Thursday, March 30, 2017

Thursday, March 30th: Judges 9-10; Luke 5:17-39 ~ Deena

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Judges 9-10; Luke 5:17-39

Luke 5:17-26 tells how Jesus healed the body and the soul of a paralyzed man. Following that miraculous event, Levi answered Jesus’ call to follow Him and then invited his fellow tax collectors and friends to a banquet in honor of the Lord (vv.27-29). When some people accused Jesus of associating with undesirables (v.30), He reminded them that healthy people don’t need a doctor—adding, “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance” (v.32).
To everyone who feels like a “throwaway” headed for the landfill of life, Jesus opens His arms of love and offers a fresh beginning. That’s why He came! (Our Daily Bread, Sept, 2014)

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage:  Judges 11-12; Luke 6:1-26

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Wednesday, March 29th: Judges 7-8, Luke 5:1-16 ~ Nathan

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is: Judges 7-8; Luke 5:1-16

Today's Old Testament story is a familiar one, the story of Gideon and how he defeated the Midianites.

This story is about how God reduced Gideon's army to pretty much nothing, and still defeated a foe that was thought to be unbeatable. This is another of many miracles that God did for the Israelites.

Judges 8:23
But Gideon told them, “I will not rule over you, nor will my son rule over you. The Lord will rule over you.”

Gideon was the piece God used in this story, he could have taken credit and received praise, but was wise to know and say that it was God who did everything.

Do I give credit where credit is due, to God? Or do I just take compliments myself and not say a word about the One who deserves credit for any success I may have?

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Judges 9-10; Luke 5:17-39

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Tuesday, March 29th: Judges 4-6; Luke 4:31-44 ~ Jody

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is: Judges 4-6, Luke 4:31-44

“Please, Lord, how can I save Israel? Behold, my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father's house.” 16 And the Lord said to him, “But I will be with you, and you shall strike the Midianites as one man.” 17 And he said to him, “If now I have found favor in your eyes, then show me a sign that it is you who speak with me. 18 Please do not depart from here until I come to you and bring out my present and set it before you.” And he said, “I will stay till you return.” Judges 6:15-18

Gideon had it right. We need to humble ourselves before God and realize that we are nothing without Him. Yet another reminder that God looks for our hearts to be willing and for ears to hear. Gideon's pursuit of God to give him signs was not a lack of faith, but a desire for confirmation that he was indeed hearing God's direction correctly. He is going back to what the Israelites had forgotten - asking God for direction and then heeding it!

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageJudges 7-8; Luke 5:1-16

Monday, March 27, 2017

Monday, March 28th: Judges 1-3; Luke 4:1-30 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Judges 1-3; Luke 4:1-30

It's so sad how quickly the Israelites forgot about God.  They didn't drive out the Canaanites completely, as God had commanded.  Instead, they lived among them, intermarried with them, and were ultimately led astray by them - exactly what God had warned them against. Yet, over and over again, He gave them another chance, He raised up a judge to rescue them, He extended grace.

Eventually, the Israelites would become so disobedient that God would reject them as His people, and His grace would be extended to the Gentiles.  This is what our NT passage points to....
25 But in truth, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heavens were shut up three years and six months, and a great famine came over all the land, 26 and Elijah was sent to none of them but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. 27 And there were many lepers[a] in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.” 28 When they heard these things, all in the synagogue were filled with wrath.

We, Gentile Christians, were not a part of Israel, God's covenant people.  And our salvation came about, in part, because His people rejected God's grace.  This must make us exceedingly humble.  God's grace reaches beyond Abraham's children, it reaches people in the midst of the worst of sins, it resurrects those who are spiritually dead. It is amazing grace indeed!

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage:  Judges 4-6; Luke 4:31-44

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Sunday, March 26th: Joshua 22-24; Luke 3 ~ Emma

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Joshua 22-24; Luke 3

"Deep in your hearts you know that every promise of the LORD your God had come true. Not a single one has failed!" - Joshua 23:14

I often have to remind myself of all the promises that God has kept. "I will never leave you", "I love you", "I have a plan for you". These are all true and they never stop being true. Even when we forget about them or when we doubt, they are still true, and God is still good. 

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageJudges 1-3; Luke 4:1-30

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Saturday, March 25th: Joshua 19-21; Luke 2:25-52 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Joshua 19-21; Luke 2:25-52

Joshua 21:45 Not one word of all the good promises that the Lord had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass.

Simply put - God keeps His promises.  Always.

Unfortunately, He's also the only One that can be counted on to always keep all of His promises.  We don't.  We should, and we try, but inevitably we fail someone - sometimes it's within our control, and sometimes it's not in our control - but the result is the same nonetheless.

We cannot put our trust 100% in anyone other than God.  Yes, your spouse should be faithful. Yes, your best friend should be trustworthy.  Yes, your sister and your brother should keep their word.  But the reality is, that we are all human, and we will all fail those we love at some point.

Obviously, this is not an excuse for us not to attempt to be faithful!  In fact, it's a good reminder to us to be more purposeful about keeping our promises to our loved ones.

But above all, it's a reassurance that though others may fail you, God never will.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage:  Joshua 22-24; Luke 3

Friday, March 24, 2017

Friday, March 24th: Joshua 16-18; Luke 2:1-24 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Joshua 16-18; Luke 2:1-24

For many years Luke 2:1-20 was a passage that the Gr 5/6's from our church memorized and recited at the Sunday School Christmas program.  And, of course, it's one that long-time believers have heard many, many times during the Christmas season.

The tendency, when we read/hear the same passage so many times, can be to become a bit immune to it, and for it to lose it's effect.  It can be refreshing to be purposeful about trying to read it as though hearing about it for the very first time.

What an amazing event this was!  I can only imagine how the shepherds must have felt when the angels appeared and spoke to them, sharing the good news and telling them how to find baby Jesus. Fearful, awe-filled, worshipful, incredulous, the list could go on and on!

May we never lose the wonder of the gospel message!

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageJoshua 19-21; Luke 2:25-52

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Thursday, March 23rd: Joshua 13-15; Luke 1:57-80 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Joshua 13-15; Luke 1:57-80

I love all of Zechariah's prophecy, but this section specifically caught my attention....
And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;
    for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
77 to give knowledge of salvation to his people
    in the forgiveness of their sins,
78 because of the tender mercy of our God,
    whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high
79 to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
    to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

What an amazing priviledge it was for John to prepare the way for the Messiah, and for Zechariah and Elizabeth to raise their son for that purpose.

We are all called to be John the Baptist! We are all called to preach the gospel, to prepare the way for people to meet Jesus, to spread the news of His coming.  John didn't live to see Jesus' death or resurrection, but he is with Him right now in paradise, rejoicing in His Saviour.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage:  Joshua 16-18; Luke 2:1-24

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Wednesday, March 22nd: Joshua 10 - 12, Luke 1:39-56 ~ Nathan

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is: Joshua 10-12, Luke 1:39-56

It's interesting all the miracles that God did for the Israelites, as He helped them establish a homeland.

Joshua 10:11
As they fled before Israel on the road down from Beth Horon to Azekah, the Lord hurled large hailstones down on them, and more of them died from the hail than were killed by the swords of the Israelites.

Unreal storm of stones that must have been, there would have been no escape.

Joshua 10:13
So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, till the nation avenged itself on its enemies, as it is written in the Book of Jashar. The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day.

Time stopped! The Israelites needed some extra time and God helped them out. This miracle that God did stands out to me, because of how extraordinary it would have been.

Joshua 11:20
For it was the Lord himself who hardened their hearts to wage war against Israel, so that he might destroy them totally, exterminating them without mercy, as the Lord had commanded Moses.

God hardened the peoples hearts, so they wouldn't consider trying to make peace with the Israelites, and therefore would fight and lose to the Israelites.

These are just a small portion of the miracles that God did for the Israelites, and they show His awesome power. I hope they strengthen my faith and yours, in our all powerful Saviour!

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Joshua 13-15; Luke 1:57-80

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Tuesday, March 21: Joshua 7-9; Luke 1:21-38 ~ Jody

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is: Joshua 7-9, Luke 1:21-38

The Old Testament reading had so many truths in it for me today!
  1. Even if we hide our sin, it can have massive consequences. And those consequences have the potential to be far-reaching beyond our own life! 
    1. "All" Achan did was hide some plunder that he kept from Babylon. He even hid it so well, buried some under his tent even. No one would ever know, yet it resulted in 36 warriors killed and "The Israelites were paralyzed with fear at this turn of events, and their courage melted away." Joshua 7:5.
  2. God can take our sin and not only turn it to good - but leverage it to bring about His glory! 
    1. "When our main army attacks, the men of Ai will come out to fight as they did before, and we will run away from them. We will let them chase us until we have drawn them away from the town. For they will say, ‘The Israelites are running away from us as they did before.’ Then, while we are running from them, you will jump up from your ambush and take possession of the town, for the Lord your God will give it to you. Set the town on fire, as the Lord has commanded. You have your orders.” Joshua 8:5-8
    2. God used the very fact that the men of Ai defeated the Israelites once to bolster their confidence and leave their town unprotected. He used this to His own benefit as a means to defeat the men of Ai. 
  3. God still pours His blessings on us even when we don't deserve it.
    1. 27 Only the livestock and the treasures of the town were not destroyed, for the Israelites kept these as plunder for themselves, as the Lord had commanded Joshua." Joshua 8:27
    2. Achan's unauthorized holding of plunder from Babylon was sinful disobedience earlier in this reading, yet God still chose to allow them to keep plunder from the town of Ai. He still chooses to pour undeserved blessings on us!!
  4. Humans are sinful and we keep repeating our sin - we NEED Jesus! 
    1. "14 So the Israelites examined their food, but they did not consult the Lord. 15 Then Joshua made a peace treaty with them and guaranteed their safety, and the leaders of the community ratified their agreement with a binding oath."Joshua 9:14-15. AGAIN, the Israelites depend on their own knowledge and abilities and make a decision without consulting God. Even still to this day - us sinful humans rely on our own investigation, knowledge, abilities etc even though we know that God is our best ally in wise decision making! 

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageJoshua 10-12, Luke 1:39-56