Scripture reading for November 1st: James 2, Psalm 69, Proverbs 3
Key Scriptures: James 2:14-17 “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”
God likes to ask us questions that cause self-examination and bring repentance. James used the example of seeing or hearing about a brother or sister in need of food and clothing because of a trial in their life. If we say we believe that God cares for the poor and needy and meets their needs but do nothing ourselves, our faith is empty and of no value and could cause others to stumble and lead us to ruin. We are to act on what we believe and show that our faith is real.
Faith confession: Lord, I want to act on what I believe and trust in Your Word. Forgive me for being slow to follow at times and give me clear direction by the Holy Spirit. “Let not those who hope in You be put to shame through me, O Lord God of Hosts.”
Psalm 69:5-6 “O God, You know my folly; the wrongs I have done are not hidden from You. Let not those who hope in You be put to shame through me, O Lord God of Hosts; let not those who seek You be brought to dishonor through me, O God of Israel.”
Scripture reading for July 26th: 1st Corinthians 16, Psalm 149, Proverbs 25
Key Scriptures: 1st Corinthians 16:13-14, 22-24 “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love. . . .If anyone has no love for the Lord, let him be accursed. Our Lord, come! The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.”
Paul loved concise final words and encouragement. These short sentences summarize points he had brought up in the longer body of the letter. He encouraged watchfulness against divisions and judging others. They were to remain strong in faith so he again brought up love and its supreme importance in all things. Faith works by love. Our love for Jesus is foundational as well as our love for each other. Paul sent his love as well!
Faith Confession: Lord, thank You for these short and plain reminders of what is important. Thank You for Your love and the love of other believers that encourages my faith. Help me to be a faithful and loving messenger.
Proverbs 25:13 “Like the cold of snow in the time of harvest is a faithful messenger to those who send him; he refreshes the soul of his masters.”
Scripture reading for July 19: 1st Corinthians 11, Psalm 144, Proverb 20
Key Scriptures: 1st Corinthians 11: 27-32 “Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill and some have died. But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged.”
The Lord’s table is for all believers but is not to be taken lightly or without proper reverence and understanding. Each person should judge himself and repent of known sin or omission, recognizing that Christ Jesus took our sins in His own body on the cross. Another aspect is recognizing the corporate body of Christ, the Church. Repenting of division, strife, and lack of love also allows the grace available through Holy Communion to flow in our lives.
Faith Confession: I believe that I should judge myself and my need of God’s grace as well as any sins against others in Christ’s body by repentance before partaking of Holy Communion. It is a meal that heals for those who believe.
Psalm 144:1-2 “Blessed be the Lord, My Rock, Who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle; He is my steadfast love and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield and He in whom I take refuge, Who subdues peoples under me.”
Scripture reading for March 27th: Luke 18, Psalm 62, Proverbs 31
Key Scriptures: Luke 18:2-8 “He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.'” And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. And will not God give justice to His elect, who cry to Him day and night?. . . I tell you, He will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on earth?””
Jesus told this story to call His disciples to faithfulness in prayer. Prayer calls for trust in God and His desire and ability to answer His people. Jesus is concerned about finding His people living by faith when He returns for them.
Faith Confession: Lord, I know that you hear and answer prayer. You do it in a timely manner–‘speedily!’ I want to be found in faith when You return for Your people. I will pour out my heart to You alone!
Psalm 62:7-8 “On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty Rock, my refuge is God. Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.”
Scripture reading for March 26th: Luke 17, Psalm 61, Proverbs 30
Key Scriptures: Luke 17:20-21 “Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them, “The kingdom of God is not coming in ways that can be observed, nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!” or ‘There!” for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.””
Jesus preached the Gospel of the kingdom, proclaiming that it was near. The Pharisees asked Him when it would actually come. He answered them by telling them that it would come in ways that were not openly visible or able to be observed. The kingdom of God would come inside of each person through the key of repentance and faith. God’s kingdom would not be political or material in its initial appearance, but it would bring righteousness, peace and joy.
Faith Confession: I believe that Christ’s kingdom rule is in my heart through faith in Jesus Christ and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. I experience this kingdom rule through understanding righteousness by faith, peace with God, and joy of hope in all His promises. Jesus is Lord of my life!
Proverbs 30:5 “Every Word of God proves true; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.”
Scripture reading for March 8: Luke 5, Psalm 49, Proverbs 18
Key Scriptures: Luke 5:17-20 “On one of those days, as He was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there, who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was with Him to heal. And behold, some men were bringing on a bed a man who was paralyzed, and they were seeking to bring him in and lay him before Jesus, but finding no way to bring him in, because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down with his bed through the roof. And when He saw their faith, He said, “Man your sins are forgiven you.”
Luke records the story of the paralyzed man who was brought to Jesus by friends on his bed. They could find no way through the crowd, so they went up on the roof and removed some covering and let the man down in front of where Jesus was teaching. Their faith moved Jesus to declare that the man was forgiven of his sin! He was also healed at Jesus’ command.
Faith Confession: Lord, I believe that You are able to heal any sickness or disease. Give me faith and boldness like the friends of the paralytic to break through to You for healing! (Action Step: Pray for someone today for a miracle of healing.)
Proverbs 18:21 “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.”
Scripture reading for October 26th: Jeremiah 16-19, Hebrews 11
Key Scriptures: Hebrews 11:13-16 “These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. . . .But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared for them a city.”
All the great men and women of faith from the Old Testament saw in their spirits the fulfillment of God’s promises. They never experienced the fulfillment while on earth, but died in anticipation of a heavenly country where God was King. God, seeing their faith, has prepared a Heavenly City, the New Jerusalem, just for these faithful, and all who trust in His Son, Jesus Christ.
Jeremiah 17:12-13 “A glorious throne set on high from the beginning is the place of our sanctuary. O Lord, the Hope of Israel, all who forsake You shall be put to shame; those who turn away from You shall be written in the earth, for they have forsaken the Lord, the Fountain of Living Water.”
Prayer: Lord, my soul sees Your promises and truth and longs for the coming of Jesus Christ and His righteous rule. Come, Lord Jesus! Amen.
Scripture reading for July 13th: Psalm 16-19, 1st Corinthians 7
Key Scriptures: Psalm 16:5-8,11 “The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; You hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance. I bless the Lord who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me. I have set the Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.” . . “You make known to me the path of life; in Your presence there is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.””
David chose the Lord as his portion and lot in life. By divine revelation, David understood that God was better than land, fortune, or fame. God had revealed to David that his security and the path to everlasting life lay in placing Him first. David chose this by faith. Faith in God brings the ultimate pleasure and joy, and an eternal inheritance in God’s family. This amazing choice is available to all.
1st Corinthians 7:17 “Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him.”
Prayer: Lord, I choose You as my inheritance and portion now and for eternity. What a joy it is to be in Your family and live under Your rule! Amen.
Scripture reading for March 27th: Jude 5-8, Luke 18
Key Scriptures: Luke 18:6-8 “And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. And will not God give justice to His elect, who cry to Him day and night? Will He delay long over them? I tell you, He will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on earth?””
Jesus told a parable about an unjust judge and a woman who came again and again for justice. The unjust judge finally grants her request to keep her from wearing him out. Jesus used this story to explain the kind of faith needed by those who would be living in the time before He returned. God always is moved by people using their faith!
Judges 6:12, 14 “And the angel of the Lord appeared to him (Gideon) and said to him, “The Lord is with you, O mighty man of valor.” . . “And the Lord turned to him and said, “Go in this might of yours and save Israel from the hand of Midian; do not I send you?””
Prayer: Lord, increase my ability to hear and believe Your holy Word and live by faith each day. Amen.