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Nahum Summary

The primary audience in this book is Assyria with the implicit audience being Israel. 1. God is holy and righteous. 2. Because He is holy, He is angry with sin. 3. God will meet out His justice. We see this at the cross, where justice, righteousness, God’s anger at sin come together. He is not done yet though. When Jesus returns, we will go with Him to a place, where sin and suffering do not exist, to live forevermore. What a glorious day that will be! Until then, may God bless your walk today.

Nahum 1:1. The burden of Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite. 2. God is jealous, and the LORD revengeth; the LORD revengeth, and is furious; the LORD will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth wrath for his enemies. 3. The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the LORD hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet. 4. He rebuketh the sea, and maketh it dry, and drieth up all the rivers: Bashan languisheth, and Carmel, and the flower of Lebanon languisheth. 5. The mountains quake at him, and the hills melt, and the earth is burned at his presence, yea, the world, and all that dwell therein. 6. Who can stand before his indignation? and who can abide in the fierceness of his anger? his fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by him. 7. The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him. 8. But with an overrunning flood he will make an utter end of the place thereof, and darkness shall pursue his enemies. 9. What do ye imagine against the LORD? he will make an utter end: affliction shall not rise up the second time. 10. For while they be folden together as thorns, and while they are drunken as drunkards, they shall be devoured as stubble fully dry. 11. There is one come out of thee, that imagineth evil against the LORD, a wicked counsellor. 12. Thus saith the LORD; Though they be quiet, and likewise many, yet thus shall they be cut down, when he shall pass through. Though I have afflicted thee, I will afflict thee no more. 13. For now will I break his yoke from off thee, and will burst thy bonds in sunder. 14. And the LORD hath given a commandment concerning thee, that no more of thy name be sown: out of the house of thy gods will I cut off the graven image and the molten image: I will make thy grave; for thou art vile. 15. Behold upon the mountains the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace! O Judah, keep thy solemn feasts, perform thy vows: for the wicked shall no more pass through thee; he is utterly cut off.
Nahum 1:1‭-‬15 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/nam.1.1-15.KJV

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:3 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/mat.5.3.KJV

Micah Summary

Micah is the story of a warning of judgment against Samaria and Judah. God is angry because they have combined temple worship with idle worship. Warnings and judgments are always God’s grace. He wants us to repent, turn away, from our sin. Micah 5:3-5 is quoted by the wise men in the new testament (Mt 2:5-6). This foretells Jesus. His second coming is going to be a glorious day! Until that day, have a blessed one this day.

Micah 5:1. Now gather thyself in troops, O daughter of troops: he hath laid siege against us: they shall smite the judge of Israel with a rod upon the cheek. 2. But thou, Beth–lehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting. 3. Therefore will he give them up, until the time that she which travaileth hath brought forth: then the remnant of his brethren shall return unto the children of Israel.

5:4. And he shall stand and feed in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God; and they shall abide: for now shall he be great unto the ends of the earth. 5. And this man shall be the peace, when the Assyrian shall come into our land: and when he shall tread in our palaces, then shall we raise against him seven shepherds, and eight principal men. 6. And they shall waste the land of Assyria with the sword, and the land of Nimrod in the entrances thereof: thus shall he deliver us from the Assyrian, when he cometh into our land, and when he treadeth within our borders. 7. And the remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many people as a dew from the LORD, as the showers upon the grass, that tarrieth not for man, nor waiteth for the sons of men. 8. And the remnant of Jacob shall be among the Gentiles in the midst of many people as a lion among the beasts of the forest, as a young lion among the flocks of sheep: who, if he go through, both treadeth down, and teareth in pieces, and none can deliver. 9. Thine hand shall be lifted up upon thine adversaries, and all thine enemies shall be cut off.
Micah 5:1‭-‬9 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/mic.5.1-9.KJV

Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the Lord , I will joy in the God of my salvation. Habakkuk 3:17‭-‬18 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/hab.3.17-18.KJV

Jonah Summary

Subtitle: Unrelenting grace. This story of Jonah encapsulates the human condition. We have a God of inessimable awesome glory. He is in control of each detail at all times. We also have a God of unmeasurable grace. These three words can change our lives: But the Lord… But the Lord, there would be no salvation, no hope, no Bible, no Christ Jesus, and beyond. But the Lord…have a blessed day.

Jonah 1:1. Now the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, 2. Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me. 3. But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD. 

1:4. But the LORD sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken. 5. Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god, and cast forth the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it of them. But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep. 6. So the shipmaster came to him, and said unto him, What meanest thou, O sleeper? arise, call upon thy God, if so be that God will think upon us, that we perish not. 7. And they said every one to his fellow, Come, and let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this evil is upon us. So they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah. 8. Then said they unto him, Tell us, we pray thee, for whose cause this evil is upon us; What is thine occupation? and whence comest thou? what is thy country? and of what people art thou? 9. And he said unto them, I am an Hebrew; and I fear the LORD, the God of heaven, which hath made the sea and the dry land. 10. Then were the men exceedingly afraid, and said unto him, Why hast thou done this? For the men knew that he fled from the presence of the LORD, because he had told them. 

1:11. Then said they unto him, What shall we do unto thee, that the sea may be calm unto us? for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous. 12. And he said unto them, Take me up, and cast me forth into the sea; so shall the sea be calm unto you: for I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you. 13. Nevertheless the men rowed hard to bring it to the land; but they could not: for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous against them. 14. Wherefore they cried unto the LORD, and said, We beseech thee, O LORD, we beseech thee, let us not perish for this man’s life, and lay not upon us innocent blood: for thou, O LORD, hast done as it pleased thee. 15. So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea: and the sea ceased from her raging. 16. Then the men feared the LORD exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice unto the LORD, and made vows. 

1:17. Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.
Jonah 1:1‭-‬17 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/jon.1.1-17.KJV

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:27 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/jhn.14.27.KJV

Obadiah’s subtitle: Salvation Is From the Lord. It is God who chose to place His grace on Isaac rather than Esau. Obadiah is an oracle, one of authority, against Edom (descendants of Esau). It took God’s grace for me to desire grace. Second, the Lord is the final judge. God will show grace to whom He decides. Third, the Lord defends and protects those He has given grace. Finally, the Lord blesses. Obadiah is as a finger pointing from Abraham to Jacob to Judah to Jesus to you and to me. God will complete His plan. Wow! Have a blessed day.

Obed. 1:11. In the day that thou stoodest on the other side, in the day that the strangers carried away captive his forces, and foreigners entered into his gates, and cast lots upon Jerusalem, even thou wast as one of them. 12. But thou shouldest not have looked on the day of thy brother in the day that he became a stranger; neither shouldest thou have rejoiced over the children of Judah in the day of their destruction; neither shouldest thou have spoken proudly in the day of distress. 13. Thou shouldest not have entered into the gate of my people in the day of their calamity; yea, thou shouldest not have looked on their affliction in the day of their calamity, nor have laid hands on their substance in the day of their calamity; 14. Neither shouldest thou have stood in the crossway, to cut off those of his that did escape; neither shouldest thou have delivered up those of his that did remain in the day of distress. 15. For the day of the LORD is near upon all the heathen: as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee: thy reward shall return upon thine own head. 16. For as ye have drunk upon my holy mountain, so shall all the heathen drink continually, yea, they shall drink, and they shall swallow down, and they shall be as though they had not been. 

1:17. But upon mount Zion shall be deliverance, and there shall be holiness; and the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions. 18. And the house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau for stubble, and they shall kindle in them, and devour them; and there shall not be any remaining of the house of Esau; for the LORD hath spoken it.
Obadiah 1:11‭-‬18 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/oba.1.11-18.KJV

A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh. Luke 6:45 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/luk.6.45.KJV

Amos Summary

Subtitle: Mercy Produces Mercy. God’s plan here is not just to redeem His people after they mess up, rather He wants to transform them. In Amos, God is harsh because they would not repent. God’s grace comes to us sometimes through uncomfortable ways. This is transformative. I just pray we would draw closer to our Lord daily by reading our Bibles so we would hear and listen to the Holy Spirit’s beckoning before the harshness is necessary. Have a blessed day.

Amos 4:4. Come to Beth–el, and transgress; at Gilgal multiply transgression; and bring your sacrifices every morning, and your tithes after three years: 5. And offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving with leaven, and proclaim and publish the free offerings: for this liketh you, O ye children of Israel, saith the Lord GOD.

4:6. And I also have given you cleanness of teeth in all your cities, and want of bread in all your places: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD. 7. And also I have withholden the rain from you, when there were yet three months to the harvest: and I caused it to rain upon one city, and caused it not to rain upon another city: one piece was rained upon, and the piece whereupon it rained not withered. 8. So two or three cities wandered unto one city, to drink water; but they were not satisfied: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD. 9. I have smitten you with blasting and mildew: when your gardens and your vineyards and your fig trees and your olive trees increased, the palmerworm devoured them: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD. 10. I have sent among you the pestilence after the manner of Egypt: your young men have I slain with the sword, and have taken away your horses; and I have made the stink of your camps to come up unto your nostrils: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD. 11. I have overthrown some of you, as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and ye were as a firebrand plucked out of the burning: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD. 12. Therefore thus will I do unto thee, O Israel: and because I will do this unto thee, prepare to meet thy God, O Israel. 13. For, lo, he that formeth the mountains, and createth the wind, and declareth unto man what is his thought, that maketh the morning darkness, and treadeth upon the high places of the earth, The LORD, The God of hosts, is his name.
Amos 4:4‭-‬13 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/amo.4.4-13.KJV

The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. Psalm 19:7 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/psa.19.7.KJV

Joel Summary

Joel carries forward the theological structure of the redemptive story. It is organized in the “bad news/good news” way. The gospel, in this setting, is worst news ever. It opens our eyes to the devastating reality of our own wickedness and sin. In Noel the theme is one of “bad” news and the judgment of God; and also we find the “good” news, the rescuing grace of God.

What does it mean for God to repent? He has no sin, so that can’t be it. It means that if we repent, confess, of our sin, He will repent of, turn away from, His judgment against us and replace it with mercy and grace and blessings. Hallelujah! Now go have a wonderful day, and remember to tell someone about how good our God is and what He has done for you today.

Joel 2:12. Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: 13. And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil. 14. Who knoweth if he will return and repent, and leave a blessing behind him; even a meat offering and a drink offering unto the LORD your God? 15. Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly: 16. Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet. 17. Let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, O LORD, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God?
Joel 2:12‭-‬17 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/jol.2.12-17.KJV

But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. Hebrews 13:16 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/heb.13.16.KJV

Hosea Summary

Subtitle: The Ultimate Payment. This is a shocking book of the Bible, and it may be hard to understand. We have to go all the way back to the promised God made to His children, the Israelites, before entering the Promised Land. Deuteronomy 6. Hosea is sad but true reflection of what sin brings. God tells Hosea to go and buy her back, after she prostitutes herself, and make her his own. That is a very good description of us. Thank You Jesus for buying us back with Your precious blood! Have a blessed and Happy Mother’s Day.

Hosea 3:1. Then said the LORD unto me, Go yet, love a woman beloved of her friend, yet an adulteress, according to the love of the LORD toward the children of Israel, who look to other gods, and love flagons of wine. 2. So I bought her to me for fifteen pieces of silver, and for an homer of barley, and an half homer of barley: 3. And I said unto her, Thou shalt abide for me many days; thou shalt not play the harlot, and thou shalt not be for another man: so will I also be for thee. 4. For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim: 5. Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the LORD their God, and David their king; and shall fear the LORD and his goodness in the latter days.
Hosea 3:1‭-‬5 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/hos.3.1-5.KJV

Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. 1 Corinthians 13:7 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/1co.13.7.KJV

Subtitle: Lord of Glory. First, we see the willingness of God’s people to step into harm’s way for the Lord. Second, we see many prayers in this book that give strength to God’s people during the struggle between human glory and the glory of God. Third, nothing will thwart God’s will. I’m so joyful that I am in His will! Not because of anything I’ve done, God knows, but because of who He is. Hallelujah! Have a blessed day.

Dan 4:34. And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation: 35. And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou? 36. At the same time my reason returned unto me; and for the glory of my kingdom, mine honour and brightness returned unto me; and my counsellors and my lords sought unto me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added unto me. 37. Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase.
Daniel 4:34‭-‬37 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/dan.4.34-37.KJV

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/pro.22.6.KJV

The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe. Proverbs 18:10 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/pro.18.10.KJV

Where do you run when life makes no sense? It is tempting to question God at these times. The ultimate question: Can life come out of death? If not, we are doomed! This is the story of Jesus. In the darkest of times, God showed His great love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8. Thank You Father God! Have a blessed day.

Eze. 37:1. The hand of the LORD was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones, 2. And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry. 3. And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O LORD God, thou knowest. 4. Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. 5. Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live: 6. And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the LORD. 7. So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone. 8. And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them. 9. Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. 10. So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.

37:11. Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts. 12. Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. 13. And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves, 14. And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD.
Ezekiel 37:1‭-‬14 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/ezk.37.1-14.KJV

God’s warnings are not judgments; rather, they are grace. Have you ever told yourself this lie? If I commit this or that sin, it will be ok with God. Lamentations is a very sad book. That’s because it confronts us with the horrible consequences of sin. This is what happens when we reject God’s law for our own.  The subtitle: The Exiles. Do not be dismayed, however. Even though we were born exiles, Jesus was also made an exile through God’s grace to bring us into His fold. Amen!

Lam. 3:22. It is of the LORD’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. 23. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. 24. The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. 25. The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. 26. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD. 27. It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth.
Lamentations 3:22‭-‬27 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/lam.3.22-27.KJV

Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving; Colossians 4:2 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/col.4.2.KJV

This is another great book of the Bible. Paul Tripp would subtitle Jeremiah as the paradox. How does our holy and righteous God have a relationship with the people of the old testament? With their sin and rebellion against God, there is a tension. There has to be a payment made, and Jesus pays it all. While the cross is not mentioned, the whole story points to it. What an amazing God we serve. Have a blessed day.

Jer. 2:9. Wherefore I will yet plead with you, saith the LORD, and with your children’s children will I plead. 10. For pass over the isles of Kittim, and see; and send unto Kedar, and consider diligently, and see if there be such a thing. 11. Hath a nation changed their gods, which are yet no gods? but my people have changed their glory for that which doth not profit. 12. Be astonished, O ye heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid, be ye very desolate, saith the LORD. 13. For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.
Jeremiah 2:9‭-‬13 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/jer.2.9-13.KJV

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Romans 10:13 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/rom.10.13.KJV

Subtitle: Looking for Jesus. Isaiah presents a central reality that there is a God in this world who is holy beyond our understanding. We have a God of justice and mercy through which we find hope. This justice and mercy meet at the cross. What a great prophet. Have a beautiful day.

Isa. 6:1. In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. 2. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. 3. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. 4. And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.

6:5. Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts. 6. Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: 7. And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.
Isaiah 6:1‭-‬7 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/isa.6.1-7.KJV

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/1jn.1.9.KJV

Subtitle: God cares about the details. This describes the joys of the intimate marital relationship. How precious it can be when we follow Scriptures and work at it. It is a finger pointing the way to the intimacy and love we will experience with Christ Jesus and His Church (the love). It is going to be amazing. Have a great day.

Song of Sol. 4:1. Behold, thou art fair, my love; behold, thou art fair; thou hast doves’ eyes within thy locks: thy hair is as a flock of goats, that appear from mount Gilead. 2. Thy teeth are like a flock of sheep that are even shorn, which came up from the washing; whereof every one bear twins, and none is barren among them. 3. Thy lips are like a thread of scarlet, and thy speech is comely: thy temples are like a piece of a pomegranate within thy locks. 4. Thy neck is like the tower of David builded for an armoury, whereon there hang a thousand bucklers, all shields of mighty men. 5. Thy two breasts are like two young roes that are twins, which feed among the lilies. 6. Until the day break, and the shadows flee away, I will get me to the mountain of myrrh, and to the hill of frankincense. 7. Thou art all fair, my love; there is no spot in thee.

4:8. Come with me from Lebanon, my spouse, with me from Lebanon: look from the top of Amana, from the top of Senir and Hermon, from the lions’ dens, from the mountains of the leopards. 9. Thou hast ravished my heart, my sister, my spouse; thou hast ravished my heart with one of thine eyes, with one chain of thy neck. 10. How fair is thy love, my sister, my spouse! how much better is thy love than wine! and the smell of thine ointments than all spices! 11. Thy lips, O my spouse, drop as the honeycomb: honey and milk are under thy tongue; and the smell of thy garments is like the smell of Lebanon. 12. A garden inclosed is my sister, my spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed. 13. Thy plants are an orchard of pomegranates, with pleasant fruits; camphire, with spikenard, 14. Spikenard and saffron; calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense; myrrh and aloes, with all the chief spices: 15. A fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and streams from Lebanon. 

4:16. Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out. Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits.
Song of Solomon 4:1‭-‬16 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/sng.4.1-16.KJV

For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 1 Timothy 2:5 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/1ti.2.5.KJV

Subtitle: The Search. Trying to figure out the meaning of life is an ongoing struggle until you find it. It boils down to this: Everything in this world will fade away and disappear. The physical world cannot supply the answers to our questions. Only God can do that, and He did by sending His Son, Jesus Christ. Our home and our hope is in Heaven. Amen!

Eccl. 1:1. The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem. 2. Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity. 3. What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun?

1:4. One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever. 5. The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose. 6. The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits. 7. All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again. 8. All things are full of labour; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.

1:9. The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. 10. Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us. 11. There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after.
Ecclesiastes 1:1‭-‬11 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/ecc.1.1-11.KJV

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 1 Peter 1:3 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/1pe.1.3.KJV

Subtitle of Proverbs could be Rescue. Sin reduces all of us to fools. The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. This, Paul Tripp believes, is not about the unbeliever; rather us in our arrogance. A foolish person believes he is self-sufficient. He does not need God.

The Proverbs are designed to rescue us from the greatest danger, ourselves. Imagine if you would that Wisdom is a person. God, in His grace, pours out His Wisdom for our Salvation, Jesus Christ. Then read Proverbs again. Do you see Him? How great a God we serve! Enjoy today, and praise His holy name.

Proverb 1:20. Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets: 21. She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying, 22. How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge? 23. Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.

1:24. Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; 25. But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: 26. I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; 27. When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. 28. Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: 29. For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD: 30. They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof. 31. Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices. 32. For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them. 33. But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.
Proverbs 1:20‭-‬33 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/pro.1.20-33.KJV

He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the Lord hath spoken it. Isaiah 25:8 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/isa.25.8.KJV

Psalms Summary

The Bible is not a collection of stories or a theological outline. What Pastor Paul Tripp is doing in these summaries is finding the common thread that ties the Bible together to tell one story; God rescues a foolish and rebellious people with the gift of a Redeemer. The subtitle for the Psalms is Honest Grace.

There are 66 books written by more than 40 different men (through the inspiration of God) over a span of 1500 years and 3 different continents (Africa, Asia, and Europe) and 3 different languages (Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek) without error to tell of one story: The Story of Jesus Christ’s coming to save His people from their wretchedness to be reconciled to God. Hallelujah!

Ps. 27:1. The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? 2. When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell. 3. Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident. 4. One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple. 5. For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock. 6. And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the LORD. 7. Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me. 8. When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek. 9. Hide not thy face far from me; put not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation. 10. When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up. 11. Teach me thy way, O LORD, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies. 12. Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty. 13. I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. 14. Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.
Psalm 27:1‭-‬14 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/psa.27.1-14.KJV

But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. Isaiah 53:5 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/isa.53.5.KJV

Job Summary

Can we answer this question, Why do bad guys prosper and good guys suffer? Do we achieve the favor of God by our performance? The answer may be devastating but simple, No. Our own righteousness always falls short of God’s standard. That’s why we need Jesus. Hope is found by putting our trust in Him, the one true God, rather than our limited knowledge of our own righteousness. Did you know, BTW (by the way), that Job is the oldest book in recorded biblical history? Have a good day.

Job 38:1. Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said, 2. Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge? 3. Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.

38:4. Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. 5. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? 6. Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; 7. When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? 8. Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, as if it had issued out of the womb? 9. When I made the cloud the garment thereof, and thick darkness a swaddlingband for it, 10. And brake up for it my decreed place, and set bars and doors, 11. And said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed? 12. Hast thou commanded the morning since thy days; and caused the dayspring to know his place; 13. That it might take hold of the ends of the earth, that the wicked might be shaken out of it? 14. It is turned as clay to the seal; and they stand as a garment. 15. And from the wicked their light is withholden, and the high arm shall be broken. 16. Hast thou entered into the springs of the sea? or hast thou walked in the search of the depth? 17. Have the gates of death been opened unto thee? or hast thou seen the doors of the shadow of death? 18. Hast thou perceived the breadth of the earth? declare if thou knowest it all.
Job 38:1‭-‬18 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/job.38.1-18.KJV

For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 2 Corinthians 5:21 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/2co.5.21.KJV

Esther Summary

This is the one book of the Bible which does not mention God at all. Why is that? Maybe the absence of God is the reason Esther is in the Bible. It is at times when it appears God is so far away or even absent that He is doing a great work. Something to think about, eh? Have a nice day.

Est. 4:1. When Mordecai perceived all that was done, Mordecai rent his clothes, and put on sackcloth with ashes, and went out into the midst of the city, and cried with a loud and a bitter cry; 2. And came even before the king’s gate: for none might enter into the king’s gate clothed with sackcloth. 3. And in every province, whithersoever the king’s commandment and his decree came, there was great mourning among the Jews, and fasting, and weeping, and wailing; and many lay in sackcloth and ashes.

4:4. So Esther’s maids and her chamberlains came and told it her. Then was the queen exceedingly grieved; and she sent raiment to clothe Mordecai, and to take away his sackcloth from him: but he received it not. 5. Then called Esther for Hatach, one of the king’s chamberlains, whom he had appointed to attend upon her, and gave him a commandment to Mordecai, to know what it was, and why it was. 6. So Hatach went forth to Mordecai unto the street of the city, which was before the king’s gate. 7. And Mordecai told him of all that had happened unto him, and of the sum of the money that Haman had promised to pay to the king’s treasuries for the Jews, to destroy them. 8. Also he gave him the copy of the writing of the decree that was given at Shushan to destroy them, to shew it unto Esther, and to declare it unto her, and to charge her that she should go in unto the king, to make supplication unto him, and to make request before him for her people. 9. And Hatach came and told Esther the words of Mordecai.

4:10. Again Esther spake unto Hatach, and gave him commandment unto Mordecai; 11. All the king’s servants, and the people of the king’s provinces, do know, that whosoever, whether man or woman, shall come unto the king into the inner court, who is not called, there is one law of his to put him to death, except such to whom the king shall hold out the golden sceptre, that he may live: but I have not been called to come in unto the king these thirty days. 12. And they told to Mordecai Esther’s words. 13. Then Mordecai commanded to answer Esther, Think not with thyself that thou shalt escape in the king’s house, more than all the Jews. 14. For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?

4:15. Then Esther bade them return Mordecai this answer, 16. Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish. 17. So Mordecai went his way, and did according to all that Esther had commanded him.
Esther 4:1‭-‬17 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/est.4.1-17.KJV

A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. John 13:34 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/jhn.13.34.KJV

Nehemiah Summary

Justice. Holiness. Grace. Ezra and Nehemiah are both in history about the same time. Reconciliation, restoration, and rebuilding is exactly what God does for and to us through Jesus Christ. God is a compassionate God. Instead of walking away, which He had every right to do, He remained faithful. He could not abandoned His righteousness and grace. Now we are able to glorify God by doing His will. What is His will? If you love Me, keep my commandments. John 14:15. Have a great day.

Neh. 9:26. Nevertheless they were disobedient, and rebelled against thee, and cast thy law behind their backs, and slew thy prophets which testified against them to turn them to thee, and they wrought great provocations. 27. Therefore thou deliveredst them into the hand of their enemies, who vexed them: and in the time of their trouble, when they cried unto thee, thou heardest them from heaven; and according to thy manifold mercies thou gavest them saviours, who saved them out of the hand of their enemies. 28. But after they had rest, they did evil again before thee: therefore leftest thou them in the hand of their enemies, so that they had the dominion over them: yet when they returned, and cried unto thee, thou heardest them from heaven; and many times didst thou deliver them according to thy mercies; 29. And testifiedst against them, that thou mightest bring them again unto thy law: yet they dealt proudly, and hearkened not unto thy commandments, but sinned against thy judgments, (which if a man do, he shall live in them;) and withdrew the shoulder, and hardened their neck, and would not hear. 30. Yet many years didst thou forbear them, and testifiedst against them by thy spirit in thy prophets: yet would they not give ear: therefore gavest thou them into the hand of the people of the lands. 31. Nevertheless for thy great mercies’ sake thou didst not utterly consume them, nor forsake them; for thou art a gracious and merciful God.
Nehemiah 9:26‭-‬31 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/neh.9.26-31.KJV

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. Isaiah 53:6 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/isa.53.6.KJV

Ezra Summary

Israel has returned from captivity. God is able to use evil to accomplish good. God used Cyrus to rebuild Jerusalem. God’s toolbox includes everything and everyone. After all, He created it. Now we see God’s law being read again, His people worshipping Him again, and more. He can also use all of us, big or small, good or bad, no matter what; for the glory of His Kingdom. Wow! Have a great day.

Ezra 1:1-11. Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying, 2. Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. 3. Who is there among you of all his people? his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the LORD God of Israel, (he is the God,) which is in Jerusalem. 4. And whosoever remaineth in any place where he sojourneth, let the men of his place help him with silver, and with gold, and with goods, and with beasts, beside the freewill offering for the house of God that is in Jerusalem. 1:5. Then rose up the chief of the fathers of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests, and the Levites, with all them whose spirit God had raised, to go up to build the house of the LORD which is in Jerusalem. 6. And all they that were about them strengthened their hands with vessels of silver, with gold, with goods, and with beasts, and with precious things, beside all that was willingly offered. 1:7. Also Cyrus the king brought forth the vessels of the house of the LORD, which Nebuchadnezzar had brought forth out of Jerusalem, and had put them in the house of his gods; 8. Even those did Cyrus king of Persia bring forth by the hand of Mithredath the treasurer, and numbered them unto Sheshbazzar, the prince of Judah. 9. And this is the number of them: thirty chargers of gold, a thousand chargers of silver, nine and twenty knives, 10. Thirty basins of gold, silver basins of a second sort four hundred and ten, and other vessels a thousand. 11. All the vessels of gold and of silver were five thousand and four hundred. All these did Sheshbazzar bring up with them of the captivity that were brought up from Babylon unto Jerusalem.
Ezra 1:1‭-‬11 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/ezr.1.1-11.KJV

Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. Matthew 20:28 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/mat.20.28.KJV

Have you ever wondered about why the genealogies are in the Bible and especially in the Chronicles? They highlight two bloodlines: Levi the priests, and Judah, royalty. These two point to a Royal Priesthood which is why the Bible was written. The Priest, the King, the Sacrifice: Jesus Christ. While the people and nations and temple of Chronicles are in decline, look forward to Chist Jesus to come and save the the world. O what a glorious day that will be upon His return! Keep your eyes upon Jesus! Have a blessed day.

2Chron. 7:11. Thus Solomon finished the house of the LORD, and the king’s house: and all that came into Solomon’s heart to make in the house of the LORD, and in his own house, he prosperously effected.

7:12. And the LORD appeared to Solomon by night, and said unto him, I have heard thy prayer, and have chosen this place to myself for an house of sacrifice. 13. If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; 14. If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 15. Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent unto the prayer that is made in this place. 16. For now have I chosen and sanctified this house, that my name may be there for ever: and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually. 17. And as for thee, if thou wilt walk before me, as David thy father walked, and do according to all that I have commanded thee, and shalt observe my statutes and my judgments; 18. Then will I stablish the throne of thy kingdom, according as I have covenanted with David thy father, saying, There shall not fail thee a man to be ruler in Israel. 19. But if ye turn away, and forsake my statutes and my commandments, which I have set before you, and shall go and serve other gods, and worship them; 20. Then will I pluck them up by the roots out of my land which I have given them; and this house, which I have sanctified for my name, will I cast out of my sight, and will make it to be a proverb and a byword among all nations. 21. And this house, which is high, shall be an astonishment to every one that passeth by it; so that he shall say, Why hath the LORD done thus unto this land, and unto this house? 22. And it shall be answered, Because they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, and laid hold on other gods, and worshipped them, and served them: therefore hath he brought all this evil upon them.
2 Chronicles 7:11‭-‬22 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/2ch.7.11-22.KJV

After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. Revelation 7:9‭-‬10 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/rev.7.9-10.KJV

Sometimes it feels like everything has gone crazy so why would God even bother with us, but God’s promises are sure and faithful. He does things based on who He is, not based on who we are. The theme of Kings could be summed up in one word: Waiting. Waiting on the Lord! Amen. Have a blessed day.

1 Kings 8:54. And it was so, that when Solomon had made an end of praying all this prayer and supplication unto the LORD, he arose from before the altar of the LORD, from kneeling on his knees with his hands spread up to heaven. 55. And he stood, and blessed all the congregation of Israel with a loud voice, saying, 56. Blessed be the LORD, that hath given rest unto his people Israel, according to all that he promised: there hath not failed one word of all his good promise, which he promised by the hand of Moses his servant. 57. The LORD our God be with us, as he was with our fathers: let him not leave us, nor forsake us: 58. That he may incline our hearts unto him, to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and his statutes, and his judgments, which he commanded our fathers. 59. And let these my words, wherewith I have made supplication before the LORD, be nigh unto the LORD our God day and night, that he maintain the cause of his servant, and the cause of his people Israel at all times, as the matter shall require: 60. That all the people of the earth may know that the LORD is God, and that there is none else. 61. Let your heart therefore be perfect with the LORD our God, to walk in his statutes, and to keep his commandments, as at this day.
1 Kings 8:54‭-‬61 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/1ki.8.54-61.KJV

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 1 John 2:15‭-‬16 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/1jn.2.15-16.KJV

Kings and The King. The contrast between King Saul and King David. The unrighteous and the righteous. No matter what, they were both flawed. So why did God love King David? Because God was the center of his heart. He was a compassionate king who cared about his people. We all need a king, just not a flawed king. We need the King of kings! Have a great day today everyone.

1Sam 18:6. And it came to pass as they came, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, that the women came out of all cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet king Saul, with tabrets, with joy, and with instruments of musick. 7. And the women answered one another as they played, and said, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands. 8. And Saul was very wroth, and the saying displeased him; and he said, They have ascribed unto David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed but thousands: and what can he have more but the kingdom? 9. And Saul eyed David from that day and forward. 10. And it came to pass on the morrow, that the evil spirit from God came upon Saul, and he prophesied in the midst of the house: and David played with his hand, as at other times: and there was a javelin in Saul’s hand. 11. And Saul cast the javelin; for he said, I will smite David even to the wall with it. And David avoided out of his presence twice. 12. And Saul was afraid of David, because the LORD was with him, and was departed from Saul. 13. Therefore Saul removed him from him, and made him his captain over a thousand; and he went out and came in before the people. 14. And David behaved himself wisely in all his ways; and the LORD was with him. 15. Wherefore when Saul saw that he behaved himself very wisely, he was afraid of him. 16. But all Israel and Judah loved David, because he went out and came in before them.
1 Samuel 18:6‭-‬16 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/1sa.18.6-16.KJV

Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. Romans 13:10 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/rom.13.10.KJV

Ruth Summary

The outlaying theme here is God’s zeal for advancing the Redemptive story. What a beautiful love story between Naomi and Ruth, and Boaz and Ruth, and God and all of us. Truly amazing. Have a beautiful day.

Ruth 4:13. So Boaz took Ruth, and she was his wife: and when he went in unto her, the LORD gave her conception, and she bare a son. 14. And the women said unto Naomi, Blessed be the LORD, which hath not left thee this day without a kinsman, that his name may be famous in Israel. 15. And he shall be unto thee a restorer of thy life, and a nourisher of thine old age: for thy daughter in law, which loveth thee, which is better to thee than seven sons, hath born him. 16. And Naomi took the child, and laid it in her bosom, and became nurse unto it. 17. And the women her neighbours gave it a name, saying, There is a son born to Naomi; and they called his name Obed: he is the father of Jesse, the father of David. 

4:18. Now these are the generations of Pharez: Pharez begat Hezron, 19. And Hezron begat Ram, and Ram begat Amminadab, 20. And Amminadab begat Nahshon, and Nahshon begat Salmon, 21. And Salmon begat Boaz, and Boaz begat Obed, 22. And Obed begat Jesse, and Jesse begat David.
Ruth 4:13‭-‬22 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/rut.4.13-22.KJV

The earth is the Lord’s , and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. Psalm 24:1 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/psa.24.1.KJV

Judges Summary

I know how this can happen, so I am trying to be very careful not to allow myself to be entwined with anything that will take my eyes off Jesus. Once we get stability and comfort, most assuredly blessings all, the temptation is to become lazy with our relationship with God. O to be rescued from ourselves, what an amazing concept! Have an amazing day.

Judg. 2:11. And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim: 12. And they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the LORD to anger. 13. And they forsook the LORD, and served Baal and Ashtoreth. 14. And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he delivered them into the hands of spoilers that spoiled them, and he sold them into the hands of their enemies round about, so that they could not any longer stand before their enemies. 15. Whithersoever they went out, the hand of the LORD was against them for evil, as the LORD had said, and as the LORD had sworn unto them: and they were greatly distressed. 16. Nevertheless the LORD raised up judges, which delivered them out of the hand of those that spoiled them. 17. And yet they would not hearken unto their judges, but they went a whoring after other gods, and bowed themselves unto them: they turned quickly out of the way which their fathers walked in, obeying the commandments of the LORD; but they did not so. 18. And when the LORD raised them up judges, then the LORD was with the judge, and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge: for it repented the LORD because of their groanings by reason of them that oppressed them and vexed them. 19. And it came to pass, when the judge was dead, that they returned, and corrupted themselves more than their fathers, in following other gods to serve them, and to bow down unto them; they ceased not from their own doings, nor from their stubborn way.
Judges 2:11‭-‬19 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/jdg.2.11-19.KJV

Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Philippians 2:3 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/php.2.3.KJV

Joshua Summary

The continuing struggle between God’s plan for us and our plans for ourselves is a common theme throughout life. We are now at the point where God is finally giving His people the promised land. While His peace (and we) may be confused at times, trust God. He is the Plan Maker of our lives. He is trustworthy.

Joshua’s name points to the need for a Redeemer. Joshua means YHWH (Yahweh) saves. Have a blessed day.

Josh. 6:1. Now Jericho was straitly shut up because of the children of Israel: none went out, and none came in. 2. And the LORD said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour. 3. And ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war, and go round about the city once. Thus shalt thou do six days. 4. And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams’ horns: and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets. 5. And it shall come to pass, that when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when ye hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall ascend up every man straight before him. 6. And Joshua the son of Nun called the priests, and said unto them, Take up the ark of the covenant, and let seven priests bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of the LORD. 7. And he said unto the people, Pass on, and compass the city, and let him that is armed pass on before the ark of the LORD.
Joshua 6:1‭-‬7 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/jos.6.1-7.KJV

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. Psalm 23:1‭-‬2 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/psa.23.1-2.KJV

https://youtu.be/PYU5X-a-fO4

Identity. Warning. Responsibility. They are to be a separated people, set apart, for God. Sounds very familiar. This should shape the way we conduct our lives, but there are so many temptations along the way. Commit to remembrance the precious blood of Jesus Christ that was shed for you and for me. Hold on to Him. It. Is. Finished. He is not willing to lose any of His little ones, including you! Have a blessed day.

Deut. 6:10. And it shall be, when the LORD thy God shall have brought thee into the land which he sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give thee great and goodly cities, which thou buildedst not, 11. And houses full of all good things, which thou filledst not, and wells digged, which thou diggedst not, vineyards and olive trees, which thou plantedst not; when thou shalt have eaten and be full; 12. Then beware lest thou forget the LORD , which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. 13. Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name. 14. Ye shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the people which are round about you; 15. (For the LORD thy God is a jealous God among you) lest the anger of the LORD thy God be kindled against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth.
Deuteronomy 6:10‭-‬15 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/deu.6.10-15.KJV

For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings. Hosea 6:6 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/hos.6.6.KJV

Numbers Summary

Grace. Rebellion. Travail. It is a moral struggle. God’s character is revealed. His goodness, righteousness, long-suffering, and great love. The people continued to grumble. Manna pointed to the Bread of Life! We are very much like the people who came before us. Thank You Father God for my birthday after Your Son Jesus Christ was born. Have a blessed day everyone.

Num. 11:1. And when the people complained, it displeased the LORD: and the LORD heard it; and his anger was kindled; and the fire of the LORD burnt among them, and consumed them that were in the uttermost parts of the camp. 2. And the people cried unto Moses; and when Moses prayed unto the LORD , the fire was quenched. 3. And he called the name of the place Taberah: because the fire of the LORD burnt among them.

11:4. And the mixt multitude that was among them fell a lusting: and the children of Israel also wept again, and said, Who shall give us flesh to eat? 5. We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlick: 6. But now our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all, beside this manna, before our eyes. 7. And the manna was as coriander seed, and the colour thereof as the colour of bdellium. 8. And the people went about, and gathered it, and ground it in mills, or beat it in a mortar, and baked it in pans, and made cakes of it: and the taste of it was as the taste of fresh oil. 9. And when the dew fell upon the camp in the night, the manna fell upon it.

11:10. Then Moses heard the people weep throughout their families, every man in the door of his tent: and the anger of the LORD was kindled greatly; Moses also was displeased. 11. And Moses said unto the LORD, Wherefore hast thou afflicted thy servant? and wherefore have I not found favour in thy sight, that thou layest the burden of all this people upon me? 12. Have I conceived all this people? have I begotten them, that thou shouldest say unto me, Carry them in thy bosom, as a nursing father beareth the sucking child, unto the land which thou swarest unto their fathers? 13. Whence should I have flesh to give unto all this people? for they weep unto me, saying, Give us flesh, that we may eat. 14. I am not able to bear all this people alone, because it is too heavy for me. 15. And if thou deal thus with me, kill me, I pray thee, out of hand, if I have found favour in thy sight; and let me not see my wretchedness.
Numbers 11:1‭-‬15 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/num.11.1-15.KJV

Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones. Proverbs 16:24 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/pro.16.24.KJV

Leviticus Summary

Holy and Unholy. This is where we see the system upon which unholy man can enter into a relationship with our Holy God through sacrifice. The sacrifice of each lamb cries out for the One perfect sacrificial Lamb, Jesus Christ, once for all. What a wonderful gift from our Father God! Have a blessed day.

Lev. 16:1. And the Lord spake unto Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron, when they offered before the LORD, and died; 2. And the LORD said unto Moses, Speak unto Aaron thy brother, that he come not at all times into the holy place within the veil before the mercy seat, which is upon the ark; that he die not: for I will appear in the cloud upon the mercy seat. 3. Thus shall Aaron come into the holy place: with a young bullock for a sin offering, and a ram for a burnt offering. 4. He shall put on the holy linen coat, and he shall have the linen breeches upon his flesh, and shall be girded with a linen girdle, and with the linen mitre shall he be attired: these are holy garments; therefore shall he wash his flesh in water, and so put them on. 5. And he shall take of the congregation of the children of Israel two kids of the goats for a sin offering, and one ram for a burnt offering. 6. And Aaron shall offer his bullock of the sin offering, which is for himself, and make an atonement for himself, and for his house. 7. And he shall take the two goats, and present them before the LORD at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. 8. And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the LORD, and the other lot for the scapegoat. 9. And Aaron shall bring the goat upon which the LORD’s lot fell, and offer him for a sin offering. 10. But the goat, on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat, shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make an atonement with him, and to let him go for a scapegoat into the wilderness. 

16:11. And Aaron shall bring the bullock of the sin offering, which is for himself, and shall make an atonement for himself, and for his house, and shall kill the bullock of the sin offering which is for himself: 12. And he shall take a censer full of burning coals of fire from off the altar before the LORD, and his hands full of sweet incense beaten small, and bring it within the veil: 13. And he shall put the incense upon the fire before the LORD, that the cloud of the incense may cover the mercy seat that is upon the testimony, that he die not: 14. And he shall take of the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it with his finger upon the mercy seat eastward; and before the mercy seat shall he sprinkle of the blood with his finger seven times. 

16:15. Then shall he kill the goat of the sin offering, that is for the people, and bring his blood within the veil, and do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it upon the mercy seat, and before the mercy seat: 16. And he shall make an atonement for the holy place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions in all their sins: and so shall he do for the tabernacle of the congregation, that remaineth among them in the midst of their uncleanness. 17. And there shall be no man in the tabernacle of the congregation when he goeth in to make an atonement in the holy place, until he come out, and have made an atonement for himself, and for his household, and for all the congregation of Israel. 18. And he shall go out unto the altar that is before the LORD, and make an atonement for it; and shall take of the blood of the bullock, and of the blood of the goat, and put it upon the horns of the altar round about. 19. And he shall sprinkle of the blood upon it with his finger seven times, and cleanse it, and hallow it from the uncleanness of the children of Israel. 

16:20. And when he hath made an end of reconciling the holy place, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and the altar, he shall bring the live goat: 21. And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness: 22. And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness. 23. And Aaron shall come into the tabernacle of the congregation, and shall put off the linen garments, which he put on when he went into the holy place, and shall leave them there: 24. And he shall wash his flesh with water in the holy place, and put on his garments, and come forth, and offer his burnt offering, and the burnt offering of the people, and make an atonement for himself, and for the people. 25. And the fat of the sin offering shall he burn upon the altar. 26. And he that let go the goat for the scapegoat shall wash his clothes, and bathe his flesh in water, and afterward come into the camp. 27. And the bullock for the sin offering, and the goat for the sin offering, whose blood was brought in to make atonement in the holy place, shall one carry forth without the camp; and they shall burn in the fire their skins, and their flesh, and their dung. 28. And he that burneth them shall wash his clothes, and bathe his flesh in water, and afterward he shall come into the camp. 29. And this shall be a statute for ever unto you: that in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, ye shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether it be one of your own country, or a stranger that sojourneth among you: 30. For on that day shall the priest make an atonement for you, to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from all your sins before the LORD. 31. It shall be a sabbath of rest unto you, and ye shall afflict your souls, by a statute for ever. 32. And the priest, whom he shall anoint, and whom he shall consecrate to minister in the priest’s office in his father’s stead, shall make the atonement, and shall put on the linen clothes, even the holy garments: 33. And he shall make an atonement for the holy sanctuary, and he shall make an atonement for the tabernacle of the congregation, and for the altar, and he shall make an atonement for the priests, and for all the people of the congregation. 34. And this shall be an everlasting statute unto you, to make an atonement for the children of Israel for all their sins once a year. And he did as the LORD commanded Moses.
Leviticus 16:1‭-‬34 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/lev.16.1-34.KJV

Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. 1 Timothy 6:12 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/1ti.6.12.KJV

Exodus Summary

https://youtu.be/-aB5pHUlJV4

He would subtitle Exodus as Slavery, Rescue, and Restoration. Please watch this beautiful video. His summary of Exodus and God’s grace is wonderful to me. Have a blessed day.

Ex. 20:1. And God spake all these words, saying, 2. I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 3. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. 4. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: 5. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; 6. And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. 7. Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. 8. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: 10. But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: 11. For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

20:12. Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. 13. Thou shalt not kill. 14. Thou shalt not commit adultery. 15. Thou shalt not steal. 16. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. 17. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.
Exodus 20:1‭-‬17 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/exo.20.1-17.KJV

O Lord , thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth. Isaiah 25:1 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/isa.25.1.KJV

Genesis Summary

In the beginning, God. God is at the center of everything whether or not we acknowledge it. This is where Jesus is introduced to us. The Creator of man, the fall of man, and the Redeemer of man. In the first three chapters of Genesis, we find the theme for the whole Bible. It is the redemptive story of Jesus Christ our Lord. Glory to God in the highest! Have a blessed day.

Gen. 1:1. In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 2. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

1:3. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. 4. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. 5. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

1:6. And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. 7. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. 8. And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day. 9. And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. 10. And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.

1:11. And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. 12. And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. 13. And the evening and the morning were the third day.

1:14. And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: 15. And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. 16. And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. 17. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, 18. And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. 19. And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

1:20. And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. 21. And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. 22. And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. 23. And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.

1:24. And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. 25. And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

1:26. And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 28. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

1:29. And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. 30. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so. 31. And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
Genesis 1:1‭-‬31 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/gen.1.1-31.KJV

But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. Matthew 6:6 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/mat.6.6.KJV

No. The time we spend with God studying His Word is not a waste of time. That time is building our relationship with our loving Father, Son, and Holy Ghost! Have a blessed day.

P. S. The video is only 5 minutes.

Luke 18:9. And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: 10. Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. 11. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. 12. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. 13. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. 14. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
Luke 18:9‭-‬14 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/luk.18.9-14.KJV

But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. Matthew 23:11 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/mat.23.11.KJV

Do I walk away from my Bible study more knowledgeable and without humility or pride? Or do I walk away with a deeper, transformed love for Jesus? How about you? Let’s not miss the point of it all. Have a blessed day.

John 5:19. Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. 20. For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel. 21. For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will. 22. For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: 23. That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him. 24. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. 25. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. 26. For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; 27. And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. 28. Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, 29. And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. 30. I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me. 31. If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.

5:32. There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true. 33. Ye sent unto John, and he bare witness unto the truth. 34. But I receive not testimony from man: but these things I say, that ye might be saved. 35. He was a burning and a shining light: and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light.

5:36. But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me.

5:37. And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape. 38. And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not.

5:39. Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. 40. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life. 41. I receive not honour from men. 42. But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you. 43. I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive. 44. How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only? 45. Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust. 46. For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. 47. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?
John 5:19‭-‬47 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/jhn.5.19-47.KJV

Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. Psalms 46:10 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/psa.46.10.KJV

Today’s lesson teaches us the simple meaning of the Bible: to proclaim Christ Jesus. It is the story of who He is, how He would come, how He would live a sinless life, how He must die for our sins to redeem us, and raise again in three days. The most beautiful love story I’ve ever read. Have a blessed day.

Mt. 17:1. And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, 2. And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. 3. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. 4. Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. 5. While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. 6. And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid. 7. And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid. 8. And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only.
Matthew 17:1‭-‬8 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/mat.17.1-8.KJV

My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. James 1:2‭-‬3 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/jas.1.2-3.KJV

This is a new reading plan for 40 days, Old Testament Bible Study Summary with Paul David Tripp. There will be a 5 minute summary of a book in a video along with a few verses. I hope you enjoy it, and have a blessed day.

Isa 55:10. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: 11. So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. 12. For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. 13. Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the LORD for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.
Isaiah 55:10‭-‬13 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/isa.55.10-13.KJV

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. 2 Timothy 3:16‭-‬17 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/2ti.3.16-17.KJV

This is the last day of the The Essential 100 reading plan. I will start the 40 day reading plan, A Journey Through Luke & Acts tomorrow. Should I continue to include the text of the Bible, or is a link to them sufficient? Please comment to let me know your opinion. Thanks and have a very happy day.

PRAY Dear Lord Jesus, You’ve promised to make all things new, and I look forward to that great day when You do! In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen!

REFLECT What are you most hoping that a new heaven and earth will be like? What do you think it will be like to live in a city where God and the Lord Jesus are with you?

My hope for the new Heaven and earth is to have animals. They will no longer fear us, because the curse has been removed. Of course I am also looking forward to all of God’s promises. Peace, eternal life, worshipping Him, and so much more. Come, Lord Jesus, come!

To live in a city with God right there,? I do that today! Only I bet it would be so much more awesome. I hope I wouldn’t be so easily distracted.

APPLY When you turn on a lamp today, think of Jesus as the “lamp” and light of the new Jerusalem whose radiance and power will provide all the light that you need.

PRAY Dear holy God and Father, Please be my true light today and all the days of my life. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

READ  Revelation 21:1‭-‬27 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/rev.21.1-27.KJV and Revelation 22:1‭-‬21 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/rev.22.1-21.KJV

Rev. 21:1. And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. 2. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 4. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. 5. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. 6. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. 7. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. 8. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

21:9. And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife. 10. And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, 11. Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal; 12. And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: 13. On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates. 14. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. 15. And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof. 16. And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal. 17. And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel. 18. And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass. 19. And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; 20. The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst. 21. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass. 22. And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. 23. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. 24. And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. 25. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. 26. And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. 27. And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

Rev. 22:1. And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. 

22:2. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3. And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: 4. And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. 5. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever. 6. And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done. 7.  Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book. 8. And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things. 9. Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God. 10. And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand. 11. He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. 12. And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. 13. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. 14. Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. 15. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie. 16. I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. 17. And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. 18. For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 19. And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. 20. He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. 21. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe. Proverbs 29:25 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/pro.29.25.KJV

Today is the last day of this reading plan. You may continue to follow him with the link provided below. Have a blessed day.

We often think of Jesus as only appearing in the New Testament, especially the gospels or the apostolic letters. But his person is actually embedded in every book of the Bible. Sometimes directly, sometimes through parable, sometimes through the sacrificial system, sometimes through prophecy or poetry.

After he rose from the dead, Jesus showed two disciples  ‘in all the Scriptures’ that it was necessary for him to suffer crucifixion and then to enter his glory (Luke 24:26). Obviously, he was referring to the Old Testament. 

For example, in the very beginning, there is a promise that a descendant of Eve would bruise the serpent’s head (Gen 3:15). This promise is defined more clearly when God tells Abraham that a descendant of his will bring blessings to all nations (Gen 12:2; 17:19).

From Exodus to Deuteronomy, the whole sacrificial system tells us again and again that one day there would be a perfect sacrifice for sin and that a prophet greater than Moses would appear (Deut 18:15). 

In the Psalms, Jesus is presented as the suffering Saviour who dies for us (Psalm 22), as the King of Glory coming into his holy temple (Psalm 24:7) and as an eternal priest and king (Psalm 110).

In Isaiah, there are astonishing prophecies of a Saviour whose name would be Immanuel—God with us—who would be the Everlasting Father and the Prince of Peace (Is 7:14; 9:6). In other words, he would be both God and man. Moreover, he would also take away our sins by bearing them himself and suffering in our place (Is 53). 

Then, at the end of the Bible, in Revelation, Jesus is clearly identified as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He is seen in astonishing images as holy, righteous and victorious. He is the Lamb who suffers and the Lion who reigns. 

The hosts of heaven and earth sing till the earth resounds with the majesty of it:

Worthy are you… for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth…  Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honour and glory and blessing! To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honour and glory and might forever and ever! (Rev 5:9-13).

Let’s join in the song!

What next?
As you pray today, why not ask God to fill your heart with a fresh revelation of Jesus? See Eph1:15-23.

If you haven’t come across them yet, for more on the uniqueness of Christ follow the You Version Bible Plans entitled The Unsearchable Riches of Christ, See the Invisible: Do the Impossible and Amazing Grace. You can also find the written panorama of Christ in All the Scriptures on my website www.barrychant.com/

Luke 24:13. And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs. 14. And they talked together of all these things which had happened. 15. And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them. 16. But their eyes were holden that they should not know him. 17. And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad? 18. And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days? 19. And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people: 20. And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him. 21. But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done. 22. Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre; 23. And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive. 24. And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not. 25. Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: 26. Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? 27. And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. 28. And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further. 29. But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them. 30. And it came to pass, as he sat at the table with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. 31. And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight. 32. And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?
Luke 24:13‭-‬32 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/luk.24.13-32.KJV

HALLELUJAH!

We are coming to the end of this reading plan tomorrow, and today’s lesson is on praising Jesus and the second death. If you have repented of your sins and given your life to Jesus Christ, you do not have to worry about the second death. If you or someone you know has not done so yet, now is the time! Jesus is knocking on the door of your heart. Please let Him in! Have a blessed day.

PRAY Dear Father God, I want to thank You for Your constant care for the world which You have created. It was indeed good. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

REFLECT  What are some of the reasons that the heavenly hosts give for hailing Jesus in this way? What reasons do you have for enthusiastic worship and praise of Jesus?

The most significant one that comes to mind is because He is worthy of all praise and every good thing. I worship Him because He is the One true God. The Godhead=the Father, the Son, the Holy Ghost. I also worship Him because He redeemed my life.

APPLY   Think of a chorus or hymn of praise that you would offer to Jesus if you were in heaven today. Or maybe compose a new song of praise. Then, sing it!  Amazing Grace.

PRAY  Dear precious Lord, I can hardly think of words that are adequate to offer You the worship You deserve from my salvation and Your great love for everyone including me. Thank You. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

READ  Revelation 19:1‭-‬21 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/rev.19.1-21.KJV and Revelation 20:1‭-‬15 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/rev.20.1-15.KJV

Rev. 19:1. And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God: 2. For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand. 3. And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever. 4. And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia. 5. And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great. 6. And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. 7. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. 8. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. 9. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God. 10. And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. 11. And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. 12. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. 13. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. 14. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. 15. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. 17. And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; 18. That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great. 

19:19. And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. 20. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. 21. And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.

Rev. 20:1. And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, 3. And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. 

20:4. And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. 

20:7. And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, 8. And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. 9. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. 10. And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. 11. And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 

20:12. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity. 1 Corinthians 13:13 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/1co.13.13.KJV

https://youtu.be/r6RO9QWiOJ0
Nowadays, ‘passion’ is a word commonly used of enthusiasm or romantic love. Originally the word had to do with suffering. In Christian tradition, it has been used to describe the suffering of Christ, particularly at Gethsemane and Calvary.

Jesus’s Passion was unique.

It was not only that he died for us. Thousands of people over the years have sacrificed their lives for others. It was why he suffered that was different. He suffered to take our sins upon himself.

How do we know this?

First, the Old Testament sacrificial system made it clear. For hundreds of years, thousands of animals were slain in Israel, everyone of them a symbol of the forthcoming universal sacrifice of Jesus. Especially on the Day of Atonement when offerings were specifically made to deal with the sins of the people (Lev 16:1-34).

Second, Old Testament prophets foretold it. Isaiah spoke of One who would bear our iniquities and sins, by the giving of his own life (Is chapter 53). David, Jeremiah, Micah, Zechariah and other prophets made similar declarations (e.g. Psalm 22:1-8; Zech 12:10). 

Third, Jesus himself warned his disciples that he would be crucified and that he would give his life as a ransom (Matt 20:17-19, 28). 

Fourth, the apostles proclaimed clearly that through the Cross, all who believed would be saved (see Acts 10:37-43; Rom 5:6-11; 1 Cor 15:3).

There are two further critical reasons why we believe Jesus’s death was unique. The primary one is the Resurrection. It was this that set his death apart and proved the validity of his sacrifice (Rom 1:4; 1 Cor 15:4). Many have given their lives for others but none has risen from the dead!

Finally, it is the Holy Spirit who convinces us that Jesus died for us and for our sins. This is not something that can be proven by argument or scientific experiment. Jesus told us that the Holy Spirit would convince us and lead us into all truth (John 14:26; 15:26). Further, the apostles affirm that it is by the revelation of the Holy Spirit that we believe (1 Cor 2:7-16); Eph 1:17-19).

The Spirit convinces and witnesses to us that Christ both died for us and lives for us. Such conviction lies well beyond philosophy or rationalism or science. It can’t be analysed. But you can’t write it off just for that reason. Human experience has its own validity. And personal experience of Christ is life-changing. There have been millions of Christians who bear witness to this.

What can compare with the joy of knowing that our sins are forgiven? That we are deeply loved? That we serve a living Saviour? That we have an eternal hope?

Jesus was truly unique in his Passion!

What Next?

On a scale of 1 (Poor) to 10 (Wonderful), rate your experiential knowledge of Christ. How real is he to you? How well do you know him? Ask God to fill you with his Holy Spirit and to lift your personal knowledge of Christ to a new level.

Phil. 3:1. Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe. 2. Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision. 3. For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. 4. Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: 5. Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; 6. Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.

3:7. But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. 8. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, 9. And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: 10. That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; 11. If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.
Philippians 3:1‭-‬11 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/php.3.1-11.KJV

Today’s lesson is on the seven seals, the four and twenty men in white robes, four beats, and many angels. I have been in a study of Revelations. If you are interested, I will publish the notes for you. Have a blessed day.

PRAY   God in heaven, I join my spirit with all the angels in heaven to offer You my praise and worship.

REFLECT   What picture of heaven do you get from these chapters? How does it make you feel? Who is the focus of the worship taking place there?

APPLY   Take a moment to read aloud the parts of these chapters that are words of praise to the Lord Jesus. Say them slowly and reverently as your own words of praise.

PRAY   Lord, You and You alone are the One worthy of all worship, both in heaven and on earth.

READ  Revelation 4:1‭-‬11 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/rev.4.1-11.KJV, Revelation 5:1‭-‬14 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/rev.5.1-14.KJV, Revelation 6:1‭-‬17 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/rev.6.1-17.KJV, and Revelation 7:1‭-‬17 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/rev.7.1-17.KJV

Rev. 4:1. After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. 2. And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne. 3. And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.

4:4. And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold. 5. And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.

4:6. And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind. 7. And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle. 8. And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.

4:9. And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, 10. The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, 11. Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

Rev. 5:1. And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. 2. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? 3. And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon. 4. And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.

5:5. And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. 6. And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. 7. And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne. 8. And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.

5:9. And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; 10. And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. 11. And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; 12. Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. 13. And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. 14. And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.

Eev. 6:1. And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see. 2. And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.

6:3. And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see. 4. And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.

6:5. And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. 6. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.

6:7. And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. 8. And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.

6:9. And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: 10. And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? 11. And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.

6:12. And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; 13. And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. 14. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. 15. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; 16. And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: 17. For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

Rev. 7:1. And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. 2. And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, 3. Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.

7:4. And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel. 5. Of the tribe of Judah were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand. 6. Of the tribe of Aser were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Nepthalim were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Manasses were sealed twelve thousand. 7. Of the tribe of Simeon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Levi were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Issachar were sealed twelve thousand. 8. Of the tribe of Zabulon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Joseph were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand.

7:9. After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; 10. And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. 11. And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, 12. Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen. 13. And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? 14. And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. 16. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. 17. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.

As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 1 Peter 4:10 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/1pe.4.10.KJV

https://youtu.be/hjrjcTEZqqQ

Greek mythology has numerous tales of gods visiting the earth and interacting with humanity. But there are huge differences. Sometimes the gods argue with one another about what should be done. They can be jealous or vindictive. On occasion, they set things in motion that they can neither control nor stop. Individual gods have their personal favourites. And they never become truly human.

The story of Jesus is very different.

First, Jesus was God with us when on earth. He was truly human and yet truly God. People say, ‘Oh there’s never been anyone else like that.’ Yes, that is true. 

Or they say, ‘How can someone be both human and divine? It’s impossible.’ Yes, usually it is.  

But John writes, ‘And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth’ (John 1:14).   

Second, Christ is with us now by His Holy Spirit. He promised not to leave us alone but to send us another Helper or Counsellor to be with us forever (John 14:16). The word ‘another’ here in Greek means ‘another of the same kind’, not another of a different kind. So the Holy Spirit is among us to make the presence of Jesus uniquely real to us (John 16:14). 

Wherever we are, and whatever our circumstances, through the Holy Spirit, Jesus is with us. We have no need of statue or temple or painting or prayer book or confessional or altar or music or church, helpful as some of these might be, because his presence does not depend on these things. In contrast to mute idols, the Holy Spirit speaks, directs, aids and strengthens us directly (1 Cor 12:2).

Third, Jesus will be visibly and powerfully present at his coming again.

The word ‘presence’ (Greek, parousia) is used in Scripture to describe his second coming (1 Cor 15:22-23; 1 Thess 5:23), when he will reappear in power and glory on earth to establish his kingdom forever.

What a great day that will be! The skies will split with His splendour. There will be thunderous shouting from the heavens, the earth-shattering voice of an archangel and the spine-tingling trumpet call of God, as Jesus comes in the clouds of glory, accompanied by countless myriads of angels. Terror will grip the hearts of the ungodly and joy and celebration will rise among the saints.

Past, present and future—Jesus is unique in his presence!

What next?

Jesus promised to be with us forever (Matt 28:20; Heb 13:5-6). On a scale of one (non-existent) to five (continuous), how would you describe your awareness of his presence with you? What do you need to do to experience his presence all the time?

Ps. 23:1. The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. 3. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 4. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. 5. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. 6. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
Psalms 23:1‭-‬6 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/psa.23.1-6.KJV

Today’s lesson is on the seven churches. There is encouragement and warning for each church, then and now. Remember, each of us individually make up the church so when He speaks of the church of which Jesus is the Head, He does mean us. Have a blessed day.

PRAY Dear Heavenly Father, Your Word has both encouragement and warnings. Help me to listen carefully to both as I read Your Word and live my life for You. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

READ  Revelation 2:1‭-‬29 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/rev.2.1-29.KJV and Revelation 3:1‭-‬22 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/rev.3.1-22.KJV

(The reading is below. I’m trying something new.)

REFLECT These seven churches are very different and face different challenges. What does Jesus commend in them? What warnings does he give them? What lessons do you see?

The one that saved me from disaster and distress was Rev. 2:1-7. I had taken on so many earthly things concerning the Church that I had no idea I had forgotten my first love, Jesus Christ. I began to desire the approval of our earthly leaders. Thank You and Dr. Charles Stanley for bringing me back off that cliff.

As I struggle to remember not to overload myself again, I try not to become lukewarm either!

APPLY Before you next go to church, think about whether your church shares any of the characteristics or dangers of these seven. Pray about any challenges it faces.

PRAY Dear precious Lord Jesus, I am thankful for my church, and I pray that You will keep it faithful to You no matter what challenges we faces. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

Rev. 2:1. Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks; 2. I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: 3. And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. 4. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. 5. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. 6. But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. 7. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God. 2:8. And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive; 9. I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan. 10. Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. 11. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death. 2:12. And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges; 13. I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth. 14. But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. 15. So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. 16. Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. 17. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it. 2:18. And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass; 19. I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first. 20. Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. 21. And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. 22. Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. 23. And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works. 24. But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden. 25. But that which ye have already hold fast till I come. 26. And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: 27. And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. 28. And I will give him the morning star. 29. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Rev. 3:1. And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. 2. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. 3. Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. 4. Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy. 5. He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. 6. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. 3:7. And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; 8. I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name. 9. Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee. 10. Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. 11. Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. 12. Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name. 13. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. 3:14. And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; 15. I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 17. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: 18. I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. 19. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. 20. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. 21. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. 22. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man. Colossians 4:6 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/col.4.6.KJV

There have been all manner of theories about why Jesus lived, taught, performed acts of power, died at the hands of the Romans or why he came to this world at all, for that matter. Here are seven reasons, most of which he himself gave. 

· to save sinners (Matt 9:13). He fearlessly declared that he did not appear for the righteous. They either don’t need salvation or don’t think they do. Either way the outcome is the same. Only when we confess our need, can we, as sinners, be saved (1 Tim 1:13).

· to serve (Matt 20:28). In spite of his universal authority, Jesus came with the mellow heart of a servant. 

· to give his life as a ransom (Matt 20:28). Earthly leaders often expect their people to die for them: Jesus expected to die for his people. Imagine you have been captured and imprisoned and your country wants to arrange a prisoner exchange. What if they offered a cat in exchange for you? Or twenty captives for you? Or a million dollars? Which one would indicate your true worth and value? Which one would best show how much your people loved you? Now ask these same questions about what Jesus did for you.

· to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10). Even those of small value in human terms, like a lost coin or a lost lamb (Luke 15:1-10).

· to give abundant life (John 10:10). Unlike those who come to make our lives more miserable, Jesus came to make them more satisfying.

· to bear witness to the truth (John 18:37). Jesus said this to the Roman governor. He stood for truth in the face of falsehood and deceit.

· to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8). Much of the evil in the world has satanic power behind it. Jesus came to destroy this.

To go back to the third purpose, this was only possible because he was both man and God. Only a human being has the right to represent another human being. Only God has the power to do so. In the unique God-man Jesus Christ, the great Rescue was possible.

One of the greatest examples of sacrificial ransom is the story of Father Maximilian Kolbe. In 1941, he offered to die an excruciating death in Auschwitz concentration camp in the place of Francis Gajowniczek, a father with young children. Pope Paul VI called Kolbe the most glittering figure to emerge from the darkness of Nazism. This is the kind of thing Jesus did for us. 

What next?

Re-read the seven purposes listed above and specifically thank Jesus aloud, for how each one has affected your life. (Vocalising is a biblical practice that reinforces the impact of what you are thinking and saying. Psalm 34:1-2; 89:1; Heb 13:15).

Mt. 20:20. Then came to him the mother of Zebedee’s children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him. 21. And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom. 22. But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able. 23. And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father. 24. And when the ten heard it, they were moved with indignation against the two brethren. 25. But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. 26. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; 27. And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: 28. Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
Matthew 20:20‭-‬28 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/mat.20.20-28.KJV

Lk. 19:1. And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. 2. And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich. 3. And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature. 4. And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way. 5. And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house. 6. And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully. 7. And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner. 8. And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. 9. And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. 10. For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
Luke 19:1‭-‬10 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/luk.19.1-10.KJV

Today’s lesson is one of those which gives us glimpse of who Jesus Christ really is and the depths of His love for us. When John fell down and lay there as dead, Jesus, who is God, bent over to touch him. He can touch you too. Call upon His name and be saved today!

PRAY Thank You, Lord God, that one day everything will finally be just the way You intended it to be, the place I will call home and worship You and throw my crowns at Your feet. What an awesome day that will be! In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

READ Revelation 1:1‭-‬20 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/rev.1.1-20.KJV.

Rev. 1:1. The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: 2. Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. 3. Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

1:4. John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne; 5. And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, 6. And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

1:7. Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen. 8. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

1:9. I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. 10. I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, 11. Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea. 12. And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; 13. And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. 14. His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; 15. And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. 16. And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. 17. And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: 18. I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. 19.  Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter; 20. The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.

REFLECT   What does this passage tell you about Jesus, about who he is, what he has done and will do? Is there something new or surprising that you learned about Jesus here?

Jesus Christ is a the Son of man and the Son of God at the same time, perfect in every way. He gave His life for me on that old rugged cross at Calvary, and He will return to receive those who are His own. Yes. The more I learn the more I understand there is so much more I need to trust in my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and rely less on this world.

APPLY   Later today, write down in just a few sentences what you have learned throughout the E100 about who Jesus is and what his life, death and resurrection means to you.

PRAY Dear Father God, help me to hear, understand clearly and take to heart what You want me to know about Your holy Son, Jesus Christ. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: 1 Peter 3:15 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/1pe.3.15.KJV

Jesus is not often thought of as a prophet, although he most certainly was.

Moses foretold that one day God would send a prophet greater than he (Deut 18:15-22) who would have several distinguishing features—

· He would be of Hebrew origin

· God would put words in his mouth

· He would speak what God commanded

· His words would be true

All these were fulfilled through Jesus. 

If we take the term ‘prophet’ in its broader sense of someone who speaks God’s Word, then this is what Jesus claimed to be. His words were the Father’s words (John 8:47; 14:24; 17:8), spoken by the power of the Holy Spirit (John 3:34). They were both spirit and life (John 6:63). 

In fact, he said, heaven and earth would pass away, but his words would never pass away (Matt 24:55; Mark 13:31). Moreover, if we are ashamed of his words this day, he will be ashamed of us on ‘that day’ (Mark 8:38; 13:32; Luke 9:26;).

People everywhere acknowledged that there was a divine quality about the utterances of Jesus. No demonised person could speak as he spoke (John 10:21). Jesus’ disciples were amazed at his words (Mark 10:24) and people generally marvelled at them (Luke 4:22).

In the more narrow sense of foretelling the future, Jesus prophesied his own death and resurrection (Matt 17:22-23; Mark 8:31; 9:31). His disciples had trouble believing it, but as the whole world now knows, his predictions proved to be true.

He spoke extensively of Jerusalem being surrounded by armies (Luke 21:20-24) and specifically described the huge stones of the temple being thrown down (Matt 24:2; Luke 21:6), which seemed an impossibility, so immense were they.

But within a few years of his death, people could verify these events—they all happened just as he said. This is the test of a true prophet (Deut 18:22).

Of course, his foretelling of his second coming in the clouds in power and great glory (Matt 24:27-31; Mark 13:24-27; Luke 21:21-27) has not yet been fulfilled, but there is no reason to believe it will not be. In fact, on the basis of his other prophecies, there is every reason to believe they will be.

Jesus was unique in his prophesying. We do well to heed his words and to be prepared. Such warnings encourage both hope and holiness (1 John 2:28). John puts it succinctly: ‘Everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself’ (1 John 3:3). 

And as the Reformers used to teach, we work as if he will not return for ages and we live as if he will come before we finish reading this page.

What next?

If Jesus were to return right now, would you shout with joy or shrink with shame?

I would shout with extreme joy! 😁🙏✝️❤️✝️🙏

1 Jn 2:28. And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.
1 John 2:28 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/1jn.2.28.KJV

1 Jn 3:1. Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. 2. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 3. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. 4. Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. 5. And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. 6. Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. 7. Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. 8. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. 9. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 10. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.
1 John 3:1‭-‬10 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/1jn.3.1-10.KJV

LOVE ONE ANOTHER

Today’s lesson is on 1 John 3:11–4:21. We are encouraged to love one another as Christ Jesus loved us. We are also called to obey the Spirit, to walk in the Spirit and not the flesh. This way we can fulfill His commandments. I’m so glad God knows our flesh is weak and has sent His Holy Spirit for our Comforter! Have a blessed day.

PRAY Loving God, Your love is truly amazing. It never wavers, it never wanes, it never fails. Thank You.

READ  1 John 3:11—4:21

READ 1 John 3:11‭-‬24 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/1jn.3.11-24.KJV and 1 John 4:1‭-‬21 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/1jn.4.1-21.KJV

1 Jn 3:11. For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. 12. Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous. 13. Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you. 14. We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. 15. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. 16. Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17. But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? 18. My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. 19. And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. 20. For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. 21. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. 22. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. 23. And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. 24. And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.

1 Jn 4:1. Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. 2. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: 3. And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. 4. Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. 5. They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. 6. We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error. 

4:7. Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. 8. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. 9. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. 10. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. 12. No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. 13. Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. 14. And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. 15. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. 16. And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. 17. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. 18. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. 19. We love him, because he first loved us. 

4:20. If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? 21. And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.

REFLECT How do we know what the essence of true love is? How does this kind of love differ from the kind we see in our popular culture? When have you experienced love?

Read the Scriptures. Love God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength; and love your brother’s and sisters as yourself. This is true love.

In today’s popular culture, there is selfishness, emptiness, anger, devoid of empathy toward one another let alone God. This is why they are so broken.

I experience love with every breath I take, be it awake or asleep. The love God has for me cannot be separated by anyone nor anything. I am so grateful to You Lord Jesus for loving me so perfectly!

APPLY  Identify a nearby family in need (in your church or at the city mission). Help meet their need and tell them you’re doing this because God and you love them.

PRAY Dear Lord Jesus, I want to love others with Your love. May my love be a reflection of Your love for me. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Romans 8:1 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/rom.8.1.KJV

https://youtu.be/LSfL-ohkimo

Jesus was unique in his power over death—especially his own! His resurrection was totally unlike any other.

The Bible records several instances of people being brought back to life. A Shunammite boy (2 Kings 4:18-37). Dorcas (Acts 9:36-43). Jairus’s daughter (Mark 5:21-43). Lazarus (John 11:1-44). To name just a few.

There are also documented cases of people returning to life in our day—especially in a missionary context.

But the resurrection of Jesus was different. It was unique in two distinct ways. First, in every other case, resurrection was only temporary: ultimately, they all died again. Jesus remains alive forever.

Second, in every other case, people were brought back to life through the agency of someone else. A prophet, a disciple, a missionary—even, in modern times, a physician.

But the resurrection of Jesus was different. He himself returned from death, without the intervention or mediation of anyone else. His resurrection was unique. He conquered death through the power of his own endless and indestructible life (Heb 7:16).

It had to be so. Because they were mortal, Old Testament priests were prevented by death from continuing to offer sacrifices. But Jesus, having made one, eternal perfect sacrifice for sin, could not remain imprisoned by death. He is our everlasting ever-living high priest.

Years ago, a journalist named Frank Morison set out to prove the resurrection of Jesus to be a myth. He finished up being convinced of the opposite! In 1930, he published a book entitled Who Moved the Stone? This really says it all. Who did move the stone? Not a ‘crucified criminal’ (if that’s what Jesus was): he would have been too emaciated. Not the disciples: they were too scared. Not the women: the stone was too heavy. Not the soldiers: they were paid to lie about it. Not the Pharisees: it was the last thing they wanted. 

Today, if you go to Israel you will not find any trace of his body. At the Garden Tomb in Jerusalem, a sign at the entrance says. ‘He is not here for he is risen’ (Mark 16:6).

Jesus was unique in his power over death. And he still is.

What next?

Paul says that if Christ was not raised, our faith is futile (1 Cor 15:14). This being so, what benefits/blessings would we have lost? Make a list of at least five things. 

1. The relationship we have with God would not exist.

2. We would still die in our sin. There would be no salvation.

3. There would be no hope for this dieing world. No reason to do what is right.

4. Our prayers would go unheard and unanswered.

5. We would go to hell for blaspheming the holy God.

Rom. 6:1. What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2. God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? 3. Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4. Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: 6. Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. 7. For he that is dead is freed from sin. 8. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: 9. Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. 10. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. 11. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Romans 6:1‭-‬11 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/rom.6.1-11.KJV

Col. 3:1. If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.
Colossians 3:1‭-‬4 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/col.3.1-4.KJV

Heb. 4:14. Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. 15. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 16. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
Hebrews 4:14‭-‬16 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/heb.4.14-16.KJV

Heb. 7:24. But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. 25. Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
Hebrews 7:24‭-‬25 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/heb.7.24-25.KJV

FAITH AND WORKS

Today’s lesson is on the book of James. In particular, James 1-2. Happy Resurrection Day!

PRAY  Lord Jesus, Please grow my faith, and may it always be in You.

READ James 1:1‭-‬27 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/jas.1.1-27.KJV and James 2:1‭-‬26 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/jas.2.1-26.KJV

Jms 1:1. James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting. 2. My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 3. Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 4. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

1:5. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 6. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. 7. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. 8. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. 9. Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted: 10. But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away. 11. For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways. 12. Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. 

1:13. Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: 14. But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. 15. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. 16. Do not err, my beloved brethren. 17. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. 18. Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. 

1:19. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: 20. For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. 21. Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. 22. But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. 23. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: 24. For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. 25. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. 26. If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain. 27. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.  

Jms 2:1. My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. 2. For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; 3. And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: 4. Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts? 5. Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him? 6. But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats? 7. Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called? 8. If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well: 9. But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. 10. For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. 11. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law. 12. So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty. 13. For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment. 

2:14. What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? 15. If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 16. And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? 17. Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. 18. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. 19. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. 20. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? 21. Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? 22. Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? 23. And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. 24. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. 25. Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? 26. For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

REFLECT  Is it really possible to consider trials and suffering “pure joy”? How? Have you had that experience? What differentiates “pure religion” from the rest?

It is possible, but I find it difficult. I do, however, try. After the trial, I can mostly see God’s hand in it and rejoice at that time. I wouldn’t have made it without Him! Trust me on that.

APPLY  Take an opportunity this week to do at least one practical thing to demonstrate the reality of your faith (helping a needy neighbor, visiting the sick, etc.).

PRAY  Dear Lord Jesus, show me how to make my faith more real and visible to those around me.

He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. Matthew 28:6 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/mat.28.6.KJV

It is Finished

This is the final day of the reading plan, It Is Finished. I pray you have enjoyed it. Much more, I pray it has touched your heart in an amazing way this year. O glorious day! May God bless you. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

The Easter Story comes to a close in this victorious scene in Matthew 28. Can you put yourself in Mary Magdalene’s shoes right before she hears the angel’s voice? In your mind, you know Jesus is dead, but your heart is holding out for the faintest of hopes that He still lives.

Then a glorious, radiant angel appears in front of you and tells you what you had hardly dared to hope.

He has risen. Just as He said.

The battle has been won. It is finished.

As you head to your Easter celebrations this weekend, I pray that hope would overflow in your heart because of the finished work of Christ. Yes, we are still building the kingdom of God on earth. Yes, we are still being sanctified. But we are not doing all of those things to get to a place of love and victory, but we are doing it from a place of love and victory. And knowing that changes everything.

It quiets the striving in my mind of proving myself. No longer do I have to wonder if I made the right sacrifices or repeated the right prayers in order to be accepted as one of God’s children.

Our victory has been secured and we can confidently share the good news, grow in Christ, and love others as we await Christ’s second coming. The ultimate Promise Keeper indeed kept His word. He is risen, just as He said.

If you haven’t accepted Christ as your savior yet and would like to do so, please pray these words along with me:

“Jesus, I acknowledge I am a sinner and I am in need of salvation. Thank you for your sacrifice on the cross. Come into my heart and make me new. Thank you for your gift of eternal life. Help me to learn to walk with you now. In Jesus’ name, amen.”

If you prayed that prayer, please let a trusted friend or pastor know so they can guide you in your next steps in your next steps in your relationship with Jesus.

It’s the best decision you could ever make.

Mt. 28:1. In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. 2. And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. 3. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: 4. And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. 5. And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. 6. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. 7. And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you. 8. And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word. 9. And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him. 10. Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.
Matthew 28:1‭-‬10 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/mat.28.1-10.KJV

1 Cor. 15:55. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 56. The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. 57. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:55‭-‬57 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/1co.15.55-57.KJV

That Jesus worked signs and wonders does not in itself prove that he was the Son of God although if he had not been able to do so, it would clearly prove that he wasn’t. 

He demonstrated both unique power and unique authority. As we have seen, he did this as a human being anointed by the Holy Spirit and power, but uniquely anointed because the Spirit was given to him without measure (John 3:34). He had no need of regular infillings as we do (Act 4:8; 7:65; Eph 5:18). Further, this was coupled with his divine authority as God manifest in the flesh. He was both Son of Man and Son of God. To take just the gospel of Matthew, we see this unique power-and-authority in at least seven areas— 

· over sickness and disease (Matt 8:1-17). It took a Roman centurion to recognise this. He clearly saw Jesus’ healing ministry as a mark of his divine authority.

· over nature (Matt 8:23-27). People were amazed that even the winds and waves obeyed Jesus. What kind of man is this?’ they asked.

· over demons (Matt 8:28-34; 12:27-28). Even a host of evil spirits cowed before him. He was infinitely stronger than the strong. This was proof that the kingdom of God had come.

· over sin (Matt 9:1-8). By healing a disabled man, Jesus showed that he had the right to forgive sins, which amounted to a claim to be equal with God. Anyone can forgive sins perpetrated against themselves, but only God can forgive sins committed against others. Even the Pharisees understood this.

· over tradition (Matt 9:9-17). Long-standing traditions were dissolved by the authority of Jesus.

· over death (Matt 9:18-26; John 11:1-44). Jesus overcame humankind’s ultimate enemy. His enemies were afraid that this would cause everyone to believe in Him (John 11:48). He simply said, ‘I am the resurrection and the life’.

· over the universe (Matt 28:18-20). This is perhaps the most extraordinary statement that Jesus ever made: ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.’ No honest human being would presume to say such a thing. Humanity cannot reach such heights. We are forced to return again to the only options: liar, lunatic or Lord. There is no trace or hint of Jesus ever demonstrating mendacity or insanity. So we are left only with deity. There is no other choice.

What next?

On a scale of one (not at all) to five (completely) to what extent do you think it is possible for us continue the ministry of Jesus? Consider Matt 28:18-20; Mark 16:20; Luke 10:18-19; 24:49; Act 1:8. Give reasons for your choice.

My answer: I state emphatically 5. I will be getting up tomorrow morning and going to my Church at 9 am. We will pray. We will walk. We will talk to people about Jesus Christ and to make sure God’s children are saved. Do you know where you are going when you leave this world? When you accept Christ Jesus into your heart, your name is written in the Lamb’s book of Life. Nothing, therefore, can separate you from the love of God. You will be in Heaven.

Mk. 16:20. And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.
Mark 16:20 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/mrk.16.20.KJV

Lk. 10:18. And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. 19. Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
Luke 10:18‭-‬19 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/luk.10.18-19.KJV

Lk. 24:49. And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.
Luke 24:49 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/luk.24.49.KJV

Acts 1:5. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. 6. When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? 7. And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. 8. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
Acts 1:5‭-‬8 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/act.1.5-8.KJV

Today’s lesson is on being holy. It isn’t easy, but nothing worthwhile ever is. Doesn’t mean we shouldn’t strive to be holy as He is holy. Have a blessed day. 

PRAY Dear heavenly Father, Please challenge me and encourage me as a read Your Word today. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

READ 1 Peter 1:21-‬25 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/1pe.1.1-25.KJV and 1 Peter 2:1‭-‬12 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/1pe.2.1-12.KJV

1 Pet. 1:1. Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2. Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied. 3. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4. To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, 5. Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6. Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: 7. That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: 8. Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: 9. Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

1:10. Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: 11. Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. 12. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.

1:13. Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 14. As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: 15. But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; 16. Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. 17. And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: 18. Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19. But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: 20. Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, 21. Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God. 22. Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: 23. Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. 24. For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: 25. But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

1 Pet. 2:1. Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, 2. As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: 3. If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. 

2:4. To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, 5. Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. 6. Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. 7. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, 8. And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. 9. But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: 10. Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. 

2:11. Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; 12. Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.

REFLECT   What do you think it means to be holy? Is it really possible for a regular person to be truly holy, or is that only for “super saints”?

1: exalted or worthy of complete devotion as one perfect in goodness and righteousness. 2: divine for the Lord our God is holy — Psalms 99:9 (King James Version) 3: devoted entirely to the deity or the work of the deity a holy temple holy prophets.

These are the definitions found in today’s dictionary. Pretty accurate I would say. I believe it is possible to draw closer to God each and in each way. Will this make us perfect? The simple answer is no. It does not mean you shouldn’t try.

APPLY Think of 2–3 steps you can take to grow in holiness in the week ahead. If you aren’t sure what to do, ask your pastor for guidance.

Pray, read your Bible, and listen for God to answer.

PRAY   Dear precious Lord Jesus, While things seem too incredible for me to overcome them, I know nothing is impossible for You. Please help me to be more holy and draw closer to You each day. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:14‭-‬15 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/jhn.3.14-15.KJV

Silent Saturday

This is the sixth day of the seven day reading plan. Each day this week has been powerful. I pray you had time to rest in His peace.

The older I’ve gotten, the more I’ve come to realize the gravity of Silent Saturday. The immediate trauma of Good Friday had passed, but Resurrection Sunday was still 24 hours away. And those left behind were faced with a question that we are often faced with. What do you do in the middle? In the middle of trauma and deliverance?

Those who were grieving had witnessed not only the brutal execution of Jesus, but all the other strange phenomena that accompanied Christ’s death: earthquakes, midday darkness, the tearing of the temple veil, and more. So what did they do? What do we do?

Rest.

Those who were left behind were called to rest, because it was Christ who was doing the work. Christ was at work defeating the devil in the bowels of Hell, reclaiming what was His to begin with. It was Christ with the agenda, not us. It was Christ on the warpath, not us. It was Christ who was doing, not us.

When recovering from grief and trauma, the reactions are varied to be sure, but often doing nothing (what our souls might crave) is harder to carry out. Surely there is another phone call to be made, another closet to clean out, another demand to make, another list to record. But to rest, completely?

It astounds me that God planned for the execution to take place on a Friday, knowing that the Jews, steeped in the centuries-old tradition of Sabbath would know they would have to honor this day of rest. He planned the Great Sacrifice on our day off.

Were they relieved for a moment to catch their breath? Or did they chafe under the religious traditions, wishing they could do something, anything, to undo the horror of the past 48 hours?

Whatever your “Silent Saturday” is, whatever seemingly unanswered prayers face you, whatever traumas you are trying to heal from, know that you can rest, knowing your Father is at work.

Resurrection is just around the corner.

Lk. 23:56. And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment.
Luke 23:56 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/luk.23.56.KJV

To the chief Musician for the sons of Korah, A Song upon Alamoth

Ps 46:10. Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.
Psalms 46:10 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/psa.46.10.KJV

Jesus was unique in his preaching and teaching.

This was acclaimed early in his public ministry. People were well used to rabbis quoting from the Law, the Prophets and the Writings, the three sections of the Hebrew Old Testament. And they knew that there had been a time when prophets frequently declared, ‘Thus says the Lord!’ But no one spoke on their own authority. Until Jesus.

What he did was unbelievable. Knowing full well how the religious leaders would respond, he began much of his teaching with statements like, ‘You heard such and such said in times past, but I say…’

Try to imagine your pastor doing that today. He stands up in the Sunday morning service and declares, ‘Paul once said thus and thus but I say…’ Or even worse—which is the equivalent of what the Lord did—‘Jesus once said but I say…’

In the Sermon on the Mount, there are many examples. ‘You have been told you should not commit murder, but I say, don’t even be angry. It amounts to the same thing’ (Matt 5:22)’ and, ‘Moses told you not to commit adultery, but I say don’t even think about it.’ (Matt 5:28).

And so he went on, even replacing a great Mosaic command—an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth (Lev 24:17-20)—by telling people to suffer injustice without fighting back (Matt 5:38-42). Unheard of!

Sometimes his preaching and teaching simply endorsed an Old Testament precept (Prov 25:6-7; Luke 14:10), but frequently he took things much further. 

The outstanding example was his teaching on love: ‘A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another’ (John 13:34). This was revolutionary. No one in the ancient world held to such a philosophy. But it was in this way that people would recognise his disciples (John 13:35).

And so it was in the early years of the Christian era. The great North African Latin scholar Tertullian, records how Romans used to say with amazement, ‘Look how these Christians love one another!’. In fact, some of the persecution directed towards those pioneer believers in Jesus was that they must have been engaged in sexual immorality because no one could love each other as they did without there being some skulduggery somewhere.

It was no wonder that at the end of the Sermon on the Mount, people were amazed at his teaching because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law (Matt 7:38-39). And even soldiers, used to obeying authority, said in wonder, ‘No one ever spoke like this man!’ (John 7:46).

What next?

Read the Sermon on the Mount (Matt chapters 5, 6 and 7). Choose one passage that really speaks significantly to you today.

Mt. 5:1. And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: 2. And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,

5:3. Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. 5. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. 6. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. 7. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. 8. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. 9. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. 10. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

5:13. Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

5:14. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. 5:17. Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 19. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20. For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

5:21. Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: 22. But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. 23. Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; 24. Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. 25. Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. 26. Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.

5:27. Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: 28. But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. 29. And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. 30. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. 31. It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: 32. But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.

5:33. Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: 34. But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne: 35. Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. 36. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. 37. But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.

5:38. Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: 39. But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. 41. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. 42. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.

5:43. Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45. That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 46. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47. And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?

5:48. Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
Matthew 5:1‭-‬48 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/mat.5.1-48.KJV

Mt. 6:1. Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. 2. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 3. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: 4. That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly. 

6:5. And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 6. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. 7. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. 8. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.

6:9. After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 10. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. 11. Give us this day our daily bread. 12. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 13. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. 

6:14. For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: 15. But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. 

6:16. Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 17. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; 18. That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly. 

6:19. Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. 22. The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. 23. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! 

6:24. No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. 

6:25. Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? 26. Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? 27. Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? 28. And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 29. And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? 31. Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32. (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 

6:33. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 34. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
Matthew 6:1‭-‬34 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/mat.6.1-34.KJV

Mt. 7:1. Judge not, that ye be not judged. 2. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. 3. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? 4. Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? 5. Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye. 

7:6. Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you. 

7:7. Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: 8. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. 9. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? 10. Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11. If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven1à Aww give good things to them that ask him? 12. Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets. 

7:13. Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14. Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. 

7:15. Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17. Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. 

7:21. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23. And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. 

7:24. Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. 26. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. 28. And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: 29. For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
Matthew 7:1‭-‬29 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/mat.7.1-29.KJV

Today we read about the new creation we became when we received Christ Jesus into our hearts as Lord and Saviour. Have a blessed day.

PRAY Thank You Lord God for renewing my mind with new insights as I read and study Your Word. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

READ  2 Corinthians 4:1—6:2

2 Cor. 4:1. Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; 2. But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. 3. But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4. In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. 5. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

4:7. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. 8. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9. Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; 10. Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. 11. For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. 12. So then death worketh in us, but life in you. 13. We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak; 14. Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you. 15. For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. 16. For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. 17. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; 18. While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:1‭-‬18 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/2co.4.1-18.KJV

2 Cor. 5:1. For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: 3. If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. 4. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. 5. Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. 6. Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: 7. (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) 8. We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

5:9. Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. 10. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. 11. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences. 12. For we commend not ourselves again unto you, but give you occasion to glory on our behalf, that ye may have somewhat to answer them which glory in appearance, and not in heart. 13. For whether we be beside ourselves, it is to God: or whether we be sober, it is for your cause. 14. For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: 15. And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. 16. Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. 17. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 5:18. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19. To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. 20. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. 21. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
2 Corinthians 5:1‭-‬21 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/2co.5.1-21.KJV

2 Cor. 1. We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. 2. (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)
2 Corinthians 6:1-2 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/2co.6.1-2.KJV

REFLECT In what way(s) do you feel yourself to be a “new creation” as a Christian? What does it mean to you that you are now “Christ’s ambassador”? 

There are many differences between the “old” and “new” me. Mostly in attitudes and the way I see things. You could even call it a new appreciation. Being an ambassador for Christ (means to me), is a privilege, an honor, and priceless. I no longer live for myself but for Him.

APPLY Research the duties and privileges of an ambassador of your country, perhaps online. Then, decide how those may apply to you as one who is Christ’s ambassador. 

PRAY Dear precious Lord Jesus, I know You are not finished with me yet, but I am a new creation and want to be a good ambassador for You. Please guide me in everything I do. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots. Luke 23:34 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/luk.23.34.KJV

This is day five of the seven day reading plan, It Is Finished. Have a blessed day.

Blush pink almond blossoms dotted the landscape as the onlookers slowly retreated down the hill. The brief Jerusalem spring was in the air, but in the hearts of Jesus’ disciples, it had to feel like the bleak winter all over again.

This man, who they believed could change the world, was gone. He had already changed their world. Life since walking with Him was so different, so fresh. There was a new energy they had never felt before.

And now? Now everything was lost. Or so it seemed.

Good Friday marks the day Jesus died on the cross, and the day we remember what He suffered on our behalf. This happened only a few days after the people celebrated His arrival in Jerusalem crying out Hosanna.

That spring weekend 2,000 years ago must have felt very much like winter. Winter in the hearts of the disciples.

Sometimes we have seasons in our lives that are like that: cold and confusing, with no comforting warmth and no end in sight. They feel like winter when all we want is sunshine, green grass, and warmer temperatures.

In those seasons, I’m reminded of a quote from “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” by C.S. Lewis:

“Wrong will be right, when Aslan comes in sight,

At the sound of his roar, sorrows will be no more,

When he bares his teeth, winter meets its death,

And when he shakes his mane, we shall have spring again.”

No matter what difficult seasons you and I walk through, we can be assured that winter won’t last forever. How can we know that? Because the crucifixion wasn’t the last chapter for Jesus. When He rose from the grave, death had to bow to Him.

Spring will come again.

Luke 23:44. And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. 45. And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst. 46. And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost. 47. Now when the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, Certainly this was a righteous man. 48. And all the people that came together to that sight, beholding the things which were done, smote their breasts, and returned. 49. And all his acquaintance, and the women that followed him from Galilee, stood afar off, beholding these things.
Luke 23:44‭-‬49 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/luk.23.44-49.KJV

It is a matter for some wonder that the followers of Jesus so readily recognised his deity. After three years together, you would think they would have got to know one another pretty well. After the first shine had worn off, they would have begun to discover small faults and failings that always emerge after time.

But while they were quick to find grounds for complaint with each other (e.g. Matt 20:24), they found no fault with Jesus. Which is interesting given that the Bible does not seem to have any scruples about recording people’s failings. The weaknesses and sins of Cain, Abraham, Moses, Saul, David, Peter, Paul, Mark, Barnabas and many others are all recorded for posterity. But not one sin or trespass is attributed to Jesus.

Moreover, the disciples actually claimed openly that he was divine.

When Jesus rose from the dead and appeared to the disciples, Thomas recognised him as Lord and God (John 20:28).

Paul states plainly that although Jesus descended from David ‘in the flesh’, by his resurrection he was shown to be the Son of God, Jesus Christ our Lord (Rom 1:3-4). He goes on to say that he was God over all (Rom 9:5), that salvation is secured by faith in Jesus and the confession that Jesus is Lord (Rom 10:9), and that at the end of age, he will return as the Lord from heaven (1 Thess 4:16).

Perhaps his greatest tribute is found in his letter to the Philippians, where the apostle writes that one day every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (Phil 2:11).

Peter acknowledged Jesus as the Son of the Living God (Matt 16:16) and declared that there is no other name under heaven whereby we must be saved (Act 4:12). John describes Jesus as the divine Word—the Expression of God—by whom all things were created (John 1:1-40 and  calls him the ‘true God’ (1 John 5:20).

In the Septuagint (the Greek version of the Old Testament, commonly referred to by the letters LXX) the word kurios (‘Lord’) appears over 6000 times for God. In the Greek New Testament, it is used over 700 times for Jesus. This is either bold blasphemy or a clear declaration that Jesus is God.

Was Jesus liar, lunatic or Lord? To the apostles the answer was obvious.

What Next?
Wow! What a Saviour we have! Spend some time worshiping him now. Use one or two songs like Jack Hayford’s ‘Majesty’ or Keith Getty’s ‘In Christ Alone’.

Mt. 16:13. When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? 14. And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets. 15. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?

16:16. And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar–jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. 18. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 20. Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.
Matthew 16:13‭-‬20 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/mat.16.13-20.KJV

Today’s lesson is filled with love. If only we could all love the way Jesus loves us, we would have Heaven on earth! Have a blessed day.       

PRAY Thank You, Father, for showing us true love is when You sent Your beloved Son into the world for our sins. Thank You Lord Jesus. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

READ  1 Corinthians 13

1 Cor. 13:1. Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 2. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. 3. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

13:4. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, 5. Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; 6. Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; 7. Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. 8. Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. 9. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 10. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. 11. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. 13. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
1 Corinthians 13:1‭-‬13 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/1co.13.1-13.KJV

REFLECT   How would you describe the essence of real love? Which of the aspects of love that Paul mentions is most meaningful to you? Most challenging?

The essence of real love is selflessness. Love never fails and is kind are the two attributes of love which mean the most to me. Unfortunately, I have to admit that I am too often easily provoked. That is one of my greatest challenges.

APPLY   Choose someone you love—a spouse, child, other relative or close friend—and show them your love today through one of the aspects of love Paul mentions.

PRAY  Dear Lord Jesus, Please help me to show real love first and foremost to You and to my family and friends as well. Help me to be more like Jesus. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Philippians 2:7‭-‬8 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/php.2.7-8.KJV

The Veil is Torn

This is day four of the seven day reading plan, It Is Finished. Have a blessed day.

Platinum elite member. VIP access. Honor rewards member. Diamond level.

In this day and age, we are obsessed with VIP access. We long to be “waved on ahead,” exempt from red tape and rules. We don’t want to jump through hoops and be held back in line. We want to be the exception.

In today’s reading in Matthew, we read about just that—how the tearing of the veil in the temple granted VIP access to God for all humans.

According to the Law outlined in the Old Testament, God’s presence resided in the Holy of Holies in the temple. This sacred section was separated from the Holy Place by a special veil and housed the ark of the covenant.

Leviticus 16 outlines the steps for atonement, the Jewish process for getting right with God before Jesus came. Depending on how you count it, there were more than 35 steps the priest must go through to make atonement for his sins and the sins of the people. Those steps included specific clothing, certain animals, and lots of washing and bathing. All of that in order to go behind the veil.

It took a lot of preparation in order to get right with God. Not just anyone could do it. In fact, there was a special day once a year set aside for it.

But Jesus’ sacrifice gained us unprecedented access to God the father. Out of all the strange happenings on Good Friday, the tearing of the veil had to shake the religious crowd to the core. God was declaring “No more.” No more separation. No more sacrifices. No more ceremonial washing. My people are free to come to me whenever and however.

We hear that and in our minds, we rejoice. But I wonder if, in our hearts, we still feel like our past (or our present) is a barrier to knowing Christ. If you only knew what I had done…if you only realized who I am…

Rest assured the veil was torn once and for all. God longs to welcome you into His arms and call you His own.

Will you open your heart to Him?

Mt 27:51. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; 52. And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, 53. And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many. 54. Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.
Matthew 27:51‭-‬54 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/mat.27.51-54.KJV

Lev. 16:2. And the LORD said unto Moses, Speak unto Aaron thy brother, that he come not at all times into the holy place within the veil before the mercy seat, which is upon the ark; that he die not: for I will appear in the cloud upon the mercy seat.
Leviticus 16:2 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/lev.16.2.KJV

Lev. 16:29. And this shall be a statute for ever unto you: that in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, ye shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether it be one of your own country, or a stranger that sojourneth among you: 30. For on that day shall the priest make an atonement for you, to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from all your sins before the LORD. 31. It shall be a sabbath of rest unto you, and ye shall afflict your souls, by a statute for ever. 32. And the priest, whom he shall anoint, and whom he shall consecrate to minister in the priest’s office in his father’s stead, shall make the atonement, and shall put on the linen clothes, even the holy garments: 33. And he shall make an atonement for the holy sanctuary, and he shall make an atonement for the tabernacle of the congregation, and for the altar, and he shall make an atonement for the priests, and for all the people of the congregation. 34. And this shall be an everlasting statute unto you, to make an atonement for the children of Israel for all their sins once a year. And he did as the LORD commanded Moses.
Leviticus 16:29‭-‬34 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/lev.16.29-34.KJV

Rom. 5:1. Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2. By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Romans 5:1‭-‬2 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/rom.5.1-2.KJV

Jesus frequently made statements that only God has the right to make.

Often he used the expression ‘I am’ to reinforce the concept of his deity. In Greek the normal way of saying this was just one word (eimi). However, there was also an emphatic way (ego eimi) that more or less means, ‘I, even I, am.’ By using this term, Jesus was making it clear that there was no doubt about what he meant.

Furthermore, the phrase ‘I am’ was identical to part of the Name God gave to Moses: ‘I am who I am’ (Ex 3:14). It is possible that the name Yahweh was derived from this, a name so sacred that Jewish people will never utter it aloud even today. 

More than this, Jesus made a number of statements beginning with ‘I am’ that no ordinary person would even consider. The greatest was, ‘I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’ (John 14:6). Imagine a local builder in your community one day taking to social media and make such a claim. You would naturally assume he was deranged or deluded. You would certainly not believe him. You would not believe him even if he was a lawyer or a professor or a billionaire or even a rock star.  

Seven times Jesus made such extraordinary claims. Here they are—

· I am the bread of life (John 6:35)

· I am the light of the world (John 8:12; 9:5)

· I am the door of the sheep (John 10:7, 9) 

· I am the good Shepherd (John 10:11, 14)

· I am the resurrection and the life (John 11:25) 

· I am the way the truth and the life (John 14:6)

· I am the true vine (John 15:1)

In all of these, Jesus is claiming to be able to meet any and every human need. Astonishing!

Finally, Jesus shocked his Jewish compatriots by saying, ‘Before Abraham was born, I am’ (John 8:58). Bad grammar but explosive theology.  And again, ‘If you do not believe that I am, you will indeed die in your sins (John 8:23-24). See also John 10:36; 18:6, 8.

There is no escaping the universal nature of these assertions. To implement them, you must have attributes such as omnipotence, omnipresence, omniscience and immortality. In other words, you must be God.

Jesus made many other similar statements. All authority in heaven and earth, he said, belonged to him (Matt 20:18). What a claim! Not to mention statements like, ‘I will draw all people to me’ (John 12:32). See also John 10:8; 19:11; Mark 2:20.

In a broadcast talk given in London in 1943, the great twentieth century apologist C. S. Lewis said,

‘A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic—on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg—or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon; or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God.’

What next? 

If Jesus really is Lord, what are the implication for us? Consider the ‘I ams’ of Jesus and jot down alongside each one what your response should be.

John 8:48. Then answered the Jews, and said unto him, Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil? 49. Jesus answered, I have not a devil; but I honour my Father, and ye do dishonour me. 50. And I seek not mine own glory: there is one that seeketh and judgeth. 51.  Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death. 52. Then said the Jews unto him, Now we know that thou hast a devil. Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and thou sayest, If a man keep my saying, he shall never taste of death. 53. Art thou greater than our father Abraham, which is dead? and the prophets are dead: whom makest thou thyself? 54. Jesus answered, If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God: 55. Yet ye have not known him; but I know him: and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like unto you: but I know him, and keep his saying. 56.  Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. 57. Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? 58. Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. 59. Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.
John 8:48‭-‬59 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/jhn.8.48-59.KJV

Today’s lesson speaks to the return of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Are ready? Are you excited? I am! Have a blessed day.

PRAY Dear Father God, My desire is to know You and to know more about You. Draw me closer to You today, Lord. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

READ  1 Thessalonians 4:13‭-‬18 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/1th.4.13-18.KJV and 1 Thessalonians 5:1‭-‬11 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/1th.5.1-11.KJV

1 Thes. 4:13. But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

1 Thes. 5:1. But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. 2. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. 3. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. 4. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. 5. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.

5:6. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. 7. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. 8. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. 9. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, 10. Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. 11. Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.

REFLECT  What do you learn here about Christ’s return? Does anything surprise you? What does it say about those who predict exactly when Christ will return to earth?

We learn that the saints who came before us shall join Jesus in the clouds first, and we shall join them upon Christ’s return. When people predict when Jesus is coming back, I don’t listen to anything else they have to say. Not even Jesus knows the day and the hour.

APPLY    Take a moment today to look up in the sky and imagine the Lord Jesus returning. Hear the trumpet blast and feel yourself caught up to meet the Lord as he returns.

PRAY Dear Lord Jesus, I can only imagine what it will be like when You return, but I want to be ready when You do! In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. Luke 22:42 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/luk.22.42.KJV

Not My Will

This is day three of the seven day reading plan, It Is Finished. Very powerful message. Have a blessed day.

In today’s passage, we read one of the bravest prayers ever prayed: not my will, Lord, but Yours be done. On the opposite side of that, we read of an underwhelming choice by the disciples. Overcome by full bellies and the Passover wine, they slept.

Jesus was a stone’s throw away pouring His heart out, but they zoned out and slept.

Have you ever done that? Attempted to zone out during a storm in your life, hoping it will pass you by? I know I have.

In times of stress or confusion, we often avoid the very things that would bring us rest and peace.

I’ve wondered what would’ve changed if the disciples had been able to enter into a time of prayer with Jesus instead of falling asleep. Would they have been better prepared for the spiritual and emotional turmoil of the next few days? Would they have found the strength to stay by Jesus’ side? Would they have been able to encourage one another?

While we may never know the answers to these questions, it’s clear they missed an opportunity in the garden. We can take a cue from their missed opportunity and press into prayer when life is pressing in on us.

I missed an opportunity in my own life last year when I felt the Lord prompting me to pray over a specific area in my life for forty days. I’m ashamed to say I made a half-hearted attempt and then abandoned the prayer focus altogether. In the following months, my attitude and emotions were severely tested in that same area. I’ve often wondered if I could’ve gone into that season better prepared had I pressed into prayer.

Are life’s circumstances pressing in on you? Do you feel the Lord calling you to prayer? I would encourage you to take heed of those promptings and don’t miss those moments to meet with the Lord. Pour out your heart to Him. And may our lives echo the words of Jesus: “Not my will but Yours be done.”

Mt. 26:36. Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. 37. And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. 38. Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. 39. And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. 40. And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? 41. Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. 42. He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done. 43. And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy. 44. And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. 45. Then cometh he to his disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46. Rise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that doth betray me.
Matthew 26:36‭-‬46 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/mat.26.36-46.KJV

https://youtu.be/kVhCt28x2yo

It is commonly argued that Jesus had the power to work miracles because he was God. Actually, this is not the case. The Bible teaches that he performed signs and wonders in his humanity.

The apostle John says that Jesus became flesh when he dwelt among us (John 1:14). To do this, he had to put off his divine attributes. An obvious one is omnipresence. Humans cannot be omnipresent. We are confined to one place at a time. Another is omniscience. Humans don’t know everything.

Paul reminds us that Jesus let go of his equality with God and ‘emptied himself’ to be born as a human (Phil 2:6). Theologians call this his kenosis (from the Greek verb ‘to empty’).. Charles Wesley put it best when he wrote that Christ ‘Emptied himself of all but love.’

Now how all this could be is impossible to explain. How could someone be truly God and yet truly man? There is no equivalent anywhere and never has been. But somehow, God managed to accomplish it. And as we shall see, it had to be done to secure our salvation.

So how did Jesus perform miracles? He worked them by the power of the Holy Spirit. This is why there is no record of him doing any miracles before the Holy Spirit fell on him at the River Jordan (Matt 3:13-16).

The Old Testament prophet Isaiah foretold this (Is 61:1-3). Jesus affirmed it at the beginning of his ministry when, quoting Isaiah, he read, ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me’ (Luke 4:18-19).

The apostle Peter confirmed it. ‘God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power,’ he declared, ‘He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him’ (Act 10:38).

And the writer to the Hebrews said the same thing (Heb 2:4).

All this is further proof of Christ’s humanity. Without the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, he could do no signs—which again makes him just like us.

In simple terms, Jesus settled himself completely into our environment and our predicament in order to rescue us from it. As the Bible puts it, he became poor so that we might become rich (2 Cor 8:9).

What next?
If Jesus needed to be anointed by the Holy Spirit to fulfil his mission, what does this mean for you and me? See Luke 24:49; Act 1:5-8

Lk. 4:14. And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about. 15. And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all.

4:16. And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. 17. And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, 18. The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, 19. To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. 20. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21. And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.
Luke 4:14‭-‬21 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/luk.4.14-21.KJV

Acts 10:34. Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: 35. But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him. 36. The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:) 37. That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached; 38. How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. 39. And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree: 40. Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly; 41. Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead. 42. And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead. 43. To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.
Acts 10:34‭-‬43 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/act.10.34-43.KJV

Phil. 2:5. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6. Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7. But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8. And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10. That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11. And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Philippians 2:5‭-‬11 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/php.2.5-11.KJV

Today’s lesson is a good plan for living our lives in a pleasing manner before God. Very good reading. Have a blessed day.                                                PRAY  Dear Heavenly Father, Your Word, the Bible, is a very special gift and I am very grateful to You for giving it. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

READ  2 Timothy 3:10—4:8

2 Tim. 3:10. But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, 11. Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me. 12. Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. 13. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. 14. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; 15. And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17. That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

2 Tim. 4:1. I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; 2. Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. 3. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4. And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. 5. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. 6. For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. 7. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: 8. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

REFLECT  Do you believe the Bible is true? Why? What role does the Bible play in your life? Have you ever encountered false teaching? How did the Bible guide you?

Yes, I believe the Bible is true. Through must study and research, there is no other book with as many authors in as many countries over an extended period of time with such accuracy. The Bible is my guiding light. I wish I would have listened better when I was younger.

There will always be false teachers. If they try to tell you what the Bible says and it doesn’t match what the Bible actually says, get away from them. If they tell you that something in the Bible is not true, listen no more! Prayer is a very good way to stay strong in your relationship with God. Listen to Him.

APPLY  Make a commitment to continue Bible reading and prayer after the E100 is over.  Find a Bible reading plan to begin using on “day 101.”

Already on the One Year Bible plan.

PRAY  Dear precious Lord Jesus, Please impress on my heart again and again how important it is to know You and live by Your Word, the Bible. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/rom.5.8.KJV

The First Easter

This is day two of the seven day reading plan, It Is Finished. My prayer for you is draw nearer to our Saviour Jesus Christ this Easter. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

To understand the significance of the meal Jesus shared with His disciples the night before His arrest and His ultimate sacrifice, we need to travel back to the Old Testament, to another spring night centuries earlier.

The night before God delivered the Israelites out of Egypt, He gave them a special ceremony to perform. This came at the end of God sending horrible plagues upon Egypt because their ruler Pharaoh wouldn’t listen to God to free the Israelites.

That night, God struck down every firstborn of the Egyptians, but not of the Hebrews. The Hebrews were to put a mark of blood on their doors so God would “pass over” their homes and not touch their firstborn. In honor of God passing over the Hebrews, they would celebrate this special meal every year.

Centuries later, when Jesus sat down with His disciples to share The Last Supper, He was once and for all offering the precious blood that would mark us as His. If we accept Him as our Lord, He puts the mark of His blood over our hearts so that we don’t receive the punishment for our sins. 

Because of His sacrifice, we don’t have to cringe under red-tinged doors. We can approach His throne with confidence.

If you get the opportunity to partake in communion this week, take some extra time to reflect on the Lord’s supper. Rest in the ultimate Passover sacrifice. 

The price has been paid.

Ex. 12:21. Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel, and said unto them, Draw out and take you a lamb according to your families, and kill the passover. 22. And ye shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two side posts with the blood that is in the basin; and none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning. 23. For the LORD will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he seeth the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the LORD will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you. 24. And ye shall observe this thing for an ordinance to thee and to thy sons for ever. 25. And it shall come to pass, when ye be come to the land which the LORD will give you, according as he hath promised, that ye shall keep this service. 26. And it shall come to pass, when your children shall say unto you, What mean ye by this service? 27. That ye shall say, It is the sacrifice of the LORD’s passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he smote the Egyptians, and delivered our houses. And the people bowed the head and worshipped. 28. And the children of Israel went away, and did as the LORD had commanded Moses and Aaron, so did they.

12:29. And it came to pass, that at midnight the LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle. 30. And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead.
Exodus 12:21‭-‬30 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/exo.12.21-30.KJV

Mt. 26:17. Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the passover? 18. And he said, Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at thy house with my disciples. 19. And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them; and they made ready the passover. 20. Now when the even was come, he sat down with the twelve. 21. And as they did eat, he said, Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me. 22. And they were exceeding sorrowful, and began every one of them to say unto him, Lord, is it I? 23. And he answered and said, He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish, the same shall betray me. 24. The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born. 25. Then Judas, which betrayed him, answered and said, Master, is it I? He said unto him, Thou hast said.

26:26. And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. 27. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; 28. For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. 29. But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.

26:30. And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.
Matthew 26:17‭-‬30 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/mat.26.17-30.KJV

Heb. 4:16. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
Hebrews 4:16 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/heb.4.16.KJV

Jesus Christ is unique in his person. No other prophet, priest or god compares with him. This uniqueness is found in the fact that he was both God and man, fully divine and fully human.

This is clearly stated in two great early Christian hymns, which tell us plainly that in Jesus, God took human form and actually became human flesh (Phil 2:7-8; 1 Tim 3:16).

An ancient creed named Docetism (from the Greek word dokein, to seem) suggested that because human flesh was sinful, God could not possibly embrace it. Therefore, Jesus only seemed to be human. He was like a phantom, God in fancy-dress as it were. As we shall see, if Jesus was not truly human, then the whole gospel message is false.

Certainly, he displayed many human qualities: hunger, thirst, tiredness, sorrow and so on. He wept and ached and cried out to God (Heb 5:7-8). He showed two convincingly human attributes. First, limited knowledge (Mark 9:21; 13:32). As a human, he could not know everything, including the future. Second, he was subject to death (Mark 15:37). God cannot die.

Probably, as a child, like any other little one, he fell over as he learned to walk, banged his head or his elbow on things, cried when he was hurt, needed to be taught how to dress himself, tie his sandals, use a spoon and so on.

He worked as a carpenter, where presumably he often suffered bruises and cuts. If he hadn’t, surely this would have attracted attention. But there is no record of it. Quite the contrary: the Bible says he learned obedience through the things he suffered (Heb 5:8).

We know he could suffer pain because he did so on the Cross. Was it any different when he was just a kid? It is hard for us to imagine how he could be like this, but if not, he was not a real human.

The Bible says, he was tempted and tested in every way—which means emotionally, physically, sexually, mentally—just like us, but amazingly, he never once yielded (Heb 4:15).

And as we shall see, were it not so, he would have been disqualified as our Saviour. It was in his humanity that his mercy and faithfulness showed most clearly (Heb 2:17).

What next?
When you are tempted to sin, how can Heb 4:15 encourage you? Name at least two ways.

When I am tempted to sin, I try to quote Scriptures I’ve memorized for such an occasion. I find James 4:7 to be quite helpful. We can also boldly approach the throne of grace when we are tempted. Hebrews 4:15 is a great reminder that we can hold on to Him who has overcome the world.

Heb. 2:5. For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak. 6. But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him? 7. Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands: 8. Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him.9. But now we see not yet all things put under him. But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. 10. For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. 11. For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, 12. Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee. 13. And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me. 14. Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; 15. And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. 16. For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. 17. Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. 18. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.
Hebrews 2:5‭-‬18 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/heb.2.5-18.KJV

Heb. 4:14. Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. 15. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 16. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
Hebrews 4:14‭-‬16 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/heb.4.14-16.KJV

Today’s lesson is on Paul’s admonishing Timothy to be better in his leading the Church. Most times, we lay people just don’t understand what a heavy load to bear we put on our pastors. Take a moment today and send a text or a facebook message to your pastor, and let him know you are grateful for all he does. Also, lift him up in prayer daily. God bless you.

PRAY  Dear Heavenly Father, Thank You Father for saving me so that I could choose to be on Your side instead of demanding You be on my side. Please keep drawing me closer to the likeness of Jesus Christ every day. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

READ 2 Timothy 2:1‭-‬26 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/2ti.2.1-26.KJV

2 Tim. 2:1. Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2. And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. 3. Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 4. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. 5. And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully. 6. The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits. 7. Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things. 8. Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel: 9. Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound. 10. Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. 11. It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: 12. If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: 13. If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself. 14. Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers. 15. Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 16. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. 17. And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; 18. Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some. 

2:19. Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. 20. But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. 21. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work. 22. Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 23. But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes. 24. And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, 25. In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; 26. And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

REFLECT   What do you think Paul is trying to teach Timothy here? What kind of person is “a workman who does not need to be ashamed”? How can you be or become that person?

I think Paul is trying to teach Timothy that he doesn’t have to be so patient as to listen to every argument, but how to be patient with those who come to him with questions about God and Jesus out of a “pure” (they don’t know the at, and really want to) heart.

“A workman who does not need to be ashamed” is anyone who is working toward the gospel of Jesus Christ being taught to every soul in the world. Are you sweeping/vacuuming the floor at your Church? You are working toward the futherance of the gospel. Not everyone can be the preacher.

However this is not all it means. In order to become like a “workman not ashamed, share the Gospel. Do you have neighbors? Invite them to church. Ask them if they know where they are going when they leave this world. Even Christians, some, are unsure. Help them to realize that when they are saved, asked Jesus into their lives, their name was written in the Lamb’s book of Life! No one is able to snatch them out of the hand of God. Amen!

APPLY   Twice Paul mentions the importance of avoiding quarrels. If you face any today, think about how you will resolve them now or avoid them in the future.

Just tell the person in a calm voice that you do not discuss things other than the foundations of your faith. If they insist on continuing the conversation, and they usually do, politely excuse yourself and walk away. Run if necessary!

PRAY Dear Lord Jesus, Please help me to grow into a person who knows how to live well, and who wisely follows Your admonitions. Thank You for caring enough to show me my weaknesses and faults, so I may grow into the woman You know I can be. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/jhn.14.6.KJV

Prepare the Way

I wanted to provide a devotional for you during this week before we during, and after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord. This is a seven day reading plan to help us prepare our hearts for the Lord Jesus Christ. Please spend some time in prayer seeking His will each day. Have a blessed day.

As we approach Palm Sunday and the rest of Holy Week, those words from Luke echo in my mind:

Prepare the way for the Lord.

These ancient lines from Isaiah became John the Baptist’s mission statement as he prepared the hearts and minds for the coming Messiah. And his audience would’ve known exactly what he meant. Servants would travel ahead of an approaching king and fill in potholes and level bumpy roads so the king’s arrival would be as smooth as possible.

That’s what I want our goal for the next week to be: preparing the way and preparing room in our hearts to meditate on the death and resurrection of Jesus.

And we’ll start where He did: heading into Jerusalem.

As Jesus made His entrance into Jerusalem for Palm Sunday, one of the phrases the crowd shouted was “Hosanna to the Son of David! Hosanna in the highest!” (Matthew 21:9)

What does hosanna mean? Hosanna comes from a Hebrew word that means “save now” or “please save,” a literal cry for help. From the beginning of the world, Jesus’ plan has been to save us from our sins, and while the crowds lining the dusty streets of Jerusalem didn’t grasp the whole plan, for a moment, they were able to rejoice that a savior figure had appeared.

The Israelites may have been expecting Him to do more outward rescuing (social, political, or economical) rather than inward rescuing, by making a way for their hearts to be made new. They may have thought their immediate needs were in their circumstances: with the current-day political oppression or simmering turmoil between religious factions.

Instead, their greatest need (and our greatest need) lies within our souls.

The lines from “Joy to the World” (no coincidence how a Christmas song can make us think of Easter) come to mind as well: “Let every heart prepare Him room…”

Instead of heading into the Holy Week with expectations of what you need God to do (or not do), learn from those citizens of Jerusalem all those years ago. Lay down your expectations like the robes that lined the street. Open your heart and “let the king of Glory come in.”

Prepare Him room.

Lk. 3:1. Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene, 2. Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness. 3. And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins; 4. As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. 5. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth; 6. And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.
Luke 3:1‭-‬6 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/luk.3.1-6.KJV

Mt. 21:6. And the disciples went, and did as Jesus commanded them, 7. And brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set him thereon. 8. And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way. 9. And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest. 10. And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this? 11. And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.
Matthew 21:6‭-‬11 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/mat.21.6-11.KJV

A unique Saviour is not popular in today’s world.

We call it the post-truth generation where all views and beliefs are equally acceptable.  

Somebody may say, ‘When all’s said and done, doesn’t everyone worship the same God?’  Well, I can’t speak for others, but unless they worship the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, everyone does not. (Amen!)

‘But all religions are basically the same, aren’t they? Good works and all that sort of thing.’ That sounds plausible enough, but in fact all religions are not the same. One major faith declares that God hates sinners. The Bible says God loves them. Some others promote ancestral worship or idolatry or self-affliction or redemption through self-effort or through good deeds. Christian faith is different from all of these.

‘What about atheists?’ Even atheism is a kind of religion. And they certainly don’t accept Jesus. 

‘Nowadays, shouldn’t we be tolerant of other beliefs?’ Of course we should. In a true democracy, freedom of worship is a basic right, as long as it doesn’t mean breaking the law. Everyone has this right but that does not mean everyone is right.

Followers of Jesus today are in a position identical to that of the early church. They also lived in a society where people worshiped many gods. So what did they do? It would have been easy to soften their emphasis on Christ’s uniqueness. Why invite opposition and persecution? But they did not hold back. They simply and boldly preached Christ.

At the Global Consultation on World Evangelisation a few years ago, a statement was issued which said among other things:

‘(We) must uphold the uniqueness of Jesus Christ and the necessity of faith in Him as Lord and Saviour. This is especially imperative in the light of the increasing pluralistic environment, the resurgence of non-Christian religions hostile to the advance of the gospel,  the erosion of historic Christianity in the West, and the increasing prevalence of secularism almost everywhere.’

Over the next few days we will consider how Jesus our Lord is utterly and absolutely unique in—

· his Person 

· his preaching

· his power

· his prophesying

· his purpose

· his presence 

· his Passion

· his prophetic proclamation

culminating in a stirring panorama of how he is presented in every book of the Bible as divinely and uniquely the only true God. Don’t miss a single day! 

What next?

If someone were to ask you in what ways Jesus is unique, how would you answer?  Try to set down at least three major responses.

Jesus is unique in these three ways:

1. He is God.

2. He was born of a virgin.

3. He was resurrected from the dead on the third day, as He said He would.

Jn. 1:1. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2. The same was in the beginning with God. 3. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 5. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

1:6. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. 8. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.

1:9. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. 10. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.

1:11. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 12. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13. Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. 14. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

1:15. John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. 16. And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. 17. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. 18. No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. 

1:19. And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou? 20. And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ. 21. And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No. 22. Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself? 23. He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias. 24. And they which were sent were of the Pharisees. 25. And they asked him, and said unto him, Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Christ, nor Elias, neither that prophet? 26. John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not; 27. He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe’s latchet I am not worthy to unloose. 28. These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing.
John 1:1‭-‬28 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/jhn.1.1-28.KJV

This is a lesson I think each of need to learn at some point in our life. It is good to do so with a biblical understanding of why and how. Have a blessed day.    

PRAY Loving God, thank You for providing for me well in so many ways. I always want to have a grateful spirit. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

READ  1 Timothy 6:3‭-‬21 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/1ti.6.3-21.KJV

1 Tim. 6:3. If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; 4. He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, 5. Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.

6:6. But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 8. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. 9. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

6:11. But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. 12. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. 13. I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession; 14. That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: 15. Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of Lords; 16. Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen. 17. Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; 18. That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; 19 Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life. 20. O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: 21. Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen.

REFLECT  What does Paul say are some of the dangers of money? Have you experienced any of them? How could you pursue “godliness with contentment” today?

Verses 4-5 and 9-10 cover this  answer about the such dangers. Of course I have suffered from these some of these myself. Now that I have accepted Christ Jesus into my heart as Lord and Saviour, I’m not as concerned about money. I put my trust in Him, and I manage my finances wisely (or so I hope).

APPLY  Get your checkbook or look at your bank account online. How have you spent your money over the past 30 days? What does it show you about your priorities? It shows tithing is my first priority, paying the HOA is second, credit card charges fully is third, and setting aside money for savings, automatic withdrawals for charges I know will be added during the month. Then I determine how much is left to save for this roof I need to purchase. God sure does bless me!

PRAY  Dear precious Lord Jesus, Thank You for teaching me how to be content with a little and a lot. As long as I have You with me, nothing else is as important. I have never been more content, and I thank You. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord. John 12:13 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/jhn.12.13.KJV

Today is day seven of the seven day reading plan, CROSS & CROWN, by Dr. Charles Stanley of In Touch Ministries. Below is a link if you would like to read more of Dr. Charles Stanley’s teachings. Have a blessed day.

Jesus told His disciples that He would rise from the dead. By actually doing so—by conquering the unconquerable—He not only proved the truth of that one statement but also validated everything else He ever said. The resurrection earned and deserves our trust for all that Christ ever claimed, promised, warned, and predicted.

Because Jesus is alive, we have the awesome certainty that our God is actively involved in our lives. In fact, we see evidence of His living through us. We pray and God answers; we watch Him work in people’s hearts and change lives; we ask Him to cleanse us from our sins, and we walk away forgiven—the guilt is gone, and we experience a profound sense of restored fellowship with our Father. Why? Because He is real. And when something is true, you don’t have to worry about defending it. You simply live it out, trusting God, and He will take care of the results.

Because Jesus died in our place and rose again, we are God’s forgiven children—and what He has done for us can never be undone. John 10:28-30 promises, “I give eternal life to [my sheep], and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” Do you hear the permanence and guarantee of that promise? No one—not even you yourself—can snatch you from the Father’s hands once you are His.

John 3:16 also promises, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life”—period. God didn’t say “except” or “if.” He said “eternal life.” That means forever, irrevocable, 100 percent sure. And He offers it to whomever will believe. Because Jesus rose from the dead, we can journey forward with the assurance that if we trust Him as Savior, we will live and reign with Him forever.

May our risen Savior remind you today and every day of the certainties of the cross and His resurrection, and may He encourage your heart deeply, abundantly, and with never-ending joy.



A Closing Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of Your Son and for the eternal life He purchased on my behalf at Calvary. If ever I doubt Your love for me, help me remember that You spared nothing—not even Jesus—to make a way for me to be with You forever. Help me live in the light of the gospel, dead to sin and raised to a new life with Christ. And with that new life, use me as Your ambassador to share the good news of salvation with others. Amen.

Click here to download an expanded copy of Cross & Crown for your phone, tablet, or e-reader.

Jn. 10:28. And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 29. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. 30. I and my Father are one.
John 10:28‭-‬30 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/jhn.10.28-30.KJV

Jn 3:16. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
John 3:16 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/jhn.3.16.KJV

Today’s lesson is on bishops and deacons and how they are chosen. Remember, however, that just because you aren’t a bishop or a deacon; doesn’t mean there’s no place for you in the Church. There are many opportunities for us. Come to Church and see! Have a blessed day.

PRAY Thank You, Lord, for my pastor and the other spiritual leaders for which You have blessed me. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

READ  1 Timothy 3:1‭-‬16 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/1ti.3.1-16.KJV

1 Tim. 3:1. This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. 2. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; 3. Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; 4. One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; 5. (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) 6. Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. 7. Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

3:8. Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; 9. Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. 10. And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless. 11. Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things. 12. Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. 13. For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.

3:14. These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly: 15. But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. 16. And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

REFLECT   Using your own words, rephrase the characteristics Paul gives for Christian leaders. Are they realistic? Why are such high standards so important?

Bishops and deacons should be above reproach, honest, men of God, saved (born again), honorable men, married to one wife who is of the same caliber. Yes, we have many people in my Church that fit this mold.

By “above reproach” I do not imply sinless. There is only one who ever walked this earth like that. His name is Jesus Christ!

The reason it is very important to set standards so high is because these are the people entrusted to help the preachers spread the Good News of Great Joy. People are watching every move. The Gentiles need to see us set apart from the rest of the world which is corrupt and evil and fruitless.

APPLY   Schedule a time at least once each week to pray for your pastor, elders and deacons by name. Pray that God will enable them to be true and truly godly leaders.

Amen! 

PRAY Dear Heavenly Father, Please help to pray for Pastor Kirk Beard, Assistant Pastor Jason Pruitt, Pastor Fernando, and retired Pastor Rick Patterson. I lift them up to You in prayer with thanksgiving in my heart. I ask that You would put a hedge of protection about them. Hide them underneath Your wing. Grant to them Your peace which the world does not understand. And give them rest. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. John 1:29 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/jhn.1.29.KJV

Because He Lives

Today is the sixth day of the seven day reading plan, CROSS & CROWN, by Dr. Charles Stanley of In Touch Ministries. Have a blessed day.

The fact that Jesus Christ rose from the dead gives us the absolute, unquestionable foundation for everything else we believe. First of all, we have the confidence of knowing our God is alive. Jesus was not simply some itinerant preacher or teacher; He claimed to be the Messiah, the Son of the living God (Matt. 16: 16-17). The Lord told His disciples that to see Him was to see the Father (John 14:9); and in fact, that was one of the reasons He came—to reveal the heavenly Father so we could understand what He’s like.

All other belief systems have their so-called gods, but we know where their leaders are buried, which calls into question their “divinity.” Christ rose from the dead to validate and settle once and for all that our God is the only true God, the Creator of all things. He who made each of us can’t be fashioned by us. The One we worship is alive—not dead, inanimate, or an idea dreamed up in the mind of man. Think about it: Unless you believe that Jesus Christ is risen from the dead, then you either worship something else or nothing at all, a situation Isaiah considers foolish and Paul calls pitiable. Why? Simply because people without the living Christ have no assurance of anything.


You might be wondering, Well, if Christ is alivethen where is He? What’s He doing? Scripture reveals very clearly that Jesus is seated at the Father’s right hand, interceding on our behalf (Heb. 7:25; 10:12). He’s a living God who cares, loves, hears, and answers our prayers. He’s our forgiving Lord, continually advocating on our behalf. What’s more, the Lord Jesus is God the Son, who is preparing a place for each of us who believes in Him (John 14:2). He’s also the risen Savior who promised His disciples that, though He was going away, He wouldn’t leave them as orphans—Jesus assured them He would send the Holy Spirit to teach and guide each of His followers until He returned (John 14:16, 18).

So today, every single believer is indwelt by the living Spirit of God, beginning the moment he or she receives Christ as Savior. As Christians, we’re sealed forever unto the day of redemption when we’re called home to heaven. Our God is alive and active in and through the lives of His children, and He’s ready to save any who are willing to confess sin and receive the gift of forgiveness He so freely gives.

16:16. And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar–jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
Matthew 16:16‭-‬17 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/mat.16.16-17.KJV

14:9. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?
John 14:9 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/jhn.14.9.KJV

7:25. Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
Hebrews 7:25 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/heb.7.25.KJV

10:12. But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
Hebrews 10:12 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/heb.10.12.KJV

14:2. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
John 14:2 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/jhn.14.2.KJV

14:16. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
John 14:16 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/jhn.14.16.KJV

14:18. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
John 14:18 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/jhn.14.18.KJV

Today’s lesson is on the Supremacy of Christ. Yes, He is an awesome God, but does He rule supreme in your life? I fail at it, but I keep trying. You can keep trying as well. Have a blessed day.              

PRAY Dear Lord God Please draw me closer and closer to the knowledge of You. You are an awesome God, and there is none like You. Thank You so much for loving us that You gave us Your One and only begotten Son to take our place on that dreadful cross. I love You Lord. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

READ Colossians 1:1-23 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/col.1.1.KJV

1:1. Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, 2. To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

1:3. We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, 4. Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints, 5. For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel; 6. Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth: 7. As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ; 8. Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit.

1:9. For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10. That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11. Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; 12. Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: 13. Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: 14. In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: 15. Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 16. For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17. And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. 18. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

1:19. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; 20. And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. 21. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled 22. In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: 23. If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;

REFLECT  What new or surprising thing(s) did you learn about Jesus from this passage? How does that expand your understanding of God?

APPLY   When you go outside at night look at the stars and planets. Remind yourself that Jesus created them and holds them all in place by his mighty power.

PRAY Dear Heavenly Father, Thank You again for all that You have done, are doing, and will do. This is all so magnificent. No matter where I look, I see Your handiwork. I want to thank You, Lord Jesus, for who You are. Thank You for Your great love and sacrifice toward me and each person who calls upon the name of the Lord. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord , and whose hope the Lord is. Jeremiah 17:7 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/jer.17.7.KJV

This is day five of the seven day reading plan by Dr. Charles Stanley, CROSS & CROWN, of In Touch Ministries. I pray for you reassurance and a grateful heart. May you be blessed with a Christ-centered day.

What if Jesus Christ hadn’t risen from the dead? Where would that leave us? What assurance would we have about anything in life? Our confidence, thoughts about death, and our hopes for existence after this life would all be affected.

God knew Jesus’ resurrection would raise many questions in our minds; that’s why He led Paul to provide us with some answers. In 1 Corinthians 15:14, the apostle addresses the main issue: What if the resurrection didn’t really happen? He writes, “If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain.”

This means if the resurrection hadn’t occurred, our faith would be empty and without foundation; we’d be false witnesses, spreading lies; all our efforts for the faith would be worthless; and reading Scripture and sharing the good news would be a total waste of time (1 Cor. 15:17). All Christ-followers who’d died believing they were destined for eternal life would’ve simply perished, their hope of heaven nothing more than a delusion (1 Cor. 15:18). Worst of all, we’d still be living in our sins (1 Cor. 15:17), still under guilt, and owing our lives as the penalty our transgressions deserved (Rom. 6:23). Paul sums it up this way: “If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied” (1 Cor. 15:19).

Thankfully, our hope extends beyond this life because Jesus truly has risen from the dead. God, in His wisdom, left us undeniable evidence. For starters, the tomb was guarded by Roman soldiers, who faced imminent death if they failed to carry out orders. Though this precaution was to prevent Christ’s followers from stealing the body and falsely claiming He’d risen (Matt. 27:62-66), the tomb nevertheless ended up empty. Another indication is that of changed lives—something significant has to have taken place for Christ’s fearful disciples to become bold proclaimers of the gospel despite violent threats (John 20:19).

Most importantly, Jesus Himself promised He’d rise from the dead (Matt. 16:21). He claimed to be one with the Father (John 10:30), so either He was and is the Son of the living God, or else He was a liar. The record shows, however, He never told an untruth (John 14:6). Everything He promised or predicted came about, just as He said it would, except for those prophecies that are still to come (such as His second coming). These, too, will one day occur exactly as He’s foretold, for there’s nothing false about the sinless Son of God (John 7:18).

1 Cor. 15:14. And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. 15. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. 16. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: 17. And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. 18. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. 19. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
1 Corinthians 15:14‭-‬19 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/1co.15.14-19.KJV.

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:23 KJV

https://bible.com/bible/1/rom.6.23.KJV

Mt. 27:62. Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate, 63. Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again. 64. Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first. 65. Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can. 66. So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch.

Matthew 27:62-66 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/mat.27.62-66.KJV

Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.

John 20:19 KJV

https://bible.com/bible/1/jhn.20.19.KJV

From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.

Matthew 16:21 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/mat.16.21.KJV

I and my Father are one. John 10:30 KJV

https://bible.com/bible/1/jhn.10.30.KJV

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

John 14:6 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/jhn.14.6.KJV

He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.

John 7:18 KJV

https://bible.com/bible/1/jhn.7.18.KJV

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/jas.4.7.KJV

Today’s lesson is a short one, only eight verses. These eight verses, however, are very life changing and deeply do I cherish them. Have a blessed day.

PRAY  Dear Lord Jesus, You have blessed me abundantly. I am so grateful. Teach me to always have I want to have a grateful and joyful spirit. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

READ  Philippians 4:2-9 https://bible.com/bible/1/php.4.2-9.KJV

Phil. 4:2. I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord. 3. And I entreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life. 4. Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.

4:5. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. 6. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

4:8. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. 9. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

REFLECT   What does it mean to rejoice? Is it different from being happy? Can a person with big problems “rejoice in the Lord always.”? How?  

Rejoicing is much deeper and a longer lasting state of mind, while happiness is a fleeting emotion. Yes, a person can rejoice no matter, because circumstances do not determinate who we are.

We have tools gifted to us through the fruits of the Spirit. One of them being temperance. Using this gift, we determine our attitude and actions and reactions for this day. We can serve God or not. Me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15.

APPLY   Sometime today, think of things you can rejoice about and then do it! Every time you take a break from your activities, repeat the words “Rejoice in the Lord always”.

PRAY  Dear precious Saviour Jesus, I want to thank You for reaching me from a life of sin and torment into a life with You. A life filled with Your peace, no matter what. I praise You Lord for all You have done in me and the whole world. You are a good, good God! In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen!

This is the fourth day of the CROSS & CROWN reading plan by Dr. Charles Stanley of In Touch Ministries. I pray you find comfort and strength in it today.

At the moment of salvation, Jesus sanctified you with His blood by applying it to your life (Heb. 13:12). This means you were set apart as God’s child to live for Him from that time onward. The best way for me to describe sanctification is to compare it to a period that comes at the end of an event. You were saved, redeemed, justified, reconciled, and sanctified, period. But this period does not end. It turns into a line that continues throughout your life.

Sanctification is the process by which the Lord is continually transforming His children into the image of Jesus Christ. The entire Christian life is in that line; it just keeps lengthening as we grow in godliness, obedience, and understanding. Salvation is not the endpoint but the beginning of God’s purposes for believers. His goal is to renew every area of our lives so that we can become His valuable servants and ambassadors of Christ to a lost world.

This process will continue throughout life because the Holy Spirit resides within every believer, guiding and empowering each one to move forward. He’ll never leave us—there’s always another step to take in our progress toward Christlikeness and fruitful service for the Lord.

Key to that progress is being able to confidently enter the Holy Place by the blood of Jesus (Heb. 10:19-22). In the Old Testament, the Holy of Holies was the inner room of the tabernacle or temple where God dwelt above the ark of the covenant. The high priest was the only one who could enter this most holy place, and he could do so only once a year to make atonement for himself and the nation. After carefully preparing himself with sacred rituals, he would enter with animal blood to sprinkle on the mercy seat.

Today, the only reason Christians can approach God is because, spiritually speaking, they’re covered in the blood of Jesus. When Jesus offered His life as a sacrifice for the sins of the world, the veil of the temple—which separated God from the people—was torn in two from top to bottom. This supernatural event signified the Father’s acceptance of Christ’s sacrifice, which opened the way to His presence.

Because we’ve never participated in the Old Testament sacrificial system, we usually take for granted our access to the Lord. There’s now no need to sacrifice a lamb when we want to approach God. Each time we enter the Father’s throne room in prayer, it’s as if Jesus looks to us and says, “Here’s one of Ours … the blood has been applied.”

Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.
Hebrews 13:12 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/heb.13.12.KJV

10:19. Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20. By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; 21. And having an high priest over the house of God; 22. Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
Hebrews 10:19‭-‬22 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/heb.10.19-22.KJV

THE ARMOR OF GOD

Today’s lesson is on the Armor of God. Please remember to put it on. We truly are in a spiritual war. One that God will win in the end and Christ Jesus has already won. This does not mean we can be slackers! Have a blessed day.

PRAY Dear heavenly Father, Thank You for Your Word which supplies me with wisdom on how to resist satan and his many temptations throughout my day. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

READ Ephesians 6:10‭-‬20 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/eph.6.10-20.KJV

Eph. 6:10. Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15. And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16. Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 18. Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; 19. And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20. For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

REFLECT   Some people dismiss the idea of spiritual warfare as superstitious. What do you think? What evidence of it have you seen?

Those people also believe it is not necessary to go to Church, in my opinion. It is absolutely true. Have you looked at the news lately? Since I have been alive, there has been crime, poverty, injustice, and hatred spread through a deceitful world.

Did they believe what they were doing was right? You’d have to ask them. I disagree with the ends justifies the means. In any case, this is a small example of satan’s power to try to influence us. Just remember, my brothers and sisters, God is in control. Praise and thank Him!

APPLY   Make a list of the “full armor of God” listed here. Memorize the “pieces” and make a plan to “put on” or strengthen as many of them as you can in your life. 

PRAY Dear precious Lord God, I want to have the strength and maturity I need to “fight the good fight” and win. Thank You for being with me every step of the way. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen

One thing have I desired of the Lord , that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord , and to enquire in his temple. Psalms 27:4 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/psa.27.4.KJV

This is day three of the seven day reading plan, CROSS & CROWN, by Dr. Charles Stanley of In Touch Ministries. My prayer is that you enjoy and grow closer to the Lord in your faith each day. God bless you.

The Word of God alerts us that the wrath of God will rightly fall on sinful mankind (Rom. 5:8-10), but those who are justified by the blood of Christ will be saved from that dreadful punishment. Justification means that the Father accepts the death of His Son as full payment for our sin (Rom. 3:23-26). Jesus is a satisfactory substitute because He is the sinless Lamb of God.

Furthermore, we are declared righteous in the Lord’s eyes. Think of justification as a legal transaction in which Jesus placed all of our iniquities on His account and then paid it in full. Next, He took the record of His perfect life and transferred it to our account. Now when God looks at us, all He sees is Christ’s perfection. We are no longer guilty but are declared legally righteous, even if we don’t always act like it.

What an awesome privilege to be righteous in the Lord’s eyes! Now, that doesn’t mean believers can go out and do anything they want. Remember, “You have been bought with a price; therefore, glorify God in your body” (1 Cor. 6:20). We are children of God, but if we start acting like children of the devil, our loving heavenly Father will be faithful to use discipline and bring us back to our senses. The gift of righteousness should motivate us to live a life that reflects our blameless standing before God.

When a relationship characterized by separation and alienation becomes one of acceptance and restoration, that change is known as “reconciliation.” The moment Adam and Eve disobeyed the Lord, the relationship between God and mankind was broken, but the Father took the initiative to bring restoration by sending His Son into the world. Through the blood of His cross, Christ made reconciliation possible by establishing peace between God and man. Beyond that, He presents us blameless before the Father (Col. 1:19-22). All the barriers have been removed, and an intimate relationship with the Lord is available to every believer.

5:8. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 10. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
Romans 5:8‭-‬10 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/rom.5.8-10.KJV

3:23. For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24. Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25. Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26. To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
Romans 3:23‭-‬26 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/rom.3.23-26.KJV

For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
1 Corinthians 6:20 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/1co.6.20.KJV

1:19. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; 20. And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. 21. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled 22. In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:
Colossians 1:19‭-‬22 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/col.1.19-22.KJV

Today’s lesson is on what we should and should not do and chosing to walk in the Spirit instead of the flesh. Have a blessed day.

PRAY  Dear Heavenly Father, You alone know who I am. Please search me and find all iniquity within means clean my heart so that I may be as You want me. Then make my life fruitful. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

READ  Galatians 5:16—6:10 https://bible.com/bible/1/gal.5.16-26.KJV and https://bible.com/bible/1/gal.6.1-10.KJV

Gal. 5:16. This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. 17. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. 18. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.

5:19. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20. Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21. Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

5:22. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23. Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. 25. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

6:1. Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.

6:2. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. 3. For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. 4. But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. 5. For every man shall bear his own burden.

6:6. Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things. 7. Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 8. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. 9. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. 10. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

REFLECT  What habits, desires or attitudes threaten to make you a slave to sin? How can you combat them and grow a freer, more fruitful life?

I interrupt people when they’re talking when I have an idea. That’s because I usually can’t remember them if I wait. No matter! I should not interrupt our pastor or others. I have prayed for the Holy Spirit to control my thoughts and my mouth! It is a struggle, but it is working.

APPLY  Memorize the list of the fruit of the Spirit in this passage. Choose one or two that you think you most need to cultivate in your life and ask God’s help to grow them.

Meekness and self-control are two things I need the Holy Spirit’s help with.

PRAY Dear precious Lord Jesus, Please help me to understand and grow in all the ways of the fruit of the Spirit. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen!

The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. Psalms 18:2 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/psa.18.2.KJV

This is day two of the reading plan by Dr. Charles Stanley, CROSS & CROWN, 7-Day Easter Devotional from In Touch Ministries. Have a blessed day.

Apart from the blood of Christ, no one can have a relationship with the heavenly Father. Because God is holy, our sin blocks any chance of connection with Him. But in love, He planned and initiated a course of reconciliation with fallen humanity. The blood of Jesus provides all that we need to draw near to the Father.

To “redeem” means “to buy something back.” Jesus Christ came to the cross for the primary purpose of purchasing us from a life of slavery to sin. Maybe you think you’re a pretty good person and don’t feel enslaved to sin. But no matter how moral a person may seem, every human being has a sin nature (Rom. 3:23).

To set us free, a price had to be paid. But to whom? Jesus didn’t pay off the devil; He paid the price that God required in order to satisfy His holy justice. According to Ezekiel 18:20, “The person who sins will die.” The cost of our redemption was the blood of the perfect Son of God—and He made this sacrifice in our place. Because the Father accepted Christ’s payment, we’ve been set free from bondage to sin and have received the power of the Holy Spirit, who enables us to live in the freedom of obedience to the Father.

Now when it comes to forgiveness of our sins, most people have the idea that the Lord will forgive them simply because they ask Him. What they may not understand is that the basis for His pardon is not their request, but Christ’s payment for their debt. The Lord cannot forgive wrong just because someone asks. His holiness will not allow Him to overlook sin; it must be punished. His justice will not allow Him to forgive trespasses without a payment.

Only with the substitutionary death of the perfect Son of God does the Father have a legitimate basis by which He can forgive whoever comes to Him in faith and repentance (Eph. 1:7). There is nothing we can do to earn His forgiveness. Our pardon is granted only when Christ’s blood is applied to our lives.

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Romans 3:23 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/rom.3.23.KJV

The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.
Ezekiel 18:20 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/ezk.18.20.KJV

In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
Ephesians 1:7 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/eph.1.7.KJV

Today’s lesson is another one of my favorites. The book of Romans is chock-full of many verses for which pastors could easily write an entire service. Especially chapter 8! Remember please that the answers I give at the end of each reading are my own thoughts. They could be wrong. Always check the Scriptures to make sure. They are just to give an idea for you on how to answer the questions asked. Have a blessed day.

PRAY   Great God, I’m thankful today that there is nothing I can face that You can’t help me through.

READ   Romans 8:1-39 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/rom.8.1-39.KJV

Rom. 8:1. There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 2. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. 3. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: 4. That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

8:5. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. 6. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. 8. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. 9. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. 10. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. 12. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. 13. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

8:14. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 15. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17. And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

8:18. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. 20. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, 21. Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. 23. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. 24. For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? 25. But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

8:26. Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. 28. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 29. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. 31. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? 32. He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? 33. Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. 34. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

8:35. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36. As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 37. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 38. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39. Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

REFLECT   What does it mean to be “more than conquerors”? Are you one? With all the suffering around us, can we really say God works all things together for good?

When Jesus said, It is finished, the battle was won. Yes I am persuaded that I am a conqueror. Yes, even through suffering and weaknesses, that’s when He is strong.

Have you ever noticed most people have a tendency to put God in a neat little box upon a shelf until they absolutely need Him? Then they cry out to Him, and He answers. He takes the mess we have created, and He turns it into out testimony! How about that. 😊

APPLY   Think of one situation where you feel helpless or out of control. Ask God to help you be “more than (a) conqueror.”

PRAY  Dear loving Lord Jesus, Please give me the faith I need to believe that You are working all things together for my good. Thank You for all You are going to do in my life. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. 1 John 4:4 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/1jn.4.4.KJV

This is the first day of a seven day reading plan by Dr. Charles Stanley of In Touch Ministries. I really like his messages. Enjoy!

When was the last time you heard a sermon or sang a song about the blood of Jesus? Some churches today find the concept antiquated or even gruesome. Songs that mention “the blood” have even been removed from hymnbooks. Yet without it, there’s no hope of a relationship with God, no assurance of salvation, and no confidence that our prayers are heard.

Scripture never shies away from the mention of blood. In fact, it runs like a red thread from Genesis to Revelation. If you eliminate the references to blood from the Bible, all that remains is a book of history and literature. Anything God considers this important should never be disregarded.

Leviticus 17:11 tells us that God gave blood to make atonement because the “life of the flesh” is in it. The word “atonement,” as it is used in the Old Testament, means “covering.” Through the sacrificial system of worship established by the Lord, the sins of mankind were covered by the blood of innocent animals.

The seriousness of sin is revealed by the monumental cost of atonement—the penalty is death; and it must be paid by either the guilty one or an acceptable substitute. To cover transgressions, the animals offered had to be unblemished and perfect. Every sacrifice on the altar was a fulfillment of the death penalty required by God’s law.

The sacrificial system taught people that the Lord is holy, transgressions must be punished, and atonement for sin takes place only through the shedding of blood. This arrangement was a foreshadowing of what was to come. Because animal sacrifices can only cover sin, an “ultimate lamb” was needed to remove all of man’s iniquity.

One day as John the Baptist stood by the Jordan River, “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” walked onto the scene of human history (John 1:29). The perfect sacrifice for sins had arrived. He was “foreknown before the foundation of the world” and came to earth to fulfill the Lord’s awesome plan of redemption by shedding His precious blood (1 Peter 1:18-20).

Jesus wasn’t just a man; He was the Son of God clothed in human flesh. His birth was supernatural because he was conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of a virgin. Since no sin was transferred to Him through an earthly father, Jesus was the perfect, spotless Lamb of God—His was the only flawless life and, therefore, the only suitable sacrifice for the guilt of all mankind.

For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.
Leviticus 17:11 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/lev.17.11.KJV

The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
John 1:29 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/jhn.1.29.KJV

Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,
1 Peter 1:18‭-‬20 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/1pe.1.18-20.KJV

THE TRIP TO ROME

It is amazing that the most powerful tool we have is our spiritual testimony. It is our defense. It is all for Christ. Amen.

PRAY Lord, this is the day that You have made and lovingly given to me. I am very thankful for it.

READ  Acts 25:1‭-‬27 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/act.25.1-27.KJV, Acts 26:1‭-‬32 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/act.26.1-32.KJV, Acts 27:1‭-‬44 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/act.27.1-44.KJV, Acts 28:1‭-‬31 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/act.28.1-31.KJV

Acts 25:1. Now when Festus was come into the province, after three days he ascended from Caesarea to Jerusalem. 2. Then the high priest and the chief of the Jews informed him against Paul, and besought him, 3. And desired favour against him, that he would send for him to Jerusalem, laying wait in the way to kill him. 4. But Festus answered, that Paul should be kept at Caesarea, and that he himself would depart shortly thither. 5. Let them therefore, said he, which among you are able, go down with me, and accuse this man, if there be any wickedness in him. 6. And when he had tarried among them more than ten days, he went down unto Caesarea; and the next day sitting on the judgment seat commanded Paul to be brought. 7. And when he was come, the Jews which came down from Jerusalem stood round about, and laid many and grievous complaints against Paul, which they could not prove. 

25:8. While he answered for himself, Neither against the law of the Jews, neither against the temple, nor yet against Caesar, have I offended any thing at all. 9. But Festus, willing to do the Jews a pleasure, answered Paul, and said, Wilt thou go up to Jerusalem, and there be judged of these things before me? 

25:10. Then said Paul, I stand at Caesar’s judgment seat, where I ought to be judged: to the Jews have I done no wrong, as thou very well knowest. 11. For if I be an offender, or have committed any thing worthy of death, I refuse not to die: but if there be none of these things whereof these accuse me, no man may deliver me unto them. I appeal unto Caesar. 12. Then Festus, when he had conferred with the council, answered, Hast thou appealed unto Caesar? unto Caesar shalt thou go. 13. And after certain days king Agrippa and Bernice came unto Caesarea to salute Festus. 14. And when they had been there many days, Festus declared Paul’s cause unto the king, saying, There is a certain man left in bonds by Felix: 15. About whom, when I was at Jerusalem, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews informed me, desiring to have judgment against him. 16. To whom I answered, It is not the manner of the Romans to deliver any man to die, before that he which is accused have the accusers face to face, and have licence to answer for himself concerning the crime laid against him. 17. Therefore, when they were come hither, without any delay on the morrow I sat on the judgment seat, and commanded the man to be brought forth. 18. Against whom when the accusers stood up, they brought none accusation of such things as I supposed: 19. But had certain questions against him of their own superstition, and of one Jesus, which was dead, whom Paul affirmed to be alive. 20. And because I doubted of such manner of questions, I asked him whether he would go to Jerusalem, and there be judged of these matters. 21. But when Paul had appealed to be reserved unto the hearing of Augustus, I commanded him to be kept till I might send him to Caesar. 22. Then Agrippa said unto Festus, I would also hear the man myself. To morrow, said he, thou shalt hear him. 23. And on the morrow, when Agrippa was come, and Bernice, with great pomp, and was entered into the place of hearing, with the chief captains, and principal men of the city, at Festus’ commandment Paul was brought forth. 24. And Festus said, King Agrippa, and all men which are here present with us, ye see this man, about whom all the multitude of the Jews have dealt with me, both at Jerusalem, and also here, crying that he ought not to live any longer. 25. But when I found that he had committed nothing worthy of death, and that he himself hath appealed to Augustus, I have determined to send him. 26. Of whom I have no certain thing to write unto my Lord. Wherefore I have brought him forth before you, and specially before thee, O king Agrippa, that, after examination had, I might have somewhat to write. 27. For it seemeth to me unreasonable to send a prisoner, and not withal to signify the crimes laid against him.

Acts 26:1.. Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Thou art permitted to speak for thyself. Then Paul stretched forth the hand, and answered for himself: 2. I think myself happy, king Agrippa, because I shall answer for myself this day before thee touching all the things whereof I am accused of the Jews: 3 Especially because I know thee to be expert in all customs and questions which are among the Jews: wherefore I beseech thee to hear me patiently. 4. My manner of life from my youth, which was at the first among mine own nation at Jerusalem, know all the Jews; 5. Which knew me from the beginning, if they would testify, that after the most straitest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee. 6. And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers: 7. Unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come. For which hope’s sake, king Agrippa, I am accused of the Jews. 8. Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead? 9. I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. 10. Which thing I also did in Jerusalem: and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I gave my voice against them. 11. And I punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange cities. 

26:12. Whereupon as I went to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests, 13. At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me. 14. And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. 15. And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest. 16.  But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; 17.  Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, 18. To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me. 

26:19. Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision: 20. But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance. 21. For these causes the Jews caught me in the temple, and went about to kill me. 22. Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come: 23. That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles. 24. And as he thus spake for himself, Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad. 25. But he said, I am not mad, most noble Festus; but speak forth the words of truth and soberness. 26. For the king knoweth of these things, before whom also I speak freely: for I am persuaded that none of these things are hidden from him; for this thing was not done in a corner. 27. King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest. 28. Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian. 29. And Paul said, I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds. 30. And when he had thus spoken, the king rose up, and the governor, and Bernice, and they that sat with them: 31. And when they were gone aside, they talked between themselves, saying, This man doeth nothing worthy of death or of bonds. 32. Then said Agrippa unto Festus, This man might have been set at liberty, if he had not appealed unto Caesar.

Acts 27:1. And when it was determined that we should sail into Italy, they delivered Paul and certain other prisoners unto one named Julius, a centurion of Augustus’ band. 2. And entering into a ship of Adramyttium, we launched, meaning to sail by the coasts of Asia; one Aristarchus, a Macedonian of Thessalonica, being with us. 3. And the next day we touched at Sidon. And Julius courteously entreated Paul, and gave him liberty to go unto his friends to refresh himself. 4. And when we had launched from thence, we sailed under Cyprus, because the winds were contrary. 5. And when we had sailed over the sea of Cilicia and Pamphylia, we came to Myra, a city of Lycia. 6. And there the centurion found a ship of Alexandria sailing into Italy; and he put us therein. 7. And when we had sailed slowly many days, and scarce were come over against Cnidus, the wind not suffering us, we sailed under Crete, over against Salmone; 8. And, hardly passing it, came unto a place which is called The fair havens; nigh whereunto was the city of Lasea. 

27:9. Now when much time was spent, and when sailing was now dangerous, because the fast was now already past, Paul admonished them, 10. And said unto them, Sirs, I perceive that this voyage will be with hurt and much damage, not only of the lading and ship, but also of our lives. 11. Nevertheless the centurion believed the master and the owner of the ship, more than those things which were spoken by Paul. 12. And because the haven was not commodious to winter in, the more part advised to depart thence also, if by any means they might attain to Phenice, and there to winter; which is an haven of Crete, and lieth toward the south west and north west. 13. And when the south wind blew softly, supposing that they had obtained their purpose, loosing thence, they sailed close by Crete. 

27:14. But not long after there arose against it a tempestuous wind, called Euroclydon. 15. And when the ship was caught, and could not bear up into the wind, we let her drive. 16. And running under a certain island which is called Clauda, we had much work to come by the boat: 17. Which when they had taken up, they used helps, undergirding the ship; and, fearing lest they should fall into the quicksands, strake sail, and so were driven. 18. And we being exceedingly tossed with a tempest, the next day they lightened the ship; 19. And the third day we cast out with our own hands the tackling of the ship. 20. And when neither sun nor stars in many days appeared, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope that we should be saved was then taken away. 

27:21. But after long abstinence Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, Sirs, ye should have hearkened unto me, and not have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm and loss. 22. And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man’s life among you, but of the ship. 23. For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, 24. Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee. 25. Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me. 26. Howbeit we must be cast upon a certain island. 27. But when the fourteenth night was come, as we were driven up and down in Adria, about midnight the shipmen deemed that they drew near to some country; 28. And sounded, and found it twenty fathoms: and when they had gone a little further, they sounded again, and found it fifteen fathoms. 29. Then fearing lest we should have fallen upon rocks, they cast four anchors out of the stern, and wished for the day. 30. And as the shipmen were about to flee out of the ship, when they had let down the boat into the sea, under colour as though they would have cast anchors out of the foreship, 31. Paul said to the centurion and to the soldiers, Except these abide in the ship, ye cannot be saved. 32. Then the soldiers cut off the ropes of the boat, and let her fall off. 33. And while the day was coming on, Paul besought them all to take meat, saying, This day is the fourteenth day that ye have tarried and continued fasting, having taken nothing. 34. Wherefore I pray you to take some meat: for this is for your health: for there shall not an hair fall from the head of any of you. 35. And when he had thus spoken, he took bread, and gave thanks to God in presence of them all: and when he had broken it, he began to eat. 36. Then were they all of good cheer, and they also took some meat. 37. And we were in all in the ship two hundred threescore and sixteen souls. 38. And when they had eaten enough, they lightened the ship, and cast out the wheat into the sea. 39. And when it was day, they knew not the land: but they discovered a certain creek with a shore, into the which they were minded, if it were possible, to thrust in the ship. 40. And when they had taken up the anchors, they committed themselves unto the sea, and loosed the rudder bands, and hoisted up the mainsail to the wind, and made toward shore. 

27:41. And falling into a place where two seas met, they ran the ship aground; and the forepart stuck fast, and remained unmoveable, but the hinder part was broken with the violence of the waves. 42. And the soldiers’ counsel was to kill the prisoners, lest any of them should swim out, and escape. 43. But the centurion, willing to save Paul, kept them from their purpose; and commanded that they which could swim should cast themselves first into the sea, and get to land: 44. And the rest, some on boards, and some on broken pieces of the ship. And so it came to pass, that they escaped all safe to land.

Acts 28:1. And when they were escaped, then they knew that the island was called Melita. 2. And the barbarous people shewed us no little kindness: for they kindled a fire, and received us every one, because of the present rain, and because of the cold. 

28:3. And when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks, and laid them on the fire, there came a viper out of the heat, and fastened on his hand. 4. And when the barbarians saw the venomous beast hang on his hand, they said among themselves, No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he hath escaped the sea, yet vengeance suffereth not to live. 5. And he shook off the beast into the fire, and felt no harm. 6. Howbeit they looked when he should have swollen, or fallen down dead suddenly: but after they had looked a great while, and saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds, and said that he was a god. 7. In the same quarters were possessions of the chief man of the island, whose name was Publius; who received us, and lodged us three days courteously. 

28:8. And it came to pass, that the father of Publius lay sick of a fever and of a bloody flux: to whom Paul entered in, and prayed, and laid his hands on him, and healed him. 9. So when this was done, others also, which had diseases in the island, came, and were healed: 10. Who also honoured us with many honours; and when we departed, they laded us with such things as were necessary. 

28:11. And after three months we departed in a ship of Alexandria, which had wintered in the isle, whose sign was Castor and Pollux. 12. And landing at Syracuse, we tarried there three days. 13. And from thence we fetched a compass, and came to Rhegium: and after one day the south wind blew, and we came the next day to Puteoli: 14. Where we found brethren, and were desired to tarry with them seven days: and so we went toward Rome. 15. And from thence, when the brethren heard of us, they came to meet us as far as Appii forum, and The three taverns: whom when Paul saw, he thanked God, and took courage. 16. And when we came to Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard: but Paul was suffered to dwell by himself with a soldier that kept him. 

28:17. And it came to pass, that after three days Paul called the chief of the Jews together: and when they were come together, he said unto them, Men and brethren, though I have committed nothing against the people, or customs of our fathers, yet was I delivered prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans. 18. Who, when they had examined me, would have let me go, because there was no cause of death in me. 19. But when the Jews spake against it, I was constrained to appeal unto Caesar; not that I had ought to accuse my nation of. 20. For this cause therefore have I called for you, to see you, and to speak with you: because that for the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain. 21. And they said unto him, We neither received letters out of Judaea concerning thee, neither any of the brethren that came shewed or spake any harm of thee. 22. But we desire to hear of thee what thou thinkest: for as concerning this sect, we know that every where it is spoken against. 23. And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening. 24. And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not. 25. And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers, 26. Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive: 27. For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. 28. Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it. 29. And when he had said these words, the Jews departed, and had great reasoning among themselves. 30. And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him, 31. Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him.

REFLECT There’s a challenge that says “If you were on trial accused of being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?” What evidence would you present?

APPLY At his trials, Paul gave a “spiritual biography” and defense  of his life.  Set aside time soon to write your own, brief “spiritual biography.”

PRAY Confirm in my heart and mind, Lord, what I believe and know about You so that it can never leave me.

Pray without ceasing. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/1th.5.17.KJV

Today’s lesson contains five chapters in Acts. We go through the many of the places Paul preached Christ to the Gentiles. It’s amazing how many Jews would find out and show up. What would you have done had you been Paul? Something to ponder. Have a blessed day.

PRAY Dear precious Lord, For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. 2 Timothy 1:12. I trust it all to You. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

READ Acts 16:1‭-‬40 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/act.16.1-40.KJV, Acts 17:1‭-‬34 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/act.17.1-34.KJV, Acts 18:1‭-‬28 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/act.18.1-28.KJV, Acts 19:1‭-‬41 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/act.19.1-41.KJV, and Acts 20:1‭-‬38 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/act.20.1-38.KJV

Acts 16:1. Then came he to Derbe and Lystra: and, behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a certain woman, which was a Jewess, and believed; but his father was a Greek: 2. Which was well reported of by the brethren that were at Lystra and Iconium. 3. Him would Paul have to go forth with him; and took and circumcised him because of the Jews which were in those quarters: for they knew all that his father was a Greek.

16:4. And as they went through the cities, they delivered them the decrees for to keep, that were ordained of the apostles and elders which were at Jerusalem. 5. And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily.

16:6. Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia, 7. After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not. 8. And they passing by Mysia came down to Troas. 9. And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us. 10. And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavoured to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them. 11. Therefore loosing from Troas, we came with a straight course to Samothracia, and the next day to Neapolis; 12. And from thence to Philippi, which is the chief city of that part of Macedonia, and a colony: and we were in that city abiding certain days. 13. And on the sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither.

16:14. And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul. 15. And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us.

16:16. And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying: 17. The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation. 18. And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.

16:19. And when her masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone, they caught Paul and Silas, and drew them into the marketplace unto the rulers, 20. And brought them to the magistrates, saying, These men, being Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city, 21. And teach customs, which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe, being Romans. 22. And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them. 23. And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely: 24. Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks.

16:25. And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. 26. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed. 27. And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled. 28. But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here. 29. Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, 30. And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? 31. And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. 32. And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. 33. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway. 34. And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house. 

16:35. And when it was day, the magistrates sent the serjeants, saying, Let those men go. 36. And the keeper of the prison told this saying to Paul, The magistrates have sent to let you go: now therefore depart, and go in peace. 37. But Paul said unto them, They have beaten us openly uncondemned, being Romans, and have cast us into prison; and now do they thrust us out privily? nay verily; but let them come themselves and fetch us out. 38. And the serjeants told these words unto the magistrates: and they feared, when they heard that they were Romans. 39. And they came and besought them, and brought them out, and desired them to depart out of the city. 40. And they went out of the prison, and entered into the house of Lydia: and when they had seen the brethren, they comforted them, and departed.

Acts 17:1. Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews: 2. And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures, 3. Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ. 4. And some of them believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few. 

17:5. But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy, took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people. 6. And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also; 7. Whom Jason hath received: and these all do contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, one Jesus. 8. And they troubled the people and the rulers of the city, when they heard these things. 9. And when they had taken security of Jason, and of the other, they let them go. 

17:10. And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. 12. Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few. 13. But when the Jews of Thessalonica had knowledge that the word of God was preached of Paul at Berea, they came thither also, and stirred up the people. 14. And then immediately the brethren sent away Paul to go as it were to the sea: but Silas and Timothy abode there still. 15. And they that conducted Paul brought him unto Athens: and receiving a commandment unto Silas and Timothy for to come to him with all speed, they departed. 

17:16. Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry. 17. Therefore disputed he in the synagogue with the Jews, and with the devout persons, and in the market daily with them that met with him. 18. Then certain philosophers of the Epicureans, and of the Stoicks, encountered him. And some said, What will this babbler say? other some, He seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods: because he preached unto them Jesus, and the resurrection. 19. And they took him, and brought him unto Areopagus, saying, May we know what this new doctrine, whereof thou speakest, is? 20. For thou bringest certain strange things to our ears: we would know therefore what these things mean. 21. (For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing.) 

17:22. Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. 23. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you. 24. God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; 25. Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; 26. And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; 27. That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: 28. For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. 29. Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device. 30. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: 31. Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead. 

17:32. And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, We will hear thee again of this matter. 33. So Paul departed from among them. 34. Howbeit certain men clave unto him, and believed: among the which was Dionysius the Areopagite, and a woman named Damaris, and others with them.

Acts 18:1. After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth; 2. And found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla; (because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome:) and came unto them. 3. And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their occupation they were tentmakers. 4. And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks. 5. And when Silas and Timothy were come from Macedonia, Paul was pressed in the spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus was Christ. 6. And when they opposed themselves, and blasphemed, he shook his raiment, and said unto them, Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean: from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles. 7. And he departed thence, and entered into a certain man’s house, named Justus, one that worshipped God, whose house joined hard to the synagogue. 8. And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house; and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized. 9. Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace: 10. For I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city. 11. And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them. 

18:12. And when Gallio was the deputy of Achaia, the Jews made insurrection with one accord against Paul, and brought him to the judgment seat, 13. Saying, This fellow persuadeth men to worship God contrary to the law. 14. And when Paul was now about to open his mouth, Gallio said unto the Jews, If it were a matter of wrong or wicked lewdness, O ye Jews, reason would that I should bear with you: 15. But if it be a question of words and names, and of your law, look ye to it; for I will be no judge of such matters. 16. And he drave them from the judgment seat. 17. Then all the Greeks took Sosthenes, the chief ruler of the synagogue, and beat him before the judgment seat. And Gallio cared for none of those things. 

18:18. And Paul after this tarried there yet a good while, and then took his leave of the brethren, and sailed thence into Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila; having shorn his head in Cenchrea: for he had a vow. 19. And he came to Ephesus, and left them there: but he himself entered into the synagogue, and reasoned with the Jews. 20. When they desired him to tarry longer time with them, he consented not; 21. But bade them farewell, saying, I must by all means keep this feast that cometh in Jerusalem: but I will return again unto you, if God will. And he sailed from Ephesus. 22. And when he had landed at Caesarea, and gone up, and saluted the church, he went down to Antioch. 23. And after he had spent some time there, he departed, and went over all the country of Galatia and Phrygia in order, strengthening all the disciples. 

18:24. And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus. 25. This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John. 26. And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly. 27. And when he was disposed to pass into Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him: who, when he was come, helped them much which had believed through grace: 28. For he mightily convinced the Jews, and that publickly, shewing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ.

Acts 19:1. And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, 2. He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. 3. And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism. 4. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. 5. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied. 7. And all the men were about twelve. 

19:8. And he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God. 9. But when divers were hardened, and believed not, but spake evil of that way before the multitude, he departed from them, and separated the disciples, disputing daily in the school of one Tyrannus. 10. And this continued by the space of two years; so that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks. 11. And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul: 12. So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them. 

19:13. Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth. 14. And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so. 15. And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? 16. And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. 17. And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified. 18. And many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds. 19. Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. 20. So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed. 21. After these things were ended, Paul purposed in the spirit, when he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem, saying, After I have been there, I must also see Rome. 22. So he sent into Macedonia two of them that ministered unto him, Timothy and Erastus; but he himself stayed in Asia for a season. 23. And the same time there arose no small stir about that way. 24. For a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, which made silver shrines for Diana, brought no small gain unto the craftsmen; 25. Whom he called together with the workmen of like occupation, and said, Sirs, ye know that by this craft we have our wealth. 26. Moreover ye see and hear, that not alone at Ephesus, but almost throughout all Asia, this Paul hath persuaded and turned away much people, saying that they be no gods, which are made with hands: 27. So that not only this our craft is in danger to be set at nought; but also that the temple of the great goddess Diana should be despised, and her magnificence should be destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worshippeth. 28. And when they heard these sayings, they were full of wrath, and cried out, saying, Great is Diana of the Ephesians. 29. And the whole city was filled with confusion: and having caught Gaius and Aristarchus, men of Macedonia, Paul’s companions in travel, they rushed with one accord into the theatre. 30. And when Paul would have entered in unto the people, the disciples suffered him not. 31. And certain of the chief of Asia, which were his friends, sent unto him, desiring him that he would not adventure himself into the theatre. 32. Some therefore cried one thing, and some another: for the assembly was confused; and the more part knew not wherefore they were come together. 33. And they drew Alexander out of the multitude, the Jews putting him forward. And Alexander beckoned with the hand, and would have made his defence unto the people. 34. But when they knew that he was a Jew, all with one voice about the space of two hours cried out, Great is Diana of the Ephesians. 35. And when the townclerk had appeased the people, he said, Ye men of Ephesus, what man is there that knoweth not how that the city of the Ephesians is a worshipper of the great goddess Diana, and of the image which fell down from Jupiter? 36. Seeing then that these things cannot be spoken against, ye ought to be quiet, and to do nothing rashly. 37. For ye have brought hither these men, which are neither robbers of churches, nor yet blasphemers of your goddess. 38. Wherefore if Demetrius, and the craftsmen which are with him, have a matter against any man, the law is open, and there are deputies: let them implead one another. 39. But if ye enquire any thing concerning other matters, it shall be determined in a lawful assembly. 40. For we are in danger to be called in question for this day’s uproar, there being no cause whereby we may give an account of this concourse. 41. And when he had thus spoken, he dismissed the assembly.

Acts 20:1. And after the uproar was ceased, Paul called unto him the disciples, and embraced them, and departed for to go into Macedonia. 2. And when he had gone over those parts, and had given them much exhortation, he came into Greece, 3. And there abode three months. And when the Jews laid wait for him, as he was about to sail into Syria, he purposed to return through Macedonia. 4. And there accompanied him into Asia Sopater of Berea; and of the Thessalonians, Aristarchus and Secundus; and Gaius of Derbe, and Timothy; and of Asia, Tychicus and Trophimus. 5. These going before tarried for us at Troas. 6. And we sailed away from Philippi after the days of unleavened bread, and came unto them to Troas in five days; where we abode seven days. 

20:7. And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight. 8. And there were many lights in the upper chamber, where they were gathered together. 9. And there sat in a window a certain young man named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep: and as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead. 10. And Paul went down, and fell on him, and embracing him said, Trouble not yourselves; for his life is in him. 11. When he therefore was come up again, and had broken bread, and eaten, and talked a long while, even till break of day, so he departed. 12. And they brought the young man alive, and were not a little comforted. 

20:13. And we went before to ship, and sailed unto Assos, there intending to take in Paul: for so had he appointed, minding himself to go afoot. 14. And when he met with us at Assos, we took him in, and came to Mitylene. 15. And we sailed thence, and came the next day over against Chios; and the next day we arrived at Samos, and tarried at Trogyllium; and the next day we came to Miletus. 16. For Paul had determined to sail by Ephesus, because he would not spend the time in Asia: for he hasted, if it were possible for him, to be at Jerusalem the day of Pentecost. 

20:17. And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church. 18. And when they were come to him, he said unto them, Ye know, from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons, 19. Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews: 20. And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house, 21. Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. 22. And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: 23. Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me. 24. But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God. 25. And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more. 26. Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. 27. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. 

20:28. Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. 29. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. 30. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. 31. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears. 32. And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified. 33. I have coveted no man’s silver, or gold, or apparel. 34. Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me. 35. I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive. 

20:36. And when he had thus spoken, he kneeled down, and prayed with them all. 37. And they all wept sore, and fell on Paul’s neck, and kissed him, 38. Sorrowing most of all for the words which he spake, that they should see his face no more. And they accompanied him unto the ship.

REFLECT The Holy Spirit led Paul and Barnabas in their journeys. Have you ever been conscious of the Spirit’s leading? In what ways does the Holy Spirit lead you?

Yes, I have been conscious of the Holy Spirit’s leading. In many ways does He make God’s will known to me.

He puts thoughts in my head that agree with Scripture to do or not do something. If I want to do something and it isn’t within God’s will, it can be sinful or not, He puts up roadblocks. Just as when Paul tried to enter Asia.

Can you think of any? Please share them in the comments. God bless you.

APPLY If someone asked you, “What must I do to be saved?,” how would you answer? Prepare just a few sentences to use as a ready reply. You must be born again. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, that He is the Son of God, He died for your sins, was raised on the third day, as the Scriptures declare.

PRAY Precious Lord Jesus, I don’t want to live any day without the consciousness that You are leading the way. Please keep me closer each day to Your will for my life. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/eph.2.10.KJV

Today’s lesson is about Christians disagreeing. Oh boy. 😂😭🙏 Have a blessed day.

PRAY  Dear Lord, Please take away all distractions and quiet my spirit so I can focus on being with You. Let me hear You, Lord, as I read Your Word. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

READ Acts 15:40‭-‬41 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/act.15.40-41.KJV

Acts 15:1. And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved. 2. When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question. 3. And being brought on their way by the church, they passed through Phoenicia and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles: and they caused great joy unto all the brethren. 4. And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them. 5. But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.

15:6. And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter. 7. And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. 8. And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; 9. And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. 10. Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? 11. But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.

15:12. Then all the multitude kept silence, and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul, declaring what miracles and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them.

15:13. And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me: 14. Simon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. 15. And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, 16. After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: 17. That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things. 18. Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world. 19. Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God: 20. But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood. 21. For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day. 22. Then pleased it the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren: 23. And they wrote letters by them after this manner; The apostles and elders and brethren send greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia: 24. Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment: 25. It seemed good unto us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men unto you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, 26. Men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27. We have sent therefore Judas and Silas, who shall also tell you the same things by mouth. 28. For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; 29. That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well. 30. So when they were dismissed, they came to Antioch: and when they had gathered the multitude together, they delivered the epistle: 31. Which when they had read, they rejoiced for the consolation. 32. And Judas and Silas, being prophets also themselves, exhorted the brethren with many words, and confirmed them. 33. And after they had tarried there a space, they were let go in peace from the brethren unto the apostles. 34. Notwithstanding it pleased Silas to abide there still. 35. Paul also and Barnabas continued in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord, with many others also.

15:36. And some days after Paul said unto Barnabas, Let us go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they do. 37. And Barnabas determined to take with them John, whose surname was Mark. 38. But Paul thought not good to take him with them, who departed from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work. 39. And the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other: and so Barnabas took Mark, and sailed unto Cyprus; 40. And Paul chose Silas, and departed, being recommended by the brethren unto the grace of God. 41. And he went through Syria and Cilicia, confirming the churches.

REFLECT  Have you experienced a disagreement with another Christian? What was the problem? How was it resolved? What did you learn from it?

APPLY  Think of a major disagreement you had or still have—in your church or family. Distill some principles from this passage and use them to try for a resolution.

PRAY  Lord, I want to be a peacemaker, not quarrelsome. Teach me how with each situation around me today. Thank You Lord. It is in Your precious name I pray, Jesus. Amen.

Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. Ephesians 4:31‭-‬32 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/eph.4.31-32.KJV

Today’s lesson is one on missionary work for our Lord Jesus Christ. Not all of us will be missionaries, but all of us can support them. Today is as good a day as any to ask your church how you may help. Have a blessed day.

PRAY My God, life is an amazing journey every day. I thank You for allowing me to take this amazing journey with You. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

READ  Acts 13:1‭-‬52 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/act.13.1-52.KJV Acts 14:1‭-‬28 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/act.14.1-28.KJV

Acts 13:1. Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. 2. As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. 3. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.

4:4. So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus. 5. And when they were at Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews: and they had also John to their minister. 6. And when they had gone through the isle unto Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name was Bar–jesus: 7. Which was with the deputy of the country, Sergius Paulus, a prudent man; who called for Barnabas and Saul, and desired to hear the word of God. 8. But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith. 9. Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him, 10. And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord? 11. And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand. 12. Then the deputy, when he saw what was done, believed, being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord. 13. Now when Paul and his company loosed from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia: and John departing from them returned to Jerusalem.

13:14. But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and sat down. 15. And after the reading of the law and the prophets the rulers of the synagogue sent unto them, saying, Ye men and brethren, if ye have any word of exhortation for the people, say on. 16. Then Paul stood up, and beckoning with his hand said, Men of Israel, and ye that fear God, give audience. 17. The God of this people of Israel chose our fathers, and exalted the people when they dwelt as strangers in the land of Egypt, and with an high arm brought he them out of it. 18. And about the time of forty years suffered he their manners in the wilderness. 19. And when he had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan, he divided their land to them by lot. 20. And after that he gave unto them judges about the space of four hundred and fifty years, until Samuel the prophet. 21. And afterward they desired a king: and God gave unto them Saul the son of Cis, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, by the space of forty years. 22. And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will. 23. Of this man’s seed hath God according to his promise raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus: 24. When John had first preached before his coming the baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel. 25. And as John fulfilled his course, he said, Whom think ye that I am? I am not he. But, behold, there cometh one after me, whose shoes of his feet I am not worthy to loose. 26. Men and brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you feareth God, to you is the word of this salvation sent. 27. For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew him not, nor yet the voices of the prophets which are read every sabbath day, they have fulfilled them in condemning him. 28. And though they found no cause of death in him, yet desired they Pilate that he should be slain. 29. And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a sepulchre. 30. But God raised him from the dead: 31. And he was seen many days of them which came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are his witnesses unto the people. 32. And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers, 33. God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. 34. And as concerning that he raised him up from the dead, now no more to return to corruption, he said on this wise, I will give you the sure mercies of David. 35. Wherefore he saith also in another psalm, Thou shalt not suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. 36. For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption: 37. But he, whom God raised again, saw no corruption. 

13:38. Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: 39. And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses. 40. Beware therefore, lest that come upon you, which is spoken of in the prophets; 41. Behold, ye despisers, and wonder, and perish: for I work a work in your days, a work which ye shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it unto you. 42. And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath. 43. Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God. 

13:44. And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God. 45. But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming. 46. Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles. 47. For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth. 48. And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. 49. And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region. 50. But the Jews stirred up the devout and honourable women, and the chief men of the city, and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them out of their coasts. 51. But they shook off the dust of their feet against them, and came unto Iconium. 52. And the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost.

Acts 14:1. And it came to pass in Iconium, that they went both together into the synagogue of the Jews, and so spake, that a great multitude both of the Jews and also of the Greeks believed. 2. But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles, and made their minds evil affected against the brethren. 3. Long time therefore abode they speaking boldly in the Lord, which gave testimony unto the word of his grace, and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands. 4. But the multitude of the city was divided: and part held with the Jews, and part with the apostles. 5. And when there was an assault made both of the Gentiles, and also of the Jews with their rulers, to use them despitefully, and to stone them, 6. They were ware of it, and fled unto Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and unto the region that lieth round about: 7. And there they preached the gospel. 

14:8. And there sat a certain man at Lystra, impotent in his feet, being a cripple from his mother’s womb, who never had walked: 9. The same heard Paul speak: who stedfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed, 10. Said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked. 11. And when the people saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in the speech of Lycaonia, The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men. 12. And they called Barnabas, Jupiter; and Paul, Mercurius, because he was the chief speaker. 13. Then the priest of Jupiter, which was before their city, brought oxen and garlands unto the gates, and would have done sacrifice with the people. 14. Which when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of, they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out, 15. And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein: 16. Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways. 17. Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness. 18. And with these sayings scarce restrained they the people, that they had not done sacrifice unto them. 

14:19. And there came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and, having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead. 20. Howbeit, as the disciples stood round about him, he rose up, and came into the city: and the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe. 21. And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch, 22. Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God. 

14:23. And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed. 24. And after they had passed throughout Pisidia, they came to Pamphylia. 

14:25. And when they had preached the word in Perga, they went down into Attalia: 26. And thence sailed to Antioch, from whence they had been recommended to the grace of God for the work which they fulfilled. 27. And when they were come, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles. 28. And there they abode long time with the disciples.

REFLECT Paul and Barnabas provoked severe opposition. Why do you think that was so? Is there still a place for missionaries in this high-tech, globalized world of ours? 

As it is today, people don’t like to have their beliefs challenged. We don’t like being told we are wrong. Many times, even as Christians, we still are confronted with our own mortality and sin that comes with it.

There is as much need in our world today as there ever was! Along with the technology of today comes the hackers, the tyrants, the “book burners,” and the “scientists.” All who work, wittingly or not, for satan. The Word of God must be preached to every corner of this world! Please do your part today. 😊

APPLY Make a list of 2–3 missionaries that you know of, perhaps from your church. Write them a letter of encouragement and pray for them.

Amen!

PRAY Dear Jesus, The missionaries often have challenging times. I pray that I could be used to encourage them. I also pray You would protect them today and always. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. John 13:14 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/jhn.13.14.KJV

The lesson for today is a testimony we each have. They are all different, but just as important. Each of us had a life changing moment when we accepted Christ Jesus as our Lord and Saviour. No turning back, Amen!

P. S. Happy St. Patrick’s Day.

PRAY  Dear Heavenly Father, Thank You for all You are. I am in awe of You. I come to bow in humility before You and bask in the wonder of You. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

READ Acts 9:1‭-‬31 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/act.9.1-31.KJV

Acts 9:1. And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, 2. And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. 3. And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: 4. And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? 5. And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. 6. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. 7. And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man. 8. And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus. 9. And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.

9:10. And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord. 11. And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth, 12. And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight. 13. Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem: 14. And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name. 15. But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: 16. For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake. 17. And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. 18. And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized. 19. And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus. 20. And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God. 21. But all that heard him were amazed, and said; Is not this he that destroyed them which called on this name in Jerusalem, and came hither for that intent, that he might bring them bound unto the chief priests? 22. But Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is very Christ.

9:23. And after that many days were fulfilled, the Jews took counsel to kill him: 24. But their laying await was known of Saul. And they watched the gates day and night to kill him. 25. Then the disciples took him by night, and let him down by the wall in a basket. 26. And when Saul was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself to the disciples: but they were all afraid of him, and believed not that he was a disciple. 27. But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus. 28. And he was with them coming in and going out at Jerusalem. 29. And he spake boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus, and disputed against the Grecians: but they went about to slay him. 30. Which when the brethren knew, they brought him down to Caesarea, and sent him forth to Tarsus. 31. Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.

REFLECT  Paul “saw the light” about Jesus. How did you “see the light” about him? What changes did it make? Do you think there is one special way everyone comes to Jesus? Why?

I have been privileged to experience a few different life changing moments. Yes, many things have changed. God cured my alcoholism. He changed the way I saw people. He gave me new attitudes. O thank You Jesus!

Now about a “special way” people come to Jesus. He came to me in a bar in Long Beach as I lay dieing. I was a drunk, and some guy stabbed me in the back with his knife. That is to say that God will meet you wherever you are. Just call out to Him today. The time is at hand. God bless you.

APPLY  Close your eyes and try to walk around your home or office blind. Imagine what Paul must have felt like until Ananias helped him regain his sight.

PRAY  Precious Lord, Please take away the scales from my eyes, that I may see Your plans for me and do them. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

Take some time today, during St. Patrick’s Day celebration, to remember our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Thank you, and have a blessed day. https://bible.com/bible/1/mrk.16.15.KJV

As I read the questions for today’s lesson, I realized something. God is more “woke” than any of these so-called players! 😂 Don’t allow anyone to shake you. Stand firm on the Word of God, and allow God to search your heart and to make you more and more like His Son, Jesus Christ. Amen. Have a blessed day.

PRAY  Precious Jesus, I am grateful that You want all people to have a relationship with You. Thank You for loving us all.

READ  Acts 10:1‭-‬48 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/act.10.1-48.KJV Acts 11:1‭-‬18 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/act.11.1-18.KJV.

Acts 10:1. There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band, 2. A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway. 3. He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius. 4. And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God. 5. And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter: 6. He lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the sea side: he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do. 7. And when the angel which spake unto Cornelius was departed, he called two of his household servants, and a devout soldier of them that waited on him continually; 8. And when he had declared all these things unto them, he sent them to Joppa.

10:9. On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour: 10. And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance, 11. And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth: 12. Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. 13. And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat. 14. But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean. 15. And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common. 16. This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven. 17. Now while Peter doubted in himself what this vision which he had seen should mean, behold, the men which were sent from Cornelius had made enquiry for Simon’s house, and stood before the gate, 18. And called, and asked whether Simon, which was surnamed Peter, were lodged there.

10:19. While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee. 20. Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them. 21. Then Peter went down to the men which were sent unto him from Cornelius; and said, Behold, I am he whom ye seek: what is the cause wherefore ye are come? 22. And they said, Cornelius the centurion, a just man, and one that feareth God, and of good report among all the nation of the Jews, was warned from God by an holy angel to send for thee into his house, and to hear words of thee.

10:23 Then called he them in, and lodged them. And on the morrow Peter went away with them, and certain brethren from Joppa accompanied him. 24. And the morrow after they entered into Caesarea. And Cornelius waited for them, and had called together his kinsmen and near friends. 25. And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him. 26. But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man. 27. And as he talked with him, he went in, and found many that were come together. 28. And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean. 29. Therefore came I unto you without gainsaying, as soon as I was sent for: I ask therefore for what intent ye have sent for me? 30. And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing, 31. And said, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God. 32. Send therefore to Joppa, and call hither Simon, whose surname is Peter; he is lodged in the house of one Simon a tanner by the sea side: who, when he cometh, shall speak unto thee. 33. Immediately therefore I sent to thee; and thou hast well done that thou art come. Now therefore are we all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God.

10:34. Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: 35. But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him. 36. The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:) 37. That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached; 38. How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. 39. And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree: 40. Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly; 41. Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead. 42. And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead. 43. To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.

10:44. While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. 45. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. 46. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, 47. Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?

10:48. And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.

Acts 11:1. And the apostles and brethren that were in Judaea heard that the Gentiles had also received the word of God. 2. And when Peter was come up to Jerusalem, they that were of the circumcision contended with him, 3. Saying, Thou wentest in to men uncircumcised, and didst eat with them. 4. But Peter rehearsed the matter from the beginning, and expounded it by order unto them, saying, 5. I was in the city of Joppa praying: and in a trance I saw a vision, A certain vessel descend, as it had been a great sheet, let down from heaven by four corners; and it came even to me: 6. Upon the which when I had fastened mine eyes, I considered, and saw fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. 7. And I heard a voice saying unto me, Arise, Peter; slay and eat. 8. But I said, Not so, Lord: for nothing common or unclean hath at any time entered into my mouth. 9. But the voice answered me again from heaven, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common. 10. And this was done three times: and all were drawn up again into heaven. 11. And, behold, immediately there were three men already come unto the house where I was, sent from Caesarea unto me. 12. And the Spirit bade me go with them, nothing doubting. Moreover these six brethren accompanied me, and we entered into the man’s house: 13. And he shewed us how he had seen an angel in his house, which stood and said unto him, Send men to Joppa, and call for Simon, whose surname is Peter; 14. Who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved. 15. And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning. 16. Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost. 17. Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God? 18. When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.

REFLECT   Peter had to overcome prejudice in order to welcome Cornelius. Are there  prejudices (perhaps unintentional) that exclude people from your church fellowship? 

No. The only thing I could perhaps consider would be a language barrier. Then we have a Spanish Ministry as well as a Japanese Bible Study. I sure do wish I could speak Chinese, so I could go into Chinatown and invite them to Church.

APPLY   The next time you go to church, either bring someone from a different background or make an effort to welcome someone you don’t know.

PRAY   Dear Lord God, Please show me if you any unconscious prejudices I may have and, if so, Lord please help me to overcome them right here and right now! In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. James 1:12 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/jas.1.12.KJV

SHARING THE WORD

Today’s lesson we learn of God’s love for an Ethiopian eunuch. He sends Philip to share the Gospel with him. I love when God allows me to help in the Kingdom building process. You should absolutely try it. Have a blessed day.      

PRAY I want to thank You, God, for the people in my life who have helped me to learn and grow in my spiritual journey to become more and more like Christ Jesus. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

READ Acts 8:26‭-‬40 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/act.8.26-40.KJV

Acts 8:26. And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert. 27. And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship, 28. Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet. 29. Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. 30. And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? 31. And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. 32. The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth: 33. In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth. 34. And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?

8:35. Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. 36. And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? 37. And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. 38. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. 39. And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing. 40. But Philip was found at Azotus: and passing through he preached in all the cities, till he came to Caesarea.

REFLECT Phillip felt a “nudge” from God to help the Ethiopian. Have you ever felt a “nudge” from God? How would you recognize it? What did you do about it?

Yes, I have felt that nudge from God. Sometimes I recognize it as I walk away from an opportunity. Other times I recognize it before, and the opportunity arises. Yesterday I was fortnite enough that the lady whom I had walked away from was still in the parking lot when I was done shopping, so I gave her a tract and introduced myself and invited her to Church.

APPLY Prepare yourself to help someone spiritually by gathering 3–4 key Bible verses about faith in Jesus. Think through how you would best use each one in the conversation.

PRAY Dear sweet Lord, I want to be alert to Your “nudge” and ready to help someone who wants to know more about You. Here am I, Lord. Send me. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

Righteousness keepeth him that is upright in the way: but wickedness overthroweth the sinner. Proverbs 13:6 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/pro.13.6.KJV

THE FIRST MARTYR

Today’s lesson is a hard one for me. I wanted him to live, I wanted the people to listen, I wanted things my way. That isn’t the way life is. Ever. So if we know this, and we do, what shall we do? Should we choose the “easy” way and die, or should we choose the way God has for us and live? (Eternity) Have a blessed day.        

PRAY  Dear precious Lord, I want to grow in faith and grow more faithful to You. Help me as I read Your Word now and forever. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

READ Acts 6:8-15 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/act.6.8-15.KJV
Acts 7:1-60 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/act.7.1-60.KJV Acts 8:1-‬8 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/act.8.1-8.KJV

Acts 6:8. And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people.

6:9. Then there arose certain of the synagogue, which is called the synagogue of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and of Asia, disputing with Stephen. 10. And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake. 11. Then they suborned men, which said, We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses, and against God. 12. And they stirred up the people, and the elders, and the scribes, and came upon him, and caught him, and brought him to the council, 13. And set up false witnesses, which said, This man ceaseth not to speak blasphemous words against this holy place, and the law: 14. For we have heard him say, that this Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this place, and shall change the customs which Moses delivered us. 15. And all that sat in the council, looking stedfastly on him, saw his face as it had been the face of an angel.

Acts 7:1. Then said the high priest, Are these things so? 2. And he said, Men, brethren, and fathers, hearken; The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran, 3. And said unto him, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and come into the land which I shall shew thee. 4. Then came he out of the land of the Chaldeans, and dwelt in Charran: and from thence, when his father was dead, he removed him into this land, wherein ye now dwell. 5. And he gave him none inheritance in it, no, not so much as to set his foot on: yet he promised that he would give it to him for a possession, and to his seed after him, when as yet he had no child. 6. And God spake on this wise, That his seed should sojourn in a strange land; and that they should bring them into bondage, and entreat them evil four hundred years. 7. And the nation to whom they shall be in bondage will I judge, said God: and after that shall they come forth, and serve me in this place. 8. And he gave him the covenant of circumcision: and so Abraham begat Isaac, and circumcised him the eighth day; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat the twelve patriarchs. 9. And the patriarchs, moved with envy, sold Joseph into Egypt: but God was with him, 10. And delivered him out of all his afflictions, and gave him favour and wisdom in the sight of Pharaoh king of Egypt; and he made him governor over Egypt and all his house. 11. Now there came a dearth over all the land of Egypt and Canaan, and great affliction: and our fathers found no sustenance. 12. But when Jacob heard that there was corn in Egypt, he sent out our fathers first. 13. And at the second time Joseph was made known to his brethren; and Joseph’s kindred was made known unto Pharaoh. 14. Then sent Joseph, and called his father Jacob to him, and all his kindred, threescore and fifteen souls. 15. So Jacob went down into Egypt, and died, he, and our fathers, 16. And were carried over into Sychem, and laid in the sepulchre that Abraham bought for a sum of money of the sons of Emmor the father of Sychem. 17. But when the time of the promise drew nigh, which God had sworn to Abraham, the people grew and multiplied in Egypt, 18. Till another king arose, which knew not Joseph. 19. The same dealt subtilly with our kindred, and evil entreated our fathers, so that they cast out their young children, to the end they might not live. 20. In which time Moses was born, and was exceeding fair, and nourished up in his father’s house three months: 21. And when he was cast out, Pharaoh’s daughter took him up, and nourished him for her own son. 22. And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds. 23. And when he was full forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren the children of Israel. 24. And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended him, and avenged him that was oppressed, and smote the Egyptian: 25. For he supposed his brethren would have understood how that God by his hand would deliver them: but they understood not. 26. And the next day he shewed himself unto them as they strove, and would have set them at one again, saying, Sirs, ye are brethren; why do ye wrong one to another? 27. But he that did his neighbour wrong thrust him away, saying, Who made thee a ruler and a judge over us? 28. Wilt thou kill me, as thou diddest the Egyptian yesterday? 29. Then fled Moses at this saying, and was a stranger in the land of Madian, where he begat two sons. 30. And when forty years were expired, there appeared to him in the wilderness of mount Sinai an angel of the Lord in a flame of fire in a bush. 31. When Moses saw it, he wondered at the sight: and as he drew near to behold it, the voice of the Lord came unto him, 32. Saying, I am the God of thy fathers, the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. Then Moses trembled, and durst not behold. 33. Then said the Lord to him, Put off thy shoes from thy feet: for the place where thou standest is holy ground. 34. I have seen, I have seen the affliction of my people which is in Egypt, and I have heard their groaning, and am come down to deliver them. And now come, I will send thee into Egypt. 35. This Moses whom they refused, saying, Who made thee a ruler and a judge? the same did God send to be a ruler and a deliverer by the hand of the angel which appeared to him in the bush.

7:36. He brought them out, after that he had shewed wonders and signs in the land of Egypt, and in the Red sea, and in the wilderness forty years. 37. This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear. 38. This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sinai, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us: 39. To whom our fathers would not obey, but thrust him from them, and in their hearts turned back again into Egypt, 40. Saying unto Aaron, Make us gods to go before us: for as for this Moses, which brought us out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him. 41. And they made a calf in those days, and offered sacrifice unto the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their own hands. 42. Then God turned, and gave them up to worship the host of heaven; as it is written in the book of the prophets, O ye house of Israel, have ye offered to me slain beasts and sacrifices by the space of forty years in the wilderness? 43. Yea, ye took up the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your god Remphan, figures which ye made to worship them: and I will carry you away beyond Babylon. 44. Our fathers had the tabernacle of witness in the wilderness, as he had appointed, speaking unto Moses, that he should make it according to the fashion that he had seen. 45. Which also our fathers that came after brought in with Jesus into the possession of the Gentiles, whom God drave out before the face of our fathers, unto the days of David; 46. Who found favour before God, and desired to find a tabernacle for the God of Jacob. 47. But Solomon built him an house. 48. Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet, 49. Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me? saith the Lord: or what is the place of my rest? 50. Hath not my hand made all these things?

7:51. Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye. 52. Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers: 53. Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it. 54. When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth. 55. But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, 56. And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God. 57. Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, 58. And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man’s feet, whose name was Saul. 59. And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. 60. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

Acts 8:1. And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles. 2. And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him. 3. As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison.

8:4. Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.

8:5. Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them. 6. And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. 7. For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed. 8. And there was great joy in that city.

REFLECT Why do you think people get angry, even hateful, when Christians speak out about their faith? Has that ever happened to you?

People get angry because if they are honest, they will have to change the way they are living. They know instinctively that there is something missing in their lives. The sad reality is they don’t want Christians to help them. We must remember, this is a spiritual battle as well.

Of course people have become very angry with me. I remember one time I was just reading my Bible and minding my own business when a friend of mine went off on a tirade against me! It wasn’t like him at all. It was the Accuser speaking through him. I stood up for God and went back to reading my Bible.

APPLY  What would be a clear but non-confrontational way that you could share your faith with a neighbor, friend or co-worker in the next few days or weeks?

You can politely ask if may ask a question. If the door is opened, ask if the believe in God. In Jesus. In Heaven and he’ll. Let them ask you some questions.

I recommend you prepare yourself for many questions people usually have. Don’t be afraid to let someone know you don’t have all the answers.

PRAY  Dear Heavenly Father, Please lead me to someone today who is need of hearing Your Word. Let Your Holy Spirit work through me to win souls to Your Kingdom. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem. Isaiah 66:13 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/isa.66.13.KJV

Today we start to learn about making life and death choices for being a Christian. Some of the good works we do are looked upon with suspicion. People who lack understanding assume we have a hidden agenda. Others just hate us. Either way, obey God’s Word. Have a blessed day.

PRAY Dear sweet Lord, People might look and think I have not much, but I am grateful for every blessing You have bestowed upon me including Your Word in my life. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

READ  Acts 3:1‭-‬26 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/act.3.1-26.KJV, Acts 4:1‭-‬37 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/act.4.1-37.KJV

Acts 3:1. Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour. 2. And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple; 3. Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms. 4. And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. 5. And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them. 6. Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. 7. And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. 8. And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God. 9. And all the people saw him walking and praising God: 10. And they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him. 11. And as the lame man which was healed held Peter and John, all the people ran together unto them in the porch that is called Solomon’s, greatly wondering.

3:12. And when Peter saw it, he answered unto the people, Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk? 13. The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go. 14. But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you; 15. And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses. 16. And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all. 17. And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers. 18. But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled.

3:19. Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; 20. And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: 21. Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began. 22. For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. 23. And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people. 24. Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days. 25. Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed. 26. Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.

Acts 4:1. And as they spake unto the people, the priests, and the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees, came upon them, 2. Being grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead. 3. And they laid hands on them, and put them in hold unto the next day: for it was now eventide. 4. Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men was about five thousand.

4:5. And it came to pass on the morrow, that their rulers, and elders, and scribes, 6. And Annas the high priest, and Caiaphas, and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem. 7. And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, By what power, or by what name, have ye done this? 8. Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, 9. If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole; 10. Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. 11. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. 12. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

4:13. Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. 14. And beholding the man which was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it. 15. But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves, 16. Saying, What shall we do to these men? for that indeed a notable miracle hath been done by them is manifest to all them that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannot deny it. 17. But that it spread no further among the people, let us straitly threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name. 18. And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. 19. But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. 20. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard. 21. So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people: for all men glorified God for that which was done.

4:22. For the man was above forty years old, on whom this miracle of healing was shewed. 23. And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them. 24. And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is: 25. Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? 26. The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. 27. For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, 28. For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done. 29. And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, 30. By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus.

4:31. And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness. 32. And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. 33. And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all. 34. Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, 35. And laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need. 36. And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus, 37. Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.

REFLECT  Have you ever had a conflict with authority over a matter of faith? What was the result? What principles guide the way you act in such a challenging situation?

I’m sure I have, I just can’t recall it at this moment. The result is the pastor showing me my error, lol. Oh, wait. I misunderstood.

Yes, in a college religion course at that was I told that there were many ways to get to Heaven without faith in Jesus Christ. Not being as well versed, I dropped the class. I did not want to argue the fact Jesus alone is the Way. (John 14:6.)

I follow this principal: Acts 4:19. Obey authority (the law) unless it calls upon you to disobey God. Stand on God’s righteousness.

APPLY Identify some people or groups who are being persecuted for their faith (use news sources if you need to) and then pray for God to give them courage and help.

We have missionaries who are in very dangerous parts of the world. We do Pray for them, as well as the other missionaries. They are an inspiration to me.

PRAY Dear precious Pray, Please make me aware when it’s necessary to take a public stand for my faith in You, and please grant me the courage to do it. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord , my strength, and my redeemer. Psalms 19:14 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/psa.19.14.KJV

Today’s lesson should be read by every Christian. We all need to invite our friends and family members to Church. This is the least we could do in the way of Soul Winning. Just invite them. The Holy Spirit is already working on the other person’s heart. God bless you!        

PRAY Thank You, God, that You sent Your Holy Spirit into the world to teach and lead us in Your ways. May we always have our eyes and ears tuned into You that we may be those that can see and hear. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

READ Acts 2:1‭-‬47 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/act.2.1-47.KJV

Acts 2:1. And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 4. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. 5. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. 6. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. 7. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? 8. And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? 9. Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, 10. Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, 11. Cretans and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. 12. And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this? 13. Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.

2:14. But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: 15. For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. 16. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; 17. And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: 18. And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: 19. And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: 20. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: 21. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. 22. Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: 23. Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: 24. Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it. 25. For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved: 26. Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope: 27. Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. 28. Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance. 29. Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. 30. Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; 31. He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. 32. This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. 33. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. 34. For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, 35. Until I make thy foes thy footstool. 36. Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.

2:37. Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? 38. Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 39. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. 40. And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.

2:41. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. 42. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43. And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. 44. And all that believed were together, and had all things common; 45. And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. 46. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, 47. Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

REFLECT How did people react to the coming of the Holy Spirit on that Pentecost Day? What do people you know think about the Holy Spirit today? What do you think?

Some willingly accepted the Truth, some rejected it. Those who believe in Jesus Christ as God also believe in the Holy Spirit. As do I believe in the Godhead: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Amen!

APPLY  If you, like Peter, could speak to a large crowd about the Holy Spirit, what would you say? Take a moment today to outline your key points.

I would let them know that God’s love is real, God’s judgments are righteous, Jesus Christ died for our sins, our Salvation is at hand. If you would believe in Jesus, by your faith you shall be born again and set free from sin. Hallelujah!

PRAY   Lord, help me to understand more and more about the Holy Spirit and what the Spirit means to my life.

I will say of the Lord , He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Psalms 91:2 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/psa.91.2.KJV

THE ASCENSION

O glorious day! Come, dear Jesus, come. I know You are at the right hand of our Father. Please make haste and return soon! Everyone stay ready, and have a blessed day.

PRAY  Dear precious Lord, You continue to amaze me with the wonders of Your power and Your goodness!  Thank You. Please draw me closer to You with each step I take. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

READ  Acts 1:1‭-‬11 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/act.1.1-11.KJV

Acts 1:1. The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, 2. Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: 3. To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God: 4. And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. 5. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. 6. When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? 7. And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. 8. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

1:9. And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. 10. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; 11. Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.

REFLECT  What “convincing proofs” could you offer someone that Jesus is alive today? Do you believe Jesus will return to earth some day?  Why does it matter?

Death is the penalty for sin. Jesus was sinless. Ergo, no death could hold Him. Yes I do believe Jesus will be coming back, and I’m not too sure it will be much longer!

It matters because it is the hope of the believers! It is why I continue to live in this corrupt world with great hope and assurance that my struggle and work is not in vain. When the resurrection of us all happens, we will be with Him! O glorious day!

APPLY  Look up into the sky and imagine that you were there that day that Jesus ascended into heaven. Imagine what it must have been like to witness that event!

PRAY  Thank You, God, that Jesus is alive in heaven. Thank You also for the promise that Jesus will return for His people. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. Colossians 3:23‭-‬24 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/col.3.23-24.KJV

THE RESURRECTION

He is risen! Glory hallelujah, He is risen! Have a blessed day.   

PRAY Dear Heavenly Father, As I come to You this morning, please teach me to listen in the stillness with Your Word. Give me understanding and wisdom. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

READ John 20:1-31 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/jhn.20.1-31.KJV and John 21:1-25 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/jhn.21.1-25.KJV

John 20:1. The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre. 2. Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him. 3. Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre. 4. So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre. 5. And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in. 6. Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie, 7. And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself. 8. Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed. 9. For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead. 10. Then the disciples went away again unto their own home.

20:11. But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre, 12. And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. 13. And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him. 14. And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. 15. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. 16. Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master. 17. Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. 18. Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her.

20:19. Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. 20. And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. 21. Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. 22. And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: 23.  Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.

20:24. But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. 25. The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. 26. And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. 27. Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. 28. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. 29. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. 30. And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: 31. But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

John 21:1. After these things Jesus shewed himself again to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias; and on this wise shewed he himself. 2. There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of his disciples. 3. Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing. 4. But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus. 5. Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No. 6. And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes. 7. Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, It is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher’s coat unto him, (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea. 8. And the other disciples came in a little ship; (for they were not far from land, but as it were two hundred cubits,) dragging the net with fishes. 9. As soon then as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread. 10. Jesus saith unto them, Bring of the fish which ye have now caught. 11. Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full of great fishes, an hundred and fifty and three: and for all there were so many, yet was not the net broken. 12. Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine. And none of the disciples durst ask him, Who art thou? knowing that it was the Lord. 13. Jesus then cometh, and taketh bread, and giveth them, and fish likewise.

21:14. This is now the third time that Jesus shewed himself to his disciples, after that he was risen from the dead. 15. So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. 16. He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. 17. He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

21:18. Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not. 19. This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me. 20. Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee? 21. Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do? 22. Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me. 23. Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? 24. This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true. 25. And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.

REFLECT Many people say the resurrection is just a “myth” or the result of wishful thinking. What do you think? Why is it important that it’s true?

I believe it to be a fact. As it is written in 1 Peter 1:3: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

It is important that it is true for one reason and one reason alone. 1 Corinthians 15:14: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.

In other words, Jesus would not be the Christ. He would be just as the rest of us, born of sin to die in sin with no hope.

Sadly, many people are in the world today not knowing or understanding the consequences of not having a relationship with Jesus Christ our Lord. Make sure to do your part to invite a friend, relative, or a stranger to your Church today. Find out if they’re sure of where they are going after their last day here. If you would like some tools, let know in the comments. I may add the Romans Road as a quide. Have a blessed day.

APPLY When you are outside today, look for evidence of new life. How do you see examples of resurrection all around you? How do these examples remind you of Jesus? 

PRAY Dear precious Lord, it’s amazing and hard to comprehend it all, but help me to take in the wonder of Your glorious resurrection! In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Aman.

Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. John 15:2 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/jhn.15.2.KJV

THE CRUCIFIXION

Our precious Lord God loves us so much that He was willing to die in our place to save us from our own sins. What an amazing God we serve! Have a blessed day. 

PRAY As you pray, ask God to enable you to fully enter into this familiar but horrific account of Jesus’ death.

READ John 19:1‭-‬42 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/jhn.19.1-42.KJV

John 19:1. Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him. 2. And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple robe, 3. And said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they smote him with their hands. 4. Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith unto them, Behold, I bring him forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in him. 5. Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man! 6. When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucify him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Take ye him, and crucify him: for I find no fault in him. 7. The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God. 8. When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he was the more afraid; 9. And went again into the judgment hall, and saith unto Jesus, Whence art thou? But Jesus gave him no answer. 10. Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee? 11. Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin. 12. And from thenceforth Pilate sought to release him: but the Jews cried out, saying, If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar’s friend: whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar. 

19:13. When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called the Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha. 14. And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King! 15. But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar. 16. Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away. 17. And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha: 18. Where they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst. 19. And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS. 20. This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin. 21. Then said the chief priests of the Jews to Pilate, Write not, The King of the Jews; but that he said, I am King of the Jews. 22. Pilate answered, What I have written I have written. 

19:23. Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also his coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout. 24. They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be: that the scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots. These things therefore the soldiers did. 25. Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. 26. When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! 27. Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home. 28. After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst. 29. Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a sponge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth. 

19:30. When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. 31. The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. 32. Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him. 33. But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs: 34. But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water. 35. And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe. 36. For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken. 37. And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced. 38. And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus. 39. And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight. 40. Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury. 41. Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid. 42. There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews’ preparation day; for the sepulchre was nigh at hand.

REFLECT In light of what Jesus did on the Cross, why do you think so many people still ignore him? Why should anyone care that Jesus died?

They still ignore Jesus today for the same reason He had to come into the world; sin. Jesus died and was raised again to be sacrificial Lamb of God.

Everyone should care that Jesus died for their sins, because He loves them. Everything He did, He did for the lost, the hopeless, the down trodden, the sick, the rejected, and more. He came to save us all by washing away our sins through His cleansing blood.

He will be coming back. There will be a Judgment Day. Every knee shall bow, every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord! Hallelujah! Come, Lord Jesus, come.

APPLY Spend a few minutes today meditating on what Jesus did for us that day. Thank Him for what He did and continues to do.

PRAY Dear precious Lord Jesus, I can’t begin to imagine what You went through on the Cross. How much You must love me! I thank You and love You.

But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. John 14:26 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/jhn.14.26.KJV

They finally “caught” Jesus! He was so hard to find. He taught in those synagogues, He ate with Pharisees and sinners, He cured thousands of people; but they were afraid to arrest Him. The people loved Him and believed in Him. They had good reason to fear. So what changed?

It was Passover. They condemned Him while the people were at home observing the symbol of that fateful night long ago when God promised His people redemption by the blood of the Lamb. Have a blessed night.       

PRAY Dear Heavenly Father, When I face pressures and “trials” for my faith, help me to be strong, remembering Your teachings, and to faithful to You. Help me to do all I can and then, to stand. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

READ  John 18:1‭-‬40 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/jhn.18.1-40.KJV

John 18:1. When Jesus had spoken these words, he went forth with his disciples over the brook Cedron, where was a garden, into the which he entered, and his disciples. 2. And Judas also, which betrayed him, knew the place: for Jesus ofttimes resorted thither with his disciples. 3. Judas then, having received a band of men and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, cometh thither with lanterns and torches and weapons. 4. Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye? 5. They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am he. And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them. 6. As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground. 7. Then asked he them again, Whom seek ye? And they said, Jesus of Nazareth. 8. Jesus answered, I have told you that I am he: if therefore ye seek me, let these go their way: 9. That the saying might be fulfilled, which he spake, Of them which thou gavest me have I lost none. 10. Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus. 11. Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it? 12. Then the band and the captain and officers of the Jews took Jesus, and bound him, 13. And led him away to Annas first; for he was father in law to Caiaphas, which was the high priest that same year. 14. Now Caiaphas was he, which gave counsel to the Jews, that it was expedient that one man should die for the people.

18:15. And Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple: that disciple was known unto the high priest, and went in with Jesus into the palace of the high priest. 16. But Peter stood at the door without. Then went out that other disciple, which was known unto the high priest, and spake unto her that kept the door, and brought in Peter. 17. Then saith the damsel that kept the door unto Peter, Art not thou also one of this man’s disciples? He saith, I am not. 18. And the servants and officers stood there, who had made a fire of coals; for it was cold: and they warmed themselves: and Peter stood with them, and warmed himself. 

18:19. The high priest then asked Jesus of his disciples, and of his doctrine. 20. Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing. 21. Why askest thou me? ask them which heard me, what I have said unto them: behold, they know what I said. 22. And when he had thus spoken, one of the officers which stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying, Answerest thou the high priest so? 23. Jesus answered him, If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil: but if well, why smitest thou me? 24. Now Annas had sent him bound unto Caiaphas the high priest.  And Simon Peter stood and warmed himself.

18:25. They said therefore unto him, Art not thou also one of his disciples? He denied it, and said, I am not. 26. One of the servants of the high priest, being his kinsman whose ear Peter cut off, saith, Did not I see thee in the garden with him? 27. Peter then denied again: and immediately the cock crew. 

18:28. Then led they Jesus from Caiaphas unto the hall of judgment: and it was early; and they themselves went not into the judgment hall, lest they should be defiled; but that they might eat the passover. 29. Pilate then went out unto them, and said, What accusation bring ye against this man? 30. They answered and said unto him, If he were not a malefactor, we would not have delivered him up unto thee. 31. Then said Pilate unto them, Take ye him, and judge him according to your law. The Jews therefore said unto him, It is not lawful for us to put any man to death: 32. That the saying of Jesus might be fulfilled, which he spake, signifying what death he should die. 33. Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews? 34. Jesus answered him, Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me? 35. Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me: what hast thou done? 36. Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence. 37. Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice. 38. Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all. 39. But ye have a custom, that I should release unto you one at the passover: will ye therefore that I release unto you the King of the Jews? 40. Then cried they all again, saying, Not this man, but Barabbas. Now Barabbas was a robber.

REFLECT   What do you think Peter was thinking that night? Have you ever been in a situation like that? Have you faced pressures to “deny” Jesus? What does it mean to deny him today? 

Peter may have thought he was trying to help Jesus without being captured himself. It would be hard to do so if he were captured as well.

Yes, I’ve been in some pretty sticky situations, but none where I would lose my life if I didn’t deny that Jesus’Christ is my Lord and Saviour.

If I were to deny Jesus today, He would deny me in the Judgment. Period.

APPLY   Imagine you were in this story. What pressures would you feel?  Would you defend Jesus? How? What you would say to the religious leaders and to Pilate?

Being a woman, I would have been with His Mother. If I were a man, I don’t really know. I will not second guess Peter whom Jesus redeemed. It had to be the way it was. It was prophesied.

I think I will consider more what I will answer to God rather than about something already past.

PRAY  Thank God that, unlike Pilate, you know what truth is and that you know where to find it

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. Psalms 119:105 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/psa.119.105.KJV

Today’s lesson is chock full of strong emotions and deep meaning which even until today, from which we can learn. Let us keep watch. It is so good to be forgiven. Have a blessed day.            

PRAY Dear precious Lord, No matter what I read from Your Word today, I pray that I will attend to it well. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

READ Luke 22:1‭-‬46 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/luk.22.1-46.KJV

Luke 22:1. Now the feast of unleavened bread drew nigh, which is called the Passover. 2. And the chief priests and scribes sought how they might kill him; for they feared the people.

22:3. Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve. 4. And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray him unto them. 5. And they were glad, and covenanted to give him money. 6. And he promised, and sought opportunity to betray him unto them in the absence of the multitude.

22:7. Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the passover must be killed. 8. And he sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare us the passover, that we may eat. 9. And they said unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare? 10. And he said unto them, Behold, when ye are entered into the city, there shall a man meet you, bearing a pitcher of water; follow him into the house where he entereth in. 11. And ye shall say unto the goodman of the house, The Master saith unto thee, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples? 12. And he shall shew you a large upper room furnished: there make ready. 13. And they went, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover.

22:14. And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him. 15. And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer: 16. For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God. 17. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves: 18. For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come.

22:19. And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. 20. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.

22:21. But, behold, the hand of him that betrayeth me is with me on the table. 22. And truly the Son of man goeth, as it was determined: but woe unto that man by whom he is betrayed! 23. And they began to enquire among themselves, which of them it was that should do this thing.

22:24. And there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest. 25. And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise Lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. 26. But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve. 27. For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth. 28. Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations. 29. And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; 30. That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

22:31. And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: 32. But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. 33. And he said unto him, Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death. 34. And he said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me. 35. And he said unto them, When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any thing? And they said, Nothing. 36. Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one. 37. For I say unto you, that this that is written must yet be accomplished in me, And he was reckoned among the transgressors: for the things concerning me have an end. 38. And they said, Lord, behold, here are two swords. And he said unto them, It is enough. 

22:39. And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him. 40. And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation. 41. And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, 42. Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. 43. And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. 44. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. 45. And when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow, 46. And said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.

REFLECT  What does this passage say to you about Jesus? What does it say to you about Peter and the other disciples? About you?

This passage reminds me that Jesus’, while being God, at the same time is also human. He felt everything we will ever feel. The disciples are not fully aware of who He is, just as we certainly do not comprehend it all.

I’m quite sure that if we did, we would drastically change our thinking and actions. He is coming back soon. Are we preparing the way? Or are we just living our lives and sacrificing those who would repent if they could only hear the Word and Truth about the Gospel of Jesus Christ through a trac. Something to think about.

APPLY The next time you prepare to take communion, say aloud, perhaps as a whisper, the words Jesus spoke over the bread and wine.

PRAY Thank You God for the Last Supper and for every “last supper” celebrated since that night. You are a Promise Keeper, and I love you.

And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/1pe.4.8.KJV

Today’s lesson is deep, if we apply it to ourselves. I thank God for Jesus! Have a blessed day.          

PRAY Lord God, You alone are the creator and the true source of all life. I honor and thank You. 

READ  John 11:1‭-‬57 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/jhn.11.1-57.KJV John

11:1. Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. 2. (It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.) 3. Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick. 4. When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby. 5. Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus. 6. When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was. 7. Then after that saith he to his disciples, Let us go into Judaea again. 8. His disciples say unto him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone thee; and goest thou thither again? 9. Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world. 10. But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him. 11. These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep. 12. Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well. 13. Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep. 14. Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead. 15. And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him. 16. Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellowdisciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him. 17. Then when Jesus came, he found that he had lain in the grave four days already. 18. Now Bethany was nigh unto Jerusalem, about fifteen furlongs off: 19. And many of the Jews came to Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother. 20. Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary sat still in the house. 21. Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. 22. But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee. 23. Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. 24. Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. 25. Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: 26. And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? 27. She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world. 28. And when she had so said, she went her way, and called Mary her sister secretly, saying, The Master is come, and calleth for thee. 29. As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly, and came unto him. 30. Now Jesus was not yet come into the town, but was in that place where Martha met him. 31. The Jews then which were with her in the house, and comforted her, when they saw Mary, that she rose up hastily and went out, followed her, saying, She goeth unto the grave to weep there. 32. Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. 33. When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled, 34. And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see. 35. Jesus wept. 36. Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him! 37. And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died? 38. Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it. 39. Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days. 40. Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God? 41. Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. 42. And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me. 43. And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. 44. And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go. 45. Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him. 

11:46. But some of them went their ways to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done. 47. Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles. 48. If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation. 49. And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all, 50. Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. 51. And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation; 52. And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad. 53. Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death. 54. Jesus therefore walked no more openly among the Jews; but went thence unto a country near to the wilderness, into a city called Ephraim, and there continued with his disciples. 

11:55. And the Jews’ passover was nigh at hand: and many went out of the country up to Jerusalem before the passover, to purify themselves. 56. Then sought they for Jesus, and spake among themselves, as they stood in the temple, What think ye, that he will not come to the feast? 57. Now both the chief priests and the Pharisees had given a commandment, that, if any man knew where he were, he should shew it, that they might take him.

REFLECT What does it mean to you to know that Jesus has power even over death? How does that knowledge affect the way that you think about your own death? 

It means everything to me to know that Jesus has power even over death. Without such power, He would be as any other man. That knowledge shows me that when I die, only my broken down body dies. I will be in Heaven with Him!

APPLY Memorize Jesus’ words: “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.”

PRAY Dear precious Lord, When I face the death of a loved one, or my own death, help me be comforted by Your promise. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. 2 Corinthians 7:10 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/2co.7.10.KJV

This is a topic many people don’t like to discuss when it gets personal. I am not excluded from this group. I do, however, acknowledge God’s healing power. Nothing is too different for Him! Praise God! Have a blessed day.                                          

PRAY  Thank You, Lord, for the many kinds of freedom You give me. I’m very grateful for all You do for me.

READ   Mark 5:1‭-‬20 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/mrk.5.1-20.KJV

Mark 5:1. And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes. 2. And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, 3. Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains: 4. Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him. 5. And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones. 6. But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him, 7. And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not. 8. For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit. 9. And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many. 10. And he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country. 11. Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding. 12. And all the devils besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them. 13. And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea. 14. And they that fed the swine fled, and told it in the city, and in the country. And they went out to see what it was that was done. 15. And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid. 16. And they that saw it told them how it befell to him that was possessed with the devil, and also concerning the swine. 17. And they began to pray him to depart out of their coasts. 18. And when he was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil prayed him that he might be with him. 19. Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee. 20. And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel.

REFLECT  Do you believe in the existence of evil in the world today? Where have you seen or experienced it personally? How can this story help you deal with evil?

I definitely do believe in the existence of evil. However, this is one of topics I will not share publically. Thank you for understanding.

The way I deal with evil is trusting in the Lord and quoting Scripture. It works.

APPLY  If you see or experience an example of evil today or this week, stop and pray that Jesus’ power will quickly overcome and defeat it.  

PRAY  Lord, You know the evil in the world. I’m powerless against it but I’m thankful that You’re not

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. John 5:24 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/jhn.5.24.KJV

This is a very good lesson. Have we any spiritual blind spots? Does pride hide them from view? Do our biases hide the true riches our Lord Jesus wants us to enjoy? I know I need to pray several times a day to stay in His will. I also pray you have a blessed day.       

PRAY Dear Lord Jesus, continue to open my eyes and heart to the wonder of who You are and all that You have done, are doing, and will do. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

READ  John 9:1‭-‬41 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/jhn.9.1-41.KJV

John 9:1. And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. 2. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? 3. Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. 4. I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. 5. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. 6. When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, 7. And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing. 8. The neighbours therefore, and they which before had seen him that he was blind, said, Is not this he that sat and begged? 9. Some said, This is he: others said, He is like him: but he said, I am he. 10. Therefore said they unto him, How were thine eyes opened? 11. He answered and said, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash: and I went and washed, and I received sight. 12. Then said they unto him, Where is he? He said, I know not.

9:13. They brought to the Pharisees him that aforetime was blind. 14. And it was the sabbath day when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes. 15. Then again the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. He said unto them, He put clay upon mine eyes, and I washed, and do see. 16. Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the sabbath day. Others said, How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division among them. 17. They say unto the blind man again, What sayest thou of him, that he hath opened thine eyes? He said, He is a prophet. 18. But the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind, and received his sight, until they called the parents of him that had received his sight. 19. And they asked them, saying, Is this your son, who ye say was born blind? how then doth he now see? 20. His parents answered them and said, We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind: 21. But by what means he now seeth, we know not; or who hath opened his eyes, we know not: he is of age; ask him: he shall speak for himself. 22. These words spake his parents, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue. 23. Therefore said his parents, He is of age; ask him. 24. Then again called they the man that was blind, and said unto him, Give God the praise: we know that this man is a sinner. 25. He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see. 26. Then said they to him again, What did he to thee? how opened he thine eyes? 27. He answered them, I have told you already, and ye did not hear: wherefore would ye hear it again? will ye also be his disciples? 28. Then they reviled him, and said, Thou art his disciple; but we are Moses’ disciples. 29. We know that God spake unto Moses: as for this fellow, we know not from whence he is. 30. The man answered and said unto them, Why herein is a marvellous thing, that ye know not from whence he is, and yet he hath opened mine eyes. 31. Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth. 32. Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind. 33. If this man were not of God, he could do nothing. 34. They answered and said unto him, Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us? And they cast him out.

9:35.  Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God? 36. He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him? 37. And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee. 38. And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him.

9:39. And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind. 40. And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also? 41. .Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.

REFLECT Some people claim to be miraculously healed by God today. Others deny it happens. What do you think? Does God still heal miraculously? Have you seen it happen?

I happen to be one of the people He has healed, so I know it is true. Long story short.

I was an alcoholic. I was attacked and stabbed. I cried out, and He heard me. Two and a half days later I awoke in the hospital. For the first time in a very long time, I did not have to have a drink! No shakes. No DT’s. I was cured. Thank You Jesus! August 19, 1987.

APPLY The blind man, when healed, said “One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see.” Sing or read aloud the first verse of the well-known hymn Amazing Grace.

PRAY Dear Saviour Jesus, I pray that You will heal me of any spiritual blindness so I can see You more clearly today and always. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Hebrews 12:14 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/heb.12.14.KJV

WALKING ON WATER

Today’s lesson we read about Peter’s faith being tested. It could apply to any of us. What would you have done? Have a blessed day.                   

PRAY  Dear Heavenly Father, You are a great God. I acknowledge You and Your Son, Jesus, as the God of all power, and the God of miracles. Please guide my steps today and always. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

READ  Matthew 14:22‭-‬36 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/mat.14.22-36.KJV

Mt. 14:22. And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away. 23. And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone. 24. But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. 25. And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. 26. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. 27. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. 28. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. 29. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. 30. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. 31. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? 32. And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. 33. Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.

14:34. And when they were gone over, they came into the land of Gennesaret. 35. And when the men of that place had knowledge of him, they sent out into all that country round about, and brought unto him all that were diseased; 36. And besought him that they might only touch the hem of his garment: and as many as touched were made perfectly whole.

REFLECT  What “storms” have you faced recently? How did you cope? How did your faith help you deal with any fear or danger? What have you learned to help in future storms?

When I face a storm, I try to remember my first line of defense which is Jesus Christ. I try to remember that all they can really do is take my life. Then I would be in Heaven! When I put everything in perspective, they stop being”storms” so big that God can’t handle it.

APPLY  Think of a situation that is causing you fear or stress. With that in mind, say aloud several times, “Take courage. It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

PRAY  Precious Lord, when those inevitable storms of life come to me, help me to remember Your presence and power. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen

Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again. Luke 6:38 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/luk.6.38.KJV

LOST AND FOUND

These parables remind me of before and after I accepted Jesus Christ into my heart. What a delightful and marvelous difference! Have a blessed day.             

PRAY  Lord, I thank You that You love me so much and that You’ll always hold on to me and never let me go. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

READ   Luke 15:1‭-‬32 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/luk.15.1-32.KJV

Luke 15:1. Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him. 2. And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them. 

15:3. And he spake this parable unto them, saying, 4. What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? 5. And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6. And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. 7. I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.

15:8. Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it? 9. And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost. 10. Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth. 

15:11. And he said, A certain man had two sons: 12. And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living. 13. And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. 14. And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. 15. And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. 16. And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him. 17. And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! 18.  I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, 19. And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. 20. And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. 21. And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. 22. But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: 23. And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: 24. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry. 25. Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard musick and dancing. 26. And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant. 27. And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound. 28. And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and entreated him. 29. And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends: 30. But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf. 31. And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.  32. It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.

REFLECT  What might these parables, especially the parable of The Lost Son, teach you about God? How does that make you feel? Does anything in these parables surprise you?

I’ve learned that God is never far away. In these parables, we get a peek into Heaven. No matter what, when one sinner who is lost turns back to God, he is welcomed with open arms. Likewise, the angels rejoice! There is tremendous love from our Father God.

APPLY  Think of something very special that you’ve ever lost and then found. Remember how you felt and then imagine how God feels when a “lost” person is found.

PRAY  I praise God for His unfailing love and care, and for all His children and for all creation. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; Philippians 1:9‭-‬10 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/php.1.9-10.KJV

When you woke up today, did you remember to thank God for another day of opportunities? Another day to help win someone to Christ? Or maybe something as simple as having food to eat? What amazing blessings the Lord has bestowed upon us! Have a blessed day.     

PRAY  Thank You Father God for the food You provide each day and more importantly, for spiritual food I eat each day from Your Word. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

READ  Luke 9:1‭-‬36 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/luk.9.1-36.KJV

Luke 9:1. Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. 2. And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick. 3. And he said unto them, Take nothing for your journey, neither staves, nor scrip, neither bread, neither money; neither have two coats apiece. 4. And whatsoever house ye enter into, there abide, and thence depart. 5.  And whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them. 6. And they departed, and went through the towns, preaching the gospel, and healing every where. 

9:7. Now Herod the tetrarch heard of all that was done by him: and he was perplexed, because that it was said of some, that John was risen from the dead; 8. And of some, that Elias had appeared; and of others, that one of the old prophets was risen again. 9. And Herod said, John have I beheaded: but who is this, of whom I hear such things? And he desired to see him. 10. And the apostles, when they were returned, told him all that they had done. And he took them, and went aside privately into a desert place belonging to the city called Bethsaida. 11. And the people, when they knew it, followed him: and he received them, and spake unto them of the kingdom of God, and healed them that had need of healing. 12. And when the day began to wear away, then came the twelve, and said unto him, Send the multitude away, that they may go into the towns and country round about, and lodge, and get victuals: for we are here in a desert place. 13. But he said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they said, We have no more but five loaves and two fishes; except we should go and buy meat for all this people. 14. For they were about five thousand men. And he said to his disciples, Make them sit down by fifties in a company. 15. And they did so, and made them all sit down. 16. Then he took the five loaves and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed them, and brake, and gave to the disciples to set before the multitude. 17. And they did eat, and were all filled: and there was taken up of fragments that remained to them twelve baskets. 

9:18. And it came to pass, as he was alone praying, his disciples were with him: and he asked them, saying, Whom say the people that I am? 19. They answering said, John the Baptist; but some say, Elias; and others say, that one of the old prophets is risen again. 20. He said unto them, But whom say ye that I am? Peter answering said, The Christ of God. 21. And he straitly charged them, and commanded them to tell no man that thing; 22. Saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day. 

9:23. And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. 24. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. 25. For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away? 26. For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels. 27. But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God. 

9:28. And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, he took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray. 29. And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistering. 30. And, behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elias: 31. Who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem. 32. But Peter and they that were with him were heavy with sleep: and when they were awake, they saw his glory, and the two men that stood with him. 33. And it came to pass, as they departed from him, Peter said unto Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias: not knowing what he said. 34. While he thus spake, there came a cloud, and overshadowed them: and they feared as they entered into the cloud. 35. And there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him. 36. And when the voice was past, Jesus was found alone. And they kept it close, and told no man in those days any of those things which they had seen.

REFLECT  Many people today are skeptical of the miracles in the Bible. What’s your perspective? How would you explain Jesus’ miracle of feeding 5,000 people to a skeptic?

My perspective of truths in the Bible is just that, they are true. Jesus is God. If God made the whole world, who’s to say He couldn’t make a loaf of bread extend to many people?!

APPLY  At each meal today, be sure to thank God for feeding you so generously. Consider making a generous donation to a local food pantry, also. 

PRAY  Dear precious Lord, I am truly thankful for Your faithfulness in feeding me. Help me to always remember You in all that I do. I love You Jesus. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Colossians 3:1 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/col.3.1.KJV

THE GOOD SAMARITAN

This is a good lesson. Who is our neighbor? That is an interesting question. At first I would have said everyone, but in this example, there is only one true answer. The person who cares enough to help someone in need and helps them. Have a blessed day by blessing someone along the way. ❤️

PRAY Dear Lord God, As I get to know You better, I want to share more and more of Your great love and salvation. Please equip me with Your Word. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

READ Luke 10:25‭-‬37 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/luk.10.25-37.KJV

Luke 10:25. And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? 26. He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? 27. And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. 28.  And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. 29. But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour? 30. And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31. And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32. And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. 33. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, 34. And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35. And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee. 36. Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? 37. And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.

REFLECT  Who do you consider to be your neighbors? What makes one a “neighbor”? How are you exercising your responsibilities as a “neighbor” to others?

My neighbor is the person to whom I show compassion and likewise. In this situation, a neighbor is someone in need. I try to live my life by being helpful and obedient to God. In this way, hopefully, I fulfill the will of my Father as a Good Samaritan..

APPLY Identify a “neighbor” in need—whether nearby or not—and decide how and when you can be a “Good Samaritan” in a practical way. 

PRAY Dear God, Make me a good neighbor to anyone I can help. I want to be a “Good Samaritan,” too. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen

But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. James 1:22‭-‬24 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/jas.1.22-24.KJV

THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN

In these verses, Jesus is speaking in parables. He explains later to His disciples. I thank God there is a Bible so I could have the benefit of understanding. Have a blessed day.

PRAY Pause to thank God now for the gift of this day and all that you’ll receive from him today.

READ  Matthew 13:1‭-‬58 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/mat.13.1-58.KJV

Matthew 13:1. The same day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by the sea side. 2. And great multitudes were gathered together unto him, so that he went into a ship, and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore. 3. And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow; 4. And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: 5. Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: 6. And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. 7. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: 8. But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. 9. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear. 10. And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? 11. He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. 12. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. 13.  Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. 14. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: 15. For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. 16. But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. 17. For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.

13:18. Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. 19. When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. 20. But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; 21. Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. 22. He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. 23. But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

13:24. Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: 25. But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. 26. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. 27. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? 28. He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? 29. But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. 30. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.

13:31. Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: 32. Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof. 33. Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened. 34. All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them: 35. That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.

13:36. Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field. 37. He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; 38. The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; 39. The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. 40. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. 41. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; 42. And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. 43. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

13:44.  Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.

13:45. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: 46. Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.

13:47. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: 48. Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. 49. So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, 50. And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. 51. Jesus saith unto them, Have ye understood all these things? They say unto him, Yea, Lord. 52. Then said he unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old.

13:53. And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these parables, he departed thence. 54. And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works? 55. Is not this the carpenter’s son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? 56. And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things? 57. And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house. 58. And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.

REFLECT  What do you think Jesus meant by “the Kingdom of Heaven”? What do you think it is or will be like? Why should we be concerned about it?

I think Jesus means exactly what He says when speaking about the Kingdom of Heaven. It will be just as it is described in Revelations and more.

We should absolutely be concerned about Heaven. Only those people who’s names are written in the Lambs book of Life will be allowed to enter in and stay. This is why Soul Winning is so very important.

While we are alive, it is our honor and opportunity to invite others to follow Christ. We can witness to them through our own testimonies. Even you have a testimony! Try it today, and see how much better you feel tonight.

APPLY  Take a walk outside sometime today and look at a garden and some weeds. Reflect on what they teach you about the Kingdom of Heaven. 

PRAY  Dear precious Lord, please keep my mind and spirit watchful and alert to see signs of Your Kingdom all around me today and always. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. Proverbs 9:10 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/pro.9.10.KJV

Today we learn not to worry, the Lord’s prayer, and other nuggets of wisdom. The Bible is filled with them! How a blessed day.

PRAY  Lord, continue to do Your good work in me as I read and study Your Word today. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

READ Matthew 6:5‭-‬34 KJV

https://bible.com/bible/1/mat.6.5-34.KJV, Matthew 7:1-29 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/mat.7.1-29.KJV

Mt. 6:5. And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 6. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. 7. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. 8. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.

6:9. After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 10. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. 11. Give us this day our daily bread. 12. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 13. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

6:14. For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: 15. But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

6:16. Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 17. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; 18. That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.

6:19. Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. 22. The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. 23. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!

6:24. No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

6:25. Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? 26. Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? 27. Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? 28. And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 29. And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? 31. Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32. (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

6:33. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 34. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

Mt. 7:1. Judge not, that ye be not judged. 2. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. 3. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? 4. Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? 5. Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

7:6. Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

7:7. Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: 8. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. 9. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? 10. Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11. If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? 12. Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.

7:13. Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14. Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

7:15. Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17. Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

7:21. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23. And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

7:24. Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. 26. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. 28. And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: 29. For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

REFLECT  Is it really possible not to worry, as Jesus says here? What things worry you the most? How can your faith help you deal with those worries?

Yes, if you believe what He says with your whole heart, it is possible not to worry. In Philippines 4:4-8 ( https://bible.com/bible/1/php.4.4-8.KJV), we learn of the peace of God.

The one thing I can honestly say “worries” me the most is being outside of the will of God. Fortunately, I can go to the Lord in prayer. I just need to remember to do this FIRST!

APPLY  Write down on paper the things that are worrying you the most right now. Pray for God to help you trust him and then tear up the paper and “throw your worries away.”

PRAY  Pray and thank God that he is big enough to deal with anything and everything that worries you.

But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil. 2 Thessalonians 3:3 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/2th.3.3.KJV

Today’s reading is a familiar one, and it for that reason alone we should pay close attention rather than skipping it. Food for thought. Have a blessed day.                 

PRAY Thank God that He wants us to come and be with Him now—and that He welcomes us with love.      

READ  Matthew 5:1‭-‬48 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/mat.5.1-48.KJV, Matthew 6:1‭-‬4 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/mat.6.1-4.KJV

Matthew 5:1. And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: 2. And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,

5:3. Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4.  Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. 5. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. 6.  Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. 7. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. 8.  Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. 9. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. 10. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

5:13. Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

5:14. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

5:17. Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 19. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20. For I say unto you,  That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

5:21. Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: 22. But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. 23.  Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; 24. Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. 25.  Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. 26. Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.

5:27. Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: 28. But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. 29. And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. 30. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. 31. It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement:  32. But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.

5:33. Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: 34. But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne: 35. Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. 36. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. 37. But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.

5:38. Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: 39. But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. 41. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. 42. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.

5:43. Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45. That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 46. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47. And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?

5:48. Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

Matthew 6:1. Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. 2. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 3. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: 4. That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.

REFLECT  “If you live by the Sermon on the Mount, you’ll be happy.”  Agree, disagree? Why? Is it possible to follow Jesus’ teaching completely in our modern society? 

Yes, I believe you would be happy if you lived the Sermon on the Mount, yet I understand the condition of mankind. The closer I draw myself to Jesus, the more tools I have to secure that relationship.

APPLY  There are many different attitudes and actions Jesus commends here. Choose one or two that seem difficult for you and try to begin practicing it or them today.  

PRAY  Lord, I want to live the kind of life that You commend, because I know that is Your will for my life. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen

Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend. Proverbs 27:17 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/pro.27.17.KJV

When we are tempted, and we will be, God has made a way of escape. Thank You! Memorize a few verses from the Bible, so when satan and his demons or your own bad habits come to haunt you; you have a defense. God has provided it for you. What a magnificent God we serve! Have a blessed day.

PRAY  Lord, there is so much good help for me in the Bible. Help me today to learn more from it.

READ. Matthew 3:13–4:17 KJV https://bible com/bible/1/mat.3.13-17.KJV, Matthew 4:1-17 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/may.4.1-17.KJV

Matthew 3:13. Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. 3:14. But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? 3:15. And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him. 3:16. And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: 3:17. And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

4:1. Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. 2. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. 3. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. 4. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. 5. Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, 6. And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. 7. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. 8. Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; 9. And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. 10. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. 11. Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.

4:12. Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into Galilee; 13. And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim: 14. That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, 15. The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles; 16. The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.

4:17. From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

REFLECT  What can you learn from this account of Jesus’ temptation that will help you when you are tempted? What temptations affect you the most?

When I am at my weakest, I can rely on Christ when I call out to Him. Also, I can defend myself with the Word of God.

Chocolate affects very much as a temptation. I am figuring diabetes, and I never really had a problem with it until I was told I shouldn’t have any. Funny how that works. This is just an example. There are more, but too personal. 😊

APPLY  List the biggest temptations in your life. For each, jot down some practical strategies for resisting.  

PRAY  Dear precious Lord, I pray that throughout this day and the days ahead You will help me to resist temptation and honor You. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Psalms 19:1 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/psa.19.1.KJV

JOHN THE BAPTIST

John the Baptist was a devout man of God. That is a good thing. If only I could bring as many people to the Lord! Have a blessed day.

PRAY God, my Lord, I’m always eager to be with You and listen to You speak to me through Your Word and Spirit.

READ  Luke 3:1‭-‬20 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/luk.3.1-20.KJV

Luke 3:1. Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene, 2. Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness. 3. And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins; 4. As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. 5. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth; 6. And all flesh shall see the salvation of God. 7. Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8. Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. 9. And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 10. And the people asked him, saying, What shall we do then? 11. He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise. 12. Then came also publicans to be baptized, and said unto him, Master, what shall we do? 13. And he said unto them, Exact no more than that which is appointed you. 14. And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages.    

3:15. And as the people were in expectation, and all men mused in their hearts of John, whether he were the Christ, or not;  16. John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire: 17. Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable. 18. And many other things in his exhortation preached he unto the people. 19. But Herod the tetrarch, being reproved by him for Herodias his brother Philip’s wife, and for all the evils which Herod had done,

3:20. Added yet this above all, that he shut up John in prison.

REFLECT  If John the Baptist had a message for us today, what do you think it would be? How do you think he would look, communicate, and be received by people?

REPENT for the day of the Lord is near. I think he would look different than most people. He would probably be a Vegan. I do believe many would ignore him and make fun of him; knowing the people of these times.

The people that would receive him would be those thirsting for truth and justice. People searching for meaning in their lives, and people seeking God.

APPLY  John told his listeners how to produce “fruit in keeping with repentance.” If you need to produce any or any more of that fruit, adopt one of John’s suggestions.

PRAY Dear Lord, sometimes Your Word makes me uncomfortable but I do want to hear it clearly and obey it fully. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice. Proverbs 21:3 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/pro.21.3.KJV

THE BIRTH OF JESUS

Today’s reading is a familiar one, yet it is vital. I love this part of the Bible. I just wish He didn’t have to die for our sins. I wish we had never sinned, in other words. Fat chance, right? We have a loving, forgiving, and merciful God! Have a blessed day.

PRAY Praise God today for the good news that the angels proclaimed when Jesus was born.

READ  Luke 2:1‭-‬40 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/luk.2.1-40.KJV

Luke 2:1. And it came to pass in those days, that there went out adecree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. 2. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) 3. And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. 4. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) 5. To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. 

2:6. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. 7. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. 

2:8. And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 10. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. 12. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

2:13. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14. Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. 15. And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. 16. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. 17. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. 18. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. 20. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them. .  

2:21. And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in thewomb. 22. And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord; 23. (As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;) 24. And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons. 25. And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. 26. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27. And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law,   

2:28. Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, 29. Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: 30. For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, 31. Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; 32. A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel. 33. And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him. 34. And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; 35. (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.

2:36. And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity; 37. And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. 38. And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem. 39. And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth. 40. And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.

REFLECT Why do you suppose the lowly shepherds were the first to hear of Jesus’ birth? How would you share the angel’s good news in our time?

The shepherds were the first to hear of Jesus’ birth, because they would respond. God did not come into the world for those who wanted nothing to do with Him. Rather He came for those of us who would accept Him as Lord and Saviour.

Just as people don’t make doctor appointments when they are well, Jesus Christ came to redeem sinners from the penalty of eternal death. Thank You Lord God!

I try to share God’s word with all who will listen. He has performed miracles in my life as well. He is a great and merciful God. If you do not know Him but would like to, please leave a comment. We can arrange for that to happen. God bless you.

APPLY Ponder how you could most effectively share the good news of Jesus with a friend or coworker. Then, look for opportunities today to do it.

PRAY Dear precious Lord Jesus, I’m so grateful for the good news of Your. Help me to be able to share it effectively with others. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:19 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/isa.43.19.KJV

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Matthew 5:6 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/mat.5.6.KJV

THE WORD BECAME FLESH

It seems as though I skipped ahead. This was yesterday’s lesson, and today’s lesson I posted yesterday. Oops. Please enjoy reading about our precious Lord. Have a blessed day.

PRAY Thank You, God, that You sent Your Son into the world to demonstrate Your great love for us.

READ  John 1:1‭-‬18 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/jhn.1.1-18.KJV

John 1:1. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2. The same was in the beginning with God. 3. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 1:5. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

1:6. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. 8. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.

1:9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. 10. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.

1:11. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 12. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13. Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. 14. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

1:15. John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. 16. And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. 17. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. 18. No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. 

REFLECT What do you find most striking or significant about what this passage says about Jesus? Has it changed or deepened what you believe about Jesus in any way?

This passage is one of my many favorites. It declares Jesus to be God. “…and the Word was God.” Reading the whole Bible through and allowing God to guide my life has truly deepened my faith and love.

APPLY Write a few sentences that describe what you believe about Jesus, why he came to earth, and what all that means to you.

In the first place, Jesus never had to die. He was sinless. The only reason we all have to die is because of sin. The grave could not hold Him! Hallelujah!

So why did He come? To do for us what we could not do for ourselves. He redeemed us. What a glorious and merciful God!

PRAY Dear Lord, please help me to understand more and more about who Jesus is and what he means to my life and salvation. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

GABRIEL’S MESSAGE

I would definitely consider this to be an essential chapter of the Bible. Eyewitness testimony, the miracle of John the Baptist, the miracle of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior; for without these events, we have no hope. Thank You Father God for loving us this much! Have a blessed day.

PRAY Thank God today for giving you his written Word, the Bible and the Living Word, Jesus Christ.

READ   Luke 1:1‭-‬80 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/luk.1.1-4.KJV

Luke 1:1. Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, 1:2. Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word; 1:3. It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, 1:4. That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.

1:5. There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth. 1:6. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. 1:7. And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years. 1:8. And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest’s office before God in the order of his course, 1:9. According to the custom of the priest’s office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. 1:10. And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense. 1:11. And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. 1:12. And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. 1:13. But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. 1:14. And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. 1:15. For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb. 1:16. And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. 1:17. And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. 1:18. And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years. 1:19. And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings. 1:20. And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season. 1:21. And the people waited for Zacharias, and marvelled that he tarried so long in the temple. 1:22. And when he came out, he could not speak unto them: and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple: for he beckoned unto them, and remained speechless. 1:23. And it came to pass, that, as soon as the days of his ministration were accomplished, he departed to his own house. 1:24. And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five months, saying, 1:25. Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men.

1:26. And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, 1:27. To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. 1:28. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. 1:29. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. 1:30. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. 1:31. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. 1:32. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 1:33. And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. 1:34. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? 1:35. And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. 1:36. And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. 1:37. For with God nothing shall be impossible. 1:38. And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.

1:39. And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda; 1:40. And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth. 1:41. And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: 1:42. And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. 1:43. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 1:44. For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. 1:45. And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord. 1:46. And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, 1:47. And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. 1:48. For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. 1:49. For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name. 1:50 And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation. 1:51. He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. 1:52. He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree. 1:53. He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. 1:54. He hath holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy; 1:55. As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever. 1:56. And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her own house.

1:57. Now Elisabeth’s full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son. 1:58. And her neighbours and her cousins heard how the Lord had shewed great mercy upon her; and they rejoiced with her. 1:59. And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zacharias, after the name of his father. 1:60. And his mother answered and said, Not so; but he shall be called John. 1:61. And they said unto her, There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name. 1:62. And they made signs to his father, how he would have him called. 1:63. And he asked for a writing table, and wrote, saying, His name is John. And they marvelled all.

1:64. And his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue loosed, and he spake, and praised God. 1:65. And fear came on all that dwelt round about them: and all these sayings were noised abroad throughout all the hill country of Judaea. 1:66. And all they that heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, What manner of child shall this be! And the hand of the Lord was with him.

1:67. And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying, 1:68. Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, 1:69. And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; 1:70. As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: 1:71. That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; 1:72. To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; 1:73. The oath which he sware to our father Abraham, 1:74. That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, 1:75. In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life. 1:76. And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; 1:77. To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins, 1:78. Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, 1:79. To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace. 1:80. And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his shewing unto Israel.

REFLECT How important do you think it is that Luke says his account of Jesus’ birth is based on eyewitness accounts? Does anything in this account surprise or trouble you?

Eyewitness accounts are better than heresay. Here we have actual people seeing with their own eyes the coming of John the Baptist and the pregnancy of Mary, Jesus’ mother. What a marvelous time to have been alive!

APPLY The angel’s appearance must have been a surprise. Today, ask God to surprise you in some way with some good news or event. Be alert and open to God’s surprise.

PRAY Dear Lord, I want to be willing to hear You and accept Your Word to me no matter how surprising it may seem. Amen!

THE DAY OF JUDGMENT

Today we are reminded not to steal from God. After all, everything already belongs to Him. Try giving 10% of your income, your time, etc, to the Church because of the One who gave His all. See if He doesn’t bless you more than you believed possible. Not because of what you do, but because of His great love toward you. God is a promise keeper. Are you? Have a blessed day.

PRAY Dear God, I want to know You and draw closer to You as I spend time with You today.

READ  Malachi 1:1‭-‬14 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/mal.1.1-14.KJV, Malachi 2:1‭-‬17 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/mal.2.1-17.KJV, Malachi 3:1‭-‬18 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/mal.3.1-18.KJV, Malachi 4:1‭-‬6 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/mal.4.1-6.KJV

Mal. 1:1. The burden of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi. 1:2. I have loved you, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob’s brother? saith the LORD: yet I loved Jacob, , 1:3. And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness. 1:4. Whereas Edom saith, We are impoverished, but we will return and build the desolate places; thus saith the LORD of hosts, They shall build, but I will throw down; and they shall call them, The border of wickedness, and, The people against whom the LORD hath indignation for ever. 1:5. and your eyes shall see, and ye shall say, the lord will be magnified from the border of israel.

1:6. A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the LORD of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name? 1:7. Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar; and ye say, Wherein have we polluted thee? In that ye say, The table of the LORD is contemptible. 1:8. And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? and if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? offer it now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person? saith the LORD of hosts. 1:9. And now, I pray you, beseech God that he will be gracious unto us: this hath been by your means: will he regard your persons? saith the LORD of hosts. 1:10. Who is there even among you that would shut the doors for nought? neither do ye kindle fire on mine altar for nought. I have no pleasure in you, saith the LORD of hosts, neither will I accept an offering at your hand. 1:11. For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the LORD of hosts.

1:12. But ye have profaned it, in that ye say, The table of the LORD is polluted; and the fruit thereof, even his meat, is contemptible. 1:13. Ye said also, Behold, what a weariness is it! and ye have snuffed at it, saith the LORD of hosts; and ye brought that which was torn, and the lame, and the sick; thus ye brought an offering: should I accept this of your hand? saith the LORD. 1:14. But cursed be the deceiver, which hath in his flock a male, and voweth, and sacrificeth unto the LORD a corrupt thing: for I am a great King, saith the LORD of hosts, and my name is dreadful among the heathen.

Mal. 2:1. And now, O ye priests, this commandment is for you. 2:2. If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto my name, saith the LORD of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings: yea, I have cursed them already, because ye do not lay it to heart. 2:3. Behold, I will corrupt your seed, and spread dung upon your faces, even the dung of your solemn feasts; and one shall take you away with it. 2:4. And ye shall know that I have sent this commandment unto you, that my covenant might be with Levi, saith the LORD of hosts. 2:5. My covenant was with him of life and peace; and I gave them to him for the fear wherewith he feared me, and was afraid before my name. 2:6. The law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips: he walked with me in peace and equity, and did turn many away from iniquity. 2:7. For the priest’s lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts. 2:8. But ye are departed out of the way; ye have caused many to stumble at the law; ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi, saith the LORD of hosts. 2:9. Therefore have I also made you contemptible and base before all the people, according as ye have not kept my ways, but have been partial in the law. 2:10. Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us? why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers? 

2:11. Judah hath dealt treacherously, and an abomination is committed in Israel and in Jerusalem; for Judah hath profaned the holiness of the LORD which he loved, and hath married the daughter of a strange god. 2:12. The LORD will cut off the man that doeth this, the master and the scholar, out of the tabernacles of Jacob, and him that offereth an offering unto the LORD of hosts. 2:13. And this have ye done again, covering the altar of the LORD with tears, with weeping, and with crying out, insomuch that he regardeth not the offering any more, or receiveth it with good will at your hand. 2:14. Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant. 2:15. And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth. 2:16. For the LORD, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the LORD of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously. 2:17. Ye have wearied the LORD with your words. Yet ye say, Wherein have we wearied him? When ye say, Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and he delighteth in them; or, Where is the God of judgment?

Mal. 3:1. Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the LORD, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts. 3:2. But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: 3:3. And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness. 3:4. Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the LORD, as in the days of old, and as in former years. 3:5. And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith the LORD of hosts. 3:6. For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. 

3:7. Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return? 

3:8. Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. 3:9. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. 3:10. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. 3:11. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts. 3:12. And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts. 3:13. Your words have been stout against me, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, What have we spoken so much against thee? 3:14. Ye have said, It is vain to serve God: and what profit is it that we have kept his ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the LORD of hosts? 3:15. And now we call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered. 

3:16. Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name. 3:17. And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. 3:18. Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.

Mal. 4:1. For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. 4:2. But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. 4:3. And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the LORD of hosts. 4:4. Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments. 

4:5. Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: 4:6. And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

REFLECT Some people think the notion of a “judgment day” is outmoded. What do you think?  What place does judgment have in the Good News?

I believe there is a judgement day coming, because the Lord said it would. The good news about Jesus Christ is that when judgment day does come, everyone who has accepted Him and been born again will not be condemned. We are saved.

APPLY Ask yourself this question: “If I faced judgment day today, what would happen to me?” Then, talk to God, based on your answer to that important question.

I hope to finally have a good singing voice so I can praise my Saviour all day long! Either way, whatever You desire for me to do Lord, I will do gladly. 😁

PRAY Ask God to give you confidence for the judgment day. Ask him to calm any doubt or worry you may have

THE STORY OF JONAH

Can you imagine having to rescue your enemies from an eternity in hell? Worse yet, to an eternity with Jesus for which you have kept yourself your whole life? God wouldn’t ask that of you, would He?

Yes He would, and He did that to Jonah. Just because this happened such a long time ago, don’t think it won’t happen again. As a matter of fact, I believe we learn about this precisely because we are called to do so.

After all, we were enemies of God when He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die for our sins! Romans 5:8.

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died us.

PRAY Lord God, I want to share your desire that all people everywhere come to know You.

READ  Jonah 1:1‭-‬17 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/jon.1.1-17.KJV, Jonah 2:1‭-‬10 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/jon.2.1-10.KJV, Jonah 3:1‭-‬10 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/jon.3.1-10.KJV, Jonah 4:1‭-‬11 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/jon.4.1-11.KJV

Jonah 1:1. Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the son of A