September 30 Bible reading

30 09 2020

September 30  Psalm 115:1-11  Philippians 1:27-30; 2:1-11  Jeremiah 1; 2:1-30

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?

September 30  Psalm 115:1-11  Philippians 1:27-30; 2:1-11  Jeremiah 1; 2:1-30

Psalm 115:1-11

God has not failed us. God is faithful in loving us. God is in the heavens and is worthy of our praise. Some people may scoff at our devotion to God. It is possible that they are devoted to things that cannot compare to the One True Living God. Let us praise the living God who is overflowing with faithful love. Our God will help and protect those who trust in Him. What is God like? What should I expect from God? This Psalm should inform the start of our day.

Philippians 1:27-30; 2:1-11

We should live in light of the truth of our identity as people whom Jesus has given new spiritual life. We share an amazing opportunity to live as people who have been redeemed. It is a gift to be able to trust Jesus. What God has done for me through Jesus brings peace. My decisions and my lifestyle can be informed by this peace. This changes how I look at the challenges I am facing. Paul and the Philippians looked at their opportunity to suffer for Jesus as a gift. In Philippians 2:1-11 Paul brings encouraging comfort from the love of Jesus Christ. When we consider deeply the example of Jesus we are motivated to live in this same say, sharing the love. And so let us abandon a “me first” approach to life. Let us choose Jesus-kind-of-agape-love. We can be faithful, patient, and kind to others because this is the way that Jesus first loved us. From this, we can be motivated to choose humility and selfless love. One day everyone will recognize the power of Jesus Christ.

Jeremiah 1; 2:1-30

Jeremiah heard God’s voice. It shaped the way that he understood his own identity, value, and purpose. Jeremiah serves as a prophet to Judah for 66 years, recounting the history of their last 5 kings. He called them to repentance, showing God’s grace & mercy in the invitation. Jeremiah was able to do this because God commissioned Him to do so and gave him the ability to do so. God prepared him for the work and the opposition. God loves His people. Nothing good comes from His people turning away from Him. The Israelites worshipped other gods and their spiritual infidelity brought pain. It hurt God and it hurt them. We see in Jeremiah 1:12 that God is alive, aware, able, and active. In Jeremiah 2:5 God asks, “What did your ancestors find wrong with me?” We should learn from their story.





September 29 Bible reading

29 09 2020

September 29  Proverbs 23:29-35; 24:1-4  Philippians 1:1-26  Zephaniah 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?

September 29  Proverbs 23:29-35; 24:1-4  Philippians 1:1-26  Zephaniah 1; 2; 3

Proverbs 23:29-35; 24:1-4

Proverbs paints a sad picture of the consequences of the slow development of alcohol abuse. In contrast, we see a home where God-sourced wisdom is a priority. Through such wisdom, people can put knowledge to use and bring its benefits. Careful consideration of these passages will help you regardless of your relationship with substances. God is trying to help us understand the best way to live.

Philippians 1:1-26

In Acts 16 we read the story of Paul & Silas singing praise to God despite being imprisoned for their faith. This resulted in the start of the church in Philippi. Despite being imprisoned again, Paul writes about faith, love, unity, and humility as the foundation of life-changing joy. After praying for them from afar, Paul shares his confidence in the Holy Spirit’s help for their personal spiritual growth. Paul expresses his desire to see their focus on what is most important and that they see the benefits of their salvation. He is warning them of false teachers. We read about the high value of love, learning, priorities, and purity within the Christian church. Spiritual growth results in our experiencing the joy of salvation.

Zephaniah 1; 2; 3

During the reign of King Josiah, the prophet Zephaniah prepares people for God’s judgment on those who would not receive Him as Lord and to comfort the faithful remnant with promises of restoration. Both Zephaniah and Josiah were great-great-grandsons of Hezekiah. As a descendant of David, Zephaniah predicts the second coming of Jesus and the preservation of the church. We also read a description of God, as a mighty Savior, living among His people. God is seen as singing with joy. God’s love has calmed their fear. This is the relationship God desires.





September 28 Bible reading

28 09 2020

September 28  Psalm 114  Ephesians 6  Nahum 1-3

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?

September 28  Psalm 114  Ephesians 6  Nahum 1-3

Psalm 114

We hear a playful description of the mountains, rivers, and seas responding to the power of God. These grand features of our natural environment are beyond the control of any human. Yet they are subject to God. The Israelites witnessed such power for the purpose of their protection and provision. Psalm 114 recounts specific ways that God had done miracles with physical objects to take care of His people. In exodus from Egypt God had provided a dry path for them through the Red Sea. God did the same thing with the Jordan River. God brought drinking water out of rock. People of faith remembered these events. They told the stories of God revealing Himself to be the One who would take care of them.

Ephesians 6

Paul and the Ephesian believers found new life in Jesus Christ. It was now shaping their identity, purpose, and values. Paul continues with guidance on how we should live. This is informed by the first three chapters of truth on how God’s love for us transforms our lives. Family relationships, work relationships, and all relationships can be approached with the loving peace of Jesus as a priority. We are called to stand in faith through the spiritual struggle of life on this earth. We can access help from God through alert, persistent Spirit-led prayer. The spiritual strength discussed in Ephesians 3:14-21 includes the believer walking in the truth, righteousness, salvation, peace, faith, and spiritual power available through Jesus Christ.

Nahum 1-3

The people of Nineveh, Assyria’s capital, had received mercy from God when they repented of sin in response to God’s message through Jonah. 150 years later the people of Nineveh had rebelled against God and their current sin was worse than it was before. Nahum is sent to declare that God will punish the unrepentant guilty. Stubborn proud people will recognize that God is in control, one way or another. God is close to those who trust Him.





September 27 Bible reading

27 09 2020

September 27  Psalm 113  Ephesians 5:8-33  Isaiah 65:17-25; 66

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?

September 27  Psalm 113  Ephesians 5:8-33  Isaiah 65:17-25; 66

Psalm 113

There is a God who is beyond comparison. This God is alive, aware, able, and active. This God is generous as the Giver of life and grace. This God should be praise everywhere! Psalm 113 calls us to praise the one true living God, who is more majestic than our sky. Let’s praise the God who cares for people who are in need. Let us praise the Lord. God is worth it. It’s reasonable to give the best of your energy, praising God.

Ephesians 5:8-33

With gratitude, we should make the most of each day by living for God. If we have received God’s grace we should carefully search out what pleases Him. This pursuit should direct how we live. Filled with the Holy Spirit we will have the ability to live this way. We have learned about God’s love for us (a love that gives). We can choose to live like Jesus and share His love. This becomes a life-shaping ethic. We live out this faithful, patient, kind love in our marriages because we are now constantly aware of Jesus. Love and respect are essential elements of such a marriage.

Isaiah 65:17-25; 66

God speaks through the prophet Isaiah about a day that will be like no other. Our God will make new the earth and the heavens. There will be everlasting peace. Rejoicing and delight: amazing images of God’s way of peace. Here the living God speaks of His powerful ability. Yahweh God will bless the humble of heart. At the end of our time, God will forgive the repentant and punish the rebellious. God will draw people from all nations (ethnicities) into faithful worship. God will bring His eternal peaceful victory.





September 26 Bible reading

26 09 2020

September 26  Psalm 112  Ephesians 4:17-32; 5:1-7  Isaiah 63; 64; 65:1-16

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 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?

September 26  Psalm 112  Ephesians 4:17-32; 5:1-7  Isaiah 63; 64; 65:1-16

Psalm 112

Following the guidance of God will improve your quality of life. In this way, it is reasonable to believe that God will take care of you. Who is joyful? People who live in a loving relationship with God. They are constantly aware of God. They show God respect. They are seen in Psalm 112 as generous. God is faithful to His covenant agreements. Responding to God, faith-filled generous people are not overcome by evil in this world but live out of a confident hope that God will take care of them.

Ephesians 4:17-32; 5:1-7

Paul writes about our response to the love of God. This includes our searching out the ways that God has said would be healthy for us to live. We are called up out of a life of hopeless confusion. It is a complete change from days when our hearts and minds may be been closed to God. We should make a daily decision to allow the Holy Spirit to renew what we are thinking and feeling. This is an essential ingredient to our decision to live like Jesus and share His love. We should not be deceived by people who are finding reasons to avoid the guidance of God. There will be a day of accountability.

Isaiah 63; 64; 65:1-16

Our God is faithful. Since the beginning of time, no one has seen a god, like our faithful loving God. Faithful in forgiving the repentant and punishing those who refused to repent. God remained available to those who were not recognizing Him as Lord. The prayer of Isaiah 64 comes from someone who has learned about God’s history with people through hundreds of years. In his prayer, we hear about the characteristics of God. How had people observed God to be? What were God’s thoughts, emotions, values, and decision making like? This prayer keeps the requests within the context of what God is like. Here we see the analogy of God as the Potter shaping the clay of our lives. Isaiah 65:10 makes it clear that restoration is coming for people who search for God.





September 25 Bible reading

25 09 2020

September 25  Proverbs 23:19-28  Ephesians 4:1-16  Isaiah 60; 61; 62

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?

September 25  Proverbs 23:19-28  Ephesians 4:1-16  Isaiah 60; 61; 62

Proverbs 23:19-28

Parents take great joy to see their children grow in wisdom. Everyone in the family is happy to see them use wisdom in decision making. On our journey from childhood to adulthood, we should learn from those with wisdom, including our parents. Good decision making, self-control, discernment, and wisdom improve the quality of a person’s life. We can learn to keep our hearts on the right course. This will keep us from self-destructive behaviors and guide us in learning that develops our wisdom in decision making. Sexual promiscuity brings pain.

Ephesians 4:1-16

Paul encourages followers of Jesus Christ to respond to God’s amazing grace with a thankful lifestyle of devotion. He encourages them to live in a way that honors God and reflects God’s love for others. With gracious patient humility, we should pursue unity and peace. Within the church, God has given each person unique gifts. This includes people who function as apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. They should be helping people learn how to use their particular abilities. This includes serving others, doing good, strengthening the church, and growing spiritually. Together we can become more like Jesus Christ. We can help each other. The church should be a group of people who are spiritually healthy, growing, and full of love.

Isaiah 60; 61; 62

God speaks through the prophet Isaiah about the coming restoration of the people of Israel. This would follow their return to Him. This includes the blessing that the Messiah would bring to people from every nation. God promises a future for Jerusalem where people from around the world are brought into peaceful worship. Isaiah 61:1-3 helps us understand what the Messiah would be like. God would send One as Savior. What would His purpose be? What would His Kingdom be like? Jesus quotes Isaiah 61 in revealing His identity as Messiah. This informs us as to God’s purpose and passion. Isaiah 61 also references people who would join the Messiah’s work of rebuilding and restoration. In Isaiah 62:6 we see people who would be attentive in their intercession for God’s people. Isaiah’s constant prayer for the people of Jerusalem in Isaiah 62 should inform our prayer for our cities today. We can combine prayer and work, with purpose & passion, to implement the commitments we make to reveal our Messiah, Jesus. One day all people will praise our God of mercy and justice.





September 24 Bible reading

24 09 2020

September 24  Psalm 111  Ephesians 3  Isaiah 57:14-21; 58; 59

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?

September 24  Psalm 111  Ephesians 3  Isaiah 57:14-21; 58; 59

Psalm 111

Today I will praise God with all of my heart. Thank You, God! Join me and let us praise the living God who is our Creator, Provider, Protector, and Redeemer. God hears our worship. We have a song of profound meaning to the Israelites in Psalm 111. It is an acrostic poem (using the Hebrew alphabet) and has been memorized by millions. From it, we see that people who love God should consider God’s actions and learn from them. God always remembers His covenant agreement with His people. Later we would read in Proverbs 1:7, 9:10, 15:33 that Solomon had learned from David and Psalm 111:10. Humility comes before honor. Fools despise this. The knowledge of God, the Holy One, results in good decision making. What benefits are available from a relationship with God!

Ephesians 3

Paul wrote of God’s plan to offer salvation, equally to Jew and Gentile, through Jesus. Over years Paul had studied Scripture deeply. Jesus had appeared to Paul. The Holy Spirit spoke to Paul. Now Pastor Paul is constantly praying for the spiritual growth of the Ephesian Christians. Paul wanted them to have a confident hope in God’s supernatural power. It is an inner spiritual strength that God brings. The Ephesians were finding this relationship with Jesus as the shaping influence for their identity, purpose, and value. They found new strength by building their lives on this truth. In Ephesus, they saw people of varied cultures come together with a shared faith in Jesus. It is evidence of something beyond the limits of our natural world and broken cultures.

Isaiah 57:14-21; 58; 59

Through Isaiah, God promises the restoration of people who are humble. God calls for true worship and calls out the hypocrisy of bad religion. Service to the poor and help for those in trouble are the actions of people whom God will refresh and continue to guide. God is able to save us. God hears us. Often our trouble is the result of sin: either our sin or the sin of someone else. God is disappointed when people allow injustice and oppression. God will avenge it. God will be true to His covenant agreement. (Remember the people described here were guilty of human sacrifice, including their own children. They had walked away from an honest life of a loving relationship with God. As a result, their world was full of deception and murder. They didn’t know where to find peace.) The prophet sees people who reject God as being like a restless sea. He called out religious people whose “good deeds” were done to make themselves feel better. We must be careful to avoid the same trap. Why are we being generous? Is it to make us feel better about ourselves? When we delight in God and then take generous action with pure motives God will guide us and refresh us. We see God restoring His relationship agreement. Isaiah 59:17 has inspiration for the believers “armor of God”.





September 23 Bible reading

23 09 2020

September 23  Psalm 110  Ephesians 2  Isaiah 55; 56; 57:1-13

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?

September 23  Psalm 110  Ephesians 2  Isaiah 55; 56; 57:1-13

Psalm 110

David writes a prophetic song, in Psalm 110, that describes the Lord as a priest, ruler, and a king. I can’t help but wonder if David wanted to emulate this image. In Hebrews 1:13 and 7:21 this is explained. Jesus Christ the Messiah brought fulfillment. Jesus functions in these ways. Jesus is a better version of what Abraham saw in Melchizedek. The more we read Scripture the more we will understand the awesome beauty of who Jesus is. This song also gives us a window’s view into the relationship between Father God and the Messiah Jesus Christ. This song must have been a wonderful mystery to the people living in David’s time.

Ephesians 2

Unhealthy cravings, selfish tendencies, and thoughts leading us to “miss the mark” (in sinful actions) all bring us to separation from God’s love. Receiving the grace of Jesus brings us to a close personal relationship with the God of love. This is a gift we do not deserve. This does not come to us as a result of anything good we may have done, but instead because God loves us. New spiritual life is available.  Through Jesus, God makes a peaceful relationship with Him possible. The people of Ephesus saw this Good News of peace break down the wall of hostility between Jew and Gentile. In the same way, it can now bring us into an ability to build healthy peaceful relationships with each other regardless of old culture ways of prejudice.

Isaiah 55; 56; 57:1-13

There is so much to learn from Isaiah 55 alone! We can draw from God a refreshing and strength that is life-changing. This comes by way of God’s faithful love, promises, and an invitation to a relationship with Him. We are called to listen, seek, recognize, and respect God. Isaiah knew that God had revealed to David the promise of unfailing love made available through the Messiah. Our God has a purpose. His thoughts and ways are to be respected. God welcomes people who love Him with repentant humility. God will judge those who will not repent. We read that God had observed the way in which the people had forgotten about Him because He had been quiet for a season. His response? “I will expose your so-called good deeds, they will not help you.” Wow, this should serve as a cautionary tale. God is looking for a personal relationship, not hypocritical good deeds. David, Isaiah, Abraham, and Paul learned about the gracious nature of God. They came to respect God’s purpose and see the value of responding to God with faithful love.





September 22 Bible reading

22 09 2020

September 22  Psalm 109:21-31  Ephesians 1  Isaiah 51:17-23; 52; 53; 54

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?

September 22  Psalm 109:21-31  Ephesians 1  Isaiah 51:17-23; 52; 53; 54

Psalm 109:21-31

David is not afraid to sing to the Lord, about his blues. David turns his focus away from people who are cursing him and looks to the God of faithful love instead. An object of ridicule, David appeals to the good character of God, asking for rescue. Over the years David has seen God helping people in need. David has been in fasting and prayer through a difficult time. Regardless of God’s response, David commits to continued thanksgiving to the Lord, for the way He has stood by the poor and defended them. David is praising God before seeing an answer to the prayer. What lessons to be learned here!

Ephesians 1

Paul writes a letter to the church in Ephesus, with whom he had previously spent at least three years. Paul is being held prisoner in Rome, and yet he writes a beautiful letter about our response to God’s love and grace. God’s plan for redemption available through Jesus was in the works before the creation of all that we see. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit loved us and planned to purchase our freedom and make forgiveness and an inheritance available to us. Paul interacted with Jesus personally. He received truth from Jesus directly. We can grow in a confident hope through this truth. One day God will bring everything we see under the authority of Jesus Christ. Like it or not, believe it or not, this is the truth. This leadership of Jesus Christ includes benefits for His faithful followers.

Isaiah 51:17-23; 52; 53; 54

Through the prophet, Isaiah God explains how His redemptive plan interacts with the free will decisions of people. God predicts a time when He would bring an end to the suffering of Israel. He explains that when they chose to reject Him, it meant giving over control to other people who abused them. There’s a blessing on people who are willing to share the “good news of peace and salvation” with others. In Isaiah 53, we read a specific prophecy of the coming Messiah that was fulfilled by Jesus. It is a powerful description of the suffering Jesus would endure when He would take on Himself the sins of us all. God promises the restoration of a repentant Israel. This includes restitution and a wholistic peace for all the faithful.





September 21 Bible reading

20 09 2020

September 21  Proverbs 23:10-18  Galatians 6  Isaiah 49:8-26; 50; 51:1-16

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 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?

September 21  Proverbs 23:10-18  Galatians 6  Isaiah 49:8-26; 50; 51:1-16

Proverbs 23:10-18

Learning requires listening and commitment. God is aware of how we treat people, and He cares about our motives and actions. One day we will give account to God for how we live. We should live in light of this truth. Those who draw their hope from their relationship with God will not be disappointed. Providing structure for your children and bringing consequences to wrong behavior will help them avoid serious problems in the future.

Galatians 6

In chapter 5, Pastor Paul taught us to let the Holy Spirit guide our lives. In chapter 6, he contrasts this with the results of allowing our sinful cravings to guide our lives. He also calls local church believers to “gently and humbly” help a person who has drifted into consistently making such mistakes, guiding them back onto the right path. Paul teaches believers to find freedom in Jesus. This is connected to clear instruction to avoid comparison and maintain focus on our own personal integrity. Living to please one’s self first will bring decay. Living to please the Holy Spirit will be life-giving. It’s a critical issue. We should respond to this with deep reflection, prayer, Bible reading, and asking God to show us the state of our heart. Don’t give up. Each day is new with Jesus.

Isaiah 49:8-26; 50; 51:1-16

Through Isaiah God speaks of His plan to offer His love to people of all nations. God has seen the suffering of His people and felt their pain. He will restore them. We are called to trust in the Lord who created all that we see. God our Creator is constantly interacting with each person. We are now able to receive Jesus the Messiah. We can participate in this plan for people of all nations. Again we are called to trust the Lord has been proven to be our Creator, Provider, Protector, and Redeemer.