Showing posts from April, 2019

Revelation 21-22~ Day 120- It is done!

Even though John tried, the new heaven and the new earth are so incredible, they are hard to describe!!  His use of symbolism, to be honest, didn't give me a good visual picture to imagine, but it gave me some hard facts to rest on! The symbolism of the Holy City being a perfect square, obviously doesn't mean we will be living in a box for the rest of eternity, rather the focus is on the perfection!!  We, the bride, the Holy City, will be perfect !! The jewels symbolizing "purity" and "durability", according to my footnote, will last forever.  That means we will last forever !  "The old order of things has passed away" (21:4b).  That one is mind blowing to me!!  All we understand of our world now, for example in science (cause and effect, gravity, permeability), will pass away. Life will have a new order!  I giggle thinking about how Jesus appeared in the room with the disciples when the doors were locked (John 20:19-20).  Heaven is going to

Revelation 19-20~ Day 119

"After this I heard what sounded like the roar of a great multitude in heaven shouting:"Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God..." (19:1) John brings us back to that glorious scene again! "For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready." (19:7b) That's us!!  We are the bride (Eph. 5:32 & 2 Cor. 11:2), the true Israel (Romans 9:8), the New Jerusalem (Rev. 20:14). And, boy, is our groom handsome!! (19:11) Have you noticed that we get a view of that glorious celebration scene before each descriptive judgement? Ch. 4-5                      -Celebration            Ch. 6                              - Judgement Ch. 7                         - Celebration           Ch. 8-13                         - Judgement Ch. 14    -(first part)  - Celebration           Ch. 14 (second part) thru 18 (second part)- Judgement Ch. 19-20 (first part) - Celebration           Ch. 20 (middle part)       -Judgement I a

Revelation 17-18~ Day 118~Who is that lady?

John's metaphor of a woman/prostitute/city/Babylon is so strongly personified, I had a hard time keeping in mind what she actually is!   I had to reread parts in the reading today to keep it straight. From the reading  "she" is an evil world power "that made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries." (14:8). Many people think “she” symbolizes Rome, others have very good arguments that she is symbolic of Jerusalem before it was destroyed in 70 AD.  Those two views vary depending on when the interpreters think John wrote Revelation. But, just as prophesy does, it can have an immediate meaning and a future meaning, right?! So, I asked myself, what is something that is not a person, but a power that would dazzle with riches (18:17) and be against God's people (17:6) today? Well, I thought of something...John could be personifying greed!  Greed (personified) stores up wealth, wants influence and power over people and it does whatever it ta

Revelation 14-16 ~ Day 117~ Everyone is marked!

Everyone gets one!  Follower of Christ or follower of the Beast, everyone gets marked. If you are a follower of Christ, an angel, "having the seal of the living God" will put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of God." (7:3) What I read on Day 113, the 144,000 symbolize all of God's redeemed people.  That means you and me!  So, all redeemed people get a seal.  Well, isn't that familiar language?!! We read about God sealing his people in 2 Corinthians, "Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ.  He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his spirit in our hearts as a deposit guaranteeing what is to come." (1:22) Also, we read, "When you believe, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit." (Eph. 1:13) As, for everyone else, those who don't follow Christ, well, they receive a mark as well. Who knows if it is visible or not. Theirs, like our "invisible mark", is on t

Revelation 12-13~ Day 116~ More of the "backstory"

"He was hurled to the earth and his angels with him." (12:9) Doesn't it seems that there is a lot of hurling or falling out of heaven. πŸ€” Remember, we just read about an angel falling from heaven with the key  to the  Abyss (9:1).   Or, maybe....we are reading different views of the same scene.  Maybe it's even the same scene Jesus refers to in Luke, "He replied, 'I saw Satan fall like lightening from heaven.  I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy, nothing will harm you.' " (Luke 10:18)  That even sounds like Jesus is promising protection just as we read today how God was giving protection to the lady, "The women fled into the wilderness to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1, 260 days." (Rev. 12:6) Humm... very interesting!!  πŸ€“  Again, to me, it seems like the "backstory", building up to a glorious crescendo that we got a pe

Revelation 10-11~ Day 115~ I know the secret!! ☺️

I hate secrets!  Why would John take the time to write out how the mighty angel came down, held a little scroll, let out a loud roar and then....say he can't write anything?!  To torment us (people like me who hate secrets)? Yet, he goes on to write, "But in the days when the seventh angel is about to sound his trumpet, the mystery of God will be accomplished, just as he announced to his servants the prophets." (10:7) Wait a minute!!   Doesn't that language sound super familiar??  Sure it does!  You and I have read about a revealed mystery, several times, reading through the New Testament. Paul spoke about the mystery to the Ephesians, "...the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to people in other generations as it had now been revealed by the Spirit of God's holy apostles and prophets.  This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Chris

Revelation 8-9~ Day 114~ Some stretching thoughts

I'm going to say some things today that might stretch the way you have typically read these passages (if you have read them before).  I came to these thoughts as I read about that key!! We already read that Christ holds the keys!  "Do not be afraid.  I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead and now look, I am alive for ever and ever!  And I hold the keys to death and Hades." (1:18) But then, in our reading today, Christ gave one of those "keys", the "key to the shaft of the Abyss" to a star that had fallen from the sky to the earth." (9:1) The use of the key opened the Abyss to let out Abaddon the Destroyer and all the fallen angels in his kingship.   Later, we are going to read that another angel comes down from heaven again, with the same key to the Abyss!  This time to lock up Satan for awhile (20:1).  OK, so here is where I am going to stretch you.... That Abyss door was getting a lot of use,don't you think?!...o

Revelation 6-7~ Day 113~ Who are the 144,000?

So, I have been learning a few things while reading the New Testament over and over.  One main thing that has stuck out to me is that,....I am a true Jew! "A person is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code." (Rom. 2:29) "There is neither Jew nor Greek...for you are all one in Christ Jesus...If you belong to Christ then you are Abraham's offspring..." (Gal 3:28-29) "For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier...His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two...Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens..." (Eph. 2:11-13 & 19) "For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit...." (Phil. 3:3) So, if all believers are the true Jews, what's up with John listing out believers from all the tribes of Israel? (7:5-8)  Why does it seem like he is s

Revelation 4-5 ~ Day 112~ God is a master story teller!

Have you ever heard of the narrative technique of using a "framing device"? That's when a scene is used at the beginning and end of a work.  I saw an example of that recently in a movie called, "Unplanned".  At the beginning of the movie, the main character sees something that changes her life.  Then the story goes back to tell how she got to that moment in her life.  The movie then draws near to the end by showing that same scene that was shown at the beginning.  The audience had a better understanding of the scene after seeing all the back story. I bring up this narrative technique because I couldn't help but feel like our reading today was a "framing"; the end scene where every living thing is worshipping God at the end of time.  Let me explain. God in his fullness is being worshipped by every angel (5:11) and every living thing in heaven and on earth (5:13).  I say God in his fullness, because of what I learned yesterday.  Today I read, &q

Revelation 1-3~ Day 111~ Such elaborate discriptions!

What a great day to start Revelation!  We celebrate our risen King today and this book is all about His kingship! Some people get intimidated by this book because of all its imagery.  However, if you keep in mind that you are on the winning team, it's really a very optimistic book!  There is so much to glean from this book, to use to become a better player for the team (so to speak).  So, let's get started. Here is a simple thing I learned today~ John starts his letter like this, "Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the first born from the dead and the ruler of the kings of the earth." (1:4-5) My footnote says that "the seven spirits" is another name for the Holy Spirit.  I didn't know that!  So, then, looking back at that greeting I realized a few things. John just described the Holy Trinity. John is wordy!  He

Jude~ Day 110~ Contend for the faith!!

"I felt compelled to write and urge you (referring to all Christians) to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God's holy people." (1:3) How and why are we to contend for the faith?  (Yup, those are the type of questions I ask myself when I read.)  What does that mean for me? Well, Jude (allegedly the half brother of Jesus who is listed as Judas in Matthew) was concerned with how false teachers were at work among believers.  We know that to be happening today as well, so what do we do about that?  We are to contend for the faith according to Jude!  That means we all are supposed to take a position in an argument; we are to assert, maintain, hold, clam, argue, profess, affirm, aver, avow, insist, state, declare, pronounce, allege and plead when it comes to our faith in Jesus Christ!  (Those are all synonyms for contend.) Do I do that?  Or do I want to avoid conflict at all cost?  Jude is telling us not to avoid conflict!  He is telling each one of

2 & 3 John~ Day 109~ The Truth is...

When I was reading 2 John, the word "truth" stood out!  After all, he used the word five times in three sentences!!  While I was reading, I thought of Pilot's words, "What is truth?" (John 18:38).  That thought was quickly followed with what Jesus said about himself, "I am the way, the truth and the life." (John 14:6) Yup, all those thoughts were rollin around in my brain while I was reading!  So, I could actually read 2 John like this: "To the lady chosen by God and to her children, whom I love in Jesus- and not only I, but also all who know Jesus- because of Jesus, who lives in us and will be with us forever." (1:1-2) It worked reading 3 John this way as well!  "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking with Jesus." (3 John 1:4) That verse made me think of this blog title!  Walking With the Way; we are walking with Jesus every day when we are reading his word!  If John knew about us, he would have so

1 John 4-5~ Day 108~ Are Mormons right?

So, I was talking with a new friend the other day.  When I asked her what her plans were for Easter, she responded, "I'm Mormon".  So, being the inquisitive person I am, I proceeded to ask, "Oh, do you not celebrate Easter then?".  "Of course we do!" she replied, "We are Christian after all!" Well, instead of plying her with more questions, I decided to go home and figure out how they differ from Protestant denominations.  The one glaringly different doctrine they hold to is that they do not believe in the Holy Trinity.  They believe the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are three separate entities.  Protestant denominations believe that the three persons make up one God. Well, I got thinking about that as I was doing our reading today.  John speaks a lot about Jesus being the Son of God.  "Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well." (5:1)  To be honest, r

1 John 3~ Day 107~ Keep it simple

What did you get out of this chapter? I would say that this chapter could be summed up as ~ Live What You Believe! John is quite clear!  The command is this, "believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us." (3:23)   John uses this whole chapter to explain how "believe in" Jesus is demonstrated: 1. One doesn't keep sinning (3:6) 2. And love towards others in shown with action not words. (3:18) It's obvious to see who are true believers when those two traits are displayed (3:19)  This isn't rocket science.  It's pretty simple to become a child of God. (3:1)  Yet, the world complicates it because they just don't get it! (3:2) Keep it simple, sweetie!! πŸ’‹ K.I.S.S.

1 John 1-2~ Day 106~Notes from Son of Thunder

I have been accused of being black and white (as if it's a bad thing) but, I ain't got nothin' on John!!  My word he is laying it down in a black and white way, don't you think?! "If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth." (1:6) "Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did." (2:6) "Do not love the world or anything in the world.  If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them." (2:15) I always thought that John was the lovey-dovey disciple.  He is the one that scholars think was the "one whom Jesus loved" ( John 13:23) and he talks about love a lot!  In fact, in his three letters he references love  25 times!  I think my mistake is that I picture one who is all about love, being gentle, mild and subdued. But John is far from that! I have to remind myself that Jesus nicknamed him "Son of Thunder." (Mark 3:17)  Thunder

2 Peter 2-3~ Day 105~ Keep sharpening your discerning skills!

Did anyone else get creeped out about the first line of chapter 2? "But there were also false prophets among the people just as there will be false teachers among you." (2:1) False teachers among us?!  That means that the church you or I go to can like a person, their charisma, their funny jokes and their "knowledge" of the Bible enough to put them in a teaching position....yet when they get going on the teaching, it will be false doctrine! "They will secretly introduce destructive heresies" (vs.2) How can this happen among us?! I'll tell you:  People aren't reading the Bible themselves in order to decipher "fact" from "fiction".  I think 'secretly' means the teaching is sooooo close to the truth, yet it's off.  So, it slides in unknowingly and becomes truth in the congregations mind. Peter was so spot on correct in his prediction!  It does happen and is happening in churches today! And the result?  

2 Peter 1~ Day 104~ Keep reading!

What an easy day of reading, only one chapter! So, I have been praying lately, as we are approaching the end of this reading plan, "Lord, do I do it again?  Do I start over and read the New Testament straight through,  again ? Or, do I stop the blog and get into something else, like a semester long Bible study on one book of the Bible?" I've been waiting for an answer from Him and I think Peter spelled it out for me in today's reading. "For if you possess these qualities (goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, mutual affection and love), in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in you knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." (1:8) I want to be effective and productive in my knowledge of my Lord! Then I read, "So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have." (1:12) I felt like God was speaking directly to

1 Peter 4-5~ Day 103~ Jesus is coming!!

I love reading these letters, thinking about who was writing them.  We have been reading so many letters from Paul, so it's different, for me, reading a letter from Peter's view of the Good News.  I love his perspective!! Peter was personally with Jesus for three years and watched Jesus ascend into heaven.  So, I love reading how often Peter refers to Jesus coming back!  Did you notice that?  This fact was the hope he lived by!! It should be our hope as well; what we live for!! I found five different places in his letter where Peter referred to Jesus coming back.  Let me know if you saw one I missed:  1 Peter 1:5, 1:13, 4:7, 4:13 and 5:1-4. However, I don't think Peter was looking to the sky thinking Jesus would return any moment so, "there is no need to get anything done".  On the contrary,  he was encouraging all the exiles scattered throughout the 5 provinces (listed in 1:1) to put their noses to the grindstone, so to speak! Set your hope on the grace

1 Peter 1-3~ Day 102~ Drown out fear

Being honest here, I got a glazed look in my eyes as I skimmed past, "Wives in the same way (the same way Christ submitted to "him who judges justly" 2:23) submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives." (3:1) Oh, whew!  That doesn't apply to me!  My husband is a believer so, I don't need to worry about winning him over!    😝's not the right attitude!  Well, anyway, I kept skimming along in the reading (maybe with a slight glaze remaining) until I got to, "You are her (Sarah's) daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear." (3:6)......Wait.....What?? Why did Peter bring up fear?  He hadn't mentioned it at all in the previous verses!  He says it so subtly, one could miss it!  But, I caught it and pondered.  It's actually quite profound!

James 3-5~ Day 101~ Swearing....😬

The other day I met a gal who has been a Christian for nearly her whole life!  She studies and teaches the Bible intently.  She lives above reproach and raised her kids well.  I was enjoying our conversation.  And then it happened!  .I was taken by surprise when she threw out a little, "I swear I didn't....blah, blah, blah."   πŸ˜•   Wait.. . What? .... It  seemed so out of character for who I thought I was getting to know! Now,... she didn't swear to God...or to anything outside herself for that justified, "It's no big deal...Almost everyone in our culture, Christians included, talk like that!" I had this thought this week and then today I read, " Above all , my brothers and sisters, do not swear- not by heaven or by earth or by anything else.  All you need to say is a simple "Yes" or "No".  Otherwise you will be condemned." (5:12) Hmmmm  πŸ€” I can't help but compare the concept of letting your "

James 1-2~ Day 100~ Quick to listen πŸ‘‚πŸ»πŸ˜„

I use all sorts of reasons to celebrate any given day!  So, here's my excuse to celebrate today: We are on our 100th day of reading through the New Testament!!  That's something to celebrate!! So, on to our reading..... James is filled with a lot of practical teaching.  I am wondering what stood out to you?  I would love to hear!!....I am being "quick to listen" (1:19)  πŸ˜‰

Hebrews 11-13~ Day 99~ Who's the mystery writer?

Since the writer of Hebrews isn't identified, Bible scholars are left guessing who the author was.  Speculation has listed the options as Paul, Luke, Barnabas, Apollos, Silas or Philip.  I had never really given it much thought before.  But, I read a verse today and thought, "Boy!  That sounds like my buddy Paul!"  Yes, I'm getting to know Paul's voice pretty well since I have been reading his letters over and over again!  I get why scholars aren't sure who the writer is, but the person was either Paul or taught by Paul directly or indirectly.  I'm sure all those early pioneers were "singing the same tune". The first part of Hebrews is definitely written by one who knows Jewish writings a Pharisee (Paul was one of those!).  Clearly, the writer is addressing an audience who grew up with a knowledge of all the Old Testament stories.  But then, today's reading, could be written to anyone (Jew or gentile), just as Paul wrote his

Hebrews 9-10~ Day 98~Safe in his lap!

Picture a child around 5 years old.  We'll call him Junior. He's getting ready for bed.  Taking a warm bath, splashing around, he gets enamored by the rainbow of colors found in each bubble floating on the water.  After awhile, he gets out of the tube, dries off and dons his cozy jammies.  It's time to say good-night to Daddy!  He bolts out of the bathroom, runs down the hall, skids around the corner and and flings open the wide double doors that mark the entrance to the large, grand room where his daddy's cozy chair sits.  It is Junior's favorite place to find his dad. He sees his daddy in his favorite chair, skips across the room and scrambles up into his daddy's lap.  His daddy lets out a little chuckle as he sees his son snuggle into his lap and look out to see what his daddy had been doing.  The little boy feels completely welcome, cozy and safe in his daddy's lap.  Junior is surprised to see a room full of people, with equally surprised faces, looki

Hebrews 7-8~ Day 97~ Done deal! I have been reading through the New Testament again and again, I have been exposed to different schools of thought because of the different commentaries I read that help shed light on confusing scripture. I have found all the different schools of thought fascinating!!  Fortunately, all the perspectives have the same elementary teaching that makes us all "Christians". We all believe that the Bible is infallible. We all believe salvations is only thorough God's grace by what Christ did for us on the cross. We all believe Christ will return. Yet, I find it surprising that there are so many different schools of thought within our evangelical Christian family.  These are some of the terms I have heard and been learning about the last couple of years while I keep reading the New Testament everyday.  Mind you, I never gave these topics much attention at all, in the past! Dispensational Amillennial  Reformed theology/ Covenant theology Monergism vs synerg

Hebrews 5-6~ Day 96~ Have I matured?

I know when my body matured; I went through puberty.  I know when my knowledge in health matured;  I graduated from school and passed the State Boards. does one know they have matured spiritually?  Well, the writer of Hebrews laid it out in today's reading.  Like puberty, there are obvious signs! Let's start with the first he listed, Have you graduated to teaching the gospel or are you still sitting in the pew, struggling with the basics?    Ouch!  That can be convicting....isn't that a gift that only certain Christians have, the gift of teaching (Rom. 12:7)?  Couldn't I use that as a cop out to not teach?  According to the writer of Hebrews, the answer is, no.  Teaching is not exclusive to those with the "gift".  He is addressing all the Hebrews hearing this letter.  "In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God's word all over again." (5:12). I do like how he

Hebrews 3-4! Day 95~ If, indeed!

We have only 25 days left of the reading!  Time is flying!  We will be done at the end of this month!! So, as far as the reading today......I read, "But Christ is faithful as the Son over God's house.  And we are his house, if indeed we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope in which we glory." (Heb. 3:6) To be honest, I just skimmed over it, because the wording confuses the heck out of me!  I didn't want to deal with it, so I moved on.... Then,  I come to this, "We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end." (Heb. 3:14)  Arg!!!  Why is the author repeating himself?? I can't ignore it if he repeats it!! Well, that launched me in to reading a LOT of commentaries on the sentences that seem to hold a conditional clause.  One commentary said, "Perseverance in faith is the best evidence of the sincerity of our faith".   That sounds good.....but it still left me feeling some pressure

Hebrews 1-2~ Day 94~ What great hope!

"The Son is the radiance of God's glory and exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.  After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven." (1:3) "Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet." (1:13) I love these verses!  Jesus provided purification for me and all my enemies (those evil spiritual forces-Eph. 6:12) will become his footstool! Ha!  It's so triumphal!!  It's this hope that the Christians of Paul's time needed to be reminded and encouraged.  The return of Jesus wasn't happening as fast as some were expecting and the Jews were fighting hard against this new "sect".  These encouraging words helped remind the believers that Jesus will come back and he will be victorious.  What a great reminder for us as well in this post-Christian culture we find ourselves in today!  I bet I am as encouraged by these words

Philemon 1~ Day 93~ I want "to be of use"!

As I started to read about Onesimus, the slave, I thought the name sounded super familiar.  So, I went back in our reading to 2 Timothy where I thought I had read the same name.  Timothy was the leader of the church of Ephesus and Paul sent his greeting to the household of Onesiphorus through Timothy's letter. Ok, not the same guy.  However, they both start with Onesi-.  Well, that got me to wonder what the first part of the name meant.  I found out that the first part of the name is from the word Oninemi, which means, "to be of use or to profit."  Isn't that interesting?! The one Paul referred to in 2 Timothy 1:16, "often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chain."  Onesiphorus was "of use" to Paul!  Then, Paul uses similar words when he refers to Philemon's slave Onesimus.  "Formerly he was useless to you, but now he has become useful both to you and to me." (1:11)  I thought that was interesting! Some scholars feel the th

Titus 1-3~ Day 92~Rebuke them sharply? 😳

So, in his letter to the Galatians, Paul tells them, "Brothers if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently." (6:1) To the Ephesians he says, "Speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him.." (4:15) To the Thessalonians he says "Brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the faint hearted, help the weak, be patient with them all." (5:14) Paul sounds so gentle, loving and patient in how he deals with people!!  So, it really stood out in stark contrast to me when I read that the rebellious people, "must be silenced because they are disrupting whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach.....therefore rebuke them sharply , so that they will be sound in the faith." (1:11 & 13) Doesn't that seem out of character for Paul?  That doesn't sound too gentle!! The more I think about it though, the more I think, yes, that is exactly what Paul would say! Espe

2 Timothy 3-4~ Day 91~ "Last Days" are Now!

"But mark this:  There will be terrible times in the last days." (3:1) I have often read this one sentence thinking that Paul jumps to a time, sometime in the future, because he says, "There will be".  So, the "last days" must refer to that tribulation period that "pre-millinial" Christians refer to. But, if that were the case, why would Paul tell Timothy, "As for you continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of.." (3:14)?  Paul wouldn't bounce around in his train of thought from some future time to present.  No, he is saying that the "last days" are now. One commentary I read said, " 'in the last days' refers to the apostolic age and onward to the end of the world: the Jews generally understood by this phrase, when used in the Old Testament, the days of the Messiah, and which are the last days of the world, in comparison of the times before the law, from Adam to Moses, and under the l