Monday, November 20, 2017

Monday, November 20th: Ezekiel 14-15; James 2 ~ Conrad

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is: Ezekiel 14-15; James 2

 "You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did.  And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend.  You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone."  James 2:22-24

In today's reading, James stresses the importance of our faith and our actions working together.  If we have an active faith, it should be expressed in Christian living.  In other words, a true disciple of Christ will not live in hypocrisy.  If our faith is not expressed in Christian actions, it is useless and dead.  I also appreciated how this passage tied in with the OT reading in Ezekiel 15 (Jerusalem as a useless vine).     

My next point is strictly my own thought, but here is a reason why I believe that our faith and our actions need to go hand in hand........

The Lord looks at our heart, which no one else is able to see or observe.  People on the other hand, can only hear what we say and observe us on the outside along with our actions.  I work at a store where the owner does not advertise.  So the only "advertising" we have is word of mouth from previous customers.  It will either be good or bad.......that just depends on how well the store treats its customers.  The same goes for us a Christians.  How are we advertising our faith? 

The faith Abraham had in God was equally matched with his actions, and is an example for us all.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Ezekiel 16-17; James 3

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Sunday, November 19: Ezekiel 11-13; James 1 ~ Emma

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Ezekiel 11-13; James 1

“Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.” - James‬ ‭1:17

How comforting it is to know that God never changes. He remains the same through our tough times, happy times, and all of time. It is so comforting to know that the God who holds the universe in His hands never changes. He is always good, always loving, and always knows what is best for us How great it is to serve Him.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageEzekiel 14-15; James 2

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Saturday, November 18th: Ezekiel 8-10; Hebrews 13 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Ezekiel 8-10; Hebrews 13

Hebrews13:2 Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.
Wouldn't that be cool?!  To show hospitality to an angel?!  Well, if you've ever taken the time out of your day to help out a stranger, you just may have without even knowing it!  What a cool thought!

Obviously it shouldn't take the idea of angels to inspire us to show hospitality.  But it's kind of a cool reminder.  And Jesus made it clear that when we serve those who are in need, we are serving Him - which is even cooler than serving angels!

So serve - you never know who you're serving, but at the same time you always know Who you are serving!

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageEzekiel 11-13; James 1

Friday, November 17, 2017

Friday, November 17th: Ezekiel 5-7; Hebrews 12 ~ Conrad

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is: Ezekiel 5-7; Hebrews 12

 "fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."
Hebrews 12:2 

I have read this passage many times, but today this verse stood out to me.  Today I realized that despite the fact that dying on a cross was a shameful death, Jesus focused on the end result. 

Jesus was not troubled by what His opponents thought of Him.  Religious leaders tried to damage His reputation.  He was laughed at and ridiculed.  A crown of thorns was forced onto His head.  A purple robe was put on Him to ridicule Him despite the fact that He was a king.

In spite of all this, did Jesus try to defend His reputation?  No.  The Scripture tells us that He "scorned its shame".  It was far more important that He glorified his Father, and remain focused on doing his Father's will than trying to save face or even to simply execute His own desire of not having to go through with the crucifixion.

This gives me hope and strength that if Jesus would endure the cross with all its pain and shame knowing that afterwards He would be seated beside his Father in Heaven, then I too should focus more on my Heavenly Father and less on my sinful desires and temptations.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Ezekiel 8-10; Hebrews 13

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Thursday, November 16th: Ezekiel 3-4; Hebrews 11:20-40 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is  Ezekiel 3-4; Hebrews 11:20-40

Hebrews 11:39-40 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.
We love it when God answers prayer (with a "yes!") and when we receive what's been promised.  It's easy to be faithful then.

But these faith "hall of fame-ers" were commended for their faith- and they never received what had been promised.  They NEVER received it, and were faithful anyway. 

It reminds me of the Mercy Me song....

I know You're able, and I know You can
save through the fire with Your mighty hand
But even if You don't
my hope is You alone

They say it only takes a little faith
to move a mountain
Well, good thing,
a little faith is all I have right now.
But God when You choose
to leave mountains unmoveable
oh give me the strength to be able to sing
it is well with my soul

May I have that kind of faith!

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageEzekiel 5-7; Hebrews 12

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Wednesday, November 15th: Ezekiel 1-2; Hebrews 11:1-19 ~ Emma

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Ezekiel 1-2; Hebrews 11:1-19

“Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see.” - Hebrews‬ ‭11:1‬

No matter what you believe in, it requires faith of the unseen/unknown. And we, as Christians, need to grow our faith stronger and stronger so that we always remain hopeful, and loving towards the Lord. If we don’t have faith, we have nothing.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageEzekiel 3-4; Hebrews 11:20-40

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Tuesday, November 14th: Lamentations 3-5; Hebrews 10:19-39 ~ Jody

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is: Lamentations 3-5; Hebrews 10:19-39

The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!” Lamentations 3:22-24

What encouraging verses. He is all and everything we can place our hope in. And it's confirmed again in our New Testament reading.

Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. Hebrews 10:23

I could have actually listed the whole Hebrews reading here as passages that resonated with me today. That we continue to live in His hope, repenting and turning back to Him so we can fully receive His goodness and nearness.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageEzekiel 1-2; Hebrews 11:1-19

Monday, November 13, 2017

Monday, November 13th: Lamentations 1-2; Hebrews 10:1-18 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is  Lamentations 1-2; Hebrews 10:1-18

Hebrews 10:14  14 For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.

The Israelite priests made sacrifices day after day and it was never enough, and it never actually brought forgiveness of sins - though it did point to Jesus, the ultimate sacrifice whose death does bring forgiveness of sins. Through this one sacrifice Jesus has made us righteous in God’s eyes, and continues His perfecting work in our lives.   This must have been so kind baffling to the Jews at the time, who had witnessed those sacrifices over and over - and Jesus made them obsolete! Amazing!

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageLamentations 3-5Hebrews 10:19-39

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Sunday, November 12th: Jeremiah 51-52; Hebrews 9 ~ Emma

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Jeremiah 51-52; Hebrews 9

“So also Christ died once for all time, as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people. He will come again, not to deal with our sins, but to bring salvation to all who are eagerly waiting for Him.”  - Hebrews 9:28

I am so thankful that I do not have to follow all those many many rules and regulations that the Jews had to follow in the Old Testamnent. Even more than that though, I am so so thankful that Jesus became the ultimate sacrifice so that one day I can be with Him in Heaven. I am so looking forward to the day He will come back to get His people, and we will all be with Him forever.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageLamentations 1-2; Hebrews 10:1-18

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Saturday, November 11th: Jeremiah 50; Hebrews 8 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Jeremiah 50; Hebrews 8

Hebrews 8:12 For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”
I'm not sure what's more amazing - that God is willing to forgive our wickedness when we repent and believe in His name, or that He choose to not remember those sins.

The very sins that caused the death of His beloved and only Son.

Unlike us, God does not hold a grudge.
Unlike us, God does not bludgeon us over the head with sins from the past.
Unlike us, God does not bring up past sins when we do the same thing... again.

He forgives.  And He chooses to not remember them.


Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageJeremiah 51-52; Hebrews 9