Scripture reading for June 1st: 2nd Chronicles 20-22, Acts 21
Key Scriptures: 2nd Chronicles 20:20-21 “And he rose early in the morning and went out into the wilderness of Tekoa. And when they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Hear me, Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem! Believe in the Lord your God, and you will be established; believe His prophets, and you will succeed.” And when he had taken counsel with the people, he appointed those who were to sing to the Lord and praise Him in holy attire, . .”
King Jehoshaphat had just held a prayer meeting interceding for God’s help against an enemy that had surrounded them. There were lots of voices trying to keep God’s people from obeying. The king warned them to believe in the Lord and trust His prophets! He then sent out the worship team to do battle!
Acts 21:13-14 “Then Paul answered, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be imprisoned but even to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” And since he would not be persuaded, we ceased and said, “Let the will of the Lord be done.”
Prayer: Lord, thank You for Your Lordship and prophetic word. Help me to trust You and Your Word today. Amen.
Scripture reading for May 2nd: 1st Kings 18-20, John 20
Key Scriptures: John 20:26-28 “Eight days later, His disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Then He said to Thomas, “Put your fingers here, and see My hands; and put out your hand, and place it in My side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” Thomas answered, “My Lord and My God!””
Jesus appeared on several occasions to the disciples after His resurrection. Thomas had missed the first of those times, and struggled to believe. Jesus met him where he was and offered definite proof of touching His wounds in person. Jesus fulfilled His Word completely.
1st Kings 17:23-24 “And Elijah took the child and brought him down from the upper chamber into the house and delivered him to his mother. And Elijah said, “See, your son lives.” And the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God, and that the Word of the Lord in your mouth is truth.”
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for Your patience to meet us each where we are and show us that You are alive and Your Word is truth. You are My Lord and My God. Amen.
Scripture reading for April 9th: 1st Samuel 13-16, John 3
Key Scriptures: John 3:16-18 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.”
Jesus shared the good news of His Father’s love for the whole world. Simply believing in the Son of God would bring grace for eternal life to all who would do so. Failure to place faith in the Son, Jesus Christ, would result in condemnation. God wanted all to be saved, not condemned. God sees the heart and knows those who believe!
1st Samuel 16:6-7 “When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed is before him.” But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
Prayer: Lord, thank You for loving the whole world and making salvation as simple as believing on Your Son, Jesus Christ! Examine my heart today that I may fully believe. Amen.
Scripture reading for February 22nd: Numbers 18-20, Mark 11
Key Scriptures: Mark 11:22-25 “And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.””
The disciples were marveling at how quickly the fig tree had withered after Jesus had cursed it for having no fruit. Jesus used this event to teach them the importance of believing prayer. Faith in God can move mountains! But hearts right with God and others are required for trusting faith. Moses failed to trust God when he struck the rock the second time instead of speaking to it.
Numbers 20:11-12 “And Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock with his staff twice, and water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their livestock. And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not believe in Me, to uphold Me as holy in the eyes of the people of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land that I have given them.”
Prayer: Lord, Thank You for these examples in Your Word. I want to show You as Holy by believing Your Word and walking in believing faith. Amen.
Scripture reading for December 4th: Galatians 5-6, Ephesians 1-3
Key Scriptures: Ephesians 1:13-14 “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession–to the praise of His glory.”
The gospel is powerful and effective in bringing salvation. A preacher preaches the word of truth and God gives grace to repent, believe and receive the promise of eternal life. This salvation includes a mark of God’s ownership, the gift of the Father–the precious Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is a deposit of God’s grace and glory that marks us a belonging to God as a member of His family and declared righteous. We are saved and await the full redemption at Christ’s return!
Thankful for promised inheritance: “The days of the blameless are known to the Lord, and their inheritance will endure forever.” (Psalm 37:18) Amen!
Scripture reading for October 11th: Zechariah 12-14, Malachi 1-2
Key Scriptures: Zechariah 12:10, 13:1 “”And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on Me, the One they have pierced, and they will mourn for Him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for Him, as on grieves for a firstborn son.” . . .”On that day a fountain will be opened to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity.””
Zechariah foresaw by the Spirit the pouring out of God’s grace through the piercing of Messiah and His ensuing death. This death would cause great grieving and bitter mourning, but it would open up a fountain for God’s people that could cleanse them from sins! The blood of Jesus Christ was this fountain, flowing from the pierced Savior’s side! Oh that all may believe and be cleansed!
Thankful for the Blood: “Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. The man who saw it has given testimony, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also may believe. These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: “Not one of His bones will be broken,” and as another scripture says, “They will look on the One they have pierced.” (John 19:34-37)
Scripture reading for January 12th: Matthew 9
Key Scriptures: Matthew 9:27-30 “As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed Him, calling out, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!” When He had gone indoors, the blind men came to Him, and He asked them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” “Yes, Lord,” they replied. Then He touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith will it be done to you”; and their sight was restored.”
Blindness is a horrible affliction that cuts us off from many of the pleasures of our world. Darkness is the companion of the blind and they need assistance to get around. In this story, two blind men call out to Jesus for mercy! They address Him as the “Son of David”, a messianic title. Jesus went inside, apparently not interested in addressing these requests, but the blind men follow Him. We are not sure how they found their way, but they were persistent and Jesus questioned them about their faith: “Do you believe I am able to do this?” They answered with an affirmative, “Yes, Lord!” Jesus then simply touched their eyes and told them that they would receive what they believed! Immediately their sight was restored!
Observations for over-comers: Persistence in prayer–calling out to Jesus–is essential in overcoming “impossible” situations. We will receive what we believe! “Abram believed the Lord, and He credited it to him as righteousness.” (Genesis 15:6)
Scripture reading for April 23rd: John 13
Loyalty is a valued trait in friendship or marriage. We like to know that those we are closely associated with will be faithful to us and have our back. The Bible states that those who have been given a trust must be faithful. (1st Corinthians 4:2) Jesus chose twelve disciples to share the ministry and become His apostles. One of them proved unfaithful!
Jesus had gathered His disciples together in the upper room for the Passover meal. To set an example of servant-leadership, Jesus had washed each of His followers’ feet. He showed them that the path to greatness was through serving. After He had done this, Jesus became troubled in His spirit saying, “I tell you the truth, one of you is going to betray Me.” (John 13:21) This surprised the disciples and wondered which one of them it might be who would do such a thing. Peter boldly had John ask Jesus which one it was. “Jesus answered, “It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.”” (John 13:26) John records that Jesus gave the bread to Judas Iscariot and immediately Satan entered into him. He took the bread and went out into the night to quickly do what he had planned–betray Jesus for some money!
None of the disciples even suspected Judas and examined their own hearts. Judas had been seated close to Jesus in a position of honor. He was the treasurer of the group and was entrusted with their ministry funds. But Jesus knew what was in Judas’ heart and to help the others believe, identified Him before the betrayal. We must all search our hearts and allow Jesus to speak to us about our own loyalty!
Scripture reading for April 30th: John 1:1-28
John was the disciple whom Jesus loved and the youngest of the apostles. John was the brother of James and together they were known as the ‘Sons of Thunder’. John was pictured in all pictures of the Last Supper with his head on Jesus’ breast. Jesus assigned responsibility for His mother to John in His final statements from the cross. John knew Jesus from being in the inner circle of the apostolic band.
John’s clear purpose in writing his Gospel is stated in John 20:31, “These are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.” John uses many different descriptive words, personal encounters and miracles to prove his point. He wanted everyone who read his account to believe! He knew that in believing, they would find eternal life and the salvation that Jesus made available to whosoever would believe!
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.” (John 1:1-4) This introduction identifies Jesus as the ‘Word’ that spoke creation into being from nothing! (Genesis 1:1-3) This ‘Word’ was with God at the beginning of creation. In Him was life and light for men. Apart from God’s Word, man cannot know or understand where he came from or why he is here. The eternal ‘Word’ reveals all that is hidden in darkness.
“The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14) Jesus Christ is the ‘Word’ of God that was made flesh. He is the incarnate Word, existing from before the foundations of the world. He is the truth in living form and came to reveal that truth to mankind. When He was revealed, He showed forth the glory of His Father. There is none like Jesus! He alone is the unique ‘Son of God’. He was begotten by the Father supernaturally in the womb of Mary. He is the Truth and the Life! (John 14:6) He is the only way to God. He alone could bear our sins and save us!