March 21 Bible reading

21 03 2021

March 21 Proverbs 7:21-27 Luke 3:23-38; 4:1-13 Numbers 11:4-35; 12; 13:1-25

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 21 Proverbs 7:21-27 Luke 3:23-38; 4:1-13 Numbers 11:4-35; 12; 13:1-25

Proverbs 7:21-27

Immoral sexual affairs carry serious life-changing consequences. Separation from God and others may result from pursuing such actions regardless of the Creator’s design. It may feel good at first but then it feels bad, a sure sign of things being out of order.

Luke 3:23-38; 4:1-13

The genealogy of Jesus shows that God cares about every life, honors faithfulness, and redeems mistakes. Each name listed represents a valuable life lived. There are lessons to be learned from each life. The devil comes to tempt Jesus when he sees an opportunity. Our enemy is twisting the words of God, for his own purpose, tempting Jesus away from the way of Father God. Jesus was fasting. Jesus used Scripture to resist the temptation. Jesus was listening when Father God spoke. Jesus knows the Word of God, our Scripture. The way that Jesus quotes Scripture should be an example. Understanding the truth of each Scripture, in context, Jesus was able to use the Scripture powerfully when the time came. It is worth noting that this was not the only time the enemy came to tempt Jesus. Our Savior Jesus Christ is an example to us, in resisting temptation.

Numbers 11:4-35; 12; 13:1-25

In Numbers, we see that the elders shared the responsibility of leading people. When the people were not satisfied with God and what He had provided, they complained. God punished complaining that showed a lack of appreciation, faith, and trust in their relationship. God cares about how we respond to Him.

 

 





March 20 Bible reading

20 03 2021

March 20 Psalm 35:19-28 Luke 3:1-22 Numbers 9:15-23; 10; 11:1-3

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 20 Psalm 35:19-28 Luke 3:1-22 Numbers 9:15-23; 10; 11:1-3

Psalm 35:19-28

God, please be my defender when people attack. God, you know exactly what is going on. God, you see everything. God, you are able to act on my behalf. God, I will praise you all day. This is how David sings his prayer in times of trouble and unjust attacks.

Luke 3:1-22

Forgiveness can be found. John the Baptist prepared people to find Jesus the Messiah. John called people to turn away from selfishness, confessing their wrongs, and turning to God. The prophet Isaiah foresaw this message from John, who taught water baptism as a way that we can make a public statement of their decision to look to God for forgiveness. John led people into an understanding of spiritual cleansing. John taught generosity, helping the poor, and good stewardship. John was clear about who Jesus is (and he understood his own identity within that context). He predicted Jesus and the coming of the Holy Spirit. Jesus came to John for water baptism. At that moment we see the relationship between God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. God the Father expresses favor and great joy over Jesus. There is strong and passionate love.  We must learn from this. We also read that John was not afraid to speak the truth to people in powerful positions.

Numbers 9:15-23; 10; 11:1-3

In Numbers, we see the people traveled where and when God directed them. God lived among them and spoke to them through Moses. God had freed His people from slavery in Egypt, led them, and provided for them. And yet the people complained and God responded with serious consequences. We must take care to not become distracted from God’s goodness by temporary difficulty. Our relationship with God must be more valuable to us than the conditions of our daily lives.

 

 





March 19 Bible reading

19 03 2021

March 19 Psalm 35:11-18 Luke 2:41-52 Numbers 7:66-89; 8; 9:1-14

Please read the suggested passages, prayerfully consider them, and the questions below. My comments here may be helpful after those moments. The suggested daily reading is for the purpose of reading through the whole Bible within a year. Reading the Bible is helpful in taking 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 19 Psalm 35:11-18 Luke 2:41-52 Numbers 7:66-89; 8; 9:1-14

Psalm 35:11-18

God, please be my defender, and I will thank You publicly. David laments the loss he feels. People that he cared for deeply are now laughing at his troubles. They falsely accuse him. They do him wrong despite his good deeds for them. Yet David returns to his commitment to praise Go in their public house of worship. His peace is found in the presence of God.

Luke 2:41-52

Joseph and Mary made an annual trip to Jerusalem, for the Passover celebration. 12-year-old Jesus stays at the Temple, after Passover, listening to the teachers and asking them questions. He describes the Temple as My “Father’s House”. Jesus respected the value of the place of worship and its teachers. Jesus held a high value on the house of worship and the Word of God, their Scriptures. We should learn from this. Jesus then “grew in wisdom, stature, and favor with God and all people.” We should desire to grow in these ways as well.

Numbers 7:66-89; 8; 9:1-14

In Numbers, leaders brought offerings for the dedication of the place of worship. When Moses went into the Tabernacle to speak to the Lord, he heard God talking to him. God placed value on a house of worship and the human experience of establishing it. God responded to their obedience by leading them, living among them, and speaking to them through Moses. God assigned Levites to ensure the sacred purpose of the house of worship. God placed value on lessons learned from Passover. We have a sacred purpose in worship and much to learn.

 





March 18 Bible reading

18 03 2021

March 18 Psalm 35:1-10 Luke 2:21-40 Numbers 7:1-65

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 18 Psalm 35:1-10 Luke 2:21-40 Numbers 7:1-65

Psalm 35:1-10

Choosing to set aside time so that you can consider the goodness of God, what it means to you, enjoying it, and celebrating it will bring you benefits in your life. David’s life was threatened by people he had done no wrong, more than once. He ran for his life multiple times. People chose to make him their enemy. In more than one situation, David watched as God miraculously protected him. David made his share of mistakes. David expressed the full range of human emotions. He also stopped to consider how God was involved. God’s selfless love is seen in helping people who are helpless. God does not help them for what can be gained from them. Who else is like that?

Luke 2:21-40

Joseph and Mary follow the covenant law of Moses in dedicating baby Jesus to God. Contagious joy was experienced by those who had been faithfully serving God and watching for the arrival of the Messiah. Simeon and Anna gave prophetic confirmation of the identity of Jesus as Messiah. Holding baby Jesus they recognized him as “salvation God prepared for all people….the light to reveal God to the nations.” We read that Jesus’ identity was predicted and affirmed by prophets both past and present. We should experience and reflect this same contagious joy at Jesus our Messiah.

Numbers 7:1-65

At God’s direction, Moses sets up the Tabernacle and dedicates it as a place of worship. In Numbers, we see that the people benefited from choosing to value their place of worship by honoring God with gifts. Each person’s gift mattered to God. Each person learned that their living God put a high value on their worship. Their interaction with their Creator was of great importance. We should learn from this. (As seen in Psalm 27:4)

 





March 17 Bible reading

17 03 2021

March 17  Proverbs 7:6-20  Luke 2:1-20  Numbers 5:11-31; 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?

March 17  Proverbs 7:6-20  Luke 2:1-20  Numbers 5:11-31; 6

Proverbs 7:6-20

God provides us with direction and a warning against illicit affairs. God is not ignorant of human experiences. Our Creator has the wisdom we need. Our Creator has a right to speak to how we live. Sexual sin brings painful consequences.

Luke 2:1-20

Jesus, our Savior, the Messiah, the Lord, was born in Bethlehem as promised. There are several miraculous aspects of His birth recognized by many eyewitnesses. The shepherds saw exactly what the angels predicted. God’s people could choose to take a Nazarite vow, setting aside their life for the purpose of God. This allowed them to identify God’s call on their life, describe it to others, and live for that purpose. We should take note of the significance of prophecy fulfilled. God is involved in the birth of Jesus. Too many supernatural factors here for it to be a magic trick. What does this say to you about Jesus?

Numbers 5:11-31; 6

God’s design includes a married couple’s lifelong commitment to giving faithful love to each other. It can be a reflection of God’s faithful love that is patient and kind, as we see throughout Scripture. God intended marital sexual expression of love to be a sacred act of giving pleasure in a safe healthy context. God gave His people a clear idea of the consequences for illicit affairs. Nazarite vows included setting aside your life for the purpose of God. Anyone who wants to serve in Christian leadership must consider the truths revealed here. In Numbers 6:24-26, we see a beautiful blessing that could be given from the priests to the people, which God promised to honor.

 





March 16 Bible reading

16 03 2021

March 16  Psalm 34:11-22  Luke 1:57-80  Numbers 4; 5:1-10

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

Reading the Bible is helpful in taking 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 16  Psalm 34:11-22  Luke 1:57-80  Numbers 4; 5:1-10

Psalm 34:11-22

Lies bring consequences. Peacemaking requires thoughtful examination before taking action. God interacts with His people. He is paying attention. Psalm 34:18 describes what God is like every day and should inform how we live. God comes alongside the brokenhearted, bringing loving comfort to those whose spirits are crushed, and He will rescue them.

Luke 1:57-80

Zechariah and Elizabeth experienced miracles and were happy to welcome a baby boy. People noted the circumstances of John’s birth. The whole neighborhood recognized this birth as a miracle. They wondered what God would do through this baby. Zechariah spoke God’s promise of the mighty Savior, the coming Messiah. Zechariah predicted the role of his son, John the prophet, John the Baptist. In Luke 1:68-75 and 78-79, we read an amazing explanation of the Messiah’s role in the Kingdom of God. Are there more beautiful words than Luke 1:76-79? Jesus, our morning light from heaven! The purpose of John the Baptist was to tell people how to find salvation through the forgiveness of sins.

Numbers 4; 5:1-10

Moses, Aaron, the priests, and the Levites were responsible to care for the place of worship, the instruments of worship, and the ways of interacting with God. They led people by serving them. Purity in their camp included natural and spiritual cleanliness, focus, and purpose. God was removing their guilt. In Numbers, we see that every person matters to God. God gives purpose (and inherent value) to the work He has designed for His people. We can find fulfillment as we work.

 





March 15 Bible reading

15 03 2021

March 15  Psalm 34:1-10  Luke 1:39-56  Numbers 2:10-34; 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 15  Psalm 34:1-10  Luke 1:39-56  Numbers 2:10-34; 3

Psalm 34:1-10

Reflecting on a time he faked insanity for fear of losing his life, David sings about what he learned. God is good! Understanding the truth that God is good comes from active learning, personal experience, prayer, asking God for miracles, and listening. Choosing to believe that God will do what He promised comes with the benefit of joy & fulfillment. You will see God’s provision. When you live out of constant awareness of (and reverence for) God you will experience a new level of peace.

Luke 1:39-56

Mary and Elizabeth are experiencing miraculous pregnancies. God is speaking to them. Believing the promises of God, they are truly blessed. Elizabeth expressed feeling honored by Mary’s visit. There is companionship and mutual respect. Elizabeth points out that Mary’s blessing has come because Mary believed that God would fulfill His promise. Mary sings praises to God. This song should be known to us. It carries relevant truth. We hear humility. We hear an account of an all-powerful and supernaturally merciful God. We hear about a God who keeps His promises. This is what she knew to be true of God our Creator. Mary expresses a wonderful understanding of the Kingdom of God throughout the song. The Kingdom of God is powerful, eternal, with a unique value system that is merciful, exalting the humble, putting down the proud, and bringing about the promise given to Abraham.

Numbers 2:10-34; 3

God gave specific responsibility to Moses, Aaron, the priests, and the Levites for the place of worship. As a service to the people, they ensured constant worship of God and interaction with God. God values everyone. Being part of a family that is a member of a larger society can have a God-given value. Giving God our best comes from the God idea of a “first fruit” offering.

 





March 14 Bible reading

14 03 2021

March 14  Psalm 33:12-22  Luke 1:26-38  Numbers 1; 2:1-9

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?

March 14  Psalm 33:12-22  Luke 1:26-38  Numbers 1; 2:1-9

Psalm 33:12-22

Yahweh created this world and the human race. He understands our hearts better than anyone else. If we respond to the faithful love of God with worship, we will know confident hope and joy. When we look to God as our source of life and direction we will be blessed. Our way of viewing this world and our challenges will change. We will not be overwhelmed. We will be at peace. We will be happy.

Luke 1:26-38

God sends the angel Gabriel to communicate the favor of God on her. Gabriel reveals the plan of God, preparing Mary for her miracle virgin pregnancy. Gabriel describes the identity of the baby Jesus, the Son of God. Mary responds with faith and humility. She gives consent to be so intimately involved in this miracle. The value of serving in God’s Kingdom is seen here. The angel Gabriel says, “Nothing is impossible with God.” or “For the Word of God will never fail.” Everything about Jesus teaches us something about God. We must challenge what we see as limitations. God is not bound by what we see as possible. When God makes a promise, we should believe it. God is able to fulfill each of His promises.

Numbers 1; 2:1-9

In Numbers, we see that every person matters to God and that God instructed them to be sure that each person had their own space. The priests and the place of worship were clearly set aside for their specific purpose, facilitating the relationship of the people with God. We see our Creator using administration to ensure that each person would be able to enjoy life and their relationship with God.

 

 





March 13 Bible reading

13 03 2021

March 13  Proverbs 7:1-5  Luke 1:1-25  Leviticus 26:14-46; 27

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 13  Proverbs 7:1-5  Luke 1:1-25  Leviticus 26:14-46; 27

Proverbs 7:1-5

We should work hard to learn the wisdom of God. We should protect our retention of it and the ability to use it. The words that God has already spoken provide us with direction. This includes a warning against illicit affairs. God loves us. God cares for us. God is trying to help us with this warning. God created pleasure. As a good Father, God wants us to enjoy life. There is no reason that God would restrict healthy pleasure from us.

Luke 1:1-25

Luke carefully examined the eyewitness accounts of the life of Christ. After his investigation, Dr. Luke takes great care to write an accurate description of what occurred. He is writing so that the people of his time (and those who would follow) could be certain of the truth. What happened? What are the established facts of the case? Who is Jesus? What did he say? What did he do? Luke wanted the reader to find confidence in Jesus. God brings about the miraculous birth of John the Baptist. Speaking through an angel, God is interacting with the faith of Zechariah and Elizabeth. They had lived a lifestyle of devotion. God is interacting with each person in the story. We see God providing identity, value, and purpose. The prediction of the life of John the Baptist speaks to the redemptive nature of God’s work.

Leviticus 26:14-46; 27

In Leviticus, we see that there is punishment for disobedience to God. God says, “When my people confess their sins, I will remember My covenant with them.” At the same time, God would not tolerate pride and unrepentant open hostility toward Him. God was constantly calling them back to repentance and His covenant love. God called for one-tenth of what they produced to be dedicated to His purpose. It is a principle that is beneficial to us all. We should learn how to live on less than our full income (out of gratitude to God our Creator) for His purpose, which benefits everyone.

 

 





March 12 Bible reading

12 03 2021

March 12  Psalm 33:1-11  Mark 16  Leviticus 25; 26:1-13

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 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 12  Psalm 33:1-11  Mark 16  Leviticus 25; 26:1-13

Psalm 33:1-11

We are forgiven and cleansed. We must sing praises to (and about) our God. Yahweh created this natural world and nothing is beyond His direction. God’s sovereign plan is not shaken loose by anything we see. Learning this will help us become stronger. From a personal relationship with this God, we find a greater peace regardless of the circumstances we face.

Mark 16

Jesus’ resurrection proves His identity as Messiah. Jesus returned from the dead, walked the earth for another 40 days, and was seen by 500 people. Jesus took time to appear personally to people. In God’s kingdom, worship, identity, mission, knowledge, and salvation are never separated from the context of personal relationships. Jesus gave His followers a specific purpose. They were instructed to call people into the faith, with repentance and baptism. Jesus gave His followers spiritual authority.

Further notes on the ending of Mark:

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”.

It is almost completely certain that John “Mark” did not add on verses 9-20 of chapter 16. The idea of “edits” comes from the fact that the copies of Mark’s gospel in various collections today have more than one ending. The earliest copies ended at Mark 16:8. The more recent copies include Mark 16:9-20 most include an editor’s note (that those verses are not in the earliest copies still available for reading). The early church (in the first 150 years) did not quote 16:9-20, and this is the biggest reason that scholars question it. The fifth-century copies of the New Testament include those verses and included them as Scripture distributing many copies in the New Testament.

Mark’s gospel includes a theme of faith in the face of fear. It’s possible that Peter and Mark closed with 16:8 on purpose, as a way of saying that the followers of Jesus were facing fear from Jesus’ death and discovering an empty tomb. Think of it as a faith cliff-hanger. What would the followers of Jesus choose? Peter and Mark may have chosen this ending. They likely knew that Luke was writing the books of Luke and Acts which included the clear confirmation of Jesus’ resurrection and the action the Jesus followers took, in evidence of their belief in Jesus’ resurrection. It is also possible that they intended to write another book, but Peter’s death came too soon for it.  Peter was killed in AD 64.  Another very real possibility (based on the reliable facts recorded for us today) is that the early copies of Mark’s gospel ended at 16:8 because the first copy was torn or broken (like the Dead Sea scrolls). The first-century Christians discovered it (accepted its place in Scripture because of its consistency with the other gospels) and copied it as is for a while before later leaders added 9-20. These possibilities include the likelihood of Luke and the church leaders at that time writing verses 9-20 (as a helpful addition for new believers in that first century). Most scholars believe this to be the strongest possibility. Cleary Peter, John Mark, and the followers of Jesus believed in the resurrection of Jesus as described in verses 9-20.

It is possible that there will be new archeological discoveries that will give us more evidence. This is another reason to pray for peace in the region of Palestine.

Leviticus 25; 26:1-13

In Leviticus, God provides instruction for good stewardship that would have required the people to plan, budget, out of respect to God’s wisdom. God gives specific instructions on how to care for the poor. In response to their obedience, God promises a close personal relationship. This included allowing the land to rest on the 7th year. On the Day of Atonement, once every 50 years they were to proclaim freedom and celebrate a Year of Jubilee. God wanted them to live by mutual respect and good stewardship.