October 31 Bible reading

31 10 2020

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

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

Proverbs 26:13-22

“There’s no need for me to listen to that person. I’ve got this figured out. I don’t need the counsel of qualified mature Christians.” …says the person described in Proverbs 26:16. Thinking that we are smarter than others may come naturally to us. Given our human nature, we can find laziness, gossip, lies, and meddling 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.

Hebrews 2

Hello Christians, please listen carefully to the truth. Please don’t be more focused on “speaking your own truth” than you are on learning the truth of Jesus. 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. The people who heard Jesus speak, with their own ears also saw His identity confirmed with miracles. Jesus set people free from their burden of fearing death. Jesus Christ made a way for us to salvation through His perfect sacrifice. After living a human life, He was put to death. God’s miracle of resurrection proved His victory over the power of death.

Obadiah 1

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. They believed themselves to be superior. Their pride was a deceptive denial. They committed acts of violence. They refused to help people in need. God predicted punishment on the Edomites, as well as His restoration of the repentant Israelites. Will we choose to believe we are self-sufficient or will we choose to believe what God has said?





October 30 Bible reading

30 10 2020

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

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

Psalm 119:129-136

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. He found helpful teachers unpacking the Words of God with clarity that anyone could understand. The more he learned about what God had said the more he wanted to hear. He found the strength needed to outlast the evil of his time, in God’s Word. He wept, like Jeremiah, for those who rejected God.

Hebrews 1

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. Everything about Jesus Christ says something about Father God. Jesus Christ is transcendent in power and glory. Jesus Christ radiates God’s glory, expresses the character of God, and sustains everything in power. We get a window into the relationships within the Trinity of God. In it we see mutual love and respect. We read that God is looking for people to make a personal turn around, abandoning a me-first life, turning to wholehearted devotion. This should be thoughtful and well examined.

Lamentations 3:40-66; 4; 5

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. He has seen that rejecting God has sent Israel on a trajectory of horrific suffering. A lifestyle of “my way is the best” brought about the destruction of epic proportions. Refusing the guidance of God brought about a curse. God had warned them of it. They would not listen. Then, in repentance, they cried out for restoration.





October 29 Bible reading

29 10 2020

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

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

Psalm 119:121-128

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. He sings, “God I am following Your ways. Protect me from people who are headed in the opposite direction. God, please help me understand what You have said. Help me see the way to follow You.” May God grant us the discernment we need to understand the Way to live and the guidance found in the Scripture.

Philemon 1

Onesimus has come to faith in Jesus after meeting Paul, who was being held as a prisoner in Rome. Onesimus had been a slave to Philemon. It’s possible that he was a bondservant 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. Philemon’s encounter with Jesus caused him to be a person who gave loving kindness to others. Paul appeals to this new essential ingredient of who Philemon is. Paul writes, asking him to receive Onesimus as a brother in Christ. Paul asks that Philemon’s forgiveness would include transferring any debt of Onesimus to Paul himself. This underscores the truth that followers of Jesus should treat other followers of Jesus as spiritual family regardless.

Lamentations 2:7-22; 3:1-39

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. We see that God is not ignorant of the people’s coldhearted indifference toward Him. God allows tragic events in hopes of it causing the people to return to Him. They ignored God’s warning and an awful time of loss followed. In Lamentations 3:21-26, any courageous decision to live in hope was based on the never-ending faithful love of God. We see a poignant question: Why complain when we are punished for our sin? God is alive, aware, able, and active.





October 28 Bible reading

28 10 2020

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

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

Psalm 119:113-120

God is speaking. When I listen, I find hope. When I apply the truth, God is speaking to my life, I find helpful protection. Hearing God speak is a life-changing source of hope. Hearing God’s voice starts with the plain simple objective truth found in Scripture. We are sustained by listening to what God has said. When we stray from God’s Word we find negative results.

Titus 3

Paul reminds Titus of the most important truth to be taught consistently. Through Jesus our Savior we are given new life. 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. As we receive new spiritual life, through Jesus Christ, our lives are changed. Grace we receive. Grace we will be able to give. We can now live with hope for eternal life after this temporary experience.  This new life of grace and hope includes a fresh perspective on every area of life. We can now live with happiness and healthy humility. We can live with freedom from unhealthy habits. We can avoid foolish arguments. Paul provides specific instructions for how pastors should deal with divisive people. We should also live out of gratitude, always looking to meet the urgent needs of others.

Lamentations 1; 2:1-6

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

27 10 2020

October 27  Proverbs 26:3-12  Titus 2  Habakkuk 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?

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

Proverbs 26:3-12

There are some arguments that are foolish. They don’t require a response. Getting involved in some conversations will have no benefit. Some people will spout words of wisdom without understanding. They may not actually believe such truth. They may not value it. Speaking the truth may not carry the value for them. 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. Refusing to listen and repeating mistakes, they are walking a painful path unnecessarily.

Titus 2

Paul describes people of wisdom as worthy of respect. Such people can be seen exercising self-control. They have a strong faith. They are 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. All of this describes the lifestyle of someone who loves Jesus. This is a person who loves God with wholehearted personal devotion. They are living a life of active learning. They connected with God and the world around them. They are focused. They are walking by faith. This life is not a solo act. It is a life of shared values and experiences. It is a sharing with a local community of Jesus’ followers. It is connected with everyone who is living in the same way. On the day that Jesus returns to earth, we will have a perfect understanding of this. Let us live with hope.

Habakkuk 1; 2; 3

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, who asks him to be patient. God reassures Habakkuk that one day His glory will fill the earth. In response, Habakkuk sings a request for mercy. The prophet promises to wait patiently for God. Habakkuk is drawing strength and joy from his relationship with God. Here we are reminded that interceding for others is the responsibility of spiritual leaders.





October 26 Bible reading

26 10 2020

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

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 26  Psalm 119:105-112  Titus 1  Jeremiah 52

Psalm 119:105-112

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. When we interact with it like it is the Words that God is speaking to us. That is what it is! God is talking. Are you listening? Read the passage again, looking for the lessons learned by the songwriter. Think about the reality that this poem has been helpful for millions of people for thousands of years (where each stanza starts with the next letter in their alphabet so that they could memorize it easier because it is of utmost importance). This song of poetry is helpful.

Titus 1

Paul’s ministry team traveled in response to the directive of Jesus that they 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 “Christians” were served by elders. Such elders taught them, cared for them, prayed for them, and provided insight and oversight of the organization. They refuted false teachers who were spreading corruption. Today Jesus followers should be served in the same way by church leadership. We do our best to do the same. I am thankful for our eldership. They are wonderful.

Jeremiah 52

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. Such rejection was painful. 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. Let us respond to God’s guidance faithfully.





October 25 Bible reading

25 10 2020

October 25  Psalm 119:97-104  2 Timothy 4  Jeremiah 51:15-64

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 25  Psalm 119:97-104  2 Timothy 4  Jeremiah 51:15-64

Psalm 119:97-104

The poet expresses real pleasure found in taking the Scripture as guidance from God. It has helped him discover how to live. The songwriter has enjoyed following that guidance. It has actually been fun to discover the benefits of following God’s guidance. Pleasure. It’s possible to experience pleasure by tasting the truth of what God has said. Ever thought about that? God has something to say about your day, today. Are you listening? Avoid the conversations and you may miss out on something fun.

2 Timothy 4

Paul reminds Timothy of their directive to faithfully teach the Good News of Jesus, from the Scriptures, through careful preparation. This is of utmost importance. It is a sin to preach or teach the Good News of Jesus under-prepared. Anyone who wants to speak up about Jesus should consider this. With a patient love, we should be generous with our life and happy to give it for the purpose of God. We can know the same fulfillment that Paul writes about when we live for God’s purpose. Let us abandon a me-first life. Let us run wholeheartedly in the direction God provides.

Jeremiah 51:15-64

Jeremiah sings about the greatness of the one true living God. This God has given life to us. This God is speaking today.  This God is all-powerful and worthy of the highest praise. The worship of anything else, as though it were most valuable is foolish. The living God is overflowing with faithful love. Come on, let us praise God! Let us love God with the best of our energy, heart, and soul!





October 24 Bible reading

24 10 2020

October 24  Psalm 119:89-96  2 Timothy 3  Jeremiah 50:11-46; 51:1-14

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 24  Psalm 119:89-96  2 Timothy 3  Jeremiah 50:11-46; 51:1-14

Psalm 119:89-96

The guidance of God has proven to be reliable for millions of people. It “stands firm in heaven”. Over thousands of years, people have found the Word of God to be life-giving. It is an inexhaustible resource. The songwriter has listened to God, studied the Words spoken by God in the past, and found God’s conversation to be personally transformative. God’s Word is truly life-giving. This poem talks about the Words of God helping in ways that other “perfect” things/words/people don’t. What is God saying to you today?

2 Timothy 3

Paul writes to encourage Timothy. He provides perspective on human nature. This should help Timothy understand that some challenges are to be expected. Paul reminds Timothy of how powerful he found the Scripture to be (when he received salvation, by trusting in Jesus). The Scripture is inspired by God and helps us learn how to live. It is God speaking to us. In the example of Paul and Timothy, we see the value of searching out God’s truth in the Scriptures with the help of others. It should be a community pursuit. The more we read the stories of the New Testament the more we should realize that the followers of Jesus did not live as a solo act. They followed Jesus as a shared experience. They supported each other. They helped each other.

Jeremiah 50:11-46; 51:1-14

God speaks through the prophet Jeremiah and unveils what He has been thinking. Jeremiah heard what God was feeling, thinking, and planning, as the Assyrians and Babylonians abused His people. God is always aware of what is going on with us. In His wisdom, and with love for us, God has chosen to give us a free will. There are times when God is watching to see what we are going to do. God has a plan. God has desires. God is speaking. God is giving direction. And God responds to the choices we make. God is calling us to respond to His will.





October 23 Bible reading

23 10 2020

October 23  Proverbs 25:21-28; 26:1-2  2 Timothy 2  Jeremiah 49:7-39; 50:1-10

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 23  Proverbs 25:21-28; 26:1-2  2 Timothy 2  Jeremiah 49:7-39; 50:1-10

Proverbs 25:21-28; 26:1-2

We learn from Solomon’s proverbs the value of self-control. We should avoid silly arguments and gossip. Learning how to best interact with others will improve the quality of your life and theirs. Every day you have an opportunity to make the best with each challenge. Remember we are learning to draw wisdom from our relationship with God. We are applying these truths. This happens by thinking through practical lessons. This happens by thinking through the implications. This will bring about personal growth.

2 Timothy 2

Paul advises Timothy to draw strength from the grace found in Jesus. Paul reminds Timothy to mentor trustworthy people in teaching others this Good News. This included the putting away of silly arguments in favor of clear teaching focused on Jesus. Our faith in Jesus must be personal and transformative. It will motivate us to live focused on God’s purpose and free from carnal mess. A Jesus-kind of servant leader will be kind, “patient with difficult people”, and able to teach. They should seek to help people take the next steps in following Jesus (even those in opposition). This chapter is more helpful than most books on leadership found today. It is essential for Christians who want to become servant leaders of others.

Jeremiah 49:7-39; 50:1-10

God made public a plan to punish people who would not repent of their wrong. He also revealed His plan to restore those who would seek mercy, changing their ways. Here God is again seen through the lens of historical events, many of which were predicted. People from several nations read this account and learned about God. What can we learn about God through His interaction with human history? Clearly, God is alive, aware, able, and active. Are you catching this?





October 22 Bible reading

22 10 2020

October 22  Psalm 119:81-88  2 Timothy 1  Jeremiah 48; 49:1-6

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 22  Psalm 119:81-88  2 Timothy 1  Jeremiah 48; 49:1-6

Psalm 119:81-88

Have you gone through a rough patch with a coworker? Ever had someone declare themselves your enemy? Let’s get honest about the bad days. What is wrong with that person? Here the poet is honest about opposition from other people. The poet tires of waiting for God’s rescue and yet declares God’s Word to be trustworthy and helpful. We read candid questions about God’s timing and a commitment to follow God’s guidance. This is the real stuff. Look at the context. The songwriter is following God’s instructions. God has something to say to you today.

2 Timothy 1

Paul’s being held prisoner again, in Rome. He writes a second letter to Timothy that would be his last. Knowing full well that he was facing death, Paul encourages Timothy to draw from the strength found in Jesus. They have come to realize that God made salvation available, through Jesus, and gave them purpose in life as a gift of grace. Their belief in this truth required them to be active learners, who were able to explain what they believed and why. Every Christian who wants to be a servant leader of others should take these words into careful consideration.

Jeremiah 48; 49:1-6

Through the prophet Jeremiah, God reveals plans to punish people who would not repent of their deplorable actions (including human sacrifice) in the worship of Molech and Chemosh. God also predicted that He would restore those nations of people after their punishment. Remember our God is alive, aware, able, and active. God is not ignorant. God is faithful in love. God is powerful with justice. One day we will all see this.