Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Tuesday, February 28th: Number 17-19, Mark 6:30-56 ~ Jody

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is: Numbers 17-19, Mark 6:30-56

The New Testament passage today takes us to the wonderful story of God's provision for us, "Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand". I love the lesson I found here.

Jesus called for the bread and fish to be brought to Him (Matthew 14:18). He then gave thanks for the meal, broke the bread, and gave it to His disciples to give to the crowd. Amazingly, the entire multitude was fed with that small meal. Jesus provided “as much as they wanted” (John 6:11), and “they all ate and were satisfied” (Matthew 14:20). Christ did not just meet the need; He lavished them with so much food that there were “twelve baskets full of broken pieces and of the fish” left over (Mark 6:43).

God will shatter the pint-sized expectations of what His followers can do if they would learn to bring Him what they have already been given. “Little is much when God is in it.” When Christians are willing to offer their lives sacrificially, relinquishing their hold on whatever God has given them in terms of time, money, talents, etc., God will use these ordinary things to create extraordinary things. Christians must never believe their resources are too little to serve God. God delights in taking a humble, seemingly insignificant person and using him or her for His glory (see 1 Corinthians 1:27).

God wants to lavish us with good things, if we just submit all we are to Him. Our human nature so often thinks that to give up our life for Him means loss, but in reality, it will result in a life overflowing with extraordinary!!

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageNumbers 20-22, Mark 7:1-13

Monday, February 27, 2017

Monday, February 27th: Numbers 15-16; Mark 6:1-29 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Numbers 15-16; Mark 6:1-29

In our Numbers passage today we read about an incident that shows just how blind we can be to the sin in our lives, as well as a beautiful picture of Christ.

Korah and the other ringleaders of a rebellion against Aaron's authority and supernaturally destroyed, along with their entire families, by God in an earthquake-like event.

250 more rebels are also killed by a fire sent from God.

And then the very next day, the people ______?   After hearing what happened the day before, how would you expect that sentence to end?  Maybe that the people worshiped in gratefulness?  Maybe that they brought extra offerings of thanksgiving?  Maybe that they turned out in full support of their clearly God-given leadership?


The people complained and blamed their leaders for the destruction of the rebels!

At this point, God has had enough, and sends a plague that kills over 14,000 of the sinful Israelites.

A plague that was only stopped when Aaron, the high priest, the very target of all this hate and envy, steps in and stands in the gap between life and death, offering atonement for the sin of the people in order to stop the wrath of God, in an act of unmerited love and mercy.

A beautiful, though obviously imperfect, picture of Jesus Christ.  Jesus is our perfect atonement, who took the wrath of God upon Himself when He died on the cross, to stand in the gap between eternal life and death, in the ultimate act of unmerited love and mercy.

What is our response to Him?

In our NT passage, we read the story of John the Baptist publicly calling out King Herod on his sin, resulting in his imprisonment and eventual beheading.  Will we, like John, stand up to a culture that is hostile to biblical truth, no matter the cost?

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageNumbers 17-19; Mark 6:30-56

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Sunday, February 26th: Numbers 12-14; Mark 5:21-43 ~ Emma

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Numbers 12-14; Mark 5:21-43

Old Testament:

In 13:28 we see how the spies and people of Israel didn't trust in God. Instead of looking to God and relying on His strength, they looked at the problem and how they weren't strong enough to conquer the land God had promised them.

Without God, we are not strong enough to face the problem. But with God, "we can certainly conquer it!" (13:30). We need to trust that He will fulfill His promises. 

New Testament:

I find it interesting that the woman had been bleeding for 12 years and touched Jesus' robe as He was on His way to heal a 12 year old girl.

Contrary to the Old Testament reading, we see a great amount of trust and faith in God in this passage. The woman believed that just a small touch would heal her, and it did. Because of her faith, she was healed. 

We must trust in God always and be strong in our faith in Him. 

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageNumbers 15-16; Mark 6:1-29

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Saturday, February 25th: Numbers 9-11; Mark 5:1-20 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Numbers 9-11; Mark 5:1-20

Mark 5:18-20 As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed with demons begged him that he might be with him.  And he did not permit him but said to him, “Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.”  And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him, and everyone marveled.

“Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.”

Share the gospel.  Spread the good news.  Tell people what God has done for you.

This is not a command only for this man.  It is for all of us.  This man did not hesitate - he went and he proclaimed.

Do we?

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage:  Numbers 12-14; Mark 5:21-43

Friday, February 24, 2017

Friday, February 24th: Numbers 7-8; Mark 4:21-41 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Numbers 7-8; Mark 4:21-41

I love the passage about Jesus calming the storm.  How incredible it would've been to have witnessed that!  Actually, how terrifying!  The disciples were filled with a great and awe-filled fear.

They had seen His power on display before, but on a smaller scale.  And while the miraculous and instantaneous healings were absolutely astounding and remarkable - it likely paled in comparison to the sheer power of that display.

The storms on that lake were known for being incredibly strong.  And Jesus brought all that chaos into completely control and utter stillness.... by simply speaking.

Yes, we should fear God.  He is all powerful.  He is all powerful to such a degree that we truly cannot even fathom it.  And He is holy.  And we are sinners.  We deserve to have the wrath of this powerful God poured out on us.  But instead, He poured it out on His Son, so that we could be saved.

There are not even words to describing how amazing His grace is towards us.

That same power raised Jesus from the dead.  And, even more mind-boggling, that same power resides within us!  Are we tapping into that power?  Or are we relying on our own strength, as pitiful as it is in comparison?

We need to turn to the One who has the power to calm the storm, raise the dead, and replace a heart of stone with a heart of flesh.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage:  Numbers 9-11; Mark 5:1-20

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Thursday, February 23th: Numbers 5-6; Mark 4:1-20 ~ Deena

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Numbers 5-6; Mark 4:1-20

We read today the Parable of the Sower from Mark. God calls us to sow good seed in all places. He will take care of where it lands and how it will grow, but our job is to sow. We are not perfect people, but it's not our skill or talent for sowing that God is asking, it's the quality of the seeds we sow.

As planted seed in fertile soil
Has life and will take root,
God’s Word, if nurtured in our hearts,
Will grow and bring forth fruit. —Hess

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageNumbers 7-8; Mark 4:21-41

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Wednesday, February 22nd: Numbers 3-4, Mark 3:20-35 ~ Nathan

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Numbers 3-4, Mark 3:20-35

Numbers 4:46-49
So Moses, Aaron and the leaders of Israel counted all the Levites by their clans and families. [47] All the men from thirty to fifty years of age who came to do the work of serving and carrying the tent of meeting [48] numbered 8,580. [49] At the Lord ’s command through Moses, each was assigned his work and told what to carry. Thus they were counted, as the Lord commanded Moses.

When reading through Leviticus and Numbers the last number of days, it seems like there were a lot of rules that the Israelites were instructed to follow. They were instructed by God, who is supreme, and faced severe repercussions if they didn't follow. They did this on top of living their regular lives.

Today we're so busy we often don't have time to read our bibles every day, or go to church every week (I'm guilty of these), but God still loves us and wants us to follow Him. Do I show proper respect to Him? Am I giving Him my all? Do I take time to pray and listen to what He wants from me?

In our New Testament reading we see how Jesus also gave a lot, he was crowded out and not able to even eat,

Mark 3:20
Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat

We see a few examples here of how much God loves us and does for us, could we do more for Him?

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Numbers 5-6; Mark 4:1-20

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Tuesday, February 21: Numbers 1-2; Mark 3:1-19 ~ Jody

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is: Numbers 1-2; Mark 3:1-19

Scripture: "He looked around at them angrily and was deeply saddened by their hard hearts." Mark 3:5

Observation: This verse stuck out to me how Jesus loves each of us so very much. Even his critics! At the time of this verse, they were just waiting to judge him and punish him because of their hardened hearts, hoping to take a beautiful, loving thing and use it against him. And even though this angered Jesus - he was also deeply saddened as well. Not for himself and how they didn't believe him. But for their sake, because of their hardened hearts. 

Application: How often am I a critic? Not trusting Jesus in an area of my life. Where are the pieces of my life where I've hardened my heart, completely missing the miracles that Jesus is performing right in front of my eyes?! And how often is He performing a miracle and instead I am criticizing it because it doesn't look like I think it should?

Prayer: Holy Spirit, move in my heart. Loosen the grips my human nature has on my heart and mind that I might truly see and know Jesus more. Your miracles, Your love and Your Holy Anger so that I can repent and move closer to righteousness in You. 

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageNumbers 3-4; Mark 2:20-35

Monday, February 20, 2017

Monday, February 20th: Leviticus 26-27; Mark 2 ~ Kezia

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Leviticus 26-27; Mark 2

Nowadays, news travels fast. Texts, emails, snapchats, and Instagram pictures can be sent or uploaded in just a few seconds. Political news and celebrity gossip are never kept a secret very long, and once something is out, everyone instantly knows.

It wasn't always like this though. In Jesus' time, news was spread through word of mouth. Instead of newspaper headlines and twitter updates, people were telling about Jesus by talking about him. Some people in particular heard of Jesus and his ability to do miracles, and had faith he could heal a paralytic.

"Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven." Mark 2:4-5

Can you imagine? Maybe never even seeing Jesus before, but having so much faith in His ability to heal that you lower a paralytic from the roof a building to beat the crowds to get him closer to Jesus? There was no photo or video proof of Jesus' powers, yet their faith was so strong in Jesus.

My prayer is that I grow to always have a faith like this. A faith where I don't need proof to know that God is real and He is powerful. A faith where God is never questioned or challenged and doubts never cross through my mind.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageNumbers 1-2; Mark 3:1:19

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Sunday, February 19th: Leviticus 25; Mark 1:23-45

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Leviticus 25; Mark 1:23-45

Scripture: Leviticus 25:20-21 But you might ask, "What will we eat during the seventh year, since we are not allowed to plant or harvest crops that year?" Be assured that I will send my blessing for you in the sixth year, so the land will produce a crop large enough for three years.

Observation: God knew that His people would question His instructions. We should not question God, but we do anyway. God knew the Israelites' hearts and knew they would need reassurance, so He gave it to them.

Application: The Lord provides!

Prayer: God, help us today not to question what You are doing in our lives, and help us to trust that You will provide and work things out for our good. Amen.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageLeviticus 26-27; Mark 2

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Saturday, February 18th: Leviticus 23-24; Mark 1:1-22 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Leviticus 23-24; Mark 1:1-22

God's timing is always perfect.

It was no coincidence that Jesus was born during Pax Romana - a long period of relative peacefulness throughout the Roman empire.  In order to maintain their sprawling empire, the Romans built an extensive system of roads making it easier to communicate, and for their troops to travel.  This also meant that news about Jesus' life, death, and resurrection would be able to spread quickly throughout the vast empire.

John the Baptist prepared the way for Jesus. In Rome, important officials were always preceded by an announcer.  This is why the book of Mark, which was written to Roman Christians, begins with John the Baptist - the herald of Jesus Christ.

John preached in order to prepare people to accept Jesus as God's Son, challenging them to confess their sin individually.  People who don't know Jesus nowadays, also need to be prepared to meet Him.  They need to admit that they need forgiveness before they can accept it.  And, of course, their hearts need to be softened.  We need to pray for the unbelievers around us, that God would soften their hearts, and prepare the way for Jesus.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageLeviticus 25; Mark 1:23-45

Friday, February 17, 2017

Friday, February 17th: Leviticus 21-22; Matthew 28 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Leviticus 21-22; Matthew 28

In our NT passage today, Matthew tells of the discovery of Jesus' resurrection in such a way that makes it hard to discount its truth.

In NT times, women were not allowed to testify at legal trials.  If the disciples wanted to make up a story about Jesus' resurrection, there is no way they would have women be the first to discover His missing body.

The importance of the resurrection to the Christian faith cannot be overstated.

Jesus promised He would rise from the dead - and He did.  He keeps His promises.

He is the ruler of God's eternal kingdom and has the power to defeat death.

We can be certain of our own resurrection.  Death is not the end for us!

That same power is at work within every believer.  It was responsible for bringing our spiritually dead selves back to life, and gives us the ability to obey Him even as we continue to live in our sin-filled world.

Good news indeed!

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage:  Leviticus 23-24; Mark 1:1-22

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Thursday, February 16th: Leviticus 19-20; Matthew 27:51-66 ~ Deena

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Leviticus 19-20; Matthew 27:51-66

The Pharisees and religious leaders were fearful of Jesus rising from the dead so they did all they could humanly possible do, to stop that from happening. Placing Him in a tomb, securing it with a big stone, and having guards stand by it. If Jesus would rise from the dead then everything they had accused Him of would be false. They were scared!
We can't force people to believe in Jesus, but we can show them by how we live our lives that He is Lord!

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage:  Leviticus 21-22; Matthew 28

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Wednesday, February 15th: Leviticus 17-18, Matthew 27: 27-50 ~ Nathan

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Leviticus 17-18, Matthew 27: 27-50

Leviticus 18: 3-5
You must not do as they do in Egypt, where you used to live, and you must not do as they do in the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you. Do not follow their practices. [4] You must obey my laws and be careful to follow my decrees. I am the Lord your God. [5] Keep my decrees and laws, for the person who obeys them will live by them. I am the Lord.

These verses tell the Israelites how to live, but can also be a guide for us. We are not to live as those unsaved around us, but must follow the Lord.

Often we get caught up and live like those around us who aren't saved, and make the same lifestyle choices. This is a reminder for us to live differently, and make lifestyle choices that God would want us to.

Matthew 27: 30-31
They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. [31] After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.

We've all heard this story many times, but can learn something new from it by reading it again. I am reminded here of the personal pain and humiliation that Jesus went through, for me. He loves me so much that He was willing to go through this all so that I would hopefully give myself to Him. A debt I could never repay. A reminder to do my best for Him all the time, and commit myself to Him.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Leviticus 19-20; Matthew 27:51-66

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Tuesday, February 14, 2017: Leviticus 15-16; Matthew 27:1-26 ~ Jody

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is: Leviticus 15-16; Matthew 27:1-26

Whenever I read the story of Jesus' crucifixion, I have never understood how the crowd of people called for Barabbas to be released. I've always assumed the push of human nature to protect itself - like avoiding a "notorious prisoner" being released back into society would prevail. I just chalked it up to God setting things up to happen according to His plan for Jesus to die for us. Which, of course was His plan, however the choices of the people were also evident. I noticed two things when reading this today:
  1. "So when they had gathered, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release for you: Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?” 18 For he knew that it was out of envy that they had delivered him up." Matthew 27:17-18 What a powerful statement! Pilate knew that they had no criminal grounds for bringing Jesus before him, but it was pure envy. This statement sat heavy with me as I think about the damaging power that envy can have over us. It can remove all logic and create hurtful emotions and irrational actions. Even Pilate could see that.
  2. "Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus" Matthew 27:20 This verse stuck out for me regarding the power that people in authority have - especially leaders in the church. A reminder of how important it is to pray for our leaders and always recognize God as our ultimate leader!
This whole reading gives me the chills as we see the power of a crowd following their sinful nature. A mass of people coming from a place of envy and blind following of their leaders. Oh, that we remember to always go back to the Author and Perfecter of our faith to ensure our actions align with HIM rather than our own selfish sin-nature!

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageLeviticus 17-18; Matthew 27:27-50

Monday, February 13, 2017

Monday, February 13th: Leviticus 14; Matthew 26:51-75 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Leviticus 14; Matthew 26:51-75

In our NT passage Jesus makes it very clear that He is laying down His life of His own accord.

He chose to become the sacrifice for our sin. He knew what was coming.

He knew His closest friends would betray and desert Him, and what pain that would bring. We can all relate to a certain degree, but how many of us have been abandoned by our closest loved ones in the hour we need them most, in a literally life and death situation?

He knew He would be mocked, completely unjustly. Again, we can relate to a certain degree, but never has a man so utterly powerful and supreme been mocked by those so unworthy.

He knew He would be beaten, that He would experience physical pain and torture few people have to experience, and that He would die alone, with the weight of the world's sin on His shoulders.

He knew that sin would cause Him to feel forsaken by God.

He knew He didn't deserve it.

He knew we fully deserved it.

And He chose to do it in our place, so we wouldn't have to, in order to restore us to right relationship with God.

Amazing love, how can it be, that thou my God shouldst die for me! (Charles Wesley)

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageLeviticus 15-16; Matthew 27:1-26

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Sunday, February 12th: Leviticus 13; Matthew 26:26-50

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Leviticus 13; Matthew 26:26-50

"He went on a little farther and bowed His face to the ground, praying, "My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken from me. Yet I want Your will to be done, not mine." - Matthew 26:39

Jesus prayed that He wouldn't have to endure the suffering, but said that His Father's wishes be granted above His own.

This is the kind of attitude we should have when we have to face trials of this world. We can pray that God would take them away, but overall, we need to be satisfied with doing His will above our own.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageLeviticus 14; Matthew 26:51-75

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Saturday, February 11th: Leviticus 11-12; Matthew 26:1-25 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Leviticus 11-12; Matthew 26:1-25

In our passage today we see an example of humanity suffering from the consequences of sin. Indeed, though it is true that we are sinful because we sin, it is also true that we sin because we are sinful. From the moment of birth we are sinful and unclean.

The time of uncleanliness for a woman who has given birth is likely in part to remind her of the curse all womankind received when Eve sinned. That's also likely why the time was longer for a female child. It is crucial to remember that we are unclean, and that the law provides no way to truly become clean. That can only come through Jesus!

This reminds us that we should expect to deal with both just and unjust consequences simply because we continue to live in a fallen world.

But it should also remind us that we need to go outside the camp, to the unclean, in order to bring them to the only One who can truly cleanse our sin.

In our NT passage it struck me that all of the disciples doubted their ability to remain faithful under trial. They all thought it horrifically possible that they could be Jesus' betrayor.  They recognized their uncleanness. They recognized their capacity for evil. They were humble enough to admit that it could be them that would fail Jesus so utterly. And, indeed, they would all desert Him soon enough. The key is to know Who to turn to - both in moments of doubt, and in the times we fall.

We must choose.

Will we run towards sin, and away from Jesus?

Or will we run away from sin, and towards Jesus?

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage:  Leviticus 13; Matthew 26:26-50

Friday, February 10, 2017

Friday, February 10th: Leviticus 8-10; Matthew 25:31-46 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Leviticus 8-10; Matthew 25:31-46

In our OT passage today we see a stark reminder of the holiness of God and that sin is not something to trifle with.  As a parent, I can only imagine the devastation Aaron must have felt as he watched his sons fall under the judgment of God, and then not being allowed to publicly mourn for them.

Truly, only by God's grace and mercy is our fate any different. If we got what we deserved, if life was fair, we would receive judgment!

As we see in our NT passage, when we receive that unmerited grace, our lives will prove our faith genuine. If our actions do not do so, our false profession of faith will be revealed for what it really is and the judgment that will follow will be deserved.

Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageLeviticus 11-12; Matthew 26:1-25

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Thursday, February 9th: Leviticus 6-7; Matthew 25:1-30 ~ Deena

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Leviticus 6-7; Matthew 25:1-30

Looking today at The Parable of the Ten Virgins,
'Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour'. Matthew 25:13

Our Daily Bread from September 12, 2016 says, " What does waiting for Jesus's return look like in your life? Jesus told this parable to emphasize that we need to be prepared, for when He comes again we will give an account over the state of our hearts. Are we waiting and ready?"

Below is an Insight from the above mentioned Our Daily Bread:
David Wenham, in his book The Parables of Jesus, comments on the parable of the ten virgins: “It speaks of waiting for the coming of the master—in this case the bridegroom—and of being prepared or unprepared for one’s appointed task and of being rewarded or punished . . . . This is a particularly suggestive picture of the outcome of final judgment.” We don’t know when we will see the Bridegroom. Perhaps we will be alive and looking for Him when he returns or we will be raised from the dead and meet Him in the air (1 Thess. 4:16–17). What is important is that we are ready when He comes.
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageLeviticus 8-10; Matthew 25:31-46

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Wednesday, February 8th: Leviticus 4-5, Matthew 24: 29-51 ~ Nathan

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Leviticus 4-5, Matthew 24: 29-51

In our Old Testament reading today we read about how the Israelites had to offer an animal that had no defect, from their livestock, as an offering for their sin, intentional or unintentional. This was a direct hit to their personal worth (and/or food source) and took time to do.

When I consider how we would do this today, it made me think that I would have a hard time giving up the time it took as well as the valuable property it took. Made me thankful that Jesus came and died for me so that I can rather go to Him in prayer and ask for forgiveness. But more importantly, it made me think that it is no small thing to forgive my sins and can't just be a quick prayer then over. I need to give thanks for this special thing that God does for me, it is no small deed.

Sometimes we do suffer a penalty for our sins here on earth, there are still consequences, but we still need to be thankful for His forgiveness because it's crucial. If we don't go to Jesus to ask for forgiveness, the sin is still there. If we don't, then do we really believe and trust in Him?

Makes me take asking for forgiveness, and being thankful for it, more seriously. I am thankful that Jesus died for my sins, that I can then be forgiven when I go to Him and ask for forgiveness, and look forward to being with Him in heaven one day.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Leviticus 6-7; Matthew 25:1-30

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Tuesday, February 7th: Leviticus 1-3, Matthew 24:1-28 ~ Jody

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is: Leviticus 1-3; Matthew 24:1-28

God is so very Holy! With all of the detailed instruction we've finished reading about over the last while about the Tabernacle and Priests garment and now today with the offerings. It really hit me today how specific all of the details were in having God near. And the process it took for receiving God's favour and forgiveness. How particular and specific everything had to be so He could be in relationship with sinners. His holiness is too powerful to approach without the intercession of the offerings and the High Priest.

I too easily forget about God's holiness and this last week has really reminded me of that. I have found that reading and looking to understand all of these minute details has made me appreciate Jesus' sacrifice so much more. And I've realized how I've taken it for granted!

Holy Lord, thank you for Your Word that works on my heart so deeply. Thank you for finding a way through Jesus that we can approach Your throne freely with Him as our High Priest. Continue to remind me of your Holy Power and help me seek a righteous life that is pleasing to You.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageLeviticus 4-5; Matthew 24:29-51

Monday, February 6, 2017

Monday, February 6th: Exodus 39-40; Matthew 23:23-39

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Exodus 39-40; Matthew 23:23-39

It's so easy to get caught up in outward appearances. Trying to wear the right clothes, or fix my hair in the right fashion can sometimes take control over the way I think. But Jesus tells us that this is not the way we are to live our lives:

"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of your cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean." (Matthew 23:25-26)

You could be the most beautiful person in the whole world and the outside of your "cup" is absolutely spotless, but have a very dirty inside of your "cup". When this happens we are filled with greed and selfishness. But when we only worry about cleaning the inside, the Holy Spirit works through us and cleans us inside and out. The greatest concern should be inward purity, for once that has been accomplished we find that we are outwardly pure as well.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Leviticus 1-3; Matthew 24:1-28

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Sunday, February 5th: Exodus 36-38; Matthew 23:1-22

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Exodus 36-38; Matthew 23:1-22

Scripture: "Don't let anyone call you 'Rabbi', for you have only one teacher, and all of you are equal as brothers and sisters." - Matthew 23:8

Observation: Jesus said in the first part of the verse that we shouldn't call anyone 'Rabbi' because we have only one teacher, God. And so there is no "greater" one among us, God is the only Great One. Therefore, we are all equal to each other as the "lesser ones".

Application: We shouldn't look down on anyone because of their age, race, gender, disabilities, jobs, social status, or anything else. We are all equal. God created us and loves us all the same. God loves you the same as He loves the Queen of England, but He also loves you the same as that homeless man you saw begging for money on the street the other day. 

Prayer: Father, teach us to love as You have loved us. Help us not to look at ourselves as better than others. Help us to remember that You have created us equal in worth, and that we are all equally Your children. Amen

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageExodus 39-40; Matthew 23:23-39

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Saturday, February 4th: Exodus 34-35; Matthew 22:23-46 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Exodus 34-35; Matthew 22:23-46

I love how Jesus is able to stun the leaders, who are trying to trap Him, into utter silence. During one of these Q&A's we find this passage....

“"Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?" And he said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets."”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭22:36-40‬ ‭ESV‬‬

It's actually quite simple to understand but not so easy to put into practice. In fact, it's impossible without the strength of the Holy Spirit. Thankfully, if we are believers, we are united to Him and the same power that raised Jesus from the dead lies within us - but we need to remember to tap into it!

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage:  Exodus 36-38; Matthew 23:1-22

Friday, February 3, 2017

Friday, February 3rd: Exodus 31-33; Matthew 22:1-22 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Exodus 31-33; Matthew 22:1-22

The very beginning of our passage jumped out at me today....

"The Lord said to Moses, "See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with ability and intelligence, with knowledge and all craftsmanship, to devise artistic designs, to work in gold, silver, and bronze, in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, to work in every craft. And behold, I have appointed with him Oholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan. And I have given to all able men ability, that they may make all that I have commanded you:”
‭‭Exodus‬ ‭31:1-6‬ ‭ESV‬‬

God gave specific gifts to specific men in order for them to skillfully complete their work for God's glory. He still does this today. We are stewards of the gifts we have been given by God - we should identify them and them work diligently to hone those skills to the best of our ability in order to glorify Him.

The scene where Aaron tries to excuse the calf building "it just came out that way!" Would be laughable if it wasn't so serious. It was a reminder to me of our tendency to justify anything we get caught doing wrong instead of being willing to confess our sin, take responsibility for our sinful choice, and turn from it.

The resulting judgment was a reminder that at some point we have to get off the fence and decide which side we're on, and act accordingly.

Quite a lot going on in our passage today, and I didn't even touch on our NT passage - feel free to comment with your thoughts!

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageExodus 34-35; Matthew 22:23-46

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Thursday, February 2nd: Exodus 29-30; Matthew 21:23-46 ~ Deena

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Exodus 29-30; Matthew 21:23-46

In the NT reading today the Parable of the Two Sons spoke to me. The first son says, I won't, but then later goes. The second son says, I will, but then doesn't go.

Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the kingdom of God before you.32 For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him. And even when you saw it, you did not afterward change your minds and believe him.

Jesus is comparing the first son to the tax collectors and prostitutes, who are living in sin, but when John told them to repent, they did. The second son is being compared to the Pharisees, who think that they are right, but when John tells them that they need to repent, they don't.
Which son am I more like? Which son are you more like? When God shows me the sin in my life do I listen and repent, or do I think that my sin is not that bad and make excuses for it?

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageExodus 31-33; Matthew 22:1-22

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Wednesday, February 1st: Exodus 27-28, Matthew 21:1-22 ~ Nathan

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Exodus 27-28, Matthew 21:1-22

In our Old Testament reading today we read about the orders given for getting the place of worship ready. I find this portion of the Bible tough to read and follow, it isn't the most interesting, but because God wanted it in the Bible, it is important.

This portion describes how the Israelites were to get ready to worship at this time, and leads to God's plan of sending His son later.

Matthew 21: 9 - 11
The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David !” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord !” “Hosanna in the highest heaven !” [10] When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?” [11] The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”

These verses talk about how the crowds praised Jesus, and were excited to have Him among them. It wasn't long till the crowds wanted to kill Him and do away with Him.

People today are still easily persuaded to take a side, and don't need much info to protest, just look at the US political scene. We need to be careful to not let our emotions or feelings dictate in a negative way how we feel about our relationship with God, and rather be fully committed to Him every day, no matter how things go.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Exodus 29-30; Matthew 21:23-46