Saturday, January 31, 2009

People vision

January 30, 2009

The life of Jesus. Read Today: Jesus withdraws from Judea; John 4:1-3

John 4:3-4 ESV
3 he left Judea and departed again for Galilee.
4 And he had to pass through Samaria.

Interesting set up here for what was going to happen. Jesus knew what was coming so he made some journey plans. You see, the people of Samaria were not real Jewish people. When the 10 tribes split from Judea, the King over those tribes created a new capital and a new religion. Most of it was pagan worship, but it held just enough of the belief of God that they knew what the law said. So the Samaritans and the Jewish people really hated each other.

Now Jesus could have, and by Jewish customs should have, gone around Samaria to get to where He needed to go. Not Jesus, never met a person He did not like. Right through the heart of Samaria to a confrontation.

We need to look at people like Jesus did. Not look at the people groups, but to look at the people.

Read for tomorrow: Samaritan woman at Jacob's well 4:4-26

Doing what God says

January 29, 2009

The life of Jesus. Read Today: Herod imprisons John the Baptist; Matthew 4:12; Mark 1:14; (Luke 3:19-20)

Mark 1:14 GodsWord
14 After John had been put in prison, Jesus went to Galilee and told people the Good News of God.

Not sure about you, but I would not have headed out on a preaching tour if a close relative had been thrown into jail, especially if he was a ministry partner. But that is what Jesus did. He did not let what happened to John stop Him from doing what He needed to do.

It seems so simple to say. I am sure that I could say that I would do it. But when it came right down to it, I am sure I would stay home and circle the gates and prepare for what would happen next.

I need to learn to be more like Jesus in my life. Do what God tells me to do, when God tells me to do it.

Read for tomorrow: Jesus withdraws from Judea; John 4:1-3


January 28, 2009

The life of Jesus. Read Today: Disciples ask John about Jesus; John 3:25-36

John 3:26-27 Common
26 And they came to John and said to him, "Rabbi, he who was with you beyond the Jordan, to whom you have testified—behold, he is baptizing, and all are going to him."
27 John answered, "A man can receive only what is given to him from heaven.

In our days of mega churches and competition amongst the churches to see who can get the biggest crowds, most saved, etc., it is nice to look back and see that it was not always that way. In the time of Jesus, you know a friendly rivalry could have existed between John and his disciples and Jesus and His disciples. They might have said, 'hey we have more baptisms than you do!' And the other would reply, 'yea, but ours really men it'.

But that did not happen. Sure, the disciples were upset. John was loosing followers to Jesus. So they come to him and try to get him to stop it. John responds, 'what God gives, He gives.'

You see, if it is God, you can rail all you want against the mega churches, but guess what? God is there in the first place and He is in control. And if He is not in it, they are preaching the Gospel. Either way, God wins.

We need to make sure to be like John, and not get in the way of what God is doing.

Read for tomorrow: Herod imprisons John the Baptist; Matthew 4:12; Mark 1:14; (Luke 3:19-20)

Friday, January 30, 2009

Road Trip

January 27, 2009

The life of Jesus. Read Today: Disciples baptize many in Judea; John 3:22-24

John 3:22 GodsWord
22 Later, Jesus and his disciples went to the Judean countryside, where he spent some time with them and baptized people.

Why did Jesus take His disciples and get out of Jerusalem? They left the big city, the capital of Judea to just get out into the countryside. From my own experience I have found that people who live in bigger cities have a more hardened exterior to God and faith then others do. That is not to say that they do not or never will get faith but that it is harder. It could be that for Jesus to make any headway, He was going to have to get out to where the common folk were. The people who had not been hardened by the life in the city. So Jesus takes His time after the big splash of His temple cleansing to just get with the people who were probably cheering Him on.

Another thought would be the need to disciple his followers. The city would offer many things to distract, but the country would not. In order for them to be taught, He needed to separate them away from distractions.

Is it time for you to get out in the country? Maybe you cannot get there physically, but you can take time to make sure the distractions of the world are not there.

Read for tomorrow: Disciples ask John about Jesus; John 3:25-36


January 26, 2009

The life of Jesus. Read Today: Nicodemus meets Jesus at night; John 3:1-21

John 3:2 BWE
2 One night Nicodemus came to Jesus. He said, ‘Master, we know you are a teacher sent by God. We know this because no person could do the big works you are doing if God did not help him.’

Why did Nicodemus come to Jesus at night?

Maybe it was because Jesus was busy all day, and this was the only time that they could meet.
Maybe it was because Nicodemus was busy all day, and this was the only time that they could meet.
Maybe, being of the rulers of the nation, he was afraid of the ridicule that would come from seeing Jesus in person.
Why he came is unknown. What is known is his name and he came by night.

Nicodemus means 'victorious among his people'. But Nicodemus was not victorious. He was in darkness. So he came to the light of the world. He received from Jesus the light that he would need to set him free. He had fears, that is for sure, but in the end he took on what his name meant, he followed Jesus.

God, help me to be 'victorious among my people'.

Read for tomorrow: Disciples baptize many in Judea; John 3:22-24

20 years later

January 25, 2009

The life of Jesus. Read Today: The 1st temple cleansing; John 2:13-25

In an earlier reading, we discovered Jesus was quoting scripture to the Jewish leaders when He was 12 years old, in Jerusalem, in the Temple. They remarked at how much wisdom that this child had. The next time our Bibles record Jesus going to Jerusalem, He again quotes scripture, but it is to the people around the courtyard He speaks.

John 2:14-16 ESV
14 In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers sitting there.
15 And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables.
16 And he told those who sold the pigeons, “Take these things away; do not make my Father's house a house of trade.”

What a difference that approximately 20 years make. When we last saw Him there he was the darling of the leaders. Now He comes, and with all the wisdom and strength He has, He clears the Temple of these crooks. Were they there when He was 12? Most likely they were. Jesus however is ready to start His ministry. He is not afraid to get the attention of people in a way that might be considered wrong. In fact they later ask Him why He has the authority to do this.

God, give us the wisdom to know they time to step out for you as Jesus did, and the strength to be able to do it.

Read for tomorrow: Nicodemus meets Jesus at night; John 3:1-21

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Whatever He says...

January 23, 2009

The life of Jesus. Read Today: The 1st miracle - turning water to wine; John 2:1-12

John 2:4-5 Etheridge
4 Jeshu saith to her, What (is it) to me and to thee, woman? Not yet hath come mine hour.
5 His mother saith to the servitors, Whatever he telleth you, do.

In study of these verses I found something interesting. We so often look at these verses as the King James says, Jesus looking at Mary and saying, "Woman! Why bother me, what is this to me?" But that is not what it appears. Etheridge seems to show us here that Jesus is telling her, this is not really our concern. That he need time before He is to show my divinity.

Mary is still rebuked, but it comes off much gentler. As for Mary, she looks at the servants and says, what ever He says, do it. He knows that Jesus is not one who will let innocent people be embarrassed. It might have even been Jesus and His entourage showing up that caused the wine not to last.

That is the faith I wish I had so often. That I could know that I could walk in the words of God and do what ever He says in my life. Mary was a woman of faith, wasn't she.

Read for tomorrow: The 1st temple cleansing; John 2:13-25

What's in a name?

January 23, 2009

The life of Jesus. Read Today: The 1st disciples; John 1:35-51

John 1:42 (The Message)

40-42Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, was one of the two who heard John's witness and followed Jesus. The first thing he did after finding where Jesus lived was find his own brother, Simon, telling him, "We've found the Messiah" (that is, "Christ"). He immediately led him to Jesus.

Jesus took one look up and said, "You're John's son, Simon? From now on your name is Cephas" (or Peter, which means "Rock").

It might have been interesting to live in the time of Jesus. He was not afraid of walking up to them and changing them. He has not changed either, it is just harder for us to do it because we cannot see him.

But I go off track. Here is Simon. He is the son of a person named John. His name is from the name of one of the sons of Israel. It means hear. That is not going to work for Jesus. No, he cannot have someone who just hears. He needs an anchor for His church that He knows will be coming. What is an anchor like, a rock. So Jesus looks at Simon and tells him you are no longer hear, you are a piece of the rock.

I sometimes think that as we became Christians, that we should take on a new name, to show the difference between what we were and what we are. I see there would be no benefit to it unless the name came from Jesus.But I sometimes wonder if Jesus could give me a name, what would it mean? What would yours be? What does it mean?

Read for tomorrow: The 1st miracle - turning water to wine; John 2:1-12

Eating Grasshoppers

January 22, 2009

The life of Jesus. Read Today: John recounts Christ's baptism; John 1:29-34

John 1:33-34 ESV
33 I myself did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’
34 And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God.”

Many have said in trying to denounce Jesus and His claim to being the son of God, that others never said He was. That claim, even if it were true, would not mean that Jesus was not the son of God, just that others never said it. But it is a false claim. John the Baptist had been told by God that the one you see have a dove land on Him, he is the Son of God.

I guess that one could argue that John and Jesus were cousins in this mortal earth, and that they could have planned this far in advance. I wonder though. Do you think that someone would live in the wilderness eating grasshoppers so that a lie could be told. Do you think that one would give his life by being beheaded so that this lie could continue.

I do not think so. It was the real thing and the things we see in John's life are things that we should see in out own. Do you have a habit that is a struggle. May it is time to deny your body and live like John did. No, do not go out in the desert and eat bugs! Deny your body want it wants so that you can move closer to God.

Read for tomorrow: The 1st disciples; John 1:35-51

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Me and John the Baptist

January 21, 2009

The life of Jesus. Read Today: John's testimony about Christ; John 1:19-28

Wouldn't it be great to be John the Baptist. I mean he told people about Jesus. He was the one that got the people ready.

John 1:23 CEV
(23) John answered in the words of the prophet Isaiah, "I am only someone shouting in the desert, 'Get the road ready for the Lord!' "

Yet he was humble. All he was, according to him, was someone crying out to prepare for the way of the Lord. But isn't that what you and I are to do as believers? Are we supposed to do as John did and tell others that Jesus is coming and to prepare for Him? The only difference is John preached the first coming and we preach the second. Go, tell others about Jesus and how he will be coming soon.Be a John the Baptist.

Read for tomorrow: John recounts Christ's baptism; John 1:29-34

Tempt or test

January 20, 2009

The life of Jesus. Read Today: Temptation of Christ Matthew 4:1 - 11; Mark 1:12 - 13; Luke 4:1 -13

Matthew 4:7 Murdock
7 Jesus said to him: It is moreover written, that thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.

Jesus quoted the Old Testament. The King James version and other versions says do not 'tempt' God. Then I hear preachers say the verses in Malachi that say to prove me or test me and see that I will not pour out the kingdom of Heaven for you. How can I test God but not tempt Him?

Testing God and tempting God is not the same thing. If I tell God that I want to have my needs met, I can stand on the Word that says He will supply all my needs. If I say I want God to meet my wants, then I do not have a verse to stand on. I am out in an area that I am tempting Him.

So now my question for myself and for you, do you tempt God or do you test him?

Read for tomorrow: John's testimony about Christ; John 1:19-28

Monday, January 19, 2009

The incredible egg

January 19, 2009

The life of Jesus. Read Today: John Baptizes Jesus Matthew 3:13 - 17; Mark 1:9 - 11; Luke 3:1 - 20

Mark 1:9-11 BWE
9 At that time Jesus came from the town of Nazareth in the country of Galilee. John baptised him in the Jordan River.
10 As soon as he came up out of the water, Jesus saw the sky open. He saw God’s Holy Spirit come down on him like a bird called a dove.
11 A voice from the sky said, ‘You are my dear Son. I am very pleased with you.’

Seems like a lot of people have tried in the past to deny the existence of three parts to one God. These verses are one of many verses that show there are three parts to one God, a doctrine of the church that is called the trinity. I am not one who relies on doctrines of the church because many of them are made up and some not even Biblical. I am like Rich Mullins says in his song Creed:

And I believe what I believe
Is what makes me what I am
I did not make it, no it is making me
It is the very truth of God and not
The invention of any man

In this case, the doctrine of the trinity to me is a core part of the Gospel. It is the truth. And these verses show that it is true. God speaks, saying He is please, and the Spirit descends as if He was a dove. There are three parts and they are one. Our pea sized brains sometimes have a tough time figuring out that concept. Since we have a hard time with faith, which should be all that is needed, I was able to teach my children that it is simple. Look at an egg. Can I break the egg into three parts, shell, yolk and white. Which one is the egg when I do it. Is the shell? No, and neither are the other two. God is God, we cannot deny that, but take away the Father, Son or Spirit and you do not have God.

Look at the doctrines of your life today? Do they stand up to the test of the Word?

Read for tomorrow: Temptation of Christ Matthew 4:1 - 11; Mark 1:12 - 13; Luke 4:1 -13


January 18, 2009

The life of Jesus. Read Today: Ministry of John the Baptist Matthew 3: 1 - 12 , Mark 1: 1 - 8, Luke 3: 1 -20

Luke 3:16-17 ESV
16 John answered them all, saying, “I baptize you with water, but he who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.
17 His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

Chaff is an interesting word. In our culture, where agriculture is not a big thing, we do not realize what it is, so let's define it. Wikipedia says:

Chaff (pronounced /tʃɑːf/ or /tʃæf/, depending on dialect – both to rhyme with "half") is the inedible, dry, scaly protective casings of the seeds of cereal grain, or similar fine, dry, scaly plant material such as scaly parts of flowers, or finely chopped straw. In agriculture chaff is used as livestock fodder, or is a waste material ploughed into the soil or burnt.

So what both Matthew and Luke say in their Gospels is that the people who are not doing what pleases God are like a useless item that deserves to be burned. John has basically said you are useful and will be gathered to God, or you are useless and will be burned forever in a fire that never goes out.

What are the requirements for useful and useless? Thankfully they are not mine to give. But they are clear in the Bible. Salvation is the one thing that seperates the two. Take time to talk to Jesus today and receive Him as your savior.

Read for tomorrow: John Baptizes Jesus Matthew 3:13 - 17; Mark 1:9 - 11; Luke 3:1 - 20

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Why go to church?

January 17, 2009

The life of Jesus. Read Today: Childhood of Jesus  Luke 2: 40 - 52

Luke 2:41-42 ESV
41 Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover.
42 And when he was twelve years old, they went up according to custom.

I always have found it interesting that people say that they do not need to go to church to worship God.  They can be alone with Him on a Sunday and not have to be with others.  They can be taught by God Himself.  If that is so, and I do not deny that it is possible, then why did Jesus go to church?

As a young boy, His parents took Him every year to Jerusalem to learn from the rabbi at the temple.  From today's readings we find that Jesus probably could have taught them better than they could Him, yet He submitted Himself to it.  So why did He do it?

Was it just the law?  The law was part of it I am sure.  Men had to go three times a year to Jerusalem, so the law does figure in, but Jesus was just a boy at this time.  I think that the fellowship had something to do with it. Jesus enjoyed not only the teaching but the learning that went in the gathering together of the people.

So, why do you go to church?  Or do you?

Read for tomorrow:   Ministry of John the Baptist  Matthew 3: 1 - 12 , Mark 1: 1 - 8, Luke 3: 1 -20 

Friday, January 16, 2009

From Egypt to Israel

January 16, 2009

The life of Jesus. Read Today: Joseph's Family settles in Nazareth Matthew 2: 19 - 23

Matthew 2:20 Weymouth
20 "Rise from sleep, and take the child and His mother, and go into the land of Israel, for those who were seeking the child's life are dead."

Jesus comes back from Egypt with Mary and Joseph. Egypt is the world, Israel is our faith. There are times when we will need to go to the world, but like Jesus, we are never to loose who we are. I am not saying the world here is the people that we witness to, I am saying that there is a time when we will need to stop doing the work of the ministry and take rest and relaxation. Jesus had to get away. He never lost the focus of things though. He and the family knew what he was destined for.

I have had a problem lately with not wanting to do the tasks that I knew that I need to do. I wanted to play games on the computer, but not the work that I had to do. There is a time and a place for that. In the end, you have to shake it off and get back to the tasks that you have to do.

Take time from ministry once in a while. Get refreshed, but do not get in the world. You may be in Egypt but Israel is calling.

Read for tomorrow: Childhood of Jesus Luke 2: 40 - 52

Relationship or Religion

January 15, 2009

The life of Jesus. Read Today: Herod's Wrath of Bethlehem's Children Matthew 2:16 - 18

Matthew 2:16 ISV
16 When Herod saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, he flew into a rage and ordered the execution of all the male children in Bethlehem and all its neighboring regions who were two years old and younger, according to the time that he had determined from the wise men.

As noted on January 13 reading, Herod had a lot of chances to believe in and follow Jesus, but chose not to. Now he feels that he has had the religion pulled out from under him. And to some degree he has. Religion is not a relationship with Jesus. It is a form and a way to do things that gives us comfort in the fact that it is the same way every time. The problem with religion is that life is not the same way every day. Things change in your life. Religion will not change but you will need to. Relationship will allow for that change. You can take time to talk to Jesus and see what needs to change in your life to fix things.

Like many who have 'religion', Herod got angry when things did not go the way he wanted. His was extreme though.

My question for you today, do you have religion or relationship?

Read for tomorrow: Joseph's Family settles in Nazareth Matthew 2: 19 - 23

Out of Darkness

January 14, 2009

The life of Jesus. Read Today: Joseph's Family escapes to Egypt Matthew 2: 13 - 15

Matthew 2:14 GodsWord
14 Joseph got up, took the child and his mother, and left for Egypt that night.

A lot of things happen by night in Jesus's life. Nicodemus would come to visit him at night. The last supper and the trial were at night also. But an almost throw away line appears in Matthew 2:14. Joseph took the child (Jesus) and his wife and left to Egypt. Unlike the Joseph who went to Egypt as a slave, this Joseph was leaving as a free man and carrying the promise the first Joseph was given. Jesus was leaving the land of light and journeying to the darkness so that he could return again.

Jesus is light to us today. We need to go through the darkness like he did so we can be called out of Egypt as well.

Read for tomorrow: Herod's Wrath of Bethlehem's Children Matthew 2:16 - 18

Fiding Jesus

January 13, 2009

The life of Jesus. Read Today: Wise men bring gifts Matthew 2:1 - 12

I listened to a sermon on a podcast a few weeks ago and the minister talked about this incident. Herod was given the title of King of the Jews so that he could bring the Jewish people into submission to Roman law. He was of the Jewish faith so this was to help him. God tried to tell Herod about the birth of Jesus but he would not listen. He could have seen the same star that the wise men saw as well as the announcement that the angels gave to the shepherds. When the wise men came they asked about this King, and Herod pulled all the 'church people together and had church to get the story right. The kicker comes with this.

Matthew 2:7-8 BBE
7 Then Herod sent for the wise men privately, and put questions to them about what time the star had been seen.
8 And he sent them to Beth-lehem and said, Go and make certain where the young child is; and when you have seen him, let me have news of it, so that I may come and give him worship.

So he was basically saying, 'hey, this Jesus sounds interesting. I am not ready to find Him just yet! Why don't you find Him and report back to me later. Human nature has not changed much in 2000 years. People still say that today. Of course Herod died. What will happen to you?

Read for tomorrow: Joseph's Family escapes to Egypt Matthew 2: 13 - 15

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Will all be saved?

January 12, 2009

The life of Jesus. Read Today: Jesus presented in the temple. Luke 2:22 - 38

Luke 2:34 ESV
34 And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed

We often in trying to convince people of the need for Jesus to be their savior what to say that Jesus died for every one. It is true. The thing about it is Simeon had it right. Not all were wanting to rise up with Jesus in that day. Jesus was destined to not only rise the people up but cause people to fall as well. It is not anything that He does. He has done what he has done. It is the truth that He presented in that day that caused people to fall. And it is the truth today that will cause some people to reject him as well.

Some think it is a big joke. On one of my jobs, a co-worker likes to pretend that he is Satan at a fast-food restaurant ordering up his meal of 'souls'. He does it n a deep growl voice like we think Satan might have. If you try to talk to him about it, it is just a joke to him, he has basically rejected God and has his own form of belief.

Know this, giving the Word to someone does not necessarily mean that they will receive salvation. Some will even reject it.

Read for tomorrow: Wise men bring gifts Matthew 2:1 - 12

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The law

January 11, 2009

The life of Jesus. Read Today: Circumcision of Jesus Luke 2:21

Luk 2:21 ESV
(21) And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

If Jesus was the son of God, why did He have to be circumcised. Simple reason, it was the law. Jesus did not come to remove the law, He came to fulfill it. In order for the law to be complete in Him, he had to live under the law and not break any of them.

This should be a good example for those of us today who think that some law, govermental or church, does not apply to them, that they are special. Jesus did not break the law, why do we think that we can?

Read for tomorrow: Jesus presented in the temple. Luke 2:22 - 38

Heart Pondering

January 10, 2009

The life of Jesus. Read Today: Shepherds visit Jesus Luke 2:8 - 20

Luk 2:19 ESV
(19) But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.

Someone once suggested that I should keep a journal of all the things that God does for me in my life. When I get down or depressed, then I need encouragement for facing a problem, then I should turn to that book and review it's contents and be renewed. I never did do it, procrastination seems to have me in its grip a little bit, but I have taken the time to reflect on things. It is a great aid on the nights that I can not sleep, or when I get concerned about my family members.

Mary did this also. I know she told God that He could let Jesus be born through her, but I am not fully convinced that she understood all the nuances of what was to happen. And now a son is born to her and a bunch of shepherds, the rejects of society, come and praise her son's birth. Maybe she thought kings should be there and not shepherds? Maybe she thought that no one should be there.

But she kept these things in her heart. And as she did, she got such faith in Jesus that she was able to tell some people 'what ever He says to you do it.' That is faith, and it comes from pondering on Him.

Read for tomorrow: Circumcision of Jesus Luke 2:21

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Room for Jesus?

January 9, 2009

The life of Jesus. Read Today: Birth of Jesus Luke 2:1 - 7

Luke 2:7 ESV
7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

There was no room for them in the inn. What a comparison to the current world. Only now there is no room for Him in people's hearts. Even those who are Christian's do not seem to have room for Him. Oh, yes, they say they love Him, even go to worship Him on Sunday, but do they talk to Him daily, read His word?

Worse, are you one of them?

Read for tomorrow: Shepherds visit Jesus Luke 2:8 - 20

Embarrass your wife?

January 8, 2009

The life of Jesus. Read Today: Angel visits Joseph in a dream Matthew 1:18 - 25

Matthew 1:19 GodsWord
19 Her husband Joseph was an honorable man and did not want to disgrace her publicly. So he decided to break the marriage agreement with her secretly.

Here is a woman that claims to be pregnant with God's child. Joseph did not have any sex with her so he knew it was not his. But Joseph was a good man. He did not want to embarrass his wife to be, but he felt that he could not marry one who had not been faithful to him. How many other woman in that era tried to claim the same thing?

Joseph did not want to embarrass her. Even in her unfaithfulness he loved her enough not to see her in pain.

Men, when your wife is not faithful to you, and not just in sex but in all the other ways that she does not respect you, do not embarrass her by talking about her. Use Joseph as your example.

Read for tomorrow: Birth of Jesus Luke 2:1 - 7

Thursday, January 8, 2009


January 7, 2009

The life of Jesus. Read Today: Birth of John the Baptist Luke 1:57 - 80

Luke 1:72 BWE
72 ‘He said he would be kind to our fathers. He said he would remember his agreement with them.

After John is born, Zechariah is questioned what they should name him as they did not believe Elizabeth. As he wrote out John for them, he could speak again. And when he could he spoke the word of God as inspired by the Holy Spirit.

Can you imagine the poor man, shut up in a world where he could not speak. He could write, but he was most likely not able to afford a lot of things to write with so he meditated and prayed silently while the nine months went by. In his quiet world, he considered all that the angel had told him.

Think about what would happen if you could take nine months and just contemplate on God. Zechariah knew when it was all done, that not only had God delivered him, but he most likely saw the whole plan unfold.

When you can not see the end from the beginning, take some time to reflect on what God has done for you.

Read for tomorrow: Angel visits Joseph in a dream Matthew 1:18 - 25

Holy is His name

January 6, 2009

The life of Jesus. Read Today: Mary visits Elizabeth, John’s mother Luke 1:39-56

Luke 1:49 LITV
49 For the Mighty One did great things to me, and holy is His name.

Mary goes to visit a reclusive Elizabeth. At her age, even though walking in faith, she would not want to do anything that would possibly harm the baby so she most likely went into seclusion. She most likely worried and wondered about no movement in the womb. The Mary visits and the Baby gives a whale of a kick when he senses the spirit of Jesus nearby.

And Mary reflects. A mighty one did this to me, not man. He is holy. What in your life has God done for you that you might possible think you had done in your power. Did a mighty, holy God do that. Maybe it might be time to reflect on that and give it all the praise for it back to God.

Read for tomorrow: Birth of John the Baptist Luke 1:57 - 80

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Impossible? - not in God's dictionary

January 5, 2009

The life of Jesus. Read Today: Gabriel visits Mary Luke 1:26-38

Luke 1:37 ESV
37 For nothing will be impossible with God.”

When it looks impossible, it is not. Life may deal you situations that you would rather run away from than deal with. In the end, stick it out. No matter what, nothing is impossible with God. Elizabeth bear a child in old age. This was to be a sign to Mary that she would cary the Messiah in her womb. If an old person can have a child, he can give a child supernaturally.

You may be facing a spouse or children that do not seem to want to work it out. You may be facing incredible economic problems. Know this, nothing is impossible with God.

Read for tomorrow: Mary visits Elizabeth, John’s mother Luke 1:39-56

Faith v. fear

January 4, 2008

The life of Jesus. Read Today: Gabriel announces John's Birth Luke 1:1-25

Luke 1:12 Webster
12 And when Zacharias saw [him], he was troubled, and fear fell upon him.

Our English is so imprecise at times. The Greek for troubled here means greatly agitated. Now I can be troubled that I did not get something right on my job, but that means that I just learn from it and go on. If I am deeply agitated, that means I think something serious has happened. Why was Zacharias so worried? All it was that appeared to him was an angel, right?

No angel had appeared in Israel for a long time, a few centuries in fact. And no prophets had come forth either. This meant something big was going to happen and he was in the middle of it. Now he could have just taken what was said and gone with it, but he was operating in the fear mode and that is never a good thing. In fact, the angel had to stop Zacharias from talking so that he would not ruin God's plan.

When the supernatural happens around you, do not operate in fear, operate in faith.

Read for tomorrow:

Mary visits Elizabeth, John’s mother Luke 1:39-56

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Plan B

January 3, 2009

The life of Jesus. Read Today: Genealogy of Jesus through Mary (Luke 3:23 - 28)

Luke 3:31 KJV
31 Which was the son of Melea, which was the son of Menan, which was the son of Mattatha, which was the son of Nathan, which was the son of David,

As we saw yesterday, the kingly line stopped at one point, with a curse. But David had more than one son, and a son of David was to sit on the throne forever. We can see that the bloodlines split here and that Nathan also carried David's blood. In other words, no matter how it happened, through Mary or Joseph, there was a son of David born. The blood lines never crossed till they got the Mary and Joseph.

God always has a plan B in effect, even for the birth of His Son.

Read for tomorrow: Gabriel announces John's Birth (Luke 1:1 - 25)

Friday, January 2, 2009

Missing people

January 2, 2008

The life of Jesus. Read Today: Genealogy of Jesus through Matthew. (Matthew 1:1 - 17)

My pastor recently spoke on this. What follows is a portion of the notes from the sermon. I think it is good to meditate on what he said.

Matthew 1:11 KJV
11 And Josias begat Jechonias and his brethren, about the time they were carried away to Babylon:

There were three sons ignored here. The uncles of Jechonias. They were the three Kings of Judah at the time of the captivity. Jechonias was called Jehoiachin and Coniah, the later being the one used most in the Old Testement. At this point the genealogy listing. Coniah was a believer but did not know the strength of God. He went to Egypt for help. That is when the curse came in:

Jeremiah 22:28 KJV
28 Is this man Coniah a despised broken idol? is he a vessel wherein is no pleasure? wherefore are they cast out, he and his seed, and are cast into a land which they know not?

The word vessel shows he is a believer, but one that God finds no pleasure.

Jeremiah 22:29-30 KJV
29 O earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the LORD.
30 Thus saith the LORD, Write ye this man childless, a man that shall not prosper in his days: for no man of his seed shall prosper, sitting upon the throne of David, and ruling any more in Judah.

The line was cut off here by the curse, they would no longer prosper when they sat on the throne. How could God keep the promise. Well the Luke genealogy shows us through the line of Nathan. This was another line of David. The lines never crossed.

Pastor Yandian basically focused on the fact that people were skipped in the genealogy. They were the people that did not believe that the Messiah was to be born. They are not mentioned. And when King Jehoiachin was cursed, it caused a need for another line to follow for the King of Kings to come from the line of David. We will see that in tomorrow's readings.

Read for tomorrow: Genealogy of Jesus through Luke (Luke 3:23 - 28)

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Grace and truth

January 1, 2009

With the start of a new year, a new Bible reading plan, let's go through the life of Jesus.

Today read: John 1:1-18 (Pre-existence of Christ)

John 1:16-17 WEB
From his fullness we all received grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses. Grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.

One thing we know from God, we cannot follow the law and gain forgiveness. Actually we can, but we will find ourselves right back where we started. I will give you an example. Suppose Jesus had not come yet. I would be required to take my sacrifice to my pastor and he would do what he had to do under the law. This would be the only way to get forgiven and get right with God. So after the sacrifice I go outside and a guy comes up with a shinny new car. I want it, or in the Old Testament words, I covert it. Time for me to just turn around and go back in to do another sacrifice.

But every sacrifice done was to point to one thing, Jesus. From His death we received grace and would not need to sacrifice again.

Laws can never save us, Jesus Christ can.

Tomorrow read: Matthew 1:1-17 (Genealogy of Jesus through Joseph)

How to find happiness

December 31, 2008

Revelation 22:7 WTNT
(7) Behold I come shortly. Happy is he that keepeth the saying of the prophecy of this book.

Want to be happy?
Follow the words of the Bible. Too simple, right? No, it is not. While in this life there may be problems, trust me, there will not be in the afterlife. Think about where you will spend your time after you die. Now make that decision on how to get there.

This concludes the read through the Bible historically. I am still thinking things out on the next year plan. I think I will let God bring it to me as we go. My thoughts are to start this year by doing a synoptic look at the Gospels.

To give you a report of where we are:
The mailing list has 27 members. That is up from 9 at the start of the year. All new members are moderated till there first post. This is done to prevent spammers from joining to dump spam. I do encourage feedback if you are so inclined.
The Blog has 2,980 hits as of this moment. The biggest hit was the day of the Superbowl last year when just coincidentally I had done a Superbowl devotional and people were using Google to find one.
We have added two new ways to get devotional, Facebook and YouVersion since the first of the year.

Sadly, this year I have been behind many times. I took on a third job this summer and often got behind. I got a week behind when I got sick and then a week later dropped a pallet on my foot at job #3. I will try to keep everything up to date this year.

That's all for now. Have a great new year.