Scripture reading for January 11th: Matthew 9, Psalm 9, Prov. 9
Key Scriptures: Matthew 9:20-22 “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 on His way to minister to the daughter of a ruler of the synagogue when He encountered this woman who had the long-time issue of blood. This woman had decided by faith that if she could just touch Jesus’ garment, she would be healed. She had confessed this to herself. Healthy self-talk can promote faith–a deep trust in Jesus and His miraculous ability. Jesus stated that her faith had made her well! Healing happened instantly!
Faith’s Confession: Lord I know that I can go to You with any need or health issue and You have the willingness and power to provide and heal. (Faith Action: Reach out to the Lord with a current need for you or a loved one, using a faith confession. Talk to yourself about Jesus!)
Proverbs 9:10-11 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight. For by Me your days will be multiplied, and years will be added to your life.”
Scripture reading for January 9th: Matthew 7, Psalm 7, Prov. 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 taught His disciples that confession of faith was not enough in and of itself to guarantee entrance into the kingdom of heaven. Even works done in the Name of Jesus would not qualify a person for entrance. Confession and good works must be accompanied by complete submission to God and yielding to His will in every area of life. Faith confessions must be demonstrated by humble obedience to God’s will and word.
Faith’s confession: Jesus, I confess that You are Lord of my life. I pray that Your kingdom would come and Your will would be done in my life on earth as in heaven. Deliver me from pride and presumption, and fill me with Your Holy Spirit that I may truly know You better each day.
Proverbs 7:1-3 “My son, keep My words and treasure up My commandments with you; keep My commandments and live; keep My teaching as the apple of your eye; bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart.”
Scripture reading for January 8th: Matthew 6, Psalm 6, Prov. 6 (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 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 forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.””
Jesus taught His disciples a pattern of prayer. Prayer was not to be empty repetitions and vain babbling. Prayer is humble and vital communication with a loving Father who hears our every cry. Prayer declares our alignment with the Father and His will and Word and our dependency on Him for daily provision, protection and deliverance from temptation and the evil one. Prayer keeps our alignment right with God and others made in their Father’s image. Prayer is the basic language of the kingdom of heaven.
Faith’s confession: I believe that my Father in heaven hears and answers prayer. I am dependent on Him for provision, protection and forgiveness of my sins and forgiving others. (Action: Search your heart today for unforgiven sins or bitter roots and ask God and/or others for grace to let go and receive restoration.)
Psalm 6:9 “The Lord has heard my plea; the Lord accepts my prayer.”
Scripture reading for January 7th: Matthew 5, Psalm 5, Prov. 5 (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 5:10-13 “”Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on My account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.””
Jesus took His disciples and others who had gathered to hear Him up on a hillside. There He taught them about the kingdom of heaven and the blessedness of those who were included. This blessedness called for joy and rejoicing and anticipation of the great reward that would come in God’s time. It also included persecution and reviling from the world of sinful men on account of righteousness and their relationship with Jesus Christ. Rejoice now in all things and count on great reward in the fullness of the kingdom of heaven!
Faith’s confession: I am blessed with Christ’s righteousness and presence in me. I joyfully endure any hardship or persecution today, knowing Whose I am. (Action: Pray for God’s blessedness to come to anyone who may be mistreating you now for your love of Jesus. Do an act of kindness to show them Christ’s love.)
Proverbs 5:21 “For a man’s ways are before the eyes of the Lord, and He ponders all his paths.”
Scripture reading for January 4th: Matthew 4, Psalm 4, Prov. 4 (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 4:1-4 “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, He was hungry. And the tempter came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But He answered, “It is written, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.””
Immediately following Jesus’ baptism, the Spirit lead Him to the wilderness where He fasted for forty days and nights. The devil came to Him at the height of His hunger and suggested He prove His divinity by turning stones into bread. Jesus responded with God’s Word: “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word from the mouth of God.” Jesus made a faith confession to defeat the devil’s temptation and the desire of His own flesh for food. We can do the same!
Faith’s confession: I believe that my life is not sustained by bread alone, but I live by every word God has spoken and rest in His grace. I am God’s child! (Action: Break any addiction today by standing on God’s Word and resisting the devil’s temptation.)
Psalm 4:8 “In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.”
Scripture reading for January 3rd: Matthew 3, Psalm 3, Proverbs 3 (Reading through the New Testament, Psalms, Proverbs one chapter a day, five days a week in 2019–join the trek!)
Key Scriptures: Matthew 3:16-17 “And when Jesus was baptized, immediately He went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on Him; and behold a Voice from heaven said, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.””
The story jumps from Jesus’ birth and early years to His baptism at the age of thirty by John the Baptist. John testified that Jesus’ ministry would come after his ministry and Jesus would baptize with the “Holy Spirit and fire.” Jesus then came to John to be baptized in order to identify with us and to “fulfill all righteousness.” The Holy Spirit descended on Him and the Father testified to Christ’s Sonship and pleasing obedience.
Faith’s confession: I believe in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, the three that are One. (Action: I follow Jesus in water baptism and seek Him for baptism in the Holy Spirit.)
Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.”
Scripture reading for September 17th: Proverbs 29-31; Ecclesiastes 1; 1st Thessalonians 4
Key Scriptures: 1st Thessalonians 4:3-7 “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness.”
The idols that the Thessalonians once served promoted sexual immorality. Their culture was very permissive. But Paul’s pastoral warning stood against this pervading sin in the culture. He was proactive and now reinforcing what he had earlier taught them. God would avenge all wrong of sisters and brothers through immorality! God calls all to holiness.
Proverbs 29:1 “He who is often reproved, yet stiffens his neck, will suddenly be broken beyond healing.”
Proverbs 30:20 “This is the way of an adulteress: she eats and wipes her mouth and says, “I have done no wrong.”
Prayer: Lord, thank You for Your loving reproof and solemn warnings against this sin of immorality. May I live to truly love You and as a result, my brothers and sisters, never violating them. Amen.
Scripture reading for September 14th: Proverbs 26-28, 1st Thessalonians 3
Key Scriptures: 1st Thessalonians 3:11-13 “Now may our God and Father Himself, and our Lord Jesus, direct our way to you, and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints.”
Paul eagerly desired to return to the believers at Thessalonica. He was encouraged by the report of their faith in the face of persecution and false doctrine. He prayed for a way to return and for their love to abound towards one another. Their faith in Jesus Christ would prepare them for Christ’s return and make them blameless in His sight.
Proverbs 28:1 “The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion.”
Proverbs 28:10 “Whoever misleads the upright into an evil way will fall into his own pit, but the blameless will have a goodly inheritance.”
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for the gift of righteousness and for counting me among the blameless. I look forward to a “goodly inheritance.” Amen.