August 21 Bible reading

21 08 2021

August 21 Psalm 101 1 Corinthians 14:20-40 2 Chronicles 13; 14; 15

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?August 21 Psalm 101 1 Corinthians 14:20-40 2 Chronicles 13; 14; 15

August 21 Psalm 101 1 Corinthians 14:20-40 2 Chronicles 13; 14; 15

Psalm 101

This song of prayer is a dedication to God. (Not too unlike this) Our city has problems. There’s no denying it. And yet I will call on God for help. And yet I will commit my life to God and His ways. Thank you, God for allowing us the opportunity to work toward the good of all people, in concert with You. Psalm 101 is a song of commitment to live with integrity as a response to the “love and justice” of God. I can be motivated by finding God’s love which brings grace and mercy. At the same time, I can be motivated by the justice of God as He will punish those who are unrepentant and remain guilty.

1 Corinthians 14:20-40

We are called to grow in our understanding of God’s Kingdom and our role in it. This includes our understanding of the ways in which our local church may be as helpful as possible, to that end. This also includes the function of spiritual gifts. Each should strengthen the church, bringing encouragement. Paul provides a helpful distinction between the gifts of tongues and prophecy. He explains the importance of believers’ gatherings that are conducted in a way as to be as helpful as possible. We should avoid practices that cause confusion. “Let love be your highest goal.” Verses 34-35 are addressing specific people causing distraction.

2 Chronicles 13; 14; 15

Abijah shouts a clear message to Jeroboam, “God made a lasting covenant.” We are following God’s instructions. You abandoned the way. The outcome of a civil war in the nation of Israel was determined by the Lord. He favored those who served Him with an understanding of His words. King Asa recognized only God could help them and he led a return to the worship of Yahweh. This included the removal of idolatry within his mother’s house. This story reveals people who loved God, according to His covenant agreement, with their heart and soul. Our response should be similar.





August 20 Bible reading

20 08 2021

August 20 Proverbs 20:15-24 1 Corinthians 14:1-19 2 Chronicles 10; 11; 12

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

Reading the Bible is helpful in taking the next steps to follow Jesus. It may not be easy and yet it can be rewarding. Digging into Scripture alongside people you know is a life-giving way to pursue answers together. We discover the love that God has for us has been expressed through Jesus.

• What’s the plain simple truth of the verses you read?
• Based on today’s reading, what is one thing God is saying to you?
• What should you do about that truth?

August 20 Proverbs 20:15-24 1 Corinthians 14:1-19 2 Chronicles 10; 11; 12

Proverbs 20:15-24

What is more valuable than any object you possess? The experience of helping a family who has lost their home will cause you to think about it, at some point. Here Proverbs suggests that words of wisdom may be more valuable than any of your possessions. Wow! So, where do we find wisdom? Let us be sure to follow the guidance of God. We will be more at peace if we recognize the guidance of our God and seek out wise counsel.

1 Corinthians 14:1-19

God has shown us, love, in the gift of life, the gift of grace, and the gift of salvation available through faith in Jesus. A genuine, selfless, and giving love should be the goal of every Jesus follower. God’s agape love should be the motivation any time that we use our spiritual gifts. This will direct our focus (in the use of prophecy), for example, and our understanding of the ability to speak in tongues. They are to be used in a way that is helpful to others. If the local church is full of people who are thinking this way, it will become a community that brings positive change. It will be noteworthy. There will be no need to advertise. Word of mouth will let the neighborhoods know that something unique is happening.

2 Chronicles 10; 11; 12

After the death of Solomon, his son Rehoboam becomes king and begins his reign by raising taxes and increasing the labor demands on the people. Jeroboam leads a revolt of the northern tribes of Israel against him and the descendants of David who would follow. In leadership, cruelty is not a God-honoring way to serve people. These two kings were constantly at war. They led people away from the worship of Yahweh. As a consequence, God allowed Egypt to punish Jerusalem. Only when they repented did God stop the Egyptians. Nothing good comes from walking away from a relationship with God.





August 19 Bible reading

19 08 2021

August 19 Psalm 100 1 Corinthians 12:27-31; 13 Song of Solomon 5; 6; 7; 8

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

Reading the Bible is helpful in taking the next steps to follow Jesus. It may not be easy and yet it can be rewarding. Digging into Scripture alongside people you know is a life-giving way to pursue answers together. We discover the love that God has for us has been expressed through Jesus.

• What’s the plain simple truth of the verses you read?
• Based on today’s reading, what is one thing God is saying to you?
• What should you do about that truth?

August 19 Psalm 100 1 Corinthians 12:27-31; 13 Song of Solomon 5; 6; 7; 8

Psalm 100

Our God has faithfully cared for us. Not once has God failed us. Faithful love, that is a characteristic of our God. Let us praise God together! Shout! Sing with joy! Worship God! We were created by Him and we are His people. We should come to Him with thanksgiving and in it we will find fulfillment. The love of God lasts forever.

1 Corinthians 12:27-31; 13

If we are paying attention to what we are reading here, we are finding an amazing picture of just how life-giving a local church can be! Each Jesus follower will have spiritual gifts. These God-given abilities are for the purpose of helping others. We do not all have the same gifts, and that is a good thing. We should seek to be as helpful as possible to each other. The best way of life is living by a love that gives. If we use spiritual gifts without selfless love, we may cause things to get worse. True love is gentle and strong in patience, not self-focused but seeking the good of another and celebrating with the joy of others. True love will not give up but will instead always hold on to faith in hope of the best outcome. True love will last forever. When we are receiving love from God, we become able to give this God-kind-of-love to others. This amazing selfless dedicated love will last forever. We should not remove 1 Corinthians 13 from the local church context. God’s agape love should be our motivation in using our gifts. This same love should be the filter with which we evaluate how we are living. This is a priority from Jesus.

Song of Solomon 5; 6; 7; 8

After a wedding in Solomon’s musical, the lovers grow in the way they view the relationship. The go from singing, “my lover is mine,” as their first focus to singing, “I am my lover’s and he claims me as his own.” It’s a change from self-focused to giving. It is a shift in focus from receiving to a focus on giving. It is a focus from a self-centered identity to a healthy mature identity, in the love relationship. People who identify as Christians should see this kind of growth in their marriages.





August 18 Bible reading

18 08 2021

August 18 Psalm 99 1 Corinthians 12:1-26 Song of Solomon 1; 2; 3; 4

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

Reading the Bible is helpful in taking 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?

August 18 Psalm 99 1 Corinthians 12:1-26 Song of Solomon 1; 2; 3; 4

Psalm 99

There is no one else like our God. Yes, it is true. Our God is more powerful than any other, completely in control, and faithful in love. Our Lord is the King who transcends all kings. Our reasonable response is to praise our King’s name as more valuable than any other name. We should remember this King’s character which has been proven over thousands of years and recorded for our consideration. God has an established history with people. The thoughts, feelings, and desires of God have been revealed. A life-long relationship of shared love, that is God’s desire.

1 Corinthians 12:1-26

The Spirit of God gives people special abilities beyond what they develop naturally. These abilities are for the purpose of helping others. Each person who is a follower of Jesus is a member of the “Body of Christ” and part of something bigger than themselves. Each one has equal value and should be connected. When anyone suffers, we all suffer. When any one is honored, we should all be glad. This understanding will help us live a life of shared value and identity. It will help us see the purpose for local church relationships. It will help us find pleasure in these relationships. It will help us choose to be compassionately connected with fellow church members.

Song of Solomon 1; 2; 3; 4

King Solomon writes a musical about a passionate love relationship, between a couple. They sing about each other. We may notice how their perspective changes over time. They grow in appreciation of each other, from infatuation to a greater understand of each other throughout their marriage. One thing we notice here is an awareness of the “little foxes” (problems) that can “ruin the vineyard of love”. And so it may be in every relationship. We should be alert to small issues that can become big problems.





August 17 Bible reading

17 08 2021

August 17 Psalm 98 1 Corinthians 11:2-34 2 Chronicles 7:11-22; 8; 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?

August 17 Psalm 98 1 Corinthians 11:2-34 2 Chronicles 7:11-22; 8; 9

Psalm 98

When we consider the actions of God, things we have observed, Psalm 98 suggests that we should sing out our new song of praise to God. Consider what God has done, list it, describe it, and joyfully express your response to it! We should frequently give time and energy to praise God, thoughtfully. Consider. Why is God praiseworthy? Why am I thankful to God? Now, let us sing a brand new song of worship to God.

1 Corinthians 11:2-34

Public worship gatherings should be done in such a way as to honor God. Let us do nothing that would distract people. Glorify Jesus! Don’t do things that would make it difficult for new people to understand what is happening. All believers are interdependent and valuable. Various head coverings brought Corinthian culture a myriad of argument, in part because they had become linked to occupations (such as spiritual leaders, gurus, and prostitutes) and social class (including the evil practice of devaluing people). Paul advises the Corinthians to avoid using how they dressed to perpetuate arguments and instead show a healthy mutual submission in a lifestyle of trust in the loving God. In my view, any discussion of headship without this understanding lacks context. Paul recalls the Corinthians to a pure approach to the Lord’s Supper.

2 Chronicles 7:11-22; 8; 9

At this amazing time of the Temple’s dedication, God is tangibly present among them. The people are renewing the covenant promise with God. The people are called to a lifestyle of wholehearted devotion. God reminds Solomon that humble repentance will bring forgiveness and restoration. What a life lesson! Sadly Solomon falls into complacency.





August 16 Bible reading

16 08 2021

August 16 Proverbs 20:5-14 1 Corinthians 10:14-33; 11:1 2 Chronicles 5:2-14; 6; 7:1-10

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?

August 16 Proverbs 20:5-14 1 Corinthians 10:14-33; 11:1 2 Chronicles 5:2-14; 6; 7:1-10

Proverbs 20:5-14

Integrity should be a priority for us. Are you the same person (in character) in public and in private? Faithful love and honest integrity bring a blessing to everyone.  We are all in need of grace. No one is innocent of their own making. Each of us has made mistakes. We are unable to cleanse ourselves spiritually. We need the mercy and grace of God.

1 Corinthians 10:14-33; 11:1

Not a single person has washed away their own guilt and lived clean under their own power. We all need a savior, someone who is clean to make us clean. How we choose to live our life will bring results good or bad. Paul advises us to understand that we have freedom in how we live because of Jesus, and yet we should understand that not everything is beneficial to this life of faith. Living with a priority on our personal freedom (at the expense of others) will be detrimental in how we influence others. We must take into consideration what is best for others. All our life choices should be for the glory of God as we seek to live like Jesus.

2 Chronicles 5:2-14; 6; 7:1-10

King Solomon brings together all the spiritual leaders of Israel for a dedication ceremony, using all the supplies and offerings his father had prepared. In the right way, and with the right heart, they bring the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant into the Temple. They offer sacrifices to God. They praised the faithful love of God. They are responding to what God had previously spoken to them (and over history to their ancestors). It is a nation of people responding to God in a relationship, with respect to His guidance. In this context a prayer goes up, calling God in a cry for continued faithful love according to the covenant promise. These words reveal the truth they all knew. God is showing them love, and God is calling them to wholehearted devotion. The presence of God was overwhelming. They appropriated prayers of the past and renewed their covenant. This a jaw-dropping holy moment in history.





August 15 Bible reading

15 08 2021

August 15 Psalm 97 1 Corinthians 9:19-27; 10:1-13 2 Chronicles 2; 3; 4; 5:1

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?

August 15 Psalm 97 1 Corinthians 9:19-27; 10:1-13 2 Chronicles 2; 3; 4; 5:1

Psalm 97

The earth has not seen an army that can stand against the power of our God. Our God is king over all we see, and most powerful. The greatest oceans and the most majestic mountains celebrate the glory of our God. The One True Living God is faithful in love and is without equal. Worship God! Let every believer praise the name of God and celebrate His goodness.

1 Corinthians 9:19-27; 10:1-13

Paul has chosen a life mission of serving each person he comes into a relationship with. It is an effort to bring as many as possible into a relationship with Jesus as Savior. All his life lifestyle choices are shaped by this decision. Paul warns of temptations that would draw us away from faithfulness to Jesus and into a self-destructive tendency to gratify our carnal cravings. We should learn from the lessons of the nation of Israel and their idolatry. Paul says that God will give us the ability to resist temptation. Let us choose to run the race God has given us. Let us run with endurance.

2 Chronicles 2; 3; 4; 5:1

Responding to the directions given by God and his father David, King Solomon sets out to build a Temple for the worship of Yahweh. Engaging the king of Tyre, Solomon acquires resources and the help of master craftsmen. Solomon completed the Temple with everything needed for the prescribed worship, offerings, sacrifices, and celebrations.





August 14 Bible reading

14 08 2021

August 14 Psalm 96 1 Corinthians 9:1-18 Ecclesiastes 9:13-18; 10; 11; 12

Please read the suggested passages, prayerfully consider them, and the questions below. My comments here may be helpful after those moments. The suggested daily reading is for the purpose of reading through the whole Bible within a year.
Reading the Bible is helpful in taking the next steps to follow Jesus. It may not be easy and yet it can be rewarding. Digging into Scripture alongside people you know is a life-giving way to pursue answers together. We discover the love that God has for us has been expressed through Jesus.
• What’s the plain simple truth of the verses you read?
• Based on today’s reading, what is one thing God is saying to you?
• What should you do about that truth?

August 14 Psalm 96 1 Corinthians 9:1-18 Ecclesiastes 9:13-18; 10; 11; 12

Psalm 96

The One True Living God is our Creator, Provider, Protector, and Redeemer. Let us thank God for who He is and all that He has done! It’s good to speak the truth that our God saves. We should sing about God’s greatness describing His power and majesty. The whole earth will be glad at the coming of our Lord. Let’s make public our praise for God. Today let us sing a new song!

1 Corinthians 9:1-18

There is a lot of discussion about spiritual freedom. Arguments within the church have included questions from certain people who have challenged the authority of Paul (to give them instructions). Paul brings a reminder of the nature of that relationship and an account of how he has served them voluntarily. His choice to work for them, free of charge, should be taken into consideration when others call into question his motive. The Corinthian believers should respond to Paul with gratitude and respect.

Ecclesiastes 9:13-18; 10; 11; 12

Solomon gives us repeated contrasts between folly and wisdom. “It’s better to hear the quiet words of a wise person than the shouts of a foolish king.” Do we look for wisdom? Solomon writes about the ironies found in this life and recommends that we learn from them. Many things in this life are not certain but beyond our control. We should learn to live with this reality. We can focus on God’s purpose and what we can change. We should be reminded that someday we will give account to God for how we have lived. Accountability cannot be avoided.





August 13 Bible reading

13 08 2021

August 13 Psalm 95 1 Corinthians 7:36-40; 8 Ecclesiastes 7; 8; 9:1-12

Please read the suggested passages, prayerfully consider them, and the questions below. My comments here may be helpful after those moments. The suggested daily reading is for the purpose of reading through the whole Bible within a year.
Reading the Bible is helpful in taking the next steps to follow Jesus. It may not be easy and yet it can be rewarding. Digging into Scripture alongside people you know is a life-giving way to pursue answers together. We discover the love that God has for us has been expressed through Jesus.
• What’s the plain simple truth of the verses you read?
• Based on today’s reading, what is one thing God is saying to you?
• What should you do about that truth?

August 13 Psalm 95 1 Corinthians 7:36-40; 8 Ecclesiastes 7; 8; 9:1-12

Psalm 95

Let us worship God together! We should give thanks to the God of our salvation. Let’s bring it with singing and shouting. Let us worship the God who is always caring for us. Psalm 95 begins with a call to worship the God who created us and saved from certain destruction. It is a beautiful song, inviting us to thank the God who carved the height of the mountains and the depth of the oceans, and the God who takes care of us. We are encouraged to learn from the consequences that the nation of Israel experienced for turning away from the God who delivered them from slavery.

1 Corinthians 7:36-40; 8

Paul writes to Corinthian believers who held varied beliefs on what was right and what was wrong. One such issue was the practice of buying meat that was more affordable because it had been used in the worship of an idol. Paul does not condemn this practice. He directs us to choose our friends over our freedoms. We should live in such a way as to value people more than what we want. The person is more valuable than any cultural disagreement. This is particularly relevant today. We should choose to show loving respect for each other at every turn. We must not press our views on others. We should look for ways to create peace. If a person has a conviction unique from my own, I should adjust for their sake in any way that builds peace (and mutual respect).

Ecclesiastes 7; 8; 9:1-12

Solomon delivers a variety of “one-liners” elevating the wisdom of a God-centered life and teaching an eternal perspective. This is wisdom that goes beyond the limited wisdom of those with only a natural perspective. God is in control. Serving God will bring peace & help us avoid self-destructive ways. What a contrast presented between wisdom and foolishness! “A fool only thinks about having a good time.” Patience is better than pride. “God created people to be virtuous.” We should avoid sexual immorality. People who are wise “will find a way to do the right thing.” We cannot predict hard times. We should prepare for them.





August 12 Bible reading

12 08 2021

August 12 Proverbs 19:23-29; 20:1-4 1 Corinthians 7:17-35 Ecclesiastes 4; 5; 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?

August 12 Proverbs 19:23-29; 20:1-4 1 Corinthians 7:17-35 Ecclesiastes 4; 5; 6

Proverbs 19:23-29; 20:1-4

You can choose to start each day focused on God. The practice of giving love and respect to God every day is life-giving and produces peace. It will help us learn from God and avoid poor decisions. This will help us avoid some pain. It will also help us walk away from self-destructive tendencies. Here in Proverbs, we read about the damage that drunkenness can cause. In contrast, self-control in a tense situation is a sign of an honorable person.

1 Corinthians 7:17-35

The Corinthian believers had questions about sexual ethics. Pastor Paul responds, with an understanding of their current culture related to sexual practices. Sexual pleasure as a high priority and sexual transactions (including business and pagan spiritual practices) were part of their everyday culture. “Whatever I want” (regardless of marriage or spirituality) was the most common sexual ethic in their day. Does this sound familiar? Pastor Paul gives us counsel to grow in our eternal perspective. We should understand what will last forever and what will not. Life on this earth is short. We should prioritize our relationship with God and commitment to the Kingdom of God through our local church involvement. Our first commitment is to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This kind of focus on Jesus examined life, and choosing to live by carefully considered priorities will produce fulfillment. Wouldn’t you like to enjoy more peaceful days? This is how.

Ecclesiastes 4; 5; 6

Solomon seems overwhelmed by the horror of people taking advantage of others in a systematic way. He also sees jealous pursuits as useless. Even as the most powerful king in history (to that point) he laments the futility of political power. Help and strength can be found in human relationships. Solomon advises us to respect God by listening to Him when we gather in worship. He also recommends that we be careful in what we promise God. The pursuit of wealth can be meaningless. Learning to be content each day may be one of life’s most important lessons. Work hard and you will sleep well. Enjoy life and don’t “brood over the past”. Wow. Easier said than done?