Saturday, June 30, 2012

June 30, Day 182 - Psalm 77

Click here to go to Psalm 77

This is one of those "tough" Psalms, where the writer is burdened and doesn't seem to have much hope. Then again, life can be  like that, and it's okay. Especially when we remember God's promises and what He's done in our lives.  Although the writer never "praises" God in this Psalm he does reflect. Some days that's what we have to do, reflect on what God has done.  The praise will come...

Friday, June 29, 2012

June 29, Day 181 - 1 Corinthians 4

Click here to go to 1 Corinthians 4
Paul is starting to get stern with the Corinthians, but he’s quick to point out he’s not writing to shame them (v 14) but to warn them. Paul wanted them to imitate him, something we would be wise to do.
I think verse 8 jumps out at me the most, “You think you already have everything you need. You think you are already rich. You have begun to reign in God’s kingdom without us! I wish you really were reigning already, for then we would be reigning with you.”  When you’ve been a long time I think it's easy to think "Do I really need to read the Bible again? I've read it a so many times, there's nothing new."  Yet, Hebrews 4:12 reminds us that the Word of God is alive and active.  I'm guessing you're experiencing the same thing I am as I've been reading through the New Testament things jumping out at me that I don't remember ever seeing before.

It is true, we will never have everything we need when it comes to God's Word.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

June 28, Day 130 - 1 Corinthians 3

Click here to go to 1 Corinthians 3

This week our church is holding VBS and these verses really speak to me:
It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow. The one who plants and the one who waters work together with the same purpose. And both will be rewarded for their own hard work. For we are both God’s workers. And you are God’s field. You are God’s building.

That's our prayer that we simply plant and water the seeds and hold on to the truth that God will cause those seeds to grow.  


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

June 27, Day 129 - 1 Corinthians 2

Click here to go to 1 Corinthians 2

A very short chapter, but a couple of things that jumped out at me is in verse 10, where Paul writes "For His Spirit searches out everything..."

And then the final verse:
“Who can know the Lord’s thoughts?
    Who knows enough to teach him?”
But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ.

 I love that last line... we have the mind of Christ.  

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

June 26, Day 178 - 1 Corinthians

Click here to go to 1 Corinthians

Maybe it's because the Sunday School class I attend we've been talking about how to do the inductive Bible study method or maybe it's just focusing on one chapter at a time, or what maybe it's just I'm actually paying attention to the Holy Spirit, but so much jumped out at me from this chapter that I don't ever remember seeing before.

Like, this book was written to believers and knowing what's coming in parts of this book I want to say "OUCH." 

Also, I remember reading/hearing the division between believers by who they followed or were baptized before, (10-17) but it didn't jump out at me about how even today we get into the "I'm a Baptist" or "I'm a Nazarene"  Or even "I believe in free will" versus "I believe in predestination" people who go there as a primary focus are doing the same thing as the Corinthians. They removed the focus from Christ and created division.  I'm not saying it's bad to identify oneself with a particular denomination. Having attended a seminary that is of the Wesleyan theology there's a bend to that way of thinking and interrupting scripture. Yet, I had classmates from many different branches of the Christianity, including at least one that identified with the Orthodox church.  One of professors stressed very heavily that we need to focus on the things we agree on and not dwell on the differences.

Sorry for my little rant.. It just hit me that it really is important to focus on what we agree on and not let division happen.  As Roseanna commented in yesterday's passage the warning regarding division is for every time period!

Be Blessed!

Monday, June 25, 2012

June 25, Day 177 - Romans 16

Click here to go to Romans 16

I love how Paul concludes his letters.  I also love the fact that Paul mentions women in his closing as a deacon (Phoebe) and co-ministers (Priscilla).  

I think the charge in verse 17 is important today as well.  We have to be on our guard for those who try to create division in our churches. 

Tomorrow we start 1 Corinthians. 

Be Blessed!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

June 24, Day 176 - Proverbs 16

Click here to go to Proverbs 16

How often have we heard "Pride goes before a fall"?  Yet, that's not what the writer of this proverb says.  Pride goes before destruction!  A little more than a skinned up knee. 

Again, this chapter of Proverbs provides little reminders on how we should live our lives and what happens when we take the wrong road.  I think verse 24 is my favorite (today):
Kind words are like honey—
    sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.

I want my words to be sweet to the souls around me and to bring health and encouragement, there are so many hurting people.

What jumps out to you?

Saturday, June 23, 2012

June 23, Day 175 - Psalm 71

Click here to go to Psalm 71

This chapter is so rich with prayers for protection and declarations of praise.  I think my favorite verses from this chapter today are seven and eight:
My life is an example to many,
    because you have been my strength and protection.
That is why I can never stop praising you;
    I declare your glory all day long.

We need to remember to declare God's glory all day! 


Friday, June 22, 2012

June 22, Day 174 - Romans 15

Click here to go to Romans 15

Paul reminds us that those who are more mature in their faith need to be sensitive to the younger Christians.  Does your church do that? Do they have discipleship programs to help new Christians?  Mine really doesn't, it's a small church and I think most of the discipleship is happening from the Pastor and his wife.  Any thoughts?

I also love how Paul prays for people in his letters.  I remember getting letters from Christian friends who would write portions of Paul's letter to me, it's so encouraging.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

June 21, Day 173 - Romans 14

Click here to go to Romans 14

On the Biblegateway website the heading for this chapter is: "The Danger of Criticism" Paul tackles the subject of food and "holy" days. I love what he says here, but the thing that really jumped out at me was verse 8:  If we live, it’s to honor the Lord. And if we die, it’s to honor the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.  The ultimate win/win!

I also really like the reminder about not tearing each other down.  

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

June 20, Day 172 - Romans 13

Click here to go to Romans 13

Another one of those chapters I have forgotten.  Kind of wish I could keep forgetting it, but it opens with a great reminder about government and our responsibility to it.  Part of me wants to say, "But PAUL do you realize how corrupt some governments are!?!?!" Yet, at that time Paul was under Roman rule, and I don't think that was a pure government situation. 

I love the next section is a great reminder owe no one anything except love. 

I forgot to say yesterday, welcome back Roseanna, I know I've missed your wisdom. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

June 19, Day 171 - Romans 12

Click here to access Romans 12

This is such an amazing chapter, but I think this is the first time I've read it in the NLT.  I love how verse 2 reads:  Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. 

Also verse 9 really jumps out: Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good.  
The line "Don't just pretend to love others. Really love them." How often do we not go through the motions.  The next few verses tell us how to do that: general affection, taking delight in honoring them... practice hospitality. 

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

Monday, June 18, 2012

June 18, Day 170 - Romans 11

Click here to go to Romans 11

I guess I'm excited to get to Romans 12 I didn't have a lot that jumped out at me, but I did enjoy verse 17 and 18.  I love the imagery of the wild olive tree.

17 But some of these branches from Abraham’s tree—some of the people of Israel—have been broken off. And you Gentiles, who were branches from a wild olive tree, have been grafted in. So now you also receive the blessing God has promised Abraham and his children, sharing in the rich nourishment from the root of God’s special olive tree. 18 But you must not brag about being grafted in to replace the branches that were broken off. You are just a branch, not the root.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

June 17, Day 169 - Psalm 67

Click here to go to Psalm 67

When I read this Psalm I think of it as a prayer for the nation or other groups. This Psalm echoes the priestly blessing from Numbers 6:24-26. 

I love how The Voice translates verse 1:
May God pour His grace and blessings into us and turn His face to shine His light on us.

I like the idea of God's grace and blessings being poured into me. 

And the last verse is equally as good:
God is the source of our blessings; may every corner of the earth respect and revere Him.

God is good!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

June 16, Day 168 - Proverbs 15

In this chapter we see lots of references that deal with what we speak, whether the author uses the word, tongue, lips, or words the message is clear: we need to be careful how we speak.  Here are some examples that jumped out at me:

A gentle answer deflects anger,
    but harsh words make tempers flare. (v1)
 The tongue of the wise makes knowledge appealing,
    but the mouth of a fool belches out foolishness. (v2) 

The lips of the wise give good advice;
    the heart of a fool has none to give. (v7)

This one doesn't talk about words but I really like it:
A cheerful look brings joy to the heart;
    good news makes for good health. (v30)

What is another name for the gospels??  GOOD NEWS! 

Lots of great verses here, any jump out at you?

Friday, June 15, 2012

June 15, Day 167 - Romans 10

Click here to go to Romans 10

If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved. 11 As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.”[e] 12 Jew and Gentile[f] are the same in this respect. They have the same Lord, who gives generously to all who call on him. 13 For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

 The core of our salvation, confession and believing.  It makes us right with God regardless of our background/heritage.  It's so good! But Paul goes on to give us this reminder, it's important that people hear about Jesus. 

14 But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? 15 And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!”

Thursday, June 14, 2012

June 14, Day 166 - Romans 9

Click here to go to Romans 9

As exciting as chapter 8 was I find this one a little confusing.  But the one thing that wasn't confusing was Paul's quoting Hosea. 
“Those who were not my people,
    I will now call my people.
And I will love those
    whom I did not love before.”

So good!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

June 13, Day 165 - Romans 8

Click here to go to Romans 8

This is one of those WOW chapters. It starts off with a great promise in verse 1: So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.

But Paul then reminds us the importance of being controlled by the Spirit of God rather than our sinful natures and the importance of keeping our thoughts on the things of God. (vv. 5 - 11)

The promise that we are children of God and have the right to call him Abba Father!  (vv. 12-17)

We also have the promise of help from the Holy Spirit, in our weaknesses, in our ability to pray.  I also notice that Paul talks about how the Holy Spirit helps us when we don't know how to pray and it's after that verse comes the verse that gets thrown around way too often (and way too flippantly) verse 28: And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.  I think we need the prayer piece to be able to appreciate in context with verse 28.

Finally, Paul reminds us that NOTHING can separate us from God's love!


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

June 12, Day 164 - Romans 7

Click here to go to Romans 7

I think the end of this chapter is one of the most meaningful ones to me so far in Romans. Here you have Paul talking about his struggle with sin.  I love this verse:  I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. (21)  That's how I feel so often yet as Paul says so well, "Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord." (25a) 

As Paul continues in this letter he gives us more keys to living life the way God wants us to.  

Monday, June 11, 2012

June 11, Day 163 - Romans 6

Click here to go to Romans 6

12 Do not let sin control the way you live;[a] do not give in to sinful desires. 13 Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God. 14 Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace.

That's the section to popped out to me tonight.  

Have a blessed Monday!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

June 10, Day 162 - Psalm 66

Click here to go to Psalm 66

I love how the Psalm recounts some of Israel's history along with the command to praise. It's a reminder that we too need to remember the things that God has done for us and and PRAISE HIM!

The ending of this chapter is also very exciting for me:
16 Come and listen, all you who fear God,
    and I will tell you what he did for me.
17 For I cried out to him for help,
    praising him as I spoke.
18 If I had not confessed the sin in my heart,
    the Lord would not have listened.
19 But God did listen!
    He paid attention to my prayer.
20 Praise God, who did not ignore my prayer
    or withdraw his unfailing love from me.

But God did listen! He paid attention to my prayer. Why? I think we can assume because he confessed the sin in his heart.
God is so good!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

June 9, Day 161 - Psalm 63

Click here to go to Psalm 63

Another beautiful Psalm, but then again I find them all beautiful at some point.

This is probably a little out of context, but in my effort to live healthier and drop a few pounds (OK something like 60) verse 5 jumps out at me:
You satisfy me more than the richest feast.
    I will praise you with songs of joy.

I LOVE rich food, the richer the better, and I'm an emotional eater, happy, sad, depressed, angry I tend to turn to food. Yet here the psalmist states that God is more satisfying than the richest foods.  

There are other good things here, what did you enjoy.

Sharon, I'm sorry to hear about your friend and pray that God will continue to give you peace.

Friday, June 8, 2012

June 8, Day 160 - Romans 5

Click here to go to Romans 5

The first 11 verses of this chapter are just so encouraging!  Paul starts off by reminding us because we are made right through Christ, we have peace with God. 

In verses 3 - 5 we're reminded that our trials are for a reason:
We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

Sometimes it's hard in the midst of the trial to remember God loves us, I love the "how dearly God loves us" loves.  

Thank the Lord for that Love!

Sharon, how's your friend?

Thursday, June 7, 2012

June 7, Day 159 - Romans 4

Click here to go to Romans 4

I don't remember seeing this verse before, or maybe I should say it has never registered before today:
When people work, their wages are not a gift, but something they have earned. But people are counted as righteous, not because of their work, but because of their faith in God who forgives sinners. David also spoke of this when he described the happiness of those who are declared righteous without working for it:
“Oh, what joy for those
    whose disobedience is forgiven,
    whose sins are put out of sight.
Yes, what joy for those
    whose record the Lord has cleared of sin.”

That wonderful reminder that we can earn our salvation, it is through our faith in God who forgives sinners!  So very, very good!

Lots of good stuff in this chapter about Abraham, our father, what jumped out at you?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

June 6, Day 158 - Romans 3

Click here to go to Romans 3

Romans 3:23 is used in the "Romans Road to Salvation" "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."  True, BUT I don't understand why those tracks of the 70's and 80's stopped there.  The following verses tell the rest of the story:

Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. 25 For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, 26 for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he declares sinners to be right in his sight when they believe in Jesus.

Right there is the story of salvation.  We were all sinners, yet God in His great mercy (undeserved kindness) declares that we are righteous!!  How?!?! Through Christ Jesus when He freed us from the penalty for sins.  I'm sure I've read this chapter before, but today it jumped out at me reading verse 23 in context with the rest of the chapter. 

Thank God for that undeserved kindness! 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

June 5, Day 157 - Romans 2

Click here to go to Romans 2

This chapter was hard for me.  But the one thing I love is at the end of the chapter in verses 28 and 29:

28 For you are not a true Jew just because you were born of Jewish parents or because you have gone through the ceremony of circumcision. 29 No, a true Jew is one whose heart is right with God. And true circumcision is not merely obeying the letter of the law; rather, it is a change of heart produced by God’s Spirit. And a person with a changed heart seeks praise from God, not from people.

Specifically verse 29, a true Jew is one whose heart is right with God.  We know that the Jews were God's chosen people so it just reinforces that we are God's chosen also.  Some times it is nice to have the reminder.

Monday, June 4, 2012

June 4, Day 156 - Romans 1

Click here to go to Romans 1

Paul desired to see the Romans and that was his prayer.  In just finishing Acts we see that Paul did get his desire eventually. 

16 For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile. 17 This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.

I love this part of the passage, especially "This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight."  It's nothing we can do, it's through faith.  

Sunday, June 3, 2012

June 3, Day 155 - Proverbs 14

Click here to go to Proverbs 14

I love how the writer of this chapter as it contrast a life that follows God and a life that doesn't.  The verse that jumped out to me tonight is verse 12:
There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death.
 One of the reason is because it reminds me of one my favorite Petra songs, God Pleasure... The songs that Petra performed especially in the 80s were filled with Bible passages.  Enjoy this classic Petra song...

Saturday, June 2, 2012

June 2, Day 154 - Psalm 62

Click here to go to Psalm 62

My soul quietly waits for the True God alone; my salvation comes from Him. (v1, The Voice)

How often am I really quiet and waiting for God?  More often than not, I'm running around bouncing from one thing to another.  I think it would do my soul so much good to just quietly wait.

Again in verse 5:
My soul quietly waits for the True God alone because I hope only in Him.

He is our hope and our salvation as verses 9 points out: Human beings disappear like a breath... that's why we don't look to them for our salvation or our hope.

I was talking to a friend this week whose family recently changed churches.  Shortly after they moved to this new church, it became know that the pastor had been involved in an affair and left the church. This pastor from all appearances had been very successful over the previous years with the church seeing tremendous growth. I'm not sure I ever heard him preach a Sunday service, but he did share the gospel at the finale of their kids' sports program.  He presented the gospel very well.  I bring this up because as in many cases like this, people were devastated. Yes, we should be devastated when anyone falls into sin, but it was obvious to my friend that people in the church had put this pastor on a peddle stool and when he fell it rocked their faith.

People are going to fail us, the TRUE God alone is our hope and our salvation.  Please don't think I'm throwing stones, I too have been guilty of putting my faith in people and then being hurt when they let me down.  This is as much a reminder to myself as anyone.


Friday, June 1, 2012

June 1, Day 153 - Acts 28

Click here to go to Acts 28

Acts closes with Paul in prison, well it sounded more like house arrest.  I loved the story of snake bite on the island. The people assumed he was a murderer because he was bitten but then when he didn't they thought he was a god. He was able to minister to people and many people were healed.