December 31

Malachi 3:1-4:6; Revelation 22:1-21; Psalm 150:1-6; Proverbs 31:25-31

As we close out this year and prepare for a new year, we are reminded about the importance of our tithes and offerings. Throughout the Book of Malachi, God has pleaded with His people to return to family and return to Him.

In each instance, the people, who are just like us, ask, “But How?” God then elaborates exactly how we can return to Him and our families. In the 3rd chapter of Malachi, God wants His people to return to Him in their finances.

The tithe is considered holy and it belongs to God (Leviticus 27:30). God asks us to return the first tenth of our income to Him as an act of worship. As you approach this New Year, put God first in your finances and watch how He multiplies and blesses your life in every area— not just financially.

God asks you to “put Him to the test” in this area of your life. You will not be disappointed with the results.  Happy New Year!
Tomorrow’s Reading: Genesis 1-2:25; Matthew 1:1-2:12; Psalm 1:1-6; Proverbs 1:1-6

December 30

Malachi 1:1-2:17; Revelation 21:1-27; Psalm 149:1-9; Proverbs 31:10-24

With all of God’s power, He is rightfully known as The Creator. But, God reminds Israel that His primary role in their lives is as a Father. Much of God’s criticism of Israel was that they dishonored Him in His role as Father.

The main way that we show contempt for God is by what we present to Him. God instructed Israel how to honor Him with their sacrifices. In response, they would not bring Him the best. They would bring him the worst! They brought diseased animals as sacrifices.

Rightfully so, God took this as an insult. God has a track record of giving us His best. All He asks for is that we reciprocate and give Him our best. As this year draws to a close and a new one dawns, can you make a commitment to give God the best and first? Can He meet you in the morning and get your first time of the day?

God, as a loving Father, has established what honors Him. Whether it is our times, talent or treasure, let’s commit to give Him what He deserves because we are His faithful children.
Tomorrow’s Reading:  Malachi 3:1-4:6; Revelation 22:1-21; Psalm 150:1-6; Proverbs 31:25-31

December 29

Zechariah 14:1-21; Revelation 20:1-15; Psalm 148:1-14; Proverbs 31:8-9

There is no enemy, which arises against God that can ever win. Because Jerusalem is God’s city and the Israelites are His precious people, anyone who arises against them will have to ultimately fight God. God has never lost a battle.

He stands over Jerusalem to protect her. Because we are His people, God makes the same commitment to us. You should never doubt God’s willingness to defend you against any enemy no matter how formidable. But you should not doubt God’s willingness to forgive those who repent.

Here is how God expresses His mercy! If the people who fight against God humble themselves and acknowledge Him as Lord, God says He will bless them. How amazing is God’s love that even for one who has fought against God, He has room in His heart to forgive those who oppose Him.

God will send the rain on their crops just like He sends the rain on His people’s crops. God is never trying to block people from His family. He’s always trying to woo people to His family— even those who once fought Him.

Tomorrow’s Reading: Malachi 1:1-2:17; Revelation 21:1-27; Psalm 149:1-9; Proverbs 31:10-24

December 28

Zechariah 12:1-13:9; Revelation 19:1-21; Psalm 147:1-20; Proverbs 31:1-7

In the middle of the calamities of life, God has expectations of His children. When trouble is raging and people’s lives are being damaged, God does not want His children wrapped up into the problems but serving as a solution.

God told Israel that He would “pour out a spirit of grace and prayer….” These are the tools that we need to stand strong when the world is falling down around us. God’s grace will enable us to see beyond judgment and condemnation and allow love to flow. Then out of a heart of love, we can pray for those around us. Those are the prayers that God hears: prayers that are prayed in love.

If we want to see our families, communities and country change, it will not come from a judgmental attitude, it will come from grace. As this year ends, and the new one begins, ask God to give you a greater revelation of His grace so that you can relate to those around you in love. Then take seriously your responsibility to pray for those around you. Grace and prayer will make the difference.

Tomorrow’s Reading: Zechariah 14:1-21; Revelation 20:1-15; Psalm 148:1-14; Proverbs 31:8-9

December 27

Zechariah 10:1-11:17; Revelation 18:1-24; Psalm 146:1-10; Proverbs 30:33

God loves us so much that He encourages us to ask Him for what we need. In each request we give God the opportunity to show Himself as a provider for our lives. This also sets our God apart from the false gods of our culture.

God will always honor His Word and the promises that He made to us. If we ask God in faith according to His Word, He will not only hear us but will grant the petitions that we have asked of Him. (1 John 5:14-15)

God told Israel to ask Him for rain because He created the clouds and He would send enough rain to lavishly water their fields. How many of God’s miracles are we missing simply because we do not ask? We may think that its too much or unfair to ask. Yet, God has opened the door for us to ask.

Don’t go without the things that you need when God has sufficient supply! Have the faith to ask and receive, even before you see it! Then it will come to pass. When God blesses you, it will demonstrate to everyone that your God is the True God!

Tomorrow’s Reading: Zechariah 12:1-13:9; Revelation 19:1-21; Psalm 147:1-20; Proverbs 31:1-7

December 26

Zechariah 9:1-17; Revelation 17:1-18; Psalm 145:1-21; Proverbs 30:32

What Christmas started, Easter completed! Zechariah gave a prophetic word of a time when God’s people would have their hope restored and their lives put back together.

“Rejoice, O people of Zion! Shout in triumph, O people of Jerusalem! Look, your king is coming to you. He is righteous and victorious, yet he is humble, riding on a donkey” (Zechariah 9:9)

When Jesus entered Jerusalem, as He approached the cross, this Scripture is used to describe His triumphal entry on what we call Palm Sunday. God always knew the cross was a part of the process to complete what God started on Christmas Day.

We are living in that time right now! You and I can rejoice because God has promised as His blood-bought children that we can break free of all the chains that bind us and dungeons that have imprisoned us. God will give us double blessing for each trouble we’ve experienced.

Are you in faith for this? You should be. Every time trouble arises, you should know that double blessings are yours. This is a promise from God’s Word. If you have unclaimed gifts, set your heart that starting today, every trouble you’ve experienced will be paid back double with blessings!!

Tomorrow’s Reading:  Zechariah 10:1-11:17; Revelation 18:1-24; Psalm 146:1-10; Proverbs 30:33

December 25

Zechariah 8:1-23; Revelation 16:1-21; Psalm 144:1-15; Proverbs 30:29-31

Starting is only one part of the process of life. We also need to have the strength to finish what we start. How often do we start things but yet not follow them through to completion? Starting strong but not finishing means nothing.

Israel started the process of rebuilding the city and the Temple but they became weary and slowed down. God encouraged them to complete what they started and the blessing was that He was going to help them. He would make them so successful that the whole world would see that His favor was upon them.

As you approach the end of the year, there may be things that you have not completed. It’s okay. You still have life so you still have time. Make it your goal to finish. God will help you finish well so that all will see that you are His child.

This is what Christmas stands for. God always wanted us to be in His family. Even though Adam and Eve broke that relationship, God did what it took to get us back into his family. Thank God today that He finishes what He starts.

Tomorrow’s Reading:  Zechariah 9:1-17; Revelation 17:1-18; Psalm 145:1-21; Proverbs 30:32

December 24

Zechariah 6:1-7:14; Revelation 15:1-8; Psalm 143:1-12; Proverbs 30:24-28

Israel had mastered religious festivals and practices. Even when they were in exile, they remembered to fast and pray to commemorate the destruction of the Temple. They were diligent to do religious things but were unwilling to uphold the things that pleased God. Somehow Israel felt that God only wanted religious ritual. God wants so much more.

God wants each of us to live our lives showing others the best example we can of Who He is. God cares as much about how we treat people as how much we pray. God is as sensitive to those we help as He is with how much we give to Him.

It is not one or the other. God wants the spiritual disciplines in order to keep our relationship with Him strong. And, God wants us to honor our relationship with Him by treating people the way He would. God’s advice to Israel is the same to us today: “Judge fairly, and show mercy and kindness to one another. Do not oppress widows, orphans, foreigners, and the poor. And do not scheme against each other.” (Zechariah 7:9-10)

During this time of the year, it is especially necessary for us to remember that people matter to God. God showed us how much we mean to Him when he sent a little Baby in a manger.

Tomorrow’s Reading:  Zechariah 8:1-23; Revelation 16:1-21; Psalm 144:1-15; Proverbs 30:29-31

December 23

Zechariah 4:1-5:11; Revelation 14:1-20; Psalm 142:1-7; Proverbs 30:21-23

How is God able to help all of His people around the world with the challenges that they face? To us, as humans, it seems impossible because all we are exposed to is human ability and strength. However, God operates by His Spirit.

Zechariah received a vision of a lamp stand that had a bowl of oil in it. The angel asked Zechariah if he knew the significance of this vision. He didn’t. It was a representation of God’s Spirit and His ability to level mountains and barriers that lay before us.

If you are wondering how you can overcome the challenges before you when your human strength gives out or you have found yourself in a situation that your human reasoning cannot figure out, it is then that you must realize that God works through His Spirit.

Invite God’s presence into your situation and watch how His Spirit does what human power could never accomplish. God’s Spirit has everything we need to overcome. “It is not by force nor by strength, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.” (Zechariah 4:6)

Tomorrow’s Reading:  Zechariah 6:1-7:14; Revelation 15:1-8; Psalm 143:1-12; Proverbs 30:24-28

December 22

Zechariah 2:1-3:10; Revelation 13:1-18; Psalm 141:1-10; Proverbs 30:18-20

God is so consistent in His desire to be in relationship with us.  Throughout the Old Testament, we see a picture emerge of how God will restore His people to Him. In the manner that God restores the priest, Jeshua, God also restores us to our rightful place as His modern day priests.

The accuser was faithfully on his post tearing down God’s priest, Jeshua. God strongly rejects every accusation of the devil against His priest. Without any rebuttal, satan stops his accusations. God then goes through the process of restoring the priest. He removed his old soiled clothes and replaced them with clean ones.

The devil tries to accuse us and convince God to reject us. But God won’t do that! God wants to do the same thing in our lives that He did for that priest. God believes in restoration!

Regardless of how far we have fallen, God silences the accusations of satan and restores us to our rightful place with Him. God leads this process until completion. Let God continue His cleansing process so that we can faithfully serve Him.

Tomorrow’s Reading:  Zechariah 4:1-5:11; Revelation 14:1-20; Psalm 142:1-7; Proverbs 30:21-23