Faith Asks Expectantly!

Scripture reading for February 22nd:  Mark 11, Psalms 39, Proverbs 8

Key Scriptures:  Mark 11:22-25 “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.  And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.””

Jesus had cursed a fig tree and the next day the disciples noted that it had withered away from the roots.  Jesus used this illustration of speaking in faith to teach them the power of faith and prayer.  Asking the Father in faith, believing that they would receive what they asked, would bring them the desired answer.  Jesus also encouraged them to forgive wrongs done against them so that they might stand forgiven before the Father.

Faith’s confession:  Lord, I believe that You will answer my prayers that I ask You for in faith.  Help me to forgive those who have wronged me, and increase my faith. (Action step: Ask the Lord today to meet a need or purposely forgive any wrongs against you.)

Proverbs 8:17 “I (Wisdom) love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me.” 

 

Tags : , , , , ,

Greatness through serving!

Scripture reading for February 21st:  Mark 10, Psalms 38, Proverbs 7

Key Scriptures:  Mark 10:42-45  “And Jesus called them to Him and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them.  But it shall not be so among you.  But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all.  For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many.”  

James and John had approached Jesus with a request.  They asked if they could be seated on His right and left when Jesus came into His glory.  This caused the other disciples to become upset as well.  Jesus called them all together and explained what true greatness was in God’s eyes: serving others.  In fact, Jesus demonstrated His servant-leadership by giving His life for all mankind’s salvation.

Faith’s confession:  Lord Jesus, thank You for Your teaching and example of servant-leadership.  I believe true greatness comes by serving others.  Give me opportunities to serve others today.

Psalm 38:15  “But for You, O Lord, do I wait; it is You, O Lord my God, who will answer.”   

 

Tags : , , , ,

Hell is real. Avoid it at all costs!

Scripture reading for February 20th:  Mark 9, Psalm 37, Proverbs 6

Key Scriptures:  Mark 9:42-44  “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a great mill-stone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.  And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off.  It is better for you to enter life crippled that with two hands to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire.”  

Jesus taught His disciples plainly about sin and its consequences.  Jesus plainly believed in a literal “hell” where there was unquenchable fire.  He also talked about worms eating on those who went there.  Hell is the place reserved for unrepentant sinners.  Sin is so serious, according to Jesus, that it would be better to surgically remove members of your body, such as limbs or eyes, causing sin to avoid it than to keep them and end up in hell eternally.

Faith’s confession:  Lord, I believe Your warning about sin and its ultimate consequence:  hell.  I ask You to give me discernment and warning by Your Holy Spirit to keep me from sin.  I heed Your Word, which is truth.

Proverbs 6:32-33  “He who commits adultery lacks sense; he who does it destroys himself.  He will get wounds and dishonor, and his disgrace will not be wiped away.”

Tags : , , , , ,

Faith to Follow Jesus

Scripture reading for February 19th:  Mark 8, Psalm 36, Proverbs 5

Key Scriptures: Mark 8:34-36  “And calling the crowd to Him with His disciples, He said to them, “If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.  For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the Gospels will save it.  For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?  For what can a man give in return for his soul?”

Following Jesus is not for the faint of heart or the self-centered.  His way is the way of the cross.  It is a path of suffering and even leads to death.  It is a path of self-denial.  We can’t ‘have it our way’ and do God’s will.  There is nothing in this world that we can give to God to buy our own soul.  If we gained the whole world, it would not suffice!

Faith Confession: Lord, I count it a privilege to know and follow You.  Help me today to give my life, time, talent, and energy, to serve You.  Thank You for Your steadfast love and light!

Psalm 36:9-10 “For with You is the fountain of Life; in Your light do we see light.  Oh, continue Your steadfast love to those who know You, and Your righteousness to the upright of heart.”

Tags : , , , , ,

Guarding the heart!

Scripture reading for February 18th:  Mark 7, Psalm 35, Proverbs 4

Key Scriptures: Mark 7:18-23 “And He said to them, “Then are you also without understanding?  Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, since it enters not his heart, but his stomach, and is expelled?” (Thus He declared all foods clean.) And He said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him.  For from within, and out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness.  All these evil things come from within and they defile a person.””

Jesus was responding to the Pharisees question about why His disciples ate with defiled hands, not properly washing.  The Pharisees were more concerned with keeping their rules than the inner holiness God demanded.  It’s good to wash hands and observe rules, but God wants a change of heart.  Defilement is in the heart, not the stomach!

Faith Confession:  Lord, I need Your mercy to reveal my need of inner cleansing from besetting sins and attitudes that defile my spirit.  I place my trust in Jesus Christ’s shed blood to cleanse my heart and gift me His righteousness.

Proverbs 4:23-24 “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.  Put away from you crooked speech, and put devious talk far from you.” 

Tags : , , , ,

Faith and touch work together

Scripture reading for February 15th:  Mark 6, Psalm 34, Proverbs 3

Key Scriptures: Mark 6:53-56  “When they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret and moored to the shore.  And when they got out of the boat, the people immediately recognized Him and ran about the whole region and began to bring the sick people on their beds to wherever they heard He was.  And wherever He came, in villages, cities, or countryside, they laid the sick in the marketplaces and implored Him that they might touch even the fringe of His garment.  And as many as touched it were made well.” 

As Jesus’ reputation spread among the people, crowds gathered wherever He went.  They came to find mercy, healing and wholeness.  They were brought by friends in faith.  They reached out to touch Jesus by faith and implored His mercy.  Those who touched even His garment were healed!  All of them!

Faith’s confession:  I believe that I can touch Jesus’ heart now by asking in faith for His healing mercy.  I ask with expectancy, trusting in His willingness and power to heal me.  (Action Step:  Ask if you can help a sick or hurting friend to take their burden to Jesus.)

Psalm 34:17-18  “When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.  The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”

Tags : , , , , ,

Faith can overcome fear!

Scripture reading for February 14th:  Mark 5, Psalm 33, Proverbs 2

Key Scriptures: Mark 5:14-17  “The herdsmen fled and told it in the city and in the country.  And people came to see what it was that had happened.  And they came to Jesus and saw the demon-possessed man, the one who had the legion, sitting there, clothed and in his right mind and they were afraid.  And those who had seen it described to them what had happened to the demon- possessed man and to the pigs.  And they began to beg Jesus to depart from their region.”

Jesus had cast a legion of demons from a man who was possessed and tormented.  He sent the demons into a herd of pigs and the demons drove them into sea to their deaths.  This caused the townspeople to fear Jesus’ great power and ask him to leave their region.  Faith for further healing and deliverance was stopped by a spirit of fear!  Jesus instructed the man who had been delivered to stay and share about the Lord’s goodness.

Faith’s confession:  Lord, deliver me from forces of darkness that cause fear and give me boldness, faith and love to share with others the great deliverance that Jesus Christ brought in my own life.  (Action step:  Share your personal testimony of deliverance with someone God has placed in your life today.)

Proverbs 2:6-7 “For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding; He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity, . .”

 

Tags : , , ,

Speaking to the storm!

Scripture reading for February 13th:  Mark 4, Psalm 32, Proverbs 1

Key Scriptures:  Mark 4:37-40 “And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling.  But He was in the stern, asleep on the cushion.  And they woke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”  And He awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!”  And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.  He said to them, “Why are you so afraid?  Have you no faith?”  And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?”

Jesus and His disciples were travelling by boat across the Sea of Galilee when a storm suddenly arose and the disciples feared for their lives.  Jesus was asleep in the back of the boat and the disciples woke Him up for help.  Jesus rebuked the wind and waves.  Then Jesus rebuked them for their fear and lack of faith.  The disciples were filled with awe and pondered the identity of their Master.

Faith’s confession:  I believe that Jesus Christ, God’s Son, has authority over all things.  He is teaching me not to be afraid of life’s storms, but to trust Him in all things, and to speak faith to the storms I encounter, knowing He is with me.  (Action step:  Speak faith and God’s truth to a trial you are encountering or help a friend in trial with prayer and a faith confession.)

Psalm 32:10 “Many are the sorrows of the wicked,  but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the Lord.”  

Tags : , , , , ,

Appointed with authority!

Scripture reading for February 12th:  Mark 3, Psalm 31, Proverbs 31

Key Scriptures:  Mark 3:13-16 “And He went up on the mountain and called to Him those whom He desired, and they came to Him.  And He appointed twelve (whom He also named apostles) so that they might be with Him and He might send them out to preach and to have authority to cast out demons.  He appointed the twelve: . . .”

Jesus had a plan to reach the lost sinners of this world.  He chose and then called those that He wanted to be used to reach the lost.  He appointed them as His special messengers.  They were to be with Him and learn from Him.  He would send them out to preach, heal, and cast out demons through the authority He would bestow on them.  He chose twelve to be the first.

Faith’s confession:  I believe that Jesus Christ has called me and appointed me to preach His word, heal the sick, and have authority over demonic powers.  All authority has come from Jesus for the purpose of reaching lost sinners.

Proverbs 31:8-9 “Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute.  Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and the needy.”     

Tags : , , , , , ,

A sinner healed!

Scripture reading for February 11th:  Mark 2, Psalm 30, Proverbs 30

Key Scriptures:   Mark 2:15-17 “And as he (Luke) reclined at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners were reclining with Jesus and His disciples, for there were many who followed Him.  And the scribes of the Pharisees, when they saw that He was eating with sinners and tax collectors, said to His disciples, “Why does He eat with tax collectors and sinners?”  And when Jesus heard it, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.  I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.””

Jesus called Levi, also known as Matthew, to follow Him and become a disciple.  Levi responded quickly and hosted Jesus at his home, inviting many other friends to meet Jesus.  This angered the religious folks, who had judged those attending as “sinners.”  Jesus gently set them straight by explaining His mission; He was here to call sinners to repentance.  This required humility to recognize that everyone is a sinner in need of the Great Physician.

Faith’s confession:  I am thankful that Jesus came to save me, a sinner, in need of healing.  I am blessed to join other “sinners” at the table with Jesus Christ, my Lord, Who has restored my life and healed me.

Psalm 30:2-3  “O Lord my God, I cried to You for help, and You have healed me.  O Lord, You have brought up my soul from Sheol; You restored me to life from among those who go down to the pit.”  

 

Tags : , , , , ,