3/31/19 One Year Bible Recap
Deuteronomy 16: 1—17: 20
“So that, as long as you live you remember the day you departed for Egypt.” These festivals were the drawing back in of the pilgrims of Israel to remember and celebrate the Lord. They had to be done exactly how God commanded so that they would remain set apart from the nations around them. Those nations, by the way, as I understand it, were party central. Think frat party gone way, way, way wrong All. The. Time.
God wants them to set up order for themselves by way of governors but He is also wise enough to know that at some point they will cry out for a king. The king God calls forward will be asked to rule in a way that was completely foreign to everyone in this age. Pharaoh and his opulence and oppression were what was culturally normal. That would not stand with the Lord because that would not reflect His character.
Luke 9: 7-27
This miracle is recorded in all 5 gospels. It is so important, I think, because it is what finally drives home the truth for the disciples. They know after Jesus feeds the people with baskets full of left overs that He is sufficient for the needs of the human race. They need a Savior, and He is powerful enough to do it!
I am discovering as I research this that if there is a giant paragraph in Bible Knowledge Commentary, then a passage is disputed by bible scholars. I get nervous when I see that because I think I just want everyone to get along. But, we have to face it so we can understand and be able to give a well thought out response if we are asked by a skeptic about one of these controversies. That being said, people get torqued out over Jesus saying, “I tell you the truth, some standing here right now will not die before they see the Kingdom of God.” This causes problems for people because the Kingdom of God is instituted when Jesus returns and sets up His Kingdom. Well, as far as I know Jesus has not come back yet, and all those guys standing there are, shall we say, not with us anymore. So what gives? I am going to give you a very profound answer…….I don’t know for sure. All I can say is that after looking at it, considering it, and praying about it, it seems to me (amateur housewife bible scholar) that He is talking about Peter, John and James getting a glimpse of the Kingdom of God in the transfiguration which is the next thing Luke records in his gospel. Also, the context previous to this verse is encouraging the disciples in their choice to follow Jesus because many of them faced persecution for that choice. Telling them they would see the Kingdom of God encouraged them to follow Him.
Psalm 72: 1-20
My heart leapt today when I started this Psalm because I immediately thought of the king described in Deuteronomy. This is the kind of king God wants for Israel. (Spoiler alert: this is the kind of King Jesus will be.) “May the king’s rule be refreshing like spring rain of freshly cut grass, like the showers that water the earth.”
Proverbs 12: 8-9
Ok, I will let you into a weakness of my character. When I meet someone and they immediately start telling me about all the money and stuff they have, all the people they know, all the things they have done that have saved the world…….I JUDGE them to be lying. I know I am not supposed to be judge-y but this Proverb proves my point! Self-important people do that to cover up the fact that they are hungry! Whatever, you are judging me for being judge-y right now! 😜
3/30/19 One Year Bible Recap
Deuteronomy 13: 1—15: 23
The Lord is preparing them for what will come when they inhabit the Land. He is not playing with them about idol worship. The person that comes in and tries to lead them astray is to be put to death, ahh, by STONING. The whole community was to get in on it because it would cause them to remember to stick with the Lord their God.
We had a professor at bible school that told us, “The flesh (sin nature) only knows one word, and that is MORE.” The next section of the reading today made me think of that. The Lord is warning them about what they will be tempted to do once they get fat and happy in the Promised Land. Don’t make yourself look like the surrounding nations by shaving, don’t eat animals you see them eating, don’t forget the tithe, don’t forget to cancel debts, don’t forget to be generous to the poor, don’t keep slaves against their will. These all point to a sin nature that gets out of control and screams MORE! And guess what? We have that same sin nature in us.
Luke 8: 40—9:6
I am struck again this morning by the woman who was bleeding for 12 years. Remember, the Law said that she was ceremonial unclean and could not participate in worship with her fellow Israelites. Her faith in the power of Jesus made her overcome all that and touch him. She was probably scared to death when He recognized someone had touched Him because she knew she had just made Him ceremonially unclean as well. However Jesus came to set them free of all that and He says to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace.”
And that crowd that laughed at Jesus saying the little girl wasn’t dead only sleeping? Look what happened, they missed out on seeing and hearing about the miracle because of their unbelief. Jesus told her parents to tell no one, but yesterday he told the possessed man to go home and tell all his family what had happened. You don’t get the miracle without the faith. Jesus is not a trick pony, He is the Savior of the World.
Psalm 71: 1-24
I wish everyone it the world knew that God cares for us in the womb. I wish they knew that a baby in utero already belongs to the Lord, and it is not just a collection of cells. “No wonder I am always praising you!” If I am honest though, I did not believe this until God convinced me of it. I did not know until I knew who God is, that He had always been with me. What a great reminder this morning of all the ways He has always been there, guiding, teaching and loving even when we were His enemy. “No wonder I am always praising you!”
Proverbs 12: 5-7
Gosh, this proverb goes perfectly with the reading from Deuteronomy. I am ashamed of all the advice I gave people before I knew the Lord. It truly could be characterized as wicked. A few chart toppers would be: “You should smoke, it will relax you,” or “You should start drinking now, that way when you are in college you will have a high alcohol tolerance.” Geeze, thank you Lord for saving me.
3/29/19 One Year Bible Recap
Deuteronomy 11: 1—12: 32
“Look, today I am giving you a choice between a blessing and a curse!” Israel has seen what the Lord has done for them and the choice is set before them, do _________ and receive a blessing, do ________ and receive a curse. This is the context we must remember as we move into he rest of the OT. If we come to a book that says, “Israel was experiencing a drought and got conquered by the ______ites,” we know they have turned away from God. But if we read, “Israel had a huge harvest and enjoyed peace,” we know they are following the Lord.
Luke 8: 22—39
Terrified and amazed is the great description of life with Jesus. You will be in situations where you are terrified and have to trust him……example: “If I respect my husband, like you ask me to Jesus, in this situation and don’t tell him what he is doing wrong will the trash ever go out again? Jesus will we get covered up by trash?”(terrified) “Jesus I am amazed that I because I did not nag my husband but I respected him, he wanted to take the trash out so I would fell loved and cared for! (amazed) The important thing is that we don’t let the fear of what Jesus is capable of make us send Him away like the towns people in the story today. On the other side of fear is amazement and the abundant life with Jesus.
Psalm 70: 1—5
Today I read this Psalm that asks for a quick rescue from enemies and thought to myself, “Well, I don’t have anyone trying to kill me so I can’t really relate to this Psalm.” But that is wrong thinking because my need for God to save me from daily ruin is no less than David’s. Mine is just less obvious.
Proverbs 12: 4
Ahhh, well that seems harsh. Bible Knowledge commentary reminded me that the word used here for the “worthy wife” is ḥayil. I am not trying to bible study—splain you but a few years ago I wrote a study on the book of Ruth so I really had to dig into this Hebrew word. Ruth is described as a “ḥayil” woman. Ruth displays strength and honor. She is willing to do what is necessary to get the job done, she has grit. She is also morally strong. The disgraceful woman is the opposite of that. So what this proverb is saying is that a ḥayil woman adds to her husbands life, and a non-ḥayil woman sucks his life away like cancer. Ok, then.
3/28/19 One Year Bible Recap
Hey party people! Just a friendly reminder that this is not a bible commentary. This is a housewife’s thoughts on a daily bible reading. My thoughts are not the gospel truth, but don’t tell Jesse that! This is just meant to be an encouragement to keep reading your bible everyday. Ok, so now that we have the clear, lets jump in!
“You are a stubborn people.” Ouch! Today Moses carefully reminds them of their rebellion, and of his intersession on their behalf. The reason for this dose of humility is because as they conquer the land there is the danger of becoming self-righteous. They could look around at their circumstances and say to themselves, “The Lord has given us this land because we are such good people!” The truth is, the wickedness of the nations living in the Promised Land is the cause of God ousting them from the Land. And my friends, the longer I walk with the Lord, the more I identify with the struggles of the Israelites. I often am riding a “church camp high” only to fall into the self-righteous position of, “Man! I am killing this Christian Life stuff!” So when Moses says, “Yes, you have been rebelling against the Lord as long as I have known you,” I feel a little ownership in that too even though I am a gentle and not an Israelite.
Verses 10: 17—22 is where we need to land today. The way-out of rebellion and self-righteousness is to remember God’s character. He is the hero of every story. “For the Lord your God is the God of gods and Lord of lords.” Amen.
Luke 8: 4-21
We get to read Luke’s version of the seed parable. I am struck by verse 15 today. “And the seeds that fell on the good soil represent honest, good-hearted people who hear God’s word, cling to it, and patiently produce a huge harvest.” CLING TO IT. This struck me because for whatever reason I have been really struggling with a slew of feelings of being overwhelmed, too busy, over worked and unseen. I feel like things are just swirling around me right now, and guess what I can grab on to for security? That’s right, God’s Word. The times when I feel too busy to read it, and sit with the Lord, are the precise moments this verse is saying to cling to it. And don’t miss that pesky word “patient.” This feels like a swear word for someone geared like me. I want these feelings to go away NOW, I want to spiritually mature NOW, and I want to fully rely on the Lord NOW! But guess what, that is exactly what God is teaching against here. Deep roots take time. Jesus + time + His Word + time + cling to the word + time + understanding + time = huge harvest.
Psalm 69: 19-36
We finish the Psalm David wrote to ask the Lord to save him from scorn of the people persecuting him because of his faith in God. Instead of getting bogged down in the circumstances David looks forward to the universal worship of God.
Proverbs 12: 2-3
We talk all the time in this house about how Godly choices always bring peace to a situation and ungodly choices bring chaos. This Proverb reminded me of that idea. Wicked plans always lead to instability
3/27/19 One Year Bible Recap
“Show them no mercy,” feels shocking to us NT believers, doesn’t it? It feels like a God we don’t know. Like how can this God and the NT God be the same? We are used to mercy being lavished on us, so when God choses to not show mercy it does not compute. But, this is the same God. It is the God of Adam, Noah, Abraham, Issac, Joseph, Moses, the nation Israel, David, and Father of Jesus. That God HATES sin. He has always hated sin. These Canaanite people that He is telling the Israelites to destroy are unrepentant sinners. They have already had mercy lavished on them, and they chose to HATE God, and love idol worship, immoral sex, child sacrifice….I could go on. They have now become a cancer that endangers people because it turns them away from the God who saves, and turns them toward themselves and their sinful nature. If they had repented, God would have again shown them mercy.
He goes on to warn them to “be careful!” Once they are in the land and became materially safe and secure there is the danger of becoming prideful. They have learned humility in the desert and God says to hold on to it! He humbled them so they would not say, “I have achieved this wealth with my own strength and energy.”
Luke 7: 36—8:3
There is nothing like a woman crying to make all the men in the room go, “Ahhh, what do we do with this? Someone make her stop!” Even the Author of Bible Knowledge Commentary said, “The text does not say why she was crying.” That made me chuckle because any woman who has felt the weight of sin be lifted from her load knows exactly why this precious woman was crying. Freedom from shame, a Savior who can actually save, unconditional love, restored self worth, just to name a few. Remember the Pharisee’s think they got this life with God thing on lock, they are sin diagnose-er’s. Jesus lovingly teaches Simon the error in his thinking.
And because it is still on my mind from yesterday, look at what Jesus says in verse 47, “I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, SO she has shown me much love.” Jesus (God) does the saving, we respond in love! She was not doing this to try to get Jesus to save her. She was not trying to impress Him into giving her eternity. She received salvation, and loved Him for it. We must keep this idea clear in our heads!
Psalm 69: 1-18
We get to read the beginning of this Psalm of David today. He is being mocked, persecuted and made fun of because of his zeal for the Lord. He is asking God to save him because of God’s character. This is the crux of life as a believer. The world does not love God, they hate Him just like the Canaanites did, so when we stand up for God, of course they will scoff at us. But David teaches us here the God will even save us from that.
UUGGHH! Here we go with correction again. I have spent my whole life running from and trying to avoid correction. I have mastered the art of sparing with someone who tries to correct me, I can masterfully turn it back on them. (aka. manipulation) But God, the God I love, the God I love to study, the God I love to tell people about…He says hating correction is stupid.
3/26/19 One Year Bible Recap
Deuteronomy 5: 1–6:25
“Listen,” “repeat,” and “Be careful” are key words today in our reading. Moses is really trying to get them to listen. Anyone who has tried to communicate something important to someone else understands.
I found something that knocked my socks off this morning! Moses reminds them of their rescue from Egypt and then he retells the 10 Commandments. Look what the Bible Knowledge Commentary said about verse 5: 6–
Deuteronomy 5:6–7 (BKC): Verse 6 is crucial for understanding not only the first commandment but also the other nine. The Ten Commandments were given to a people already redeemed (brought out … of Egypt), to enable them to express their love for and have fellowship with the holy God.
MINDBLOWN! Look at how particular God is in His communication to Israel. He is already teaching them that the Law does not “save” them or make them right with God. It is their expression of love for Him because they are already redeemed. For someone who constantly falls into the “I’ll do this to be saved from hell” line of thinking, this concept is FREEDOM! We have to remember all the way back to the Garden…Adam and Eve tried to make themselves right with God by covering themselves with fig leaves, God taught them that they could not save themselves, and He gave them a covering. God has to do the saving, we have to the loving of Him.
In verse 6: 14 Moses reminds them not to worship the other gods of the people around them. Remember this is important because Israel is being used to teach the “Global Classroom” that there is only One God. If they fall into idol worship then they are teaching them that there is not One God, but a pantheon you can choose from. Without the One God everyone is under sin penalty. Remember, God has to do the saving.
Luke 7: 11-35
Jesus brings out the big guns today and proves that He is the Messiah by overturning death. The only person who can do that is God. God can save us from the penalty of sin. (Sin=Death) This is also the information John the Baptist needed to seal the deal of his belief that Jesus was the Messiah they had been waiting for.
Psalm 68: 19-35
We read the ending of the triumphant entry Psalm today. Just because its really on my mind that verse, “The Sovereign Lord rescues us from death,” stood out to me. I also love how he says, “Your procession has come into view, O God-“ I just pictured them standing with visible anticipation for the Lord to come.
Proverb 11: 29-31
This is what we should stencil on all teenagers walls. J/K! Sydney is reading this going, “What!?!?” But seriously, I know you can see this in your own life, when the chips are down you will go to a righteous person for help. If you just want to “blow off steam” you go to someone who will sin with you. I really want to be that person that gives life and is a wise friend because I have already been the person who is wicked.
3/25/19 One Year Bible Recap
Deuteronomy 4: 1-49
Do you remember how we said that if the Bible tells us not to do something it is because our tendency is to do that very thing. Today’s reading shows what Israel (and us) will want to do with the Laws. In verse 2 it says, “Do not add to or subtract from these commands I am giving you. Just obey the commands of the Lord your God that I am giving you.” Easy peasy right? WRONG! Let me give you an example. When you are driving and see a speed limit sign posted that reads 55 mph do you immediately think, “Oh ok, I can go 60 mph and be fine?” Or when someone says, “Don’t touch this button!” Are you over come with the desire to touch it? Moses is being so careful to warn them because God knows we have this thing in us, called the sin nature, that keeps us from following the rules. We would rather make our own rules, or follow God’s rules “close enough.” For Israel however, close enough would not cut it. In order to remain in fellowship with God, they had to follow them to the T.
I teach this bible study called “By This Name,” by John R Cross. In that book, the author says that Israel is chosen by God to be His special people. Their unique relationship will teach the “Global Classroom” who God is and that He is the one and only God. Verse 5-8 drive this point home. Their obedience to God would show off God’s glory. Their disobedience would show off His Wrath (judgement of sin).
Moses uses his own punishment to remind them of the danger of disobedience. And he very clearly tells them they will be scattered among the nations if they do not obey. He points to God’s work in their lives as the driving force for obedience, “Look what He has done for you!”
Luke 6: 39–7:10
Jesus continues with the Beatitudes in todays passage. He warns them that following someone who is not righteous will end up in you both being in a ditch. You will be like whoever you follow. As believers in Jesus it is important that we follow Jesus. At church this weekend Doug reminded us of the danger of worshipping people and this passage today reminded me of that. If you are following someone who is just as blind as you, you will fall in a ditch. People cannot fill your need for Jesus, they will disappoint you every time. But Jesus will never disappoint you.
The foundation for life with Jesus is His teaching. You have to let it penetrate your whole being and transform you. Faith in Him does that. When we become believers we are all bad trees, but slowly, Jesus + time, creates good fruit in us. What is required of us is the faith displayed in the Roman Officer.
Psalm 68: 1-18
This is a song of triumph. Proof also that Israel did teach its children the story of God rescuing them from Egypt and taking them to the promised land. The line “God places the lonely in families” really hits home because this is why I am so thankful for our church family.
Proverbs 11: 28
“Trust in your money and down you go!” No truer words have been spoken. This is part of our testimony. God took away our money (by way of us spending it on things like horses and RV’s) so that we would learn that you cannot trust money. It will also disappoint you every time because if you are trusting money the only idea you have is “more.” Money changes hands so much that it is not a good savior. Jesus, however is a great Savior.
Have a good Monday everybody. The ducklings are moving into their big duck condo today. I’ll post a pic over on Insta and FB.
3/24/19 One Year Bible Recap
Deuteronomy 2: 1—3: 29
Moses is retelling their history to them. As he retells the story of their battles it shows us that they could not just go conquer any land they wanted willy nilly. It goes with the idea we talked about earlier, if you are going to be God’s chastening rod then you have to do exactly what God says, to the T!
At the end we get a picture into Moses humanity. It says that the Lord was angry with him, and he asked Him so many times to let him go to the Promised Land that the Lord finally says, “That’s enough!” This might be the hardest part of walking with God. When you feel in your heart that you have a good case in favor of God letting you do something, but the answer is no. You bring it before God so many times that He finally yells at you, “That’s enough!” You are left having to learn to submit to Your Creator who knows infinitely more than you. And in those times when you have received a NO, you have to remind yourself, just like Moses is reminding the Israelites, of God’s character. He is a good God and if you got a NO it is for a good reason.
Luke 6: 12-38
Luke records that Jesus spent all night praying before He selected the Apostles. He is showing us His dependence on God, and His desire to follow Him.
Bible Knowledge Commentary says that Luke’s recording of the Beatitudes is very similar to Matthews, however He leaves the “Jewish part” out. I chuckled at this. He was writing to gentiles remember so he wanted to focus on the truth and instruction of the sermon.
I think we all need to use the truth of this sermon in the correct way. It says that if you are hated, exclude, cursed, or mocked because of your devotion to Jesus you will be blessed. If people exclude you because you are jerk, mean, or crooked you don’t get to claim blessing.
The world will tell you that it’s absolutely ok to get on your socials and blast your political enemies, social enemies, or national enemies. Don’t kid yourself that you can get on and blast people in one post, then claim you love Jesus in the next. If you want to love Jesus, love ALL of Him or you will not receive the blessings promised in this verse.
Psalm 67: 1-7
This Psalm goes with Psalm 66. Psalm 66 was a Psalm of thanksgiving, this Psalm is a prayer for all the nations to praise the Lord.
Proverbs 11: 27
This made me think of the Proverbs all the way back at the beginning of the book that talked about how Wisdom is out in the public square, and the promiscuous women was hiding, laying a trap for a passerby. Searching for good protects you from falling into evil clutches.
3/23/19 One Year Bible Recap
Numbers 36: 1–Deuteronomy 1: 46
One last clarification on the land and the daughters of Zelophehad, and then we FINISH THE BOOK OF NUMBERS. Numbers is a book notorious for making people give up on their daily bible reading and we just finished it! In the most humble way possible….Go us! And just a comment…The last few weeks have really tested my metal on if I would continue this. The rubber met the road so to speak and it would have been really easy to justify setting this aside. But the Lord, in his perfect timing encouraged me at just the right times, and I am so glad that I kept going!
Deuteronomy, literally means “the re-writing of the Law.” If Numbers and Leviticus are the instruction manual, Deuteronomy is the Sermon Moses gave to instruct the Israelites and encourage them to follow the God. So lets remember going forward that it was written to instruct and encourage the Israelites. Just like the other books, we have to keep it in context!
Moses reminds them of the relationship God build with them starting in Egypt. He also reminds them of their rebellion and God’s punishment of the rebellion. Today’s reading ends with Israels repentance.
Luke 5: 29–6:11
Levi is Matthew, but because Luke is writing to the gentiles he uses Matthew’s name that the gentiles know. I love the translation of “Why do you eat with such scum?” It perfectly describes the Pharisee’s mindset. Jesus goes on to teach them that what He instituting is so different from what the Pharisee’s are teaching that the two are incompatible. No truer thing has been spoken. If you think you can be good enough to impress God and follow all the man made rules to be perfect, Jesus’ teaching will be repulsive to you. But if you know you cannot follow the rules and you can feel your soul cry out that you need a Savior, the Pharisee’s teaching will be repulsive to you. (The second one is the right answer)
Psalm 66-1: 20
A Psalm of thanksgiving. “Come and see what our God has done, what awesome miracles he performs for people,” should be what we lead with when we are sharing our faith with people. What is so cool is that this Psalm lists the miracles He performed for Israel, but the truth is He has performed miracles for each of us too. Miracles that ultimately brought us to Him.
Proverbs 11: 24-26
Gosh I get fired up about this Proverb. When you are close fisted with your money you will ALWAYS feel like you don’t have enough. If you are living beyond your means you will ALWAYS feel like you don’t have enough. However if you are thankful for what you have been given by the Lord, and yes it all comes from him, you will find yourself with abundance. The amount will not change, the heart that spends it will. It is a miracle that happened in my own life so I can attest to it.
3/22/19 One Year Bible Recap
I am at another STING event with Sydney, so yesssss Queen! I AM living my best A CA-life. A car full of teenagers is quickly becoming my favorite thing. So I just wanted to jump on really quickly while they are having lunch and resting their voices and share some thoughts about the reading today.
Numbers 33: 40–35: 34
Verse 55 has a pretty big nugget in it that will help us understand things going forward. For review….God owns everything because he created everything, God has chosen Israel to be His special people, He has given Israel the Promises Land, the people living in the Promised Land have sinned against God and they are going to receive the penalty for sin, God is going to use Israel to exercise His judgement on those people. God in verse 55 warns them, “IF you fail to drive out the people who live in the land, those who remain will be like splinters in your eyes, and thorns in your sides.” So if they do not carry out God orders to the “T” the remaining people, and the sin they exercise will cause them problems. Problems like worshiping idols. You see the problem here? Also God is clear, murder is not ok, unless He is using you as His chastening rod.
Luke 5: 12-28
We are now familiar with how bad leprosy was for the Israelites. It caused them to be out of fellowship with the community, it was a lonely life. Leprosy was also a sign of sin judgement. Jesus in His loving kindness heals this man. We understand too why the leporous man has to go to the priest to be reinstated to the community. The Law states that ceremonial cleansing needs to be performed and the man needs to be declared clean. That is why Jesus sends him right to the priest, but since this kind of healing had not happened, the word of the healing spreads like wildfire.
Gotta go! I’ll catch y’all tomorrow.
3/21/19 One Year Bible Recap
Numbers 32: 1—33: 39
Reuben and Gad seem to want to jump ship, but because they have come to explain themselves before Moses and God (and did not just go do what they wanted), we get to hear them out. Moses reminds them of the danger of being disobedient to the Lord, and reminds them that first generation died in the desert because of disobedience. I cracked up when they were like, “Whoa, whoa, whoa! We are in the fight for sure, just when its all over we want to come back to this part? Cool?” The key here is they are showing their obedience to God by seeking permission first. It shows that they want to be in fellowship with Him.
Here is a map of the journey the Israelites took to the promised land:
I don’t know about you but being someone who is always looking for the shortest distance between two points, that trip looks maddening. It just proves to us that God is about the journey no matter the stops, turns, and pauses. Efficiency and spiritual maturity don’t go hand in hand usually. (Ask me how I know)
Luke 4:31—5: 11
I love that the reception in this town was one of awe, and they begged Him to stay. However, always showing us that He is obedient before all else, He tells them that He has a mission and He has to fulfill it. My friend Kelly just texted me a quote this morning from Lysa Terkeurst’s book, “It’s Not Supposed to be this Way.” It said, “Comfort isn’t the solution to seek; rather, it’s a by-product we’ll reap when we stay close to the Lord.” In my human thinking, staying in that town would have been more comfortable, but being obedient to the Father brings Jesus comfort. Oh, what a Savior!
We get more detail into the disciples call into full time ministry. It seems they have already had the initial meeting with Jesus (As recorded in the other gospels) because they are all familiar with who He is. However after that they must have kept working and Jesus was preparing them for full time ministry. At this point in Lukes story they will be together all the time.
Psalms 64: 1-10
I’m so inspired by the reminder in this Psalm that we are not the ones who need to fight the people who do us wrong. We can trust that Lord will deliver the justice needed. All around me there is fighting over social issues, and injustice and it helps me to remember God is going to be the one that finally takes care of all that. Us all fighting over it wastes precious time. WE as believers should be spending time loving people.
Proverbs 11: 22
I looked up discretion just to be sure I knew what it meant. Check it out:
dis•cre•tion \dis-ˈkre-shən\ noun
1: the quality of being discreet: circumspection especially: cautious reserve in speech
2: ability to make responsible decisions
3 a: individual choice or judgment 〈left the decision to his discretion〉
b: power of free decision or latitude of choice within certain legal bounds 〈reached the age of discretion〉
4: the result of separating or distinguishing*
Ouch, this one hurt today. Mostly because I got my feelings hurt yesterday and I used anything but discretion with the words that flowed from the hurt. That really smarts when you know you have done the opposite of what the Lord calls good.
*Merriam-Webster, Inc. Merriam-Webster’s collegiate dictionary. 2003 : n. pag. Print.
3/20/19 One Year Bible Recap
Numbers 30: 1—31: 54
There are some things we have to square with today in the reading. 1) God sets up order in the home just like he sets up order in creation. Men are the head of family unit. This authority trumps any vows the woman in his home makes. 2) Sin=Death, and God gets to exercise the penalty for sin however He wants to. We are so use to His Mercy and Grace that we get offended when He chooses NOT to exercise them. To be sure the Midianites had received Mercy. God cannot help Himself but to offer Himself to His creation out of Love. They got to hear the stories of what the Lord had done in Egypt to rescue the Israelites. They witnessed the blessing of Balaam. They could look at all the creation around them and see that someone had to create it and they were worshiping that which had been created and not the creator. But instead of falling on their knees before the God and asking Him to save them, they led the Israelites into the worship of Baal. That is sin, and sin=death. The Israelites in this war are acting as God’s judgement tool. We have become so accustomed to sin that it is shocking to see the judgement of it. But people, sin is not a joke to God, he hates it and will judge it, he does not sweep it under the rug. God is also Love, so guess what, He made the way for us to avoid the penalty we deserve. (Spoiler Alert: Jesus)
Human judgement decides to save the women and children. Moses “SMH” at them because he is tuned into God’s perspective—The women were the ones that lead Israel astray! The most important thing to do when God is using you to exercise judgement is to DO EXACTLY WHAT GOD SAYS!!!
If you are struggling at all with this aspect of Gods perfect character—email me! email@example.com. PS. if you are mean or rude I won’t respond because I don’t have perfect mercy like the Lord.
Luke 4: 1-30
Temptation from the devil is so slick it almost sounds right. For one he says, “Jesus, you are hungry, save yourself and get your needs met.” Sounds right, right? Especially if you are an American or have Facebook. Americans believe God helps those who help themselves. But this is not an actual biblical doctrine. God actually says we can’t save ourselves. If you are on Facebook for 5 seconds you see 1 million offers for self improvement and don’t even say to me “Girl, wash your face.” Jesus’ answer is brilliant, probably because of the fact that He is God. He says that we don’t live just because we care for ourselves. God is in control of our life and our death. Its up to him. This is proven by a man that is in top health having a widow maker heart attack or an alcoholic living to be 100. The second temptation temps Jesus to skip the process and obedience to God’s plan and become the king of all nations right now, if He will just worship the devil. Jesus responds by saying that you must worship the Lord your God and serve Him only. This means that you can’t skip the process and just grab what God has promised you. You get what God has promised you from being obedient to Him and worshiping Him, there are no short cuts. Thirdly the devil says, “Alright, jump off this temple and prove to everyone that you are the Son of God in a showy spectacle of angels saving you, forget this humility stuff.” Jesus’ response makes me think of being in the car on a family road trip and seeing just how far I could push my parents before they would say something like, “Don’t make me turn this car around!” Testing God would mean that God would have to humble you, that is not a good choice. So Jesus makes it clear that He is staying obedient to God.
Remember how Luke is writing to Gentiles to show them that salvation for all nations is in Jesus. Well his recording of Jesus’ mic drop moment in the temple points to that as well. Luke records that Jesus was not accepted in his own Israelite community, and then uses two stories about a time when Israel was not following God, so help(salvation) came to gentiles. And all the gentiles said AMEN! (that is you and me)
Psalm 63: 1-11
The idea of being numbed to God’s mercy has really stuck with me this morning. As I read this psalm I thought to myself I may never be in a situation like David because as a believer in Jesus, God is always close to me. David understood his need for God so clearly because his circumstances made him thirst for the presence of God. Sitting with this idea leads me to practice thankfulness.
Proverbs 11: 20-21
Well, here we are again. Repetition of this idea of crooked hearts and evil people causes us to remember that repeated themes in the Proverbs means that he is teaching AGAINST our natural bent. Godly integrity will not be natural. It will take us making godly choices instead of evil choices.
3/19/19 One Year Bible Recap
Could you pray for my household? We have been sick with various aliments for a month. Now Brock has the stomach bug I had. I told my friend Wendy yesterday that I was really close to slaughtering one of our goats, grabbing some Hyssop (where would I even get it?), some doves and some scarlet thread, to perform an OT cleansing ceremony. But as we have studied that would be totally out of context and I have no Levitical priests around to run the ceremony. So better if I just ask ya’ll to pray for us.
Numbers 28: 16—29:40
God, in His instruction, will always start with the basics and then move to the more complex. This is also a theory we apply to studying the bible. Don’t try to understand the complex until you fully understand the basics. Today’s reading teaches the Israelites the more complex intricacies of the Festivals. Passover really jumps off the page for me today because I just realized we are really close to the time of year that Passover is celebrated by those who observe Jewish Tradition. We also realize the significance of Jesus being crucified (Easter) during Passover. And that is the point! Remember, all of these festivals are meant to remind them of the facts about who God is, and their dependence on Him. He provides the food, water, protection, the seasons to grow food, so they pause in their daily grind to remember that He is the reason they have what they do. He is a God worthy of celebration.
Luke 3: 23-38
Ah, the genealogy. People have talked themselves out of believing in God because of the discrepancy in Luke and Mathew’s Genealogies. I don’t think they were supposed to match up because they are proving two totally different things. Mathew is writing to Jews to tell them that Jesus is the Messiah promised to Abraham, and follows that promised lineage so they will see that He is the one promised all those years ago. Luke is writing to gentiles to show that Jesus brought salvation to all. His genealogy shows that Jesus’ salvation goes past Abraham all the way to the Garden of Eden. (Genesis 3: 15, to be exact) Salvation came through the Jews, and when they rejected it (crucifixion of Jesus), it was offered to the gentiles. (aka: the Church is born, but don’t get ahead of the story!) So Luke has to prove to the Gentiles that Jesus actually came to save everyone. Therefore, his genealogy (under God’s inspiration) shows how Jesus is related to Adam, the father of us all. Also, don’t get hung up on “Adam was the son of God”….all humans are his created sons and daughters.
You may be perplexed at this point because yesterday Jesus claimed Joseph was not His father and yet today Luke says that, “Jesus was known as the son Joseph.” He says, “known to be the father,” because he is attesting to the virgin birth. The virgin birth is important because He had to be born free of the sin curse of Adam. BUT, in order to be the perfect sacrifice for all mankind He also had to be human. So Luke is proving through this genealogy that He is the Son of Man as well as the Son of God. People “know” Him to be human because Joseph is raising him, and Mary gave birth to Him. It’s a testimony to his human side. Remember, God starts with the basics and works toward the complex. If this is not making sense don’t throw away your faith, give God time to teach you! Don’t forget that the Israelites had God leading them in a pillar of smoke, providing bread from the sky, and providing water from rocks and they still did not have faith in Him, we have to admit that sometimes it takes time to convince our stubborn human minds.
Psalm 62: 1-12
I love this Psalm. If I could truly believe the truth of this Psalm I would be free of the need to retaliate when I am wronged. He says, “I wait quietly before the Lord for my victory comes from him.” Could you imagine how different life on earth would be if we all believed this? If we believe that God is in charge of saving us and being our fortress? If we believed that victory and honor came from God alone? We probably won’t see that this side of Heaven because of our pesky sin nature, but we can practice it. Life on earth is but a puff of air and we, who are empowered by the Holy Spirt, have the choice wait quietly before the God because power and unfailing love belong to Him.
Proverbs 11: 18-19
This makes me think of all the get rich quick schemes. The more I understand of God the more I see that He works in the reaping and sowing mentality. You gotta put the time in, You gotta make the godly choices. My friend Laura always tells me, “It’s a process!” (I’m pretty sure she said she heard if from Christine Caine, but I could be wrong, so shoot me.)
Two for the price of one today because I had a stomach bug yesterday that had me questioning if I wanted to live to see today. But alas here I am. So lets get to work.
Numbers 26: 1-51
God is proving to us that He is faithful to His word. He has them count again to prove to us that no one from that first generation is entering the Land. If you are so inclined then you can go back and compare. I’m going to assume it is all checks out because I hated math in school and I have not grown to love it at this point. (Doing my son’s 6th grade math homework makes me want to shoot myself in the face.)
Luke 2: 36-52
Well, Anna is my new favorite bible character. I’m not sure how I have missed her up to this point, but there she is today! Think of this, an 84 year old widow that lives at the temple because of her devotion to the Lord and her urgency to see the Messiah. This women no doubt was a nuisance to the Pharisee’s, something they put up with because they did not know what to do with her. She certainly had no money to show off with like they did. Her devotion was quiet, but it was the thing that put her in the way of seeing Jesus. And when she sees him, she praised God and told everyone who was “expectantly waiting for God to rescue Jerusalem,” about the baby. God used this woman to spread the word that the messiah had come. Not the fancy Pharisee’s, this quietly devoted woman. This speaks volumes to me because sometimes I feel like my small life does not honor God. Like I’m not selling out stadiums because of my amazing speaking abilities. I am doing my best to read God’s word everyday and love the people well who live in this house. But then I read Anna’s story and think, “Well Lord, maybe I am exactly where I am supposed to be?”
Can you remember the first time you lost one of your kids at a park, or the grocery store? Can you imagine if you had been given the Messiah to raise and you lost HIM??? I just think they must have really been frantic. Like “Your father and I have been frantic, searching for you everywhere,” should be in all caps with the scared face emoji, am I right? But the point of this story is to let us know that at the age of 12, Jesus knew who his father was. It was not Joseph, it is God. Also, we know why they were traveling because of our OT study! Remember all of Israel had to go to Jerusalem for the Passover.
Psalm 60: 1-12
Psalm 60 is a teaching Psalm written by David. The point of the Psalm is to remember that victory and defeat come from the Lord. In David’s day, if they were losing it was because they were sinning in some way. So they had to learn to repent so they could be restored to God’s favor.
Proverbs 11: 15
I think another way of saying this is don’t secure a debt you are not comfortable losing. You have to go in assuming the other person will not pay, and you will become responsible. That is why it is better to just not do it at all!
The Lord has just shown us that He is faithful to His Word because not one person on this list was on the first list. He said they would die in the wilderness and they did. God=Faithful to His Word. I love that the Lord records these daughters of Zelophehad. God institutes order in families by making the man the head of family. Otherwise everyone is fighting over who the boss is. But we see here, if there is not head of the house, the property goes to the daughters. Showing that they are legitimate property holders. God also goes on to clarify other situations so that the land will stay in the nation’s possession.
In verse 16 Moses uses a really cool name for God. He says He is “the God who gives breath to all creatures.” When I dug a little bit more into this in the Bible Knowledge Commentary it said that what Moses is communicating there is that God is the giver of personalities! So Moses is saying to God that because He is the God who gives personalities, He has to be the one who chooses the personality best suited to lead the people. I just love that, and Joshua is the guy.
Here God goes again, CLEARLY communicating to the people, what is required of them. The daily offerings have been taught before. The Sabbath offering is new information. The offering on the first day of the month become the “New moon offerings” They are learning these because this will characterize their agricultural life in the Promised Land.
Luke 3: 1-22
We get to read about John the Baptist’s ministry today. I love how simple his message is, just do the right thing. Stop breaking the law by collecting more taxes than are actually required and having a giving attitude. His baptism was an outward sign of inward repentance. The baptism meant nothing if they did not live out what they said they believed.
Psalm 61: 1-8
This was such a good reminder for me today. My heart is overwhelmed and I need to cry to God for help. Now for sure I understand that David probably wrote this because he was being chased down by some terrible army and that is not my lot life, however my heart is overwhelmed all the same. You know just overwhelmed by what I have on my plate this week, and because I basically lost all of yesterday and probably most of today being sick. Sometimes piles of laundry, dishes and unplanned meals can look like terrible armies trying to take you down, but I don’t want to be too dramatic.
Proverbs 11: 16-17
According to this proverb respect is more valuable than wealth. Also, this is the biblical testament to “what goes around comes around.” The Buddhist’s did not invent karma, God told us it was true thousands of years before.
3/16/19 One Year Bible Recap
Numbers 24: 1–25: 18
Balaam realizes the Lord is at work here and that He is more powerful than anything he has ever come into contact with. So with that recognition the Lord can use him to deliver the oracles. Bad news for Balak, and I cracked up when it said, “He clapped his hands and shouted….”
I am just so struck by how clear God has been with His chosen people, and yet they choose to ignore His Commandments. He communicated to them that pagan worship of false God’s leads to bondage and death. He has proven his character by providing manna from heaven, protection and has displayed His power to them. And at the first chance they get, they jump head first into temple worship with temple prostitutes. One leader, Zimri, is so brazen that he brings a prostitute back to the camp with him. Actions like that show us that these peoples hearts have chosen to reject God and follow Baal (Satan). Sin=Death. Since they have made their choice God ends their life on earth, and they will be locked into their choice of rejection of God.
This also makes me think of all the people now a days that say, “If I could just see the Lord do a miracle or if He just displayed His power so I knew He was real I would believe and do everything He says.” Ah, no you wouldn’t, because we have learned that lesson from the Israelites. There is something that keeps us from following the rules.
Luke 2: 1-35
I love that the first thing the shepherds do when the angels leave is high tail it to Bethlehem to check out the baby. I also love the the party that is described when they go back to their flocks after having confirmed that the Messiah had come. Also, don’t miss the fact that the first people notified where lowly shepherds whose hearts were tender toward the Lord. (Not fancy religious leaders)
We have learned from our OT study that God allowed people who could not afford to sacrifice a lamb to sacrifice turtle doves or pigeons. We also know exactly what Mary and Joseph are having to offer sacrifices for! (Purification and 1st born dedication.) Taking all this into account we can assume they are very poor and devoted to the Lord.
I also love how God blessed Simeon by allowing him to see the baby. God used the people whose hearts we devoted to Him to spread the message.
Psalm 59: 1-17
I was just saying to my friend Cheryl that the Psalms are the hardest thing for me to write about everyday. Her thought is it’s because they are so personal, its like reading someone’s prayer journal. I totally agree with her. We are getting to read Davids most private thoughts and his interaction with God. So, as I read through it today I tried to think about how I identified with David’s prayers. I totally get him saying, “Wake up! See what is happening and help me!” This just shows us how he really believes God has to move for him to be saved, he can’t save himself. I also love how David calls God, “Oh my Strength.”
Proverbs 11: 14
A person making all the decisions with no one around from whom he takes advice is a dangerous person. We are all safer together.
3/15/19 One Year Bible Recap
Numbers 22: 21–23: 30
God gave permission for Balaam to go with the men in yesterday’s passage but now He is angry with him for going? What gives? I think it is because of Balaam’s heart posture. In 2 Peter 2:15, Balaam’s character is described as “loving the wages of unrighteousness.” If that is where Balaam’s heart is then it makes sense that on the journey God is going to teach him about who He is and why Balaam should obey Him. God will teach us even through a talking donkey. If you have ever dealt with a donkey/horse/bovine you know how humbling dealing with them can be.
Balaam engages the pagan practices of sacrifice to try to summon God’s presence. We know, having just read Leviticus that if Balaam was really trying to worship God he would have gone down to the Israelites camp and asked Moses and the Levites to intervene. But because God is on the move here to protect the Israelites, He answers Balaam anyway, despite the useless sacrifices. I absolutely was laughing out loud this morning when Balak is like, “Well fine if you are not going to curse just go, but don’t bless them!”
Elizabeth has here baby and they name him John. Zechariah’s speech is restored and John grew up strong in the spirit. So guess what? Since those things came true (near predictions) we can take what Gabriel said about Mary having Jesus TO THE BANK!! It is going to happen. God even uses Zechariah to paint a more vivid picture of what John and Jesus will do in the coming years. The line, “Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace,” really stood out to me. As I sit here and write this the sun has just come up over my neighbor’s house. The light is truly beautiful and I feel in my soul how it saved me from the shadow of death.
Psalm 58: 1-11
If you have been truly victimized on this earth, take comfort in this psalm because you can trust the God will not let injustice go unpunished in the end. It is God’s fight and He always wins.
Proverbs 11: 12-13
I am really seeing how much power there is in our words. We can build up our community or tear it down by what we choose to share. I think we could all stand to share less, and listen more.
3/14/19 One Year Bible Recap
Numbers 21: 1–22: 20
A cycle is developing before our eyes, but it is one we are probably already familiar with because it is already cemented in our own lives. The cycle is: People start to complain, they rebel, the Lord disciplines them, They repent, the Lord saves them. This cycle will characterize most of the following books in the OT. I say this is familiar to us because this is the product of our sin nature. We, at our heart level, just like the Israelites, don’t want what the Lord wants to give us. So God takes us through the journey of sanctification so we finally sing like David in Psalm 57, “Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens. May your glory shine over all the earth.” He is so kind to convince us of His love, and faithfulness. We will get to watch this unfold in the following books.
Remember the people they are fighting, the Moabites and Ammorites, are the product of Lot’s incestuous relationship with his daughters. They do not follow God. Remember God warned them that the idolatry they prescribe to would enslave them. They were so far from God that in His mercy, he brought death to end their enslaved life on earth. They were set in their decision to ignore God. When it says the Balaam seeks the Lord’s direction it is not because of his devotion. It is because everyone knew that the Israelites where the Lord’s chosen people, (because of everything that was accomplished in Egypt) and they knew the best way to deal with a group of people was to talk to whatever gods they worshipped. In this case it happens to be Yahweh, the only real God. In God’s mercy for all souls, He told Balaam to leave the Israelites alone.
Luke 1: 26–56
This passage came alive for me a few months ago when I read a book called “Giddy up, Eunice” by my dear friend Sophie Hudson. (Who is not actually my dear friend but would be if we actually met in real life.) I am going to draw on what she pointed out in her book. The first thing Mary does is go to Elizabeth to see if she is pregnant. This was the near prediction that Gabriel gave her, so if it is true the prediction about Jesus is true too. And behold Elizabeth is pregnant. I love that in the excitement, fear, anticipation, fear, joy, and experiencing God’s faithfulness, God gives Mary and Elizabeth each other. They understand each other’s situation. Miraculously pregnant, with sons that will change the world. One is the announcer, and the other the Savior of the world. For Mary there was so many ways that she had to trust the Lord. The main one being that she could be stoned for becoming pregnant during her betrothal. I love the Lord for giving her Elizabeth to talk to, pray with and celebrate with. Guess what? He does the same thing for us. When we need great faith, He gives great believing friends to encourage us on in faith.
Psalm 57: 1–11
People like to try to juke me all the time by saying, “IF your God is so loving then why is there suffering in the world?” Well, the cycle we see in Numbers and this Psalm point to the answer. There is suffering so we will learn who God is and draw closer to Him until our heart sings, “Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens! May your glory shine over all the earth.” In our sinful state our heart sings, “Why have you brought me out here to die? I hate this manna you provide for me miraculously everyday!” God delivers us from suffering so we will “Hide beneath the shadow of His wings.”
Proverbs 11: 9–11
I love this Podcast called Crimetown. (The language is awful, so if that bothers you don’t listen) It is about city’s in the US that have been taken over by corruption and organized crime. This proverb made me think of that podcast. When corruption and wickedness take hold of city, crime reigns. People really do celebrate when they die because they are finally free of it. Godly people bring up right living.
3/13/19 One Year Bible Recap
Numbers 19: 1–20: 29
The Israelites daily life was characterized by imagery that taught them about who God was and who they were in relation to God. Sin = Death. Therefore touching a dead body made them ceremonial unclean. In order to enjoy the benefits of living in God’s community, He had to give them a way to become ceremonially clean. Chapter 19 describes this process.
God tells Moses and Aaron to SPEAK to the rock, but in their frustration with these people who seem to only be gifted with ability to complain, they STRIKE the rock. Remember, this community is characterized by imagery. Moses speaking to the rock would have pointed to the fact that God provided the water. Moses striking the rock points to Moses and Aaron having the ability to force water to appear. The added layer is they also disobeyed God’s instructions. We learned with the story of Miriam starting a rebellion, that God holds people in leadership positions to a different standard then those who are following them. Because of their disobedience they never see the Promised Land. It doesn’t seem fair, does it? The funny thing is God never promised things would be fair, He only promised more of Himself. He is perfectly loving and perfectly just so I think it would behoove us to let go of things being fair and trust that God is acting in perfect harmony with His character.
Oh and one more thing….That’s ok Edom, Israel will be back…….😜
Luke 1: 1–25
God is the bomb. There are 4 gospels and each one tells essentially the same story, but each one is written by a different person, who emphasizes different things. All are inspired by God, and protected by Him, but they all speak the story in a different way. Luke, is my favorite. Maybe that is my enneagram 1 showing? It is more historical driven. Luke has done research and laid out the story carefully to convince his friend, Theophilus, of the truth. (Theophilus translates to “Lover of God”) This gospel is also written to help Gentiles understand how to secure their salvation. Luke lays out the fact that Jesus offered it to the Jews, they rejected Him so salivation has come to the rest of the world. As we journey through this gospel lets remember who it is written to and why so we keep everything in the right context.
We totally know what Zechariah is doing from our study of numbers! Remember? God said to burn incense everyday and that the priest on duty was responsible. That is Zechariah. He is just going about his duties, and BAMB! Gabriel is there! Gabriel tells him about John. Unfortunately Zechariah doesn’t believe in what God can do, so God starts teaching Zechariah right away. No speaking until the child is born is the near prophecy. Remember if the near prophecy comes true, then you can take the far prophecy (everything he said about John’s life) to the bank!!
Psalms 56: 1-13
David has been captured by the Philistines and writes this Psalm. The line, “This I know; God is on my side!” leaves me in awe of their vibrant relationship. The faith he has in God is based on their relationship. God has faithfully taught David; through discipline, trials, joy, heartache; who He is.
Proverbs 11: 8
Well this is good news!
And…. I am back. I really did have plans to write while on the New York trip, but seriously I was an idiot for thinking that. It was all I could do to shower at the end of day and get in bed. I had the absolute best time with my girl. I have so many topics to write about over on the weekly blog, so stay tuned!
This is a good spot for me to say that if you have fallen off the wagon as far as reading your bible goes, just jump back in! Don’t give up because you didn’t do it perfectly. It kills me that dates will be missing from the daily blog, but that is not what this is about is it? I have to tell myself to get over it. (Or have a friend tell me to get over it, thanks Ash!) It’s about reading His word and developing the discipline it takes to read His word everyday! It is about faithfulness, not perfection! Grab your bible and jump back in!
The last few days of reading have been characterized by rebellion. Rebellion to God’s word and out right rebellion to His authority. We can see how the Israelites are becoming less and less impressed with the God who has saved them. Likewise, we see how the Jesus is treated by the nation who is supposed to be waiting for Him. They don’t want a savior who will come in and upset what they have going. Let’s pick up the story again today.
The nation of Israel has seen the Wrath of God because of rebellion and the very next morning they are muttering again. This is how rebellion starts. One person vents her complaints on another and so on and so on. It is a cancer. So many complaints should just be left unsaid. What do they really have to complain about? But God, because of His loving nature serves them another wonderful sign to show them that they need to follow Aaron. He is so kind.
God is so very clear with the Levites and the ordinances because He really does not want to have to serve them with His wrath. They have to follow Him or they will die.
Mark 16: 1-8 or 16: 1-19–Choose your own adventure.
Just kidding! I am sure you saw the footnote over the ending of Mark. There have been studies, and investigations and people loose there mind over this. I am going to cut to the chase and tell you where I land with it.
The earliest manuscripts we have end with verse 8. Most all other manuscripts from the 5th century on include some sort of extended ending. I think the ending at vs. 8 seems to go with how abrupt Mark is in the rest of his gospel. However, the longer ending was included enough by early church fathers that it seems they felt like an addition needed to be included. So because of the discrepancy DO NOT build your whole theology on these included/excluded verses. Understand that the gospel for all intents and purposes ends at vs. 8 and read 9-20 as a clarification/unification with the endings of the other gospels. Then, when you get to heaven ask Mark for yourself how he intended to end his gospel. I am not joking. We should not waste time worrying about the ending of Mark, souls are being lost that need to hear from us and they will not care about the ending of Mark.
Psalm 55: 1-23
A psalm David wrote in response to being betrayed by a friend. Is there any worse pain in the world? You expect betrayal by an enemy, but the unexpected betrayal of a friend leaves a mark on us. I was struck by the line, “We walked together to the house of God.” They were so close. In the end David does not retaliate but learns to trust the Lord in a deeper way. God is the only one who will not disappoint you.
Proverbs 11: 7
This proverb made me think of the Israelites bucking up against leadership. If your hope is in your own abilities life on earth is as good as it gets. If your hope is the Lord, life on earth is the jumping off point and it only gets better from here.
3/8/19 One Year Bible Recap—on the road again……
Me and the Israelites are on the move. I am headed to NYC with my daughter for a Chior Trip. This group is all sitting around waiting for our flight and singing, tying new songs, and challenging each other sing offs. So yes, I am living my best Acca-mom life right now.
Numbers 10:1–11: 23
God is the God of order. He has a plan for the people to follow so that travel is not chaotic. I love this about His character because it calms my anxiety and reminds that if my thoughts are chaotic I need to go to the Lord so He can bring order to them.
And now, in the midst of a cloud leading the way, food that falls from the sky, protection from enemies, and a grandiose salvation from slavery, the Israelites start to complain. In fact the word complain is a repeated word in the next section. We get to start to study how sin nature interacts with God’s law. The complaining gets so bad that Moses even prays that God will take this leadership away from him or kill him. God does answer Moses but not the way he wants Him to. He gives Moses some mid level managers to help shoulder the burden of these complaining whiners. The Israelites are demanding better provision from the Holy God of the Universe. The patient Yahweh starts to teach them who He is and who they are.
Mark 14: 1-21
We continue on in the story that will leads us to the trial of Jesus. I was so struck with the woman who uses her expensive jar of nard to anoint Jesus. There is so much going on and everyone is getting ready for Passover, they are trying to find out who is going to betray Jesus, the Pharisees are trying to get Jesus in secret, Jesus is still teaching the disciples, and they are having to deal with the daily needs of having meals. This woman comes in and worships Jesus. It just made me think of all the times I am busy doing “good” things, that I forget to devote my most precious time to Jesus. There will always be things needing to be done. Jesus reminds us that devotion to Him trumps all of that. I tell my girls: “If you are too busy to be in the Word, you are too busy.”
Psalm 51: 1-19
Bible Knowledge Commentary said that this Psalm might be the Psalm most identified with through the ages. It is the song of the hopeless sinner that needs God to forgive him and save him. Repenting for our sin should be a huge part of our life with God. I am so prideful that sometimes I think, “Geez, Lord? I don’t think I have anything to repent for.” Jesus in His faithfulness goes, “Um, hold on there chickadee, what about (this or that)?” And I go, “Oh, yeah, I forgot about that, will you forgive me?” And Jesus says, “YES!” Every time.
Proverbs 10: 31-32
People will leave your presence up lifted if your words honor God. People will leave your presence feeling icky if your words don’t honor God.
3/7/19 One Year Bible Recap
Numbers 8: 1–9:23
After the consecration of the Levites, the Lord sent them into the Tabernacle to do their work. I love how we have followed their training and preparation and now God turns them loose to do what they have been trained to do.
I was struck this morning by the story of Moses saying, “Wait here until I have received instructions from the Lord.” It just made me realize even though we who are reading this may feel like God has covered every aspect of life with the Israelites, He shows us here that it is still about a relationship and dependence on Him. When you don’t know what to do, don’t make up something that sounds good to you, “Wait for instructions.” Until you have them you have to do the next right thing. My good friend Emily P. Freeman (who is not my friend at all but we would be friends if we knew each other) has a book coming out called “The Next Right Thing.” This is an idea ruminating in my soul right now. This scripture made me think of it. We so want these rules to be clear so that we don’t have to go to God to get instructions. Right? But “Waiting here for instructions” shows that our heart is dependent on Him. That is the best place to be.
Next the people learn submission to the Lord. How do I know that? Because if I was camping, and having to break camp and move when the cloud moved, you better bet your britches that if I got my tent set up and that dad-gum cloud moved the NEXT morning, I would consider not submitting to the Lord. But He faithfully taught them to follow Him. The awe they have for Him encourages them to follow Him. He is the Lord who rescued them, is providing food and water for them and protecting them….They need Him!
Mark 13: 14-37
We get another account of what the tribulation will be like. It starts with this “desecration standing where he should not be.” This is some sort of person that makes everyone believe he God, but reveals that he is actually with Satan. This is such a bad time that when you see this desecration happening you will want to head for the hills without even packing. And just when everyone living during the tribulation thinks that the time has come for everyone to die, Jesus will come. There will be no question, you will know its Him. He will come with much cosmic upset and He will send out the angels to collect the people who have become believers during the tribulation.
No one knows the exact time but we are urged to watch and be vigilant. He says nothing about being scared, He warns against forgetting that He is coming back.
Psalm 50: 1-23
This is so cool! We get a picture of what God’s judgement of his people will be like. He has two things to address with them.
One is how they have just started going through them motions with the sacrifices. They have forgotten why they are sacrificing to God. He says “Do I need the bulls from your barns?” He answers His own question by saying, “NO! I own the cattle on 1000 hills!” Thankfulness is what He is after. He wants them to learn how to be thankful through the sacrifices.
He then address that they have thrown out the 10 Commandments. “For you refuse my discipline and treat my words like trash.” Yikes! He tells them that giving thanks is a sacrifice that honors Him and keeping to His path will reveal the salvation of God to them.
Proverbs 10: 29-30
This proverb made me remember how God told the Israelites to follow his commands or the Land would vomit them out. Depending on Him and following His way leads to security.
3/6/19 One Year Bible Recap
Well, I am back in the Land of the living. I got a steroid shot yesterday so watch out! I’m firing on all cylinders! I still don’t have a voice but I can type. (No snarky comments about me not being able to talk.)
Leviticus 6:1 —7:89
The Vow of the Nazirite helps us understand how the non-priestly people of the Nation could consecrate themselves for a particular amount of time. They would do this out of devotion to the Lord, think of like an overflow of thankfulness. Or they would devote their children to this lifestyle, think of Sampson. (If you don’t know Sampson, don’t worry we will meet him soon.)
Look at the character of God here in this next part. He tells Aaron that whenever they bless the people the Lord Himself will bless them. He is so close to this nation and loves them so much that He will be there to bless them. I just love how His loving character comes through there.
Next is a kind of flash back to when the Tabernacle was anointed. You see this because of the wording in the fist line of the section, “On the day Moses set up the Tabernacle…” We have a recording that includes a lot of NUMBERS (see the book of numbers has a lot of numbers in it). Every tribe offered the same things. The exact offering is recorded to show that the Tribes were ALL IN! Moses then records that he spoke to the Lord in the Tabernacle and his voice was coming from the Mercy seat. I think this shows us that the Lord accepted their offering and acknowledges that they have followed his instructions to a T.
Giving to the Lord. It is such a sticky subject. It is the one area that I think shows our devotion to the Lord the clearest. With the story of the widow Jesus is teaching us that the amount doesn’t matter the heart behind it does. Think of it this way. Lets say I dropped a check for $10,000 into the offering box. You might be impressed by that. If you found out I made $30,000 a year you would be really impressed right? I would have just given 30% of my income away to the Lord! But lets say my income is $2,000,000. That is not as impressive because I only gave .005% of my income away. What Jesus is saying here is giving is not the issue, it’s the heart behind it. If you drop a big check but don’t feel the pinch is it really devotion to the Lord or is it showboating? The Pharisee’s had this all wrong. They like to float around and be big deals, but Jesus teaches us that the quiet act of the widow shows devotion. Just to add one more thing because Jesse and I teach Dave Ramsey’s FPU and I can’t help but plug that and what it teaches. Dave asks the question, “Does your budget reflect your beliefs?” Like if I sat down and went through your budget would I know that you are believer in Jesus? Ok, getting off the soap box now. Calm down I am not going to look at your budget!
Mark records the Olivet Discourse. Remember prepared people are not scared people. We learned that back in Matthew when we read this last month. Jesus uses the near and far prediction method to authenticate his message. His near prediction is the Temple will be destroyed, his far prediction is that He will return. The Temple is destroyed in 70 AD, so we can take it to the bank that He is coming back. What stuck out to me today was verse 9. “When these things begin to happen, watch out! You will be handed over to the local councils and beaten in the synagogues. You will stand trial before governors and kings because you are my followers, but this will be your opportunity to tell them about me.” BKC said that Mark recorded this specifically to encourage the Gentile believers who would be terrified to be arrested, it was to encourage them to trust the Lord. However it also applies to us.
I am sure you agree with me when I say the only thing it’s not ok to be these days is Christian. This persecution of Christians for our beliefs is actually what will spread the Gospel!! How cool is that? God is so loving that He wants our persecutors to hear the message! But look what Jesus left us to do! We will stand before people who don’t agree with us and preach His message under His power. YOU better make sure that your social media, your attitude, and your words don’t close the door to that opportunity. What if you get to stand in front of Trump, Hillary, Pelosi, or any other “governors and kings?” Will they listen to a word you have to say if you just lit them up on your Socials? Isn’t the issue really that souls need to be saved and the message of Jesus goes out? Can you put aside your “rightness” and not shut the door to being the one that brings the message that truly saves? We are supposed to think about others as better than ourselves remember? Ok, I am thinking the steroid shot I got is responsible for my soap boxes today. Lets move on before I lose all my friends.
Psalm 49: 1-20
I love this psalm! He tells us to listen carefully because he is going to solve a riddle for us. The riddle is the age old question of why the wicked prosper. He tells us its all a show because in the end the godly ones who were snatched out of the grave actually win. He says people who boast of their wealth (meaning they don’t need God to save them) will die like animals. This broken and sinful world is as good as it gets for them. People who are saved by the Lord will rule over them all. So, stay in your lane, don’t get hung up on the prosperity of the wicked. God will not be mocked.
Proverbs 10: 27-28
When our hopes line up with God’s hopes it results in happiness. When we say I expect this to happen or I expect that to happen in a demanding wicked way, we get nothing. Ask me how I know.
3/5/19 One Year Bible Recap
Well I am still sick, but I went and got a steroid shot today so maybe by tomorrow I will be better. I blame the Texas weather for my illness. So lets hit the highlights today.
Numbers 4: 1–5: 31
My friend Ginger and I are doing a bible study together and just last week we were praising God because He is the God of order. So reading through these instructions for moving the tabernacle made me think of how much I love the fact that our God is the God of order. There is no panicked running around trying to figure stuff out. You just do what He says and you are ok. He even assigned specific people to specific jobs. Everyone knew what they needed to do. I love our God. He will always bring order to a situation.
So I’m sure you were scratching your head like I was at the adulterous women test. Let us remember that the point of these rules and rituals were to make the Israelites unique. They were to be set apart from the people around them. They were to reflect God. In this case this test is put in place to protect women. In the pagan world if a woman upset her husband he could claim she cheated on him and have her killed with no witnesses. In God’s camp there had to be witnesses of adultery for there to be consequences. And if there where no witnesses the husband had to go before the Lord, not just kill her or beat her up or what have you. God takes such a hard stance on adultery because he likens idolatry to adultery. (Spoiler alert: in later books in the OT he will accuse the nation of Israel of adultery with idols. Meaning they cheat on Him by going after idols.)
Mark 12: 18–37
The Sadducees, religious leaders that believed most of the Pentateuch but then threw out what they didn’t agree with in the rest of the OT. Proof that people have been picking and choosing what they want the Bible to say for thousands of years. You can’t take one part without the others. You have to remember that it is one story. It is powerful and living and can change you from the inside out. But if you hamstring it by only taking the parts you like, you take away all the power of the book.
Verses 32-34 are unique to the book of Mark. The teacher makes a profound statement. “This [loving God and loving your neighbor] is more important than to offer all of the burnt offerings and sacrifices required in the law.” He was on to the Truth. Somewhere along the way they substituted the sacrifice for the relationship with God. This teacher was on the way to believing God. Remember too that Mark is writing to the Gentiles (non Jews). He adds this statement so that the gentiles understand that sacrifices had there place but now Jesus has come to do what the sacrifices could not do.
Psalm 48: 1-14
A psalm written in response to a time when God defended His city. It caused the inhabitants of the city to rejoice and praise God.
Proverbs 10: 26
Well this is pretty self explanatory. I am not an employer of any workers so to speak, but I do encounter workers at restaurants and I find myself wanting to say to them, “You are annoying as smoke in my eyes.” I don’t say that because I am trying to be a kind person now-a-days.
3/4/19 One Year Bible Recap
The purpose of the book of Numbers is an instruction manual for the Israelites as to how to travel, set up camp, how the Levites would carry out their duties, and prepare to receive all that God had promised them. In the 40 years that this book covers we are going to follow them as they learn to believe God’s promise and act out on it.
Todays section gives us an idea of how many people are traveling. This endeavor is absolutely divine. There is no way to get that many people organized and headed the same direction without God’s intervention. Here is a helpful diagram.
<img src=”https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5bbb754e94d71a8aed73f7ea/t/5c7d5b828165f5ef23585e4f/1551719305366/arrangementoftribalcamps.png” alt=”arrangementoftribalcamps.png” />
The dedication of the first born was something that would cause them to remember the fact that God spared their first born in the time of the Exodus. God doesn’t get hung up on the fact that the numbers don’t match up perfectly. He makes a way for them to remember the Passover by compensating the Levites for the 273 that don’t have a match.
Mark 11: 27—12:17
Jesus is the master of all debaters. He answered their question with a question, that if they answered, either way would incriminate the Pharisee’s. Maybe because of the way Mark records this story, but I was so struck by the “rock and a hard place” situation the Pharisee’s have gotten themselves into. They are concerned with what the people will think of them and they are concerned about admitting disobedience to God. Jesus uses a parable to expose the dilemma they are in.
They have a good thing going here. They have abundance and power to kill the land owners (God) agents (Prophets). They don’t want the owner (God) to come back because it will mess up this power trip of popularity they have going on. They have substituted abundance and power for doing what God says. Now they are more afraid of losing the good thing they have going than they are of displeasing God. That is a dilemma we should never be in. Obeying and listening to God should always be first. If you lose friends over it, so be it. My friend Cheryl told me one time, “It is easier to be afraid of people because we can see them face to face, we are not as afraid of God because sometimes He is not as real to us as the people around us.” That is when you cry out to Him to help you with your unbelief!
The Pharisee’s try to get Jesus to jump into the same dilemma they have created for themselves. They want Him to say something against God or against the government so they can trap Him. We can trust that Jesus would not fall into that dilemma because obedience to God is what He loved. He will not be like us and cow-tow to the people around us just because He can see them face to face and ignore God because He can’t see Him. God was perfectly real to Jesus.
Psalm 47: 1-9
Whenever you see the phrase “God is King over all the earth,” you are most likely reading a prophetic psalm about the future Kingdom of Jesus. This is what it will be like when He comes back to rule.
Proverbs 10: 24-25
As I was reading this morning I was battling being distracted by fears of something going on with one of my kids. I was afraid for them and worried. I read this proverb and it checked my heart. “The fears of the wicked will be fulfilled; the hopes of the godly will be granted.” It immediately turned my thoughts from fears for this kid into hope for this kid. I started to believe God when He says, “the godly have a lasting foundation.” My thoughts went from fear to hope because God is so kind not to leave me afraid.
And just to keep it fully real, so you don’t get the wrong idea, I am going back to bed because I feel like I might have the plague.
3/3/19 One Year Bible Recap
Hey there! My household has all gotten an upper respiratory thing and now it is my turn. I’m not feeling too great so this is going to be more of a need to know recap, instead of a deep thought recap! Feel free to leave any discussion points you think are worthy to mention in the comments!
Leviticus 27:14—Numbers 1:54
WE MADE IT THROUGH LEVITICUS!!! The section wraps up with dedications and tithing of the herds. And the conclusion reiterates who wrote it, when and for who just so there is no confusion.
We started the book of Numbers. So titled because it is the book that records a lot of numbers, seriously that is how it got its name. More on the tomorrow. For now just know that meticulous record was kept of the tribes and people.
Mark 11: 1-26
Remember the fig tree got cursed because it was not producing the fruit that it should. The temple got cleared out because they were not producing the kind of fruit they should. They turned God’s Temple into a money making endeavor.
Psalm 46: 1-11
In the midst of wars, kingdoms crumbling, natural disasters….”Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.”
Proverbs 10: 23
This is the perfect description of being in your 20’s. You still want to do wrong things, but you start to feel bad about it. Then you wake up and realize you don’t want to have to live by the seat of your pants anymore and you start adult-ing.
3/2/19 One Year Bible Recap
Leviticus 25: 47—27: 13
The Israelites have entered in to a covenant with God. It is referred to as the Mosaic Covenant because Moses is the one who the information is given to. Today we get the blessing and curses portion of the covenant.
The blessings for obedience to the ordinances sound divine—because they are! Harvests so large that it fills the grain houses to the point that some of the harvest from the last season is thrown out. Never a lull in crops. Health and wellness. Protection from animals and enemies. Everybody can get behind the blessings.
However this same loving God who wants to bless them will also curse them for disobedience. He will turn against them if they worship pagan gods. He will send armies against them. He will make the ground hard as bronze. No rain, no harvest. Illness will run rampant. They will try to run but plagues will follow them. And why does he do this? Why does he punish so severely for disobedience? Why doesn’t he just put them in the “timeout” chair and tell them to think about what they did? The answer is in following verses that say, “And if, in spite of all this, you still disobey me, I will punish you seven times over for your sins. I will break your proud spirit by making the skies as unyielding as iron and the earth as hard as bronze.” He goes on from there to increase the curse if they do not relent and become obedient. This is God’s mercy on them. Remember He told them that worshiping pagan idols would enslave them and trap them. God punishes those He loves to that they will come back to Him and be free of sin.
He then tells us, “…then at last their stubborn hearts will be humbled…” He also says that no matter the amount of disobedience He will never completely abandon them or reject them. The covenant is based on His character, not theirs. He will keep His promise that He made to Abraham. And that is good news, because we are about to see just how disobedient Israel can be.
Mark 10: 32-52
The disciples show that they are still not understanding what is going to happen when they get to Jerusalem. In their minds, I’m guessing, they are thinking a brilliant entry, a quick take over and then Jesus on the great throne, with them all seated to His right and left. This is not the kind of victory Jesus is about to have. Jesus is about to become the servant for mankind, because He will become our sin on the cross. The one, who has every right to the throne and to rule us all, will humble himself and become a servant. Jesus will eventually be ruler of over all, but first He has to be a servant in order to be a leader.
Psalm 45: 1-17
This was a psalm written to celebrate the marriage of the king. It is also mentioned in Hebrews 1: 8-9 as a reference to Jesus’ eternal reign.
Have you ever known someone who calls something a “blessing from God” but they had to break about 27 principles of the Lord to get it? Like, “This boat is a blessing from the Lord! I lied to the seller to get him to come down on the price and got such a good deal. I had to get a loan but the rate was so much better than anything else I have financed! I didn’t tell my (wife/husband) until I got it home because I didn’t want him/her to tell me no.” This proverb says blessings from the Lord come with NO SORROW. I think the idea here is that when you adhere to God principles, like the ones we are learning about in proverbs, things will be given to you that you do not have grab at or make happen.
3/1/19 One Year Bible Recap
We made it another month! Look at us go people! It is a habit now for me, I drive myself insane until I get this written. I hope you are finding your rhythm in it too. This is how lives are changed—time in the Word.
Leviticus 24: 1—25: 46
Alrighty then, coming in hot today with a stoning right off the bat. Here is what I know about the Lord. Physical death of our body is not His endgame. Since the garden our physical bodies are only temporary. Our spirit, however, is eternal. That means the you-ness of you will last forever. When you die your spirit can go two places; Heaven and be with the Lord forever or your spirit will experience a second death (separation for God) and it will go to hell forever. There is no way around this. God in all his infinite wisdom (that is so far beyond what we can know), knows when someone is ready for this “Heaven or hell judgement” of the spirit. In the case we read today, this person blasphemed the Lord and God saw fit that it was time for his physical body to die and his spirit to be locked into the choice he made. This guy chose hell in case you were wondering. Now, that is a lot of deep thoughts for a Friday morning. The OT is going to get a lot more brutal from here on out so I think it is import to square with God on this point. Humans are so afraid of death that we covet life in this body to the fullest extent. But this life is not the endgame. The endgame is eternity and I for one want to be with this amazing Lord we are learning about and not in hell. (Spoiler alert: Jesus is the way to have eternal life with God) Questions? Email me (nicely)! firstname.lastname@example.org
Mark 10: 13-31
Jesus is still battling the Disciples cultural view of things. Children in this culture were the lowest of the low. Jesus says that you have to have that kind of attitude to belong to the Kingdom of God.
The rich man new He was missing something for eternal life. (This is what I was just saying about your spirit living forever) He asks Jesus what he needs to do. Jesus, as only he can, gets to the heart of the issue. He says, did you follow the rules? The rich man says, all puffed up, “to the letter since I was a kid.” Jesus did not congratulate him on this because this in fact it is the wrong answer. The correct answer is “I couldn’t keep those rules! I am a sinner in need of a Savior.” This rich man is just looking for the thing that will really secure his eternity. Jesus is moved by his neediness and loves him. The one thing left to do is get rid of all your stuff and follow Jesus. The man’s face falls. Jesus asked for something the rich man was unwilling to give up, his “god” money. His eternal security was wrapped up in following the rules and having money. The commandments are not bad, they perfectly reflect God. Having money is not bad unless you worship it. It’s just that those two things can’t save you.
The disciples are flabbergasted! If the rich are not safe then who is? In the disciples day, and ours too, a lie Satan spins is that wealth = God’s favor. That is just not true. It is about who is at the center of your worship. Money or Jesus? Rules or Jesus?
Psalm 44: 9-26
God for whatever reason is causing the nation of Israel to go through some suffering. We finish up this psalm today and in this section we see them begging for God do something! To move and remember they are His people. Look at what they are claiming here. You make us retreat, You have butchered us, you sold your people, you have made us the butt of jokes. The psalmist knows that God is sovereign over victories and he is also sovereign over suffering. This Loving, Saving, Good God will also allow suffering because suffering produces a stronger faith. Look at how they know their need for Him in this suffering! They are better for the suffering because they are closer to God.
Proverbs 10: 20-21
Feel unheard? Maybe it is because only the words of the godly are worth silver.
Common sense, you gain it by being godly.