October 21 Bible reading

21 10 2020

October 21  Psalm 119:73-80  1 Timothy 6:3-21  Jeremiah 46; 47

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?

October 21  Psalm 119:73-80  1 Timothy 6:3-21  Jeremiah 46; 47

Psalm 119:73-80

What is God saying today? Have you asked that question? God is in a conversation with us. Are we listening? God has spoken to us through the Scripture. We can find the Scripture helpful in our relationship with God. We will find both correction of our wrong and comfort for our souls. We find a source of hope. We find the object of our hope, the living God. We find help in the ability to live a healthy life.

1 Timothy 6:3-21

Paul writes to encourage Timothy to continue teaching what Jesus had taught. This wholesome truth will help us live as we should, in healthy relationship with God and others. Finding peace in this way is more valuable than money or possessions. It will be more helpful to you than the latest smartphone. Think about it! This guidance is invaluable! Jesus will return. We should live in hope-filled expectation. This peace is continually found as we are in active pursuit of healthy relationship with God. It immediately helps our relationships with other people. These words make a positive difference!

Jeremiah 46; 47

God had observed the evil heart and actions of the ancient Egyptians, Babylonians, and Philistines. They were not repentant of their ways. God sent word of coming judgment on them through the prophet Jeremiah. God will provide guidance. There will be consequences if we ignore it. Are you listening to God?





October 20 Bible reading

20 10 2020

October 20  Psalm 119:65-72  1 Timothy 5; 6:1-2  Jeremiah 43; 44; 45

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?

October 20  Psalm 119:65-72  1 Timothy 5; 6:1-2  Jeremiah 43; 44; 45

Psalm 119:65-72

What is God saying today? Have you asked yourself that question? After difficult days, the poet learned that God keeps His promises. He learned to enjoy the guidance of God. Hearing what God had to say became more valuable than money. The Word of God can get us moving in the best direction possible (walking according to God’s will). It can preserve us from trouble.

1 Timothy 5; 6:1-2

Within the church (and with all people), we should speak to each other with love and respect. It should be the way that a healthy family communicates. We should find ways to help those who have no one to care for them. Paul gives Timothy instructions for the leadership of the Ephesian church, including the support of widows. Paul provided immediate practical advice and long-term perspective. Paul and Timothy valued their relationship with each other. They invested time and energy in the relationship. We should do the same. I have done the same with many people. This includes my own relationship with the elders of our church and the other leaders to whom I look for strategic input. This is the kind of guidance that an “apostle” provides. It is what we see here with Paul and Timothy. It is what we still put into practice today.

Jeremiah 43; 44; 45

A remnant of Judean citizens had rejected God’s instruction (to stay home in His protection). They feared the Babylonians. They refused Jeremiah’s words. They declared that they would do whatever they wanted to do. They took Jeremiah with them to hide in Egypt. God said they were choosing death in Egypt, and that He would bring punishment for idol worship. We must ask ourselves if we hold anything as more valuable than God. Is there anything that we are listening to more than God’s words?





October 19 Bible reading

19 10 2020

October 19  Proverbs 25:11-20  1 Timothy 4  Jeremiah 40:7-16; 41; 42

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?

October 19  Proverbs 25:11-20  1 Timothy 4  Jeremiah 40:7-16; 41; 42

Proverbs 25:11-20

We must be careful with what we say. Our words can help or hurt. When we listen, valid criticism is a gift. A trustworthy person is refreshing on difficult days. Gentle persuasive words can accomplish much.

1 Timothy 4

False teaching, bringing legalism and deception, may continue. Such teachers will confuse right from wrong. As we follow Jesus, let us prioritize our becoming more like Jesus above “arguing godless ideas”. Our hope in Jesus, should be what we are focused on. We can be an example to others in how we talk and how we live. Our lives should be pure, full of faith and love. Reading the Scripture when we gather, will help. Let us throw ourselves completely into this life of following Jesus. This chapter gives us an idea of just how that works. It also serves as a priority for anyone who wants to become a Christian servant leader.

Jeremiah 40:7-16; 41; 42

Out of jealousy for a throne of broken power, Ishmael murders Gedaliah (whom the Babylonians had left in leadership of the Judean remnant). Johanan removed Ishmael and rescued the people he had captured. Johanan then asked the prophet Jeremiah for guidance from God. The message from God included direction. They heard the revelation of God’s sorrow. They heard about the possible consequences of fearing other people more than they respected God. When God speaks we must listen. All this time, God has been alive, aware, able, and active.





October 18 Bible reading

18 10 2020

October 18  Psalm 119:57-64  1 Timothy 3  Jeremiah 38; 39; 40:1-6

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?

October 18  Psalm 119:57-64  1 Timothy 3  Jeremiah 38; 39; 40:1-6

Psalm 119:57-64

The unfailing love of the Lord fills the earth. When we recognize God’s love and guidance we will find peace about the direction of our lives. This will lead us to continually turn away from selfishness and turning to the way of life that God desires for us. Here we read about morning, noon, and night conversation with God. Whoa! The songwriter has found God to be faithful in love. The songwriter seems to choose gratitude (for God) on a daily basis.

1 Timothy 3

Paul gives Timothy clear qualifications for elders and deacons, which should be upheld today. Hospitality, self-control, faithfulness, and integrity are notable among the list. Here we read qualifications, priorities, and term limits. Each local church should be served by people such as described here. There must be accountability for the church by people, such as described here. I am thankful that this is true of our church family. Paul reminds us of priority truths about Jesus, our powerful Messiah who was revealed in a human body. We should read this passage repeatedly to keep a victorious Jesus in our view.

Jeremiah 38; 39; 40:1-6

Jeremiah suffered at the hands of the leaders of Jerusalem (the city God had supernaturally made possible). He was beaten and imprisoned. God preserved him and brought leaders of an evil nation to free Jeremiah and restore him. Even people from Babylon recognized that God was just in punishing His people. God will judge the unrepentant guilty, and forgive the repentant.





October 17 Bible reading

17 10 2020

October 17  Psalm 119:49-56  1 Timothy 2  Jeremiah 35; 36; 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 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?

October 17  Psalm 119:49-56  1 Timothy 2  Jeremiah 35; 36; 37

Psalm 119:49-56

In the Scripture, we find promises made by our God. When we search out those promises, they bring us comfort. Reflecting on who we have found God to be will change our lives for the better. We should be talking about this with each other. That is a lesson we should learn from this Psalm.

1 Timothy 2

Paul gives us relevant guidance for anyone who would serve people, anyone who would lead people. We should pray for people (in intercession and with gratitude). We should pray for civil leaders. We must keep in mind that our God “wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth” that Jesus is the one Mediator. Jesus Christ is the One who reconciles God with humanity. This is our most important message.

2:8-15 includes Paul’s instructions that no group of people has dominance over another. There’s more to be said here than we have time for. There’s much about culture and history that is essential for context. Let’s start with the simple truth. Just as we see in Ephesians 5:21, “submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” This revolutionary idea of mutual submission looks like this, “Thinking about Jesus Christ every day, remember His loving example of grace and humility. Remember His instruction to love God with the best of your energy and love others in the same way you take care of yourself.” – Matthew 22:37-39

2:14 Paul’s point includes the truth that both Adam and Eve stood equally guilty of their sin, before God.

2:15 some scholars believe could read, “saved by the birth of the Child” (referring to faith in Jesus Christ). Additionally, the text implies mothers leading younger people to faith in Jesus Christ. These beliefs would be true to many of the churches of the first century.

Jeremiah 35; 36; 37

God refers to the way that the Recabites remained faithful to the guidance of their ancestors. This was in contrast to the disobedience of His own people to His own words. God held out hope that the people would repent. Their king twice burned the Word of God written down for their benefit. The leaders of Jerusalem had Jeremiah beaten and thrown in prison. People who want to live in sin don’t want to hear God’s Word. If only they knew about the faithful love of God!





October 16 Bible reading

16 10 2020

October 16  Psalm 119:41-48  1 Timothy 1  Jeremiah 32:26-44; 33; 34

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?

October 16  Psalm 119:41-48  1 Timothy 1  Jeremiah 32:26-44; 33; 34

Psalm 119:41-48

When we receive the unfailing love of God in salvation, we can live by God’s instruction and walk in freedom. We will find God’s Word to be life-giving. This happens as we meditate on God’s Word and share what we have learned. It’s an amazing spiritual principle. Let’s follow this practice.

1 Timothy 1

Paul writes a personal letter to Timothy, who became a Jesus follower most likely in the Lystra story found in Acts 14. Seven years later Timothy travelled with Paul. After Paul’s first imprisonment in Rome, he writes a letter of encouragement and guidance for Timothy’s leadership in Ephesus. Paul gives Timothy direction in the continued effort to stop bad teachers who were misusing the Scriptures. Paul keeps a simple message as priority, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” The amazing story of God’s grace, shown by Jesus appearing to Paul (despite his serious sin), continues to inform their message. You can believe in Jesus and have eternal life. This is why we must “cling” to our faith and “keep our conscience clear”.

Jeremiah 32:26-44; 33; 34

Is anything too hard for our God? After a cleansing of sin, God puts a desire for worship and a faithfulness in the heart. Restoration and forgiveness bring joy to the heart of God. Today you can ask God for each of these. Our God will not abandon His people. Our God will not abandon you. Jeremiah brought a promise of the Messiah (in renewal of the covenant God made with Abraham). Today, receiving new spiritual life through Jesus. With it comes a cleansing of your past, a desire for worship, faithfulness, restoration, forgiveness, and joyful relationship with God. It has for me. It can for you. It is possible.





October 15 Bible reading

15 10 2020

October 15  Proverbs 25:1-10  2 Thessalonians 3  Jeremiah 31:15-40; 32:1-25

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?

October 15  Proverbs 25:1-10  2 Thessalonians 3  Jeremiah 31:15-40; 32:1-25

Proverbs 25:1-10

Both the potential for discovery and the ability to learn are gifts to us from our Creator. We have the opportunity to enjoy learning something new every day. We learn from Solomon (and Romans 11:33-36) that the height of human wisdom is not superior to God. No one person has comprehended all that there is to understand about the earth, let alone the galaxy. Our God is Creator of all that we see. Considering this leads us to respect the thoughts of God as transcendent of our own. Gossip brings damage including irreparable damage to your own reputation.

2 Thessalonians 3

From Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians, we learn to pray that the Good News of Jesus be received by an increasing number of people. Let us pray that this year we will see more and more people come into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. The Thessalonian church shared Pastor Paul’s passion for people to take next steps in following Jesus. Here we read Paul’s desire that they grow in their understanding of and expression of God’s agape love. He also wanted to see them grow in the strength & spiritual stamina found in a personal relationship with Jesus. A healthy work ethic is seen as a priority for Jesus followers. This chapter has lessons essential for each of us. Did you catch them?

Jeremiah 31:15-40; 32:1-25

Jeremiah predicts the mourning after death, fulfilled in Matthew 2:17-18, and God’s promise of hope in the future. A new covenant would be an essential part of a personal relationship with God. Forgiveness of sin and removal of guilt would be available through the Messiah. At a time of being attacked, Jeremiah believed that God is faithful and powerful (quoting God’s self-description found in Exodus 34:6-7) and recalling His miracles in the past. He purchased land to prove his faith in God at a time when it seemed foolish to do so. WOW! I want to meet Jeremiah someday.





October 14 Bible reading

14 10 2020

October 14  Psalm 119:33-40  2 Thessalonians 2  Jeremiah 29:24-32; 30; 31:1-14

Please read the suggested passages, prayerfully consider them, and the questions below. My comments here may be helpful after those moments. The suggested daily reading is for the purpose of reading through the whole Bible within a year.

Reading the Bible is helpful in taking 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?

October 14  Psalm 119:33-40  2 Thessalonians 2  Jeremiah 29:24-32; 30; 31:1-14

Psalm 119:33-40

Happiness is found on the path of God’s guidance. Listening to God includes searching out what He has said. It is an active learning. We are reading here about the songwriter’s personal experience on this path. Asking God for help with understanding, the Psalmist shows commitment to this path. With these verses we can sing a prayer request that our God would help us understand the Scripture and live by His guidance. We read an honest call for help with healthy focus. “God help me focus on You, on what is right, and on what is most valuable.” We can pray. In this way, we find our life made new.

2 Thessalonians 2

Paul writes to the Thessalonians an encouragement to believe that Christ will return. He writes about events that will occur before that day. He warns them about false teachers and deceptive miracle workers who are presenting themselves as spiritual leaders. This includes the anti-christ, a figure in the future who will draw people away from following Jesus. The message here is that Jesus will be victorious over such deceivers. The day will come when no one can stand against the truth of who Jesus is. Our victorious Savior will bring about peace and joy. Paul writes about his gratitude for the Thessalonians’ faith in Jesus. He encourages them to hold on to their faith and the truth they had been taught. Let us draw strength from a personal relationship with Jesus.

Jeremiah 29:24-32; 30; 31:1-14

God speaks, through Jeremiah, that He will punish the false prophet who leads people away. God will clear out corrupt leaders. God will replace them with people who will serve people well.  God speaks of both His justice and His mercy. This includes a promise of restoration for His people and an end to their captivity of 70 years. God noticed when people who claimed to be lovers, friends, and allies of the Israelites (during their rebellion against God) revealed their true colors and abandoned the Israelites. God wants to provide for His people a peaceful life. We will yet see the ultimate peace and victory in Jesus.





October 13 Bible reading

13 10 2020

October 13  Psalm 119:25-32  2 Thessalonians 1  Jeremiah 27; 28; 29:1-23

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 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?

October 13  Psalm 119:25-32  2 Thessalonians 1  Jeremiah 27; 28; 29:1-23

Psalm 119:25-32

There are seasons of life that bring sorrow. We may lie to ourselves. The truth found in a relationship with God brings encouragement, instruction, and understanding. We should be active learners who are focused on God. It is a relationship of wholehearted devotion. We should ask God for help. On our worst days, we can sing to God. Cry out of grief, discouragement, and depression. Ask God to help us with our reality. Ask God to help us understand the guidance found in His Word, to navigate it.

2 Thessalonians 1

The church in Thessalonica had found “hardship as a pathway to peace” in following Jesus. They were growing in their faith and their agape love for each other. Paul, Silas, and Timothy celebrated their faithfulness, endurance, and spiritual growth. They asked God to give the Thessalonians the grace and ability to live in a way that pleases God. Remember that this letter is communication between people who have found a miracle of life-changing grace in Jesus Christ. They all prayed for each other to receive grace and peace from God. We need the daily help of God to live out a “Thank You” to Jesus for salvation. Choosing to love each other as we grow stronger spiritually. There will be ultimate rest when Jesus returns. We will have great joy. We will be praising Jesus.

Jeremiah 27; 28; 29:1-23

Jeremiah had to deal with false prophets and their message. False prophets were declaring that people would be safe from God’s judgment of sin. The reality is that religious practice would not protect people from punishment. God is looking for people who would be in a relationship with Him. Jeremiah 27 and 28 describe a dramatic back and forth with such false prophets. We are not immune to such activity today. There are many forms of false spiritual leaders. They are spouting similar thoughts. Through the prophet Jeremiah, God sent a message, promising ultimate restoration of His people who were in exile. Please understand that all of Jeremiah 29 is set in this context. God instructed the Israelites to pray for and work for the peace of the city where they were in exile. God said that the health of the city was directly connected to their health. Even during this season of punishment God taught them how to find peace. God was making Himself available for a relationship with them then, and He is making Himself available to us today. We cannot take Jeremiah 29:11 without the truth that God was (and is now) searching for people who were (and are now) looking for Him wholeheartedly. So let us love God with the best of our energy.





October 12 Bible reading

12 10 2020

October 12  Psalm 119:17-24  1 Thessalonians 5  Jeremiah 25:15-38; 26

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?

October 12  Psalm 119:17-24  1 Thessalonians 5  Jeremiah 25:15-38; 26

Psalm 119:17-24

We may read what God has said and yet struggle to understand it. We should ask God for clarity. With humility, we should meditate on God’s Word. This practice will be incredibly helpful. Meditating on what God has said is a life-giving practice. The poet in Psalm 119 has found wonderful truth and wise advice in the Scripture. He is moved by a desire for the Word of God. He finds it enjoyable.

1 Thessalonians 5

The return of Jesus to earth will be unexpected. No one knows when it will happen. Our responsibility is to live, full of hope, alert, and clear-headed. We must encourage each other, be joyful, pray constantly, and be thankful regardless of our temporary circumstances. Paul writes that we should be spiritually alert. We should not be distracted by what kind of events will lead up to that day. What is God’s purpose? It includes a day when we will be together around a glorified Jesus. We should live in light of the coming return of Jesus. For today, 1 Thessalonians 5:12-19 carries excellent practical guidance. Go back to it and think about how you are going to live. We are in this together.

Jeremiah 25:15-38; 26

God has grown weary of people who are ignoring His warnings and are rejecting Him completely. God is angered by their evil actions. He can’t stand the injustice of their actions. Through Jeremiah God predicts the punishment He brings. And yet God leaves an opening for their repentance. In response, people wanted to kill Jeremiah. Some of the wise old men recounted the way their ancestors had responded to the prophet Micah. Seeing their worship, God changed His mind. In this way, the old men kept the people from killing Jeremiah.