July 28 Bible reading

28 07 2020

July 28 Psalm 89:19-29 Romans 11:11-32 1 Chronicles 4:9-43; 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 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?

 

July 28 Psalm 89:19-29 Romans 11:11-32 1 Chronicles 4:9-43; 5

Psalm 89:19-29

God expressed love through His plan and promises for David. This benefitted David personally as well as the people at large. It is another point of evidence of the faithful character of God. David was a young man with humility and a passionate heart for God. When God selected David to serve the people as their leader, God committed to loving David and showing him kindness. God also promised to bless his descendants.

Romans 11:11-32

God has always been intentional about offering a personal relationship with Him. God is faithful in love. God does allow the painful results of rejecting His love, in the hope that we would turn to Him. Paul explains that the Jews had not fallen past the point of recovery, even after hundreds of years of rebellion. God had not given up on His people. God made salvation available to the rest of the world. Salvation is available when we trust in Jesus Christ. God is both merciful, kind, and severe in truth, punishing the guilty. If we stop trusting in His mercy through Jesus Christ, we will be subject to punishment. God will not withdraw the gifts He has given or His call to repentance and restoration. In our current human state, we do not completely understand God’s thoughts. We should be careful to not give God advice about what He should do. We cannot “out-give” God, for God’s grace to us has already been lavished on us beyond our ability to repay it.

1 Chronicles 4:9-43; 5

Pain in our life does not indicate that we will always live with that same pain. Jabez asked God for such a change. Jabez also asked God for blessing and God answered his prayer. Each life carries a lesson that we can learn from. Repeatedly we read of people who trusted God and cried out to the one true God who answered their prayers. Jabez was known for God answering his bold request for a blessing. Sexual sin vacated the birthright of Rueben and his descendants.





July 27 Bible reading

27 07 2020

July 27 Proverbs 18:7-16 Romans 10:5-21; 11:1-10 1 Chronicles 2:18-55; 3; 4:1-8

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?

 

July 27 Proverbs 18:7-16 Romans 10:5-21; 11:1-10 1 Chronicles 2:18-55; 3; 4:1-8

Proverbs 18:7-16

The words of foolish people will trap them in results they would rather avoid. Humble people will receive honor. Smart people are always ready to learn. They listen. They are careful in their choice of words. They work hard. They are generous. These should be characteristics of people who are looking to God as their strength.

Romans 10:5-21; 11:1-10

New spiritual life comes from God, through Jesus Christ. It brings forgiveness and a state of being in a right-standing relationship with God. We can receive this by choosing faith in Jesus Christ as our Savior. Anyone who will believe in their heart and confess with their mouth that the resurrected Jesus is our Savior Lord will be saved from punishment and given eternal life. In salvation, God’s grace for us is free and undeserved. Out of gratitude, and with a sense of purpose, we should share this new life with others. Sadly, not everyone will receive this free gift by faith, but some will reject it.

1 Chronicles 2:18-55; 3; 4:1-8

God’s story cannot be told without an accurate description of His love for every human life. We are reminded of many stories in genealogies. In David, we see God’s grace, mercy, redemption, and restoration after serious mistakes of adultery and murder. We can respond to God in faith. God loves us.





July 26 Bible reading

26 07 2020

July 26 Psalm 89:14-18 Romans 9:22-33; 10:1-4 1 Chronicles 1; 2:1-17

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?

 

July 26 Psalm 89:14-18 Romans 9:22-33; 10:1-4 1 Chronicles 1; 2:1-17

Psalm 89:14-18

God’s reign is founded in truth, justice, and “right-standing” relationships (righteousness). It is not about corruption, fickle passions, and lies (like so many human empires). Life-changing healthy relationships with God and others are a result of “righteousness”. When you are in a relationship with God you will see justice, truth, and unfailing love. Being aware of God’s presence brings happiness. Let’s make sure that we are spreading the “wonderful reputation” of our God: “Our God is good!”

Romans 9:22-33; 10:1-4

Jesus fulfilled the purpose of the law and as a result, all who believe in Him are brought into a “right-standing” relationship with God. For this reason, our God has been patient in waiting on humans to respond to His plan of “love available”. Through the prophets, God had predicted His invitation to the Gentiles. God has also predicted His giving the Israelites the opportunity to receive the Messiah, by faith. Some chose to relate to God by trying to keep the law and yet without faith. They could not seem to choose to trust God. Paul shares the grieving of the Holy Spirit over this loss.

1 Chronicles 1; 2:1-17

God cares about every human life. We see this in genealogies. Setting the stage for the recording of the history of Israel, we read the redemptive narrative of God in the names listed. Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Boaz & Ruth, and David each responded to God with faith. We must learn from this. We must not relate to God through the quality of our actions, but instead, on the basis of His grace extended to us through our faith in Jesus.





July 25 Bible reading

25 07 2020

July 25 Psalm 89:9-13 Romans 9:1-21 Hosea 11:12; 12; 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 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?

 

July 25 Psalm 89:9-13 Romans 9:1-21 Hosea 11:12; 12; 13; 14

Psalm 89:9-13

Our God created everything we see. God is sovereign over forces that are beyond our control. We should carefully consider the truth of God’s transcendent power. Our reasonable response is to relate to God as the most powerful. Let us worship our God.

Romans 9:1-21

God, the One True Source of Life, makes decisions. We should carefully avoid a relationship with God of superstition, trying to force our genie out of the bottle. We believe that God our Creator has a right to choose how He designs us and to whom He will show mercy. Paul laments the decision that many Jews had already made to reject Jesus as their Messiah, and God’s design for their lives. We should relate to God as our Creator whose love and power are greater than anything we might see among humans. I can believe what science observes and the Creator who gave us the ability to observe. My doubt leads me to questions that strengthen my faith. Experiencing love by faith and reason working together.

Hosea 11:12; 12; 13; 14

At this point in history, the pain has come to the people of Israel as a result of their wickedness of heart. They piled up lies and violence. God called them to come back to Him, to depend on Him, and act with love and justice. God had proven they could find salvation in no one other than Him. God was promising limitless love and restoration for those who would “turn around” and love God first and foremost.





July 24 Bible reading

24 07 2020

July 24 Psalm 89:1-8 Romans 8:18-39 Hosea 10; 11:1-11

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

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

• What’s the plain simple truth of the verses you read?

• Based on today’s reading, what is one thing God is saying to you?

• What should you do about that truth?

 

July 24 Psalm 89:1-8 Romans 8:18-39 Hosea 10; 11:1-11

Psalm 89:1-8

Let’s sing about the unfailing love of God. We must consider that our God is most powerful and faithful in love for us. Sing it out. God stays true to the promise He has made. It is a promise of love. It is a promise of favor for those who love Him. That! That is what is happening in this Psalm.

Romans 8:18-39

Here and now we will experience some suffering, that is temporary, and not truly comparable to the peace and joy we will now in Heaven as Jesus followers. In this, we may identify with what Jesus experienced. God the Holy Spirit can help us pray when we are not exactly sure what we should say. In this way, we agree with the Spirit of God and therefore the will of God. Then the Holy Spirit helps us step beyond our personal limits. This is possible because God chose us to become like Jesus Christ. As we love God and respond to His purpose, He will work everything out for our good. There is no challenge we face that can separate us from the love of Jesus for us. There will always be victory in Jesus.

Hosea 10; 11:1-11

God watched as His people used the provision, He gave them, to break their commitment to Him and serve other gods instead. The people of Israel did not respond to prosperity with gratitude and faithful devotion to God. Instead, they worshipped created things. For generations, they moved away from God. This was painful to God who loved them deeply. God chose to show them mercy out of compassion. He called them back.





July 23 Bible reading

23 07 2020

July 23 Proverbs 17:25-28; 18:1-6 Romans 8:1-17 Hosea 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 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?

 

July 23 Proverbs 17:25-28; 18:1-6 Romans 8:1-17 Hosea 8; 9

Proverbs 17:25-28; 18:1-6

Self-control with what you say is a significant challenge that everyone faces. An even-tempered person who chooses their words carefully is putting wisdom to work every day. God cares about our spiritual heart health. We tend to speak from our current state of spiritual heart health. God wants us to be careful with what we say. God wants us to speak life. We should speak with love and respect. It is helpful to consider what you should say to the people in your life. Spend some private time to prayerfully think about it.

Romans 8:1-17

When I have found salvation in Jesus Christ, I am not under condemnation. When I follow Jesus Christ, with wholehearted devotion, I am constantly looking for His direction. In this way, I don’t live in the way that I used to. Now there is freedom for me. Please join me on this journey. You can experience this life of freedom. We can choose to focus our thoughts on what God is happy about. Life-changing peace will result from this decision. God the Holy Spirit will then give us the strength to choose a God-honoring lifestyle. In this personal relationship with God, we are adopted as His children, sharing an inheritance with Jesus. This includes shared suffering and glory. Whatever you are following…that is what you are giving control to. Are you following unreliable thoughts, feelings, and cravings? Are you following Jesus?

Hosea 8; 9

The people of Israel had refused to listen to what God had to say for generations. They had broken the commitment they made to God. They had rebelled. They had given their love and worship to gods who did not love them. God held His people accountable for their decisions. We must learn from these historical accounts and from the lives of real people who were like us. Will we listen to God? Will we love God?





July 22 Bible reading

22 07 2020

July 22 Psalms 88:9-18 Romans 7:7-25 Hosea 6; 7

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?

 

July 22 Psalms 88:9-18 Romans 7:7-25 Hosea 6; 7

Psalms 88:9-18

Oh God! Why is it that I cannot see You, feel You?! Where is Your help?!? “I’m no good to You dead!” I can’t feel Your comfort. This lament is in fact a cry for help, not giving up, and yet on the worst day of life, it is a cry for God’s rescue. I can sing, “Even when I don’t see Your help, God I cry out to You!” Singing the blues, praying your lament, describing to God what you are suffering is a valuable part of a healthy relationship with God. We should never try to stop someone else from doing so. Honesty about pain is healthy. It’s God’s design. God has not asked us to pretend that suffering doesn’t exist. This candid way of talking with God will help us have a life-giving relationship with God.

Romans 7:7-25

As we learn about God’s plan for a healthy life, our sinful human nature pulls our attention to cravings that move us away from Jesus-following desires. Internal conflict rages. The only effective peace treaty is found in Jesus. Everyone who calls themselves a Christian should read through Romans, think deeply about it, and pray through it. Have I truly considered why I may experience desires that are contrary to following Jesus? You cannot develop a strong faith without considering these issues. When your spiritual eyes are open to the truth of spiritual freedom found in Jesus it can be like fireworks of revelation. It is life-altering. Peace is possible. Freedom is possible.

Hosea 6; 7

Through the prophet Hosea, God calls His people to turn from their selfish sin, back to a healthy relationship with Him. God says that He wants to show them love and that He wants them to know Him. God wants His people to learn about Him, to experience a relationship with Him. This is not possible when people are not loving God, from their hearts. When we are dishonest and insincere with God, there is pain coming. When we turn to God, with love and out of wholehearted devotion, restoration is coming.





July 21 Bible reading

21 07 2020

July 21 Psalms 88:1-9 Romans 6:15-23; 7:1-6 Hosea 3; 4; 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 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?

 

July 21 Psalms 88:1-9 Romans 6:15-23; 7:1-6 Hosea 3; 4; 5

Psalms 88:1-9

This is a song of great lament. Describing what is wrong, the singer cries out of exhaustion and loneliness. “Troubled, near death, forgotten and trapped” any singer can communicate with our God. In this song, God is described as a Merciful Savior. This lament is in fact a cry for help, not giving up, and yet on the worst day of life, it is a cry for God’s rescue. I can sing, “Even when I don’t see Your help, God I cry out to You!” When our life is full of troubles, we feel like there is no way out, we can sing Psalm 88 and know that God hears us. It is possible that Jesus did so on the night before His death. If we are abandoned or betrayed personally, we can sing this song. We know that Jesus experienced similar things.

Romans 6:15-23; 7:1-6

We are giving control over to whatever it is that we choose to follow. It is possible that you have learned over time, that your own cravings, thoughts, and feelings are not always reliable for life-altering decisions. Spiritual freedom can be found in Jesus! As our Good Shepherd, Jesus is worthy of our trust. When we choose to receive Jesus as Savior, God’s grace brings us new life. We are free from any idea that our actions are the determining factor for our salvation. Our faith in the action of Jesus is a determining factor. We are now free from the compulsion to make mistakes. We have a choice. Now we can live wholeheartedly, in a healthy relationship with God and others. We do not have to live like a bully who cares about himself more than anyone else. Selfishness breaks relationships. As Jesus followers, we are free to live by the leading of the Holy Spirit. The result is good, patient, kind, love.

Hosea 3; 4; 5

God instructed Hosea to restore his wife Gomer and love her after she had returned to prostitution. This is meant to be an example of how God had already loved His own people despite their unfaithfulness. Violence had raged in their streets, including murder. God speaks condemnation on the priests who were not in a personal relationship with God. The priests who took joy in the sin of the Israelites would not escape the judgment of God. They were not teaching the people how to be in relationship with God. The lack of devotion to God is listed as a cause for the bloodshed in their streets. God calls out the priests as responsible for the lack of spiritual understanding in the people. The living God is aware of our motives. He cares about the state of our hearts and what we choose to worship.





July 20 Bible reading

20 07 2020

July 20 Psalm 87 Romans 6:1-14 Hosea 1; 2

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?

 

July 20 Psalm 87 Romans 6:1-14 Hosea 1; 2

Psalm 87

From the beginning, our God has made a way to live among humanity, available in the relationship. God had designed a capital city for the Israelites around a place of worship, where they could be aware of His presence and engage in a relationship with Him. This is a treasured place in the heart of God. The sacrifice for atonement, the worship, and the other activities all served the purpose of God living among them. God makes a way for a relationship with us to be possible. In Jerusalem, they were singing about God’s desire that people from every ethnicity, every nation, would find their citizenship (their very source of life) in this place and in this relationship with God. We see this faith as inclusive.

Romans 6:1-14

When we receive the grace found in Jesus, the power that sin had over us is broken. Now we are able to live in a new way. In the same way that death has no power over Jesus, our sin nature now has no power over us. You should become aware of this truth and choose to live in this way. You now have freedom through God’s grace. In water baptism, we identify with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It’s a public confession of our faith in Jesus, the fact that we now live for Jesus and that our relationship with sin is dead. Now we may live a new life. It’s a beautiful moment for a spiritual family to come together and support the person who is choosing to follow Jesus. We make a commitment to help each other on this journey.

Hosea 1; 2

God directs Hosea to marry someone who had been working as a prostitute, to illustrate how the Israelites had been unfaithful to God. As Hosea and Gomer raise children. God gives the children names that communicate the results of this generations’ deep spiritual immorality. Through Hosea God predicts a future restoration of His people and His love for them. God predicts a future relationship with the Israelites when they would look to God as a loving husband more than a master. In this, we see God’s desire for a loving personal relationship with us. God loves faithfully. God provides. God brings identity and purpose in a relationship with Him. God restores after our turning from our mistakes.

 





July 19 Bible reading

19 07 2020

July 19 Proverbs 17:15-24 Romans 5:12-21 Amos 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 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?

 

July 19 Proverbs 17:15-24 Romans 5:12-21 Amos 8; 9

Proverbs 17:15-24

God values justice. And injustice is detestable to God. We should be aware of this and work toward justice. The decisions and character of a son or daughter can bring joy or pain to their parents. Focus on the positive, and smile at the good stuff. Do this every day and it will be better for you than taking vitamins. In Proverbs, we clearly see the value of learning.

Romans 5:12-21

Disorder, mistakes, selfishness, and their consequences entered our world through our ancestors. But even more powerful is the grace and forgiveness coming to us through Jesus. This love of God is a gift, removing our guilt and restoring our relationship with God. In this way, new life is available to everyone. Imagine just how different your life would be if only five people, that you see every day, were transformed with this kind of love. Wow! Your life would be better. Maybe we should spend this week praying for five specific people in our lives to receive the love of Jesus.

Amos 8; 9

Through the prophet Amos, God makes His plan clear. The years of rebellion and selfish pride will be punished. God will certainly judge those who reject His guidance. God will condemn the injustice of the poor. God promised judgment on the unrepentant and restoration for the repentant. Our God is repeatedly seen as a God of justice and a God of mercy. We should learn from this. Life is short. Every person should hear the call to a loving God. Every person should hear the call away from selfishness.