Showing posts from 2019

Acts 18-24- Everybody needs a John moment before they can truly have a Jesus moment!

Chapter 19 was interesting to me this week.  We read about Apollos doing some teaching in Ephesus. "He was a learned man, with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures" (Acts 18:25). One thing I remind myself of as I read is that his knowledge of scripture was Old Testament scripture.  He knew that Old Testament scripture pointed to Jesus and fully embraced that Jesus was the promised Messiah that was foretold in Old Testament scripture, "and taught about Jesus accurately, though he knew only the baptism of John." (18: 25) This verse made me wonder what more Priscilla and Aquila needed to teach him in order to "explain the way of God more adequately."? As I kept reading chapter 19 the next day, I think I found my answer.  Apollos leaves Ephesus and heads to Achaia.  Soon, Paul shows up in Ephesus.  "There he found some disciples" (19:1). Disciples of whom, Apollos, John, or Jesus?   I think they were disciples of John because of their answer to

Acts 11-17- God is intention with his creation!

An assignment given in the theology class I am taking right now asked me to describe an attribute of God that is described in Genesis 1 & 2. Well, since chapter one is all about God creating the world, I picked his attribute as "Creator".  (It seemed like an obvious choice to me!) The second part of the prompt was to describe how this attribute can be encouraging to a fellow church member....hum....OK....I can do this...But I didn't know where to start, so I put that aside and diligently kept going with my daily reading of Acts.   Bam!  God gave me the answer as only God can with His Word!! I love it!  Isn't it incredible that staying in the Word can give answers to other things such as a school assignment?!  So, I am going to share my assignment with you that was derived from our reading this week! Chapter one in Genesis is all about God creating.   Thinking about the attribute of God, the Creator, I get very encouraged living my daily life!   God is in

Acts 4-10-Judgement in the New Testament!😳

Tuesday’s reading, chapter 5, stuck out for me this week!  I have read the story of Ananias and Sapphira many times, but this time it disturbed me enough to ponder it further. To be honest, I was surprised at Peter.  He seemed almost cold to the fact that two people just died in front of him.  And, boy, was God quick to judge and sentence!  That couple died for lying!! Isn't that crazy?? Maybe the story hit me harder this time because it shows the full character of God.  It shows a side to him that we have forgotten about in our Christian culture today where all we hear about is God's love.  I hear people say often, "I want to be more like Jesus, full of grace and mercy." The interesting thing about the story of Ananias, Sapphira, and their judgment is that this is a story in the New Testament! It's not an Old Testament story pre-Christ, of God’s wrath.  It's a New Testament story that demonstrates God still takes sin very seriously, even in the church!

John 19-Acts 3 - More thoughts about the Holy Spirit...

     I think the timing of the reading about the Holy Spirit, has been God divine for me!  I am in school right now and the topic I am studying is all about the Triune God:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The writers of my school reading talk about how Western Christians don't really know what to do with the knowledge of the Holy Spirit.  We have a pretty good grasp of what God has revealed of himself from the Old Testament, what he has revealed of himself through Jesus in the New Testament, but we get a little foggy on how he has revealed himself through the Holy Spirit. I guess that is why I perked up when I read, Acts1:2 & 4 this week,  "I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen."(1:2) "On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: "Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father p

John 12-18- Does the Holy Spirit live in Me?

Have you ever wondered if the Holy Spirit truly lives in you?  I have!  I mean....I am guessing he does...after all Jesus says he does. We read about that this week in John 14:17b, "But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you."   Yet, I get self-reflective at times and wonder if he really does because, I question if I exhibit the fruit of the Spirit in my life (Gal 5:22-23). I may exhibit some of them some of the time, but never all of them all of the time. And I certainly don't exhibit the Spirit by speaking in tongues or with prophecy (1 Cor. 12:4-10) at my weekly church service!  In addition, when I first heard the word of God, I didn't start speaking in tongues and praising God as those did in the household of Cornelius (Acts 10:46).  My conversion was quite uneventful in comparison. So, what confirmation do I have that the Holy Spirit lives in me?  Well, the answer was in our reading in that same section I first mentioned, chapter 14!!  I

John 6-11- "Does having faith take work?"

Looking back at my notes for the week, I noticed I did the most writing on Tuesday, chapter 6. If you have a day where you wrote a lot of notes, I would love to hear them!! I think that John 6 is one of the hardest chapters of the whole gospel!  There are a lot of theological points one can dive into.  Apparently, I am not the only one who thought there were some hard concepts there. People of that time were so put off by what Jesus said, they stopped following him (vs.66). The verses that really stood out to me was, "Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will...give you.", "Then they asked him, What must we do to do the works God requires?"  Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent." (6:27-29) I think it's interesting that Jesus uses the words "The work of God is this: to believe..."  We all know that "works" don't get us into

Luke 22-John 4- A Great Example on How to Share Jesus with Others

But! Holidays always throw me off! I wrote this yesterday but forgot to post! Happy Veterans Day! This week of reading had a lot of great points to think on, but again, what I read today is fresh in my mind and worthy of comment. Jesus says to the woman at the well regarding the Messiah, "I, the one speaking to you- I am he." (John 4:26). Then she goes back to her town and says, "Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did.  Coud this be the Messiah?" (John 4:29) At first, I read those verses thinking, "How can she still be asking?  He told her straight out!  Did she not believe him? Did she need others to validate her feeling?  Did she value other's opinions so much that she couldn't make a decision on her own from the proof given? But thinking completely flipped.  She did believe Jesus!  She was so excited to have others meet the Messiah, in her zeal, she left her jar! I then started analyzing how she went about sharing the

Luke 15-21-Don't worry, I've got this!

I was going to comment on what God expects from his followers (Luke 17) or about the verses regarding forgiveness (Luke 19), but today's reading is fresh in my mind and I got a lot of encouragement from it! So, I thought I would encourage you with it too! I've been asked to speak to a group of ladies this coming week.  The prospect of talking in front of a group of strangers puts me way out of my comfort zone!  Yes, I know that this is a far cry from being, "seized and persecuted" as Jesus warned his disciples would happen before "the kingdom of God is near." (Luke 21:31). But, regardless, I take such comfort in his words, "But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourself.  For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict. (Lule 21:14-15) I love that!! It is my pattern to think ahead, play out all the potential outcomes of a situation and then worry about which way

Luke 8-14- Is your light shining?

I find that one of the biggest challenges, only posting once a week, is deciding what juicy morsel to talk about!!  This week was no exception.  I am looking back at my notes for the week thinking, there was a lot of good stuff! (I hope you take notes too!  Then you can share with me your tasty morsels!) I am going to comment on the first chapter of this week... Have you ever heard someone say, "My Christianity is private.  I'm not one who likes to talk about it with others."?  I have heard those exact words!  As a matter of fact, the friend I had in high school that held that view, has since, walked away from his faith!  ðŸ˜± Who does that?! I am going to show my black and white self here by going as far to say, no one with true faith in Christ keeps their faith hidden. It's impossible!  Even people in "hiding" in foreign countries show their faith, just not open to government officials, unless it's necessary... Anyway, I think Jesus illustrated

Like 1-7- Good advise for parents.

I enjoyed the reading this week and found myself looking at old posts to see what stood out to me in past readings.  I was going to comment on something new, but I feel one post was such a good reminder for me, especially since I still have a little guy to raise to be a godly man. So, I thought I would share the thoughts again. When Gabriel is telling Zach that he will have a son and what that son would do, he says, "And he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn hearts of fathers to their children, and the disobedient to the understanding of the righteous, to make ready for the Lord a prepared people." (1:17) I had to re-read that verse to try to understand "turn the hearts of fathers to their children."  My footnote helped me,  "John's message would include the straightforward admonition to families to restore godly leadership in the home.  He would call fathers to turn to their children with love and compassion, persuading the

Mark 10- Mark 16- Faulty logic

I have always read the parable about the tenants killing the son of the owner as an allegory to the Jewish people killing Jesus, the son of God. (Mark 12). This time through, however, I was struck by the odd logic of those tenants Jesus was describing in his parable.  This was an angle to the parable that I never really thought much about before.  Why on earth would the tenants think that if they killed the son, they would get the inheritance?(12:7). If I was listening to Jesus, first hand, I might have wanted to interrupt him to ask.  If you know me, you are probably nodding in agreement saying, "You might ask?  No, you would ask!" Well, clearly, Jesus understands human behavior and our messed up logic we are capable of coming up with.  Could he also have been throwing that tid bit of info into the story to add another layer to the teaching moment? As I pondered the odd logic of the tenants....I thought....aren't they just like all of us?  When we want to do someth

Mark 3-9- No more excuses!!

So, there is a verse that I think I have used in the past to justify or excuse myself from having to share the Good News with close family members. Jesus himself said, “Only in his home town, among his relatives and in his own house is a prophet without honor.” (6:4)  There you go! Why bother with them? Let someone else do the work there. I’ll go to complete strangers!! 🤔 actuality, Jesus isn’t saying we aren’t to share the Good News with family members, he’s just saying, it’s not going to be easy. This became clear to me, reading this time through, when I noticed that just one chapter prior to Jesus saying you won’t get “honor”, he tells the man he delivered from demons, “Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” (5:19) What a good lesson, for me, on how to share my “testimony”. Sharing a testimony shouldn’t be scary, after all, it’s my story that no one can debate. People can debate science, philosop

Matthew 24-Mark 2 -It all points to Jesus!!

How's the reading going?  Post what stood out to you so we can talk about it!! I was struck by the fact that Matthew pointed out Old Testament scripture to back up how Judas and the religious leaders fulfilled prophecy. "So they (the chief priests) decided to use the money to buy the potter's field as a burial place for foreigners....Then what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled:  They took the thirty pieces of silver , the price set on him by the people of Israel, and they used them to buy the potter's field, as the Lord commanded me." (Matthew 27:9) I actually took the time to read the context of the scripture that my footnote referred me to read in  Jeremiah, 32: 6-9.  To be honest, I didn't really see the connection. HOWEVER, my footnote also referred me to read Zechariah 11:12-13 and that was remarkable how it was foretelling of the event we read in Matthew!! "And the Lord said to me, "Throw it to the potter"- the handsom

Matthew 17-23 - Few are chosen?

We have already completed our third week of reading!!  Time is going fast!! Jesus said some interesting things in our reading!  What did you think when you read, "But so that we may not cause offense, go to the lake and throw out your line...." (17:27) or when he said, "It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire." (18:8) or "If you want to be perfect, go..." (19:21) and "Are you envious because I am generous?" (20:15) and "If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer." (21:22)? Each day I pondered over these statements!! I always like to reword things in my head as I ponder, so I hear Jesus say, go to work and pay your taxes, but remember everything is from me and mine!  go to the extreme, if necessary, to remain in the faith you can't be perfect without me and I am willing to let everybody be perfect through me, just

Matthew 9-15 - Week 2- The unpardonable sin

I am finding it hard to pick one thing to comment on out of a whole weeks worth of reading! But, 12:31-32 left me pondering, so I thought I would share what my footnote said about it. I thought it was good. Here’s what Jesus said, “And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the spirit will not be forgiven. Anyone who speaks a word against the son of man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.” Doesn’t that get you to wonder? 🤔 This is what the commentary said, “The unpardonable sin is the deliberate refusal to acknowledge God’s power in Christ. It indicates a deliberate and irreversible hardness of heart. Sometimes believers worry that they had accidentally committed this unforgivable sin. But only those who have turned their back on God and rejected all faith have any need to worry. Jesus said they can’t be forgiven because their sin is worse than a

Matthew 1-9 - 1st week of reading plan, done!!

Hello fellow readers!  I hope your first week of reading went well and you are in the process of  creating a habit of reading everyday. So, we just kick it off and I noticed I made a mistake on the reading plan!!😝 I forgot to list chapter 4!!😫 So, instead of changing the whole plan, if you haven't done so already, just add one more chapter today so that we start this next week on chapter 10. That being said.....what did you get out of the week of reading?  My day-planner is full of notes!!  There is so much to comment on when reading that many chapters!  I would love to hear something that stood out to you!!  If you share, please include the scripture verse you are referring to. Speaking of chapter 4, the temptation of Jesus always seems to teach me a lesson.  In chapter 3, Jesus gets baptized, "to fulfill all righteousness" (3:15), then he goes out to the wilderness.  Isn't that so metaphorical to how it can be with us??!!  We can make a decision to follow C

Weekly Sunday Post for the New Reading Plan

Hello Fellow Blogger and Bible Reader, Are you up for some lighter reading than what we have done before on this blog? I am going to be reading the New Testament this school year,  starting today !!  Even though I will be going at a slow pace, I will still be done with the whole New Testament by June!!   I will be  reading ONE chapter a day !  How easy is that??   This is what I will be doing and I would love to have you join me!! I bought myself a fun weekly planner.  I will read one chapter, think about what I read, and write a sentence about the reading in my calendar.  That way, I know I will reflect a little bit about what I read, verses rush off with my day, not giving the chapter a thought.   Then, every Sunday, I will post on my blog something about the week's reading.  If you join me, I would love to hear what you got out of your week's worth of reading.  So, if you continue with the blog, you will only get one post a week, as a way for us to keep in to

Revelation 21-22~ Last day of the 120 Day reading plan!!!

Reading the last two chapters definitely leaves a Christian excited, don't you think?!! The new heaven and the new earth with all God's people there, "arrayed with God's glory" (21:11), sounds fantastic!! Yet, I can't help notice the contrast and reminders that John keeps throwing in to describe what the future holds for people who are not Christians.  "Their share will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death." (20:15 & 21:8b) If a Christian (me) truly believes in the glorious new earth to come for those who believe in Jesus, wouldn't that Christian, in obedience to the command to love one another, do every thing in their power to share Christ with all he/she came in contact with? Why do we (I), in our (my) comfortable USA culture, not feel the urgency that Paul, John, Peter and all the other outspoken Christians throughout history held?  After all, we just got finished reading, "Look I am coming

Revelation 19-20~ Day 119~ A vast multitude!!

One day to go on the 120 Day Reading Plan!!! I was encouraged with today's reading! There are times that I think,"O dear, where are all the Christians in our culture?"  Are there very many out there?  Why don't they stand up and say something as our culture seems to be decaying morally by the hour?!" It's at those times of disparaging thought that I think of the what Jesus said in Matthew 7:14, "But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it."  ðŸ˜¦ Really, Lord.  Are there so few? Also in Luke 13:23, when asked, "Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?"  He responded, "Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because I tell you, many will try to enter and won't be able once the homeowner gets up and shuts the door." Well...that's concerning..... YET, today's reading made me happy in regard to how many will be there!!  (Revelation is so encouraging for

Revelation 17-18 ~ Day 118 ~ Rejoice for Babylon (sin) is destroyed!!

I don't know about you, but I have a hard time keeping straight in my mind the symbolism of Babylon the Great.  the symbolism of Babylon being a lady is carried on so long through out the reading today, I forget it's not actually a lady!  It's not even one city! So what is it? Well, Babylon at one time, was a powerful city.  It's "golden age" was during the 6th century BC.  It fell in glory when Cyrus the Great conquered it in 539BC.  Although it was still an active city for centuries to come, it never regained the legendary wealth and power it had in the 6th century BC.  Yet, the fame of that golden era period made the proper noun, Babylon into a regular noun. Babylon describes a package of selfish wealth, self-serving opulence, and cravings for indulgences of every kind.  I liken it to how the town of Sodom became a noun with a different meaning than the town.  Sodomy now defines sexual acts that are "unnatural" or immoral. So, back to what

Revelation 14-16 ~ Day 117~ The angels can see your mark!

I don't often go back to old posts to see what I have written in the past, but today I was curious...what did I get of today's reading before?  Sadly, my memory is so bad, I read this post and thought, "Wow! I don't even remember writing that!  I like what it says!" Hahaha!!   So, I decided to repeat a lot of what was said and add a little more. Let's talk a minute about that “mark of the beast” from chapter 13.  I always thought it was a literal mark that everyone would be able to see. Yet, one thing I know about Satan, he loves to imitate God.  God marks his followers (Rev. 7:3).  We are already marked according to what Paul wrote in 2 Cor. 1:22, Eph. 1:13 and 4:30.  We are marked with the Holy Spirit.  It’s not a tattoo or implanted chip.  The proof that we have been marked with the Holy Spirt is that we have a repentive heart, we exhibit fruit of the Spirit, we are conforming to God’s commands and we have love for His people.  So, why would I th

Revelation 12-13~ Day 116~ The battle will get stronger!!🥵

On a trip I took to Haiti awhile back, I learned why they say (about themselves) that 90% are practicing Catholics but 100% practice Voodoo.  They say, "We know God is good, so we don't need to worry about him.  But, Satan is bad so we try to appease him." Wow!  Has Satan deceived them!!!!  What Haitians know and realize is that they can never make Satan happy, so they have to keep going with the chicken sacrifices, dances and other forms of idolatry worship. Today's reading made me reflect back to that time in Haiti.  The reading made me realize that the Haitian mentality will permeate the entire world at some point. "(The beast) began to speak blasphemies against God...And it was permitted to wage war against the saints and to conquer them....All those who live on the earth will worship it." (13:6-7) 😞 We don't need to look far ahead in the future for this to's happening now....there is an element in our culture that is waging w

Revelation 10-11~ Day 115~Lot's of symbolism!!

My husband sits across the room from me in the morning and does his reading while I do mine.  I am one day ahead in the reading plan, which works out perfectly for us because he has become my editor!  He does his reading and then re reads the blog.  He catches my mistakes on what I posted that morning and I fix them right away before others get to their reading.  If you ever catch mistakes in my writing...he probably didn't have time to do his reading that morning!  😛 Anyway, he sat down today and said, "Revelation is so hard to understand!"  Believe me, I get it!!  It is hard to understand, in part, because John uses symbolic images to get the messages across to his readers. Some examples include, the dragon, representing Satan, an earthquake symbolizing God's judgement and a three different  female characters to describe Babylon, the 'bride' of the Lamb and the nation of Israel. We come to another interesting use of symbolism in today's reading whe

Revelation 8-9~ Day 114~ Spiritual warfare can result in death!!

Have you ever had a day that was real difficult and thought, "Man! This must be spiritual warfare! Satan is trying to get at me!" I have had many of those days and often think of Paul's words when he says, "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." (Ephesians. 6:12). Since I am aware of the spiritual battle, I know how to fight it!  I make sure I am wearing my helmet and I pick up my sword! (Eph. 6:17).  How sad for those who aren't Christians!!  They can't fight back!  They don't know how! For them, I cringe when I read, 1 Peter 5:8, "Your adversary the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour." 😳 Needless to say, it's frightening to read Revelation, thinking of those who don't have the seal of Jesus, therefore are at the mercy o

Revelation 6-7~Day 113~ The wrath of the Lamb.

And they said to the mountains and to the rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the face of the one seated on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb, because the great day of their wrath has come! And who is able to stand." (6:16-17) I couldn't help but think about the singer I mentioned the other day who was "losing his faith" because he couldn't reconcile how a loving God could send so many people to hell (Day 110).  I think our Christian culture has done a good job teaching people about the love of Jesus.  Yet, the teaching of Jesus is not complete if his righteous and just side is not taught as well.  That is why it is so important to read Revelation once in a while (as well as the Old Testament)! My Bible's commentary had a great little side note that answered the question, "Does God's wrath contradict his love?"  I wanted to share their answer with you: "The revelation of God's love necessitates the revelation of God&

Revelation 4-5~ Day 112~ Again, one Kingdom!

I always tend to read Revelation like I'm watching a movie with flash back scenes, future scenes and lots of out of this world visual effects! Chapters 4 and 5 are mind blowing, showing the awesomeness of  God's "throne room".  Flashes of lightening, rumblings and peals of thunder (vs 4:5), how incredible!!  This scene occurs after the work Christ did on the cross (5:6).  Because of that work, the celebration of the king is better than any event coordinator could have conceived!! So, I'm in the middle of reading about this glorious scene, and notice something again, the same thing that stood out to me in yesterday's reading, " purchased people of God by your blood from every tribe and language and people and nation.  You made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they will reign on the earth." (5:10) There it is again!  One kingdom made up of all believers!  Not two special groups of people- just one big one.  I think Jesus, through

Revelation 1-3 ~ Day 111~ Jew and Gentile believers are ONE kingdom under Jesus!

OK, here we go...the last book of our reading plan...and it'a a good one!! Right away, two verses caught my eye because they had a repeat word in them. "To him who loves us...and made us a kingdom , priest to his God and Father-..." (1:6) and "I, John, your brother and partner in the affliction, kingdom and endurance that are in Jesus..."(1:9) What's up with that? John is stressing that those who believe that Jesus "set us free from our sins by his blood" are a group of people that make up a kingdom.....that's interesting and actually reminds my of another verse that we read just a few days ago. "But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his possession, so that you may proclaim the praises of the one who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.  Once you were not a people; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy." (1 Peter 2:9-10) If you remember, Peter addr

Jude ~ Day 110 ~ Help me snatch them out of the fire, Lord!

I don't mean to make light of a very sad situation, but I can't help signing to myself, lately, "....And another one gone, and another one gone, another one bites the dust...."   🎶 Poor Marty Sampson, the worship music writer for Hillsong Worship, recently stated that his faith is "on incredibly shaky ground". He sounds like another one who has lived a lie for 30+ years (like we talked about others doing on day 107). "Why is the Bible full of contradictions? No one talks about it. How can God be love yet send four billion people to a place, all ‘coz they don’t believe? No one talks about it," Marty wrote in his confession. I think Marty should join us on reading the Bible straight through  over  and over.  When  one does the reading and the research themselves, one can see that the Bible does not contradict itself.  In addition, if one clearly  understood  how  evil each person is and when left to their own desires becomes more and more evil

2 & 3 John ~ Day 109 ~ I have Truth in me!

Reading different translations often makes me get new insights to familiar verses.  It happened today when I read the first verse of today's reading! "To the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth and not only I, but also all who know the truth - because of the truth that remains in us and will be with us forever." (1&2) I love how Jesus defined himself in John's gospel account, "I am the way, the truth, and the life." (John 14:6). John heard these words first hand from Jesus and knew he could use any of these descriptions interchangeably.  So, we can read the above verse like: "To the elect lady and her children whom I love through Jesus and not only I, but also all who know Jesus- because He remains in us and will be with us forever." What hit me with this realization is that we can do the same today!  We can fill in the blank with the names Jesus used for himself. "because of the ___________that remains in us a

1 John 4-5~ Day 108~ God is listening to every word!

Just last night, I was with a group of Christians and the topic came up about having "the fear of the Lord".  The question was asked, do Christians need to have a healthy fear of the Lord? I believe the discussion ended with a redefining of the term "fear" to "healthy respect of his power".  Yes, everyone needs to have a healthy respect of God. However, I find it quit remarkable that today's reading felt like God was answering the question for us,......the way He wanted to answer!  "And we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us.  God is  love, and the one who remains in love remains in God, and God remains in him.  In this,  love is made complete with us so that we may have confidence in the day of judgement, because as he is, so also are we in this world.   There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment.  So the one who fears is not complete in love.  (1 John 4

1John 1-3~ Day 107~Walk like He walked!

I know someone who has claimed to be a Christian for 30 years.  This person's life was never real exemplary of a Christian, but, hey, who am I to judge, right?  After some time, the person divorced and is now living with a new "significant other".  Needless to say, it has left the friends of this person confused and somewhat speechless.  If this person was a teenager, I think Christian friends would call this person out and instruct the teen in the what the Bible has to say about sexual sin. "Avoid it!" (1Cor. 6:9-11, 6:18-20, 7:2, Gal. 5:19, 1 Thess. 4:3 and Heb. 13:4). Yet, some sort of muzzle occurs on believers when the "Christian" is older and more autonomous in their thinking.  Maybe the friends think the person knows better so there is no need pointing out the obvious....I don't know what creates the muzzle.  I actually have not been in a position to talk with this person yet about their new living situation, but I have often wondered wha

2 Peter 1-3~ Day 106~ Know the basics well!

Have you ever head that  Federal agents don’t learn to spot counterfeit money by studying the counterfeits. They study genuine bills until they master the look of the real thing. Then when they see the bogus money they recognize it?  I  heard  that in a sermon once so I had to look it up to see if it's true.  It is!!  The best way to spot a  counterfeit is to know the real thing well!!! I often say that the gospel (the good news of salvation through Jesus) is simple to understand....and it is...yet, there are also somethings that are hard to understand.  Peter admits that! "There are some matters that are hard to understand," (3:16) Both Peter and Paul exhort their fellow Christians, watch out!! "I want to stir up your sincere understanding by way of reminder so that you recall the word's previously spoken by the holy prophets and the command of our Lord and Savior given through your apostles." (3:1-2) To me, that is like Peter is saying, "Go

1 Peter 4-5~ Day 105~ I better get to practicing!🤓

Have you noticed all the talk of suffering in our reading?  Today, it really stood out to me, but it's not the first time we have been warned! Jesus starts the warning with, ""Blessed are those who are persecuted, because of righteousness.." (Matt. 5:10).   In his letter to Timothy, Paul warned, "Everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted." (2 Timothy 3:12).  James says we are to "consider it all joy when we experience trials of many kinds." (1:2)  And, today, Peter says, "But even if you should suffer for righteousness, you are blessed." (3:13), and "Therefore, since Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourself also with the same understanding." (4:1) That last verse was key for me!  We have been warned over and over that we will be persecuted just for being a Christian, and this last verse gives a directive- "arm yourself"!  Be prepared! Don't be surprised when you are trea

1 Peter 1-3~ Day 103~ Salvation= Being saved from hell.🙌🏻 Woo 🙌🏻Woo!

”Though you have not seen him, you love him; though not seeing him now, you believe in him, and you rejoice with inexpressible and glorious joy, because you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” (1Peter 1:8-9) That verse stood out to me. I sometimes reword sentences in my head to get clear meaning.  For example, I read the above versus like, “The goal of your faith is the salvation of your souls. Because your soul will be saved, you love the Lord for it.  You believe this wholeheartedly, therefore you are filled with joy. That makes me ponder “the goal of my faith”. The goal isn’t to love others, the goal isn’t to become the best person I can be… the goal is to be saved (my salvation).  That just begs the question… To be saved from what? The dictionary says salvation means “a deliverance from harm, ruin or loss.”  In the Christian world it means to be “delivered from the consequences of sin”.  So, the long and the short of it is, the goal of my fai

James 3-5~ Day 103~ What did you get out of the reading?

Can you believe we only have a few books to go before we are done with the New Testament?! I love the book of James! There are so many practical points he made on how to live a godly life: Be loving to others, control your speech, use godly wisdom, don’t have the same attitude toward wealth as the world does, don’t be prejudice, the list goes on. Yet, it’s clear that these commands are not to gain entrance to heaven. These actions are used to be a good representative of Christ while we wait for his return. (5:8) One of my favorite verses was, “Draw near to God and he will draw near to you.” (James 4:8) I think of how my little guy (nearly 7 years old now!!) will come to me to snuggle, when he does, I draw him in and we cuddle.  I love that precious time!! That’s what God wants to do with us!! What did you like most about James? 

James 1-2 ~ Day 102~ God given wisdom

“Now if any of you lack wisdom, he should ask God – who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly– and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith without doubting.” (1:5-6) That sounds great....but....wisdom about what? Wisdom like Solomon had where he understood ants ways, plant life and human behavior?  James gives a little more description of what wisdom is in 3:17.  I like how my commentary said James was referring to wisdom as Christian enlightenment. I can see that! James (the brother of Jesus) was addressing the “12 tribes dispersed abroad”.  These were Jewish Christians that needed to learn how to share Jesus with Jewish people that were very set in their traditions, culture and religion. Yet, James knew, as do we, that Old Testament scriptures are filled with words about the coming Christ. Those that receive God’s wisdom can read the Old Testament and see all the prophesies that point to Jesus, those who don’t get that insight from The Lord....well...they just don’

Hebrews 11-13~ Day 101~A sacrifice of praise!

These Hebrews, who are reading this letter ,were probably well acquainted with the temple system where the aroma of BBQ was on-going.  God commanded it to be this way, "The fire must be kept burning on the alter continuously; it must not go out." (Leviticus 6:13) I thought it was so cool to read today, "Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever." (Hebrews 13:8)  So, does he want the fire burning continuously like he did back then?  Well....yeah, in a way he does!  As I kept reading today, this stood out to me, "Therefore, through him let us continually offer up to God a sacrifice of praise, that is the fruit of lips that confess his name." (13:15) One reason God wanted that fire burning all the time was to remind the people of his on going presence.  He was with them.  In that way, God doesn't change! He still wants his followers to have a reminder that he is with us.  When we continually "confess his name", we are reminded of his p

Hebrews 9-10~ Day 100~ This may seem complicated, but I find it simple!

"And just as it is appointed for people to die once- and after thus, judgement- so also Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him."  (9:27-28) "He is now waiting until his enemies are made his footstool." (10:13) I like these verses because they are very straight forward and simple!  Jesus will "appear a second time" to bring salvation, (no secret hovering to collect some believers and then a third "appearing")   And, praise the Lord!!  He will give salvation to those who have put their hope in him (as Paul so eloquently describes in Romans 8:24-25, the Hebrew writer describes in 6:11-12, and Peter does in 1 Peter 1:3)!!!  But to those who do not put their hope in him at the time of his second coming, they don't get the salvation Jesus brings with him, they will face judgement. So....he's waiting now .....Is he just

Hebrews 7-8~ Day 99~ Believers are the house of Israel.

I have been learning lately that many Christians believe that Jewish people have a "special spot" in God's heart.  I didn't grow up with this belief so I was slow on the uptake that this is a popular interpretation of scripture.  However, I would challenge that assumption on the basis of New Testament scripture and on how Paul describes who "Jewish people" are, or more specifically who makes up "the house of Israel". Paul set out to define the true seed of Abraham in three of his letters.  It was very important for the early Jewish believers to understand this new concept and have a paradigm shift. (Perhaps the old way of thinking persists today.). It was not just Paul who was explaining this new way of thinking, I bring this up because of our reading in Hebrews today. The writer quotes Jeremiah 31:31, "Look, the days are coming"-this is the Lord's declaration- "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and wi

Hebrews 5-6~ Day 98~ Share the basic principles!

"Although by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the basic principles of God's revelation again." (5:12) Hummm..... Do I know the basic principles well enough to teach them?  I should, I've been a Christian for quite some time! How about you?  Have you turned around and taught the basic principles to others? I just got an email from some friends we have in India.  The goal of their ministry is to spread the gospel throughout their country where less than 1% of the population are believers.  The model they use to do this is very bold (when compared to the western standard of "lifestyle evangelism"). Their model works like this; they share the gospel with one, when that person accepts the Lord as their savior, they are invited to a week long training, the first of four training sessions.  Then that person is to go back home and share the gospel with another.  The trained person has 2 ½ months to invite another to the training