December 13 Bible reading

12 12 2018

Each day of the year I’ll post verses to read, with the purpose of reading through the whole Bible within a year.

Reading the Bible is helpful in taking next steps to follow Jesus. It may not be easy and yet it can be rewarding. Digging into Scripture alongside people you know is a life-giving way to pursue answers together. We discover the love that God has for us, expressed through Jesus.

Please read the verses below, prayerfully consider them, and then my comments may be helpful after those moments.

December 13  Psalm 142  Revelation 4  Esther 6; 7; 8

What’s the plain simple truth of the verses you read?

Based on today’s reading, what is one thing God is saying to you?

What should you do about that truth?

The prophet Samuel had anointed David to be the next king. David had defeated the giant Goliath, who was the champion of the opposing Philistine army. King Saul had become consumed by jealousy of David’s fame. King Saul and his team were in pursuit of David to kill him. In 1 Samuel 24:3, we find David hiding in a cave. He later writes a song about the experience. David learned that when his life’s challenges were beyond his control, God was the best person to turn to. He learned that God cared about him. He poured out all of his thoughts and feelings about his troubles to God who heard him and rescued him. This is why David would publicly thank God for everything.

John is given a vision of the worship surrounding the throne of God. It is a constant description of the Creator Redeemer as the eternal one true living God, who is worthy to receive “all the glory and honor and power”. We should worship our holy God as the One who is all knowing and all powerful. The One who redeemed us through Jesus, and Yahweh God, the One who chose to create all we see, is worthy our best praise.

King Xerxes’s highest official Haman issued a decree to kill all Jews because he was consumed with hatred for Mordecai. The king realized that Mordecai had not be recognized for uncovering a plot to kill the king. Then Queen Esther unveiled Haman’s campaign to kill Mordecai and all Jews. She pled for her life and the lives of all Jews. The king ordered Haman’s death and empowered Esther and Mordecai to reverse the curse. Our sovereign God responds to our cry for help.





December 12 Bible reading

11 12 2018

Each day of the year I’ll post verses to read, with the purpose of reading through the whole Bible within a year.

Reading the Bible is helpful in taking next steps to follow Jesus. It may not be easy and yet it can be rewarding. Digging into Scripture alongside people you know is a life-giving way to pursue answers together. We discover the love that God has for us, expressed through Jesus.

Please read the verses below, prayerfully consider them, and then my comments may be helpful after those moments.

December 12  Psalm 141  Revelation 3:7-22  Esther 2:19-23; 3; 4; 5

What’s the plain simple truth of the verses you read?

Based on today’s reading, what is one thing God is saying to you?

What should you do about that truth?

“God help me!” David sings as a prayer. In keeping with this Psalm, we ask God to guide what we say and what we do not say. We pray that God helps us receive correction from godly people. It will benefit us. Our God is our help in time of need.

Through John, Jesus speaks a word of encouragement to the church of ancient Philadelphia. Jesus has observed their faithful perseverance in the face of opposition. Jesus promises protection and a victory. Jesus will bring them into a place of eternal peaceful relationship (dwelling) with God, in the eternal City of God. If we will hear the Spirit of God speaking to us through these letters, we will believe in the ultimate victory of Jesus. We will grow in faith and awareness of our God.

Esther had been adopted by Mordecai. She followed his guidance through life, even when she lived as queen in the king’s palace. Mordecai refused to bow to Haman, the king’s powerful administrator. Haman initiated a plot to wipe out the Jews in revenge of this sleight. Mordecai called Esther to consider her opportunity. She responded by asking the Jews to fast and pray for her. Risking her own life she initiated a dialogue with Haman and the king. Our God is the rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. God will guide us as we recognize the opportunities before us.





December 11 Bible reading

10 12 2018

Each day of the year I’ll post verses to read, with the purpose of reading through the whole Bible within a year.

Reading the Bible is helpful in taking next steps to follow Jesus. It may not be easy and yet it can be rewarding. Digging into Scripture alongside people you know is a life-giving way to pursue answers together. We discover the love that God has for us, expressed through Jesus.

Please read the verses below, prayerfully consider them, and then my comments may be helpful after those moments.

December 11  Psalm 140:6-13  Revelation 2:18-29; 3:1-6  Esther 1; 2:1-18

What’s the plain simple truth of the verses you read?

Based on today’s reading, what is one thing God is saying to you?

What should you do about that truth?

Seeking physical protection from enemies, David sings a cry to God for help. In his prayer, David recalls how God rescued him in the past. He reminds God of His past provision. David calls on God for big specific miracles. Singing faith statements in a time of need, David draws strength from God. He describes people of faith, singing praise and in a state of awareness that they are living in the presence of God.

To the people of the church in Thyatira, Jesus sends a message. He commends their spiritual growth in love, faith, service, and endurance. Jesus calls for change in the way they have allowed the spiritual deception and sexual sin of believers in their church. Jesus will bring judgment to those who are unrepentant of sexual sin. Jesus calls the people of the church in Sardis to repentance of sin. Their reputation is good and yet Jesus is aware of their true state. Our Lord is aware of our spiritual health, our motives, and our actions. Let’s love our God with all we’ve got.

King Xerxes (Ahasuerus) reigns from India to Ethiopia, chronologically between chapters 6 and 7 of the book of Ezra. The king has been rebuffed by his queen Vashti and launches a campaign to replace her. A beautiful young Jewish lady, Esther (Hadassah) is selected as most beautiful queen of the Medes and Persians. This story of God’s sovereignty doesn’t mention the name of God but hides it in Hebrew acrostic form four times in the book.





December 10 Bible reading

9 12 2018

Each day of the year I’ll post verses to read, with the purpose of reading through the whole Bible within a year.

Reading the Bible is helpful in taking next steps to follow Jesus. It may not be easy and yet it can be rewarding. Digging into Scripture alongside people you know is a life-giving way to pursue answers together. We discover the love that God has for us, expressed through Jesus.

Please read the verses below, prayerfully consider them, and then my comments may be helpful after those moments.

December 10  Proverbs 30:1-10  Revelation 2:1-17  Zechariah 12; 13; 14

What’s the plain simple truth of the verses you read?

Based on today’s reading, what is one thing God is saying to you?

What should you do about that truth?

This proverb gives us common sense and a prayer. God, I may not be the smartest or the strongest, but I recognize You as powerful God. Please provide for my needs. Help me resist a temptation to turn away from You God, distracted by my financial situation. May I be reminded every day that You God are my Provider.

Jesus speaks to John, in a vision, a message for churches in seven cities. We are invited to leaern from them with spiritual discernment. The Ephesians had drifted from their first love of God, during their season of hard work and enduring suffering. We must love God with all we’ve got. Jesus has seen the suffering and poverty of the church in Smyrna. He promises that their faithfulness will be rewarded. The church in Pergamum has seen the influence of Satan in their city. They remained faithful when Antipas was martyred. Yet they also tolerated false teaching and sexual sin. Jesus calls them to repentance and the reward in Heaven.

God reveals through Zechariah that He is acutely aware of each person and the events in human history. God predicts the future. In this, God calls people to repentance of sin and a personal love relationship, to the degree that it changes the state of their cities. God predicts events that happened later and events that are yet to come.





December 9 Bible reading

8 12 2018

Each day of the year I’ll post verses to read, with the purpose of reading through the whole Bible within a year.

Reading the Bible is helpful in taking next steps to follow Jesus. It may not be easy and yet it can be rewarding. Digging into Scripture alongside people you know is a life-giving way to pursue answers together. We discover the love that God has for us, expressed through Jesus.

Please read the verses below, prayerfully consider them, and then my comments may be helpful after those moments.

December 9  Psalm 140:1-5  Revelation 1  Zechariah 9; 10; 11

What’s the plain simple truth of the verses you read?

Based on today’s reading, what is one thing God is saying to you?

What should you do about that truth?

David was at risk of violent attack by a variety of specific people, in different seasons of his life. He sang a prayer for protection. This song was available for people to use in the same way. Singing your prayer request to God is a helpful practice.

John has been sent away to an island as punishment for preaching the Good News of Jesus. On the Sabbath he was worshipping in the Spirit and God sent an angel to present him with a vision of Jesus. John carefully recorded what he saw and heard. We can learn from this specific message to the churches of seven cities in what is now Western Turkey. Grace and peace comes to Jesus followers today in this revelation of God’s sovereignty and the supremacy of Jesus Christ. Through the sacrifice of his human life, our Lord Jesus has freed us from our sin and holds power over death. Our God is eternal. God has always been all powerful and will always be all powerful.

Through the prophet Zechariah, God brings encouragement to those who have returned from exile. As a result of God’s covenant agreement, they hear the promise of restoration and a prediction of the coming Messiah. This King Messiah would be victorious, righteous, and humble. The Messiah would bring every believer into their spiritual function.





December 8 Bible reading

7 12 2018

Each day of the year I’ll post verses to read, with the purpose of reading through the whole Bible within a year.

Reading the Bible is helpful in taking next steps to follow Jesus. It may not be easy and yet it can be rewarding. Digging into Scripture alongside people you know is a life-giving way to pursue answers together. We discover the love that God has for us, expressed through Jesus.

Please read the verses below, prayerfully consider them, and then my comments may be helpful after those moments.

December 8  Psalm 139:17-24  Jude 1  Zechariah 5; 6; 7; 8

What’s the plain simple truth of the verses you read?

Based on today’s reading, what is one thing God is saying to you?

What should you do about that truth?

Our loving Creator has thought about each of us more than we know. God loves you. This love motivated God to make a way of salvation for us. Our reasonable response should include the searching out of God’s thoughts for us. We should open ourselves to the examination and guidance of the Holy Spirit.

This letter, from Jude, can be read alongside 2 Peter 2 for helpful study. We read about how to discern false teachers while waiting for God’s final evaluation of all people with Christ’s return. Jude observed false teachers who talked their way into church influence. These people appealed to the carnal nature of church members. They taught that the grace of God provided for a life where you could do anything you want. They “claimed authority” because of dreams they had they were cynical of spiritual power. They deceived people and shipwrecked lives. Believers are called to “build each other up in your most holy faith”, and pray with a focus on Jesus.

Calling people to spiritual change, the prophet Zechariah is sharing visions of God’s sovereign activity. The Messiah can be seen as the King-Priest and the Builder of the Temple. We’re called to show mercy and kindness to each other. Here we see God’s love. We see God’s value on the truth, on our honesty and a community of peace. We see that anything is possible at God’s direction.





December 7 Bible reading

6 12 2018

Each day of the year I’ll post verses to read, with the purpose of reading through the whole Bible within a year.

Reading the Bible is helpful in taking next steps to follow Jesus. It may not be easy and yet it can be rewarding. Digging into Scripture alongside people you know is a life-giving way to pursue answers together. We discover the love that God has for us, expressed through Jesus.

Please read the verses below, prayerfully consider them, and then my comments may be helpful after those moments.

December 7  Psalm 139:11-16  3 John 1  Zechariah 1; 2; 3; 4

What’s the plain simple truth of the verses you read?

Based on today’s reading, what is one thing God is saying to you?

What should you do about that truth?

Psalm 139 is a song of gratitude for our Creator. God created you by design with loving purpose. Our God provides direction for all. We can find our God to be aware of what is going on at every moment. God has been aware and active every day of our lives. When we were learning how to talk and walk God was there. This realization should produce a humble worship of God and a desire to learn from God.

John’s third letter gives practical advice about the loving reception and support of true gospel teachers. We’re reminded of Christ’s directive to love each other with agape love that is faithful & patient. John contrasts the commendable nature of Gaius and Demetrius with the autocratic controlling nature of a church leader named Diotrephes. It’s a cautionary tale for us.

Similar to Haggai, the prophet Zechariah speaks to Israelites starting 16 years after their return to Jerusalem from Babylonian captivity. Where Haggai had a call to change seen externally, Zechariah brought encouragement for internal spiritual change in the people. In Ezra 5:1 we see the two prophets ministering together. Jesus the Messiah is seen as the “branch”, and the “servant”. God predicts a future where He will live among His people and other nations will be invited into this relationship.