Category: Gospels

The God of Compassion!

Scripture reading for January 19th:  Genesis 50, Exodus 1-2, Matthew 15

Key Scriptures:  Matthew 15: 32-34  “Then Jesus called His disciples to Him and said, “I have compassion on the crowd because they have been with Me now three days and have had nothing to eat.  And I am unwilling to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way.”  The disciples said to Him, “Where are we to get enough bread in such a desolate place to feed so great a crowd?”  And Jesus said to them, “How many loaves do you have?”  

Jesus was filled with compassion for the crowd that had listened to Him for three days.  He shared His compassion with His disciples and got their input.  In the natural, they had very few resources in the wilderness where Jesus had led them.  Jesus asked them what they did have.   Miracles happen when we offer what we have to God and allow Him to bless it!  God saw the suffering of the Israelites and was filled with compassion, sharing His concern with Moses, had a plan of action to answer their need and prayers.

Exodus 2:24  “And God heard their (the Israelites) groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.  God saw the people of Israel–and God knew.”  

Prayer:  Father, thank You for Your heart of compassion for hurting and lost people.  Give me a sensitivity to Your compassion flowing in my heart by the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

 

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Jesus alone in prayer!

Scripture reading for January 18th:  Genesis 46-49, Matthew 14

Key Scriptures:  Matthew 14:22-24  “Immediately He made the disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He dismissed the crowds.  And after He had dismissed the crowds, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray.  When evening came, He was there alone, but the boat by this time was a long way from the land, beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them.  And in the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea.” 

Matthew records an incident that speaks of Jesus’ prayer life.  He had a busy public ministry with crowds attending and the disciples as His constant companions.  But Jesus still needed time alone with His Father.  He took that with an all-night prayer meeting.  Empowered by His time of prayer, Jesus walked on the waves to meet the struggling disciples!  Israel, on a journey, met with God in a time of private prayer and God encouraged him.

Genesis 46:1-4  “So Israel took his journey with all that he had and came to Beersheba, and offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac.  And God spoke to Israel in visions of the night and said, “Jacob, Jacob.”  And he said, “Here I am.”  Then He said, “I am God, the God of your father.  Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for there I will make you into a great nation.  I Myself will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also bring you up again, and Joseph’s hand shall close your eyes.”  

Prayer:  Father, Help me to spend quality time alone with You each day.  Speak to me each time I meet with You and empower me to do Your will without fear.  In Jesus’ Name.

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God has plans!

Scripture reading for January 17th:  Genesis 43-45, Matthew 13

Key Scriptures:   Genesis 45:4-7  “So Joseph said to his brothers, “Come near to me, please.”  And they came near.  And he said, “I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt.  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 set me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to keep alive for you many survivors.”  

Joseph called his brothers close and revealed his identity.  He told them not to be distressed or angry with themselves, although they had sold him into slavery.  God was indeed working out a plan of salvation.  They must see the plan and cooperate in faith.  Those who do will produce a harvest!

Matthew 13:23 “As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it.  He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”  

Prayer:  Father, help me to see Your plan in my situation and circumstances.  Allow me to be good soil that yields a great harvest to Your glory!  In Jesus’ Name!

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Relationship with Jesus!

Scripture reading for January 16th:  Genesis 39-42, Matthew 12

Key Scriptures:  Matthew 12:46-50  “While He was still speaking to the people, behold, His mother and His brothers stood outside, asking to speak with Him.  But He replied to the man who told Him, “Who is My mother and who are My brothers?”  And stretching out His hand toward His disciples, He said, “Here are My mother and My brothers!  For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.”  

Jesus used a visit by His own family to illustrate a point to His disciples.  They were in Christ’s family because they had responded to His call and followed Jesus and learned from Him His will and ways.  Joseph in Genesis followed God to do His will and his brothers came before him!

Genesis 42:6-7  “Now Joseph was governor over the land.  He was the one who sold to all the people of the land.  And Joseph’s brothers came and bowed themselves before him with their faces to the ground.  Joseph saw his brothers and recognized them, but he treated them like strangers and spoke roughly to them.” 

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, I want to know You and walk with you in intimate relationship.  I want Your will to come first in my life!  Thank You for the new birth and adoption into Your family!  Amen!

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Rest in Revelation!

Scripture reading for January 15th:  Genesis 36-38, Matthew 11

Key Scriptures:  Matthew 11:25-28  “At that time Jesus declared, “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.  All things have been handed over to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him.  Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

Jesus prayed to His Father and thanked Him for the revelation of His sonship to ‘little children’!  The disciples were not considered ‘wise’ or ‘understanding’ among the culture of that day.  They were simple fishermen, tax collectors, and common men.  Through Jesus comes revelation of God the Father and His Son.  In Genesis, Joseph’s family had trouble discerning God’s vision in his dreams!

Genesis 37:3, 9-11  “Now Israel loved Joseph more than any other of his sons, because he was the son of his old age.  And he made him a robe of many colors. . . . .Then he dreamed another dream and told it to his brothers and said, “Behold, I have dreamed another dream.  Behold, the sun, the moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me.”  But when he told it to his father and to his brothers, his father rebuked him. . .”

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, may I keep a child’s heart towards Your Word.  Reveal Your will and character to me in visions and dreams and as I meditate on Your Word!  Amen

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Jesus brings spiritual conflict!

Scripture reading for January 12th:  Genesis 32-35, Matthew 10

Key Scriptures:  Matthew 10:34-38  “”Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth.  I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.  For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.  And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household.  Whoever loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.  And whoever does not take his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me.”” 

Jesus was talking to His disciples after He had sent them out two by two to the land of Israel.  He warned them of the spiritual conflict they and future generations of believers would face.  Our love for Jesus must surpass all other relationships!  Conflict is inevitable!  God will protect and bless His own!

Genesis 32:9-11 “And Jacob said, “O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, O Lord who said to me, ‘Return to your country and to your kindred, that I may do you good,’ I am not worthy of the least of all the deeds of steadfast love and all the faithfulness that You have shown to Your servant. . . . .Please deliver me from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau, for I fear him, that he may come and attack me, the mothers with the children.  But You said, ‘I will surely do you good . . .'”

Prayer:  Lord, we are weak when it comes to facing opposition, especially from our own family.  May we be encouraged and made bold through Your Word and example.  Protect our family by Your blood.  Amen

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Faith comes from the heart!

Scripture reading for January 11th:  Genesis 29-31, Matthew 9

Key Scriptures:  Matthew 9:20-22   “And Jesus rose and followed him, with His disciples.  And behold, a woman who had suffered from a discharge of blood for twelve years came up behind Him and touched the fringe of His garment, for she said to herself, “If I only touch His garment, I will be made well.”  Jesus turned and seeing her He said, “Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.”   And instantly the woman was made well.”

Jesus was responding to a ruler whose child had died and had asked Jesus to come to his house.  On the way, a woman reached out and touched Jesus’ robe.  Jesus felt the touch and responded to her with an encouraging declaration.  “Your faith has made you well.”  Faith starts in the heart and comes from hearing God’s Word.  Faith moves the possessor to believe, act and receive.

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 you 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.” 

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, I believe in You and Your Word.  Teach me to walk in faith and keep my heart trusting in You.  May I touch You each day as I pray for my needs and others who need You!  In Jesus’ Name! Amen!

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Digging a well of faith through prayer!

Scripture reading for January 10th:  Genesis 25-28, Matthew 8

Key Scriptures:  Matthew 8:1-3  “When He came down from the mountain, great crowds followed Him.  And behold, a leper came to Him and knelt before Him, saying:  “Lord, if You will, You can make me clean.”  And Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, saying, “I will; be clean.”  And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.”  

Matthew records an unclean leper coming to Jesus and asking for healing.  This man knelt before Jesus in reverence and stated that he believed that Jesus could heal him.  He was not sure if Jesus was willing to do it.  Jesus, even though it was against the law of the Pharisees, reached out His hand and touched the man showing and telling him that God was willing and able to heal him!  Faith “digs a well” and opens up the blessings of God in healing and multiplication!

Genesis 26:24-25  “And the Lord appeared to him (Isaac) the same night and said, “I am the God of Abraham your father.  Fear not, for I am with you and will bless you and multiply your offspring for my servant Abraham’s sake.  So he built an altar there and called on the Name of the Lord and pitched his tent there.   And there Isaac’s servants dug a well.”

Prayer:   Lord, thank you that you are willing to heal and provide when we come to you.  Teach us dependence, humility and faith and deliver us from fear!  Use us to bless others by allowing Your gifts to flow in us!  In Jesus’ Name!  Amen!

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God tests the heart!

Scripture reading for January 9th:  Genesis 22-24, Matthew 7

Key Scriptures:  Matthew 7:21-23  “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of My Father who is in heaven.  On that day many will say to Me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your Name, and cast out demons in Your Name, and do many mighty works in Your name?’  And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.'”

Jesus warned His disciples that superficial religion and good works were of no value without a personal relationship of faith and obedience.  We may profess His Name, but not know Him.  We may do mighty works, but God will not be fooled about the true condition of our souls.  All faith and works will be tested by God’s seeing eyes!

Genesis 22:1-3  “After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!”  And he said, “Here I am.”  He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”  So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him and his son Isaac.” 

Prayer:  Lord, I want to truly know you.  Through Your all-seeing eyes, bring my hidden sins and evil motives to light that I might walk with You in truth.  Amen

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Pattern for prayer!

Scripture reading for January 8th:  Genesis 18-21, Matthew 6

Key Scriptures:  Matthew 6:9-13  “Pray then like this:  “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your Name.   Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread, and for give us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.””

Jesus, in teaching His disciples how to pray, gave simple instructions.  He laid out a pattern for them.  God was addressed as ‘Our Father in heaven’, implying family relationship.  Really, the term ‘Father’ is more like ‘Daddy’!  The priority was to His will being done, not ours!  We were to acknowledge our dependence on Him for everything: provision, forgiveness, and protection from evil and the evil one.

Genesis 18:23-25 “Then Abraham drew near and said, “Will You indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked?  Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city.  Will You then sweep away the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous who are in it?  Far be it from You to do such a thing, to put the righteous to death with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as the wicked.  Far be that from you!  Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?””  

Prayer:  Father, thank you for Your simple instructions and the ability of Your people to come before you and ask questions and declare our needs!  In Your Holy Name, Amen.

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