Sunday, September 24, 2017

Sunday, September 24th: Song of Solomon 4-5; Galatians 3

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Song of Solomon 4-5; Galatians 3

“For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus.” - Galatians‬ ‭3:26‬

This was such a powerful read for me today, the Lord really spoke to me through it. It doesn’t matter how many laws we break or how many good things we do to “redeem” ourselves, that is not what saves us. It is through faith that we are saved. Jesus is the atonement for our sins, not any other sacrifice, or any “good” thing we do. It is in Christ alone that we are saved and can have a right relationship with God. We are His children through Jesus. 

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageSong of Solomon 6-8; Galatians 4

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Saturday, September 23rd: Song of Solomon 1-3; Galatians 2 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Song of Solomon 1-3; Galatians 2

Galatians 2:21 I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died for nothing.
I love what this verse by verse commentary says about this verse....

We now conclude Paul’s address to Peter. This verse is the knockout punch of chapter 2. This is Paul’s final stroke to those who claim salvation or sanctification by law. 
 
I do not set aside the grace of God; 
The words “set aside” mean make void, cancel God’s grace. If we go back to the law, we cancel out the work of the cross. The grace of God is put as of no value, set aside, nullified, annulled. Self-righteousness declares invalid God’s provision in Christ. We annul God’s grace when we inject our righteousness. If we nullify grace, then Christ died without an adequate cause [“vain”]. Christians must recognize the validity of grace.
We do nothing to attain God’s grace. We do not go through religious motions or righteous works. We do not have to climb any mountain, swim any sea, or cross any deserts. God gave us salvation and the Christian way of life free of charge.
Principle:
Legalism voids God’s grace; grace and law are mutually exclusive.
Application:
If we maintain that we gain God’s approval by works then we abolish grace. Then there is no reason for the death of Christ. His death would be unwarranted and superfluous. It is a serious thing to negate grace.
The essence of God’s grace is to give us something we do not deserve. Salvation is a gift (Romans 4:4). Grace and merit are mutually exclusive. If God gives salvation by grace, then it is not I who do the work. If I do the work, then it is not God who gives salvation. If I do the work, then I get the glory. If God does the work then He gets the glory.
“And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work” (Romans 11:6 ).
When we inject our righteousness into salvation or sanctification, we thwart the efficacy of Christ’s work for us. God’s grace and our work are contradictory. We must choose one or the other. They cannot both be true at the same time....
There is no point or purpose to Christ’s death if we can work for salvation. There is no reason for the death of Christ. Righteousness through faith in Christ’s cross is not one of the reasons but the only reason for salvation. This is exactly what Peter did by entering into legalism. We cannot unite grace and law because they are mutually exclusive ways to please God. If we do, then we imply that Christ died on the cross needlessly. It invalidates grace.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageSong of Solomon 4-5; Galatians 3

Friday, September 22, 2017

Friday, September 22nd: Ecclesiastes 10-12; 2 Galatians 1 ~ Conrad

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is: Ecclesiastes 10-12; Galatians 1

A few verses that stood out while reading:

Whoever digs a pit may fall into it; whoever breaks through a wall may be bitten by a snake.  Ecclesiastes 10:8

How often have I been a part of, or watched on TV, a sports team acting too confident or cocky, and then loosing badly the next game.  This verse is a good reminder to not play with fire; a trap that I may be setting for someone else might catch me.  

So then, banish anxiety from your heart and cast off the troubles of your body, for youth and vigor are meaningless.  Ecclesiastes 11:10

Youth and vigor are meaningless.  This is a hard one for me.  I don't think or feel that I am old, until I play sports with our 16 year old son.  Each year I find myself getting a little slower on my feet.....somehow the football is not as fast or accurate out of my throwing hand.....and I have a lot more aches and pains than I ever used to.  And then I come across the verse below...   
Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind.  Ecclesiastes 12:13

My duty isn't to always be physically stronger than my kids.  It's to lead them by example and show them that it is more important to fear God and to keep His commands.  Without that, everything else ultimately is meaningless.

Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.  
Galatians 1:10

Where do I seek approval?  From my employer?  My customer?  My neighbor?  My friends?  My family?  My prayer is that I would seek approval from Christ, who knows and sees everything about me......not just what I want Him to see.  
    
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Song of Solomon 1-3; Galatians 2

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Thursday, September 21st: Ecclesiastes 7-9; 2 Corinthians 13 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is  Ecclesiastes 7-9; 2 Corinthians 13

Ecclesiastes 7:9: Don’t let your spirit rush to be angry, for anger abides in the heart of fools.
There are times when we are filled with righteous anger and react accordingly and appropriately.

But, if we're honest, those times are few and far between.

What is far more likely to happen is that we are filled with unrighteous anger and we lose our temper, overreacting inappropriately.  And wind up looking like a fool.

Yup, that's much more common, unfortunately.

May we be purposeful about guarding our temper and our tongue, exercising self-control, responding with love and gentleness instead of anger and harshness, relying on His strength and not our own.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageEcclesiastes 10-12; Galatians 1

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Wednesday, September 20th: Ecclesiastes 4-6, 2 Corinthians 12 ~ Nathan

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is: Ecclesiastes 4-6; 2 Corinthians 12

Ecclesiastes 5: 18
This is what I have observed to be good: that it is appropriate for a person to eat, to drink and to find satisfaction in their toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given them—for this is their lot.


Some people can enjoy an easier life, but some have to work hard all their days, God gives some alot and some not as much. Am I thankful for what I've been given? Am I willing to work my whole life for Him?

2 Corinthians 12: 10
That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.


Paul was given a "thorn in his flesh (v7)" to torment him, in order to keep him from being conceited, and he used this to glorify God all the more. Do I approach my own shortcomings this way? Or do I feel sorry for myself?


Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Ecclesiastes 7-9; 2 Corinthians 13

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Tuesday, September 19; Ecclesiastes 1-3; 2 Corinthians 11:16-33 ~ Jody

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is: Ecclesiastes 1-3; 2 Corinthians 11:16-33

There is an occasion for everything,
and a time for every activity under heaven:
a time to give birth and a time to die;
a time to plant and a time to uproot;[t]
a time to kill and a time to heal;
a time to tear down and a time to build;
a time to weep and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn and a time to dance;
a time to throw stones and a time to gather stones;
a time to embrace and a time to avoid embracing;
a time to search and a time to count as lost;
a time to keep and a time to throw away;
a time to tear and a time to sew;
a time to be silent and a time to speak;
a time to love and a time to hate;
a time for war and a time for peace.

Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8

This is an all time favourite passage of mine. I found a devotional on Bible.org that talks more about "time" in these verses:

The key word in this section is “time,” and it is used thirty times in 3:1-8. There are three insights worth noting in 3:1. First, Solomon is not going to be making judgments on the topics that follow in 3:2-8, he is merely recording the events that occur “under heaven.” Second, Solomon builds his argument upon the word “appointed.”77 The events of our lives do not randomly happen by chance; God has a purpose behind them. Third, Solomon uses an unusual Hebrew word translated “event.” This word conveys the idea of “delight.”78 By using the word “delight” instead of one of the standard nouns, Solomon implies that there is a good sense that one experiences by fitting into a given event at the right time. In other words, there is a sense of success based on appropriate timing—even if the activity, by its nature, is not delightful.79Again, timing is everything.

Even though we may not (in our humanness) like the season or time we are in, this passage is a reminder that God is in all of them! He has appointed these seasons and walks near us through them all.


Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageEcclesiastes 4-6; 2 Corinthians 12

Monday, September 18, 2017

Monday, September 18th: Proverbs 30-31; 2 Corinthians 11:1-15 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Proverbs 30-31; 2 Corinthians 11:1-15

Proverbs 30:8-9
Keep falsehood and deceitful words far from me.
Give me neither poverty nor wealth; feed me with the food I need.
Otherwise, I might have too much and deny you, saying, “Who is the Lord?”
or I might have nothing and steal, profaning the name of my God.

There is a danger in both poverty and wealth, and the writer wisely asks God to rather grant him something in between in order to avoid the temptations that come with either one.

Thankfully, no matter our circumstances, we are never tempted beyond what we are able to bear - God will always provide a way out, no matter what (1 Corinthians 10:13). We are without excuse.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageEcclesiastes 1-3; 2 Corinthians 11:16-33

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Sunday, September 17th: Proverbs 27-29; 2 Corinthians 10 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Proverbs 27-29; 2 Corinthians 10

I thought it was interesting that our passages today began and ended with a similar theme....


Proverbs 27:1-2
Don’t boast about tomorrow,
for you don’t know what a day might bring.
Let another praise you, and not your own mouth—
a stranger, and not your own lips.

and

2 Corinthians 10:17-18 So let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.  For it is not the one commending himself who is approved, but the one the Lord commends.
We really have nothing to boast about.  Anything good or positive about ourselves is a gift from God.  The only One we should be considered about praising and glorifying is God.

That said, it is also good to be encouraging to one another, and pointing out when someone around us has done something for the kingdom or for His glory.

May we stay humble and recognize that all glory belongs to Him.
May we encourage those around us to continue to use the gifts He's blessed them with for His glory and for our good.


Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage:  Proverbs 30-31; 2 Corinthians 11:1-15

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Saturday, September 16th: Proverbs 25-26; 2 Corinthians 9 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Proverbs 25-26; 2 Corinthians 9

Proverbs 26:4-5 
Don’t answer a fool according to his foolishnessor you’ll be like him yourself. 
Answer a fool according to his foolishness or he’ll become wise in his own eyes.
At first glance, these two verses appear contradictory.

GotQuestions says this......
These seemingly contradictory verses are actually a common form of parallelism found in the Old Testament, where one idea builds upon another. Verse 4 warns against arguing with a fool on his own terms, lest we stoop to his level and become as foolish as he is. Because he despises wisdom and correction, the fool will not listen to wise reason and will try to draw us into his type of argument, whether it is by using deceit, scoffing at our wisdom, or becoming angry and abusive. If we allow him to draw us into this type of discourse, we are answering him “according to his folly” in the sense of becoming like him.

The phrase “according to his folly” in verse 5, on the other hand, tells us that there are times when a fool has to be addressed so that his foolishness will not go unchallenged. In this sense answering him according to his folly means to expose the foolishness of his words, rebuking him on the basis of his folly so he will see the idiocy of his words and reasoning. Our “answer” in this case is to be one of reproof, showing him the truth so he might see the foolishness of his words in the light of reason. Even though he will most likely despise and reject the wisdom offered to him, we are to make the attempt, both for the sake of the truth which is always to be declared, and for the sake of those listening, that they may see the difference between wisdom and folly and be instructed.

Whether we use the principle of verse 4 and deal with a fool by ignoring him, or obey verse 5 and reprove a fool depends on the situation. In matters of insignificance, it’s probably better to disregard him. In more important areas, such as when a fool denies the existence of God (Psalm 14:1), verse 5 tells us to respond to his foolishness with words of rebuke and instruction. To let a fool speak his nonsense without reproof encourages him to remain wise in his own eyes and possibly gives credibility to his folly in the eyes of others.

In short, in negligible issues we should just ignore fools, but in issues that matter, they must be dealt with so that credence will not be given to what they say.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageProverbs 27-29; 2 Corinthians 10

Friday, September 15, 2017

Friday, September 15th: Proverbs 22-24; 2 Corinthians 8 ~ Conrad

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Proverbs 22-24; 2 Corinthians 8


Rich and poor have this in common:  The Lord is the Maker of them all.  Proverbs 22:2

We all come into and leave this world the same way.  Typically we are in awe of meeting a star of some sort, and yet they too, put their pants on one leg at a time.  Just like us.  And on the other side, when we see someone downtown on the street corner, we are not in awe of them.  God did make us all, and this verse reminded me of this.       

By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established;  through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.  Proverbs 24:3-4

Wisdom, understanding, and knowledge; Proverbs is loaded with verses relating to these three.  As parents, we are responsible to educate our children, and God as our Father, has the desire for us to gain all the wisdom, understanding, and knowledge possible.  My hope is that I can be humble enough so that I do not hinder myself from growing in this area.  
  

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Proverbs 25-26; 2 Corinthians 9