12/16/19 One Year Bible Recap

Micah 5: 1—7: 20

We get a reminder today as to why Jesus was born.  It is to become the Eternal Ruler.  The birth of Jesus is not the end of the story it is the beginning.  He is not just a baby in a manger.  The Christmas story is told in the bible to let us know that all the prophecies about Jesus were fulfilled in Jesus.  The bigger story here is that Jesus, as revealed to us in today’s section, will come back to cleanse the World and Rule Forever. 

I also love the part where God says to Israel, “What have I done to you? What have I done to make you tired of me?”  When you think back about all the ways God saved Israel you realize that there really is something inside us set against God.  Jesus had to come to help us overcome our sin nature, otherwise we don’t see what God has done for us.

Revelation 7: 1-17

Before the 7th seal is opened, John sees the Remnant of Israel that God promised to preserve and the multitude of martyrs that are killed for their faith during the Tribulation.  Don’t forget, with opening of the seals in heaven, here on earth the Tribulation is going on.  John sees and then records for us that God is true to His word.  He promised to preserve a remnant and He promised that anyone who calls on the name of Jesus will be saved. 

Psalms 135: 1-21

Proverbs 30: 5-6

Just Keep Showing Up.

I have learned so much about myself since the last time I got on here to write about my left turn into Grad School.  I just thought there was one wrinkle in my life.  But no, I was wrong.  In the last few months there have be changes in my life top to bottom.  Seriously, I don’t think there is a single area of my life that has not been affected. 

I can’t talk about all the way’s I have experienced change in the last few months because then this post would be 10,000 words.  But I will talk about the ones that are most prominent. 

The hardest one is that we are going through a leadership change at our church.  I have not been in church world long, but from what I understand this is a normal thing that goes on in church world.  Leaders move on to do other things.  This has been going on since the Church was created 2000 years ago.  And change is good for us, but it also makes us concerned.  There is a reason that God calls us “sheep” in the bible.  That is because we act like sheep.  And when sheep lose their leader they panic.  I have felt that for sure. 

The change that I have had to endure the longest is building a church building and being a mobile church.  This change, if I am honest, feels ridiculous to me at this point.  I don’t understand the year long delay in completion, I get angry when I think about it.  I am sick of packing and unpacking the trailers every weekend.  Actually, to keep this honest, I am sick of watching the trailers being packed and unpacked because I have not really done much of the heavy lifting.  This change has also required marital negotiations between Jesse and I because someone has to be up at the building making sure stuff is getting done and someone wants that person home because she has never had to do without him in the evenings.  (spoiled, I know.)  This particular change has also taught us how to navigate disappointment.  You get your hopes up that it is finally going to finished only to learn that the lights on the outside of the building have to be changed because Rockwall is a “dark sky city,” and no outside lights can point upward.  Ok, Jesse will get right on that. 

Now, before you think I have stumbled into grumbling and complaining let me get to the point I want to make about what I have learned in this change.  First, when change happens it looks like Jesse is going to be the poster child for what a Godly response looks like, and I am going to be your sinful example.  Second, my only way to save face here is to be honest with you and tell you how I have dealt with all this change so that maybe I can save one of you from going down this road. 

So, here is a list of what not to do in change:

1. Do not try to control the situation.  My response is, “Well, I will just micro-manage all the people and situations back into order.”  This does not go well because this sets you up to oppose God and people don’t like being bossed around. 

2.  Do not speculate on what the outcome will be.  This will cause you to put your hope in the outcome you feel you can tolerate instead of the One who is literally in control of the outcome. 

3.  Do not be demanding.  I think I fall into this tactic to try to get people to appease the fear I have.  I make demands like, “You better figure this out or I am going to do it myself.”  Or “If ______ happens I cannot deal with it so I am out of here.” 

4.  Do not talk about how bad the change is to everyone who will listen.  There is something that happens when we just keep hashing up how bad change is.  I think it’s like this:  You know how when you are memorizing something and you have to say it over and over until you know it by heart?  Well I think the same thing happens when you are talking about something negative, you talk about it so much that it’s the first thing your mind goes to.  I am not saying we don’t deal with our stuff; I am saying deal with it and then think about something else. 

5.  Don’t dwell on how good things “use to be.”  Remembering the good ol’ days does not help you move into the new days in a positive way.  Not to get to tripped out on Saturday morning, but what if the good ol’ days suck compared to what is going to happen in the new good ol’ days. 

I have done each of these things, had to repent and change my thinking.  I have spent a lot of time praying.  I have embarrassed myself by letting off steam on someone only to have to go back and say, “I am sorry I spoke that way.”  It is the definition of “in process.”

But my husband, who is brilliant, chose a different tactic.  He chose to just keep quietly showing up, and getting through that day.  He has exercised faith where I exercised emotion.  He focused on building relationships with the very people who I was angry with because they missed a deadline.  He keeps getting up, reading his bible, going to the build site, going to staff meeting and loving people.  He gets mad sure, but he talks to himself in a different way.  Let me show you.

When I get upset about something Jesse says to me, “Sarah, we just have to do what God told us to do.  We are supposed to gather with other believers on Sunday and remember Jesus, Love God above everything else and love His people.  And we are doing that no matter if we are a mobile church or in a building, that doesn’t change.”  He then goes on to say, “Babe, we just gotta keep showing up.  If we keep showing up, other people will too.”  And that is it right there people.  That might be the most profound statement I have ever heard.  That statement literally has changed the way I look at change. 

“We gotta just keep showing up.”

Look at Romans 5: 3-5

3 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment.[1]

When we just keep showing up God can develop a strength of character in us.  If we avoid showing up by doing the things on the list I gave you from above, we miss out on developing endurance.  Growth in your life will happen when you don’t run or avoid trials.  Romans 5: 3 says we can rejoice when we run in to problems! 

And maybe we should address the fact that most of us, if we hit a trial, assume that God has failed us.  Pick up your bible folks, trials come to those He loves because He is in the business of making us more like Jesus.  If we run from discomfort, He won’t smite you, but you are missing out on that confident hope of salvation referenced in the above verse.  Abraham, Moses, Peter, Paul, Stephen, and John all lived from one discomfort to the next.  The problems and trials they had to live through made them into our Heroes of the Faith.  They did not cut and run and tell anyone who would listen that life was too hard.  No, they stayed in it because they believed God was in charge of it all.  Heck, Paul wrote a letter to the Philippians about Joy FROM HIS JAIL CELL! 

I am sufficiently humbled, and I hope you have learned from my bad example.  Jess is right!  We just have to keep showing up.  We have to gather on Sunday and remember Jesus.  We have to love God above all else and we have to love His people.  I want to learn how to rejoice in trials and change because I don’t want to spend my life running from change.  I want to have endurance developed in me by the Lord because I want the confident hope.  But most of all I want to keep showing up so you will too.  Together we can keep moving forward toward that hope that will not lead to disappointment.  So, see you Sunday? 


[1] Tyndale House Publishers. Holy Bible: New Living Translation. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2015. Print.

12/14/19 One Year Bible Recap

Jonah

Oh, Jonah, Jonah, Jonah, I so get you man.  I see you working out your life during the time when Jeroboam was ruling the Northern Kingdom.  I get that you were the one doing the right thing, not those jokers over in Nineveh.  I get you when you understand what God has asked you to do and you feel the weight of it and your response is, “I’m out.”  I feel you when you say, “Toss me over the side of the boat, this is my fault.”  I get you when you say from a fish’s belly, “Lord I am sorry, you are right, salvation comes from you alone.”  I feel you when you say, “You are going to bless these jokers Lord?  Have you seen what they have done????”  I get you when you realized the Lord had blessed you even though you were sinning against Him.  I feel you when God had to teach you that He is the boss and you are not.  I get all of that Jonah.  Thank you for being our example of this lesson. 

Revelation 5: 1-14

The scroll or book that is sealed with 7 seals is the written details of the coming judgement.  The seals are placed in such a way that you have to open them one at a time to get the scroll open.  And there is only one guy who can open the seals, that is Jesus.  He is the one who was the ransom for the world so it would make sense that He is the one who can bring about the final judgement of the world.  I get that this is not the Christmas story, but I think it is good to remember that Jesus was born to Mary to be the Lamb of the World.  Christmas was the beginning of His story, not the end. 

Psalm 133: 1-3

Proverbs 29: 26-27

12/13/19 One Year Bible Recap

Obadiah

An illustration of how pride does in fact go before the fall.  Since the book offers no color commentary on any specific events in history it is hard to date.  So, in that case we have to look at why it is included in the Bible.  In this case, this shortest and unquoted book is included because it takes what will happen to Edom in the future and teaches all what happens to nations who scoff at God. 

Revelation 4: 1-11

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We transition from the “What is now” section of Revelation to “What will happen later” section of Revelation.  With this transition John is transported in the Spirit to Heaven’s thrown room.  The scene is beyond what he can make sense of, so he gives us the hard facts.  This picture I included does not do it justice.  The 24 thrones could be Elders of the Raptured Church, or they could be Angels who have been given special duties.  The 4 Creatures whom we met in Daniel, probably represent God’s Omni-characteristics.  (Omniscient, Omni-present, Omnipotent)  But here is the point of all this, with everything going on in this scene, (all the creatures who in and of themselves would make us fall on our faces, the thunder and lightning, the colors, the splendor) it is all worship of the Lord on the Throne.  There is NO DOUBT in anyone’s mind if they should be worshipping Him, the JUST DO!  This is what heaven is like.  We will all stand in awe and sing Jesus Culture’s “Revelation Song,” over and over, much like the early 2010’s in churches here in the states.  (That is a joke) Seriously though, in heaven there is no doubt He is KING!  We will be worshipping God because we will finally see Him in all His majesty and we will just know it is the right thing to do. 

Psalm 132: 1-18

Proverb 29: 24-25

12/12/19 One Year Bible Catch Up!

And we are back.  Sorry for that pause in the recap.  When you ignore the fact that you have the flu, it turns out it takes a long time to get over it.  Lesson learned, not really, I will do it again next year I am sure.  Because excellence is demanded here at that The Sarah Griffith Blog (not actually true) I am going to do a “Catch Up,” today instead of the standard Recap.  This will be a rapid fire catch up to get us back to square.  Deep breath….ok, here we go.

Joel

Our friend Joel has a huge entry in the Bible Knowledge Commentary, and remember I told you if there is a huge entry in the BKC that means there are various ways to interpret it.  It seems scholars disagree as to if the Locust army is a real army or if it is real a real locust infestation à la the plagues.  The structure of the book is the same as the other prophets.  It goes from pronouncement of sin, a call to repent, to judgement of that sin, to future restoration.  And as far as the locust go, as I see it, both are true.  An army as numerous as locust came to exact judgement on Israel and their crops were wiped out by locust as per their covenant with God in Deuteronomy. 

Amos

Poor, poor Amos.  He was called to prophecy judgement during a time of unprecedented prosperity.  We have seen that it is hard to get the Israelites attention during bad times, imagine how they laughed off Amos warnings!  This was probably written around 762 B.C. based off the fact that he says it was two years before the earthquake.  Archeological information tells us that earthquake was around 760 B.C.  This book is mostly warnings for the Northern Kingdom, and as we already know, they don’t listen. 

The part in today’s reading that stood out to me was 8: 4-5—”Listen to this, you who rob the poor and trample down the needy!  You can’t wait for the Sabbath day to be over and the religious festivals to end so you can get back to cheating the helpless.”  And I am sorry for this, but I am nothing if not honest, this made me think of how people approach the holiday season.  It’s like everyone is committed to being “nice” right now and can’t wait for it to be over so they can go back to being jerks.  I don’t know maybe I have a case of the “scrooge-ies,” but I am on Tamiflu and that should clear up anything that is going on in my system. 

3 John

John 3 teaches us how to care for Christians who are traveling around delivering the Gospel to people.  These are not the same as false teachers who are traveling around trying to take the church down.  WE are called to serve these people. 

Jude

My favorite new bible teacher Jackie Hill Perry wrote a bible study about this book.  It is blowing my mind how this book seems to address what we have going on in our churches today.  It’s almost like God knew we would need the info in this little beauty of a book.  Go get Jackie Hill Perry’s study on Jude and learn how in 67 AD, Jesus half-brother taught us how to contend for our faith.  (Spoiler: God did know we needed this info)

Revelation 1-3

This book was written by John while he was exiled on the Isle of Patmos.  Probably in 95 or 96.  The vision he has of Jesus authenticates the fact that Jesus is God.  Things like the white hair and robes representing righteousness, and flaming eyes representing judgment of Sin, show that Jesus has the exact same attributes of the God of the OT.  And that brings us to the crux of this book.  It is full of visual imagery.  The stuff you are going to read in here will seem so extremely far-fetched that your reasoning brain will want to say, “There is no way that will happen.”  But we have to fight against that because nowhere in these introductory verses does it say that this book should be taken as allegory.  To put it plainly, this book should be taken in its literal context, and that is:  it was written to teach us about what will happen just prior to tribulation through the end times.  We know that God is a fan of fantastic visual aids, remember the Tabernacle?  So, it can’t be outside of reason to believe that when He is giving the World their final chance to believe in Him, He would pull out ALL THE STOPS RIGHT??? 

So, as we approach this book, that is teaching us about the future in a literal historical context, the first topic we come across is the churches that will receive this letter.  Bible Knowledge Commentary said that chapters 2 and 3 are the “What is now” section of the letter.  These 7 churches were literal churches in Asia minor.  Here is the cool thing, they are also a “Enneagram” sort of church types for us to measure our churches against.  So, as we read each church’s Commendation, Rebuke, Exhortation and Promise, we can learn from them as to what we need to watch out for in the makings of our churches.  The exception to the structure is Smyrna and Philadelphia do not receive a rebuke—how nice for them. And Laodicea does not receive any kind of commendation—yikes!  And I as I read about Laodicea, I am scared for the churches here in the US.  We are so very fat and happy and have no need for a savior because we are not really suffering.  We get so board in our churches we have to make stuff up to be concerned about.  Like Jesus says here, “Be hot or cold, don’t just be indifferent and lukewarm!” 

Psalm 127: 1—131: 3

Proverbs 29: 15-23

And we are officially caught back up! 

12/9/19 One Year Bible Recap

This break in the One Year Bible Recap is brought to you by Flu B.  We have met 3 John, Jude, Joel, and started Revelation and I would like to comment on all of those things, but I can’t put two thoughts together to do that or hold my head up long enough to write.  I will be back with you as soon as this Tamiflu kicks in.   

12/6/19 One Year Bible Recap

Hosea 4:1—5: 15

Oh, I don’t like the thought of the priest’s loving it when the people sinned so they could get more food.  This shows me that the system had left the worship of God and it had become a way for people to get their needs met.  There is no place for this in the service of God.  Leaders cannot get their needs met by the followers.  Only God can meet your needs.  When you expect humans to meet your needs, that just becomes an unhealthy cycle of human neediness.  The leader needs you to sin so you will have to come them and offer sacrifices, which they get to eat—ew, I don’t like that.  Leaders have to be leaders regardless of what they can get out of the followers.  I think the leaders’ position should be, “Gosh I hope no one sins against God.  I hope all our people are in perfect fellowship with him.  Sure, I might have to eat ramen noodles for dinner, but I would be happy to do that knowing the people are living in step with the Lord.”  And let me tell you something from my own personal book of “learning things the hard way:” People will not follow someone who they think needs something from them.  So pro tip from coach Sarah, if you need the people following you to tell you that you are doing a great job and that they love you as their leader, go to the back of the line, flip that thinking around and use that energy to tell the people following you that they are doing a great job and that you love them.  Don’t suck the life out of them by putting your needs on them. 

2 John

“The chosen lady and her children?”  Is he writing this to me?  Just kidding.  That is just that Enneagram 3-ness coming out in me.  Because there is not a proper name used here, it seems that the “chosen lady” is a church and the “children” are her members.  This is one of those beautiful ways women are honored in the Bible.  Beloved city’s and churches are personified as women, as is wisdom.  But whose counting?  Certainly not me. 

This letter was written by John but it is hard to know exactly when.  The cool thing is that this letter would have fit “on a single sheet of papyrus of standard size.” [1] That is like a post-it note in the context of the rest of the letters included in the NT. So why has this little letter been preserved for all time?  Obviously because the contents are very important. 

John in this letter warns us not to fall away from the true doctrine.  At this point in early church history, because they could not deny that Jesus had risen from the dead, enemies of God (antichrists) were telling people that Jesus was a ghost of some sort.  The problem with that is that, as we learned from the OT, the payment for sin is death, blood had to be spilled.  If Christ were not a real man, he could not really die to pay the sin debt for all.  Isn’t it just like the devil to twist the truth ever so slightly?  He is too slick to totally deny Christ, so he says he was a ghost or something. 

So, here is the hard part for us.  There are people going into church every week believing some sort of version of this.  Science and reasoning have convinced them that Jesus was a “good prophet” or a “cool guy,” and not the real-life Son of God.  If they are believing that, then even if they go to church every week, they are still going to die and go to hell because they are not trusting Jesus to cover their sin debt.  Our job, according to John, is to not stand for this kind of thinking.  Don’t agree with it by listening to it, and don’t support it by welcoming people who teach it in.  The most loving thing we can do is to confront that wrong thinking and seek to help the person understand that they have a sin debt that needs dealing with. 

But I get it.  You go to church, you assume everyone believes in God until you hear someone say, “Well it’s all good, I mean I know Jesus was a good guy, like Buddha or Gandhi, but I just can’t believe he rose from the dead and all that, but I love the music and the message here, it makes me feel better.”  NO!!! That is not the point!!!  And we have to be brave enough to love that person enough to tell them they are missing the point.  Now, you will have to find another blogger who can tell you how to do that in a loving way that does not make them mad, I have not figured that out yet.  But I’m working on it.  All I know is John tells us that not saying anything and just going along with it is not ok.  (PS. This recap of 2 John is 200 words longer than 2 John, clearly, I don’t understand the meaning of recap)

Psalm 125: 1-5

Proverbs 29: 9-11


[1] Hodges, Zane C. “2 John.” The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. Ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck. Vol. 2. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985. 905. Print.

12/5/19 One Year Bible Recap

Hosea 1: 1—3: 5

What a charming little tale of a prophet so devoted to the Lord he married a woman who he kept having to buy back from pimps.  Truly, the Lord will go to any lengths to get our attention, am I right?  This story is unfolding during the time of 2 Chronicles 26—32.  So, this is before the war with Babylon and before the Exile.  Israel is separate from Judah, and they are still locked in idol worship. (Israel more so than Judah)  The purpose of the book is clearly stated in verse 1:2; Hosea’s actions were meant to illustrate Israel’s likeness to a prostitute who runs after multiple partners instead of sticking to the man she made a covenant with.  This book also reflects the same sin cycles we read about in Judges and Kings. 

Sin->Judgement->Salvation…..rinse and repeat. 

The part of today’s story that really stuck with me is where God said, “She doesn’t realize it was I who gave her everything she has—the grain, the new wine, the olive oil; I even gave her silver and gold.  But she gave it to Baal.”  It just made my heart jump and think, “What gifts has God given me that I have thrown at things lesser than God?”  Yikes. 

1 John 5: 1-21

I think John is at the back half of the NT because people geared like me need to read all of the first half of the NT to be able to read John and not turn into a zealous “Sin Caller Outer.”  I totally get what he is saying about if we love God, we love his commandments.  I have never “Loved my neighbor,” and regretted it.  The commandments, when not being followed to seek salvation, are not burdensome.  But when he started talking about sins that lead to death, I get all freaked out like, “Wait, what sin doesn’t lead to death.”  But the smart dudes in Bible Knowledge Commentary shed some light on it for me.  The sin that leads to death that John refers to is something like Ananias and Sapphira did.  Remember them?  They lied to the Holy Spirit and died instantly.  There are sins that are committed that are so great the result is instant physical death.  Ananias and Sapphira still went to heaven, but their lives on earth were over.  No more chance to earn Eternal rewards by being faithful followers of Jesus.  But the point that John is making is the way to deal with sin that we see fellow believers committing is to pray for them, and let God shine light on their sin.  Now if you see someone about to commit a sin that ends in instant physical death, don’t take the time to stop and pray, say something to them!  But the point I want to leave you with is the way to deal with other people’s sin is to pray first.  This gets the one involved who actually is perfect at judging sin, God. 

Psalm 124: 1-8

Proverbs 29: 5-8

12/4/19 One Year Bible Recap

Daniel 11: 36—12: 13

So, yesterday we saw that every single one of the prophecies that God laid out for Daniel came true historically.  Every single one, to the letter.  So much so that skeptics will say that there is no way that was written in Daniels time.  But I lay this before you:  If we believe God has the power to create the World, surely logic would tell us, that He has the knowledge of what is going to happen and how it is going to end.  With that truth in our hand and hearts, we can read through the future revealed in today’s section, and bank on it.  The king described today is the one who will take the world through the Tribulation.  He is that figure known as the Antichrist, the Beast and the little horn.  The world will think he is the greatest thing until Jesus comes and stomps him to the ground.  Sorry that was graphic, I’m just getting you warmed up for when we start Revelation. 

The book of Daniel ends with a promise.  He promises Dan that he will live out the rest of his life, rest for a while(like, in a tomb) and then be resurrected so he can receive the inheritance set aside for him.  I just love this reminder that this is not the end of the story.  That is the hope you have to cling to in times of trouble, this is not the end. 

1 John 4: 1-21

So, here’s the deal, if you are going to listen to someone teach you about Jesus, they have to believe the truth of the what Jesus says about Himself.  We read above about how God predicted what would happen historically hundreds of years before it happened.  That shows us that God’s Word is 100% true.  So if you are somewhere listening to teaching about Jesus and that person says, “I don’t think we have to read the gospels because the information in there was really just meant for the ancients,” quietly slip out the back door and don’t listen to anything else they say.  If you believe in Jesus, you have to take the entire Bible too.  But John tells we’ll come in contact with people who want to lead us astray by picking away at the truth of what Jesus said about Himself.  These people are people of the world not of God, and who runs the world?  No, Beyoncè, it’s not girls, it’s Satan.  God is sovereign over all, as always, nothing comes to us that does not pass through His hands, but as we have learned from our bible reading, during this spot on the Timeline, Satan is the lord of this world.  (Hence the battle that is coming during Tribulation when Jesus comes back and finally crushes the head of the serpent.)

Psalm 123: 1-4

Proverbs 29: 2-4

12/3/19 One Year Bible Recap

Daniel 11: 2-35

Check out this awesome video that I found!  I hope it blows your mind and causes you to be in awe of the fact that God told Daniel exactly how the world would roll before Jesus came.  Every single thing happened, just like God said it would.  This video covers chapters 11 and 12. 

1 John 3: 7-24

As I was reading this section today, I kept thinking, “What if a camera crew followed me around all day?”  If you watched that video would you be able to see that I am in fellowship with God and that He is within me?  My second thought was, “Well, it depends on the day maybe?”  Yesterday I was annoyed that it wasn’t Christmas Break so therefore, everything that happened annoyed me.  That doesn’t reflect that fact that I belong to God.  If I belong to God that means I believe He is sovereign.  And if He is sovereign that means every single thing that annoyed me yesterday passed through His hands.  They were on purpose, meant for my good and His Glory, and yet my response was annoyance.  And as I reflect on that truth, I want to go back to bed and give up.  BUT NO!

John tells us not come to God with guilt.  Why?  Because God is greater than our feelings!  ALL THE PRAISE HANDS.  If my feelings were more powerful than God, I would never look like I belong to the Lord.  But He is so good that if I want to follow Him, He empowers me to do so!  I can go boldly before Him and say, “Lord, I want my actions to reflect the fact that I follow you!”  And He will empower me deny myself and feelings and follow Him!  What absolute Good News!!!!!!!!!

Psalms 122: 1-9

Proverbs 29: 1

12/2/19 One Year Bible Recap

Can I be honest with you?  We have one month left in our daily bible reading and it is getting really hard for me to stick with it.  It seems so crazy!  On one side I’m like, “One month to go, you can do this!”  And on the other side I’m like, “You have done enough, skip the last month!”  It is my own real-life struggle with knowing that being in His Word is the best thing for me and wanting to go watch Mandalorian on Disney +.  It’s exactly the same as Paul talks about in Romans: Spirit v. flesh.  So, what do we do about this?  We keep showing up and doing it anyway.  We set alarms and use our “parent voice” when talking to ourselves: “Now Sarah, you get out of that bed and go read your bible!”  And this is how we win that war.  Who’s with me?  (Picture a really uplifting scene in a move about winning against all odds.)

Daniel 9: 1—11: 1

There is so much in today’s section.  I am going to stick with seventy sets of seven section just so this is not 2000 words today.  Seven was a big deal for Israel.  There whole measurement of time was broken up into 7’s.  What Daniel is being shown is that God’s plan will be carried out in 70 sets of 7 years.  So, this 70 sets of 7 is actually 490 years.  That is all the math I am doing on a Monday morning.  This clock starts at the time the command is given to rebuild Jerusalem after the Exile.  (Remember our friends Ezra and Nehemiah who were part of that rebuilding) Then, from there God is telling Dan that at the “7 sets of 7 plus 62 sets of 7” mark, Jesus will come.  God tells Dan that Jesus will be killed, and then the end will come with a flood and the miseries of the Tribulation.  However, that timer that started with the decree to rebuild Jerusalem is paused right now.  This is indicated by the statement “killed, appearing to have accomplished nothing.” Jesus told us that in the Gospels because Israel rejected His offer to be their savior by crucifying Him, they would be set aside and He would do something new, that being the church.  When the church has, “come into its fullness,” and is raptured, then the time starts and that last set of 7 will start.  The Tribulation is that last 7 years that have not happened yet.  Here is the really cool thing, if you are so inclined, look up this section in the Bible Knowledge Commentary and all the historical events that should have happened in this 69 sets of 7 have happened, just like God said!  It is so cool!  (Don’t google it because you will get some crack pot interpretations of this section.  Go to a real source that has been through a multiple theologian editing process.) 

1 John 2: 18-36

A letter from John to believers. This little practical letter was written sometime between 60 and 70 AD, and maybe sooner?  It is hard to decipher, and this little letter is not giving up a lot of clues.  Maybe that is because it doesn’t really matter because the truth of this letter still rings true in our hearts today.  John, who was a disciple of Jesus is encouraging a group of believers to be in fellowship with the Lord and each other.  He is also teaching them how to avoid falling victim to false teaching.  At this point in church history the false teaching about how to live a life devoted to Jesus was rampant.  Isn’t that just in line with Satan’s character?  He can’t keep the Messiah down, so he decides to twist Jesus’ words.  It’s the same thing he did in the garden with Eve. 

In today’s section we see that there must have been a line of teaching that taught, “Since, Jesus covered our sin, sin away my friend.”  This is just not true of someone who really understands what it cost Jesus to pay our sin debt.  But also, as you learn to love Him, you learn how much sin is the opposite of what sets us free.  Righteousness is what sets us free.  It is a trick of our flesh that makes us think that sin is actually better than being righteous and doing the right thing.  Don’t fall for that friends! 

Psalm 121: 1-8

Proverbs 28: 27-28

11/27/19 One Year Bible Recap

Daniel 4: 1-37

Did you know Kanye West got saved?  I have read the words to his “Jesus is King” song and he legitimately seems to have a relationship with Jesus.  What does Kanye have to do with our story today?  Well friends, Kanye, in his new believer zeal for the Lord, has created an opera called Nebuchadnezzar.  As committed as I am to reporting the facts, I looked up how opening night went at the opera and how Kanye portrayed this story.  All I can say is, “Bless his heart.”  I remember what it feels like to have this new relationship and be all zeal and no wisdom.  So anyway, maybe don’t go to the opera just yet. 

Today’s story is actually literature that circulated at the time by Neb himself.  Through the Lord’s direction Dan recorded the proclamation.  What I love about today’s section is the point that without the Lord we really are just insane.  We are no better than animals running around who eat grass and don’t know that Eternity is coming.  And God, He will use the craziest stuff to get our attention.  Even saving Kanye.  That will get some people’s attention. 

2 Peter 1: 1-21

I am in the car, don’t worry Jesse is driving.  We are headed to Lubbock for Thanksgiving.  I have now made myself carsick and am going to make this short and sweet.  Peter is probably writing to the same group of people he wrote 1 Peter to.  BKC said this of this letter:

This epistle may be titled “The Believer’s Conflict in the Latter Days.”[1]

As you journey through this letter you will be called to grow into maturity so you can look forward to future when God brings about the End Times.  Sounds crazy right?  But that is what maturity does to us.  It makes us believe the Lord so deeply that we yearn for Him to bring us back to Perfection. 

Psalm 119: 97-112

Proverbs 28: 17-18


[1] Gangel, Kenneth O. “2 Peter.” The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. Ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck. Vol. 2. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985. 859. Print.