Scripture reading for January 28th: Genesis 47-48, Galatians 3, Psalm 25
Key Scriptures: Genesis 47:15-16 “And he (Jacob) blessed Joseph and said, “The God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, the God who has been my Shepherd all my life long to this day, the Angel who has redeemed me from all evil, bless the boys; and in them let my name be carried on, and the name of my fathers, Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth.”
Galatians 3:26-28 “. . .for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.”
Jacob had come to Egypt to be with his children. Upon seeing Joseph, whom he thought had been killed, he wept and was even more blessed to see the children that Joseph had produced. As Jacob blessed the two boys of Joseph, Ephraim and Manasseh, he adopted them as his own. As such they would have Abraham and Isaac as their fathers and be in line for inheritance–a double portion! The Apostle Paul stated to the Galatians that in Christ Jesus–offspring of Abraham and King David, we who believe become “Abraham’s offspring” and heirs according to promise! Not by works but through faith this is so! Amen!
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for Your heavenly blessing of my life through the gift of the Holy Spirit! I am privileged to become “Abraham’s offspring” by faith and receive the promise of eternal inheritance!
Psalm 25:21 “May integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait for You.”
Scripture reading for January 27th: Genesis 45-46, Galatians 2, Psalm 108
Key Scriptures: Genesis 45:5-8 “And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life. For the famine has been in the land these two years, and there are yet five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvest. And God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to keep alive for you many survivors. So it was not you who sent me here, but God. He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt.”
Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
There are no ‘accidents’ or ‘luck’ or ‘fate’ in God’s view of life on earth. God controls events, weather, individuals and nations to bring about His merciful purposes. Even the evil intentions of Joseph’s brothers were turned to work out for their salvation years later. This betrayed brother became third highest ruler in Egypt and in control of grain in a time of famine through the will of God. Paul, like Joseph of old, also recognized God’s amazing plan for his own sinful life. In Christ Jesus alone we experience salvation and eternal preservation!
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for sending Your Son Jesus to prepare the way for my preservation and eternal grace! May I be as Paul the Apostle, identified with Christ Jesus in crucifixion and resurrection! Lord, send me!
Scripture reading for January 24th: Genesis 43-44, Galatians 1, Psalm 24
Key Scriptures: Genesis 43:29-31 “And he lifted up his eyes and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother’s son, and said, “Is this your youngest brother, of whom you spoke to me? God be gracious to you, my son!” Then Joseph hurried out, for his compassion grew warm for his brother, and he sought a place to weep. And he entered his chamber and wept there. Then he washed his face and came out. And controlling himself he said, “Serve the food.”
Galatians 1:3-5 “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.”
God had brought Benjamin, along with his brothers who had sold Joseph into slavery, to Egypt during the seven years of famine. When Joseph saw Benjamin for the first time, he was overcome with compassion and had to withdraw and weep at God’s grace. After composing himself, he was able to serve food to his brothers in the time of famine. How like Jesus Christ, our Brother, who God sent before us sinners, to serve us living bread through His tears of compassion, shed on the cross and in the Garden. Hallelujah!
Faith Confession and prayer: Amazing Lord and Father, I stand in awe of Your great compassion for Your brothers and sisters. How through Your great compassion and weeping, You give us living Bread that feeds us for eternity! Fill me with Your compassion for lost brothers!
Scripture reading for January 23rd: Genesis 41-42, Mark 16
Key Scriptures: Mark 16:14-16 “Afterward He appeared to the eleven themselves as they were reclining at table, and He rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who saw Him after He had risen. And He said to them, “God into all the world and proclaim the Gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.”
Genesis 41:38-40 “And Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find a man like this, in whom is the Spirit of God?” Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has shown you all this, there is none so discerning and wise as you are. You shall be over my house and all my people shall order themselves as you command.”
Jesus had appeared to several disciples and women who had come to the tomb. They had told the disciples they had seen Jesus alive but the disciples refused to believe. Now Jesus appeared to them all, rebuking them for their hard hearts and unbelief. They were commanded to get to work sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ–the wisest and most discerning man, full of the Spirit of God! Through resurrection from death, Jesus was declared the Ruler of God’s House!
Faith confession and Prayer: Lord, forgive me for my unbelief and at times hardness of heart. Thank You for the gift of the Holy Spirit within me and the great commission to go into all the world and preach the Gospel! Keep reminding me that faithful obedience means life to those who believe.
Scripture reading for January 22nd: Genesis 38-40, Mark 15
Key Scriptures: Mark 15:12-15 “And Pilate again said to them, “Then what shall I do with the man you call the King of the Jews?” And they cried out again, “Crucify Him.” And Pilate said to them, “Why, what evil has He done?” But they shouted all the more, “Crucify Him.” So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, he delivered Him to be crucified.”
Genesis 39:19-21 “As soon as his master heard the words that his wife spoke to him, “This is the way your servant treated me,” and his anger was kindled. And Joseph’s master took him and put him into the prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined, and he was there in prison. But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison.”
Pilate’s wife had warned him not to do anything against Jesus. But he bowed to the crowd, wanting to please them, he released Barabbas and sent Jesus to be crucified. This was part of God’s amazing plan to save His people. In an earlier time, Potiphar listened to his wife’s false accusation and had his faithful servant Joseph imprisoned. But God used this situation to refine Joseph and place him in a position to save His people from famine. God’s ways often run contrary to man’s thinking.
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for Your amazing plan to save Your people from temporal famine as well as from the eternal punishment of our sins. Continue to open our eyes to see Your plans unfolding in the daily events of our lives.
Scripture reading for January 21st: Genesis 35-37, Mark 14, Psalm 12
Key Scriptures: Mark 14:1-2 “It was now two days before Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to arrest Him by stealth and kill Him, for they said, “Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar from the people.”
Genesis 37:18-21 “They saw him from afar, and before he came near to them they conspired against him to kill him. They said to one another, “Here comes this dreamer. Come now, let us kill him and throw him into one of the pits. Then we will say that a fierce animal has devoured him, and we will see what will become of his dreams.”
As Joseph’s brothers conspired against him to take his life, so fellow Israelites conspired against Jesus Christ to take His life. Godly people are always targeted by Satan for death and destruction, even the Son of God! But God’s plans and God-given dreams will be fulfilled. Even the wrath of man and the cunning plots of Satan work for God’s eternal purposes. Joseph would save God’s people from drought and famine and Jesus would save mankind from their sins. Those who would believe receive.
Faith Confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for Your faithful purposes and plans and for revealing Your plans to Your people. Keep me from evil men and the Evil One and keep me safely in Your presence.
Psalm 12:5 “Because the poor are plundered, because the needy groan, “I will now arise,” says the Lord; “I will place him in the safety for which he longs.”
Scripture reading for January 20th: Genesis 32-34, Mark 13, Psalm 145
Key Scriptures: Mark 13:31-33 “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My Words will not pass away. But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the time will come.”
Genesis 32:24-28 “And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. Then he said, “Let me go, for the day has broken.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” And he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” Then he said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.””
Jacob was afraid of his coming meeting with Esau. He prayed for God’s help and favor but stayed up all night in a wrestling match with a ‘man’ who later was found to be God or an angel representing God. He did not sleep but kept alert in prevailing prayer. Jesus said that that was to be the posture of His disciples concerning His return in power and glory.
Faith Confession and prayer: Father, thank You for the examples and warnings of Scripture concerning the need for Your people to remain alert and ready, even wrestling to lay hold of the promised blessings. Keep me in Your Word and the power of the Holy Spirit so I might prevail!
Psalm 145:14 “The Lord upholds all who are falling and raises up all who are bowed down.”
Scripture reading for January 17th: Genesis 30-31, Mark 12, Psalm 11
Key Scriptures: Mark 12:26-27 “”And as for the dead being raised, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, how God spoke to him, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not God of the dead, but of the living. You are quite wrong.””
Genesis 31:11-13 “Then the angel of God said to me in the dream, ‘Jacob’, and I said, “Here I am!’ And he said, ‘Lift up your eyes and see, all the goats that mate with the flock are striped, spotted, and mottled, for I have seen all that Laban is doing to you. I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed a pillar and made a vow to Me. Now arise, go out from this land and return to the land of your kindred.'”
The carnal mind, even religious mind, has an impossible dilemma in believing the truths of Scripture. The Bible declares that God is, He was, and He is to come. He is ever alive and present with His people and able to speak to them when they are humble enough to listen. The Sadducees were a religious sect of Israel that would not believe in the supernatural. They denied a future life and only embraced the books of Moses. Jesus rebuked them from the book they claimed to believe!
Faith Confession and prayer: Lord, thank You for speaking to Your people and giving rebuke to those who hold false beliefs. Help me to walk with You today and speak to me from Your Word. I long to see Your face!
Psalm 11:7 “For the Lord is righteous; He loves righteous deeds; the upright shall behold His face.”
Scripture reading for January 16th: Genesis 28-29, Mark 11
Key Scriptures: Genesis 28:20-22 “Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear, so that I come again to my father’s house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God, and this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, shall be God’s house. And of all that You give me I will give a full tenth to You.””
Mark 11:20-24 “As they passed by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots. And Peter remembered and said to Him, Rabbi, Look! The fig tree that You cursed has withered.” And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore, I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
Jesus taught His disciples that there was great power in faith and in speaking by faith. Our words can move mountains and appropriate God’s promised blessings. Jacob’s dream of the ladder to heaven and God’s promises to provide for him and bring him back to his father’s house brought forth a vow to God and God’s Word to him came to pass.
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, I thank You for Your amazing promises and powerful Word that brings faith to believe, confess Your promise and receive Your blessings. Prompt me to speak in faith to move a mountain today!
Scripture reading for January 15th: Genesis 26-27, Mark 10
Key Scriptures: Genesis 27:26-29 “Then his father Isaac said to him, “Come near and kiss me, my son.” So he came near and kissed him. And Isaac smelled the smell of his garments and blessed him and said, “See, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field that the Lord has blessed! May God give you of the dew of heaven and of the fatness of the earth and plenty of grain and wine. Let peoples serve you, and nations bow down to you. Be lord over your brothers, and may your mother’s sons bow down to you. Cursed be everyone who curses you, and blessed be everyone who blesses you!””
Jesus’ disciples tried to keep parents from bringing their children to their Master. But Jesus rebuked them and welcomed the children, laying His hands on them and blessing them! In our Genesis reading, there is competition for the father’s blessing by Isaac’s two sons. Jacob schemes to lay hold and obtains it. Esau’s bitter cry is of a blessing missed!
Faith Confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, I want Your hand of blessing laid on me with Your declaration of “Well done, good and faithful servant!” Let me help others to obtain your blessing!
Mark 10:13-16 “And they were bringing children to Him that He might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it, He was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” And He took them in His arms and blessed them, laying His hands on them.”