Joy in a sinners salvation!

Scripture reading for March 22:  Luke 15, Psalm 59, Proverbs 28

Key Scriptures: Luke 15:8-10 “”Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it?  And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.  Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.””

In response to the grumbling of the Pharisees about Jesus’ eating with sinners and tax collectors, Jesus told several parables to explain God’s heart for those that were lost.  The first was about a sheep that was lost out of a flock of one hundred.  The shepherd searched until he found it and held a celebration when he did.  Next, a woman had ten silver coins and lost one.  She searched until she found it and had a party of celebration afterwards.  Jesus said this was how it was in heaven when one lost sinner repented!

Faith Confession:  Lord, I rejoice when anyone that is lost finds Jesus Christ as savior!  It is comforting to know that You and heaven’s angels rejoice as well!  Action step:  Share the Gospel with someone you know is lost today, with joy and expectancy that they will obtain mercy!

Proverbs 28:13 “Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.”

Tags : , , , , ,

Counting the cost!

Scripture reading for March 21:  Luke 14, Psalm 58, Proverbs 27

Key Scriptures: Luke 14:25-28  “Now great crowds accompanied Him, and He turned and said to them, “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.  Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.  For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?”

Jesus was very straight-forward with the crowds of people who had followed Him and crowded around to hear His teaching.  He warned them of shallow commitment.  He demanded first place in the lives of those who would follow Him as disciples.  Their relationship with their family and even wife and children must be second to Him.  There would be a cross to bear as well!  Each person must count the cost!

Faith Confession:  Lord, following You is my choice.  I place You in first place.  You are worth any cost!

Psalm 58:11 “Mankind will say, “Surely there is a reward for the righteous; surely there is a God who judges on earth.”

Tags : , , , , ,

The diligent few!

Scripture reading for March 20: Luke 13, Psalm 57, Proverbs 26

Key Scriptures:  Luke 13:22-25 “He went on His way through towns and villages, teaching and journeying toward Jerusalem.  And someone said to Him, “Lord, will those who are saved be few?”  And He said to them, “Strive to enter through the narrow door.  For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able.  When once the master of the house has risen and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, open to us,’ then He will answer you, ‘I do not know where you come from.'”

Jesus Christ is the ‘narrow door’ to salvation.  As He journeyed to Jerusalem for the last time in His earthly ministry, He answered a question from one of the Jews listening to Him.  They asked about how many would be saved.  Jesus told them that they must strive to go through the narrow door because many would try to get in after the door was shut and would not be able.  Just hearing Jesus speak or even eating with Him would not give them salvation, faith must be acted on.

Faith Confession:  Jesus, I believe that You are the ‘narrow door’ that I have entered for my salvation.  I daily surrender my life to You, opening the door of my heart to You to have Your way in my life.

Proverbs 26:12 “Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes?  There is more hope for a fool than for him.”

 

Tags : , , , , ,

Treasure in heaven!

Scripture reading for March 19:  Luke 12, Psalm 56, Proverbs 25

Key Scriptures: Luke 12:32-34 “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.  Sell your possessions, and give to the needy.  Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys.  For where your treasure is there will your heart be also.”  

Jesus, calling His disciples, ‘little flock’, instructed them in the amazing grace and provision of God, His Father.  The Father delighted to give His Son’s followers the kingdom of heaven.  It was a gift of His mercy and grace.  Jesus told them that an appropriate faith response to this great gift would be to give away what they had here to the poor and needy.  This demonstration of faith would open up to them the permanent treasury in heaven.  They would find all their needs met in Christ Jesus and His amazing kingdom!

Faith Confession:  Jesus, thank You for including me in Your flock!  Help me to be generous with what You have blessed me with here so that I will have true riches in You in heaven.  You are my Treasure in heaven.

Psalm 56:13  “For You have delivered my soul from death, yes, my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of Life.”

Tags : , , , , ,

Dealing with deliverance!

Scripture reading for March 18:  Luke 11, Psalm 55, Proverbs 24

Key Scriptures: Luke 11:24-27  “When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and finding none it says, I will return to my house from which I came.  And when it comes, it finds the house swept and put in order.  Then it goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there.  And the last state of that person is worse than the first.”

Jesus instructed His disciples concerning casting out of evil spirits.  He told them that they had the power in His Name to cast them out of an individuals.  He told them that the evil spirit would seek another home in someone else, but would ultimately try to return.  If the delivered person failed to fill his ‘house’ with the Holy Spirit, the evil spirit would return and find other even worse spirits and that man would be in worse bondage than before.

Faith Confession:  Lord, give me wisdom to help those bound by evil spirits to find deliverance in Jesus’ Name and to fill their ‘house’ with Your Holy Spirit.

Proverbs 24:3-4  “By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.

Tags : , , , ,

Rejoicing in Grace!

Scripture reading for March 15:  Luke 10, Psalm 54, Proverbs 23

Key Scriptures: Luke 10:17-20 “The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your Name!”  And He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.  Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you.  Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”  

Pride is a subtle thing.  Religious pride is deceitful and dangerous.  Jesus rejoiced in the work of His disciples as they obediently had gone out two by two to confront the powers of darkness by healing the sick and casting out demons.  Jesus said that He saw the forces of Satan fall like lightning as they ministered.  But Jesus cautioned them to focus instead on the grace of God for salvation that they had received, being careful not to begin trusting in their own power or goodness.

Faith confession:  Lord, I rejoice that my name is written in heaven because of Your great mercy to me.  Thank You for the power of Your great Name to destroy the works of darkness and bring freedom to captives.  To You be the Glory forever and ever.

Psalm 54:6 “With a freewill offering I will sacrifice to You; I will give thanks to Your Name, O Lord, for it is good.”

Tags : , , , , ,

True greatness!

Scripture reading for March 14:  Luke 9, Psalm 53, Proverbs 22

Key Scriptures: Luke 9:46-48  “An argument arose among them as to which of them was the greatest.  But Jesus, knowing the reasoning of their hearts, took a child and put him by His side, and said to them, “Whoever receives this child in My Name receives Me, and whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me.  For he who is least among you all is the one who is great.”

Pride manifested itself among the chosen disciples of Jesus.  They argued with one another about which of them was the greatest disciple!  Now it’s a noble thing to want to be the best follower of Jesus, but we can make an idol of our service to Christ and miss what Jesus desires for us.  Jesus used a child as an example.  Our treatment of children and the least among us requires humility and taking a lower position.  True greatness, says Jesus, comes from this.

Faith confession:  Lord, I want to attain true greatness by humbly receiving children and those looked down on by our culture.  I believe You love children and the marginalized of our world and want me to love them.  Action step:  Reach out today to a child or someone hurting and show the love of Jesus to them.

Proverbs 22:4  “The reward for humility and fear of the Lord is riches and honor and life.”

 

 

Tags : , , , , ,

I want more!

Scripture reading for March 13:  Luke 8, Psalm 52, Proverbs 21

Key Scriptures:  Luke 8:16-18 “”No one after lighting a lamp covers it with a jar or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light.  For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light.  Take care then how you hear, for to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he thinks that he has will be taken away.””

Jesus told the simple story about a homeowner lighting a lamp to illustrate that He was bringing God’s truth out in the open for all who would see.  The Word would judge the secrets of each heart and those who had faith would be rewarded and those who rejected faith exposed.  We must be careful how we listen to the Word of God, always choosing to trust and obey!

Faith Confession:  Lord, shine the light of Your Word brightly in my heart and life.  Open my ears to hear Your Word and obey!  I want more!

Psalm 52:9  “I will thank You forever, because You have done it.  I will wait for Your Name, for it is good, in the presence of the godly.”

Tags : , , , , , ,

Faith moved by compassion!

Scripture reading for March 12:  Luke 7, Psalm 51, Proverbs 20

Key Scriptures: Luke 7:12-15  “As He drew near to the gate of the town, behold, a man who had died was  being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow, and a considerable crowd from the town was with her.  And when the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.”  Then He came up and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still.  And He said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.”  And the dead man sat up and began to speak and Jesus gave him back to his mother.”

Jesus encountered a funeral procession with the body of a young man who had recently died and followed by the mother and a crowd of mourners.  Luke says Jesus was moved by compassion to speak to the mother, telling her not to weep.  He then came and touched the bier where the body lay and spoke to the young man, telling him to arise.  The young man immediately sat up and began to speak!  The love of Jesus moved Him to speak comfort and life in the face of hopeless grief and death.

Faith Confession:  Lord Jesus, thank You for filling me with Your great love and compassion through the Holy Spirit.  Help me to allow You to use me to speak life into places of fear and death.  Action step:  As God directs, speak life to someone you know who is in fear or despair.

Proverbs 20:28 “Steadfast love and faithfulness preserve the king, and by steadfast love his throne is upheld.”

Tags : , , , ,

The Heart of the Matter!

Scripture reading for March 11:  Luke 6, Psalm 50, Proverbs 19

Key Scriptures: Luke 6:43-45 “”For no good tree bears bad fruit; nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, for each tree is known by its own fruit.  For figs are not gathered from thornbushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush.  The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”

Jesus connected trees and their fruit in his teaching about the evil fruit of sin in the human heart.  The heart is the source of bad fruit.  It is also the source of good fruit.  But a evil heart cannot produce good fruit nor can a good heart produce bad fruit.  What comes out of our mouths and life comes from our heart.  According to Jesus, we need a heart transplant!

Faith Confession:  Thank You for giving me a new heart and source of good by the Holy Spirit.  Continue Your work in me to produce a pure heart of love that reflects the character of the Holy Spirit.

Psalm 50:14-15 “Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and perform your vows to the Most High, and call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you and you shall glorify Me.”

 

Tags : , , , , ,