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Lord of Heaven!

Scripture reading for June 12th:  Ezra 9-10, Nehemiah 1-2, Acts 28

Key Scriptures:  Acts 28:23-24  “They arranged to meet Paul on a certain day, and came in even larger numbers to the place where he was staying.  From morning till evening he explained and declared to them the kingdom of God and tried to convince them about Jesus from the Law of Moses and the Prophets.  Some were convinced by what he said, but others would not  believe.”

The Apostle Paul made it safely to Rome and was placed in a rented house under guard.  Many Jews came to visit him and he preached Christ to them from the Scriptures.  Some believed and others did not.  The power of the Gospel was spread in Rome as God had directed.

Nehemiah 1:5-6 “Then I said: “O Lord, God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant of love with those who love Him and obey His commands, let Your ear be attentive and Your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before You day and night for Your servants, the people of Israel.”  

Prayer: Lord, great and awesome God, Lord of heaven and earth, grant boldness to me today to preach Your word to all You send me to.  Amen!

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Deliver us from evil!

Scripture reading for April 27th:  1st Kings 7-10, John 17

Key Scriptures: John 17:13-15  “But now I am coming to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves.  I have given them Your Word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.  I do not ask that You take them out of the world, but them You keep them from the evil one.”  

Jesus prayed for Himself, His disciples, and those who would believe as a result of their message.  He stated that He had given them His Father’s Word.  This would result in the hatred of the world and their need of protection from the evil one, Satan.  Protection would come through prayer and the Father’s power.

1st Kings 8:44-45 “If Your people go out to battle against their enemy, by whatever way you shall send them, and they pray to the Lord toward the city that you have chosen and the house that I have built for Your Name, then hear in heaven their prayer and their plea, and maintain their cause.”  

Prayer:  Holy Father, thank You for Your Word and answers to our prayers and the prayer of Your Son, Jesus Christ.  Keep me from the world and the evil one today.  Amen.

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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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