Scripture reading for September 4th: Psalm 147-150, Philippians 3
Key Scriptures: Philippians 3:20-4:1 “But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables Him to bring everything under His control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like His glorious body. Therefore, my brothers, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, that is how you should stand firm in the Lord, dear friends!”
As Paul was concluding his letter to the Philippians, he cast vision of Christ’s return and the expectation of believers. Christ’s return would bring the ultimate transformation of human flesh to those who trusted in Him. Lowly earthly bodies will be transformed into eternal heavenly bodies, just like Christ’s. This is vision that enables faith and a firm stand.
Psalm 148:13-14 “Let them praise the Name of the Lord, for His Name alone is exalted; His splendor is above the earth and the heavens. He has raised up for His people a horn, the praise of all His saints, of Israel, the people close to His heart. Praise the Lord!”
Prayer: Lord, we praise You and Your Horn, Jesus Christ our Savior. We look forward to Your return for us and the transformation that will take place at that time! Amen.
Scripture reading for September 3rd: Psalm 143-145, Philippians 2
Key Scriptures: Philippians 4:5-11 “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore, God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the Name that is above every name, so that at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Paul urged the Corinthians to put on the mind of Christ, which was available to them. This “Christ mind” was humble and serving and put God’s will and others before self. This way of thinking and living brings ultimate reward and glory to Christ and God our Father. This way pleases God and requires faith.
Psalm 145:2-4 “Every day I will bless You and praise Your Name forever and ever. Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and His greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall commend Your works to another, and shall declare Your mighty acts.”
Prayer: Lord, thank You for the mind of Christ and His example of humility and serving. Fill me with His ways. I will praise You and declare Your mighty acts! Amen.
Scripture reading for August 31st: Psalm 140-142 and Philippians 1
Key Scriptures: Philippians 1:27-30 “Only let your manner of life be worthy of the Gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the Gospel, and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God. For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in Him but also suffer for His sake, engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.”
Paul was in prison and not sure whether he would live or die for the Gospel. He wrote to the church at Philippi to encourage them to stand firm in their faith and not be afraid. Faith in Christ often involves suffering for His sake. There is a spiritual conflict that comes with belonging to Him, but we can have great confidence in our final outcome.
Psalm 140:12-13 “I know that the Lord will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and will execute justice for the needy. Surely the righteous shall give thanks to Your Name; the upright shall dwell in Your Presence.”
Prayer: Lord, empower me today to stand firm in the conflict and suffering that comes to those who believe. Thank You for the encouragement of Your Word and past apostles and saints. Amen.
Scripture reading for August 30th: Psalms 136-139 and Ephesians 6
Key Scriptures: Ephesians 6:23-24 “Peace be to the brothers and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with love incorruptible.”
Paul closed his letter to the Ephesians with a blessing. He gave them a blessing of peace. Our Lord Jesus promised His disciples that “in Me you may have peace.” (John 16:33) He gave them the blessing of “love with faith.” Love never fails and faith works by love. He blessed them with grace–grace that would cover all those who loved Jesus Christ, the loving and faithful Son of God.
Psalm 138:1-2 “I give You thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart; before the gods I sing Your praise; I bow down toward Your Holy Temple and give thanks to Your Name for Your steadfast love and Your faithfulness, for You have exalted above all things Your Name and Your Word.”
Prayer: Lord, thank You for Your love and faithfulness! I receive the blessing of Your peace, love, faithfulness, and amazing grace! Amen.
Scripture reading for August 29th: Psalm 133-135 and Ephesians 5
Key Scriptures: Ephesians 5:18-21 “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence to Christ.”
Hearts that are filled with the Holy Spirit flow with heavenly words and music. There is thankfulness flowing to God and others for what Christ Jesus has done, is doing and will do. There is respect and honor for other members of Christ’s Body, the Church. Saints don’t need wine to give them joy! The Holy Spirit overflows them with His provision!
Psalm 133:1,3 “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! . . . .It is like the dew of Hermon, which falls on the mountains of Zion! For there the Lord has commanded the blessing, life forever more.”
Prayer: Lord, thank You for the infilling of the Holy Spirit and songs of joy in my heart. Let that river flow in love and unity for the brothers and sisters and let it reach out to the lost to show them Your glory. Amen.
Scripture reading for August 28th: Psalm 129-132 and Ephesians 4
Key Scriptures: Ephesians 4:29-32 “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
Christians are not under the law anymore, but under grace through faith in Christ Jesus. They have been forgiven of their sins and cleansed in their hearts. The Holy Spirit dwells inside them to lead them in the new life of grace. This changes our speech, attitudes and past anger and malice towards others. Our attitudes and actions should now reflect Christ Jesus living within our hearts.
Psalm 132:13-16 “for the Lord has chosen Zion; He has desired it for His dwelling place:”This is My resting place forever; here I will dwell, for I have desired it. I will abundantly bless her provisions; I will satisfy her poor with bread. Her priests I will clothe with salvation, and her saints will shout for joy.”
Prayer: Lord, dwell in me today, fill me with Your Holy Spirit and clothe me with salvation and joy! I will proclaim Your grace to others. Amen.
Scripture reading for August 27th: Psalm 126-128, Ephesians 3
Key Scriptures: Ephesians 3:17-21 “. . . so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith–that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”
Inspired by the Holy Spirit, Paul prayed for Christ’s church. He prayed for a deep relationship with Jesus Christ and personal experience of and comprehension of Christ’s amazing love. He reminded them that because of Christ’s great power, He was able to do exceedingly abundantly beyond all that they could think or ask! The goal was that Christ’s glory would be known in His church throughout all generations, forever and ever.
Psalm 128:5-6 “”The Lord bless you from Zion! May you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life! May you see your children’s children! Peace be upon Israel!””
Prayer: Lord, thank You for answering prayer with Your amazing power. May my children, grandchildren, and all who may come after me know the surpassing greatness and glory of Christ’s love and peace. May they enjoy the New Jerusalem forever and ever. Amen.
Scripture reading for August 24th: Psalm 122-125, Ephesians 2
Key Scriptures: Ephesians 2:17-20 “And He came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. For through Him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles, and prophets. Christ Jesus Himself being the cornerstone, . . .”
Paul explained that Jesus Christ came to bring peace to Jew and Gentile by making the gift of the Holy Spirit available to all. The Holy Spirit gives us access to the Father. He marks us as belonging to God’s family and reveals and forms Christ in us. Jesus Christ is the cornerstone of this new “House” called the “Church of Jesus Christ.” Because of the peace of the brothers, all know we belong to Jesus.
Psalm 122:6-9 “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem! May they be secure who love you! Peace be within your walls and security within your towers! For my brothers and companion’s sake I will say, “Peace be within you!” For the sake of the house of the Lord our God, I will seek your good.”
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for bringing peace to all through the sacrifice of Your body and blood. I pray that today You will reveal Your peace through me and all who belong to Your house! Amen.
Scripture reading for August 23rd: Psalm 118-121, Ephesians 1
Key Scriptures: Ephesians 1:16-20 “I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which He has called you, what are the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His great might, that He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places.”
After Paul’s glorious introduction in his letter to the Ephesians, he thanks God for the believers and prays for understanding of God’s amazing power exhibited through Christ’s resurrection from the dead and His seating at the Father’s right hand. This understanding would come through the Holy Spirit.
Psalm 119:104-105 “Through Your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way. Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
Prayer: Lord, thank You for Your body, the Church. Fill us again with the Spirit of wisdom and understanding and guide us in Your ways through Your unchanging Word. Amen.
Scripture reading for August 22nd: Psalm 115-118, Galatians 6
Key Scriptures: Galatians 6:7-10 “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.”
Paul encouraged believers to continue to do good works. This was not to earn salvation, but to insure their reward. He taught them the spiritual law of sowing and reaping. What is sowed is what will be reaped. What is sowed will reap more that what was sowed. The harvest takes time–patience is required. A blessed field to sow in is within the household of faith because of God’s faithfulness to us, His family.
Psalm 115:1 “Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to Your Name give glory, for the sake of Your steadfast love and Your faithfulness.”