Sunday, December 31, 2017

Sunday, December 31st: Malachi 1-4; Revelation 22 ~ Emma

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Malachi 1-4; Revelation 22

“He who is the faithful witness to all these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon!” Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!” - Revelation‬ ‭22:20‬

Jesus was mentioned through every story, and every book we read in this plan. Everything written pointed to Him, and how glorious, merciful, strong, loving, and powerful He is. He spoke to us through so many people, stories, and workings of His hand. Everything we ever need to know about Him on this earth is written for us in His Word. How fitting it is that after a Book full of the wonders of Him,  that He ends it with reassuring us, “Yes, I am coming soon!”.

“Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!”

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage:  Genesis 1-3, Mark 1:1-28

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Saturday, December 30th: Zechariah 13-14; Revelation 21 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Zechariah 13-14; Revelation 21

Revelation 21:1-4 Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,”[a] for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bridebeautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’[b] or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
What a beautiful glimpse of eternity we get in this passage.

There will be a new heaven and a new earth - PERFECT versions!

God will be with us.  We got a glimpse of this when Jesus walked the earth, but now we will all be able to experience it, and as complete redeemed, sinless people.

There will be no more sorrow or mourning or death or tears - what a hope, what a promise!

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage:  Malachi 1-4; Revelation 22

Friday, December 29, 2017

Friday, December 29, 2017: Zechariah 9-12; Revelation 20-by Pamela

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Zechariah 9-12; Revelation 20

This stood out for me from today's readings:

Zechariah 10:2b Therefore the people wander like sheep;
    they are afflicted for lack of a shepherd.

I think we all can identify with the wandering like a sheep. We get so wrapped up in our own busy lives that we don't even know where we are going sometimes. Without a shepherd, we are lost. As society shifts away from God and the line between truth and lie becomes blurred. Truth has become individual where nothing is true unless you choose to believe it. Morals, values, and family are corrupted. We see that Satan is succeeding at blinding people from truth and the analogy that we are sheep really fits. 

I found this piece:

Do a little bit of reading about sheep and you’ll soon see they are not survivors. They are not strong and independent creatures, not proud hunters or fierce predators. They’re actually kind of pathetic, entirely dependent upon a shepherd for at least three reasons. Two of these reasons are related to the brain of a sheep and the other is related to its body.
This is a real news story that aptly tells us the first reason sheep need a shepherd: because sheep are dumb.
Hundreds of sheep followed their leader off a cliff in eastern Turkey, plunging to their deaths this week while shepherds looked on in dismay. Four hundred sheep fell 15 metres to their deaths in a ravine in Van province near Iran but broke the fall of another 1,100 animals who survived. Shepherds from a nearby village neglected the flock while eating breakfast, leaving the sheep to roam free. The loss to local farmers was estimated at $74,000.
One sheep wandered off a cliff and 1,499 others just followed along. Can you picture it? 1,500 sheep, each walking off a cliff, one after the other. Soon they were piled so deep that the ones at the bottom were crushed to death and the ones on top were lying on a big downy-soft pillow. It is completely absurd and tells us one important fact about sheep and the first reason sheep absolutely need a shepherd: they are not the smartest animals in the world. In fact, they may well be just about the dumbest animals in the world.
And here’s a second reason sheep need a shepherd: they are directionless. Sheep are prone to wander. Even if you put them in an absolutely perfect environment with everything they need (things like green pastures and still waters), sooner or later they will just wander off. If a shepherd doesn’t manage them, if he doesn’t micromanage them and keep them under constant surveillance, they’ll wander off and be lost.
Sheep are dumb and directionless. They are also defenselessLeft to themselves, sheep will not and cannot last very long. Just about any other domesticated animal can be returned to the wild and will stand a fighting chance of survival. But not sheep. Put a sheep in the wild and you’ve just given nature a snack.
Sheep are dumb and directionless and defenseless. So I guess when God says that we are sheep who need a shepherd, he doesn’t mean it as a compliment to us. It is just a very realistic assessment of who we are and what we need. We are sheep who are completely dependent upon a shepherd. Sheep can’t fight, they can’t run away, and they can’t scare away. So what does a sheep do when danger comes? It flocks. When a bear approaches, the sheep will gather with others in a pack and run in circles in complete panic, just hoping that the bear will choose someone else. Without a shepherd to protect them, they’ll be picked off and eaten one by one.

To say that God is our shepherd and we are sheep, is to humble ourselves, admitting what is true about us, and to elevate God, declaring what is true of him. When you say, “The Lord is my shepherd,” you are saying something that ought to move your heart in praise and gratitude. To declare that God if your shepherd is to praise and glorify him because God the shepherd stoops down to care for poor, lost, not-so-smart sheep like you and me.
The good thing is that we need a shepherd and we do have one. If we submit to God, he will prevent us from following the flock over the cliff. He will lead us to the places we should be going. He will be our wisdom, our guide, and protector. We need a shepherd. 

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageZechariah 13-14; Revelation 21

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Thursday, December 28th: Zechariah 5-8; Revelation 19 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Zechariah 5-8; Revelation 19

Ray Stedman....

Chapters 7 and 8 link together in a plea of God to the people to be honest and open before him. It is again a rehearsal of their failures in his sight and then a reminder that while he is unfailing in his mercy and grace, he is unchanging in his standards. He always supplies what is necessary but he never lowers the standards. The people react as people often do, in these three ways; first (chapter 7, verse 11):

But they refused to hearken, and turned a stubborn shoulder, and stopped their ears that they might not hear. (Zechariah 7:11 RSV)

That is always the first step. They pretend not to hear. And then (verse 12):

They made their hearts like adamant led they should hear the law and the words which the LORD of hosts had sent by his Spirit through the former prophets. (Zechariah 7:12a RSV)

They deliberately disobeyed, and then finally, they began to play the hypocrite. The chapter opens with a question of the people, "Shall we keep on with these feasts that we began in Babylon?" And God's word to them is, "Why are you doing it? Are you celebrating these feasts because you mean to worship, or simply for a religious show?"

These are some of the very ways that we avoid the will of God today. I remember years ago, one of my daughters was told by her mother to put on a green dress. It was interesting to watch her. She pretended at first not to hear. Then after her mother repeated the request several times, she openly rebelled and just said, "No. I don't want to wear that dress." And then, when it looked as though she would have to wear it, she came up to her mother and said, "Mother, I want to wear the green dress, but it is just too dirty," which was not true at all. In other words, she followed exactly the program that is outlined here. She pretended not to hear, she directly disobeyed, and then she played the hypocrite, and pretended that it was right and proper that she should disobey in this way. How accurately this catches up the inherent deceitful tendencies of the human heart!
Thankful God's message to us is that if we will return to Him, He will return to us.  He will never turn away a repentant sinner!

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage:  Zechariah 9-12; Revelation 20

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Wednesday, December 27th: Zechariah 1-4, Revelation 18 ~ Nathan

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is: Zechariah 1-4; Revelation 18

Our reading today from Revelation reminded me of parts of our current society here in North America.

Revelation 18:3
For all the nations have drunk the maddening wine of her adulteries. The kings of the earth committed adultery with her, and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries .”

Many have fallen for earthly rewards and wanted them before anything God offers, they've put them as higher priority then what God wants of us.

Revelation 18:4-5
Then I heard another voice from heaven say: “ ‘Come out of her, my people ,’ so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues;  for her sins are piled up to heaven, and God has remembered her crimes.

Here we are encouraged to separate ourselves from earthly rewards, again putting God first. Do I want earthly fame and fortune ahead of what God wants from me?

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Zechariah 5-8; Revelation 19

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Tuesday, December 26th: Haggai 1-2; Revelation 17 ~ Jody

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is: Haggai 1-2; Revelation 17

I found an interesting lesson here that teaches about Haggai Chapter 1. Some of the main points:

1. We all are prone to put our prosperity above God’s house.

This is the default mode on all of our fallen “computers”! If we give no thought to how we’re living, we will naturally live for our agendas, not for God’s. All of us who have trusted Christ as Savior know (intellectually) that it is foolish and vain to live for the things of this world. We know that these things never deliver the satisfaction that they promise. We know that we will not find true happiness apart from God. And yet we keep drifting towards loving the world if we don’t fight against it.

2. We must deliberately and continually put God’s house above our prosperity.

Let me clarify what I mean by “God’s house.” In our text, of course, it refers to the temple in Jerusalem, which was the center for worshiping God. Although God is everywhere, the temple was the place on earth where God dwelled in a special sense. He revealed His glory there. The sacrifices offered there pointed ahead to the coming of God’s Messiah, Jesus, who would offer Himself as God’s final and complete sacrifice for our sins. To allow the Temple to lay in ruins was to neglect the worship of God. It was to have inverted priorities, and as James Boice puts it, “in the final analysis all inverted priorities are idolatry. They put the creation before the Creator” (The Minor Prophets [Baker], 2:469).
In the church age, God’s temple is not a physical building, but rather, His people, both individually and corporately (1 Cor. 3:16; 6:192 Cor. 6:16). God dwells in individual human hearts, and together we are being built into the temple or house of God (Eph. 2:211 Pet. 2:5). To make God’s house the priority in life means that your number one aim is to make your body a fit dwelling for the Holy Spirit and to devote yourself to building others in Christ so that their lives are a proper dwelling for God. It means that your main goal is to know Christ at home in your heart by faith and to do all that you can to help others do the same.

3. When we put God’s house above our prosperity, He is pleased and glorified, His work gets done, and He truly blesses us.

This was a great reminder to focus my life and my resources (time, money, energy etc) on God FIRST and self second. In this self-focused world it is easy to get turned around in this.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageZechariah 1-4; Revelation 18

Monday, December 25, 2017

Monday, December 25th: Zephaniah 1-3; Revelation 16 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Zephaniah 1-3; Revelation 16

Our passages today speak of judgment.  And judgment will indeed come when Christ returns at the end of this earthly age.

But today is Christmas.

Christmas is hope.
Christmas is God's way of reconciling us to Him.
Christmas is a miracle - that God would send His Son; that Jesus would willingly leave the glory of heaven and exchange it for the mantle of humanity; that He loves us that much!
Christmas is judgment delayed.
Don't take it for granted.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageHaggai 1-2; Revelation 17

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Sunday, December 24th: Habakkuk 1-3; Revelation 15 ~ Emma

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Habakkuk 1-3; Revelation 15

“This vision is for a future time. It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled. If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed.” - Habakkuk‬ ‭2:3‬

It’s hard sometimes to hope for Jesus’ return when the world seems so sinful. It can be hard to trust that one day this will all be gone and we will be with Him forever. But like this verse says, we need to wait patiently for the Lord, because His timing is perfect. He has had this planned forever, and He has promised it will be true. So even when the world seems too imperfect, we need to trust in the One who is perfect. He has never failed us, and He never will. He is coming back for us, and we need to trust that His promises will come true.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageZephaniah 1-3; Revelation 16

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Saturday, December 23rd: Nahum 1-3; Revelation14 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Nahum 1-3; Revelation14

Nahum 1:3a The Lord is slow to anger but great in power; the Lord will not leave the guilty unpunished.

Nahum 1:7-8 The Lord is good,
a refuge in times of trouble.
He cares for those who trust in him,
8 but with an overwhelming flood
he will make an end of Nineveh;
he will pursue his foes into the realm of darkness.

These verses stood out to me.  We take God's patience for granted, but He will not wait forever for people to repent.

Ray Stedman says the following.....

When you read this you may feel that it is a rather dry account of ancient history but actually, this prophecy reveals something of God more clearly than any other book of the Bible. It is the job of the prophet to reveal to us the character of God. The prophets unfold for us the divine attributes and each sees God in a different light. As you read through the prophets, therefore, you are seeing one facet after another, flashing like a diamond in the sunlight, of the mighty character and attributes of an eternal God.

Now the attribute which the prophet Nahum was given to reveal was God's anger. There is no doctrine quite as repugnant to people today as that of the anger of God. This is one doctrine which many would like to forget. There are some who picture God as a kindly gentleman with a merry twinkle in his eye who cannot bear the thought of punishing anyone or judging anyone. Nevertheless, it was Nahum's task to unfold the anger of God and in this prophecy the God of Sinai flashes forth in awful fury, a God before whom man must stand silent and trembling. You cannot read this prophecy without sensing something of the solemnity of this tremendous picture of God.

As we begin this book it is important to know why and at whom God is so angry. this prophecy is directed against the city of Nineveh to whom God sent the prophet Jonah. When Jonah preached in Nineveh, the city repented in sackcloth and ashes. God's anger was withheld from the city and he spared it, because from the king on down to the lowest citizen, they turned to God and repented of their sins.

The book of Nahum comes some one hundred years after the prophecy of Jonah. During this time, Nineveh had repented of its repentance, and had begun to do the same things again that called forth the threat of judgment through the prophet Jonah....

As the prophet says, "He is slow to anger." He does not move rapidly. He has given this city chance after chance to repent. He has sent prophet after prophet after prophet. They did believe one prophet and repented their evil ways, and God spared the judgment he said he would bring. But they repented from their repentance. That is one of the most terrible things that men can do. Having turned from their evil, they went back to what they had said they would forsake, and this is what evokes the judgment of God at last.

God is angry, and this is no temper tantrum. There is nothing capricious about the anger of God. There is nothing selfish about it. It is a controlled but terrible rage, fearsome to behold. You can get some idea of the awfulness of this divine anger in the fact that all the Hebrew words for wrath or anger are brought together in these six verses. The words are: jealous, vengeance, wrath, anger, indignation, fierceness, fury. All of them describe the anger of God.....

To those who think that God is only a God of love and never of wrath, let them learn from Nahum that a God who is never angry is a God who cannot love. Did you ever think of that? God's wrath comes from his love. It is because God loves that he is angry; because of love that wrath must blaze forth. You can prove that to yourself. What moves you to anger? Isn't it almost always when something or someone you love is threatened or injured? It may be yourself. We all love ourselves. What makes us angry? Somebody injures us and because we love ourselves, we get mad at them. Or someone injures our child and our wrath blazes forth. And if you cannot get angry when you hear or see injury and injustice, it is proof that you are not capable of love, for the one who cannot be angry is the one who cannot love. If you can read stories of atrocities and oppression and the awful traffic in body-destroying and soul-destroying drugs and narcotics among young people and never be moved to burning anger, then I tell you there is something wrong with you. You are incapable of love. If God cannot smite, if he cannot destroy in vengeance, then he has no capacity for love.

It is certainly true that God loves the sinner but hates his sin, as we sometimes say. But that is only part of the story. The Bible tells us that if a man loves his sin and holds on to it at all costs, refusing the grace of God, then he becomes identified with his sin. And eventually, the wrath of God against his sin is also directed against the sinner.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageHabakkuk 1-3; Revelation 15

Friday, December 22, 2017

Friday, December 22nd: Micah 6-7; Revelation 13 ~ Conrad

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan: Micah 6-7; Revelation 13

"You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea."  Micah 7:19

Forgiveness is the miracle of a fresh start, a new beginning, a second chance.  Because of God's compassion, love, grace, and mercy for us, He offers a pardon for our sins and places them out of sight, out of mind, and out of existence.   

Approaching Christmas there is always the anticipation and excitement with giving and receiving gifts.  Well the gift of forgiveness is one that we should never take for granted nor loose excitement over!

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Nahum 1-3; Revelation14

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Thursday, December 21st: Micah 4-5; Revelation 12 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Micah 4-5; Revelation 12

Revelation 12:11 They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb
and by the word of their testimony;
they did not love their lives so much
as to shrink from death.

The will to live is strong.  But for the believer, death is not to be feared.  Indeed, as Paul said - to live is Christ, to die is gain.  We do not need to shrink from death.  After all, death ushers us directly into the very presence of God!

May we live our lives unafraid of death or anything else Satan tries to throw at us.  We know who wins, and we follow Him!

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageMicah 6-7; Revelation 13

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Wednesday, December 20th: Micah 1 - 3, Revelation 11 ~ Nathan

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Micah 1 - 3, Revelation 11

I found this reading today difficult to find verses that stood out to me. As I was reading though I got a chuckle from Micah 2:11, which says,

If a liar and deceiver comes and says, ‘I will prophesy for you plenty of wine and beer ,’ that would be just the prophet for this people!

I found this funny at first, it reminded me of our current society. Many people live for alcohol and what it does to them or for them, they rely on it in a way. We have other things or habits that we can also use, that we place high priorities on.

Do we put these things ahead of God? Do we rely on them instead of relying on God? Do we use them as an escape so as not to deal with the sin in our lives?

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Micah 4-5; Revelation 12

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Tuesday, December 19th: Jonah 1-4; Revelation 10 ~ Jody

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is: Jonah 1-4; Revelation 10

He said:
“In my distress I called to the Lord,
    and he answered me.
From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help,
    and you listened to my cry.      Jonah 2:2
Jonah was responsible for his own distress here caused by running away from God, yet he still knew that His Father would listen. Jonah's disobedience resulted in his terrible fate and His Father pursued and listened, waiting in anticipation for his lost child to repent and return. And as soon as Jonah did, "And the Lord commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land."

What a reminder that even when we know our decisions, actions and/or sin have brought on the distress in our own lives, we can call for help and Our Father is there! 

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageMicah 1-3; Revelation 11

Monday, December 18, 2017

Monday, December 18th: Obadiah 1; Revelation 9 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Obadiah 1; Revelation 9

I found Ray Stedman's sermon on Obadiah to very helpful in understanding this OT book.  Here is a portion of it......

God is a great illustrator. He is always using pictures for us so that we can understand truth more easily, more graphically. We are children in this respect. We like to have a picture. We would rather see something than hear it, so God has many pictures. He has taken these two men and the subsequent nations that came from them and used them through the Bible as a consistent picture of the conflict between the flesh and the spirit -- Jacob and Esau, Israel and Edom....

Obadiah turns the spotlight first on Esau, who is the man of the flesh, and Edom, the proud nation that came from the flesh, and he answers the question "Why does God hate Esau?" The trouble with Esau, the prophet says, is this (verse 3):

The pride of your heart has deceived you,
you who live in the clefts of the rock,
whose dwelling is high,
who say in your heart,
"Who will bring me down to the ground?" (Obadiah 1:3 RSV)

The trouble with Esau is pride. Pride is the root of all human evil, and pride is the basic characteristic of what the Bible calls the flesh that lusts against, wars against, the Spirit. The flesh is a principle that stands athwart God's purposes in human life and continually defies what God is trying to accomplish. Each of us has this struggle within us if we are Christians, and its basic characteristic is revealed here as pride. That is the number one identifying mark of the flesh...

One way it may be expressed is in self-sufficiency (verses 3, 4)..

This kind of self-sufficiency is clearly evident in the man who says, "I don't need God. I can run my own life without God, in my own wisdom, my own strength, my own abilities, my own talents -- that is enough. that is all I need to make a success in life." But self-sufficiency is also seen in the Christian who says, "Well, I need God, yes, in times of danger and fear and pressure, but I am quite able, thank you, to make my own decisions about the girl I am going to marry, or the career I am going to follow, or the friends that I have, or the car that I buy or anything else like that." That is the same spirit of self sufficiency, isn't it?

The thing that characterized the Lord Jesus Christ and marked him as continually opposed to this spirit of self-sufficiency was his utter dependence on the Father. We Christians have to learn that if there is any area of our life where we think that we've got what it takes to do without God, it is in that same area that we are manifesting the flesh, the pride of Edom....

Violence is a form of pride (v10); the man who strikes his wife, a child who has been beaten, a baby whose bones have been broken, and who has been damaged internally. What is behind this violence of the human heart? An unbroken ego, a spoiled and cowardly spirit. Pride is centered only on self and it strikes out against anything that dares to challenge its supreme reign in life....

Indifference is a form of pride. (v11)...

God charges Edom with the sin of gloating as a manifestation of this basic problem of pride.(v12-13)...

Another manifestation of pride is exploitation (verse 14)...

the worse thing, the tragedy of Esau, is back in verse 3, where God says,
The pride of your heart has deceived you. (Obadiah 1:3 RSV)

You are this way, but you don't know it. Blind to your own problems, you go on thinking that everything is fine, but suddenly everything falls to pieces, just as it did here to Edom (verses 6, 7)...

God has determined judgment upon Edom, and there is no escaping it. (v15-16)...But the day of triumph is for Jacob (verses 17, 18).....

He has his heart set to destroy Esau. After all, that is the whole story of the coming of the Holy Spirit into the human heart; he has come to destroy Esau and all these characteristics of the flesh. He will destroy them in those who are his and bring Jacob into the full inheritance of all his possessions -- and the weapon he uses is the judgment of the cross.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Sunday, December 17th: Amos 7-9; Revelation 8 ~ Emma

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Amos 7-9; Revelation 8

“I will firmly plant them there in their own land. They will never again be uprooted from the land I have given them,” says the Lord your God.” - ‭‭Amos‬ ‭9:15

At school, I pass so many empty souls everyday, and I always wonder how they can live their lives with no hope. Why wouldn’t they want to believe in Someone who could give them the hope, love, and peace they try to find in their own humanly ways? How can they live life with so many questions unanswered? I’m so thankful we have Jesus, and that He gives us a hope and a purpose while we are still living here. And I am so thankful for the promise that we will be with Him forever, one day. I am so thankful I don’t have to live a day without Him with me, watching over me, giving me a hope, and a purpose.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageObadiah; Revelation 9

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Saturday, December 16th: Amos 4-6; Revelation 7 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Amos 4-6; Revelation 7

Revelation 7:17b ‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.
Life on earth is hard.   There's no doubt about it.  Everyone goes through hard times.  Some people to seem to get more than their "fair share" of trials and tribulations in this life, but no one escapes earthly life unscathed by sin and its effects on our lives.

But this verse gives us hope to make it through those time.

Eventually, all WILL be made right.
Eventually, justice WILL be done.
Eventually, God WILL wipe away EVERY tear.

There will be no more mourning.  There will be no more tears.  There will be no more sorrow.

What a promise, what a comfort!

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage:  Amos 7-9; Revelation 8

Friday, December 15, 2017

Friday, December 15th: Amos 1-3; Revelation 6 ~ Conrad

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is: Amos 1-3; Revelation 6

After reading today's passage, I'll be honest in that not a whole lot stood out to me.  However, the following verses brought a thought in mind to me:

"I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind. The heavens receded like a scroll being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place." 
Revelation 6:12-14 
I was reminded of the fact that our God is all powerful.  Not only has He created all things, but He can also choose to remove or alter all things.  Every day the sun rises.  When we can see it, it is a bright yellow light.  Every evening the moon is high in the sky.  When it is visible, it is bright and provides light as well. 

It is hard to imagine these two God created items to be any different than we have seen every day of our lives.  But yet God has the power to change them to whatever He wants.

Knowing He has this much power, do I give Him the credit that He is due?  Do I trust Him the way I should?  God is all powerful and is always in control of everything.  Something I need to remember when things don't go according to my plan.
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Amos 4-6; Revelation 7

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Thursday, December 14th: Joel 1-3; Revelation 5 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Joel 1-3; Revelation 5

Joel 1:3 Tell it to your children, and let your children tell it to their children, and their children to the next generation.

Telling our children the good news, teaching them the gospel, teaching them to study the Bible for themselves, training them in the way they should go - this is so important! Our primary mission field is first in our homes. It is easy to forget this. It is easy to think our kids learn by osmosis, and that they'll just catch on. But we need to remember to be proactive about speaking Truth to them, and learning and growing in our faith alongside them.

This is vital, not just for our children, but for their children and their children after them. What a legacy we can leave behind!


Our NT passage teaches us very clearly that Jesus is the only One who is worthy.  The description of heaven we see here is just a glimpse into the glory that He willingly left to come to earth as a baby born to die for our sins.  Amazing!  And this is what we celebrate this Christmastime - hallelujah, what a Saviour!

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Amos 1-3; Revelation 6

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Wednesday, December 13th: Hosea 12-14; Revelation 4 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Hosea 12-14; Revelation 4 

Hosea 14: 1-2
Return, Israel, to the Lord your God.
Your sins have been your downfall!
2 Take words with you
and return to the Lord.
Say to him:
“Forgive all our sins
and receive us graciously,
that we may offer the fruit of our lips.

No matter how far we've stumbled, we can always return to God.  We cannot out-sin His grace IF we repent and turn to Him.  He always stands ready and willing to forgive those who are genuinely repentant.

v 4 “I will heal their waywardness and love them freely,
for my anger has turned away from them.

It is only in His forgiveness that we can find true healing and genuine love.  We may look for it in other things, but only He can provide it. 

v9 Who is wise? Let them realize these things.
Who is discerning? Let them understand.
The ways of the Lord are right;
the righteous walk in them,
but the rebellious stumble in them.

May we be wise and see the Truth.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageJoel 1-3; Revelation 5

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Tuesday, December 13th: Hosea 9 - 11, Revelation 3 ~ Nathan

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Hosea 9 - 11, Revelation 3

Hosea 9:17
My God will reject them because they have not obeyed him; they will be wanderers among the nations.

The Israelites were going to be punished for their wrong doing, for continually turning away from God. How often do I turn away from God, by the decisions I make?

Revelation 3:19
Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. 

When I've turned away from God, by a decision I've made, and sinned, do I earnestly repent? Do I see the importance of asking for forgiveness?

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage:  Joel 1-3; Revelation 5

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