Scripture reading for January 15th: Genesis 36-38, Matthew 11
Key Scriptures: Matthew 11:25-28 “At that time Jesus declared, “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him. Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
Jesus prayed to His Father and thanked Him for the revelation of His sonship to ‘little children’! The disciples were not considered ‘wise’ or ‘understanding’ among the culture of that day. They were simple fishermen, tax collectors, and common men. Through Jesus comes revelation of God the Father and His Son. In Genesis, Joseph’s family had trouble discerning God’s vision in his dreams!
Genesis 37:3, 9-11 “Now Israel loved Joseph more than any other of his sons, because he was the son of his old age. And he made him a robe of many colors. . . . .Then he dreamed another dream and told it to his brothers and said, “Behold, I have dreamed another dream. Behold, the sun, the moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me.” But when he told it to his father and to his brothers, his father rebuked him. . .”
Prayer: Lord Jesus, may I keep a child’s heart towards Your Word. Reveal Your will and character to me in visions and dreams and as I meditate on Your Word! 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 4th: Matthew 2
(For 2016, we can read through the entire New Testament one chapter a day, five days each week. We will complete Revelation on December 31st. Each day I will choose a short passage and give an over-comer’s exhortation!)
Key Scriptures: Matthew 2:12-13 “And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route. When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, “Get up,” he said, “take the Child and His mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the Child to kill Him.”
In dangerous times of religious persecution, God knows how to take care of His people. He can use many methods to move them to protect them from danger, but here He chose to use dreams. By a dream, he warned the wise men not to go back to Herod. They listened and understood and obeyed. These were Gentiles that feared God and searched for the One that the star would lead them to. Joseph also listened and through prompt obedience spared his Son’s life and the family much sorrow! After the danger passed, Joseph was told to return with his family. Providentially, he ended up in Nazareth!
Observation for over-comers: Humble people are always open to God speaking to them, even in dreams or visions. They humbly listen and take prompt action after discerning God’s voice. God will protect us through faith and obedience! “God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1)