Scripture reading for May 31st: Acts 20, Psalm 109, Proverbs 16
Key Scriptures: Acts 20:24-27 “But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. And now, behold, I know that none of you among whom I have gone about proclaiming the kingdom will see my face again. Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all, for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God.”
As Paul met a final time with the elders of the Ephesian church, he spoke to them about his life and ministry in their midst, spending two years there preaching the gospel. He told them of the warnings of future imprisonment and persecution that he had received. He declared that his own life was only valuable to help him finish his mission here on earth. He had no regrets about the Ephesians either. He had fully preached the whole counsel of God to them and was innocent of their blood. What a great faith confession!
Faith Confession: Lord, help me to declare the whole counsel of God to those in my circle of influence. I want none to perish, but all to come to repentance and eternal life.
Proverbs 16:20 “Whoever gives thought to the Word will discover good, and blessed is he who trusts in the Lord.”
Scripture reading for August 6th: Psalm 72-75, 2nd Corinthians 7
Key Scriptures: 2nd Corinthians 7:9-11 “As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us. For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death. For see what earnestness this godly grief has produced in you, but also what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what punishment! At every point you have proved yourselves innocent in the matter.”
Paul was rejoicing because his difficult letter of correction had resulted in a godly grief over their sin and resulted in true repentance. Sometimes, people can have worldly grief. This is usually being sorry that they were found out. This results in no change of heart or mind and eventually spiritual death and eternal separation from God. Godly sorrow brings life and restoration.
Psalm 75:1-2 “We give thanks to You, O God; we give thanks, for Your Name is near. We recount Your wondrous deeds. “At the set time that I appoint I will judge with equity.””
Prayer: Lord, correct me and convict me when I need it. Bring godly sorrow that leads me always to repentance and life. May I stand in Your grace when I face You as judge. Amen.
Scripture reading for June 14th: Nehemiah 6-9, Romans 2
Key Scriptures: Romans 2:4-6 “Or do you show contempt for the riches of His kindness, tolerance, and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance?” But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when His righteous judgment will be revealed. God will give to each person according to what he has done.”
Paul reminded believers that it was God’s kindness and patience that lead them to repentance. If someone remains unrepentant, that attitude will ultimately bring God’s wrath and judgment. Take care of your own heart and stay in God’s love through repentance and a humble heart.
Nehemiah 8:5-6 “Ezra opened the book. All the people could see him because he was standing above them; and as he opened it, the people all stood up. Ezra praised the Lord, the great God; and all the people lifted their hands and responded, “Amen! Amen!” Then they bowed down and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground.”
Prayer: Lord, thank You for Your kindness and patience with me. May I always show Your kindness and patience in my life. I need Your help! Amen.
Scripture reading for May 30th: 2nd Chronicles 13-15, Acts 19
Key Scriptures: Acts 19:17-20 “And fear fell upon them all, and the Name of the Lord Jesus was extolled. Also many of those who were now believers came, confessing and divulging their practices. And a number of those who had practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted the value of them and found it came to fifty thousand pieces of silver. So the word of the Lord continued to increase and prevail mightily.”
As Paul preached at Ephesus, he saw the fear of the Lord Jesus bring conviction to those who believed. This caused confession of sins and true repentance in turning from the practices of the occult. A real revival brings cleansing and deep conviction and turning to God with heart and soul.
2nd Chronicles 15:3-4 “For a long time Israel was without the true God, and without a teaching priest and without law, but when in their distress they turned to the Lord, the God of Israel, and sought Him, He was found by them.”
Prayer: Lord, let their be true repentance that brings deep conviction and a fresh commitment to You as Lord. Amen.
Scripture reading for May 8th: 2nd Kings 10-12, Acts 3
Key Scriptures: Acts 3:19-21 “”Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets long ago.””
Peter called on the Jews to repent and turn to Jesus Christ, the One spoken of by the prophets. Jesus, alone could restore all things and bring times of refreshing that would follow repentance and turning of hearts to Him.
2nd Kings 12:4-6 “Jehoash said to the priests, “All the money of the holy things that is brought into the house of the Lord, . . .and the money that a man’s heart prompts him to bring into the house of the Lord, . .and let them repair the house wherever any need of repairs is discovered.”. . . “But by the 23rd year of King Jehoash, the priests had made no repairs on the house (of the Lord).”
Prayer: Lord, my heart is moved to see Your Holy Temple restored and cleansed. Cleanse me and Your Church and bring times of refreshing as we obey You. Amen.
Scripture reading for March 28th: Judges 9-12, Luke 19
Key Scriptures: Luke 18:13-14 “But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Jesus told the story of two men who went to the temple to pray. The first, a Pharisee, prayed arrogantly, exalting his own goodness in keeping the law. The second, a tax collector, asked God for mercy and confessed his sins. Jesus plainly stated that the one who humbled himself was justified by God.
Judges 10:14-16 “”Go and cry out to the gods whom you have chosen; let them save you in the time of your distress.” And the people of Israel said to the Lord, “We have sinned; do to us whatever seems good to you. Only please deliver us this day.” So they put away the foreign gods from among them and served the Lord and He became impatient over the misery of Israel.”
Prayer: Lord, have mercy on me today for my sins and poor choices. I humble myself before You and ask for Your deliverance. Amen.
Scripture reading for October 2nd: Jonah 3-4, Micah 1-2
Key Scriptures: Jonah 4:4-5, 10 “On the first day, Jonah started into the city. He proclaimed: “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overturned.” The Ninevites believed God. They declared a fast, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth. . . . When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, He had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction He had threatened.”
Jonah had vowed to preach whatever message God gave him for the wicked city of Nineveh. He began a walk across the huge city that would take three full days announcing God’s plan to judge them in just 40 days. This brought holy fear and faith to the whole wicked city and they repented! When God saw their faith and deeds of repentance, He had compassion on them! He would much rather save people than bring judgment. What an awesome God of compassion we serve!
God’s great compassion: “The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2nd Peter 3:9)
Scripture reading for September 25th: Hosea 6-9
Key Scriptures: Hosea 6:1-3 “”Come, let us return to the Lord. He has torn us to pieces but He will heal us; He has injured us, but He will bind up our wounds. After two days He will revive us, on the third day He will restore us, that we may live in His presence. Let us acknowledge the Lord; let us press on to acknowledge Him. As surely as the sun rise, He will appear; He will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.””
Hosea called out to God’s people to return to the Lord with humility and repentance. Their sins had torn them apart and caused great injury and many wounds. God promised to revive them and restore them. They must press in and press on to acknowledge the Lord. He would soon come, bringing the rains of heaven and granting His holy Presence to all who believe through the Holy Spirit!
The blessing of repentance: “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that He may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you–even Jesus. He must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything, as He promised long ago through His holy prophets.” (Acts 3:19-21)
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 August 12th: 2nd Corinthians 12
Key scriptures for over-comers: 2nd Corinthians 12:19-21 “We have been speaking in the sight of God as those in Christ; and everything we do, dear friends, is for your strengthening. For I am afraid that when I come I may not find you as I want you to be, and you may not find me as you want me to be. I fear that there may be quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, factions, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder. I am afraid that when I come again my God will humble me before you, and I will be grieved over many who have sinned earlier and have not repented of the impurity, sexual sin and debauchery in which they have indulged.”
The pastor’s heart of the Apostle Paul was concerned about the spiritual state of the members of the church at Corinth. He earnestly desired their strengthening in Christ and spiritual health so he wrote to them concerning sins that he knew were still prevalent there. This list could still fit many or most church families today! The sins he listed caused division and strife and would ultimately bring God’s judgment if not repented of! The only way to deal with any sin is to turn from it, confessing responsibility for the sin and asking Christ for mercy through faith in His sacrifice. Without repentance sinners will perish! (Luke 13:3,5)
Observations for over-comers: Self-examination and regular repentance when the Holy Spirit convicts us keeps our souls healthy and strong! “Therefore this is what the Lord says: “If you repent, I will restore you that you may serve Me; if you utter worthy, not worthless words, you will be My spokesman. . . .”” (Jeremiah 15:19)