Scripture reading for January 14th: Genesis 24-25, Mark 9, Psalm 4
Key Scriptures: Genesis 24:57-60 “They said, “Let us call the young woman and ask her.” And they called Rebekah and said to her, “Will you go with this man?” She said, “I will go.” So they sent away Rebekah their sister and her nurse, and Abraham’s servant and his men. And they blessed Rebekah and said to her, “Our sister, may you become thousands of ten thousands, and may your offspring possess the gate of those who hate him!””
Mark 9:34-35 “But they kept silent, for on the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest. And He sat down and called the twelve. And He said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.”
God uses humble servants who willingly go and fulfill His will. Jesus’ disciples were arguing about which one was the greatest. Jesus, knowing their thinking called them to sit down and explained a principle of the kingdom illustrated by Abraham’s servant in going to seek Issac’s bride and illustrated by Rebecca. Abraham’s servant obeyed his master and humbly went to a strange land, depending on God to help him find the bride. The bride simply said, “I will go.” What a blessing was spoken of coming greatness! If you want to be first, be a willing servant.
Faith Confession and prayer: Lord Jesus thank You for these examples of godly men and women and for Your powerful teaching of truth. Help me to keep a servant’s heart as I go out into the world in obedience to your command to call the bride of Christ! Give me those who would respond like Rebecca!
Psalm 4:8 “In peace I will lie down and sleep; for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.”
Scripture reading for January 13th: Genesis 21-23, Mark 8, Psalm 107
Key Scriptures: Genesis 22:11-13 “But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.” And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in the thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son.”
Mark 8:35-37 “”For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul?””
Jesus was teaching His disciples on the cost of discipleship. They were called to take up their cross and follow Him, even to the point of giving up their life. In doing so, they would gain life. But if they would just save their life for themselves, they would lose it. Two thousand years earlier, Abraham understood these principles. He offered his promised son, Isaac, on an altar near Jerusalem. God tested his faith and obedience and Abraham passed the test. God provided the sacrifice for his son and would sacrifice His own Son to save all souls.
Faith Confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for giving Your own life for my sinful soul! I am helpless to save myself. Help me today to tell others about Your amazing love and mercy to save all souls
Psalm 107:2 “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom He has redeemed from trouble.”
Scripture reading for January 10th: Genesis 19-20, Mark 7, Psalm 1
Key Scriptures: Genesis 19:12-14 “Then the men said to Lot, “Have you anyone else here? Sons-in-law, sons, daughters, or anyone you have in the city, bring them out of the place. For we are about to destroy this place, because the outcry against its people has become great before the Lord, and the Lord has sent us to destroy it.” So Lot went out and said to his sons-in-law, who were to marry his daughters, “Up! Get out of this place, for the Lord is about to destroy the city.” But he seemed to his sons-in-law to be jesting.”
Mark 7:20-23 “And He said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.””
Jesus taught that the heart of man was the source of all wickedness. What is in the heart will come out in the way of words and actions that show the fruit of what is inside. Lot had been living in Sodom and his daughters were engaged to men from there. When Lot tried to warn them, they failed to take him seriously. His son-in-laws were destroyed with the city.
Faith Confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for cleansing my heart by the sacrifice of your body and blood. Thank You for giving me a new heart and for the Holy Spirit to live within me. Help me today to live by the Spirit and speak warning to this generation.
Psalm 1:6 “. .for the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.”
Scripture reading for January 9th: Genesis 16-18, Mark 6
Key Scriptures: Genesis 18:11-14 “Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in years. The way of women had ceased to be with Sarah. So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I am worn out, and my lord is old, shall I have pleasure?” The Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?” Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, about this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son.”
God’s Word and ways often defy our rational thinking and causes us to laugh in a struggle to believe. Sarah struggled to believe she could and would have a baby at ninety years of age with a husband of one hundred! The disciples struggled to believe the Lord was walking on the water–especially during a storm! But God teaches us that we have no need to fear because nothing is too hard for God!
Mark 6:48-51 “And He saw that they were making headway painfully, for the wind was against them. And about the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea. He meant to pass by them, but when they saw Him walking on the sea they thought it was a ghost, and cried out, for they all saw Him and were terrified. But immediately He spoke to them and said, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”
Faith Confession and Prayer: Lord, forgive me for doubting Your Word and ways. Thank You for daily opportunities to declare my trust in You and share Your faithfulness to the next generation.
Scripture reading for January 8th: Genesis 12-15, Psalm 148, Mark 5
Key Scriptures: Genesis 15:3-6 “And Abram said, “Behold, You have given me no offspring, and a member of my household will be my heir.” And behold, the Word of the Lord came to him: “This man shall not be your heir; your very own son shall be your heir.” And He brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then He said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” And he believed the Lord, and He counted it to him as righteousness.”
Mark 5:25 “And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse. She had heard the reports about Jesus and came up behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment. For she said, “If I touch even His garments, I will be made well.” And immediately the flow of blood dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease.”
We often struggle with insurmountable problems and obstacles that the best man has to offer cannot help solve. Then God speaks or we hear of His amazing power to heal and save. Faith arises that causes us to believe and receive the miracle we desperately need. God honors simple faith and is the author and finisher of it. Praise the Lord!
Faith confession and Prayer: Lord, thank You for Your amazing Word of truth and the record of miracles You have done and still do. Help me to place my trust in Your Word and see Your power today through faith.
Psalm 148:5 “Let them praise the Name of the Lord! For He commanded and they were created.”
Scripture reading for January 7th: Genesis 9-11, Mark 4
Key Scriptures: Genesis 9:11-13 “”I establish My covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.” And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between Me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I have set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and the earth.””
Mark 4:37-40 “And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But He was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to Him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” And He awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why were you afraid? Have you still no faith?””
When we deal with creation’s awesome power and our human weakness, fear often results. Because of sin, we fear God’s wrath and coming judgment. We know death will bring us before God. But God is merciful and gives us signs of His great mercy and calls us to trust in Him. To Noah and his family, He provided an ark and gave them the rainbow. To His disciples, Jesus calmed the storm and called them to faith in His saving grace.
Faith Confession and Prayer: Lord, a fear of death has been replaced by faith in Your great mercy and saving ability. You spoke “Peace! Be still!” to the storms that threatened me. Help me to rest today on the cushion of Your grace!
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.”
Beloved friends and family,
As we journey onward and upward to the heavenly city, a new year awaits us. Our Heavenly Father already knows the end from the beginning (He has 2020 vision!) and has declared our victory in His unchanging Word! He delights in His people and is abounding in compassion towards all, even the lost. His promises are all “Yes!” and “Amen!” and sealed with the sacrifice of His own Son, Jesus Christ He waits in anticipation to see His children walking in faith and loves it when we give Him no rest in declaring His promises and asking for fulfillment in our time and our day.
Isaiah 62:6-7 “On your walls, O Jerusalem, I have set watchmen; all the day and all the night they shall never be silent. You who put the Lord in remembrance, take no rest, and give Him no rest until He establishes Jerusalem and makes it a praise in the earth.”
3 John 4 “I have no greater joy than to hear that My children are walking in the Truth.”
Revelation 22:12-14 “Behold, I am coming soon, bringing My recompense with Me, to repay each one for what he has done. I am the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates.”
Revelation 22:17 “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.”
This year I have chosen the 5-day reading plan located at www.BibleClassMaterial.com. I will select a key passage from Old and New Testaments each day that will take us chronologically through the whole Bible. Please read with me five days and rest or catch up on weekends. Apply the Word by declaring your faith in His unchanging promises. Allow your robes to be washed and made clean. Join the Bride, filled with the Holy Spirit, in calling to the lost, “Come.” Prepare for the sudden arrival of the Lord! Onward to the gates of the heavenly city, our eternal home and great reward!
In His Love and Compassion, John Morse
P.S. Have a blessed New Year and join me in reading chronologically through the whole Bible in this coming year. (260 readings in Old and New Testaments reading five days a week.) We start January 2nd!