Thursday, April 26, 2018

Thursday, April 26th: 1 Chronicles 16 - 18, Acts 6 ~ Nathan

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 1 Chronicles 16-18, Acts 6

Acts 6: 10-12
But they could not stand up against the wisdom the Spirit gave him as he spoke. [11] Then they secretly persuaded some men to say, “We have heard Stephen speak blasphemous words against Moses and against God.” [12] So they stirred up the people and the elders and the teachers of the law. They seized Stephen and brought him before the Sanhedrin

The leaders of the people at the time couldn't come up with a valid argument against what Stephen was talking about, so they lied about what Stephen had said and brought him before council.

The lesson here for me is to remember that if I stay true to God throughout trials, I will win in the end by being with Him in Heaven. I may have unfair things done to me (or may do unfair things to others), but in the end God will see the truth and reward justly.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: 2 Samuel 10-12, Acts 7

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Wednesday, April 25th: 1 Chronicles 13-15, Acts 5

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 1 Chronicles 13-15, Acts 5

Our OT passage today shows us that we can do the right thing, and still do it wrong!

David wanted to do the right thing - he wanted to bring the Ark back.  But he assumed he knew how to do it.  He didn't ask God.  He thought he knew best.  And the penalty was death.

At first David was angry.  The Bible doesn't specifically say who he was angry with - himself or God.  Our tendency is to blame someone other than ourselves, so it seems like it was likely he was angry with God.  Here he was trying to do the right thing and God responds in wrath?!

But we are mere humans.  And we don't get to tell God what to do or how to do it.  We don't get to decide what the right thing is to do.  God does.  And His opinion is the only one that matters.

Thankfully, in chapter 15 David gets it right.  He admits his sin, and he makes sure that this time, he does it God's way.

I want to remember that it always pays to do it God's way the first time!

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage:   1 Chronicles 16-18, Acts 6

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Tuesday, April 24th: 2 Samuel 7-9, Acts 4 ~ Danae

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 2 Samuel 7-9, Acts 4

Acts 4:13-
When they saw the courage of Peter & John & realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished & they took note that these men had been with Jesus

God can use us wherever we are, in whatever stage of life we’re in & whether we feel qualified or not. God is asking that we be willing & he will make the way for his work to be done.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage1 Chronicles 13-15, Acts 5

Monday, April 23, 2018

Monday, April 23: 1 Chronicles 10-12, Acts 3 by Pamela

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 1 Chronicles 10-12, Acts 3

The first thing that really stood out for me was:
13 So Saul died because he was unfaithful to the Lord. He failed to obey the Lord’s command, and he even consulted a medium 14 instead of asking the Lord for guidance. So the Lord killed him and turned the kingdom over to David son of Jesse.

"The Lord Killed him" other translations say "The Lord put him to death" or "therefor he slew him"

We had just read that Saul asked his armour bearer to kill him and when he wouldn't, Saul killed himself. However, this conclusion to chapter 10 reminds us that it was in God's plan for Saul to die because of his disobedience. God allowed Saul to die. God has perfect timing for the end of someone's life and also for the sparing of someone's life.

In the NT, this passage stood out:
16 “Through faith in the name of Jesus, this man was healed—and you know how crippled he was before. Faith in Jesus’ name has healed him before your very eyes.
Through faith, we are healed. Healed from our sin. Healed from our hurt. Healed from our inadequacy. Healed from our imperfection. We are crippled in God's sight and yet through our faith in Jesus we are made perfect and blameless.

What a comfort to know God has our life in His hand and through faith we are healed and called into glory despite our crippled lives.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage2 Samuel 7-9, Acts 4

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Saturday, April 21st: 2 Samuel 4-6; Acts 2 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 2 Samuel 4-6; Acts 2

Acts 2:21 But everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’

This verse alone refutes the idea of universalism (that everyone will be saved).  Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

Everyone is offered the gift of salvation.  Everyone is welcome.  But not everyone will call on the name of the Lord, and so not everyone will be saved.

Matthew 7:13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
Everyone is invited, but there is only one way - Jesus.

Monday's Bible In a Year Passage:  1 Chronicles 10-12, Acts 3

Friday, April 20, 2018

Friday, April 20th: 2 Samuel 1-3; Acts 1 ~ Emma

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 2 Samuel 1-3; Acts 1

““Men of Galilee,” they said, “why are you standing here staring into heaven? Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday he will return from heaven in the same way you saw him go!”” - Acts of the Apostles‬ ‭1:11‬

Someday He will return

We all go through tough seasons in life, which can make it hard to remain hopeful in Jesus. But we need to remember that He will come back for His children. I find when I’m going through tough times, it’s really easy to ask God “why”. But I need to remain hopeful, and trust that one day He will come back for me. And on that day, every tear will be washed away, and every heartache will be removed, because we will be in endless paradise with the One who love us. I can’t wait to spend the rest of eternity with my Saviour.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage2 Samuel 4-6; Acts 2

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Thursday, April 19th: 1 Samuel 30-31, Luke 24 ~ Nathan

1 Samuel 30:6
David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. But David found strength in the Lord his God.

David's men felt that David had let them down, and it bothered David that his men felt this way. It was a time of great stress for David, and as he was feeling this way he turned to God, and he found great strength.

How do I handle stress or pressure? Do I turn to God first, or feel sorry for myself first? David was under great pressure from his men, and he turned to God for strength, and God helped him!
Luke 24:51
While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven.

What an incredible ending to this part of Jesus life! He died and rose from the dead, and then went up to Heaven, and is now there waiting and hoping that we join Him!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Wednesday, April 18th: 1 Chronicles 7-9, Luke 23:32-56 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 1 Chronicles 7-9, Luke 23:32-56

The thieves on the cross are an excellent demonstration about the choice we are all faced with - who do we believe Jesus to be?  Do we believe He is who He claims to be?  And if we do, will we follow Him as Lord and Saviour?

This passage also gives us the certainty that immediately upon our physical death, those that follow Jesus will be with Him forever.  What hope!

I also love the portion of the passage that describes the temple curtain being torn in two.  This curtain separated the people from the presence of Jesus, but Jesus' sacrificial death removed that barrier, and we can now have access to God.  This is something that is so "normal" for those of us that grew up in the church, but I can't even imagine how amazing it would've been to the Jews in Jesus' time!

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage1 Samuel 30-31, Luke 24

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Tuesday, April 17th: 1 Samuel 28-29, Luke 23:1-31 ~ Danae

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 1 Samuel 28-29, Luke 23:1-31

With one voice they cried out, “Away with this man! Release Barabbas to us!”

Why did the choose Barabbas? That’s the big question & it’s so easy to think how horrible the crowd was for their choice.  I’m confident to think that I would not have followed the crowd had I been there...or would I...

An article by Wes Feltner really hits home in that regard

Most people who are familiar with the events leading up to the cross are familiar with the crowd’s decision to release Barabbas and crucify Jesus.  Per Roman tradition, and to keep the peace with the Jewish people, the Roman authorities would release a Jewish prisoner at Passover. On this occasion the people chose Barabbas.  But, why?  Posed to Christians today, that decision seems ridiculous.  That’s until we understand why Barabbas was far more appealing than Jesus.
  1. Barabbas offered the freedom the people wanted.  Barabbas was arrested because of an insurrection – a revolt against Rome (Mark 15:7).
  1. Barabbas offered the control the religious leaders wanted.  
  1. Barabbas offered the comfort Pilate wanted. To Pilate, it was a lot less of a hassle to get rid of Jesus than to face the conflict of the crowd.  
So why release Barabbas and send Jesus to the cross?  Because human beings wanted personal freedom, control, and comfort instead of Jesus.  And in that sense, we all choose Barabbas!  You see, Barabbas is nothing more than an alternative to Jesus that promises us freedom (so I can live how I want), control (so I can run my life), and comfort (so I can do what makes me feel good).  Only we don’t call them “Barabbas”; we call them money, power, relationships, sex, and a host of alternatives more appealing to us than Jesus.  In that sense, we’ve ALL CHOSEN BARABBAS!  And that’s why we all need to see that it was our sin that nailed Him there!  It was our sin screaming, “Crucify Him!”
The fact of the matter is we all face that same decision every day.  Do we yield to the Barabbases in our life or do we choose Christ?  To make matters more interesting, the name “Barabbas” actually means Son (Bar) of the Father (abba).  In other words, Barabbas is a counterfeit option to the real “Son of God.”  Just like Barabbas represented a counterfeit Messiah to the crowd, religious leaders, and Pilate, so do the Barabbases in our daily lives.  This is why we must “choose this day whom we will serve.”
Fortunately, at the cross, Jesus not only took the place of Barabbas, he took the place of all those who have chosen Barabbas, both then and now.  The innocent took the place of the guilty.  And that’s why the gospel is such great news!

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage:  1 Chronicles 7-9, Luke 23:32-56

Monday, April 16, 2018

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 1 Samuel 25-27, Luke 22:39-71

Luke 22:51 states,  "But Jesus said, “No more of this.” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him." Here Jesus is talking with the leading priests and he healed one of their slaves' ear, and no one said anything about it, it confuses me how the miracles are happening right in front of the priests eyes and they just ignore them and choose to ignore the fact that no ordinary human can do these things, only God could heal a man's ear just by touching it.

In our lives we need to see what God has laid out for us, and as he works through us, we need to give him the glory, because without him none of this could happen.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: 1 Samuel 28-29, Luke 23:1-31