Category: Gospels

Grace through the torn curtain!

Scripture reading for February 6th:  Leviticus 2-4, Matthew 27

Key Scriptures: Matthew 27:50-54  “And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up His spirit.  And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.  And the earth shook and the rocks were split.  The tombs also were opened.  And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many.  When the centurion and those who were with him saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!””

Jesus, the Son of God, hung on a cross between heaven and earth, offering His own body and blood as the final sacrifice for our sins and the sins of the world.  He cried out to His Father one more time and gave up His spirit.  The earth shook, rocks were split, tombs were opened, saints were resurrected and the temple curtain was torn from top to bottom!  The Gentile centurion and those with him declared the divinity of Jesus, Son of God!

Leviticus 4:15,20-21  “And the elders of the congregation shall lay their hands on the head of the bull before the Lord, and the bull shall be killed before the Lord. . . .And the priest shall make atonement for them, and they shall be forgiven.”

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, Son of God, thank You for Your complete obedience to fulfill the law as the final and complete sacrifice for our sins.  May I always use the grace provided to approach Your throne through Your sacrifice.  Amen.

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Anointed to Serve!

Scripture reading for February 5th:  Exodus 38-40, Leviticus 1, Matthew 26

Key Scriptures: Matthew 26:6-11  “Now when Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, a woman came up to Him with a jar of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on His head as He reclined at table.  And when the disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste?  For this could have been sold for a large sum and given to the poor.”  But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman?  For she has done a beautiful thing to Me.””

Jesus was preparing for His last few days on earth before offering Himself as the sacrifice for the sins of mankind.  A woman came up to Him with a jar of expensive ointment and anointed his head.  This was a special act of love that Jesus said would be remembered everywhere the Gospel was preached.  With this anointing, Jesus was set apart for His mission as our High Priest and the final blood sacrifice.  This is prefigured in the Old Testament in Exodus.

Exodus 40:12-13  “Then you shall bring Aaron and his sons to the entrance of the tent of meeting and shall wash them with water and put on Aaron the holy garments.  And you shall anoint Him and consecrate Him, that he may serve Me as priest.”  

Prayer:  Holy Father, thank You for anointing Your Son as my High Priest, set apart for Your service in giving His life blood for us.  Anoint me afresh today with the Holy Spirit that I might serve You.  Amen.

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The Master’s Commendation!

Scripture reading for February 2nd:  Exodus 35-37, Matthew 25

Key Scriptures: Matthew 25:20-21 “And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents, here I have made five talents more.’  His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.  You have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much.  Enter into the joy of your master.” 

Jesus told His disciples a story to illustrate their need to use what God had blessed them with to bless God’s kingdom.  Those who were faithful to use their ‘talents’ were commended by the master and rewarded.  The one who failed to respond or even invest in God’s work lost everything.  God is looking for willing investors!

Exodus 35:21-22 “And they came, everyone whose heart stirred him, and everyone whose spirit moved him, and brought the Lord’s contribution to be used for the tent of meeting, and for all its service, and for the holy garments.  So they came, both men and women.  All who were of a willing heart brought brooches and earrings and signet rings and armlets, all sorts of gold objects, every man dedicated an offering of gold to the Lord.”  

Prayer:  Lord, I want to willingly invest my time, talents and ability to Your kingdom’s use!  I desire you ultimate commendation, not condemnation.  Amen.

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Keep us from deception!

Scripture reading for February 1st:  Exodus 31-34, Matthew 25

Key Scriptures:  Matthew 24:3-5  “As He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be and what will be the sign of Your coming and of the end of the age?”  And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray.  For many will come in My Name, saying ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray.””

Jesus answered the disciples questions concerning His earlier comments about the destruction of the Temple.  He prefaced the answer with a warning about deception.  Deception would mark the time prior to His return again for His people.  This deception would even take in some of God’s people.  We can look back in history to see that God’s people were deceived with a golden calf!

Exodus 32:7-8  “And the Lord said to Moses, “Go down, for your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves.  They have turned aside quickly out of the way that I commanded them.  They have made for themselves a golden calf and have worshiped it and sacrificed to it and said, “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!””

Prayer:  Lord, deliver me from deception and the lure of false ‘gods’.  Thank you for your loving warnings in Your Word.  Amen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Don’t put on a show!

Scripture reading for January 31st:  Exodus 28-30,  Matthew 23

Key Scriptures:  Matthew 23:1-5  “Then Jesus said to the crowds and to His disciples, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat, so do and observe whatever they tell you, but no the works they do.  For they preach, but do not practice.  They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their fingers.  They do all their deeds to be seen by others.”  

Jesus was preparing to return to heaven and was giving His final instructions.  He warned the disciples about imitating the current religious leaders of the day.  Their example was not one to follow in that they preached one thing and did another.  They also performed religious works to be seen by others, not focusing on pleasing God.  We must walk in obedience to please our Father!

Exodus 28:1-2 “Then bring near to you Aaron your brother, and his sons with him, from among the people of Israel, to serve Me as priests–Aaron and Aaron’s sons, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar.  And you shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother, for glory and for beauty.” 

Prayer:  Lord, Help me to wear the holy garment of Your righteousness in all that I do.  May I please you and not perform for men.  Amen

 

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Listening to Jesus

Scripture reading for January 30th:  Exodus 24-27, Matthew 22

Key Scriptures:  Matthew 22:35-40  “And one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question to test Him.  “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”  And He said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the great and first commandment.  And a second is like it:  You shall love your neighbor as yourself.  On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”  

Jesus was being tested and the Pharisees desired to trap Him with a question concerning the greatest commandment in the Law of God.  Jesus gave them His answer, in two parts:  Love God and love your neighbor as yourself.  Jesus stated that these two commandments summed up all the law and the prophets.

Exodus 24:12-13  “The Lord said to Moses, “Come up to Me on the mountain and wait there, that I may give you the tablets of stone, with the law and the commandments, which I have written for their instruction.”  So Moses rose with his assistant Joshua, and Moses went up into the mountain of God.”  

Prayer:  Lord, thank You for these great commandments.  Your love is shown to me by the careful instructions you give and the blood of Jesus that covers my disobedience and ignorance.  Let a river of Your love flow in my life towards You and my neighbors.  Amen.

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The power of faith!

Scripture reading for January 29th:  Exodus 21-23, Matthew 21

Key Scriptures: Matthew 21:20-22  “When the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying, “How did the fig tree wither at once?”  And Jesus answered them, “Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen.  And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”  

Jesus had cursed the fig tree for having no fruit.  The disciples noted how quickly it had withered,  and asked how this could be.  Jesus informed them that they also would have this kind of authority if they simply had faith.  Even greater obstacles would be removed by believing prayer.  The Old Testament Scriptures revealed this kind of authority given to God’s people as they obeyed.

Exodus 23:23-26  “When My angel goes before you and brings you to the Amorites and the Hittites and the Perizzites and the Canaanites, the Hivites and the Jebusites, and I blot them out, you shall not bow down to their gods nor serve them, nor do as they do, but you shall utterly overthrow them and break their pillars in pieces.  You shall serve the Lord your God, and He will bless your bread and your water , and I will take sickness away from among you.  None shall miscarry or be barren in your land; I will fulfill the number of your days.”  

Prayer:  Lord, thank you for your promises of answered prayer.  Help me today to walk in faith and appropriate all your promised blessing for Your glory.  Amen.

Serving wins battles!

Scripture reading for January 26th:  Exodus 17-20, Matthew 20

Key Scriptures:  Exodus 17:10-13  “So Joshua did as Moses told him, and fought with Amalek, while Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill.  Whenever Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed, and whenever he lowered his hand, Amalek prevailed.  But Moses’ hands grew weary, so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it, while Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side.  So his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.  And Joshua overwhelmed Amalek and his people with the sword.”

Moses recorded this story of a battle with the Amalekites.   He and Aaron and Hur observed the battle led by Joshua.  As Moses would stretch out his hand, Joshua was winning.  When he lowered his had because of exhaustion, Amalek prevailed.  So Aaron and Hur held up Moses’ hands and seated him on a stone and Joshua prevailed in the battle.  This is a picture of corporate intercession and the power of agreement.

Matthew 20:25-26:  “But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them.  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 your slave, for even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve and give His live as a ransom for many.”  

Prayer:  Father, help me to lift my hands in service of others.  Thank you for the example of Your Son and Aaron and Hur to show me the way.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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God’s rule: obedience!

Scripture reading for January 25th:  Exodus 14-16, Matthew 19

Key Scriptures:  Exodus 15:25-26  “There the Lord made for them a statute and a rule, and there He tested them, saying, “If you will diligently listen to the voice of the Lord your God, and do that which is right in His eyes, and give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you that I put on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, your Healer.””

God had delivered His people out of Egypt with a mighty hand, through signs and wonders and plagues and judgments.  But His people were not thankful and grumbled against Moses and God.  God laid out a rule for them:  Obey Me and I will heal you of the plagues and diseases of Egypt.  Obedience would bring them into God’s protection and healing grace and the smile of His face.  But man in rebellion has trouble with obedience!

Matthew 19:16-17  “And behold, a man came up to Him (Jesus), saying, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?”  And He said to him, “Why do you ask Me about what is good?   There is only One who is Good.  If you would enter life, keep the commandments.”  

Prayer:  Lord,  heal me today of a grumbling nature.  Thank you for the perfect obedience of our Savior, Jesus Christ.  Empower me today with the Holy Spirit of Christ to hear and obey your commands. Amen.

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God’s concern for children!

Scripture reading for January 24th:  Exodus 10-13, Matthew 18

Key Scriptures:  Exodus 12:21-22, 26-28  “Then Moses called all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Go and select lambs for yourselves according to your clans, and kill the Passover lamb.  Take a bunch of hyssop and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and touch the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin.  . . .And when your children say to you, ‘What do you mean by this service?’ you shall say, ‘It is the sacrifice of the Lord’s Passover, for He passed over the houses of the people of Israel in Egypt, when He struck the Egyptians but spared our houses.'”

God had prepared a plan of salvation for His people.  It involved taking an innocent lamb for each household and slaughtering it and catching the blood in a bowl or basin.  The head of the house then took some hyssop as a brush and sprinkled or spattered the blood on the lintel and doorposts of their home.  This ritual was called the “Passover” because this sign caused the death angel who was taking the lives of the firstborn to ‘pass over’ the marked houses.  This ritual would teach children about God’s protective covering through sacrifice.  God did not want one of the children to perish.

Matthew 18:10, 14  “See that you do not despise one of these little ones.  For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven.  . . . . So it is not the will of My Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.”   

Prayer: Father, thank You for Your love for little children.  Help me to be sensitive to children and teach them about You and Your great love through the blood of Your Son, Jesus.  Amen.

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