November 18 Bible reading

17 11 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.

November 18  Psalm 128  James 2  Ezekiel 33:21-33; 34; 35

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?

When we live out of gratitude to God there is a joy that is with us today and will be with us tomorrow. When we live in constant awareness of God there is a love and respect that fills our hearts and homes.

If we treat some people as less valuable than others, we are not faithful followers of Jesus. My suggestion to all Christians is to read the words of Jesus found in Matthew 5 -7 and then James 1 – 5 for helpful perspective. We are certainly saved by grace through faith in Jesus as Savior (as evidenced by our true repentance). This means that our change of heart is seen by a change of actions. If the trajectory of our life as Jesus followers shows now change in our values, decision making, and serving people in need (compared to how we lived before meeting Jesus) then it is quite possible we are spiritually sick at the least.

Through Ezekiel, God called people to repent and brought judgment on those who replied with lip service and yet no change in their actions. Our God knows the heart of each person and mourns the punishment needed for those who reject His covenant agreement of peace. The day will come when everyone will recognize Yahweh as Sovereign Lord.





November 17 Bible reading

16 11 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.

November 17  Psalm 127  James 1  Ezekiel 32; 33:1-20

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?

Yahweh God, our Creator & Redeemer, is the one who provides for us. God makes it possible for us to work and rest. If we give our best energy to a life independent of God it will ultimately be useless. In a life that honors God children are valued as a blessing from God.

James, the pastor of the Jerusalem church, is the first to write an open letter that serves as one of the pastoral epistles of the New Testament. He writes to Jewish followers of Jesus a letter that is directly connected to Jesus’ “Sermon on the Mount”. He speaks to the spiritual strength we can draw from a relationship with Jesus. We should be good listeners, who choose their words carefully and are not easily angered. Seeking wisdom from God, we can learn to see our lives clearly. Perspective is critical. James warns us to not be misled, allowing ourselves to be deceived. We can receive salvation by grace and take action as a result of this new life.

Through Ezekiel, God predicts the destruction of Egypt in punishment of their sins. God instructs Ezekiel to mourn this coming judgment on the opposing nations of people who did wicked things and refused to repent. This mourning further reveals the loving heart of God for all people. Our God wants everyone to turn away from their self-destructive sin and toward His life-giving love.





November 16 Bible reading

15 11 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.

November 16  Proverbs 27:23-27; 28:1-6  Hebrews 13  Ezekiel 30; 31

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 our Creator has made it possible for us to earn money. We have resources of time, energy, and money. They are temporary. Our spirit will live forever. We are stewards of the resources God has provided. Healthy decisions make good use of those resources. Diligence, hard work, and healthy decisions show your eternal perspective and appreciation for all that God has provided you.

Through Jesus, our God has made a way for us to be cleansed, forgiven, and brought into new spiritual life. In Hebrews 13:5 & Deuteronomy 31:6 we see that God has promised to never abandon us. Here we find confident hope in God our provider, a present help in time of need. For this reason, we should not fear what people may do to us. We are now able to live a lifestyle of love with courageous generosity to all people. We must be on the lookout for opportunities to serve someone we have just met, someone in need, someone in prison, and anyone who is being mistreated. Let us live a life focused on Jesus. May God give us the ability to live in this way.

As a sign to all who would read it, God gave Ezekiel prophetic visions (which he wrote and distributed). These visions predicted specific events in the history of the nations of Babylon, Egypt, and Israel. As these prophecies were fulfilled the relevant written history served as further proof of Yahweh God’s sovereign control of human history. The redemptive narrative of God’s story can be seen in the big picture.





November 15 Bible reading

14 11 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.

November 15  Psalm 126  Hebrews 12:14-29  Ezekiel 28; 29

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?

People returning to Jerusalem for worship would sing Psalm 126. They recalled a season of amazing fulfillment and happiness. They recognized the miracles God had done to make their joy possible after their season of trouble and exile. They had repented of sin and returned to healthy relationship with God. As a result, they found a harvest of blessing at just the right time. This song reminded current-day believers of those lessons from the past.

From a faith focused on Jesus, we are called to pursue healthy relationships (in right standing) with each other (by Hebrews 12:14-15). A lifestyle of whole-hearted devotion to God should include caring about the people in your life. We can help each other receive the grace of God, the healing it brings, and freedom from unresolved hurt or anger from the past. Each of us must relate with Jesus as our Mediator of a New Covenant in our relationship with the all-powerful living God.

The leaders of Tyre, Sidon, Egypt, and Babylon found their thoughts, feelings, and actions unveiled by an attentive God. Through the prophet Ezekiel, God predicted the exact ways in which they would be punished. This pre-emptive written word served as proof of Yahweh God’s sovereignty. God is all knowing and all powerful. We should relate to God with respect to these truths.





November 14 Bible reading

13 11 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.

November 14  Psalm 125  Hebrews 12:1-13  Ezekiel 26; 27

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?

When the Israelites returned to Jerusalem they would be reminded of the protection of God, standing faithfully like the mountains that repelled would-be attackers. When we rely on God, He will not fail us and we can walk in peace. Let us spend time each day to bring our hearts in tune with God.

We found joy and received salvation through Jesus. Every day we should keep a focus on Jesus our Champion. Jesus initiates our faith and is bringing it to fulfillment. Our strength increases as we daily consider who Jesus is and how Jesus lives. This will motivate us to do anything possible to please God who has lavished love on us. When God brings guidance, reshaping our desires and correcting our behavior, we should be predisposed to respond out of humble gratitude. This adjustment, from God, comes with our best interest in mind. Our Creator knows best how we should live. Let’s not follow self-destructive desires.

Our God watched as the people of Ture lived the way that they wanted to, ignoring their Creator, and celebrating the destruction of Jerusalem. God knew their hearts. God predicted their demise in punishment and asked Ezekiel to sing a funeral song for them. Pride will bring consequences.





November 13 Bible reading

12 11 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.

November 13  Psalm 124  Hebrews 11:17-40  Ezekiel 24; 25

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 writes a song, in Psalm 124, reminding his people of specific times when God delivered them. Where would we be without God? Without the grace of God, I would be worse than nothing. I would have been a detriment to society. God rescued me. If God has rescued you by His grace, sing about it. Your help came from the Creator of heaven and earth.

Hebrews 11 lists what some have called the “Faith Hall of Fame”. People who made life-changing decisions based on what they believed about God. They chose to “see the invisible, believe the impossible, and overcome the obstacles”. They recognized God’s purpose in their world and in their life circumstances. They lived by faith in their struggles, in their deaths, on their tedious days, and in the greatest victories of their lives. “They received what God had promised” and yet not all that God had promised. Complete fulfillment will come after Christ returns to earth and we see a great reunion in heaven.

Jerusalem had become a city of murder. God gave Ezekiel an object lesson to illustrate His efforts to cleanse the city of the stain brought by such violence. God said that it could not be cleaned and now must be judged. God instructed Ezekiel to not mourn the death of his wife in a customary way as another means of calling the Israelites to repentance. As a sign of sovereignty, God predicts the punishment of evil actions from the Ammonites, Moabites, Edomites, and Philistines.





November 12 Bible reading

11 11 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.

November 12  Proverbs 27:15-22 Hebrews 11:1-16  Ezekiel 22:23-31; 23

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?

In our relationships we can benefit each other or we can cause stress. Human desire will not end until Jesus returns. We should consider this fact when we evaluate whether or not we are allowing our desires to drive our lives.

What is faith? In a sense, it is a gift from God who provides us the ability to move in the direction of what we believe. We can now see what God wants us to see. We can agree with God by choosing to believe. That is faith. Hebrews reminds us of people who chose to believe that God exists and will reward those who sincerely seek Him. Through life and death they made choices based on who God is and their hope of Heaven. They trusted God regardless of what they saw on earth. They were looking for something better than this earth and they found it.

Through Ezekiel, God reveals that He has seen leaders destroy the lives of people for their own financial gain. God wants spiritual leaders who will serve His people with integrity. This must include a faithful commitment to rebuild the principles of healthy right-standing relationships with God and others. God wants spiritual leaders who will pray for people in intercession.