Scripture reading for February 14th: Leviticus 24-26, Mark 5
Key Scriptures: Mark 5:25-29 “And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse. She had heard the reports about Jesus and came up behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment. For she said, “If I touch even His garments, I will be made well. And immediately the flow of blood dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease.”
Jesus reputation spread among the people. Mark records the story of one woman who had faith that even touching Jesus’ garment would bring healing that had eluded her for twelve years and taken all she had. She pressed in through the crowd and secretly touched Jesus and immediately was healed. Jesus commended this woman, telling her that her faith had made her well.
Leviticus 26:12-13 And I will walk among you and will be your God, and you shall be My people. I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that you should not be slaves. And I have broken the bars of your yoke and made you walk erect.”
Prayer: Lord, thank You for Your continual Presence with Your people. May I learn to walk in erect and free from yokes of bondage, in health and freedom from daily communion with You. Amen.
Scripture reading for January 10th: Genesis 25-28, Matthew 8
Key Scriptures: Matthew 8:1-3 “When He came down from the mountain, great crowds followed Him. And behold, a leper came to Him and knelt before Him, saying: “Lord, if You will, You can make me clean.” And Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, saying, “I will; be clean.” And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.”
Matthew records an unclean leper coming to Jesus and asking for healing. This man knelt before Jesus in reverence and stated that he believed that Jesus could heal him. He was not sure if Jesus was willing to do it. Jesus, even though it was against the law of the Pharisees, reached out His hand and touched the man showing and telling him that God was willing and able to heal him! Faith “digs a well” and opens up the blessings of God in healing and multiplication!
Genesis 26:24-25 “And the Lord appeared to him (Isaac) the same night and said, “I am the God of Abraham your father. Fear not, for I am with you and will bless you and multiply your offspring for my servant Abraham’s sake. So he built an altar there and called on the Name of the Lord and pitched his tent there. And there Isaac’s servants dug a well.”
Prayer: Lord, thank you that you are willing to heal and provide when we come to you. Teach us dependence, humility and faith and deliver us from fear! Use us to bless others by allowing Your gifts to flow in us! In Jesus’ Name! Amen!
Scripture reading for November 24th: 1st John 5
Key Scriptures for over-comers: 1st John 5:2-5 “This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out His commands. This is love for God: to obey His commands. And His commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God, over-comes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.”
John’s desire was that the churches he served would be over-comers. Love is the only pathway to overcoming the world, flesh, and the devil. We do this by faith in God’s Word and commands. Our faith brings loving obedience and perseverance in trials. We obtain the victory here through faith and ultimately the victory of eternal life in God’s presence! Jesus Christ is the author and finisher of our faith!
Observations for over-comers: Faith motivated by God’s conquering love brings over-coming victory to those who believe in Jesus Christ as God’s Son. “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; love and faithfulness go before You. Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim You, who walk in the light of Your Presence, O Lord.” (Psalm 89:14-15)
Scripture reading for October 27th: Hebrews 11
Key Scriptures for over-comers: Hebrews 11:1-3,6 “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. . . . And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.”
God is invisible to sinful man. Because of sin, mankind has been cut off from beholding God for his own good and well-being. Sin cannot exist in the holiness of God’s glorious presence. But those who have had a relationship with God since Adam have come to Him by faith. They trust and are certain of God’s person and goodness. They believe that God created the visible world out of nothing at His own command. They understand that God is good and will reward those that believe although they cannot visibly see Him.
Observations for over-comers: Our faith will be rewarded eternal life and beholding God face to face in His glory! “Then Moses said, “Now show me Your glory.” . . . “But,” He said, “you cannot see My face, for no one may see Me and live.” (Exodus 33:18, 20)
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 June 24th: Romans 9
Key Scriptures for over-comers: Romans 9:30-33 “What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; but Israel, who pursued a law of righteousness, has not attained it. Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith, but as it were by works. They stumbled over the “Stumbling Stone.” As it is written: “See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall, and the one who trusts in Him will never be put to shame.”
Many people are like the Jews of the time of Jesus and Paul. They in their human pride think that by their own works and keeping God’s Law that they can assure themselves salvation. Jesus came to fulfill the Law of God by perfectly obeying it and all His Father’s decrees. Jesus was and is the only way to find true righteousness but the Jews rejected Him, stumbling by trying to find it through works–the keeping of the Law. But those who trust in Jesus Christ will never be put to shame or stumble into judgment!
Observations for over-comers: Over-comers avoid the trap of human works or religious rules to obtain right standing with God. They fully trust in Jesus Christ and stand firm on the Rock of their salvation! “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior–from violent men you save me.” (2nd Samuel 22:2-3)
Scripture reading for June 16th: Romans 3
Key Scriptures for over-comers: Romans 3:21-25 “But now a righteousness from God, apart from the Law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in His blood.”
After showing that all men, Jew and Gentile, stood guilty of sin before God, Paul gave the simple remedy. God made a way through faith in Jesus Christ and His sacrifice of His body and blood to justify all who would believe. The word ‘justify’ simply means to make right by a legal transaction. All men had sinned and the penalty was death. But God sent His only Son Jesus Christ to come and live in this world as a man, but without sin. Jesus, God’s Son, then offered His blood in place of sinful men’s blood or the blood of innocent animals. This justly satisfied God’s righteous anger against sin and the penalty of death for all who sinned. If we believe God, we are made righteous.
Observations for over-comers: Righteousness cannot be gained by any human works or religion. It is freely given as a gift to all who believe in Jesus Christ and His sacrifice on their behalf. “Abraham believed the Lord, and He credited it to him as righteousness.” (Genesis 15:6)
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 May 26th: Acts 15
The doctrines of the early church had to be worked out through the leadership of the apostles and elders. An early conflict concerned the requirements for Gentiles coming into the fellowship. The first believers were all Jews, some from the sect of the Pharisees who were brought up in the strictest practice and traditions of Judaism. This group insisted that the Gentiles must be circumcised and keep the Law of Moses. (Acts 15:5) The leaders gathered at Jerusalem to discuss this issue and come to a decision.
“After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them: “Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the Gospel and believe. God, who knows the heart, showed that He accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as He did to us. He made no distinction between us and them, for He purified their hearts by faith. Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of the disciples a yoke that neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear? No! We believe that it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.” (Acts 15:6-11)
The early church leaders discussed the issue thoroughly and came to a conclusion based on God’s Word, Jesus’ teaching, and practical experience of God’s working among them as they ministered. Although circumcision was required of true Jews, God did not require this under the New Covenant of grace! Keeping the Law of Moses was never possible for even the most devoted Jews, this would not be required either. It was by grace alone through faith in Jesus Christ that Jew and Gentile would be saved!