Scripture reading for January 5th: Genesis 15-17, Matthew 5
Key Scriptures: Genesis 16:7-10, 13 “The angel of the Lord found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, the spring on the way to Shur. And he said, “Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come from and where are you going?” She said, “I am fleeing from my mistress Sarai.” The angel of the Lord said to her, “Return to your mistress and submit to her.” . . . .”So she called the Name of the Lord who spoke to her, “You are a God of Seeing,” for she said, “Truly here I have seen Him who looks after me.”
God asked Hagar two questions, but not because He did not know the answer! “Where have you come from?” has to do with our past and reveals underlying motives or hurts. God wants us bringing them to Him. “Where are you going?” reveals present plans and often our failure to stop and seek God for His will and direction. Prayer searches our hearts and motives.
Matthew 5:21-22 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.””
Prayer: Lord, search my heart for deep hurts, impure motives, and sin that brings fiery judgment. You are a God who Sees and looks after me! Amen.
Scripture reading for January 4th: Genesis 11-14, Matthew 4
Key Scriptures: Genesis 12:1-3 “Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.””
God chose Abram and gave him amazing promises tied to his willingness to walk with God and follow His instructions. This is faith working through love and blessings are the result of pleasing God in this manner. Jesus, God’s Son and the promised “seed”of Abraham, left heaven and went to earth in obedience to the Father. He did this to obtain blessings for all the families of the earth! He obeyed every Word of the Father and all nations are blessed through Him!
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.'”
Prayer: Father, in Jesus’ Name, help me to live by every Word coming from Your mouth and make me a blessing! Amen.
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.
Scripture reading for January 2nd: Genesis 4-7, Matthew 2
Key Scriptures: Genesis 6:9-14 “These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God. And Noah had three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence. And God saw the earth and behold it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. And God said to Noah, “I have determined to make an end to all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make yourself an ark of gopher wood.””
In just a few generations from Adam and Eve, mankind had become totally corrupted and were corrupting the earth with violence. God took note and told one righteous man, Noah, about His planned judgment. God instructed Noah to build an ark as a means of escape and protection for himself, his family, and the animal creation. Noah walked with God, heard and obeyed, saving himself and mankind through His obedience!
Matthew 2:19-20 “But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, “Rise, take the child and His mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child’s life are dead.” And he rose and took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel.”
Prayer: Lord, give me sensitivity to Your voice through the Holy Spirit, dreams, and angelic ministers. Keep me walking with you and protect me and my family from the traps of the devil in these last days. Amen.
Scripture reading for January 1st: Genesis 1-3, Matthew 1
Key Scriptures: Genesis 3:8-12, “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?” And he said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself. He said, “Who told you you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” The man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me; she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate””
God created Adam and Eve to have fellowship with Him. He placed them in a beautiful garden, with everything they needed and gave them responsibility and dominion over it. The only tree that they were commanded not to eat from was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. But Eve was deceived by the serpent and Adam disobeyed God and failed to protect his wife. This brought fear of punishment from God into man’s life and shame separated man from sweet fellowship with their Creator Father. But God had a plan to restore mankind through the “Seed of woman.”
Matthew 1:20-21 “But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”
Prayer: Father God, we humbly acknowledge our tie to the first Adam and Eve in that we have sinned and separated ourselves from walking with You. As we begin this new year, we ask for grace to hear your call and to walk with You in faith and instead of drawing back in fear. In the Name of Jesus Christ, Son of God! Amen.
The Trek: Reading both Old Testament and New Testament from January 1st, 2018- December 31st, 2018
The goal: Read about 3 chapters of Old Testament and 1 chapter of the New Testament each day for five days each week–Monday through Friday. The challenge is to read the Scripture and the notes as well if you have a study Bible. I will be using the English Standard Version (ESV) in the Fire Bible Global Study Edition. I purchase a new Bible each year and try a different version or different study notes. This year, I will be focusing on prayer and a daily walk. Prayer is a neglected practice of many Christians and is a spiritual discipline we can all grow in, myself included.
I will write a short devotion from a passage in the reading relating to prayer each day and conclude it with a short prayer. My prayer is to see God develop my capacity to walk with Him, hear His voice and become intimate with His heart and desires. Our prayer life will bless our families, ministries, workplaces and the nation and world. We can truly become “world-changers” through listening and obeying and asking and knocking! Through prayer, God will release His power and Spirit to bring revival and transformation. God bless you as you join in this journey!
In His Love, Pastor John Morse
December 30, 2017
Dear fellow Bible readers,
Thank you for joining me during this past years journey through the entire Bible. We read on a 5 day per week rotation of about 4 chapters each day. In each reading, I wrote a short devotion on verses from that day’s reading that brought to mind something to rejoice about or be thankful for. I tied each verse in the Old Testament with a counter-part in the New and vice-versa. I never ran out! This helped me to stay positive and keep a thankful heart in a world saturated with negativity and fear. I pray that you were encouraged with the overflow!
In 2018, we will begin another journey (my tenth year of writing) through the entire Bible with an emphasis on prayer and walking with God. Jesus encouraged His followers to “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened for you.” (Matthew 7:7-8) Paul taught , “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Philippians 4:6) Jesus said, “Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.” (John 16:24) We will embark on this Bible Trek beginning Monday, January 1st reading 5 days each week with 3-4 Old Testament chapters and one chapter from the New Testament each day. My goal is to inspire prayer and faith that we might walk closely with our Lord each day. In His Love, Pastor John Morse
Scripture reading for December 29th: Revelation 18-22
Key Scriptures: Revelation 22:12-15 “Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with Me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of Life and may go through the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.”
The last words of Jesus Christ recorded by John, the beloved disciple are “I am coming soon!” Jesus promises that His reward is with him. He will justly reward all who are His through the washing of their robes in His blood. Those who overcome will have access to the Tree of Life and freely go in and out of the New Jerusalem. Those who will be shut out are those who have not repented of sins and have garments stained by them!
Rejoicing in our Reward: “See, the Sovereign Lord comes with power, and His Arm rules for Him. See, His reward is with Him, and His recompense accompanies Him. He tends His flock like a shepherd; He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart; He gently leads those that have young.” (Isaiah 40:10-11)
Scripture reading for December 28th: Revelation 13-18
Key Scriptures: Revelation 18:2, 4-5 “With a mighty voice he shouted: “Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a home for demons and a haunt for every evil spirit, a haunt for every unclean and detestable bird. For all the nations have drunk the maddening wine of her adulteries. The kings of the earth committed adultery with her, and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries.” Then I heard another voice from heaven say: “Come out of her, My people so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues; for her sins are piled up to heaven, and God has remembered her crimes.”
Babylon, in Scripture, represents godless and humanistic government. This is a world system dominated by Satan and his fallen angels, the demons. After being cast out of heaven, the world system is completely taken over in the last part of the tribulation. God calls His people of every generation out of this system and promises to judge it, repaying all who have persecuted His people!
God calls His people out: “Flee from Babylon! Run for your lives! Do not be destroyed because of her sins. It is time for the Lord’s vengeance; He will pay her what she deserves. Babylon was a gold cup in the Lord’s hand; she made the whole earth drunk. The nations drank her wine; therefore they have now gone mad. Babylon will suddenly fall and be broken.” (Jeremiah 51:6-8)