January 4 – Scripture of the Day

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The scripture that stood out to me today was Genesis 12:1-3 which says: The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you. 2 I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others. 3 I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you.”

Sometimes I look around and see all that I have, and wonder why?

Why me?

What have I done to deserve all these good things? A loving wife; wonderful children.  A good job, a comfortable home, nice cars, the ability to travel and play.

This scripture reminds me.  None of it is about me, I’ve done nothing to “deserve” these things.

Everything I have, everything I am that is good, is meant to bless others.

We are so blessed in America we don’t often even realize it or fully appreciate it. According to the Census Bureau, the average median income in the United States is $53,046.

Compared to the rest of the world, if you make $53,046, you are in the richest ONE QUARTER OF ONE PERCENT of people in the world. Yup, 0.027%.

So, even if you make half of the average income in the US, you are STILL in the TOP TWO PERCENT of people in the world.

We haven’t done anything to deserve this.  Even if you work hard, got a good education, have a good job, you still don’t deserve this.  You may have earned it, in the content of the society and economy in which we live.  But you don’t deserve it.

It is all a blessing from God.

And we are blessed… so we can be a blessing to others.

As Rick Warren says, God doesn’t give us more so we can increase our standard of living… God gives us more so we can increase our standard of GIVING.

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References:
United State Census Bureau
Global Rich List

Today’s reading was: Genesis 11:1-26; 1 Chronicles 1:24-27; Genesis 12:1-20; genesis 13:1-18; Genesis 14:1-24

Tomorrow’s reading is: Genesis 15:1-21; 16:1-16; 17:1-27

Weekend Reads

weekend-reads

How would you like to be cooped up with your family, for a year, with nowhere to go, in a small apartment?  Doesn’t sound like fun, but there’s a lesson here somewhere.

What Your Tweets Tell Us About the Year’s Biggest Stories.  What America talked about in 2014, viewed through 184.5 million twitter mentions.

If you’d like to reduce the clutter in your home, here are 7 ways to work towards that goal.

Here’s an explanation of the turbulence of oil prices.  

In honor of THE Ohio State Univeristy Buckeyes football team making it to the national championship game, here is the Best Damn Band In The Land doing their Hollywood Blockbuster Show.

Do you have a lot of debt?  Credit cards?  Student loans?  Other crap?  Here’s proof you can get out of debt and build a better life for you and your family.

January 3 – Scripture of the Day

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The verses that I found most interesting today were Genesis 8:13-16:

13 Noah was now 601 years old. On the first day of the new year, ten and a half months after the flood began, the floodwaters had almost dried up from the earth. Noah lifted back the covering of the boat and saw that the surface of the ground was drying. 14 Two more months went by, and at last the earth was dry! 15 Then God said to Noah, 16 “Leave the boat, all of you—you and your wife, and your sons and their wives.

So in all, from the beginning of the flood until Noah and his family got off the ark, was more than a year. Imagine being crammed on a wooden boat with your close family, plus a bunch of animals.

For. A. Year.

I think this scripture serves to remind us that often things in our lives take longer than we might prefer.

I’m about as impatient as they come. And the rapidly advancing technology, instant gratification, and social media culture we live in make it worse.

I mean, it seems like FOREVER when a webpage takes 5 second to load! 5 SECONDS! Not 5 minutes. 5 seconds.

Or how about not getting a timely response to a text message? How rude!

So these verses are a good reminder to me that I need to be patient; that the important things in our lives come to us in God’s time, not our time.

I need to slow down, focus on what’s important, and not worry about the rest.

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Today’s reading was: Genesis 7:1-24; 8:1-22; 9:1-10:5; 1 Chronicles 1:5-7; Genesis 10:6-32; 1 Chronicles 1:17-23

Tomorrow’s reading is: Genesis 11:1-26; 1 Chronicles 1:24-27; Genesis 12:1-20; genesis 13:1-18; Genesis 14:1-24

January 2 – Scripture of the Day

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Today’s reading was: Genesis 4:1-26; 5:1-32; 1 Chronicles 1:1-4; Genesis 6:1-22

Tomorrow’s reading is: Genesis 7:1-24; 8:1-22; 9:1-10:5; 1 Chronicles 1:5-7; Genesis 10:6-32; 1 Chronicles 1:17-23

The passage that stood out to me in today’s reading was Genesis 6:11-13 (NLT):

11 Now God saw that the earth had become corrupt and was filled with violence. 12 God observed all this corruption in the world, for everyone on earth was corrupt. 13 So God said to Noah, “I have decided to destroy all living creatures, for they have filled the earth with violence. Yes, I will wipe them all out along with the earth!”

This is a difficult piece of scripture because we see God’s anger and sadness at the evil, violence and corruption in the world.

Often we tend to think of God in terms of Jesus in the New Testament; loving, forgiving and full of grace. And He is all those things.

But God is also righteous and just. He cannot tolerate evil and sin. And so we see there are consequences for our choices in our lives. There are earthly consequences, but ultimately there is an eternal consequence as well.

God loves us so much he gives us that choice. We can choose to love him back, or choose to reject him.

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Photo credit:  PastorJamie.com

January 1 – Scripture of the Day

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I am really excited to begin my daily bible reading and commentary today. I am doing this to reach two goals for 2015:

  1. To immerse myself in God’s Word, so that I may be fed and enlightened spiritually.
  2. To live more deliberately and purposefully by having 15-30 minutes of quiet reflection time every day.

I am using the NLT One Year Chronological Bible; thus I will read the entire Bible in 2015.  I will post the next day’s verses in each post so you can read along as well, regardless of what Bible you have.

I invite you to join me on this journey!

Today’s reading was:  Genesis 1:1-2:4a
Tomorrow’s reading is:  Genesis 4:1-26

Today, two passages stand out to me. First is Genesis 1:1 which says, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”

This is a familiar verse, the very first in the entirety of the Bible.

But to me, its meaning and impact is profound.

For if by faith we accept this statement, that God created everything, than that dramatically alters our perspective on life. Life is no longer about US. It’s about HIM.

Think about what he created:

  • The Earth is 92,960,000 miles away from the sun.
  • The Milky Way Galaxy is approximately 100,000 light years across. A light year is the distance that light travels in one year: almost 6 TRILLION miles (9.4607 × 1015 meters). So just our galaxy is 6 trillion X 100,000 miles across. Try and understand that.
  • But that’s just OUR galaxy. Scientists and astronomers estimate there are probably more than 100 billion (1011) galaxies in the observable Universe.

Click here if you want to read more on the size of the galaxy and universe. 

If God created everything, including us, then we are his. Everything is his. And if that is true, than we would be wise to understand how he wants us to live our lives and do our best to follow him.

Beyond that, we should love him. Obey him. And worship him. Because if for no other reason, he loved us first simply by creating us.

The second passage of scripture relates to the first. It is Genesis 3:22, which reads, “Then the Lord God said, “The people have become as we are, knowing everything, both good and evil. What if they eat the fruit of the tree of life? Then they will live forever!”

We know the story; God creates Adam, and from Adam he creates Eve, his companion and helpmate. The serpent tricks Eve into eating the forbidden fruit, and Adam eats as well.

In this very act, sin entered the world. We can see its affects immediately, as Adam and Eve feel shame realizing they are naked. Then, almost comically, when God asks them why they disobeyed, Adam chucks Eve (and God) under the proverbial bus; and Eve blames the lowly serpent.

As a result, God kicks Adam and Eve out of the Garden. We often look at this as punishment, and it may have been.

But, more importantly, it was an amazing act of grace by God.

Why?

Because if Adam and Eve would have been allowed to remain in the Garden, the scripture tells us they would have lived forever. And they would have lived forever in a world with sin; with pain and fear and anger.

That wasn’t what God intended.

So he makes Adam and Eve leave the garden. By doing so, without access to the tree of life, they will eventually die.

Dying is bad, right?

No. Dying is what allows us to be reunited with God, in a place with no more pain, no more tears, not more sadness.

Just as God intended it to be.

So banishing Adam and Eve from the Garden was an act of loving grace.

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Photo credit:  PastorJamie.com