Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Tuesday, July 31: Isaiah 46-48, Matthew 13:24-58 ~ Danae

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Isaiah 46-48, Matthew 13:24-58

Jesus uses many parables when speaking to the crowds in order to fulfill the prophecies.

Most of today’s refer to really establishing your faith because, in the end, judgement will come & those who aren’t firmly rooted in Christ will be “thrown away.”

I really like the imagery used in verse 33-
“The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took & mixed into a large amount of flour until it worked through the dough.”

Yeast & flour are both very fine & once they’ve been mixed there’s no separating them. In fact, when mixed, you have to look closely to even see that something is in the flour.

God should be like that in our lives; so intricately woven that you can hardly see when one stops & the other begins.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageNahum 1-3, Matthew 14

Monday, July 30, 2018

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Isaiah 43-45, Matthew 13:1-23

Matthew 13:12-14 says, "For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. 14 Indeed, in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says: 'You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive."

Jesus is explaining why he is teaching in parables, and explaining how the large crowds do not undersatnd the Kingdom of God as well as the disciples do, and it really made me think that we are all the crowd, needing to be taught in parables, for example he says, "seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand." and many times we can hear something but not hear it in the way it us supposed to be said, but in the case of a parable, it is usually heard the way it is meant to be heard.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageIsaiah 46-48, Matthew 13:24-58

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Saturday, July 28th: Isaiah 40-42, Matthew 12:22-50 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Isaiah 40-42, Matthew 12:22-50

33 “A tree is identified by its fruit. If a tree is good, its fruit will be good. If a tree is bad, its fruit will be bad.
I appreciated this devotional.....

Fall is the ideal time to visit apple orchards, stock up on apple donuts, and drink mugs and mugs of hot apple cider. But have you ever gone to pick an apple, only to find it mushy, bland, or shriveled up? If you look at the tree it came from, you may notice holes in the trunk, cracks in the bark, or dead branches, so intuitively, you move onto the next apple tree with healthy leaves and branches displaying ripe, full-color apples.
This is because a tree is identified by its fruit. If a tree is good, its fruit will be good, and if a tree is bad, its fruit will be bad. In the same way, words spoken can accurately portray the condition of someone’s heart. When we are planted in God’s Word and growing in our faith, we will begin to see good fruit—kind words, quick forgiveness, and gracious speech. But if we’re planted in sin and our faith grows weak, our fruit will inevitably spoil and give off a bitter after-taste to anyone who’s around and willing to take a bite.
Christian or non-Christian, sin is going to wage war inside our hearts, and if anger, bitterness, and resentment are spewing out of our mouths, that’s a good sign that something is out of alignment; there’s some soul work to be done. If we’re ever going to get better with our words, we need God to change our hearts.
The good news for every believer is that the Holy Spirit wants to help you. He wants to actively work on your heart, He wants to give you the power to overcome sin, and He wants to grow good fruit in your life. It’s up to you—will you allow Him to help you and grow you into the person you want to be? 
1. Only with your speech in mind, are you a tree bearing good fruit or bad fruit?
2. May this be our prayer today: “Holy Spirit, I want to be a good tree bearing good fruit. Please change me from the inside-out, and give me the power to overcome my sin. Restore the goodness in my heart, and give me new life through the name of Jesus.”

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Isaiah 43-45, Matthew 13:1-23

Friday, July 27, 2018

Friday, July 27th: Isaiah 37-39; Matthew 12:1-21

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Isaiah 37-39, Matthew 12:1-21

“And his name will be the hope of all the world.””
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭12:21‬ ‭NLT‬‬

I encourage you to let Jesus be the hope of your world today. Whether that’s at home or work or some other area in your life, let Him be your hope and your joy.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageIsaiah 40-42, Matthew 12:22-50

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Thursday, July 26th: 2 Chronicles 34-36, Matthew 11 ~ Nathan

2 Chronicles 34:1-2
Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem thirty-one years. (2) He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD and followed the ways of his father David, not turning aside to the right or to the left.

2 Chronicles 35: 23-24
Archers shot King Josiah, and he told his officers, “Take me away; I am badly wounded.” [24] So they took him out of his chariot, put him in his other chariot and brought him to Jerusalem, where he died. He was buried in the tombs of his ancestors, and all Judah and Jerusalem mourned for him.

Josiah became king when he was young, and followed the Lord throughout his life, doing what God wanted. He wasn't perfect but was a man that lived a life that we should all try and follow.

It struck me how early in life and how quickly Josiah's life ended. He had done alot of good for God, I would have thought he would live a long, happy and healthy life because he was good.

Making all the right moves doesn't mean we will have it perfect here on earth. We need to remember as Christians we are building towards the after life - in Heaven. This is where everything will be perfect, and we can be with God forever.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Wednesday, July 25th: 2 Chronicles 31-33, Matthew 10:26-42 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 2 Chronicles 31-33, Matthew 10:26-42

28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
Mark Driscoll says this....
Everything begins and ends, rises and falls, succeeds and fails, based upon your fear of God. Proverbs 1:7 says, “Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.” Wise counsel, ample resources, relational support, and even knowledge are of no help to a person who does not fear God. To fear God is just that – to live with a constant deep belief that God sees and knows all, and that you will give an account to him.

Your life, and mine, are driven by fear. The question is not if we will fear, but who we will fear.

To fear the Lord is to consider God above everything and everyone else. To fear the Lord is to do what is right in God’s eyes, even if it means that the outcome will likely not be in our best interest. If we do fear the Lord, then we are guided by the following kinds of questions that help us make godly and wise life decisions:
What does the Bible say?
What godly people can I seek for wise counsel?
How can I best glorify God in this situation?
What does God want me to do?

The default if we do not fear the Lord, is that we fear someone else instead. This is what Proverbs 29:25 means saying, “Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the Lord means safety.” To fear people is to hold a person or group of people (parents, friends, spouse, coworkers, etc.) above everyone and everything else. To fear people is to do what other people want you to do, demand that you do, or pressure you to do even if it’s not what God wants you to do. If we do fear people, then we are guided by the following kinds of questions that cause us to make ungodly and unwise life decisions:
What do other people say?
Who can I find to agree with what I want to do?
How can I hide this from God and godly people?
What do other people want me to do?

Biblical counselor Ed Welch says,

Fear in the biblical sense . . . includes being afraid of someone, but it extends to holding someone in awe, being controlled or mastered by people, worshipping other people, putting your trust in people, or needing people. . . . the fear of man can be summarized this way: We replace God with people. Instead of a biblically guided fear of the Lord, we fear others. . . . When we are in our teens, it is called “peer pressure.” When we are older, it is called “people-pleasing.” Recently, it has been called “codependency.”

Who do you fear? Who do you simply require the approval of? Whose praise of you means the world to you? Whose criticism or rejection of you would destroy you? Which person(s) are you different around, adjusting yourself to fit their expectations and becoming who they want you to be, rather than who God made you to be? Who do you sin for? These questions help us to uncover any areas in our life where we are fearing someone other than God.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage2 Chronicles 34-36, Matthew 11

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Tuesday, July 24: 2 Chronicles 28-30, Matthew 10:1-25 ~ Danae

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 2 Chronicles 28-30, Matthew 10:1-25

Matthew 10:22
All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved

We want people to like us, that’s just ingrained in our being. We hope to make good impressions, we hope to have lots of friends, we hope that others will say good things about us...but to what end?

Are we willing to bend our convictions (our faith) so someone won’t think us weird?
Are we willing to bend our morals because everyone else is laughing at that joke?
Are we willing to accept as right things we know are wrong just so we don’t step on toes?

We are not promised that this life will be easy (it definitely wasn’t easy for Jesus when he walked this earth or the disciples as they put everything aside to follow) but we are promised to be saved when we stand firm.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: 2 Chronicles 31-33, Matthew 10:26-42

Monday, July 23, 2018

Monday, July 23: 2 Kings 24-25, Matthew 9 ~ by Pamela

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 2 Kings 24-25, Matthew 9

This stood out for me today from the OT:

13 The Babylonians broke up the bronze pillars, the movable stands and the bronze Sea that were at the temple of the Lord and they carried the bronze to Babylon. 14 They also took away the pots, shovels, wick trimmers, dishes and all the bronze articles used in the temple service. 15 The commander of the imperial guard took away the censers and sprinkling bowls—all that were made of pure gold or silver.

I understand that these items were significant items in the temple, however, they are just stuff. Valuable and costly "stuff" but just that-stuff. It made me think of Matthew 6:19-21:

19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

When we become too concerned about our "stuff" we can lose sight of what is truly important. God can allow destruction to happen to remind us of what truly matters.

From the NT readings, this stood out for me:

20 Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. 21 She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.”
22 Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed at that moment.

Sometimes I have trouble believing that the impossible IS possible with God. My faith is not always strong enough to believe. This woman confidently believed that if she was just able to grasp Jesus' robe, that her 12 year illness would be cured. Now that is FAITH. What would God be able to do in my life if my faith was as strong??

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: 2 Chronicles 28-30, Matthew 10:1-25

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Saturday, July 21st: 2 Kings 22-23, Matthew 8 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 2 Kings 22-23, Matthew 8

I've been reading only the NT portion of our readings this year, but when I saw that the OT portion contained the story of King Josiah, I had to read it - it's one of my favourite passages.

King Josiah began his reign at only 8 yrs old!  Several evil kings had reigned before him, but Josiah followed God (maybe his mother's influence?  The Bible doesn't say and I'd love to know!).  However, because there had been evil kings before him, the Book of the Law had been lost and Josiah and his people didn't even know about all the laws they were breaking.  When the King heard the Book of the Law read to him he tore his robes in grief and repentance, and instituted sweeping reforms throughout the nation in an effort to turn the hearts of the people back to the Lord.

King Josiah's life is a reminder that age has no bearing on the influence we can wield.  All of us have the opportunity to influence those around us by the way we live. Perhaps not to the extent of the King, but we all have our own spheres of influence and we must use them for His glory.

I love these portions.....

19 Because your heart was responsive and you humbled yourself before the Lord when you heard what I have spoken against this place and its people...I also have heard you, declares the Lord.
25 Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the Lord as he did—with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength, in accordance with all the Law of Moses.
What an amazing legacy!  To have a responsive heart, to be willing to humble himself, to be known as one who turned to the Lord with all his heart, soul, and strength - would that that phrase would be said of us!

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage:  2 Kings 24-25, Matthew 9

Friday, July 20, 2018

Friday, July 20th: 2 Kings 19-21, Matthew 7 ~ Emma

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 2 Kings 19-21, Matthew 7

“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.” - Matthew 7:7

This being my fourth summer leading at camp, this applies to my current season in life so clearly:

Keep on

Keep on asking for strength on the hard days, keep on seeking for God in every situation, keep on knocking on that door. 

Keep on pushing through tough times, keep on praising God even when He seems far away, keep on working as hard as you can in everything you do. 

Keep on pursuing God through everything. 

Keep on

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage:  2 Kings 22-23, Matthew 8

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Thursday, July 19th: Isaiah 34-36, Matthew 6:19-34 ~ Nathan

Isaiah 36:14-15
This is what the king says: Do not let Hezekiah deceive you. He cannot deliver you! [15] Do not let Hezekiah persuade you to trust in the Lord when he says, 'The Lord will surely deliver us; this city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.'

We hear these words from people today too, urging us not to trust in the Lord, or urging us to place our trust in something other then God. Is their something out there that's greater then God?

Let's not be fooled, trusting in the Lord is the only sure thing we can do in life. The odds were fiercely against the people of Judea, but God helped them succeed. How dangerous is it to ignore God and place our trust in human strength?

Do we place our whole trust in the Lord?

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Wednesday, July 18th: Isaiah 31-33, Matthew 6:1-18 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Isaiah 31-33, Matthew 6:1-18

16 “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
I realized when reading this that I've heard very few sermons (if any) on fasting.  Notice how Jesus says when you fast, not if you fast.  Fasting is a good thing, but we need to know the right way to do it.

Physically, it must be safe to fast - this isn't possible for everyone.

But, more importantly, we need to fast correctly from a spiritual perspective.

We can't fast in order to receive praise from men.  We can't fast in order to try to be seen as being holy or super-spiritual.

That said, if someone notices that we are fasting, we haven't not lost all spiritual benefit of the fast.  As John Piper says in this article.....
If someone finds out you are fasting, you haven't sinned. The value of your fast is not destroyed if someone notices that you have skipped lunch. It is possible to fast with other people—for example: our staff fasting together on a planning retreat to seek the Lord—it is possible to fast like that and NOT to fast "to be seen by men." Being seen fasting and fasting to be seen are not the same. Being seen fasting is a mere external event. Fasting TO BE SEEN is a self-exalting motive of the heart.

So, what is the reward of fasting?

the best place to find out the reward of our fasting is to look here in the Sermon on the Mount. For example, the prayer that Jesus just taught us to pray in Matthew 6:9–13 begins with three main longings: that God's name be hallowed or revered, that his kingdom come, that his will be done on earth the way it's done in heaven. That is the main reward God gives for our fasting. We fast out of longing for God's name to be known and cherished and honored, and longing for his rule to be extended and then consummated in history, and longing for his will to hold sway everywhere ...

For sure he gives us many, many specific things through fasting. And it is not wrong to seek specifically for his help in every area of our lives through fasting. But these three petitions: hallowing his name, seeking his kingdom, and doing his will—these give the test to see if all the other things we long for are expressions of these. Do we want our sons and daughters saved because this would hallow God's name? Do we want North Korea to open for the sake of the advance of the kingship of Jesus? Do we want upright leaders in government because God's holy, revealed will for his creation is at stake? Do we want Bethlehem [Church] revived and awakened with divine power and love and joy because it glorifies the name of God and advances his kingdom and brings about his will?
This is what Jesus is calling us to—a radically God-oriented fasting.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage:  Isaiah 34-36, Matthew 6:19-34

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Tuesday, June 17: Isaiah 28-30, Matthew 5:27-48 ~ Danae

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Isaiah 28-30, Matthew 5:27-48

Matthew 5:38-39
You have heard it said, ‘Eye for eye, & tooth for tooth.’  But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.

This is just hard.

How badly to we want to fight back, to get even, to make that person feel or go through what they put us through. And yet we are commanded to ‘turn the other cheek,’ to ‘be the bigger person’ as some would say.

I don’t know that this comes easy to anyone & yet we are called to it. The thing is, this doesn’t just apply to our enemies. Are we quick to respond to our spouses, children, brothers & sisters, etc with harsh words or choose to not be kind in a response to a disagreement. When we can work within ourselves to respond in love to those we love, then we are a step closer to responding in kind to others around us.

Seeing as how this kind of response isn’t second nature, we need to be in constant communication with our Father. Take a step back from the situation, pause for a prayer & an attitude check & respond in a way that  may be contrary to how we feel in the moment but in a way that we can look back on & not be ashamed of our actions.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Isaiah 31-33, Matthew 6:1-18

Monday, July 16, 2018

Monday, July 16: Isaiah 25-27, Matthew 5:1-26 by Pamela

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Isaiah 25-27, Matthew 5:1-26

This summer, my youngest 2 children are leaders at our church's day camp. They will minister to just over 60 children each week and some will hear the message of salvation for the first time. These two verses stood out for me as I thought about the day camp and the children who will be attending this summer:

Isaiah 26: 7-8

The path of the righteous is level;
    you, the Upright One, make the way of the righteous smooth.
Yes, Lord, walking in the way of your laws,[b]
    we wait for you;
your name and renown
    are the desire of our hearts.

If everyone lived their lives they way God intended, what a life this would be! But how do people who do not know about Jesus know how to walk in his ways? We need to look for ways to share Jesus with those around us so that they can wait and be walking with Him when He returns. 

Matthew 5:14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

The theme for this year's camp is "walk in the light". Living without the knowledge of Christ is like walking in the dark, fumbling around trying to make sense of the surroundings. Knowing God means that we are no longer in the dark and that we can share the light with others too and this will help them to find their way too.

Today I am praying for the hearts of the campers to receive this message that will light their way as they go through the rest of their lives.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Isaiah 28-30 Matthew 5:27-48

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Saturday, July 14th: Isaiah 22-24; Matthew 4 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Isaiah 22-24; Matthew 4

One thing that jumps out me from the passage in Matthew 4 where Satan tempts Jesus, is not only how important it is to know the Word, but also how to use it.

Satan knew scripture.  But he twisted and misused it.

I read a quote again today ("coincidentally") that said this....
Discernment is not knowing the difference between right and wrong.  It is knowing the difference between right and almost right. (Charles Spurgeon)

How true this is!  Satan does not usually try to deceive us with outright lies - that would be easy for us to see through.  He tempts us with lies that sound like truths.

We need to know scripture enough to see through Satan's tricks, and we need to allow the Holy Spirit to transform us through that knowledge.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage:  Isaiah 25-27, Matthew 5:1-26

Friday, July 13, 2018

Friday, July 13th: Isaiah 19-21; Matthew 3 ~ Emma

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Isaiah 19-21; Matthew 3

“After his baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.”” - ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭3:16-17‬

I read these verses and then moved on, thinking “what am I going to write about for this week’s blog?” And then, rereading the passage, realized what I had missed. 

Imagine being one of the many people gathered around watching Jesus get baptized. Those people probably woke up that morning and did their usual chores and jobs. Or maybe they woke up excited for the journey ahead to the Jordan River to watch, or even to be baptized. Imagine being there to see the Son of God be baptized! Imagine seeing the heavens open and watching the Spirit of God come down like a dove and sit on Jesus’ shoulder. Imagine hearing a voice from the sky proclaiming who Jesus was!

We often read verses like this and don’t even think about what they mean. There was so much of God’s amazing glory in these two verses, and I just skimmed through them!

Let’s take the time to not only read our bibles, but to try to understand the context and stories being told of God’s glory. 

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageIsaiah 22-24; Matthew 4

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Thursday, July 12th: Isaiah 16-18, Matthew 2 ~ Nathan

As with yesterday's blog, what stood out to me in today's blog  was also Joseph, and what a key roll he played in the early part of Jesus life.

He shows again great faith and trust in God when he was told to pack up and move because king Herod would be after them, in particular Jesus his new born son.

Matthew 2: 13-14
When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him .” [14] So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt,

If Joseph had not listened to God, things would have gotten really bad for his new family.
It's amazing how God uses people in small, sometimes forgotten, ways to make things work the way He wants.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Wednesday, July 11th: Isaiah 13-15, Matthew 1 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Isaiah 13-15, Matthew 1

Matthew's main purpose is to prove to the Jews that Jesus is the Messiah, the King of the Jews.  One of the requirements would be to trace Jesus' lineage back to David - and because kingship is handed down through the father's line, Matthew shows that Joseph, Jesus' earthly father, can trace his ancestry to King David.

Joseph was a godly and strong man.  It would take a man of great character to marry Mary, knowing she was already with child, and all the baggage that would come with that - at best the neighbours would think Joseph had engaged in premarital sex with Mary, at worst they would think she had been unfaithful to him.  Either way, it was not what he thought he had signed up for.  And yet, when he received assurance that she had been faithful (and I certainly don't fault him for needing assurance - immaculate conception would be a tough sell!), he was willing to follow through with the marriage and to take Jesus as his son.

We also need to live out our lives in faithfulness to God's plan, even when it doesn't go according to what we thought was best or when we don't know what will happen.  God is in control, His plan is best, and following that plan is for our good and for His glory.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage:   Isaiah 16-18, Matthew 2

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Tuesday, June 10: Isaiah 10-12, Jude 1:14-25 ~ Danae

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Isaiah 10-12, Jude 1:14-25

22 And you must show mercy to those whose faith is wavering. 23 Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. Show mercy to still others, but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives. 

Do we feel an urgency to reach those that don’t know Christ?

I find that it’s so easy to just live & enjoy life without considering eternity. However, when I stop to consider that our days on earth are only temporary & take in the reality of heaven & hell, suddenly my perspective changes. 

The “flames of judgement” are real & one day each one will face that judgement. Just being a “good” person is not going to cut it, going to church or knowing what the bible says is not enough. Even believing there is a God does not secure your eternity, “for even the demons believe, & shudder” (James 2:19). We need to reach out to those that don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus with an urgency that’s not afraid to ask the hard questions, to step out of our comfort zone for the sake of lost souls. 

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Isaiah 13-15, Matthew 1

Monday, July 9, 2018

Monday, July 9: Isaiah 7-9, Jude 1:1-13 by Pamela

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Isaiah 7-9, Jude 1:1-13

A few things stood out in today's readings:

From the OT:

Tell him to stop worrying. Tell him he doesn’t need to fear the fierce anger of those two burned-out embers, King Rezin of Syria and Pekah son of Remaliah.

I am a worry-er so I can relate to being worry. However, aren't all problems just burned out embers to God??

14 All right then, the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin[f] will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’).

Well, if there was a sign of something being impossible, a virgin conceiving would be impossible. However, all thing are possible with God even the prediction that this would happen 400 years in advance.

11 The Lord has given me a strong warning not to think like everyone else does. He said,
12 “Don’t call everything a conspiracy, like they do,
    and don’t live in dread of what frightens them.
13 Make the Lord of Heaven’s Armies holy in your life.
    He is the one you should fear.
He is the one who should make you tremble.
14     He will keep you safe.
Do not think like everyone else. That's a tough one. We are called to be different because we answer to a higher power. God is our shelter and refuge. 

[q]The people who walk in darkness
    will see a great light.
For those who live in a land of deep darkness,[r]
    a light will shine.

One day everyone will see God's light and understand His power. Everything will become clear but it will be too late for many.

For a child is born to us,
    a son is given to us.
The government will rest on his shoulders.
    And he will be called:
Wonderful Counselor,[s] Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
His government and its peace
    will never end.

Fulfillment of this prophecy would take a long time but God's timing is perfect and His words are true no matter how long they take to be fulfilled. 

From the NT:

...urging you to defend the faith that God has entrusted once for all time to his holy people. I say this because some ungodly people have wormed their way into your churches, saying that God’s marvelous grace allows us to live immoral lives. The condemnation of such people was recorded long ago, for they have denied our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

There are so many people claiming to live as Christ and yet pick and choose which part of the bible they choose to obey. Unfortunately this creates division and chaos and a misguided representation of God's truth and the need to repent from sin. 

But these people scoff at things they do not understand. Like unthinking animals, they do whatever their instincts tell them, and so they bring about their own destruction. 11 What sorrow awaits them! 

May we be motivated to speak the truth in LOVE to save people from their selfish choices so that they can be redeemed through Christ and have an eternal future in Heaven. 

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Isaiah 10-12, Jude 1:14-25