Day 276 Bible Reading Plan

God's Justice is Perfect

God’s Justice Is Perfect

Have you ever dealt with bullies in your life and wondered why God did not deal with them already? God is just and He will deal with those who hurt us, but God also wants them to repent. God’s justice is perfect and His dealing with the Ninevites reveals His longsuffering and then their deserved punishment. We can trust God’s defense.

Bible Reading of the Day: Nahum

Today’s reading focuses on a city we have read before—Ninevah. Nahum was a prophet prophesying against Ninevah a good 150 years after Jonah was prophesying against Ninevah. Only in Jonah’s time, the generation of people living in Ninevah repented and were spared. But now in Nahum’s time, Ninevah, the capital of Assyria, was about to meet its doom. The Ninevites had treated God’s people cruelly and now it was pay up time.

God’s Justice Is Perfect—Trust in Him

According to the Bible Project, “The book of Nahum is a collection of poems announcing the downfall of Assyria, one of Israel’s worst oppressors. Referencing Daniel, Exodus, and Isaiah, Nahum shows us that the destruction of Nineveh and Assyria are examples of how God works in history in every age. Nahum’s message is that God is committed to justice and will not allow any arrogant, violent, or evil nation to endure forever. But while God defeats evil, he is also good and cares for the innocent. He will provide a refuge on the day of distress for anyone who humbles himself before God, believes in God’s justice, and trusts that God will bring down oppressors in every time and place.”

God is a just God. Chuck Swindoll summarized the books of Jonah and Nahum in this way, “Jonah failed to realize what Nahum reminded the people of Judah: God’s justice is always right and always sure. Should He choose to grant mercy for a time, that good gift will not compromise the Lord’s ultimate sense of justice for all in the end.”

God’s Justice Is Perfect—He will defeat our enemies

Nineveh had long been an enemy of Judah and Israel, the people of God. According to gotquestions.org, “The text of Nahum provides additional clues regarding God’s anger with the Ninevites. Nahum 3:1 says, “Woe to the city of blood, full of lies, full of plunder, never without victims!” Nineveh was a city of violence, known for its brutal treatment of those it conquered. The Assyrians were notorious for amputating hands and feet, gouging eyes, and skinning and impaling their captives. Another reason for God’s anger against Nineveh was its extreme pride, implied in Nahum 3:8. After Nineveh’s destruction, the site was hidden for some time (see Nahum 3:11). It was not until 1842 that modern archaeologists rediscovered its location in modern-day Iraq.”

God’s Justice Is Perfect—God is our Defender

“Nahum did not write this book as a warning or “call to repentance” for the people of Nineveh. God had already sent them the prophet Jonah 150 years earlier with His promise of what would happen if they continued in their evil ways. The people at that time had repented but now lived just as bad if not worse than they did before. The Assyrians had become absolutely brutal in their conquests (hanging the bodies of their victims on poles and putting their skin on the walls of their tents among other atrocities). Nahum told the people of Judah to not despair because God had pronounced judgment and the Assyrians would soon be getting just what they deserved.”

Scripture of the Day: Nahum 1:7

“The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him.”

God is a refuge for us. A refuge is a safe place from harm. He cares for those who trust in him. Our trusting activates a response. We are safe in Christ.

“The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him, 8 but with an overwhelming flood he will make an end of Nineveh; he will pursue his foes into the realm of darkness. 9 Whatever they plot against the Lord he will bring to an end; trouble will not come a second time. 10 They will be entangled among thorns and drunk from their wine; they will be consumed like dry stubble. 11 From you, Nineveh, has one come forth who plots evil against the Lord and devises wicked plans.”

Application

  • God sees what the evil do. We can trust His defense and timing.
  • God is our Defender and He is perfect in His judgments.

𝗝𝗼𝗶𝗻 𝗺𝗲 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗕𝗶𝗯𝗹𝗲 𝗥𝗲𝗮𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗣𝗹𝗮𝗻 𝘁𝗼𝗱𝗮𝘆 𝗮𝘁 𝟱 𝗽𝗺 𝗘𝗧.

Day #276: Nahum

Verse of the Day: Nahum

Audio: http://www.biblegateway.com/audio/mclean/niv/Nahum

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Day 275 Bible Reading Plan

Stand with God

Stand With God

When I was in middle school (oh, the dreaded middle school years!), I remember when people wanted to beat me up. It wasn’t until I had someone bigger than my threat who stood up for me that my enemies stepped down. There is so much strife in this fallen world—so much fighting and pressure to be like everyone else. And yet the one who will stand with God and not with the world will be the most blessed.

Bible Reading of the Day: 2 Chronicles 11-15

There’s a game-changer that can happen in our lives—both when we obey God and when we don’t. Change is certain to happen based on our faithfulness or faithlessness.

2 Chronicles 11:16 – 12:1-2

“16 From all the tribes of Israel, those who sincerely wanted to worship the Lord, the God of Israel, followed the Levites to Jerusalem, where they could offer sacrifices to the Lord, the God of their ancestors. 17 This strengthened the kingdom of Judah, and for three years they supported Rehoboam son of Solomon, for during those years they faithfully followed in the footsteps of David and Solomon.”

Stand With God—Don’t Abandon the LORD

2 Chronicles 12:1-2, 5

“But when Rehoboam was firmly established and strong, he abandoned the Law of the Lord, and all Israel followed him in this sin. 2 Because they were unfaithful to the Lord, King Shishak of Egypt came up and attacked Jerusalem in the fifth year of King Rehoboam’s reign. 5 The prophet Shemaiah then met with Rehoboam and Judah’s leaders, who had all fled to Jerusalem because of Shishak. Shemaiah told them, “This is what the Lord says: You have abandoned me, so I am abandoning you to Shishak.”

“6 Then the leaders of Israel and the king humbled themselves and said, “The Lord is right in doing this to us!” 7 When the Lord saw their change of heart, he gave this message to Shemaiah: “Since the people have humbled themselves, I will not completely destroy them and will soon give them some relief. I will not use Shishak to pour out my anger on Jerusalem. 8 But they will become his subjects, so they will know the difference between serving me and serving earthly rulers.”

Stand With God—Be Faithful to God

If we change course and stop being faithful to God, we cannot expect a blessing. Ezekiel has a few verses that speak to this truth.

Ezekiel 18:23-24

“23Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Lord GOD. Wouldn’t I prefer that he turn from his ways and live? 24But if a righteous man turns from his righteousness and practices iniquity, committing the same abominations as the wicked, will he live? None of the righteous acts he did will be remembered. Because of the unfaithfulness and sin he has committed, he will die. “

Stand With God—Stand Firm

Ezekiel 33:13

“If I tell a righteous person that they will surely live, but then they trust in their righteousness and do evil, none of the righteous things that person has done will be remembered; they will die for the evil they have done.”

King Asa made a stance. He was not going to abandon God.

2 Chronicles 13:10

“10 “But as for us, the Lord is our God, and we have not abandoned him…”

Stand With God—Don’t Drift from God

In the surrounding culture, it can be easy to drift away from devotion to God. But we don’t have to drift. We can choose ahead of time and be on the watch for temptations that try to pull us away from God.

When we stand with God, God stands with us. King Asa was faithful to God and God defended him.

2 Chronicles 14:9-11

“9 Once an Ethiopian named Zerah attacked Judah with an army of 1,000,000 men and 300 chariots. They advanced to the town of Mareshah, 10 so Asa deployed his armies for battle in the valley north of Mareshah. 11 Then Asa cried out to the Lord his God, ‘O Lord, no one but you can help the powerless against the mighty! Help us, O Lord our God, for we trust in you alone. It is in your name that we have come against this vast horde. O Lord, you are our God; do not let mere men prevail against you!’ 12 So the Lord defeated the Ethiopians in the presence of Asa and the army of Judah, and the enemy fled. 13 Asa and his army pursued them as far as Gerar, and so many Ethiopians fell that they were unable to rally. They were destroyed by the Lord and his army, and the army of Judah carried off a vast amount of plunder.”

Scripture of the Day: 2 Chronicles 15:1-2

“Then the Spirit of God came upon Azariah son of Oded, 2 and he went out to meet King Asa as he was returning from the battle. “Listen to me, Asa!” he shouted. “Listen, all you people of Judah and Benjamin! The Lord will stay with you as long as you stay with him! Whenever you seek him, you will find him. But if you abandon him, he will abandon you.”

The LORD will stay with you as long as you stay with Him. When we stand with God, God stands with us, friend. Standing with God means we do not compromise His word or standard.

2 Chronicles 15:8

“8 When Asa heard this message from Azariah the prophet, he took courage and removed all the detestable idols from the land of Judah and Benjamin and in the towns he had captured in the hill country of Ephraim. And he repaired the altar of the Lord, which stood in front of the entry room of the Lord’s Temple.”

Stand With God—Not Men

2 Chronicles 15:12-15

“12 Then they entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their ancestors, with all their heart and soul. 13 They agreed that anyone who refused to seek the Lord, the God of Israel, would be put to death—whether young or old, man or woman. 14 They shouted out their oath of loyalty to the Lord with trumpets blaring and rams’ horns sounding. 15 All in Judah were happy about this covenant, for they had entered into it with all their heart. They earnestly sought after God, and they found him. And the Lord gave them rest from their enemies on every side. 16 King Asa even deposed his grandmother Maacah from her position as queen mother because she had made an obscene Asherah pole. He cut down her obscene pole, broke it up, and burned it in the Kidron Valley. 17 Although the pagan shrines were not removed from Israel, Asa’s heart remained completely faithful throughout his life. 18 He brought into the Temple of God the silver and gold and the various items that he and his father had dedicated.”

Stand With God—Calling Sin Out

How about us? Will we be faithful to God when the surrounding culture isn’t? Will we be faithful to call out sin in our ranks and in our own family? And will we fear God more than man? Notice that Asa and the people entered a covenant with God with all their heart. It was not halfhearted devotion. Asa’s heart remained completely faithful throughout his life.

Application

  • Look over your life. Are there times when you were not loyal to God? How about now? Is there anything that is against God’s standard and word?
  • When we stand with God he will stand with us.
  • There’s a game-changer that can happen in our lives—both when we obey God and when we don’t. Change is certain to happen based on our faithfulness or faithlessness.
  • Asa did not compromise even when it came to family—are we condoning sin that God doesn’t? God will not stand with us if we are.

𝗝𝗼𝗶𝗻 𝗺𝗲 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗕𝗶𝗯𝗹𝗲 𝗥𝗲𝗮𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗣𝗹𝗮𝗻 𝘁𝗼𝗱𝗮𝘆 𝗮𝘁 𝟱 𝗽𝗺 𝗘𝗧.

Day #275: 2 Chronicles 11-15

Verse of the Day: 2 Chronicles 15:2

Audio: http://www.biblegateway.com/audio/mclean/niv/2Chr.11

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Day 274 Bible Reading Plan

God Carries Us

God Carries Us.

All year long there has been a dread of the mysterious COVID-19. I pondered what it could mean for me with my autoimmune struggles. And now here I am—afflicted with this highly mysterious bug that changes daily the toll it is taking on my body. When we are not feeling well, we can long for deliverance, and yet in the midst sometimes we can see concealed blessings if we are willing to. In the struggle, we can forget that God carries us and takes care of us.

Bible Reading of the Day: Deuteronomy 1-3

It should have taken them 11 days, ya’ll. But it took them 40 years.

Deuteronomy 1:2

“2 It is an eleven-day journey from Horeb to Kadesh-barnea by way of Mount Seir.”

Have you ever wondered why the journey is so long or so hard? The Israelites made the journey longer by their stubborn sin, but God never wastes any part of the journey. Sometimes we are stuck, feeling like there is no purpose to our perpetual journey, feeling like we are making circles around the same mountain again and again like the Israelites. But God was with them and God is with us when we belong to Him.

However long the journey takes or however uncomfortable it gets; we have a God who cares for us in that place. Where are the complaints now when we understand that God is for us and with us?

Scripture of the Day: Deuteronomy 1:30-31

“30 The Lord your God is going ahead of you. He will fight for you, just as you saw him do in Egypt. 31 And you saw how the Lord your God cared for you all along the way as you traveled through the wilderness, just as a father cares for his child. Now he has brought you to this place.’”

Being in hard places is not fun. Just as being sick is not fun. And yet I see God caring for me. I am able to be at home resting. I have medicine to help alleviate symptoms. My husband is home with me, as well as one of my daughters. I have grace from my employers to rest while I recover. God is kind. What journey are you on that seems hard? None of it is wasted, dear friend. Count your blessings and trust God right in the middle of hard. Keep trusting and walking with Jesus. Our God is with us!

Application

  • Sometimes the struggle seems like it will never end. That’s when we remember that our God does care. He does see us.

7-Fold One-Year Bible Reading Plan

Day #274: Deuteronomy 1-3

Scripture of the Day: Deuteronomy 1:30-31

Listen: https://www.biblegateway.com/audio/mclean/niv/Deut.1

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Day 273 Bible Reading Plan

Hold Fast!

In lieu of a teaching video, I am sharing a lyric video my son created from one of my songs. Below is today’s devotional. 🙂

Hold Fast!

This is a challenging season. Not gonna lie. But when I feel like giving up, I remember that Jesus didn’t. He completed what God had called Him to do and set us free. Maybe someone else needs to see us being faithful when life is hard. Hold fast, friends. God is enough. The work He accomplished is still at work in us if we will just believe and stand firm!

Bible Reading of the Day: Hebrews 1-3

“2 In these last days, he has spoken to us by his Son. God has appointed him heir of all things and made the universe through him. 3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact expression of his nature, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. 4 So he became superior to the angels, just as the name he inherited is more excellent than theirs.”

Hold Fast!—Don’t Drift Away!

Hebrews 1 reveals the nature of Jesus Christ. Because we understand that God came in the flesh to pay for our sins, how ought we to live? We who have been recipients of the highest grace? Hebrews 2 is the answer.

Hebrews 2:1-4

“For this reason, we must pay attention all the more to what we have heard, so that we will not drift away. 2 For if the message spoken through angels was legally binding and every transgression and disobedience received a just punishment, 3 how will we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? This salvation had its beginning when it was spoken of by the Lord, and it was confirmed to us by those who heard him. 4 At the same time, God also testified by signs and wonders, various miracles, and distributions of gifts from the Holy Spirit according to his will.”

In the natural flesh, we drift away. But Jesus’ coming is an impetus for us to remain faithful. We don’t have to fear death anymore. We have been set free!

Scripture of the Day: Hebrews 2:14-15 (NLT)

“14 Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death. 15 Only in this way could he set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying.”

Running this race is challenging, isn’t it? But we need to hold fast!

Hebrews 3:12-15

“12 Watch out, brothers and sisters, so that there won’t be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage each other daily, while it is still called today, so that none of you is hardened by sin’s deception. 14 For we have become participants in Christ if we hold firmly until the end the reality that we had at the start. 15 As it is said: ‘Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.'”

Don’t let unbelief or hardship keep you from trusting in Jesus.

Hold fast to His goodness. Hold fast to His promises. And hold fast to Him and His precious word.

Application

  • Christ has set us free from the fear of death.
  • We just need to hold fast to His word and to his promises, friends!

7-Fold One-Year Bible Reading Plan

Day #273: Hebrews 1-3

Scripture of the Day: Hebrews 2:14-15

Listen: https://www.biblegateway.com/audio/mclean/niv/Heb.1

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Day 272 Bible Reading Plan

You can't Keep a Good man Down

You Can’t Keep a Good Man Down

People can follow endless new religions created by man, but there is only one faith where God chose to die on behalf of His people. Other “prophets” or “gods” or “good men” died, but you can’t keep a good man down. You cannot keep a perfect, Holy, Son of God in the grave for long. And in the book of Acts, we see the impact of the life of Christ and the Holy Spirit to work through Christ-followers to reach this world with the love of God.

Bible Reading of the Day: Acts 1-2

We are starting the book of Acts today, the second book written by Luke. Some consider it part two of the Gospel of Luke. According to Gotquestions.org, “The book of Acts was written to provide a history of the early church. The emphasis of the book is the fulfillment of the Great Commission. Acts records the apostles being Christ’s witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the surrounding world. The book of Acts sheds light on the gift of the Holy Spirit, who empowers, guides, teaches, and serves as our Counselor.”

Luke wrote to Theophilus and wanted the Roman rulers to know what was true about Christians. Now thousands of years later, we are witnesses of the Pentecost as we read through these pages. The Holy Spirit filled God’s people so they prophesy. And God’s people did miracles as the church and the Gospel spread.

You Can’t Keep a Good Man Down—Christ is alive!

Peter gives a sermon to explain the speaking in tongues as well as what had transpired through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Acts 2:22-24

“Fellow Israelites, listen to these words: This Jesus of Nazareth was a man attested to you by God with miracles, wonders, and signs that God did among you through him, just as you yourselves know. 23 Though he was delivered up according to God’s determined plan and foreknowledge, you used lawless people to nail him to a cross and kill him. 24 God raised him up, ending the pains of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by death.”

You Can’t Keep a Good Man Down—Jesus is Messiah

Using a Psalm in which David prophesied of Christ in Psalm 16:8–11, Peter explained how Christ fulfilled this prophecy.

29 “Brothers and sisters, I can confidently speak to you about the patriarch David: He is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30 Since he was a prophet, he knew that God had sworn an oath to him to seat one of his descendants on his throne. 31 Seeing what was to come, he spoke concerning the resurrection of the Messiah: He was not abandoned in Hades, and his flesh did not experience decay.

32 “God has raised this Jesus; we are all witnesses of this. 33 Therefore, since he has been exalted to the right hand of God and has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit, he has poured out what you both see and hear. 34 For it was not David who ascended into the heavens, but he himself says: The Lord declared to my Lord, ‘Sit at my right hand 35 until I make your enemies your footstool.’ 36 “Therefore let all the house of Israel know with certainty that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.”

Ultimately, Peter then called God’s people to repentance. Friends, what are you going to do with the facts of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection? How will it impact the way you live?

The people Peter preached to were convicted. This conviction impacted their lives and faithfulness to God and the church.

You Can’t Keep a Good Man Down—God’s Truth Convicts Us

Acts 2:37

“37 When they heard this, they were pierced to the heart and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?”

The good news is that God’s truth convicts us, but it does not condemn us unless we remain hard-hearted and do not repent. What is it that keeps you from being right with God? Repent. Turn from sin and run toward God. God came to set us free from sin. We do not have to be enslaved anymore.

In conclusion,  when we have had a heart change, we can help others to, also. The people who Peter preached to long ago were devoted to God and His church. May we be, also. May we never cease to share the most beautiful message on this earth. We have power and strength to rise above sin and lie this message out!

Scripture of the Day: Acts 1:8

“8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Application

  • We have power to live this Christian life. We do not have to remain in sin anymore.

7-Fold One-Year Bible Reading Plan

Day #272: Acts 1-2

Scripture of the Day: Acts 1:8

Listen: https://www.biblegateway.com/audio/mclean/niv/Acts.1

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Day 271 Bible Reading Plan

having a worthy fear

The Purpose of the Law

The Law seems like a bummer to those who want to do things their way. And today in our country we have something I never thought I would see—defunding of police officers who maintain the law. The lawless one is at work right now in our society, but God’s Law still stands. God’s Law revealed our need of salvation when we realized that we could not meet it, but Christ fulfilled the Law on our behalf. The purpose of the Law was so we would know God’s righteous standards, so sin would not separate us from our Holy God.

Bible Reading of the Day: Proverbs 27-28

No one likes to have boundaries until those boundaries protect us, right? The laws we have in this land are for our good and Scripture says that we are to submit to them. But there is a higher Law still that our souls desperately need to follow. And God’s grace is enough for us.

Proverbs 28:4-5

“Those who reject the law praise the wicked, but those who keep the law pit themselves against them. 5 The evil do not understand justice, but those who seek the Lord understand everything.”

When we reject the laws on earth, there are consequences, just as there are consequences when we reject god’s law. But when we love God’s law and think on it constantly, we are blessed.

The Purpose of the Law—Loving God’s Law

Psalm 119:17

“Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long.”

Living according to God’s way is a lifestyle. It is not just about external obeying of do’s and don’ts, but an abiding and seeking to live according to his word. Doing so impacts our character and actions. Not doing so will harden our heart as we seek to live by our own rules.

Proverbs 28:14

14 “Happy is the one who is always reverent, but one who hardens his heart falls into trouble.”

The Purpose of the Law—To Make Us More Like Jesus

When we love God’s word and live by it, we become a person of integrity and following God’s ways is part of the paradigm we live by.

18 The one who lives with integrity will be helped, but one who distorts right and wrong will suddenly fall.”

20 A faithful person will have many blessings, but one in a hurry to get rich will not go unpunished.”

Scripture of the Day: Proverbs 28:13

“People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy.”

We have to own our sins and our mistakes in order to move past them. Acknowledging where we have fallen short puts us in position to receive mercy. Ultimately, whether or not we obey God’s word will bear fruit in our lives and we all will be held accountable.

Application

Following God’s Law and the laws of the land leads to blessing.

7-Fold One-Year Bible Reading Plan

Day #271: Proverbs 27-28

Scripture of the Day: Proverbs 28:13

Listen: https://www.biblegateway.com/audio/mclean/niv/Prov.27

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Day 270 Bible Reading Plan

having a worthy fear

Having a Worthy Fear

There are a lot of things to be afraid of in this life and in this world right now. It is easy to cave to fear, but fear is an awful taskmaster. When fear has you in its grip, it is difficult to rise above. Having a worthy fear – the fear of God – dispels all other fears. And the truth in God’s word sets us free, enabling us to live the righteous life God requires.

Bible Reading of the Day: Psalm 111-113

We are reading from the Psalms today and a little overview provided by the Easy English Bible commentary says:

Psalm 111 is about God’s righteousness. It is an acrostic Psalm and was likely written following after the exile.

Psalm 112 is about the righteousness of God’s man—the one God makes righteous. It is also an acrostic Psalm, with each line starting with a letter of the Hebrew alphabet.

Psalm 113 is a special psalm that reminds us of God’s mercy.

Having a Worthy Fear—God’s Word is True

Today’s reading is a reminder that God’s word is true and fearing Him is the secret to a godly, blessed life.

Psalm 111:7-10

“The works of his hands are truth and justice;

all his instructions are trustworthy.

8 They are established forever and ever,

enacted in truth and in uprightness.

“He has sent redemption to his people.

He has ordained his covenant forever.

His name is holy and awe-inspiring.

10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;

all who follow his instructions have good insight.

His praise endures forever.”

  • Science is not greater than the timeless truths found in God’s word.
  • God’s precepts are true and man’s wisdom bows to God’s truth.

Having a Worthy Fear—Fearing God Above All Else

In Psalm 112 we see the fruit and reward for one who fears God:

  • He is happy. V. 1 “Hallelujah! Happy is the person who fears the Lord, taking great delight in his commands.”
  • His descendants will be powerful and blessed.  V. 2 “His descendants will be powerful in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed.”
  • He has his needs met.. V. 3 “Wealth and riches are in his house, and his righteousness endures forever.”

The one who fears God will also behave according to that fear, and walk in integrity, which leads us to the Scripture verses of the day.

Scripture of the Day: Psalm 112:5-9

“Good will come to the one who lends generously

and conducts his business fairly.

6 He will never be shaken.

The righteous one will be remembered forever.

7 He will not fear bad news;

his heart is confident, trusting in the Lord.

8 His heart is assured; he will not fear.

In the end he will look in triumph on his foes.

9 He distributes freely to the poor;

his righteousness endures forever.

His horn will be exalted in honor.”

Application

  • When we fear God, we don’t need to fear anything or anyone else.

There is fear everywhere today, trying to distract us from the strength we truly have in Christ. Don’t forfeit courage to lesser fears. Trust in God and fear Him only!

  • Trust in God’s word. It is still applicable to our lives today. It is truth we desperately need.

7-Fold One-Year Bible Reading Plan

Day #270: Psalm 111-113

Scripture of the Day: Psalm 112:5-9

Listen: https://www.biblegateway.com/audio/mclean/niv/Ps.111

Join me live at 10:00 am ET: Denise Pass – Author/Speaker/Worship Leader

Bible Reading Plan: https://denisepass.com/bible-reading-plan/

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Day 269 Bible Reading Plan

How to Rely on God

How to Rely on God

God gave us clear directions on how to be in His favor and we broke them. Then life got hard. And God still made a way back to Himself. But sometimes we can be a stubborn lot and try to do things our way, right? The problem is, we aren’t enough. We need someone greater to restore and heal us. We need to rely on our Creator, not the created. But we can struggle with how to rely on God when life falls apart. But it starts by remembering what God has done and what He will be faithful to do again. Relying on anything or anyone else will fail.

Bible Reading of the Day: Micah

Today’s reading is the book of Micah, which can be divided into three sections. Section one – chapters 1-2, describes God’s judgment for Israel and Judah. Section two, chapters 3-5, is for rulers and leaders, and section three, chapters 6-7, is for all of God’s people. The book of Micah ends with a song celebrating God’s rescue.

Micah lived during the time of the Judges, when everyone did what was right in their own eyes. Kind of reminds me of today – a sense of lawlessness and doing whatever seems good.

How to Rely on God—Repent

According to gotquestions.org,

“Micah was given a word from the Lord about the future of Samaria and Jerusalem (Micah 1:1). He is sixth in the order of those we call Minor Prophets, so called because their writings are comparatively short. It was the prophet Micah who foretold of Christ’s birth in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2; Matthew 2:6). His is a message of both hope and doom, declaring the lovingkindness of God toward those who repent and turn to Him (Micah 7:18–19). And Micah condenses God’s requirements into this familiar refrain: “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8).

Micah warns God’s people of coming judgment. Unjust leaders, false prophets, and people who have rejected God and His word.

How to Rely on God—Remember What God Has Done

Micah 6 is titled, “God’s lawsuit against Judah” in my Bible and such a clear description and reminder of our condition before a holy God. We are guilty. We deserve condemnation. But God uses the prophets to warn His people so they will turn away and be restored. God’s purposes are always redemptive and restorative. Man likes to condemn and accuse, but God wants to give a clear understanding of His expectations so we can walk with Him.

Micah 6:3-8

“O my people, what have I done to you? What have I done to make you tired of me? Answer me! 4 For I brought you out of Egypt and redeemed you from slavery. I sent Moses, Aaron, and Miriam to help you. 5 Don’t you remember, my people, how King Balak of Moab tried to have you curse and how Balaam son of Beor blessed you instead? And remember your journey from Acacia Grove to Gilgal, when I, the Lord, did everything I could to teach you about my faithfulness.” 6 What can we bring to the Lord?  Should we bring him burnt offerings? Should we bow before God Most High with offerings of yearling calves? 7 Should we offer him thousands of rams and ten thousand rivers of olive oil? Should we sacrifice our firstborn children to pay for our sins? 8 No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.”

How to Rely on God—Follow God’s Requirements, Not Man’s

God has told us. We are without excuse. Our culture struggles with social justice.

God is telling His people to remember. When we look back over our lives, we can have clarity. Sometimes we get so busy we forget to look up and notice what God is doing in our midst.

We need a wake-up call, friends, so we remain faithful to God and know what matters most in this life.

How to Rely on God—don’t rely on anything else

Micah reminds us that though people turn away from God, we have a choice to stand firm in our faith. Micah 4:5, “Though the nations around us follow their idols, we will follow the Lord our God forever and ever.”

How about us? Are we aware of things that distract us from devotion to God? The world pulls us away, friends, but we can choose to draw near. God’s judgment is certain. It’s coming like a freight train. But then so is His mercy for those who will walk with Him.

How to Rely on God—Rely on His Goodness

The prophet Micah’s name means ‘Who is like Yahweh (God)?’ And at the end of the book, Micah asks this question as he reflects on how good our God is.

Micah 7:18-20

“Where is another God like you, who pardons the guilt of the remnant, overlooking the sins of his special people? You will not stay angry with your people forever, because you delight in showing unfailing love. 19 Once again you will have compassion on us. You will trample our sins under your feet and throw them into the depths of the ocean! 20 You will show us your faithfulness and unfailing love as you promised to our ancestors Abraham and Jacob long ago.”

Scripture of the Day: Micah 7:7

“As for me, I look to the Lord for help. I wait confidently for God to save me, and my God will certainly hear me.”

Application

What do you rely on, friend? Life has some curveballs and pain. We can want to rely on ourselves or others, but it is only God who can deliver.

7-Fold One-Year Bible Reading Plan

Day #269: Micah Scripture of the Day: Micah 7:7

Listen: https://www.biblegateway.com/audio/mclean/niv/Mic.1

Join me live at 8am ET: http://www.facebook.com/deniseduboispass

Bible Reading Plan: https://denisepass.com/bible-reading-plan/

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Day 268 Bible Reading Plan

Being a living testament

Being a Living Testament

Sometimes we really want to do something for God or accomplish something in our life but we can’t seem to get it done or just keep failing. Maybe we are striving in our own strength or maybe it was not God’s will for us to do it in the first place. But when we seek to do  God’s will for our lives and honor God in all we do, others will notice. We are being a living testament of God’s grace when we don’t compromise and are faithful to God, whether or not our plans ever come to fruition.

Bible Reading of the Day: 2 Chronicles 6-10

It is an exciting moment in the history of God’s people in today’s reading. The temple that David had wanted to build but could not was finally built by his son, Solomon, fulfilling a promise God spoke. Solomon dedicated the temple to God and prayed to God in front of all the people. His actions and words were being a living testament to God’s people for generations, now memorialized in God’s word.

2 Chronicles 6:14-15, “14 He said:

“Lord God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven or on earth, who keeps his gracious covenant with your servants who walk before you with all their heart. 15 You have kept what you promised to your servant, my father David. You spoke directly to him, and you fulfilled your promise by your power, as it is today.”

Being a Living Testament—Surrendering to God’s Way

There are several things we can learn from Solomon and how he went about building the Temple.

Followed. First, he did so under the leadership of God. He did it God’s way and followed God, not his own ideas.

Acknowledged. Second, he acknowledged God in the process and in the dedication. In fact, it was all about God.

Humility. Third, He was humble. Sometimes when we see the accomplishment of things, we can pat ourselves on the back, but Solomon gives God all the credit.

Worship. Fourth, Solomon gave God all the glory and he worshiped God.

The prayers Solomon uttered were not rote. They were not tacked on. They came from a sincere heart that sought after God.

The Temple was a place where God’s people could interact with God. Solomon details different scenarios where God’s people would come and pray at the temple and God would hear and answer.

Being a Living Testament—Being a  Living Temple

A little about the Temple on gotquestions.org:

“This new, stationary temple would replace the portable tabernacle constructed during the wilderness wandering. If Solomon reigned from 970 to 930 BC, then he began building the temple in 966 BC. A very interesting fact concerning the building of the temple was there was no noise of the construction. The material was prepared before it was brought to the building site. The house, while it was being built, was built of stone prepared at the quarry, and there was neither hammer nor axe nor any iron tool heard in the house while it was being built (1 Kings 6:7). The Bible’s description of Solomon’s temple suggests that the inside ceiling was 180 feet long, 90 feet wide, and 50 feet high. The highest point on the temple that King Solomon built was actually 120 cubits tall (about 20 stories or about 207 feet). First Kings 6:1–38 and chapters 7—8 describe the construction and dedication of Solomon’s temple.”

“Until the first temple was destroyed by the Babylonians some four hundred years later, in 586 BC, sacrifice was the predominant mode of divine service there. Seventy years later, a second temple was completed on the same site, and sacrifices again resumed. The book of Ezra chronicles the building of the second temple. During the first century, Herod greatly enlarged and expanded this temple, which became known as Herod’s temple. It was destroyed by the Romans in AD 70, during the siege of Jerusalem. Only a small portion of the retaining wall remains to this day, known as “The Wailing Wall.””

Being a Living Testament—Walking in Wisdom

In 2 Chronicles 9, the Queen of Sheba came to question Solomon. She came because she had heard about Solomon’s wisdom and how God had blessed Solomon.

What do people hear about us? Is there evidence of God in our lives? Does the work of our hands bring Him glory and cause people to marvel at God?

The work of God in our lives is not for our glory, but so people can look at us as displays of God’s grace. When we are being a living testament of God’s grace in our lives, people have an opportunity to know Jesus through seeing our relationship with God.

After so many wonderful things that we read about Solomon’s reign, chapter 10 is an abrupt about-face.

Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, did not seek God or listen to the elders and sought to make his rule harsher than his dad’s. Consequently, Israel and Judah were divided and Rehoboam ruled only over Judah.

According to the Easy English Bible Commentary,

“Solomon and Rehoboam must share the blame for the fact that the *kingdom became two kingdoms. Solomon had forced the Israelites to do hard labour. And he had not been loyal to the *LORD. He began to *worship other gods. Rehoboam was to blame because he would not follow the wise advice. He made matters worse by his answer to the people. And he had not asked the *LORD for his advice.”

Scripture of the Day: 2 Chronicles 7:14-15 

“14 Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. 15 My eyes will be open and my ears attentive to every prayer made in this place.”

Application

  • If we order our lives after God’s will and word, we will be blessed. But if we don’t, we will reap from that choice.
  • God’s disposition toward us is to retore and to redeem. If we will just cry out to Him, He will hear and answer.
  • We are a living temple of the Holy Spirit.
  • Being a living testament means we exemplify Christ to the world around us.

7-Fold One-Year Bible Reading Plan

Day #268: 2 Chronicles 6-10

Scripture of the Day: 2 Chronicles 7:14-15

Listen: https://www.biblegateway.com/audio/mclean/niv/2Chr.6

Join me live at 8:30 am  ET: Denise Pass – Author/Speaker/Worship Leader

Bible Reading Plan: https://denisepass.com/bible-reading-plan/

#SeeingDeep #BibleInAYear

Missed one of the Bible time lives? No problem! Check it out on my YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/denisepass_seeingdeep

Day 267 Bible Reading Plan

Doing Things God's Way

Doing Things God’s Way

It’s easy to try and do things our way. It’s what we want or what we think is best. It can feel confining to have to do something someone else’s way. But doing things God’s way is the pathway to blessing. Whereas doing things our way ends up making things more difficult on us.

Bible Reading of the Day: Numbers 33-36

We are finishing the book of Numbers today, y’all, and what a journey it has been. Today’s reading has a summary of the Israelite’s various travels, instructions for occupying Canaan, boundaries of the promised land and distribution of the land by tribe.

More than just a list of places they traveled through, each place held memories of God’s faithfulness that met them there – when they sinned and when they encountered difficulties, God was there.

Doing Things God’s Way—God With Us

There’s a song out now called, “There Was Jesus”, and I think we can hear this song or hear the truth that God is with us, but we do not realize the significance of that statement and reality. Journeying with Jesus is not pain-free. But the difference between going with God, as you hear me say each day, and not, is vast.

More than just trying to get to their destination, Israel was God’s people and God wanted to do life with them. When they strayed, God brought them back. And sometimes punishment was meted out.

Doing Things God’s Way—God Has Good Purposes

But in the grand scheme, the story of the traveling from Egypt to the promised land was about what a relationship with God looks like. We can be disobedient and do things our way and suffer for it, or we can see the fruit from walking with God – going with God and doing things God’s way. It’s our choice.

God longs to provide for His people. He longs to protect them. So why wouldn’t we go with God and do things His way?

Doing Things God’s Way—Trusting His Plan

Trust. We don’t trust His plans. We rely on our own understanding. Simply, we don’t have a strong relationship with the One Who made us. Let that sink in. When devotions and reading the Bible seem dry to us, we need to drop to our knees and ask God to help us and to draw near to Him.

Doing Things God’s Way—Laying Down Our Plans

Idolatry. God’s people slipped into idolatry and spiritual adultery time and again. So can we. This is why God had very specific rules and instructions for His people. He knew the heart of man.

Stubborn. Simply want to do things our own way. Man wants to govern himself but does a lousy job of it.

Doing Things God’s Way—Trusting God’s Goodness

Fear. Maybe afraid that the journey will be hard and maybe God will allow in what we don’t want or don’t think we can handle.

We don’t know God and His goodness. If we understood God’s heart and why He commanded what He did, we would not stray so easily.

Let’s look at God’s instructions and the why behind it.

“50 The Lord spoke to Moses in the plains of Moab by the Jordan across from Jericho, 51 “Tell the Israelites: When you cross the Jordan into the land of Canaan, 52 you must drive out all the inhabitants of the land before you, destroy all their stone images and cast images, and demolish all their high places. 53 You are to take possession of the land and settle in it because I have given you the land to possess. 54 You are to receive the land as an inheritance by lot according to your clans. Increase the inheritance for a large clan and decrease it for a small one. Whatever place the lot indicates for someone will be his. You will receive an inheritance according to your ancestral tribes. 55 But if you don’t drive out the inhabitants of the land before you, those you allow to remain will become barbs for your eyes and thorns for your sides; they will harass you in the land where you will live. 56 And what I had planned to do to them, I will do to you.”

Doing Things God’s Way—Go With God!

At first blush it seems kind of harsh destroying things and booting people out of the land. But belongings and people can be a snare to us and lead us away from a relationship with God.

How does this relate to us today?

What influences do you have in your home right now that are a stumbling block to you, or can be? Sometimes we want to tame the bad influences and don’t want to eradicate them. Sometimes boundaries and accountability help. But ultimately, we can be deceived if we don’t get rid of things that hurt our devotion to God.

I have apps on my youngest son’s phone and computer, but that isn’t enough. Y’all, we are being influenced every moment of every day. I also tell my son that his phone can stay out with us and not go to his room with him. And we have a code for our TV that restricts content.

Doing Things God’s Way—We Belong to Jesus

I don’t want to lead a life apart from the One Who made me. I belong to Jesus. So everything in this journey I want to walk with God. I don’t want to waste time serving idols.

At the end of our reading today, God demonstrates His care for women, specifically women with no inheritance.

The daughters of Zelophehad did not escape God’s notice and care and neither will we. Is there fear that God will allow pain or hardship in our journey that seems too hard for us?

Doing things God’s way is the safest place to be friends. Don’t listen to the liar who tries to use fear, doubt, and idolatry to sway and move us away from God—that would be the scariest place of all.

Scripture of the Day: Numbers 33:4

“Meanwhile, the Egyptians were burying all their firstborn sons, whom the LORD had killed the night before. The LORD had defeated the gods of Egypt that night with great acts of judgment!”

God wants to be our hero. He wants to lead us through this life and defeat our enemies. Just as God exacted judgment on the fake gods back then, He will do the same in our life. He is a jealous God because He loves us and knows the wreckage that sin leaves behind. It destroys us.

Go with God, friends. The journey in this life is meaningful because of Him.

Application

  • As we look back over our life, it will be the times that we were doing things God’s way where life had the most meaning and the biggest blessing.
  • We get confused by the drama of life, but when we center our lives around Christ, life makes sense.

7-Fold One-Year Bible Reading Plan

Day #236: Numbers 33-36

Scripture of the Day: Numbers 33:4

Listen: https://www.biblegateway.com/audio/mclean/niv/Num.33

Join me live at 8:30am ET: Denise Pass – Author/Speaker/Worship Leader

Bible Reading Plan: https://denisepass.com/bible-reading-plan/ #SeeingDeep #BibleInAYear

Missed one of the Bible time lives? No problem! Check it out on my YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/denisepass_seeingdeep