Archive for : October, 2020

10.31.20

10.31.20

Jeremiah 13
Jeremiah 14
Jeremiah 15
1 Peter 2

The Body of Believers is referred to by several names but there are none that inspire me more than the inspired words of Peter – we are truly blessed:

1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

10.30.20

10.30.20

Jeremiah 10
Jeremiah 11
Jeremiah 12
1 Peter 1

Jeremiah 10For the practices of the peoples are worthless;
    they cut a tree out of the forest,
    and a craftsman shapes it with his chisel.
They adorn it with silver and gold;
    they fasten it with hammer and nails
    so it will not totter.
Like a scarecrow in a cucumber field,
    their idols cannot speak;
they must be carried
    because they cannot walk.
Do not fear them;
    they can do no harm
    nor can they do any good.”

When I read these inspired words of Jeremiah my first thought was, “well, this makes sense!”  Then I continued reading and my thoughts changed and I reflected upon the Glory of the Lord …

Jeremiah 10: ” 12 But God made the earth by his power;
    he founded the world by his wisdom
    and stretched out the heavens by his understanding.
13 When he thunders, the waters in the heavens roar;
    he makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth.
He sends lightning with the rain
    and brings out the wind from his storehouses
.

10.29.20

10.29.20

Take Time to Reflect on the Impact of the Scriptures You Have Read …

10.28.20

10.28.20

Jeremiah 7
Jeremiah 8
Jeremiah 9
James 5

James 5: Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming on you. Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire.

Wow, when you read those words you wonder why anyone would desire to be wealthy!  But as you read further you see the real cause of their misery – it is not the wealth for wealth can be used to serve the Lord.  Instead it is how they acquired and how they use what they have hoarded.

James 5: Look! The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. 5 You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter. 6 You have condemned and murdered the innocent one, who was not opposing you.

10.27.20

10.27.20

Jeremiah 4
Jeremiah 5
Jeremiah 6
James 4

James 4:  13 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil. 

So, does this passage tell us not to “make plans or develop a schedule for the future?”  But take a look at the last verse.  Do you see the problem?  The person/people James was addressing were making plans based on their own wills and “schemes.” 

We can certainly plan for the future but our plans need to adapt to God’s will.  A bigger question may be how do we know God’s will … via much prayer and searching the scriptures. 

10.26.20

10.26.20

Jeremiah 1
Jeremiah 2
Jeremiah 3
James 3

Jeremiah 1: The word of the Lord came to me, saying,

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew[a] you,
    before you were born I set you apart;
    I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

“Alas, Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.” But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command youDo not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord.

When I read the Lord’s charge to Jeremiah & Jeremiah’s initial response I was reminded of how many times I may make excuses for not doing what the Lord intends me to do.  As you can see from the Lord’s response, there is no excuse.  He made us for a purpose. 

10.25.20

10.25.20

Isaiah 64
Isaiah 65
Isaiah 66
James 2

We often hear the expression “Walk the talk …”  I think is certainly apt for what James was teaching today – we cannot just espouse faith.  Our faith must be fulfilled with action from the faith.

James 2: 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. 18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds

10.24.20

10.24.20

Isaiah 61
Isaiah 62
Isaiah 63
James 1

Isaiah 61The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
    because the Lord has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
    to proclaim freedom for the captives
    and release from darkness for the prisoners,[a]
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
    and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,

Why do I begin today’s thoughts with this verse?  Because per Jesus’s own words in Luke 4:18-19 (take a look) we are blessed to be living within this time.  As Isaiah prophesied the Lord has come and has freed us from the bondage of sin. 

10.23.20

10.23.20

Isaiah 58
Isaiah 59
Isaiah 60
Hebrews 13

The author of Hebrews closes with a statement that should be in our own prayers for fellow believers and ourselves:

Hebrews 13: 20 Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, 21 equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

10.22.20

Take Time to Reflect on the Impact of the Scriptures You Have Read …

10.21.20

10.21.20

Isaiah 55
Isaiah 56
Isaiah 57
Hebrews 12

You may remember the descriptions of Moses ascending Mt. Sinai from Exodus, repeated today in Hebrews 12:18-21.  The scene was so powerful that even Moses was terrified.  Aaah … but read the promise and the description of the immense joy we have as we approach “the mountain” under the new covenant

Hebrews 12:  21 The sight was so terrifying that Moses said, “I am trembling with fear.”

22 But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, 23 to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24 to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.

10.20.20

10.20.20

Isaiah 52
Isaiah 53
Isaiah 54
Hebrews 11:23-40

I find it interesting that as we continue reading in Hebrews of the “heroes of faith” and the ultimate reward we will all share through Christ’s blood that our reading in Isaiah is a detailed prophecy of the Christ.  And that is was written roughly 700 years before Christ appeared.  To put this a bit in focus for us this means that the prophecy would have occurred in the early 1300’s! 

Isaiah 53: 
Surely he took up our pain
    and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
    stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
    and by his wounds we are healed.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
    each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed and afflicted,
    yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
    and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
    so he did not open his mouth.
By oppression and judgment he was taken away.
    Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
    for the transgression of my people he was punished.

10.19.20

10.19.20

Isaiah 49
Isaiah 50
Isaiah 51
Hebrews 11:1-22

Most of us realize that Hebrews 11 is often referred to as the recognition of the “heroes of faith” with a listing of men who responded to God.  The list incudes Noah, Abraham, Moses Isaac, Jacob, etc.  But as I read today a passage caught my eye that I had not fully considered.

Hebrews 11:3 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.

Do you see the implication?  God did not just turn one form of matter into another (like a seed growing into a plant.)  No, as Genesis states “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”  From out of nothingness the Lord created! 

10.18.20

10.18.20

Isaiah 46
Isaiah 47
Isaiah 48
Hebrews 10:19-39

As we worked through the time of separation due to COVID and started to recover and worship again a powerful verse reminds us today of how important it is for God’s people to stay in fellowship – we are to support one another:

Hebrews 10: 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

10.17.20

10.17.20

Isaiah 43
Isaiah 44
Isaiah 45
Hebrews 10:1-18

There are multiple books of the Bible where I turn for encouragement if I am feeling disheartened – Psalms, Proverbs, Ephesians, Philippians to name just a few.  And today as I read from Isaiah I was uplifted by the following:

Isaiah 43:

 But now, this is what the Lord says—
    he who created you, Jacob,
    he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
    I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters,
    I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
    they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
    you will not be burned;
    the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the Lord your God,
    the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;

10.16.20

10.16.20

Isaiah 40
Isaiah 41
Isaiah 42
Hebrews 9

Mediator: “a person who attempts to make people involved in a conflict come to an agreement”

Hebrews 9:   14 How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!  15 For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.

Scripture consistently tells us that we are blessed by the reality that Jesus is the “perfect mediator” and that He did not “attempt” to bring us into agreement with God’s plan – He is the living, eternal completion of this divine plan.

10.15.20

10.15.20

Take Time to Reflect on the Impact of the Scriptures You Have Read …

10.14.20

10.14.20

Isaiah 37
Isaiah 38
Isaiah 39
Hebrews 8

A miracle can be described as an event that defies the natural laws of physics.  We saw the sun and time stop for Joshua and today we see another such miracle – though not as dramatic it still reveals the power the Lord has over his creation:

Isaiah 38:  4 Then the word of the Lord came to Isaiah: “Go and tell Hezekiah, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will add fifteen years to your life. And I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria. I will defend this city. “‘This is the Lord’s sign to you that the Lord will do what he has promised: I will make the shadow cast by the sun go back the ten steps it has gone down on the stairway of Ahaz.’” So the sunlight went back the ten steps it had gone down.

10.13.20

10.13.20

Isaiah 34
Isaiah 35
Isaiah 36
Hebrews 7

As we have read several times in Hebrews, Jesus is superior to any of the priests descended from Levi.  And in today’s reading the author states very succinctly “why” – His sacrifice removed the need for any others.

Hebrews 7:  26 Such a high priest truly meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. 27 Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself.

10.12.20

10.12.20

Isaiah 31
Isaiah 32
Isaiah 33
Hebrews 6

In today’s reading from Hebrews we see the author present what are considered some of the basic foundations of our faith.

Hebrews 6: Therefore, let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about cleansing rites, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.

Meditate a bit – what are your thoughts on each of these fundamental precepts?

  • repentance
  • faith
  • teaching of baptism
  • laying on of hands,
  • resurrection of the dead,
  • eternal judgment