October Scripture Reading and Devotion
“HOW TO ENCOURAGE YOURSELF IN THE LORD”
Pastor Bernie Samples
This month the subject is “How To Encourage Yourself In the Lord”.
I’m going to show my favorite verses that have helped me overcome everything that’s tried to make me give up since I gave my life to Jesus in January 1980.
October 1 1 Samuel 30:1-6 What a horrible impossible situation! David and his army came home from battle to find their city burned to the ground, and their wives and children taken captive by the enemy army. Then his men were so grieved they began to talk about stoning David to death! Up until this point in time he was a great leader and everyone’s hero! Notice V6 “…but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.” To me, courage as a believer means to have more faith in what God has spoken to your heart through His Word and by His Spirit than the natural circumstances that Satan and life have put in front of you. So to encourage yourself in the Lord means to speak the Word of God to yourself that gave you courage to step out in faith to begin with!
Faith Confession: God and His Word working in my life are more than enough to overcome everything that comes at me to try and stop me from fulfilling God’s plan and purpose for my life!
October 2 Psalm 37:4-5 To delight yourself in the Lord means you fall in love with His Word! See: Psalm 1:2 and Romans 7:22. When you crave the Word like you do your favorite food, and then actually spend your time devouring God’s Word, He will put His desires in your heart! Then it will be easy to commit your way to Him because you will be using your faith to pray out His desires for your life!
Faith Confession: Father thank You for giving me a supernatural hunger and craving to feed my spirit on Your Word every day! I commit my way to You and believe You are bringing my heart’s desires to pass!
October 3 Proverbs 3:5-6 There is a major difference between your heart and your head! When you were born again, eternal life came into your spirit immediately, but it takes time to renew your mind to think in line with God’s Word. You must discipline yourself to listen to what the Holy Spirit has spoken to your heart and tell your mind to shut up! As you thank Jesus every day for what He’s doing and stay open to the leading of the Holy Spirit, you will experience more and more of the blessings of God in your life!
Faith Confession: I’m learning to trust the Lord from my spirit and not allowing my head to talk me out of the promises of God! I acknowledge Him every day and He always shows me what to do!
October 4 Isaiah 54:17 When you have committed your life to following Jesus and His plan for your life, you better learn that the devil will send trouble your way. I’ve always meditated on and spoken this verse out loud when the going got rough! And I’ve come out on top time and time again! You will too if you don’t wimp out but only speak the Word!
Faith Confession: devil! No weapon that you form against me will prosper because victory is part of my inheritance as a servant of the Lord and Jesus is my righteousness! Amen!!!
October 5 1 Corinthians 15:57-58 These two verses have always helped me to not quit! They say this to us: 1) Always thank the Father in Jesus Name for victory especially before you see it! 2) Always stay faithful to Jesus by serving His people in what He’s gifted and called you to do. 3) Always remember your obedience in serving Jesus is never in vain! Stay in the race, never give up!
Faith Confession: I will always stay faithful to You Jesus! I will never back off or give up! I know you honor faithfulness in serving your people! Thank You for victory today Lord Jesus! Amen
October 6 Philippians 1:6 Have you ever felt dry spiritually? I have. Have you ever thought, “Where are you Lord? What’s going on? Am I doing something wrong?” Welcome to the faith world! He wants us to serve Him not by feelings but by faith in His Word! For all of my Christian life when I’ve “felt” nothing I go to this verse and speak it out loud over and over and thank Him that it’s true and that He is finishing all that He started in my life!
Faith Confession: Thank You Father for all the good things that You have started doing in my life! I’m confident that everything that You’ve begun, You will finish in Jesus Name! Amen
October 7 Philippians 2:12-13 The salvation the Holy Spirit through Paul is talking about here isn’t your “born again receiving eternal life” experience. He is talking about the salvation of your soul (mind, will and emotions), your actions as a born again believer. I like to say it this way, “I’m getting to show up on the outside what I already have on the inside.” Always remember, It is God, by His Spirit working in you, both to will and to do of His good pleasure!
Faith Confession: Every day I purpose to allow the Fruit of the Spirit on my inside to show up on my outside! Thank You Father for working in me and through me both to will and to do all of Your good pleasure!
October 8 Revelation 12:7-11 This is a very real look through the eyes of God of what’s going on in the realm of the spirit. I’ve always relied and put into practice V11. Meditate on this verse until you can quote it unconsciously without even thinking about it! 1) The devil is no match for the blood of Jesus! Always thank Jesus that you’re born again, a new creation in Him because of His blood! Remind the devil that you are covered by the blood of Jesus and he can’t touch you! 2) Testify whenever you can about what Jesus has and is doing in your life! 3) “Love not your life until the death!” Always put Jesus and obeying His plan for your life first!
Faith Confession: I plead the blood of Jesus over my life and loved ones! We always overcome the attacks of satan because of the blood of the Lamb! Thank You Jesus!
October 9 Romans 8:31 “What shall we SAY to these things...?” If we want to overcome the challenges and mountains that show up in our life, we must use our faith how Jesus taught us in Mark 11:23 “Speak to the mountain, (to “those THINGS”) that try to hinder your faith! Verse 31 “What are you supposed to SAY to those THINGS?” You must say what the Bible says, “If God be for me (and He is) who can be against me?”
Faith Confession: God my Father loves me! Jesus loves me! The Holy Spirit lives in me! We are a majority! It makes no difference who or what is against me because the Greater One in me is more than enough to win every battle!
October 10 Psalm 5:11-12 Notice verse11.I can’t say it enough (because the Bible says it cover to cover)! We must be vocal with our thanksgiving and praise! We need to shout sometimes to stir up our joy! Verse 12 This is something to make you shout and be glad about! As sons and daughters of God we are surrounded by HIS FAVOR in every circumstance and situation we will ever face in life! Just think about it like this, if you had a close friend in a position of influence and you were in need of a favor in a business deal, maybe a court situation or whatever else, and you knew this person could get it done if you asked him this question, “Will you do a favor for me?” You would ask and know that it was done! You do have a friend in high places that sticks to you closer than a brother! His Name is Jesus!
Faith Confession: I will come out on top in every personal and business situation I will ever face because I’m surrounded by the Favor of God everywhere I go! Hallelujah! Praise The Lord!!!
October 11 Hebrews 10:35-36 This has always been one of my favorite standby scriptures when standing on God’s Word and facing impossible circumstances. How do you not cast away your confidence? Look at verse 23. Keep on confessing specific scriptures that apply to what you’re believing Jesus to do for you! Always remember Jesus is the One that will watch over His Word to perform it (Jeremiah 1:12)!
Faith Confession: Jesus, my confidence is in You and Your Word! I will never quit or give up because I know that nothing is impossible for You! Thank You for all of Your plan and purpose coming to pass in my life!
October 12 John 10:10 This verse is an absolute must revelation that you need to have securely in your heart and mind if you are going to be able to pray in faith! I especially love the last part in the Amplified Bible, “… I came that they may have and enjoy life and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).” In every challenge that I face, I always look at it through this verse! If it is something that is stealing, killing or destroying then I know it’s not of God. This shows me how to pray in faith and turn it around!
Faith Confession: I always know where Jesus stands concerning my life! He wants me to have and enjoy life in abundance, to the full till it overflows! So I will never be deceived by satan’s lies that something bad coming at me is God trying to teach me something. Jesus gave me the Bible, the Holy Spirit and God-called and gifted preachers to teach me! Jesus doesn’t have to use the devil to teach me.
October 13 1 John 1:3 - 2:1 This passage has always helped me see how much the Father loves me and wants to continually have an intimate relationship with me! Read it again slowly and let each verse speak to your heart. Notice unrepentant sin will hinder your fellowship with Him and fellow believers. Verses 9- 2:1 tells us His way to deal with sin and get back into the spiritual flow where He wants us to be. Read verse 9 slowly and carefully. He told me in September 2000, “Forgiveness is not a feeling, it’s Bible fact! You do your part and He will do His part! It’s called cooperation!” You confess what you have done and ask His forgiveness and He is just and faithful to forgive your sin and will cleanse you on the inside and give you a fresh start!
Faith Confession: I purpose to live right and live clean but I’m so thankful my Father has made provision that if I do sin I can be cleansed and forgiven and my fellowship with Him restored!
October 14 Jeremiah 29:11-14 These verses have helped me hold on to my faith when it looked for an extended period of time like nothing good was happening! Has this ever happened to you? I really love verse 11 in the NIV “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” I remember in the mid 1980’s we were going through a very rough season of life. The Lord had my wife put a Christmas card with a picture of a beautiful farm house scene surrounded by pine trees and snow, framed it and printed with this verse on it. It came to pass! We received our farm house with pine trees and snow AND became pastors of a wonderful church!
Faith Confession: I will never give up or quit because I know Jesus has a good plan for my life! I will remain faithful knowing my day is coming!
October 15 Galatians 6:7-10 Wow! What a promise! What a wonderful word from the Holy Spirit to us! Look at verse 9 again. “DUE SEASON!” He would not say “DUE SEASON” unless there was a “DUE SEASON”!!! Don’t allow yourself to grow weary in doing the good that you know to do! Remember this month we are teaching on how to encourage yourself in the Lord! Every day will be a blessing! Stay faithful in serving where you can. Make yourself available to be used by Jesus! The spiritual law of sowing and reaping is God’s system of life on earth!
Faith Confession: I will never back off or quit in serving Jesus! I will do whatever I know to do to be a blessing and help advance the Kingdom of God every day! I know DUE SEASON is a Bible fact and it belongs to me!
October 16 Isaiah 40:28-31 As believers we know that the Lord knows everything about everything and can do whatever needs to be done for us to have and enjoy life to the fullest! But we will never know or do what it takes to have God’s best unless we practice what’s in this passage. If you try to do things only with your own intellect or strength you will eventually fail every time. Verse 31 You must do what God did in Genesis 2:1-2. We aren’t living under the Old Testament law but we need to follow the principle of “having a Sabbath Day of rest”. This simply means my wife likes to say), “Take time to stop and get off the merry-go-round!” Your soul and physical body need to have recovery and replenishing time. Develop the habit of taking a day off for church, spending time in the Word, with your family, relax and chill!
Faith Confession: I will discipline myself to take time to wait upon the Lord and renew my strength! I will mount up with wings like an eagle! I will run in the strength of the Lord and not be weary! I will walk with Jesus and not faint!
October 17 Psalm 18:1-3 I was born again on January 29, 1980 and fell in love with Jesus and His Word! In February He led me to these three verses and for the first time I knew in my heart Jesus was speaking to me personally! He said, “Son, these are your verses. You will need them all the days of your life!” Since that day these have always been my go to verses for help and strength! I have faithfully held on to these and read them out loud, meditated on them, prayed them and did what they say! I always make them first person when I read them. Why don’t you do that today?
Faith Confession: Psalm 18:1-3 Now speak these verses out loud to yourself and Jesus!
October 18 Psalm 27 In the early 1980’s as a baby Christian I was still driving eighteen wheelers. Out of a family of seven children I only had one brother that was a born again believer. My parents weren’t born again and I was a single father of two young daughters. Life was pretty lonely and I felt all alone. One evening about 7 or 8:00 PM, I was sent to make a pickup at a factory. While sitting in my tractor at the dock waiting for my shipment to be loaded, I was reading my Bible. Then I heard a knock on my window and a man I had never met (he was the loading supervisor) told me, “The Lord told me to come out and tell you to read Psalm 27.” I was really amazed that Jesus would do that! When I got to verse10, I cried like a baby! This Psalm still speaks to me in every verse to this day!
Faith Confession: Father You are the strength of my life! I will never be afraid of anything or anyone again! I will always seek You in the Word! I will always praise You and know that you are my number one love in life! Thank You for never leaving me or forsaking me!
October 19 Matthew 11:28-30 Are you worried and full of anxiety about the future? Jesus tells you what to do to live a stress free peaceful life! Go to Him in prayer WITH YOUR BIBLE AND HEART OPEN! Yoke up with Him! Think about a team of oxen. They are joined together with a yoke around their necks. Jesus said, “My yoke is EASY and My burden is light.” When you get His Word in your heart and in your mouth, you will be yoked with Him and He will do the heavy lifting with your life’s problems!
Faith Confession: Jesus I come to You to yoke up with You and learn more about Your way of doing things! Thank You for teaching me and giving me Your peace in my soul!
October 20 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 You have an outward man and an inward man. Your outward man is your physical body. Your inward man is the real you. Your inward man is your born again spirit. You have physical eyes that you see things in the physical realm with. But your spirit has spiritual eyes to see the promises of God’s Word by faith. That’s why 2 Corinthians 5:7 says, “We walk by faith not by sight.” FAITH DOESN’T DENY THINGS, FAITH CHANGES THINGS! Verse 18 Don’t focus on the problem, but at the same time don’t ignore it and act like it doesn’t exist. FOCUS ON THE ANSWER! The problem is temporary but God’s Word is eternal! As you speak the Word, “Your inward man is renewed day by day”.
Faith Confession: My problems are small and temporary compared to Jesus and eternity! I will focus on the verses I know and speak them out loud every day! My spirit will stay refreshed and blessed and bottom line, I win! Hallelujah! Thank You Jesus!!!
October 21 Psalm 118:24 When I was born again in January 1980, Charismatic churches everywhere used Bible passages as song books. I visited many churches in those days because I was single and spent every spare minute in the Word or in a church service. It seemed every church I visited always opened the service singing this verse. I made it a part of my daily life! The first thing I would do every morning was jump out of bed dancing and singing the words of this verse! It really brought the anointing into my bedroom in a very spiritual way! You could probably find this song on the internet with the right tune. Try waking up, getting out of bed and singing the Word to Jesus and set the spiritual tone for your day!
Faith Confession: “This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it!”
October 22 1 John 4:4 The first several verses of this chapter sure sound like they’re talking about today. If you’re born t the New Testament and write verses that tell you who you are because Christ lives in you! What you can do because you are in Christ! What belongs to you because of being a new creature IN CHRIST! John 14:17 Jesus in talking about the Holy Ghost said, “…He lives with you and SHALL BE IN YOU!” Glory to God we don’t have to be afraid of the future or anything about current circumstances! The Creator, the One that knows the end from the beginning lives in us!
Faith Confession: I refuse to worry about anything in life! Because GREATER IS HE THAT IS IN ME THAN HE THAT IS IN THE WORLD!
October 23 1 Peter 5:8 The devil is real and is continually on the prowl as a roaring lion. That’s just a spiritual fact. But I choose to live by a more powerful Bible fact. Verse 9 I will always stay spiritually strong and resist the deceptions and temptations of the devil! In 1981 I went to visit a young man in jail in Bloomington, Indiana. I didn’t know him but I got to talk to him from a room about twenty feet away. That was great because I had to talk loud and a lot of others heard me. I led him in the sinner’s prayer and then read these two verses to him. The Holy Ghost gave me revelation of how to get victory over satan every time! Notice the last part of verse 9 “… the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.” Jesus said this through me that day and it’s always stuck with me. “There’s a difference between, “In the world Christians and in the WORD Christians!’” We all have a choice - we can spend more time in the world or in the WORD!
Faith Confession: I resist the devil and he flees from me because I choose to spend time in the Word as a lifestyle! God’s Word is real and alive in me and gives me victory over satan every time!
October 24 Choices have consequences! Deuteronomy30:17-20 This is Old Testament but the principal is still the same. Like we saw in yesterday’s devotion, we can choose to live more in the anti-God ways of the world or to live more in the Word and follow His ways! This month we have been studying, “How To Encourage Yourself In the Lord”. Look at verse 19 again, “…I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore CHOOSE LIFE, that both you and your descendants may live.” Your life won’t end in success or failure by CHANCE but by CHOICE!
Faith Confession: No matter how busy my life gets, I will always choose to schedule my time around Jesus and His Word! For He is my life and the length of my days!
October 25 I love all of 1 Corinthians 2! But I want to focus on verses 9-16. I have really been blessed by these verses for over 40 years! Verse 12 As born again believers we have the Holy Spirit to speak to our spirit everything that Jesus has provided for us! Verse 13 “Which things WE SPEAK!” V14 Bible promises and living according to God’s morals and standards seem foolish to the unsaved and carnal Christians! Read verses 9-10 again. Keep on studying, meditating, living and speaking God’s Word and you will enjoy the blessings of heaven on earth!
Faith Confession: My head may not understand sometimes but my heart knows! I love Jesus with all my heart and He loves me and has prepared great things for me in this life! I don’t care what people say, I choose to follow and live for Jesus!
October 26 1 Corinthians 14:4 When you have been baptized in the Holy Ghost and received your prayer language of speaking in other tongues you can edify yourself by praying in tongues. The Greek word for edify means “to build up, like charging a car battery.” Verses 14-15 To stay charged up spiritually you need to pray in other tongues frequently and pray with your understanding in your known language also. Jude 20 is saying the samething. Note: You don’t need to pray in tongues to be saved. Buy the mini book “Why Tongues” by Kenneth E. Hagin in our book store or on online, “Why Tongues” is an excellent resource to help you see in the Bible more clearly the Baptism in the Holy Ghost and what speaking in tongues is all about.
Faith Confession: I will seek the Lord and study my own Bible about the Baptism of the Holy Ghost and praying in tongues. I will edify myself frequently by praying in my prayer language or other tongues.
October 27 Sometimes I like to go through the book of Isaiah and meditate in a few encouraging verses. Isaiah 41:10; 43:2, 18-19, 25-26; 44:3-4, 22; 45:5-6, 11; 46:9-11. Read these for a picker upper! Mark these and others that you find. These really help fire you up if you are feeling helpless!
Faith Confession: I fear not because Jesus is with me! Jesus is my strength! Jesus is my help, safety and protection! I can’t lose for winning because God and I are more than enough for any battle!
October 28 1 Corinthians 10:13 Always remember God knows the difference between sin chasing you or you chasing sin! He will not allow you to be tempted beyond your level of faith! Hebrews 4:14-16 To me, this is one of the greatest ways to victory over temptation! Jesus already passed the test for you! But you are the one that must, verse16 “Come boldly to the Throne of Grace, to obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Mercy is not getting the judgment we deserve and grace is giving us another chance to get things restored and back on track!
Faith Confession: Father, I’m so glad that You know my heart! I come boldly to Your Throne of Grace to obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Thank You for not allowing me to be tempted above that which I’m able to resist! I believe I receive in Jesus Name! Amen
October 29 1 Corinthians 13:8 “LOVE NEVER FAILS…” this is talking about “agape”, Greek word meaning “the God kind of love”. This is talking about unconditional love! No strings attached. It’s impossible to love like this from your head or by your feelings. Romans 5:5 “…the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” Galatians 5:22 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love…” When you were born again God put His faith in your recreated human spirit. Not in your head! When you communicate with Jesus, it’s from your heart. When you pray in faith, it’s from your heart and not your head. Likewise God’s agape love is in your heart not your head! So to love people in spite of how they treat you, you must train yourself to love and forgive from your heart! Don’t allow negative, hateful thoughts control your actions towards fellow human beings. Meditate on l Corinthians 13:4-8a (especially in the Amplified Bible) every day for a season and begin to do what it says! Since “LOVE NEVER FAILS” you will start having more wins than loses in life!
Faith Confession: I have the love nature of God in my born again spirit not in my head! Today I will love and forgive from my spirit! Emotions and feelings will not control how I respond and treat others! I love like Jesus loves because it’s His love in me that I yield to!
October 30 Joshua 1:1-11 When I was a new Christian in 1980 my pastor had a men’s meeting every Saturday morning. There were no doughnuts or coffee. We simply came to church and sat in a circle and he taught us how to live holy for Jesus and LEAD OUR FAMILIES in the things of God. He frequently taught the principals from this passage. Verse 5 “God is with you! He will not fail you or forsake you! Verse 6 Be strong and full of courage”. You are called to lead your family into their inheritance in Christ f healing, prosperity, victory over all addictions, and walking in the love of God just to name part of what Jesus provided for us! Verses 7-9 Reminds us that the only way to be strong and very courageous is be a serious student of God’s Word! Verse 11 So let’s lead our family to go in and possess the land of all the promises of God that we see!
Faith Confession: I have the call of God to be a spiritual leader in my family! I will gain strength and direction from His Word every day of my life! Together with Jesus we will go in and possess all the blessings of God for my family!
October 31 I want to close out the month with where we started Read 1 Samuel 30. I will point out a few key verses. 1 Samuel 30:6 “… David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.” Verse 18 “And David recovered all that was stolen and rescued his family.” Verse 19 “And there was nothing lacking…” FAITH TAKES BACK WHAT THE DEVIL HAS STOLEN!!
Faith Confession: No matter how bad life looks at times or what lies or deceptions satan throws at me, I will always look at God’s Word, believe it in my heart and speak it, act on it and win every battle of life!