Sunday, October 15, 2017

Sunday, October 15th: Isaiah 45-46; 1 Thessalonians 3 ~ Emma

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Isaiah 45-46; 1 Thessalonians 3

“I create the light and make the darkness. I send good times and bad times. I, the Lord, am the one who does these things.” - ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭45:7‬

God creates our paths, He plans our lives. He blesses us with good times and bad times. He knows what He is doing and He is in ultimate control over our lives. How comforting is that, knowing that our Creator, who cares and loves for us so much, is the One who plans our paths and is in control of our lives. Yet, for some reason, our small, foolish selves, want to go our own way and make our own paths. Really? Do we really think our sinful, small, human selves can create a better plan that the all-knowing, all-powerful, Creator of the universe? It sounds pretty silly when you think about it.

Let’s make a point to follow what the Lord has planned for us today, and stop questioning the things that God has for us.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageIsaiah 47-49; 1 Thessalonians 4

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Saturday, October 14th: Isaiah 43-44; 1 Thessalonians 2 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Isaiah 43-44; 1 Thessalonians 2

1 Thessalonians 2:13 This is why we constantly thank God, because when you received the word of God that you heard from us, you welcomed it not as a human message, but as it truly is, the word of God, which also works effectively in you who believe.
This is what our attitude is to be towards the Bible.  We must receive it as God's literal voice to us and apply it to our lives!

The Bible IS God's revelation of Himself to us.  How we perceive the Bible is critical to the way we live out our faith.

And again - constantly thanking God, constantly praying. Prayer is vital to our faith and yet it is something that so many Christians, myself included, struggle to do well, or to do consistently.  Let's make it a priority today and every day!

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage:  Isaiah 45-46; 1 Thessalonians 3

Friday, October 13, 2017

Friday, October 13: Isaiah 41-42; 1 Thessalonians 1 by Pamela

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Isaiah 41-42; 1 Thessalonians 1

It's a scary world we live in. People are killed attending a concert. Hurricanes, wild fires, and floods destroy homes and take livesIt would appear that people can't even walk down the street without the possibility of someone attempting to hurt them. It's hard to imagine all of this happening in our world just in the last couple of weeks.

In these times of chaos and uncertainty, what a comfort these verses are:

Do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be afraid, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you; I will help you;
I will hold on to you with my righteous right hand.

This is, of course, easier said than done. However, to know that God is with us no matter what our circumstance is comforting. Our reactions during times of chaos may lead others to seek out the peace that believers have knowing that God is in control.

May we strive to receive a message this this:

 and you yourselves became imitators of us and of the Lord when, in spite of severe persecution, you welcomed the message with joy from the Holy Spirit. As a result, you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. For the word of the Lord rang out from you, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but in every place that your faith[c] in God has gone out. Therefore, we don’t need to say anything,

In times of trial, may we seek to be imitators of Christ, put Him first despite opposition, an example in words and deeds to those around us, and spread the message of hope to all.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Isaiah 43-44; 1 Thessalonians 2

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Thursday, October 12th: Isaiah 39-40; Colossians 4 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Isaiah 39-40; Colossians 4

Isaiah 40:12-14
Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand
or marked off the heavens with the span of his hand?
Who has gathered the dust of the earth in a measure
or weighed the mountains on a balance
and the hills on the scales?
13 Who has directed[f] the Spirit of the Lord,
or who gave him counsel?
14 Who did he consult?
Who gave him understanding
and taught him the paths of justice?
Who taught him knowledge
and showed him the way of understanding?

This section reminded me of the passage in Job where God speaks to Job, reminding him of exactly who God is.  Who are we, that this awesome God is mindful of us?  Truly His love is amazing.

Colossians 4:2 Devote yourselves to prayer; stay alert in it with thanksgiving.

This is something that I need to work on!  Praying more, and making sure my mind doesn't wander while doing so, and being purposeful about thankfulness.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageIsaiah 41-42; 1 Thessalonians 1

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Wednesday, October 11th: Isaiah 37 - 38, Colossians 3 ~ Nathan

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Isaiah 37-38; Colossians 3

Isaiah 38: 7-8
7 “ ‘This is the Lord ’s sign to you that the Lord will do what he has promised: [8] I will make the shadow cast by the sun go back the ten steps it has gone down on the stairway of Ahaz.' ” So the sunlight went back the ten steps it had gone down.

I've read this story before and am blown away by this miracle every time! A sure sign to those then, and us now, that God is supreme and all powerful.

Colossians 3: 1-2
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. [2] Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.

A good reminder where our focus needs to be, "on things above". A good reminder for us today.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Isaiah 39-40; Colossians 4

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Tuesday, October 10: Isaiah 34-46; Colossians 2 ~ Jody

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is:Isaiah 34-36; Colossians 2

"So then, just as you have received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, being rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, and overflowing with gratitude."  Colossians 2: 6-7

I found this verse so encouraging! It encompasses all we need to do as believers to stay in Christ. He is our truth and our roots! And one of the best ways to do this to to live a life of gratitude. And not just some gratitude - but "overflowing"! What would my prayer time - and life in general - look like if I practiced overflowing gratitude to God?

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageIsaiah 37-38; Colossians 3

Monday, October 9, 2017

Monday, October 9th: Isaiah 32-33; Colossians 1 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Isaiah 32-33; Colossians 1

It thought it fitting that on today, Thanksgiving Monday (in Canada), one of the headings in our Colossians passage was literally titled Thanksgiving!

Colossians 1:3-5 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, for we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints because of the hope reserved for you in heaven.

Are people thankful to God because they have heard about my faith in Christ Jesus?
Are people thankful to God because they have heard of the love I have for all the saints because of the hope we have?

Do I live in such a way that it is clear by both word and deed, that I put my hope and faith in Jesus? Do I speak about my faith?  And do I live it out?  Both of those components are vital.

Without love, without living out what I say I believe, my faith looks futile and I look like a hypocrite.

Without giving a reason for my faith and the reason why I live the way I do, the gospel message is lost completely and I'm just another kind person.

Speak the gospel, and live the gospel.  It's not an either or option.  It's both!

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage:  Isaiah 34-36; Colossians 2

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Sunday, October 8th: Isaiah 30-31; Philippians 4 ~ Emma

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Isaiah 30-31; Philippians 4

“And the Lord will make his majestic voice heard. He will display the strength of his mighty arm. It will descend with devouring flames, with cloudbursts, thunderstorms, and huge hailstones.” - Isaiah‬ ‭30:30‬

What a powerful God our Lord is! I think we often forget how big and how strong and how majestic our God is. But without Him, there would be no such thing as strength and majesty, because He created it! It makes me take a step back and think about it. The same God who, with one word, can create or destroy this whole universe, lives inside of me and died for me. Knowing I would let Him down countless times, He still did this for me. Wow, what an amazing God we serve. 

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageIsaiah 32-33; Colossians 1

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Saturday, October 7th: Isaiah 28-29; Philippians 3 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Isaiah 28-29; Philippians 3

Philippians 3:12 Not that I have already reached the goal or am already perfect, but I make every effort to take hold of it because I also have been taken hold of by Christ Jesus.
Humbly admitting we have not nearly reached the goal, but willing to soldier on in the power of Christ!

May this be our attitude today and every day.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage:Isaiah 30-31; Philippians 4

Friday, October 6, 2017

Friday, October 6th: Isaiah 26-27; Philippians 2 ~ Conrad

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is: Isaiah 26-27; Philippians 2

"Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal." Isaiah 26:4

God is often referred to as a rock, implying that He is the way to stability and safety.  He is a secure place of refuge and is also our protection during the difficult times in our lives.  Because He is our Rock, we can have confidence that we can look to Him for strength and reliability.  He is worthy of all our trust and in Him we will never be shaken.

"for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.  Do everything without grumbling or arguing,"  Philippians 2:13-14

Fulfilling His good purpose without grumbling........not that easy.  To be discontent with God's will is an expression of unbelief that prevents one from doing what pleases God.  We need to be intentional in our obedience to God; it cannot be separated from our faith in Him. 

My prayer is that I would be intentional in being obedient to God, and that I would remember that He is our source of security, and that He should be the unshakable foundation in my life.  

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Isaiah 28-29; Philippians 3

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Thursday, October 5th: Isaiah 23-25; Philippians 1 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Isaiah 23-25; Philippians 1

Philippians 1:6 I am sure of this, that he who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
I am so thankful for this!  He's not done His work in our lives.

God has saved us from the penalty of sin, and He continues to save us from the power and presence of sin.  That work will continue throughout this life and will only be brought to perfection in eternity.

But we can be sure of this, we can be confident of this, we can be certain of this - His work in us is ongoing, He started it and He will finish it.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageIsaiah 26-27; Philippians 2

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Wednesday, October 4th: Isaiah 20 - 22, Ephesians 6 ~ Nathan

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is: Isaiah 20-22; Ephesians 6

Ephesians 6:18
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

This verse stood out to me. First, it reminds us to pray in all cercumstances. Do I pray mostly at the beginning and end of each day? Yes I do. Do things happen throughout the day that should cause me to go to prayer? Yes

Secondly, do I pray mostly for myself and for my own family? A good reminder (being alert) to branch out and pray for all those around me.

I have a list of prayer requests and people that I pray for, that I keep on my phone. I pray that I go to this list regularly.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Isaiah 23-25; Philippians 1

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Tuesday, October 3rd: Isaiah 17-19; Ephesians 5:17-33 ~ Jody

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is: Isaiah 17-19; Ephesians 5:17-33

The last verse in our Ephesians passage stood out for me today: 33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

I love how this verse shows how God made men and women differently. When I first read this verse I wondered if it was because of our different needs, that our partners should give us these things. In other words, one of women's primary needs is love so men should be sure to love his wife unselfishly. While men's primary need is respect so women should be intentional on giving respect to her husband.

The more I thought of this though, I wonder actually if God is giving us a heads up on what each gender may struggle to give and is spelling this out as a reminder to give things that may not come as naturally to each gender. It may be more natural for men to be respectful than lavishing love, while for women (who are generally more tender) may find it easy to love their men, but may struggle to give them the respect they need.

I suppose the 2 different ways to look at this passage tie closely together and both get us to the same place... Let's be intentional in the way we love and respect our partners!!

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageIsaiah 20-22; Ephesians 6

Monday, October 2, 2017

Monday, October 2, 2017: Isaiah 14-16, Ephesians 5:1-16 by Pamela

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Isaiah 14-16, Ephesians 5:1-16

A few things jumped out for me from the NT passage:
 (Red = Scripture, Blue = my thoughts)

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. Children almost always imitate their parents in some way. If you are raised by your parents you will pick up traits from them. As I teacher I often see this clearly during parent/teacher time :) It's that whole "apple doesn't fall far from the tree" saying. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant (noticeable to everyone around you) offering and sacrifice (giving of yourself willingly) to God.
But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints.(in our society this is becoming so common that generations of kids are being taught that if it feels good to you then it's ok.  Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. Clearly the bible says even "joking" in an inappropriate manner is unacceptable. For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.  Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.There is eternal judgement for short-sighted living Therefore do not become partners with them; You become like the people you surround yourself with--choose wisely! for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), 10 and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. One day all that is hidden will be revealed. What will we have to answer for? 12 For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. 13 But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, 14 for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,
“Awake, O sleeper,
    and arise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”
15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, Proverbs 19:20 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. It's easy to be idle with our time, make poor decisions, and go along with what feels good at the time. The easy route is chosen by many but it has disastrous consequences.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageIsaiah 17-19Ephesians 5:17-33

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Sunday, October 1st: Isaiah 11-13; Ephesians 4 ~ Emma

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Isaiah 11-13; Ephesians 4

“Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.” - Ephesians‬ ‭4:2‬

This seems so simple yet it’s so hard to do. We always want to be noticed for the things we do, when instead we should be humble and know that it isn’t our abilities but God’s. We lose our patience so easily with people who annoy us and just “aren’t our type of people”, when instead we should be loving them as Christ loves us. We need to work on loving our neighbours as ourselves, because it is the second most important commandment, given by God Himself, who we should try to become more and more alike each day. 

“For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future.” - Ephesians‬ ‭4:4‬

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageIsaiah 14-16; Ephesians 5:1-16

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Saturday, September 30th: Isaiah 9-10; Ephesians 3 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Isaiah 9-10; Ephesians 3

Isaiah 9:2 The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
a light has dawned
on those living in the land of darkness.

Oh, how I wish this could be said about us now!  That Canada (and America) would recognize the darkness for what it is, and see the Light.  That we would awake out of our slumber and LIVE!


If you're ever unsure of what to pray, here is a great prayer!!

Ephesians 3:16-21
I pray that he may grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with power in your inner being through his Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. I pray that you, being rooted and firmly established in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the length and width, height and depth of God’s love, and to know Christ’s love that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or thinkaccording to the power that works in us— to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage:  Isaiah 11-13; Ephesians 4

Friday, September 29, 2017

Friday, September 29th; Isaiah 7-8; Ephesians 2 ~ Conrad

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is: Isaiah 7-8; Ephesians 2

"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God" Ephesians 2:8

Grace is God's life transforming gift given to those who do not deserve it.  The gift of salvation and forgiveness of sins is available for all who through faith accept His grace revealed in Jesus Christ, but so many miss the gift because they rely on themselves.  

This verse was brought up during the sermon this past Sunday.  One of the points made on this verse was that the value we place on His grace, and how impressed we are by God's greatness, is what shapes us.  

What value have I placed on His grace, and His greatness?  How has this shaped me?  And do I need to place a higher emphasis on Him, and less on me?    

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Isaiah 9-10; Ephesians 3

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Thursday, September 28th: Isaiah 3-4; Galatians 6 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Isaiah 3-4; Galatians 6

Galatians 6:1 Brothers and sisters, if someone is overtaken in any wrongdoing, you who are spiritual, restore such a person with a gentle spirit, watching out for yourselves so that you also won’t be tempted.
When fellow believers fall into sin, our goal in addressing this must be restoration, not punishment, and this needs to be done with great care.  It also needs to be done in humbleness.  God's grace covers our sin, just as it covers theirs.

We should not be arrogant that we have not fallen in the same way.  Everyone has different weaknesses.  We would do well not to look down our nose at something who struggles with something that we do not find difficult.  We have our weaknesses too.

We need to be on guard that we are not overtaken by sin.  We can never become complacent, and must always be on guard spiritually.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage:  Isaiah 5-6; Ephesians 1

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Wednesday, September 27th: Isaiah 1-2, Galatians 5 ~ Nathan

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is: Isaiah 1-2; Galatians 5

Isaiah 1:11
“The multitude of your sacrifices— what are they to me?” says the Lord. “I have more than enough of burnt offerings, of rams and the fat of fattened animals; I have no pleasure in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats.

God doesn't need anything from us, He can provide for Himself if He wants. What He does want is for us to want to give to Him, and to others, with the right attitude.

Galatians 5: 6
For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love

The old rules and laws are replaced by a simple command, to love others through faith in our Lord Jesus. Jesus showed us how much He loved us by dying on the cross for us, now it's up to us to do our best to love others.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Isaiah 3-4; Galatians 6

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Tuesday, September 26th; Song of Solomon 6-8; Galatians 4 ~ Jody

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is:Song of Solomon 6-8; Galatians 4

I found a great sermon by John Piper here that talks about "Hagar and Slavery vs Sarah and Freedom" from Galatians 4:21-31. I appreciated how he explained the desire that is needed to rely on God's strength being a critical part of living in freedom - and in our salvation. Here is an excerpt:

Freedom is what you have when there is opportunity, ability, and desire to do what will make you happy in a thousand years. Surely everyone here wants this full freedom—to have occasion and ability to do what you love to do with the result that you live in perfect joy forever. If that's what you want, then this text is crucial for you, because Paul says the Ishmael-types don't have this freedom but the Isaac-types do.
Why aren't the Ishmael-types free? They are not free because they lack the desire to rest in God's promises. They lack the desire to show their own resourcefulness. It's not that they desire to reject God. They simply want him on their own terms. Abraham and Hagar wanted God's blessing, but not on his terms.
The Judaizers want God's blessing, but not on his terms. Ishmael-types in every age rely on human resources and don't desire to feel like children in need of a father, or like a patient in need of a doctor. Ishmael-types think you can outgrow:
Jesus loves me, this I know
For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to him belong,
We are weak but he is strong.
Therefore, when it comes to saving faith, Ishmael-types do not have the freedom of desire. They do not want it. Therefore, they also lack the freedom of eternal life, because no one who prefers to live in his own strength rather than trusting God will be saved and go to heaven. And what's more, the hardness of heart that spurns childlike dependence on God will also darken the understanding. Every one of us knows that the most common use of the mind is to justify our desires. Therefore, deeply wrong desires will deeply mislead the mind until it is not able to understand what is right. So Ishmael-types are not free because they lack the freedom of desire to rest in God's sovereign grace; and therefore, they lack the freedom of ability to understand God's will; and finally, they lack the freedom of eternal joy, because the life they have chosen leads to destruction.
But we, brothers and sisters, like Isaac, are children of promise (Galatians 4:28). We have been born of the Holy Spirit. The essence of Christianity is the miracle of new birth. The hallmark of the Isaac-types is that we have been converted, changed, transformed at the center of our lives, so that we desire to rest in God's sovereign grace. We desire to become as little children and receive the power and wisdom and holiness from our all-sufficient Father. We hate the remaining tendencies in us to be proud and to trust in ourselves or other people instead of God. Our delight is in the law of the Lord, and our choicest food is to do his will in reliance on his power. This is what it means to be born according to the Spirit. This is what it means to say I no longer live but Christ lives in me (Galatians 2:20). His passion becomes our passion.
Therefore, Isaac-types have the freedom of desire. We don't labor slavishly under the burden of having to do what we don't want to do. We are free to do what we love to do and to do it forever in perfect joy. For God has caused us to be born again by the Spirit of his Son, and is shaping our desires according to his will.
"For freedom Christ has set us free! Stand fast, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery."

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageIsaiah 1-2; Galatians 5

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Sunday, September 24th: Song of Solomon 4-5; Galatians 3

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Song of Solomon 4-5; Galatians 3

“For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus.” - Galatians‬ ‭3:26‬

This was such a powerful read for me today, the Lord really spoke to me through it. It doesn’t matter how many laws we break or how many good things we do to “redeem” ourselves, that is not what saves us. It is through faith that we are saved. Jesus is the atonement for our sins, not any other sacrifice, or any “good” thing we do. It is in Christ alone that we are saved and can have a right relationship with God. We are His children through Jesus. 

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageSong of Solomon 6-8; Galatians 4

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Saturday, September 23rd: Song of Solomon 1-3; Galatians 2 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Song of Solomon 1-3; Galatians 2

Galatians 2:21 I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died for nothing.
I love what this verse by verse commentary says about this verse....

We now conclude Paul’s address to Peter. This verse is the knockout punch of chapter 2. This is Paul’s final stroke to those who claim salvation or sanctification by law. 
I do not set aside the grace of God; 
The words “set aside” mean make void, cancel God’s grace. If we go back to the law, we cancel out the work of the cross. The grace of God is put as of no value, set aside, nullified, annulled. Self-righteousness declares invalid God’s provision in Christ. We annul God’s grace when we inject our righteousness. If we nullify grace, then Christ died without an adequate cause [“vain”]. Christians must recognize the validity of grace.
We do nothing to attain God’s grace. We do not go through religious motions or righteous works. We do not have to climb any mountain, swim any sea, or cross any deserts. God gave us salvation and the Christian way of life free of charge.
Legalism voids God’s grace; grace and law are mutually exclusive.
If we maintain that we gain God’s approval by works then we abolish grace. Then there is no reason for the death of Christ. His death would be unwarranted and superfluous. It is a serious thing to negate grace.
The essence of God’s grace is to give us something we do not deserve. Salvation is a gift (Romans 4:4). Grace and merit are mutually exclusive. If God gives salvation by grace, then it is not I who do the work. If I do the work, then it is not God who gives salvation. If I do the work, then I get the glory. If God does the work then He gets the glory.
“And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work” (Romans 11:6 ).
When we inject our righteousness into salvation or sanctification, we thwart the efficacy of Christ’s work for us. God’s grace and our work are contradictory. We must choose one or the other. They cannot both be true at the same time....
There is no point or purpose to Christ’s death if we can work for salvation. There is no reason for the death of Christ. Righteousness through faith in Christ’s cross is not one of the reasons but the only reason for salvation. This is exactly what Peter did by entering into legalism. We cannot unite grace and law because they are mutually exclusive ways to please God. If we do, then we imply that Christ died on the cross needlessly. It invalidates grace.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageSong of Solomon 4-5; Galatians 3

Friday, September 22, 2017

Friday, September 22nd: Ecclesiastes 10-12; 2 Galatians 1 ~ Conrad

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is: Ecclesiastes 10-12; Galatians 1

A few verses that stood out while reading:

Whoever digs a pit may fall into it; whoever breaks through a wall may be bitten by a snake.  Ecclesiastes 10:8

How often have I been a part of, or watched on TV, a sports team acting too confident or cocky, and then loosing badly the next game.  This verse is a good reminder to not play with fire; a trap that I may be setting for someone else might catch me.  

So then, banish anxiety from your heart and cast off the troubles of your body, for youth and vigor are meaningless.  Ecclesiastes 11:10

Youth and vigor are meaningless.  This is a hard one for me.  I don't think or feel that I am old, until I play sports with our 16 year old son.  Each year I find myself getting a little slower on my feet.....somehow the football is not as fast or accurate out of my throwing hand.....and I have a lot more aches and pains than I ever used to.  And then I come across the verse below...   
Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind.  Ecclesiastes 12:13

My duty isn't to always be physically stronger than my kids.  It's to lead them by example and show them that it is more important to fear God and to keep His commands.  Without that, everything else ultimately is meaningless.

Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.  
Galatians 1:10

Where do I seek approval?  From my employer?  My customer?  My neighbor?  My friends?  My family?  My prayer is that I would seek approval from Christ, who knows and sees everything about me......not just what I want Him to see.  
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Song of Solomon 1-3; Galatians 2

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Thursday, September 21st: Ecclesiastes 7-9; 2 Corinthians 13 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is  Ecclesiastes 7-9; 2 Corinthians 13

Ecclesiastes 7:9: Don’t let your spirit rush to be angry, for anger abides in the heart of fools.
There are times when we are filled with righteous anger and react accordingly and appropriately.

But, if we're honest, those times are few and far between.

What is far more likely to happen is that we are filled with unrighteous anger and we lose our temper, overreacting inappropriately.  And wind up looking like a fool.

Yup, that's much more common, unfortunately.

May we be purposeful about guarding our temper and our tongue, exercising self-control, responding with love and gentleness instead of anger and harshness, relying on His strength and not our own.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageEcclesiastes 10-12; Galatians 1

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Wednesday, September 20th: Ecclesiastes 4-6, 2 Corinthians 12 ~ Nathan

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is: Ecclesiastes 4-6; 2 Corinthians 12

Ecclesiastes 5: 18
This is what I have observed to be good: that it is appropriate for a person to eat, to drink and to find satisfaction in their toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given them—for this is their lot.

Some people can enjoy an easier life, but some have to work hard all their days, God gives some alot and some not as much. Am I thankful for what I've been given? Am I willing to work my whole life for Him?

2 Corinthians 12: 10
That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Paul was given a "thorn in his flesh (v7)" to torment him, in order to keep him from being conceited, and he used this to glorify God all the more. Do I approach my own shortcomings this way? Or do I feel sorry for myself?

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Ecclesiastes 7-9; 2 Corinthians 13

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Tuesday, September 19; Ecclesiastes 1-3; 2 Corinthians 11:16-33 ~ Jody

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is: Ecclesiastes 1-3; 2 Corinthians 11:16-33

There is an occasion for everything,
and a time for every activity under heaven:
a time to give birth and a time to die;
a time to plant and a time to uproot;[t]
a time to kill and a time to heal;
a time to tear down and a time to build;
a time to weep and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn and a time to dance;
a time to throw stones and a time to gather stones;
a time to embrace and a time to avoid embracing;
a time to search and a time to count as lost;
a time to keep and a time to throw away;
a time to tear and a time to sew;
a time to be silent and a time to speak;
a time to love and a time to hate;
a time for war and a time for peace.

Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8

This is an all time favourite passage of mine. I found a devotional on that talks more about "time" in these verses:

The key word in this section is “time,” and it is used thirty times in 3:1-8. There are three insights worth noting in 3:1. First, Solomon is not going to be making judgments on the topics that follow in 3:2-8, he is merely recording the events that occur “under heaven.” Second, Solomon builds his argument upon the word “appointed.”77 The events of our lives do not randomly happen by chance; God has a purpose behind them. Third, Solomon uses an unusual Hebrew word translated “event.” This word conveys the idea of “delight.”78 By using the word “delight” instead of one of the standard nouns, Solomon implies that there is a good sense that one experiences by fitting into a given event at the right time. In other words, there is a sense of success based on appropriate timing—even if the activity, by its nature, is not delightful.79Again, timing is everything.

Even though we may not (in our humanness) like the season or time we are in, this passage is a reminder that God is in all of them! He has appointed these seasons and walks near us through them all.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageEcclesiastes 4-6; 2 Corinthians 12