July 5 Bible reading

5 07 2022

July 5 Psalm 80:8-19 Acts 24 2 Kings 10; 11

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?

July 5 Psalm 80:8-19 Acts 24 2 Kings 10; 11

Psalm 80:8-19

Psalm 80 expresses repentance of their sin and a recognition that their problems are a result of their sin. This song references the blessing of a healthy relationship with God that is possible, as predicted in Numbers 6:22-27 This is a request for a relationship with God to be restored. Let’s agree with their prayer, “God please forgive us of our wrongs. Please turn us back to You. Please give us the strength to live in love with You.”

Acts 24

Paul was given an opportunity to defend his faith in Jesus as Messiah, the Way to salvation. Paul’s years of learning, his personal relationship with Jesus, and his careful decisions were all helpful in his high profile declaration of truth about Jesus. Paul had a clear understanding of the implications of his identity in this situation (as a Jesus follower, a forgiven sinner, single man, Jewish Benjamite, a Roman citizen of Tarsus, and was educated in higher learning both as a Jew and in Greek schools. Paul also understands who the Roman Governor Felix was, as a ruler familiar with Jewish affairs, the “Way” of Jesus, and being married to a Jewish wife. Two years of dialogue between Felix and Paul provided an elevated view of who this Jesus is, to a larger audience. This is of historic importance. Paul’s understanding of who God is and who he is (as a result) played an important role here. This is a reason for us to deeply consider the same. Who is God? Who are you?

2 Kings 10; 11

The new king Jehu brought punishment on the descendants of and spiritual leaders of the evil king Ahab just as the prophet Elijah had predicted. God promised Jehu that his descendants would remain the royal family for four generations because he had wiped out the worship of Baal. Jehu did not remove idol worship according to the Word of God. God loves us, knowing all about us. God makes a promise and is found faithful. God calls us into loving worship and a loving relationship with Him.





July 4 Bible reading

4 07 2022

July 4 Psalm 80:1-7 Acts 23:12-35 2 Kings 8:16-29; 9

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?

July 4 Psalm 80:1-7 Acts 23:12-35 2 Kings 8:16-29; 9

Psalm 80:1-7

Psalm 80 starts with the recognition of God as a Shepherd of their nation. “Turn us again to yourself,” they sing. Their sorrow is seen as a result of their sin. Their hope can be found in a restored relationship with God (in the way God intended and as described to Moses Numbers 6:22-27). They are looking to God for guidance, protection, and care. This shepherd analogy carried powerful meaning for them. Let us look to God in the same way.

Acts 23:12-35

The Roman Empire took the safety of their citizens seriously. Roman officers protected Paul from those trying to kill him and transported him to Caesarea, for his appeal to Governor Felix. God has always been sovereign over the events of human history. God used the strengths and weaknesses of the Roman Empire for His own purpose. It helped the spread of the Good News of Jesus. In this historical account, we read that Jesus’ followers recognized the opportunities and took action for the sake of the Good News of Jesus.

2 Kings 8:16-29; 9

Joram, King of Israel, and Ahaziah, King of Judah, did evil things and God was paying attention. God did not punish everyone because of the promise He made to David. Elisha saw Jehu anointed as king. Jehu put to death Queen Jezebel and these evil kings. God is seen as faithful to whom He brings punishment and where He shows mercy. God is alive, aware, able, and active. We see that God is not dead, not removed, not aloof, and not indifferent.





July 3 Bible reading

3 07 2022

July 3 Proverbs 16:8-17 Acts 22:22-30; 23:1-11 2 Kings 6:24-33; 7; 8:1-15

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?

July 3 Proverbs 16:8-17 Acts 22:22-30; 23:1-11 2 Kings 6:24-33; 7; 8:1-15

Proverbs 16:8-17

We find wisdom here that is incredibly helpful to our peace of mind. Hoarding money will not solve all your problems. Honesty carries more benefits than greed. God is in control, and we benefit from living in light of this fact. Making money decisions that are informed by these truths will bring peace to our homes and the homes of others. Will I trust God? Will we trust God with our money?

Acts 22:22-30; 23:1-11

Jesus announced a new season in the Kingdom of God. He brought about a New Covenant agreement between God and humanity. Jesus Christ the Messiah declared that our creator God loved the whole world. He was inviting Gentile “outsiders” into God’s love, as “insiders”. Paul and the people of the early church carried this message. An inclusive Messiah enraged Jerusalem’s religious leaders. This provided Paul an opportunity to defend his faith in Jesus.

2 Kings 6:24-33; 7; 8:1-15

God used the prophet, Elisha, to predict life-changing events for people, cities, and kings. Four men who were poor outcasts, because of their leprosy, were able to celebrate God-given freedom won for Samaria. Elisha had predicted this miracle which still seems impossible today. Our history records the many times’ God has proven that anything is possible with Him. Nothing is too hard for God. Faith in God is reasonable. Believing in the supernatural should be elementary. It should draw us to a personal relationship with God, a humble submission, and careful consideration of who God is, and what God is planning next.





July 2 Bible reading

3 07 2022

July 2 Psalm 79 Acts 21:27-40; 22:1-21 2 Kings 4:38-44; 5; 6:1-23

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?

July 2 Psalm 79 Acts 21:27-40; 22:1-21 2 Kings 4:38-44; 5; 6:1-23

Psalm 79

The Israelites had been living as though God didn’t exist. A broken relationship was not what God wanted. God was faithful to His agreement with them, allowing the pain of consequences, and it brought the desired result. Asaph sings about their change of heart. God wants a healthy relationship with us. It will bring about our ultimate good. Through the stories found in the Psalms, we can learn more about who God is. Today we can pray about the truth found here. Today we can sing about the truth found here. This is a faithful spiritual practice that people have found helpful for centuries.

Acts 21:27-40; 22:1-21

In Jerusalem, a mob is trying to kill Paul. He defends his faith by first explaining that he was educated in their school and had believed just as they did (and came to the conclusion that the Jesus-followers should be put to death). Paul knew the Scriptures as well as anyone. When he revealed that Jesus sent him to serve the Gentiles they rioted. They could not handle the thought that Jesus was indeed the Messiah and that Yahweh had decided to include the Gentiles in their faith. Their ethnic pride had mixed with their sinful nature. They did not have a wholehearted spiritual devotion to the Creator. They were not searching the Scriptures for the evidence of Jesus as their Messiah. The result was tragic.

2 Kings 4:38-44; 5; 6:1-23

Elisha saw enviable miracles with food. Like Jesus, he fed many with the ingredients for a few. Naaman, an army commander, brought silver, gold, and clothing for Elisha, in hopes to be healed from his leprosy. Elisha brought healing to him but rejected the offerings. Gehazi, a servant of Elisha, got greedy and took payment. As a consequence of his sin, Gehazi was struck with leprosy. Is there at least one lesson here? We should value God’s Word more than material possessions.





July 1 Bible reading

3 07 2022

July 1 Psalm 78:56-72 Acts 21:1-26 2 Kings 3; 4:1-37

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?

July 1 Psalm 78:56-72 Acts 21:1-26 2 Kings 3; 4:1-37

Psalm 78:56-72

God had been more patient with the Israelites than any human was capable of being. God was faithful, patient, kind, long-suffering, gracious, and forgiving. God called them to change. Because of the repeated unfaithfulness and sin of Israel, God left their place of worship. In His grace, God chose David, a shepherd, to care for the Israelites who kept true hearts. God will not ignore spiritual infidelity any more than natural infidelity. God calls for our wholehearted devotion.

Acts 21:1-26

There are times when God prepares us for difficulties ahead. Despite warnings of danger, Paul is obedient to the call of the Holy Spirit to Jerusalem. There he reports his activities and the progress of the church abroad. In an attempt to convince Jewish believers that he has not rejected the law of Moses, Paul makes a public announcement at the Temple of the completion of a vow for four men according to custom. There Paul was arrested. God had a plan for a greater purpose. God led Paul through difficult times. Paul is now supremely happy with Jesus in eternal life.

2 Kings 3; 4:1-37

Elisha predicts that God would bring water to dry land and give the kings of Israel and Judah victory over the Moabites. They see this come to pass in a supernatural way. Elisha brings miracle provision to the financial needs of a widow. A child provided, as a promise of God suddenly dies, but the prophet Elisha brings the child back from the dead. Repeatedly we see God doing the supernatural for people. God’s generous love is on display even in times of great difficulty.





June 30 Bible reading

30 06 2022

June 30 Psalm 78:40-55 Acts 20 2 Kings 1; 2

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 30 Psalm 78:40-55 Acts 20 2 Kings 1; 2

Psalm 78:40-55

How sad it is when people forget about the amazing things God has done to make their life possible. We should think through the miracles God has already done for us. We have been given life. We have been offered love through Jesus. We can be forgiven of sin. We can discover a personal purpose for life from the redemptive plan revealed in God’s Kingdom. We can participate in something bigger than ourselves. Using the Psalmic worship practices, we can sing about these miracles. We can pray about these miracles. We can continue a conversation with God based on this established foundation. Peace is a result.

Acts 20

Paul brought back to life a young man who had fallen to his death. Paul was headed to Jerusalem and had been prepared by the Holy Spirit for jail and suffering, at the hands of leaders rejecting the Good News. Paul reminded the Christian leaders of their central message of salvation by faith in Jesus through repentance of sin and turning to God. He charged them to be faithful to “feed and shepherd God’s flock” referring to their responsibility to care for, pray over, preach/teach, bring guidance, and correction to the disciples they were raising up. He reminded them of Jesus’ call to be givers, as a model of ministry. Today’s Christian churches must follow the same practices.

2 Kings 1; 2

The prophet Elijah continued to call the kings of Israel to worship Yahweh. He also called punishment on them when they refused. We see God as a God of mercy and truth. At the end of his life on earth, Elijah is taken to Heaven in a chariot of fire. His disciple Elisha receives a double portion of his God-given abilities. Our God was increasing the ability of the next generation for the challenges of the new day. Is that same God alive and active today? Yes.





June 29 Bible reading

29 06 2022

June 29 Proverbs 15:31-33; 16:1-7 Acts 19:14-41 1 Kings 22

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 29 Proverbs 15:31-33; 16:1-7 Acts 19:14-41 1 Kings 22

Proverbs 15:31-33; 16:1-7

If we will approach God with humility, we will become more teachable and as a result, we will grow in wisdom. This helps us receive and respond to constructive criticism and correction in a productive way. God cares about our motives. Living in a relationship with God every day will help shape our character for a healthy life.

Acts 19:14-41

In the multicultural city of Ephesus, Jews were revered as exorcists due to the popular belief, that only they were able to properly pronounce the name of the living God, and that exorcism relied on the correct pronunciation of the incantation. The sons of a priest learned a hard lesson when they tried to use the name of Jesus in an exorcism despite not believing in Jesus. Our God will not be used for personal gain. Our God has a clear understanding of who has a relationship with Jesus and who does not. This incident led many to faith in Jesus.

1 Kings 22

God did not allow the evil king Ahab to escape punishment. Jehoshaphat did some good making peace and yet he did not remove the pagan shrines. The cycle of idolatry continued. Our God makes covenant promises with grace available. In response, God is looking for wholehearted devotion.





June 28 Bible reading

28 06 2022

June 28 Psalm 78:32-39 Acts 18:9-28; 19:1-13 1 Kings 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 28 Psalm 78:32-39 Acts 18:9-28; 19:1-13 1 Kings 20; 21

Psalm 78:32-39

Despite God’s miraculous provision the Israelites kept sinning against Him. Only when God brought severe punishment did they take Him seriously. Many times, He held His anger back. God remembered that they were human, with a short lifespan, and forgave them when they repented. We should understand that God’s mercy does not mean that our mistakes have no effect on Him.

Acts 18:9-28; 19:1-13

God speaks to Paul, in a dream, directing him to be brave in teaching the Good News. Paul obeys God and sees great results in Corinth for 18 months. His ministry partners Priscilla and Aquilla led the gifted Christian teacher Apollos in a growing understanding of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. This was an important subject to the leaders of the Christian church. Paul’s outreach combined persuasive public discussions with people who were just hearing about Jesus for the first time, with teaching believers, with prayer and miracles.

1 Kings 20; 21

We must not think that God is blind to what is happening on earth. The one true living God aware of the heart and actions of all people. God has thoughts and feelings about every life and about every choice. God is faithful, patient, kind, forgiving, slow to anger, forgiving, and long-suffering. Yet there will be a day and time when God will call into account every single person. We read here that God brings punishment on rulers, who led people into idolatry. There will be consequences for that kind of influence.





June 27 Bible reading

27 06 2022

June 27 Psalm 78:17-31 Acts 17:22-34; 18:1-8 1 Kings 18:16-46; 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 27 Psalm 78:17-31 Acts 17:22-34; 18:1-8 1 Kings 18:16-46; 19

Psalm 78:17-31

God is patient, slow to anger, forgiving, and long-suffering. Yet He grew tired of Israel’s demands and their lack of trust in Him. People were insistent that God needed to take action. Yet they did not fully believe that he would. You can make fun of the people found in the stories of Scripture, but stop and think about it. Doesn’t this sound like human nature?

Acts 17:22-34; 18:1-8

In Athens, Paul walks around the city to learn about the people who lived there. He noticed the evidence of many forms of spiritual worship. He affirms the spiritual desire and awareness of their culture. Paul calls their attention to Jesus and explains the salvation available. In Athens and Corinth, a wide variety of people came to faith in Jesus following Paul’s teaching. His presentation of the Good News includes the truth of God’s design and purpose: that people of all nations, every ethnicity, live together in peace.

1 Kings 18:16-46; 19

The prophet Elijah confronted the evil king Ahab and his queen Jezebel. This included a public call for people to choose if they would worship Yahweh or their idol Baal. Elijah provided an opportunity for Baal and Yahweh to prove their power. The people present saw the power of Yahweh and chose to worship Him. The prophet runs for his life from the enraged king and queen. God calls the prophet out of hiding, to anoint new kings. God has a purpose for every day.





June 26 Bible reading

26 06 2022

June 26 Psalm 78:9-16 Acts 17:1-21 1 Kings 16:8-34; 17; 18:1-15

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 26 Psalm 78:9-16 Acts 17:1-21 1 Kings 16:8-34; 17; 18:1-15

Psalm 78:9-16

The Psalms have been used as a prayer book and songbook. For centuries people used them to learn about God and to remember what they have learned. God has made covenant promises. God calls for wholehearted devotion in response to this covenant. The song of Psalm 78 helps us learn from the people of Ephraim. When we forget about the miracles God has already done we are prone to walking away from our agreement with Him.

Acts 17:1-21

Paul’s practice was spending the first three weekends in a new city at their synagogue. He would reveal the proofs of Jesus’ Messianic identity, as found in the prophecies of Scripture. In this way, many Jews and God-fearing Gentiles came to faith. This public discourse also brought much resistance. Our ability to discuss the identity of Jesus is of utmost importance. We must respond to our life-changing interaction with Jesus by a growing understanding of who Jesus is (as seen in the Scriptures). We should work at developing our ability to communicate the truth. Each of us should be learning how to articulate the truth about Jesus.

1 Kings 16:8-34; 17; 18:1-15

Let’s think about these stories through the lens of a couple of questions: What are the results of loving God first and foremost? What are the results of living “me first”? Through the decades of their idolatry, the Hebrew people saw the interaction between their prophets and kings. Most often the kings led them deeper and deeper into sin. Most often the prophets called them back to a loving relationship with God. Over and over they found pain and death when they walked away from God, only to again find restoration in a relationship with God. Our God provided for the needs of the prophet Elijah. He called on God and saw a boy raised from the dead.