Grace and holy fear

Scripture reading for May 10th:  Acts 5, Psalm 94, Proverbs 1

Key Scriptures:  Acts 5;1-5  “But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, and with his wife’s knowledge he kept back for himself some of the proceeds and brought only a part of it and laid it at the apostles’ feet.  But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land?  While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own?  And after it was sold, was it not at  your disposal?  Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart?  You have not lied to man but to God.”  When Ananias heard these words, he fell down and breathed his last.  And great fear came upon all who heard of it.”

Ananias and Sapphira were members of the church in Jerusalem.  They sold a piece of property and then brought an offering to the apostles, telling them it was the full price of the land.  God gave Peter a word of wisdom.  It was only part of the price.  As Peter faithfully spoke this word, Ananias fell down dead!  This caused great fear to come upon all.

Faith Confession:  Lord, I am humbled by this record of judgment upon the sins of Your people.  Bring conviction and truth to me continually to hold me up.  Cover my sins by Christ’s blood, my only plea.

Psalm 94:16-18  “Who rises up for Me against the wicked?  Who stands up for Me against evildoers?  If the Lord had not been my help, my soul would soon have lived in the land of silence.  When I thought “My foot slips,” Your steadfast love, O Lord, held me up.”  

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Boldness to open my mouth!

Scripture reading for May 9th:  Acts 4, Psalm 93, Proverbs 31

Key Scriptures:  Acts 4:29-31 “”And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to Your servants to continue to speak Your Word with all boldness, while You stretch out Your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the Name of Your holy servant Jesus.”  And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the Word of God with boldness.”  

The disciples had been threatened and warned to not speak again in the Name of Jesus Christ.  They gathered together in prayer and took the threats before the Lord, asking not for deliverance, but for boldness to speak God’s Word!  The also asked the Lord to stretch His hand out and heal with signs and wonders in the Name of Jesus.  God was so moved by their prayers, that the place they were meeting in was literally shaken by His presence and they were filled with the Holy Spirit and boldness to speak Christ’s Word!

Faith Confession:  Lord, give me boldness to open my mouth to preach and speak Your Word to those I come in contact with.  I expect You to confirm Your Word with signs, miracles and healings.  Amen!

Proverbs 31:8-9  “Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute.  Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.”  

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Faith in Jesus’ Name

Scripture reading for May 8th:  Acts 3, Psalm 92, Proverbs 30

Key Scriptures:  Acts 3:6-10 “But Peter said, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I gave to you.  In the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!”  And he took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong.  And leaping up, he stood and began to walk, and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God.  And all the people saw him walking and praising God, and recognized him as the one who sat at the Beautiful Gate of the temple asking for alms.  And they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.”  

Peter and John were going to the temple for prayer when they were met by a beggar asking for alms.  They did not have money, but gave him more than he asked for.  They spoke a word of faith in the Name of Jesus and reached out for his hand.  As they did, God worked a miracle of healing and the man leaped up and began to walk and praise God.  The miracle brought awe and wonder to all!

Faith Confession:  I  am a believer in Jesus Christ.  I believe that through the Name of Jesus I have authority and power to confront sickness, disease, and demonic power and to trust God for results.  (Action Step:  In faith step out to help someone the Lord puts in your path.  Trust Jesus for results)

Psalm 92:4  “For You, O Lord, have made me glad by Your work; at the works of Your hands I sing for joy.”  

 

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Repentance, baptism and the Holy Spirit

Scripture reading for May 7th:  Acts 2, Psalm 91, Proverbs 29

Key Scriptures: Acts 2:36-39  “Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.  Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”  And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the Name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.  For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to Himself.”  

As Peter preached the Gospel message of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection to the crowd gathered in Jerusalem for Pentecost, the Holy Spirit brought conviction on many in the congregation.  They asked Peter what they could do, having taken part in this event.  Peter told them plainly to repent–change their mind and their ways and identify with the crucified and risen Savior through water baptism (immersion).  After that, they must receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, available to all who would believe and receive.

Faith Confession:  I believe that the Holy Spirit convicts those who hear the Gospel and brings them to repentance.  Those who hear must respond by repentance and faith, receiving the Holy Spirit and testifying by water baptism if possible.

Proverbs 29:25  “The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.”   

 

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The promise of power!

Scripture reading for May 6th:  Acts 1, Psalm 90, Proverbs 28

Key Scriptures:  Acts 1:6-9  “So when they had come together, they asked Him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”  He said to them, “It is not for you to know times and seasons that the Father has fixed by His own authority.  But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”  And as He had said these things, as they were looking on, He was lifted up, and a cloud took Him out of their sight.”

Jesus’ disciples asked Him, right before He ascended to heaven, if He was going to restore the kingdom to Israel.  They were expecting Jesus to soon establish His kingdom.  Jesus told them not to be concerned.  The Father had fixed them time and that was His to know.  Their main need would to received the infilling of the Holy Spirit and be empowered to share the gospel with the world.

Faith Confession:  Lord Jesus, thank You for the gift of the Holy Spirit and  power to be a witness to the world.  Teach me to treat each day as an opportunity to work for You and Your kingdom.

Psalm 90:11, 17 “So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.”  . . .”Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands!” 

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Following faithfully!

Scripture reading for May 3rd: John 21, Psalm 89, Proverbs 27

Key Scriptures:  John 21:17-19  “He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?”  Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” and he said to Him, “Lord, You know everything; You know that I love You.”  Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep.  Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.”  “This He said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.)  And after saying this He said to him, “Follow Me.””

Jesus lovingly restored Peter after his three denials after Jesus’ arrest by asking him three times if he loved Him.  Jesus used this occasion to also reveal that Peter would suffer a death as a martyr.  After the loving restoration and plain revelation of future suffering, Jesus still invited Peter to demonstrate his love by following Him.  Tradition says Peter was also crucified, but at his own insistence, upside down because he did not feel worthy to die as His Lord did.

Faith Confession:  Lord Jesus, I say along with Peter, Lord I love You.  Lord, You do know all things.  Help me to follow You in faith all the days of this life and to demonstrate my love through obedience.

Proverbs 27:1  “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.”

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Believing without seeing!

Scripture reading for May 2nd:  John 20, Psalm 88, Proverbs 26

Key Scriptures:  John 20:27-29  “Then He said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see My hands; and put out your hand, and place it in My side.  Do not disbelieve, but believe.”  Thomas answered Him, “My Lord and My God!”  Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen Me?  Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believed.”  

Eight days after the resurrection, Jesus again came to His disciples through locked doors and greeted them with “Peace be with you.”  He had missed Thomas the first time He appeared and Thomas had stated that unless he could see Jesus alive and place his hands in his wounds, he could not believe.  Jesus met him where he was and offered His wounds for his touching.  Thomas cried out in a faith confession:  “My Lord and my God!”  Jesus pronounced a blessing on all who would believe though they did not see.

Faith confession:  I receive Your blessing, Jesus, by believing in Your death, burial and resurrection from the dead.  You are my Lord and my God!

Psalm 88:1  “O Lord, God of my salvation; I cry out day and night before you.”  

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Authority is from Heaven!

Scripture reading for May 1st:  John 19, Psalm 87, Proverbs 25

Key Scriptures:  John 19:7-11 “The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to that law He ought to die because He has made Himself the Son of God.”  When Pilate heard this statement, he was even more afraid.  He entered his headquarters again and said to Jesus, “Where are You from?”  But Jesus gave him no answer.  So Pilate said to Him, “You will not speak to me?   Do You not know that I have authority to release You and authority to crucify You?”  Jesus answered him, “You would have no authority over Me at all unless it had been given you from above.  Therefore he who delivered Me over to you has the greater sin.”  

Pilate was the Roman governor over Jerusalem and he alone had the power to execute someone who broke Roman law.  When he heard that Jesus had stated that He was the Son of God, he was fearful for this did not break Roman law.    But Herod feared the people and had also been warned by his own wife to not have anything to do with Jesus.  He tried a final time to get Jesus to speak but Jesus remained silent.  He threatened Jesus with his authority to execute Him.  Jesus reminded him that any authority he possessed was give to him by God.

Faith Confession:  I understand that all authority comes from God alone and that I must always obey Jesus, Son of God, the source of all authority and not fear man.

Proverbs 25:2  “It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out.”  Vs. 11 “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.”  

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Jesus is the Truth!

Scripture reading for April 30th:  John 18, Psalm 86, Proverbs 24

Key Scriptures:  John 18:36-38  “Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world.  If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews.  But My kingdom is not from the world.”  Then Pilate said to Him, “So Your are a king?”  Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king.  For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world–to bear witness to the truth.  Everyone who is of the truth listens to My voice.”  Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?”” 

One of the charges against Jesus was the charge that He was proclaiming Himself king over the Jews.  The Jews sent Him to Pilate accusing Jesus of sedition.  As Pilate questioned Jesus, he asked him directly if He was indeed ‘King of the Jews?’  Jesus answered in a wise manner, stating that Pilate and others had said so.  But then He stated that He had come into the world to bear witness to the truth.  He stated that all who listened to His voice is of the truth.  This brought Pilate to the pivotal question:  “What is truth?”

Faith Confession:  I believe that Jesus Christ is the Truth and is not only King of the Jews, but King of all Kings.  Jesus is the Truth!

Psalm 86:10-11 “For You are great and do wondrous things; You alone are God.  Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in Your truth.”  

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Beholding Christ’s Glory

Scripture reading for April 29th:  John 17, Psalm 85, Proverbs 23

Key Scriptures:  John 17:24-26 “Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, may be with Me where I am, to see My glory that You have given Me because You loved Me before the foundation of the world.  O righteous Father, even though the world does not know You, I know You, and these know that You have sent Me.  I made known to them Your Name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which You have loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”

As we listen to Jesus’ prayer to His Father for us and His disciples, we note that He desired that they would be with Him in the Father’s presence.  There the disciples would be able to behold Christ’s glory and experience ultimate joy and fullness of life in God’s love.  Christ’s prayer is pulling all believers towards the throne of God and the fullness of our joy, glory, and eternal life.

Faith Confession:  Amen!  Let it be according to Your prayer for me and all disciples!  I desire to be with You where You are and see Your glory!  Thank You for the Holy Spirit that is a down payment on the fullness to come!

Proverbs 23:17-18  “Let not your heart envy sinners, but continue in the fear of the Lord all the day.  Surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off.”

 

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