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Showing posts from March, 2018

Day 88~ Acts 7 & 8

So, what did you think when you read what Peter said to Simon, the former magician? “You have neither part nor lot in this matter, for your heart is not right before God…..for I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity.” (8:23)
Did that confrontation leave you feeling a little uncomfortable?  I bet it did!  I have commented on this idea before.  I had to smile with the thought of someone taking Peter’s approach today.  Ha! I don’t think it would happen!  Not in today’s politically correct environment where Christians are afraid to state the obvious, in fear of looking judgmental.   Sadly, the consequence of our current trend is resulting in a boat load of people going to church (just like Simon), deceiving themselves, thinking they are saved, when in reality they are “in the bond of iniquity” (in other words, living an immoral life).  We as Christians just bit our tongues, smile and maybe say, “Jesus loves you and so do I!”  But is that really loving them?  …

Day 87~Acts 5 & 6

I noticed a couple things I haven’t noticed before reading chapter 5.  We just read about Peter and John being arrested for healing the the lame man (4:3). They went to trial for that but were released with a stern warning, no punishment. (4:21) 
So, today when I read that the apostles got beaten (5:40), I assumed it was just Peter and John again.  However, it wasn’t just those two, it was all twelve!  This is why I think that: “Now many signs and wonders were regularly done among the people by the hands of the apostles.  And they were all together in Soloman’s Portico.” (5:12) The jealous priests and Sadducees arrested the apostles and put them in public prison. (vs.18)Ha! Imagine the angel leading 12 men out of the prison secretively!  I had always pictured it was just two….but 12?!  No wonder the captain of the guard and the chief priests were greatly perplexed! (vs. 24)
3.  “But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than man.” (vs 29) No wonder Gamaliel suggested no…

Day 86~ Acts 3 & 4

I had a thought when I was reading about the lame beggar that was healed in chapter 3. Why didn’t Jesus heal him during his three year ministry on earth?  After all, 3:2 says “..a man lame from birth (now 40 years old) was being carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple.”   Jesus had just recently died and rose again, so I am sure that this guy had been on the temple steps on one or all of the many visits Jesus made to the temple.  
Interesting thought….don’t ya think?
It could be that Jesus saw him early on….maybe even at his visit to the temple when he was 12 years old.  The lame man would have been 19 years old then. Maybe on a visit during his ministry years, Jesus saw the lame man but knew the man’s heart wasn’t ready yet.  Perhaps the lame man saw the crowd that always surrounded Jesus, but he himself didn’t believe that Jesus was the Messiah so he wouldn’t have followed Jesus even if he could walk.   Or, what if Jesus knew he was going to heal him, but at a specific ti…

Day 85~ Acts 1& 2

We finished the Gospels!!! Now on to Acts....
I always feel so unsettled when I read about Judas.  Matt. 10:1 says, “And he (Jesus) called to him his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every affliction.”
Today we read Peter saying, “For he (Judas) was numbered among us and was allotted his share in this ministry.” (1:17)  “..(Jesus) show which one of these two you have choses to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.” (1:24-25)
So, Jesus called Judas, yet Judas turned aside to go to his own place.  Hummm…🤔
I say this leaves me unsettled because there is an unexplainable mystery here.  I like to figure out mysteries, but there are some that I just can’t.  The mystery of God’s sovereignty and Man’s responsibility is one of those that just can’t be figured out with our human brain.  Some denominations try to explain or stick to one side or the other of th…

Day 84~ John 21

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Once in awhile I think it would be nice to know the future.  Wouldn’t it be great if God told you tidbits of future events in your life specifically?  That way you could plan accordingly, right?  You wouldn’t need to fear the ‘what if’s’ because you would know what to expect. Well….after today’s reading, I’m rethinking that! I’m actually glad God doesn’t let me in on further events, especially how I would die!  I think that information would actually hinder how I would act.
Jesus told Peter how he would die (21:18).  In one way, knowing that information could help Peter live freely in certain situations.  He could eat without fear of being poisoned to death.  He could cross a river without fear of drowning.  He could hold deadly snakes without fear of dying from a bite.  (He could get extremely sick from all of the above, but he wouldn’t need to fear death.)  On the other hand, every time he went out to “feed the sheep” he could have felt fear of being arrested; which could lead to the …

Day 83~ John 20

My kids think I am a little obsessive that I want all beds made in the morning. After today’s reading, I have a new point I can make if we ever get on the subject again. I can say, “Be like Jesus! When he got up, he folded the cloth that had been on his head (20:7).….Jesus made his bed…..now make yours!” 😁 And by the way, I’m not obsessive, I’m just trying to be like Jesus in every way! 😉
On a more studious note, I found it interesting that Jesus told Mary, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father,....”. (20:17). I like how my commentary clarified that this statement, “does not deny the fact that Jesus’ spirit went to the presence of the father in heaven at the moment of his death but affirmed that his bodily ascension after his resurrection had not yet occurred.”
This makes sense to me in light of what Jesus said to the thief on the criss, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43) Their spirits were with God immediately. But we al…

Day 82~ John 19

I had two thoughts reading this chapter. 
One, it’s a difficult chapter to read!  It starts with Jesus getting flogged, I can only imagine the pain Jesus must have been feeling when Pilate asked him, “Where are you from?” (vs. 9).  No wonder Jesus didn’t answer!  Yet he did manage to clarify to Pilate that he had no authority over Jesus.  Jesus willingly went through all that.  😩 (Thank you , Jesus!)
Second, as I was finishing the chapter, I was found myself admiring Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus.  Here these guys were “secret disciples”, but when the rubber met the road, so to speak, they gave up being in hiding and did a very public thing!  Those closest to Jesus all scattered, but these two took the body, prepared it and put it in the best tomb around; unused, in a garden, prepared for a rich family!  What a display of loyalty.  They may have been very confused, but that didn’t stop them from doing a very nobel thing for the man they secretly were very loyal to. 
I pray that when…

Day 81~ John 18

Finishing today’s reading, I can’t help thinking about how pathetic Pilate was.  Here was the man that should be the one to determine the guilt or innocence of a man (basically find out the truth of a situation), and all he can say is, “What is truth?” (vs 38).
Can you imagine when the day comes, when, “Every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.” (Rom. 14:11, Phil 2:10 & Isaiah 45:23)?  Pilate is going to drop to his knees, shaking like a leaf, thinking, “I had truth right in front of me and I walked away from him!”

What a dramatic picture!  But, in essence, every person who rejects Jesus will have that moment of realization that truth was in front of them. (Rom 1:20).  Whatever excuse they give as to why they rejected Jesus (Truth) will sound just as pathetic as Pilate’s.  😖

Day 80~ John 17

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What a prayer!  I love thinking about the fact that Jesus prayed for me!! (vs. 20)
Especially this, “I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.” (17:15) If Jesus is praying, I’m confident that this prayer will be answered, right?!  So, if he prayed that God would keep the evil one from me, that will be done!!! 
And if that’s the case, why would I ever have any fear?
Not only can I be without fear of Satan, but I can have peace (vs. 33), even though tribulation is all around me.  Ahhh…..
The early disciples understood these truths and made sure they told others.  Paul reminded the Thessalonians that Satan can’t touch them, “But the Lord is faithful and he will strengthen you and protect you from he evil one.” (2 Thess. 3:3). He also reminded the Philippines of the peace they can have, ”Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”John also reminded his …

Day 79~ John16

Again, the first line of the reading caught my attention.  “I have said these things to you to keep you from falling away. “ (16:1)
What?!! You can fall away?  What did Jesus mean by that?  Well…., I found a commentary by Barnes that spoke to this verse in such an understandable way, I thought I would share it with you: These things - The things spoken in the two previous chapters, promising them divine aid and directing them in the path of duty.
Be offended - For the meaning of the word offend, see the notes at Matthew 5:29. It means here the same as to stumble or fall - that is, to apostatize. He proceeds immediately to tell them, what he had often apprised them of, that they would be subject to great persecutions and trials. He was also himself about to be removed by death. They were to go into an unfriendly world. All these things were in themselves greatly fitted to shake their faith, and to expose them to the danger of apostasy. Compare Luke 24:21. If they had not been apprised of …

Day 78~John 15

What stood out to you in today’s reading?
I got a little side tracked when I read the first line of Ch. 15. “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser…”  Those words instantly transported me back to the 80’s and the lyrics of Keith Green in his song, “He’ll Take Care Of The Rest”.  I haven’t sang those lyrics in decades, but when I found it on YouTube, I was singing the song word for word.  It’s amazing how music sticks in your brain!
Maybe that’s why God designed and implemented the Levites to lead the Israelites in worship with the use of songs, lyres, harps and cymbals. (1 Chronicles 15:16)
I think I have posted a Keith Green song before, but here’s another one! 😄 (skip the ad)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n3hPh6ueNPA

Day 77~ John 14

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If Jesus repeats himself, I always perk up!  He repeats himself almost word for word when he says “Let not your hearts be troubled.” ( vs. 1 and 27)
This chapter was so encouraging with those two verses in addition to others; “..whoever believes in me will also do the works I do, and greater works than these will he do..” (vs.12) “I will not leave you as orphans.” (18) “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.” (27) “Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” (27)
Verse 1, when it says “Believe in God, believe in me.” is described in my footnote as “keeping with Old Testament usage that denotes personal, relational trust.” So, Jesus is basically saying to his friends and us…trust me; you know who I am!  Trust me!
So why is it a constant battle for us to trust in Jesus? Maybe because we let stretches go by where we forget to talk with him or stay close to him by reading his word.  So, we distance ourselves from him and forget that he is able to sustain us in our needs.…

Day 76~ John 13

Have you ever heard a fellow Christian say, “i’m just as bad as a sinner as the next person.  We are all sinners.”   I have always bristled when I hear a Christian talk like that.  How can one feel that way if they accepted Jesus as their Savior? “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.  The old has passed away; behold the new has come.” (2 Cor. 5:17)You are no longer a slave to sin.(Gal. 4:24-31)“You were dead in your sins, but now have been born again.” (Eph. 2:1)“How can we who died to sin still live in it? (Rom. 6:1)“So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.” (Rom 6:11)“..you have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness .” (Rom. 6:18)
If one has the attitude that they are (as a Christian), still just as bad of a sinner as one who is not a Christian, they are guilty of saying what Peter said to Jesus regarding the washing…

Day 75~ John 12

I had experienced some Blogger  technical issues, but now I am up and running again!  Hope you all have been keeping up on your reading!
I noticed again today how John adds details to his narrative in such a way, it gets me to wonder…why? For example, today he writes how some Greeks wanted to see Jesus.  So they came to Philip, who then “went and told Andrew; Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus.” (vs 22)  Why would John be so detailed to tell us that? Then Jesus tells them about the cost of discipleship and says these encouraging words, “If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also.  If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.” (vs.26)
Did John give the detail about Andrew and Philip for a reason?  Well, I have a theory….😄
I Googled the two disciples.  Apparently Andrew and Philip are the only apostles that had Greek names (although John clarified that these apostles both came from Galilee, vs 20)  So, perhaps the God-fearing Greeks (we know …

Day 74~ John 11

Did you notice that only the gospel of John tells the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead?  That is quite a remarkable miracle for only one gospel writer to mention….🤔  And, in my opinion, how John tells the story is a little odd.  However, maybe not…..
Notice how John’s focal point when telling the story of Lazarus is all about Jesus.  John gets so detailed we even get to see the emotional reaction of Jesus when he sees his friends grieving.  Yet, when any other author would have shifted to the excitement of the crowd and their awestruck reactions when Lazarus walked out of the tomb, John stays oddly silent about those details.  In fact, John immediately shifts back to how their reactions will affect the future of Jesus.
Like yesterday’s reading, when we saw how the Jewish leaders focused more on when Jesus did his healing of the blind man, today they are focused on his growing popularity rather than the miracle of someone coming back to life!  Boy, do they have their priorit…

Day 73~John 10

I am struck with how hard hearted the Jews were that gathered around Jesus in verse 24. “How long will you keep us in suspense?  If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.”   Why did he have to tell them plainly?  He just gave sight to a man that had been blind since birth, for heavens sake!! The expression, “Actions speak louder than words” must not have been penned back then!
Sadly, these people (the Pharisees) were the “hired hands” that Jesus spoke of, who care nothing for the sheep. (vs. 13)  They didn’t care about the fact that this man’s sight had been restored.  They were much more concerned that mixing spit with dirt to make mud was work, and work must not be done on the Sabbath! 🙄
I thought verse 38 was interesting.  “..but if I do them (good works), even though you do not believe, believe the works that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.”  Jesus, by his actions, proved he was the Christ.  I have said before that I think the old saying, “Seei…

Day 72~ John 9

God loves to display his work!  It is seen in his creation of the universe, and the earth (Psalm 104:24).  He also likes to display his work in people! “Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.” (9:3) God works miracles in peoples lives to display his work!
What a great reason to share your testimony! Your life story, if changed by God, needs to be told in order to put His work on display! 
Every believer has a story.  The miracle that must be displayed is that your heart opened to the truth.  I think Christians get caught thinking that they need a spectacular story like the man who was blind from birth.  That was pretty amazing!  Yet, thinking that your story needs to be that spectacular undermines the miracle done in you.
If everyone, including you and me has , “The heart (that) is evil above all things, and desperately sick…” (Jeremiah 17:9), than the fact that Jesus moved into my heart is a miracle! (Eph. 3:1…

Day 71~ John 8

We are lucky, here in 2018, post resurrection!  We get the full picture of who Jesus is, where he came from and where he went.  To be honest, I can understand why the teachers of the law wigged out when they heard, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” (8:58) That was new information!!!  Imagine how hard that would be to understand!
Think how hard it would be to believe that not one, but two buildings, that took the space of 16 acres in width and rose a quarter of a mile in height, could disappear in a matter of minutes. Prior to 2001, structural engineers and experts would have said it was impossible.  Those same experts would stand up and condemn engineers today who still believed it couldn’t happen.  The current engineers would be responsible for the new information available them when forming their opinion.
It makes me realize how much more accountable we are for what we know.  I am reminded of that verse in Luke when Jesus said, “The queen of the South will rise up…

Day 70~ John 7~ messed up on the schedule, 😐

Did you notice in today’s reading that “some people of Jerusalem” said , “But we know where this man comes from, and when the Christ appears, no one will know where he comes from.” (vs 27) Yet, just a couple paragraphs later some said, “Is this Christ to come from Galilee?  Has not scripture said that the Christ comes from the offspring of David, and comes from Bethlehem, the village where David was?” (vs. 42)  Why were the people split on this point? 
I have a theory as to why the people were saying two different things on the point of where the Christ will come from…..they had different teachers…why would the teachers not be teaching the same thing?
Why would a teacher of the law abandon what scripture predicts?  Well, let’s look back at the time when Jesus was born.  Herod assembled “all the chief priests and scribes of the people” and “inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.” (Matt. 2:3-6)  It was unanimous; all agreed and told the king, “In Bethlehem of Judea for so it is w…

Day 70~ John 6

“Everyone who has heard and learned form the Father comes to me.” (vs 45)…..So, what do we hear and learn from the Father? And why would that point us to Jesus?  
Well, when I read the Old Testament I am struck with how God wants his people to be holy.  All the Levitical law was set up to keep the “chosen one’s”, the Jewish race, pure and “set apart” from the surrounding nations.  If they obeyed, his favor would be on them, if they didn’t, he would remove his favor.  Well, as anyone can read in the Old Testament, they couldn’t do it.  They couldn’t keep themselves pure.  Because of what happened in the garden, they weren’t capable of being holy.  They were true decedents of Adam and Eve, one’s to think, “I know better than God..…I think I will just go ahead and do what he told me not to do.”   They, and we, need God given help to be holy.
I like how Adam and Eve responded when they sinned.  They hid in shame (Gen. 3:8).  At least they knew they did wrong! Today, we have come so far in ou…