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Showing posts from October, 2017

Day 34~ Luke 23, John 18-19

Don’t you wonder what happened to Barabas after he was released?  He was the first to experience Jesus taking his place for the sin he committed.  I hope Barabas didn’t ignore this fact (like so many do).  I hope he investigated who Jesus was and figured out how he didn’t get what he deserved.
I am impressed with the one criminal crucified with Jesus.  He got the big picture.  First, he understood he was getting what he deserved (23:41). Second he understood that Jesus was innocent (23:41). Third, he had faith to take Jesus at his word when Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world.” (John 18:36).  Perhaps he heard people talking, as he dragged his cross to Golgotha, about what Jesus had said to Pilate, or perhaps he just read the sign that was fastened to the cross of Jesus.  Either way, he heard it and believed it.  This particular criminal actually had a bent toward truth.  Remember what Jesus said to Pilate, “Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” (John 18:37)
What an example …

Day 33~ Mt. 27, Mark 15

Today's reading is killing me!  It’s hard to read over and over again how Jesus was falsely accused and beaten.  One commentary said that the “scourge” (beating with a leather whip that had bone, rock or metal fastened to the ends) was meant to rip the flesh from the prisoner’s back.  Scourging severely weakened a prisoner, thereby hastening death on the cross.  Sometimes the scourging was fatal itself. 😰
Something for me to remember however, is that the scourging and cross was the punishment for a guilty person.  In most cases the person enduring this pain did something wrong.  The guilty person knew the risks when they did their evil deed.  The punishment was just.   According to God, I am guilty of punishment.  “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, ..” (Romans 3:23);  “For the wages of sin is death, ..” (Romans 6:23)
I think that it is hard for us today in our culture to understand that concept.  It’s hard to comprehend anyone would have to suffer for their wro…

Day 32~ John 16-17

Do you realize that Jesus prayed for you, specifically, while he was here on earth?! “My prayer is not for them alone (the disciples). I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message (that’s you and me!) that all of them may be one..” (17:20)
And what exactly did he pray for us?
“My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.” (17:15)  So, if God incarnate prayed for your protection, you better believe you are protected!  Done deal! No wonder we can confidently say, just as the Psalmist wrote, “I will fear no evil, for you are with me.”  (Psalm 23:4)
On the other hand, those who don’t believe in Jesus…..yikes!! They don’t have protection from the enemy, the devil, who “prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)
That knowledge alone should be pushing us to share Jesus with those who don’t know Him!
I challenge you, go tell someone today how Jesus wants to protect them!

Day 31~ John 14-15

I love the first verse I read this morning, “Do not let your hearts be troubled.  Trust in God; trust also in me.” (14:1)  I could stop right there and meditate on that all day!
But, as I continued to read that Jesus is going to “prepare a place" for you and me, I was reminded of a verse in Isaiah.  He is not only preparing a place, but an awesome dinner party as well!   “On the mountain the Lord Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all people, a banquet of aged wine- the best of meats and the finest of wines.” (25:6) I can’t wait to party with Jesus!   It’s going to be awesome! We will have much to celebrate!!  
Keeping that in mind, I am not going to let my heart be troubled over the temporary things of this world!  What did you get out of the reading today?

Day 30~ Luke 22, John 13

Hello all!  I’m glad to be back with you! I hope you are doing well on your reading!  Thank you, Mitchell for keeping us focused and motivated in the daily reading in my absence!   It was a challenge to keep reading when out of my routine, that’s for sure! I’m glad to be back now, in my routine and reading with you!
To be honest with you, I don’t like reading this part of the story where Jesus gets betrayed.  It bums me out.😢 Judas hands Jesus over just to get some money (which he later regrets doing) and Peter denies he knows Jesus, which is super sad considering he had just told Jesus to wash not only his feet , “but my hands and my head as well!”, because he wanted to “have a part” of being with Jesus (13:8).
The saddest verse in this section to me is when Jesus says to the crowd who had come to capture him, “But this is your hour- when darkness reigns.” (Luke 22:53)
It brings a picture to my mind that was formed from a song by Carman Licciardello way back in 1985 called The Champion.

Day 29~ Mt 26; Mk 14

As we approach the crucifixion, I always find it interesting to analyze Jesus’s behavior. Jesus knows what God expects of him as demonstrated by his prayers in Gethsemane, as well as what he predicts at the Last Supper, and yet his patience and love of people does not run out. As Jesus predicts Peter’s denial of him we do not see him rebuke or belittle Peter but rather acknowledges that the denial will occur and then goes to the cross to forgive sins such as this.
This is such a great picture of the love that Jesus has for us, as well as puts into perspective the gravity of the sacrifice that was made. Jesus is aware of our shortcomings and can even predict the number of times that we will break his commands, and yet with this knowledge fresh in his mind, he went to the cross so that we could be justified in the sight of God and spend eternity with him. What Love!

Day 28~ Mt 24-25; Mk 13

In Fourth Grade I was reading the Left Behind book series and was deeply impacted by the idea that all the Christians would disappear and some of the people left behind would slowly come to realize that they did not “make the cut.” Although Biblical Scholars disagree on what exactly will happen to Christians in the end days, Matthew 24:40-41 states that: Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.

Day 27~ Mt 23; Lk 20-21

As Christians, we are repeatedly warned that being a Christ Follower will result in persecution. (Matthew 10:22) In my personal life, I have found myself in the minority opinion on divisive social issues which has led to moments of tension due to my Christian perspective. I suspect that as Christians living in the US, acknowledging ourselves as believers will become more and more testing but we must be prepared, stand firm, and know that we will be eternally rewarded for holding fast in our faith.
Luke 21:16-19 "You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers and sisters, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. Everyone will hate you because of me. But not a hair of your head will perish. Stand firm, and you will win life."