Click Here For Daily Reading Schedule

Click Here For Daily Reading Schedule

If you are just now joining us as we read through the Bible in a year please don’t get discouraged in trying to catch up.   just jump in at the current date.  The schedule is linked above and, I believe, the link has an optional audio version also.  Stay in the Word; God will surely bless your life!

March 31st Genesis 16-18

Good morning!  I need to apologize for the lack of posts this past week.  I was working with a church plant in South West Michigan and did not have access to a computer. In today’s chapters we can see how the mistakes of Sarah and Abraham effect some of today’s current events.

Due to the lack of belief on Sarah’s part and Abraham bending to her will, Abraham had a son with Hagar, Sarah’s handmaid, to gain an heir.  Although extremely odd to us, it was a common practice as we will see later in the life of Jacob.  Hagar conceived and had a son named Ishmael who became a great nation of people.  The descendants of Ishmael are today’s Arab nations which have been a thorn in Israel’s side for years.  Among the Arab nations (just to name a few) are Egypt, Iraq and Jordan.  These countries have been in constant fighting with Israel even to this day.  

Often times, when we get ahead of God’s will and His timing, our choices are catastrophic! We may not see the results of these decisions immediately, but in time, disobedience always will cost us.  God’s perfect planning is something that is not to be tampered with. Scripture tells us in Proverbs that : “there is a way that seems right unto man; but in the end it leads to death.”  We can remember when Peter tried to stop Jesus from going to be crucified and Jesus told Peter that Satan was trying to “sift him as wheat.” Then again later when Peter rose up and struck the servant of the high priest taking off his ear and Jesus had to stop him and actually put the man’s ear back on. Later the disciples, due to the lack of Judas Iscariot, cast lots to chose another disciple, but I believe that God had a different plan all along.  Matthias, the one chosen to replace Judas, was never again mentioned in biblical history, or in extra-biblical history (other than rumors).  But God, on the road to Damascus chose a man named Saul of Tarsus, whom we all owe our knowledge of the Gospel to.  It is so important to allow God to daily guide each step and not get ahead of Him.

I sure hope God is blessing your time with Him each day.

 

Tuesday March 25th Job chapters 29-31

“Oh, that the almighty would answer me, that my prosecutor has written a book!  Surely I would carry it on my shoulder, and bind it on me like a crown; I would declare to Him the number of my steps; Like a prince I would approach Him.” (Job 31:35b-37)

As we look at Jobs discourse in these chapters, I imagine that you would join me in saying that Job’s righteousness was in far better order than my own.  From a fleshly stand point, Job seems to be a pretty upright kind of guy.  But he is speaking of things that he doesn’t know.  He wants to take his plea before the almighty and show his righteousness.  He is so confident of his good works that he would “carry it on his shoulder”  and he would “wear it like a crown.”  This train of thought is very dangerous.  Standing in front of a judge is the best way to describe Job’s words in these verses; but this is not just a judge, it is Almighty God.  Job, unlike us, did not have the entire written word.  In later years Revelation chapter 20 would be written explaining the very courtroom that Job is longing for; only it will work out quite differently for those who trust in their good works to allow them to stand in His presence.  According to Revelation chapter 20 (I do hope that you will read it today) all that stand before God will be damned.  God will give an opportunity for all to plead their case, but every single one who pleads their case will be cast into the lake of fire.  The scene is the Great White Throne and the Word says “and anyone who was not found written in the Lambs book of life was cast into the lake of fire..”  The only righteousness that can be claimed that day will be the righteousness of Christ that atones for sin.  Romans 3:10 states (and by the way quotes the phrase from the psalms) “There is none righteous, no not one.” 

Sadly, there are many people, even in our pews, who are relying on their own works to gain them entrance into the kingdom and they, just like Job, are sadly mistaken.  This is why Jesus warns us about those who will come to Him “in that day” bragging on their spiritual duties, even the casting out of demons, and Jesus will say “Depart from Me for I never knew you.”  Not that these folks have “dropped the ball” but that they never possessed the ball!  These folks have never been broken over their own personal sin, they have not come to repentance before God, they have never begged for a savior to cover their unrighteousness because they didn’t know they were unrighteous. 

This morning, no matter who you are: If you have not had a life changing experience in Jesus Christ; after realizing that you could not make the cut, and have not, with a broken spirit repented your sin. You will be numbered with the myriads of people who will be devastated on that day.  Standing, like Job in these chapters, trying to explain how you are at par with God and realizing for the first time how far we fall short of Him.  No looking back, no “re-do’s” no hope.  I beg you today to do as the scripture states “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”  My friends, if this is you, would you consider putting on the righteousness of Christ?  Would you consider bringing the sin out of the closet and confessing it to Him?  Would you consider giving your life to Him?

 

Monday March 24th Job chapters 24-28

“How then can a man be righteous before God? Or how can he be pure who is born of a woman?” (Job 25:4)

There is an old saying that says:  “Better for one to sit quietly and people to think he is a fool, then to open ones mouth and remove all doubt.”  This seems to be the ongoing scenario with the friends of Job.  With friends like these who needs enemies!  But in chapter 25 we see that Bildad is finally shining some wisdom in his words (but notice wisdom came in his shortest rebuttal). Job, is correctly, pointing out the injustice of the wicked prevailing in this life.  Job is going through the same turmoil that we Habakkuk writing about some years later; and the question that probably plagues us all.  When these questions come to my mind, often with a bit of angst, I remember this simple phrase that my father often has said as I was growing up when he found himself in similar circumstances: “It’s OK, I will be ahead in the end.”  So simple yet so profound; don’t you agree?  This “vapor” of a life, as James puts it, is such a small speck of time in view of eternity. When viewed in this light it should cause us to feel sorrow for those who get ahead by dishonest gain because there is an eternity of suffering to follow if one does not repent.  But this subject is really not the centerpiece of what is happening in these chapters.

Job, is finding his own righteousness by comparing it to those around him.  If I were to go to the gym at 5:00 AM and see the people there who are dedicated to their work out routine, I see people in tip top shape and when I gaze in a mirror I become horrified at what I see!  But if I were to go a weight watcher’s meeting and peer in the window, I may feel pretty good about myself.  Job, along with most of us, can look at the world around us and feel pretty good about ourselves; but we need to set ourselves to the standard that God has set up.  This standard is perfection and was reflected in His Son Jesus Christ. When we look to Him, especially in His Word, we see how far we fall short.  Bildad was, I believe, bringing this fact into life as he spoke with Job.  When we as believers are not “attached to the vine..” as Jesus commanded us to be, we get a tainted and very dangerous, view of our righteousness.  Although Job, in our standards, was a very righteous man; he is so far removed from the righteousness of God that there is really no comparison. 

This verse is also another plea for the Savior.  “How can a man be righteous before God?..” Without Christ my friends, it is impossible.  I love that in every book of the Bible we see the words that continually point us to the Savior!

Friday March 21st Job chapters 14-16

Good morning!  Thank you for being faithful in your daily time with God in His Word.  The book of Job, in my opinion, is the hardest of all of scripture to follow.  Job is one of the poetry writings of the Old Testament which makes it a little tricky to figure out at times; so hang in there especially if you are like me and not a huge fan of poetry, much less ancient poetry.  Job does indeed have a message for us or God would not have given it to us.

“Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? No one!”  (Job 14:4)

“Oh, that one man might plead for a man with God, As a man pleads for his neighbor” (Job 16:21)

We see again in today’s chapters the plea for a desperately needed savior.  Before we look at these verses I would like to bring something to your attention:  Although we do not have Job’s entire life story before his calamity we do see that Job, due to his circumstances, realizes his desperate need for a savior.  Sometimes in life (also in the life of the nation of Israel) it takes disaster to bring us to the point to realize how much we need him.  Sadly, it is in our fallen nature to forget that He is the one that gives life, peace and salvation.  Often in times it takes complete brokenness in life before we look to Him as the one who sustains. 

In chapter fourteen Job contemplates the impossibility to make one clean who is unclean.  Not just unclean on the outside, but on the inside.  Looking at true uncleanliness we see that it is a heart matter; it is better to be viewed as something that is rotten.  One may clean up a piece of rotten meat, but who can cause the rotten to become un-rotten?   Another cry for a savior from our old friend Job.  When we realize the depths of our sin, the true believer, comes to the realization that there is no cure for the rotten heart other than in Christ Jesus our redeemer; the one who washes from the inside out.  

Job goes on to state, in chapter sixteen verse twenty-one: If there was only a man who could plead my case before God.  Job is calling for a mediator knowing that he could not contend with the all powerful God.  I Timothy 2:5 states: “There is one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus.”  Jesus, at the tearing of the veil in the temple became our high priest and our mediator.  His atonement for sin allows us to “approach the throne boldly.”  Life in Christ allows even more than a middle man, and the scripture tells us that it much farther reaching than that: “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us that we should be called the sons of God.” 

We see in Job’s life story a much needed reminder, this reminder is in the form of a question:  What would we do without Jesus Christ?

Thursday March 20th Job chapters 10-13

“Do you have eyes of flesh? Or do You see as a man sees?” (Job 10:4)

Is God out of touch with our reality?  As we look at our government leaders today one has to question “does this guy (or these people) even understand what the common person deals with daily?”  Many of our congressmen, senators and even our president at this point are career politicians.  You could say that they are out of touch with reality.  Legislation is often passed with clauses in them that the bill that has been signed into law does not effect the congress.  It is baffling, for example, that we are required to pay our Social Security tax and be lumped in with the rest of the nation without a choice while our representatives can opt out and set up their own retirement with out contributing a dime.  Some career politicians haven’t driven a vehicle in years due to staff drivers while some consistently bring legislation and regulation trying to limit our “carbon foot print.”  And at the same time  push their carbon agenda and fly personal jets all over the country!  Who knows how many years/ miles it would take a common person’s vehicle to produce as much carbon into the air as one cross continent flight?  There is a free barber shop located in the house of representatives along with a gas pump that is free of charge.  The GSA has thrown multi-million dollar conferences while some of those paying for these expenses cannot afford to put food on the table.  Not only can we see true apathy in some of these individuals, but we also see people who “just don’t get it” even if they wanted to grasp the plight of the common man; it is out of their reach and their understanding.

Job, in the above verse, is wondering the same thing about God.  Job is questioning “does God even come close to understanding my plight?”  This verse stands out once again as a plea for a Savior; a Savior that “gets it.”  Job wonders if God is the absentee land lord.  Although God is omniscient; He has shown us that He can, and does, empathize with us.  He came in the form of Jesus Christ and felt all that we feel, not from a distance as one scratching his head, but as one who can feel our pain.  He came as one who agonized over the conditions of man, one who wept over sin in John chapter 11, one who was burdened with what He had to do at Calvary, one who was concerned for the well being of His family when He said “John behold your mother…:” while on the cross, one who wept over Jerusalem and wanted to place His people “under His wings” as a hen would her young.  We serve a God who can empathize with us as we dwell in a world that is tainted with sin.  Don’t we serve an awesome God!   

Tuesday March 18th Job chapters 1-5

Good morning!  My apologies for not blogging these past few days.  I am typing quickly before the HVAC men kick me out of my office so they can install heat.  That being said; We will be back in order tomorrow.  I pray that we can take the first step together in following in Nehemiah’s foot steps to “Re-build the Walls.”  Our first wall to re-build is the wall around our hearts guarding our worship time in His Word.  

Although I only have a minute I want to quickly mention something from our last few days of reading.  Please notice the phrase in Genesis “after it’s kind.”  College professors are telling our students that creation and evolution mix and that God authored evolution as the means by which to create our world.  The phrase mentioned above excludes this possibility.  There is also the phrase “and the morning and the evening were the first (or second and more) day.” These phrases show us that nothing evolved because He created it: ”  After its own kind”  and that it was a literal 24 hour day because: “and the morning and the evening were the first day”  mentioned in Genesis chapter one.  These may seem trivial to some folks but the root is evil.  Just as in Genesis chapter three where Satan tempted Eve by leading her to doubt God’s Word “Did God really say…” Satan is also leading us to doubt God’s Word.  We have a choice to make, especially our students:  Did God really mean: “morning and evening” or “after its kind..” This, perhaps almost unconscious, decision in the beginning of God’s Word sets the standard of what one will choose to believe out of the Word in its entirety.

I remember the key chain that my mom had as I was a child that had this phrase printed on it: “God said it, I believe it, that settles it!”