Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan
is Exodus 19:16-21:21Matthew 23:13-39Psalm 28:1-9Proverbs 7:1-5
Some things that stood out for me from today's readings:
19:20 The Lord came down on the top of Mount Sinai and called Moses to the top of the mountain. So Moses climbed the mountain.
God meets us halfway. He does not impose himself. He does not beg. He does not command us like robots with no free will. He calls us but we need to come to him. He will chase us but will not overtake us without our willingness to submit to Him.
20:1 Then God gave the people all these instructions:
God gave. He did not make these commands without choice. He gave us the rules and boundaries to live a good life. We are told to follow them but we do have a choice. We are free to choose to live outside these instructions but we are not free from the consequences of those choices.
13: 23 “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from your herb gardens, but you ignore the more important aspects of the law—justice, mercy, and faith. You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things.
Following all the rules that God sets out for us does not mean that we are perfect and without sin. We can follow all the commandments like a checklist and still not enter the kingdom of Heaven.
13: 25 “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy—full of greed and self-indulgence! 26 You blind Pharisee! First wash the inside of the cup and the dish, and then the outside will become clean, too.
It is not only our outward appearance that God notices but our hearts, our minds, and our motivation as well. It's not good enough to look the part we need to acknowledge our sin and how short we fall from God's expectations for us.
8 The Lord gives his people strength.......
.......Lead them like a shepherd,
and carry them in your arms forever.
Although strength comes from God when we ask for it. True strength is in total submission to Him and allowing Him to carry us.
Follow my advice, my son;
always treasure my commands.
2 Obey my commands and live!
Guard my instructions as you guard your own eyes.
3 Tie them on your fingers as a reminder.
Write them deep within your heart.
God desires us to come to Him. He gives us commandments and rules for our benefit. However, the rules are not to be obeyed verbatim as a checklist without love and compassion. We need to remind ourselves often that we are in need of a shepherd to lead us in the way we should go.
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage
: 5 Exodus 21:22-23:13Matthew 24:1-28Psalm 29:1-11Proverbs 7:6-23