Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Proverbs Scripture Reading - Proverbs 19:20

Proverbs 19:20 New King James Version (NKJV)

20 Listen to counsel and receive instruction,
That you may be wise in your latter days.

Morning Scripture Reading - Matthew 13:18-23

Matthew 13:18-23 New King James Version (NKJV)

The Parable of the Sower Explained

18 “Therefore hear the parable of the sower: 19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside. 20 But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles. 22 Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. 23 But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”

Monday, September 21, 2020

Evening Scripture Reading - Ephesians 6:14-20

Ephesians 6:14-20 New King James Version (NKJV)

14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 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, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— 19 and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

Psalms Scripture Reading - Psalm 45:16-17

Psalm 45:16-17 New King James Version (NKJV)

16 Instead of Your fathers shall be Your sons,
Whom You shall make princes in all the earth.
17 I will make Your name to be remembered in all generations;
Therefore the people shall praise You forever and ever.

Proverbs Scripture Reading - Proverbs 19:19

Proverbs 19:19 New King James Version (NKJV)

19 A man of great wrath will suffer punishment;
For if you rescue him, you will have to do it again.

Morning Scripture Reading - John 12:23-26

John 12:23-26 New King James Version (NKJV)

23 But Jesus answered them, saying, “The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified. 24 Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much [a]grain. 25 He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.

Footnotes:

  1. John 12:24 Lit. fruit

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Evening Scripture Reading - 1 Corinthians 4:5

1 Corinthians 4:5 New King James Version (NKJV)

Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the [a]counsels of the hearts. Then each one’s praise will come from God.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Corinthians 4:5 motives

Psalms Scripture Reading - Psalm 45:16-17

Psalm 45:16-17 New King James Version (NKJV)

16 Instead of Your fathers shall be Your sons,
Whom You shall make princes in all the earth.
17 I will make Your name to be remembered in all generations;
Therefore the people shall praise You forever and ever.

Sunday Praise & Worship Message - Doing Good Starts with You

In chapter ten of the Gospel of Mark, a man appears before Jesus and asks, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

Jesus, as part of his answer to this man’s question regarding salvation for himself, takes the opportunity to remind us that only God is truly good. This was not meant as a deflection or to pivot to another topic. Jesus wanted to remind us all that God and only God is truly good. By His very nature, He cannot be anything else. 

Right after this statement, Jesus replies to the man, “But to answer your question, you know the commandments: ‘You must not murder. You must not commit adultery. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely. You must not cheat anyone. Honor your father and mother.’”

The man, without hesitation, responds that he has obeyed all of the laws and commandments since he was a small child.

If we were to look at his statement from the perspective of Mosaic Law, we would simply stop here and say that he has achieved salvation and that he is square with God. Seems simple enough right. Using today’s language, we would say that Jesus was asked a “softball” question.

For those who aren’t familiar with this term, it means that someone is asking you an easy to answer question that requires no real thought. In fact, the answer is so obvious that even a small child could answer it. A good example would be asking a politician a question about his or her favorite flavor of ice cream instead of asking a question about policy or stance on a particular issue.  

It is evident that this man is sincere and would like to know what he must do to have eternal life. If given the opportunity, we, too, would ask Jesus the same or similar question. It is only natural to want to know whether or not we are on the righteous path.

So, Jesus could have easily said to the man, “You are doing everything you are supposed to do. Have a good day.”

But, he doesn’t. 

Jesus tells him, “There is still one thing you haven’t done. Go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.

Just obeying laws and commandments or saying that you are Christian isn’t enough to truly inherit eternal life. It starts by believing and then by acting in a Christ-like manner. You can’t call yourself a follower of Jesus and a child of God simply by saying that you are and refusing to help those in need.

In chapter two of his book, James writes, “What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,’ but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

Believing is not enough. We must each day of our lives devote ourselves to feeding those who are hungry or giving water to those who are thirsty. It is not enough to simply say that you will be praying for them and that the Lord will provide. The Lord has provided for the needs of others by putting us exactly where we need to be at the exact moment. We are given opportunities daily to minister to the physical needs of others and also to their spiritual needs. As His children, we must demonstrate to the world that we are doing good in His name and that any honor or glory is done in His name.

Let’s go back to the story of the man asking Jesus about eternal life and what he must do to receive it. 

The scripture tells us that, after hearing Jesus' command of selling all of his possessions and giving the proceeds to the poor and following him, his face fell and he went away sad. I am sure that he felt that what he was doing made him righteous. After all, he was obeying the laws of Moses.

As the man departs, Jesus tells his disciples, “Dear children, it is very hard to enter the Kingdom of God. In fact, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!

If we truly are Christians and follow the example of Christ Jesus, we, when presented with the opportunity to help, should do so without hesitation. Doing good in the world starts with us. We must share our blessings with others and overcome our desires for possessions. If we desire more of what this world has to offer, then we are possessed by it. When that happens, we are seduced by this world and begin to turn away from the Lord. Evil begins to infect us and darkness fills our souls.

Paul, in chapter twelve of his epistle to the Romans, writes, “Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.

When we allow our possessions and greed to get the better of us, it is so easy for evil to work deeper and deeper into our lives. Conquering evil in the world starts with us conquering the evil in our own hearts and the only way to do that is to do good by helping those in need. 

Remember the words of Jesus to the man. When you sell your possessions and give the money to the poor and follow the lead of your Savior and master of your life, Christ Jesus, you will have treasure in heaven.

Don’t simply call yourself a Christian, but show the world that you are truly a follower of Christ Jesus by serving one another and by giving food, drink and shelter to those who are in need. 

Remember the words of Jesus, in chapter twenty-five of the Gospel of Matthew, when He says “I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.

As you go through this week, be an example to the world. Show the world the goodness of the Father by doing good to those in need. When you do that, you will stand firm in His grace. 

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

Proverbs Scripture Reading - Proverbs 19:19

Proverbs 19:19 New King James Version (NKJV)

19 A man of great wrath will suffer punishment;
For if you rescue him, you will have to do it again.

Morning Scripture Reading - John 12:23-26

John 12:23-26 New King James Version (NKJV)

23 But Jesus answered them, saying, “The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified. 24 Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much [a]grain. 25 He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.

Footnotes:

  1. John 12:24 Lit. fruit

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Evening Scripture Reading - Isaiah 40:26-31

Isaiah 40:26-31 New King James Version (NKJV)

26 Lift up your eyes on high,
And see who has created these things,
Who brings out their host by number;
He calls them all by name,
By the greatness of His might
And the strength of His power;
Not one is missing.

27 Why do you say, O Jacob,
And speak, O Israel:
“My way is hidden from the Lord,
And my just claim is passed over by my God”?
28 Have you not known?
Have you not heard?
The everlasting God, the Lord,
The Creator of the ends of the earth,
Neither faints nor is weary.
His understanding is unsearchable.
29 He gives power to the weak,
And to those who have no might He increases strength.
30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary,
And the young men shall utterly fall,
31 But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.

Psalms Scripture Reading - Psalm 45:10-12

Psalm 45:10-12 New King James Version (NKJV)

10 Listen, O daughter,
Consider and incline your ear;
Forget your own people also, and your father’s house;
11 So the King will greatly desire your beauty;
Because He is your Lord, worship Him.
12 And the daughter of Tyre will come with a gift;
The rich among the people will seek your favor.

Proverbs Scripture Reading - Proverbs 19:17

Proverbs 19:17 New King James Version (NKJV)

17 He who has pity on the poor lends to the Lord,
And He will pay back what he has given.

Morning Scripture Reading - John 3:5-8

John 3:5-8 New King James Version (NKJV)

Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

Friday, September 18, 2020

Evening Scripture Reading - 2 Corinthians 12:14

2 Corinthians 12:14 New King James Version (NKJV)

Love for the Church

14 Now for the third time I am ready to come to you. And I will not be burdensome to you; for I do not seek yours, but you. For the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children.

Psalms Scripture Reading - Psalm 45:6-9

Psalm 45:6-9 New King James Version (NKJV)

Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;
scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
You love righteousness and hate wickedness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of gladness more than Your companions.
All Your garments are scented with myrrh and aloes and cassia,
Out of the ivory palaces, by which they have made You glad.
Kings’ daughters are among Your honorable women;
At Your right hand stands the queen in gold from Ophir.

Proverbs Scripture Reading - Proverbs 19:16

Proverbs 19:16 New King James Version (NKJV)

16 He who keeps the commandment keeps his soul,
But he who [a]is careless of his ways will die.

Footnotes:

  1. Proverbs 19:16 Is reckless, lit. despises

Morning Scripture Reading - John 15:26-27

John 15:26-27 New King James Version (NKJV)

The Coming Rejection

26 “But when the [a]Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me. 27 And you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning.

Footnotes:

  1. John 15:26 Comforter, Gr. Parakletos

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Evening Scripture Reading - 1 Peter 3:8-12

1 Peter 3:8-12 New King James Version (NKJV)

Called to Blessing

Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be [a]courteous; not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing. 10 For

“He who would love life
And see good days,
Let him [b]refrain his tongue from evil,
And his lips from speaking deceit.
11 Let him turn away from evil and do good;
Let him seek peace and pursue it.
12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
And His ears are open to their prayers;
But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Peter 3:8 NU humble
  2. 1 Peter 3:10 restrain