Saturday, April 29, 2017

Saturday, April 29th: 1 Kings 6-7; Luke 20:27-47 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 1 Kings 6-7; Luke 20:27-47

I'm short on time so I'm going to repost my thoughts on this passage from two years ago.....

In today's passage it mentions that it took Solomon 7 years to build the temple and 13 years to build the palace.  I've often wondered if that was a negative comment, or simply a statement of fact. 

Rayburn's sermon discusses this and he had some great points I hadn't thought of before.  It does seem like there was some excess involved in the building of the palace, but there is no suggestion that the temple was too small or built "cheaply" in any way.  In fact, there is gold everywhere in the temple, but not in the palace.  The building of the palace is inserted into the middle of the account of the building of the temple which seems to say that the temple is the main thing and the palace is less important.  The palace would, by it's very purpose and nature, be a larger complex requiring a variety of buildings and would naturally take longer to build. 

Rayburn goes on.....
You spend much more of your time at work, whatever your work may be, than you do at church. Is that wrong? Are you, for that reason, worldly? You spend more of your time at home with your family than you do worshipping God or directly involved in some ministry? Is that wrong? Are you, in that way, demonstrating that you care more about other things than you do for the glory of God?

No; of course not. We would say, and rightly, that to be a faithful worker, to support our families, to build in our homes a happy and holy life for our children is not being worldly. To do such things, in fact, is to glorify God because it amounts to fulfilling his will for our lives and the callings that he has given us as his children. Solomon was not belittling God by serving Israel as her king; he was not showing himself more interested in his work than the worship of God by building a palace complex. He was glorifying God by doing and doing well the work God had given him to do.

This is everywhere the Bible’s perspective: whatever you do, whether in word or in deed, do it all to the glory of God. Solomon was no doubt right to think that he was giving glory to God not only by building for him the most glorious, costly, and beautiful sanctuary in the world but as well by building an impressive complex of government halls, offices, and palaces. Israel was Yahweh’s people and he was Yahweh’s king! The palace should reflect that fact as the temple did. He would not have thought, and we should not think, that if we work at our calling we are subtracting from God’s glory.

He goes on to use the example of marriage.  In the NT Paul wishes that all Christians could remain single as he was so to be free to devote themselves entirely to the work of God, but he's knows it's not possible and not the calling of every individual.  In other words, when people get married, they cannot be only completely devoted to God - some of that time and energy and commitment now needs to be invested into your spouse.  Is this wrong?  Far from it!  It is precisely what God expects of us, demands of us!  It would not be glorifying to God to neglect your spouse in order to work on a church project, and it would not have glorified God for Solomon to devote himself entirely to the temple and ignore his duties as Israel's king.  We definitely need to have the church and worship as priorities in our lives, but it is not only in church that we are able to give glory to God.  We each serve Him in the areas that He has called us to serve.  We are to be people of both the temple and the palace.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage:  1 Kings 8-9; Luke 21:1-19

Friday, April 28, 2017

Friday, April 28th: 1 Kings 3-5; Luke 20:1-26 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 1 Kings 3-5; Luke 20:1-26

I love that Solomon asked God for wisdom.  This is something I pray for our kids almost every day before they go to school - that they would have wisdom to know what is right, and the courage to do it.  Wisdom and discernment are so important - to our spiritual growth, to our witness for others, it's importance really can't be overstated.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage:  1 Kings 6-7; Luke 20:27-47

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Thursday, April 27th: 1 Kings 1-2; Luke 19:28-48

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 1 Kings 1-2; Luke 19:28-48

In the NT passage today one part that stood out to me were these verses:
the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, 38 saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” 39 And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” 40 He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”
We have all sorts of ways to tell others about Jesus. In our society there are places where speaking of Jesus is forbidden, even here in Canada. I personally have not experienced it much myself but it's happening. So if we are ever verbally silenced  we can use different "stones" to keep the message alive!!

"I'm just a nobody telling everybody about Somebody who can save anybody!" (I really like this quote from Our Daily Bread, I don't know who wrote it)

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage:  1 Kings 3-5; Luke 20:1-26

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Wednesday, April 26th: 2 Samuel 23-24, Luke 19: 1-27 ~ Nathan

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is: 2 Samuel 23-24; Luke 19:1-27

Towards the end of David's life, he is written about in these chapters. A few verses that stood out to me show how David took seriously his role as leader.

2 Samuel 23: 3-4
The God of Israel spoke, the Rock of Israel said to me: ‘When one rules over people in righteousness, when he rules in the fear of God, he is like the light of morning at sunrise on a cloudless morning, like the brightness after rain that brings grass from the earth.’

Here we see the importance of keeping God front and center in our lives, when leading. David sinned and struggled in his life, but trusted in God and finished strong.

He goes on later to take responsibility for his wrong actions, not wanting others to pay the price for his wrongs,

2 Samuel 24: 17
When David saw the angel who was striking down the people, he said to the Lord, “I have sinned; I, the shepherd, have done wrong. These are but sheep. What have they done? Let your hand fall on me and my family .”

David was a great leader, but also wasn't perfect, he was human and sinned. Overall, he lived for the Lord and was a great example for us to follow.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: 1 Kings 1-2; Luke 19:28-48

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Tuesday, April 25: 2 Samuel 21-22; Luke 18:24-43 ~ Jody

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is: 2 Samuel 21-22; Luke 18:24-43

“The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,
    my[d] God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield, and the horn of my salvation,
    my stronghold and my refuge,
    my savior; you save me from violence.
I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised,
    and I am saved from my enemies."
2 Samuel 22:2-4

This is one of my favourite passages in the Bible. God revealed it to me several years ago during a difficult time in my life and it has been my foundation in trouble ever since. I get this image of God as a massive rock face with me hidden deep within. Providing protection from the harm that the enemy intends for my life while I can hide safely within it. However, not only is He a safe place of refuge, but He is my protector and my deliver, which depict action! He fights FOR me to SAVE me from the violence!!

Thank you Father that you not only keep me safe and shield me, but also take action to deliver me from the works of the enemy set to destroy my life. 

Monday, April 24, 2017

Monday, April 24th: 2 Samuel 19-20; Luke 18:1-23 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 2 Samuel 19-20; Luke 18:1-23

It was normal, natural, and right for David to grieve over the actions of his son, his own failures as a parent, and the death of his son - as a father.  But a King does not have the same luxury. Absalom tried to steal the throne from his father, and David's men fought for him and won the victory, but his very public grief made them feel shame instead of being able to celebrate their victory.  As a King, David did not handle this right, and Joab confront him on it.  In this case, David should not have allowed his feelings to dictate his behaviour as king.

This is a good reminder for us that our actions should not rely on our feelings.  Our feelings are not necessarily bad, but they are also not necessarily good.  Our feelings can betray us. We need to filter our feelings first through the Word of God - where our feelings and the Word are at odds with each other, we must realign ourselves to the Word, not to our feelings.  Even when our feelings are in line with God's Word, we still need to act on those feelings in both a godly manner and as a steward of the position God has given us.

In our NT passage I appreciated the reminder that we cannot value or love anything (even good things) above God.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage:   2 Samuel 21-22; Luke 18:24-43

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Sunday, April 23rd: 2 Samuel 16-18; Luke 17:20-37 ~ Emma

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 2 Samuel 16-18; Luke 17:20-37

"The king was overcome with emotion. He went up to the room over the gateway and burst into tears. And as he went, he cried, 'O my son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you! O Absalom, my son, my son.'"
- 2 Samuel 18:33

Even though Absalom had wanted to overthrow David and even kill him, David still wept for his son's death, and he was still upset at the news.

Like David, God is a Father who weeps for His children. He cries with us when we are upset, and He cries for us when we do not do what He says. God is a loving, caring Father. And we need to do our best to love Him back, and also love His children just as He loves us. 

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage2 Samuel 19-20; Luke 18:1-23

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Saturday, April 22: 2 Samuel 14-15; Luke 17:1-19 ~ Jody

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is: 2 Samuel 14-15; Luke 17:1-19

" And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you." Luke 17:6

How teeny tiny the mustard seed actually is! Interesting how we put so much faith in our own ideas and plans, yet often struggle to have even mustard seed sized faith in God. 

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage2 Samuel 16-18; Luke 17:20-37

Friday, April 21, 2017

Friday, April 22nd: 2 Samuel 12-13; Luke 16 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 2 Samuel 12-13; Luke 16

In our OT passage today we see David reaping the consequences of his sins - first his sin of polygamy, and then his sin of adultery and murder.  The good news is that there is forgiveness for all sins, no sin is so "bad" that it is beyond the reach of God's grace. All sin is equal in one sense because any sin separates us from God.  But different sins also have different consequences, and David's sins had some major ones.  The bad news is that God's forgiveness doesn't normally wipe away those consequences.  An important reminder to never justify a sinful plan by thinking that you can just ask for forgiveness later.  Yes, forgiveness will be granted, but there will still be consequences.  Plus, if you willfully sin, there is no guarantee you will ever want forgiveness - it's a dangerous path to go down.

In our NT passage the final verse hit me....
31 He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’”

I hadn't noticed the parallel between this verse and Easter before.   Moses and the Prophets testify to the coming Messiah, but not everyone believed, even after Jesus died and rose from the dead.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage:  2 Samuel 14-15; Luke 17:1-19

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Thursday, April 20th: 2 Samuel 9-11; Luke 15:11-32

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is  2 Samuel 9-11; Luke 15:11-32

Today's NT reading was about the prodigal son. When reading this passage I tend to focus more on him then the older brother, however both of them were wayward. The prodigal son had more of an immoral lifestyle and the older son had a self righteous attitude. Both are sinful. The father loved both his sons unconditionally and was not harsh with them. With the prodigal son the father ran out to welcome him, and with the older son the father came out and pleaded with him. This is a wonderful picture of how graciously God pursues us! I am so thankful for that!

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage:  2 Samuel 12-13; Luke 16