December 31 Bible reading

31 12 2020

December 31  Psalm 150  Revelation 22  Nehemiah 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 the 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?

December 31  Psalm 150  Revelation 22  Nehemiah 13

Psalm 150

There is no one like our God. The One True Living God is unparalleled. Let us gather to praise God for the highest quality of who He is and all that He has done. “Let everything that breathes sing praises to the Lord!” We should sing and make music to show our appreciation for God. Let us describe the goodness of God. Let us sing about the greatness of God. This should be our loudest and most passionate praise.

Revelation 22

John sees a future end to the curse of sin and the final victory of Jesus Christ. John sees a river of life flowing from the throne. John sees eternal worship in the presence of God. John hears Jesus telling us that His return is imminent. Jesus says that He will bless all who obey God’s Word in this prophecy. John is reassured of the veracity of these visions and his given purpose to instruct people to be prepared for the victorious return of Jesus Christ. Everyone who “lives a lie” will be left outside of God’s presence. We must turn away from sin and turn toward wholehearted devotion to Jesus Christ. God the Holy Spirit calls us in this Way. Let us anticipate the return of Jesus with confident hope. Let us live aware of God’s presence, the limited time we have on earth, and the eternal peace that Jesus will bring.

Nehemiah 13

Nehemiah and Ezra sought out each of the instructions God had given in years past. They were passionate about following God, according to God’s plan. They ensured that each person would be offered teaching to explain the Scripture. Without Nehemiah’s constant supervision people drifted away from worshipping God, and their financial giving. They directly disobeyed God’s specific commands. Nehemiah confronted them, calling for change. Nehemiah ensured the regular worship of God by his organization of people and resources.





December 30 Bible reading

30 12 2020

December 30  Proverbs 31:21-31  Revelation 21  Nehemiah 11:22-36; 12

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

Reading the Bible is helpful in taking the 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?

December 30  Proverbs 31:21-31  Revelation 21  Nehemiah 11:22-36; 12

Proverbs 31:21-31

What wisdom can be learned from a relationship with God! The mother of King Lemuel offers us the truth about a wife of noble character. She exercises good stewardship, self-control, and wisdom. A home full of mutual love and respect is blessed. When a spouse lives out the purpose found in a relationship with God everyone receives the benefit. A loving husband should honor his wife and bless her. The love of God is faithful, patient, kind, and hard-working. When we give this kind of love to each other a peaceful home is possible. Such a life-giving marriage includes teamwork. In this kind of home, love thrives.

Revelation 21

One day God will put an end to all suffering, disease, and death. A victorious Jesus will bring peace and joy. God will personally comfort people who lament the pain of this world. There will no longer be a reason to cry tears of pain and suffering. God will put an end to suffering forever. God shows John a vision of a new heaven and a new earth upon the ultimate victory of Jesus Christ. John sees the new eternal City of our God, where God will live among His people forever, with perfect peace. The ancient ways of worship through animal sacrifice are no longer practiced. Through Jesus Christ, the presence of God is forever available to all who were found in the Book of Life. The uninterrupted personal relationship between God and His people will bring eternal peace.

Nehemiah 11:22-36; 12

Nehemiah and Ezra lead an accounting of each person moving back into Jerusalem and Judah for the purpose of faithful restoration. Every person has a purpose. Every priest was called for the dedication of the wall around Jerusalem. Each of them brought praise by singing and making music with instruments. They organized shared responsibility of financial stewardship of the offerings and rotation of people who would ensure the continuation of worship.

 





December 29 Bible reading

29 12 2020

December 29  Psalm 149  Revelation 20  Nehemiah 9:38; 10; 11:1-21

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 the 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?

December 29  Psalm 149  Revelation 20  Nehemiah 9:38; 10; 11:1-21

Psalm 149

God is alive, aware, able, and active. The people of Israel found this to be true in powerful and life-giving ways. They learned that God enjoys relationships with people. This lifestyle of close personal relationship and wholehearted devotion brings amazing fulfillment. They discovered profound joy despite life’s challenges, as they shared their spiritual journey. It was personal and yet not individualist, in a selfish way. It was (and should be) a shared experience as a spiritual journey of people loving God together. The Israelite people would gather regularly, for the public reading of Scripture and singing the Psalms, in the worship of God. They had many songs they shared in common. Psalm 149 calls them to enjoy praising God with a brand new song. They came to understand that God enjoyed their time together.

Revelation 20

John sees a vision of the future punishment of the devil. He sees people who had been martyred for Christ given spiritual authority, with Jesus Christ. For a period of time, the devil is allowed an opportunity to deceive people in opposition to Jesus. John sees a final day when Jesus will reign victorious and bring a judgment to all who ever lived. Jesus will make known who is in His Book of Life. John saw everyone who was not found in the Book of Life thrown into the lake of fire. John saw Jesus bring a final end to death and the grave. Because of Jesus, the day will come when there will be no more suffering, disease, and death. The Kingdom of our God will bring peace and joy once and for all.

Nehemiah 9:38; 10; 11:1-21

Nehemiah and Ezra lead the people in a confession of sin, seeking God’s forgiveness, and a public promise to adhere to God’s covenant agreement. They promise to support the financial needs of the Temple worship. They arrange a rotation of service to ensure someone will always care for the needs of worship. They commit to bringing first-fruit offerings of their annual harvest. They promise to never again neglect the regular public worship of God. They move back into Jerusalem.

 





December 28 Bible reading

28 12 2020

December 28  Psalm 148:7-14  Revelation 19:11-21  Nehemiah 9:1-37

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 the 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?

December 28  Psalm 148:7-14  Revelation 19:11-21  Nehemiah 9:1-37

Psalm 148:7-14

Despite millions of dollars funding our best efforts, we have still only discovered a small fraction of deep-sea creatures. They are mysterious and can be majestic in their own way. They have been crafted by loving design. In a symphony of gratitude, they join every plant and animal in praise for the Giver of Life. We should throw our praise to God our Creator. The Almighty living God is worthy of our best praise. The day will come when every living thing will praise our God. Our weather conditions are at the command of our God. From the depths of the oceans to the height of the mountains, every living creature lives for God’s glory. Let us praise our God!

Revelation 19:11-21

John sees an amazing vision of Jesus Christ in all His jaw-dropping glory at the time of His ultimate victory. Our Savior Jesus Christ is revealed as the “King of all kings and Lord of all lords”. Who is like Jesus Christ? There is none! In our future, Jesus Christ will bring defeat to the proud and grace to the humble. Jesus Christ our King will see ultimate victory over every opposing force. Anyone who refused the love of God by rejecting Jesus Christ as King will be punished. Our enemy, the devil, and those who work for him will see a complete final judgment. They will be removed from us and this world. There will be no more suffering, disease, or death. The Kingdom of our God will bring peace and joy once and for all.

Nehemiah 9:1-37

Ezra and Nehemiah lead people in a return to their history and learning all that God had spoken to them. They are reminded of many miracles over hundreds of years, proving the faithful love of God. All the people came together for a solemn assembly of confession of sins and repentance. All together they praised God. They prayed, listing the many times throughout their history that God had been proven faithful despite their sins. They recalled the covenant agreements God had made with them and renewed their own promise to follow them.





December 27 Bible reading

27 12 2020

December 27  Psalm 148:1-6  Revelation 18:17-24; 19:1-10  Nehemiah 7:4-73; 8

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 the 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?

December 27  Psalm 148:1-6  Revelation 18:17-24; 19:1-10  Nehemiah 7:4-73; 8

Psalm 148:1-6

There is a God who is more powerful than any other. One who has brought about all life through loving design. The One True Living God is worthy of being praised by every living thing. The planets, the sun, the moon, and the stars reflect the glory of God. Yahweh God our Creator spoke all that we see into existence. It is our reasonable response to call every living thing to praise God. One day it will come to pass. All the wonders in our galaxy will praise God. Let us praise our God!

Revelation 18:17-24; 19:1-10

Those who refuse to repent of sin and their pursuit of wealth above all will be disappointed. Even those who have accomplished the most economically (at the expense of others) will find it futile. Those who have won resources through deception will be exposed. This system will come to an end. The Almighty God will bring an ultimate determination, separating those who worship God from those who do not. The unrepentant will see punishment for their actions. John heard a song of victory in Heaven, praising the Almighty God. John saw a vision of 24 elders praising God. He heard a call for everyone who serves God to worship our Creator. John heard the invitation to the great eternal celebration between Jesus Christ and His followers. The essence of prophecy is describing the victorious Jesus Christ, with clarity.

Nehemiah 7:4-73; 8

Nehemiah sought the wisdom of God. Nehemiah brought equal accountability for the care of every person in Judah, regardless of their wealth or standing. Each person matters to God and His servants. Nehemiah and Ezra ensured that each of the near 50,000 people would hear the reading of Scripture and receive an explanation of its meaning in regular public gatherings. They set about restoring the modes of worship God had instructed them to use. In this restoration Ezra, Nehemiah, and the spiritual leaders taught the people to receive God’s forgiveness and enjoy the prescribed feasts in God’s presence.





December 26 Bible reading

26 12 2020

December 26  Proverbs 31:10-20  Revelation 18:1-17  Nehemiah 5; 6; 7:1-3

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 the 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?

December 26  Proverbs 31:10-20  Revelation 18:1-17  Nehemiah 5; 6; 7:1-3

Proverbs 31:10-20

King Lemuel relays the wisdom that his mother found in her relationship with God. She believed that a wife of noble character is worthy of love and respect, at all times. She is more valuable than money or any other natural resource. Such a virtuous woman is a good steward and an example to many. Any spouse who is faithful in love and hard work is a blessing to many people. The principles of good stewardship make a pleasant life possible when applied by God-fearing people. This includes a courageous generosity for the poor among us.

Revelation 18:1-17

God gives the prophet John a spiritual understanding of the future human leaders of imperial urban centers of commerce and culture. In particular, he sees those who reject the leadership of God and take part in dark spiritual practices. People who are deceived are not aware that they are deceived. They believe that they are entitled to the pleasures their positions allow. For a time they enjoy great luxury by the economic accomplishments of their kingdoms. John sees a vision of the final victory of Jesus. John hears a voice calling people to resist the temptation of temporary pleasures offered by deceptive dark spirits in our world. Many people will be shocked to find great destruction in this natural world, despite their best efforts. It will be a result of their refusal to worship the Almighty God. Perfect peace and love are available through Jesus Christ.

Nehemiah 5; 6; 7:1-3

Nehemiah learned that business people were taking advantage of poor people during the reconstruction. He put an end to this. Nehemiah was always a good example of stewardship. He was careful to use his position for the purpose of God’s will and never to his own personal advantage. Nehemiah remained focused on God’s plan. He did not get distracted by critics and manipulators. He defended the work of God, for the good of the people.





December 25 Bible reading

25 12 2020

December 25  Psalm 147:12-20  Revelation 17  Nehemiah 3; 4

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?

December 25  Psalm 147:12-20  Revelation 17  Nehemiah 3; 4

Psalm 147:12-20

Our God revealed His faithful love to the people of ancient Zion. God’s quality of character was proven over and over. Our God brought peace. Our God orchestrates the seasons of nature. The elements are all at His command. This Psalm considers the ways in which God has made it possible for the people of Jerusalem to have a relationship with Him. God is in sovereign control and is faithful in love. God has provided for them and protected them. God made promises. God gave guidelines for healthy living. Let us praise the Lord.

Revelation 17

God shows the prophet John a vision of dark spiritual leadership over the human rulers of this world. Presidents, prime ministers, kings, and queens who have rejected God’s sovereignty are pulled this way and that by forces of evil. John sees a vision of God’s final judgment coming upon dark spiritual forces that have controlled rulers who have oppressed people of all languages. Not a single evil action has escaped the notice of the living Almighty God. All who refuse to repent will fall under this judgment. John sees a future with spiritual conflict and power struggle on earth. God will allow it for a time and then bring it all to an end. There is no dark spiritual force that is able to stand defiant to the final judgment of our God. Their plans will only prove subject to the will of our God. God will bring to fulfillment His own plan for peace, joy, and right-standing healthy relationships between all who receive His love. There will be no more suffering. There will be peace.

Nehemiah 3; 4

During the exile of the Israelite people, the city of Jerusalem lay in ruin with its walls torn down and the gates burned. Nehemiah led the effort to rebuild. He gave account for each family working toward restoration as they rebuilt the wall, section by section. They installed new gates and doors. They faced opposition to their efforts. Each worker was armed. The people carefully defended the restoration work. Nehemiah asked God for help. Calling on the faithful love of God, he asked for judgment on their unrepentant enemies. God would bring about the hope and restoration of His purpose.

 





December 24 Bible reading

24 12 2020

December 24  Psalm 147:1-11  Revelation 16  Nehemiah 1; 2

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 the 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?

December 24  Psalm 147:1-11  Revelation 16  Nehemiah 1; 2

Psalm 147:1-11

God takes joy when we put our hope in the unfailing love of the Lord. Let us thank God who gives life to every living thing. Our God is the Giver of Life, sovereign over the cosmos, faithful in love, bringing restoration and comfort and strength. Our God brings healing to the brokenhearted. It is a good thing to praise God. We should find pleasure in praising God. We will discover that God enjoys interacting with us. God loves you.

Revelation 16

John sees a vision of the transition from human history’s end to the eternal reign of God before us. On that final day, God will bring punishment on all who refused to repent and upon our enemy the devil with his demons. God’s anger at defiant sin, will be satisfied in the fulfillment of this day. Our planet Earth will be cleansed from the curse that sin brought upon it. Many people will be completely surprised by the return of Jesus. God will be seen as sovereign in control, truly a God of justice and mercy. Anyone who lives in hope of Christ’s return will be blessed. This prophetic message is given to Jesus’ followers. May we believe in God’s sovereignty, the necessity of faith in Christ, the importance of inviting people to Christ, and the reminder that this world is temporary.

Nehemiah 1; 2

It is most likely that Ezra and Nehemiah worked as a team to write the history of the return of the remnant of Jewish people from their Babylonian captivity. This included the restoration of the city and the temple in fulfillment of the prophecies given by Isaiah and Jeremiah. We should learn many lessons from Nehemiah. Fasting and prayer may be the most valuable lesson. Asking God for guidance and favor was a repeated step taken by Nehemiah. He spoke the truth to the leaders of nations, while in pursuit of God’s will. Nehemiah sought the wise use of knowledge in the application of God’s plan.





December 23 Bible reading

23 12 2020

December 23  Psalm 146  Revelation 14:14-20; 15  Ezra 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 the 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?

December 23  Psalm 146  Revelation 14:14-20; 15  Ezra 10

Psalm 146

This Psalm provides a helpful example of a few good practices in a healthy relationship with God. We should daily make a decision to praise God with the best of our energy. We should carefully consider what we believe about God to be true. We should talk with God in a way that is informed by what we believe about God’s characteristics. God, our Creator, is worthy of our best praise. When we put our confidence in God we will experience joyful hope. Our God cares for people in need and keeps His promises.

Revelation 14:14-20; 15

John sees a vision of Jesus Christ in ultimate victory, at the culmination of human history. This includes the day that God will bring final justice and complete mercy. God will bring a complete cleansing of the earth from the curse of sin it had been under. The wrath of God will come to an end in the fulfillment of His purpose at that time. The prophet John sees people who are victorious over our enemy. He hears them praising God. It is our reasonable response to worship God as the Almighty and live in expectant hope of the return of Jesus to earth. We should live with an understanding that our world is temporary. Our God will reward those who diligently seek Him.

Ezra 10

Ezra served God’s people by leading the way in confessing the sin of the people to the Lord with weeping and intercession, praying to God on behalf of everyone. This was Ezra’s response to learning of specific sexual sin that was in direct disobedience to God’s instruction. The path to peace included a public list of those who had sinned for the purpose of a change in behavior. The people became more concerned with the favor of God than they were with their own reputation. We should learn from the fasting and prayer of Ezra.





December 22 Bible reading

22 12 2020

December 22  Proverbs 31:1-9  Revelation 14:1-13  Ezra 8:15-36; 9

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 the 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?

December 22  Proverbs 31:1-9  Revelation 14:1-13  Ezra 8:15-36; 9

Proverbs 31:1-9

What great wisdom for life is available to us! King Lemuel writes lessons learned from his mother. Clearly, her relationship with God produced helpful guidance for many people. We learn that selfishness brings harm to the people in our lives and to ourselves. Sexual sin and alcohol abuse are dangerous traps. We are compelled to speak up for those who are in need of justice. We have an opportunity to be helpful. God’s love moves us in this direction.

Revelation 14:1-13

The prophet John sees a vision of people who are faithful to God. People from the tribes of Israel and people from every nation will give glory to God. They will see the victorious peace of God. There will also be people who reject God and will find the consequences. John sees Jesus Christ in ultimate victory. There will be people who remain faithful as followers of Jesus. They will worship God in spirit and in truth. They will patiently endure the challenges of this world and see the victory of Jesus. They will keep faith in Jesus, obeying His teaching. They will be blessed. They will find rest. You and I can be counted among them.

Ezra 8:15-36; 9

Ezra called the leaders to fasting and prayer before their return to minister in the new Jerusalem Temple. They identified their needs, asked God for help, and saw answers to prayer. They were careful with accountability for good stewardship. Ezra led corporate confession of sin, pleading God for mercy on their direct disobedience. He did not show indifference and superiority toward the leaders who had sinned. Ezra mourned their sin. He confessed it to God. Ezra knew that they did not deserve God’s grace. He cried out to God. Christian leaders today must do the same.