Scripture reading for May 6th: Acts 1, Psalm 90, Proverbs 28
Key Scriptures: Acts 1:6-9 “So when they had come together, they asked Him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times and seasons that the Father has fixed by His own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” And as He had said these things, as they were looking on, He was lifted up, and a cloud took Him out of their sight.”
Jesus’ disciples asked Him, right before He ascended to heaven, if He was going to restore the kingdom to Israel. They were expecting Jesus to soon establish His kingdom. Jesus told them not to be concerned. The Father had fixed them time and that was His to know. Their main need would to received the infilling of the Holy Spirit and be empowered to share the gospel with the world.
Faith Confession: Lord Jesus, thank You for the gift of the Holy Spirit and power to be a witness to the world. Teach me to treat each day as an opportunity to work for You and Your kingdom.
Psalm 90:11, 17 “So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” . . .”Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands!”
Scripture reading for May 17th: 1st Chronicles 10-13, Acts 10
Key Scriptures: Acts 10:34-39 “So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears Him and does what is right is acceptable to Him. As for the word that He sent to Israel, preaching good news of peace through Jesus Christ(He is Lord of all), you yourselves know what happened throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John proclaimed: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.”
Peter preached Jesus Christ as Lord of all to Cornelius, the Roman Centurion and his family. God graciously saved them and filled them with the Holy Spirit. God shows no partiality to those who will surrender to Him! He makes them mighty warriors for Christ, the Son of God, Son of David.
1st Chronicles 12:38 “All these, men of war, arrayed in battle order, came to Hebron with a whole heart to make David king over all Israel.”
Scripture reading for May 4th: 2nd Kings 3-5, Acts 1
Key Scriptures: Acts 1:6-8 “So when they had come together, they asked Him, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by His own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.””
2nd Kings 5:13-14 “But his servants came near and said to him, “My father, it is a great word the prophet has spoken to you; will you not do it? Has he actually said to you, ‘Wash, and be clean’?” So he went down and dipped himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the word of the man of God, and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.”
Prayer: Lord, Fill me with the Holy Spirit today that I might obey You and walk in the power needed to reach lost people with the Gospel. Amen.
Scripture reading for May 9th: Acts 3
Key Scriptures for over-comers: Acts 3:2-8 “Now a man crippled from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them. Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk.”
A crippled man was begging for money as Peter and John came by going to the temple. They heard his plea and looked at him asking for his attention. The man looked at them expectantly. But what they gave him was not what he was expecting! They spoke the name of Jesus Christ over him and commanded him to get up and walk! They even took him by the hand and helped him up! As he responded, he stood up and began to walk. Next he was leaping and jumping and praising God! There is power in the name of Jesus!
Observations for over-comers: Faith has great expectation. God honors faith in those who call out in Jesus’ name! “For when You did awesome things that we did not expect, you came down, and the mountains trembled before You. Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides You, who acts on behalf of those who wait for Him.” (Isaiah 64:3-4)
Scripture reading for February 26th: Mark 13
As Jesus and His disciples were leaving the temple for the last time, the disciples were admiring the beautiful buildings. Jesus remarked that, “Not one stone will be left upon another, every one will be thrown down.” (Mark 13:2) This shocked the disciples and they asked Jesus when this would happen and what would be the signs that this prophesy would be fulfilled. Jesus proceeded to warn them about their need to be watchful and the signs to come!
“Watch out that no one deceives you.” (Mark 13:5) Jesus warned them that deception would come and many would fall for the false instead of waiting for Him. Many would claim to come as the Christ. Wars and earthquakes, conflict with nations, and famines would precede the coming as the ‘beginning of birth pains.’ (Mark 13:8)
“Brother will betray brother to death and a father his child. Children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. All men will hate you because of Me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.” (Mark 13:12-13) Times would become perilous for disciples of Jesus. Persecution and hatred would be normal for His followers before the end and His return. Jesus warned them in advance!
“But in those days, following that distress, ‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’ At that time men will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And He will send His angels and gather His elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.” (Mark 13:24-27) We who believe in Jesus Christ long for that Day!
Scripture reading for October 22nd: 2nd Timothy 1:1-18
Paul’s second letter to Timothy turned out to be his last letter before he was martyred for serving Christ. He knew that his time on this earth was short and wanted to pass on important pastoral encouragement to his young friend and co-w0rker. Timothy was the pastor of the church that Paul had founded in Ephesus and also faced increasing persecution. His youth and somewhat timid spirit may have been hindering his ministry.
“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me His prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life–not because of anything we have done, but because of His own purpose and grace. (2nd Timothy 1:7-9) The Holy Spirit brings us power to live a life of love and self-discipline. God’s purpose is to use us as a witness of this love through our godly living. He chose us Himself and through grace saved us.
This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel.” (2nd Timothy 1:9b-10) God’s plans were put in place before the beginning of time. God lives in the realm of eternity and sees all of time. He and His Son determined the proper time to reveal His grace by Jesus Christ, the Son, coming to earth as a man. Through Christ’s life and atoning death, the way for all men to receive God’s grace was made available. Now through preaching this Gospel, the gift of eternal life and the path to immortality with God has been opened to all who will believe!
“And of this Gospel I was appointed a herald, an apostle and a teacher. That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him for that day.” (2nd Timothy 1:11-12) Paul assured Timothy that God would be faithful to keep them both!
Scripture reading for February 5th: Matthew 24:29-51, Psalm 25, Proverbs 7:6-23
“When the trumpet of the Lord shall sound and time shall be no more, When the morning breaks eternal bright and fair, When the saved diverse shall gather over on the other shore, When the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there.” (Gray)
This old hymn has a lot of theology in it from Matthew 24 and Jesus teaching His disciples what it would be like at the end of the age. “At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky and all the nations of the earth will mourn. they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.” (Matthew 24:30-31)
Jesus told the disciples that He would come back on the clouds of the sky in power and great glory. When this happened, the people of the nations of the earth would mourn. This event would happen suddenly and many will mourn because they know that they have not made preparations that they could have made. Those who were ready would be gathered by the angels from all over the earth. This event is what we call the “rapture” or “catching up” of believers.
It is described in 1st Thessalonians 4:13-18 in more detail. The trumpet will sound and first the dead in Christ will rise. Those who believe and are living on the earth will be caught up next to meet the Lord in the air. This will all happen in a moment, “in the twinkling of an eye” at the last trumpet. (1st Corinthians 15:51-53) We will then always be with the Lord.
Jesus warned His followers that they must be ready because this would happen suddenly and at a time when no one expected. No one would know the day or hour, but those who knew the Lord would live in a state of readiness. They would be trusting in Christ and doing what God had asked them to do. (Matthew 24:42-46) Those who were not ready and doing what Christ asked them to do when this event occurred would be left out! They would suffer with the hypocrites! Get ready for the trumpet!
Scripture reading for December 8th: 2 Timothy 1-4
The second letter of Paul to Timothy is widely believed to be the last written by the Apostle before his execution in Rome. His final words of encouragement to this young man should also be encouraging to us. Living in these last days requires focus. We can easily be overcome by fear at the events unfolding around us. Let’s listen with our hearts open to the Lord to Paul’s final words.
“For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:6-7)
Timothy came from good stock. His mother and grandmother were both Jewish believers. They had faith which was alive in them. They were not timid but were filled with power and love because of their personal knowledge of God. Paul had sensed the call of God on Timothy and had prayed over him for God’s gifts to come forth. One gift was that of pastor and teacher. This gift involved preaching and teaching God’s Word.
“In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life will be persecuted, while evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:12-17
Paul warned Timothy of coming persecution and deception. The best defense was continuing in the word of God. This is the word that was taught him by his mother and grandmother as well as his mentor, Paul himself. It is the best equipment for a man or woman of God.
“In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead and in view of His appearing and His kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage–with great patience and careful instruction.” 2nd Timothy 4:1-2
The presence of the Lord with Paul and his understanding of God’s judgment of each person at Christ’s appearing caused him to give Timothy a simple charge. He told him to preach the Word of God. The Word is always in season. It should be used to correct people, to rebuke those in known sin and to encourage them to prepare for Christ’s coming. Take this simple charge to your heart today and let it move you to action! It’s in season no matter what time of year!