one.”
Jesus closed His final message to His disciples with a prayer that had petitions for Himself, His disciples, and all who would believe in Him throughout the ages through their message. Jesus emphasized that He was returning to heaven. His disciples would still be in the world for a time but they were not of this world, just as He was not of this world. These disciples belonged in heaven. Jesus appealed to His Father for keeping power for these precious followers from the tricks and traps of the evil one. He had given the disciples His Father’s Word and His Name to use as major weapons against the powers of this world. The Holy Father would exalt His Name and His Word to sanctify them, protecting them from the fiery trials of this world and bring them to their heavenly home!
Daniel 3:24-25 “Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished and rose up in haste. He declared to his counselors, “Did we not cast three men bound into the fire?” They answered and said to the king, “True, O king.” He answered and said, “But I see four men unbound, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods.””
Prayer: Holy Father, thank You for this prayer for us from Your Amazing Son! Thank You for Your powerful Word which sanctifies us and makes us clean and empowers us with the sword of the Spirit. Thank You for the Name of Jesus and heaven’s authority to ask You for help in the fiery trials of life in this world. As the men in the fiery furnace, walk with us and keep us from harm and evil! Amen!
Psalm 88:1-3 “O Lord, God of my salvation; I cry out day and night before you. Let my prayer come before you; incline your ear to my cry! For my soul is full of troubles, and my life draws near to Sheol.”
Scripture reading for October 22nd: John 1
Key Scriptures: 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 anything 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.”
John, the beloved, was one of the youngest of the apostles. He was the only one not to die a martyr’s death. He was one of Jesus’ inner circle and one of the ‘sons of thunder’ who wanted to call down fire from heaven. In one of the depictions of the apostles at the Last Supper, John is pictured with his head on Jesus’ chest and the one to whom Jesus assigned care for His own mother from the cross. As a result of John’s love for Jesus and his faithfulness, he was given the assignment of writing this Gospel account. John exalts Jesus as existing from eternity with God. He equates Jesus with the “Word” of God and states that through His Word, all things were made. Jesus alone is the source of eternal life–the very life of God Himself, and the light of mankind in the truth taught and displayed. His life, truth, death, and resurrection shine brightly in the darkness of human sin and ignorance to reveal the Father and His plan of salvation!
John 1:11-13 “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.”
Faith confession and prayer: Father God, thank You for Jesus Christ, the Word of God, Creator, Life-giver, the Light of the World and my Lord and Savior! By faith I have received You and have been born again from above by You. I thank You that I am Your child and desire to reflect Your love and life and light to this world, bearing fruit for Your kingdom and glory!
John 1:14 “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth.” vs 18 “No one has ever seen God; the only God, Who is at the Father’s side, He has made Him known.”
Scripture reading for January 7th: 1st Timothy 4
Key Scriptures: 1st Timothy 4:7-12 “Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness: for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for this present life and also for the life to come. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance. For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially those who believe. Command and teach these things. Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. Until I come devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching.”
Leadership in Christ’s Church requires discipline, focused living and preaching. First, there are the things to avoid: false teachers and false doctrine summed up by Paul as “silly myths”. Our heart is Christ’s home and there is constant vigilance needed to maintain purity of thinking, Then Paul lists things to cultivate: training and discipline in applying God’s Word to our own lives and families. This is made visible by how we live and act and speak in faith and love and purity. It has been said, we are the only “Bible” many people will read. A primary focus of public ministry is the public reading and declaration of Scripture. We use it to teach and exhort others to godly living and fruitfulness in Christ’s kingdom, hopefully while living it out in the Holy Spirit’s grace.
Psalm 119:105 “Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, help me today by the Holy Spirit to first apply Your Word to my life and guide my feet in Your ways. I choose to serve the Lord and obey His Word. I will publicly declare the Word of God by reading Scripture, teaching it and living as a godly example.
Joshua 24:15 “And if it is evil in your sight to serve the Lord, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
Scripture reading for November 11th: Ezekiel 43-45; Psalm 135; John 15
Key Scriptures: John 15:18-21 “If the world hates you, know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the Word that I said to you: “A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My Word, they will also keep yours. But all these things they will do to you on account of My Name, because they do not know Him who sent Me.”
The world as it is used here refers to the mass of unredeemed humanity under the darkness of sin and the world system of Babylon. Those who are still a captive of sin and Satan have a hatred for Jesus and those who follow Him. The world loves its own but despises disciples of Jesus and the Lord Himself. Disciples have been chosen by Jesus to come out of the world and join the kingdom of heaven. They are grafted into Jesus Christ, the true Vine of Life. Disciples remember the Word of Jesus concerning the world’s hatred and live by faith, loving each other and those still caught in the trap of the devil. They want to see all men saved and know Jesus Christ.
Psalm 135:14 “For the Lord will vindicate His people and have compassion on His servants.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for Your precious Word and Your patient endurance of suffering and persecution by those still under this world system. Your goodness has lead me and others to repentance and my eternal inheritance, Jesus Christ forever and ever.
Ezekiel 44:28 “This shall be their inheritance: I am their inheritance: and you shall give them no possession in Israel; I am their possession.”
Scripture reading for July 1st: Romans 13, Psalm 130, Proverbs 6
Key Scriptures: Romans 13:11-14 “Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. The night is far gone, the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.”
Paul encouraged the Roman believers to be aware of the time spiritually. As we watch the clocks for each day, we must be aware of God’s timing to bring His plans to pass for our world and the people of the earth. Full salvation is God’s plan and each day it gets closer. We must cast off any works of darkness and live in the light of Christ Jesus, making no provision for the flesh and its desires.
Faith Confession: Lord, I believe that You are in control of the times and that You call me to live in the light and armor of Your holy Word. Help me to live this truth each day through Your amazing grace and the power of the Holy Spirit, watching for Your return.
Psalm 130:5-6 “I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His Word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning.”
Scripture reading for April 25th: 2nd Samuel 24, 1st Kings 1-3, John 15
Key Scriptures: John 15:5-7 “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in Me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from Me, you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”
1st Kings 2:2-3 “I am about to go the way of all the earth. Be strong, and show yourself a man, and keep the charge of the Lord your God, walking in His ways and keeping His statutes, His commandments, His rules, and His testimonies, as is written in the Law of Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn.”
Prayer: Lord, thank You for the nourishing sap of Your Holy Word. I choose to stay closely attached, abiding in You and Your Word that You might bring forth fruit from my life. Amen.
Scripture reading for June 28th: Psalms 119
“Your statutes are wonderful; therefore I obey them. The unfolding of your words gives light; it give understanding to the simple.” (Psalm 119:129-130)
Psalm 119 is all about the word of God! The psalmist used every letter of the Hebrew alphabet to build successive eight verse stanzas for this magnificent tribute to God’s word. Every verse, except four, contains a reference in some form to the word of God.
God’s word has many practical uses for those who love it and obey. One of the things mentioned in this psalm is the fact that God’s word is a light to our path and a lamp to our feet. (Psalm 119:105) The word of God can show us daily the steps we need to take. It can keep us from stumbling on the path of life because it exposes the dangers and pitfalls. It also tells us how to live successfully in the blessing of God by living a life of integrity and righteousness. God directs our path, laying out a purpose and plan for us. It is wonderful not to have to stumble along through life, not knowing where we are going or what life is all about! It is all about God and His word when we love it and believe it!
The psalmist also mentions afflictions several times. “It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees. The law from your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold.” (Psalm 119:71-72) Trials and troubles can either help us or cause us to turn away from the Lord. When we turn to God’s word during our afflictions, we learn how precious God is to us. He becomes more valuable than silver or gold and He is always with us and desires our highest good!
“Let me live that I may praise You, and may your laws sustain me. I have strayed like a lost sheep. Seek your servant, for I have not forgotten your commands.” (Psalm 119:175-176) The set of eight verses is a cry for help from the psalmist to the Lord for mercy through His word. God’s word reveals His compassion and desire to help us be over comers. We need a Shepherd for we are like lost sheep. In Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh, these prayers are fully answered!