Friday, February 23, 2018

Friday, February 23rd: Numbers 19-21; Hebrews 7 ~ Emma

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Numbers 19-21; Hebrews 7

“For the law never made anything perfect. But now we have confidence in a better hope, through which we draw near to God.” - Hebrews‬ ‭7:19‬

The good deeds we do are not what draws us closer to God. Only when we let Jesus change our hearts, and when we have hope and believe in Him and His promises, that is when we draw closer to God. It is through Christ that we have been saved, not through anurging we have done.

Thank you, Jesus, that your love and mercy save us everyday.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageNumbers 22-24; Hebrews 8

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Thursday, February 22nd: Numbers 16-18, Hebrews 6 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Numbers 16-18, Hebrews 6

4 For it is impossible to bring back to repentance those who were once enlightened—those who have experienced the good things of heaven and shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the power of the age to come— 6 and who then turn away from God. It is impossible to bring such people back to repentance; by rejecting the Son of God, they themselves are nailing him to the cross once again and holding him up to public shame.
I found this information to be helpful in understanding this passage.

The article describes the two interpretations in more details, but neither of them teach that we can lose our salvation.  In summary....
The first interpretation presents unbelievers rejecting Christ and thereby losing their chance of salvation; the second interpretation presents the very idea of believers losing salvation as impossible. Many scriptures make it abundantly clear that salvation is eternal (John 10:27-29; Romans 8:35, 38-39; Philippians 1:6; 1 Peter 1:4-5), and Hebrews 6:4-6confirms that doctrine.
19 This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary. The first part of this verse is very well known (and was the theme verse for our church's day camp program all last summer).  And I love its truth!  Our hope is secure and totally immovable when it is anchored in God.

But the second part of the verse is also incredibly meaningful - though it is not as obvious to us without the same cultural context as the Jews. The curtain hung between the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place which symbolized the barrier between us and God. Only the high priest could enter the Most Holy Place, and even then, only one a year to stand in God's presence and atone for the sins of the entire nation.  But at the death of Jesus this curtain was torn!  When we place our faith in Jesus, we are now able to stand in God's presence at all times, not just once a year.  What an amazing symbol of the restoration of our relationship with God!

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageNumbers 19-21, Hebrews 7

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Wednesday, February 21st: Numbers 13-15, Hebrews 5 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Numbers 13-15, Hebrews 5

I appreciated this explanation of Hebrews 5:8
8 Even though Jesus was God’s Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered.
The immediate context runs from Hebrews 4:14 through 5:10 and deals with Jesus’ qualifications to serve as the one and only High Priest in heaven for all people, for all time. Here (and elsewhere in Hebrews) we learn that Jesus was fully divine yet fully human and that He was without sin yet experienced temptation and human weakness. Because of Jesus’ unique nature and experience, He can fully relate to our struggles as He performs the priestly duties required by the Law for the forgiveness of our sins.

Focusing on Hebrews 5:8—an inseparable part of one sentence running for three verses—we have an extremely condensed version of Jesus’ life on earth. He was the infinite Son of God who nevertheless experienced the limits of space and time and life as we do. God could have created a fully grown adult body for Jesus as He did for Adam and rushed Him to the cross, but He didn’t. Instead, Jesus left heaven, entered time (Philippians 2:5–8), and experienced for Himself ordinary human life from birth to adulthood to death. Learning and suffering and death are part of the life experience for all people, and God ensured that His own Son would be no exception. As God, Jesus did not need to learn anything, especially obedience; yet, at His incarnation, Jesus limited Himself to the human experience. He chose the weak position of having to learn and grow (Luke 2:52).

Jesus “learned obedience” not in the sense that He was prone to disobedience and had to bring rebelliousness under control, but in the sense that He fully entered the human experience. As a child, He obeyed His parents (Luke 2:51); as an adult, He obeyed the Law (Matthew 5:17) and fulfilled all righteousness (Matthew 3:15). All His life, Jesus completely fulfilled the Father’s will (John 8:29; 15:10; Hebrews 10:9). He knew what obedience was prior to His incarnation, of course, but He “learned” obedience on earth by experiencing it. In every situation, no matter how difficult, the Son was obedient to the Father: “The Sovereign Lord has opened my ears; I have not been rebellious, I have not turned away. I offered my back to those who beat me” (Isaiah 50:5–6).

Jesus learned obedience “from what He suffered.” As the divine Son of God, Jesus did not have to suffer, but as the Son of Man, suffering was required to learn obedience. The Greek word used in Hebrews 5:8 for “suffered” usually refers to enduring unpleasant experiences like disease (Mark 5:26) or persecution (Acts 8:1). But it often also implies enduring a challenging process that transforms the sufferer (Romans 5:3; 2 Corinthians 1:3–9). That is the sense in which the word is used in Hebrews 5:8 (see also Hebrews 2:10). Jesus chose to endure an unpleasant, challenging process because it was the will of His Father for His brief time on earth. After that process Jesus had been “made perfect.” It is crucial to note that perfect here means “complete,” as in finishing a full course of training or education—or, in Jesus’ case, He finished an altogether righteous human life and had a complete understanding of human frailty and suffering. It was Christ’s total human obedience, coming through extreme suffering, that qualifies Him to be our eternal High Priest, “now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death” (Hebrews 2:9).

Having been “perfected,” not morally but in relation to His ministry as our Savior, Jesus is qualified to be “the source [or author] of eternal salvation for all who obey him” (Hebrews 5:9). Jesus’ high priesthood is not a temporal Levitical priesthood but is everlasting, “in the order of Melchizedek” (verse 10).

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageNumbers 16-18, Hebrews 6

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Tuesday, February 20th: Numbers 10-12, Hebrews 4 ~ Danae

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Numbers 10-12, Hebrews 4

Hebrews 4:15-16-
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy & find grace to help us in our time of need.

When I think of my many shortcomings it is easy to feel completely defeated.

We fail, we sin – but he “gets” it. Jesus was tempted in every way & he understands what we face.

I love that the verse says the we can “approach the throne of grace with confidence.” We aren’t going to be turned away, we aren’t going to be told that this was one time too many & he’s not giving up on us.

Jesus, in his temptations, did not sin. We, however, will give in too many times & in those times we will receive mercy & help to have victory over it but we also have access to that power to overcome temptations & sin. We will find “grace to help us in our time of need” when we seek him.

Let us not be defeated when faced by our failures but to meet Jesus on our knees knowing that he understands what we struggle with & he’s ready to empower us to overcome.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Numbers 13-15, Hebrews 5

Monday, February 19, 2018

Monday, February 19: Numbers 7-9, Hebrews 3 by Kaden

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is: Numbers 7-9, Hebrews 3

Hebrews 3:4 says, "For every house was built by someone, but the builder off all things is God."
    I often find myself telling myself that my talents and accomplishments were done on my own doing, but I should take a step back and give God the glory he deserves, because he created all things, which includes me as well.

Hebrews 3:16 states, "For those who heard and yet rebelled?, was it not those who left Egypt led by Moses?"
    Here we are told to listen for God's voice and do as He says, because his plans are greater than ours, if Moses decided to not trust God's plan and not take God's people out of Egypt's slavery, then no one would have been able to be free, we all need to listen for God, and trust his plan and dive head first in his ways.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageNumbers 10-12, Hebrews 4

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Saturday, Feb 17: Numbers 4-6, Hebrews 2 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Numbers 4-6, Hebrews 2

“So we must listen very carefully to the truth we have heard, or we may drift away from it.”
‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭2:1‬ ‭NLT‬

We can never become complacent. Left to our own devices, we would drift away from the truth. Surrounded by secular society, it can be easy to become persuaded that the truth is something other than what the Bible says.

But truth must be grounded in God's Word, or it is not truth at all.

The best way to detect a counterfeit bill is to be so familiar with the real one that anything else is obviously fake. The same holds true for theology. We need to be so familiar with the Word that anything less than biblical truth is immediately detected for the false teaching it is.

Tomorrow: Catch up day

Friday, February 16, 2018

Friday, February 16th: Numbers 1-3; Hebrews 1 ~ Emma

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Numbers 1-3; Hebrews 1

“He also says to the Son, “In the beginning, Lord, you laid the foundation of the earth and made the heavens with your hands.” - ‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭1:10‬

I often think that if I could go back in time to watch any part of history, it would be when God created the earth. That must’ve looked so incredibly amazing! Imagine God whipping planets across the galaxy, or molding the sun with His hands, or carefully placing very single detail into all of His creation.

It’s good to take a step back sometimes, and just think about how amazing God is. We often mention “prayer requests” when we talk to God, but it’s also important to praise Him in our prayers, and acknowledge Him for the amazing works He has done.

Thank you, God, for being so incredibly awesome. Help us to soak that in today. You are absolutely amazing.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageNumbers 4-6; Hebrews 2

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Thursday, February 15th: Leviticus 25 - 27, Philippians 4 ~ Nathan

Leviticus 25:18
“ 'Follow my decrees and be careful to obey my laws, and you will live safely in the land.

A simple yet difficult verse to follow in our lives, and difficult for the Israelites as well. What makes it difficult is our own stubbornness in thinking that we know what's best for ourselves and will then do anything to achieve this. This verse is simple - it says to follow God and obey Him.

In our new testament reading we also see this,

Philippians 4: 6-7
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. [7] And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

A good reminder for me to leave things with God and not worry, to trust in Him fully.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Wednesday, February 14th: Leviticus 22-24, Philippians 3 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Leviticus 22-24, Philippians 3

Philippians 3:10a that I may know him
Five words that say a lot!

This was Paul's purpose, to know Jesus Christ, and it should be ours too.

Grant Richison says.....(emphasis mine)
The word “that” introduces a purpose clause. This was Paul’s life purpose. The life ambition of Paul was to know Jesus Christ better. He had known Him for a quarter of a century. Yet he wanted to know Him better. He could aim no higher. In verse 8 Paul referred to knowing Christ as “the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord.” There is no end to knowing about the greatness of Christ.

It is interesting how many people feel that coming to Christ initially in salvation is all there is to know of Him. Initial salvation only introduces us to Him. It does not exhaust the wonder of His person. As we grow in grace, we understand Him better:

“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18).

Through the study of the Word of God, we will know Him better. The Bible is even called “the mind of Christ” (I Cor. 2:16). The Word of God is God’s thinking about Christ. We will become more intimate with Him as we grow in grace. Salvation is only the beginning, the commencement of knowing Him. His person is many splendored. It takes time to know Him.

The word “know” means to know by experience. It is not enough to know Jesus Christ academically. We must know Him personally by the experience of fellowship with Him. That experience comes primarily from the study of Scripture....

The more we center on the person of Christ, the more our spiritual life grows. If we lessen our relationship with Him, our spiritual life weakens. Are you daily studying the Word to know more of Christ? Is this your life ambition?

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage:  Leviticus 25-27, Philippians 4

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Tuesday, February 13th: Leviticus 19-21, Philippians 2 ~ Danae

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Leviticus 19-21, Philippians 2

Philippians 2:3&4
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Here is yet another verse that convicts me. All too often my focus is on me, whether it be a prideful attitude or wanting things my way rather than putting others first.

Unfortunately, I fail so often (in so many areas). I read verses in the bible that speak to me & want to do better, decide to do better, but too often nothing really changes.

Verse 13 says
For it is God who works in you to will & to act according to his good purpose

I don’t have to achieve this on my own, in fact, I can’t. It is God who has to do the work in me.

This is something that has been sticking out at me lately .  God is not expecting us to be able to change, he knows that we can’t do it on our own but wants the opportunity to do it for us.

God only really has the opportunity to do this, though, if we continually give ourselves to him & seek him. Reading the bible, praying, focusing our thoughts on him daily is the only way. We need to let go of ourselves & seek him in order for him to do his work in shaping us.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageLeviticus 22-24, Philippians 3