Category Archives: ESV Through the Bible in a Year

2 Samuel 10; 2 Corinthians 3; Ezekiel 17; Psalm 60,61

How often do I survey the happenings around me and miss God’s handiwork?

And all the trees of the field shall know that I am the Lord; I bring low the high tree, and make high the low tree, dry up the green tree, and make the dry tree flourish. I am the Lord; I have spoken, and I will do it.

Ezekiel 17:24 – ESV

Currently, I’m reading the book Bruchko with my kids and chapter 19 highlighted how as the Motilone people embraced Jesus, they cried out to Him with real faith that He would respond miraculously. And, when He did, the miracles did not surprise them, because they expected them.

I find myself often praying with little expectation. Worse than that, when something does “work out” the way I had prayed for, I give mental credit to medicine, hard work, time, people, or coincidence. This chapter in Bruchko, piled on top of all these passages from Scripture are convicting me of my high view of people and my minimizing view of God.

But with Jesus, there can be real change. Not just spiritual change. Not just change by and by. Real change, now, with visible power. He is the source of all change. He is the God of everyday miracles.

Bruchko by Bruce Olson p. 162.

The everyday miracles, the huge, life-changing miracles. All of them, return to Him. He earns our praise all day long with His work in our lives and those around us. I need to remember to return my thanks to Him and acknowledge all that He is doing on a daily basis.

Even in 2 Samuel we see how God orchestrated events to bless Israel, to shape military alliances, and to punish nations that rejected Him.

And when all the kings who were servants of Hadadezer saw that they had been defeated by Israel, they made peace with Israel and became subject to them. So the Syrians were afraid to save the Ammonites anymore.

2 Samuel 10:19 ESV

God’s plans prevail in the military exploits of ancient kingdoms and in my daily life as a housewife in modern day America.

  • Did I wake up this morning – alive and breathing?
  • Do I have friends and family?
  • Do I have food – physical and spiritual?
  • Did I experience comfort today?
  • Have the friends on my prayer list been protected through the ordeal they face?
  • Has another friend made it safely home from a recent hospital stay?
  • Did I have healing words of encouragement for a desperate text that came my way last week?

Yes, yes, and yes again.

God has been there. Working, responding, often providing before I even knew to ask. It has been all Him. I can take no credit, and have no right to rationalize His supernatural involvement in this world by diminishing the results with “logical” explanations.

Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God . . . Since we have such a hope, we are very bold, . . . And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

2 Corinthians 3:4-5, 12, 18 ESV

The result of properly attributing God’s power and presence is increased boldness, hope, and transformation. He hears our prayers and walks closely to those that hope in Him.

Hear my cry, O God,
    listen to my prayer;
from the end of the earth I call to you
    when my heart is faint.
Lead me to the rock
    that is higher than I,
for you have been my refuge,
    a strong tower against the enemy.

Psalm 61:1-3 ESV

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Filed under 2 Corinthians, 2 Samuel, ESV Through the Bible in a Year, Ezekiel, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Psalms

Genesis 47; Luke 1:1-38; Job 13; 1 Corinthians 1

One of the first things which Paul addresses in his letters to the Corinthians is the need for humility, he said,

“God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to mothering things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God” (1st Corinthians 1: 28-29, ESV).

Paul is instructing the Corinthians to remain humble, because they were chosen from groups that were considered shameful to people who considered themselves strong and wise. I need to remember to remain humble, because without God I would still be stuck within the depths of my sin. Paul continues by saying

“So that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord” (1st Corinthians 1: 31, ESV).

I need to remember that nothing on earth is worthy of boasting about compared to God’s mercy towards me. It is good for me to stay humble at all times and remember what God has done for me. Paul also emphasizes the importance of following God rather than man, he says

“For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written, ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart’” (1st Corinthians 1: 18-19, ESV).

It is good for me to practice humility in the face of what God has done for me, because worldly pride is put to shame by God and his glory. Paul says,

“For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men” (1st Corinthians 1: 25, ESV).

Dear God, thank you for all that you have done for me. Please help me to have a grateful heart, and please help me to keep my mind and heart on you, and not on the world. In Jesus’s holy name I pray, Amen.

Asher (AsherB)

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Filed under 1 Corinthians, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, ESV Through the Bible in a Year, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament, Uncategorized

Genesis 40; Mark 10; Job 6; Romans 10

While Jesus was journeying with his disciples, he was approached by a rich young man claimed to have followed all of God’s commandments and wanting to know the way to eternal life. Jesus told him,

 “’You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.’ Disheartened by the saying, he [the young man] went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions” (Mark 10: 21, ESV).

In the end, it was not the young man’s lust or deceit that prevented him from following Jesus, it was his desire for riches and comfort. Jesus called the young man, and calls me, to sacrifice worldly possessions in pursuit of his service. Jesus wants me to be grateful for what I have and generous with what I have been given. He says,

“’It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God’… ‘Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions , and in the age to come eternal life.’” (Mark 10: 25, 29-30, ESV).

Jesus says that those who retain great riches will have a very hard time getting to heaven but promises that those who do give generously will receive back all that they gave and more in heaven. He wants me to have an attitude of servitude and generosity with my time and possessions.

Dear God, thank you for your holy Word, it helps me to understand your will for my life. Please help me to live my life in servitude to you, and please help me to be generous with what you have given me. In Jesus’s holy name I pray, Amen

Asher (AsherB)

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, ESV Through the Bible in a Year, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Mark, New Testament, Uncategorized

Genesis 11; Matthew 10; Ezra 10; Acts 10

It is easy for me to forget to spread the good news of the gospel, and it is even easier to delay that action because I am scared of what other people might think of me. In Matthew 10: 26-28 Jesus tells his disciples to

“have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10: 26-28 ESV).

Jesus is telling his disciples to not fear the men who might threaten and hurt them when they spread Jesus’s teachings. It is easy for me to worry too much about what other people think and do. Instead, I need to focus on my own walk with God and not worry about someone else’s opinion of me. Jesus further comforts his disciples by reminding them of how much God cares about them. He says

“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows” (Matthew 10: 29-31).

This is a good reminder for when I am feeling down about aspects of my life. It reminds me that God cares about me even when I might not see how. I don’t doubt that it was a great encouragement for the disciples as well!

 

Dear God, please help me to follow You, and please help me to listen when You tell me to spread Your Word, without caring what other people might think of me. I know that Your approval is more important than the approval of anyone else in the whole world. Please help me to remember that. In Jesus’ Holy name, I pray, Amen.

Asher (AsherB)

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, ESV Through the Bible in a Year, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Matthew, New Testament

Jeremiah 32-34; Hebrews 3; Psalm 74

In the midst of heartache, God’s presence can seem distant. His actions (or apparent lack thereof) can confuse our finite minds.

I marvel that one of the most common “favorite” verses that people share today (Jeremiah 29:11) comes just before incredible destruction for Judah. In this passage in Jeremiah we see him still wrestling a bit with the durability of this promise and God steps in again to confirm its truth.

First, let’s look at the highlight reel from these chapters:

Jeremiah said, “The word of the Lord came to me: Behold, Hanamel the son of Shallum your uncle will come to you and say, ‘Buy my field that is at Anathoth, for the right of redemption by purchase is yours.’ (Jeremiah 32:6-7 ESV)

[so, Jeremiah bought it – a seemingly foolish purchase since they were all about to be hauled off into captivity – so Jeremiah has his say with God]

I prayed to the Lord, saying: 17 ‘Ah, Lord God! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you.

[really earth-rattling prayer in verses 18-21, if you skipped over it, go back and worship along with Jeremiah. Even in his worry and doubt — he knows how to worship!]

22 And you gave them this land, which you swore to their fathers to give them,  23 And they entered and took possession of it. But they did not obey your voice or walk in your law. . . Therefore you have made all this disaster come upon them. 24  . . . What you spoke has come to pass, and behold, you see it.

25 Yet you, O Lord God, have said to me, “Buy the field for money and get witnesses”—though the city is given into the hands of the Chaldeans.’” (Jeremiah 32:16-25 ESV – emphasis mine)

27 “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me?

42 “For thus says the Lord: Just as I have brought all this great disaster upon this people, so I will bring upon them all the good that I promise them. 43 Fields shall be bought in this land of which you are saying, ‘It is a desolation, without man or beast; it is given into the hand of the Chaldeans.’

[it gets better]

Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known. (Jeremiah 33:3)

in the cities of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem that are desolate, without man or inhabitant or beast, there shall be heard again 11 the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness (Jeremiah 33:10,11)

God tells Jeremiah to buy a basically useless piece of land as an awesome picture of His promises. This land will be restored. God’s Word won’t fail. If you every doubt, come to me, the great I AM, and ask and I’ll bring matchless peace and wonder once again.

Let not the downtrodden turn back in shame;
    let the poor and needy praise your name. (Psalm 74:21)

Life will have trouble. Life-altering, gut-wrenching, incomprehensible trouble. God is still there, still ruling, still waiting patiently for what He knows is the right timing.

Still worthy of our worship.

Resting in Him is not always easy, but it is always right.

Lord God, thank you for holding us all in Your hands. Protecting us in front and behind and never letting go, never straying from your goodness and your promises. You never fail. ~In Jesus Name Amen.

 

Erin (6intow)

 

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Filed under ESV Through the Bible in a Year, Jeremiah, Uncategorized