February 28 Bible reading

28 02 2021

February 28  Psalm 27:7-14  Mark 10:13-31  Leviticus 4; 5:1-13

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?

February 28  Psalm 27:7-14  Mark 10:13-31  Leviticus 4; 5:1-13

Psalm 27:7-14

David sings about God inviting him to a conversation. David has been learning about God. David asks God to teach him how to live. From this place, David has confidence in God and says, “wait patiently for the Lord”. We can learn from this. God is available for a relationship with us.

Mark 10:13-31

Jesus corrected His followers who scolded parents for bringing their children. Jesus blessed the children with a personal touch that is foreign to people who think of themselves as celebrities. Jesus says that childlike faith is what is needed for us to enter the Kingdom of God. “Everything is possible with God,” Jesus says, speaking of God’s salvation.

There was a commonly held belief that if you followed a specific set of rules you would be in Heaven one day, regardless of what was going on in your heart between you and God. Regardless of love. Regardless of faith. The question posed by a man, in Mark 10:17-31, to Jesus is phrased in a way that refers to this belief. “What must I do?” “Jesus, do you believe the same thing about Heaven that other people do?” Jesus’ response includes the call to wholehearted devotion that is seen evidenced by generosity to the poor. The people and things that many believe to be most important here and now, will not be found to be of greatest value in Heaven. After a conversation with a rich man, Jesus teaches about the value system of the Kingdom of God where people who seem to be the least important may be the greatest. Jesus also refers to people who sacrifice riches in this world for the sake of His Good News as being rewarded in Heaven. Clearly, the Kingdom of God value system is different than a human nature self-focused value system.

Leviticus 4; 5:1-13

God continues to teach His people about sin and the results of their wrong choices. God shows them that sin requires a sacrificial offering for reconciliation. In Leviticus, God instructs His people to bring an offering, seeking forgiveness, when they realize that they have sinned. Through this process, they would be made right with the Lord and forgiven. God provides a way for peace.





February 27 Bible reading

27 02 2021

February 27  Psalm 27:1-6  Mark 9:33-50; 10:1-12  Leviticus 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?

February 27  Psalm 27:1-6  Mark 9:33-50; 10:1-12  Leviticus 1; 2; 3

Psalm 27:1-6

Despite being under attack, David chose to believe in God as his defender. I love this song! David found life-changing help from God. He responded by wanting to be in the physical place of spiritual worship. David had a heart for the house of God. He chose to publicly sing and shout his gratitude.

Mark 9:33-50; 10:1-12

Jesus reveals a contrast between human nature (in valuing some people more than others) and the ways of the Kingdom of God. Jesus says, “if you want to be great, serve everyone else.” Jesus suggests an openness to others. If you identify as a “Christian”, a Jesus-follower, then you must take into consideration the call of Jesus for us to all be “servants” of others, found in Mark 9:35. Jesus makes this sound even more important for leaders, in Mark 20:35-45. What does that look like for you? Jesus says that there will be punishment for those who would cause people who trust Him to fall into sin. Jesus describes the need for a willingness to take serious measures to avoid sin in our hearts. Toxic selfishness is dangerous. Jesus teaches about God’s purpose in marriage and His design for it to be a lifelong commitment. God’s agape love in marriage is an example of love and respect for all human relationships. Is our love for others faithful, patient, and kind?

Leviticus 1; 2; 3

In Genesis we read about creation and God’s relationship with humanity. In Exodus, we read about God’s redemption of His people from slavery and their new place of worship. In Leviticus, we read about their new manner of worship. How should we approach God? In Leviticus, we see that God gives Moses instructions for the natural and spiritual lives of His people. Expressing gratitude and seeking forgiveness of sins, from God, are essential parts of our spiritual lives.

 





February 26 Bible reading

26 02 2021

February 26  Psalm 26  Mark 9:2-32  Exodus 39; 40

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?

February 26  Psalm 26  Mark 9:2-32  Exodus 39; 40

Psalm 26

David looks to God for help. David has followed the ways of God. David is essentially singing, “God I love you. I choose to love you daily. I choose to live constantly aware of you, in a healthy relationship with you.” Trusting God. Singing Thanksgiving. “God please restore me, forgive me.” and “I will speak good of God in public.” David chooses to worship. We should learn from this and apply it to our lives.

Mark 9:2-32

Peter, James, and John went up the hill with Jesus to pray, in Mark 9:1-13. They saw Jesus’ appearance changed, radiating with God’s glory. They saw Jesus talking with Elijah and Moses. They heard the voice of Father God say, “This is my Son. Listen to Jesus.” At Jesus’ transfiguration, God audibly declares the Messiah identity of Jesus, predicts his resurrection. This serves as further proof of Jesus’ Savior-identity. Jesus casts out a demon and emphasizes the importance of praying with faith. In every word and action, Jesus is teaching His followers. We should daily be in prayer. We should recognize Jesus as more powerful than any spirit in this world.

Exodus 39; 40

Aaron the priest had a message on his hat “Holy to the Lord”. This reminded him of the mindset he was to have: constant awareness of his sacred state of being and function. The people did everything that God instructed, as instructed. The glorious presence of God fills the Tabernacle. Throughout their years of travel, this presence is visible. They were aware that God was with them and was leading their every move. The presence of God is the game-changer. Everything they had done in preparation for this was worthwhile.





February 25 Bible reading

25 02 2021

February 25  Proverbs 6:1-11  Mark 8:14-38; 9:1  Exodus 37; 38

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?

February 25  Proverbs 6:1-11  Mark 8:14-38; 9:1  Exodus 37; 38

Proverbs 6:1-11

Proverbs offers us wisdom for good stewardship. We should avoid rash decisions and being careless about taking on responsibility. Laziness can bring poverty. Wisdom values hard work. We can learn from the animal kingdom including the work ethic of ants.

Mark 8:14-38; 9:1

What truth do we learn from the miracles of Jesus? Here we read that Jesus warns His followers against the ways in which the faith leaders and political leaders of their day were unaware of the lessons from His miracles. We should think about what we are learning. We should pray, asking God to open our spiritual eyes and ears to perceiving and understanding. It seemed that even the closest followers of Jesus were slow to understand the implications of His identity. They saw Him perform miracles and yet they would stress out when facing natural obstacles. Sound familiar? Jesus is our Savior, the “Sent One” from God who is the “Anointed One”. Jesus is the Son of God who fully experienced human life. Unlike anyone in human history, Jesus predicted that He would be killed and that He would rise from the dead three days later. It actually happened just as He said. This is further proof of His identity. Just like Peter, we are called to turn from toxic selfishness, following Jesus, seeing things from God’s view and not merely a human point of view. I believe that Jesus’ words in Mark 9:1 were partially fulfilled with the events of Acts 2 (and will be ultimately fulfilled on the day of His return to earth).

Exodus 37; 38

The craftsman Bezalel was filled with the Spirit of God and God-given wisdom and abilities. With great care, he followed God’s design and instructions. He constructed the Ark of the Covenant, the altar, the lampstand, washbasin, and furniture for their place of meeting with God. The Israelites responded to God with courageous generosity and the Tabernacle for God’s presence was built.

 





February 24 Bible reading

24 02 2021

February 24  Psalm 25:16-22  Mark 7:31-37; 8:1-13  Exodus 35; 36

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?

February 24  Psalm 25:16-22  Mark 7:31-37; 8:1-13  Exodus 35; 36

Psalm 25:16-22

From the Psalm, “God please feel my pain, see my trouble, forgive my sin. I put my hope in You.” David sings about his loneliness, his troubles, his pain, and his guilt. He is looking to God for forgiveness, comfort, and rescue. David looks to God for help in changing how he lives. He puts his hope in God. Let us do the same.

Mark 7:31-37; 8:1-13

We see Jesus healing, feeding thousands. “Everything He does is wonderful,” they said of Jesus who healed a man who could not hear or speak. He didn’t want news of this to spread so fast that the crowds would turn it into something He didn’t want it to be. Jesus is showing love for people personally, teaching them, providing for their needs in miraculous ways, and in so doing, proving His identity as Messiah. He would not perform a miracle to prove His identity to defiant religious leaders. Many times over Jesus revealed His identity as Messiah explaining the Scriptures (that pointed to Him). Jesus proved His supernatural power with compassionate miracles. This is who we follow today. Let us consider each day who we are following. Jesus? What kind of person are we drawing new life from? Powerful in love that is faithful, patient, and kind!

Exodus 35; 36

Moses called the people together and gave them God’s instructions (Sabbath, offerings, Tabernacle construction). Craftsmen did the work instructed by God. It is our responsibility to hear God’s instructions and respond with obedience. This includes choosing a life of courageous generosity so that there would be a place of worship. “Their contributions were more than enough,” Exodus 36:7 Will we choose to live on less so that we can also be generous in providing a place of worship?

 





February 23 Bible reading

23 02 2021

February 23  Psalm 25:8-15  Mark 7:1-30  Exodus 33:7-23; 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 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?

February 23  Psalm 25:8-15  Mark 7:1-30  Exodus 33:7-23; 34

Psalm 25:8-15

David sings about the benefit of living in a covenant relationship with God. He’s been forgiven of many sins. Following the guidance of God, David has found companionship. He has found God to be faithful in keeping His promises.

Mark 7:1-30

Jesus teaches about inner purity, revealing God’s perspectives. Jesus helps us understand God’s priority on the purity of our spiritual hearts. Jesus pointed to a wrong focus on customs and external behaviors. “These people honor me with their lips but their hearts are far from me. Their worship is a farce, for they teach manmade ideas as commands from God.” Jesus quotes Isaiah’s revelation of God’s view of religion. This should be a wake-up call to us today. It’s always easier to talk about how we should act (as good spiritual people) than it is to focus on God’s view of what’s going on in our hearts. Let’s take time to think about that. Jesus then proved again that He is more powerful than any dark spirit. He brought freedom to a little girl who had been possessed by an evil spirit, responding to her mother’s faith.

Exodus 33:7-23; 34

Disgusted with the sight of His people creating something new to worship, God did not want to travel with them personally. Moses would not travel without God. Moses viewed the personal presence of God as essential to their identity. God responded with forgiveness, a new copy of the covenant agreement, and His revealed presence. God spoke His name, Yahweh, to Moses with an essential description of His character. We must refer to this as source material for our understanding of who God is.

 





Feb 22 update

22 02 2021

Is there ever a good day for a toothache or leaky roof? Is there ever a bad day to hear encouragement?

Tell someone that you appreciate them, genuinely, regularly, because you don’t know what they are going through.


Helpful updated information about COVID variants as well as vaccine and immune system information can be found here: (Thank you to our team for working to provide reliable info for walking in faith and wisdom, not fear.) https://cityharborchurch.com/covid-info/





February 22 Bible reading

22 02 2021

February 22 – Psalm 25:1-7, Mark 6:30-56, Exodus 31; 32; 33:1-6

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 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?

February 22 – Psalm 25:1-7, Mark 6:30-56, Exodus 31; 32; 33:1-6

Psalm 25:1-7

David has come to realize that his life is not his own. He sings about his decision to look to God for guidance, trusting God, and giving his focus to God. David has put his hope in the God who saves with unfailing love.

Mark 6:30-56

Jesus was ready for rest. Crowds of people pressed Him and Jesus responded with compassion. Jesus served them with much-needed teaching. He provided a miracle lunch. He walked on water. Jesus healed many people! Jesus repeatedly proved His power over the laws of nature. Jesus is supernatural and that should inform our every-day lives. We may get stressed by things that Jesus is not stressed about. We should bring our cares to God because He cares for us. We can ask God for provision, grace, and wisdom. We can ask God for help. We can ask God for counsel.

Exodus 31; 32; 33:1-6

Yahweh God our Creator and Redeemer cared deeply about the place of meeting with the people.  God designed it. God chose the craftsmen to build it. God filled them with His Spirit and gave them wisdom, ability, and expertise. God cares about us and the natural aspects of our place of meeting with Him. Keeping one day each week as a holy day dedicated to the Lord is a practice that shows our covenant agreement with God. As a sign of our faith, we rest from our ordinary work giving ourselves to worship and time with family (both natural and spiritual). It is a day to remember our God who cleanses us from our guilt, mistakes, and disorder. The Israelites grew impatient waiting for Moses. They created something new to worship as their god. Moses had to intercede for mercy so that God would not destroy them.

 

 





February 21 Bible reading

21 02 2021

February 21 – Proverbs 5:15-23, Mark 6:6-29, Exodus 29; 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 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?

February 21 – Proverbs 5:15-23, Mark 6:6-29, Exodus 29; 30

Proverbs 5:15-23

Proverbs instruct us to reserve our sexual love for our spouse, and that a lack of self-control brings a loss of life. God’s design includes a sexual expression that gives pleasure within the context of a lifelong commitment. In contrast, lust takes pleasure with the priority on self over others. Selfishness becomes a trap.

Mark 6:6-29

Jesus was bringing healing to the sick. He was bringing freedom from evil spirits. Jesus was calling people to turn away from their mistakes of toxic selfishness. He was calling people to a healthy relationship with God. John was imprisoned because he called people to this repentance of sin. This led to his death at the hands of Herod. This is an important event during the life of Christ. Toxic selfishness as seen in the sexual affair between Herod and his brother’s wife was a turning point in this story. Jesus had been mentoring His 12 disciples. He started sending them out in pairs to minister in the same ways they had seen Him. Jesus sends out the 12, giving them spiritual authority. He did this in a way that would stretch their faith for growth. Jesus prepared them for rejection as well.

Exodus 29; 30

In Exodus, we see details of provision for the people, things, and place for their meeting with God as sacred and connected with their purity. The benefit includes a commitment from God, “They will know I am the Lord, their God.” WOW! God’s purpose included living among the people, in relationship with them, and daily available to them. This is not a new idea.





February 20 Bible reading

20 02 2021

February 20 – Psalm 24, Mark 5:21-43; 6:1-6, Exodus 27; 28

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?

February 20 – Psalm 24, Mark 5:21-43; 6:1-6, Exodus 27; 28

Psalm 24

Psalm 24 is amazing. David sings from a worship of God our Creator, through the benefit of a healthy relationship with God, to a revelation of both ancient and yet-to-be-fulfilled spiritual worship of God above all gods, King above all kings. Yahweh Creator God has provided us opportunity in this life. We belong to our Creator, along with everything that we see. When we are cleansed from our sin, we can enjoy our relationship with God.

Mark 5:21-43; 6:1-6

Jesus heals in response to faith and yet is surprised by the lack of faith in His hometown. Jesus showed power over death, bringing a twelve-year-old girl back from the dead. Jesus brought healing where doctors could not, for a woman who had suffered from a blood disorder for twelve years. And yet not everyone believed Jesus to be the Messiah. Today we can make the same mistake and miss out on a relationship with Jesus, the God of miracles. Let us take time to focus on Jesus, who is powerful and overflowing with love.

Exodus 27; 28

In Exodus, we see further detailed plans for the Tabernacle, a place of meeting with God. God wants us to understand that our relationship with Him is spiritual (more important than the natural world) and should be approached with love and respect. The role of the priest included representing the people to God, taking on their sin, seeking forgiveness and God’s direction. In our “priesthood of all believers” we share a responsibility to pray in intercession for each other. God’s instructions for Aaron and the priests also give us a picture of the activities of Jesus in prayer, making intercession for us. This truth should bring us comfort, strength, and purpose in our identity as priests and children of God.