Day 77~ James 1-3

It’s funny that the book of James is placed at almost the end of our New Testament when it is speculated that it is one of the earliest written books of all the NT writings. (So, when I read the NT chronologically starting in September, this book will be placed close to Acts.) So, what did you get out of your reading today? James has a lot of practical teaching!   I caught something new this time through reading chapter 3.  “Not many of you should presume to be teachers…” (3:1).  I usually read that as a separate thought and then move on to the next thing James says about the tongue.  However, this time I kept  the “teacher” in mind as I read the whole chapter.  The tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts (3:3-7)….it’s possible that James is calling out some “teachers” among these brothers that “praise our Lord….and curse men”, “My brothers, this should not be” (3:10).  Those “teachers” are going to be judged more strictly”. (3:1)  😳  Keeping

Day 76~ Hebrews 11-13

I think I can safely say, I am a linear thinker.  I start at a starting point and progress in steps to my conclusion. For example, when I go through periods of doubt or despair, I go back to the basics of what I know and proceed from there. “Anita”, I say to my self, “do you believe that God created the universe?”, “yes”… “Ok, if you believe that, do you believe He created you?”, “Yes”, “So if you believe that, do you believe He loves you?”, “Yes”, “Then, do you believe He wants the best for you?”, “yes!”  “Then trust that!!!!” (I do a lot of self-talk at times 😜) So, needless to say, I loved how Apollos (or Barny) started off his list of examples of faith! “By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.” (11:6) He started from the beginning.  That is where our faith starts.   “anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists…” (11:6). What a logical place to start if you are shar

Day 75~ Hebrews 8-10

In today’s reading, the writer is calling his brothers to persevere! (10:36)   He is addressing Christians who, in “those early days” were on fire for their faith (10:32-34). But, now, sadly, were fizzling out; not meeting together anymore (10:25).   Perhaps the writer got word that these brothers were feeling guilty and losing hope (10:22-23). I love his encouragement! He just spent his whole letter going over the Jewish religion and how it parallels or illustrates what Jesus has done for them. And reminding them that they have all the confidence in the world to draw near to God (10: 22).  Then he appeals to them to  encourage each other. “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds…..let us encourage one another- and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” (10:24-25) What can you do to encourage a friend to “hold unswervingly to the hope” (10:23) that they have?  I found that encouraging friends to get back into reading their Bibl

Day 74~ Hebrews 5-7

Can you picture this?  During Jesus’ life here on earth, “he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death.” (5:7)😭 “loud cries”…it’s hard to imagine Jesus doing this.  I can picture myself doing this because I have done it!….but Jesus?  Wow!  So, what did Jesus get out of his suffering?  He learned obedience (5:8)  Jesus….learned obedience…..these are weird verses for me…… One commentary says, “He did not learn how to obey because it would be impossible for God to be disobedient. Rather, in man form, He had to learn what was involved in obedience.  In this way He identified with us.” With children, we teach them how to obey.  I also teach why they need to obey.  I have started saying to my four year old what I said to his siblings when they were young.  I discipline my children when they disobey.  I wait for them to stop crying (from the discipline I gave) and then I explain, “I love you very much!  It’s important fo

Day 73~ Hebrews 2-4

I did a Bible study on Hebrews recently written by Warren Wiersbe.  I like how he said, “We always interpret the obscure by the obvious.”  In other words, we use other scripture to help understand scripture that can be confusing.   That usually works pretty well!  Except, some will focus on scripture that supports their theology and ignore or explain away the “obscure” if it conflicts with their bias.  Thus, we have all the different denominations in the Christian faith. I, personally, like to read each letter, looking for the writers intent and train of thought he is trying to tell his specific audience.  In this case, Barny (or Apollos) is writing to Jewish converts who were familiar with the Old Testament.  Hebrews is a pretty long letter, so to help me (and you) keep the train of thought, I thought I would point out a theme that runs through the book.  There are 5 exhortations: 1.) Pay attention to the possibility of drifting (2:1-4) 2.) Falling victim to doubting (3:7

Day 72~ Philemon- Hebrews 1

“I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.” (vs.6)  Paul gets so much joy from the work he does!  He wants others, like Philemon, to experience “every good thing” too!  It would be like Scott saying to you, “I wish you could invest in real estate and find the deals I do! It is so much fun!”  However, in Paul’s case, there are eternal results to his work verses Scott’s is just joy for the moment. 😜 Are you starting to feel like you personally know the group of people Paul works with?  I am reading verse 23, saying to myself, “Oh yea,…Epaphras is the one who started the church in Colosse….Oh!? He’s under house arrest with Paul?  I didn’t know that!  I just thought Aristarchus was (Col. 4:10)…and Demas is mentioned again…Oh, yea, that poor guy..(2 Tim 4:10)” Yup, I feel like I know these guys… Now we start Hebrews.  Did you know that book could have been written by either Barnabas or A

Day 71~ Titus 1-3

Well, that was a short letter!  After reading about all of these “fellow workers” of Paul’s, it makes me want to meet them when I get to heaven!  I bet they have some great stories!! Titus is the guy we read about back in 2 Cor.  He was traveling back and forth acting as a messenger of sorts (or mail man) between Paul and the Corinthians.  We also read in Galatians 3 that because he was a Greek, the whole issue of circumcision for believers came up.  We read how that got settled in Acts 15. We just got finished reading in 2 Tim. that Titus was in Dalmatia (modern day Albania) while Paul was imprisoned in Rome.  So this letter to Titus could have actually been placed between the two Timothy letters if you wanted to read the letters chronologically.  (Which I plan on doing with the whole New Testament starting in September!!) So, where was Titus prior to Dalmatia?  Crete!!  (Boy!  That guy got around!)  It seems like Paul had a system to his evangelism.  Go into a town, develop