Saturday, December 16, 2017

Saturday, December 16th: Amos 4-6; Revelation 7 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Amos 4-6; Revelation 7

Revelation 7:17b ‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.
Life on earth is hard.   There's no doubt about it.  Everyone goes through hard times.  Some people to seem to get more than their "fair share" of trials and tribulations in this life, but no one escapes earthly life unscathed by sin and its effects on our lives.

But this verse gives us hope to make it through those time.

Eventually, all WILL be made right.
Eventually, justice WILL be done.
Eventually, God WILL wipe away EVERY tear.

There will be no more mourning.  There will be no more tears.  There will be no more sorrow.

What a promise, what a comfort!

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage:  Amos 7-9; Revelation 8

Friday, December 15, 2017

Friday, December 15th: Amos 1-3; Revelation 6 ~ Conrad

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is: Amos 1-3; Revelation 6

After reading today's passage, I'll be honest in that not a whole lot stood out to me.  However, the following verses brought a thought in mind to me:

"I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind. The heavens receded like a scroll being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place." 
Revelation 6:12-14 
I was reminded of the fact that our God is all powerful.  Not only has He created all things, but He can also choose to remove or alter all things.  Every day the sun rises.  When we can see it, it is a bright yellow light.  Every evening the moon is high in the sky.  When it is visible, it is bright and provides light as well. 

It is hard to imagine these two God created items to be any different than we have seen every day of our lives.  But yet God has the power to change them to whatever He wants.

Knowing He has this much power, do I give Him the credit that He is due?  Do I trust Him the way I should?  God is all powerful and is always in control of everything.  Something I need to remember when things don't go according to my plan.
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Amos 4-6; Revelation 7

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Thursday, December 14th: Joel 1-3; Revelation 5 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Joel 1-3; Revelation 5

Joel 1:3 Tell it to your children, and let your children tell it to their children, and their children to the next generation.

Telling our children the good news, teaching them the gospel, teaching them to study the Bible for themselves, training them in the way they should go - this is so important! Our primary mission field is first in our homes. It is easy to forget this. It is easy to think our kids learn by osmosis, and that they'll just catch on. But we need to remember to be proactive about speaking Truth to them, and learning and growing in our faith alongside them.

This is vital, not just for our children, but for their children and their children after them. What a legacy we can leave behind!


Our NT passage teaches us very clearly that Jesus is the only One who is worthy.  The description of heaven we see here is just a glimpse into the glory that He willingly left to come to earth as a baby born to die for our sins.  Amazing!  And this is what we celebrate this Christmastime - hallelujah, what a Saviour!

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Amos 1-3; Revelation 6

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Wednesday, December 13th: Hosea 12-14; Revelation 4 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Hosea 12-14; Revelation 4 

Hosea 14: 1-2
Return, Israel, to the Lord your God.
Your sins have been your downfall!
2 Take words with you
and return to the Lord.
Say to him:
“Forgive all our sins
and receive us graciously,
that we may offer the fruit of our lips.

No matter how far we've stumbled, we can always return to God.  We cannot out-sin His grace IF we repent and turn to Him.  He always stands ready and willing to forgive those who are genuinely repentant.

v 4 “I will heal their waywardness and love them freely,
for my anger has turned away from them.

It is only in His forgiveness that we can find true healing and genuine love.  We may look for it in other things, but only He can provide it. 

v9 Who is wise? Let them realize these things.
Who is discerning? Let them understand.
The ways of the Lord are right;
the righteous walk in them,
but the rebellious stumble in them.

May we be wise and see the Truth.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageJoel 1-3; Revelation 5

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Tuesday, December 13th: Hosea 9 - 11, Revelation 3 ~ Nathan

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Hosea 9 - 11, Revelation 3

Hosea 9:17
My God will reject them because they have not obeyed him; they will be wanderers among the nations.

The Israelites were going to be punished for their wrong doing, for continually turning away from God. How often do I turn away from God, by the decisions I make?

Revelation 3:19
Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. 

When I've turned away from God, by a decision I've made, and sinned, do I earnestly repent? Do I see the importance of asking for forgiveness?

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage:  Joel 1-3; Revelation 5

Monday, December 11, 2017

Monday, December 11th: Hosea 5-8; Revelation 2 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Hosea 5-8; Revelation 2

Hosea 8:14 
Israel has forgotten their Maker
and built palaces;
Judah has fortified many towns.
But I will send fire on their cities
that will consume their fortresses.”

Israel and Judah had rejected God and continued to do so, as though it was a slight that God would overlook.  That there would be no day of reckoning.  They presumed upon God's grace and patience, not realize that judgment was inevitable if they did not repent.

Sound familiar?  

Our society flaunts its sin openly and condemns anyone who refuses to celebrate it with them, never mind tolerate it.  They don't realize that they are experiencing an unmerited act of grace by God allowing them time to come to repentance.

Eventually, that time will run out for them, just like it did for Israel and Judah.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Hosea 9-11; Revelation 3

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Sunday, December 10th: Hosea 1-4, Revelation 1 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Hosea 1-4, Revelation 1

The Lord said to me, “Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another man and is an adulteress. Love her as the Lord loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes.

Love as the Lord loves.

Hosea must have thought he was hearing things when God initially instructed him to marry a prostitute, and he must have thought so again in this passage.

Love her?! How could he possibly?

From this commentary.....
Gomer was still beloved of Hosea even though she was an adulteress, and God wanted him to seek her out and prove his love to her. How could anyone love that deeply? The answer was right there in God’s instructions to Hosea, “even as the Lord loves.” Only one who knows the love and forgiveness of God can ever love this perfectly. And one who has experienced His loving forgiveness cannot help but love and forgive others. Christian husbands are commanded to love their wives as Christ loved the Church (Eph. 5:25), and Hosea is an outstanding biblical example of that kind of love.
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageHosea 5-8; Revelation 2

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Saturday, December 9th: Daniel 11-12; Jude ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Daniel 11-12; Jude

24 To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— 25 to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.

I love doxologies, and this one is no exception!

Only Jesus is able to keep us from stumbling. We can't do it on our own strength.  We couldn't save ourselves, and we can't make it through this life on our own. We need to remember where our strength comes from.  In Christ alone. 

It reminds me of the song "In Christ Alone" by Brian Littrell....

In Christ alone will I glory
Though I could pride myself in battles won
For Ive been blessed beyond measure
And by His strength alone Ill overcome
Oh, I could stop and count successes like diamonds in my hands
But those trophies could not equal to the grace by which I stand

In Christ alone
I place my trust
And find my glory in the power of the cross
In every victory
Let it be said of me
My source of strength
My source of hope
Is Christ alone

In Christ alone do I glory
For only by His grace I am redeemed
For only His tender mercy
Could reach beyond my weakness to my need
And now I seek no greater honor in just to know Him more
And to count my gains but losses to the glory of my Lord

In Christ alone
I place my trust
And find my glory in the power of the cross
In every victory
Let it be said of me
My source of strength
My source of hope
Is Christ alone

Friday, December 8, 2017

Friday, December 8th: Daniel 8-10; 3 John ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Daniel 8-10; 3 John

Daniel 9:4 I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed:
“Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, 5 we have sinned and done wrong.We have been wicked and have rebelled; we have turned away from your commands and laws. 6 We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes and our ancestors, and to all the people of the land.

Every time I read this prayer I am struck by Daniel's willingness to lump himself in with his rebellious people.  But the truth is, no matter how righteous Daniel was, no matter how much he strived to obey God - he knew he was not sinless.  He, too, needed forgiveness.

Our sins may differ in magnitude (or quantity!), but they are all in need of forgiveness.  The key is whether or not we repent.  

Daniel repented.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Thursday, December 7th: Daniel 5-7; 2 John ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Daniel 5-7; 2 John

Daniel 5:5-6 Suddenly the fingers of a human hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of the wall, near the lampstand in the royal palace. The king watched the hand as it wrote. His face turned pale and he was so frightened that his legs became weak and his knees were knocking.

I gotta say, I think that reaction is spot on, and I'm pretty sure all of us would react in the same way!  And that is nothing compared to what sinful man's reaction would be if we actually caught sight of our Holy God.  Which is one of the reasons no one has ever seen God's face - we literally would not be able to handle it.

God is so awe-inspiring, so awesome, we truly cannot even imagine or begin to grasp His greatness.  He is, quite simply, above us in absolutely every way.  

And yet, He cares for us.  He loves us.  Sinners all.  Amazing grace, how sweet the sound!

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Daniel 8-10; 3 John

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Wednesday, December 6th: Daniel 3 - 4, 1 John 5 ~ Nathan

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is: Daniel 3-1; John 5

Daniel 4:37
Now I, Nebuchadnezzer, praise and exalt and glorify the King of Heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble.

Nebuchadnezzer was a king who earlier had seen the power of God in how He rescued Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Now he was given a chance to praise God and live for Him, but he had to have his kingdom taken away from him. Nebuchadnezzer was wise in that he chose to go through this rough time and be humbled, in order to be right with God.

How important is it to us to be right with God? Would we give up everything for Him? A tough question to consider, but hopefully we are wise to answer correctly.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Daniel 5-7; 2 John

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Tuesday, December 5th; Daniel 1-2; John 4 ~ Jody

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is:Daniel 1-2; John 4

Daniel replied, “No wise man, enchanter, magician or diviner can explain to the king the mystery he has asked about, 28 but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries. He has shown King Nebuchadnezzar what will happen in days to come. Daniel 2:27-28

Through this whole story of Daniel's journey, all of his energy, focus and decision revolves around honouring God and giving Him the glory. From the meals he refused to eat to the dream sharing, Daniel pointed everything back to God. This left the king with a clear understanding of the power of the God that Daniel serves - not the power of Daniel "the man". 

When we align our hearts and actions to obedience to God, we can rest confidently in what is to come!

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageDaniel 3-1; John 5

Monday, December 4, 2017

Monday, December 4: Ezekiel 47-48; 1 John 3 ~ by Pamela

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Ezekiel 47-48; 1 John 3

Two verses stuck out from today's readings in 1 John 3:

13 Do not be surprised, my brothers and sisters,[b] if the world hates you. 
 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
Verse 13 reminds me that as Christians we are constantly under attack by Satan. I think specifically of the court case right now before the Supreme Court of Canada concerning whether a Christian University can open a law school. The world can preach tolerance but hates truth. We are not surprised that our society is breaking and falling apart as they step away from God and His design. As a teacher at a private Christian school I wonder how this verdict will affect my job and my future and ability to teach what the Bible says.
However, just a few verses later we learn how to respond to the hate of the world. We are not to use merely our words but we are to act in love and in truth. May they know we are Christians by our love. May we continue to pray for a world that hates us. May we continue to love in our actions. May we always speak in, and seek, truth. 

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Sunday, December 3rd: Ezekiel 45-46; 1 John 2 ~ Emma

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Ezekiel 45-46; 1 John 2

“Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you.” - ‭‭1 John‬ ‭2:15‬

Sometimes it seems like it would be a lot easier to love the world rather than the Father. But we know that it will bring us much more joy and peace to love God rather than the world. Jesus said it wouldn’t be easy being a Christian, and it might give us more trials than if we weren’t Christians. But with God, we have hope. We know that this life is so so short compared to the eternity we will live in joy with the Father. So when the world seems tempting, we need to trust that God has a plan, and it is far more rewarding than anything this world can offer.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageEzekiel 47-48; 1 John 3

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Saturday, December 2nd: Ezekiel 42-44; 1 John 1 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Ezekiel 42-44; 1 John 1

1 John 1:6-7 If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
We cannot have a relationship with God and dwell in sin/darkness at the same time.  It's impossible.  There is no darkness in God.  None.  And if we claim otherwise, we are liars.

From Verse by Verse Commentary.....


We cannot fellowship with a God of absolute perfection without confessing our sins.


Those who claim to fellowship with God but continue in sin without confessing their sin, just kid themselves. They are not in fellowship.

A crucial element to the Christian life is the recognition and acknowledgement of our sin. If we do not confess our sin, we walk in darkness. We reserve a dark side to our soul. Darkness is the absence of life. Walking in the light means that we are open to God. We are not afraid to expose any aspect of our lives to Him.

May we have the courage to expose the darkness in our hearts and to walk fully in the Light of His mercy and grace!

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage:  Ezekiel 45-46; 1 John 2

Friday, December 1, 2017

Friday, December 1: Ezekiel 40-41; 2 Peter 3 by Pamela

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Ezekiel 40-41; 2 Peter 3

These verses stood out for me:

The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you,[a] not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies[b] will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.[c]
1You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability.

When my kids were small, sometimes days would last for eternity. All the busy-ness that comes with raising tiny humans is exhausting. The cleaning, the changing, the feeding, the endless cycle that goes on and on. Some days it seems like it will never end. A wise person once said "The days are long but the years are short" and how true that is. Now as a Mom with 2 out of 3 children currently away from home I have trouble remembering just how long those days really were.

God's perfect timing is outside of our knowledge. We watch the cycle of evil grow and black and white fade to grey and the cycle continues and we wonder if Christ is ever coming back. The headlines show that our sinful world gets worse by the day. However, God always keeps his promises and one day He will return and it will all become clear that this was exactly the perfect time and we won't remember just how long all those years of waiting were.

Knowing this, that Christ will return, we need to make sure that we stand on the truth and not be swayed by the ways of the world while we wait. Our every action will be revealed and we need to be ready.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageEzekiel 42-44; 1 John 1

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Thursday, November 30th: Ezekiel 37-39; 2 Peter 2 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Ezekiel 37-39; 2 Peter 2

25 “Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will now restore the fortunes of Jacob and will have compassion on all the people of Israel, and I will be zealous for my holy name. 26 They will forget their shame and all the unfaithfulness they showed toward me when they lived in safety in their land with no one to make them afraid. 27 When I have brought them back from the nations and have gathered them from the countries of their enemies, I will be proved holy through them in the sight of many nations. 28 Then they will know that I am the Lord their God, for though I sent them into exile among the nations, I will gather them to their own land, not leaving any behind. 29 I will no longer hide my face from them, for I will pour out my Spirit on the people of Israel, declares the Sovereign Lord.”
Truly, God's grace is amazing!

We, like the Israelites, have betrayed God time and time again.

Still, He offers us forgiveness.
Slate wiped clean.
Relationship with God Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth.

All glory be to God for the great things He has done for us!

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage:  Ezekiel 40-41; 2 Peter 3

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Wednesday, November 29th: Ezekiel 35 - 36, 2 Peter 1 ~ Nathan

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is:  Ezekiel 35-36; 2 Peter 1

2 Peter 1:16
For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.

Peter actually saw Jesus, and was an eyewitness, therefore he told us about Jesus and the importance of living for Him. This wasn't second hand information, but rather a first hand account.

2 Peter 1: 20-21
Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. [21] For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit

Here we read that the Bible is God's word and interpretation, not man's. God used man to communicate His word to us. This is humbling, we are just people, but we are God's people and we are blessed to be able to know God and experience Him. I am also thankful for all He's done for me!

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Ezekiel 37-39; 2 Peter 2

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Tuesday, November 28th; Ezekiel 33-34; 1 Peter 5

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is: Ezekiel 33-34; 1 Peter 5

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:6-7

What stood out for me in this verse was "that he may lift you up in due time". I kind of always want him to lift me up in MY time! Ok God, I'm humbled before you, I'm waiting on you... is it time to be out of this yet?! This passage is a good reminder that in due time, he'll lift me out of it. He also doesn't say "don't be anxious while waiting" - he knows we will struggle with that and so gives us verse 7 instructing us what to do with that anxiety, because he cares for us!

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageEzekiel 35-36; 2 Peter 1

Monday, November 27, 2017

Monday, November 27th: Ezekiel 30-32, 1 Peter 4 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Ezekiel 30-32; 1 Peter 4

1 Peter 4:10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithfulstewards of God’s grace in its various forms.
This verse was a good reminder to me that our gifts are not given to us to benefit only ourselves, but rather to benefit and serve others.  Our gifts are also not given to us in order for us to receive glory and praise, but instead those gifts are to glorify God.  This doesn't mean that we cannot accept a compliment about our gifts or a skill we have honed (as instructed to do elsewhere in God's Word), but we should not allow it to become a stumbling block of pride, forgetting to acknowledge that it is by God's grace that we have received the gift and the ability to improve our talent.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageEzekiel 33-34; 1 Peter 5

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Sunday, November 26th: Ezekiel 27-29; 1 Peter 3 ~ Emma

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Ezekiel 27-29; 1 Peter 3

“Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it.” - 1 Peter‬ ‭3:15‬

We need to be ready to answer the questions our friends, coworkers, and neighbours ask us about our faith. We need to read God’s Word, and have spiritual conversations with each other so that we never stop learning about God. If we do this, we will become closer with God, we will feel more confident in our faith, and we will be able to answer questions that nonbelievers might have. We need to be ready to answer their questions, and we need to act out what it looks like to have a relationship with God, because we might be the only Jesus that they will ever see.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageEzekiel 30-32; 1 Peter 4

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Saturday, November 25th: Ezekiel 24-26; 1 Peter 2 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Ezekiel 24-26; 1 Peter 2

Ezekiel 24:15 The word of the Lord came to me: 16 “Son of man, with one blow I am about to take away from you the delight of your eyes. Yet do not lament or weep or shed any tears. 17 Groan quietly; do not mourn for the dead. Keep your turban fastened and your sandals on your feet; do not cover your mustache and beard or eat the customary food of mourners.”

18 So I spoke to the people in the morning, and in the evening my wife died. The next morning I did as I had been commanded.

Every time I read this passage it jumps out at me.  I mean, how can it not?!  Much has already been asked of Ezekiel in his role as God's prophet and mouthpiece to Israel.  But this....this just seems like it's too much to ask. 

And I think that's a very natural, human reaction. 

Yet God gives Ezekiel the strength and ability to see past the human viewpoint, and rather to grasp the eternal point of view.  We are so prone to grasp onto this life with desperation (and indeed, the will to live is a good thing!) but what we need is Ezekiel's perspective, and Paul's in Philippians 1 "For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain".  It's a difficult perspective when it comes to our own lives, but it's even more difficult when it comes to the lives of the ones we love.

Thankfully we don't have to understand in order to have faith.  And we don't need to rely on our own strength when it comes to faith, but rather rely on the power of the Holy Spirit.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageEzekiel 27-29; 1 Peter 3

Friday, November 24, 2017

Friday, November 24th: Ezekiel 22-23; 1 Peter 1 ~ Conrad

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is: Ezekiel 22-23; 1 Peter 1

"uses his power to shed blood"
"have treated father and mother with contempt"
"have oppressed the foreigner"
"mistreated the fatherless and the widow"
"have despised my holy things and desecrated my Sabbaths"
"eat at the mountain shrines and commit lewd acts"
"dishonor their father’s bed"
"violate women during their period"
"commits a detestable offense with his neighbor’s wife"
"shamefully defiles his daughter-in-law"
"accept bribes to shed blood"
"take interest and make a profit from the poor"
"extort unjust gain from your neighbors"
"you have forgotten me"

The above quotes are all from Ezekiel 22.  These verses are describing how the people of Jerusalem have been behaving.  It's sad.  It's disheartening.  It's tragic.  It's hopeless.  It's detestable.  Unfortunately, this is us in 2017 too.  

Thankfully, we have our reading in the NT to follow the words from Ezekiel:

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you,"
1 Peter 1:3-4

Despite our fallen world, and within that our own personal failures, we have this hope that is found not in this world, but in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  In the meantime, yes we live here, but we can also live in joy and peace knowing that one day we will be in Heaven with our Heavenly Father.  An inheritance that we do not have to check on to see if the value has risen or crashed, but rather one that will never fade.  What a glorious and powerful hope that belongs to us!                      

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Ezekiel 24-26; 1 Peter 2

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Thursday, November 23rd: Ezekiel 20-21; James 5 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Ezekiel 20-21; James 5

Ezekiel 20:9 But for the sake of my name, I brought them out of Egypt. I did it to keep my name from being profaned in the eyes of the nations among whom they lived and in whose sight I had revealed myself to the Israelites.
Phrases similar to this appear multiple times in our passage.  To me this is a good reminder that God chose to save me, just like He chose to save the Israelites.  And He didn't choose me because there was anything special about me.  He didn't choose me because I'm any better than anyone else.  He chose me despite me.  He chose me in order to glorify His name.

Yes, He saves us because He loves us.  But He also saves us for the sake of His name.  And I am thankful, so thankful, for His saving grace.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage:  Ezekiel 22-23; 1 Peter 1

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Wednesday, November 22nd: Ezekiel 18-19, James 4 ~ Nathan

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is: Ezekiel 18-19; James 4

Ezekiel 18:23
Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign Lord. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?

Ezekiel 18:32
For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and live!

Does God take pleasure in us sinning and turning from Him? Absolutely not! Here it says, and God shows, that He wants us to turn from our sin and follow Him. He loves us and wants us to choose to follow Him.

James 4:8
Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded

Again, an invitation to everyone to go to God. Clean up the sin in our lives by asking for forgiveness for it and trying our best to do better.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Ezekiel 20-21; James 5

Monday, November 20, 2017

Monday, November 20th: Ezekiel 14-15; James 2 ~ Conrad

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is: Ezekiel 14-15; James 2

 "You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did.  And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend.  You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone."  James 2:22-24

In today's reading, James stresses the importance of our faith and our actions working together.  If we have an active faith, it should be expressed in Christian living.  In other words, a true disciple of Christ will not live in hypocrisy.  If our faith is not expressed in Christian actions, it is useless and dead.  I also appreciated how this passage tied in with the OT reading in Ezekiel 15 (Jerusalem as a useless vine).     

My next point is strictly my own thought, but here is a reason why I believe that our faith and our actions need to go hand in hand........

The Lord looks at our heart, which no one else is able to see or observe.  People on the other hand, can only hear what we say and observe us on the outside along with our actions.  I work at a store where the owner does not advertise.  So the only "advertising" we have is word of mouth from previous customers.  It will either be good or bad.......that just depends on how well the store treats its customers.  The same goes for us a Christians.  How are we advertising our faith? 

The faith Abraham had in God was equally matched with his actions, and is an example for us all.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Ezekiel 16-17; James 3

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Sunday, November 19: Ezekiel 11-13; James 1 ~ Emma

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Ezekiel 11-13; James 1

“Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.” - James‬ ‭1:17

How comforting it is to know that God never changes. He remains the same through our tough times, happy times, and all of time. It is so comforting to know that the God who holds the universe in His hands never changes. He is always good, always loving, and always knows what is best for us How great it is to serve Him.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageEzekiel 14-15; James 2

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Saturday, November 18th: Ezekiel 8-10; Hebrews 13 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Ezekiel 8-10; Hebrews 13

Hebrews13:2 Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.
Wouldn't that be cool?!  To show hospitality to an angel?!  Well, if you've ever taken the time out of your day to help out a stranger, you just may have without even knowing it!  What a cool thought!

Obviously it shouldn't take the idea of angels to inspire us to show hospitality.  But it's kind of a cool reminder.  And Jesus made it clear that when we serve those who are in need, we are serving Him - which is even cooler than serving angels!

So serve - you never know who you're serving, but at the same time you always know Who you are serving!

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageEzekiel 11-13; James 1

Friday, November 17, 2017

Friday, November 17th: Ezekiel 5-7; Hebrews 12 ~ Conrad

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is: Ezekiel 5-7; Hebrews 12

 "fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."
Hebrews 12:2 

I have read this passage many times, but today this verse stood out to me.  Today I realized that despite the fact that dying on a cross was a shameful death, Jesus focused on the end result. 

Jesus was not troubled by what His opponents thought of Him.  Religious leaders tried to damage His reputation.  He was laughed at and ridiculed.  A crown of thorns was forced onto His head.  A purple robe was put on Him to ridicule Him despite the fact that He was a king.

In spite of all this, did Jesus try to defend His reputation?  No.  The Scripture tells us that He "scorned its shame".  It was far more important that He glorified his Father, and remain focused on doing his Father's will than trying to save face or even to simply execute His own desire of not having to go through with the crucifixion.

This gives me hope and strength that if Jesus would endure the cross with all its pain and shame knowing that afterwards He would be seated beside his Father in Heaven, then I too should focus more on my Heavenly Father and less on my sinful desires and temptations.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Ezekiel 8-10; Hebrews 13

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Thursday, November 16th: Ezekiel 3-4; Hebrews 11:20-40 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is  Ezekiel 3-4; Hebrews 11:20-40

Hebrews 11:39-40 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.
We love it when God answers prayer (with a "yes!") and when we receive what's been promised.  It's easy to be faithful then.

But these faith "hall of fame-ers" were commended for their faith- and they never received what had been promised.  They NEVER received it, and were faithful anyway. 

It reminds me of the Mercy Me song....

I know You're able, and I know You can
save through the fire with Your mighty hand
But even if You don't
my hope is You alone

They say it only takes a little faith
to move a mountain
Well, good thing,
a little faith is all I have right now.
But God when You choose
to leave mountains unmoveable
oh give me the strength to be able to sing
it is well with my soul

May I have that kind of faith!

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageEzekiel 5-7; Hebrews 12

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Wednesday, November 15th: Ezekiel 1-2; Hebrews 11:1-19 ~ Emma

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Ezekiel 1-2; Hebrews 11:1-19

“Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see.” - Hebrews‬ ‭11:1‬

No matter what you believe in, it requires faith of the unseen/unknown. And we, as Christians, need to grow our faith stronger and stronger so that we always remain hopeful, and loving towards the Lord. If we don’t have faith, we have nothing.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageEzekiel 3-4; Hebrews 11:20-40

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Tuesday, November 14th: Lamentations 3-5; Hebrews 10:19-39 ~ Jody

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is: Lamentations 3-5; Hebrews 10:19-39

The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!” Lamentations 3:22-24

What encouraging verses. He is all and everything we can place our hope in. And it's confirmed again in our New Testament reading.

Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. Hebrews 10:23

I could have actually listed the whole Hebrews reading here as passages that resonated with me today. That we continue to live in His hope, repenting and turning back to Him so we can fully receive His goodness and nearness.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageEzekiel 1-2; Hebrews 11:1-19

Monday, November 13, 2017

Monday, November 13th: Lamentations 1-2; Hebrews 10:1-18 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is  Lamentations 1-2; Hebrews 10:1-18

Hebrews 10:14  14 For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.

The Israelite priests made sacrifices day after day and it was never enough, and it never actually brought forgiveness of sins - though it did point to Jesus, the ultimate sacrifice whose death does bring forgiveness of sins. Through this one sacrifice Jesus has made us righteous in God’s eyes, and continues His perfecting work in our lives.   This must have been so kind baffling to the Jews at the time, who had witnessed those sacrifices over and over - and Jesus made them obsolete! Amazing!

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageLamentations 3-5Hebrews 10:19-39