Tag Archives: M’Cheyne Bible Reading

2 Chronicles 33; Revelation 19; Malachi 1; John 18

Manasseh built altars across the land to worship false gods. He did what was evil in the Lord’s sight. His reigning years peak at likely his lowest point: 10 The Lord spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they ignored all his warnings. 11 So the Lord sent the commanders of the Assyrian armies, and they took Manasseh prisoner. They put a ring through his nose, bound him in bronze chains, and led him away to Babylon (2 Chronicles 33:10-11, NLT).

A ring through his nose. Bound in chains. A prisoner.

12 But while in deep distress, Manasseh sought the Lord his God and sincerely humbled himself before the God of his ancestors. 13 And when he prayed, the Lord listened to him and was moved by his request. So the Lord brought Manasseh back to Jerusalem and to his kingdom. Then Manasseh finally realized that the Lord alone is God (2 Chronicles 33:12-13, NLT)!

Offerings. Honor. Obedience. These are the words that repeat through the four readings. I take note and quiet myself before the Lord. At a year’s end, I look back and reflect on losses, responses and responsibilities. This heart of mine still sorts through thoughts of legacy and life.

Offerings. Honor. Obedience. A look back framed by those words. A look ahead to a new year, and I pray (oh, I pray Lord!) that my offerings to You would be generous and cheerfully given of time, talent, treasure. That my thoughts and actions would honor You. And that even in the difficulties, I would choose obedience.

Lord, “My heart says of you, ‘Seek his face!’ Your face, Lord, I will seek.” Thank you, Jesus, for bending low to hear me, for answering prayers, for guiding my steps and leading me through this year’s very rough waters. I quiet myself at your feet to listen and learn. Help me to live a life that honors you.

Courtney (66books365)

 

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1 Kings 4, 5; Ephesians 2; Ezekiel 35; Psalm 85

David couldn’t build the temple because he was always at war. He could not build until the Lord gave him victory over his enemies. His son, Solomon, would experience  peace and prosperity in order to carry out the plan.

But now the Lord my God has given me peace on every side; I have no enemies, and all is well. So I am planning to build a Temple to honor the name of the Lord my God, just as he had instructed my father, David. For the Lord told him, ‘Your son, whom I will place on your throne, will build the Temple to honor my name.’ 1 Kings 5:4-5 NLT.

And even though Solomon was the direct son who would build a physical temple, I see Jesus in the words–a son who would raise a temple to honor God’s name.

Sometimes I feel like I’m on the front line. Sometimes I feel like I’m wearing the target. Inside my skin there is a turmoil, a commotion, a storm that stirs. I get hit by cross fire of devil and flesh and the fight in me rises, ugly. I sense the commander of a spiritual warfare; and I remember who I was without Jesus.

You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else. Ephesians 2:2 NLT.

When another’s words wound, I am strengthened by reminders (“Love is manifested in how we treat people, not in how they treat us.” Joyce Meyer Ministries; “Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?” Romans 2:4 NLT).

Jesus raises something new. He is the foundation, the cornerstone. He is victor over sin.

But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus.

God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. 10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:4-10 NLT. (emphasis mine)

I try to wrap my mind around the thought: that kindness could turn one away from sin. And not force or fight or even silence. Saved by grace.

A Temple for the Lord

19 So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family. 20 Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself. 21 We are carefully joined together in him, becoming a holy temple for the Lord. 22 Through him you Gentiles are also being made part of this dwelling where God lives by his Spirit. Ephesians 2:19-22 NLT.

Oh, God, I need you! Help me with this kindness/mercy/love idea. When someone pushes my buttons long enough, sometimes I want to push back. Thank you for reminders in the day–you play by different rules. Your fight is the good fight. When I look in the mirror, or even back at the day, will I see the reflection of my former self, or who I am in you?

Courtney (66books365)

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Lev. 7; Ps. 7,8; Prov. 22; 1 Thess.1

Example. Leadership. Imitation.

Point your kids in the right direction, and when they’re old they won’t be lost. Proverbs 22:6 MSG

The map I was handed was passed down from generations. It was a dead end. And not just an end that didn’t lead anywhere, it led to death. I didn’t really know it at the time. (Thank you, God, for speaking into my life.) I feel really protective over my kids–I want to spare them of that legacy. So I study the Word. And I study people. I study them for how they live and how they love and how they give. I look at them to learn how they handle conflict and forgiveness, how they press on in trial. I watch how they serve, and who they serve. I take in as much as I can, and I sift through it. I try to imitate the good in them.

I know I don’t have it all together. But I know who does–the one who came to save me from certain death.

2-5 Every time we think of you, we thank God for you. Day and night you’re in our prayers as we call to mind your work of faith, your labor of love, and your patience of hope in following our Master, Jesus Christ, before God our Father. It is clear to us, friends, that God not only loves you very much but also has put his hand on you for something special. When the Message we preached came to you, it wasn’t just words. Something happened in you. The Holy Spirit put steel in your convictions.

5-6 You paid careful attention to the way we lived among you, and determined to live that way yourselves. In imitating us, you imitated the Master. Although great trouble accompanied the Word, you were able to take great joy from the Holy Spirit!—taking the trouble with the joy, the joy with the trouble.

7-10 Do you know that all over the provinces of both Macedonia and Achaia believers look up to you? The word has gotten around. Your lives are echoing the Master’s Word, not only in the provinces but all over the place. The news of your faith in God is out. We don’t even have to say anything anymore—you’re the message! People come up and tell us how you received us with open arms, how you deserted the dead idols of your old life so you could embrace and serve God, the true God. They marvel at how expectantly you await the arrival of his Son, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescued us from certain doom. 1Thessalonians 1:2-10 MSG. Emphasis mine.

Lord, thank you for rescuing me from certain doom. Steel me up with your Spirit. I pray that my life honors you, and that my children will know you and seek you all the days of their lives.

Courtney (66books365)

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Genesis 14; Nehemiah 3; Matthew 13; Acts 13

Nehemiah’s construction crew is probably one of the most eclectic in history. Some names and previous employment histories stand out: goldsmiths, merchants, rulers, perfume makers and even “Shallum son of Hallohesh, ruler of a half-district of Jerusalem…with the help of his daughters.”  This remnant of a nation joined forces to rebuild the wall, to “put its doors and bolts and bars in place.”  Why would a defeated people go to such effort? To what end would the soft hands of women, rulers, skilled artisans invite the callouses and splinters of hard labor with wood, stone and mortar?

It is all for hope: the dream of being the people of God once again, to see Him move amongst them, to be free from the fear of captors who can control their futures and choke out the joy of living. Don’t I long for the same things in my life?

Nehemiah (3:5) specifically mentions the nobles of Tekoa “who would not put their shoulders to the work under their supervisors.”  I have ask to myself,  “When has my pride and unwillingness to submit to someone I thought less noble than myself kept me from being part of God’s movement? When have I told God ‘no’ because something was outside my typical job description?”  Nehemiah’s lists encourage me to live more like a daughter of Shallum than a noble of Tekoa. God make me open and willing to do whatever He asks of me in the building of his Kingdom.

Kathy

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Gen. 3; Matt. 3; Ezra 3; Acts 3

There were other trees in the garden that day. There was the tree of knowledge–its beautiful fruit, looking so delicious, and ripe and full with wisdom. There was also the tree of life. Genesis 3.

John was in the wilderness, baptizing people after they confessed their sins. He tells those watching, Pharisees and Sadducees, of God’s judgment. John baptizes with water, but tells of someone greater who baptizes with Spirit and fire. Matthew 3.

Unified for a purpose, the people come together to rebuild an altar. When the new foundation was complete, the older priests and leaders wept. Others shouted for joy. Joyful shouting and weeping mingled together, heard from a far distance. Ezra 3.

The lame will walk–leap, in fact. Healed by faith in Jesus’ name. Jesus, author of life. Acts 3.

This morning it reads like a stream of consciousness: the sinful choice in the garden, act of disobedience, knowledge of good and evil, tree of life, repentance and confession of sin, someone greater, a new foundation, faith in Jesus, the power of his name, author of life.

Scripture laid side by side, shows the single thread woven all throughout: Jesus. I see him in the tree of life. He is the someone greater, fulfilling prophecy. A new foundation. Author of life.

That is my biggest takeaway from reading today. Author of life.

Lord, I have searched and longed and hungered for the very thing you came to give: abundant life–found in you.

Courtney (66books365)

 

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Filed under 66 Books, Acts, Bible in a year reading plan, Ezra, Genesis, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Matthew, New Testament, Old Testament