August 15 Bible reading

15 08 2020

August 15 Psalm 97 1 Corinthians 9:19-27; 10:1-13 2 Chronicles 2; 3; 4; 5:1

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 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?

August 15 Psalm 97 1 Corinthians 9:19-27; 10:1-13 2 Chronicles 2; 3; 4; 5:1

Psalm 97

The earth has not seen an army that can stand against the power of our God. Our God is king over all we see, and most powerful. The greatest oceans and the most majestic mountains celebrate the glory of our God. The One True Living God is faithful in love and is without equal. Worship God! Let every believer praise the name of God and celebrate His goodness.

1 Corinthians 9:19-27; 10:1-13

Paul has chosen a life mission of serving each person he comes into a relationship with. It is an effort to bring as many as possible into a relationship with Jesus as Savior. All his life lifestyle choices are shaped by this decision. Paul warns of temptations that would draw us away from faithfulness to Jesus and into a self-destructive tendency to gratify our carnal cravings. We should learn from the lessons of the nation of Israel and their idolatry. Paul says that God will give us the ability to resist temptation. Let us choose to run the race God has given us. Let us run with endurance.

2 Chronicles 2; 3; 4; 5:1

Responding to the directions given by God and his father David, King Solomon sets out to build a Temple for the worship of Yahweh. Engaging the king of Tyre, Solomon acquires resources and the help of master craftsmen. Solomon completed the Temple with everything needed for the prescribed worship, offerings, sacrifices, and celebrations.





August 14 Bible reading

14 08 2020

August 14 Psalm 96 1 Corinthians 9:1-18 Ecclesiastes 9:13-18; 10; 11; 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 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?

August 14 Psalm 96 1 Corinthians 9:1-18 Ecclesiastes 9:13-18; 10; 11; 12

Psalm 96

The One True Living God is our Creator, Provider, Protector, and Redeemer. Let us thank God for who He is and all that He has done! It’s good to speak the truth that our God saves. We should sing about God’s greatness describing His power and majesty. The whole earth will be glad at the coming of our Lord. Let’s make public our praise for God. Today let us sing a new song!

1 Corinthians 9:1-18

There is a lot of discussion about spiritual freedom. Arguments within the church have included questions from certain people who have challenged the authority of Paul (to give them instructions). Paul brings a reminder of the nature of that relationship and an account of how he has served them voluntarily. His choice to work for them, free of charge, should be taken into consideration when others call into question his motive. The Corinthian believers should respond to Paul with gratitude and respect.

Ecclesiastes 9:13-18; 10; 11; 12

Solomon gives us repeated contrasts between folly and wisdom. “It’s better to hear the quiet words of a wise person than the shouts of a foolish king.” Do we look for wisdom? Solomon writes about the ironies found in this life and recommends that we learn from them. Many things in this life are not certain but beyond our control. We should learn to live with this reality. We can focus on God’s purpose and what we can change. We should be reminded that someday we will give account to God for how we have lived. Accountability cannot be avoided.





August 13 Bible reading

13 08 2020

August 13 Psalm 95 1 Corinthians 7:36-40; 8 Ecclesiastes 7; 8; 9:1-12

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 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?

August 13 Psalm 95 1 Corinthians 7:36-40; 8 Ecclesiastes 7; 8; 9:1-12

Psalm 95

Let us worship God together! We should give thanks to the God of our salvation. Let’s bring it with singing and shouting. Let us worship the God who is always caring for us. Psalm 95 begins with a call to worship the God who created us and saved from certain destruction. It is a beautiful song, inviting us to thank the God who carved the height of the mountains and the depth of the oceans, and the God who takes care of us. We are encouraged to learn from the consequences that the nation of Israel experienced for turning away from the God who delivered them from slavery.

1 Corinthians 7:36-40; 8

Paul writes to Corinthian believers who held varied beliefs on what was right and what was wrong. One such issue was the practice of buying meat that was more affordable because it had been used in the worship of an idol. Paul does not condemn this practice. He directs us to choose our friends over our freedoms. We should live in such a way as to value people more than what we want. The person is more valuable than any cultural disagreement. This is particularly relevant today. We should choose to show loving respect for each other at every turn. We must not press our views on others. We should look for ways to create peace. If a person has a conviction unique from my own, I should adjust for their sake in any way that builds peace (and mutual respect).

Ecclesiastes 7; 8; 9:1-12

Solomon delivers a variety of “one-liners” elevating the wisdom of a God-centered life and teaching an eternal perspective. This is wisdom that goes beyond the limited wisdom of those with only a natural perspective. God is in control. Serving God will bring peace & help us avoid self-destructive ways. What a contrast presented between wisdom and foolishness! “A fool only thinks about having a good time.” Patience is better than pride. “God created people to be virtuous.” We should avoid sexual immorality. People who are wise “will find a way to do the right thing.” We cannot predict hard times. We should prepare for them.

 





August 12 Bible reading

12 08 2020

August 12 Proverbs 19:23-29; 20:1-4 1 Corinthians 7:17-35 Ecclesiastes 4; 5; 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 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?

August 12 Proverbs 19:23-29; 20:1-4 1 Corinthians 7:17-35 Ecclesiastes 4; 5; 6

Proverbs 19:23-29; 20:1-4

You can choose to start each day focused on God. The practice of giving love and respect to God every day is life-giving and produces peace. It will help us learn from God and avoid poor decisions. This will help us avoid some pain. It will also help us walk away from self-destructive tendencies. Here in Proverbs, we read about the damage that drunkenness can cause. In contrast, self-control in a tense situation is a sign of an honorable person.

1 Corinthians 7:17-35

The Corinthian believers had questions about sexual ethics. Pastor Paul responds, with an understanding of their current culture related to sexual practices. Sexual pleasure as a high priority and sexual transactions (including business and pagan spiritual practices) were part of their everyday culture. “Whatever I want” (regardless of marriage or spirituality) was the most common sexual ethic in their day. Does this sound familiar? Pastor Paul gives us counsel to grow in our eternal perspective. We should understand what will last forever and what will not. Life on this earth is short. We should prioritize our relationship with God and commitment to the Kingdom of God through our local church involvement. Our first commitment is to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This kind of focus on Jesus examined life, and choosing to live by carefully considered priorities will produce fulfillment. Wouldn’t you like to enjoy more peaceful days? This is how.

Ecclesiastes 4; 5; 6

Solomon seems overwhelmed by the horror of people taking advantage of others in a systematic way. He also sees jealous pursuits as useless. Even as the most powerful king in history (to that point) he laments the futility of political power. Help and strength can be found in human relationships. Solomon advises us to respect God by listening to Him when we gather in worship. He also recommends that we be careful in what we promise God. The pursuit of wealth can be meaningless. Learning to be content each day may be one of life’s most important lessons. Work hard and you will sleep well. Enjoy life and don’t “brood over the past”. Wow. Easier said than done?





August 11 Bible reading

11 08 2020

August 11 Psalm 94:12-23 1 Corinthians 7:1-16 Ecclesiastes 1; 2; 3

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 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?

August 11 Psalm 94:12-23 1 Corinthians 7:1-16 Ecclesiastes 1; 2; 3

Psalm 94:12-23

Over the years, I have heard friends say, “I wish my parents had warned me about __.” We can avoid the consequences of mistakes (that bring troubled times) if we follow God’s instructions for life. We learn by following God’s guidance for how we should live. This should also include accepting His correction of how we should not be living. In this, we can learn how to avoid mistakes. This happens as we focus our attention on the goodness of God. Then we can think through how we should respond to God in healthy ways.

1 Corinthians 7:1-16

The Corinthian believers had questions about sexual ethics. Pastor Paul responds, with an understanding of their current culture related to sexual practices. Sexual pleasure as a high priority and sexual transactions (including business and pagan spiritual practices) were part of their everyday culture. “Whatever I want” (regardless of marriage or spirituality) was the most common sexual ethic in their day. Does this sound familiar? In 1 Corinthians, we find teaching about marriage. God gives some people the gift of marriage and others the gift of being single. God has designed each of us for a life of purpose and pleasure. Marriage should include partners seeking to please each other (as their priority). Not living “Me first”. Our sexual desire may be fulfilled in a marriage where love is given as a gift given by each person to their spouse. Choosing a lifelong commitment in marriage can reflect the love that God has for us.

Ecclesiastes 1; 2; 3

Solomon could not find ultimate satisfaction in hard work, learning, or the pursuit of pleasure. For a time, he turned from the worship of God. For years he lived, “Me first”, and suffered the consequences. From that perspective, he writes about seasons and futility. Today we can learn from his life. We can set our focus on the peace and salvation found in Jesus. This includes a future beyond this natural life. That is why we can choose to enjoy each season we discover here and now.

 





August 10 Bible reading

10 08 2020

August 10 Psalm 94:1-11 1 Corinthians 6 2 Chronicles 1

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 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?

August 10 Psalm 94:1-11 1 Corinthians 6 2 Chronicles 1

Psalm 94:1-11

God is aware. God observes the thoughts, motives, and actions of the human race. The Living God values justice. The One True Living God will one day bring about complete justice and mercy. We should carefully consider the implications of this. Psalm 94 starts with a call for God to bring justice. It is foolish to think God does not see what we do or hear what we say. Some people do wrong because they don’t believe that God cares about it.

1 Corinthians 6

Paul instructs believers to avoid lawsuits if at all possible. We should see conflict resolution among ourselves. As followers of Jesus, we are choosing to live every day by trusting in God, turning from our mistakes, and choosing a lifestyle focused on God. This is possible as we receive God’s love for us that we do not deserve by His grace for us through our faith in Jesus as Savior. We should receive His forgiveness of our sin, which includes the removal of our guilt and a restoration of our relationship with Him. This is why we must follow His guidance for our lifestyle. We must honor God with our bodies and avoid sexual sin. Our Creator God has given us life, here on earth, in our bodies. The guidance of God should be more valuable to us than any other opinion or craving. God has shown us amazing love. We should respond with gratitude. We should understand that our bodies are valuable to the God who designed them. We should live with wholehearted devotion to God, including every way we use our bodies.

2 Chronicles 1

Solomon has this unbelievable unique experience with God. How many people have heard God ask what they want?!? God gives Solomon the opportunity to ask for what he wanted. Above all, Solomon wanted to lead God’s people in the best way possible. Solomon had a genuine concern for the well-being of the people. He wanted the wisdom to make good decisions for the common good of his nation. God responded by giving him wisdom, opportunity, favor, authority, and wealth. It’s an amazing story that is worth revisiting in consideration of all that is said in the book of Proverbs.

 





August 9 Bible reading

9 08 2020

August 9 Psalm 93 1 Corinthians 5 1 Chronicles 28; 29

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 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?

August 9 Psalm 93 1 Corinthians 5 1 Chronicles 28; 29

Psalm 93

The God we worship is an eternal Spirit, majestic, and powerful. We cannot control a violent raging ocean. God is stronger than the waves. We turn to a God who is able to do more than we imagine. The One True Living God is more powerful than the forces of our natural environment. We should revere this God. Our reasonable response should include awestruck wonder and a life of wholehearted devotion.

1 Corinthians 5

Paul writes to the Corinthian church about their acceptance of a man, calling himself a believer, who is living in sexual sin without repentance. If a person joins the church claiming to be a believer they should confess and repent of sin, seeking a change in their lifestyle. Within the church, we must help each other move toward a lifestyle that is honestly following Jesus. The purpose includes the restoration of people. Helping each other grow spiritually closer to Jesus. That said, we cannot pretend that a problem doesn’t exist. Pastor Paul gives us instructions to call a person who claims to be a believer to walk away from their sin. If they refuse to do so then we should not pretend otherwise. We are called to not associate with them as though they are a believer. We should still show respect in doing so. Paul describes the difference between this and how we relate to unbelievers.

1 Chronicles 28; 29

Before his passing, King David instructs his son Solomon to “learn to know God,” to “worship and serve” God with all his heart and mind. He charges his son to be courageous, with the words God spoke to Joshua. King David invited everyone to follow his example of courageous generosity, with an understanding that all we have comes from God. There is a public repeating of God’s covenant guidance for Solomon, as the new king, and for all the people.

 





August 8 Bible reading

8 08 2020

August 8 Proverbs 19:13-22 1 Corinthians 4 1 Chronicles 26:20-32; 27

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 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?

August 8 Proverbs 19:13-22 1 Corinthians 4 1 Chronicles 26:20-32; 27

Proverbs 19:13-22

Have you ever searched out God’s thoughts about people who live in poverty? Proverbs 19:17 may change how you feel. We should search for wisdom. Without healthy boundaries, a child may grow up into a life in ruins, Proverbs 19:18. Learning self-control will improve your quality of life. The integrity of your character is more important than one month’s income.

1 Corinthians 4

Paul understands that only God is the ultimate authority. He and his team of leaders have carefully followed the example of Jesus. They are patient with those who abuse them, loving those who would-be enemies. They believe that God is alive, aware, able, and active regarding the mess that the Corinthian believers were making of the church and their relationships. The Corinthians had fallen into comparing their perceived personal value by possessions and pedigree (including which spiritual leader they were associated with). Pastor Paul is trying to draw their focus back to Jesus Christ. He is working toward reconciliation, repentance, and restoration for the sake of a healthy church. Today we see the same work needed.

1 Chronicles 26:20-32; 27

David made sure that qualified people were assigned to manage the nation’s treasury, military, and government. David brings a critical re-establishing of their responsibilities. Every human life is valuable to God. There is inherent value in work and in serving the needs of a group of people. That is why their names are listed here.





August 7 Bible reading

7 08 2020

August 7 Psalm 92 1 Corinthians 3 1 Chronicles 24; 25; 26:1-19

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 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?

August 7 Psalm 92 1 Corinthians 3 1 Chronicles 24; 25; 26:1-19

Psalm 92

We find Psalm 92 written for the day we set aside for worship and rest. It’s a song for Sabbath. We benefit from thanking God and singing about His goodness. It is good for us to focus on God’s faithfulness, in the morning and in the evening. Upon reflection, we can thank God for all that He has done. This is an amazing life-giving practice. It is helpful in private, and it is helpful with the gathered believers. As I live my life focused on God, I can thrive and be fruitful even in old age.

1 Corinthians 3

In 1 Corinthians 3, Paul addresses arguments, jealousy, and any focus on a leader more than a focus on Christ as evidence of immaturity. The foundation of our lives should be Jesus Christ. This will bring eternal fruit. Following Jesus should be a focal point of our identity. God the Holy Spirit lives among us as we dedicate our lives to Him. Pastor Paul is trying to bring the Corinthian believers into a healthy relationship with God and healthier relationships with each other. They have become distracted and fragmented by comparing themselves to each other. They have slipped into being controlled by their sinful human natures. No, let us all come back to a place of living focused on Jesus Christ.

1 Chronicles 24; 25; 26:1-19

King David is setting up a place of worship, and organizing priests, musicians, and gatekeepers so that it is constantly cared for. He is doing so in response to God’s directions. This work is happening so that people will have a place set aside for the worship of God. It will be a place of forgiveness for sin. It will be a place where they will be aware of the presence of God’s presence. The organization and administration of responsibilities are essential to this special place. The same is true today. It is our worthwhile pursuit.

 





August 6 Bible reading

6 08 2020

August 6 Psalm 91:9-16 1 Corinthians 2:6-16 1 Chronicles 22:2-19; 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 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?

August 6 Psalm 91:9-16 1 Corinthians 2:6-16 1 Chronicles 22:2-19; 23

Psalm 91:9-16

As we make God our safe place, we will not be overcome by the evil of this world. When we call on God, He will answer. God will rescue those who love Him. God will be with people who trust in Him. Choosing a life of wholehearted devotion to God is one way that we can “make the Lord our refuge”. We love God with the best of our energy. We rely on God completely. In this way, we find promise and protection.

1 Corinthians 2:6-16

Pastor Paul is calling the Corinthian believers to rally around Jesus, in unity. Let us live focused on Jesus. Paul’s teaching in Corinth was focused on Jesus who was crucified. Paul taught simply and in humility so that they would trust in the power of God revealed in this Good News. The Holy Spirit gives people the ability to receive and understand this Good News of Jesus.

1 Chronicles 22:2-19; 23

An aging King David obeys God’s instruction to set up hi son Solomon to build the Temple so that the place of worship would no longer need to be carried from place to place. David instructs Solomon to seek God with all his heart and soul. obeying God’s instructions, and encouraging him to be courageous. At all times, people could be found serving in the Lord’s presence.