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)
Scripture reading for January 11th: Matthew 7
Key Scriptures: Matthew 7:24-25 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who build his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.”
To have a home that stands the tests of water, storms, and wind, it must have a strong foundation. To have a life that stands the tests of the world, flesh, and the Devil, that life must be anchored to the Rock of Jesus Christ. According to Scripture, Jesus Christ is our Wisdom from God! (1st Corinthians 1:30) These verses promise everyone a guarantee of a life-foundation that will stand up to any test! Hearing God’s Word and putting it into daily practice will never fail to anchor our lives to the One who spoke the word in the first place. His words are true in floods, storms and winds! This foundation will stand up to anything coming against it.
Contrasting this was the man who built his house on the sand as a foundation. To have a sand foundation was to hear the word of God and ignore obedience. When the storms came, this fool’s house fell with a great crash! Jesus was warning against any foundation other than the applied word of God!
Observation for over-comers: Check the foundation of your life–are you hearing and applying the word of God to all areas of your life? “By Wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.” (Proverbs 24:3-4)
Scripture reading for July 4th: Proverbs 1-4
For many years I read the entire book of Proverbs each month as a daily discipline. For the past 13 years, I have read the chapter of Proverbs for that day at the bi-weekly men’s accountability breakfast that I am a part of. Even though I have read or heard Proverbs many times, I am still impressed at how they speak freshly to us about our daily lives.
Hearing and listening can be two different things. Almost everyone can hear what is being said but listening in order to learn and apply truth is a different process requiring humility and a teachable spirit. As we begin the book of Proverbs, take a moment to check your hearing and listening abilities. Put your mind in a learning mode. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you new insights about successful living and decision making as well as who God is.
Solomon is the author of many of the proverbs. He was David’s son through his wife Bathsheba. Solomon was visited by God and given an opportunity to ask for anything he desired. He asked for wisdom to rule God’s people. Solomon wanted to pass that wisdom on to his sons. The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord. (Proverbs 1:7) There are those who either don’t want wisdom or are so enthralled with their own way that Solomon gives them names. Simple, fool, and mocker are the three names of those who refuse to listen and learn! (Proverbs 1:7, 22)
Listening to wisdom has many blessings. It brings knowledge and discretion to the young as well as guidance. (Proverbs 1:4-5) It brings safety and freedom from fear. (Proverbs 1:33) A person who listens to wisdom understands the fear of the Lord and finds knowledge of God. (Proverbs 2:5) You will also avoid the adulterous woman and her path that leads to death. (Proverbs 2:16-19) Listening and keeping wisdom brings long life and prosperity. (Proverbs 3:2)
Wisdom is to be prized above any other treasure. (Proverbs 3:13-15) We must lay hold of wisdom by taking hold of the words given by the Father. (Proverbs 4:1-5) Wisdom is our life and health to our whole body! (Proverbs 4:22) Wisdom sounds a lot like Jesus Christ, in whom is hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge! (Colossians 2:2-3)
Scripture Reading for April 3: 1st Kings1-4
I often ask people who come to me for direction in their lives a simple question. If you could do anything you wanted, what would you do with your life? This question opens us up to many possibilities and helps us discern the true desires of our heart. If we have truly committed our way to the Lord and delight ourselves in Him, He tells us that He will give us the desires of our heart! (Psalm 37:4) We will want what He wants!
Newly crowned King Solomon had an encounter with the Lord. He had gone to Gibeon to sacrifice to the Lord and that day offered a thousand burnt offerings! Extravagant worship marked the life of this newly anointed king! That night as Solomon lay asleep, the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said: “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.” (1st Kings 3:4-5) Solomon first thanked the Lord for his kindness to his father David in placing him on the throne. Then he confessed his need for God’s help in ruling His people. He asked for a discerning heart and wisdom to rule wisely. (1st Kings 3:7-9)
This pleased the Lord! Solomon was granted what he asked for! God gave him riches and honor in addition so that there would be no equal among kings of that time. (1st Kings 3:10-14) God’s Word has proved true in history in the life of this son of David!
As we think about the question God asked Solomon, what would you ask the Lord for today? Many would ask for riches and honor first, thinking about what would make them personally happy. When you are a worshiper of the Lord, your focus on God brings His desires into your heart. When we see God’s greatness and understand His great plan of reaching the world, we ask for wisdom and anointing to complete our mission.
Jesus Christ has been made to us wisdom from God! (1st Corinthians 1:30) We are told that if we lack wisdom, we can ask God for it and He will give us liberally! (James 1:5-7) He encourages us to make the same choice King Solomon made. Wisdom is found in knowing Jesus Christ and daily drawing from His wisdom.
Scripture reading for July 14th: Ecclesiastes 1-6
If you try to make sense of life without God in you heart or mind, there is only one term that consistently comes to mind: meaningless! Life is hard to make sense of without God’s Word or knowledge. Man is left with darkness in his understanding and the futility of life under the sun. This life without God has no real purpose or meaning. It appears that we come about by accident and leave earth by calamity or slow death. Some live short lives and others relatively long lives. Some are blessed and others struggle with troubles and pain. Our days are short and they fly by.
Solomon, the richest and wisest man who ever lived outside of Jesus Christ, decided to try to find meaning in life by pursuing riches, fame, and fortune to the maximum. The result is this book of Ecclesiastes! When you read it, you must understand it’s perspective. Solomon finds no meaning in endless days of toil and work of man. He feels that there is nothing really new under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 1: 9-11) We spend our time working and gathering and death takes us away. In a few years or less, no one remembers us or what we have done!
Solomon tried to find meaning with the pursuit of pleasure and things that brought laughter. He tried wine and folly but found meaninglessness! He then tried great building projects to find satisfaction. He built houses and planted vineyards and fruit orchards. He built lakes and had many servants. His herds and flocks were numerous and his treasury filled with silver and gold. He hired singers and entertainers and even bought a harem of beautiful women to enjoy as he pleased. He had no lack of anything his heart desired and he enjoyed his labor but as he thought about it, it too was meaningless! (Ecclesiastes 2:1-11)
Solomon noted that all his hard work would be left behind when he died and given to someone else who did not work for it. This was a hard thing to grasp. (Ecclesiastes 3:21-23) His conclusion was that if man would eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work each day, that was a gift of God. Without God, we can’t find meaning or enjoyment! (Ecclesiastes 2:24-25)
“He (God) has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11) Solomon concludes that God has made a time for everything under the sun. These times are in His hands and man must accept that with gratitude. Man has an inner knowledge of eternity. Each knows that he is an eternal being who will be judged by God one day, but is darkened in his understanding because of sin so that he cannot understand the plans of God.
Take a moment to thank God for revealing eternity and the plans of His heart through Jesus Christ! In Christ we now have eternity restored in God’s presence! Praise the Lord!