April 11 Bible reading

11 04 2021

April 11  Psalm 44:1-12  Luke 13:31-35; 14:1-14  Deuteronomy 15; 16:1-20

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?

April 11  Psalm 44:1-12  Luke 13:31-35; 14:1-14  Deuteronomy 15; 16:1-20

Psalm 44:1-12

This song expresses a reliance on God. They sing gratitude to God before turning to their call for God’s rescue. Healthy perspective can come from reflecting on your life and recognizing where God was providing for you. Out of this, you may find daily gratitude that is refreshing. Making requests of God, in the context of gratitude for what has already been provided, shows wisdom and brings peace.

Luke 13:31-35; 14:1-14

Before His birth, Jesus had been observing God’s relationship with His people. Jesus watched as God provided everything needed to establish the city of Jerusalem. Here now, in Luke 13, we read the words of Jesus as He grieves the way that the people of Jerusalem rejected Him. Jesus wanted them to enter a relationship with God, through Him. He grieved their rejection. He predicted His eventual triumphant return. Again Jesus is healing people on the Sabbath, and showing that helping others supersedes a legalistic approach to it. Jesus teaches us to serve people in general and serve the poor in particular, as a path into the humility that is valued by God. What is Jesus like? We should be considering this.

Deuteronomy 15; 16:1-20

The Israelites were taught to forgive debts every 7 years. Courageous Generosity, good stewardship, and forgiveness were supposed to be marks of one who worshipped Yahweh. Passover was supposed to be celebrated in memory of how God had protected them by His redemption. The principles should be informing our relationship with God today.





April 10 Bible reading

10 04 2021

April 10  Proverbs 9:1-12  Luke 13:1-30  Deuteronomy 13; 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?

April 10  Proverbs 9:1-12  Luke 13:1-30  Deuteronomy 13; 14

Proverbs 9:1-12

Living in a constant awareness of God, and worship of Him in humble respect, this is where true wisdom starts. We’re invited to search out wisdom. It should be a personal pursuit. Companions and guides can be helpful. Verse 12 gives a sense of benefits and consequences for how we relate to this truth. The people in your life will benefit if you pursue wisdom. How do I respond to teaching, instruction, and correction? (the God-sourced kind) My response to these serves as an indication of whether or not I am walking in wisdom.

Luke 13:1-30

Jesus responds to events current at their time, including the tragic death of many people. Jesus asks if some people die because they are more sinful than others. “No,” Jesus says. Then Jesus shifts the focus to our personal decision to turn away from our repeated selfish mistakes and turn toward wholehearted devotion to God. Then He tells a story about God being patient, to a point. Jesus describes the Kingdom of God as supernatural and where some people who seem insignificant here on earth will be of great value there. We would be wise to pursue wisdom about God’s value system.

Deuteronomy 13; 14

The Israelites are called to love God with all they’ve got, heart and soul, serving God above all, obeying God, listening to His voice, and clinging to Him. They were called to a lifestyle that would show their dedication to God. They were taught to bring to God ten percent of what they produced. This generosity was met with the blessing from God in their work. We are invited into this sort of wholehearted devotion to our Creator. If we pursue this relationship, we will benefit from it.





April 9 Bible reading

9 04 2021

April 9  Psalm 43  Luke 12:35-59  Deuteronomy 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?

April 9  Psalm 43  Luke 12:35-59  Deuteronomy 11; 12

Psalm 43

Today may bring me challenges, and yet I can turn to God as my source of joy. This includes pausing long enough to figure out what I’m feeling, and then choosing to focus on God, follow God, and worship God. This is consistent with what we read (and discussed) in Psalm 42. This includes looking to God for truth, as seen in Psalm 43:3. Living in a constant rush from one activity to the next does not allow for the spiritual activity mentioned in Psalm 43.  Unpacking your thoughts & feelings, and then turning to a personal interaction with God requires slowing down for quality time.

Luke 12:35-59

Jesus is alive. How I live matters. I can learn about what pleases God and then live accordingly. Jesus wants His followers to be prepared for His return. We are called to live in confident hope, expecting His return. Jesus prepares His followers for His second coming by talking about good stewardship and eternal perspective in personal relationships. We are invited to develop a value system that is informed by asking what will last forever. We should be careful to avoid misguided priorities. We should be aware that each person we see has an eternal soul.

Deuteronomy 11; 12

The Israelites are instructed to tell their children the stories of how God took care of them. They are given a clear idea of the blessings that will come if they obey God’s Word. I love 11:22, “Show love to your God by walking in His ways and holding tightly to Him.” The Israelites are called to repent from “doing as they please,” to worship God where and how He instructed them to. God cares about what we do, and why we do it. Let us love God with our best energy.





April 8 Bible reading

8 04 2021

April 8 Psalm 42:6-11 Luke 12:1-34 Deuteronomy 9; 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 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?

April 8 Psalm 42:6-11 Luke 12:1-34 Deuteronomy 9; 10

Psalm 42:6-11

It’s healthy to stop and ask yourself, “Why am I sad?” Expressing yourself to God is helpful in multiple ways. Reminding yourself of good things that God has done in the past is beneficial. Looking to God’s thoughts about what you’re experiencing exercises wisdom. At that moment, as you process, you can choose to look to God as the source of hope.

Luke 12:1-34

Jesus warns against hypocrisy. Jesus reveals that the way to Father God is through a relationship with Him. Jesus teaches that this personal relationship is more important than money or the things of this world. In Luke 12, we hear Jesus talking about our heart’s focus and our value system, using our anxiety level as a gauge of our trust in God. Jesus is calling us to freedom from worry, and to a life of peace! Jesus is calling us to trust Father God and live by a value system of prioritizing that which is eternal over the temporary. What do you value most? When you answer that question consider, will that last forever? Do we value most what will last forever? Our relationship with God will last forever. The people God has put in our lives will last forever.

Deuteronomy 9; 10

Moses reveals that God is providing for the Promised Land to fulfill His promise to Abraham, Isaac & Jacob and because of the wickedness of the people who were living there (not the goodness of the Israelites). They were called to a lifestyle of wholehearted devotion to God and His word.





April 7 Bible reading

7 04 2021

April 7 Psalm 42:1-6 Luke 11:33-54 Deuteronomy 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 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?

April 7 Psalm 42:1-6 Luke 11:33-54 Deuteronomy 6; 7; 8

Psalm 42:1-6

When I’m deeply discouraged I can stop and unpack why that is the case. As I process the discouragement, and then I can choose to turn to God for hope by speaking the truth and describing His goodness. This step by step processing is critical to our peace of mind throughout life. We should learn it like a priority life skill. We be healthier if we put this skill to use.

Luke 11:33-54

Jesus calls us to be careful about what we look at. Consider, “What am I looking to for hope? What am I looking to for guidance? What should I be looking at?” Then make a plan to do that today. Jesus describes giving to the poor as one way to care for our internal health. Have you considered that? Jesus condemned religious leaders who neglected the teaching of people (in how to access the Word of God for themselves) while putting legalistic expectations on them. Learning how to access truth, from the Word of God, may be more important than activities that you deem spiritual. Again, let’s consider this and make a plan for next steps in this direction.

Deuteronomy 6; 7; 8

Moses calls God’s people to a lifestyle of wholehearted devotion to God, for their benefit. They were to understand that being called out as a “holy” people, dedicated to God, is a privilege. These are truths, of the highest importance, about our relationship with God! When Jesus was asked about the most important truth of Scripture, this is what He pointed to. It’s worth our careful consideration and faithful response.





April 6 Bible reading

6 04 2021

April 6 Proverbs 8:32-36 Luke 11:5-32 Deuteronomy 4:15-49; 5

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?

April 6 Proverbs 8:32-36 Luke 11:5-32 Deuteronomy 4:15-49; 5

Proverbs 8:32-36

There’s a call for us to search out wisdom. When we find wisdom, we are receiving benefits from God. When we ignore this wisdom, we will find negative results. God is calling us to respond to His wisdom.

Luke 11:5-32

Jesus gives His friends a pattern for prayer and then tells them a story to help them understand the importance of being persistent in prayer. They are learning from Jesus the distinction between a personal relationship with God and a religious practice of legalism and superstition. They are learning how to interact with their Creator. They are learning the power of prayer. It is for their benefit. This produces healthy relationships, peace, and happiness. Jesus calls His followers to put His instructions into practice. We should look at God as a good Father. We should be persistent in prayer. We also read here that Jesus brought freedom to people who are harassed by evil spirits. Some people in the crowds that Jesus may have been empowered by the prince of demons. Jesus made it clear that He was given power by the One True Living God. Some were demanding further supernatural signs. Jesus was calling people to hear what God had said and respond. Jesus made it clear that His death, burial, and resurrection on the third day would be proof of His identity. Referring to Jonah being in the belly of a whale for three days, as a sign of God’s providence. Jesus preached the Good News of forgiveness and salvation, available as a free gift.

Deuteronomy 4:15-49; 5

In Deuteronomy, we see that there is only one true living God and that we should examine what it is that we worship with our heart and soul. This consideration is of the highest importance! Moses recounts the covenant agreement God made with His people including its terms and promises. In this context, God promises unfailing love for those who love and obey Him. Moses taught the people the instructions of their Creator. God created them by design because He loved them. God had proven His love for them over and over throughout their lives. God was responding to who they were and the choices they had made. God knew the condition of their hearts. God gave them Ten Commandments in the context of this personal relationship for their benefit. We must learn from this and grow in wisdom for sake of our own lives now. It will benefit the people in our lives.





April 5 Bible reading

5 04 2021

April 5 Psalm 41:7-13 Luke 10:25-42; 11:1-4 Deuteronomy 2:24-37; 3; 4:1-14

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?

April 5 Psalm 41:7-13 Luke 10:25-42; 11:1-4 Deuteronomy 2:24-37; 3; 4:1-14

Psalm 41:7-13

Personal betrayal can be part of life, and yet a personal relationship with God is possible through Jesus. From David, we can learn to talk honestly with God daily. We should be honest about how we may be hurt or angered by people. We should ask God for help, for healing, and for direction. Interacting with God about these issues can be helpful in a variety of ways.

Luke 10:25-42; 11:1-4

At this place and time, there were people who believed that if you followed certain rules you would go to Heaven, when you died, regardless of your relationship with God, regardless of the spiritual state of your heart. When tested with the question of what must be done to enter Heaven, this is how Jesus responds (in Luke 10:25-42). Love God with all you’ve got and love your neighbor in the same way that you take care of yourself. Jesus calls us to love God with whole-hearted devotion, knowing full well that we can be filled with His love as we do. From this place, we are now free, healed, full of life, and enabled to serve others from this place of love. Then Jesus explains this by telling a story, teaching us that our “neighbor” is whomever God has placed in our path that is in a state of need. We should find a need and meet it. Jesus helps Martha understand that personal relationship with Him is a priority over the activities of this world. Jesus gives His followers a “power tool” of a pattern for prayer. This Lord’s Prayer provides a helpful template for our daily conversation with God.

Deuteronomy 2:24-37; 3; 4:1-14

Moses reminds the people of the instructions God gave them. This included direction for life and difficult relationships. God did the “heavy lifting” in providing for them and yet invited them to be involved in this as well. God wanted them active, not passive. God wanted them focused on a personal relationship with Him, not distracted by temporary challenges. Moses reminded them of how God had done miracles to provide them with peace. Moses reminded them of the consequences of their past rebellion. Moses reminds them of God’s miraculous provision and the lessons learned from it. Moses urges them to follow God with faithful obedience. He reminds them of the amazing benefits of that lifestyle.





April 4 Bible reading

4 04 2021

April 4 Psalm 41:1-6 Luke 9:57-62; 10:1-24 Deuteronomy 1; 2:1-23

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?

April 4 Psalm 41:1-6 Luke 9:57-62; 10:1-24 Deuteronomy 1; 2:1-23

Psalm 41:1-6

What an amazing list of how God cares for those who are kind to the poor! We can learn more about God by listing the action words here that describe God’s approach to people in need. That list will help us better understand God. That list will also help us develop a God-honoring value system for our own lives. If everyone took action based on this, it would completely change our world for the better.

Luke 9:57-62; 10:1-24

In Martha, we see that “good” activities and responsibilities can become a distraction to the point of not actually following Jesus. Let us not become overwhelmed by good activities. Let us be sure to daily spend time with Jesus. We should pray, asking God to send people into this pursuit of leading others to Jesus. When Jesus sends the 72 disciples out to tell others about Him, the perspective He gives includes the idea that how people respond to them is not a condition that determines whether or not they had been obedient to Jesus’ call. Even if people reject your invitation to the love of Jesus, your life can still be a grace to them. Regardless of their response, you can enjoy peace in your identity and obedience to Jesus.

Deuteronomy 1; 2:1-23

40 years into a journey that could have only taken 11 days, Moses addresses the Israelites with everything that God had given him to say. “God has given you this Promised Land. Occupy.” Moses recounts the journey of the 40 years in general, and the many times that the people complained or disobeyed or did not trust God, and the times that God showed them mercy, in particular. We should learn more about God from this. We will benefit from taking time to truly consider: What is God like? What does this story reveal about God?





COVID pod

3 04 2021

How do we gather in-person as safely as possible?
In Baltimore City, our covid numbers and our vaccine numbers have gone way up. We want to be helpful.
As warmer weather approaches, many have heard of or thought about creating a “pandemic pod” with another person or family.
This can be a great way to be in community with our brothers and sisters safely. Our team offers helpful guidance and a video interview with families who have been doing this for a while. (This includes gathering for a watch party of our Sunday video services and sharing childcare).
Huge Thank You to our Dream Team of brilliant, faithful, humble, and compassionate people who are serving others.
You can see it at https://cityharborchurch.com/covid-info/





April 3 Bible reading

3 04 2021

April 3 Psalm 40:9-17 Luke 9:28-56 Numbers 35; 36

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?

April 3 Psalm 40:9-17 Luke 9:28-56 Numbers 35; 36

Psalm 40:9-17

David sings his commitment to publicly thank God by describing the good things God has done. David asks God for His faithful love and forgiveness. David’s prayer is that those who search for God would find joy and salvation in God.

Luke 9:28-56

Jesus is preparing for His death. He took Peter, John, and James to a mountain spot for prayer. There Jesus receives a visit from Elijah and Moses. They talked about the coming events. Peter, John, and James wake up from a nap to see Jesus in this conversation. His appearance has changed. Jesus is showing the glory of God. They hear Father God speak about His favor for Jesus. We see their personal relationship in a spiritual context. In Luke 9:37-43, the power of God is seen in Jesus’ authority over demons. Again Jesus prepares His followers for His coming death. Jesus describes servant leadership as a value of the Kingdom of God. Therefore, humility should be what we expect from anyone who identifies as a Christian.

Numbers 35; 36

In Numbers, we read that God instructed Moses to designate “cities of refuge” where someone could find protection from revenge if they had killed someone else accidentally. God says that “murder pollutes the land” and must be punished. God set out the protection of the real estate rights of women who had been orphaned. This included future protection of their assets.