Monthly Archives: December 2021

New year, new plan 2022

Thank you for joining us in 2021 to read the Bible in a year!

We will be back tomorrow starting a 7-day plan. Want to take your Bible reading to a new level? Consider being contributing writer. Contact 66booksinayear@gmail.com for details.

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We hope you were blessed by your time in God’s Word this year.

May He bless you deeply in 2022 as you seek Him.

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Job 40-42, Psalm 150 & Revelation 19-22

We started 2021 on a Friday 364 days ago and now we conclude this year on a Friday. It really is a privilege and honor to start the year off and close it.

We have had a lot of pain and sorrow this year. We have lost friends this year. We have had financial set backs. Relationships have broken. We have had victories this year as well. We’ve seen bad habits overcome. We’ve made new and lasting friends. We’ve learned a lot of what the Holy Spirit has wanted to teach us. And so here we are thinking of 2021 and looking forward to 2022.

And the Bible ends on the most optimistic note ever. You can read it below:

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever. And he said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true. And the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, has sent his angel to show his servants what must soon take place.” (Revelation 22:1-6 [NIV])

I don’t know about you, but I have become more and more secure in the veracity of the Bible. Even when it doesn’t make sense or I think there’s a mistake I know there isn’t one and I research it till I find the answer. And The angel states, “These words are trustworthy and true.” (v. 6). All that the Apostle John writes about how beautiful the new earth and new Jerusalem is going to be and we will see Jesus face to face and his name will be on our foreheads and more and more. It’s going to happen. We can take it to the bank. If you are a Christ follower on this last Friday of 2021 these things are going to happen to you. You will see these things. From then on it will only be victory after victory after victory for ever and ever. What a glorious eternity we have to look forward to.

Father God help us to be looking forward to this end of history when we will be able to spend eternity with you forever. Amen!

PS: See you in 2022 and just maybe this new year may be the year Jesus comes back for us.

                DMB

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Job 37-39; Psalm 103; Revelation 21

If you asked me last January what I thought the year would hold, I never would have imagined this: chickens. My youngest daughter started high school, and this summer, as part of immersive learning, we ordered a few baby chicks to raise. Not only were they adorable, soft and cuddly–they were already smart. A touch of their beak to water, and they knew to drink; they instinctively knew to dust bathe; to take shelter or freeze from a predator’s call; to take shelter in the coop at night and roost; and they have a song they sing when they lay an egg. Sometimes I sit out in the run with them, holding them, listening to their chatter, and admiring the crazy beautiful colors of their feathers. The feathers shimmer and throw off hues of emerald in the amber and black. All that beauty in a chicken.

When the Lord challenges Job in today’s chapters, I believe him. I see his majesty in all that he mentions, just as I see it in the iridescence of a bird’s feather. When I read through Psalm 103’s reminder of what the Lord has done, I praise him too. The truth of who he is and what he has done gives me confidence (awe and reverence) of Revelation.

 I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”

And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.” And he also said, “It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life. All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be my children.

“But cowards, unbelievers, the corrupt, murderers, the immoral, those who practice witchcraft, idol worshipers, and all liars—their fate is in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” (Revelation 21:3-8, NLT)

Going into a next year, I have no idea what it holds. But I trust in the Alpha and the Omega–my God who is trustworthy and true.

The Lord has made the heavens his throne;
    from there he rules over everything.

20 Praise the Lord, you angels,
    you mighty ones who carry out his plans,
    listening for each of his commands.
21 Yes, praise the Lord, you armies of angels
    who serve him and do his will!
22 Praise the Lord, everything he has created,
    everything in all his kingdom.

Let all that I am praise the Lord. (Psalm 103:19-22, NLT)

Courtney (66books365)

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Job 34-36, Revelation 20

Then I saw a large white throne and the one who was seated on it; the earth and the heaven fled from his presence, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne. Then books were opened, and another book was opened – the book of life. So the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to their deeds.

Revelation 20:11-12

Without a doubt, one of my favorite chapters in all of scripture is Revelation 21. The vision of a restored heavens and earth, creation put back to shalom is something I look forward to constantly.

But alas, chapter 20 fell to me, and I’m glad it did, it was a good challenge for me.

I was talking to a friend today about a situation we are both trying to navigate and I realized that I have a pretty big fixation on justice. I think that all people do, but for some reason I’ve always felt especially passionate about issues of injustice. I appreciate that now, but I didn’t appreciate it as much the time I started crying during a speech against abortion in 7th grade.

Anyhow, I can tend to get kind of fired up about injustice, but oftentimes I gauge injustice by my own standards, not necessarily God’s standards. Honestly there are just times that I don’t understand God’s standards, most of the time I do, but there are times when it’s a little tougher.

In chapter 20 there is a clear separation, it seems in the end the thing that matters is whose name is written in the Lamb’s book of life, and whose isn’t. Which is where I have trouble.

I often want chapter 21 without chapter 20, but it isn’t possible.

The brokenness and evil in the world has to be dealt with. In order for shalom, justice, and peace to be restored to God’s original and final hope for creation, the evil must be removed. In order for healing, the pain must be dealt with. It’s not something that people like to talk about, it makes me uncomfortable even now. My hope is that not a single human soul would be left out of the book of life. A hope that I echo from 1 Timothy 2:3-4

“This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”

Ultimately I trust God as he pursues all people with his endless grace and love, but the hope that all people might eventually declare Jesus as Lord requires that I live in a way that Jesus is actually real, is actually Good news, and is desperate to reconcile relationships with all people.

Even the ones that I have the hardest time loving.

My prayer for this next year is that the walls I’ve built up against people would be broken down, that Jesus love might be shared through my love for them. Tangible love backed up with action is what drew me to Jesus, now it’s time to share that with others.

Sam (anglinsam)

From the archives. Originally published December 29, 2014.

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Psalm 102; Revelation 19

It’s hard to believe, but it’s nearly time to say goodbye to this year.  In just a few days, 2021 will be history and 2022 will stretch before us, a blank canvas waiting to be filled with the colors and brushstrokes of our lives in the year ahead.  For many, 2021 leaves taking with it unachieved goals and aspirations or unrealized dreams penned with fresh ink and hopeful anticipation just one short year ago.  And, if we’re honest, a thoughtful rehearsing of the past year may leave us feeling regretful or sad or wistful about what might have been. 

The author of Psalm 102 was no stranger to dashed hopes and unfulfilled dreams.  Using vivid imagery, he paints a picture that describes not only physical pain and affliction but emotional pain and feelings of rejection from both God and man. 

For my days disappear like smoke,
    and my bones burn like red-hot coals.
My heart is sick, withered like grass,
    and I have lost my appetite.
Because of my groaning,
    I am reduced to skin and bones.
I am like an owl in the desert,
    like a little owl in a far-off wilderness.
I lie awake,
    lonely as a solitary bird on the roof.
My enemies taunt me day after day.
    They mock and curse me.
I eat ashes for food.
    My tears run down into my drink
because of your anger and wrath.
    For you have picked me up and thrown me out.
My life passes as swiftly as the evening shadows.
    I am withering away like grass.
Psalm 102:3-11 (NLT)

Yet in verse 12, the Psalmist makes a palpable shift from affliction to affirmation.  He doesn’t sugarcoat his suffering and heartache, but his focus moves to highlight God’s sovereignty and faithfulness.  His hope is not in a turn of the calendar or a new set of goals written in an unblemished planner or a new routine that promises to transform his life.  His hope is in the eternal God whose character will not change and whose faithfulness will never waver. 

Long ago you laid the foundation of the earth
    and made the heavens with your hands.
They will perish, but you remain forever;
    they will wear out like old clothing.
You will change them like a garment
    and discard them.
But you are always the same;
    you will live forever.
The children of your people
    will live in security.
Their children’s children
    will thrive in your presence.
Psalm 102:25-28 (NLT)

I don’t know what the past year held for you, nor do I know what any of us may face in the year ahead.  But I do know that no matter what may happen or how we may feel, Hope has always been and Hope is coming—not in the form of a new year but in the daily new mercies of a loving and faithful God.  And, because of that Hope, even in the midst of the hardship and heartache of this earthly life, we can proclaim now just as we will one day proclaim around the throne:

Praise the Lord!
    Salvation and glory and power belong to our God.
Praise the Lord!
    For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns.
Let us be glad and rejoice,
    and let us give honor to him.

Revelation 19:1, 6-7 (NLT)

“If this New Year shall be full of unbelief,
it will be sure to be dark and dreary.
If it be baptized into faith, it will be saturated with benediction.
If we will believe our God as he deserves to be believed,
our way will run along the still waters,

and our rest will be in green pastures.
Trusting in the Lord, we shall be prepared for trials,
and shall even welcome them

as black ships laden with bright treasures.”
CH Spurgeon

Praying God’s richest blessings for you and yours, today and in the year ahead.

Jen

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