Archive for : November, 2020

11.26.20

11.26.20

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

11.25.20

11.25.20

Ezekiel 25
Ezekiel 26
Ezekiel 27
Revel. 3:1-6

We have seen throughout our readings that, regardless of the circumstances, the Lord has always preserved a “remnant” of people loyal to Him.  And from the remnant His church has remained.  We see that again in our reading from Revelation – the remnant and the reward that is preserved for them.

Revelation 3: Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you. Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. The one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels.

11.24.20

11.24.20

Ezekiel 22
Ezekiel 23
Ezekiel 24
Revel. 2:18-29

Sometimes remaining steadfast in the midst of opposition requires that we retain and cherish the “first principles” of our faith – that Jesus is the only Son of God and came to redeem us of our sins through his death, burial and resurrection.  Jesus provides this instruction to the church in Thyatira. 

Revelation 2: 24 Now I say to the rest of you in Thyatira, to you who do not hold to her teaching and have not learned Satan’s so-called deep secrets, ‘I will not impose any other burden on you, 25 except to hold on to what you have until I come.’

11.23.20

11.23.20

Ezekiel 19
Ezekiel 20
Ezekiel 21
Revel. 2:12-17

In our reading through the New Testament we have seen Peter, Paul, John and others speak with conviction on the danger of false teachers.  And as the New Testament heads to a conclusion we see Christ, himself, again strongly state this warning.   

Revelation 2:14 Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: There are some among you who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin so that they ate food sacrificed to idols and committed sexual immorality. 15 Likewise, you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. 16 Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.

11.22.20

11.22.20

Ezekiel 16
Ezekiel 17
Ezekiel 18
Revel. 2:8-11

In today’s reading from Ezekiel we see the prophet speaking the “Word of the Lord” with respect to who is responsible for their sins and their own free-will decisions. — We are all responsible for our own actions

Ezekiel 18:19 “Yet you ask, ‘Why does the son not share the guilt of his father?’ Since the son has done what is just and right and has been careful to keep all my decrees, he will surely live. 20 The one who sins is the one who will die. The child will not share the guilt of the parent, nor will the parent share the guilt of the child. The righteousness of the righteous will be credited to them, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against them.

11.21.20

11.21.20

Ezekiel 13
Ezekiel 14
Ezekiel 15
Revel. 2:1-7

John’s address to the church at Ephesus begins very positively as he commends them for the things they have done:

Revelation 2:2 I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. 3 You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary.

It is certainly beneficial to do “good things.”  But John highlight a weakness that we must also strive to overcome.  It is not as much as what we do as it is who we are serving and where our heart is:

Revelation 2:4 Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. 5 Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.

This warning reminds me of Martha who was busily doing wonderful acts of hospitality but, unlike Mary, did not take time to just sit and listen to the Lord.

11.20.20

11.20.20

Ezekiel 10
Ezekiel 11
Ezekiel 12
Revel. 1

Ezekiel 11:18 They will return to it and remove all its vile images and detestable idols. 19 I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. 20 Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. They will be my people, and I will be their God.

I am a sinner and when I read these passages I am reassured that through the grace and forgiveness of the Lord my heart (the center of my thoughts) can be renewed! 

11.19.20

11.19.20

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

11.18.20

11.18.20

Ezekiel 7
Ezekiel 8
Ezekiel 9
Jude 1:14-25

As we witness to others I am reminded of the attitude we should have by the words of Jude – we are to be merciful …

Jude 1: 22 Be merciful to those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.

11.17.20

11.17.20

Ezekiel 4
Ezekiel 5
Ezekiel 6
Jude 1:1-13

We have already seen Paul, Peter and John provide inspired warnings against false teachers.  And now we see Jude, the half-brother of Jesus continue to warn believers of these men who will arise in their midst.  And in my mind Jude’s words describe the true nature of these false teachers very well.

Jude:12 These people are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm—shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted—twice dead. 13 They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever.

11.16.20

11.16.20

Ezekiel 1

Ezekiel 2

Ezekiel 3

3 John 1

One of the men referenced in 3 John provides for us an important example of a character flaw we should all be praying to put behind us … self-centered pride.

3 John:  9 I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first, will not welcome us. 10 So when I come, I will call attention to what he is doing, spreading malicious nonsense about us. Not satisfied with that, he even refuses to welcome other believers. He also stops those who want to do so and puts them out of the church.

11.15.20

11.15.20

Lament.  2
Lament.  3
Lament.  4
Lament.  5
2 John 1

I do know about you but if there is something in my life that is troubling me I want to “do something” and I want to do it now!  Today’s reading from Lamentations 3 is a reminder that sometimes no matter how I “feel” I just may have to wait for the Lord to reveal His will …

Lamentations 3: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,

    for his compassions never fail.

23 They are new every morning;

    great is your faithfulness.

24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;

    therefore, I will wait for him.”

25 The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him,

    to the one who seeks him;

26 it is good to wait quietly

    for the salvation of the Lord.

11.14.20

11.14.20

Jeremiah 50
Jeremiah 51
Jeremiah 52
Lament.  1
1 John 5

Within Jeremiah’s prophesy of the destruction of Babylon in Jeremiah 51 is a beautiful song of praise – I think often overlooked as we focus on the fall of Babylon:Jeremiah 51: He made the earth by his power;
    he founded the world by his wisdom
    and stretched out the heavens by his understanding.
16 When he thunders, the waters in the heavens roar;
    he makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth.

11.13.20

11.13.20

Jeremiah 46
Jeremiah 47
Jeremiah 48
Jeremiah 49
1 John 4

In 1 John 4 we read how the inspired words of John capture true love and how we can express that love. 

1 John 4: 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

11.12.20

11.12.20

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

11.11.20

11.11.20

Jeremiah 43

Jeremiah 44

Jeremiah 45

1 John 3

1 John 3: 16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

In my mind John speaks to two equally important aspects of love within the Body.  First, we should be willing to “lay down our lives.”  In my mind this rarely occurs.  Then, John speaks to a more practical aspect of love. 

We cannot just “say” we care for one another, we must take actions to demonstrate our love.  This is very similar to the words from James 2:14-17. 

11.10.20

11.10.20

Jeremiah 40
Jeremiah 41
Jeremiah 42
1 John 2:18-29

In today’s passage from 1 John we, again, see John addressing false teachers and the “antichrist,” those who deny that Jesus is the Christ.  A warning for the church there pertains to us today. 

1 John 2: Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.

Did you notice that the false teachers came “out of us,” that is the church.  Our missions as members of the Body is to know the scriptures and weigh teachings versus the inspired Word of God.  If not, we are in danger of suffering the same reality.

11.09.20

11.09.20

Jeremiah 37
Jeremiah 38
Jeremiah 39
1 John 2:1-17

We are saved from eternal damnation by the Grace of the Lord.  And those who have been saved should love the Lord.  So, a question – how do we know if we love the Lord?  John explains it t us very, very plainly – we show our love and are made “complete” via obedience.

1 John 2:5 But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him

11.08.20

11.08.20

Jeremiah 34
Jeremiah 35
Jeremiah 36
1 John 1

In our Thursday night study of 1 John we reviewed that one of the reasons John was inspired to pen this letter was to counter the false teaching of Gnostics.  One of the Gnostics teachings was that Christ did not appear in human form – only as a spirit inhabiting a physical form.  We see John counter this teaching in the very first verses.  And how magnificent these verses are – the disciples heard, saw, and touched the Lord.

1 John 1: That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.

11.07.20

11.07.20

Jeremiah 31
Jeremiah 32
Jeremiah 33
2 Peter 3

“Complacency” – the feeling that nothing can or will ever change  can be a terrible character trait.  Todat we see Peter address complacency within the Body as they await for the return of the Lord:

2 Peter 3:3 Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4 They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” 5 But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. 6 By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. 7 By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

The Peter reminds the church a reality that we should never forget — the Lord fulfills his promises on His schedule, not ours:

2 Peter 3: But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare