Tag Archives: new year

2 Chronicles 36; Revelation 22; Malachi 4; John 21

My husband said when he was growing up, his parents used to tell him and his siblings to, “Keep your eyes on your own plate.” I think on those words now as I read the conversation between Peter and Jesus on the shore.

17 A third time he asked him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Then feed my sheep.

18 “I tell you the truth, when you were young, you were able to do as you liked; you dressed yourself and went wherever you wanted to go. But when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and others will dress you and take you where you don’t want to go.” 19 Jesus said this to let him know by what kind of death he would glorify God. Then Jesus told him, “Follow me.”

20 Peter turned around and saw behind them the disciple Jesus loved—the one who had leaned over to Jesus during supper and asked, “Lord, who will betray you?” 21 Peter asked Jesus, “What about him, Lord?”

22 Jesus replied, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? As for you, follow me.” 23 So the rumor spread among the community of believers that this disciple wouldn’t die. But that isn’t what Jesus said at all. He only said, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?” (John 21:17-23, NLT)

Lord, help me to keep my nose in my own business and to trust you to handle your business. The other passages tell that you are able. You handle big jobs–from offering compassion, second chances, and warning, to guiding nations and issuing consequences. Even here on the shore, I love that you care for the disciples in smaller but loving ways, that you prepare a meal for them and knowingly direct them where to drop the nets. Help me to be aware of what you ask me to steward and not be distracted. Help me to carry that focus into a new day and a new year–to live intentionally and joyfully in the challenges and in the everyday. Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.

Courtney (66books365)

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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.

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Happy New Year!

A heartfelt thanks to everyone who journeyed with us through the Bible in a year in 2017! And a warm welcome to you in 2018!

We’re blogging through the Bible again with a 5-day weekly approach, and we’d love for you to join us.

Have you tried to read through the Bible before? Has Bible reading become a task to do? Would you like to engage in the Word with meaning and heart in 2018? Pick up your Bible, any translation will do, and follow along with us. If you don’t keep up, don’t worry! No one is keeping score. We are all here to get to know the Lord better, and to let His Word find home in our hearts.

Wishing you a very happy New Year, and again, thank you and welcome back!

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Genesis 1-2; Psalm 19; Mark 1

We used to live in a big field. The morning sunrises were spectacular and the sky seemed endless. If anything sang glory, that sky did each morning.

The heavens proclaim the glory of God.
    The skies display his craftsmanship. Psalm 19:1, NLT

Now we live in the woods, and I never really expected to see the sunrises because of the trees. I’ve learned to appreciate seasons in a different way living in the woods, and winter is no exception. I’ve even learned to love winter in a way I never thought possible. It is still and quiet, and the sunrises sneak up on me through the woods line–only visible because all the foliage has fallen away.

Day after day they continue to speak;
    night after night they make him known.
They speak without a sound or word;
    their voice is never heard.
Yet their message has gone throughout the earth,
    and their words to all the world. Psalm 19:2-4, NLT

Sometimes it takes a barren season and stillness to become aware of what has always been.

I have a friend who is like a father to me. He is eighty, and the years have stolen ability and freedom from him. He has long periods of time and stillness to reflect on life. He told me his lack of busyness has birthed wonderment in the world around him.

I praise God that in the winters of life, we can see something in a new way.

I try to find a connection between the readings. In Genesis, creation of heavens and earth, creation of all things and mankind. In Psalm 19, the glory of the heavens proclaiming God and his goodness, and reflection on the frail and faulty heart.

How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart?
    Cleanse me from these hidden faults.
13 Keep your servant from deliberate sins!
    Don’t let them control me.
Then I will be free of guilt
    and innocent of great sin. Psalm 19:12-13, NLT

And in Mark 1, a way is made, the first disciples follow Jesus, and Jesus travels a region healing people and telling them of God’s kingdom.

It is January 1, and I look at a new year with a mental list of changes I want to make. I can’t help it. Like the psalmist, I’m aware of the visible and the existence of the unseen–I know how sin wrecks a life. But Jesus didn’t tell his disciples to make a list of their faults and a list of how they proposed to fix it all. He just said, “Follow me.”

Thankful for a savior who is bigger than my mess.

Lord, help me to keep my eyes on you. You have the power to create heavens and earth with a word; you have the power to (restore broken relationships, heal the sick and hurting, make the impossible possible, change a heart …). Whether through your word or your creation, help me to seek and see you with wonderment.

Courtney (66books365)

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Nehemiah 7, 8, 9; Revelation 18

I think a lot of people do this: look back over the year and remember the things that happened. Make resolutions to be different going forward, the clean slate of a new year. A fresh start.

In Nehemiah, the people who are gathered together listen as Ezra reads the words of God to them.

So on October 8 Ezra the priest brought the Book of the Law before the assembly, which included the men and women and all the children old enough to understand. He faced the square just inside the Water Gate from early morning until noon and read aloud to everyone who could understand. All the people listened closely to the Book of the Law. Nehemiah 8:2-3 NLT.

And there is weeping. Conviction. When faced with the law, they see how far they are from what God wanted for them.

Then Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who were interpreting for the people said to them, “Don’t mourn or weep on such a day as this! For today is a sacred day before the Lord your God.” For the people had all been weeping as they listened to the words of the Law.

10 And Nehemiah continued, “Go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!”

11 And the Levites, too, quieted the people, telling them, “Hush! Don’t weep! For this is a sacred day.” 12 So the people went away to eat and drink at a festive meal, to share gifts of food, and to celebrate with great joy because they had heard God’s words and understood them. Nehemiah 8:9-12.

There is something about being in God’s Word that changes a heart. For me, it has sparked renewal and produced great joy–the presence of the Lord–words written by holy inspiration, here in my hands. My journey through these 66 books has brought me closer to God than I ever imagined, how he has changed my heart, by Word and whisper–more than any list I’ve resolved to do. Still, looking back over a year, I do want to take an honest account of my shortcomings, repent of sin, and pray that going forward, God will continue to meet me where I am in my walk. As in Nehemiah, they praise the Lord of all the things he has done for them–and I should too.

 And you have done what you promised, for you are always true to your word. Nehemiah 9:8b.

I think of the days when the world spoke to me and I followed it, prioritizing earthly things over a heavenly kingdom. But he has shown me a different way.

Come away from her, my people.
Do not take part in her sins,
or you will be punished with her. Revelation 18:4

Father, thank you for your word in my hands, for this community who hungers for you and follows you, for your whispers to my heart and the change you’ve made in my life. Thank you for making a way that we are together another year, for the friendships forged and founded in you. You have blessed me in ways I never imagined, and I am grateful.

Courtney (66books365)

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