Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Wednesday, December 28th: Revelation 21 - 22 ~ Nathan

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is: Revelation 21-22

As I read this last portion of scripture for the year, I underlined many verses. Quite a few stood out, here's a few that I highlighted,

Revelation 21: 6-7
He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. [7] Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children

A good reminder as we fight our daily battles, that if we choose to remain true to God we will be victorious and inherit everlasting life with Him. It's good sometimes to remind ourselves of the end result, and how good it will be, then press on.


Revelation 22: 5
There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.

This is hard to imagine, how we won't need any electrical or street lights etc, when we're in Heaven. This is one of those things that we as humans cannot fully understand now, but will later. God is so far above us (mentally and spiritually) we cannot understand His ways, but need to trust.


Revelation 22: 18&19
I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. [19] And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll.

I good reminder, and command, for us to not add or subtract from the word of God. What's in the bible stays, and isn't for us to add or subtract from, we can't pick and chose what we want to obey and what we don't. We're just people, some of us are very knowledgeable and intelligent, but are far from matching God in either one of these. He is in charge of this book (bible) and offers it to us to help follow and understand, it's all we need.

I have enjoyed reading through the Bible and studying it this year, it has shown me that there is alot I don't know, I realize by studying it I can grow in my knowledge but at the same time see that I need to learn more. I hope most of you will be back in 2017 to walk through this again, have a Happy New Year!!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Tuesday, December 27th: Revelation 19-20 ~ Danae

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Revelation 19-20

However much we are able to interpret the book of Revelation, we are left with no doubt as to Who will be victorious in the end. God will reign victorious & satan will be defeated.

Revelation 20:14-15 -
Then death & Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

Not only that, but verse 15 is clear that for anyone who by faith has not identified with Christ, confessing him as Lord, there will be no hope, no second chance, no other appeal.

Who is coming to defeat satan? “Faithful & True”, “Word of God”, “King of Kings & Lord of Lords”. I love these descriptions of Jesus & yet, according to 19:12, there are no names that can do him justice. “His eyes are like blazing fire, & on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself.”

Jesus loves us & extends to all his mercy & forgiveness, but the time is coming when his wrath will be displayed on those who refuse to believe. We need to spread God's love to those around us, but we can't ignore his wrath.

While some may wonder how a God of love can really love if he would ever truly condemn someone, however to me, this makes him all the greater. He won't be walked over, he won't be mocked; He will have his way.

We need to make sure to tell others about God's love with urgency, recognizing that his wrath is real & is coming, at which time there will be no second chances.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Revelation 21-22

Monday, December 26, 2016

Monday, December 26th: Revelation 16-18 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Revelation 16-18

I'm not what people who believe in universalism (that everyone goes to heaven) do with Revelation!  God's judgment is clear.

Sin is so deceptive.  I found this passage about the judgment of Babylon so ironic.....
18:18 They will cry out as they watch the smoke ascend, and they will say, "Where is there another city as great as this?"

The New Jerusalem will be far greater!  Their sin had so blinded them that the destruction of that evil city of Babylon was met with mourning and distress. They had put their hope in something that could not save them.

It is still incredible to me, that Jesus willingly left the glory of heaven and eternity past, that He clothed Himself in humanity, grew from a baby into manhood, lived sinlessly, in order that He might be the Perfect Sacrifice, to die in our place so that we wouldn't have to, and rise again conquering death and sin forever!  He did this for you, He did this for me.  What a gift!   No wonder we celebrate Christmas.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Revelation 19-20

Friday, December 23, 2016

Friday, December 23rd: Revelations 13-15 ~ Conrad

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is: Revelation 13-15

He said in a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.”  Revelation 14:7

Then another angel came out of the temple and called in a loud voice to him who was sitting on the cloud, “Take your sickle and reap, because the time to reap has come, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.” So he who was seated on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth, and the earth was harvested.  Revelation 14:15-16

As it has been mentioned on previous postings, I too find the book of Revelation to be hard to understand.  As I was reading the passage, the verses I noted above seemed to say the same thing, but in different tones (if I understood them correctly).

The first verse gave me the perspective and tone of fearing God because of what He has done.  He created the heavens.  He created the earth.  He created the bodies of water.  It lead me to ponder on other awesome and great things He has done; He leads, He directs, He loves, He heals, He forgives, He provides, He is merciful, He listens, and the list goes on and on.  This perspective gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling inside that makes me want to do right for God because of how awesome He has been to me.  It is the same sort of relationship that me and Pamela have in the sense that I feel that Pamela always displays love and kindness to me, so my desire is to reciprocate or even exceed those actions back towards her.

The second verse quoted above comes off as very authoritative, or forceful, or maybe even ruthless.  Both passages indicate that the time has come, but this passage has a more descriptive and possibly a more accurate image of reality.  God is loving, but He's also powerful and one day we will all see both sides of Him.  We're no farmers in our family, but we have planted a garden; and when the end of the growing season has come, everything comes out.  Fruits or vegetables that are ripe, ones that should have been picked before, and also the vegetables that are not ready for harvest.  Everything comes out of the ground.  We did not leave the vegetables behind that had not ripened to give them more time, they were tossed to the side.  This memory and thought is what this passage brought to my mind.  The time had come to harvest, and the whole earth was harvested.  There was no 5 minute warning before going home, and no alarm clock to wake us up.    

Two different ways of saying the same thing in a passage that is only separated by a number of verses.  Must be important.  Whether we choose to obey God because of His loving approach or His more powerful,  authoritative approach, the time for harvest will come and we will all be held powerless to Him.
Will we be ripe and ready for the harvest, or will we be tossed to the side and not worthy to enter His Kingdom?

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Revelation 16-18

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Thursday, December 22: Revelations 10-12 ~ Cameron

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Revelations 10-12

The most interesting  part of this passage is what isn't written down. What was said between the angel and the seven thunders at the end of verse 3? I suspect that later in life, John would sit back and ponder what he heard, and wonder when God would see fit to reveal those words.

A little digging into some commentaries and it seems that speculation of what John heard is less important than the description that he was writing things down as they happened in his vision, rather than years afterward. This adds credibility to the accuracy of what is recorded. Also, by that same premise, that means John is "live tweeting" the event 2000 years before Twitter.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Revelations 13-15

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Wednesday, December 21st: Revelation 7 - 9 ~ Nathan

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Revelation 7-9

I've read the book of Revelation many times, but have always had a hard time understanding it. Parts of it I find easier to understand than the rest. Revelation often talks about the end times. Because I've felt that it's hard to understand everything that is explained in Revelation, it is best to have trust and faith in God about this.

One portion of today's reading that stood out for me was Revelation 7:14 - 17,

I answered, “Sir, you know.” And he said, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. [15] Therefore, “they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence. [16] 'Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat down on them,' nor any scorching heat. [17] 17 For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; ‘he will lead them to springs of living water .’ b ‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes

These verses talk about a people who have gone through a great trial, and have come out of it victorious.

We all go through different types of trials, do we panic and look for any temporary help we can find? Or do we go to God, asking Him for wisdom and guidance to get us through?

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Revelation 10-12

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Tuesday, December 20th: Revelation 4-6 ~ Danae

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Revelation 4-6

To read Revelation & understand everything that is described is not easy, even impossible but what is very clear is the glory of God. A time will come where “every knee will bow.”

Rev 4:11-
You are worthy, our Lord & God, to receive glory & honor & power, for you created all things, & by your will they were created & have their being.

In chapter 4 verses 2-8 we read of God sitting on his throne, the glory of his throne & the creatures surrounding him. These creatures spend their time worshipping him.

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, & is, & is to come” (vs 8)

In fact, the verse says “day & night they never stop saying: Holy, holy, holy…”. They recognized God's greatness & all that is left is to worship.

How often do we go a “day & night” without stopping to even think about God. So wrapped up in our lives & busyness we don't have time to reflect on God's glory & who he is. But when we stop to consider who God is & what he did for us, how can we not?

Chapter 5 continues with, “the voices of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, & ten thousand times ten thousand, encircling the throne” (vs 11). If we can even begin to imagine this, think of the awesomeness of it.

This is what our God is worthy of, a lifetime of worship & honor. Not just a quick, tired thought at the end of the day.

As we approach Christmas, what a great time to be reminded of this. While God is so great that he has armies of angels worshipping him, he came down to earth to meet us. To make a way that we too can know him & worship. Let's not get so wrapped up in the celebration that we forget Who we are celebrating. From the big answers of prayer to the small intricacies of a snowflake’s design, let's recognize God in everything & glorify him.

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty!”

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Revelation 7-9

Monday, December 19, 2016

Monday, December 19: Revelation 1-3 by Pamela

oops I missed my day by a whole week! (Thank goodness for back posting ;)

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Revelation 1-3

The first thing that stood out for me was verse 3:

Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near.
For the time is near. It's been about 2000 years ago that Jesus came and yet we are STILL waiting. How can John say the time is near and yet it has been so long? I think it's kind of like what happens when we are looking forward to something....we wait and we wait and we wait and then when it finally happens the wait for it seems to just fade away. Conrad and I were engaged for a year and a half at the time it seemed like FOREVER as we waited to be married. Now that I look back it doesn't seem like that long. I was in university for 5 years (+ the two right after high school) and it seemed to take FOREVER to finish my schooling to become a teacher and now here I am in my 8th year of teaching. Our kids seemed like they would be helpless and dependent FOREVER and now our oldest is a few weeks from turning 20, she's lived abroad, bought a car, and is making plans for what she wants to do next. I am certain that when Christ returns and we look back then it won't seem long at all.

It's hard to wrap your head around this:

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

He always was, He is now, and He is to come. When we live in a disposable world, it's hard to imagine something that lasts indefinitely. What a comfort it is to know that God was there, He is near, and He already knows the future.

The warnings and advice to the 7 churches can be just as applicable now as they were then:

To Ephesus:

 But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first...."

Don't just start off strong, but finish strong.

To Smyrna:

10 Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life."

You will face suffering. You will be confined in difficult places. Don't give up; the reward is worth it.

To Pergamum:

16 Therefore repent. If not, I will come to you soon and war against them with the sword of my mouth.

Turn from sin and be redeemed.

To Thyatira:

20 But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. 

Beware of false teachers who will lead you away from Biblical teaching.

To Sardis:

Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God. Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you.

We don't know when Christ will return so we need to be ready and faultless through forgiveness.

To Philadelphia:

I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown.

He is returning soon and will reward the faithful.

To Loadicea:

15 “‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth....  

20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.

There is a black and white and it is not grey. There is an absolute truth.

Salvation is an offered gift that still needs to be accepted.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageRevelation 4-6

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Sunday, December 18th: 2John 1, 3 John 1 ~ Jay

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is: 2 John 1, 3 John 1

The two main themes of today's passage revolve around Truth and Love, and how Love is reflected in how we treat others.

I found vs 2 of chapter 1 John 1 interesting relative to truth.   because of the truth, which lives in us and will be with us forever: We often think of truth as an inanimate or factual verbalization, yet we are reminded that truth is a living breathing thing which lives in us and should manifest itself in our everyday lives.  Christ and his spirit are living and breathing within us and as a result our lives should manifest this.

The commands about love are present in the old testament where we are told to "love our neighbor as ourselves..", Here John is writing to the body of believers and makes specific mention that they love one another. I ask that we love one another. And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love. Do we truly love our fellow believers, or do we smile when we see them, yet hold a grudge for something that was once said or a wrong we felt was done against us? It is a command- Walk in Love. To be effective for Christ and be considered "walking in the truth", love for our fellow believers in critical.

The challenge for me from 3 John was with respect to love and support for those who have given up their own lives to spread the gospel (aka missionaries).  Dear friend, you are faithful in what you are doing for the brothers and sisters,[a] even though they are strangers to you. They have told the church about your love. Please send them on their way in a manner that honors God. It was for the sake of the Name that they went out, receiving no help from the pagans. We ought therefore to show hospitality to such people so that we may work together for the truth. We are challenged to show hospitality (and support) as we are partners with them in their work.  The personal challenge for me over the holidays is to connect somehow with one of our church missionaries and help meet a need they might have. 

Truth and love are two words that we hear frequently tossed about in today's world, yet if truth and love do not originate in Christ...they are merely words.   

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Revelation 1-3

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Saturday, December 17th: 1 John 1-5 ~ Tammy

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

In our passage today John points out several things that will be true of genuine believers.

Genuine believers call sin sin.
Genuine believers know that Jesus is the Son of God and the only Way.
Genuine believers live lives that reflect their professed beliefs.  Though they will still sin, their lives should not a pattern of unrepentant sin.
Genuine believers confess their sin, not to ensure they won't lose their salvation, but rather to continue to enjoy complete fellowship and joy with God.
Genuine believers have a love for God and for one another.
Believers can be confident of their salvation!

I appreciated some of the things my Life Application Bible said about this book.....
By the time John wrote this letter, Christianity had been around for more than a generation. It had faced and survived severe persecution. The main problem confronting the church at this time was declining commitment: Many believers were conforming to the world's standards, failing to stand up for Christ, and compromising their faith. False teachers were plentiful, and they were accelerating the church's downward slide away from the Christian faith.

John wrote this letter to put believers back on track, to show the difference between light and darkness (truth and error), and to encourage the church to grow in genuine love for God and for one another. He also wrote to assure true believers that they possessed eternal life and to help them know that their faith was genuine - so they could enjoy all the benefits of being God's children.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage2 John 1, 3 John 1

Friday, December 16, 2016

Friday, December 16th: Hebrews 12-13, Jude 1 ~ Conrad

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is: Hebrews 12-13. Jude 1

In today's reading, there were quite a few verses that caught my attention, but I narrowed it down to this one:

"Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."  Hebrews 12:3

Unfortunately, this verse tells us that we too will endure opposition.  When this happens, how will we react?  I have been encouraged recently by our kids for the opposition they have been enduring.  Despite receiving opposition from her school teacher, Kezia is going against the recommendation of her teacher, as she has decided to show how the Bible does relate to science.  Will she get marked fairly for the topic she chose?  Most likely not.  Will her teacher reconsider his view on Christianity?  Hopefully, but we may never know.....

The pressure that Kaden is experiencing from his school and hockey friends is bringing me back to my high school days.  The purpose of dating for most youth is for one thing only, and the idea of saving yourself for your wedding night no longer appears to be a consideration.

We should be encouraged to persevere in our faith and have our faith grow while we are dependent on the Lord.  He is the provider of our strength so that we do not lose heart.  This is a marathon that we are running, and we need to prepare ourselves as if it were a physical race, so that we can see it through to the end.

The temptations we face today are the same as they were yesterday and the same as they will be tomorrow.  Thankfully, Jesus Christ is also the same yesterday and today and forever.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: 1John 1-5

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Thursday, December 15th: Hebrews 9-11 ~ Jeannine

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Hebrews 9-11

Hebrews 11 is one of my favorite passages in the bible. I find it comforting to read about all these imperfect people who found favour in the eyes of God. And it had nothing to do with how good they were but rather who they worshiped and the faith they had in Him. God was able to use these people in spite of their inadequacies.

Reading it this time and with the help of a few commentaries it took on some new meaning. All the people listed in this Hall of Faith lived prior to Christ's death on the cross and His gift of salvation and yet they all found favour in God's eyes. It is apparent that the righteousness of Abel, Enoch, Noah, and Abraham is apart from law-keeping as they all lived before the law was given to Moses on Mount Sinai. After Moses, again nothing is mentioned about them keeping the law. It's still all about faith. It's not about how well they followed all the rules. I think sometimes we think that the old testament and the new are two separate books and are based on two different sets of rules but if that were the case then how did any of these imperfect people find favour in God's sight? It wasn't because of anything they did but rather their faith and trust in God that brought them that favour.

I am reminded of Romans 4 where in the previous chapters Paul shows that all men are lost sinners, destined for eternal judgment, and incapable of attaining righteousness by their own efforts. He then sets forth the gospel, declaring that what men could not do by law keeping, Christ has accomplished by His atoning death, so that men can be saved by faith in Jesus Christ, apart from works. Now the question in the minds of Paul’s Jewish readers will be, “Wait a minute! Paul is saying that it is impossible for men to be saved by law keeping and that salvation comes only by faith in the work of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary. How, then, were the Old Testament saints saved?” Paul answers this question by taking the greatest Old Testament hero of all time – Abraham – and demonstrating that he was not saved by law keeping (for the law did not yet exist), but by faith (in the coming Messiah).

The writer to the Hebrews is doing precisely the same thing. While he makes much of Abraham, he broadens his argument to include all the Old Testament saints. It was not only Abraham who was saved by faith, apart from law-works; every Old Testament saint was saved “by faith” and lived heroically “by faith.” It has always been “by faith” and not of works.
Excerpted from

Once in a while I end up in a conversation with someone who seems to be convinced that there is more to salvation than just faith in Christ and His gift of salvation. And while true faith will cause us to desire to please God, we can never use our works to convince ourselves that we have faith. We can never work hard enough or follow enough rules to get us into His hall of fame. The only thing that will get us in that great hall is what God sees in our heart.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageHebrews 12-13, Jude 1

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Wednesday, December 14th: Hebrews 5-8 ~ Nathan

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Hebrews 5-8

Like many of the posts done lately, I too felt like there was much to discuss and write about in these chapters today. Here are a few things that caught my attention:

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

One thing I found interesting was the use of the word "hope" in verse 19. We do have a hope, but believe it to be sure, though we have to use this word for now, until Christ comes. All true evidence points to our faith being true, and we will continue to live with confidence in that hope until our time is up.

Hebrews 8:13
By calling this covenant “ new ,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear.

This verse reminded me of what Christmas really is about, the coming to earth of God's only son and the change to history that it brought. Things would never be the same again for the people of that time, and would continue to this day. We have a chance to ask for forgiveness, and for God to live in our hearts, and to follow Him. I pray for wisdom, guidance, and courage to live like He wants, and to pass this incredible gift on to others.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Hebrews 9-11

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Tuesday, December 13th: Hebrews 1-4 ~ Danae

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

“The Son is the radiance of God's glory & the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.”  Hebrews 1:3

King Jesus…

Let all God's angels worship him – 1:6
Your throne, O God, will last for ever & ever, & righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom – 1:8
They will perish, but you will remain…you will remain the same, & your years will never end – 1:11&12
Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet – 1:13

This is the King we get to worship; “What is man that you are mindful of him”(2:6).  We don't deserve him & yet he voluntarily gave himself for us; “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory & honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone” (2:9).

Do we recognize who He really is?  When we pray, sing praises, even read the Bible, do we really consider Who we are talking to/worshipping?  The God of this universe loves us!  He cares for us, listens to us.  Consider just that for a moment; how often do we rush our children in talking with us because we don't have time right now, to wait until later.  God has time for us.

When you stop to consider that, isn't it so overwhelming! The King of the universe takes time for us, how can we not worship him with our whole being.

Like the Chris Tomlin song says:
How can I keep from singing Your praise
How can I ever say enough, how amazing is Your love
How can I keep from shouting Your name
I am loved by the King

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Hebrews 5-8

Monday, December 12, 2016

Monday, December 12th: 2 Peter 1-3 ~ Tammy

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

2 Peter 3: 8 But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. 9 The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.

14 And so, dear friends, while you are waiting for these things to happen, make every effort to be found living peaceful lives that are pure and blameless in his sight.

15 And remember, our Lord’s patience gives people time to be saved.

I think many people in society today mistake God's patience as lack of judgment, instead of delayed judgment. It can even be disheartening for believers, particularly those under persecution or trials.  God may seem slow, but this delay is evidence of His patience, waiting for more people to become saved.

But when the day of judgment finally comes, it will come suddenly, swiftly, and unexpectedly.  It may be today, it may be a thousand years.  We don't know.  But no matter how long it takes, relative to eternity, our time on earth is short.  We must not waste it, but rather realize that we have important work to do before He returns.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageHebrews 1-4

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Sunday, December 11 - I Peter 1-5 - Kelora

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is I Peter 1-5

There is a lot of information to cover in these passages but I will highlight just a few points that jumped out at me.  

In my Life Application Bible I liked what it said about I Peter 1.  It said Peter may have been writing to new especially to new Christians and those planning to be baptized.  Peter wanted to warn them about what lay ahead and they needed his encouraging words to help them face opposition.  This letter is still helpful for any Christians facing trials.  It is interesting to me that even though this letter was written so long ago that we can still learn from these verses.  The theme in this chapter is hope which is so wonderful.  I love in verse 3 & 4 where it talks about an inheritance that cannot perish or fade and is kept in heaven for us.  In verse 6 and 7 it talks about experiencing and suffering trials and that because of these trials our faith will be strengthened.  It is hard in the moment when experiencing a hardship to see the big picture and remember that there is a reason for it and that because of this we grow in our faith and see God's purpose.

Another verse that stood out for me was I Peter 3:15  "But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord.  Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.  But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping  a clear conscience . . ."  This verse reminded me that I need to consistently be diligent in reading the Bible and praying so that when I am asked about my faith that I may respond and answer questions confidently.  It also made me think am I prepared to talk about God and what he has done in my life when asked?  

The last verse I will point out is I Peter 4:10  "Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others".  This verse made me think what my gifts are and if I am using them to serve others.  We all have been given gifts to use and this was a good reminder to me to remember to use them for God's glory.

There are many many more lessons to be learned from all these chapters but these verses are the ones that stood out the most for me.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage:  2 Peter 1-3

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Saturday, December 10th: 2 Timothy 1-4 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 2 Timothy 1-4

2 Timothy 1:8a So never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord. 

I think if we're honest, we've all shied away from an opportunity to share the gospel with others for one reason or another, and likely at least in part because we were a bit worried about what others would think of us. Thankfully, there is grace, even for this.  But this verse is a good reminder that I need to be willing to share the truth about Jesus, no matter what anyone might think of me.

From Chapter 3...
14 But you must remain faithful to the things you have been taught. You know they are true, for you know you can trust those who taught you.15 You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.17 God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.
Studying God's Word - like we're doing together in this blog - is absolutely vital in order for us to grow in our faith and for our lives to reflect Him to a watching world.

Chapter 4...
3 For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear.
That time is definitely here!  Unbelievers pretty much make up truth so it suits their desires.  And even those who profess to be Christians have been trying to make the Bible say what they want it to say - and not to condemn things the world wants us to embrace.

7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful.I want to be able to say these words with integrity!

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: 1 Peter 1-5

Friday, December 9, 2016

Friday, December 9, 2016: Titus 1-3

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Titus 1-3

“These, then, are the things you should teach.  Encourage and rebuke with all authority.  Do not let anyone despise you.”  Titus 2:15

Teach.  Encourage.  Respect.

Three items on Titus’ to do list, and three items that should be on ours too.  

Titus was urged by Paul to teach.  The teachings included practical advice for the contemporary Christians.  Some Christians during this time believed the wrong things, and behaved the wrong way.  This was the result of false teaching.  Titus had to correct the people who were wrong, and he had to be firm with them.      

In addition to teaching, Titus was responsible for encouraging the Christians.  One way to encourage is to tell others what God has done in the past for you.  To further that, we can be encouraged by what God has promised us in the future.  “so that, having been justified by His grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life”.  Titus 3:7b  

To be effective at encouraging, one would have had to provide kindness; treating others in a considerate, hospitable manner, and assisting them in their needs.   When a foundation of kindness has been established you can then challenge them in their daily walk (correction).

Proper correction will lead to respect.  This is evident with children towards their parents (hopefully) and would be the same for Titus.  He had something important to teach them and he needed their respect.  One important way of achieving respect, is to behave the correct way.  

“In everything set them an example by doing what is good.  In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.”  Titus 2:7-8  

I found today’s reading to be a very useful manual.  Titus is a short book within the Bible, but its message is big.  Every Christian should be self-controlled in their life, and eager to oppose sin while pleasing the Lord Jesus Christ.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: 2 Timothy 1-4

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Thursday, December 8th: 1 Timothy 4-6 ~ Jeannine

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 1 Timothy 4-6

Whenever I read any of Paul's letters I feel a little like I've been through a whirlwind of information. He addresses so many things in such short letters.

Paul talks a lot about Elders and their responsibilities and the qualities required. I couldn't help thinking about our church when I read this...

Never be in a hurry about appointing a church leader. 1 Timothy 5:22a

In light of the announcement of Pastor Ron's retirement, when I read this scripture I thought about the length of time that our church intends to take to replace Pastor Ron and to find the right person to fill his shoes. I'm sure there are lots of people that feel that this process will be long and drawn out and never-ending. And maybe they have a point, however, Paul's letters clearly show how important finding the right leaders is and I have to respect the process that our church has come up with. It seems to me that they are doing everything in their power to fill this role with the right person and to make the transition as smooth as possible.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Titus 1-3

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Wednesday, December 7th: 1 Timothy 1-3 ~ Emma

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is  1 Timothy 1-3

Quite a few things stood out to me in today's reading, but I'll just touch on two points:

1) Even though I used to blaspheme the name of Christ. In my insolence, I persecuted his people. But God had mercy on me because I did it in ignorance and unbelief. Oh, how generous and gracious our Lord was! He filled me with the faith and love that come from Christ Jesus. 1 Timothy 1:13-14

Paul called himself one of the worst sinners. He had done many wrong things, yet God forgave him and used him and his story for His glory. And notice how Paul doesn't say "I was once a sinner but now I'm not because I changed my ways and am now the best person ever!" He rather gives all the glory to God, thanking Him for changing him and forgiving him of all he did wrong. We should also be this way.

2) Women should learn quietly and submissively. I do not let women teach men or have authority over them. Let them listen quietly. 1 Timothy 2:11-12

I find these verses are often overlooked because they are controversial. Lots of people (especially in our world of feminists and all other politically correct terms) don't like that women are supposed to be submissive and not in charge. Some women think "well what if I want to be a leader or elder in the church?" But that's the thing, it's not about what we want. It's about glorifying God. And part of that, is accepting and playing the role He has given you in life to your full capabilities which are given to you by Him. God clearly does not call me to be an elder in the church, because He created me a woman.  The sooner you realize what your role is, the sooner you can bring glory to God's name and bring people to Him.

Father, help me to play the part You have given me today so that I can bring glory to Your name. Amen.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: 1 Timothy 4-6

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Tuesday, December 6th: Philippians 1-4 ~ Danae

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

Are we happy or are we joyful?

Happiness is dependent on our circumstances but joy is based on the quiet, confident assurance of God’s love & work in our lives.

Reading through the book of Philippians, it is evident the joy that Paul had in his life. If we consider his circumstances (the time he spent in prison, beaten, starving, shipwrecked & the list goes on) we would wonder how anyone could go through that & still be happy. I can't imagine that he really was at those times, but he found joy in every situation knowing that he was where God needed him to be & that God was with him. He learned to be content, focusing his energy on Christ & obeying him.

Verses like “For me, to live is Christ & to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21) & “But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:20) speak of his focus. He had a single purpose here (to spread the word of God), but he had an eternal goal (heaven) which he longed for with all his heart. He couldn't be affected by what happened to him on earth because he was so confident in Christ.

To be so in tune with God, that no matter what is going on around us, we have peace, contentment & even joy.

Philippians 4:12-13
I know what it is to be in need, & I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any & every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

We can face every situation in life & know peace & even joy during those times.

Philippians 4:6-7
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer & petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts & your minds in Christ Jesus.

In everything, with thanksgiving, go to God. God is in control.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage:  1 Timothy 1-3

Monday, December 5, 2016

Monday, December 5,2016: Ephesians 4-6

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Ephesians 4-6

A few things jumped out for me from today's readings:

from verse 4:15

15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,

We are, as Christians,  to speak the truth. If we believe what the Bible says, then some things that society has professed as true are not true. However, I think the key words in this verse are "in love". I think too often Christians come across as judgemental and thinking/acting that they are above someone just because they sin differently. We are to grow to be like Christ and to encourage others to do likewise but admitting our own faults and shortcomings and show compassion and love as Christ does to us.

from verse 4:24

 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

We become a new creation in Christ. When I read this verse, it made me think of the renovation Conrad and I are doing. As we work we put on old clothes and are not really worried about them getting ripped or stained as we work. However, we don't wear those clothes in public. We put on new clothes and clean clothes and we don't want those clothes to get wrecked. Likewise, our lives and our actions should change too and we should try not to "stain" our lives after we receive a new one.

from verse 5: 1-2

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

I've been following this company's instagram page for quite some time now. Their mission is: Walk in love. is dedicated to selling well-designed, high quality t-shirts with a positive and inspiring message. That message is a reminder to imitate God by loving others every chance we get - no strings attached. We believe that Jesus came and showed us how to be that message.  We want you to walk in love.

How we live our lives IS a reflection of who we are in Christ. I know I don't always walk in love. I like also how it says WALK in love. It doesn't say stand still in love, or lie down in love, or even run in love. We are told to walk...not to miss anything and show love as we go along our lives.

from verse 5: 18
18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit,

Kaden's hockey team had a parent's party this weekend. Conrad and I made an appearance at the beginning of the party but have little interest in all of the alcohol consumption that goes on during these kinds of events. Neither of us grew up in homes that drank at all and we just don't feel the need to participate in behaviour that could have such disastrous consequences. Many of Kaden's friends have already been drinking and that kind of lifestyle is just not one we are very familiar with. When people can't remember what happened the night before or choose to drive after drinking or a whole host of bad choices that come from alcohol clouding good judgement it's no surprise that the bible warns us about getting drunk.

from verse 5: 22 - 25

22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Saviour. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,

So many people have such a difficult time with these verses. This is how God designed marriage. It is counter cultural to what society thinks about how husbands and wives should be. Marriage by design is a partnership with each partner having their own unique roles.

from verse 6: 1 & 4

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 
 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

Everyone seems to know verse 1 but I think verse 4 is just as important. As parents we should be consistent and set out clear expectations and consequences so that kids know what they need to do and what will happen if they don't do it.

from verse 6: 10-17

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 

We can't go into battle without the right equipment. God has given us everything we needed.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Philipians 1-4