November 1 Bible reading

31 10 2018

Each day of the year I’ll post verses to read, with the purpose of reading through the whole Bible within a year.

Reading the Bible is helpful in taking next steps to follow Jesus. It may not be easy and yet it can be rewarding. Digging into Scripture alongside people you know is a life-giving way to pursue answers together. We discover the love that God has for us, expressed through Jesus.

Please read the verses below, prayerfully consider them, and then my comments may be helpful after those moments.

November 1  Psalm 119:137-144  Hebrews 3  Joel 1; 2:1-17

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?

The poet has found God to be trustworthy. Over the years, the guidance of God has been put to the test and has proven to be reliable. For this reason, the poet delights in the Word of God.

God has made it possible for us to choose whether or not we will accept His lordship and offer of salvation. In faithful love and infinite wisdom, our God extends to us hope found in Jesus Christ the Messiah (and now our Great High Priest). Hebrews 3 exhorts followers of Jesus to be careful that they do not drift from their belief in the living God and our Messiah. We should help each other avoid deception and hardness of heart toward God. Our human nature may gradually drift in these ways. We need the strength that intentional relationships bring.

The people of Judah were experiencing the consequences of breaking away from their agreement with God (as seen in Deuteronomy 11:10-17; 29:1  1 Kings 8:35-40). Through the prophet Joel, God calls the people to a change of heart and behavior so that He can restore them. This would include healthy sorrow, a change of behavior, and a turning away from evil. Such a response to God has preceded seasons of human history that we call “revival”.





October 31 Bible reading

30 10 2018

Each day of the year I’ll post verses to read, with the purpose of reading through the whole Bible within a year.

Reading the Bible is helpful in taking next steps to follow Jesus. It may not be easy and yet it can be rewarding. Digging into Scripture alongside people you know is a life-giving way to pursue answers together. We discover the love that God has for us, expressed through Jesus.

Please read the verses below, prayerfully consider them, and then my comments may be helpful after those moments.

October 31  Proverbs 26:13-22  Hebrews 2  Obadiah 1

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?

Given our human nature, we can find laziness, gossip, lies, meddling, and thinking that we are smarter than others to be easy for us to fall into. Each of these traps is a danger to you and may cause you to be a danger to others.

The open letter, Hebrews, draws our attention to Jesus Christ the Son of God, our Savior, who experienced a human life with suffering and death. It was necessary so that Jesus could offer a sacrifice that would take away our guilt, purchase our freedom, and restore our relationship with God. “We must listen very carefully” to this truth so that we do not “drift away” from it.

Over an 8 year prophetic ministry, Obadiah speaks of the restoration that would come for the people of Judah, descendants of Jacob, after the punishment of their rejection of God. Obadiah also speaks of the coming punishment (without restoration) on the unrepentant evil in the hearts of the Edomites, who were descendants of Esau. Will we choose to believe we are self-sufficient or will we choose to believe what God has said?





October 30 Bible reading

29 10 2018

Each day of the year I’ll post verses to read, with the purpose of reading through the whole Bible within a year.

Reading the Bible is helpful in taking next steps to follow Jesus. It may not be easy and yet it can be rewarding. Digging into Scripture alongside people you know is a life-giving way to pursue answers together. We discover the love that God has for us, expressed through Jesus.

Please read the verses below, prayerfully consider them, and then my comments may be helpful after those moments.

October 30  Psalm 119:129-136  Hebrews 1  Lamentations 3:40-66; 4; 5

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?

The poet has felt broken at the sight of people showing disregard for the Word of God. He is looking for God’s love in mercy and deliverance from real-world situations. The poet has seen the guidance of God found in Scripture as helpful, amazing, and illuminating many times over.

In Hebrews, we have an open letter to Jewish followers of Jesus who were under pressure to return to Jerusalem. Jesus the Messiah had fulfilled the Word of God expressed through the law of Moses and the prophets. Bringing a new covenant agreement between God and humans, Jesus the Messiah is seen as the perfect Great High Priest. Here we read an explanation of God’s purpose in the past Old Testament physical practices of worship and seen in the present and future spiritual fulfillment.

We must be called to a focus on God that includes repentance, seeking cleansing and forgiveness. Jeremiah’s fifth poem is completely intercessory prayer. He is heartbroken and weeping for the people. Jeremiah prays for their restoration.

 





October 29 Bible reading

28 10 2018

Each day of the year I’ll post verses to read, with the purpose of reading through the whole Bible within a year.

Reading the Bible is helpful in taking next steps to follow Jesus. It may not be easy and yet it can be rewarding. Digging into Scripture alongside people you know is a life-giving way to pursue answers together. We discover the love that God has for us, expressed through Jesus.

Please read the verses below, prayerfully consider them, and then my comments may be helpful after those moments.

October 29  Psalm 119:121-128  Philemon 1  Lamentations 2:7-22; 3:1-39

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?

The poet believes that vindication will be found by following the guidance of God. He is looking for protection from the actions of evil people. May God grant us the discernment we need to understand the Scripture.

Onesimus has come to faith in Jesus after meeting Paul, who was being held as prisoner in Rome. Onesimus had been a slave to Philemon. It’s possible that he was a bond servant who was constrained to work off a debt. Onesimus had stolen from Philemon and fled Colosse, where Philemon had come to faith in Jesus and joined the church. Paul writes to Philemon, asking him to receive Onesimus as a brother in Christ, forgiving his debt. This underscores the truth that followers of Jesus should treat other followers of Jesus as spiritual family regardless.

Jeremiah is weeping and sharing the sorrow of God at the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple. Their place of worship is no longer a place of love. In the midst of sorrow, Jeremiah remembers the faithful love of the Lord. He reminds us that it is good to wait patiently for the Lord.





October 28 Bible reading

27 10 2018

Each day of the year I’ll post verses to read, with the purpose of reading through the whole Bible within a year.

Reading the Bible is helpful in taking next steps to follow Jesus. It may not be easy and yet it can be rewarding. Digging into Scripture alongside people you know is a life-giving way to pursue answers together. We discover the love that God has for us, expressed through Jesus.

Please read the verses below, prayerfully consider them, and then my comments may be helpful after those moments.

October 28  Psalm 119:113-120  Titus 3  Lamentations 1; 2:1-6

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?

Hearing God speak is a life-changing source of hope. We are sustained by listening to what God has said. When we stray from God’s Word we find negative results.

Paul reminds Titus of the most important truth to be taught consistently. God revealed love, by saving us. This was not because we had done something good. This is simply out of God’s mercy. It is a gift. Through Jesus our Savior we are given new life. We can now walk this journey, being led by the Holy Spirit and carrying an expectant hope of a future in Heaven. Paul provides specific instructions for how pastors should deal with divisive people. We should also live out of gratitude and seek to meet the urgent needs of others.

The prophet Jeremiah writes five poems lamenting the way God’s people rejected their Creator, bringing destruction on themselves, their land, and the Temple. The first four poems are acrostic of the Hebrew alphabet just like Psalm 119. We read about the sorrow of God in these dark days. As a spiritual leader, Jeremiah is not indifferent to the people being punished, but instead we find him compassionate to the suffering.





October 27 Bible reading

26 10 2018

Each day of the year I’ll post verses to read, with the purpose of reading through the whole Bible within a year.

Reading the Bible is helpful in taking next steps to follow Jesus. It may not be easy and yet it can be rewarding. Digging into Scripture alongside people you know is a life-giving way to pursue answers together. We discover the love that God has for us, expressed through Jesus.

Please read the verses below, prayerfully consider them, and then my comments may be helpful after those moments.

October 27  Proverbs 26:3-12  Titus 2  Habakkuk 1; 2; 3

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?

Solomon gives us a contrast between people who are wise and people who are foolish. People, who are convinced that they are wise, are dangerous. If a person is no longer willing to learn, hope is diminished.

Paul describes people of wisdom as worthy of respect, exercising self-control, with a strong faith, patient and filled with love. We should live in a way that honors God, as fully devoted followers of Jesus. We need a solid understanding of the Good News of Jesus so that we can build our lives upon it.

Habakkuk is a prophet of faith for the people of Judah. He has seen the pervasive violence resulting from the people’s rejection of God. We read the conversation between him and God. Why God? How long God? Why God, would you use an evil people to bring about your will? The prophet is answered by God, asked to be patient, and reassured that one day the glory of God will fill the earth. Habakkuk sings a request for mercy, in response. The prophet promises to wait patiently for God, drawing a strength and joy from his relationship with God. Interceding for others is a responsibility of spiritual leaders.





October 26 Bible reading

25 10 2018

Each day of the year I’ll post verses to read, with the purpose of reading through the whole Bible within a year.

Reading the Bible is helpful in taking next steps to follow Jesus. It may not be easy and yet it can be rewarding. Digging into Scripture alongside people you know is a life-giving way to pursue answers together. We discover the love that God has for us, expressed through Jesus.

Please read the verses below, prayerfully consider them, and then my comments may be helpful after those moments.

October 26  Psalm 119:105-112  Titus 1  Jeremiah 52

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?

What should I do? The Word of God always has guidance for our next step. We will better understand this poem when we use the Scripture as a constant guide on the journey.

Paul’s ministry team travelled in response to the directive of Jesus to go and urge people to become followers of Jesus. They were faithful in teaching the truth Jesus brought them. As people became believers, this team led them in the next steps of following Jesus. This included water baptism, receiving the Holy Spirit, a lifestyle of devotion, and intentional relationships with others. Paul reminds Titus of the value and qualifications of elders. The new Jesus followers were served by elders, who taught them, cared for them, prayed for them, and provided oversight. They refuted false teachers who were spreading corruption. Today Jesus followers should be served in the same way by church leadership.

The prophetic ministry of Jeremiah comes to a close after 66 years. Through the generations he saw people reject the relationship available with God, in favor of worshipping things of this earth. It hurt God and it hurt them. The city of Jerusalem and the Temple of Yahweh God are destroyed as God allows punishment for their wrongdoing. They rejected God’s guidance. Let’s not repeat their mistake.