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.”
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.
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.”
Scripture reading for December 31st: Revelation 22, Psalm 149-50, Proverbs 14
Key Scriptures: Revelation 22:17-21 “The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price. I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book. He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.”
We end this year’s devotions with the last words of John’s revelation and the last words of Jesus Christ to His Church, the Bride. The Bride, through the Holy Spirit is praying to the Lord Jesus saying, “Come!” I believe this simple prayer has two aspects. The Bride is asking God to bring in the thirsty and those still to be saved. The Bride is asking Jesus to come for them. The Lord Jesus answers: “Surely I am coming soon.” The Brides answer is “Amen.” It all occurs by grace through faith!
Faith confession: Lord Jesus, I join the Bride in praying “Come.” May the lost and thirsty come to You and find refreshing in the river of life and healing food in the tree of life flowing from Your glorious throne! “Amen.” Hallelujah forever and ever!
Psalm 149:1 “Praise the Lord! Sing to the Lord a new song; His praise in the assembly of the godly!
Psalm 150:6 “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!”
Scripture reading for December 30th: Revelation 22, Psalm 147-48, Proverbs 13
Key Scriptures: Revelation 22:1-5 “Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His servants will worship Him. They will see His face, and His Name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.”
John’s final vision of the Holy City was of the river flowing from the throne of God and the tree of life growing on either side. These trees produced twelve kinds of fruit and leaves brought healing to the nations. No more idols would be found inside the city or temple, for God’s throne and the Lamb would dwell in it. This would bring eternal light and no more darkness or the deeds of darkness. The Lamb and God Almighty would reign forever and ever in a glorious kingdom of light.
Faith Confession: It will be” joy unspeakable and full of glory” to behold the Lamb and see His glorious face and worship Him forever and ever! No more darkness! Eating of the Tree of Life!
Proverbs 13:12 “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.”
Scripture reading for December 26th: Revelation 20, Psalm 143-44, Proverbs 11
Key Scriptures: Revelation 20:4-6 “Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the Word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with Him for a thousand years.”
John saw thrones and saints seated on those thrones given the authority to judge. These saints were those coming through the great tribulation through martyrdom because of their faithfulness to the testimony of Jesus and the Word of God. Their faith and faithfulness had brought the fulfillment of God’s promise of eternal life. This is the first resurrection and those participating are most blessed and holy! They will rule with Christ during the millennial reign.
Faith Confession: I am thankful for Christ’s promise that those who believe in Him shall never die but have eternal life. They will be part of the first resurrection of the righteous. Lord help me to stay faithful and true to Your testimony and holy Word.
Proverbs 11:30-31 “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and whoever captures souls is wise. If the righteous is repaid on earth, how much more the wicked and the sinner.”
Scripture reading for December 25th: Revelation 19, Psalm 141-42, Proverbs 10
Key Scriptures: Revelation 19:11-16 “Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The One sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems, and He has a Name written that no one knows but Himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the Name by which He is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following Him on white horses. From His mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On His robe and on His thigh He has a Name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.”
John beheld an awesome sight. Heaven opened and Jesus the King of kings rode forth on a blazing white horse wearing a blood-dipped robe. Following were a great host of saints, all wearing garments made white by His blood. A sharp sword came from His mouth to make war and rule over His enemies. His own bloody garment showed His love for His people. He is their defender!
Faith Confession: I believe and pray that I will be counted in the number of those following the King of Kings in His blood-dipped robe. An old hymn states: “We shall see the King when He comes!” Amen!
Psalm 141:8 “But my eyes are toward You, O God, my Lord; in You I seek refuge; leave me not defenseless!”
Scripture reading for December 24th: Revelation 18, Psalm 139-40, Proverbs 9
Key Scriptures: Revelation 18:4-7 “Then I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, My people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues; for her sins are heaped high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. Pay her back as she herself has paid back other, and repay her double for her deeds; mix a double portion for her in the cup she mixed. As she glorified herself and lived in luxury, so give her a like measure of torment and mourning, . . “
God’s heart is that all made in His image would not be found in the wicked city of Babylon, involved in its false religion and materialism. John heard a voice from heaven calling out to God’s people and giving stern warning of the impending doom of that city and its residents. God remembered their sins and was about to repay. In contrast, the sins of God’s people had been cast away and carried away by their Savior, the Lord Jesus.
Faith Confession: I am thankful that I heard the call from heaven to come out of ‘Babylon’ and look for God’s City–the New Jerusalem. I thank God that He graciously forgave me through the sacrifice of His Son and remembers my sins no more! Hallelujah!
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 December 23rd: Revelation 17, Psalm 137-38, Proverbs 8
Key Scriptures: Revelation 17:3-6 “And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness, and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was full of blasphemous names, and it had seven heads and ten horns. The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and jewels and pearls, holding in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of her sexual immorality. And on her forehead was written a name of mystery: “Babylon the great, mother of prostitutes and of earth’s abominations.” And I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.”
John’s vision portrayed a great scarlet beast that was carrying a woman decked out as a prostitute with a golden cup full of abominations. Abominations are sinful acts that God detests and are in direct rebellion against His holy Word. This woman had caused the downfall and destruction of many men and women on earth and had also orchestrated the persecution and death of the followers of Jesus. She was drunk with their blood!
Faith Confession: I believe the warnings of Scripture and ask my Lord Jesus to keep me safe from the seductions of this evil world system of Babylon’s false religion and humanism. Give me wisdom and let my mind never stray from You and the holy city of Your habitation.
Psalm 137:4-6 “How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land? If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget its skill! Let my tongue stick to the roof of my mouth, if I do not remember you, if I do not set Jerusalem above my highest joy!”