Scripture reading for January 12th: Genesis 32-35, Matthew 10
Key Scriptures: Matthew 10:34-38 “”Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. Whoever loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me.””
Jesus was talking to His disciples after He had sent them out two by two to the land of Israel. He warned them of the spiritual conflict they and future generations of believers would face. Our love for Jesus must surpass all other relationships! Conflict is inevitable! God will protect and bless His own!
Genesis 32:9-11 “And Jacob said, “O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, O Lord who said to me, ‘Return to your country and to your kindred, that I may do you good,’ I am not worthy of the least of all the deeds of steadfast love and all the faithfulness that You have shown to Your servant. . . . .Please deliver me from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau, for I fear him, that he may come and attack me, the mothers with the children. But You said, ‘I will surely do you good . . .'”
Prayer: Lord, we are weak when it comes to facing opposition, especially from our own family. May we be encouraged and made bold through Your Word and example. Protect our family by Your blood. Amen
December 30, 2017
Dear fellow Bible readers,
Thank you for joining me during this past years journey through the entire Bible. We read on a 5 day per week rotation of about 4 chapters each day. In each reading, I wrote a short devotion on verses from that day’s reading that brought to mind something to rejoice about or be thankful for. I tied each verse in the Old Testament with a counter-part in the New and vice-versa. I never ran out! This helped me to stay positive and keep a thankful heart in a world saturated with negativity and fear. I pray that you were encouraged with the overflow!
In 2018, we will begin another journey (my tenth year of writing) through the entire Bible with an emphasis on prayer and walking with God. Jesus encouraged His followers to “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened for you.” (Matthew 7:7-8) Paul taught , “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Philippians 4:6) Jesus said, “Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.” (John 16:24) We will embark on this Bible Trek beginning Monday, January 1st reading 5 days each week with 3-4 Old Testament chapters and one chapter from the New Testament each day. My goal is to inspire prayer and faith that we might walk closely with our Lord each day. In His Love, Pastor John Morse
Scripture reading for June 30th: Psalms 112-116
Key Scriptures: Psalm 116:15-17 “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints. O Lord, truly I am Your servant; I am Your servant, the son of Your maidservant; You have freed me from my chains. I will sacrifice a thank offering to You and call on the Name of the Lord!”
This psalm was written by someone who experience God answering prayer for from death or a desperate situation. The psalmist realized that God alone showed mercy and kept him from acting rashly or without faith during the trial, which he almost did. He vowed to offer a thank offering to God and to call on His Name. Trials, when properly handled, drive us closer to God and bring new understanding of His ways.
Continually give thanks: “Be joyful always; pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1st Thessalonians 5:16-18) ” . . . Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Ephesians 5:20)
Scripture reading for May 8th: Ezra 8-10, Nehemiah 1-2
Key Scriptures: Nehemiah 1:3-4 “They said to me, “Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.” When I (Nehemiah) heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.”
Nehemiah was a servant (cup-bearer) to the king of Persia. He heard a report from Jerusalem that the rebuilding of the city and its walls had stopped and the people there were demoralized and in trouble. This caused him to weep and fast before the Lord. He repented of sin and confessed wickedness. He poured out his heart in prayer and opened his life for God’s purposes.
Thankful for men who weep: Jesus Christ, too, wept, over Jerusalem and then offered Himself as the One who would give His life to save His people! “As He approached Jerusalem and saw the city, He wept over it and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace–but now it is hidden from your eyes.” (Luke 19:41-42)
Scripture reading for December 9th: Revelation 8
Key Scriptures for over-comers: Revelation 8:1, 6-7 “When he opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. . . Then the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared to sound them. The first angel sounded his trumpet, and there came hail and fire mixed with blood, and it was hurled down upon the earth. A third of the earth was burned up, a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up.”
John had now observed the opening of all seven seals on the scroll from heaven’s throne. After the last seal was opened, silence filled heaven for a half-hour period. It was a pregnant pause before the sounding of the seven trumpets by seven more angels. This silence was the result of the finality and terror that would come with the trumpet judgments that were answers to the prayers of the faithful saints that had risen to God’s throne! (Revelation 8:3-5)
Observations for over-comers: Prayer is powerful and effective and rises to God’s throne. God answers prayers with releases of spiritual armies to fulfill His plan and purposes on earth! “. .while I was still in prayer, Gabriel, the man I had seen in the earlier vision, came to me in swift flight about the time of the evening sacrifice. He instructed me and said to me, “Daniel, I have com to give you insight and understanding. As soon as you began to pray, an answer was given, . .” (Daniel 9:21-23)
Scripture reading for September 14th: 1st Thessalonians 2
Key Scriptures for over-comers: 1st Thessalonians 2:17-20 “But, brothers, when we were torn away from you for a short time (in person, not in thought), out of our intense longing we made every effort to see you. For we wanted to come to you–certainly I, Paul, did, again and again–but Satan stopped us. For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when He comes? Is it not you? Indeed, you are our glory and joy.”
Paul was sent out of town by night by the brothers from Thessalonica because of severe opposition and threat of death. He had sought again and again to return to them, but stated: “Satan stopped us.” Satanic opposition is part of every believer’s life and is especially active when missionaries take the Gospel where Satan has strongholds. Prayer by believers and persistence to do God’s will on the part of missionaries brings breakthroughs. Paul viewed the believers in Thessalonica as his “crown” and “glory and joy” when Jesus Christ would return!
Observations for over-comers: Over-comers keep their eyes on the mission and on the return of Jesus Christ and their reward when He comes. Satan is a defeated foe who will suffer in the Lake of Fire forever! “Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in His presence concerning those who feared the Lord and honored His name. “They will be Mine,” says the Lord almighty, “in the day that I take up My treasured possession.” (Malachi 3:16-17)
Scripture reading for November 12th: 1st Peter 4
“The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength that God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.” (1st Peter 4:7-11)
Peter, at that time, was convinced that the end of all things was near! That spiritual outlook is healthy for each generation as they await the coming of Jesus Christ. When we live as if Christ could come any time, we look upon prayer as a necessity, not an inconvenience! There are so many people that are needing salvation and only God can draw them! We must appeal to heaven with a clear mind and vision of consequences for those not found in Christ!
Our treatment of others is deeply important to our Lord! Peter encouraged the church to “love each other deeply”! Love covers sin, doesn’t expose and gossip about it! Love offers hospitality and is generous because of Christ’s generosity to us. Love also uses every God-given gift or talent to promote Jesus Christ and His Kingdom so that all may hear and be saved! When we love in these ways, Jesus Christ is praised and receives glory, now and forever!
Scripture reading for September 11th: Colossians 4
In order to live successfully with a continual view towards heaven and God’s will, Paul encouraged the Colossians to pray specifically. “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. (Colossians 4:2-4)
Paul knew that prayer was a key to fruitfulness and protection from the forces of evil. Believers must be watchful against the tide of evil in the culture as well as the schemes of Satan through false doctrine and teachers. (Colossians 2:7) Thankfulness is a state of humility that continually acknowledges God’s generous supply of all things in every circumstance.
Paul also asked for prayer himself. Although in jail, he didn’t ask to be set free. He asked for a open door for the Gospel message. Asked for empowerment to preach clearly and effectively, sharing the mystery of Jesus Christ, God’s Son and Savior of the world. This lead naturally to the next instructions!
Be wise in the way you act towards outsiders, make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know hot to answer everyone.” (Colossians 4:5-6) Believers are called to reach the lost–those outside the family of God. Watchfulness in prayer also includes recognizing opportunities to share the Gospel. Our conversations and life must exhibit the freedom of living under God’s grace. We must depend on the Holy Spirit to give answers to the questions and objections of the lost. Prayer and the wisdom of the Holy Spirit season our speech with salt, making the lost thirsty for God!
Sunday July 6th, 2014
Dear Friends of Jesus,
What a wonderful week of celebration of freedom in our nation! We are truly blessed to live in the United States of America! God’s blessings here are not to be taken lightly!
We who belong to Jesus Christ gather each week on the first day of the week to worship, pray, and thank God for His blessings! We come to listen to His Word and open our hearts to humbly allow Him to transform our thinking to mirror His thinking. We come to have fellowship with Jesus around His table in Holy Communion, remembering His sacrificial death until He comes again in glory for His redeemed people! We will start a message series called “Seek First the Kingdom” on stewardship. Don’t neglect God’s gathering of His people today! We need each other and Him more and more as we see the end approaching!
In His Love,
Pastor John and Mary
Sunday February 9th, 2014
Dear Friends of God,
Greetings in the Wonderful Name of Jesus Christ, Son of God and Son of Man! This is another opportunity to connect with God and His people for prayer, worship and the Word! Pastor Brent will be preaching today on relationships. Come to give yourself to God in worship, to pray for other and encourage them, and to listen to God’s Word for instruction and transformation! God loves to meet with His Bride!
In His Love, Pastor John