A few things stood out for me from today's readings:
I picked the word "stand" as my word of the year of 2015 and when I read a verse with that word in it, it really focuses my attention to it. I love to think about standing up to thank the God for eternity. Especially at Christmas, it really boggles my mind to think about the Creator of everything becoming human to live among sinners with the purpose of paying our debt of sin. It seems like at Christmas time people become the recipients of random acts of kindness. People pay for another's coffee, Westjet employees performed 12000 mini miracles, schools collect food for hampers and/or Koats of Kids, and we hear of so many other instances where people are serving each other. While all of these things are good, they cannot even begin to compare to what Jesus did for us. All of these acts combined cannot equal what Jesus sacrificed for us and gave to us when He was born and He died...for us. He " He didn't just give a random act of kindness. He gave it purposely and timely and as part of a magnificent plan to overcome our sin. The verse tells us to "Stand up and bless the LORD your God from everlasting to everlasting...." instead, I think we tend to sit down and forget. Much like the acts of kindness at Christmas their impact lessens as time passes. The joy and excitements wanes as everyday life reality gets in the way. These acts of kindness become a cool story and little more. May we not let Jesus' gift become the same way.
Related to that were these verses:
Even when God's "random acts of kindness" stories became distant memories, God did not give up on his people. When they repented, God heard them. No matter what we do or how far we fall away, God will never leave or forsake us. We can act like spoiled brats, we can ignore his warnings, we can forget what He has already done for us and yet God still forgives. Amazing.
From the NT, this passage stood out for me:
Sometimes we believe that the government is unfair. We pay too much tax. We should be able to get American Netflix. We shouldn't have to pay renew our driver's licenses or passports...and so on. One member of my family often voices the opinion that whatever you can do to outsmart the government then that it is ok. I think this verse clearly says that is not true. Yes, it is too bad that we have to pay for things through our taxes that we don't agree with (abortions, transgender surgeries, etc.) however, the reality is that in the long term these things are insignificant. What matters is our relationship with God and where we will spend eternity. All other things don't really matter.
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: Nehemiah 10-11; Luke 20:27-47