December 3 Bible reading

3 12 2021

December 3  Psalm 137  1 John 3:11-24; 4:1-6  Daniel 9:20-27; 10

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?

December 3  Psalm 137  1 John 3:11-24; 4:1-6  Daniel 9:20-27; 10

Psalm 137

God provided for the Israelites, showing them love from the beginning, and offering them guidance for life. Through prophets, God warned them of the damage that would be the result of breaking off a relationship with Him. They ignored this. They rejected God and were taken captive by the Babylonians as a result. They longed for restoration. That is the context for this song of the “blues”. The Israelites sang to bring themselves back into a place of worship, mourning their captivity in Babylon. Their captors wanted them to sing happy songs, but they lamented. They called for punishment on the Edomites and the Babylonians. God answered their cry.

1 John 3:11-24; 4:1-6

The faithful, patient, kind, and committed love given to us by God is what John writes about. God has shown us this real love by sending Jesus for us. The love of God motivates us to receive Jesus as Savior. We can receive God’s love and respond with action. This should include giving love to others selflessly. We should extend this kind of love to each other. We must not live a selfish life of indifference to the needs of others. Jesus brings us into right standing with God. The Holy Spirit helps us “show the truth by our actions”. We grow into a healthy lifestyle of good decisions and doing the right thing. In this way, we become children who freely believe that their Father God will answer their prayer. We will be changed for the better. We will have an opportunity to speak from this new viewpoint. We must do so with discernment.

Daniel 9:20-27; 10

Lamenting the punishment of sin predicted by Jeremiah, Daniel is in prayer. Daniel confessed his sins and the sins of his people. He prayed for mercy (for himself and for his people). The angel Gabriel brought Daniel understanding and perspective. This includes the purpose for their seventy terrible years, in Daniel 9:24-27. Daniel’s lament lasts for weeks. It is a prayer of intercession. Throughout the kingdoms of multiple kings, Daniel continued to pray in intercession to fast and to hear from God about the future. Daniel was not indifferent to the suffering of his people (in consequence of their sin). He mourned with each painful step. God revealed to Daniel the spiritual warfare aspects of these events. God was in control throughout these events. It is noteworthy that God brought refreshing and encouragement to people who would pray in this painful way, in Daniel 10:18-19. God can bring peace.





December 2 Bible reading

2 12 2021

December 2  Proverbs 29:10-18  1 John 2:28-29; 3:1-10  Daniel 8:15-27; 9:1-19

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?

December 2  Proverbs 29:10-18  1 John 2:28-29; 3:1-10  Daniel 8:15-27; 9:1-19

Proverbs 29:10-18

Recognizing God as our Provider brings a calm to our spirit. Daily interaction with God encourages learning and character development. This includes personal growth in the area of self-control. As we learn how to manage our thoughts and feelings in productive ways, we become more helpful to others.  In this way, we also grow in wisdom. In the context of talking about healthy parenthood, Solomon writes about the wisdom of following spiritual guidance.

1 John 2:28-29; 3:1-10

Jesus Christ is pure and blameless. He is always in a healthy right-standing relationship with people, with God the Father, and with God the Holy Spirit. We should daily choose to be in a personal relationship with Jesus. By His faithful love, our Father God has called us His children. We are excited about the future return of Jesus and how it will ultimately transform us. For this reason, we do not make a practice of sinning. We draw strength of character from our personal relationship with God. We focus our attention on God who loved us selflessly. If we make a habit of sin we are not loving God with all we’ve got. Whether we are keeping this disorder of the heart a secret or not, we must stop to ask honest questions about what we value most. Let us choose to follow Jesus more than our cravings. Let’s avoid sin and the damage it brings to this relationship with God and our relationships with others. In this, we will find lasting peace and pleasure.

Daniel 8:15-27; 9:1-19

The angel Gabriel explains the visions of future events, that Daniel is having. For reasons, God had previously explained, He would allow the Temple to be destroyed and a season of suffering. God would bring about restoration. Daniel prayed, with fasting, about the years of captivity that Jeremiah had predicted. Daniel leads public confession of corporate sin. Daniel calls on the faithful love of God to forgive their sin. Daniel reminds God of His merciful covenant agreements with people. Daniel asks God to act, not because of their actions, but instead because of His own great mercy. It is powerful, Daniel 9:18-19. Evil power will ultimately fall before our Lord Jesus.





December 1 Bible reading

1 12 2021

December 1  Psalm 136:13-26  1 John 2:12-27  Daniel 7; 8:1-14

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?

December 1  Psalm 136:13-26  1 John 2:12-27  Daniel 7; 8:1-14

Psalm 136:13-26

The faithful love of God for us is eternal. That’s the theme of Psalm 136, a song that Israelites have sung over the centuries. It recounts specific events where they saw God miraculously deliver them from enemies. Constantly repeating, “God’s faithful love lasts forever”, through the song helped their meditation on this revealed truth of God. Yahweh God our Creator and Redeemer gives us love that lasts forever. In Exodus 34:6, God described His own faithful love. Here we read the song of people who found this to be true in their observation and life experience. The faithful steadfast love of God lasts forever. Throughout the story of the people of Israel, they found God’s love to be faithful.

1 John 2:12-27

John was an eyewitness of Jesus, His life, His teaching, His miracles, and His life-changing call to be born again. John heard Jesus Christ teach. He heard Jesus explain the way to salvation. John himself received this forgiveness of sin and wrote to people who were also on this spiritual journey. As receive forgiveness, spiritual cleansing, and a new spiritual life we are being renewed. It is a miracle of Jesus Christ. We should respond by loving God more than anything else. We have a reason to live every day with a wholehearted devotion to God. This brings us to a daily focus on God. A close personal relationship with Jesus will help us recognize the difference between truth and lies. This love becomes increasingly more important than our craving for physical pleasure, the things of this natural world, or the pride of achievements and possessions. Instead, we choose to be constantly connected with our Savior Jesus. In this way, we will not follow the direction of anyone who opposes Jesus Christ.

Daniel 7; 8:1-14

At a time when God allowed His people to be punished for their sin, God gives Daniel dreams. Daniel sees earthly kingdoms yet to come, characterized as four beasts as well as a ram and a goat. Daniel’s vision includes Father God giving His Son Jesus the power and authority over all the nations of the earth. All people will come to recognize our Lord and His Kingdom.





November 30 Bible reading

30 11 2021

November 30  Psalm 136:1-12  1 John 1; 2:1-11  Daniel 5:17-31; 6

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?

November 30  Psalm 136:1-12  1 John 1; 2:1-11  Daniel 5:17-31; 6

Psalm 136:1-12

The faithful steadfast love of God lives on forever. It has been known by people from the beginning of human history through to today. With supernatural love, God has revealed Himself as the Giver of Life. Let us thank God. Let’s throw our Thank You at Yahweh God, who is worth it! The merciful love of God for us is faithful and forever. It was active way way back before our current problems. God’s faithful love for us is here now. It will outlast the challenges we face today. God’s faithful love for us will be there for us in the future.

1 John 1; 2:1-11

John writes of the supernatural joy found in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. We must consider who Jesus Christ is. The One who has always been. The One who will always be has made a way for us to share in this spiritual life. Through Jesus Christ, we can be cleansed of the guilt from our mistakes as we confess them. Jesus Christ lifts from us our sin. Receiving God’s faithful love for us includes a decision to turn away from our self-first focus and turn toward following Jesus as our Savior and Lord. We show our love for God by searching out the instructions of Jesus and choosing to obey them as our new lifestyle. In this new life, we come to know God through a personal relationship with Him. We are now able to love God with all we have got and love others in the same way that we take care of ourselves. The love of Jesus Christ gives us a new ability to love others. Jesus lived this way. John was an eyewitness, of the lifestyle of Jesus, and invites us to jump into the joy of this lifestyle.

Daniel 5:17-31; 6

King Belshazzar did not learn from his predecessor’s repentant recognition of Yahweh God as sovereign. Instead, the king mocked the God who gave him life and lived as he pleased. As Daniel predicted, Belshazzar was killed and replaced by the Medes and their new king Darius. Proven to be the best of the new king’s supervisors, Daniel was trapped by a law against his prayer habit. God preserved Daniel in a den of hungry lions. God brought judgment on those who trapped Daniel. As a result, king Darius publicly declared Yahweh as the superior God.





November 29 Bible reading

29 11 2021

November 29  Psalm 135:13-21  2 Peter 3  Daniel 4:19-37; 5:1-16

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?

November 29  Psalm 135:13-21  2 Peter 3  Daniel 4:19-37; 5:1-16

Psalm 135:13-21

God, our Creator, and Redeemer has been known by people of every generation. It is normal for people to value one object more than others. It is foolish to value anything more than the One True Living God. Our God is listening to us. Let us worship God above all else. Historically, people have worshipped stuff that can’t listen to them or speak life-giving truth to them. Yahweh God is forever interacting with His people. Let us praise the living God.

2 Peter 3

When people follow their own desires and drift from God’s truth they will not see the consequences coming. Our God is patient. God desires that everyone would turn away from sinful selfishness. God desires that people would receive His own loving forgiveness and enter a committed relationship with Him. Peter invites people into this way of following Jesus Christ. God’s love for us, for all humans, is patiently allowing an opportunity for people to turn from selfishness and receive Jesus as Savior. God does not want anyone to suffer the consequences of rejecting His offer for salvation. Peter and Paul wrote about this truth as something they learned from Jesus. They wrote about it as a priority for us to understand. This was set in the context of their confident expectation of Christ’s return. God gives us today so that we may follow Jesus and urge others to do the same. When Jesus returns God will make all things new. Let us now live with this future in our sight.

Daniel 4:19-37; 5:1-16

Through Daniel, God patiently extended a gracious opportunity for King Nebuchadnezzar to repent and a description of what would happen if he refused. For another year the king arrogantly ignored God’s Word and the call to repentance. As a consequence, he was driven to madness and removed from power. After the predicted amount of time passed, the king returned to his senses and worshipped Yahweh God. The king’s successor came to regret his worship of other gods and mockery of Yahweh. Daniel was again called on for spiritual wisdom.





November 28 Bible reading

28 11 2021

November 28  Proverbs 29:1-9  2 Peter 2  Daniel 3:13-30; 4:1-18

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?

November 28  Proverbs 29:1-9  2 Peter 2  Daniel 3:13-30; 4:1-18

Proverbs 29:1-9

Few things are as dangerous as refusing to accept criticism. People who live by the wisdom found in a relationship with God will bring happiness and stability to others. People of such wisdom are able to increase the peace of their community. A love for wisdom will bring joy. Learning from criticism is essential to growing in wisdom. Good quality leadership brings stability, care for those in need, and benefits to all they serve.

2 Peter 2

Peter points to the history of false teachers who seek influence among people who worship God. Such false teachers are persuasive as they put a twist on God’s truth. In the end, they are often known for a me-first sexual ethic and greed. People who identify as faithful to God may be deceived by false teachers. Such false teachers mock the truth which they do not understand. They reject trust in spiritual authority. Peter had seen people who identified as Christians influenced by such teachers. He saw them drift from Jesus into the ways of sin. Solomon and Peter warn us about the potential of bringing destruction on ourselves. Both describe the consequences of a predisposition that “I’m right” in favor of a humble desire to learn, placing priority on the revealed truth of God. People who remain self-oriented and lead others away from following Jesus are drawing multiplied pain on themselves. Peter advises us to be focused on Jesus, avoiding selfish sexual sin. We should learn to recognize false teaching so that we can avoid it. God will punish those who refuse to repent of selfishness.

Daniel 3:13-30; 4:1-18

Yahweh God proved to the Israelites and the Babylonians that He was all-knowing and all-powerful. God gave Daniel the ability to tell King Nebuchadnezzar what he had dreamt and what it meant. God protected Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from certain death when the king threw them into a fiery furnace. They would not honor the king instead of God. The king came to recognize that there is no god like Yahweh.





November 27 Bible reading

27 11 2021

November 27  Psalm 135:1-12  2 Peter 1  Daniel 2:24-29; 3:1-12

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?

November 27  Psalm 135:1-12  2 Peter 1  Daniel 2:24-29; 3:1-12

Psalm 135:1-12

Here we read words that people were singing about their personal experiences with God as well as what they had learned about God over their collective history. Let us learn from them. Let us praise God. Let us praise Yahweh our Creator and Redeemer. With music let us sing about the goodness of God. Creator of our natural world. Let us praise Yahweh above anything else. God is in control. Directing the course of nations, God is sovereign. The God above all other gods. Yahweh is all-powerful.  It is our reasonable response to lift up the name of our God.

2 Peter 1

People who identify as Jesus followers are invited by Peter to grow in their understanding of our God. Let us recognize all that God has already provided for us. In the Scripture, let us discover the promises God has made to us. Let us respond to these promises with faith. 2 Peter 1:5-8 lists proactive steps of spiritual growth where we access the help God has provided and put it to use. We do not live out of our own strength, but instead, the strength of God fuels our efforts. Learning about God brings us to value growth in the strength of our character. This includes self-control, patience, and sacrificial, respectful, faithful love for others. As we grow in this way, our love of Jesus Christ will become more helpful to others. Such spiritual growth happens as we spend more time in the Scripture. Peter writes as one of the eyewitnesses who saw Jesus and heard the voice of God from Heaven identify Jesus as Messiah. Peter writes that this experience gave him more confidence in the prophecy of Scripture.

Daniel 2:24-29; 3:1-12

God wanted King Nebuchadnezzar to discover what was going on inside his own heart. God revealed to Daniel the secret dream of the king, its interpretation, and what was in the king’s heart. God revealed that He had given the king a reign of great influence that would be more powerful than the four kingdoms that would follow it. Instead of choosing to worship God, the source of his power, Nebuchadnezzar had a statue of himself built and demanded that people worship it. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused to bow to this statue of the king who had given them great influence. They had grown in their strength of character.





November 26 Bible reading

26 11 2021

November 26  Psalm 134  1 Peter 5  Daniel 1; 2:1-23

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?

November 26  Psalm 134  1 Peter 5  Daniel 1; 2:1-23

Psalm 134

Here is a simple memorable song for everyone who worships the One True Living God. Here is a song for people who faithfully serve at the place of worship. Let us all praise God. Yahweh our Creator and Redeemer is worthy of the best of our energy and our highest praise. As fully devoted followers of Jesus, we can pray with focus and worship with every ounce of our being. Here we find blessing from God. There are benefits for people who serve God’s purpose regardless of the size of the gathering. Focus on God brings us into a greater awareness of God’s presence.

1 Peter 5

A local church is a group of people who are focused on following Jesus and organized for this purpose. “Elders” serve such a group by providing oversight. The motive of an elder must be to serve God, with humility, as they care for people and lead by example. As an elder, Peter brings specific counsel to elders in their service of God’s people. We should respect the elders of the church. Followers of Jesus should bring their cares to God. They should stand together in faith despite any attack from the enemy. Jesus followers are called to serve each other in humility, knowing that God blesses such a lifestyle. We can stand strong in our faith, resisting our enemy. Any suffering in this natural life will be temporary. Our God will ultimately rescue and restore. The victory found in Jesus will last forever.

Daniel 1; 2:1-23

King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon sacked Jerusalem and took away the best it had to offer. This included Daniel and friends gifted with unusual ability for learning languages and various areas of study. The king found them superior to the best that Babylon had to offer. Disturbed by a dream, the king wanted a prophet who could reveal the dream and its interpretation. They prayed and God revealed to Daniel what the dream was and how to interpret it. Daniel points to God as the source of wisdom. God is all-knowing. There is nothing too complicated for God. We must invite God into everything we are facing.





November 25 Bible reading

25 11 2021

November 25  Psalm 133  1 Peter 4  Ezekiel 47; 48

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?

November 25  Psalm 133  1 Peter 4  Ezekiel 47; 48

Psalm 133

When we receive the love of God, we are changed for the better. We want to share this love with others. We become peacemakers. We place a high value on the shalom peace of God where each member of a community should be shown love and respect. We are motivated to work toward a mutually beneficial community. Our living God brings blessing to people who relate to each other in this way. Making a relationship with God your priority causes unity to become a high value. Such unity brings blessing. Are we lacking blessing? It’s possible we should be doing more to pursue peaceful unity. Every day each of us has opportunities to choose the pursuit of unity. What will we do?

1 Peter 4

Receiving loving forgiveness and new spiritual life through Jesus Christ should motivate us to become followers of Jesus. This includes putting on the same attitude Jesus displayed. Peter saw this with his own eyes. Jesus was in pursuit of Father God’s will. Jesus was not a me-first selfish person. Following this example will cause us to show loving respect for others. As Jesus followers, we leave behind pleasing ourselves as the top priority. We may lose relationships with some people for this reason. Because we expect the return of Jesus to this world, we will be focused and diligent in our prayer. We will love each other, sharing forgiveness, and hospitality. We believe that regardless of any challenge we face, God will not fail us. As we walk through any suffering, we will focus on the love of Jesus available to us here and now. It will certainly be ultimately fulfilling in our future Heaven.

Ezekiel 47; 48

God sends a magnificent vision to the people of Israel who have suffered twenty-five years of self-inflicted captivity. God has Ezekiel record a vision of the city where God will live among His people. From its Temple flows a river of supernatural life and healing. This river would bring life to places where only death had been possible. There will be a place for every person. God is life-giving in every season. Similar to the vision of John, in Revelation 22, we have a future hope of a glorious place where God will be glorified and relationship with Him can be enjoyed. God makes it clear that this would not be a return to the way it was before. This is a vision of a future glory.





November 24 Bible reading

24 11 2021

November 24  Proverbs 28:18-28  1 Peter 3  Ezekiel 45; 46

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?

November 24  Proverbs 28:18-28  1 Peter 3  Ezekiel 45; 46

Proverbs 28:18-28

We can receive the love of God and live out of gratitude. Healthy relationships with God and others bring great benefits. As a result, we experience peace. All of this will bring new motivation to work hard and live our days with purpose and wisdom. Because we have been changed by God’s love we will be responsive to the needs of people who are poor. Chasing money, with unhealthy motives, does not lead to peaceful stability in a community. Relying on God brings peaceful strength. Turning a blind eye to the poor will bring consequences.

1 Peter 3

Peter is following the leading of the Holy Spirit, as he writes. Here we read about a Christian value system of loving respect in marriage relationships of equal partnership. Here and in Ephesians 5:21, we read that Peter and Paul were teaching with consistency. We read instructions for fully devoted followers of Jesus to treat each other with love and respect. We must be kind and humble in all relationships. If a husband doesn’t want his prayer to be hindered, he must treat his wife with honor as an equal partner in their faith walk. A God-honoring wife should show respect for her husband. We should all be peacemakers. Self-control and the pursuit of what is right are characteristics of Christians whose prayer draws a response from God. As a follower of Jesus, we should be ready to explain what we believe about Jesus in a gentle and respectful way. With careful thought, each one of us should develop what we might say given the opportunity about Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Re-read 1 Peter 3:15-16 and consider what you should do about it this week.

Ezekiel 45; 46

Twenty-five years into a captivity that they brought on themselves, God sends Ezekiel to the people with an inspirational vision. He speaks of a restoration of a place of meeting and God’s love forever among them. He sees forgiveness made available. He speaks of celebrations and rest returned. Conflict removed. A call to mercy and justice. There would be land available for everyone. God shows Ezekiel the sacrifices, feasts, and festivals in the place of worship at Temple. Everyone who earned money and produced a harvest was invited to give resources toward the worship activities. Offerings were brought to God daily, weekly, and seasonally. God required honesty from His leaders as they served the people.