March 31 Bible reading

31 03 2021

March 31 Psalm 39 Luke 8:19-39 Numbers 29:12-40; 30; 31:1-24

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?

March 31 Psalm 39 Luke 8:19-39 Numbers 29:12-40; 30; 31:1-24

Psalm 39

In Psalm 39, David’s song sounds like, “life’s short”. It’s true. Time flies. We don’t know how long we will live. This should help us set our priorities on that which is eternal. What will last forever? Our relationship with God and the people in our lives. Are my values ordered by what is most valuable? We should give time to think about this, and make adjustments.

Luke 8:19-39

The family of God consists of those who hear God’s word and obey it. This is what a personal relationship with God should look like. Peace and joy are just a couple of the unbelievable benefits of a healthy relationship with God. Jesus brought peace out of challenges that looked completely out of control (storm on the lake and demon possession). He is worthy of our trust. We should deeply consider this truth. We daily face things that are beyond our control. The Serenity Prayer can help us look to Jesus as Savior and worthy of our trust. We can grow in strength through our personal relationship with Jesus. We should look to Jesus as our Savior and ask for His strength beyond our challenges. Then we should respond to the direction Jesus gave to the man in this story. Go and tell people about the good things that Jesus has done.

Numbers 29:12-40; 30; 31:1-24

In the festivals we see God instructing His people to set aside time for worship and bringing offerings, as a spiritual family. God cares about whether or not we keep our promises. The Israelite conquest over the Midianites was a consequence of the Midianites drawing the Israelites into idolatry. It was about a personal relationship with God and heartfelt worship.





March 30 Bible reading

30 03 2021

March 30 Psalm 38:13-22 Luke 8:1-18 Numbers 27:12-23; 28; 29:1-11

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?

March 30 Psalm 38:13-22 Luke 8:1-18 Numbers 27:12-23; 28; 29:1-11

Psalm 38:13-22

David writes a song, asking God for protection and help now that he has turned away from his sin and toward God. We read a great example of how to confess and turn away from sin, in David. The honesty here can help us learn what we should do with our sinful mistakes. Reading about the life of David and considering his own words can bring us understanding about how God responds to humility.

Luke 8:1-18

Joanna, Susanna, and Mary Magdalene were women who found healing and freedom in Jesus. They used their significant financial resources to provide for the ministry of Jesus. Jesus instructs us to respond to the Word of God by receiving it with faith, taking care to protect the process of our response to it, resisting our enemy’s attempt to attack this, and choosing to not allow our own cravings or worries to crowd it out. We are called to value the Word of God. We are called to “patiently produce a huge harvest” from it. Jesus is teaching the value of active learning from what God has said. Jesus is teaching about the way in which we must respond to God’s truth. With the story of the lamp, Jesus instructs us to pay attention to how we are hearing what God has said.

Numbers 27:12-23; 28; 29:1-11

God chooses Joshua as the next generation leader of His people. God brings reminders of His instruction for their seasons and festivals of worship. With faithful love God makes a way for them to be reminded of His provision and receive the benefits of giving thanks.





March 29 Bible reading

29 03 2021

March 29 Proverbs 8:12-21 Luke 7:36-50 Numbers 26:12-65; 27:1-11

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?

March 29 Proverbs 8:12-21 Luke 7:36-50 Numbers 26:12-65; 27:1-11

Proverbs 8:12-21

When we seek the wisdom of God, we will learn discernment and good decision-making skills. This can help us earn money and make good use of it. Developing this practice into a life skill will save us from plenty of self-inflicted headaches.

Luke 7:36-50

At this time and place in history, it was common for people like this Pharisee to host dinners in a setting where neighbors could come and sit around the outside of the room observing a meal like this. Jesus brings forgiveness of sin to a woman who was overwhelmed by her need for spiritual cleansing. Jesus highlights her actions as gratitude. In this teachable moment, Jesus tells a story to help them understand what He values. Jesus is confronting the heart response and behavior of a religious leader, who had not shown Him common courtesy let alone a similar thankfulness. Jesus is also talking about the value of forgiveness. Jesus had lifted the sin of this woman up off her. New spiritual life is hers. This is a lesson about coming to Jesus, turning from toxic selfishness, receiving forgiveness, and responding with gratitude.

Numbers 26:12-65; 27:1-11

In Numbers, we see that every person matters to God. Each person is named. Their life recorded. God has been true to His word. We read here that God wanted to ensure that each person was provided for.





March 28 Bible reading

28 03 2021

March 28 Psalm 38:1-12 Luke 7:11-35 Numbers 23:27-30; 24; 25; 26:1-11

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?

March 28 Psalm 38:1-12 Luke 7:11-35 Numbers 23:27-30; 24; 25; 26:1-11

Psalm 38:1-12

Living in sin brings the consequence of crushing guilt. David writes about this from personal experience. He believes that it is critical for people to learn from what he’s gone through. The prayer of David is a song we can sing in repentance and honest need of a Savior.

Luke 7:11-35

Jesus is more powerful than death. Moved with compassion, Jesus brings a widow’s son back from the dead. We read yet another account of the supernatural power of Jesus. Jesus commends the message, the lifestyle, and the character of John the Baptist, despite the fact that many people did not receive his message or respect his life. Jesus points to John’s fulfillment of Malachi 3:1, in preparing the way for the “messenger of the covenant”. Jesus describes John as equal to any other prophet of God. John wanted the identity of Jesus as Messiah to be recognized and elevated. Jesus responded with reference to His actions fulfilling prophecy. “Wisdom is shown to be right by the lives of those who follow it.” Jesus contrasts people who rejected Him and John (for different reasons) from the people who were changed, for the better, by accepting Him as Savior. Let us accept Jesus as our Savior. Let us believe that Jesus is more powerful than death.

Numbers 23:27-30; 24; 25; 26:1-11

Balaam delivers the word of God, that He will protect His people. Sexual sin and idolatry are signs of a broken relationship with God and will bring consequences. When we take this seriously, God invites us to a covenant of peace. God wants to remove our guilt and restore our relationship with Him. God wants to bring us freedom. God wants to bring us into good health. God is able to do this. We should learn this truth and relate to God with respect to it.





March 27 Bible reading

27 03 2021

March 27 Psalm 37:32-40 Luke 6:37-49; 7:1-10 Numbers 22:21-42; 23:1-26

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?

March 27 Psalm 37:32-40 Luke 6:37-49; 7:1-10 Numbers 22:21-42; 23:1-26

Psalm 37:32-40

Looking to God for hope will help us live a peaceful life. We will find the protection of God. This memorable wisdom poem from David helps us learn how this works. For best results, we should daily choose to “travel steadily along his path”. In order to do so, we must be asking, “What is the way of God?” The followers of Jesus found this Way.

Luke 6:37-49; 7:1-10

Forgiveness is a high value in the teaching of Jesus! We must consider this. Jesus teaches that we can choose to build our lives on the solid foundation of hearing His words and obeying them. Peace and strength are possible in this way. Choosing to believe the words of Christ can build faith and bring supernatural results. “God, if you said it, we believe it. God, you are true to your word.” Jesus teaches by showing a contrast between people who follow Him and those who don’t. What should a follower of Jesus be like? Love, compassion, forgiveness, and patient understanding would be a few characteristics Jesus mentions. Jesus affirms people who choose to believe in His identity as Messiah and His spiritual power.

Numbers 22:21-42; 23:1-26

God grabs Balaam’s attention by allowing his donkey to talk with him. Despite Balak’s request for Balaam to curse Israel, Balaam responds by blessing Israel in obedience to God’s word. Balaam does not respond to the king’s command, for the sake of his own protection, but instead stays true to his commitment to only say what God told him to. He found benefits from obeying God.





March 26 Bible reading

26 03 2021

March 26 Psalm 37:21-31 Luke 6:12-36 Numbers 21:4-35; 22:1-20

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?

March 26 Psalm 37:21-31 Luke 6:12-36 Numbers 21:4-35; 22:1-20

Psalm 37:21-31

When we follow God, as the source of our life, He will give us direction, redeem our missteps, and provide for us. This memorable poem unpacks lessons learned by David. He had children and grandchildren. He had many people who looked to him for wisdom. David wanted them to understand what he had learned about the character of God. “What is God like?” They ask. David answers with Psalm 37:23-25. We should now learn from this. God cares about us.

Luke 6:12-36

Jesus prayed all night, and then chose 12 of the followers to be apostles. Jesus healed people and showed power over evil spirits. Jesus taught about whom God blesses and what that looks like. Jesus directs us to live by love & compassion that is supernatural (beyond our ability to do so out of our own strength alone but dependent upon a life-giving relationship with Him). We are warned against prioritizing our personal happiness in this life above a healthy relationship with God. We are directed to a life of selfless motives. Father God is described as being, “kind to those who are unthankful and wicked.” We should become more like our God, who is compassionate.

Numbers 21:4-35; 22:1-20

In Numbers we see that God punishes their complaining and perspective (lack of faith in Him), and yet He again provides redemption from their punishment. God shows His protection and concern for justice. Balaam shows great concern for obeying God, by rejecting a bribe. From each person’s life, there are lessons to be learned.





March 25 Bible reading

25 03 2021

March 25  Proverbs 8:1-11  Luke 5:33-39; 6:1-11  Numbers 19; 20; 21:1-3

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?

 

March 25  Proverbs 8:1-11  Luke 5:33-39; 6:1-11  Numbers 19; 20; 21:1-3

Proverbs 8:1-11

God’s wisdom is more valuable than any earthly thing we could desire. Our personal experience and knowledge can help us understand just how important it is for us to turn to the wisdom of God. The truth is that this wisdom calls to us. There are many ways to recognize it. We must value it and search it out. We should be regularly asking ourselves, “What is the wisdom of God for today?”

Luke 5:33-39; 6:1-11

Jesus predicts that His followers will fast at the right time in the future. Jesus describes the Sabbath as a helpful principle and one that is not meant to be a legalistic restriction. In the new covenant, Jesus was bringing life-giving spiritual practices. Fasting on the Sabbath was prohibited because it was supposed to be a day of joy. He teaches that there are seasons that are right for certain spiritual practices. He also teaches that God brings in the new. He affirmed regular worship, prayer, and the public reading of Scripture. Jesus affirmed rest from our regular work and healing miracles on the Sabbath. We should pursue a healthy rhythm for work, worship, and rest.

Numbers 19; 20; 21:1-3

In Numbers we see that God cares about purity. The people complained. God gave Moses and Aaron instructions to reveal His provision of water. Instead, they spoke to the people like they would make the miracle happen (and struck the rock twice instead of speaking to it for God’s miracle). This is not what God instructed them to do. God is providing an opportunity to learn while sustaining them. God punishes their lack of faith and their disobedience. God wants His people to learn valuable lessons in this life.

 

 





March 24 Bible reading

24 03 2021

March 24  Psalm 37:10-20  Luke 5:17-32  Numbers 16:36-50; 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?

March 24  Psalm 37:10-20  Luke 5:17-32  Numbers 16:36-50; 17; 18

Psalm 37:10-20

God will provide for those who love Him. People who have bad intentions shown through their actions will be ultimately punished. If you’re facing a challenge from such a person, it is temporary. The love of God is better than anything in this life, even if you are poor. The Lord will take care of you. There is a reason for hope. This important Psalm is helpful (in its entirety) for considering such truth.

Luke 5:17-32

Jesus heals a man who could not walk as proof that He could forgive sins. This was a documented supernatural creative miracle (seen as one of the proofs of Jesus’ identity as Messiah). The people who witnessed it thought it was important for you to read about it. When we are facing an insurmountable challenge, we should pray. At that moment, we should remember just how powerful the miracle that we have already received is. We have received forgiveness of sins. When we pray for the new challenge, we should remember what God has already done. Our faith will rise. Jesus calls Matthew to follow Him. Jesus enjoys a meal at Matthew’s home with his friends. This personal time is also important. Jesus has been sent by the Father for people who know that they are far from God and need to repent of their lifestyle.

Numbers 16:36-50; 17; 18

Moses and Aaron stood in the way of God’s punishment on people (who had complained about them), pleading God for mercy. God acted supernaturally to establish the spiritual authority of Aaron and his priesthood. The Levites were instructed to give offerings (first fruits, the best of, and a tithe of the tithe) to the priests as unto the Lord. The presence of God among His people was to be seen as the most valuable of all. For each person, this should be approached with dedication, devotion, and loving respect.

 

 





March 23 Bible reading

23 03 2021

March 23  Psalm 37:1-9  Luke 4:38-44; 5:1-16  Numbers 15; 16:1-35

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?

March 23  Psalm 37:1-9  Luke 4:38-44; 5:1-16  Numbers 15; 16:1-35

Psalm 37:1-9

Psalm 37 is a Hebrew acrostic poem (each stanza begins with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet) for the purpose of being easier to remember because it is important. David borrows a phrase from Isaiah about learning from just how short life is. David sings about the importance of trusting God. He sings about slowing down to be able to enjoy God. Finding fulfillment and pleasure in God is the result David saw. We should quiet ourselves in the presence of God and wait patiently for Him to act. Living out of dedication to God is how David trusted God and received help from God.

Luke 4:38-44; 5:1-16

Jesus healed the sick and cast out demons. Jesus was not limited in what diseases He could heal. Jesus was not intimidated by any evil spirit. He removed them. Jesus traveled to preach the Good News of the Kingdom of God. Jesus brought in a miracle catch of fish for Simon Peter. Peter, James, and John followed Jesus’ call to be taught how to be “fishers of men”. Jesus touched people who suffered leprosy, bringing them healing and showing them love. Jesus went to pray in the wilderness often, withdrawing from the crowd. Spending quality time in prayer was a priority for Jesus. It seems that this was large chunks of time, undisturbed. We should learn from this value that Jesus demonstrated.

Numbers 15; 16:1-35

In Numbers, God provides instruction for offerings and sacrifices given once they entered the Promised Land as ways that they could seek forgiveness, worship, and show appreciation. God wanted His people to enjoy expressing their devotion in their relationship with Him. This expression could be spontaneous and connected with specific promises (long-term and/or short-term). God also punishes rebellion.

 





March 22 Bible reading

22 03 2021

March 22  Psalm 36  Luke 4:14-37  Numbers 13:26-33; 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 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?

March 22  Psalm 36  Luke 4:14-37  Numbers 13:26-33; 14

Psalm 36

David sings about the faithful love of God, despite seeing the plans of evil people. He has worked as a shepherd spending most of his time outdoors. David experienced the faithful love of God personally. He observed people who drew strength and refreshing from their relationship with God. David worshipped God as the Most High and the most valuable. He saw the faithful love of God as more expansive and transcendent than the endless sky, the mountain heights, or the ocean depths. Have you considered the reality of God’s faithful love in this way?

Luke 4:14-37

What happened? Jesus went to be baptized. Jesus then went into a time of prayer and fasting for 40 days, when He was tempted. After that season, Jesus returned to Galilee filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. The news was traveling fast about Jesus. In His hometown of Nazareth, Jesus went to the synagogue. There He revealed His identity as Messiah, reading from Isaiah 61. It was a declaration of Good News. As the fulfillment of prophecy, Jesus was bringing freedom to people spiritually enslaved. This passage describes the nature of the Kingdom of God. In Luke 4 we see people were furious when Jesus revealed Himself as Messiah. They could not handle the thought that the Son of God would be someone they knew. When Jesus revealed His purpose to invite “outsiders” to become “insiders”, they were furious. From Heaven, Jesus had witnessed the rejection of prophets sent by God. He predicted the rejection of His hometown. Jesus pointed to God’s reaching out to all people. His hometown religious people were enraged by such a gracious extension of God’s mercy. Jesus experienced personal rejection. Jesus suffered on our behalf.

Numbers 13:26-33; 14

The 12 spies described an amazing fruitful land of well-fortified cities, some with giants. They described it as a place that would “devour” whoever would go to live there. The people, who God had delivered from slavery, could not believe that God was doing anything more than leading them to be killed in Canaan. Caleb & Joshua had faith that God could protect them and give them the land. The people of Israel had seen the glorious presence of God and the miracles He had done, and yet they refused to listen to His voice. God was angered at their lack of gratitude and faith. They rebelled against God’s instruction despite His miracle provision. Moses interceded on behalf of their people. On the basis of God’s Word and proven character, Moses petitioned God for continued mercy. The generation of people who had witnessed a series of all-time great miracles could no longer believe in the power of God. They abandoned God. We see that God cares about how we respond.