Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Day 31 - Psalm 13

Click here to read today's passage (Remember to click on the "View in Bible Reader" to see the entire chapter)

This chapter starts with the proclamation of  O LORD, how long will you forget me? Forever? (v1) Verses 1 - 4 the writer is very down, hurting, feeling like God has deserted him. Yet, in verses 5 & 6 there is a new tone to the passage when the Psalmist writes: But I trust in your unfailing love. I will rejoice because you have rescued me.6 I will sing to the LORD because he is good to me.

Two things that this passages tells me. One, it's okay to be frustrated and "down" questioning God and feeling like He's deserted you. But we can't forget the second thing, I trust in Your unfailing love. God is good!  Even in the darkest days, I need to remember to sing to the Lord. 


Monday, January 30, 2012

Day 30 - Proverbs 4

Click here for today's reading

Proverbs 4 - Get wisdom, develop good judgement. Kind of a nice to know that judgement is something we can develop. Sometimes I feel like my judgement is just rotten, but there is hope. The author mentions it twice in this chapter.

Again this chapter continues to focus on the importance of wisdom.  I love verse 7 - Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do! 

One thing that I noticed in this chapter is the fact that wisdom is something we have to actively pursue. We don't just sit back and wait for it to come, we are to embrace it, take hold of it, and guard it. One of the ways is reading God's Word and sharing thoughts about it.

What other things are there in this passage.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Day 29 - John 21

Click here for today's reading (click "View in Reader for the entire chapter)

As we close the book of John we read about the final interactions between Jesus and His disciples. There are so many aspects in this chapter. I think one of my favorites is when Jesus tells them to put the net on the other side of the boat in verse 6. It just reminds me that we can be doing something the way we've always done it but not get any results and then Jesus tells us to try it a slightly different way and WOW what results! It's all about obedience. Sometimes I ask my self why do I fight listening to God on things.  Especially when time and time again He's proven He knows what he's talking about.

There is so much in this chapter, what speaks to your heart today?

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Day 28 - John 20

Click here for today's reading

Oh what a glorious morning! Can you imagine Mary Magdalene's range of emotions. On Friday she witnessed the death of probably one of her dearest friends. The man that set her free from her bondage and sin. Now she goes to honor Him at His grave and finds it empty. Then to see two angels, John doesn't give us much hint on what she thought about that, but then she sees the 'gardener' and ask if he knows where the body of her Lord had been taken.  It's not until He says her name that she realizes who she is standing before. The joy that must have filled her heart.

Like Mary, Jesus calls each of us by name and it is an amazing feeling.

This passage highlights several people, which one speaks to you? 

Friday, January 27, 2012

Day 27 - John 19

Click here to access today's reading

In chapter 19 we read the account of Jesus' trial, crucifixion, and burial. It is still hard for me to imagine what He went through the pain and suffering all for us.

I think of His mother, Mary, and the pain that she went through. As she looked back thinking of how the angel visited her to announce her pregnancy, then the shepherds showing up telling how angels had appeared to them telling of the birth in Bethlehem. Later the Wise Men bringing gifts. The prophecy of Anna and Simone in the temple. His first miracle at the wedding in Cana. And now he was beaten and hung on a cross like a criminal. I wonder what emotions she must have had.  Was she confused? Or did you understand that all of this had to happen as part of God's ultimate plan?  There must have been such pain and anguish in her heart, but was there also hope? I want to believe that God would have flooded her with His peace.

We know the rest of the story, but what a dark day it must have been for those who knew Jesus personally but didn't understand that this day was why He was born.

I love the part in this chapter about Joseph and Nicodemus.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Day 26 - John 18

Click here for today's reading
(Click the "View in Bible Reader" to see the entire chapter)

The trial and Peter's denial.

Many are quick to criticize Peter for deny Jesus, after all, he spent 3 1/2 years with Jesus. He said he was willing to die with Him. Yet when the time came, he folded like a house of cards. Yet was Peter any different than we are? Sure he spent 3 1/2 years with Jesus and was part of the inner circle. But we have the Holy Spirit and the Bible to get to know Jesus. How many of us have denied knowing Jesus. Maybe we haven't said it but can our silence be just as bad?  I'm a peacemaker I don't want to make waves so too often I probably stay silent when I shouldn't.  Thankfully God is a God of second (and third) chances.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Day 25 - John 17

Click here to access today's reading

In many Bibles the heading for this chapter is "Jesus Prayer" or the ESV "The High Priestly Prayer" as I read this passage I get very excited.

In May 2011 I graduated from the Haggard School of Theology of Azusa Pacific University with a Master of Arts in Worship Leadership. Have the program was music classes the other half Bible/theology classes. One of my classes I had to write a paper on this passage. I had to do the exegesis on it. If you don't know what an exegesis is don't feel bad I didn't either until I started doing Bible classes! But basically you take a passage and drill down to it's meaning. Looking at the passage in light of what it would have meant to the original audience. 

My "sermon" paper ended up being a Model of Prayer.  I don't know about your church background, but sometimes I've been made to feel almost guilty for praying for myself. Yet Jesus opens up His prayer praying for Himself. HELLO??? If the Son of God needs to pray for Himself, I think it's ok for us. Then He moves on and prays for His disciples, and then He prays for us.

I looked at it in light of praying for myself that my actions bring glory to God. Then to pray for my brothers and sisters in the body of Christ, and then pray for the future brothers and sisters in Christ.

Forgive the longer rant, but having studied this passage it came to mean a great deal to me. Are there any parts in the passage that just make you want to SHOUT!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Day 24 - Psalm 9

Click here to read today's passage

This Psalm starts out expressing great joy and praise to the Lord for what He's done. It moves on to speak of God as a fair and righteous judge. And what will happen to those who continue to be an enemy to God.

For today, think about the first 2 verses: I will praise you, LORD, with all my heart;
I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done.2 I will be filled with joy because of you.
I will sing praises to your name, O Most High.

Share some of the marvelous things God has done in your life. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Day 23 - Psalm 8

Click here to access the scripture (Click "View in Reader" to see entire chapter)

This Psalm opens up with a familiar phrase, "O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!" (ESV) 

This Psalm paints a picture of ways that God reveals Himself and His glory. I've heard people feel closest to God and experience His majesty when they're in the mountains, or at the beach, or when they witness the birth of their child.  This past summer I visited Yosemite for the first time and remember entering Yosemite Valley and just being overwhelmed by the beauty and majesty of the view.  

Where/when do you sense God's majesty?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Day 22 - John 16

Click here for today's reading
Click the "View in Bible Reader" to see the entire chapter

This had been such an intense conversation Jesus had with the disciples.  He's telling them He's leaving them which evidently brought them great sorrow, but He tries to comfort them by telling them He has to leave so the Holy Spirit can come. They had to be so confused.  But the promise of the Holy Spirit our connection, our teacher, our guide.

It is also in this chapter where Jesus now tells the disciples they are now to ask the Father for things in His name. Working in Higher Education you get people who like to "drop names" but here Jesus tells His disciples and in turn us, USE MY NAME.  Wow! Of course, it's not like rub the lamp get a wish from the genie.

What do you see from this passage?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Day 21 - John 15

Click to go to today's reading
Click the "View in Bible Reader" to see the entire passage

"You are my friends if you do what I command" What  a great concept that I can be a friend of Christ! However, from the previous verses we see a heavy emphasis on "abiding" with Him. Of course, the reality is to really know a friend we have to spend time with him/her. It's no different with Jesus, except the  promises are so much more.

When you read about how those branches that do not produce fruit will be cut off and burned it's a wake up call. Jesus doesn't expect us to say "the prayer" of salvation and then sit back and do nothing. He expects us to produce fruit. But He makes it so simple for us, Abide in Him!

This passage really hit me hard, in regards to what kind of fruit am I producing? What about you? What is the Holy Spirit prodding you with?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Day 20 - John 14

Click here to read today's passage
(Click "View in Bible Reader" to access the entire chapter)

Don't let your heart be troubled...
I am leaving you a gift... peace of mind and heart

I will ask the Father to give you an Advocate...
He (the Holy Spirit) will teach you everything and remind you of everything I've told you...

WOW! I love the passage that talks about the Holy Spirit and how He will teach me EVERYTHING and how He reminds me of EVERYTHING Jesus taught me.

I also wonder if Jesus was a little discouraged by some of the dialog with the disciples and the fact that they still didn't "get it." But it also reminds me that God works with ordinary, thick-headed people like me.

Another chapter rich with promises and instructions. 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Day 19 - John 13

Click here for today's reading
(Click "View in Bible Reader" to access the entire chapter)

The Son of God takes up a wash basin and washes the feet of  His followers! The humility of God and the reminder that we need to have a servants heart and willing to get dirty to serve those around us. We've done a foot washing service a few times at our church during Holy Week and it's such a humbling experience.

Jesus also shares His heartache for what He knew what was coming. He gave us the ultimate gift.

This is another chapter rich with truths and things to think about. What do you like from the passage?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Day 18 - John 12

Here's the link for today's reading
(Click "View in Bible Reader" to access the entire chapter)

Chapter 12 Palm Sunday - Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem. The loud Hosanna's celebrating the arrival of the man who could raise the dead. What a scene it must have been?!?

Another question I look forward to asking at least one of the disciples, "What was it like when you traveled into Jerusalem? What were you feeling as the crowds were shouting praises?"

I love how people were sharing about seeing Lazarus being raised from the dead and others believed. (vv 17&18). Yet later in verse 37  But despite all the miraculous signs Jesus had done, most of the people still did not believe in him. You would think seeing a man that had been raised from the dead you would believe, right? But it's still that way today, people see miraculous events all the time and fail to believe in Jesus. Each day is a miracle and still we often don't take time to thank God for it.

What do you think about as you read this story?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Day 17 - Proverbs 3

Click here to read today's passage
(then click the "View in Bible Reader Button" to see the entire chapter)

This is another chapter rich with some many promises, verses 5 and 6 are so well know (because they're just that good) 5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.6 Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.

But the passage that jumped out at me was verse 21-23 21 My child, don’t lose sight of common sense and discernment. Hang on to them,22 for they will refresh your soul. They are like jewels on a necklace.23 They keep you safe on your way, and your feet will not stumble.

Sometimes it's so easy to forget common sense, wisdom, and discernment is so important in our world. Plus there is a promise, they will refresh your soul. How often do we need refreshment?  For me, almost every day.

There's a lot of good stuff here, what jumps out at you?  

Monday, January 16, 2012

Day 16 - Psalm 5

Here's a link for today's reading (once you arrive at the page click the button "View in Bible Reader" to see entire passage

I picked this Psalm because one of my favorite worship chorus in my high school years was based on this Psalm.  But as I looked at this Psalm there is so much there.

This prayer is such  great way to start one's day, though parts of it seem to be in conflict with what Jesus taught. For example verse
9 My enemies cannot speak a truthful word. Their deepest desire is to destroy others. Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave. Their tongues are filled with flattery.t10 O God, declare them guilty.
Let them be caught in their own traps. Drive them away because of their many sins,for they have rebelled against you.

Yet Jesus taught in Matthew 5 43“You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. 44 But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! 45 In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.

How do you think we should use use Psalm 5?

Enjoy the video:

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Day 15 - John 11

Click here to read John 11 on YouVersion

The story of Lazarus. I found it interesting especially after our conversation regarding Jesus clearing the Temple and where or not he was angry. Here in this story in verse 33 When Jesus saw her weeping and saw the other people wailing with her, a deep anger welled up within him, and he was deeply troubled. 
Here this passage specifically speaks to Jesus having a deep anger that welled up within him. Yet, I'm not really sure who he was angry at or what he was  angry about. This passage follows Mary coming to him weeping and stating if he had been there Lazarus wouldn't have died.  Yet I know he had a great love for Mary and Martha, so I'm not sure.

Another thing I had never noticed before is in verse 51
49 Caiaphas, who was high priest at that time, said, “You don’t know what you’re talking about!
50 You don’t realize that it’s better for you that one man should die for the people than for the whole nation to be destroyed.”51 He did not say this on his own; as high priest at that time he was led to prophesy that Jesus would die for the entire nation.

I would have never thought of Caiaphas being led to prophesy...  Interesting...  

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Day 14 - John 10

You can access today's reading here

John 10 is another one of those chapters where we see Jesus confront the religious leaders and escape from being stoned once again. It will be interesting to learn how he escaped.

One thing I don't remember seeing before is in verse 7 so he explained it to them: “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. I remember that Jesus had said he was the great shepherd, but that he was the gate. What a great picture! I mean I know because of His death and resurrection I have access to God. But to see Him as a gate just made it clearer to me.

I have also loved verse 10 The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.

Again there is so much in this chapter what things spoke to you?

Have a blessed day! 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Day 13 - John 9

Click here for today's reading

The story of Jesus healing the man born blind with a little mud. Was it the mud that healed him?  Nah, I don't think so either.  It was the act of obedience. What can God heal in our lives if we simply obeyed?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Day 12 - John 8

Today's reading is from John 8

The adulterous woman taken before Jesus. And one of my favorite passages (yes, there are many!) But verse 12 Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”
 So many distractions in our world, things that so quickly lead us (or maybe just me) into darkness. It's so important to recognize that Jesus is the only true light and following Him is the only way to stay out of trouble.

There are so many things in this chapter, what jumps out at you? 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Day 11 - John 7

Here's today's link from YouVersion

How many different ideas have you heard about who Jesus is? I never realized that this passage there were so many different opinions on who Jesus' was at that time.  Human nature hasn't changed much?

I love the temple guards in verse 45-47:
45 When the Temple guards returned without having arrested Jesus, the leading priests and Pharisees demanded, “Why didn’t you bring him in?”
46 “We have never heard anyone speak like this!” the guards responded.47 “Have you been led astray, too?” the Pharisees mocked.48 “Is there a single one of us rulers or Pharisees who believes in him?

We've never heard anyone speak like this! The guards took time to listen to Jesus and realized He had something to say. Being Temple Guards they probably heard many speak, but realized that Jesus was the first one that spoke with true authority. 

Isn't that how it is for us? What do we hear when we really listen?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Day 10 - Proverbs 2

For today we're reading Proverbs 2 If you are behind you can skip Proverbs 2 and read a chapter from John.

Today the writer of Proverbs is again encouraging us to go after wisdom like we would go after treasures.
  • We are to tune our ears to wisdom (2)
  • Concentrate on understanding (2)
  • Cry out for insight (3)
  • Ask for understanding (3)
  • Search for them like silver (4)
  • Seek them like hidden treasures (4)
When we do that there are so many benefits to be gained. 

What speaks to you from this passage?

Monday, January 9, 2012

Day 9 - Psalm 4

If you've missed a day and need to catch up that's what today is designed for, however, if you're still on track. Turn to Psalm 4.

Click here to read Psalm 4 on YouVersion

This Psalm has so many promises and words of encouragement in it. A few years back I was dealing with a couple of people serving in the ministry that I was leading who were constantly complaining to the Pastor about me. It took a year and praying through these Psalms to get me through that time.

I love the reminder in Verse 4: Don’t sin by letting anger control you. Think about it overnight and remain silent.
How many times do I open my mouth when I'm mad and make the situation worse. Think about it overnight and remain silent. 
Verse 5 is another great reminder: Offer sacrifices in the right spirit, and trust the LORD I think the passage speaks for itself.
And finally, verse 8 - In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O LORD, will keep me safe.  Again, this scripture is pretty straightforward, but it's good to be reminded.

What do you hear from God when you read through this chapter?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Day 8–John 6

The link for today’s reading: http://www.youversion.com/reading-plans/project-345/8

The feeding of the 5000+ (5000 men plus women and children) would have been something to see. Probably only a few people knew that they started with a few loaves and fish.

This is a tough chapter. Jesus is telling us that He is the bread of life and he commands that we must eat His flesh. That was really tough for people to understand during Jesus day. It’s hard for us as well.  But one thing we can realize is that sometimes what God ask of us is tough. And we’ll see people walk away from Jesus because they feel it’s too hard. I don’t want to be one of those, I want to stick it out to the end.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Day 7 - John 5

Today's reading can found here: http://www.youversion.com/reading-plans/project-345/7

In today's reading we find Jesus healing the man near the pool of Bethesda. This stirs up controversy with the religious leaders. Something that was common place for Him. 

Jesus goes on to make the religious leaders even madder by stating God is His father.

What can we learn from this chapter?

Friday, January 6, 2012

Day 6 - John 4

You can find today's reading at: http://www.youversion.com/reading-plans/project-345/6

So much is packed into this chapter. Jesus does the unthinkable and speaks to a Samaritan WOMAN! But through her testimony many believed in Jesus and then they heard Him speak even more people.

This passage contains another one of my favorite passages in verse 23 and 24: But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”

What from this chapter spoke to you?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Day 5 - John 3

Here's the link for today's reading:

This chapter has probably one of the most well known verses in the Bible - John 3:16 but verse 17 is equally as exciting:
God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.
Even though the day will come when we'll stand before God and be judged for the way we lived our lives, that was not Jesus' primary mission.  He came to save the world.  

This chapter is also great as you look at the story of Nicodemus. 

What jumps out at you about John chapter 3? 

BTW I've been contacted by Bible 360 they have an app (for free) that looks very interesting. I'll be checking it out soon and will hopefully have the author on one of my other blogs.  If any of you download it please share what you think. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Day 4 - John 2

For Day 4 we're back to John Chapter 2.
Here’s the link for the YouVersion John 2 passage:

In chapter 2 Jesus performs his first miracle at a wedding in Cana. This is such a great story and miracle. Here the family is attending a wedding when Mary finds out they're out of wine. The interaction between Mary and Jesus is priceless. I wonder what Jesus was thinking when Mary approached Him.

After the wedding Jesus goes to Jerusalem for Passover and has his first recorded conflict with the religious leaders. (At least the first one recorded by John.)

What aspect of this chapter jumps out at you?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Day 3 - Proverbs 1

I realize that Project 345 is designed for readings during the week and weekends are for make up. But I'm already seeing they give us 2 days off in the first week!  So, for the weekends I'll provide bonus readings from Psalms and Proverbs. They're optional, use the time to catch up on the New Testament readings if you missed any. But remember the goal is to read a portion of the Bible EVERY day.

Here's a link to Proverbs 1 in the New Living Translation: http://bible.us/Prov1.1.NLT
The reason I picked this chapter as well as this whole project can be found in the first 4 verses:
1 These are the proverbs of Solomon, David’s son, king of Israel.2 Their purpose is to teach people wisdom and discipline, to help them understand the insights of the wise.
3 Their purpose is to teach people to live disciplined and successful lives,to help them do what is right, just, and fair. 
4 These proverbs will give insight to the simple, knowledge and discernment to the young

The writer is specifically talking about the Proverbs, but I don't think I'm going out on a limb when I say the entire Bible is here to teach us wisdom, discipline, and insights.  

Words to live by... 

Monday, January 2, 2012

Day 2 - Psalm 1

The YouVersion Reading plan has today as a "free" reading day. So I wanted to take a look at Psalm 1.
To read Psalm 1 click here

One of the reason I picked this chapter is verse 2 -  But they delight in the law of the LORD,
meditating on it day and night. It comes with a promise in verse 3 -
They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.

Now, don't assume that the writer means "prosper" in the same way we do. Prosperity can mean so much more than financial. 

The other amazing promise is in verse 6 - For the LORD watches over the path of the godly,
but the path of the wicked leads to destruction. 

The Lord watches over the path of the godly.... 

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Day 1 - John 1

Thank you for starting this journey with me. I pray that you will be encouraged and through this time develop a habit of daily reading God's Word.

Here's the link for today's reading from YouVersion.Com
Once you get to the site you can chose the version you prefer. I used the New Living Translation for devotional reading. On the iPad version, at least, there is an audio file that you can listen to. It's very well done utilizing not only a narrator but character voices as well.

As you've read John chapter 1, what verse or verses jump out at you. Please leave a comment and share.
Mine would be verse 12 - But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. What a great promise!