June 18 Bible reading

18 06 2021

June 18  Psalm 74:18-23  Acts 12:19-25; 13:1-12  1 Kings 3:16-28; 4; 5

Please read the suggested passages, prayerfully consider them, and the questions below. My comments here may be helpful after those moments. The suggested daily reading is for the purpose of reading through the whole Bible within a year.

Reading the Bible is helpful in taking the 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 has been expressed through Jesus.

  • 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?

June 18  Psalm 74:18-23  Acts 12:19-25; 13:1-12  1 Kings 3:16-28; 4; 5

Psalm 74:18-23

It’s good to honestly describe what is wrong and how it should be better in your conversation with God. We can spend time thinking about what is going on in our lives before a time of prayer. This can help our prayer time be more meaningful. What is wrong? How should it be better? In what ways do we think that God would want it to be better (based on what we have learned about the nature of God, the thoughts of God)? Think through this and then go to God in prayer.

Acts 12:19-25; 13:1-12

Proud King Herod accepted people worshipping him as though he were a god. The one true living God responded by giving Herod a terminal illness. Watch out for pride. It is essential for us to remember that we are not God. Every day we can benefit from being reminded of this truth. The followers of Jesus in this story are seeing this truth in action. King Herod had real power and yet it was all under the power of the Almighty God. The leaders of the Antioch church, commissioned Barnabas and Saul on a missionary journey by prayer, fasting, and laying on of hands in response to the direction of the Holy Spirit. Leading people into next steps of following Jesus was their purpose.

1 Kings 3:16-28; 4; 5

Solomon serves the people of Israel with wisdom and strategic use of knowledge from much learning. When peace had finally been won, on all sides of the kingdom, Solomon prepares to build a Temple to honor the name of God, according to the instructions given by God. This would be a place where the presence of God would be revered, at all times. A holy place.





June 17 Bible reading

17 06 2021

June 17  Proverbs 15:1-10  Acts 11:19-30; 12:1-19  1 Kings 2:13-46; 3:1-15

Please read the suggested passages, prayerfully consider them, and the questions below. My comments here may be helpful after those moments. The suggested daily reading is for the purpose of reading through the whole Bible within a year.

Reading the Bible is helpful in taking the 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 has been expressed through Jesus.

  • 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?

June 17  Proverbs 15:1-10  Acts 11:19-30; 12:1-19  1 Kings 2:13-46; 3:1-15

Proverbs 15:1-10

The carefully chosen words of a wise person will help your motivation to learn, bring you good advice, de-escalate anger, and bring you life-giving truth. Each of us should be intentional about personal growth that looks like this example of a “wise person”. Each of us should move toward offering such “carefully chosen words” to those we speak with.

Acts 11:19-30; 12:1-19

A loving community of people, from a variety of cultures (“races”) and ethnicities, in Antioch, Syria of Palestine, became a church mostly comprised of Gentile Jesus followers. They experienced a life-changing faith in Jesus and earned a reputation of being like Jesus. They sent relief to Jewish Jesus followers in preparation for a famine. They were the first people to be called “Christians”. After Herod had James put to death and Peter imprisoned, the church prayed. They saw Peter miraculously released. This amazing group of believers did not give up. They still believed in the God of miracles. They prayed and they saw results.

1 Kings 2:13-46; 3:1-15

A priest and a military commander were guilty of betrayal and senseless murder while seeking political power in rebellion against King David. Justice and mercy were employed by the new King Solomon. God rewards Solomon’s request for the wisdom to serve people well. If Solomon will faithfully follow God, he may expect a long and prosperous life. The motivations of his heart were known by God and relevant to God’s response. What should we learn from this?





June 16 Bible reading

16 06 2021

June 16  Psalm 74:10-17  Acts 10:23-48; 11:1-18  1 Kings 1; 2:1-12

Please read the suggested passages, prayerfully consider them, and the questions below. My comments here may be helpful after those moments. The suggested daily reading is for the purpose of reading through the whole Bible within a year.

Reading the Bible is helpful in taking the 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 has been expressed through Jesus.

  • 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?

June 16  Psalm 74:10-17  Acts 10:23-48; 11:1-18  1 Kings 1; 2:1-12

Psalm 74:10-17

Asaph appeals to God’s constant awareness and insurmountable power. He is calling on God to remove their enemies and restore His city. Asaph believes that God is alive, aware, able, and active. He prays like this is true. We should learn from this.

Acts 10:23-48; 11:1-18

Peter recognized the way Cornelius, an Italian captain, heard from God and responded to God’s direction. The message? “Salvation by faith in Jesus is available to everyone.” We should relay Peter’s words, “God shows no favoritism, there is peace with God through Jesus, who is Lord of all, and everyone who believes in Him will have their sins forgiven through His name.” and live this message of inclusiveness. This essential ingredient of the Good News of Jesus should be a daily focus of a “Christian” Jesus-follower. How does it inform your day, today?

1 Kings 1; 2:1-12

Aging King David nears death and installs his son Solomon as the new king. He gives his son instruction to faithfully follow God as he serves the people. These words come from David’s study of God’s words to Joshua in a similar leadership transition. They speak of careful examination of Scripture and the courage that comes from living from God’s plan instead of our own. Priority lessons for us today.





June 15 Bible reading

15 06 2021

June 15  Psalm 74:1-9  Acts 9:32-43; 10:1-23  2 Samuel 23:8-39; 24

Please read the suggested passages, prayerfully consider them, and the questions below. My comments here may be helpful after those moments. The suggested daily reading is for the purpose of reading through the whole Bible within a year.

Reading the Bible is helpful in taking the 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 has been expressed through Jesus.

  • 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?

June 15  Psalm 74:1-9  Acts 9:32-43; 10:1-23  2 Samuel 23:8-39; 24

Psalm 74:1-9

In Psalm 74 Asaph sings a lament of the destruction of Jerusalem, a city that God loves, and the place of worship designed by God. This was a deep and powerful grieving of an incredible loss for a nation of people. Beyond that, it was a spiritual paradise (of God’s promised community with His people) that was lost because God’s people turned away from a loving relationship with Him. It’s right for us to mourn what is wrong.

Acts 9:32-43; 10:1-23

Peter prays and sees miracle healing come to a paralyzed man and a woman raised to life from the dead. This same miracle power is available to us through Jesus today! God sends an angel to Cornelius, a captain of the Italian Regiment a cruel ruling force, affirming his faith in God and service to the poor. We should pray for more of this and affirm it when we see it. God is arranging a meeting between Peter and Cornelius that would become significant to the approach of church leadership toward Gentiles. Over and over God communicates His heart for all people.

2 Samuel 23:8-39; 24

Over his lifetime, David saw God allow consequences for sin. David learned the value of repentance and sparing no expense when seeking forgiveness from God. He knew that repentance must cost you something. This lesson helps us learn from our mistakes. God wants us to avoid self-inflicted wounds.





June 14 Bible reading

14 06 2021

June 14  Psalm 73:15-28  Acts 9:1-31  2 Samuel 22; 23:1-7

Please read the suggested passages, prayerfully consider them, and the questions below. My comments here may be helpful after those moments. The suggested daily reading is for the purpose of reading through the whole Bible within a year.

Reading the Bible is helpful in taking the 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 has been expressed through Jesus.

  • 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?

June 14  Psalm 73:15-28  Acts 9:1-31  2 Samuel 22; 23:1-7

Psalm 73:15-28

In the house of worship, Asaph sings his lament at the success of bad people and discovers bitterness in his heart. As he sings, he becomes aware of the personal, close presence of God. His focus turns to loving gratitude for the strength he draws from his relationship with God. We must learn to turn our focus, in the same way.

Acts 9:1-31

Saul is “breathing murder” and working to lock up as many Jesus followers as possible. Jesus speaks to Saul, questioning this persecution and calling Saul to repent and accept a new commission. Saul responds to Jesus in faith and is filled with the Holy Spirit. He immediately began preaching about Jesus with a personal conviction and a powerful grasp on how the Scriptures confirmed the identity of Jesus as the Messiah. Challengers tried to murder him, and yet what he found was that despite the danger there’s victory available in Jesus.

2 Samuel 22; 23:1-7

I’m flooded with encouragement by highlighting the action words that David uses to describe how God helped him overcome his enemies. (Try it. Take a highlighter to each word describing the action God took.) If I consider my tempter as my enemy, I must consider that the God of David is also at work for me. We should be reading from these stories the many things that David writes, as lessons learned.





June 13 Bible reading

13 06 2021

June 13  Proverbs 14:25-35  Acts 8:4-40  2 Samuel 20; 21

Please read the suggested passages, prayerfully consider them, and the questions below. My comments here may be helpful after those moments. The suggested daily reading is for the purpose of reading through the whole Bible within a year.

Reading the Bible is helpful in taking the 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 has been expressed through Jesus.

  • 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?

June 13  Proverbs 14:25-35  Acts 8:4-40  2 Samuel 20; 21

Proverbs 14:25-35

Responding to God with loving respect, with humility & worship, is a life-giving decision. It will protect you and bring you refreshing that is intoxicating. It is dynamic. You cannot leave out the essential ingredients (see my first sentence).

Acts 8:4-40

Phillip preached the Good News of Jesus, seeing many people respond in faith and many receive miracles. Freedom and healing are found in this salvation by faith in Jesus. Phillip’s understanding of Scripture, personal relationship with Jesus, and obedience to God’s daily direction saw amazing results. Each of us should also grow in a deep understanding of Scripture, personal relationship with Jesus, and obedience to God’s daily direction. Is it possible that we would see miracles as a result? Is it possible that we may then speak life and plant spiritual seeds in the lives of others? Is it possible that we would then find clarity in our identity and the resulting peace from fulfillment?

2 Samuel 20; 21

David recognizes that Sheba is seeking civil war. Sheba is killed to prevent this war. God reveals to David that a famine can be stopped if he will make amends for the sins of Saul against the Gibeonites. David responds and also provides burial for Saul and his descendants. David must continue the fight against Philistine giants. In the next chapter, we find the lessons to be learned from this.





June 12 Bible reading

12 06 2021

June 12  Psalm 73:1-14  Acts 7:44-60; 8:1-3  2 Samuel 18:19-33; 19

Please read the suggested passages, prayerfully consider them, and the questions below. My comments here may be helpful after those moments. The suggested daily reading is for the purpose of reading through the whole Bible within a year.

Reading the Bible is helpful in taking the 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 has been expressed through Jesus.

  • 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?

June 12  Psalm 73:1-14  Acts 7:44-60; 8:1-3  2 Samuel 18:19-33; 19

Psalm 73:1-14

Asaph sings his lament at seeing proud and wicked people prosper. He also writes about almost losing his grip on life by fixating on other people who didn’t seem to have a care in the world. We should learn from Asaph and be careful about what we are focused on.

Acts 7:44-60; 8:1-3

Stephen’s defense of his faith in Jesus points out Yahweh’s redemptive narrative through the stories of Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, David, and Solomon. He questioned the Jewish leaders’ resistance to the Holy Spirit and history of persecuting the prophets including Jesus the Messiah. The high council and the accusers killed Stephen. As they were throwing rocks at him, God allowed Stephen to see Jesus in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Stephen forgave his murderers. What a man, filled with faith, grace, power, and the Holy Spirit!

2 Samuel 18:19-33; 19

King David mourned the death of his traitorous son. He did not hold bitterness against his son or the many people who had betrayed him. Instead, he forgave them and showed them grace. There’s freedom in forgiveness. A bitter argument broke out between the two tribes of Judah and the ten tribes of Israel.





sabbatical summer

11 06 2021

Hello, I will be out on sabbatical from June 14 to September 15. My daily posts here will continue, thanks to the ability to work ahead of time.

I will be completely off all social media. If you are looking for a reply regarding our City Harbor Church or Baltimore community activities please reach out to our team at (410) 929-1619 or info@CityHarborChurch.com and they will reply.

Big Thank You to the Board of Elders and Dream Team at City Harbor Church for providing this sabbatical rest for me and my family. The idea of a sabbatical grows out of the biblical concept of sabbath rest. It is a healthy reminder that who we are is more important than what we do. God invites us, from time to time, to pause deliberately from our work, to be fully aware of his presence, and enjoy the many wonderful gifts given us.

My wife and I are looking forward to spending time with our children, celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary, and shoring up our emotional, physical and spiritual bases through rest.





June 11 Bible reading

11 06 2021

June 11  Psalm 72  Acts 7:20-43  2 Samuel 16:15-23; 17; 18:1-18

Please read the suggested passages, prayerfully consider them, and the questions below. My comments here may be helpful after those moments. The suggested daily reading is for the purpose of reading through the whole Bible within a year.

Reading the Bible is helpful in taking the 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 has been expressed through Jesus.

  • 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?

June 11  Psalm 72  Acts 7:20-43  2 Samuel 16:15-23; 17; 18:1-18

Psalm 72

Solomon has a heart for serving his people in the best way possible. He sings his request that God would give him wisdom.as king. Solomon wants to provide for those who need it and defend the poor. I wonder where he learned all of that? Possibly from his imperfect parents and their speaking to their own relationship with God.

Acts 7:20-43

Stephen defends the faith in Jesus, continuing to respond to challengers from the Synagogue of Freed Slaves. He describes Yahweh’s redemptive narrative, including parts of their history where faith interacted with slavery. Stephen accurately explains God’s relationship with their ancestors including Abraham, Joseph, and Moses. God called them to faith. God promised blessing if they would be faithful to Him, and allowed punishment when they turned away. God wants us to learn from this and receive the blessing found in faithfulness to Him.

2 Samuel 16:15-23; 17; 18:1-18

Absolom’s betrayal and attempt to steal the throne led to the death of more than 20,000 soldiers. David’s commander Joab disregarded the king’s instruction and killed Absolom. We see needless tragic death because a son hated his father. They could not reconcile completely after Absolom had killed his brother in revenge. What can we learn from this? Love and respect bring benefits.





June 10 Bible reading

10 06 2021

June 10  Psalm 71:19-24  Acts 6; 7:1-19  2 Samuel 15:13-37; 16:1-14

Please read the suggested passages, prayerfully consider them, and the questions below. My comments here may be helpful after those moments. The suggested daily reading is for the purpose of reading through the whole Bible within a year.

Reading the Bible is helpful in taking the 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 has been expressed through Jesus.

  • 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?

June 10  Psalm 71:19-24  Acts 6; 7:1-19  2 Samuel 15:13-37; 16:1-14

Psalm 71:19-24

Here’s a song of hope rising out of suffering, reminiscent of the Serenity Prayer’s finding “hardship as a pathway to peace”. The turning point comes around a particular question. Is there anyone else who has done as much for you as God has? No one else gave you life. No one else is able to forgive all your mistakes. Let’s take a moment to deeply consider who God is. Meditate on the truth of a loving God. Write down something you have learned from it. Sing about it. Repeat the truth to yourself.

Acts 6; 7:1-19

As the number of believers multiplied tension grew along cultural lines about the way food was being distributed to their widows. The apostles appointed seven men to steward this responsibility so that they could focus on prayer and teaching. The Good News spread, the number of believers grew and many Jewish priests came to faith in Jesus. Challenging this faith in Jesus, a group of men brought charges against Stephen to the Jewish high council. Stephen brings a defense of faith in Jesus by walking them through the redemptive narrative of Yahweh, in their own history. Stephen had found a life-changing interaction with Jesus Christ. Stephen was able to trace God’s loving grace throughout the stories of the people of Israel. Shouldn’t we also learn from this? Shouldn’t we also look at the many times God has been at work for redemption?

2 Samuel 15:13-37; 16:1-14

King David is chased away from his own land by his treacherous son Absalom. Despite the circumstances, David does his best to treat others the right way. He is looking out for the best interests of others even while he is running for his life. He doesn’t react to people cursing him but defers to God. David is looking for a way to bring others into God’s redemption.