Sunday, April 30, 2017

Sunday, April 30th: 1 Kings 8-9; Luke 21:1-19 ~ Emma

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 1 Kings 8-9; Luke 21:1-19

"By standing firm, you will win your souls."
- Luke 21:19

Stand firm in the faith. Don't waver because of what people say, do, or threaten. Stand firm in the roots of Christ and you will be sure that you will live in perfect eternity with Him.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage1 Kings 10-11; Luke 21:19-38

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Saturday, April 29th: 1 Kings 6-7; Luke 20:27-47 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 1 Kings 6-7; Luke 20:27-47

I'm short on time so I'm going to repost my thoughts on this passage from two years ago.....

In today's passage it mentions that it took Solomon 7 years to build the temple and 13 years to build the palace.  I've often wondered if that was a negative comment, or simply a statement of fact. 

Rayburn's sermon discusses this and he had some great points I hadn't thought of before.  It does seem like there was some excess involved in the building of the palace, but there is no suggestion that the temple was too small or built "cheaply" in any way.  In fact, there is gold everywhere in the temple, but not in the palace.  The building of the palace is inserted into the middle of the account of the building of the temple which seems to say that the temple is the main thing and the palace is less important.  The palace would, by it's very purpose and nature, be a larger complex requiring a variety of buildings and would naturally take longer to build. 

Rayburn goes on.....
You spend much more of your time at work, whatever your work may be, than you do at church. Is that wrong? Are you, for that reason, worldly? You spend more of your time at home with your family than you do worshipping God or directly involved in some ministry? Is that wrong? Are you, in that way, demonstrating that you care more about other things than you do for the glory of God?

No; of course not. We would say, and rightly, that to be a faithful worker, to support our families, to build in our homes a happy and holy life for our children is not being worldly. To do such things, in fact, is to glorify God because it amounts to fulfilling his will for our lives and the callings that he has given us as his children. Solomon was not belittling God by serving Israel as her king; he was not showing himself more interested in his work than the worship of God by building a palace complex. He was glorifying God by doing and doing well the work God had given him to do.

This is everywhere the Bible’s perspective: whatever you do, whether in word or in deed, do it all to the glory of God. Solomon was no doubt right to think that he was giving glory to God not only by building for him the most glorious, costly, and beautiful sanctuary in the world but as well by building an impressive complex of government halls, offices, and palaces. Israel was Yahweh’s people and he was Yahweh’s king! The palace should reflect that fact as the temple did. He would not have thought, and we should not think, that if we work at our calling we are subtracting from God’s glory.

He goes on to use the example of marriage.  In the NT Paul wishes that all Christians could remain single as he was so to be free to devote themselves entirely to the work of God, but he's knows it's not possible and not the calling of every individual.  In other words, when people get married, they cannot be only completely devoted to God - some of that time and energy and commitment now needs to be invested into your spouse.  Is this wrong?  Far from it!  It is precisely what God expects of us, demands of us!  It would not be glorifying to God to neglect your spouse in order to work on a church project, and it would not have glorified God for Solomon to devote himself entirely to the temple and ignore his duties as Israel's king.  We definitely need to have the church and worship as priorities in our lives, but it is not only in church that we are able to give glory to God.  We each serve Him in the areas that He has called us to serve.  We are to be people of both the temple and the palace.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage:  1 Kings 8-9; Luke 21:1-19

Friday, April 28, 2017

Friday, April 28th: 1 Kings 3-5; Luke 20:1-26 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 1 Kings 3-5; Luke 20:1-26

I love that Solomon asked God for wisdom.  This is something I pray for our kids almost every day before they go to school - that they would have wisdom to know what is right, and the courage to do it.  Wisdom and discernment are so important - to our spiritual growth, to our witness for others, it's importance really can't be overstated.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage:  1 Kings 6-7; Luke 20:27-47

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Thursday, April 27th: 1 Kings 1-2; Luke 19:28-48

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 1 Kings 1-2; Luke 19:28-48

In the NT passage today one part that stood out to me were these verses:
the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, 38 saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” 39 And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” 40 He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”
We have all sorts of ways to tell others about Jesus. In our society there are places where speaking of Jesus is forbidden, even here in Canada. I personally have not experienced it much myself but it's happening. So if we are ever verbally silenced  we can use different "stones" to keep the message alive!!

"I'm just a nobody telling everybody about Somebody who can save anybody!" (I really like this quote from Our Daily Bread, I don't know who wrote it)

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage:  1 Kings 3-5; Luke 20:1-26

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Wednesday, April 26th: 2 Samuel 23-24, Luke 19: 1-27 ~ Nathan

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is: 2 Samuel 23-24; Luke 19:1-27

Towards the end of David's life, he is written about in these chapters. A few verses that stood out to me show how David took seriously his role as leader.

2 Samuel 23: 3-4
The God of Israel spoke, the Rock of Israel said to me: ‘When one rules over people in righteousness, when he rules in the fear of God, he is like the light of morning at sunrise on a cloudless morning, like the brightness after rain that brings grass from the earth.’

Here we see the importance of keeping God front and center in our lives, when leading. David sinned and struggled in his life, but trusted in God and finished strong.

He goes on later to take responsibility for his wrong actions, not wanting others to pay the price for his wrongs,

2 Samuel 24: 17
When David saw the angel who was striking down the people, he said to the Lord, “I have sinned; I, the shepherd, have done wrong. These are but sheep. What have they done? Let your hand fall on me and my family .”

David was a great leader, but also wasn't perfect, he was human and sinned. Overall, he lived for the Lord and was a great example for us to follow.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: 1 Kings 1-2; Luke 19:28-48

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Tuesday, April 25: 2 Samuel 21-22; Luke 18:24-43 ~ Jody

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is: 2 Samuel 21-22; Luke 18:24-43

“The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,
    my[d] God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield, and the horn of my salvation,
    my stronghold and my refuge,
    my savior; you save me from violence.
I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised,
    and I am saved from my enemies."
2 Samuel 22:2-4

This is one of my favourite passages in the Bible. God revealed it to me several years ago during a difficult time in my life and it has been my foundation in trouble ever since. I get this image of God as a massive rock face with me hidden deep within. Providing protection from the harm that the enemy intends for my life while I can hide safely within it. However, not only is He a safe place of refuge, but He is my protector and my deliver, which depict action! He fights FOR me to SAVE me from the violence!!

Thank you Father that you not only keep me safe and shield me, but also take action to deliver me from the works of the enemy set to destroy my life. 

Monday, April 24, 2017

Monday, April 24th: 2 Samuel 19-20; Luke 18:1-23 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 2 Samuel 19-20; Luke 18:1-23

It was normal, natural, and right for David to grieve over the actions of his son, his own failures as a parent, and the death of his son - as a father.  But a King does not have the same luxury. Absalom tried to steal the throne from his father, and David's men fought for him and won the victory, but his very public grief made them feel shame instead of being able to celebrate their victory.  As a King, David did not handle this right, and Joab confront him on it.  In this case, David should not have allowed his feelings to dictate his behaviour as king.

This is a good reminder for us that our actions should not rely on our feelings.  Our feelings are not necessarily bad, but they are also not necessarily good.  Our feelings can betray us. We need to filter our feelings first through the Word of God - where our feelings and the Word are at odds with each other, we must realign ourselves to the Word, not to our feelings.  Even when our feelings are in line with God's Word, we still need to act on those feelings in both a godly manner and as a steward of the position God has given us.

In our NT passage I appreciated the reminder that we cannot value or love anything (even good things) above God.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage:   2 Samuel 21-22; Luke 18:24-43

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Sunday, April 23rd: 2 Samuel 16-18; Luke 17:20-37 ~ Emma

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 2 Samuel 16-18; Luke 17:20-37

"The king was overcome with emotion. He went up to the room over the gateway and burst into tears. And as he went, he cried, 'O my son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you! O Absalom, my son, my son.'"
- 2 Samuel 18:33

Even though Absalom had wanted to overthrow David and even kill him, David still wept for his son's death, and he was still upset at the news.

Like David, God is a Father who weeps for His children. He cries with us when we are upset, and He cries for us when we do not do what He says. God is a loving, caring Father. And we need to do our best to love Him back, and also love His children just as He loves us. 

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage2 Samuel 19-20; Luke 18:1-23

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Saturday, April 22: 2 Samuel 14-15; Luke 17:1-19 ~ Jody

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is: 2 Samuel 14-15; Luke 17:1-19

" And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you." Luke 17:6

How teeny tiny the mustard seed actually is! Interesting how we put so much faith in our own ideas and plans, yet often struggle to have even mustard seed sized faith in God. 

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage2 Samuel 16-18; Luke 17:20-37

Friday, April 21, 2017

Friday, April 22nd: 2 Samuel 12-13; Luke 16 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 2 Samuel 12-13; Luke 16

In our OT passage today we see David reaping the consequences of his sins - first his sin of polygamy, and then his sin of adultery and murder.  The good news is that there is forgiveness for all sins, no sin is so "bad" that it is beyond the reach of God's grace. All sin is equal in one sense because any sin separates us from God.  But different sins also have different consequences, and David's sins had some major ones.  The bad news is that God's forgiveness doesn't normally wipe away those consequences.  An important reminder to never justify a sinful plan by thinking that you can just ask for forgiveness later.  Yes, forgiveness will be granted, but there will still be consequences.  Plus, if you willfully sin, there is no guarantee you will ever want forgiveness - it's a dangerous path to go down.

In our NT passage the final verse hit me....
31 He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’”

I hadn't noticed the parallel between this verse and Easter before.   Moses and the Prophets testify to the coming Messiah, but not everyone believed, even after Jesus died and rose from the dead.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage:  2 Samuel 14-15; Luke 17:1-19

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Thursday, April 20th: 2 Samuel 9-11; Luke 15:11-32

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is  2 Samuel 9-11; Luke 15:11-32

Today's NT reading was about the prodigal son. When reading this passage I tend to focus more on him then the older brother, however both of them were wayward. The prodigal son had more of an immoral lifestyle and the older son had a self righteous attitude. Both are sinful. The father loved both his sons unconditionally and was not harsh with them. With the prodigal son the father ran out to welcome him, and with the older son the father came out and pleaded with him. This is a wonderful picture of how graciously God pursues us! I am so thankful for that!

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage:  2 Samuel 12-13; Luke 16

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Wednesday, April 19th: 2 Samuel 6-8; Luke 15:1-10 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 2 Samuel 6-8; Luke 15:1-10

In our OT passage we see the consequences of wrong actions, even with right motive.  King David did not follow God's instructions on handling the ark - and though it doesn't seem to have been deliberate, it was certainly careless.  We can never be careless about the potential for sin!

The story illustrates just how prone we are to sin.  We sin when we accidentally do something wrong. We sin when we don't bother to find out what God thinks about an action.  We sin when we do the wrong thing for the right reason.  We sin when we do the right thing for the wrong reason.  We sin when we do the wrong thing for the wrong reason.  We sin when we don't do the right thing.

We sin.

We are so desperately in need of a Saviour.  Thankfully, as our NT passage shows us, God is passionate about each and every one of us acknowledging our sinfulness and our need of a Saviour, and He rejoices over every sinner that repents of their sin and relies on Him for forgiveness and reconciliation!

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage:  2 Samuel 9-11; Luke 15:11-32

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Tuesday, April 18: 2 Samuel 3-5; Luke 14:25-35 ~ Jody

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is: 2 Samuel 3-5; Luke 14:25-35

"17 When the Philistines heard that David had been anointed king of Israel, they mobilized all their forces to capture him. But David was told they were coming, so he went into the stronghold. 18 The Philistines arrived and spread out across the valley of Rephaim. 19 So David asked the Lord, “Should I go out to fight the Philistines? Will you hand them over to me?”
The Lord replied to David, “Yes, go ahead. I will certainly hand them over to you.”
20 So David went to Baal-perazim and defeated the Philistines there. “The Lord did it!” David exclaimed. “He burst through my enemies like a raging flood!” So he named that place Baal-perazim (which means “the Lord who bursts through”).21 The Philistines had abandoned their idols there, so David and his men confiscated them.
22 But after a while the Philistines returned and again spread out across the valley of Rephaim. 23 And again David asked the Lord what to do. “Do not attack them straight on,” the Lord replied. “Instead, circle around behind and attack them near the poplar[p] trees. 24 When you hear a sound like marching feet in the tops of the poplar trees, be on the alert! That will be the signal that the Lord is moving ahead of you to strike down the Philistine army.” 25 So David did what the Lord commanded, and he struck down the Philistines all the way from Gibeon[q] to Gezer. 2 Samuel  5:17-25
David is such a great example here of how to ask and obey God's guidance. The first time the Philistine's spread out in the valley of Rephaim, David simply asks God for strategy - then obeys. Then later in this passage, the Philistines line up again in the same valley and David goes straight back to God for guidance and obeys the different orders. Most of us would just do another repeat of what worked last time, but not David. He goes back to God for new marching orders. What an intimate and deep relationship he had with God!!
Lord, help me to be so close and so dependant on you that when I am faced with decisions - and situations I've had victory over in the past - I come first to you. Help me to ask and obey Lord with complete trust in your voice and your plan. Amen

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage2 Samuel 6-8; Luke 15:1-10

Monday, April 17, 2017

Monday, April 17th: 2 Samuel 1-2; Luke 14:1-24

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 2 Samuel 1-2; Luke 14:1-24

S: "For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted." Luke 14:11

O: Jesus often mentions that the first will become last and the last will become first. Jesus put himself last in every situation. He was born in a filthy stable. He lived with bare essentials, allowing God to provide everything He needed. He talked with all the weird people. He ate lunch with tax collectors. He died for sins he didn't even do.

A: Live in a "WWJD" (what would Jesus do) kind of way. Offer to be last, for we know we will get our full reward in heaven.

P: Dear God, thank you for showing us how to live in this world in a way that is different. Help us to put ourselves in last, just like you did. Remind us that we will be rewarded greatly in heaven. Amen.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: 2 Samuel 3-5; Luke 14:25-35

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Sunday, April 16th: 1 Samuel 30-31; Luke 13:23-35 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 1 Samuel 30-31; Luke 13:23-35

1 Samuel 30: 23 Someone asked him, “Lord, will only a few be saved?”

He replied, 24 “Work hard to enter the narrow door to God’s Kingdom, for many will try to enter but will fail. 

We can't earn our way into the Kingdom.  It is all God!  God sent His only Son who lived a perfect life and became the only acceptable sacrifice to pay the punishment for our sins on our behalf.  He took our sin and gave us His righteousness.  That's all God.  But even though Jesus died for everyone, and even though God extends the offer of forgiveness to everyone, not everyone accepts it.

The Bible teaches both the doctrine of election, and the doctrine of free will - it's like they are two side of a coin. We don't understand exactly how they work together, but God does!  He elects.  We choose to follow, and daily commit to carrying our cross while we follow.  We work, not to earn salvation, but as proof of our salvation.  We work to please Him and become more like Him because we are grateful for His saving power in our lives.

We need to desire to know Him, and we need to diligently strive to follow him no matter the cost.  And we cannot put this decision off forever, because at some point the narrow door will close - whether it's because of our own death, or because of the second coming of Jesus.

This Easter Sunday, I am thankful that He not only paid the price for our sin, but rose 3 days later, conquering death and sin forever!

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage:  2 Samuel 1-2; Luke 14:1-24

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Saturday, April 15th: 1 Samuel 27-29; Luke 13:1-22 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 1 Samuel 27-29; Luke 13:1-22

Luke 13:13 And he laid his hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and she glorified God.
What was this woman's immediate response to God's healing?  She glorified Him.

How do we respond to God's working in our lives?  Do we glorify Him? Do we thank Him? Or do we take credit, or presume upon His grace, or just go on with our lives as though nothing had happened, or celebrate without giving Him the glory?

Little things or big - God deserves the glory for it all!

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage:   1 Samuel 30-31; Luke 13:23-35

Friday, April 14, 2017

Friday, October 14th: 1 Samuel 25-26; Luke 12:32-59 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 1 Samuel 25-26; Luke 12:32-59

In our OT passage we read the story of the wicked Nabal and his wise wife Abigail. What struck me when I read this story this time was the mention that Nabal was a Calebite. Caleb was a godly man, one of the only two spies to trust in God's promise of victory against all odds (the other being Joshua, who became the leader of Israel after Moses' death).

Nabal was nothing like his ancestor Caleb. This reminds us that there are no grandchildren of God, only children. We each have to commit to following Him, we don't get an "in" because of our heritage. We are not Christians by default because our parents or grandparents were believers. We won't coast into heaven riding anybody's coat tails.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage1 Samuel 27-29; Luke 13:1-22

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Thursday, April 13th: 1 Samuel 22-24; Luke 12:1-31

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is  1 Samuel 22-24; Luke 12:1-31

“I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell.[a] Yes, I tell you, fear him!

When you fear people you usually start to hide things and that will lead to hypocrisy. If you don't confess Christ openly and don't depend on the Holy Spirit, that will silence your witness. When God is the only one you fear, and no one else, then you can boldly witness for Christ! You are important to God and precious in His sight, so don't fear what others can say or do.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage:  1 Samuel 25-26; Luke 12:32-59

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Wednesday, April 12th: 1 Samuel 19-21, Luke 11:29-54 ~ Nathan

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 1 Samuel 19-21; Luke 11:29-54

In our old testament reading we read about how David had to evade and hide from Saul, who is crazy and wants to kill David.

David is now a hero, he has just defeated Goliath, but he is not king, yet.

1 Samuel 19:5
He took his life in his hands when he killed the Philistine. The Lord won a great victory for all Israel, and you saw it and were glad. Why then would you do wrong to an innocent man like David by killing him for no reason?”

Have you ever done something good and not only not been rewarded for it, but been treated harshly afterward?

1 Samuel 20:34
Jonathan got up from the table in fierce anger; on that second day of the feast he did not eat, because he was grieved at his father’s shameful treatment of David.

David was treated this way, and yet still wanted to do good. He could have killed Saul as well, but chose to love instead. What character and devotion to God he showed.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: 1 Samuel 22-24; Luke 12:1-31

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Tuesday, April 11: 1 Samuel 17-18; Luke 11:1-28 ~ Jody

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is: 1 Samuel 17-18; Luke 11:1-28

One of my favourite things about being part of this blog is looking deeper into some of the more well-known stories. Having grown up in Sunday School and church my entire life, I've heard the David and Goliath story many, many times and feel like I "know" the lesson in the story. However - there is always more to learn and this type of thinking is so dangerous! I appreciate the challenge and opportunity to learn from everyone else and to also seek new revelations on my own posting day as well!

On that note, I noticed something today that I had never noticed before. When David was first asking about Goliath and trying to understand what they were afraid of, his eldest brother Eliab started challenging and accusing him. 1 Samuel 17:28-30

 28 Now Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spoke to the men. And Eliab's anger was kindled against David, and he said, “Why have you come down? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your presumption and the evil of your heart, for you have come down to see the battle.”29 And David said, “What have I done now? Was it not but a word?” 30 And he turned away from him toward another, and spoke in the same way, and the people answered him again as before.

David's just been harshly accused by Eliab, but he knows his own heart and pays no mind to Eliab. I appreciate that David is so confident in God in him that he pays no attention at all to Eliab's human judgement. May I be confident in who I am in God and rely on Him to define who I am!

And I actually don't ever remember reading the story of David marrying Saul's daughter Michal before! Fascinating how Saul tried to set him up battling Philistines and through that realized that God was with David.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage1 Samuel 19-21; Luke 11:29-54

Monday, April 10, 2017

Monday, April 10th: 1 Samuel 15-16; Luke 10:25-42 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 1 Samuel 15-16; Luke 10:25-42

Our OT passage is a huge reminder of the consequences for disobedience.  Yes, there is grace and forgiveness when we genuinely repent, but that doesn't nullify the consequences of our sin. Saul disobeyed God and paid the price by the loss of his kingship - though the punishment was not immediate. Today, many people mistake God's patience for lack of judgment and presume upon His grace, not realizing that the day will come when time will be up and judgment will come.

In our NT passage we see that the two greatest commandments can be summed up in four words - love God, love people.  The words are simple, but living them out is definitely not always easy.  We also need to make sure we are defining love the way the Bible defines it, not the way the world defines it.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: 1 Samuel 17-18; Luke 11:1-28

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Sunday, April 9th: 1 Samuel 15-16; Luke 10:1-24 ~ Emma

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 1 Samuel 13-14; Luke 10:1-24

"But don't rejoice because evil spirits obey you; rejoice because your names are registered in heaven." - Luke 10:20

There is nothing wrong with rejoicing in the things of this world, but we should always remember that we aren't rejoicing in the world itself but rather rejoicing in God who made the world and let these good things happen. 

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage1 Samuel 15-16; Luke 10:25-42

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Saturday, April 8th: 1 Samuel 10-12; Luke 9:37-62 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 1 Samuel 10-12; Luke 9:37-62

Our NT passage ends with a reminder that there is a cost to following Jesus.  Indeed, at times that cost can be high.

But our OT passage ends by reminding us that it is worth it!
Only fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things he has done for you.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage1 Samuel 13-14; Luke 10:1-24

Friday, April 7, 2017

Friday, April 7th: 1 Samuel 7-9; Luke 9:18-36 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 1 Samuel 7-9; Luke 9:18-36

Samuel was a godly man and an obedient prophet, but unfortunately he didn't learn anything from Eli's mistakes as a parent, causing the people to confront him about his sons and to reject them as their future leaders.

Obviously, we as parents are not fully responsible for the actions and decisions of our children, but we are held accountable for how we raise our kids and our parenting clearly has an impact on how they turn out.  That said, ultimately they are responsible for their own actions - sometimes the best of parents have children that choose to live in rebellion.  We are responsible to parent well, but we are not responsible should they reject our teachings.  Obviously, we will all make mistakes as parents and God's grace covers those mistakes just like all our other sins, but this passage is a great reminder to me that we need to take our jobs as parents seriously, and not rely on Sunday School teachers or youth leaders or anyone else to do our jobs for us.  Our home is our first mission field and we cannot forget that!

Ultimately, the Israelites were rejecting God as king - they wanted to be like the people and culture around them.  This is a reminder to us that we need to be careful not to be swayed by the culture around us.  We should be living counter-culturally, and if we're not, it's probably time for some self-evaluation to see how our lives are lining up with God's Word.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage:  1 Samuel 10-12; Luke 9:37-62

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Thursday, April 6th: 1 Samuel 4-6; Luke 9:1-17 ~ Deena

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 1 Samuel 4-6; Luke 9:1-17

In today's NT reading one part that stood out to me was in verse 3:
He told them: “Take nothing for the journey—no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra shirt.
Jesus is sending out His disciples to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal people. They didn't know how long they were going for or where they would all travel, yet they went! With only the clothes on their back! I don't know about you, but when I pack for a trip, even one night, I have a bag of stuff I take with me.
How much value do we place on our material possessions and what we think we need? Needs and wants are very different things and our society has lost sight of what's important, myself included! What we need to focus on is Jesus! JESUS IS ENOUGH!!

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage:  1 Samuel 7-9; Luke 9:18-36

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Wednesday, April 5th: 1 Samuel 1-3, Luke 8: 26-56 ~ Nathan

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is  1 Samuel 1-3, Luke 8: 26-56

A few portions of today's reading stood out to me,

1 Samuel 1: 6&7
Because the Lord had closed Hannah’s womb, her rival kept provoking her in order to irritate her. [7] This went on year after year. Whenever Hannah went up to the house of the Lord, her rival provoked her till she wept and would not eat

We may have people that bug us, or we may be a pain to someone else. Either way, this can do more damage than we think, and I pray that I can be a help and not an irritant to others. Sometimes helping others may mean leaving them alone, I pray for wisdom in this situation.

1 Samuel 3:13
For I told him that I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his sons blasphemed God, a and he failed to restrain them.

Eli's sons had been evil, and Eli had ignored this problem. I pray for wisdom in how we raise our children, that we don't ignore problems but rather see them and deal with them, asking God for wisdom and using the power that He gives.

Luke 8: 47&48
Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. [48] Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”

This women came to Jesus humbly and with the utmost respect, she truly believed in Him and knew He could do anything. She knew Jesus was the only one who could help her, she had tried other ways and found no success. I pray that I show the same attitude toward Jesus always, with utmost respect knowing that only He can save me.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage:  1 Samuel 4-6; Luke 9:1-17

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Tuesday, April 4th: Ruth 1-4; Luke 8:1-25 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Ruth 1-4; Luke 8:1-25

Jody had to fly out to a conference today so I'm doing her post for her.

I always love the story of Ruth.

I love her loyalty to Naomi and her confident faith in God, even though her only experiences with God took place during times of difficulty.

I love how she showed respect and honour for Naomi even though she was filled with bitterness.

I love how she didn't let her past hold her back.

And I love how God rewarded all these things by making her the great-grandmother of King David and an ancestor of Jesus Christ.

I also love what we can learn about God from the book of Ruth.

God is concerned about everyone - no matter their status, race, or gender.

God is sovereign - seemingly unconnected events (famine, Naomi's relocation to Moab, Ruth and Naomi's return to Bethlehem, Boaz's lineage) turn out to be not so unconnected!

Boaz was a type of redeemer pointing to Jesus Christ our true Redeemer.  May we put our faith in Him, as Ruth did, no matter our circumstances.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage:  1 Samuel 1-3; Luke 8:26-56

Monday, April 3, 2017

Monday, April 3rd: Judges 19-21; Luke 7:31-50 ~ Kezia

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Judges 19-21; Luke 7:31-50

In the Old Testament we read quite the strange story. Sometimes I wonder what the significance of a story like the Levite and the Concubine is, and why it's even in the Bible in the first place. This link sums up the meaning behind this passage pretty well:

"This grotesque series of events concludes with the fitting words of verse 25: “In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.” Readers reeling from the immoral activities of these closing chapters of Judges can take some comfort in the fact that Scripture clearly condemned these activities. This dark period of Israel’s history would soon lead to the demand for an Israelite king, an act that would help to some degree yet would also reveal the need for a perfect King and Messiah—Jesus Christ, who would come later in the New Testament"

Sometimes in the moment our situations are tough and confusing and we don't know why God put it in His plan for us to go through them.  But if we take a moment to step back and realize what it could look like in the big picture, we could be nearing something so much greater. This story in the Bible is a great representation of how much we needed Jesus to come down to the Earth to show us what it looks like to be a perfect King.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Ruth 1-4; Luke 8:1-25

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Sunday, April 2nd: Judges 16-18; Luke 7:1-30 ~ Emma

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Judges 16-18; Luke 7:1-30

Old Testament:

Just like Samson had God-given strength, we are also given "strengths" by God. We need to make sure we use our strengths for God and His purposes, and not for the secular purposes of this world. 

New Testament:

The story of the centurion and his servant is a great example of what kind of leaders we should be (deeply loving and caring for those "below us" like the centurion), and also what kind of followers we should be (serving others wholeheartedly and wanting to do and give our best to them like the servant).

No matter what position we are put in, whether a "high-up" leader or a "down-low" servant, we can always use our strengths and abilities that God has given us for Him. 

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageJudges 19-21; Luke 7:31-50

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Saturday, April 1st: Judges 13-15; Luke 6:27-49 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Judges 13-15; Luke 6:27-49

I found it incredibly ironic that we first read the story of Samson, and his penchant for revenge, and then when we switched to the NT we immediately read....
27 “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.
It goes against our natural instinct to respond to abuse with love - indeed, it is only possible through the power of the Holy Spirit living within us.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage:  Judges 16-18; Luke 7:1-30