Scripture reading for July 3rd: Romans 15, Psalm 132, Proverbs 8
Key Scriptures: Romans 15:4-6 “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Paul knew that the Roman believers needed endurance and encouragement to live by faith in the grace of Jesus Christ. The God of endurance and encouragement is Jesus Christ! This amazing Savior gives us the encouragement and endurance we need through His unchanging and true Word, also a source of fulfillment for our deepest need.
Faith Confession: I believe that Jesus Christ is the God of endurance and encouragement and that His Word gives me hope as well. I shout for joy at the gifts of hope, endurance and encouragement!
Psalm 132:8-9 “Arise, O Lord, and go to Your resting place, Your and the ark of Your might. Let Your priests be clothed with righteousness and let Your saints shout for joy.”
Scripture reading for July 10th: Psalm 139-143
Key Scriptures: Psalm 143:9-12 “Rescue me from my enemies, O Lord, for I hide myself in You. Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God; may Your good Spirit lead me on level ground. For Your name’s sake, O Lord, preserve my life; in Your righteousness, bring me out of trouble. In Your unfailing love, silence my enemies; destroy all my foes, for I am Your servant.”
The psalmist faces a desperate situation where God is his only refuge! He clings to the Lord and hides himself there in His presence. He asks for instruction in God’s will and the leading of the Holy Spirit. He asks God to preserve his life and bring him out of this trouble, silencing his enemies and foes. God is his last and best hope!
A knowledge of His will: “For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you might have great endurance and patience, . .” (Colossians 1:9-12)
Scripture reading for July 4th: Romans 15
Key Scriptures for over-comers: Romans 15:1-4 “We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not please ourselves. Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: “The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.” For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”
God has given His people His sacred Word. The Word of God was also embodied in Jesus Christ as He came into our world as a man and lived in obedience to every Word God had commanded, fulfilling Scriptures. Because of this and Christ’s example, we no longer live for ourselves but for God. We love our neighbors and seek to build them up by bearing with them in matters of conscience not covered specifically in Scripture. We know from Scriptures that Jesus is coming again to receive His people and reward them for their faithful service and faith in His sacrifice.
Observations for over-comers: We must stay close to Christ through living in the Holy Spirit and our prayer life. We overcome by faith and obedience to the Word of God! “But He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I will come forth as gold. My feet have closely followed His steps; I have kept to His way without turning aside. I have not departed from the commands of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my daily bread.” (Job 23:10-12)
Scripture reading for July 3rd: Romans 15
Paul identified himself with those who were ‘strong’ in their faith. He understood the liberty that believers have in Jesus Christ. He also knew that strong believers might become prideful and judgmental, as he had been towards followers of Christ before he was saved. In order to encourage the strong believers, he asked them to bear with the failings of the weaker believers. “Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: “The insults of those who insult you have fallen on Me.” For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance and encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” (Romans 15:2-4)
Christ, our example, always sought to please the Father and as a result suffered for it. He was insulted and ridiculed as a ‘friend of tax collectors and sinners‘! Those insults were directed towards Christ and the Father! But Christ was on a mission to save the lost, not condemn them! The Scriptures record the endurance and message of hope that Christ proclaimed in order to help us follow His example. So must we be kind, patient, and encouraging to those who are weaker in their faith. We must accept them as Christ accepted us and cultivate unity and love.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13) It is by the power of the Holy Spirit that we are filled with joy and peace through faith in Christ! The Holy Spirit brings a hope that ‘overflows’ into the lives believers encouraging all!