Monday, December 11, 2017

Monday, December 11th: Hosea 5-8; Revelation 2 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Hosea 5-8; Revelation 2

Hosea 8:14 
Israel has forgotten their Maker
and built palaces;
Judah has fortified many towns.
But I will send fire on their cities
that will consume their fortresses.”

Israel and Judah had rejected God and continued to do so, as though it was a slight that God would overlook.  That there would be no day of reckoning.  They presumed upon God's grace and patience, not realize that judgment was inevitable if they did not repent.

Sound familiar?  

Our society flaunts its sin openly and condemns anyone who refuses to celebrate it with them, never mind tolerate it.  They don't realize that they are experiencing an unmerited act of grace by God allowing them time to come to repentance.

Eventually, that time will run out for them, just like it did for Israel and Judah.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Hosea 9-11; Revelation 3

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Sunday, December 10th: Hosea 1-4, Revelation 1 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Hosea 1-4, Revelation 1

The Lord said to me, “Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another man and is an adulteress. Love her as the Lord loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes.

Love as the Lord loves.

Hosea must have thought he was hearing things when God initially instructed him to marry a prostitute, and he must have thought so again in this passage.

Love her?! How could he possibly?

From this commentary.....
Gomer was still beloved of Hosea even though she was an adulteress, and God wanted him to seek her out and prove his love to her. How could anyone love that deeply? The answer was right there in God’s instructions to Hosea, “even as the Lord loves.” Only one who knows the love and forgiveness of God can ever love this perfectly. And one who has experienced His loving forgiveness cannot help but love and forgive others. Christian husbands are commanded to love their wives as Christ loved the Church (Eph. 5:25), and Hosea is an outstanding biblical example of that kind of love.
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageHosea 5-8; Revelation 2

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Saturday, December 9th: Daniel 11-12; Jude ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Daniel 11-12; Jude

24 To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— 25 to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.

I love doxologies, and this one is no exception!

Only Jesus is able to keep us from stumbling. We can't do it on our own strength.  We couldn't save ourselves, and we can't make it through this life on our own. We need to remember where our strength comes from.  In Christ alone. 

It reminds me of the song "In Christ Alone" by Brian Littrell....

In Christ alone will I glory
Though I could pride myself in battles won
For Ive been blessed beyond measure
And by His strength alone Ill overcome
Oh, I could stop and count successes like diamonds in my hands
But those trophies could not equal to the grace by which I stand

In Christ alone
I place my trust
And find my glory in the power of the cross
In every victory
Let it be said of me
My source of strength
My source of hope
Is Christ alone

In Christ alone do I glory
For only by His grace I am redeemed
For only His tender mercy
Could reach beyond my weakness to my need
And now I seek no greater honor in just to know Him more
And to count my gains but losses to the glory of my Lord

In Christ alone
I place my trust
And find my glory in the power of the cross
In every victory
Let it be said of me
My source of strength
My source of hope
Is Christ alone

Friday, December 8, 2017

Friday, December 8th: Daniel 8-10; 3 John ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Daniel 8-10; 3 John

Daniel 9:4 I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed:
“Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, 5 we have sinned and done wrong.We have been wicked and have rebelled; we have turned away from your commands and laws. 6 We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes and our ancestors, and to all the people of the land.

Every time I read this prayer I am struck by Daniel's willingness to lump himself in with his rebellious people.  But the truth is, no matter how righteous Daniel was, no matter how much he strived to obey God - he knew he was not sinless.  He, too, needed forgiveness.

Our sins may differ in magnitude (or quantity!), but they are all in need of forgiveness.  The key is whether or not we repent.  

Daniel repented.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Thursday, December 7th: Daniel 5-7; 2 John ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Daniel 5-7; 2 John

Daniel 5:5-6 Suddenly the fingers of a human hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of the wall, near the lampstand in the royal palace. The king watched the hand as it wrote. His face turned pale and he was so frightened that his legs became weak and his knees were knocking.

I gotta say, I think that reaction is spot on, and I'm pretty sure all of us would react in the same way!  And that is nothing compared to what sinful man's reaction would be if we actually caught sight of our Holy God.  Which is one of the reasons no one has ever seen God's face - we literally would not be able to handle it.

God is so awe-inspiring, so awesome, we truly cannot even imagine or begin to grasp His greatness.  He is, quite simply, above us in absolutely every way.  

And yet, He cares for us.  He loves us.  Sinners all.  Amazing grace, how sweet the sound!

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Daniel 8-10; 3 John

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Wednesday, December 6th: Daniel 3 - 4, 1 John 5 ~ Nathan

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is: Daniel 3-1; John 5

Daniel 4:37
Now I, Nebuchadnezzer, praise and exalt and glorify the King of Heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble.

Nebuchadnezzer was a king who earlier had seen the power of God in how He rescued Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Now he was given a chance to praise God and live for Him, but he had to have his kingdom taken away from him. Nebuchadnezzer was wise in that he chose to go through this rough time and be humbled, in order to be right with God.

How important is it to us to be right with God? Would we give up everything for Him? A tough question to consider, but hopefully we are wise to answer correctly.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Daniel 5-7; 2 John

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Tuesday, December 5th; Daniel 1-2; John 4 ~ Jody

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is:Daniel 1-2; John 4

Daniel replied, “No wise man, enchanter, magician or diviner can explain to the king the mystery he has asked about, 28 but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries. He has shown King Nebuchadnezzar what will happen in days to come. Daniel 2:27-28

Through this whole story of Daniel's journey, all of his energy, focus and decision revolves around honouring God and giving Him the glory. From the meals he refused to eat to the dream sharing, Daniel pointed everything back to God. This left the king with a clear understanding of the power of the God that Daniel serves - not the power of Daniel "the man". 

When we align our hearts and actions to obedience to God, we can rest confidently in what is to come!

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageDaniel 3-1; John 5

Monday, December 4, 2017

Monday, December 4: Ezekiel 47-48; 1 John 3 ~ by Pamela

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Ezekiel 47-48; 1 John 3

Two verses stuck out from today's readings in 1 John 3:

13 Do not be surprised, my brothers and sisters,[b] if the world hates you. 
 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
Verse 13 reminds me that as Christians we are constantly under attack by Satan. I think specifically of the court case right now before the Supreme Court of Canada concerning whether a Christian University can open a law school. The world can preach tolerance but hates truth. We are not surprised that our society is breaking and falling apart as they step away from God and His design. As a teacher at a private Christian school I wonder how this verdict will affect my job and my future and ability to teach what the Bible says.
However, just a few verses later we learn how to respond to the hate of the world. We are not to use merely our words but we are to act in love and in truth. May they know we are Christians by our love. May we continue to pray for a world that hates us. May we continue to love in our actions. May we always speak in, and seek, truth. 

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Sunday, December 3rd: Ezekiel 45-46; 1 John 2 ~ Emma

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Ezekiel 45-46; 1 John 2

“Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you.” - ‭‭1 John‬ ‭2:15‬

Sometimes it seems like it would be a lot easier to love the world rather than the Father. But we know that it will bring us much more joy and peace to love God rather than the world. Jesus said it wouldn’t be easy being a Christian, and it might give us more trials than if we weren’t Christians. But with God, we have hope. We know that this life is so so short compared to the eternity we will live in joy with the Father. So when the world seems tempting, we need to trust that God has a plan, and it is far more rewarding than anything this world can offer.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageEzekiel 47-48; 1 John 3

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Saturday, December 2nd: Ezekiel 42-44; 1 John 1 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Ezekiel 42-44; 1 John 1

1 John 1:6-7 If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
We cannot have a relationship with God and dwell in sin/darkness at the same time.  It's impossible.  There is no darkness in God.  None.  And if we claim otherwise, we are liars.

From Verse by Verse Commentary.....


We cannot fellowship with a God of absolute perfection without confessing our sins.


Those who claim to fellowship with God but continue in sin without confessing their sin, just kid themselves. They are not in fellowship.

A crucial element to the Christian life is the recognition and acknowledgement of our sin. If we do not confess our sin, we walk in darkness. We reserve a dark side to our soul. Darkness is the absence of life. Walking in the light means that we are open to God. We are not afraid to expose any aspect of our lives to Him.

May we have the courage to expose the darkness in our hearts and to walk fully in the Light of His mercy and grace!

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage:  Ezekiel 45-46; 1 John 2

Friday, December 1, 2017

Friday, December 1: Ezekiel 40-41; 2 Peter 3 by Pamela

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Ezekiel 40-41; 2 Peter 3

These verses stood out for me:

The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you,[a] not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies[b] will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.[c]
1You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability.

When my kids were small, sometimes days would last for eternity. All the busy-ness that comes with raising tiny humans is exhausting. The cleaning, the changing, the feeding, the endless cycle that goes on and on. Some days it seems like it will never end. A wise person once said "The days are long but the years are short" and how true that is. Now as a Mom with 2 out of 3 children currently away from home I have trouble remembering just how long those days really were.

God's perfect timing is outside of our knowledge. We watch the cycle of evil grow and black and white fade to grey and the cycle continues and we wonder if Christ is ever coming back. The headlines show that our sinful world gets worse by the day. However, God always keeps his promises and one day He will return and it will all become clear that this was exactly the perfect time and we won't remember just how long all those years of waiting were.

Knowing this, that Christ will return, we need to make sure that we stand on the truth and not be swayed by the ways of the world while we wait. Our every action will be revealed and we need to be ready.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageEzekiel 42-44; 1 John 1

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Thursday, November 30th: Ezekiel 37-39; 2 Peter 2 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Ezekiel 37-39; 2 Peter 2

25 “Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will now restore the fortunes of Jacob and will have compassion on all the people of Israel, and I will be zealous for my holy name. 26 They will forget their shame and all the unfaithfulness they showed toward me when they lived in safety in their land with no one to make them afraid. 27 When I have brought them back from the nations and have gathered them from the countries of their enemies, I will be proved holy through them in the sight of many nations. 28 Then they will know that I am the Lord their God, for though I sent them into exile among the nations, I will gather them to their own land, not leaving any behind. 29 I will no longer hide my face from them, for I will pour out my Spirit on the people of Israel, declares the Sovereign Lord.”
Truly, God's grace is amazing!

We, like the Israelites, have betrayed God time and time again.

Still, He offers us forgiveness.
Slate wiped clean.
Relationship with God Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth.

All glory be to God for the great things He has done for us!

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage:  Ezekiel 40-41; 2 Peter 3

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Wednesday, November 29th: Ezekiel 35 - 36, 2 Peter 1 ~ Nathan

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is:  Ezekiel 35-36; 2 Peter 1

2 Peter 1:16
For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.

Peter actually saw Jesus, and was an eyewitness, therefore he told us about Jesus and the importance of living for Him. This wasn't second hand information, but rather a first hand account.

2 Peter 1: 20-21
Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. [21] For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit

Here we read that the Bible is God's word and interpretation, not man's. God used man to communicate His word to us. This is humbling, we are just people, but we are God's people and we are blessed to be able to know God and experience Him. I am also thankful for all He's done for me!

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Ezekiel 37-39; 2 Peter 2

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Tuesday, November 28th; Ezekiel 33-34; 1 Peter 5

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is: Ezekiel 33-34; 1 Peter 5

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:6-7

What stood out for me in this verse was "that he may lift you up in due time". I kind of always want him to lift me up in MY time! Ok God, I'm humbled before you, I'm waiting on you... is it time to be out of this yet?! This passage is a good reminder that in due time, he'll lift me out of it. He also doesn't say "don't be anxious while waiting" - he knows we will struggle with that and so gives us verse 7 instructing us what to do with that anxiety, because he cares for us!

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageEzekiel 35-36; 2 Peter 1

Monday, November 27, 2017

Monday, November 27th: Ezekiel 30-32, 1 Peter 4 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Ezekiel 30-32; 1 Peter 4

1 Peter 4:10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithfulstewards of God’s grace in its various forms.
This verse was a good reminder to me that our gifts are not given to us to benefit only ourselves, but rather to benefit and serve others.  Our gifts are also not given to us in order for us to receive glory and praise, but instead those gifts are to glorify God.  This doesn't mean that we cannot accept a compliment about our gifts or a skill we have honed (as instructed to do elsewhere in God's Word), but we should not allow it to become a stumbling block of pride, forgetting to acknowledge that it is by God's grace that we have received the gift and the ability to improve our talent.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageEzekiel 33-34; 1 Peter 5

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Sunday, November 26th: Ezekiel 27-29; 1 Peter 3 ~ Emma

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Ezekiel 27-29; 1 Peter 3

“Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it.” - 1 Peter‬ ‭3:15‬

We need to be ready to answer the questions our friends, coworkers, and neighbours ask us about our faith. We need to read God’s Word, and have spiritual conversations with each other so that we never stop learning about God. If we do this, we will become closer with God, we will feel more confident in our faith, and we will be able to answer questions that nonbelievers might have. We need to be ready to answer their questions, and we need to act out what it looks like to have a relationship with God, because we might be the only Jesus that they will ever see.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageEzekiel 30-32; 1 Peter 4

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Saturday, November 25th: Ezekiel 24-26; 1 Peter 2 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Ezekiel 24-26; 1 Peter 2

Ezekiel 24:15 The word of the Lord came to me: 16 “Son of man, with one blow I am about to take away from you the delight of your eyes. Yet do not lament or weep or shed any tears. 17 Groan quietly; do not mourn for the dead. Keep your turban fastened and your sandals on your feet; do not cover your mustache and beard or eat the customary food of mourners.”

18 So I spoke to the people in the morning, and in the evening my wife died. The next morning I did as I had been commanded.

Every time I read this passage it jumps out at me.  I mean, how can it not?!  Much has already been asked of Ezekiel in his role as God's prophet and mouthpiece to Israel.  But this....this just seems like it's too much to ask. 

And I think that's a very natural, human reaction. 

Yet God gives Ezekiel the strength and ability to see past the human viewpoint, and rather to grasp the eternal point of view.  We are so prone to grasp onto this life with desperation (and indeed, the will to live is a good thing!) but what we need is Ezekiel's perspective, and Paul's in Philippians 1 "For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain".  It's a difficult perspective when it comes to our own lives, but it's even more difficult when it comes to the lives of the ones we love.

Thankfully we don't have to understand in order to have faith.  And we don't need to rely on our own strength when it comes to faith, but rather rely on the power of the Holy Spirit.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageEzekiel 27-29; 1 Peter 3

Friday, November 24, 2017

Friday, November 24th: Ezekiel 22-23; 1 Peter 1 ~ Conrad

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is: Ezekiel 22-23; 1 Peter 1

"uses his power to shed blood"
"have treated father and mother with contempt"
"have oppressed the foreigner"
"mistreated the fatherless and the widow"
"have despised my holy things and desecrated my Sabbaths"
"eat at the mountain shrines and commit lewd acts"
"dishonor their father’s bed"
"violate women during their period"
"commits a detestable offense with his neighbor’s wife"
"shamefully defiles his daughter-in-law"
"accept bribes to shed blood"
"take interest and make a profit from the poor"
"extort unjust gain from your neighbors"
"you have forgotten me"

The above quotes are all from Ezekiel 22.  These verses are describing how the people of Jerusalem have been behaving.  It's sad.  It's disheartening.  It's tragic.  It's hopeless.  It's detestable.  Unfortunately, this is us in 2017 too.  

Thankfully, we have our reading in the NT to follow the words from Ezekiel:

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you,"
1 Peter 1:3-4

Despite our fallen world, and within that our own personal failures, we have this hope that is found not in this world, but in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  In the meantime, yes we live here, but we can also live in joy and peace knowing that one day we will be in Heaven with our Heavenly Father.  An inheritance that we do not have to check on to see if the value has risen or crashed, but rather one that will never fade.  What a glorious and powerful hope that belongs to us!                      

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Ezekiel 24-26; 1 Peter 2

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Thursday, November 23rd: Ezekiel 20-21; James 5 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Ezekiel 20-21; James 5

Ezekiel 20:9 But for the sake of my name, I brought them out of Egypt. I did it to keep my name from being profaned in the eyes of the nations among whom they lived and in whose sight I had revealed myself to the Israelites.
Phrases similar to this appear multiple times in our passage.  To me this is a good reminder that God chose to save me, just like He chose to save the Israelites.  And He didn't choose me because there was anything special about me.  He didn't choose me because I'm any better than anyone else.  He chose me despite me.  He chose me in order to glorify His name.

Yes, He saves us because He loves us.  But He also saves us for the sake of His name.  And I am thankful, so thankful, for His saving grace.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage:  Ezekiel 22-23; 1 Peter 1

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Wednesday, November 22nd: Ezekiel 18-19, James 4 ~ Nathan

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is: Ezekiel 18-19; James 4

Ezekiel 18:23
Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign Lord. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?

Ezekiel 18:32
For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and live!

Does God take pleasure in us sinning and turning from Him? Absolutely not! Here it says, and God shows, that He wants us to turn from our sin and follow Him. He loves us and wants us to choose to follow Him.

James 4:8
Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded

Again, an invitation to everyone to go to God. Clean up the sin in our lives by asking for forgiveness for it and trying our best to do better.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Ezekiel 20-21; James 5

Monday, November 20, 2017

Monday, November 20th: Ezekiel 14-15; James 2 ~ Conrad

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is: Ezekiel 14-15; James 2

 "You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did.  And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend.  You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone."  James 2:22-24

In today's reading, James stresses the importance of our faith and our actions working together.  If we have an active faith, it should be expressed in Christian living.  In other words, a true disciple of Christ will not live in hypocrisy.  If our faith is not expressed in Christian actions, it is useless and dead.  I also appreciated how this passage tied in with the OT reading in Ezekiel 15 (Jerusalem as a useless vine).     

My next point is strictly my own thought, but here is a reason why I believe that our faith and our actions need to go hand in hand........

The Lord looks at our heart, which no one else is able to see or observe.  People on the other hand, can only hear what we say and observe us on the outside along with our actions.  I work at a store where the owner does not advertise.  So the only "advertising" we have is word of mouth from previous customers.  It will either be good or bad.......that just depends on how well the store treats its customers.  The same goes for us a Christians.  How are we advertising our faith? 

The faith Abraham had in God was equally matched with his actions, and is an example for us all.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Ezekiel 16-17; James 3

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Sunday, November 19: Ezekiel 11-13; James 1 ~ Emma

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Ezekiel 11-13; James 1

“Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.” - James‬ ‭1:17

How comforting it is to know that God never changes. He remains the same through our tough times, happy times, and all of time. It is so comforting to know that the God who holds the universe in His hands never changes. He is always good, always loving, and always knows what is best for us How great it is to serve Him.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageEzekiel 14-15; James 2

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Saturday, November 18th: Ezekiel 8-10; Hebrews 13 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Ezekiel 8-10; Hebrews 13

Hebrews13:2 Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.
Wouldn't that be cool?!  To show hospitality to an angel?!  Well, if you've ever taken the time out of your day to help out a stranger, you just may have without even knowing it!  What a cool thought!

Obviously it shouldn't take the idea of angels to inspire us to show hospitality.  But it's kind of a cool reminder.  And Jesus made it clear that when we serve those who are in need, we are serving Him - which is even cooler than serving angels!

So serve - you never know who you're serving, but at the same time you always know Who you are serving!

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageEzekiel 11-13; James 1

Friday, November 17, 2017

Friday, November 17th: Ezekiel 5-7; Hebrews 12 ~ Conrad

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is: Ezekiel 5-7; Hebrews 12

 "fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."
Hebrews 12:2 

I have read this passage many times, but today this verse stood out to me.  Today I realized that despite the fact that dying on a cross was a shameful death, Jesus focused on the end result. 

Jesus was not troubled by what His opponents thought of Him.  Religious leaders tried to damage His reputation.  He was laughed at and ridiculed.  A crown of thorns was forced onto His head.  A purple robe was put on Him to ridicule Him despite the fact that He was a king.

In spite of all this, did Jesus try to defend His reputation?  No.  The Scripture tells us that He "scorned its shame".  It was far more important that He glorified his Father, and remain focused on doing his Father's will than trying to save face or even to simply execute His own desire of not having to go through with the crucifixion.

This gives me hope and strength that if Jesus would endure the cross with all its pain and shame knowing that afterwards He would be seated beside his Father in Heaven, then I too should focus more on my Heavenly Father and less on my sinful desires and temptations.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Ezekiel 8-10; Hebrews 13

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Thursday, November 16th: Ezekiel 3-4; Hebrews 11:20-40 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is  Ezekiel 3-4; Hebrews 11:20-40

Hebrews 11:39-40 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.
We love it when God answers prayer (with a "yes!") and when we receive what's been promised.  It's easy to be faithful then.

But these faith "hall of fame-ers" were commended for their faith- and they never received what had been promised.  They NEVER received it, and were faithful anyway. 

It reminds me of the Mercy Me song....

I know You're able, and I know You can
save through the fire with Your mighty hand
But even if You don't
my hope is You alone

They say it only takes a little faith
to move a mountain
Well, good thing,
a little faith is all I have right now.
But God when You choose
to leave mountains unmoveable
oh give me the strength to be able to sing
it is well with my soul

May I have that kind of faith!

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageEzekiel 5-7; Hebrews 12

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Wednesday, November 15th: Ezekiel 1-2; Hebrews 11:1-19 ~ Emma

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Ezekiel 1-2; Hebrews 11:1-19

“Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see.” - Hebrews‬ ‭11:1‬

No matter what you believe in, it requires faith of the unseen/unknown. And we, as Christians, need to grow our faith stronger and stronger so that we always remain hopeful, and loving towards the Lord. If we don’t have faith, we have nothing.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageEzekiel 3-4; Hebrews 11:20-40

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Tuesday, November 14th: Lamentations 3-5; Hebrews 10:19-39 ~ Jody

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is: Lamentations 3-5; Hebrews 10:19-39

The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!” Lamentations 3:22-24

What encouraging verses. He is all and everything we can place our hope in. And it's confirmed again in our New Testament reading.

Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. Hebrews 10:23

I could have actually listed the whole Hebrews reading here as passages that resonated with me today. That we continue to live in His hope, repenting and turning back to Him so we can fully receive His goodness and nearness.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageEzekiel 1-2; Hebrews 11:1-19

Monday, November 13, 2017

Monday, November 13th: Lamentations 1-2; Hebrews 10:1-18 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is  Lamentations 1-2; Hebrews 10:1-18

Hebrews 10:14  14 For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.

The Israelite priests made sacrifices day after day and it was never enough, and it never actually brought forgiveness of sins - though it did point to Jesus, the ultimate sacrifice whose death does bring forgiveness of sins. Through this one sacrifice Jesus has made us righteous in God’s eyes, and continues His perfecting work in our lives.   This must have been so kind baffling to the Jews at the time, who had witnessed those sacrifices over and over - and Jesus made them obsolete! Amazing!

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageLamentations 3-5Hebrews 10:19-39

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Sunday, November 12th: Jeremiah 51-52; Hebrews 9 ~ Emma

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Jeremiah 51-52; Hebrews 9

“So also Christ died once for all time, as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people. He will come again, not to deal with our sins, but to bring salvation to all who are eagerly waiting for Him.”  - Hebrews 9:28

I am so thankful that I do not have to follow all those many many rules and regulations that the Jews had to follow in the Old Testamnent. Even more than that though, I am so so thankful that Jesus became the ultimate sacrifice so that one day I can be with Him in Heaven. I am so looking forward to the day He will come back to get His people, and we will all be with Him forever.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageLamentations 1-2; Hebrews 10:1-18

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Saturday, November 11th: Jeremiah 50; Hebrews 8 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Jeremiah 50; Hebrews 8

Hebrews 8:12 For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”
I'm not sure what's more amazing - that God is willing to forgive our wickedness when we repent and believe in His name, or that He choose to not remember those sins.

The very sins that caused the death of His beloved and only Son.

Unlike us, God does not hold a grudge.
Unlike us, God does not bludgeon us over the head with sins from the past.
Unlike us, God does not bring up past sins when we do the same thing... again.

He forgives.  And He chooses to not remember them.


Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageJeremiah 51-52; Hebrews 9

Friday, November 10, 2017

Friday, November 10th: Jeremiah 48-49; Hebrews 7 ~ Conrad

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is: Jeremiah 48-49; Hebrews 7

"Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself."  Hebrews 7:27

Christ came to fulfill the Old Testament.  Jesus is a better revealer of truth than what God employed in the Old Testament.  Christ is better than the angels, Moses, Aaron and the Levitical priests.  His once-for-all sacrifice is better than the sacrifices of the old sanctuary.  The sacrifice of Jesus' blood offers us complete forgiveness and salvation for eternity.

Thank you Jesus for your ultimate sacrifice for us!   

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Jeremiah 50; Hebrews 8

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Thursday, November 9th: Jeremiah 46-47; Hebrews 6 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Jeremiah 46-47; Hebrews 6

Hebrews 6:19 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, 20 where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.

This first portion of this passage was the theme verse of our church's summer Adventure's Day Camp program.  And I love it!

Our hope is not placed in something flimsy or unsure.  Our hope is an anchor, it's firm, it's secure, it's reliable, it's strong, it's certain!

I also love how it talks about the inner sanctuary behind the curtain - the curtain that was torn the moment Jesus died on the cross, making a way for us to enter directly into the presence of God.  It's something the Israelites couldn't even imagine!  And we have that access, anytime we want it - do we use it?!

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage:   Jeremiah 48-49; Hebrews 7

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Wednesday, November 8th: Jeremiah 43-45, Hebrews 5 ~ Nathan

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is: Jeremiah 43-45; Hebrews 5

Jeremiah 44:14
None of the remnant of Judah who have gone to live in Egypt will escape or survive to return to the land of Judah, to which they long to return and live; none will return except a few fugitives .”

God warned the Israelites many times, and again He warned them not to go to Egypt, but rather to be taken to Babylon, where they would eventually find favor with the Bablyonians and be allowed to leave. But many thought it was best to go to Egypt, so they did.

How many times has God warned us about something? How many chances do we need, to finally make the decision He wants us to make? I pray that I'm not stubborn to God.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Jeremiah 46-47; Hebrews 6

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Tuesday, November 7th: Jeremiah 40-42; Hebrews 4 ~ Jody

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is: Jeremiah 40-42; Hebrews 4

19 “Remnant of Judah, the Lord has told you, ‘Do not go to Egypt.’ Be sure of this: I warn you today 20 that you made a fatal mistake when you sent me to the Lordyour God and said, ‘Pray to the Lord our God for us; tell us everything he says and we will do it.’ 21 I have told you today, but you still have not obeyed the Lord your God in all he sent me to tell you. 22 So now, be sure of this: You will die by the sword, famine and plague in the place where you want to go to settle.” Jeremiah 42:19-22 

It's so much easier to obey God when His directions match our plans. God was asking them to stay where they were - in persecution they knew and experienced - and trust Him that he would keep them safe there. Their unbelief was going to push them forward to Egypt where THEY believed they would be safer. 

How often do we pray for direction from God but actually we're just asking Him to affirm what we want to do anyway? What trust we must have in our Heavenly Father to set our own intentions aside and trust Him when he says "Stay" in our current situation and that His Love and His Plans are meant for good in our lives. Even when we cannot see it in our present circumstance, He has a plan to protect us - His children. All we have to do is trust and obey.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageJeremiah 43-45; Hebrews 5