Category: Gospels

Believe and receive!

Scripture reading for January 8th:  Genesis 12-15, Psalm 148, Mark 5

Key Scriptures:  Genesis 15:3-6 “And Abram said, “Behold, You have given me no offspring, and a member of my household will be my heir.”  And behold, the Word of the Lord came to him: “This man shall not be your heir; your very own son shall be your heir.”  And He brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.”  Then He said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”  And he believed the Lord, and He counted it to him as righteousness.”

Mark 5:25  “And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse.  She had heard the reports about Jesus and came up behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment.  For she said, “If I touch even His garments, I will be made well.”  And immediately the flow of blood dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease.”  

We often struggle with insurmountable problems and obstacles that the best man has to offer cannot help solve.  Then God speaks or we hear of His amazing power to heal and save.  Faith arises that causes us to believe and receive the miracle we desperately need.  God honors simple faith and is the author and finisher of it.  Praise the Lord!

Faith confession and Prayer:  Lord, thank You for Your amazing Word of truth and the record of miracles You have done and still do.  Help me to place my trust in Your Word and see Your power today through faith.

Psalm 148:5 “Let them praise the Name of the Lord!  For He commanded and they were created.”

 

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The Lord of the Storm

Scripture reading for January 7th:  Genesis 9-11, Mark 4

Key Scriptures:  Genesis 9:11-13 “”I establish My covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.”  And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between Me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations:  I have set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and the earth.””  

Mark 4:37-40 “And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling.  But He was in the stern, asleep on the cushion.  And they woke him and said to Him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”  And He awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace!  Be still!”  And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.  He said to them, “Why were you afraid?  Have you still no faith?””  

When we deal with creation’s awesome power and our human weakness, fear often results.  Because of sin, we fear God’s wrath and coming judgment.  We know death will bring us before God.  But God is merciful and gives us signs of His great mercy and calls us to trust in Him.  To Noah and his family, He provided an ark and gave them the rainbow.  To His disciples, Jesus calmed the storm and called them to faith in His saving grace.

Faith Confession and Prayer:  Lord, a fear of death has been replaced by faith in Your great mercy and saving ability.  You spoke “Peace!  Be still!” to the storms that threatened me.  Help me to rest today on the cushion of Your grace!

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Saved from destruction!

Scripture reading for January 6th:  Genesis 6-8, Mark 3, Psalm 104

Key Scriptures:  Genesis 6:17-19  “For behold, I will bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life under heaven.  Everything that is on the earth shall die.  But I will establish My covenant with you, and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your son’s wives with you.  And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every sort into the ark to keep them alive with you.” 

As God chose Noah and his family to make a covenant with and to bring into the ark for their salvation, so Jesus chose those who He desired to be with Him and to be sent out to preach and cast out demons.  Our Lord is all-powerful and all-knowing.  He has a plan to bring life and relationship with those who will respond to His invitation.  He has a grand plan to save all those who will believe from eternal destruction.  He calls disciples and sends them out.

Faith Confession and Prayer:  Lord God, thank You for choosing to spare Noah and his family and the animals from destruction.  Thank You for sending Jesus Christ to spare all mankind from eternal destruction and to call disciples to be with You–for eternity.  Here I am Lord, send me!

Mark 3:13-15 “And He went up on the mountain and called to Him those whom He desired, and they came to Him.  And He appointed twelve (whom He also named apostles) so that they might be with Him and He might sent them out to preach and have authority to cast out demons.” 

Psalm 104:4 “He makes His messengers winds, His ministers a flaming fire.”

 

 

 

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“Where are you?”

Scripture reading:  Genesis 3-5, Mark 2

Key Scriptures:  Genesis 3:7-9  “Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked.  And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.  And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.  But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” 

When the first man and woman sinned by disobeying God’s word, God took the initiative and went looking for them in the garden.  He called out to them, not because He didn’t know where they were or why they were hiding. He exchanged their fig leaves for bloody skins.   Similarly, Jesus Christ sought out lost children of God and called them to Himself, that they might be with Him and learn God’s heart for those caught in Satan’s snare!  Through Jesus’ blood covering, all who responded would be healed from sin’s grip.

Mark 2:16-17  “And the scribes of the Pharisees, when they saw that He was eating with sinners and tax collectors, said to the disciples, “Why does He eat with tax collectors and sinners?”  And when Jesus heard it, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.  I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”” 

Faith Confession and prayer:  Lord, Here I am!  I have strayed from You but through the call of Jesus Christ, I am now following the path of a disciple and learning Your ways.  Send me out today in the power of Your Spirit to preach the Good News and call the lost home to You.

 

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In the beginning: God! (Father, Son, Holy Spirit)

Scripture reading for January 2nd:  Genesis 1-2, Psalm 19, Mark 1 (5 day Chronological reading plan from www.BibleClassMaterial.cogm)

Key Scriptures:  Genesis  1:1-3 “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.  The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep.  And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.  And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.”

God is there in the beginning as the great “I AM.”  He created everything by His powerful Word (Son) out of nothing through the hovering Holy Spirit.  At the beginning of Mark’s Gospel, thought to be the first written of New Testament accounts, we have Jesus Christ introduced by God the Father as He comes up out of the waters of the Jordan.  The Holy Spirit descended upon Him like a dove fluttering from a torn-open heaven.  God declares that Jesus is His beloved Son, pleasing to Him!

Faith confession and prayer:  Lord Jesus, Son of God, We call out to the lost world today in Your Name to hear and receive the simple truth of One true God:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Creator of heaven and earth.  Holy Spirit, hover over Your Word and bring light in Jesus Christ.

Mark 1:1,9-11 “The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. . . . .In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan.  And when He came up out of the water, immediately He saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on Him like a dove.  And a voice came from heaven, “You are My beloved Son; with You I am well pleased.”

Psalm 19:1  “The heavens declare the glory of  God, and the sky above proclaims His handiwork.”

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Following faithfully!

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.”

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Believing without seeing!

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.”  

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Authority is from Heaven!

Scripture reading for May 1st:  John 19, Psalm 87, Proverbs 25

Key Scriptures:  John 19:7-11 “The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to that law He ought to die because He has made Himself the Son of God.”  When Pilate heard this statement, he was even more afraid.  He entered his headquarters again and said to Jesus, “Where are You from?”  But Jesus gave him no answer.  So Pilate said to Him, “You will not speak to me?   Do You not know that I have authority to release You and authority to crucify You?”  Jesus answered him, “You would have no authority over Me at all unless it had been given you from above.  Therefore he who delivered Me over to you has the greater sin.”  

Pilate was the Roman governor over Jerusalem and he alone had the power to execute someone who broke Roman law.  When he heard that Jesus had stated that He was the Son of God, he was fearful for this did not break Roman law.    But Herod feared the people and had also been warned by his own wife to not have anything to do with Jesus.  He tried a final time to get Jesus to speak but Jesus remained silent.  He threatened Jesus with his authority to execute Him.  Jesus reminded him that any authority he possessed was give to him by God.

Faith Confession:  I understand that all authority comes from God alone and that I must always obey Jesus, Son of God, the source of all authority and not fear man.

Proverbs 25:2  “It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out.”  Vs. 11 “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.”  

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Jesus is the Truth!

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.”  

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Beholding Christ’s Glory

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.”

 

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