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 March 18: Luke 11, Psalm 55, Proverbs 24
Key Scriptures: Luke 11:24-27 “When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and finding none it says, I will return to my house from which I came. And when it comes, it finds the house swept and put in order. Then it goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there. And the last state of that person is worse than the first.”
Jesus instructed His disciples concerning casting out of evil spirits. He told them that they had the power in His Name to cast them out of an individuals. He told them that the evil spirit would seek another home in someone else, but would ultimately try to return. If the delivered person failed to fill his ‘house’ with the Holy Spirit, the evil spirit would return and find other even worse spirits and that man would be in worse bondage than before.
Faith Confession: Lord, give me wisdom to help those bound by evil spirits to find deliverance in Jesus’ Name and to fill their ‘house’ with Your Holy Spirit.
Proverbs 24:3-4 “By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.
Scripture reading for January 11th: Matthew 9, Psalm 9, Prov. 9
Key Scriptures: Matthew 9:20-22 “And behold, a woman who had suffered from a discharge of blood for twelve years came up behind Him and touched the fringe of His garment, for she said to herself, “If I only touch His garment, I will be made well.” Jesus turned, and seeing her He said, “Take heart, daughter: your faith has made you well.” And instantly the woman was made well.”
Jesus was on His way to minister to the daughter of a ruler of the synagogue when He encountered this woman who had the long-time issue of blood. This woman had decided by faith that if she could just touch Jesus’ garment, she would be healed. She had confessed this to herself. Healthy self-talk can promote faith–a deep trust in Jesus and His miraculous ability. Jesus stated that her faith had made her well! Healing happened instantly!
Faith’s Confession: Lord I know that I can go to You with any need or health issue and You have the willingness and power to provide and heal. (Faith Action: Reach out to the Lord with a current need for you or a loved one, using a faith confession. Talk to yourself about Jesus!)
Proverbs 9:10-11 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight. For by Me your days will be multiplied, and years will be added to your life.”
Scripture reading for October 24th: Jeremiah 9-12, Hebrews 9
Key Scriptures: Hebrews 9:24, 27-28 “For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. . . “And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for Him.”
Jesus Christ, our great High Priest, entered the actual Holy of Holies in heaven. He took the ultimate sacrifice, His own blood to atone for our sins. He is coming back to earth again a second time, not to deal with sin again, but to save completely those who are trusting in Him! What wisdom God and Christ have revealed to all who will hear!
Jeremiah 9:23-24 “Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.”
Prayer: Lord, thank You for Your mercy to me to personally pay for my sins with Your own blood. Thank You for revealing Your mercy to me! Amen.
Scripture reading for September 6th: Proverbs 5-7, Colossians 1
Key Scriptures: Colossians 1:15-17 “He (Christ Jesus) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all created things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”
Jesus Christ is God! He alone is over all creation, visible and invisible. He is over all authority in heaven and on earth. He created all things and He sustains all things. He is before all things and will endure after all things! What an awesome God we serve! We would do well to pay attention to Him in everything!
Proverbs 5:1 “My son, pay attention to My wisdom, listen well to My words of insight, that you may maintain discretion and your lips may preserve knowledge.”
Prayer: Lord, I worship You for Who You are–God Almighty, my Creator, author of all wisdom and giver of knowledge. Give me ears to hear Your instruction today and always. Amen.
Scripture reading for July 5th: Job 37-40, 1st Corinthians 1
Key Scriptures: 1st Corinthians 1:28-31 “God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.””
Paul stated plainly that God chose the weak and lowly things of this world in order to shame the proud and those claiming to be wise. Through Jesus Christ, God’s amazing wisdom, abundant righteousness, sanctification and redemption are available to all who humbly accept. That’s something to humbly boast about!
Job 37:23-24 “The Almighty–we cannot find Him; He is great in power; justice and abundant righteousness He will not violate. Therefore men fear Him; He does not regard any who are wise in their own conceit.”
Prayer: Lord, thank You for Jesus Christ, our wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption! Help me to humbly boast in Him alone!
Scripture reading for March 5th: Deuteronomy 6-9, Luke 2
Key Scriptures: Luke 2:49-52 “And He said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in My Father’s house? And they did not understand the saying that He spoke to them. And He went down with them and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them. And His mother treasured up all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man.”
Jesus’ early years and growth until 30 years of age are summarized here by Luke. These few verses give us insight into Jesus’ early understanding of His mission and yet His need to fully submit to being human and growing up in this world under parental authority and experiencing temptations common to all people. Jesus knew that “He must be in Father’s house.”
Deuteronomy 6:4-5 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is One. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down and when you rise.”
Prayer: Holy Father, today I want to be in Your house and learn Your Word and ways. Let me increase in wisdom and favor with You and those I interact with. Amen.
Scripture reading for May 23rd: Job 26-29
Key Scriptures: Job 28:20, 23-24, 28 “Where then does wisdom come from? Where does understanding dwell?” . . .”God understands the way to it and He alone knows where it dwells, for He views the ends of the earth and sees everything under the heavens.”. . .”And He said to man, ‘The fear of the Lord–that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding.'”
Job pondered wisdom and it’s relation to God Himself. Job understood that God alone had wisdom and knew all things in heaven and on earth. In fact, God’s word to man had declared: “The fear of the Lord–that is wisdom.” A deep and abiding respect for God and His word causes man to shun evil and live by God’s holy decrees!
Thankful for God’s wisdom: Jesus Christ has been revealed to us as Wisdom from God and He lived in total fear of the Lord God, His Father! “My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” (Colossians 2:2-3)
Scripture reading for May 25th: Acts 15
Key scriptures for over-comers: Acts 15:28-29 “It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements: You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things.”
There was a dispute in the early church about whether or not circumcision was necessary for salvation. Some Jewish believers wanted to make this a requirement. Paul and Barnabas were in sharp disagreement with doing this! So they and others from the church decided to go to the apostles and elders in Jerusalem and settle this matter. They discussed this matter and heard all sides. Peter stood and stated what was clearly believed: “We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.” (Acts 15:11) The council agreed with this ruling and added just a few recommendations to believers for their spiritual welfare. Peter noted that “it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and us. . .”. The Holy Spirit led them to a peaceful settlement of this dispute!
Observations for over-comers: Disputes between believers are part of life in this fallen world. Those in Christ’s Church seek to discuss and hear from God’s heart how to move forward in peace and unity! “Pay attention and listen to the sayings of the wise; apply your heart to what I teach, for it is pleasing when you keep them in your heart and have all of them ready on your lips. So that your trust may be in the Lord, I teach you today, even you.” (Proverbs 22:17-19)