Day 37 Bible Reading Plan

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We get to choose. God won’t make us choose Him. He gave us free will. Everyone worships something or someone. But there is only one choice that brings us the promises of God and an eternal relationship. What will you choose?

7-Fold One-Year Bible Reading Plan

Day #37: Joshua 21-24

Scripture of the Day: Joshua 21:45


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Choose Your Master

8-26-19 Nature of sin
“You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.” Genesis 4:7 (NLT)
Like it or not, we all have a master. We’re gonna serve somebody. But Ii would rather choose to serve God rather than being enslaved to serve sin.
When I was first saved as a young college student, I just wanted a simple verse to hold onto, a “magic bullet”, if you will, that would help me to be faithful to God in my walk with Him. Basically, I wanted instructions that I could understand and thought it was as simple as obeying those instructions or commands. 😁
Oh, if it were only that easy. But if there ever was a magic bullet, this verse above from Genesis ranks pretty high as one of them. And this verse reveals the reality of a mighty spiritual battle going on around us all the time, whether we know it or not, ready or not.
Sin wants to master us. That’s simple to understand.
But we must master it. Simple to understand, but not so simple to carry out. 😳 And we were not meant to try and carry it out in our own strength as a good work.
This verse was spoken to Cain before he murdered his own brother. God knew his heart and made a way out. But Cain’s hardened jealous heart was bent on killing the competition rather than examining his own heart.
Cain had the “magic bullet” verse spoken to him before he sinned. But he still chose sin. The verse “didn’t work”. Why?
🔘 Sin mastered him.
🔘 His mindset mastered him.
🔘 His flesh mastered him.
Cain chose to listen to the thoughts convincing his mind rather than to God. Emotions fueled his mindset rather than the words from His loving God. And his own evil desires won out. He was walking in the flesh instead of the Spirit.
Before we judge Cain hardcore, we are not so unlike him.
Ever been jealous of another?
Ever spoken a harsh word (even in your mind) and judged another?
Ever wanted what someone else had?
Coveting. Jealousy. Hatred.
Such ugly words, and yet they can form in our own hearts and minds if we are not so aligned with the word of God that we don’t recognize them and deal with them.
Sin is not always so obvious. It deceives us and we are convinced that our feelings are legitimate.
Our feelings are innate, within. We believe them and our thoughts so often without questioning them. Sometimes we accept them and let them in at the door of our minds without doing the litmus test—is this from God?
But it is not just the removal of negativity that needs to happen. When we replace those thoughts with truth, we are able to overcome evil with good.
Jealousy can turn into rooting for the other person and praying for them.
Coveting can turn into gratitude for our own portion.
Hatred can turn into love when we see that person as God’s child and have compassion for them.
Through Christ, we can do all things.
Cain’s momentary decision affected his whole life.
And so it is with us. We have a choice each day—life or death (Joshua 24:14-15), even if we feel that we do not.
But if we are aware of sin’s trickery, we can arm ourselves with God’s word to master sin, instead of it mastering us. ❤

Worshipful Wednesday: Our Guiding God

God Guides Us

Inspirational Thought of the Day:

Following God’s guidance will never lead us astray.

Scripture of the Day:

Psalm 25:12-14

“The LORD shows his faithful followers the way they should live. 13 They experience his favor; their descendants inherit the land. 14 The LORD’s loyal followers receive his guidance, and he reveals his covenantal demands to them.”

I thank God for my GPS, even though it often can lead me astray.  It is hard to remember a time without a GPS.  Our fast-paced world is navigable by this small device which guides us to our destination without a lot of planning.

My husband thinks I can be too dependent upon it, though.  He is probably right.  Perhaps it feels easier on the intellect to not have to exert a lot of effort to determine which way is right.

So it is with our lives.  Often arriving at forks in the road of life, it can be difficult to discern the LORD’s will and to do what is right.

We can gauge man’s opinion, circumstances, our own desires or follow someone else’s direction, but ultimately we are daily faced with the fact that we have to choose a path.

More like we GET to choose.  We are given free will and are responsible for the choices we make.  But the awesome thing about knowing God is that He has not left us without directions.  Internally we hear His voice, like a GPS, guiding us.  Reading His Word further shows us which way is pleasing to Him.

World religions point us to a list of rules given by an absentee god or a statue of a “god”. These requirements remove relationship from the equation and make us slaves to a law we could never fully keep.  But God, rich in mercy and understanding, reveals His will and purpose to us.  Out flesh might not want to follow His precepts, but we find life and joy in resisting our flesh and seeing the wisdom in God’s plans.

Sometimes the road is hard and the boundaries uncomfortable, though comfort as our aim causes us to become disoriented and get lost.  We may have to tarry long and wait on Him, putting patience to the test, but the peace that comes from abiding in His will far surpasses going my own way.

Lord, thank You for showing us how to live and for Your precious favor and promises given to those who seek to obey You.  Thank You that You have not abandoned us and will never forsaken us.

Twelve Days of Christmas Day Five: Joy


Proverbs 10:28

“The prospect of the righteous is joy, but the hopes of the wicked come to nothing.”

James 1:2-4

2 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

John 15:11

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

Joy can happen instantaneously and vanish just as quickly, but for those who are in Christ, there can be a lasting joy deeply embedded in our souls.

This gift of joy sometimes comes in surprising packages.  What we might think of as having no use in our lives ends up being a big blessing because of the greatness of God to utilize everything for our good and His glory.

What we often would not choose and have no delight in can instead be the very thing we need.  What a sovereign God, Who knows exactly what we need to have real joy in this life.

Sometimes life’s burdens can be so very hard to carry and the sin around us grieves our Spirit, trying to stifle out our joy.  It is in those moments that we reflect on what the trials surrounding us are achieving and choose to accept this gift of joy that Christ came to give us.

When the temporal burdens of this life threaten to steal our joy, the joy of the LORD is our strength and is the gift that keeps giving if we run to Him.  Our delight in Him is further ignited when we consider the joy we have in our glorious future with Christ.  Greater still is sharing that joy with others who desperately need to know that there is more than this world has to offer.

Lord, thank you that the gifts you give us for this life are eternal.  We have joy in You because of Who You are – the Great I AM – Lover of our soul and our joy.

Which Jesus Do You Choose?

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Matthew 27:15-18

During the feast the governor was accustomed to release one prisoner to the crowd, whomever they wanted. 16 At that time they had in custody a notorious prisoner named Jesus Barabbas. 17 So after they had assembled, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release for you, Jesus Barabbas or Jesus who is called the Christ?” 18 (For he knew that they had handed him over because of envy.) 19 As he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent a message to him: “Have nothing to do with that innocent man; I have suffered greatly as a result of a dream about him today.”20 But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus killed.21 The governor asked them, “Which of the two do you want me to release for you?” And they said, “Barabbas!” 22 Pilate said to them, “Then what should I do with Jesus who is called the Christ?” They all said, “Crucify him!” 23 He asked, “Why? What wrong has he done?” But they shouted more insistently, “Crucify him!”

Every year I read this story, but this is the first time that I recognized Barabbas was named Jesus Barabbas.  Upon researching his name, “Barabbas”, it literally means, “Son of the father”.  Two men with identical names but completely different natures.  One Jesus was the Holy son of God while the other Jesus was a criminal – a thief and a murderer.

The people were given a choice – which Jesus would they choose?  They chose the counterfeit Jesus.  The one who was a sinner just like them.  The one who did not make them uncomfortable in their sins.  They did not choose the unpopular Jesus – the only Jesus that could truly set THEM free.  By setting the sinner free, they were enslaving themselves, and blind to the consequences of their choice.

I wonder if the irony was seen by any of them at the time.  When they said, “let His blood be upon us and our children”, indeed it is only Jesus’ blood which could cover them.  They thought they could handle the judgment and responsibility for crucifying God. They did not know that they were the very tool used by God to shed His innocent blood, which would indeed set all people free Who could see Who this Jesus really was.

Pilate was given a choice.  He claimed innocence, but did he choose Jesus?  Knowledge of Him is not enough.  People in the time of Christ were given a choice, too.  So are we.  False Christs abound today.  They might not be clothed in garb that is easily recognizable, but comforts and idols abound, which are often chosen over the One true Savior, Jesus Christ.

Christ suffered as a criminal for us all.  What will be our choice?  To be identified with Him, to know of Him, or to deny Him? We do not have to have lived at that time of Jesus to make that choice.  He is alive and drawing us near to Himself.  He fulfilled the righteous demands of God’s law and suffered cruelly in our place.  He died for you and I, friend.  That is the Savior I choose.  Happy Easter!

Lord, open our eyes to see that You are the only Savior of all mankind.  May we choose You over and over again in the daily mundanity of life and never cease to wonder at how magnificent Your salvation is!


Worshipful Wednesday: God’s Surprising Choice

God's Choice







1 Samuel 10:21-22

20 “Then Samuel brought all the tribes of Israel near, and the tribe of Benjamin was chosen by lot21 Then he brought the tribe of Benjamin near by its families, and the family of Matri was chosen by lot. At last Saul son of Kish was chosen by lot. But when they looked for him, he was nowhere to be found. 22 So they inquired again of the Lord, “Has the man arrived here yet?” The Lord said, “He has hidden himself among the equipment.”


Exodus 6:12

“But Moses replied to the LORD, “If the Israelites did not listen to me, then how will Pharaoh listen to me, since I speak with difficulty?””

Exodus 6:30

“But Moses said before the LORD, “Since I speak with difficulty, why should Pharaoh listen to me?””

1 Corinthians 1:27-28

“But God chose what the world thinks foolish to shame the wise, and God chose what the world thinks weak to shame the strong.  28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, what is regarded as nothing, to set aside what is regarded as something.””

When I was young, I dreaded when teams would be picked by a captain for a sport or game.  Not very athletic or popular, I knew what my lot would be.  Dead last.  The Biblical principle of choosing the weakest for the prized position was not cherished on the school playground.  No siree.

God does not see what man sees, or rather, vice versa.  Man looks on the outer man and establishes an opinion based on fleshly criteria.  God knows all of our thoughts, our sinfulness completely, and chooses us, anyway.

Rather than flaunt His majestic power, time and again God chooses humility.  He Himself came humbly in flesh, then He rode in on a donkey.  He decreased sizes of armies in the Old Testament to demonstrate He was trustworthy and our sufficiency.  He does not need us at all.  But He chooses us, anyway.

He chose servants who knew full well they were not capable in their own strength of fulfilling the role God set out for them, but He chose them, anyway – in complete sovereignty and wisdom.

Moses claimed to have a profound speech impediment.  I wonder . . . God made allowances and provided for His “weakness” and chose him anyway.

Saul was told that God would change Him and make Him into Who He needed to be for the job that was ahead . . . but he hid “amongst the equipment” during his ordination so no one could find him.  I wonder how long he thought that plan was going to work.  You can’t play hide and seek too well with a prophet in the house.  God chose Him anyway.

By this time, God has shown that He chooses whom He will choose, and that person is never qualified, never superior to the task at hand.  He chooses us anyway.

Lord, I do not understand how You could choose someone like me.  I cannot fully comprehend Your ways, but I thank You with all my being for revealing Yourself to me.  Despite my flaws, You have redeemed me and called me by name.  I  love You, Lord.  Thank You for choosing me, anyway.