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Anointed Leader!

Scripture reading for April 5th:  1st Samuel 6-9, John 1

Key Scriptures:  John 1:29-34 “The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!  This is He of Whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who ranks before me, because He was before me.’  I myself did not know Him, but for this purpose I came baptizing with water, that He might be revealed to Israel.”  And John bore witness:  “I saw  the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on Him.”  

John the Baptist, Jesus’ cousin, proclaimed prophetically the Name and mission of Christ Jesus.  His job was to call all people to humility and cleansing through water baptism.  This would prepare the way for the One who would baptize His followers with the Holy Spirit and fire!

1st Samuel 9:15-16 “Now the day before Saul came, the Lord had revealed to Samuel: “Tomorrow about this time I will send to you a man from the land of Benjamin, and you shall anoint him to be prince over My people Israel.  He shall save My people from the hand of the Philistines.” 

Prayer:  Lord, thank You for anointing Jesus, Your Son, to lead Your people and save them from their enemies!  Amen!

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Have mercy on Me!

Scripture reading for March 28th:  Judges 9-12, Luke 19

Key Scriptures: Luke 18:13-14  “But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’  I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other.  For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”  

Jesus told the story of two men who went to the temple to pray.  The first, a Pharisee, prayed arrogantly, exalting his own goodness in keeping the law.  The second, a tax collector, asked God for mercy and confessed his sins.  Jesus plainly stated that the one who humbled himself was justified by God.

Judges 10:14-16 “”Go and cry out to the gods whom you have chosen; let them save you in the time of your distress.”  And the people of Israel said to the Lord, “We have sinned; do to us whatever seems good to you.  Only please deliver us this day.”  So they put away the foreign gods from among them and served the Lord and He became impatient over the misery of Israel.”  

Prayer: Lord, have mercy on me today for my sins and poor choices.  I humble myself before You and ask for Your deliverance.  Amen.

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Finding faith when He Comes!

Scripture reading for March 27th:  Jude 5-8, Luke 18

Key Scriptures:  Luke 18:6-8  “And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says.  And will not God give justice to His elect, who cry to Him day and night?  Will He delay long over them?  I tell you, He will give justice to them speedily.  Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on earth?””

Jesus told a parable about an unjust judge and a woman who came again and again for justice.  The unjust judge finally grants her request to keep her from wearing him out.  Jesus used this story to explain the kind of faith needed by those who would be living in the time before He returned.  God always is moved by people using their faith!

Judges 6:12, 14  “And the angel of the Lord appeared to him (Gideon) and said to him, “The Lord is with you, O mighty man of valor.”   . . “And the Lord turned to him and said, “Go in this might of yours and save Israel from the hand of Midian; do not I send you?””

Prayer:  Lord, increase my ability to hear and believe Your holy Word and live by faith each day.  Amen.

 

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Calling of sinners!

Scripture reading for February 9th:  Leviticus 12-15, Mark 2

Key Scriptures: Mark 2:15-17  “And as He reclined at table in His house, many tax collectors and sinners were reclining with Jesus and His disciples, for there were many who followed Him.  And the scribes of the Pharisees, when they saw that He was eating with sinners and tax collectors, said to His 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.” 

Jesus chose to invite sinners to have fellowship with Him.  He ate with them and even invited Matthew, a despised tax collector, to follow Him.  The religious leaders questioned how Jesus could be willing to be with ‘sinners and tax collectors’ and Jesus spoke plainly to them.  He had come to minister to those who were in need of healing, not those who did not need it.  God taught His people in the Old Testament to minister to the unclean, lepers, and bring restoration.

Leviticus 14:1-3  “The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “This is the law of the leprous person for the day of his cleansing.  He shall be brought to the priest, and the priest shall look.  Then, if the case of the leprous disease is healed in the leprous person, the priest shall command them to take for him who is to be cleansed two live clean birds. . . “

Prayer:  Holy Father, thank You for caring for the sinner and the hurting.  May your compassion fill my heart today to bring healing, encouragement and hope.  Amen.

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Building an altar

Scripture reading for January 3rd:  Genesis 8-10, Matthew 3

Key Scriptures:  Genesis 8:14-17,20  “In the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth had dried out.  Then God said to Noah, “Go out from the ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your sons’ wives with you.  Bring out with you every living thing that is with you of all flesh–birds and animals and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.”  . . . “Then Noah built an altar to the Lord and took some of every clean animal and some of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar.” 

The Lord gave Noah instructions upon entering and now upon leaving the ark.  God’s Word was critical to success in escaping the destruction of the flood and now in entering a new world, washed from violence by the flood.  Noah and his family built an altar to worship God and offer acceptable sacrifices.  When God smelled the offerings, He was pleased and made a covenant with Noah, promising blessing and no more water judgment!  Baptism is a symbol of water judgment on sins!

Matthew 3:1, 11-12  “In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”. . . “I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry.  He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.  His winnowing fork is in His and, and He will clear His threshing floor and gather His wheat into the barn, but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire.”  

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, thank You for clear instructions to our forefathers warning of coming judgment and taking them through.  Cleanse my heart, by Your Holy Spirit, and make it an altar where You dwell and we meet each day.   Amen.

 

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2017 Theme: Joy and Thanksgiving!

Scripture reading for 2017:  The Holy Bible–Genesis through Revelation.

Breakdown:  With God’s help, a reading plan for five days per week breaking at chapters will begin on Monday January 2nd, 2017 and end on Friday, December 29th, 2017.

Devotion:  A devotion will be presented from each day’s reading, Monday-Friday, focusing on developing thankfulness and joy in our lives.  This will be featured on my blog site:  www.Bibletrektoday.com

Invitation:  I am joyfully inviting my family, friends, and anyone who will to join me in my ninth trek through God’s Holy Bible in 2017.  As you read, ask God to fill you with a knowledge of His holy character and with a joyful and thankful heart.  Ask Him to increase your awareness of His presence in your life and allow you to share your joy and hope with others.  Exciting things happen when we pray and read God’s Word!

Key Verses:  “Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared.  This day is sacred to our Lord.  Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”  Nehemiah 8:10

“Shout for joy to the Lord all the earth.  Worship the Lord with gladness, come before Him with joyful songs. . . .Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and  praise His Name.”  Psalm 100:1-2,4

“If you obey My Commands, you will remain in My love, just as I have obeyed My Father’s commands and remain in His love.  I have told you this so that My joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”  (Jesus) (John 15:10-11)

 

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God is impartial!

Scripture reading for May 18th:  Acts 10

Key Scriptures for over-comers:  Acts 10:44-48  “While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message.  The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles.  For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God.  Then Peter said, “Can anyone keep these people from being baptized with water?  They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.”  So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.”

The early church came mainly from converts among the Jews.  Peter was a devout Jew, as were most of the other apostles.  When God called him to go to the home of Cornelius and preach to the Gentiles gathered there, it was a shock to his cultural upbringing.  But he took other Jewish believers with him as he obeyed the vision given him by the Lord.  As he preached the Gospel to them, the Holy Spirit fell upon these Gentiles and they were filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in tongues and praising God.  Peter then understood that God had given them the same gift and they should also be baptized and brought into fellowship of the Church!   Peter had actually prophesied this on the day of Pentecost when he said this gift of the Holy Spirit was for those who were “far off”!  (Acts 2:39)

Observations for over-comers:  God’s ways are often much higher than ours.  We must stay teachable and obedient to the leading of the Holy Spirit and not be over-come by our own cultural prejudices.   “For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes.”  (Deuteronomy 10:17)

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Good Seed for good soil!

Scripture reading for March 14th: Luke 8

Key scriptures for over-comers:  Luke 8:8-9,15  “Still other seed fell on good soil.  It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.”  When He said this, He called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”  His disciples asked Him what this parable meant. . . .But the seed on the good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.”

Jesus taught the people as well as His disciples with parables.  These were stories about common events and illustrations take from the culture and time they lived in.  These stories contained spiritual truths that only those with humble and teachable hearts could grasp.  Those who were proud and arrogant could not understand the truth and would not come to Jesus for help in understanding.  His disciples asked for help and found understanding.

Hearts that are like the ‘good’ soil are open to listen to Jesus and the stories He told.  They listen with hungry hearts to learn more and apply it to their own lives.  They lay hold of the truths (the Good Seed) and retain them, patiently working them into their thinking.  This produces a crop over time that is multiplied ‘a hundred times’ what was sown!  In other words, receiving Jesus’ word brings awesome rewards!

Observations for over-comers:  A humble and teachable heart that receives God’s word and seeks to understand and apply it is precious in God’s sight.  As you persevere, He will reward you with a great harvest!  “Then He said to me, “Son of man, eat this scroll I am giving you and fill your stomach with it.”  So I ate it, and it tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth.”  (Ezekiel 3:3)

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Lavishing Love on Jesus!

Scripture reading for March 12th:  Luke 7

Key Scriptures for over-comers:  Luke 7:44-47  “Then He turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman?  I came into your house.  You did not give Me any water for My feet, but she wet My feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair.  You did not give Me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing My feet.  You did not put oil on My head, but she has poured perfume on My feet.  Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven–for she loved much.  But he who has been forgiven little loves little.”

Jesus visited the home of a Pharisee for dinner and a woman came and lavished perfume and a foot-washing on Jesus.  The Pharisee and his friends were looking with disdain on this development, knowing the past of the lady involved.  Jesus told a story and then applied it to the situation.  The Pharisees could not miss this teaching and its application.

What would Jesus say about us?  All who have been ‘born-again’ have welcomed Him into our ‘house’.  Do we lavish praise and worship on Him when we gather with God’s people?  Do we humbly ‘wash’ His feet by serving others in need?  Are we lavish with our precious treasures, giving generously to His kingdom work?  Do we truly understand how much we have been forgiven?

Observations for over-comers:  Good works and lavish worship won’t save us, but they are a good indicator of our understanding Christ’s forgiveness of our many sins!  “When those who were carrying the ark of the Lord had taken six steps, he sacrificed a bull and a fattened calf.  David, wearing a linen ephod, danced before the Lord with all his might, while he and the entire house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouts and the sound of trumpets.”  (2nd Samuel 6:13-15)

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A student will become like his teacher!

Scripture reading for January 14th:  Matthew 10

Key scriptures:  Matthew 10:24-25, 28  “”A student is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master.  It is enough for the student to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master.  If the head of the house has been called Beelzebub, how much more the members of his household. . . .  Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul.  Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”

Jesus plainly taught His disciples that persecution would be their lot from others, often members of their own household.  After all, Jesus was a Jew and His own countrymen turned on Him, some accusing Him of being demon-possessed and others plotting His murder–for religious reasons, of course!

However, Jesus’ disciples must continue to share the good news and preach truth without regard for those who opposed them.  Their fear or respect for God must always be above a fear of man–even their own family!  The fear of man could be the snare of the enemy that would take Jesus’ followers to their destruction in Hell!  Jesus taught them that hell was a real place where the devil and his followers would spend eternity suffering for their lack of fear of God.

Observation for over-comers:  As we follow Jesus, we are being transformed to be more like Him each day.  This brings persecution from those in rebellion.  Don’t fear their taunts, Christ has overcome! “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord will be kept safe.”  (Proverbs 29:25)

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