Scripture reading for May 13th: Acts 6, Psalm 95, Proverbs 2
Key Scriptures: Acts 6:2-6 “And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the Word of God to serve tables. Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty. But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the Word.” And what they said pleased the whole gathering, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, and Philip, . . .”
As the number of believers multiplied and diversified, the apostles soon felt the need to multiply the leadership and spread out the duties of pastoral care. They gathered all the disciples and shared their priority of prayer and preaching God’s Word. They also shared their solution–the appointment of Spirit-filled helpers to serve the widows. They chose seven men–full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom to come along side and serve. Character was more important than talent.
Faith Confession: Thank You Lord for this insightful record of how You helped the leaders in Your church to keep their priorities straight and chose helpers full of the Spirit and wisdom. Give me wisdom to multiply those serving Your church.
Proverbs 2:6-8 “For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding; He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice and watching over the way of His saints.”
Scripture reading for September 11th: Proverbs 15-18, Colossians 4
Key Scriptures: Colossians 4:2-6 “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it, with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the Word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison–that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak. Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”
Believers are to be people of prayer. Pastors and missionaries need prayer and ask for it. Paul’s specific request was for open doors to preach God’s Word, the Gospel. He asked for boldness and clarity of speech for himself and for those he was writing to. Salt seasoning of speech is for all believers.
Proverbs 15:1-2 “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouths of fools pour out folly.”
Prayer: Lord, I ask You for open doors for Your Word today. May my speech be bold for you yet filled with wisdom and compassion, seasoned with salt by the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Scripture reading for April 27th: 1st Kings 7-10, John 17
Key Scriptures: John 17:13-15 “But now I am coming to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them Your Word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that You take them out of the world, but them You keep them from the evil one.”
Jesus prayed for Himself, His disciples, and those who would believe as a result of their message. He stated that He had given them His Father’s Word. This would result in the hatred of the world and their need of protection from the evil one, Satan. Protection would come through prayer and the Father’s power.
1st Kings 8:44-45 “If Your people go out to battle against their enemy, by whatever way you shall send them, and they pray to the Lord toward the city that you have chosen and the house that I have built for Your Name, then hear in heaven their prayer and their plea, and maintain their cause.”
Prayer: Holy Father, thank You for Your Word and answers to our prayers and the prayer of Your Son, Jesus Christ. Keep me from the world and the evil one today. Amen.
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)