May 2 – Scripture of the Day

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The scripture that stood out to me today was 1 Chronicles 22:6-10. David wanted to build a great temple in honor of God, but it was not to be. His son Solomon would build the temple for the Lord.

The scripture says, “6 Then David sent for his son Solomon and instructed him to build a Temple for the Lord, the God of Israel. 7 “My son, I wanted to build a Temple to honor the name of the Lord my God,” David told him. 8 “But the Lord said to me, ‘You have killed many men in the battles you have fought. And since you have shed so much blood in my sight, you will not be the one to build a Temple to honor my name. 9 But you will have a son who will be a man of peace. I will give him peace with his enemies in all the surrounding lands. His name will be Solomon,[a] and I will give peace and quiet to Israel during his reign. 10 He is the one who will build a Temple to honor my name. He will be my son, and I will be his father. And I will secure the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever.’ ”

May 1 – Scripture of the Day

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The scripture that stood out to me today comes from Psalm 18. David sang this psalm to the Lord after the Lord rescued him from Saul and other enemies.

Verses 1-2 say, “I love you, Lord; you are my strength. 2 The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety.”

These verses stood out to me because they are an excellent example of what our attitude towards God should be. First and foremost, we should love God and boldly proclaim so! We should acknowledge that the Lord is our strength; without the Lord’s strength, we have none.

He is indeed our rock and fortress. And most importantly, he is our savior!

Thanks be to God!

April 14 – April 30 Scripture of the Day

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As you can tell, its been just over two weeks since I’ve written about my daily bible reading. I’m pleased to say that its only the writing that’s been by the wayside; I’ve continued to read each and every day.

However, while I have continued my daily reading, the writing has been more difficult. It seems that most days for the last couple weeks I just didn’t have the time or energy to do the writing. I’ve thought a bit about going back and doing “catch-up,” but instead decided to do this one post with a verse for each of the days that I highlighted while reading, and focus on the writing going forward. So, without further ado….

April 14: The verses that stood out to me was 1 Samuel 17:41-47. This is where David defeat’s Goliath because of God’s faithfulness.

April 15: 1 Samuel 20:32-33. I just thought the NLT translation of this passage was funny…I read verse 33 in a dead-pan type tone. “So at last Jonathan realized that his father was really determined to kill David.” Duh.

April 16: Psalm 142

April 17: 1 Samuel 24:16-17. This is what we should do: repay evil with good.

April 18: Psalm 56

April 19: 2 Samuel 1: 14-16. David has the man killed who killed Saul.

April 20: 2 Samuel 2:4. David becomes King of Judah.

April 21: 2 Samuel 4:9-12.

April 22: 2 Samuel 5:1-3. David becomes King of all Israel.

April 23: 1 Chronicles 16:23. This verse is one in a song that David wrote of thanksgiving to the Lord.

April 24: 2 Samuel 7:12. A foreshadowing of Jesus.

April 25: 2 Samuel 8:15

April 26: This contains the passage of David’s adultery with Bathsheba. 2 Samuel 12:11-12 tells of the consequences of David’s actions. Even though God forgives us our sins, that does not remove the consequences in our lives, and in the lives of others. This is a difficult lesson to learn and understand, but is true nonetheless. Psalm 51 records David’s anguish and repentance.

April 27: 2 Samuel 14:13-14

April 28: 2 Samuel 15:24-26

April 29: 2 Samuel 18:8. An interesting verse that I need to research a bit.

April 30: Psalm 7

 

April 13 – Scripture of the Day

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Two verses stood out to me in today’s scripture:

1 Samuel 15:22-23 says, “But Samuel replied, “What is more pleasing to the Lord:   your burnt offerings and sacrifices   or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice,   and submission is better than offering the fat of rams. 23 Rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft,   and stubbornness as bad as worshiping idols. So because you have rejected the command of the Lord,   he has rejected you as king.”

Makes me consider, how much in my life am I obedient and submissive to God?

The second scripture was 1 Samuel 16:7, which says, “But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.

That’s a good reminder.

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Today’s reading: 1 Samuel 15:1-17:31
Tomorrow’s reading: 1 Samuel 17:32-19:24; Psalm 59

April 11 – Scripture of the Day

In today’s scripture, Samuel appoints Saul as King of Israel. And what was particularly interesting to me was after Samuel tells Saul, this is Saul’s reply in 1 Samuel 9:21, “Saul replied, “But I’m only from the tribe of Benjamin, the smallest tribe in Israel, and my family is the least important of all the families of that tribe! Why are you talking like this to me?”

Interesting that God has the habit of choosing the unlikely; the weak; the overlooked; the seemingly incapable to advance his Story of the world.

What’s God want to use you for?

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Today’s reading: 1 Samuel 9:1-12:25
Tomorrow’s reading: 1 Chronicles 9:35-39; 1 Samuel 13:1-14:52

How was your Easter?

cross-luke-6-46_640pixabay“How was your Easter?”

That was a common question I head this week.  My response has been “Well, Resurrection Sunday was wonderful, and I am STILL enjoying Easter.”

For the secular part of society, Easter is a single day that is marked by the Easter Bunny, Easter egg hunts and chocolate.  And maybe church.

But in the church, Easter isn’t a single day, but rather a season that lasts 50 days, until Pentecost.  Pentecost was marked by the arrival of the Holy Spirit on the faithful.  It was at that point the church began to grow exponentially.

Now, even in the church there is far more attention given to Easter Sunday itself; and that is understandable.  It’s the day we recognize and celebrate the single most important aspect of our faith: that Jesus Christ rose from the dead.

The entire faith hinges on the resurrection.  If there was no resurrection, nothing else matters.  Indeed, as the Apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15:17-20, “17 And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless and you are still guilty of your sins. 18 In that case, all who have died believing in Christ are lost! 19 And if our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world.  20 But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead. He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died.”

In fact, 1 Christians 15 is one of the most amazing testimonies in the entire New Testament.  It is a great portion of scripture to read when we have doubts, which we all do from time to time.

Which leads me to my greater point.

Many, if not most of us, joyfully celebrate Resurrection Sunday.  And we should.  As I said, it’s the single most important component of our faith, upon which all else hinges.

We joyfully proclaim to BELIEVE that Jesus Christ did in fact rise from the grave.  He was dead, buried, and rose on the third day.

But how often do we really, seriously contemplate the impact of what we are claiming to believe?

Because… think about it.  It is an astonishing claim.

It is a outlandish claim.

It is a radical claim.

That a man predicted he would be killed, and then come back to life after three days.  And in predicting these events and then doing so, he proved HE WAS GOD.

This is NOT a claim to make lightly.

Still with me?  Still believe?

Good.

Let that sink in a moment.

And once the gravity of that claim, of that belief, has sunk in, allow yourself time to reflect on the following question, which Jesus himself asked of his followers in Luke 6:46.

“So why do you keep calling me ‘Lord, Lord!’ when you don’t do what I say?”

Think about that question.

If we truly believe what we claim to believe, do we live our lives as such?

If not, why not?

April 10 – Scripture of the Day

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In today’s scripture, a couple of things stood out to me. First, was they way Eli died. He was 98 years old, and a messenger returned from the fields to report on the Israeli battle with the Philistines. The messenger told Eli that both his sons had been killed in the battle, and that the Ark of the Covenant had been captured.

1 Samuel 4:18 then says, “When the messenger mentioned what had happened to the Ark of God, Eli fell backward from his seat beside the gate. He broke his neck and died, for he was old and overweight. He had been Israel’s judge for forty years.”

Also in this scripture we read that the Philistines didn’t want to keep the Ark because the Lord was afflicting them for having it. Eventually they returned it to Israel with a guilt offering. What’s interesting to me here is that the Philistines references the plagues in Egypt as a reason to return the Ark.

1 Samuel 6:6 says, “Don’t be stubborn and rebellious as Pharaoh and the Egyptians were. By the time God was finished with them, they were eager to let Israel go.”

Lastly, it is in this section of scripture where Israel requests a king. Samuel is getting older, and his two sons are not Godly like their father. The leaders of Israel gathered and asked Samuel for a king.

Why did they want a king? The Lord instructed Samuel to warn them about the hardships of having a king; that the king would draft their sons into the army, their daughters to his home, demand 10% of their crops and the best of their cattle. Still the people didn’t care. They wanted a king.

And the scripture tells us why in 1 Samuel 9:20a which says, “We want to be like the nations around us.”

That was the problem then, and frankly its our problem now.

God set the people of Israel apart, they were his chosen people, do show the rest of the world the ways of God. We are that way today. For those of us who believe in Jesus Christ, we are to live our lives as Jesus commanded. And that is in radical opposition to the ways of the world.

Jesus calls us to love our enemies among other things.

And yet too often we don’t do as he said.

We, too, want to be like those around us. We want to be liked and accepted. We want to live our comfortable lives, instead of sacrificing.

We have the same problem today that Israel had in the time of Samuel. We want to be like the world instead of like the Lord.

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Today’s reading: 1 Samuel 4:12-8:22
Tomorrow’s reading: 1 Samuel 9:1-12:25