Day 244 Bible Reading Plan

Remaining is not Straining

Remaining is Not Straining

Want joy? Peace? Joy and peace remain when we remain in Christ. But staying put is a hard thing to do. There will be many things that try to pull us away, including ourselves. But remaining is not straining and the One who called us is able to help us remain in Him.

Bible Reading of the Day: John 15-16

This imagery of the vine and branches and God being the Gardener is one I think we all can understand. We know that a branch cannot bear fruit apart from the vine—it must remain on the vine.

The word remain in the Greek means to stay, abide, reside. It means to wait for and not depart.

Remaining is Not Straining—Believe

First, we need to be on the vine. Christ accomplished this by coming and speaking the word. And when we believe, we are grafted in.

John 15:3, “You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.”

It is in remaining in Christ that we bear much fruit, as it says in John 15:4-8

“4 Remain in me, and I in you. Just as a branch is unable to produce fruit by itself unless it remains on the vine, neither can you unless you remain in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without me. 6 If anyone does not remain in me, he is thrown aside like a branch and he withers. They gather them, throw them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you want and it will be done for you. 8 My Father is glorified by this: that you produce much fruit and prove to be my disciples.”

Remaining is Not Straining—In Christ, not Culture

We need to remain and abide in Christ in order to live this Christian life. Being in the Christian culture is not the same as living the abundant life Christ has for us. Remaining in Christ has its benefits. We bear fruit. We can ask whatever we want from Jesus. And we belong to Him and need to remain in Christ’s joy, His love, His word, and His commandments.

Remaining is Not Straining—Abiding in His Word

Remaining in Christ means God’s word remains in us. We have to study His word for it to remain.

John 15:7, “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you want and it will be done for you.”

Remaining in Christ means we have to keep the Father’s commands. It is not enough to just know them. We stay when we choose to order our life after God’s word. We have love when we abide in Christ.

John 15:9,  “As the Father has loved me, I have also loved you. Remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.”

Remaining is Not Straining—The Joyful Life in Christ

We have joy by remaining as it says in John 15:11

“11 I have told you these things so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.”

God chose us. He grafted us in as a branch to remain in  His love and joy. The benefits of this incredible relationship are unimaginable.

John 15:14-16

“14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 I do not call you servants anymore, because a servant doesn’t know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything I have heard from my Father. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce fruit and that your fruit should remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he will give you.”

Remaining is Not Straining—Abiding During Persecution

But the world is not going to love us. Jesus taught the disciples and ultimately us to keep us from stumbling when the hard times come. Persecution would come.  The world would hate us as it hated Him.

John 16:1, “I have told you these things to keep you from stumbling.”

And here is why the world hates Jesus and will hate us too:

21 “But they will do all these things to you on account of my name, because they don’t know the one who sent me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin. Now they have no excuse for their sin.”

The truth convicts people. And we are called to speak for Jesus by and through the Holy Spirit.

Remaining is Not Straining—The Holy Spirit Helps Us

Jesus shares the good news about the Holy Spirit coming and how the Holy Spirit will help us to remain in Christ.

John 16:8-11

“7 Nevertheless, I am telling you the truth. It is for your benefit that I go away, because if I don’t go away the Counselor will not come to you. If I go, I will send him to you. 8 When he comes, he will convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment: 9 About sin, because they do not believe in me; 10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will no longer see me; 11 and about judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.”

Friends, you are loved. Remain in Christ. Believe and trust in Him!

John 16:27 For the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.”

Scripture of the Day: John 16:33

“33 I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.”

We can have joy, love, peace if we remain in Christ.


  • To remain in Christ is to maintain God’s word in our lives.
  • To remain in Christ is to refrain from sin and obey His commandments.

7-Fold One-Year Bible Reading Plan

Day #244: John 15-16

Scripture of the Day: John 16:33


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Day 243 Bible Reading Plan

Which way is right?

Which Way is Right?

Ever have a GPS lead you the wrong way? I have a poor sense of direction, not gonna lie, and I rely on a GPS to guide me. But when it is wrong, I really need to know which way is right. Solomon guides us today to the right way of living. But knowing the right way and doing it are two different things. We still have to choose to follow directions or we will go the wrong way.

Bible Reading of the Day: Proverbs 21

Right off the bat in Proverbs 21 we see that God is in control. And what seems right to man might not be right. Proverbs 21:1-3

“A king’s heart is like channeled water in the Lord’s hand: He directs it wherever he chooses.All a person’s ways seem right to him, but the Lord weighs hearts. Doing what is righteous and just is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice. 4 The lamp that guides the wicked—haughty eyes and an arrogant heart—is sin. 5 The plans of the diligent certainly lead to profit, but anyone who is reckless certainly becomes poor.”

The unrighteous do not know the way. They are led by their pride and sin. The unrighteous are not good guides. But the righteous are characterized by wisdom, kindness, and the pursuit of God and His righteousness. They seek the LORD as their guide.

Which Way is Right—Seek wisdom

Proverbs 21:12 “The Righteous One considers the house of the wicked; he brings the wicked to ruin.”

The righteous consider their way. They consider the way of the wicked and look to the plumb line of Scripture as their guide. They seek wisdom, knowing that they themselves do not know the way. We can tend to rely on self or on popular opinion when trying to determine what is right. But it is in admitting that we don’t know the way that we find it. We need to be thoughtful, not reckless.

Which Way is Right—Pursue righteousness

Proverbs 21:21

“The one who pursues righteousness and faithful love will find life, righteousness, and honor.”

We find which way is right by pursuing righteousness. We examine our way of life to see if it is right – if it agrees with God’s word.

Which Way is Right—Being Others-Centered

Proverbs 21:25-27

25 “A slacker’s craving will kill him because his hands refuse to work. 26 He is filled with craving all day long, but the righteous give and don’t hold back. 27 The sacrifice of a wicked person is detestable—how much more so when he brings it with ulterior motives!”

The righteous are generous and others-focused. They have a Kingdom mentality and are not driven by selfish ulterior motives.

Scripture of the Day:  Proverbs 21:2-3

“People may be right in their own eyes, but the Lord examines their heart. The Lord is more pleased when we do what is right and just than when we offer him sacrifices.”

We can’t find which way is right within our own selves. Our own hearts are even deceptive. We find which way is right when we don’t just know the way, we do it.

Friends, we need to rise up and live what is right and be culture changers.


  • When we pursue righteousness we live out what is right and help others to find it.
  • Don’t depend on self — man makes a poor GPS.
  • Lean on God’s understanding and word to find the right way.
  • Don’t be deceived. Follow God, not man or self.

7-Fold One-Year Bible Reading Plan

Day #243: Proverbs 21

Scripture of the Day: Proverbs 21:2-3


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Day 242 Bible Reading Plan

Living a Holy Life

Living a Holy Life

What do you do when no one else is around? What we do within the walls of our own home reveals who we really are. God calls us to be holy and to be people of integrity. But living a Holy life will require intentionality and authenticity. We will not be perfect down here, but our perfect Holy God is able to help us live out the message we profess to believe. In today’s reading, the Psalmist shows us what a holy life looks like. Not a to-do list, but a way of life that is part of the authentic relationship we can have with God.

Bible Reading of the Day: Psalms 99-101

In today’s reading, I was just struck with how holy our God is in these verses. Our God reigns! He is perfect, Holy, and He is in control! But this world and the enemy of our souls try to convince us that he is not.

Our great God is just and fair. Psalm 99: 4 “The mighty King loves justice. You have established fairness; you have  administered justice and righteousness in Jacob.”

Our Holy God is forgiving. Psalm 99:8, “LORD our God, you answered them. You were a forgiving God to them, but an avenger of their sinful actions.

What should be our response to such a Holy God?

Living a Holy Life—Worship Him.

Psalm 99:5, “Exalt the LORD our God; bow in worship at his footstool. He is Holy.”

Psalm 99: 9, “Exalt the LORD our God; bow in worship at his holy mountain, for the LORD our God is holy.”

The world wants us to worship creation rather than the Creator. But there is only One Who is worthy of our worship. Worship is ascribing worth. Our god is worthy of being worshiped! This is what we were made for!

Living a Holy Life—Call out to Him.

Psalm 99:6, “…Samuel also was among those calling on his name. They called to the LORD and he answered them.”

God invites us into a relationship with Him. We can call out to Him and He hears us! The Holy One invites the unholy to draw near. He covers our sins not so we will continue in them.

Living a Holy Life—Thank Him.

Psalm 100:4, “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and bless his name.”

Being truly thankful for all our Holy God has done or us,

Living a Holy Life—Serve Him.

Psalm 100:2 “Serve the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.”

But God is not just wanting outward manifestations of praise God wants our hearts. He wants a relationship with us.

Live for Him. Live a Righteous Life.

Since God has done so much for us, how now should we live? God has told us to be holy as He is holy, 1 Peter 1:15-16, “15 But as the one who called you is holy, you also are to be holy in all your conduct; 16 for it is written, Be holy, because I am holy.”

And friends, we are able to do this because God has given us everything we need. As it says in 2 Peter 1:3, “By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence.”

Living for God starts in our home. Which leads to the Scripture of the day.

Scripture of the Day:  Psalm 101: 2-4 (NLT)

2 “I will be careful to live a blameless life—when will you come to help me? I will lead a life of integrity in my own home. 3 I will refuse to look at anything vile and vulgar. I hate all who deal crookedly; I will have nothing to do with them.” 4 I will reject perverse ideas and stay away from every evil.”

Living a Holy Life—Carrying the Holy Walk to the World

Psalm 101:2-4 (New Heart English Bible Translation)

“2 I will be careful to live a blameless life. When will you come to me? I will walk within my house with a blameless heart. 3 I will set no vile thing before my eyes. I hate the deeds of faithless men. They will not cling to me. 4 A perverse heart will be far from me. I will have nothing to do with evil.”

We are careful to lead a blameless life – we take precautions to keep us from stumbling. We do this because we know our God is returning and He sees us. He knows every thought. How we walk – live out what we say we believe is manifest in our home. It is manifest in how we speak, think, and act.

Living a Holy Life—Knowing the Holy One

When we know someone, we often start to talk or walk like them. We begin to behave like them. When we know God, we should become like Him. He is holy. May we be holy, too.

The goal is not perfection or having a to-do list—the goal is to live authentically. When we make a mistake, we own it and seek to protect our loved ones and ourselves from what we watch.

When we miss the mark, we know where to go. Our Holy God expects us to be Holy – and we cannot do this on our own. God will do this for us. Are we going to be careful?

Psalm 101:5-8

“I will destroy anyone who secretly slanders his neighbor; I cannot tolerate anyone with haughty eyes or an arrogant heart. 6 My eyes favor the faithful of the land so that they may sit down with me. The one who follows the way of integrity may serve me. 7 No one who acts deceitfully will live in my palace; the one who tells lies will not be retained here to guide me. 8 Every morning I will destroy all the wicked of the land, wiping out all evildoers from the Lord’s city.”

You don’t fake it till you make it. You make it when you humble yourself and admit your need. Live the holy life in your home so you can then take that message to the world. May we be authentic believers who live victoriously for Jesus Christ.


  • Live authentically when no one else is around.
  • How we live in our home will impact how we live in the world.

7-Fold One-Year Bible Reading Plan

Day #242: Psalms 99-101

Scripture of the Day: Psalm 101: 2-3


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Day 241 Bible Reading Plan

The Potential of Problems

The Potential of Problems

Life is full of pain and problems. But problems are not all bad. God wants to see if we will look up to Him and turn toward Him in the middle of hard times. Instead of letting our hearts become hardened, turning away from Him, we can draw near to God. God is inviting us to return to Him. To seek Him in the good places and in the hard places. His ways are always redemptive and His purposes are always good. The potential of problems is that we would wake up and see our need of God who uses all of our problems for our good and His glory.

Bible Reading of the Day: Amos 1-4

We are reading a new book today, so let’s learn a little about it first. This is from the Easy English Bible Commentary:

“Amos came from Tekoa, about 12 miles south of Jerusalem. He was a shepherd and he looked after fig trees. His home was in Judah. But God sent him away to Israel, which was north of Judah. (At that time, Judah was a different country from Israel.”

“Several ideas were important to Amos. One idea was that there is only one God. He is the God who rules the nations. Another idea was that God is the judge. The Israelites were responsible for their actions. They must expect God to decide what to do about their sins. But Amos says that there is hope. God gave two messages in pictures to Amos (7:1-6). Amos prayed against total judgment and God heard this prayer. God is the same God who brought Israel out of Egypt. He punishes nations but he also saves.”

The Potential of Problems—Problems Reveal Our Need of God

Israel’s people thought that worship was important. But although they worshipped God, they did not obey his law. Because of this, their worship did not bring anything good from God. Amos compared their behavior with the behavior of their ancestors. Their ancestors wandered for many years in the desert. This was why Amos spoke about the sacrifices in the desert (5:25). Some people explain it like this. Amos meant that he wanted no sacrifices. Instead of sacrifices God wanted people to behave in a true way. But perhaps Amos actually wanted people to know what was important. Sacrifices were good. But to behave in a true way was more important.

Amos used parts of songs as a way to say things. 4:13 and 5:8 are examples of this. The songs emphasized the message. Also, God gave Amos five pictures, which begin in chapter 7. The first four of these (7:1-3; 7:4-6; 7:7-9 and 8:1-3) are similar. Amos puts these four pictures together in the same way. The fifth picture (9:1-6) is different. It is less of a picture than the other pictures. It is like Psalm 139:7-12. There will be no escape for the people in Israel. It is a picture of extreme situations.” (Easy English Bible Commentary)

The Potential of Problems—Problems Bring Us to Repentance

There is a pattern in Amos’ preaching that was interesting. The phrase, ‘for three crimes, even four” was used 8 times in this book. I looked this up on

“The phrase “for three sins . . . even for four” is a common phrase in Amos (1:3, 6, 9, 11, 13; 2:1, 4, 6). Used a total of eight times in the book, these words play a special role in the way Amos communicates sin and judgment. “Three sins” represents fullness or completeness; “four” represents an overflow or a sin that is the tipping point for God’s judgment. The word sins or transgressions in Hebrew specifically refers to “rebellions.” The first two chapters of Amos contain eight messages against the nations, including Judah and Israel, condemning them for their rebellion against the Lord.”

“Interestingly, “for three sins . . . even for four” is not followed by four specific sins. In fact, the typical pattern is to list one or two sins and move on. Therefore, the expression is not meant to imply a specific number of sins but to communicate that there is an excess of sins that have led to God’s judgment.”

Each of Amos’s eight messages follows a similar pattern. First, there is the phrase “for three sins . . . even for four.” Second, one or two specific sins are mentioned regarding the nation being addressed. Third, a judgment is given. Amos starts with Israel’s enemies and ends with oracles against Judah and Israel.”

The Potential of Problems—God Redeems

While the book of Amos brings judgment against God’s people for their sins, it also brings hope. God was in a covenant relationship with His people. They were going to be held accountable.

Amos 3:1-2

“Listen to this message that the Lord has spoken against you, Israelites, against the entire clan that I brought from the land of Egypt: 2 I have known only you out of all the clans of the earth; therefore, I will punish you for all your iniquities.”

What was it that God’s people had done?

  • They worshiped outwardly but sinned inwardly.
  • They did vile deeds
    • And they oppress the poor and crush the needy (Amos 4:1)
    • They rebel even at Bethel, where they were to worship.
  • And they were incapable of doing right (Amos 3:10)

The Potential of Problems—God Uses Problems for Our Good

God uses hardship to try and bring them back.

  • Amos 4:6, “I gave you absolutely nothing to eat in all your cities, a shortage of food in all your communities, yet you did not return to me. This is the Lord’s declaration.”
  • Amos 4:7-8b, “I also withheld the rain from you while there were still three months until harvest. I sent rain on one city but no rain on another. One field received rain while a field with no rain withered . . . yet you did not return to me.

This is the Lord’s declaration.

  • Amos 4:9 – God sent locusts . . . yet you did not return to me. This is the Lord’s declaration.
  • Amos 4:10 – God sent plagues. . . yet you did not return to me. This is the Lord’s declaration.
  • And in Amos 4:11 – God overthrew them . . . yet you did not return to me. This is the Lord’s declaration.

The Potential of Problems—Drawing Us Nearer to God

Those hard places in our lives can cause our hearts to harden. Doesn’t this world blame God when things don’t go well? But may God open our eyes to see that it is His kindness when our lives are disrupted by those hard places. Because when life is hard, we have two choices – look up to God and ask for help or turn away from God.

But there is a remedy—Seek God and live! God invites us to seek Him and to enter into a relationship with Him:

  • Amos 5:4, “4 For the Lord says to the house of Israel: Seek me and live!
  • Amos 5:6-7, “Seek the Lord and live, or he will spread like fire throughout the house of Joseph; it will consume everything with no one at Bethel to extinguish it. 7 Those who turn justice into wormwood also throw righteousness to the ground.”
  • And in Amos 5:12-15, “For I know your crimes are many and your sins innumerable. They oppress the righteous, take a bribe, and deprive the poor of justice at the city gates. 13 Therefore, those who have insight will keep silent at such a time, for the days are evil. 14 Pursue good and not evil so that you may live, and the Lord, the God of Armies, will be with you as you have claimed. 15 Hate evil and love good; establish justice at the city gate. Perhaps the Lord, the God of Armies, will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.”

The Potential of Problems—God Heals Our Pride

God was judging Israel for their pride.

Amos 6:8 “The Lord God has sworn by himself—this is the declaration of the Lord, the God of Armies: I loathe Jacob’s pride and hate his citadels, so I will hand over the city and everything in it.”

God gives 5 visions to Amos. Visions of judgment from God. Amos cries out to God to relent and God does. Friends, God’s punishment is always redemptive. Amos concludes the book of Amos with hope for the future.

Amos 9: 11-15

“In that day I will restore the fallen shelter of David: I will repair its gaps, restore its ruins, and rebuild it as in the days of old, 12 so that they may possess the remnant of Edom and all the nations that bear my name—this is the declaration of the Lord; he will do this.

Scripture of the Day:  Amos 3:7

“Indeed, the Sovereign Lord never does anything until he reveals his plans to his servants the prophets.”


  • God is inviting us to return to Him.
  • Seek God and live!
  • His ways are always redemptive and His purposes are always good.

7-Fold One-Year Bible Reading Plan

Day #241: Amos 1-4

Scripture of the Day: Amos 3:7


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Day 240 Bible Reading Plan

Staying Faithful in a Faithless World

Staying Faithful in a Faithless World

Staying faithful in a faithless world means we don’t let ourselves grow comfortable with the status quo. Sometimes we get distracted because we aren’t doing what we are supposed to be doing. Or we get forgetful and take for granted what God has done for us. Sometimes we don’t stay in the place of victory because we start to ascribe to ourselves the glory for the victory. Don’t be lulled into the comfort zone and forget what matters most. Faithfulness positions us in a place to be recipients of grace.

Bible Reading of the Day: 1 Chronicles 16-20

What a time of celebration! The ark of God was being brought back to God’s people.

1 Chronicles 16:1-3, 7

“They brought the ark of God and placed it inside the tent David had pitched for it. Then they offered burnt offerings and fellowship offerings in God’s presence. 2 When David had finished offering the burnt offerings and the fellowship offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord. 3 Then he distributed to each and every Israelite, both men and women, a loaf of bread, a date cake, and a raisin cake. 7 On that day David decreed for the first time that thanks be given to the Lord by Asaph and his relatives.”

Staying Faithful in a Faithless World—Be Thankful

What follows is a beautiful Psalm of Thanksgiving that was offered by Asaph and his relatives.

Then David wanted to build a house for God and God said that David was not the one to do that, but through Nathan God told David about his son who would build his house. Then God said that He would build a house for David.

And David offers a prayer of Thanksgiving, which includes our Scripture verses of the day in 1 Chronicles 17:16-27

16 “Then King David went in, sat in the Lord’s presence, and said, Who am I, Lord God, and what is my house that you have brought me this far? 17 This was a little thing to you, God, for you have spoken about your servant’s house in the distant future. You regard me as a man of distinction, Lord God. 18 What more can David say to you for honoring your servant? You know your servant. 19 Lord, you have done this whole great thing, making known all these great promises for the sake of your servant and according to your will. 20 Lord, there is no one like you, and there is no God besides you, as all we have heard confirms. 21 And who is like your people Israel? God, you came to one nation on earth to redeem a people for yourself, to make a name for yourself through great and awesome works by driving out nations before your people you redeemed from Egypt. 22 You made your people Israel your own people forever, and you, Lord, have become their God.”

Staying Faithful in a Faithless World—Be Aware of God’s Blessings

23 “Now, Lord, let the word that you have spoken concerning your servant and his house be confirmed forever, and do as you have promised. 24 Let your name be confirmed and magnified forever in the saying, “The Lord of Armies, the God of Israel, is God over Israel.” May the house of your servant David be established before you. 25 Since you, my God, have revealed to your servant that you will build him a house, your servant has found courage to pray in your presence. 26 Lord, you indeed are God, and you have promised this good thing to your servant. 27 So now, you have been pleased to bless your servant’s house that it may continue before you forever. For you, Lord, have blessed it, and it is blessed forever.”

David was thankful. He sung about it, prayed about it. Military campaigns followed and it says in 1 Chronicles 18:6 and also again in 18:13 that “The LORD made David victorious wherever he went.”

David defeated the ammonites and the Philistines. Then David got distracted. He got comfortable. You see even people who love God and are incredible servants of God can stumble . . . if they lose focus.

Staying Faithful in a Faithless World—Stay Out of the Comfort Zone

I think of Daniel who chose to not eat the king’s food. He did not want special treatment because it can lull us into the comfort zone and we forget what matters most. We can think we deserve certain treatment.

1 Chronicles 20:1-2

“In the spring when kings march out to war, Joab led the army and destroyed the Ammonites’ land. He came to Rabbah and besieged it, but David remained in Jerusalem. Joab attacked Rabbah and demolished it. 2 Then David took the crown from the head of their king, and it was placed on David’s head. He found that the crown weighed seventy-five pounds of gold, and there was a precious stone in it. In addition, David took away a large quantity of plunder from the city.”

Staying Faithful in a Faithless World—Stay Busy

2 Samuel 11:1-2

“In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel. And they ravaged the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem. 2 It happened, late one afternoon, when David arose from his couch and was walking on the roof of the king’s house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful. 3 And David sent and inquired about the woman. And one said, “Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” 4 So David sent messengers and took her, and she came to him, and he lay with her. (Now she had been purifying herself from her uncleanness.) Then she returned to her house.”

Friends, what is it that the enemy knows is your temptation? He’s got your number and he has mine. But we don’t have to fall.

Reading these stories of David frankly scares me . . . in a good way. None of us are above temptation, but when we choose to be accountable and to not let ourselves become complacent or comfortable, but to be disciplined and seeking God and His word, we are in a good place.

We can learn from David. He was blessed and God made him victorious because he was humble and grateful, and glorified God. He got it. And he understood that he did not deserve the blessings of God.

Staying Faithful in a Faithless World—Stay Humble

But then power and blessings can become a stumbling block as pride wells up and we take credit for what God has done.

Looking at David’s thanksgiving song and prayer reveals a humble heart that gives all the glory to God. We need to be on the watch for when our hearts start to drift to think that we “deserve” blessing, or when we give ourselves credit or want praise, or when we grow complacent and don’t do the job  we are supposed to do.

Life is challenging and tiring and we can want to take a break every now and then from our normal responsibilities . . . but we should never take a break from God.

Staying Faithful in a Faithless World—At all Times

Even on vacations, spend time with God. But the flesh is resistant. Do it anyway.

Story .  . . my oldest son recently telling me of God’s blessing in his life and how even his enemies God protected him from. I told him it was beautiful to recognize that but to stay humble and realize it is all God’s undeserved kindness and to stay in the sweet zone by being obedient and giving God all the glory. He agreed.

Friends, prestige, position, those things are temporary. What really matters is staying near to God and being used for His glory . . . this lasts forever.

Scripture of the Day:  1 Chronicles 17:20-22 

“O Lord, there is no one like you. We have never even heard of another God like you! 21 What other nation on earth is like your people Israel? What other nation, O God, have you redeemed from slavery to be your own people? You made a great name for yourself when you redeemed your people from Egypt. You performed awesome miracles and drove out the nations that stood in their way. 22 You chose Israel to be your very own people forever, and you, O Lord, became their God.”


  • We will have times of blessing and times of hardship. Both times are a test. Will we stay faithful in both times?     
  • Faithfulness positions us in a place to be recipients of grace.

7-Fold One-Year Bible Reading Plan

Day #240: 1 Chronicles 16-20

Scripture of the Day: 1 Chronicles 17:20-22


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Day 239 Bible Reading Plan

Live Well, Lead Well

Live Well, Lead Well.

Being a leader is hard. We see people who claim to be Christians who rise to positions of power only to fall in front of everybody. This hurts the Christian witness to the world. And while this can be discouraging, it is also humbling—for we all are capable of falling. We deceive ourselves if we ever put confidence in our own flesh or let ourselves get comfortable and give ourselves glory. We have to live well to be able to lead well. This calls for daily examination before God and accountability. Live well, lead well, friends, so the world can find and know God.

Bible Reading of the Day: Numbers 17-20

In Numbers 17, it is the third story that showed Aaron was God’s high priest. Here in Numbers, the budding staff was a miracle to confirm God’s calling on Aaron.

In Exodus, Because Moses complained that he could not speak well, God appointed Aaron as Moses’ “prophet” (Exodus 4:10-17; 7:1).

During the journey in the wilderness, Aaron was not always prominent or active. At the battle with Amalek, he was chosen with Hur to support the hand of Moses that held the “rod of God”.

The books of Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers chronicle Aaron receiving the priesthood from God for himself and his male descendants (Exodus 28:1). The family of Aaron had the exclusive right and responsibility to make offerings on the altar to Yahweh.

Exodus 28:1 (NIV)

“Have Aaron your brother brought to you from among the Israelites, along with his sons Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, so they may serve me as priests.”

Live Well, Lead Well—Be Humble

The mantle of leadership is a humble position. Man thinks of it as being exalted, but friends, being a leader is not a position to be taken lightly. It is not something to boast about. And it is not our position, at all, really. It is God’s. As His representative, we seek His glory, not ours.

But sometimes people can get in high positions and become proud. Power corrupts. And there is not much worse than someone professing to be a Christian, being elevated to a high position, only to fail morally for all to see.

All of us are held accountable for how we live out this message of the Gospel that we have heard. We are all called to represent God. But being a leader is a daunting responsibility.

James 3:1-2

“Not many should become teachers, my brothers, because you know that we will receive a stricter judgment. 2 For we all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is mature, able also to control the whole body.”

Live Well, Lead Well—Be Accountable

In the news right now is a story of a leader who his wife and he stumbled due to immorality, adultery, and lewdness. Honestly, this makes me so very sad. I am not their judge. I do not look down on them. But my heart is heavy because the enemy won a victory that will likely discourage many from following Christ.

It is one more example of a hypocrite that we just did not need. And friends, we are also hypocrites in some way. We are also capable of falling. I think it is hard for us to believe that. But to believe otherwise is to put ourselves in a vulnerable position where we could stumble and cause others to stumble, too.

Let’s see what we can learn from Aaron.

Live Well, Lead Well—Lessons From a Leader

First—God Calls us. We see that God chose Aaron. Aaron did not seek this out. When we are called by God, He will put us in the position he wants us to be in. And if we want to live well, lead well, we will seek God’s will in that position and be dependent upon Him.

Second—Lead in your family first. We see that Aaron did not parent well. Hid oldest two sons, Nadab and Abihu, were killed for irreverence toward God. That might seem harsh to say he was a bad parent because ultimately our kids have a choice as to whether or not they will serve God. But I think they grew familiar with their duties in the church and did not respect the role God had them in or fear God in how they performed their duties.

Third—Don’t fear men—fear God. Aaron also made a golden calf and had all of the Israelites bow down and worship the calf when Moses was up on the mountain for 40 days and nights.

Fourth—Be Self-controlled. In Numbers 20, we see how Moses and Aaron got frustrated with the people of God who were always complaining.

Live Well, Lead Well—Leading a Bunch of Whiners

The entire Israelite community entered the Wilderness of Zin in the first month, and they[a] settled in Kadesh. Miriam died and was buried there. 2 There was no water for the community, so they assembled against Moses and Aaron. 3 The people quarreled with Moses and said, “If only we had perished when our brothers perished before the Lord. 4 Why have you brought the Lord’s assembly into this wilderness for us and our livestock to die here? 5 Why have you led us up from Egypt to bring us to this evil place? It’s not a place of grain, figs, vines, and pomegranates, and there is no water to drink!”

6 Then Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly to the doorway of the tent of meeting. They fell facedown, and the glory of the Lord appeared to them. 7 The Lord spoke to Moses, 8 “Take the staff and assemble the community. You and your brother Aaron are to speak to the rock while they watch, and it will yield its water. You will bring out water for them from the rock and provide drink for the community and their livestock.”

Live Well, Lead Well—Leading Others with Grace

9 So Moses took the staff from the Lord’s presence just as he had commanded him. 10 Moses and Aaron summoned the assembly in front of the rock, and Moses said to them, “Listen, you rebels! Must we bring water out of this rock for you?” 11 Then Moses raised his hand and struck the rock twice with his staff, so that abundant water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank.

12 But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust me to demonstrate my holiness in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this assembly into the land I have given them.” 13 These are the Waters of Meribah,[b] where the Israelites quarreled with the Lord, and he demonstrated his holiness to them.”

This life is hard, friends. It is difficult to be faithful to God. But if we lean on God’s understanding, if we remain humble by admitting our weaknesses and crying out to God, and if we abide in God’s word and are accountable to others, we put ourselves in a position to be faithful.

Scripture of the Day:  Numbers 20:12 

“But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust me enough to demonstrate my holiness to the people of Israel, you will not lead them into the land I am giving them!”


Do we trust God enough to do His job His way? Will we serve Him and fear Him so others don’t stumble over the wreckage of our lives, but find God because of the faithfulness of our lives?

It’s hard, friends. But don’t let other people sway you as they did Aaron. Don’t let the surrounding fallen culture suck you in. Let’s be women and men of God who are under the lordship of Jesus Christ, living and leading well, all for His glory.

7-Fold One-Year Bible Reading Plan

Day #239: Numbers 17-20

Scripture of the Day: Numbers 20:12


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Day 238 Bible Reading Plan

Under the influence

Under the influence

Driving under the influence will likely get one to lose their license. And living under the influence of the devil might get you to lose your life. Rather than merely being influenced by the world, God is calling us to be influencers with the Gospel, the most powerful message in the world that changes hearts and minds.

Bible Reading of the Day: 1 Timothy 4-6 

Demonic is one of those words that people might dismiss as words from a zealot. But friends, the devil is  real.  Evil is real. And the influence of evil is pervasive, all around us. Paul warns us that people will depart from faith because they listen to deceitful, demonic spirits.

1 Timothy 4:1-5

“1 Now the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will depart from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and the teachings of demons, 2 through the hypocrisy of liars whose consciences are seared. 3 They forbid marriage and demand abstinence from foods that God created to be received with gratitude by those who believe and know the truth. 4 For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 5 since it is sanctified by the word of God and by prayer.”

Under the influence—Which Influence Do You Follow?

Several notable things are in these verses.

First, there are two influences—The Holy Spirit and the evil one. The Holy Spirit leads us into truth. The demonic spirit leads us to lies. And it leads us astray by degrees.

The enemy of our souls attacks our belief system, friends. It is enough for us if he can cause conflict in our churches over disputable, trivial matters. Anything to get people off-mission and off of the relationship with God and into religion, instead.

Second, look at the source of the demonic influence—it is within religion—in the church!

Under the influence—Seared Consciences

These people who are influenced by the devil have seared consciences. They forbid and demand things apart from God’s word and truth. These things might even look like good things. This calls for discernment.

The Easy English Bible Commentary defines a seared conscience in this way: “It happens when believers should have known the truth but they chose to deny it. They have allowed the demons to persuade them that the truth is not right. They have decided to follow and to teach what is false. This has damaged their consciences. It is as if they have burned them with a hot iron. They can no longer know what is right or what is wrong.”

When the church tries to be politically correct, it is no longer spiritually correct. There is even a religious correctness that tries to persuade men to a false Gospel.

God’s word has the answer to the social woes, but in many cases the church has sought the answer from the social causes. Only the truth will set people free.

How do we discern between the influences all around us?

  1. Be aware of what is influencing you. You might have an impulse to do or believe a certain way. Why?
  2. Examine the influence through Scripture.

Scripture of the Day:  1 Timothy 4:7-10 

“7 Do not waste time arguing over godless ideas and old wives’ tales. Instead, train yourself to be godly. 8 “Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” 9 This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it. 10 This is why we work hard and continue to struggle, for our hope is in the living God, who is the Savior of all people and particularly of all believers.”

So much time is wasted arguing over godless ideas. All of our thoughts, all of our ideas—we are to lay at His feet and submit them to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. What I think doesn’t matter—what God’s word says gets the final say. This is a life characterized by influence from the Holy Spirit.

And we need to train ourselves to be godly. It doesn’t just happen the moment we say we believe. The mind is a battlefield and we have to make it yield to submission to the truth from our living God and His precious word.

Under the influence—Influencing Ourselves

So how do we train ourselves to be godly? Paul continues in verses

  • 11 Command and teach these things.

Don’t just say we believe. Live it out. And teach others.

  • 12 Don’t let anyone despise your youth, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity.

How we live out what we say we believe will influence others. Whether we are young or old, we set an example. It is not enough to just say we believe – the Bible says that even demons believe and shudder. (James 2:19). Honestly, Christians who don’t live out the truth have done more to influence people away from God than toward God. Let us not be deceived by lying spirits and let us listen only to the Holy Spirit. Let’s live this message out.

Under the influence—Spiritual Correctness

  • 13 Until I come, give your attention to public reading, exhortation, and teaching.

This means don’t stop influencing ourselves by listening to Scripture and reading it—in public. Exhorting one another. Teaching one another. This is not politically correct! Have you ever read a Bible in public? Oh, you will be shamed for that! Why? It convicts those around us. Do it anyway. This world needs the truth! Let us influence in a radical, Holy Spirit-filled lifestyle that is not ashamed of the Gospel.

Romans 1:16 (ESV), “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”

We who believe have the Gospel, friends. The Gospel is powerful enough to change minds and hearts. Let us not bow our knee to influences that pull us away from the simplicity of the Gospel.

  • 14 Don’t neglect the gift that is in you; it was given to you through prophecy, with the laying on of hands by the council of elders.

Let’s use our spiritual gifts to influence others. Don’t say you don’t have spiritual gifts. We all do. Don’t sit on your duff on the sidelines just soaking in other’s influence and teaching. What are you doing to share the Gospel? We will be held accountable for every idle word and influence, friends. Oh, this humbles me.

Under the influence—Practice Godliness

  • 15 Practice these things; be committed to them, so that your progress may be evident to all.

Practice is such an encouraging word to me. Practice makes perfect. We will not arrive down here, but the progress we make by practicing God’s word in our lives. By living it out and influencing others with the Gospel. And when people notice our progress, may we not receive any of the glory, for it is only the influence of the Holy Spirit operating in our lives. To God be all the glory!

  • 16 Pay close attention to your life and your teaching; persevere in these things, for in doing this you will save both yourself and your hearers.

Don’t fall away, friends. It happens by degrees. It is subtle. Lies subtly woo us away. We have to protect what we believe by paying attention to what we are allowing in. We need to guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. And this happens as we pray to God and live grateful lives as it says in Philippians 4:6-7.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Under the influence—Calling Out Influences in Our Lives

So what influences are there that breakthrough into our lives? *Spoiler alert and a warning* This might step on our toes this morning. We don’t recognize how we can be influenced.

  • Self-indulgence – We see this in the example of the widow who just wants to be comfortable. “5 The widow who is truly in need and left all alone has put her hope in God and continues night and day in her petitions and prayers; 6 however, she who is self-indulgent is dead even while she lives.”
  • Gossip or accusations – these influence us toward harming the church by speaking against any believer, especially elders. 1 Tim 5:19 “19 Don’t accept an accusation against an elder unless it is supported by two or three witnesses.”  Don’t let anyone influence you to judge another. Just pray for others and go directly to someone if you have a problem.
  • False doctrine – 1 Timothy 6:3
  • Loving wealth and the ways of this world

Under the influence—The Impact of False Doctrine

1 Timothy 6:3-10

“If anyone teaches false doctrine and does not agree with the sound teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ and with the teaching that promotes godliness, 4 he is conceited and understands nothing, but has an unhealthy interest in disputes and arguments over words. From these come envy, quarreling, slander, evil suspicions, 5 and constant disagreement among people whose minds are depraved and deprived of the truth, who imagine that godliness is a way to material gain. 6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out. 8 If we have food and clothing, we will be content with these. 9 But those who want to be rich fall into temptation, a trap, and many foolish and harmful desires, which plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and by craving it, some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”

Godliness WITH contentment. Our joy cannot come from this world or its influence.

How do we guard influence in our lives?

Discipline – 1 Timothy 5:20, “20 Publicly rebuke those who sin, so that the rest will be afraid.” We need  to call out the negative influences in our lives and sin in our own life.

Belief – Believe in correct, sound doctrine – We need to examine ourselves and not stray from the word of God. Man’s opinion does not get the final word.


  • But godliness with contentment is great gain.
  • Influence is all around us. Be aware of the influences operating in your life and choose to be an influencer for the Gospel.

7-Fold One-Year Bible Reading Plan

Day #238: 1 Timothy 4-6

Scripture of the Day: 1 Timothy 4:7-10 


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Day 237 Bible Reading Plan

Love does.

Love Does

Jesus commands us to love one another. This is not a suggestion, and it is a witness to the world around us. How often people can hold grudges against one another and gossip about those they are supposed to love. This is a poor witness to the world, friends. Love does so much more than just demonstrate care. It changes us and those around us. Let’s love one another sacrificially and passionately so the world wants in on this kind of love.

Bible Reading of the Day: John 13-14

The Scripture today is so fitting for me. This past weekend I had the blessing of washing and massaging my mother-in-law’s feet. The hour is near for her departure and the sweet time we had together sharing God’s word was precious. She knows her time is near and sees things clearly.

Jesus knew His time was near when He washed His disciple’s feet. Near the end of someone’s life, the final words and actions are worth paying attention to. So what is it with the washing of feet? Why was this one of the final things Jesus did with His disciples?

Love Does—Even When it is a Dirty Task.

Washing feet during biblical times was part of the culture. People wore sandals more often than not, and the dirty roads got people’s feet quite dirty. It was a common custom of hospitality to wash people’s feet when they visited your home, but it was often done by a slave.

Jesus showed the disciples how to love one another and how to serve one another. Humbly. Sacrificially.


“Further, when Jesus washed the disciples’ feet, He told them (and us), “I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you” (John 13:15). As His followers, we are to emulate Him, serving one another in lowliness of heart and mind, seeking to build one another up in humility and love. When we seek the preeminence, we displease the Lord who promised that true greatness in His kingdom is attained by those with a servant’s heart (Mark 9:35; 10:44). When we have that servant’s heart, the Lord promised, we will be greatly blessed (John 13:17).”

Love Does—Serving one another

John 13:14-17

“14 So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done for you.

16 “Truly I tell you, a servant is not greater than his master, and a messenger is not greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.”

I think we can hear the word love and the world takes that word and twists it, but we can say it without much care and thought. We want others to love and take care of us, but Christ is saying we all need to have the attitude of serving one another, not being served.

Notice that it is not just knowing these things but DOING these things that exemplify love. Love is action. 

Love Does—Loving One Another

Today’s reading has a special emphasis on love. How we are to love one another.

John 13:1, “Before the Passover Festival, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.”

I think sometimes we can get lulled into everyday life and feel like our end is far off in the future. We don’t live as intentionally that way.

John 13:3, “3 Jesus knew that the Father had given everything into his hands, that he had come from God, and that he was going back to God.”

Friends, the time is short. We don’t know when our life will end, but each day is a gift. Even if we are struggling. Life is precious. Time is flying. Don’t waste a day. Love and cherish those you have in your life. Don’t let this world’s troubles distract you from what matters most.

Jesus does not just suggest we be nice to one another and love one another. He commands it.

Scripture of the Day:  John 13:34-35

“34 So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. 35 Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”

Friends, love one another deeply, authentically. Let go of grudges, resentment and bitterness. Life is flying by. Be intentional.

Love Does—Loving God

Jesus also instructs us to love Him. Who wouldn’t want to, right? He has given us everything!!! And yet, because love can become like a token word in our culture, we can mouth the words, but not do those words. So Jesus reminds us a few times of what love looks like.

John  14:15

“15 If you love me, you will keep my commands.”

John 14:21

“21 The one who has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. And the one who loves me will be loved by my Father. I also will love him and will reveal myself to him.”

John 14:23-24

“23 Jesus answered, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24 The one who doesn’t love me will not keep my words. The word that you hear is not mine but is from the Father who sent me.”

Did you catch the word, “keep”? Three times. Those who love God will keep His commands. They will keep His word. 

Love Does—Even When it is Hard

Jesus’ final words in this special moment remind us to keep focused be Kingdom-minded. Don’t let troubles distract us.

“27 “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Don’t let your heart be troubled or fearful. 28 You have heard me tell you, ‘I am going away and I am coming to you.’ If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I. 29 I have told you now before it happens so that when it does happen you may believe. 30 I will not talk with you much longer, because the ruler of the world is coming. He has no power over me. 31 On the contrary, so that the world may know that I love the Father, I do as the Father commanded me.”

The words, “Do not be troubled” appear at least 24 times in Scripture, two of those times in these chapters we read today.

John 14:1, “Don’t let your heart be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.”

Friends, the troubles and the drama of this world distract us from the mission Christ gave us. We will suffer in this world. Physically, emotionally, spiritually. Don’t let those things become your focus. Remember what Jesus said and let’s keep our eyes on the prize.

How We Love Impacts Others

Recently my husband and I got to share the Gospel with someone and were saddened to realize he had not accepted Jesus largely because of the way he saw Christians treat one another. At least this was the excuse. As we dug deeper, there were other reasons and perhaps the way Christians treated one another was a scapegoat, but it was part of the reason why he could not accept Christ.

Is there someone you need to forgive today and demonstrate love to? Do it, friends. Tomorrow is not promised. Don’t be angry with people because they have not treated you the way you think you deserve. This is the wrong attitude. Love others fiercely and faithfully. Serve with joy. Maybe wash someone’s feet today who really needs it.


  • Love one another fiercely so the world can know God.
  • Let’s not be a stumbling block that keeps someone from believing in Jesus because we don’t love one another.
  • It is not just knowing God’s commands but DOING His commands that exemplifies love. Love is action. 

7-Fold One-Year Bible Reading Plan

Day #237: John 13-14

Scripture of the Day: John 13:34-35


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Day 236 Bible Reading Plan

Let it Begin with Me

Let it Begin with Me

There are a lot of problems in the world. Sometimes it can feel overwhelming and we  don’t know how we can make a difference. But let it begin with me. And you. When we are people of integrity who pursue understanding rather than presumption and who live for God’s glory, we affect the world around us.

Bible Reading of the Day: Proverbs 19-20

Solomon calls out the problems around us which ultimately come from people. People who are fools, who live only for this life, without an understanding of the purpose of this life. But there is hope when we seek wisdom and seek to apply the principles Solomon speaks of today.

Let it Begin with Me—Don’t Be Hasty.

Proverbs 19:2,  “Even zeal is not good without knowledge, and the one who acts hastily sins.”

Before we move, we need to get knowledge. Our own understanding is limited. We need to lean not on our own understanding, but on God’s. To not seek knowledge and act hastily is sin.

Wow. I had not thought of it as sin before, but when we don’t push pause and seek God, and just run around in ignorance and in haste, it is prone to lead us to sin rather than if we had sought God.

Trusting our own self for insight rather than seeking insight in God’s word can wreak havoc in our lives.

And when everything is upside down, sometimes we can tend to blame the LORD.

Scripture of the Day:  Proverbs 19:3

“A person’s own foolishness leads him astray, yet his heart rages against the Lord.”

This blaming of God or of others will not heal our hearts. It will not bring about the results we desire, either. But laying down our plans and laying down the entitlement attitude that thinks we deserve better helps us to lay down our foolishness and have grateful hearts even when life hurts or is not going the way we had hoped.

Let it Begin with Me—Get Good Sense.

Proverbs 19:8

“The one who acquires good sense loves himself; one who safeguards understanding finds success.”

So it can be hard to not be hasty and miss the way, but this Scripture tells us that seeking out good sense, not our way, but God’s way, is actually loving ourselves and things will end well.

Sometimes we can stubbornly stick to our own way because we want what we want when we want it.

Let it Begin with Me—Get Insight. Get Patience.

The good news is that when we get insight, we get it. We understand God’s purposes cannot be thwarted. We don’t have to worry and strive. Just rest and trust and move when God says to move. And patience is the fruit of getting insight.

Proverbs 19:11

“A person’s insight gives him patience, and his virtue is to overlook an offense.”

The most beautiful thing about beginning with ourselves instead of blaming circumstances or people or even worse—blaming God, is that we can be set free from self. Set free from worrying about the need to defend self. We no longer live but Christ lives in us, so we can let go of offenses, as it says in the Scripture verse we just read.


  • Let it begin with me. And You.
  • Don’t look at others or circumstances and judge them or blame them.
  • Don’t be hasty, friends. Life goes by fast. Drink it in with Jesus.
  • Get insight. Get wisdom and understanding and live your life out of that knowledge.

7-Fold One-Year Bible Reading Plan

Day #236: Proverbs 19-20

Scripture of the Day: Proverbs 19:3


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Day 235 Bible Reading Plan

Live what we proclaim

Live What We Proclaim

The best way to share the best message in the world is to live it out first. But then how we share matters, too. As recipients of the greatest love of all, the world needs to see our relationship with God more than preaching at them. God has called us to proclaim His love to all who will hear, uniquely to each one. Live what we proclaim so we will not be a stumbling block for others. May we do so humbly and with passion fitting for those who have been redeemed!

Bible Reading of the Day: Psalms 96-98

The Psalmist has some action words for us to apply to our lives. We are to tell the world around us about our God.

We are to sing, declare, ascribe and worship God. As it says in Psalm 96:1-3, 7-9:

“Sing a new song to the Lord;
let the whole earth sing to the Lord.
Sing to the Lord, bless his name;
proclaim his salvation from day to day.
Declare his glory among the nations,
his wondrous works among all peoples.”

7″Ascribe to the Lord, you families of the peoples,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory of his name;
bring an offering and enter his courts.
Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness;
let the whole earth tremble before him.”

Live What We Proclaim—Sing it!

When we are really happy about something, we might be prone to sing about it—whistle about it—or hum about it. Even if we can’t sing, songs burst out when there is an inner joy. And when we contain the greatest love and message in the world—the cure for sin and damnation—we can’t help but sing!

Live What We Proclaim—Proclaim His Salvation

If we are not living the message of salvation, we need to get that right first. But when we live for God in this upside-down world, the world might persecute us at first, but as we humbly share the grace of God in our lives—not elf-righteously, but as humble recipients, we can impact those around us. How we proclaim it matters, too.  

Live What We Proclaim—Ascribe Worth to God

So often people want to brag about their position or what they own. But those who know God don’t make idols of things in this world and acknowledge and ascribe worth to the only One Who deserves it!

Live What We Proclaim—Worship

Worship is more than a song. It is a lifestyle shaped and centered around God. Our words, our actions, our service—all flow from knowing God. We worship Him by how we behave. We worship Him by how we serve. And we worship Him by being aware of Him in all we do.

Scripture of the Day: Psalm 97:10

“You who love the Lord, hate evil!
He protects the lives of his faithful ones;
he rescues them from the power of the wicked.”

If we don’t hate evil, evil will take over our lives. We cannot love the world and love God. And the benefits of hating evil far surpass any pleasure evil could ever offer.


  • Live out the message we say we believe.
  • Help others find God by being genuine and humble.

7-Fold One-Year Bible Reading Plan Day #234: Joel

Scripture of the Day: Joel 2:12-13


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