Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Wednesday, May 31st: 2 Chronicles 13-14, John 12: 1-26 ~ Nathan

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is: 2 Chronicles 13-14; John 12:1-26

2 Chronicles 14:11
Then Asa called to the Lord his God and said, “ Lord, there is no one like you to help the powerless against the mighty. Help us, Lord our God, for we rely on you, and in your name we have come against this vast army. Lord, you are our God; do not let mere mortals prevail against you.”

King Asa realized he couldn't fight this battle and win by himself, he needed God's help. It was a life and death struggle - if Judah had lost it would have been catastrophic.

Do we realize our time on earth, and what we do with it, also is massively important? We won't get a second try, we need to trust in God and do our best for Him now.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: 2 Chronicles 15-16; John 12:27-50

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Tuesday, May 30: 2 Chronicles 10-12; John 11:30-57 ~ Jody

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is: 2 Chronicles 10-12; John 11:30-57

The story of Lazarus touched my heart in today's reading. I've always just looked at it from the perspective of the miracle that it is: Jesus raising him from the dead after 4 days! Today when I read it, I really felt Jesus' love for Lazarus and his sisters. What beautiful friendship!

As I re-read the passage a couple of times, I was struck with how we get to have the same friendship and love from Jesus. Because of what He did for us on the cross, and God sending the Holy Spirit, we also get to be so close to Jesus! So close to Him that He weeps for us when we are lost and is moved deeply for us too.

What a friend we have in Jesus,
all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear,
all because we do not carry
everything to God in prayer. 

Song written by: Joseph M. Scriven in 1855. 

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage:2 Chronicles 13-14; John 12:1-26

Monday, May 29, 2017

Monday, May 29th: 2 Chronicles 7-9; John 11:1-29 ~ Kezia

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 2 Chronicles 7-9; John 11:1-29

I find it so interesting how much of the Bible is repeated. In our Old Testament reading, we read about Solomon, an incredibly wise king. We read about Solomon back in 1 Kings, and yet here we are reading about him again.

Again, scripture is repeated in the New Testament when in verse 2 it says that this Mary was in a different story in the Bible, and goes on to say exactly what Mary did. It tells of how Mary poured perfume on the Lord and wiped His feet with her hair.

The Bible repeats itself when a message is really important. It's the same reason why we sing the alphabet song, count to ten, and repeatedly practice learning our colours as young children. We do this so we can learn and treasure the information deep so that we never forget it.

The order of many kings is such an important section of the Bible because it prepares the way for the True and Perfect King that was to come - Jesus. God used these many stories of kings (many of which did evil in the eyes of the Lord) to illustrate the importance for Jesus to come down to show His people what a real king looks like.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: 2 Chronicles 10-12; John 11:30-57

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Sunday, May 28th:-6; 2 Chronicles 4-6; John 10:24-42 ~ Emma

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 2 Chronicles 4-6; John 10:24-42

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are one."
‭‭John‬ ‭10:27-30‬

These verses are so comforting. Jesus is our shepherd, and if we follow Him, we will never be separated from Him.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage2 Chronicles 7-9; John 11:1-29

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Saturday, May 27th: 2 Chronicles 1-3; John 10:1-23 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 2 Chronicles 1-3; John 10:1-23

John 10:16 And I have other sheep that are not of this fold.
Who are the other sheep that Jesus is referring to?

The Mormons claim that this verse refers to a group of Jews they call Nephites who had miraculously migrated to the Americas six centuries before the birth of Jesus, and the Book of Mormon was witness to them.  This, frankly, doesn't make any sense.  If you're interested, click here for the argument refuting this position.

The other sheep that Jesus refers to are the Gentiles.  The original sheep in this passage are the true believers in Israel, because up to this point His ministry had only been to the Israelites. The other sheep, are the Gentiles who would become believers.  Here Jesus makes it clear that the Gentile believers were just as genuine believers as the Israel believers.  In eternity all sheep, all true believers, whether Gentile or Jew, will worship together in unity as one body.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage2 Chronicles 4-6; John 10:24-42

Friday, May 26, 2017

Friday, May 26th: 1 Chronicles 28-29; John 9:24-41 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 1 Chronicles 28-29; John 9:24-41

1 Chronicles 29:10 Therefore David blessed the Lord in the presence of all the assembly. And David said: “Blessed are you, O Lord, the God of Israel our father, forever and ever.11 Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all. 12 Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. 13 And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name.

The prayer continues on in the same vein.  

How often do my prayers sound like that?  David is completely focused on God, and his prayer is totally centred on God and His attributes, praising Him for who He is.  

I need to remember to take more time in my prayers to focus solely on God; praising, blessing, and glorifying His great name!

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage2 Chronicles 1-3; John 10:1-23

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Thursday, May 25th: 1 Chronicles 25-27; John 9:1-23 ~ Deena

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 1 Chronicles 25-27; John 9:1-23

Jesus answered, “It was not any sin of this man or his parents that caused him to be blind. He was born blind so that he could be used to show what great things God can do.

Sometimes we focus too much on our pains or problems that we miss seeing the glory of God. Realizing that God can bring good out of our hard times is also what allows us as Christians to make it through those times. God's power is so great that he can use common things like dirt and water to produce a miracle.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage1 Chronicles 28-29; John 9:24-41

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Wednesday, May 24th: 1 Chronicles 22-24; John 8:28-59 ~ Nathan

In our Old Testament reading we read about David giving final instructions before he dies. He gives basic advice to the Israelites,
1 Chronicles 22: 13
Then you will have success if you are careful to observe the decrees and laws that the Lord gave Moses for Israel. Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged.

This advice is basic, but was hard to follow, and is today as well.

John 8: 33-34
They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?” [34] Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.

A good reminder to the Jews back then, and us today. We are slaves to sin if we do not ask for forgiveness. To be truly free means we need to bring our sin to Jesus and ask for forgiveness. Then we can truly move on.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Tuesday, May 23: 1 Chronicles 19-21; John 8:1-27 ~ Jody

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is: 1 Chronicles 19-21; John 8:1-27

I Am the Light of the World

12 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12
An important distinction here is the term "follows me". Often we think believing is enough (or don't even realize we are inactive in our walk), but without the action of following Jesus we are still left desiring the light of life He talks about here. Jesus is our light and His desire for us is to walk in His full light!! That we would follow him, putting our faith into action. The action of prayer, immersing ourselves in the word, listening to him and actively following Him so that we do not walk in darkness!

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage1 Chronicles 22-24; John 8:28-59

Monday, May 22, 2017

Monday, May 22nd: 1 Chronicles 16-18; John 7:28-53 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 1 Chronicles 16-18; John 7:28-53

I loved David's song of thanks in 1 Chronicles 16.

The entire song is focused on God - remembering His faithfulness, and giving Him glory and praise for who He is and what He has done and continues to do for His people.

We need to adopt that same attitude of thanks.  We, too, need to be purposeful about remembering God's faithfulness to us - and we should be specific in our remembering, the way David was, recounting His provision and His work in our lives.  We need to glorify Him for this faithfulness, and praise Him for who He is.  And then we need to live our lives in light of our thankfulness for His faithfulness to us.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage:  1 Chronicles 19-21; John 8:1-27

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Sunday, May 21st: 1 Chronicles 13-15; John 7-1-27 ~ Emma

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 1 Chronicles 13-15; John 7:1-27

"Look beneath the surface so you can judge correctly." - John 7:24

Almost everyone judges people based on their outward appearances or our first impressions of them. It's in our human nature. But Jesus wants us to leave our human selves behind and come follow Him so we can be godly like Him. We should try to get to know someone before we decide our views on them. You never know what someone is going through, or what they have experienced, just based on their outward appearances. 

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage1 Chronicles 16-18; John 7:28-53

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Saturday, May 20th: 1 Chronicles 10-12; John 6:45-71 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 1 Chronicles 10-12; John 6:45-71

John 6:64b For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.
Jesus knew, the whole time, that Judas would betray Him. He knew before He chose him to be a disciple.  He knew the entire time He was training Judas alongside the other disciples.  Every time He ate with him, drank with him, talked with him, walked with him - He knew.  But the rest of the disciples didn't know.  Which means Jesus did not treat Judas any differently than any of the other disciples that entire time.

I don't know about you, but if I knew one of my closest friends would betray me the way Judas betrayed Jesus, my actions would likely be very different than Jesus' were.  What an amazing example of love, compassion, mercy, and grace Jesus gave us by the way He treated Judas.  But He didn't treat Judas this way for our sake.  He loved Judas.

To one degree or another, we are all Judas.  We have all betrayed Jesus.  Every sin we have ever committed is a betrayal.  The difference is what we do after the betrayal.  Peter betrayed Jesus too, when he denied Him three times.  But Peter came back to Jesus in genuine repentance.  Judas displayed worldly sorrow and killed himself - running away from Jesus instead of towards Jesus.  Despite the years Jesus invested in Judas, Judas never knew Him.

Do we know Jesus?  Do we run to Him when we sin? Or do we run away, either in bitterness or regret?

Let us always, always, run towards Him!

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage1 Chronicles 13-15; John 7:1-27

Friday, May 19, 2017

Friday, May 19th: 1 Chronicles 7-9; John 6:22-44 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 1 Chronicles 7-9; John 6:22-44

Back in Numbers 16 we saw Korah (and others) come under the judgment of God. But some of his sons were spared.  God still had a purpose and a plan, even for this family.  I was blessed to be born into a family of believers, but not everyone has this same background.  Some people may be ashamed of their ancestry - perhaps some of Korah's sons or grandsons or great-grandsons were ashamed of their father and thought theirs was a hopeless case.  But this story shows that your faith in God is not dependant on your heritage.  God redeemed the family of Korah (1 Chronicles 9:19), and He can do the same for you!

Our NT brings up several topics, of which I will mention two.

First - we see clearly that we are to follow Jesus because of who He is, not simply to get something from Him.  We shouldn't just see Him as the source of bread or miracles, but rather the Source of Life itself!

Second - this passage reminds us that election and man's responsibility somehow work together - how, we may not understand, but it doesn't make it less true.

35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. 36 But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. 37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. 40 For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”

41 So the Jews grumbled about him, because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 42 They said, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” 43 Jesus answered them, “Do not grumble among yourselves. 44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage:  1 Chronicles 10-12; John 6:45-71

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Thursday, May 18th: 1 Chronicles 4-6, John 6:1-21 ~ Deena

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 1 Chronicles 4-6; John 6:1-21

In our NT passage today Phillip thought the answer was money but Andrew saw that there was food, a young boys lunch. It wouldn't be enough food to feed the thousands but he brings it to Jesus. When we face problems, bring what we have to Jesus and let Him tell us what to do. God can multiply the little bit that we have if we are willing to let Him. We may think it is small or insignificant, even our talents, but God can use them to do great things.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage:  1 Chronicles 7-9; John 6:22-44

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Wednesday, May 17th: 1 Chronicles 1-3, John 5: 25-47 ~ Nathan

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is  1 Chronicles 1-3; John 5:25-47

1 Chronicles 2:3
The sons of Judah: Er, Onan and Shelah. These three were born to him by a Canaanite woman, the daughter of Shua. Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the Lord ’s sight; so the Lord put him to death
1 Chronicles 2:7
The son of Karmi: Achar, who brought trouble on Israel by violating the ban on taking devoted things.

Two verses where we read a quick wrap up a person's life that had lived a sinful life or had made a big mistake. Both instances are reminders, written in the bible, of these peoples sins.

A good reminder to me that I need to ask for forgiveness for my sins, and try not to repeat them. They are then washed away, and I thank God for sending His son to die for my sins, so that I can be forgiven and washed clean.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Tuesday, May 16: 2 Kings 24-25, John 5:1-24 ~ Jody

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is: 2 Kings 24-25; John 5:1-24

I found this post talking about the healing of the man at the well. The author spells out some observations about the man that I found to be interesting:

  • Old. If the life expectancy in those days was maybe 35, and if this man had been afflicted during his childhood, he might have been 40 or 50 by this time -- an old man (5:5). 
  • Dependent. He probably relies on others to bring him, take him home, and support him (5:7). If he couldn't take care of himself well, he was probably dirty and smelly too -- a smelly old man.
  • Complainer. He complains about how long he's been an invalid. He complains that he doesn't have anyone to help him into the pool (5:5, 7)
  • Blamer. When confronted by the Jews for carrying his pallet on the Sabbath he blames the person who told him to carry it (5:10-13).
  • Sinner (5:14), serious enough for Jesus to confront him in the temple.
  • Ungrateful and disloyal. When he learns Jesus' name, he reports it to the religious leaders. He "tattles" on Jesus rather than being thankful for his healing and loyal to his healer (5:15).
  • Unrepentant (5:14-15). There's no indication that he accepted and acted on Jesus' rebuke about his sin; rather John tells us that he reports Jesus to the authorities.

  • So many stories of healing in the Bible show strong belief and trust that Jesus could do what the person was asking. This example shows us that a man completely selfish and sinful (like me) who doesn't deserve it (like me) still receives it. Because Grace. God's Grace. Beautiful, hopeful and convicting.

    What are the things that God has done for me that I have been ungrateful for, or disobedient in?

    Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage:1 Chronicles 1-3; John 5:25-47

    Monday, May 15, 2017

    Monday, May 15th: 2 Kings 22-23; John 4:31:54 ~ Kezia

    Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 2 Kings 22-23; John 4:31-54

    "But he said to them, "I have food to eat that you know nothing about." Then his diciples said to each other, "Could someone have brought him food?" "My food," said Jesus, "is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work." John 4:32-34

    Jesus demonstrates how easy it is to transition from a typical everyday topic, to a more serious, Godly topic. Jesus took something that his disciples knew very well, food, and used it to explain something they didn't know very well, doing the will of God.

    We as Christians have the privilege of knowing the good news, and it's our responsibility to share it.

    How can we use regular everyday conversations to explain the gospel?

    Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: 2 Kings 24-25; John 5:1-24

    Sunday, May 14, 2017

    Sunday, May 14th: 2 Kings 19-21; John 4:1-30 ~ Emma

    Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 2 Kings 19-21; John 4:1-30

    Hezekiah received a sort of "hate mail" of his time, telling him that God would not be strong enough to defeat the Assyrian armies. But Hezekiah prayed (2 Kings 19:14-16) and had faith that God would help him, even though it was humanly impossible. And in 2 Kings 19:35, God was faithful and answered his prayer. 

    I pray we all have a faith in God where we pray and know that God will answer us and deliver us from our troubles, one way or another.

    Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage2 Kings 22-23; John 4:31-54

    Saturday, May 13, 2017

    Saturday, May 13th: 2 Kings 17-18; John 3:19-36 ~ Tammy

    Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 2 Kings 17-18; John 3:19-36

    In our OT passage, we see in Chapter 17 how important it was to put God first.  Idolatry was the cause of the exile.

    This tied in well with our NT passage....
    30 He must increase, but I must decrease.God must be our ultimate focus.  He must be our priority.  Yes, other things are important.  But those good things cannot overshadow the best - God Himself!

    Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage:  2 Kings 19-21; John 4:1-30

    Friday, May 12, 2017

    Friday, May 12th: 2 Kings 15-16; John 3:1-18 ~ Tammy

    Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 2 Kings 15-16; John 3:1-18

    I'm enjoying reading these passages from John - a couple years ago I memorized John chapters 1-3 with Emma for their youth retreat challenge.  I haven't reviewed them enough recently to still be able to recite it by myself, but as I read it, it sure comes back!

    8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.

    I wanted to focus on v8, but in the context of the passage - I found a great sermon by John Piper about this and I want to summarize and quote some of it......

    First - you can be religious but not be born again, as Nicodemus was.
    Second - we must be born again in order to enter the kingdom of God, escape judgment, and receive eternal life.
    Third - we need new spiritual life and cleansing (v5 references Ezekiel 36:24-28)
    Fourth - at our first birth we are spiritually dead and we are only made spiritually alive at our second birth
    Fifth - if we know and understand the OT, we should (as Nicodemus should have) understand Jesus' message in the NT
    Sixth - God causes us to be born again through the power of the Spirit who unites us with Jesus who is Life.

    In v8 Jesus makes it clear that the new birth is the work of the Holy Spirit.  The Spirit works wherever He wills.  His effects are seen even though we can't see Him. We do not fully understand how the Spirit works. We can't determine either His origin or His destination - He goes where He wills and we do not get to decide that. And this is how everyone is born again.

    I'm going to quote this next part (sorry it's a little long but it's such a good explanation!)......
    So what verse 8 is teaching is this: We don’t cause the Spirit to bring about the new birth any more than we make the wind blow. Or to be more specific, the decisive act of will in the new birth is not ours. The Spirit’s will is decisive. To be sure, our will moves in the moment of the new birth. Change happens in us. There are perceptible effects of the wind — “ you hear its sound.”

    The main effect of the wind — the Spirit — is that we are made alive spiritually — born again — and now our wills move. They move to receive Christ and believe on Christ. But our wills move because the wind is blowing, not the other way around. We don’t move first. Our wills are awakened and moved toward Christ because the Spirit blows where he wills and gives life to whom he wills.

    This is what we mean when we use terms like sovereign grace or irresistible grace. We mean that the Holy Spirit is God’s Spirit, and therefore he is omnipotent and sovereign. And therefore, he is irresistible and infallibly effective in his regenerating work. Which doesn’t mean that we don’t resist him. We do. The Bible is plain about that (Acts 7:51). What the sovereignty of grace and the sovereignty of the Spirit mean is that when God chooses, he can overcome the rebellion and resistance of our wills. He can make Christ look so compelling that our resistance is broken and we freely come to him and receive him and believe him....

    Today there are two basic responses to what Jesus says in John 3:8. One is threatened by it. And the other is thrilled by it. To some it feels threatening because it takes the new birth out of our control and makes us feel helpless. But to others this is thrilling, because they have already discovered they are helpless....

    When, in your helplessness and deadness, you say, “What shall I do?” Jesus says, “Look away from yourself to the Son of Man, lifted up on a cross to die for your sins.” The work of the Spirit in the new birth is to make us alive so that we see the glory of Christ crucified and risen. So look to him. Look to the Son of Man.

    And when you hear Jesus say, “The Spirit blows where it wills,” don’t hear him taking from you the will that you treasure, but hear him giving to you eyes to see Christ as your treasure.

    Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: 2 Kings 17-18; John 3:19-36

    Thursday, May 11, 2017

    Thursday, May 11, 2017: 2 Kings 13-14; John 2 ~ Deena

    Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 2 Kings 13-14; John 2

    This is from a Proverbs 31 Ministries devotional by Renee Swope:

    Why did I keep making the same mistake? Here I was again hurt by someone else’s disapproval of me, and aching with sadness over the things they’d said about me.

    During a challenging season in my life, God had to teach me some hard lessons and show me how dangerous it is to seek acceptance from people over God’s acceptance of me.

    I remember reading in John Chapter 2 about a time when Jesus was performing miracles and people were believing in Him. Scripture says Jesus would not entrust Himself to people because He knew their hearts.  It taught me that people’s opinions come and go, but that I needed to seek only God’s approval.

    The only approval we can count on is God’s.  It’s not based on who we are or what we can do, but on who He is and what He did for us through Christ.

    Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: 2 Kings 15-16; John 3:1-18

    Wednesday, May 10, 2017

    Wednesday, May 10th: 2 Kings 10-12; John 1:29-51 ~ Nathan

    Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 2 Kings 10-12; John 1:29-51

    2 Kings 12: 2-3
    Joash did what was right in the eyes of the Lord all the years Jehoiada the priest instructed him. [3] The high places, however, were not removed; the people continued to offer sacrifices and burn incense there.
    Joash did a lot right, but he  also failed in some ways. We do a lot of good things too, but do we knowingly sin in some ways and try to hide that part of our lives?
    John 1: 30-31
    This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me .’ [31] I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.”
    John was a good man, and had some who followed him, but he had the wisdom to know that Jesus was far greater, and encouraged everyone around him to follow and know Jesus, instead of himself. What a great example, giving God the glory and not trying to take it for ourselves. The glory belongs to God only!

    Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: 2 Kings 13-14; John 2

    Tuesday, May 9, 2017

    Tuesday, May 9: 2 Kings 7-9; John 1:1-28 ~ Jody

    Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is: 2 Kings 7-9; John 1:1-28

    "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome[a] it."

    I find these verses so comforting and powerful. A strong reminder of God's everlasting, sovereign power over everything! I need to remember this when I start to worry about things - the God that is described here takes care of me!!

    Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage2 Kings 10-12; John 1: 29-51

    Monday, May 8, 2017

    Monday, May 8th: 2 Kings 4-6; Luke 24:36-53 ~ Tammy

    Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is  2 Kings 4-6; Luke 24:36-53

    I enjoyed reading our OT passage today and the many miracles Elisha performed.  I was amazed at the faith of the Shunammite woman, as well as Naaman's servant - what a gracious heart this young girl had to share this good news and hope with the very one who enslaved her!

    2 Kings 6:16 He said, “Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” 17 Then Elisha prayed and said, “O Lord, please open his eyes that he may see.” So the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

    There is a supernatural world right around us that we cannot see, but it doesn't make it any less real! Elisha and his servant had the incredible opportunity to see but a glimpse of God's angel army.  How amazing that must have been!  How invincible that must have made them feel!

    That same army surrounds us today.  Faith is being certain of what we do not see - we cannot see God's army, but it is there, fighting on behalf of God and the saints.  Do we live as though we believe this to be true?

    Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: 2 Kings 7-9; John 1:1-28

    Sunday, May 7, 2017

    Sunday, May 7th: 2 Kings 1-3; Luke 24:1-35 ~ Emma

    Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 2 Kings 1-3; Luke 24:1-35

    The story of the resurrection.

    This is the key part of the gospel that Christians often forget to tell about. If Jesus hadn't risen from the dead, we would not be saved. How amazing and loving is our God for sending His perfect Son to die for His children. Even though we disappoint Him every day, He still loves us and wants us and forgives us. Praise God for His compassion and mercy, and thanks be to Him for the resurrection.

    Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: 2 Kings 4-6; Luke 24:36-53

    Saturday, May 6, 2017

    Saturday, May 6th: 1 Kings 21-22; Luke 23:26-56 ~ Tammy

    Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 1 Kings 21-22; Luke 23:26-56

    In our NT passage today we read about Jesus' death.  There are a number of things that could be focused on, but I want to focus on the timing of His death.  Nothing about this was accidental.  Ray Van der Laan has a great article on this that says....

    There is an abundant amount of evidence both in Scripture and in the religious practices of the Jews that God carefully planned the timing of Jesus' death and resurrection. The following are just a few examples of God's planning:

    Prophecies given hundreds of years before Jesus was even born were precisely fulfilled when Jesus died.

    Passover Lamb
    The high priest's practice of killing the Passover Lamb had been in force for hundreds, perhaps a thousand years.On Friday of the year Jesus died, the Jews celebrated Passover and killed a lamb for the temple sacrifice. Jesus, the Lamb of God, died at that same time in order to take our sins upon himself.

    The Feast of Unleavened Bread
    The year that Jesus died, Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath, was also the day on which the Jews celebrated the Feast of Unleavened Bread. This feast reminded the Jews of the bread that God provided for the Israelites when they left Egypt. Consider the significant parallels between this feast and Jesus' death:

    First, wheat seeds must die in order to bring forth crop. Similarly, Jesus had to die and be buried in order to accomplish his ministry and be raised to a new life. Second, unleavened bread was made without yeast, because yeast represented sin (1 Cor. 5:7-8). In the same way, Jesus, the Lamb of God, was sinless.

    Feast of the Firstfruits
    On the Sunday following Jesus death, the Israelites celebrated the Feast of Firstfruits, which in this case celebrated the beginning of the barley harvest.

    The Israelites returned to God the "first part" of everything they had been given to indicate their thankfulness for the harvest, their acknowledgement that God had given them the gifts, and their faith that God would continue to provide (Num. 15:17-21; Deut. 26:1-11). They gave the best part of what they received to God (Ex. 23:19).

    Also, on that day, Jesus came to life as God's firstfruits, the guarantee that the rest would follow, including the resurrection from the dead (1 Cor. 15:20-23).

    Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage2 Kings 1-3; Luke 24:1-35

    Friday, May 5, 2017

    Friday, May 5th: 1 Kings 19-20; Luke 23:1-25 ~ Tammy

    Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 1 Kings 19-20; Luke 23:1-25

    There is so much injustice in this world - at times the guilty are set free; at times the innocent are punished or even executed.

    Sometimes it's in small but personal ways - a less deserving person is promoted over you because they are willing to be deceitful and you are known for your integrity.

    Sometimes it's in large scale ways where the innocent are victimized - sexual trafficking, racism, abortion, just to name a few.

    Jesus can empathize.  Never in the history of the world was there a more innocent and perfect human. And yet he was condemned to die based on trumped up charges and an illegal trial.

    But thankfully for us, we are also treated "unjustly".  We are all guilty of sin against God and deserving of death.  But God does not treat us as we deserve.  Instead, in order to make this injustice just, Jesus takes our punishment and gives us His righteousness in return.  Completely undeserved.

    Let us be thankful for this mercy, and let us do what we can to promote justice according to God's definition - which is the only one that counts.

    Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage1 Kings 21-22; Luke 23:26-56

    Thursday, May 4, 2017

    Thursday, May 4th: 1 Kings 16-18; Luke 22:47-71 ~ Tammy

    Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 1 Kings 16-18; Luke 22:47-71

    There was a lot going on in today's passages!

    Today I'll focus on how our passages show that God is faithful and always keeps His promises.

    1 Kings 16: 34 In his days Hiel of Bethel built Jericho. He laid its foundation at the cost of Abiram his firstborn, and set up its gates at the cost of his youngest son Segub, according to the word of the Lord, which he spoke by Joshua the son of Nun.

    Previously in Joshua 6:26 we find......

    26 Joshua laid an oath on them at that time, saying, “Cursed before the Lord be the man who rises up and rebuilds this city, Jericho.
    “At the cost of his firstborn shall he
    lay its foundation,
    and at the cost of his youngest son
    shall he set up its gates.”

    It didn't matter how much time had passed between these verses - when Hiel rebuilt Jericho, he did so at the cost of his firstborn and his youngest son.

    Later in our OT passage we also see that the widow's flour and oil did not run out the entire time Elijah stayed with them during the drought.

    In our NT passage we see Peter deny Jesus three times, just as Jesus had said He would.

    Nowadays, our society likes to think truth is subjective.  But it's not.  Truth is truth. The Bible is truth.  What God says, happens.  No matter how long a time of waiting there may be in between - sometimes hours (in the case of Peter), sometimes hundreds of years (in the case of Hiel), sometimes thousands (as we continue to wait for His return) - but make no mistake - God is faithful and every promise He has every made will come to pass.

    Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage1 Kings 19-20; Luke 23:1-25

    Wednesday, May 3, 2017

    Wednesday, May 3rd: 1 Kings 14-15, Luke 22: 31-46 ~ Nathan

    Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 1 Kings 14-15, Luke 22: 31-46

    In our Old Testament reading today we read about how Abijah, the son of Jeroboam, became sick, and his father - Jeroboam - told his mother to disguise herself and go see Ahijah the prophet and hopefully get their son well again. She brought with her some food for the prophet, hoping to convince him to help them,

    1 Kings 14:3
    Take ten loaves of bread with you, some cakes and a jar of honey, and go to him. He will tell you what will happen to the boy.”

    The king obviously felt that if he brought some good food to the prophet, that the prophet would help out sooner.

    We can't sweet talk God like this, we can't urge him to help us sooner by bringing Him good food, meanwhile carrying on with our sinful ways. We need to come to Him honestly and offer ourselves completely to Him, asking Him to forgive our sins and clean us.


    Luke 22: 43&44
    An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. [44] And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.

    In our New Testament reading from Luke 22 we get a good idea from these verses how much we mean to Jesus, and how much we are loved. He went through so much pain and agony for us, He knew it was coming and still went through it for us!

    Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: 1 Kings 16-18; Luke 22:47-71

    Tuesday, May 2, 2017

    Tuesday, May 2: 1 Kings 12-13; Luke 22:1-30 ~ Jody

    Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is: 1 Kings 12-13; Luke 22:1-30

    "Jesus told them, “In this world the kings and great men lord it over their people, yet they are called ‘friends of the people.’ But among you it will be different. Those who are the greatest among you should take the lowest rank, and the leader should be like a servant. Who is more important, the one who sits at the table or the one who serves? The one who sits at the table, of course. But not here! For I am among you as one who serves." Luke 22:25-27

    In so many ways Jesus' teaching is so different from the world view. God knew we would need a different set of operating rules to make a difference in the world and impact people for Him. What sticks out for me in this passage is Jesus explaining how we need to show our faith through action, not words. Serving alongside Jesus is what we are called to do!

    When eating at a restaurant, what are the characteristics of great service? Warm, friendly, attentive to what I need, always at the ready to fill my water, genuinely checking on my satisfaction and generous in solving any problems I encounter with my meal. Even petitioning to management if there is something wrong.

    Do I translate this type of great service as I walk out my life as Jesus' hands and feet on earth? How do I serve others? Do I petition God on behalf of the people I am serving? Do I serve people differently based on my own personal biases or worldly view point? Am I genuine in my service?

    God, help me to serve with Your full joy. As this verse says, you are among us as one who serves, help me to partner with you in serving with a full and happy heart regardless of the situation. Amen.

    Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage1 Kings 14-15; Luke 22:31-46

    Monday, May 1, 2017

    Monday, May 1st: 1 Kings 10-11; Luke 21:20-38 ~ Kezia

    Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 1 Kings 10-11; Luke 21:20-38

    "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away." Luke 21:33

    We as humans live a very physical life. We spend hours shopping for stuff we want and not just need, we worry about getting a good career, and putting enough food on the table at every meal. We act in such a way that we hope will please others. We sometimes spend hours in front of a mirror in the mornings.

    But all of this is just physical.

    God reminds us that the earth will one day pass away. All our earthly prized possessions will mean nothing. The only thing that will matter is our faithfulness to God.

    We can also be comforted in knowing that God's words will never pass away. What he said in the Bible is true yesterday, today and forever.

    Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: 1 Kings 12-13; Luke 22:1-30