Monthly Archives: December 2018

Thank you for joining us!

PicMonkey Collage(2)Thank you for joining us for another year reading through the Bible. It’s okay if you didn’t read every day. Time in God’s Word should be more than meeting a checklist goal. This is your very real opportunity to study His Word and know the truth for yourself.

We hope you’ll join us again in 2019. We’re using another, but different, 5-day/week reading plan. We’d love for you to be part of the journey.

See you tomorrow!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Job 40-42; Psalm 150; Revelation 22

And so we end the year with three important passages of Scripture. Whether your year has been hard or easy, challenging or a breeze, we can always spend our days praising God. Psalm 150 gives us that basis:

1 Praise the Lord!Praise God in his sanctuary!Praise him in the sky, which testifies to his strength! 2 Praise him for his mighty acts!Praise him for his surpassing greatness! 3 Praise him with the blast of the horn!Praise him with the lyre and the harp! 4 Praise him with the tambourine and with dancing!Praise him with stringed instruments and the flute! 5 Praise him with loud cymbals!Praise him with clanging cymbals! 6 Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!Praise the Lord! (NET)

We are given many ways we can praise God and everything that does have breath should praise God. And here’s a great reason why. Because of how the whole story ends, how this time on earth comes to an end and we read that in Revelation 22.

20 He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.”Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. 21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen. (NIV)

Jesus is coming soon. Are you ready? Are you living each day and each year like you’re ready. Let’s start 2019 with that attitude and lifestyle. Come Lord Jesus. Come.

Leave a comment

Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Job, Psalms, Revelation, Uncategorized

Job 37-39; Psalm 103; Revelation 21

It is Christmas week, and everything is happily upended in a flurry of wrapping paper, sweets, happy greetings, gatherings, and the otherwise controlled chaos my large family generates– along with the refining always imminent as we rub against each other in the day to day with holiday routines (or non-routines) at play.

The year turns the pages on final days. The New Year comes…

And khe who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I lam making all things new. Revelation 21 ESV

New. The crisp, clean page. The fresh start. The New Year. Something so fresh and invigorating – in the shift of numbers; the change of dates.

I am not one to eagerly, loudly harken a new year with anticipation– too prone am I to dread and fear. But deep instead, there is the irresistible tingle and the joy in the new. I trust each day to the Lord and seek to take small steps in Him faithfully. I want to give Him my New Year and trust Him to make me new.

2 yBless the LORD, O my soul,

and zforget not all his benefits,

who aforgives all your iniquity,

who bheals all your diseases,

who credeems your life from the pit,

who dcrowns you with steadfast love and mercy,

who esatisfies you with good

so that your youth is renewed like fthe eagle’s. Psalm 103 ESV

Psalm 103. The comfort and peace flows.

These words: forgives, heals, redeems, crowns, satisfies, renews.

Most of all- to me- right now: renews. The restoration sings from the Psalm and how blessed the people of God are to have the life-giving regeneration and restoration of God at work in this life.

As I struggle on the other side of Christmas, but entering the hopefully quiet pause of “break week’- a time to evaluate, reflect, prepare, and ponder- this verse ministers to me:

For he knows our frame;1

he sremembers that we are dust. Psalm 103 ESV

I utterly cast myself upon the mercy and full understanding of God. I am dust. It is good to rest in my finite weakness and know Him to be God. The reading from Job fully emphasizes this as God answers Job out of the whirlwind and begins to develop the greatness of His Own Expanse and Infinite knowledge. It is beyond comprehension- and it is in worship, I ponder.

I will be small and reflective in this quiet week before “new” is before me: New Year; New Semester; Specific New Changes in my family’s life; New Choices, Focus, and Habits.

He makes all things new. Praise be.

Thank You, Lord for bringing life in every area. Help me walk with You. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Rebecca (offeringsbecca)

 

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Job 34-36; Revelation 20

I had lunch with a friend recently who shared she’d read a book in one day. I was intrigued. I’m not usually a fast reader. And I’ve been known to fall asleep during read-alouds if we venture past three chapters at a time–and I’m the one reading out loud. I looked up the average reading speed and decided to test it out, if I could read 50 pages in an hour. I began to calculate how long it would take me to get through a stack of books I really and truly want to read. Maybe 2019 will be the year I read all the books, at least, all the books I have that I want to read but haven’t yet.

The first time I ever stepped foot into my dad’s house was the day after he died. I took in the details of his life, one I had not been invited into; I noticed a lot of things, but maybe what surprised me most were the books he had about Christianity and Jesus, and not one book spine creased. They were brand new, unopened. My impression of him was he was seeking and hoping. I felt a sadness, and not because he didn’t read those books (those books are not his salvation)–but for so many other things that run profound and deep. Grace reaches here too.

It’s almost two years since he died. I’ve thought long on legacy, family, faith, the marrow of what matters, and eternity. I’ve wondered about success and purpose and how others define it–or is there a universal definition? Mostly, I’ve focused on my own walk, and to this point I thought I had been intentional, but now even more so. My words and actions will either reveal or betray my heart–they will show what really mattered to me.

11 And I saw a great white throne and the one sitting on it. The earth and sky fled from his presence, but they found no place to hide. 12 I saw the dead, both great and small, standing before God’s throne. And the books were opened, including the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to what they had done, as recorded in the books. 13 The sea gave up its dead, and death and the grave gave up their dead. And all were judged according to their deeds. 14 Then death and the grave were thrown into the lake of fire. This lake of fire is the second death. 15 And anyone whose name was not found recorded in the Book of Life was thrown into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:11-15, NLT).

My 2018 word was seek, and God showed me many things. But seek first his kingdom was the underscore of so much. Next year, a focus on purpose (and reading all the books). (Did you pick a word? Also, what’s on your reading list?)

Lord, it is everything to know you and to be known by you. To love you, and to be loved by you. It is joy, confidence, safety, peace, hope, strength to be in relationship with you. You called to me to seek your face, and it has changed everything.

Courtney (66books365)

5 Comments

Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, New Testament, Revelation, Uncategorized

Psalms 102; Revelation 19

I love the imagery revealed in Revelation 19.  When I get stressed out about how crazy this world has become, I take comfort in thinking about what will happen when Jesus is in charge for good.

“After this I heard what seemed to be the loud voice of a great multitude in Heaven, crying out, ‘Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, for His judgments are true and just; for He has judged the great prostitute who corrupted the earth with her immorality, and has avenged on her the blood of his servants.  Once more they cried out, ‘Hallelujah!  The smoke from her goes up forever and ever.” (Revelation 19: 1-4 ESV)

As believers we are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.

‘And the angel said to me, ‘Write this: blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’  And he said to me, ‘These are the true words of God.’ Then I fell down at His feet to worship Him, but He said to me, ‘You must not do that!  I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus.  Worship God.’  For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” (Revelation 19: 9-10 ESV)

Notice how many descriptions in the passage below clearly describe Jesus.

“Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse.  The one sitting on it called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war.  His eyes are like a flame fire, and on His head are many diadems, and He has a name written that no one knows but Himself.  He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which His is called is The Word of God.  And the armies of Heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following Him on white horses.  From His mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron.  He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of the Almighty.  On His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.” (Revelation 19:11-16 ESV)

Lord, we look forward to the day when all evil will be wiped away and we will live with you forever in Paradise!

Kellie

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Job 28-30; Revelation 18

20 Where then does wisdom come from?
Where does understanding dwell?
21 It is hidden from the eyes of every living thing,
concealed even from the birds in the sky.
22 Destruction[b] and Death say,
“Only a rumor of it has reached our ears.”
23 God understands the way to it
and he alone knows where it dwells,
24 for he views the ends of the earth
and sees everything under the heavens.
25 When he established the force of the wind
and measured out the waters,
26 when he made a decree for the rain
and a path for the thunderstorm,
27 then he looked at wisdom and appraised it;
he confirmed it and tested it.
28 And he said to the human race,
“The fear of the Lord—that is wisdom,
and to shun evil is understanding.” (Job 28:20-28) NIV

Sometimes I read scripture and it touches the very core of my being.  Tears well into the corners of my eyes as I think about the goodness of God in my life. These words affected me this way.  I shudder to think where I would be if He had not pursued me.

Truthfully, I know exactly where I’d be!  Still searching for that one “thing”, that one “person” that would fill the emptiness inside me.  Nothing satisfied that longing for acceptance, significance, and unconditional love until I began my relationship with Him.

Quite a few years ago, I heard a sermon at our church that spoke of choosing one word as our focus each year instead of making resolutions.  I’ve been doing that for several years now and have been amazed how God has used each word in my life for something going on at the time.  The year I was unemployed my word was “abide”.  It was the perfect word for that season of my life because abiding in Jesus is what got me through.

This past year my word was “light” and I am not sure any of my words have had more of an impact. I started the year still in a deep depression that I had been struggling with for quite some time.  When He brought that word to my mind, it went with the verse “God is light, in him there is no darkness at all.” (1John 1:5b)  I knew He was my way out of the darkness of soul I felt.  During the course of the year, God has revealed the many meanings of the word through verses, studies, devotionals, and sermons.  God spoke and light came into being.  His word is light.  Light is illumination (makes things visible, gives you understanding, the proverbial light bulb over your head).  He taught me so much this past year about Him and about me—things I saw and understood for the first time.  Light also means “not heavy”.  He has lifted burdens from my heart and given me a freedom I didn’t know was possible.  I am truly lighter in so many ways.  Light is gentle, delicate.  All colors depend on light. You can light a fire, ignite a flame.  As I spent time with Him and let Him work, each of these meanings was revealed to me in different ways.

“The fear of the Lord—that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding.”

If we ask Him, God will reveal wisdom to us.  Somehow or other as this year comes to a close, I feel wiser.  It really has been a year of growth for me.  It has been painful—I think I’ve cried buckets of tears as I’ve let go of so many lies (shun evil).  In order to do this, I’ve had to bring them out into the light.  Those lies buried deep in my heart were hidden in darkness.  But no more!  “Surrender it all to me”, I felt Him tell me.  I was afraid of the magnitude of the pain of doing that. “On the other side of surrender is freedom” was what I sensed Him telling me in my spirit.  And it was!  Once I surrendered that last bit of my past, that last piece I was clutching, came freedom.

Today is Christmas.  It is the day we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  He came to earth to set us free.  I have been singing Christmas Carols as long as I can remember but this year, in particular, there are many I cannot sing without tearing up.  The gratitude I feel for what He did by coming to earth and sacrificing Himself for me is overwhelming.  “O, come let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.”

Merry Christmas!

Lord, thank you for Jesus!  Thank you for your plan of redemption through his birth, his life, and his death on a cross.  Thank you that he was raised to life once again and now sits at your right hand interceding for those of us who call upon His name.  Thank you for loving me as you do.  In Jesus name, Amen

Cindy (gardnlady)

 

1 Comment

Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Job

Job 24-27; Revelation 17

So it is Christmas Eve. We celebrate the coming of Jesus the Messiah into the world. This event is but a chain of events that end in the total victory of the Messiah — the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world — against the powers of darkness in this universe. So it is fitting that we read Revelation 17 today. The verses that strike me are as follows:

14 They will wage war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will triumph over them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers.” 15 Then the angel said to me, “The waters you saw, where the prostitute sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations and languages (Revelation 17:14&15 [NIV]).

Today we celebrate a link in the chain that brings total victory for God. An eternal Kingdom that will be established and God’s reign will be established for all eternity.

Part of celebrating this first advent is also preparing for the second advent, when Christ returns and this prophecy begins to be fulfilled. What are you doing this Christmas 2018 to prepare for the coming second advent of Jesus? Think and pray about that because what we read in Revelation 17 will some day become reality.

Merry Christmas!

1 Comment

Filed under 66 Books, Job, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Revelation, Uncategorized