Bible Daily Reading plan

The Rich Young Man…

In the tenth chapter of Mark’s gospel we find the story of the rich young ruler. For centuries many have considered this to be one of the saddest encounters in the Gospel.  We frequently beat up on this young man for his lack of faith, but have you ever considered all of the good qualities that we observe about him through this encounter he had with Jesus?  For example, this young man was eager to follow Christ; he was humble, he was concerned about spiritual things, he was morally pure, he was in a position of authority and had not abused that authority, he was wealthy and yet his wealth had not corrupted him.  As the father of a daughter myself I look at this man from the outside and say this is the kind of person I want my daughter to marry.  However, on the inside he possessed a fatal flaw, and one simple thing kept him from following Jesus, and as a result he missed his fresh start.  Jesus loved this young man and he loves you too.  I pray that you won’t let one thing, whatever it may be, keep you from following Christ.  Instead I want to encourage you to trust in Jesus and follow him with all of your heart!

Help Me Pray…

 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness, for we do not know how we should pray, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with inexpressible groanings. Romans 8:26 NET  I suppose we’ve all been there, facing a tragedy or situation that was so beyond our ability to cope that we couldn’t even find the words to pray.  Certainly as a minister I have found myself in that position on many occasions while attempting to pray for myself and others.  Prayer has always been some what of a mystery to humanity.  Even the disciples, after spending a great deal of time with Jesus, still said “Lord teach us to pray.”  I find great comfort in knowing that when I don’t have the words my good friend the Holy Spirit has my back.  The Spirit himself intercedes on my behalf with inexpressible groanings!  The Greek word here for “help” gives a wonderful picture of someone helping another carry a heavy load that is just too much to bear alone.  No matter if my weakness results from sickness, pain, tragedy, or even just a time of spiritual weakness, the Holy Spirit is there to carry my load.  Next time you don’t know what to say, or can’t find the words to pray, remember that you are not alone! Cry out and let the Spirit of God intercede on your behalf.

Is He Really Coming Soon? (Day 49 Revelation 22:20 NET)

 “Yes, I am coming soon!” Amen! Come, Lord Jesus! Revelation 22:20 NET I frequently wonder if believers today really think that Jesus is coming soon.  After all if we expected his arrival wouldn’t we be doing things a bit differently?  When we expect guests to arrive at our homes for a dinner or gathering don’t we change many things prior to their visit?  Our home is full of children’s toys, generally there are some dishes in the sink, a pile of clothes near the washer, bills on the counter or table, phone, computer, and Ipad charging chords litter other spaces, and many other things that are always present in our home unless we are expecting guests.  When a dinner party is planned or friends are just coming over to visit we quickly transform our home.  The kids are asked to pick up their toys and return them to their closest.  We wash the few dishes in the sink and put them away, the laundry is either done or returned to the hamper. The bills are neatly stacked and sorted, and the other clutter is organized and put away.  Why? Because we were expecting guests.  Now if you just showed up unexpected our home, presumably like yours, would not be as nice and tidy.  Is this not how we live our lives today?  Spiritually speaking there is much clutter on our counter tops and tables.  Dirty laundry has not been dealt with in years.  The floor is a mess, dishes have not been done and we would be embraced if Jesus came back this very day and found our lives in this condition.  Have we forgotten that Christ will come without warning like a thief in […]

Revelation What Are You So Scared Of? (Day 48 Revelation 1-11)

  1 The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must happen very soon. He made it clear by sending his angel to his servant John, 2 who then testified to everything that he saw concerning the word of God and the testimony about Jesus Christ. 3 Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy aloud, and blessed are those who hear and obey the things written in it, because the time is near! Revelation 1:1–3 NET Many people avoid the book of Revelation for various reasons. One of the main reasons is that most are simply afraid to read it.  In part this is because it contains a great deal of imagery surrounding the end times which no one can accurately understand.  The fear of this book is further enhanced by our fear of the future.  This book does not contain information about the future of others but rather it is all about our future. There has also been a great deal of false information spread about this book by the church.  One of the main things I hear from leaders in the church is that only the most mature among us should attempt to read the book of Revelation.  I believe this to be a huge mistake.  Granted I would not recommend it as the first reading assignment for a new convert, but to advance the idea that only mature believers are able to understand the truth on its pages is nonsense. If you have made it this far in the New Testament challenge you are ready to read through this book.  Don’t be scared, read it!  Below are two of the things I […]

More Good News…(Day 46 1Peter 1:3–5 NET)

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he gave us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, that is, into an inheritance imperishable, undefiled, and unfading. It is reserved in heaven for you, who by God’s power are protected through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” (1Peter 1:3–5 NET) The Bible is full of good news. It literally overflows in abundance from it’s pages.  This passage, to me, is one of the most encouraging passages of scripture in the New Testament.  It speaks of God’s indescribably gift of mercy through Christ Jesus which restored humanity once again into a right relationship with God.  This brought about a living hope that did not come from ourselves but rather from the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  This wonderful new birth we have received from the great mercy of gGod is further described as an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading.  It is saved up in heaven for all who believe and is ready to be revealed to all in the end times.  Let us all rejoice over the good news of the gospel and because we have a heavenly father who cares and loves us so much.  Read this passage again and stand in awe of who God is this day!

Nothing But Joy…(Day 45 James 1:2–5 NET)

“My brothers and sisters, consider it nothing but joy when you fall into all sorts of trials, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect effect, so that you will be perfect and complete, not deficient in anything.” (James 1:2–5 NET) Shifting our mindset to this reality is difficult to be sure.  How do we consider our difficulties, trials, and the testing of our faith as nothing but joy?  Our flesh pulls so strongly in a much different direction.  Here are some things I have found helpful in my life and the lives of others when it comes to facing difficulties.  These things in particular can help us consider the times of trial and testing in our lives as nothing but joy. Remember that God is in control-“There are many plans in a person’s mind, but it is the counsel of the LORD which will stand.” (Proverbs 19:21 NET) Remember that God will never leave you-“Be strong and courageous! Do not fear or tremble before them, for the LORD your God is the one who is going with you. He will not fail you or abandon you!”” (Deuteronomy 31:6 NET) Remember all the blessings and victories you have had in the past- “Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will trouble, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we encounter death all day long; we were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we have complete victory through him who loved us! For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor heavenly rulers, nor things […]

Personal Holiness (Day 44 Hebrews 10:10 NET)

 By his will we have been made holy through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Hebrews 10:10 NET To me the thought of being made holy through the sacrifice of Jesus is awe inspiring.  I can’t wrap my mind around this truth nor can I express my thoughts to their fullest potential in this post or any other.  As I meditated on this verse today I decided to take some time to research the issue of holiness to better define the thoughts and emotions that I experience when I read verses like this one. I pray that the article below will challenge and encourage you as you ponder the significance of your personal holiness and what it is God has done for you by making you holy through the blood of Jesus.

You Can’t Take It With You (Day 42 1Timothy 6:7 NET)

“For we have brought nothing into this world and so we cannot take a single thing out either.” (1Timothy 6:7 NET) We labor and strive so intensely each day of the week hour after hour trying to earn wealth only to be reminded that in the end all we accumulated will remain behind and be of no use for us in eternity.  Some have taken the passage above as a mandate to forsake all human efforts to earn money, this however is foolish and was not the intent of Paul’s heart in penning these words.  Certainly we all have to pay our bills, eat food, put gas in our vehicles, and use money for other necessary and vital things each day.  The encouragement for us in these verses is not that we should never work or attempt to earn money.  Rather it is that we should never under any circumstances let money rule over us and take charge of our lives.  Why spend a lifetime accumulating things?  Why not use what God has given you to bless others now while you are still alive?  Saving is a biblical principle that all Christians should embrace, however hording is a demonic principle that all believers should quickly retreat from.  Personally I don’t know how much is too much nor do I claim to have a certain dollar amount that is the threshold between saving and hording.  It is my opinion that you know whether you are hording or saving God’s money.  You know if you are being a good steward or not.  You know through your relationship with God if He is calling you to give more or less.  You know what you are suppose to do […]

Is The Devil In Your Church? (Day 41 1Thessalonians 3:5 NET)

“So when I could bear it no longer, I sent to find out about your faith, for fear that the tempter somehow tempted you and our toil had proven useless.” (1Thessalonians 3:5 NET) Have you ever stopped to consider if the Devil was actively involved in the life of your church?  For some reason many church leaders and church members have incorrectly assumed that just because the church belongs to God the devil will leave it alone.  They are wrong!  In fact, if you stop and think about it the very thing that makes us feel safe in the church from the devil’s attack are actually what makes the church vulnerable.  The church is more likely to be attacked because the devil is opposed to all things that are Holy, right, pleasing, and praiseworthy.  This is why he wants to destroy your church.  Others know he is there, they see him working but they refuse to confront the issue or admit that there is a problem, once again incorrectly assuming that the devil will just get tired and leave.   The fact of the matter is, the devil is either in your church or trying to get in. Scripture declares that he was present and at work in no fewer than 7 New Testament churches. Paul also indicated that there was a good possibility that he was at work in an eighth church as well.  We read about that church today in The New Testament Challenge today, it was the church in Thessalonica. Below is a list of the churches we know the devil attacked. 1)   Jerusalem Acts 5:1–10 2)   Corinth 2 Cor. 2:1–11 3)   Ephesus 1 Tim. 3:6–7 4)   Smyrna Rev. 2:9–10 5)   Pergamum  Rev. 2:13 […]

My Situations… (Day 40 Philippians 1:12 NET)

 I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that my situation has actually turned out to advance the gospel… Philippians 1:12 NET Isn’t this always the case?  No matter what our circumstances or situations maybe everything in our lives is an opportunity to advance the gospel.  Have you been fired, laid off, or just pushed out of a a job you loved.  No worries you now have an opportunity to advance the gospel in a new place of employment.  Has the sting of death come knocking on your door?  Have no fear you serve the God of all comfort, and that comfort and peace you possess from your heavenly father will spread to others and advance the gospel even while you grieve.  Have the doctors given you the news we all fear and have you been forced to stare your own death in the eye as it looms right around the corner?  Don’t waste a single day tell others about the hope you have in Christ even now your situation can serve to advance the gospel.  Is it divorce that has invaded your life and threatened to destroy you?  Take heart God is bigger than a divorce and even now through forgiveness, mercy, and your pursuit of Godly peace in the midst of a battle you can advance the gospel.  How marvelous is our God?  How wonderful are His ways?  How amazing are His plans and purposes that “all things work together for good for those who love God” (Romans 8:28 NET) and to advance the gospel.  You are God’s instrument of choice in the most important mission the world has ever known.  God’ believes in you, trusts you, and can use you despite your […]

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