2/28/19 One Year Bible Recap

Leviticus 22:17—23:44

We start with the final instructions for the sacrifices.  They have to be perfect and without defect.   Remember this is all a visual aid to teach them about atonement.  Look what I found in the Bible Knowledge Commentary this morning: 

“Wenham argues that the sacrificial animals are “the priests of the animal world,” that is, as the Gentiles are symbolized by unclean animals, and Israel by clean animals, the priests are symbolized by sacrificial animals.” 

The Lord is specific because He is teaching them the most important thing, how to atone for their sin.  

The Lord concludes His instructions for Aaron with “do not bring shame on my name.”  If they keep His commands He will display His holiness among them.  He reminds them that He makes them holy and that He was their rescuer.  

The Festivals are important to understand because this is what forms the culture for the Israelites.  This is the flow of their year.  These Festivals were a call to remember what the Lord had done just like the Sabbath day every week.  The New Testament makes much more sense when you see the significance of Jesus being crucified during Passover or why Pentecost (7 weeks + 1 day=50, pent=50) is such a big deal to the Israelites. 

Mark 9: 30—10:12

The disciples did not understand about the “Son of Man being betrayed” because they were too busy planning who was going to be sitting next to Jesus on the throne.  They are puffed up because they had the authority to cast out demons.  So puffed up that they stopped someone else from using Jesus name to cast out a demon.  Jesus teaches them that if someone believes in Him (the Jesus of the Holy Bible, not a made up Jesus) they are on the team because they would not use his name and then turn around and bad mouth Him like the Pharisee’s.  

Salt in the bible is a purifier and preservative.  It kept things out that would cause something to rot.  A believer has the salt needed to withstand fiery trials and not compete to be first, but live in peace with other disciples.  Unbelief ends in such an awful fate that people should be willing to cut off whatever stops them from believing.  Put the scissors down, He is speaking in hyperbole.  He is trying to get us to understand the urgency of believing in Him. 

Psalm 44: 1-8

Well, looky here, this Psalm perfectly sums up the point of the festivals we talked about earlier.  The festivals caused them to slow down and remember what God had done and talk about it.  This psalm tells us that remembering what God has done is what gets us though the trials.  It is the salt that purifies us.  

Proverbs 10: 19

You know how you have a baby and you get so excited when they first start to talk.  You say things like “say mama!” or “say dada!” Then, once they get the hang of it, especially if you have a very verbal little girl, you can’t get them to shut up.  “Mama, let me tell you about this totally ridiculous thing that is going to take me 20 minutes to spit out while you are trying to get me dressed to get out the door, and because you are rushing me I will stop to cry because you aren’t listening.” (ps. because you rushed me I will also develop a stutter that will cause you much guilt later, love you!)  Anyway, this proverb made me thing of that.  Babbling will get you into trouble.  The wise keep their mouth shut more than they talk.  You don’t have to say everything that comes into your mind, listen more.  

2/27/19 One Year Bible Recap

Leviticus 20:22–22:16

If you were looking at this in a regular bible and not the daily bible you would see that we start today with the conclusion of yesterdays section.  Yesterday we had a whole list of rules and at the end of it God says you need to do all these things so the Land does not vomit you out (20:22).  He then gives them the command to discern (consider, think about) what will make them unclean.  They have to do this because He is Holy and He has chosen them to be His special people. 

The instructions then move into instructions for priests.  The priest cannot have any defects just like the sacrificial animals the people are bringing cannot have defects.  Remember this is not because God hates people with defects its because this is an elaborate visual aid for how to atone for sin.  The priest and the sacrifices have to be free of defects, perfect.  You can see that He loves them because tells the priests to allow them to eat the most Holy sacrifices.  Defects are a reflection of this broken and sinful world that was established in the garden Eden. 

Mark 9: 1-29

I absolutely love what Mark records from the Transfiguration.  He shares that Peter said, “He would build the shelters as memorials” because they were all terrified.  I also love that Jesus told them not to talk about this until after He is raised from the dead and they are like, “yeah, ok Jesus.” Then to each other they are like, “What is He talking about?”

The disciples are hung up on the wrong things.  They are wondering about things that the religious leaders are saying.  I love the Jesus points them to what they should be concerned about and tells that John the Baptist is the “Elijah” the religious leaders are waiting for.

I LOVE Jesus’ response to the father who says, “If you can.”  Jesus says, “What do you mean IF??”  I feel like He is saying, “Oh don’t worry about if I can do it, it’s totally you, not me.”  And look at what happens!  The father begs him to help him with his unbelief.  How great is God that will even help you believe in Him!  I love our Lord.

Jesus tells the disciples that they could not cast out the demon because it required prayer.  If you check out the foot note some manuscripts read “only by prayer and fasting.” This gives us the idea that the Disciples could not cast out the demon because they were not fully relying on the Lord.  

Psalm 43: 1-5

This psalm seems to be the dramatic ending of yesterdays song because it has the same refrain.  I love how his circumstances tell him God has “tossed him aside” but he reminds himself to put his hope in God.  

Proverbs 10:18 

Man! This proverb has my number.  I’m recalling so many times that I have been mad at someone in my heart and it has bubbled out to someone else in a slanderous way.  Or sometimes in a more sinfully subtle way like, “Oh we should pray for her because (insert salacious gossip done in the name of prayer).  Guess what?  That makes me a liar and fool.  The use of that semi colon is interesting.  I got this off of the Grammerly website: “The most common use of the semicolon is to join two independent clauses without using a conjunction like and.”  These two phrases are independent but putting the semi colon in joins them together.  My point is one phrase leads to the other.  You have to guard your heart against hatred.  Go to the person directly and work it out.  You deserve to be heard and as a Christian you are required to give them the chance to make things right with you and vice versa.  Don’t be the fool that talks to everyone but the actual person you have a problem with….ask me how I know!

2/26/19 One Year Bible Recap

Leviticus 19:1—20:21

Goodness, so many topics covered today.  I feel like this is a color commentary on the 10 Commandments.  This was for the people who said, “Yeah, but what about when (any conceivable situation) happens?  God covers how he wants them to deal with the poverty mentality (holding on to something incase you don’t get more) and institutes a welfare system that will actually allow people to keep their dignity while being provided for.  The main point in what He is addressing is that if they adhered to His commands they will be a unique (holy) nation with God at the center of their worship.  He is very clear about “spiritual prostitution, and seeking mediums to communicate with the dead.  And remember He is having to tell them not to do all these things because these practices are running rampant around them.  If no one was giving their daughters as prostitutes He would not have to tell them NOT to do that.  

I’m going to be honest here and tell you that I stopped short when I read that section about the man having sex with a slave. I circled “not a free woman” and started panicking that God was condoning having sex with slave girls because they “belong” to someone else.  I got scared that He was condoning rape of a slave girl because she belonged to someone else and had not been set free. And friends, this is the perfect example of the fact that we have to read things in context and allow the bible to define itself.  

I am programed to see the word “slave” and be repulsed, as I should be, because I am an American whose history includes a demonic slave trade and subsequent racial tension.  “Slave” in the bible is not talking about that kind of slavery.  How could it?  This book was written thousands of years before that horrid slave trade started.  Paul calls himself a slave of Jesus Christ in the NT.  A slave in the bible is someone who, because of his or her needs, put himself under a master.  That master was to treat him or her in a way that lined up with the commandments of the Lord.  In this passage this girl has been betrothed to another, and not yet freed from her economic obligation to her master.  So the man who has had sex with her must pay to set her free.  How did they escape death?  Because she was not actually married yet.  If one of them had been married they would both have been put to death.(20:10)

So did this girl get raped and the guy get away with it?  Is God saying that these slave girls are laying around available for any guy to do with what he wants?  I asked God all these things this morning.  He brought to my mind the rape of Dinah.  She was the daughter of Jacob.  She went to hang out with the Canaanite women and the kings son raped her.  Her family was so repulsed by what happened to her, the fallout was epic. (remember a whole town was circumcisized then murdered while they were recovering from their minor surgery)  And then I had to look ahead, I couldn’t help myself.  I searched Deuteronomy for “instructions on rape.”  Whew! I found Deuteronomy 22:25-27.  GOD DOES NOT CONDON RAPE. I read back over this passage from today and I noticed that there was no language like “forced” or “captured.”  These instruction are for two consenting people who had sex outside of the context God puts around sex.  The man is responsible for atoning for the sin.  See? When you read things in the bible that make you panic, you can’t redefine it so it’s palatable to you.  You have to let God teach you the context and let God define and color in what He means.  HE ALWAYS WILL.  

Do you remember when we were reading through Proverbs and if felt like God was hung up on wisdom.  We decided that when God teaches something in His word over and over we have to be alerted that this is something we will be prone to do in our natural sinful state.  Well, key in here because God is teaching the Israelites over and over about sex.  God is totally not holding back on having “the sex talk” with them.  Sex, and how it is used, is very important to God. 

Mark 8:11-38

Welp, I am already at 750 words so this post has officially gone from “recap” to “blog post.”  Thank you for reading if you still with me!  Yesterday we read how Jesus made the deaf hear.  Today we get too read about Him making the blind see.  This is the only two part miracle recorded.  I can’t help but think that is to teach the Disciples.  They are still not getting it.  In fact it is not until the end of this passage that good ol’ Peter finally calls Jesus the Messiah.  Of course just three verses later he is being rebuked for reprimanding Jesus, but whatever.  Jesus has to get them to see that His way is different from what they are expecting. Peter is just saying what they all are thinking. “Jesus, don’t talk about dying, we all know you are going to stomp in there and perform a hostile take over of the Roman government.” Jesus says my way is so much different than what you are expecting! You have to start looking at this from your human point of view!

Psalm 42: 1-11

Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God!  I will praise him again—my Savior and my God!  This should be our battle cry when we feel under stress.  Think about it!  When you ask God, “Why are you doing this to me?” His answer is, “So you will put your hope in Me!” 


Proverbs 10:17 

My favorite! Discipline!  NOT!  Seriously though, it is so healthy for us to have people around who will bump us back into play when we go out of bounds.  You have to put yourself under people in order for them to do this for you.  You have to be humble and listen.  If not you are rogue—ask me how I know.  

2/25/19 One Year Bible Recap

Leviticus 16: 29—18:30

So we start today with God laying down the law and order with the sacrifices.  This is to keep the sacrificial system holy.  Remember they are still being provided Manna everyday so they don’t need to be sacrificing their animals to eat.  This is also pagan worship prevention.  He is specific about the blood because blood was an important part of the worship of pagan gods.  He even tells them, “I have given you the blog on the altar to purify you, making you wright with the Lord. It is the blood given in exchange for a life, that makes purification (from sin) possible.” You can’t make it more plain than that.  

Because of the way the people in Egypt lived, (ignoring God and setting up a pantheon of fake gods) they received the plagues.  Because of the way the Canaanites live, (sexually immoral grotesque practices in the name of worshiping Molech) they are going to be vomited out of the Promised Land.  The Israelites are called to be different from these nations.  They are meant to be holy, and pure, otherwise the Land will vomit them out too.  

I also love the protection God puts around women in these verses.  Men could not just run around having sex with whoever they wanted to.  This pureness in the area of sex, also goes against the pagan worship.  God is very clear about what constitutes sexual sin in these verses. 

Children are also protected.  The Canaanites would offer their children either as sacrifices where they were burned alive or they would dedicate them as temple prostitutes.  The Israelite children were safe from that if their parents worshipped God only.  

Mark 7:24—8:10

I am tickled to death by Jesus saying, “Good answer!” to the Phoenician woman.  Jesus is trying to do his work with the Disciples here and He rebukes her for interrupting.  But she surprises Him (not really because He knows everything already) with a faith filled answer!  This is also a nod to the future where the Gentiles will receive what was meant to be accepted by Israel. (Belief in Jesus as Lord and Savior)

In the midst of Jesus just trying to get some peace and quiet a blind man who cannot speak is brought to Him.  This is totally my own thinking so don’t take this to the bank for anything, but words from Jesus’ mouth and spit from Jesus mouth is what healed this man so he could hear and speak.  It made me think that what comes out of Jesus’ mouth is what removes our deafness and makes us spread His message.  Look what happens after this?  He tells them not to talk about it but they can’t help but share the message!  

Psalm 41: 1-13

The Bible Knowledge Commentary said this Psalm teaches us that being merciful cause us to receive mercy from God.  That just really stuck with me.  

Also this is the last Psalm in Book I of the Psalms.  That is not a divine separation that is just how scholars make sense of all the different topics of the Psalms.  Book One is summed up by the last verse of this Psalm, “Praise the Lord, the God of Israel, who lives from everlasting to everlasting. Amen and amen!”

Proverbs 10: 15-16

You should not trust wealth to keep you safe, and you should not let poverty be the reason you sin.  If you always feel like you don’t have enough money it is because you are squandering it on the wrong things. 

2/24/19 One Year Bible Recap

Leviticus 15: 1–16:28

You lost me at “Any man who has a bodily discharge…”  I don’t even know how to comment.  What I do know is these regulations not only differentiated clean from unclean it also stopped diseases from spreading through the camp.  And that is all I want to say about discharges out of anyone’s body.  

The instructions for the day of Atonement are cool.  This was one day a year that the High Priest would go into the Holy of Holies and sprinkle blood on the seat of atonement(aka, the Mercy Seat).  Ever wondered where the term “scapegoat” come from?  Well here you go.  The symbolism of the two goats is cool.  Their sin was atoned for by one, and one carried their sin away.  

Mark 7: 1-23

This is so cool how the timing off all this came together today.  In this section Jesus address how the Pharisee’s have left God’s word in favor of their own traditions (religion).  They did not want to follow the Law we are reading about in Leviticus so they changed it and honored their traditions more than Gods word.  They did not want to atone for their sins before a Holy God, they wanted to adhere to the rules that suited them and they changed the ones they did not want to follow.  You can’t change God’s Law.  Once you change it, it is now your law not God’s Law.  Doug talked about this a church today also!  I love when God drives a point home like that for me.  Doug talked about how religion is based on us jumping up and down in front of God trying to get Him to love us.  A relationship with God is believing that He is good and came down to have a relationship with us because of His Goodness.  Remember in the OT that the Israelites are atoning for their sin so they could have a relationship with God and remain in His presence.  Somewhere along the way the Pharisees forgot that they were supposed to atone for sin to have a relationship with God.  The religion trumped the relationship.  The problem with religion is that it actually makes us far from God, as quoted in the Isaiah passage.  The more you do to impress God the more impressed with yourself you become.  

Jesus tells them that the defilement they are all dealing with is in our hearts.  Oh yeah, I am going to go there……our defilement comes from the discharge of our hearts! EWWW!  It leads us to sin.  Food, rules or traditions can’t stop this discharge.  We need something (someone) to cleanse us of it.  That is what those Levitical laws should have taught them!

Psalm 40: 11-17

I love the end where David says, “As for me, since I am poor and needy, let the Lord keep me in his thoughts.”  This is David, a king, reminding himself that he is poor and needy.  This is the way to stave off our desire to step into religion and stay in a relationship.  

Proverbs 10: 13-14

2/23/19 One Year Bible Recap Leviticus 14: 1-57

This Proverb makes me think of what one of our professors at NTBI said one time…..”Discipline your kids, because if you don’t someone will, probably law enforcement.”  

Those who have been healed of one of these skin diseases have to go through a consecration process.  The process looks more like what Aaron had to go through to be ordained because of the blood on the earlobes and stuff like that.  There is no actual mention of sin causing the necessary sacrifices but it seems to be implied that either by not participating in worship while you were in quarantine or because you were healed you needed to atone for the situation.  And of course provision is made for the poor who could not bring the heavy stock sacrifices.  The use of the hyssop made me think of the procedure for Passover.  The visual aid with the two birds is profound.  One bird is killed symbolizing the escape from death from a disease and the other is released to freedom symbolizing the disease being lifted off the person. That is beautiful and I think would remind the Israelites to thank the Lord for their deliverance. And again, we have to remember that this is all in the context of setting Israel apart from the people they will encounter in Canaan and making them ceremonially clean so they can commune with God to atone for their sin. God also gives instruction for the future dealings with mildew in the stone houses they will live in when they get to Canaan.  This makes me doubly thankful for Clorox wipes.  

Mark 6: 30-56

The apostles return to Jesus with much to relay about what they have done.  The scene is so busy because, despite Herod killing John the Baptist, the message is still going out.  I love that Jesus wants to retreat so they can talk.  

Jesus is moved to not retreat but to actually teach the people and feed them.  I love how He gets them to sit down in an orderly manner and be served by the Apostles.  I think this is so the magnitude of the miracle will really be on display.  I can image the event getting downplayed if people were like all just pushing in and grabbing at food.  Skeptics would say, “oh well you say everyone got fed but really it was just chaotic and you didn’t really see everyone get fed.”  That is not how Jesus did it.  He fed them all in an orderly way and they ate their fill.  

Mark records the walking on water and how the disciples hearts are still too hard to really understand what is going on.  But Jesus tells them to not be afraid and to take courage because “I Am here!”  I’m not sure why Mark doesn’t record Peter’s interaction with Jesus that Matthew recorded.  Because I am a woman I instantly added some color commentary.  1. Mark is annoyed with Peter for always being the one that jumps off the handle or off a boat in this case. 2. Mark and Peter are best friends and Peter says, “Hey can you make me look a little more level headed than Matthew does?  These are both extra biblical ideas, so don’t take them as truth.  😜

When they disembark the sick people just want to touch His robe.  This made me think that the lady that was healed from the bleeding told her story to anyone who would listen.  People knew that He was powerful enough to heal people who just touched the hem of His robe.  

Psalm 40: 1-10

“He lifted me out of the pit of despair,” is my battle cry over depression.  The feeling of Him lifting me out of the pit and putting my feet on solid ground has never left me.  Thank you for saving me Lord. I do have a new song to sing that is full of hope.  

The part where it says “You take no delight in sacrifices or offerings.  Now that you have made me listen, I finally understand—you don’t require burnt offerings or sin offerings.”  Is profound because it teaches us that the sacrifices we are reading about in Leviticus are not the endgame for God.  They are a means to end.  

Proverbs 10: 11-12

As John Crist says, this is a “✔️your heart” Proverb today.  Do your words give life or are they spewed out to cover up your violent intentions.  As someone who has had their own daughter confront them about being a gossip this is always a gut check for me.  Speak life.  

2/22/19 One Year Bible Recap

Leviticus 13: 1-59

EEWWWW.  This section turned my stomach this morning.  Can you imagine dealing with all these skin rashes and no antibacterial gel?  PTL for Purell.  Also, I am thankful I do not have to deal with this super-powered mildew that could come back after you got rid of it.  Remember they did not have Clorox wipes either.  

I do love how the Lord taught them how to deal with these things.  This prevented them from falling into trying to heal there maladies with the awful practices of the pagans around them.  Think of all the most horrific practices like when we thought it was a good idea to “bleed” people who were ill and then multiply that by 1000.  Not good.  

Mark 6: 1-29

Do you ever hear people say, “I would believe in God if He would come down here and do a miracle right in front of me.”  Well, this section today proves that God requires our faith in order to perform miracles.  The lack of faith in the people prevented them from seeing Jesus for what He really was.  He could have shocked them all and revealed Himself in a fiery way, but that would go against everything He has been teaching them about God’s Kingdom.  The last is first remember?  He was too plain for them to notice Him or to take Him seriously, He was just a laborer’s kid.  

Jesus teaches them (and us) that some people will not welcome the message or messengers.  He says to just move on. If I am honest I don’t love this and this is not how I roll.  I am more of a Lara Croft Tomb Raider kind of evangelical.  I bust in, machine guns blazing taking people hostage until they believe in Jesus.  This may be effective to scare people into knowledge of Jesus but faith is choice that cannot be forced.  I don’t like that but that is how Jesus says it is.  

Mark also records the story of John’s beheading.  The placement of this story is cool because right before it Jesus’ message goes out with the disciples.  Then we learn of John’s death.  And tomorrow we will see that even though John was beheaded, his message about Jesus is still going forth.  

Psalm 39: 1-13

Well, this Psalm handed me my sack lunch this morning.  “The more I thought about it the hotter I got, igniting a fire of words:”  That could be on my grave stone.  This Psalm is such a good reminder that life here is not the be all and end all.  It is brief so why spend it being disciplined for sin.  “My only hope is in you, rescue me from my rebellion.” 

Proverbs 10:10

You can’t wink at wrong doing and escape God’s discipline.  Don’t waste your time on what you know to be wrong.  

2/21/19 One Year Bible Recap

Leviticus 11:1—12:8

Ceremonially clean vs. unclean is not the same as sin.  There was not a punishment listed for when an Israelite became unclean.  Once unclean there is a consecration process for touching dead animals, and post-natal bleeding.  The Lord is teaching them to discern between clean and unclean.  Holy vs. unholy, if you will.  He tells them this is the case in verses 11: 43—45.  Just like He chose them to be holy and brought them out of Egypt, they must choose to be holy to enjoy the relationship, and fellowship of worship.  

The next part makes all my feminist tendencies rear their head!  But, if you are like me in that way, take a breath, give God a chance to explain Himself to you.  God does not hate women.  He does not make the uncleanness last longer for baby girls because He hates baby girls.  This whole thing is to make the Israelites holy (set apart and unique).  As I see it, and again, we have established I am not scholar, a mom of a boy had to become ceremonially clean to take her son to be dedicated to the Lord through circumcision.  She then gets another 30 days to remain unclean.  She stays out of society, home with her baby.  Sounds like a kindness to me.  The baby girl does not have to be circumcised.  So the mom and baby get to enjoy a longer time of being ceremonially unclean, home, out of society, together.  I think this is where maternity leave must have started.  The consecration process is to bring a burnt offering and pigeon or turtle dove for a purification offering.  This shows us that being ceremonially unclean is not a sin, otherwise they would have had to bring a guilt or sin offering.  Unclean meant that you were separated from society for a time.

Mark 5: 21—43

How cool is it that the instructions in Leviticus for women’s post-natal bleeding and the story of Jesus healing the bleeding woman line up?  Coincidence? I think not!  This woman had a condition that would have kept her out of society for her whole life.  Being on maternity leave like in Leviticus is ok, but imagine never being able to go into society.  You were not able to worship or share meals or just hang out at the well with the other woman.  She must have been miserable.  She was also broke from trying to find a cure.  But from somewhere she heard about what Jesus could do, and in her heart she knew He was so powerful that if she could just touch the hem of His robe she would be healed.  Her faith cured her.  Jesus did not let her be healed in secret.  He stops and gives this woman who had been kept out of society some dignity.  Jesus made her clean, and put her back into fellowship in society.    

Psalm 38: 1-22

A Psalm of sorrow.  David takes us through how his sin has robbed him of his health.  He feels the separation from the Lord because of his sin.  His enemies are plotting treachery.  Yet David still calls out to the Lord.  David knows God is his Savior. 

Proverbs 10:8-9

The wise are glad to be instructed.  Uugghh!  Lord make me glad to be instructed.  People who walk with integrity (doing the right thing even when people aren’t looking) walk safely.  In our house we say, “If you can’t tell us about something you are doing you probably should not be doing it!”

2/20/19 One Year Bible Recap

Leviticus 9:7—10:20

Ok so for two years at Texas Tech I was an Animal Science major. My Animal Science aspirations ended with meat judging class. Nope, no thank you, I don’t want to see how we get the meat until it is at the grocery store. Guys, seriously the amount of mess this process makes is mind boggling. We slaughtered animals in a state of the art facility. There were drains, and hoses and trash bins and incinerators. There were hooks that strung the carcasses up and moved them from place to place through the process. The people doing the work of the slaughter were covered in a magnificent array of fluids and dung when it was all said and done. As I was reading through our section today i was struck by the fact that the Israelites are doing this slaughtering with no high powered equipment. This slaughter was done by hand and no doubt was a mess even though God specifically told them how to deal with each part. This elaborate visual aid would have been burned into their minds. Sin=death. There was no way they would not have remembered that. (and the smell, don’t even get me started) (PS. changed major to Agriculture Economics)

Up to this point, minus an unfortunate situation with a golden calf, the people have obeyed. Now we see what happens when they disobey. There is no wiggle room with sin before God. These guys knew better and for whatever reason decided to go their own way in God’s holy tabernacle. The answer from God is clear. My way or death. Sin=death.

I was a little confused at the end when Aaron seemingly does the same thing as his sons with the incense. He does not follow God’s rule to the letter. I had to read this over and over to understand, and consulted my trusty commentary. Here is where I landed. Aaron did not sin by what he did. If he had sinned He would have been consumed by flame just like his sons. His deviation was in deference to God about what had happened with his sons. The fact that Moses agrees and that Aaron is not a charred pile of ashes supports this.

Mark 4:26—5:20

Jesus continues teaching the disciples about the Kingdom of God through parables. These parables about the seeds speak to the fact that God is in control of the growth of the Kingdom and He is the one who tends to it. He can make an entire Kingdom out of something as small as a mustard seed. The mustard plant was the largest plant of the gardens in the Palestine region.

Mark uses the next section to authenticate what Jesus has said in the previous section. He is basically saying listen to what this Guy says because look at the miracles he is able to do.

Reading through the story of this poor soul who is victimized by a legion of evil spirts was a little creepy early in the morning sitting here all by myself. The description of what these evil spirits made this guy endure scared me. This poor guy, who is basically haunting this town’s cemetery and completely abandoned by all living people, is set free by Jesus. The evil spirits in him know exactly who Jesus is and even call Him by His Old Testament name. Even though I was creeped out while reading this, I was set straight as well. “Jesus gave them permission.” Jesus is in control of everything, even these evil sprits. They could do nothing without His permission and they know that ultimately they are going into eternal torment. Just like Matthew, Mark is building the case that Jesus is the Messiah. Mark just recorded an attribute of God that Jesus possesses—sovereign over all, even Satan.

Psalm 37: 30-40

In the conclusion of this Psalm we have a vivid contrast between the godly and the ungodly. The Godly have made God’s law their own. I love that idea of really fully buying into what God says to do by making it your own. It is all written on our heart anyway, stop fighting it.

Proverbs 10: 6-7

I think focusing on wicked words and wicked people will rot a persons life away. I think that is why God tells us to focus on godly things.

2/19/19 One Year Bible Recap This was hard to write today because I had to admit that I was wrong about how I interpreted one of the parables in Matthew. It is always hard to admit when I do something wrong because I am under the impression that I am perfect and being wrong leaves me embarrassed and feeling dumb. The good news is that I can fall back on all that time we spent in Proverbs, learning that correction leads to wisdom, to get over my embarrassment.

Leviticus 7:28—9:6

In the section for today we finish reading about the instructions for the burnt, grain, sin, guilt, and the ordination and peace offerings. These instructions, when followed would allow the Israelites to enjoy the presences of the Lord. They had a way to atone for their sin. But lets remember, they are still sinners. They still had to choose to follow these instructions.

The next section is summed up by 8:34—Everything we have done today was commanded by the Lord in order to purify you (Aaron and the other priests) making you right with him. I especially love the next part. After the ordination ceremony we read that the whole nation of Israel came together and worshiped the Lord just as He told them to. Following the Lords commands are all they have to do so that His Glory will appear to them.

Mark 3: 31—4:25

Yesterday Jesus’ family is concerned that He is out of his mind. Today we pick up with them requesting to see Him. Jesus is not putting an end to all family ties here but He is saying that a relationship with Him is more important than family ties. This goes against what the Pharisee’s taught. To them being able to trace their lineage back to Abraham was more important than the Messiah standing before them.

And again, in the most brilliant stroke Jesus teaches in Parables. He takes natural rules of the world and uses them to teach us spiritual truth. The brilliance of that goes even further because only the people who are willing to really put their faith in Jesus will be able to understand these parables.

The parable of the farmer and seeds is talking about people who hear what Jesus is saying about the kingdom of God. Some only accept it in the moment, some it goes a little deeper, and some hold on to it until trouble comes. Only the ones who allow it to really sink in and accept it deeply will have the life He promises. This is talking about belief in God vs. hardhearted disbelief. We know this because of the context of the Isaiah verses and because Jesus refers to outsiders. Outsiders are how he refers to unbelievers, and they won’t understand the parable. On the flip side, believers are permitted to understand the secret of Jesus. And that secret is so good that you wouldn’t hide it, you would tell people about it.

Confession time. I went back and read what I wrote about this same parable recorded in Matthew. I came dangerously close to misinterpreting it because I was not looking at the deeper context. The deeper context is Jesus talking about believing in God vs. being a hardhearted unbeliever like the Israelites during Isaiah’s time. The low lying interpretation of this verse is that your understanding God’s word makes you thrive (that is what I said in Matthew). That is dangerous because these verses are not talking specifically about believers. If you look at it as if it is referring to believers you might think that a believer could loose their salvation, which is not true. That is why understanding, and adhering to the context of the passage is so important. Thank you Lord for always teaching me.

Psalm 37: 12-29

Well, I do not want to be wicked. You become an enemy of God when you act that way. He turns against you. But whey you are seeking godliness He is your protection.

Proverbs 10:5

This proverb tells us that you have to be prepared and harvest when the time is right. Sleep (laziness) will rob you of being prepared.

2/18/19 One Year Bible Recap Leviticus 6:1—7:27

The focus in this section is on how Aaron and the priest’s handle the specific aforementioned sacrifices.  This is all a very organized situation.  Again, these people are meant to be different from the Canaanites around them.  The Canaanite sacrifices were chaotic and crazy.  This is orderly, thought out and the animals are treated in a holy way.  

God makes this communication so clear and purposeful.  He does not want the priest to misuse any of the sacrifices.  He is clear about what the blood and fat can be used for and what they can’t be used for.  He is also clear that these laws are to be adhered to or the penalty is that you are out of the covenant relationship.  

Mark 3:7-30

Even with the throngs of people coming to Him for healing, Jesus still had to deal with the questions from His family and the Pharisee’s.  His family thinks He has gone crazy because He skips a meal and the Pharisee’s claim He is empowered by Satan.  (That is the unforgivable sin by the way, saying that the Holy Spirit’s power is really just Satan.) Jesus is trying to teach them that He can’t cast out demons and be empowered by Satan, that would not make sense!  

Psalm 37: 1—11

My BFF Christy Nockles talks about this Psalm all the time. (We are not actually BFF’s but we would be if she knew me, we did have lunch together once.  Well, she was eating a snack and I was watching her from across the table.  Same thing.)  Anyway, the part in this Psalm where its says “He will give you the desires of your heart” has two ways you can look at it.  One is that He made you so if you like singing that is something He put in your heart.  But also, if you follow Him, you will start to desire the same things He desires, there by He puts desires in your heart.  So when I first started following the Lord I didn’t really care about helping people, but now as I have gotten to know Him He has put the desire to care for people in my heart.  Isn’t that cool? 

Proverbs 10: 3-4

When you are chasing after the wrong thing God will withhold that thing on purpose, because He loves you. 

2/17/19 One Year Bible Recap–a day late.

Leviticus 4:1—5:19

Bible Knowledge Commentary tells us that the book of Leviticus is mentioned 40 times in the New Testament.  As hard as this is to understand we have to try because it is important enough to repeat in the NT. 

We learn in this section that the Israelites are responsible for their sin even if they didn’t know they were sinning.  They are called to atone for their sin as soon as they realize they sinned.  This makes it a very personal relationship between the individual and the Lord.  Doing these systematic sacrifices would make the person “right with the Lord.”  That phrase is repeated very often in the section.  God is being so clear that the Israelites are not trying to manipulate God into doing something, they are atoning for their sin before a Holy God so they could continue to live in a covenant relationship with Him.  

The word “blood” is a key word in this section, and in this book for that matter.  Atonement for sin requires the blood of a sacrifice.  This is one lesson that could not be missed.  God is very specifically teaching them about the blood and what to do with it.  

Mark 2:13—3:6

Look at what has happened here with the Pharisee’s.  They are from the same people group we are following through the book of Leviticus.  All these years later they have forgotten who they are and what the Levitical sacrifices were meant to do.  They have begun to believe that being Israelites makes them right with God.  They forgot that they are sinners that could not stand before a Holy God without atoning for their sin.  They raised the laws to be gods in and of themselves instead of the way to live in communion with a holy God, set apart from the people around them.

Psalm 36: 1-12

“All humanity finds shelter in the shadow of your wings.”  There is no one outside of His protection.  Even the atheist at Universal Studio’s with the shirt on that said, “I solemnly swear that there is no God.”  That soul is under His protection too.  You can’t get away from Him.  His unfailing love is as vast as the heavens.  

Proverbs 10: 1-2

I think a foolish child brings the mother grief because we are the ones who lie awake and worry that our kids are going to be ok.  When you know your child is being foolish you worry all the more.  

2/16/19 One Year Bible Recap

I didn’t want to let today pass without acknowledging we made it through the book of Exodus! We are now starting Leviticus. This book was written by Moses and it’s purpose is to instruct Israel how about to be holy, because God is holy. It is the instructions for how to worship God. It is important to remember as we walk through this book, Israel is not sacrificing animals to abtain Gods favor, they are sacrificing animals because they need to atone for their sin before a Holy God. 

Leviticus 1:1—3:17

We are all sinners. The penalty for sin is death. In His Mercy God allows the Israelites to lay their hands on a substitute that is without defect. This is how the Israelites remain holy before the Lord. 

Mark 1:29–2:12

Mark focuses on the miracles that Jesus is doing. I just love that He tells people to keep it on the down low but they can’t help but tell people. I remember that feeling after getting saved. Like I just could believe that God saved me and I wanted everyone to know. 

Psalms 35: 17-28

I love how David says “Lord, you know about all this.” Nothing is out of His sight. 

Proverbs 9: 13-18

Folly sets traps for the simple.  

2/15/19 One Year Bible Recap

My family and I are at Universal Studio’s in Orlando, Florida.  I don’t think I have ever felt my need for a Savior and my love for the Bible more then when I am trying to navigate through the crowds here.  The thought, “Imma Pray for you,” has been in my mind a lot today.  

Exodus 39:1—40:38

The phrase “just as the Lord commanded” is repeated 12 times in  this section.  The Israelites are learning to do exactly what the Lord says.  This was a process that took time.  They worked on the Tabernacle for at least a year.  

Next they will learn to follow the Lord.  His presence has settled over the Tabernacle, and when it lifts and moves, they have to pack up move.  His presence will stay with them as long as they do exactly what He says and follow Him where He goes.  

Mark 1: 1-28

We start a new gospel today.  This is the story of Jesus told by Mark.  We get 4 different profiles of Jesus’ life from 4 different writers of the gospels.  (They are all inspired by God)  Mark focuses on telling the story and proving Jesus is the Son of God.  He is writing to Gentile Roman Believers for the purpose of giving them the facts to spread the gospel and to correct false teaching that was already circulating after Jesus’ ascension.  Remember, we have to know who is writing, why they are writing and who they are writing to so we can understand the verses in context.  

In todays passage Mark tells us Jesus is claimed by God as His Son during His baptism.  He also points out that Satan’s spirits affirm He is the Son of God.  Mark is building his case that Jesus is who He says He is!

Psalms  35: 1-16

“Lord, who can compare with you?  Who else rescues the helpless from the strong?  Who else protects the helpless and poor from those who rob them?” really stuck out to me today. That is our God.  He stands for the helpless and He teaches us to stand for the helpless.  That is a God who loves. 

Proverbs 9: 11-12

This makes surviving all the correction necessary to gain wisdom worth it.  Wisdom adds to your days.  Living foolishly sucks your life away.  

2/14/19 One Year Bible Recap

The One Year Bible Recap is being written from an air plane! This all just seems really fancy and technologically advanced.

Exodus 37:1—38:31

The information in this first section is a meticulous recording of all the things being made exactly how the Lord told them to make them.  Remember these are tools used to teach them about the Lord.  They are different from the nations around them because they were busy making up how to worship their fake gods.  With every hammer fall and every stitch they are building their relationship with God.

The next section, the inventory of goods that the Israelites gave, reveals two things.  One, this is all stuff that the Egyptians gave them to get them out of their country.  Remember in the midst of the plagues, God caused the Egyptians to give them goods for the journey.  Looks to me like they made out like holy God fearing bandits.  Secondly, the shear weight of these goods makes me understand the magnitude of what it cost them physically to move the Tabernacle from place to place in the desert.  

Matthew 28:1-20

For days we have followed Jesus through His beatings and crucifixion, now we get to read the greatest news the world has ever known…..THE TOMB IS EMPTY!!!  This means that everything Jesus predicted came true.  He was raised on the third day.  The guards fell into a dead faint but the faithful women took off to spread the news.  As Jesus met the faithful women, the guards and the leading priests get to work spreading the lie.  Even now, after Jesus’ resurrection, they will not humble themselves and admit what they have done.  But this news cannot be covered up.  Every believer is commissioned to go and spread the Word.  How could we possible be stopped when Jesus is with us until the end of the age?  Nothing can cover up the empty tomb.  

Psalm 34: 11-22

The acoustic poem we started yesterday is finished up today.  “Search for peace,” stands out to me because that has been a theme in our house for the last few months.  Also I love to know that God is close to the brokenhearted.  That just shows us His character.  

Proverbs 9: 9-10

The theme of the book of proverbs is repeated in this proverb today.  What a good reminder to us that people who say to us, “I have moved past the childishness of believing in God,” are actually not wise.  

2/13/19 One Year Bible Recap

Exodus 35: 10—36:38

The Israelites were willing, eager and freely gave to the Lord.  He did not make them.  He did not punish them until they turned loose of their possessions.  He showed them mercy, and they responded by being eager to give their possessions.  They were so eager in fact that they ended up bringing too much stuff.  This should be our heart of giving.  It is not an obligation, it is a form of worship.  

I found myself wondering what the point is behind God telling us in this story all the specifics of what Bezalel made and crafted.  Like couldn’t God just record, “And everything was made just like I told them to make it.”  But that is not in line with God’s character.  He is instructing us.  He is taking us through the process.  He is recording for future generation how the Israelites were eager to follow the Lord’s instructions.  And also, when you study the Canaanite culture they were always having to invent ways to please their fake gods.  As with anything that humans are in charge of they invented horrible ways of appeasing their fake gods like orgies and child sacrifice.  It is not that way with YAHWEH.  The Lord makes it very clear the Israelites what he wants from them.  Down to the curtain hangers. No guessing what God wants from them.  Just a very elaborate visual aid to teach them that they have a sin debt that needed to be paid so they could have fellowship with the Lord.

Matthew 27: 32—66

“My God, my God why have you abandoned me?”  Jesus became the sin of the world so that God could pour out the penalty for sin on Him.  Jesus had never felt the separation we are all born with.  It was the worst part of all of the crucifixion.   

So you know that elaborate visual aid, the Tabernacle?  Well, it transitioned into a temple during the time of Solomon.  It had the same curtain dividing the Holy of Holies form the rest of the sanctuary.  That curtain represented that separation we are all born with.  That curtain torn from the top down, showing that God had ripped the curtain and that there was no longer a separation between the presence of God and His people.  Jesus paid for that separation.  The culmination of this elaborate visual is the sacrificing of Jesus on the cross. 

The death of Jesus was so powerful that no one that witnessed it had any doubt that He was the Son of God just like He said.  The power of Him releasing His Spirit raised people for the graves.  The leading priest and Pharisee’s start to get a little nervous.  They want the tomb guarded.  Pilate grants their wish.  Perfect, then there will be even more witnesses to what happens next.  

Psalm 34: 1-10

This is another Acrostic poem.  This means that it was written in a way that was easy to memorize and recite.  Also, tradition has it that David wrote this regarding the time he acted like a loony toon in front of Abimelech.  

Proverbs 9:7-8

Have you ever had that circumstance where you had to call someone out on something and they turned it around on you so that all of sudden it seemed like you were the one who did something wrong?  I admit that I have a gold medal in being a mocker who gets corrected and in turn insults the corrector.  I think this comes from believe that correction is the same thing as rejection.  In the Lord’s economy, that is just not true.  To be wise you have to be corrected.  It is how we learn.    

2/12/19 One Year Bible Recap

Exodus 34: 1–35: 9

Moses response to being in the presence of God is to fall down and worship.  God also declares some of His characteristics.  He calls himself the God of compassion and mercy, He says He is slow to anger and filled with unfailing love.  Then he reaffirms the Mosaic Covenant with them.  They have already broken it, but He is showing the characteristics He just declared by reaffirming it.  Praise the Lord.   

He is even more specific in this reaffirmation of the covenant.  I think this shows that the Lord has seen them disobey and has every right to end their life, but instead draws close to them with even more specific commands to keep them out of trouble.  He explains to them that if they make treaty’s with the people in the Land they will end up trapped.  They will be trapped in the pagan worship of false gods.  Don’t miss that, He is saying that worshiping false gods with leave them trapped in idolatry.  However, if they remain faithful to the Lord He will do things among them that no one earth had ever seen.  They will display the power of the Lord and the people around them will be in awe.  He will be their defender, but He will not stand for their split worship.  It is Him and freedom, or idolatry and being trapped.  

Moses, having been with Lord, now glows with the radiance of God.  The people are in fear of him.  This is the kind of power our Lord has.  Also we see in this passage how Moses intercedes on the behalf of the people.  It seems from this scripture that it is a good thing to have someone interceding for us with the Lord.  I also love that when Moses comes back with the second set of 10 commandments, it is back to the business of building this tabernacle.  The sin, the punishment, and the reconciliation have occurred and now God is ready for them to move on.  

Matthew 27: 15–31

Pilate knew he condemned an innocent man.  The phrase “The crowd shouted back….” in one form or another is used 4 times.  They were unified in their rejection of the King of the Jews.  The Pharisees had succeeded in getting Jesus crucified.  And then we follow Him through beating after beating.  The Romans were known for their cruelty.  They had studied how to kill people and inflict the worst pain. Enough whips with the lead-tipped whip to expose all the sinews of your spinal column but not enough to actually kill you.  With your back wide open you are moved from one location to another clothes ripped off your exposed wounds, new ones put on, then taken off.  Spit on, beat and mocked.  And yet the Savior of the World stayed silent in holy obedience.  Sin did that to Him.  God hates sin.  

Psalm 33: 12–22

I am so thankful that the Lord made my heart and understands everything I do, because so often I don’t understand what I am doing.  I don’t know why I am nervous, or sad, or mad.  But He does because He made us.  Our hope is in Him.  Even in that section of Matthew when we feel like all hope is lost, we can Hope in Him!

Proverbs 9: 1-6

Wisdom does not have to set traps to lure people in with the promise of meeting their desires.  She says, come to my table and learn how to really live.  

2/11/19 One Year Bible Recap

aaronandthegoldencalf.jpeg

Exodus 32:1—33:23

Oh man. This is not good. Moses is gone for 40 days. In that time the Israelites get tired of waiting for him and have Aaron cast an idol. It seems they meant this calf to represent the Real God, because when Aaron sees how excited they are he says they need to have a festival to the LORD! The party was so rowdy it sound to Joshua like a war! Also, when something is described as pagan revelry it is describing immoral sexual acts. Wrong, on so many levels. How many of the 10 Commandments just got broken?

We now move into a theme that is really hard for us to reconcile. God’s discipline and wrath. I think it is so shocking because we have all become numb to sin. God will never ever ever be numb to sin. He hates it. When sin entered the world death was the result. Death is multifaceted for sure, but when dealing with todays passage we are looking at the death of our earthly body. Death was never meant to be a part of creation, that is why it feels so wrong to us. Sin=Death, you have to square with that. Everyone dies at some point. There is no one who lives on this earth forever. We are only kind of ok with a death that happens after 90 or so years on earth. Premature death is shocking to us. But sometimes God uses premature death as a penalty for disobedience. In the OT sin is sometimes so rampant that God has to prematurely end a life so that the sin will not spread. God in His infinite wisdom knows who needs to go ahead and go to eternity. Your body was only created for life on earth, and your body will die no matter what you do. (Your soul however, is another story. You soul lives forever.) But, for now lets just call it like we see it. These people who died prematurely in this story died because they said they would obey God and then they did not. If you are shocked that God would end someones life on earth because of sin, then you have become numb to how bad sin is.

Matthew 26: 69—27:14

This is how bad sin is. Sin will make you declare your righteousness one minute and then deny your Savior the next. Sin will take the Savior of the world, the Son of God, the Healer, the Teacher, the Provider and put Him on trial because He is upsetting your religious structure. Sin did all of that. Sin makes you forget the rules and do what it takes to get what you want. The leading priests did exactly what the Israelites did, they decided that what they wanted was more important than what God said. This is sin. Sin is a man who turns in his best friend for 30 pieces of silver, knowing full well HE IS INNOCENT. Lest we get self righteous, we are guilty of sin as well. It is who we are. Sin takes our very life. Sometimes we get so lost in sin a premature death would be a mercy. We all have a sin penalty on us. Someone will have to pay that penalty.

Psalm 33: 1-11

Now before you go crawl back into bed crying over your sin……”Sing a new song of praise to him; play skillfully on the harp, and sing with joy. For the word of the Lord holds true, and we can trust everything he does.” If you are feeling like a hopeless sinner like me right now, hold on!! God is about to tell us how he has over come sin!!!!! His word is true!!!

Proverbs 8: 33-36

I feel bad that Israelites didn’t have the Proverbs….wait what am I saying!?! They had the Lord in a pillar of cloud!!!! But, I’m just saying if you do what the Lord commands you are standing with Him, if you don’t do what He says you are on the side of death!

Gosh, sorry to be Debbie Downer today! We have to keep going because God is teaching us here! If you feel offended by His Word that is good! It means He is starting to reveal your wrong thinking!!! God’s word is True, we can trust it!! Keep going! You will never be disappointed!

2/10/19 One Year Bible Recap–for real this is going to be short!

Above you have myrrh, cinnamon, calamus, cassia and olive oil. These are examples of the ingredients for the holy anointing oil.

Exodus 30:11—31: 18

What stood out to me today was the fact that God was asking them to do all these really specific things, so they would be set apart and holy, AND he gave them people that he gifted with skills to make the items He was asking them to make. I love that about the Lord. When I read through the list of stuff they have to make my type A, Enneagram 3 self starts hyperventilating because I’m like, “Ok, how are we going to tackle this and check this stuff off?” But look, God is responsible for asking them to do these things and God is responsible for supplying the gifts and abilities to the workers.

Matthew 26: 47-68

I totally understand why one of the men with Jesus cut the soldiers ear off. (spoiler alert, guess who it was? that’s right Peter.) The falling apart of expectations, the feelings of “this is not happening,” the desire to do something, all come to surface in us humans. But Jesus is not surprised. These men are not taking Jesus, Jesus is allowing them to take Him.

These Priest are running around trying to convince people to break the 9th commandment, “Do not give false testimony,” and breaking so many of their own laws to try to convict Jesus. And then when Jesus speaks truth, the High Priest tears his robe and yells blasphemy! That is the kind of self righteousness and self deceit we are capable of. This mob of people are so united in getting rid of Jesus they all start to beat Him.

Psalm 32: 1-11

In light of the Matthew passage above, I would say this Psalm states the best news ever for us. “Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, who’s sin is put out of sight! Because of Jesus we are free of that guilt.

Proverbs 8: 27-32

Wisdom was God’s right hand man at creation. It even says that she was craftsman of sorts (architect). In the same way God gave the Israelites the wisdom to make the the Tabernacle and all the sacrificial tools! He does the same thing for us, the church, as well!

2/9/19 One Year Bible Recap

Exodus 29:1—30:10

Not a good day if you are a bull or a ram.

Before we call PETA on God lets remember what we are reading about. First, so we don’t forget, God created all the animals so He gets to do with them whatever He wants. They are different than people. People were created in God’s image, not animals. Second, God is setting up an elaborate visual aid for the people of Israel and the surrounding nations. He is teaching them how to be holy and set apart from the horrible nations around them. He is also teaching them how to atone for sin. If you remember from the garden when Adam and Eve sinned God made them a covering from animal skin. An animal had to die to cover their sin.

In this section a key phrase is “pleasing to the Lord” and a key word is consecrate or purify. The Lord is teaching them how to please Him and how to purify themselves. The priesthood would have to remain pure because remember they represented the people to God. As they interacted with God His glorious presence would consecrate the tabernacle and them.

Another key word is blood. Aaron and his sons would place their hands on the animal and “transfer” their sins to it. The animal was to die as a payment for their sin. (a substitute) The animal sacrificed would spill its blood and they would sprinkle it on the altar and on Aaron and his sons. This would remind the whole nation that the priest were set aside and holy. It would remind them that the blood was necessary because it meant that their sin had been atoned for because a sacrifice had died.

The specifics about the organs and fat and etcetera was all to teach against the practices of the heathen nations around them. I dug down into the culture of the Canaanites and how they sacrificed things to worship their gods….lets just say when I got down there I immediately wanted out—GROSS.

Matthew 26: 14-46

Oh, Judas. I am so sorry for him. How awful it must have been to find out the truth, that he did in fact betray the Messiah. (So awful in fact that he killed himself, Matt 27: 1-10)

I am blown away by verse 28. “for this is my blood, which confirms the covenant between God and his people. It is poured out to forgive the sins of many.” You may be like me and glaze over this verse because you have heard it anytime anyone gets up to lead communion. But look! We are studying this very thing in the OT reading today! We are going to learn how significant this verse is as we learn more about the tabernacle and its sacrifices.

I have never identified more with Peter than in the next few verses.

Jesus: “You are going desert me Peter.”

Peter: “Oh no I’m not, these other jokers might but not me! I am your ride or die!”

about an hour later……

Peter: “zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz”

Thank God that He exposes our self-righteousness and our inflated views of our goodness. Without him we are lost and self deceived.

I don’t really know how to communicate the humanity the next few verses shows us. Jesus asks for another way, there is none so he submits to the Father. He knows the pain He is about to endure by drinking the cup and becoming our sin, there by being separated from the Father. Oh what a Savior.

Psalm 31: 19-24

We have followed Davids anguish through this Psalm and now at the end God has answered his panicked cry. This leads David to praise God and calls us to do the same.

Proverbs 8: 14-26

The more I sit with this section today the more tripped out I get. Wisdom was with The Lord before anything was created. In fact creation displays wisdom. Whenever a wise choice is made, she is there. You can seek and find her. The more we follow Jesus the more wise we get. Whoa! Mind blown!

2/8/19 One Year Bible Recap

Exodus 28: 1-43

I think two important things stand out in this description of the Priestly Robes.

One, these garments would distinguish Aaron as a priest set apart for God’s service. So it is representative of a life given over to the Lord. The garments are not in and of themselves special, what they represent is special.

Two, the chestpiece over worn over the robes, over Aarons heart would be a reminder that he represent the people when he comes before the Lord. This is huge because remember Pharaoh was the representation of the god Ra before the people. God, on purpose makes sure people know that Aaron is not a god. He represents the people to God, not the other way around. I for one fall into this all the time. Someone who is super spiritual or wise will start to morph into a god like being in my mind. This thought will start to remove God from the one throne in my heart. God knows this about me, and us, and makes it clear that what he is setting up with this elaborate visual aid, the Tabernacle, is different from anything they have seen.

Matthew 25: 31—26: 13

Ok, Context is King! Let’s remind ourselves again, what we are reading about. We are reading about the time period known as Daniel’s 70th week, aka, tribulation. Jesus has just taken us through all the signs that will occur directly before his return, and a lesson on faithfulness. Now we move into what it will be like when He actually does come back during this time. I think it important to remind you that at this point in the over arching bible story He is still offering the Kingdom to Israel. The Church will not be born until, *spoiler alert* Israel rejects the King. So with that in our minds, lets move forward.

Jesus comes back to judge all the nations (better translated Gentiles, but that is not my job). These are the people that are living during the tribulation. We have sheep on the right hand and goats on the left hand. The sheep he says ministered to Him and they are referred to as righteous. Their behavior displays there inner faith. We know that the only way to be righteous is to believe God. (Remember Abraham, He believed God and God credited him with righteousness) These righteous people who ministered to the “least of these” amidst persecution from the “sacrilegious object that causes desecration” who is ruling from the Holy Place (Matthew 24:15), will inherit the Kingdom. The goats on the left he calls cursed. (Remember the curses in Genesis 3:15) They are still “in sin” because they placed their faith in the “sacrilegious object that causes desecration.” For their unbelief they are thrown into hell.

Remember how we said all prophecy will have a far component, (something in the far future) and a near component (something in the near future) to authenticate the message. Well look what Jesus does here. After he tells them about the far future he tells them about the near future. If He does get crucified in two days, it will legitimize the far future message. (Take it to the bank, because guess what happens next?)

Psalm 31: 9-18

Gosh, David’s authenticity is encouraging. I have thought all these things, but the difference is that David goes right to the Lord with it. I will plot revenge for awhile until sin finally drained my strength and I go to the only ONE who can do anything about my distress.

Proverbs 8: 12-13

Good grief, pride, corruption and arrogance, corruption and perverse speech are like on my greatest hits playlist. As we pursue God we will start to hate these. These and God cannot exist in the same person.

2/7/19 One Year Bible Recap

Exodus 26: 1—27:21

The Israelites would never be able to say that the Lord did not clearly communicate how the tabernacle should be constructed or how they were supposed to set it up. God, unlike all the other fake gods the nations around Israel, did not leave them in the dark to fumble around trying all sorts of things to please a god they did not really know. He was clear, orderly and purposeful. This tabernacle was teaching tool for the Israelites to learn about atonement for their sin. The thought also occurred to me that this would have been a project that this new nation would all be working on together. With all the embroidery that is going to have to happen can you say, “TEAM BUILDING!” They would be a stronger group of people after building the tabernacle.

Does anyone else see how drab it is on the outside but brilliant on the inside? Just made me think about how Jesus talked a few days ago about white washed tombs, and this is like the opposite of that.

Matthew 25: 1-30

Context is KING remember…… Jesus is still teaching us what it will be like when He returns during the time “Daniel the Prophet spoke about.“ He is using parables to teach the disciples and us what it will be like. (Parables are the greatest!) We are in the section where Jesus is teaching about faithfulness during this awful time that can be described as so bad “vultures will circle.”

In the first parable for today Jesus teaches that during this time some people will be prepared for His return and some won’t. This is FOMO, The Holy Bible addition! The unfaithful will be banging on the door to be let into the party but they will have missed out.

In the next parable the master is going away on a long trip. He “entrusts” his money to the servants and expects them to do something with the money. The servants that do something good with the what they are given are rewarded by the master. The servant who does not do something with it not only calls the master a harsh man and calls his character into question, but shows us he really just wanted to keep the wealth he had been given to himself. He did not want the bank to know he had been given money because he would have to tell the bank it was his masters. He was “banking” on the master not coming back, and after a safe amount of time he would go back and dig it up and claim it as his own. Clearly this is the wrong answer because the servant is thrown into outer darkness. So what does this mean? If we have bad investments during our time on earth will we be thrown in outer darkness. As I sit here thinking through this I remembered this is a story designed to teach us about faithfulness (context is King!). The thought I have is that the two servants that did something good with what they were given took the master at his word when he said I am going on a long trip but will be back. Every time they had the thought, “Gosh, that guy is probably never coming back, I’m just gonna go get that money and claim it for myself.” For some reason they didn’t. They reminded themselves that he told them he was coming back. And that is faithfulness folks. Having faith to do what God asks us to do even when the circumstances tell you something different.

Psalm 31: 1-8

The line, “I entrust my spirit into your hand. Rescue me, Lord. for you are a faithful God,” really caught my attention. I think about the fact that David seems to always be in a situation where he has to have faith to do what God asks him to do even though he is being chased down by enemies. Davids response to this is entrusting the Lord with his spirit. That is beautiful.

Proverbs 8: 1—11

Wisdom is contrasted here with the seductive woman. The seductive woman is portrayed as hiding and setting a trap. Wisdom is portrayed as being in public places calling to people to be wise. Following wisdom will lead to a wholesome life, were as following the seductive woman leads to death. Wisdom is worth far more than anything else.

2/6/19 One Year Bible Recap

Exodus 23:14—25:40

We are reading through the beginning of a covenant in this first section. We know this because their is blood involved and God declaring what He will do for them if they obey Him. God institutes these festivals as a reminder to the Israelites of His deliverance, and His provision for them. IF they obey His regulations He will be their defender, He will give them the Land, He will grow them into a huge nation capable of inhabiting the Land, and prosper them.

In this section the Israelites repeat 2 separate times that they will do everything the Lord says. The Lord repeats several times that they must not fall into idolatry. Moses then goes up the mountain to get further instruction from the Lord.

Then God moves into the instructions for the Tabernacle. This is an elaborate visual for the Israelites to teach them about atoning for sin. I am not good with descriptions of things so I found some pictures so I can have a good vision of this visual in my mind.

These may not be exact but I think it will be helpful to have an image in our mind as God describes the place God will dwell among the Israelites are to build. 

Matthew 24: 29-51

It is very important to stay in context with these verses.  When we left off yesterday Jesus was describing what the 70th week of Daniel would look like.  He described it as something vultures would circle.  So we pick up here with the final sign of His return.  The sun will darken, the moon will give no light, the stars will fall and the powers of heaven will be shaken.  Then He comes, and people are sorrowful because they realize He is there for their judgement.  However there will be people that survived this awful time and became believers.  He will gather them up from the ends of the earth. 

He then says “now learn a lesson.”  We all better sit up and listen to this.  He says you know how the seasons work, you see the buds and know summer is coming.  It is the same with these signs he gave us yesterday and today.  He says it is coming in this generation (also translated, “this age” or “this nation”).  His words are the only thing that will not disappear.  He also says that only God knows exactly when this will happen. He then goes into some parables as He always does when we really need to understand something.

The story of Noah was about judgement. The people were wicked and rejected God so they were swept away in the flood. Jesus says when He comes back it will be like that. Two people will be going about their activities and one will taken (gathered) and one left.  

Jesus wants us to remain on the ready. He will come when we least expect it. So don’t believe someone who says they know when He will come…they are lying.  

The last parable for today is a warning to follow what the Lord commands until He comes back. There will be reward for those who are sensible servants.  

Psalm 30: 1-12

I read this Psalm and was tickled because I feel like this a normal day between me and the Lord.  “Oh Lord nothing can stop me now!!!”……lunch….”Lord what will you gain if I die and sink into the grave?” I praise Him for being so patient with my over dramatic self. 

Proverbs 7: 24-27

“Don’t wander down the wayward path,”  makes me think that we are ensnared by immorality when we are dumbly wandering around. Keep your eyes on the Lord. 

2/5/19 One Year Bible Recap

Exodus 21:22—23:13

Whewwww! I’m so glad to finally have some clarity on how to deal with my neighbor who stole my ox, aren’t you????? That being said, I’m not sure if that is the only point of this text.

We have to start by remembering what we are reading, who it was written to and why. We are reading the Holy Bible, one Metanarrative made up of smaller narratives to tell one over arching story. We are reading Exodus, one of those smaller narratives. This particular part of that smaller narrative was written to instruct the Israelites about how to live as God’s chosen people. God says in chapter 19, verse 5-8 of this smaller narrative what these regulations are meant to do. He says

5 Now if you will obey me and keep my covenant, you will be my own special treasure from among all the peoples on earth; for all the earth belongs to me. 6 And you will be my kingdom of priests, my holy nation.’ This is the message you must give to the people of Israel.” 

7 So Moses returned from the mountain and called together the elders of the people and told them everything the Lord had commanded him. 8 And all the people responded together, “We will do everything the Lord has commanded.” So Moses brought the people’s answer back to the Lord. 

What we are reading are the things that the Israelites have to obey. These are the things they say they will do.

Also do you remember the plagues and how they struck at the heart of the Egyptian world view? Well I believe that these regulations did the same thing. I don’t think these are random hard to obey regulations. I think that these regulations set up the Israelites to be a culture that is completely counter to the ones that will surround them. So read these regulations and keep this in mind; if God was telling them not to do something we can bet that the “something” was going on. Why would God tell us not to do something if no one was doing it already? They are also principles of protection for the Israelites. They protect woman, slaves and the Israelites livelihood (animals, and not as pets, as food and sacrifices).

Matthew 24: 1-28

Clutch your pearls, we are jumping into the end times. Do you remember how we said that the bible is full of prophecy and that in order for it to be real both parts of it, the near prophecy and the far prophecy, had to be true. Well we can take this to the bank because the “these buildings will be completely demolished” happened in 70 AD. So the rest of this we can count as true. Pastor Doug always says prepared people are not scared people. So don’t be scared of the end, be prepared.

Books and books and super smart people all debate over the timing of events that are laid out Daniel and Revelation. (Its all about opening seals, and the blowing of trumpets) Lets just stick to the surface, and deal with Daniel and Revelation when we get there. I will tell you this, you will in fact be prepared and not scared by the time you are done with them.

In response to the disciples question Jesus tells them what to look for as the signal for his return and the end of the world. (breathe, its ok.)

  1. Many will come saying they are the Messiah and lead people astray.
  2. Wars, Famine, and Earthquakes will be the beginning birth pangs.
  3. Disciples will be arrested, persecuted and killed. Hated all over the world.
  4. False Prophets deceiving many.
  5. Sin will be rampant, love will grow cold.

The reason for all these things is that the world will wake up and know the end is coming. I don’t want to be Captain Obvious here but do you read that list and think, “Ummmm, check, check, check, check and check.” My friend Liz said one time, “God is doing all these earthquakes and hurricanes to scare people so they will believe in Him, it is Him being merciful.” I totally agree. Time to wake up folks.

From the early signs we move into the time that Daniel spoke about. It will get so bad on earth that Jesus compares it to vultures circling over a dead carcass. When there are vultures circling, that is when His return is near. Not to leave you hanging, but that is where it ends today. Tune in tomorrow for the next installment!

Psalms 29: 1-11

This is such a good reminder as we dip our toe into the end times. No matter what happens God is still King forever. His voice created everything. He rules over everything. Gravity is gravity because God says so. The Lord is our strength.

Proverbs 7: 6-23 This stuck me today because I am afraid that woman today think that they have to behave like a seductive woman to get a man. (In doubt? look at FB, Insta or Snaps) The problem is that seductive woman are never celebrated by the Lord. Using the body HE gave you to trap a man is wrong. You are worth so much more than your body. You were created to be more than a guys sex toy. There are two traps in this Proverb the one for the guy, where he gets lured away by the seductive woman, and the one where a woman gets lured into thinking she is only worth what her body can catch. They are both lies.

On that cheery note, have a great day! Here is a picture of Chip Gaines the Corgi, to brighten your day. He says, “You think your life is hard? Try being the blog writing buddy!”

 Tyndale House Publishers. Holy Bible: New Living Translation. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2013. Print.

2/4/19 One Year Bible Recap–and my brain is back with us.

Exodus 19:16—21:21

The 10 Commandments. The rules to create a structured wholesome society. These are perfectly selected to reflect the attributes of God. They are not guidelines, they are rules to follow. If the Israelites don’t follow them they will be disciplined. All but one of these Commands (Sabbath) are mentioned in the NT. These are rules for us too. If we sow into these rules we will reap the benefit, if we don’t we will reap the consequences in the same way the Israelites will. God came down to the mountain here to basically scare the pants off of everyone so they would believe and know that He was serious. Maybe lack of pants was the reason for no stairs? I’m kidding! Come on, its 6 am on Monday, laugh a little. (No stairs actually differentiates the Israelites altars from the altars the idol worshippers were building at the time)

I approach this next subject with humility and a desire to be sensitive. Slavery is in the bible. However, slavery in the bible does not look anything like the slave trade that imprisoned brutally abused and murdered millions of Africans in the United States early history. It would be like comparing apples to oranges. When anyone tells you that God’s Holy Bible condones those atrocities they are ignorant. God’s idea of slavery is actually a provision for people as a livelihood. God sets up rules for the Israelites to follow to ensure that the slaves are not mistreated. The word slavery, essentially a 4 letter word here in the states for good reason, is actually used to describe our relationship with Jesus. In Romans 1. 1, Paul calls himself a slave of Christ Jesus. This is also why it is so important for us to study God’s word. So we are in a relationship with Him and He can teach us to reflect Him.

Matthew 23: 13-39

I’m not sure about you but I am picking up on a theme here. The Pharisee’s where very busy making sure they looked very religious, but they were actually hypocrites because they placed their religious activities over actually having a relationship with God. Not only that but their show of religiosity led other people astray. They will have to answer for that. Do you remember how the teaching about wisdom in Proverbs went on for what seemed like forever? We concluded that this was because we would be prone to act unwise so God covered so extensively to get our attention. I believe the same thing is going on here. I think we are all prone to put on a show but harbor on the inside “dead peoples bones and all sorts of impurity.” Lets all agree to be open to what God will teach us about being “white washed tombs.”

Psalm 28:1-9

The dependency on the Lord that David has is inspiring. Just think, he is king and could kill all these “wicked” people he is talking about but he is content to pray to God about it and wait for God to move against the wicked how HE wants to. I had so much more free time when I figured out that “vengeance” belongs to the Lord. I didn’t have to plot to get back at people, I could just trust the Lord.

Proverbs 7:1-5

I was afraid to read my Bible for a long time when I got saved because I did not want to read all the parts people told me were in there about how God was a chauvinist and hated woman. But here is the cool thing about God, no part of Him is sinful, He can only ever be all of His perfect attributes all at the same time. When you sit in His word He has the chance to convince you of His Goodness. My example? Why would God refer to wisdom as woman if He hated woman? Why would He say love wisdom like a sister if He did not want men to love and care for their sisters? HMMMM……..think about it! Now, a sinful woman bent on leading men astray with their bodies and lustful ideas? Not high on God’s list because He hates ALL SIN.

2/3/19 One Year Bible Recap–except my brain won’t work

I may have finally reached by brain capacity. I cannot get it to make a point or make sense or remember how to make a sentence. I am going to assume it is because I have been writing a lot this week and not that I am about to have a stroke or something. I feel like Goldie Hawn’s character in Overboard (the OG one) where she is catatonic and just goes, “buh, buh, buh, buh…..” So I thought it would be a great opportunity for y’all to leave some comments on things that stood out to you in the reading today. You can leave them here on the blog, Facebook or Twitter.

Exodus 17: 8—19:15

The way that Aaron and Hur supported Mose was heart warming. Also I love the idea this story is trying to teach us. Moses keeps his hands raised to show their dependence on the Lord for victory. When he lowers his hands the enemy starts winning. So dependence on the Lord=victory over the enemy. Independence from the Lord= the enemy wins.

Matthew 22: 34—23:12

You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind and love your neighbor as yourself. Don’t get trapped in unbearable religious demands.

Psalm 27: 7-14

My heart has heard YOU say, “come and talk with ME.”

Proverbs 6: 27-35

Affairs should not be messed with because they are as dangerous as catching yourself on fire or walking on burning coals.

Have a great day!

2/2/19 One Year Bible Recap

Exodus 15: 19—17: 7

Alright you need to guard your heart from getting annoyed with the Israelites. I don’t know how they can complain to Moses about God when there is a GIANT pillar of fire and clouds leading them around. I don’t know how they can complain about how good the food was in Egypt when food is literally falling out of the sky for them. I don’t know how they can say, “Is the Lord here with us or not?” But here is what I do know. We are the same as the Israelites. Just sinners in need of a patient God. So before I get all, “How could they be so terrible to God?” I have to remind myself of the times I have questioned Him too. Every time I say to myself, Why?, I am being just like the Israelites.

An important theme is developed in this section. in verse 15: 26 God tells them that if they will obey Him He will not make them suffer the diseases He sent to the Egyptians. God says He is implementing this to test their faith. Remember this journey is meant to grow their faith. So this idea that if they obey God, God will bless them and if they disobey God He will curse them is born. As we continue in the story this will be important to understand why certain things are happening to them.

Matthew 22: 1-33

The Pharisee’s prided themselves on being at all the best banquets in town. Jesus is challenging their thinking again because He is telling them they are missing the most important banquet, the one thrown by God. They are the guests who refuse to come. God sent messengers to them and they refused them and killed them. Now the invite is extended to the Church (us). The only way to get into the banquet is to accept the invite and have the right clothes (accept the salvation Jesus is offering, not the fake clothes of unbelief).

The pharisees are really trying to get some dirt on Him so they can arrest Him. They try to trap Him with the taxes question, but Jesus sees them coming a mile away. He says that God and Government are SEPARATE!!! Caesar gets your taxes, God gets your devotion.

The Sadducees did not believe in resurrection from the dead. So they are trying to expose how ridiculous the idea of resurrection is by asking Jesus who this woman would be married to. Jesus says that in the Eternal State, life after death, marriage will not be needed. He uses the fact that God refers to Abraham, Issac and Jacob in the present tense. He is still currently the God of them. If resurrection wasn’t true then He would not bring them up.

Psalms 27: 1-6

I want to live in the House of the Lord all the days of my life. It is the only place where things make sense and I feel safe. He is a good God.

Proverbs 6: 20-26

Instead of stenciling verses like, “For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord….” on our kids walls, we should stencil this one! Listen to me, kid, or you will die at the hands of a prostitute, k, bye!

Have a great Saturday!

2/1/19 One Year Bible Recap

WE MADE IT A WHOLE MONTH!!! WAY TO GO US!!!

Exodus 13:17—15:18

The attribute of God that is discussed in todays section might be the one thing that has brought me the most freedom in my life. God does not necessarily pick the most efficient path to lead his people on. The journey is about growing their faith in him, not getting to point B the fastest. My friend Laura, for years, told me, “Its a process.” My response was always, “Well hurry up this process, put it in the microwave on high and lets get rolling.” But as we see with the Israelites, that is not how God works. He takes them on journey so that the can learn who He is and why they should have faith in Him. He grows them in maturity, and this takes time. (Quick Christians do not withstand the World. Slow grown Christians do. So I submit to the process.)

Sure enough at the first sign of trouble the people want to give up on God and go back to Egypt where they were slaves! The Lord in His goodness will prove to them who He is. When the people of Israel see what God does with the Egyptians and the Red see the Word says they were filled with awe! They were even moved to sing in worship to the Lord.

Matthew 21: 23-46

Oh my gosh I love Jesus. The pharisee’s demand he answers a question and He says, “Well hold on answer this first, Did John’s authority to baptize come from heaven, or was it merely human?” In there panic to answer we see where the Pharisee’s heart is centered—impressing the people.

In the same vein as the teaching about the fig tree Jesus uses two parables to teach them that looking like a follower of God is not good enough. You have to actually obey God and receive His Messiah. And just like the vineyard in the parable is taken away from the tenant farmers, Israel will be set aside, and God will bring the Good News of Salvation (proper fruit) (there is that word fruit again) through the Church. God will not forget the promises He made to Israel, He will still fulfill all the promises, but they will be set aside for now because of their rejection of Jesus. The Word predicted that Israel would stumble on Jesus. Shockingly the Pharisee’s don’t like what Jesus just said so they really fully start to figure out how to snuff Him out.

Psalm 26: 1-12

David is declaring to the Lord that he has acted with integrity. Doing what is right when no one is watching is a sure fire way to honor the Lord. We can declare our integrity before the Lord.

Proverb 6: 16-19

What is the deal here? Is this a typo that a scribe was too lazy to re-write? Like the Lord said, “There are 6 things I hate……wait scratch that there are 7 things I hate.” But guess what? It’s not! I looked it up in the Bible Knowledge Commentary. Check it out:

The six … seven pattern is also used in Job 5:19, and a similar pattern of other numbers plus one is used in Proverbs 30:15–16, 18–19, 21–31. The purpose of this kind of numerical pattern (x and x + 1) is not to give a complete list. Instead it is to stress the final (x + 1) item, as the culmination or product of its preceding items.

How cool is that??? God used a pattern to stress one particular thing. In this case that list followed by the most important item is “a person who sows discord in a family.” God is stressing his dislike of people who cause drama. The six things listed before this all lead to discord. Isn’t it cool how God makes things so clear for us?

Have a good day!

 Buzzell, Sid S. “Proverbs.” The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. Ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck. Vol. 1. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985. 917. Print

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