Scripture reading for May 3rd: John 21, Psalm 89, Proverbs 27
Key Scriptures: John 21:17-19 “He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” and he said to Him, “Lord, You know everything; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep. Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.” “This He said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this He said to him, “Follow Me.””
Jesus lovingly restored Peter after his three denials after Jesus’ arrest by asking him three times if he loved Him. Jesus used this occasion to also reveal that Peter would suffer a death as a martyr. After the loving restoration and plain revelation of future suffering, Jesus still invited Peter to demonstrate his love by following Him. Tradition says Peter was also crucified, but at his own insistence, upside down because he did not feel worthy to die as His Lord did.
Faith Confession: Lord Jesus, I say along with Peter, Lord I love You. Lord, You do know all things. Help me to follow You in faith all the days of this life and to demonstrate my love through obedience.
Proverbs 27:1 “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.”
Scripture reading for May 2nd: John 20, Psalm 88, Proverbs 26
Key Scriptures: John 20:27-29 “Then He said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see My hands; and put out your hand, and place it in My side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” Thomas answered Him, “My Lord and My God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen Me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believed.”
Eight days after the resurrection, Jesus again came to His disciples through locked doors and greeted them with “Peace be with you.” He had missed Thomas the first time He appeared and Thomas had stated that unless he could see Jesus alive and place his hands in his wounds, he could not believe. Jesus met him where he was and offered His wounds for his touching. Thomas cried out in a faith confession: “My Lord and my God!” Jesus pronounced a blessing on all who would believe though they did not see.
Faith confession: I receive Your blessing, Jesus, by believing in Your death, burial and resurrection from the dead. You are my Lord and my God!
Psalm 88:1 “O Lord, God of my salvation; I cry out day and night before you.”
Scripture reading for April 30th: John 18, Psalm 86, Proverbs 24
Key Scriptures: John 18:36-38 “Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But My kingdom is not from the world.” Then Pilate said to Him, “So Your are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world–to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to My voice.” Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?””
One of the charges against Jesus was the charge that He was proclaiming Himself king over the Jews. The Jews sent Him to Pilate accusing Jesus of sedition. As Pilate questioned Jesus, he asked him directly if He was indeed ‘King of the Jews?’ Jesus answered in a wise manner, stating that Pilate and others had said so. But then He stated that He had come into the world to bear witness to the truth. He stated that all who listened to His voice is of the truth. This brought Pilate to the pivotal question: “What is truth?”
Faith Confession: I believe that Jesus Christ is the Truth and is not only King of the Jews, but King of all Kings. Jesus is the Truth!
Psalm 86:10-11 “For You are great and do wondrous things; You alone are God. Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in Your truth.”
Scripture reading for April 29th: John 17, Psalm 85, Proverbs 23
Key Scriptures: John 17:24-26 “Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, may be with Me where I am, to see My glory that You have given Me because You loved Me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, even though the world does not know You, I know You, and these know that You have sent Me. I made known to them Your Name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which You have loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”
As we listen to Jesus’ prayer to His Father for us and His disciples, we note that He desired that they would be with Him in the Father’s presence. There the disciples would be able to behold Christ’s glory and experience ultimate joy and fullness of life in God’s love. Christ’s prayer is pulling all believers towards the throne of God and the fullness of our joy, glory, and eternal life.
Faith Confession: Amen! Let it be according to Your prayer for me and all disciples! I desire to be with You where You are and see Your glory! Thank You for the Holy Spirit that is a down payment on the fullness to come!
Proverbs 23:17-18 “Let not your heart envy sinners, but continue in the fear of the Lord all the day. Surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off.”
Scripture reading for April 26th: John 16, Psalm 84, Proverbs 22
Key Scriptures: John 16:20-22 “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy. When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again and your hearts will rejoice and no one will take your joy from you.”
Jesus plainly told the disciples that they would experience a time of great anguish and sorrow as He was crucified and died. He likened it to a woman at the time of giving birth. He told them that the world would rejoice as they were in anguish. But that sorrow was not the end, they would see Him again and then they would have joy that no one could ever take away
Faith confession: Thank You Lord for the comfort of Your word! Even the times of sorrow that we have here while the world rejoices will soon be turned around. No one can take my joy away!
Psalm 84:5-7 “Blessed are those who dwell in Your house, ever singing Your praise! As they go through the Valley of Baca (tears), they make it a place of springs; the early rain also covers it with pools. They go from strength to strength; each one appears before God in Zion.”
Scripture reading for April 25th: John 15, Psalm 83, Proverbs 21
Key Scriptures: John 15:7-11 “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and prove to be My disciples. As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you. Abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”
Jesus encouraged His disciples with a parable of a vine and its branches and ability to produce fruit. Jesus was the vine and His disciples were the branches. The Father was the vine-dresser. The sap in the vine was God’s word. Each disciple must abide in the vine and be filled with the sap in order to produce fruit. Abiding meant a close relationship of love and faith that asked for needs and claimed God’s word in faith. All fruit is to His glory!
Faith Confession: I am abiding in Jesus Christ, God’s Son, and allowing the Word of God to abide in me and resting in His love. I ask Him for what I need and expect to receive in order to produce fruit.
Proverbs 21:20 “Precious treasure and oil are in a wise man’s dwelling, but a foolish man devours it.”
Scripture reading for April 24th: John 14, Psalm 82, Proverbs 20
Key Scriptures: John 14:11-13 “Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me, or else believe on account of the works themselves. Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in Me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in My name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My Name, I will do it.”
Jesus made some fantastic promises to those who would choose to believe in Him. He promised His disciples that they would do the same works that He had been doing. He also stated that they would do greater works. In fact, whatever need that they had, they could ask in His Name and He would do it. Faith to see what Jesus wanted to do and to ask Him would bring results!
Faith Confession: Thank You Jesus for these precious and magnificent promises. Help me to see what You want to do each day and to ask You for needed resources. (Action step: Ask Jesus in prayer for a need that you have and expect results.)
Psalm 82:3-4 Father, I pray Your Word: “Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute. Rescue the weak and the needy, deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” Amen.
Scripture reading for April 23rd: John 13, Psalm 81, Proverbs 19
Key Scriptures: John 13:34-35 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Jesus had shown His love to His disciples by taking a towel and washing their feet. He served them. Jesus gave His disciples a new commandment. It really was a summary of the ten commandments and the law of the kingdom of heaven. This commandment was not a suggestion and would be the distinguishing mark of all who belonged to Jesus. It was simple but not easy–to love one another as Christ had loved them.
Faith Confession: Jesus, thank You for loving me by serving me and all mankind. Help me today to love others that come into my path.
Proverbs 19:22 “What is desired in a man is steadfast love, and a poor man is better than a liar.”
Scripture reading for April 22nd: John 12, Psalm 80, Proverbs 18
Key Scriptures: John 12:44-48 “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 world. The one who rejects Me and does not receive My words has a judge; the word that I have spoke will judge him on the last day.””
Jesus explained that believing in Him and His words was the same as believing in the Father, who sent Him. He was the light that revealed the Father who was the unseen Spirit. Hearing Jesus’ words brings responsibility and ultimate judgment. Hearing and disobeying or rejecting Jesus’ words will bring judgment and those words will judge the person at the final judgment.
Faith Confession: Jesus, I receive You and Your words and know that they are words from the Father. Help me to share Your words with others so they may hear and obey.
Psalm 80:17-18 “But let Your hand be on the Man of Your right hand, the Son of man whom You have made strong for Yourself. Then we shall not turn back from You; give us life, and we will call upon Your Name.”