Scripture reading for April 16th: John 8, Psalm 76, Proverbs 14
Key Scriptures: John 8:23-25 “He said to them, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am He you will die in your sins.” So they said to Him, “Who are you?” Jesus said to them, “Just what I have been telling you from the beginning.”
Jesus had declared to the Pharisees that He was the “Light of the world.” They struggled to believe in Him because they were living in the darkness of sin–the sin of unbelief! Jesus plainly told them that they would die in their sins unless they believed in Him as Messiah. It is faith in Jesus that alone brings deliverance from death.
Faith Confession: Jesus, I humbly confess that You are the Son of God, the Light of the world. and the only One who can save me from eternal separation from You.
Psalm 76:8-9 “From the heavens You uttered judgment; the earth feared and was still, when God arose to establish judgment, to save all the humble of the earth.”
Scripture reading for January 16th: Matthew 12, Psalm 12, Prov. 12
Key Scriptures: Matthew 12:34-37 “You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
The Pharisees had just condemned Jesus by attributing the healing of the deaf and mute man to the power of Beelzebub, the prince of demons. Jesus called them a “brood of vipers.” He explained that this evil thought came from an evil heart. Every careless and evil word spoken would require accounting on the day when God would judge men. It was a matter of the heart. Evil people need a change of heart!
Faith’s confession: Lord, I recognize You as the source of all good and healing. Thank You for transforming my heart through faith in Jesus Christ, enabling me to speak from a good treasure of Your pure Word.
Psalm 12:6 “The words of the Lord are pure words, like silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times.”
Scripture reading for October 25th: Jeremiah 13-15, Hebrews 10
Key Scriptures: Hebrews 10:23-27 “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. For if we go on sinning deliberately, after receiving a knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.”
God honors faithfulness and application of truth revealed. Christians have a great responsibility to live in obedience and hold Christ’s return in their thinking and actions. God is faithful and also just! Willful sinning when the knowledge of God’s truth has been received will bring judgment and eternal loss. What a joy to delight in His Word!
Jeremiah 15:16 “Your words were found, and I ate them, and Your words became to me a joy and delight of my heart, for I am called by Your Name, O Lord, God of Hosts.”
Prayer: Lord, Thank You for Your faithfulness and Holy Word of encouragement and warning. May I always delight in Your Word and be called by Your great Name! Amen.
Scripture reading for April 11: 1st Samuel 20-23, John 5
Key Scriptures: John 6:28-29 “Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear His voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.”
Jesus told His disciples that He would be the source of resurrection and eternal life. His voice would bring people out of their graves. But not everyone would enjoy eternal life, some who had done evil would suffer judgment and eternal punishment. God knows how to protect His people and punish those who do evil!
1st Samuel 23:14 “And David remained in the strongholds in the wilderness, in the hill country of the wilderness of Ziph. And Saul sought him every day, but God did not give him into his hand.”
Prayer: Father, thank You for the promise of resurrection life and reward and Your protection in this life. Help me to live in faith and make You my “Stronghold”. Amen.
Scripture reading for July 25th: Ecclesiastes 9-12
Key Scriptures: Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 “Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.”
Solomon concluded his dissertation with a simple statement of truth. Even though life under the sun appeared to be meaningless to the worldly man, there was a God in heaven that deserved reverence and obedience. This God had decreed that He would judge each person based on their deeds and obedience to His commands. There was nothing that would be hidden from His sight.
Thankful for God the Righteous Judge: “Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, . .” (John 5:22) “But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Matthew 12:36-37)
Scripture reading for December 12th: Revelation 9
Key scriptures for over-comers: Revelation 9:13-16 “The sixth angel sounded his trumpet, and I heard a voice coming from the horns of the golden altar that is before God. It said to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” And the four angels who had been kept ready for this very hour and day and month and year were released to kill a third of mankind. The number of the mounted troops was two hundred million. I heard their number.”
As the sixth angel sounded, John heard a voice speaking from the altar before God. This voice commanded the sixth angel to release for angels who had been bound by the Euphrates River. These angels were prepared for judgment in the area of the Middle East. There was a specific year, month, day and hour set beforehand by God for this judgment that would see one third of mankind killed! This a a sobering number! Another sobering number was an army of troops that John heard about, numbering two hundred million!
Observations for over-comers: These visions of John are written to reveal to over-comers the awful consequences of sin in mankind. He has a day appointed to judge the earth! “In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, on the seventeenth day of the second month–on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened.” (Genesis 7:11)
Scripture reading for November 2nd: James 2
Key Scriptures for over-comers: James 2: 8-9, 12-13 “If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right. But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. . . . .Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment!”
Jesus summed up the Law in one commandment with two parts: “Love God and love your neighbor as yourself.” James quotes the second part and encourages believers to live a life of love towards all men. Favoritism and preferential treatment is sinful and breaks this royal law of love. We are all going to stand before the Lord in judgment for our words and actions (deeds). Believers at the judgment seat of Christ (2nd Corinthians 5:10) and the lost at the Great White Throne. (Revelation 20:11-15) If we have not shown mercy as Christ has given us mercy it will not go well with us at the judgment!
Observations for over-comers: Over-comers live lives of love towards all their neighbors showing mercy and seeking their salvation without favoritism or prejudice. “Our God comes and will not be silent; a fire devours before Him, and around Him a tempest rages. He summons the heavens above and the earth, that He may judge His people: . . . for God Himself is judge.” (Psalm 50:3-6)
Scripture reading for May 27th: John 16:1-33
“I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. So with you; Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.” (John 16:20-22)
Jesus spoke plainly about His coming departure and the grief that would come over the disciples as they witnessed the unfolding of events. They did not fully understand what He was saying, but He knew that the Holy Spirit would help them understand fully and remember what He taught them. He encouraged them to be patient and look for the joy that would follow.
Jesus likened the disciples joy at His resurrection to that of a mother who had just had a child. The time immediately preceding the birth would be filled with pain and anguish. The birth pains had to come before the baby was introduced to the world. So Jesus had to go through the battle with the ‘prince of this world’ and face the last enemy, ‘death’! But the ‘prince of this world’ had no hold on Him. (John 14:30) The ‘prince of this world’ must be driven out! (John 12:31) This battle would involve the cross for Jesus and the ‘prince of darkness’ would attempt to hold Him in death. However, Jesus would be victorious and emerge from the grave with the keys of death and hell! (Revelation 1:18) He would spoil the principalities and powers of darkness, and make a public show of them openly by the cross! (Colossians 2:15)
When these disciples experienced Jesus in resurrection, their grief would be turned to a joy that no one could take away! They would know God the Father was true and the Gift of the Father would teach them all things. They would understand that death had no hold on them either and live with a new boldness to share the love of God in Christ Jesus! Christ’s victory would assure them of their victory! Are you living in this joy? Why not put your faith in Jesus Christ and experience it for yourself?