Scripture reading for January 1st: Matthew 1, Psalm 1, Proverbs 1 (Reading through the New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs one chapter a day, five days each week in 2019–please join me in the trek!)
Key Scriptures: Matthew 1:18-21 “Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son and you shall call His Name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.””
The New Testament begins with a story that has its roots in the flow of the Old Testament. A genealogy from Abraham to Joseph begins the story. Joseph’s betrothal to Mary makes the story personal and about love. But Mary, a virgin, was pregnant before the marriage was consummated! Joseph had a plan, but angelic intervention brought needed information: the baby Mary carried was conceived by the Holy Spirit! The Name, “Jesus” was to be given to the child. He would save His people from sin! This story is made personal and current if you have believed in Him and received His love!
Faith’s Confession: I believe that Jesus Christ was born of a virgin, conceived by the Holy Spirit, and was God’s Son in human flesh, and is my Savior from my sins.
Proverbs 1:7 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
Scripture reading for October 16th: Isaiah 53-56, Hebrews 3
Key Scriptures: Hebrews 3:12-14 “Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end.”
The writer of Hebrews gave a pastoral warning to the members of the church. The sin of unbelief can take us away from Christ and cause eternal loss. Unbelief is deceitful and subtle. We must watch over our own soul and one another. Confidence in Christ must be maintained.
Isaiah 55:10-11 “Seek the Lord while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that He may have compassion on him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.”
Prayer: Lord, thank You for Your great mercy and for Your pastoral care for my soul and Your church. Help me to be careful and watchful, maintaining confidence in Christ’s sacrifice for me. Amen.
Scripture reading for May 3rd: 1st Kings 21-22, 2nd Kings 1-2, John 21
Key Scriptures: John 21:17-19 “. . .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.”
Peter had denied Jesus three times during the hours following Jesus’ arrest. Now Jesus would restore His disciple by asking three times if He loved Him. He also gave Peter insight into how he would die. In all, Peter was to follow Jesus!
2nd Kings 2:11-13 “And as they still went on and talked, behold, chariots of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. And Elisha saw it and he cried, “My father, my father! The chariot of Israel and its horsemen!” And he saw him no more. Then he took hold of his own clothes and tore them in two pieces. And he took up the cloak of Elijah. . .”
Prayer: Father, thank You for restoring Peter and calling him to follow You. Help me to follow You closely and do Your will until my departure to be with You! Amen.
Scripture reading for May 2nd: 1st Kings 18-20, John 20
Key Scriptures: John 20:26-28 “Eight days later, His disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Then He said to Thomas, “Put your fingers here, and see My hands; and put out your hand, and place it in My side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” Thomas answered, “My Lord and My God!””
Jesus appeared on several occasions to the disciples after His resurrection. Thomas had missed the first of those times, and struggled to believe. Jesus met him where he was and offered definite proof of touching His wounds in person. Jesus fulfilled His Word completely.
1st Kings 17:23-24 “And Elijah took the child and brought him down from the upper chamber into the house and delivered him to his mother. And Elijah said, “See, your son lives.” And the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God, and that the Word of the Lord in your mouth is truth.”
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for Your patience to meet us each where we are and show us that You are alive and Your Word is truth. You are My Lord and My God. Amen.
Scripture reading for May 1st: 1st Kings 14-17, John 19
Key Scriptures: John 19:28-30 “After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture),”I thirst.” A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to His mouth. When Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished.” and He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.”
Jesus, Son of God, Son of David, was obedient unto death on the cross. He hung there until He had accomplished everything written in Scripture, and then announced the completion of His task. He gave His life blood and then His spirit. His heart was fully committed to the Father.
1st Kings 15:11, 14-15 “And Asa did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, as David his father had done. . . .But the high places were not taken away. Nevertheless, the heart of Asa was wholly true to the Lord all his days. And he brought into the house of the Lord the sacred gifts of his father and his own sacred gifts, silver and gold and vessels.”
Prayer: Father, thank You for sending Jesus to finish the work of salvation and fulfill Scripture. Help me to please You and fully commit to You all my days. Amen.
Scripture reading for April 30th: 1st Kings 11-13, John 18
Key Scriptures: John 18:25-27 “Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. So they said to him, “You also are not one of His disciples, are you?” He denied it and said “I am not.” One of the servants of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, “Did I not see you in the garden with Him?” Peter again denied it, and at once a rooster crowed.”
Jesus had predicted the denial and falling away of all His disciples. He had also predicted the betrayal by one, Judas. Even those who walked with Jesus, saw the miracles, heard His teaching and knew Him turned away during Jesus’ final hours. How we need His grace!
1st Kings 11:3-4 “He (Solomon)had 700 wives and 300 concubines. And his wives turned away his heart. For when Solomon was old his wives turned away his heart after other gods, and his heart was not wholly true to the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father.”
Prayer: Lord, thank You for praying for me. Help me to declare You, not deny You, before men and maintain a fully committed heart, like the heart of Jesus, David’s Son and the Son of God. Amen.
Scripture reading for April 26th: 1st Kings 4-6, John 16
Key Scriptures: John 16:12-14 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of Truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth, for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak, and He will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify Me (Jesus), for He will take what is Mine and declare it to you.”
Jesus explained to His disciples that He would teach them much more about Himself and in fact guide them into all truth. This would come when the Holy Spirit was poured out on them after His resurrection to the Father. This would be the Father’s gift. Each person would have access by the Holy Spirit to God’s wisdom.
1st Kings 4:29-30 Solomon asked God for wisdom —“And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding beyond measure, and breadth of mind like the sand on the seashore, so that Solomon’s wisdom surpassed the wisdom of all the people of the east and all the wisdom of Egypt.”
Prayer: Lord, thank You that You know all things. Fill me with the Holy Spirit and wisdom that I might live fully in Your will and advance Your kingdom. Amen.
Scripture reading for April 25th: 2nd Samuel 24, 1st Kings 1-3, John 15
Key Scriptures: John 15:5-7 “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in Me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from Me, you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”
1st Kings 2:2-3 “I am about to go the way of all the earth. Be strong, and show yourself a man, and keep the charge of the Lord your God, walking in His ways and keeping His statutes, His commandments, His rules, and His testimonies, as is written in the Law of Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn.”
Prayer: Lord, thank You for the nourishing sap of Your Holy Word. I choose to stay closely attached, abiding in You and Your Word that You might bring forth fruit from my life. Amen.
Scripture reading for April 24th: 2nd Samuel 21-23, John 14
Key Scriptures: 2nd Samuel 23:1-4 “Now these are the last words of David: . . . . The Spirit of the Lord speaks through me; His word is on my tongue. The God of Israel has spoken; the Rock of Israel has said to me: When one rules justly over men, ruling in the fear of God, He dawns on them like the morning light, like the sun shining forth on a cloudless morning, like rain that makes grass to sprout from the earth.”
King David’s last words are in the form of a song. In this introduction, God is called the “God of Israel” and the “Rock of Israel.” David declared that he ruled in the “fear of God” and allowed the “Spirit of the Lord” to speak His word through him. God was like a bright light, like the sun shining forth. and like rain causing the earth to bring forth vegetation.
John 14:6 “Jesus said to him, “I am the way and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also.”
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You that You revealed Your Father to us. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit and let Your word and life shine in me. Water my life with the rain from Heaven! Amen.