Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Wednesday, January 18th: Genesis 43-45, Matthew 12: 24-50 ~ Nathan

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Genesis 43-45, Matthew 12: 24-50

Today's Old Testament reading is the ending of a famous story. At the beginning of this story we read how Joseph saw a vision from God about how this would end, and today we read the portion about how Joseph is reunited with his brothers and father. At the end of our reading today, Joseph's father says in chapter 45:28

And Israel said, “I’m convinced! My son Joseph is still alive. I will go and see him before I die .”

What a great ending to what must of been years of heartache.

Joseph could have ignored his brothers and treated them harshly, for they had treated him harshly years previous by throwing him into a well, but the years of being apart, and love for his brothers and family, made Joseph want to do right. More importantly, Joseph's love for God and desire to please God made him want to do right.

Can I overlook or put aside past wrongs done to me, and do right to others in return?

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Genesis 46-48; Matthew 13:1-30

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Tuesday, January 17: Genesis 41-42; Matthew 12:1-23 ~ Jody

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is: Genesis 41-42, Matthew 12:1-23

This is my favourite part of the story of Joseph!! God's plan for him coming to fruition. God's perfect plan coming together in Joseph's life and ultimately all of Egypt - and the world!!

When I was reading this today it humbled me to think about how often I focus just on my own circumstances, my own plans and me, me me. When God has so many balls in motion to ensure His plan is achieved. Just like He was working on the cupbearer, the prison guards, Pharaoh and even Potiphar early on. None of it was about Joseph - it was about God's bigger plan!

Father God, give me eyes to see beyond myself. Unravel my selfish nature and help me see you in every step and every breath. Forgive my short-sightedness and give me hunger to move closer to You every day. Amen

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageGenesis 43-45; Matthew 12:24-50

Monday, January 16, 2017

Monday, January 16th: Genesis 39-40; Matthew 11 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Genesis 39-40; Matthew 11

I've always loved the story of Joseph.  Despite his youthful foolishness (telling your brothers about the dream you had where you were their ruler is probably not the best idea), he is one of the few biblical characters who lived his life with consistent integrity.

But what a life it was!

First he was the favored son, then he thought he would be murdered by his brothers.
He realized he would escape death, but only to be sold into slavery.
He worked hard and ended up with a great position for a slave, only to be falsely accused and thrown in prison.
He worked hard in prison and ended up with some seniority there, but just when he thought he might have a hope of getting out through the testimony of the cupbearer, he realized he was forgotten again.

This went on for years! Injustice and betrayal, over and over again.  And yet, Joseph's faith never wavered.  And God remained faithful to him.  During everything, God was with him.  And it was enough.

In our NT passage, the story of John the Baptist always reminds me of a Ray Vanderlaan explanation I heard once which is fascinating (from his Follow the Rabbi lectures).  John was wondering whether Jesus was truly the Messiah, and if he was, why was John still in prison, and could Jesus maybe do something about that sometime soon.  Jesus replied to John's question in the form of a remez.  Generally, a remez is a way of quoting a bible passage (or in this case a combination of multiple messianic prophecies) in such a way that the point you're trying to make is in the portion you leave unquoted.  In this case, Jesus quotes from numerous passages in Isaiah and Psalms which prophecy that the Messiah would make the blind see, the lame walk, lepers clean, deaf healed, and the prisoners set free.  Except Jesus did not quote the portion about the release of the prisoners.  Essentially, he was telling John that even though Jesus was indeed the Messiah, John would not be released as he anticipated and would die in prison, but that he should not let this be a stumbling block to his faith.

A reminder for us that just because we worship and follow Jesus as our Messiah, that doesn't mean all our problems in this world will be set right.  Jesus does promise justice, but He promises it eternally.  We must continue to remain faithful, no matter our circumstances - like Joseph and like John.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageGenesis 41-42; Matthew 12:1-23

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Sunday, January 15th: Genesis 36-38, Matthew 10: 21-42 ~ Nathan

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Genesis 36-38, Matthew 10: 21-42

I've read and heard this story of Joseph many times, and what stood out to me today was the story from his brothers' point of view. How often haven't I complained or been frustrated with someone who's had an easier time with something, than me? Joseph's brothers didn't like him very much because he was favored by their father, and they wanted to get rid of him once and for all.

When Joseph told his brothers about his dreams, things got worse,

Genesis 37: 20
“Come now, let’s kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns and say that a ferocious animal devoured him. Then we’ll see what comes of his dreams"

Joseph's brothers didn't know the end of the story and how things would eventually turn out - Joseph would actually help them survive later on.

How often don't I judge someone on one action? Or on one period in their lives? God has forgiven me, and He can do anything. I don't want to judge someone on a past mistake, but want to rather give them another chance, just like God does when He forgives me.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Genesis 39-40; Matthew 11

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Saturday, January 14th: Genesis 33-35; Matthew 10:1-20 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Genesis 33-35; Matthew 10:1-20

In our OT we see a partial reconciliation between the brothers, but clearly Jacob doesn't quite trust Esau's forgiveness and was still afraid of him, because even though he said he would follow him to Seir, instead Jacob settled near Succoth - which turned out to have disastrous consequences.

Jacob also demonstrated severely lacking parenting skills with the way he handled not only the situation with Dinah, but also his sons retaliation, and later, Rueben's act of complete disrespect (which possibly stemmed from the way Jacob mishandled the prior situation).

Thankfully God does not give up on us!

In our NT passage we see Jesus instructing His disciples to live and minister in such a way as to demonstrate that God's gift of grace is free! But He also warns that even when we live out that message of grace, there will always be those that reject it, sometimes violently.  But our job is to share the gospel, no matter people's response.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageGenesis 36-38, Matthew 10: 21-42

Friday, January 13, 2017

Friday, January 13th: Genesis 31-32; Matthew 9:18-38 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Genesis 31-32; Matthew 9:18-38 

Sometimes I find reading the account in Genesis frustrating.  It's like these people never learn!  Lying, betrayal, pride, women bartering over their shared husband, an entire family sneaking away, thoughtless words, the list goes on and on.

But this week I had the thought, possibly for the first time...... if my life was summarized in a couple pages of the Bible, and some of my worst thoughts and actions were written down for everyone to see, would I come across any better?  Likely not. Sure, the list of sins would be different, but there would be sin aplenty to choose from.

I am a sinner.  You are a sinner.  Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were all sinners.  Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, and Leah were all sinners.  The list goes on and on, and includes every single human that ever lived.

Except Jesus.

He lived a perfect, sinless life so that He could redeem us - a sinful people with no hope of redeeming ourselves, no hope of restoring our broken relationship with God (and with each other!).  And, as we see in our NT passage today, He began that restorative work during His short 3 year ministry on earth. He healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, speech to the mute, and life to the dead.  At least, temporarily.  For now.

But with His death and resurrection He demonstrated His utter power over the sin that infects us all, and His victory over death that will, instead of being the end that we sometimes falsely perceive it to be, usher us into the beginning of an eternity more spectacular then we can even imagine.  Where we will be eternally healed of every illness, see with perfect vision, speak with redeemed speech, and where we live and never die.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageGenesis 33-35; Matthew 10:1-20

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Thursday, January 12th: Genesis 29-30; Matthew 9:1-17

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Bible In a Year PassageGenesis 29-30; Matthew 9:1-17

In the NT portion of the reading today, a part that stuck out to me was when Jesus said, "Healthy people don't need a doctor - sick people do." (v 12). Jesus reaches out to everyone! He asked Matthew, a tax collector, to be his disciple. He doesn't just reach out to "healthy" people. This is a reminder to me to look around at the people in my life. It's easier to be friends and reach out to the "healthy" (the people who think like us and act like us), but Jesus came for everyone. Jesus calls us to love everyone, even the ones who are difficult to love.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Genesis 31-32; Matthew 9:18-38

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Wednesday, January 11th: Genesis 27-28; Matthew 8:18-34

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Genesis 27-28; Matthew 8:18-34

I realized that I forgot to introduce myself in my first post, so.....

Hi! My name is Emma, and I am 15 years old. I've followed along with a "bible in a year" plan for 3 years, and am now reading a chapter a day, and posting once a week on this blog (using this bible in a year plan).

Matthew 8:23-27 is one of my favourite stories.

The disciples were very experienced sailors, and knew that the storm was very dangerous. Their knowledge in the sea is what stopped them from trusting in Jesus, even though they had seen Him perform many miracles already.

Sometimes the things we think we know most about are the things stopping us from trusting in Jesus. We think we know every outcome, and think there is no possible way out. But we need to put aside our human pride and trust the One who holds the whole world in His hands.

Even when the waves are crashing around us, and the storm looks dangerous, we know we can trust in Him, because God is in control

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageGenesis 29-30; Matthew 9:1-17

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Tuesday, January 10th: Genesis 25-26; Matthew 8:1-17 ~ Jody

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Genesis 25-26; Matthew 8:1-17

Oh the sins of the father passed through the generations! I had never realized that Isaac also lied that Rebekah was his sister just as his father Abraham had lied about Sarah! Isn't it interesting how we don't realize the generational impact of our choices. And that both Abraham and Isaac thought they were doing the right thing when they made that same choice. A couple of take aways for me from this:
1: Pray about everything. Every. Thing. God's hand is in it all!
2: Talk to our kids about bad choices we've made so that they will not fall into the same traps we have fallen into in our sin.
3: Pray to break generational sin within our families to get healing from the patterns.

In both cases of Abraham and Isaac's lies, God's plan ultimately prevailed. A reminder that no matter how badly we sin and mess up, God's sovereignty will always accomplish what He needs to accomplish!

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageGenesis 27-28; Matthew 8:18-34

Monday, January 9, 2017

Monday, January 9th: Genesis 23-24; Mathew 7 ~ Kezia

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is: Genesis 23-24, Matthew 7

Hello! I'm Kezia and I'm 17 (almost 18!!) years old. I decided to read the bible in a year this year because of a mission trip to Mexico I went on this past summer. I grew a lot in my relationship with God on the trip and it made me really interested in reading more of His word.

In the Old Testament readings for today I found it was shown very clearly the power of prayer. Abraham's servant prayed specifically for a wife for Isaac and he had a long list of must haves that this wife needed to have (verse 14). God heard his prayer and answered his prayer before he had even finished praying. The first girl Abraham's servant interacted with was the girl he was looking for. I love knowing that God is always listening to our prayers.

The first part of New Testiment reading really stuck out to me, "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?" (verse 3) It's very easy to get caught up in judging others when we need to remember that we ourselves are not perfect. There will never be an end to finding imperfections in others and we will run ourselves dry if we continue to judge. The only true Judge is Jesus, he is and will be the only perfect person, the only one who has authority to judge.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Genesis 25-26, Mathew 8:1-17