February 19 Bible reading

19 02 2021

February 19 – Psalm 23, Mark 4:30-41; 5:1-20, Exodus 25; 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 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 19 – Psalm 23, Mark 4:30-41; 5:1-20, Exodus 25; 26

Psalm 23

David sings about the goodness of the living God. Psalm 23 includes the benefits of following God in a close personal relationship, looking to God as a guide, resulting in peace and confident hope. David is satisfied and renewed in the presence of God. He had already walked through difficult days. David discovered God’s faithfulness despite the hardship. His relationship with God brought him transformative peace. David had worked as a shepherd and so this analogy of God as a good shepherd carried many applications. I recommend reading Phillip Keller’s book “A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23”.

Mark 4:30-41; 5:1-20

Jesus taught with the use of stories and analogies. He spoke of the Kingdom of God as being supernatural, beyond their current understanding and expectations. Jesus called His followers to believe in His identity as Messiah and His power over the natural world. Jesus calms the storm. Jesus brings deliverance from torment. Jesus repeatedly proved His ability to control what they could not. The man whom Jesus delivered from dark spirits spread this Good News to his region of ten towns. We should worship Jesus, follow Jesus, and look to Jesus as our source of peace.

Exodus 25; 26

In Exodus, God gave specific instructions to build a Tabernacle, in part, so that there would be a place for their relationship with God, including thanksgiving and forgiveness of sin. So that this place would be safe, sacred, without distraction, and for a specific purpose. God instructs Moses to invite the people to give an offering toward building a place of worship, where God would live among them. Moses would accept donations from “all those whose hearts are moved to offer them”. God wanted the people to prioritize their relationship with Him. This included a high value on the covenant agreement with God. We see God making a way for forgiveness and bringing peace to His people.





COVID study

18 02 2021

Do you know someone who contracted COVID and would be willing to help a survey, for higher quality information to serve the public?

We are thankful for our church members who work in the medical community! One of them is directly involved with this study. They need help in gathering information from minority communities in particular. The following message is from her. Please share this.

We launched a nationwide study (the US States, Territories, Districts) aiming to enroll 25,000 people to determine how many people have had “Long COVID” or post-acute symptoms from COVID-19 infection.
There is lots of discussion about “long haulers” but we just don’t know enough regarding who is affected and how many people. There is no national reporting.

So, we decided we needed more information. To make this work we need to have as many people as possible with COVID-19 (either tested positive or symptoms with exposure) enrolled.
We are looking for anyone (18+) who meets these criteria (asymptomatic, mild, severe infections) and those with and without long-term symptoms.
Please share the following link (far and wide—but restricted to the US States, Territories, Districts) with your family, friends, colleagues, and other contacts. The social media tags are also listed below and we know word of mouth works well.
The website is www.covid-long.com

Thank you,

Eryka on behalf of the COVID Long team.

Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/covidlongstudy





February 18 Bible reading

18 02 2021

February 18 – Psalm 22:22-31, Mark 3:31-35; 4:1-29, Exodus 23; 24

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 18 – Psalm 22:22-31, Mark 3:31-35; 4:1-29, Exodus 23; 24

Psalm 22:22-31

Feeling abandoned by God and overwhelmed by stress, David sang about what he was experiencing. He couldn’t see God at work on days when he was attacked. And yet he chose to praise God publicly. David chose to sing about God’s faithfulness. Despite his anguish at his own circumstances, David chose to gather with the believers so that the younger generation could hear about the goodness of God.

Mark 3:31-35; 4:1-29

Jesus teaches the value of our spiritual family. People who are devoted to Yahweh are part of the family of God. Teaching the 12 disciples, Jesus talks about taking God’s word to people who need this grace. They have a free will choice in how they will respond to it. We have an enemy to resist, who doesn’t want us to hear and respond to God’s Word. Some people will have an initial joy at God’s Word and yet allow personal challenges to keep them from responding faithfully. Worry and/or desire for the things of this world will keep some people from responding faithfully. Despite all of this, some people will be responding faithfully to God’s Word and see supernatural results. Those who are listening to Jesus will be given a growing understanding. We should listen, respond, and share God’s Word.

Exodus 23; 24

God calls His people to “not follow the crowd in doing wrong”, but live an honest life. God calls people to live fully devoted to Him and in return offers blessing and protection. Moses, and the people committed to God’s covenant agreement, found God to be present among them. The elders enjoyed a covenant meal in God’s presence, showing that this is about a personal relationship with God and not transactional religion.





Lent

17 02 2021

Today we enter the Christian calendar season of Lent, the 40 days leading to Easter, April 4th, when we remember the resurrection of Jesus. This is a call to be more focused on Jesus than anything else. Three major themes of this practice are self-control, prayer, and reflection. It certainly brings great joy in celebrating the resurrection of Jesus! It also honors the 40 days that Jesus spent in prayer & fasting, Matthew 4. One of the ways we draw closer to Jesus is by reading the eye-witness accounts of his life. We are reading Mark, right now. You will find the invitation to join us and the schedule of daily reading here:2021 reading invitation: https://youtu.be/QmIgz5U8LXUFull year reading plan: https://bit.ly/3bbIxAZFor more resources on Lent, click here.https://benmalmin.wordpress.com/…/06/starting-with-focus/and here http://bit.ly/YBOuXfhttps://youtu.be/Qd5glGqX1WI





video

17 02 2021

My daily posts about this spiritual journey will continue. I am also posting thoughts on video at this link: https://bit.ly/3i3l71q





Newsletter

17 02 2021

Newsletter:
You can sign up to receive the newsletter via email every Wednesday. You can also choose to receive occasional important announcements. Please follow these steps to sign up:

click this https://bit.ly/3hFS98n

enter your name and email address

select the “Church Newsletter” list option

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click “subscribe”

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click the link in the email to confirm your subscription

If you have any questions about the newsletter or how to subscribe to it, please contact Anna Talaiver (amglas@gmail.com).





February 17 Bible reading

17 02 2021

February 17 – Proverbs 5:1-14, Mark 2:18-28; 3:1-30, Exodus 21; 22

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 17 – Proverbs 5:1-14, Mark 2:18-28; 3:1-30, Exodus 21; 22

Proverbs 5:1-14

Proverbs says, “listen carefully, then you will show discernment.” Choosing active learning of God’s wisdom will result in a change of behavior and words. From today’s reading, we receive instruction to avoid illicit sexual relationships. We read that they bring consequences. We should learn from this Proverb. It is a warning.

Mark 2:18-28

Jesus says that there will be a time for fasting. He predicts that the New Covenant will be like new wine in a new wineskin. I believe this relates to practices from the older covenants and practices of their heroes in the faith. The Sabbath practice honors God and brings benefit to the people who use it. As we focus on God, stop our usual work, spend time with our spiritual family in worship and our natural family and friends, we should be at rest in our salvation. This helps us. We are free to do good deeds and help others on the Sabbath. Jesus sets right what they had wrong about Sabbath. Jesus brings healing and freedom. Jesus chooses, calls out, trains, gives authority & mission to, releases the 12 disciples. The ability of Jesus to remove demons proves that He is more powerful. Jesus says that anyone who does His will is in His family.

Exodus 21; 22

God provides instruction for providing freedom and opportunity to people who had made themselves a bondservant in slavery over financial debt. Making amends is clearly a course of action God cares about. Weeding out Egyptian practices that the Israelites adopted takes time, even with God’s guidance. God cares about how we live. God commands that we show respect for others. God values freedom and follow-through on commitments. Justice and the fair treatment of others are values that God instills in His people. Love and respect for each human life are clear values of God our Creator and Redeemer.

 

 

 





February 16 Bible reading

16 02 2021

February 16 – Psalm 22:12-21, Mark 1:29-45; 2:1-17, Exodus 19; 20

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 16 – Psalm 22:12-21, Mark 1:29-45; 2:1-17, Exodus 19; 20

Psalm 22:12-21

Inside the great lament of Psalm 22, we hear them singing that God is their strength. We read an example of pouring out your heart to God and an example of telling God what you are suffering followed by how it’s impacting you. Take to God today. Sing to God today. Listen to God today.

Mark 1:29-45; 2:1-17

Jesus was awake before sunrise, in private prayer. His constant contact with Father God brought personal guidance. Jesus heals many people while He is moved with compassion. Jesus makes a point of referring to His identity as Messiah and that the miracle is a sign of His ability to forgive sins. Jesus calls Matthew, the despised tax collector, to be one of His followers. Jesus speaks to those with spiritual pride, the truth that His ministry is for those who see their own need.

Exodus 19; 20

By instructions given through Moses, God prepares His people for meeting with Him, entering a covenant relationship with Him, and beginning a new season for the Kingdom of God on earth. Consecration, a serious approach to being clean and set aside for this meeting, is seen as essential. God provides the 10 Commandments as a context for a healthy relationship with Him and others. They include His promise of grace on those who repent, love Him, and follow His directives. They also include God’s promise to punish those who reject Him (and the consequence that will follow). This meeting includes an amazing promise from God, “Build My altar wherever I cause My name to be remembered and I will come to you and bless you.”





February 15 Bible reading

15 02 2021

February 15 – Psalm 22:1-11, Mark 1:1-28, Exodus 17; 18

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 15 – Psalm 22:1-11, Mark 1:1-28, Exodus 17; 18

Psalm 22:1-11

This is the Psalm that Jesus quotes from the cross. They sang this lament for crying out to God and not having heard an answer. And yet they sing His praises because He is worthy and because they remember that He rescued their ancestors. King David is overwhelmed by the violent challenges he faces. He will not be silent for a single night while calling for God to answer his prayer for help. David reminds God of how He rescued the Israelites in days gone by. What a contrast David sees between those days and his own! Despite this, he praises God describing a Creator who sits with those who praise Him. Distraught and calling for help, David chooses to trust God.

Mark 1:1-28

The “Gospel of Mark” was written by John Mark, cousin of Barnabas and faithful interpreter of the apostle Peter’s testimony. (Meaning he was the one who most often wrote down Peter’s sermons etc.) The early church viewed the book we now read, called “Mark”, as Peter’s memoirs. Mark traveled with Paul and Barnabas. His mother’s house was a gathering place for the early Jerusalem church and the place that the Lord’s Supper occurred. Jesus Christ is seen as the Son of God who became the Son of Man, our Messiah, and servant of Jehovah, who suffered for our ransom. This gospel seems to be written to people with a dominant Roman culture as the various Jewish customs are explained. There’s a clear focus on the “Good News” of Jesus. Jesus arrives, as predicted, He is baptized and God the Father speaks His love, approval, and joy over Him. Jesus calls people to believe and to repent of their sins. Jesus calls followers to become “fishers of men”.

Exodus 17; 18

Unprovoked, the army of Amalek attacked the Israelites. Using a team leadership effort, God helped them defeat the Amalekites. Moses’ father-in-law, Jethro, helped him understand team leadership. Moses delegated responsibilities of hearing complaints between offended parties (like small claims court). It’s important to note that Moses continued in his responsibility to intercede for the people. He prayed to God on their behalf. He spoke to the people on God’s behalf, communicating what God had said. Moses continued his responsibility to teach the Word of God. He continued to help them understand how to live out this faith in their daily lives. Moses utilized a team of leaders to ensure that the people would have someone available to them. This leadership team shared responsibility. This is a principle still relevant today. As Jesus taught His followers principles of prayer, “servant leadership”, and “mutual submission” they responded with team leadership, organization, delegation, and a lot of prayers. Praying for people, teaching God’s Word, and equipping people were core responsibilities that they carried.





February 14 Bible reading

14 02 2021

February 14 – Psalm 21:8-13, Matthew 28, Exodus 15; 16

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

Reading the Bible is helpful in taking 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 14 – Psalm 21:8-13, Matthew 28, Exodus 15; 16

Psalm 21:8-13

David has been called out of his hometown by the prophet Samuel, to be king of the Israelites. David obeyed the call of God and then faced violent opposition, multiple times. God is all-powerful. David was an eye witness to God’s victory over violent rebellion. No one can defeat the living God. We can join David’s celebration of God’s victories.

Matthew 28

Just as predicted, Jesus rose from the dead and walked among people for 40 days proving that He is alive. Father God accepted the death of Jesus as our once-and-for-all sacrificial payment for the atonement of our sins. The resurrection of Jesus is living proof of that fact. Jesus is alive. Before returning to Father God, Jesus commissioned His followers to urge people (of all ethnicities in all nations) to also become His followers. Jesus assured them that He would be with them spiritually every day and that He would return to the earth (in-body), one day.

Exodus 15; 16

Moses and 600,000 Israelite families sing their thanksgiving to God for their freedom from slavery. “With your unfailing love, you lead the people you have redeemed.” “The Lord is my strength and my song.” They sang about Yahweh’s sovereign control and powerful love. David learned from this song and we should too. God provided water, bread, and meat to eat for so many families now in need. There is nothing too hard for our God.