November 20 Bible reading

20 11 2022

November 20  Proverbs 28:7-17  James 4  Ezekiel 38; 39

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?

November 20  Proverbs 28:7-17  James 4  Ezekiel 38; 39

Proverbs 28:7-17

At a level rarely seen, King Solomon had resources and influence available to him. He writes wisdom drawn from his relationship with God. One of the most effective and successful wealth managers of all time speaks to the foolishness of some rich people and the discernment of some people who are poor.

Proverbs 28:13 & 1 John 1: 6-9 make it clear that we will not benefit from keeping our sin a secret, pretending that we are in a healthy relationship with God. If we will confess our sin, God will be faithful to forgive us. The sacrifice of Jesus has made this possible. Our reasonable response is to live out of passionate gratitude.

James 4

We should love God more than we love pleasure. The humility that comes from this brings peace and freedom. Let us abandon a me-first lifestyle. This will take us away from jealous arguments, gossip, and self-righteous judgment of others. We draw strength from our relationship with God, as we humble ourselves, confessing our wrong, and asking for forgiveness and help. We turn away from our wrong and move toward a close personal relationship with God. We become fully devoted followers of Christ, in community. We choose to resist our spiritual enemy. We receive grace from God and respond by freely giving it away to others. In this way, we can avoid sins of commission and omission. God gives us the ability to live in a healthy relationship with Him and others. We can choose to receive this gift.

Ezekiel 38; 39

Through the prophet Ezekiel, God predicts specific ways in which He will show sovereign control over powerful military nations. The fulfillment of these predictions served as further evidence of God’s identity. We should recognize this today. Through Ezekiel, God reveals His desire that all people come to recognize Him as sovereign Lord. Whether they turn to Him in faith or not, God will be glorified. For those who would repent, God will bring about restoration and will remove shame. God will usher in a time of uninterrupted relationship with Him. Love will abound for all who worship our God. This plan for God’s redemption includes people from every nation and culture.





November 19 Bible reading

19 11 2022

November 19  Psalm 129  James 3  Ezekiel 36; 37

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?

November 19  Psalm 129  James 3  Ezekiel 36; 37

Psalm 129

This Psalm says, “All my life I have been harassed by backstabbers, and yet I am not defeated. God is good. God has given me freedom from them.” When we live out of gratitude to God, we can be healthy and happy regardless of backstabbing. Even if we are attacked, we can experience peace and sing, “the Lord is good”. Our God is a source of love and healing. Our God brings freedom.

James 3

Are you salty? Have you ever heard that question? “Salty” can be used to describe a person who is agitated, angry, or upset. If we are saying things that are salty, our inner spiritual life is not as healthy and strong as it should be. A focus on God should cause us to speak blessing and not cursing. Feeding our spirits the loving truth of God will cause us to speak with grace. It also provides the self-control needed to speak without clenching our teeth. Have I received the grace of God? Am I changed for the better by a relationship with Jesus? One way to find out is by asking the people in my life if I am growing in the ability to be careful with what I say. Do I bring encouragement or harm? Even if I must bring an adjustment to someone else, do I bring it in a way that is loving, encouraging, equipping, and life-giving? Following Jesus should bring humble wisdom, gentleness, and peace-loving out of us. Wisdom from God brings humility.

Ezekiel 36; 37

Murder and the worship of anything (as more valuable than God) is pollution in our homeland. That is how God sees it. Through Ezekiel God speaks a warning that He would punish people who refused to turn from their violence, murder, and worship of idols. Our Creator offers us a complete change of heart in this new life as Jesus followers. Through this change, God will give us the ability to live in new ways, healthy, and full of life. Our God will bring life where we see signs of death, in our homes and communities. Where we cannot see hope, our God brings hope. God will speak life and bring about the restoration that seems impossible. God brought about an end to the civil war between Israel and Judah. God brought lasting peace between people in conflict. This same God offers us a covenant agreement of peace whereby we can see lasting change in our lives.





November 18 Bible reading

18 11 2022

November 18  Psalm 128  James 2  Ezekiel 33:21-33; 34; 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?

November 18  Psalm 128  James 2  Ezekiel 33:21-33; 34; 35

Psalm 128

When we live out of gratitude to God there is a joy that is with us today and will be with us tomorrow. When we live in constant awareness of God there is a love and respect that fills our hearts and homes. This song describes the benefits of a life given to wholehearted devotion to God. Let us give our utmost respect and highest praises to God with the best of our energy. God is able to bless us with vibrant healthy happy homes. A focus on God brings many blessings to a family.

James 2

If we treat some people as less valuable than others, we are not faithful followers of Jesus. Favoritism and prejudice bring brokenness into a relationship with Jesus. My suggestion to all Christians is to read the words of Jesus found in Matthew 5 -7 and then James 1 – 5 for a helpful perspective. We are certainly saved by grace through faith in Jesus as Savior (as evidenced by our true repentance). This means that our change of heart is seen by a change of actions. If the trajectory of our lives as Jesus followers shows no change in our values, decision-making, and acts of service (for people in need) then it is quite possible we are spiritually sick at the least. As Jesus followers, we have received mercy and so we must show mercy. God shows us, love, by making forgiveness and new spiritual life available through Jesus. As we receive this love, we believe in Jesus as Savior. This faith must produce action.

Ezekiel 33:21-33; 34; 35

Through the life of the prophet Ezekiel, God has been calling people into a loving committed relationship. After years of rejection and subsequent violence, God has been sending warnings. Through Ezekiel, God called people to repent and brought judgment on those who replied with lip service and yet no change in their actions. Our God knows the heart of each person and mourns the punishment needed for those who reject His covenant agreement of peace. The day will come when everyone will recognize Yahweh as Sovereign Lord.





November 17 Bible reading

17 11 2022

November 17  Psalm 127  James 1  Ezekiel 32; 33:1-20

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?

November 17  Psalm 127  James 1  Ezekiel 32; 33:1-20

Psalm 127

Hard work alone will not bring ultimate fulfillment. What is the will of God? Where is God already at work? Yahweh God, our Creator & Redeemer, is the one who provides for us. God makes it possible for us to work and rest. If we give our best energy to a life independent of God, it will ultimately be useless. We should seek the will of God and the Kingdom of God above all else. In this way, we bring ourselves into alignment with God. It is wise to apply our hard work to the purposes of God. In a life that honors God, children are valued as a blessing from God. They can bring great joy to parents!

James 1

James, the pastor of the Jerusalem church, is the first to write an open letter that serves as one of the pastoral epistles of the New Testament. He writes to Jewish followers of Jesus a letter that is directly connected to Jesus’ “Sermon on the Mount”. He speaks to the spiritual strength we can draw from a relationship with Jesus. Challenging days bring opportunities to grow in this spiritual strength. We can walk through dark days without being overwhelmed. God gives wisdom to people who rely on Him alone. We should live with a focus on God (not our cravings). Which are you following? We should be good listeners, who choose their words carefully and are not easily angered. Seeking wisdom from God, we can learn to see our lives clearly. Perspective is critical. James warns us to not be misled, allowing ourselves to be deceived. We can receive salvation by grace and live in new healthy ways because of this new spiritual life.

Ezekiel 32; 33:1-20

God instructed the prophet, Ezekiel, to deliver messages of punishment on Egypt and its Pharaoh with a lament for the suffering to come. God was about to show His sovereign power. This mourning further reveals the loving heart of God for all people. Read Ezekiel 33:11 again. God doesn’t want to bring punishment. Our God wants everyone to turn away from their self-destructive sin and toward His life-giving love. The prophet served as a watchman, providing the people with a warning of the punishment to come. It also served as the voice of God, calling people away from such suffering and back to His committed love for them.





November 16 Bible reading

16 11 2022

November 16  Proverbs 27:23-27; 28:1-6  Hebrews 13  Ezekiel 30; 31

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?

November 16  Proverbs 27:23-27; 28:1-6  Hebrews 13  Ezekiel 30; 31

Proverbs 27:23-27; 28:1-6

The wisdom that comes from a healthy relationship with God points us toward the good stewardship of our resources. This includes careful consideration and planning. Leaders who use these principles bring stability to their organizations and people. God our Creator has made it possible for us to earn money. We have resources of time, energy, and money. They are temporary. Our spirit will live forever. We are stewards of the resources God has provided. Healthy decisions make good use of those resources. Diligence, hard work, and healthy decisions show your eternal perspective and appreciation for all that God has provided you.

Hebrews 13

Inspired by the example of Jesus we can show love to others. Thankful for God’s forgiveness we can now live with a fresh commitment. This includes integrity and abandoning a “me-first” ethic in marriage and financial management. We can now draw spiritual strength from the grace of God (instead of by the measure of our past actions). Through Jesus, our God has made a way for us to be cleansed, forgiven, and brought into new spiritual life. In Hebrews 13:5 & Deuteronomy 31:6 we see that God has promised to never abandon us. Here we find confident hope in God our provider, a present help in times of need. For this reason, we should not fear what people may do to us. We are now able to live a lifestyle of love with courageous generosity to all people. We must be on the lookout for opportunities to serve someone we have just met, someone in need, someone in prison, and anyone who is being mistreated. Let us live a life focused on Jesus. May God give us the ability to live in this way.

Ezekiel 30; 31

God spoke through the prophet Ezekiel things that must have seemed impossible at the time. As a sign to all who would read it, God gave Ezekiel prophetic visions (which he wrote and distributed). These visions predicted specific events in the history of the nations of Babylon, Egypt, and Israel. Egypt’s defiant pride and evil power would be punished by Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon (whom God would enable). As these prophecies were fulfilled the relevant written history served as further proof of Yahweh God’s sovereign control of human history. The redemptive narrative of God’s story can be seen in the big picture.





November 15 Bible reading

15 11 2022

November 15  Psalm 126  Hebrews 12:14-29  Ezekiel 28; 29

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?

November 15  Psalm 126  Hebrews 12:14-29  Ezekiel 28; 29

Psalm 126

People returning to Jerusalem for worship would sing Psalm 126. They recalled a season of amazing fulfillment and happiness. They recognized the miracles God had done to make their joy possible after their season of trouble and exile. They had repented of sin and returned to a healthy relationship with God. As a result, they found a harvest of blessing at just the right time. This song reminded current-day believers of those lessons from the past. It reminded them of the benefits of turning away from me-first mistakes.

Hebrews 12:14-29

Drawing spiritual strength from Jesus is possible as we follow the example of Jesus. We can now live in this new way. We will have faith to work toward peaceful relationships with others. We will gain the resolve to pursue this in every way that it may be possible for us. Following the example of Jesus, we can now tune our hearts into God’s direction daily. We are then motivated to live out of pure dedication to God. From a faith focused on Jesus, we are called to pursue healthy relationships (in right standing) with each other (by Hebrews 12:14-15). A lifestyle of wholehearted devotion to God should include caring about the people in your life. We can help each other receive the grace of God, the healing it brings, and freedom from unresolved hurt or anger from the past. Each of us must relate with Jesus as our Mediator of a New Covenant in our relationship with the all-powerful living God.

Ezekiel 28; 29

The king of a powerful nation had taken the “me-first” philosophy to the point of believing himself to be a deity. The leaders of Tyre, Sidon, Egypt, and Babylon found their thoughts, feelings, and actions unveiled by an attentive God. They thought themselves more powerful than God. Through the prophet Ezekiel, God predicted the exact ways in which they would be punished. This pre-emptive written word served as proof of Yahweh God’s sovereignty. God is all-knowing and all-powerful. We should relate to God with respect to these truths. The restoration of people turning to God is again predicted.





November 14 Bible reading

14 11 2022

November 14  Psalm 125  Hebrews 12:1-13  Ezekiel 26; 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?

November 14  Psalm 125  Hebrews 12:1-13  Ezekiel 26; 27

Psalm 125

When the Israelites returned to Jerusalem they would be reminded of the protection of God, standing faithfully like the mountains that repelled would-be attackers. When we rely on God, He will not fail us and we can walk in peace. Let us spend time each day to bring our hearts in tune with God. The One True Living God is trustworthy. The Kingdom of God is above all others. It will last forever. As we trust in God, we can be confident in our hope of God’s victory and peace.

Hebrews 12:1-13

We found joy and received salvation through Jesus. Every day we should keep a focus on Jesus our Champion. Jesus initiates our faith and is bringing it to fulfillment. Our strength increases as we daily consider who Jesus is and how Jesus lives. This will motivate us to do anything possible to please God who has lavished love on us. When God brings guidance, reshaping our desires, and correcting our behavior, we should be predisposed to respond out of humble gratitude. This adjustment, from God, comes with our best interest in mind. Our Creator knows best how we should live. Let’s not follow self-destructive desires. God has been at work to make a future eternity in Heaven available. It will be a reunion with all who believe. As we look ahead to that day we receive strength for enduring the challenges of today. In this way, we are following the example that Jesus already set here on earth. That is how we can walk this journey of faith with strength.

Ezekiel 26; 27

Tyre was among the powerful nations who mocked the One True Living God. They took pride in what they had built (and in the beauty of it) as well as what they had accomplished in their power and influence. Our God watched as the people of Tyre lived the way that they wanted to, ignoring their Creator, and celebrated the destruction of Jerusalem. God knew their hearts. In a display of sovereign control, God would bring destruction on them at a national level and historic scale. God predicted the specifics of this through Ezekiel as a further proof is His own identity. God asked Ezekiel to sing a funeral song for them. Pride will bring consequences. Humility has benefits.





November 13 Bible reading

13 11 2022

November 13  Psalm 124  Hebrews 11:17-40  Ezekiel 24; 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?

November 13  Psalm 124  Hebrews 11:17-40  Ezekiel 24; 25

Psalm 124

How would our lives have been different if God had not been there? David writes a song, in Psalm 124, reminding his people of specific times when God delivered them. Where would we be without God? Without the grace of God, I would be worse than nothing. I would have been a detriment to society. God rescued me. If God has rescued you by His grace, sing about it. Your help came from the Creator of heaven and earth. We worship the One True Living God. We trust God above all others. We rely on God completely. In this there is peace.

Hebrews 11:17-40

God can give you faith. Your faith can grow. Hebrews 11 lists what some have called the “Faith Hall of Fame”. People who made life-changing decisions based on what they believed about God. They took action based on their confident hope that God would fulfill His promises. They held true to this even if it wasn’t going to happen in their natural lifespan. From this daily decision, “Their weakness was turned to strength”.  They chose to “see the invisible, believe the impossible, and overcome the obstacles”. They recognized God’s purpose in their world and in their life circumstances. They lived by faith in their struggles, in their deaths, on their tedious days, and in the greatest victories of their lives. “They received what God had promised” and yet not all that God had promised. Complete fulfillment will come after Christ returns to earth and we see a great reunion in heaven. When we see Jesus when He returns to earth, there will an amazing party as every believer who has ever lived sees each and every promise of God come true. It will be a shared experience.

Ezekiel 24; 25

On the first day of the Babylonian siege of Jerusalem, God wanted the following marked down for the historical record. Jerusalem had become a city of murder. God had been angered by the corruption, murder, and “me-first” ethics of Jerusalem’s citizens. Even when they abandoned a relationship with God, they still believed that His city and temple made them special. When it was all taken from them God wanted their grieving to be personal. God gave Ezekiel an object lesson to illustrate His efforts to cleanse the city of the stain brought by such violence. God instructed Ezekiel to not mourn the death of his wife in a customary way as another means of calling the Israelites to repentance. God was calling the people to repentance that would be deeply personal. It was to be private first and then made public. As a sign of sovereignty, God predicts the punishment of evil actions from the Ammonites, Moabites, Edomites, and Philistines. They had rejected God themselves. They had also mocked God’s people. God is alive, aware, able, and active.





November 12 Bible reading

12 11 2022

November 12  Proverbs 27:15-22 Hebrews 11:1-16  Ezekiel 22:23-31; 23

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?

November 12  Proverbs 27:15-22 Hebrews 11:1-16  Ezekiel 22:23-31; 23

Proverbs 27:15-22

We can think about what we say before we say it. We can choose words that are helpful instead of words that are hurtful. In our relationships, we can benefit each other and/or we can cause stress. The cravings of our natural flesh will not be ultimately satisfied in this life. Only God brings ultimate fulfillment. We should consider this fact when we evaluate whether or not we are allowing our desires to drive our lives.

Hebrews 11:1-16

What is faith? In a sense, it is the ability to move in the direction of what we believe. Let me unpack that a little more. This is a gift from God. As a Jesus follower, we can now see what God wants us to see. We can agree with God by choosing to believe. We can live by it. We can choose to rely on who God is and what God has said. That is faith. Hebrews reminds us of people who chose to believe that God exists and will reward those who sincerely seek Him. Through life and death, they made choices based on who God is and their hope of Heaven. They trusted God regardless of what they saw on earth. They were looking for something better than this earth and they found it. They saw God answer prayer and fulfill promises. They looked ahead to the ultimate fulfillment that will be found in God.

Ezekiel 22:23-31; 23

Through Ezekiel, God reveals that He has seen leaders destroy the lives of people for their own financial gain. God wants spiritual leaders who will serve His people with integrity. This must include a faithful commitment to rebuild the principles of healthy right-standing relationships with God and others. God wants spiritual leaders who will pray for people in intercession. God calls for such people to watch over their land. God reveals a surprising similarity between Samaria and Jerusalem in their spiritual promiscuity. They valued themselves, their relationships, and things more than they valued God. Suffering follows the rejection of God. We are designed for a love relationship with God that will bring ultimate fulfillment.





November 11 Bible reading

11 11 2022

November 11  Psalm 123  Hebrews 10:19-39  Ezekiel 20:45-49; 21; 22:1-22

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?

November 11  Psalm 123  Hebrews 10:19-39  Ezekiel 20:45-49; 21; 22:1-22

Psalm 123

Thank you, God, for the gift of life! We make a fresh commitment to live for You. We will focus on You. We will listen to You. May God in Heaven be praised. We choose to exalt the living God. We watch attentively for what God may do next.  We ask God for His faithful love and mercy. We choose to look to God as our source. We choose to focus on God.

Hebrews 10:19-39

Jesus Christ our Savior has made a way for our guilt to be removed and our relationship with God restored. We had wronged God. We broke up the relationship. Jesus makes it possible for us to return. By accepting Jesus, we can be in the presence of God, sitting in the same room with the all-powerful God, in peaceful relationship. When Jesus became our Way, the great curtain keeping people out of God’s presence in the Temple’s most holy place was torn. This is symbolic of the freedom we now have. Let’s hold fast to it, encouraging each other, gathering regularly, and growing in faithfulness and a expectant confident hope of the coming reward. We should encourage each other to walk in unwavering faith here and now. We should remind each other of our first days discovering the love of Jesus. We should look forward to the ultimate peace and victory Jesus will bring. Let us walk with patient endurance as we follow God’s will.

Ezekiel 20:45-49; 21; 22:1-22

God will yet reveal Himself to everyone. Through Ezekiel, God communicates a broken heart at the need to punish people who refuse to repent. God predicted this in proof of His transcendent power. God details the sins He has observed in Jerusalem for which they have not repented. God will not stand by silent over evil. Jerusalem had been designed for peaceful life and joyful celebrations. They had turned it into a city of murder. The city was full of confusion. They worshipped other things. There was injustice, corruption, abuse, sexual sin of all kinds, and great suffering in a “me-first” world. God wanted people who rejected Him to know what they would be punished for. We must repent and turn to our Savior Jesus.