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Bible Study

December 16, 2018

What I read today

We stand before God with nothing.  Our inability to follow God’s command is a lifelong problem.  We can’t measure up to his holy standards.

Zechariah 3 talks about the nation standing before the Angel of the Lord dressed in rags.  But instead of rejecting the people, the Angel of the Lord orders the nation to be covered in new clothes.  And then he promises in one day to wipe away all the sin and guilt of the people.

The day the Branch of God comes to earth.  The day that Jesus came to the planet and lived his life for each one of us.  That’s the day that we were given grace and mercy to live with Jesus in spite of our being totally unworthy.

So today stand in awe and celebrate the fact that Jesus Christ has given you new clothes to wear in heaven.  Clothes that won’t wear out ever!

Bible Study

December 15, 2018

What I read today:

Nehemiah 13; Job 39; Zechariah 2; Acts 23; Revelation 7

When you hear people talk about the hope of Heaven what do you think they mean?

I think Heaven will be exactly what is described in Revelation 7 vs. 13-17:

After this I looked, and there was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, robed in white, with palm branches in their hands. 10 They cried out in a loud voice, saying,  “Salvation belongs to our God who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb!” 11 And all the angels stood around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 singing, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”

Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, robed in white, and where have they come from?”  I said to him, “Sir, you are the one that knows.” Then he said to me, “These are they who have come out of the great ordeal; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. For this reason they are before the throne of God,  and worship him day and night within his temple, and the one who is seated on the throne will shelter them.  They will hunger no more, and thirst no more; the sun will not strike them, nor any scorching heat;  for the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of the water of life, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”  NRSV

Bible Study

December 14, 2018

What I read today:

Habakkuk 13; Job 38; Zechariah 1; Acts 22; Revelation 6

The temple and city of Jerusalem are being rebuilt.  At that time, God sends a message to the Jewish nation.  Zechariah tells the nation to repent, and he gives them a promise that if they will return to God, that God will return to them.

Even though the Jewish nation had turned away from God and been exiled and scattered, God still put his hand out to them.  Even when it seemed that God had utterly abandoned his people, his love for them never ceased.

It’s the same for you and me.  No matter how far we have fallen God is standing there with his hands extended towards you and me.  God still wants a relationship with you and me, and he still extends the hope for all mankind, no matter how far away they’ve fallen, to return to the loving arms of a savior who died for them.

Bible Study

December 13, 2018

What I read today:

Nehemiah 11; Job 37; Haggai 2; Acts 21; Revelation 5

Most of us have taken long trips before.  Maybe it was for work or possibly for a vacation.

You usually plan out your trip, you pick the hotels you’re going to stay at and finally what you are going to do at each destination.  What would you do if, at your first stop you found out that people were waiting to arrest you?  Would you continue on the trip or turn back?

Then you find out that, by heading out and finishing this trip you would have an opportunity to help more people by being arrested than if you did not complete the journey, now what would you do?

But then you are told that not only do they want to arrest you they actually want to kill you?  What do you do now?

In Acts 21 Paul chooses to keep going.  He knows that God is preparing him for one of the most challenging missions of his life.  But he also knows that his example of courage and his determination to continue reaching out to the world with the message of Jesus Saving grace is more important than his personal comfort.

Yes, Paul is concerned.  I would believe he’s more than a little frightened.  When the mob comes after him, I’m sure he was filled with terror.  But God wasn’t through with Paul yet. God wasn’t done with his missionary journeys.  He wasn’t done having him preach to many.  In the end, Paul’s life would be an example of redemption that would help to change history.

 

Bible Study

December 12, 2018

What I read today

Nehemiah 10; Job 36; Haggai 1; Acts 20; Revelation 4

Haggai chapter 1 vs. 5-6 says, “Now therefore thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider how you have fared.  You have sown much, and harvested little; you eat, but you never have enough; you drink, but you never have your fill; you clothe yourselves, but no one is warm; and you that earn wages earn wages to put them into a bag with holes.”

Pretty much sums up who we are nowadays, don’t you think?

Our society seems to be on a never-ending search for the great it.  We say things like:

  • If I only had a little more money
  • If I only had a bigger house
  • If I only had a better job
  • If I only had that new car
  • If I only had that new phone
  • And on, and on it goes

We’re on a continual search for satisfaction from things that can never satisfy.  We were made for a relationship with God.  When we don’t have that relationship with God, we try and fill the emptiness in our souls with things.  We’re restless wanderers on a continual search for satisfaction.  A search we never seem to find.

Fill that search with Jesus and his love this Christmas.  Spend time with the one who created us and saved us.  Let Jesus fill that emptiness and aching in our hearts.

Bible Study

December 11, 2018

What I read today:

Nehemiah 9; Job 35; Zephaniah 3; Acts 19; Revelation 3

Revelation 3 vs. 20 says, “Listen! I am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come into you and eat with you, and you with me.”

Some wonder why Jesus is taking so long to return.  There are those who say that Jesus return is strictly a myth and an ancient farce.  But the Bible says that Jesus is patiently waiting for as many people as possible to finally open the doors of their hardened hearts and become followers of Jesus himself.

In the world we live in the only hope is for Jesus to change hearts and minds.

Bible Study

December 10, 2018

What I read today

Nehemiah 8; Job 34; Zephaniah 2; Acts 18; Revelation 2

We have built gorgeous buildings throughout the Christian community.  We have Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, we have the Dom in Cologn, there’s St Patrick’s Cathedral in New York and who can forget Westminster Abbey in England.

The temple in Jerusalem was rebuilt now.  But Nehemiah and Ezra new that a building like this was just brick, mortar, and wood.

It was the word of God that made it special.  It was the word of God that gave it purpose.  Our churches may be beautiful on the outside, but if they don’t have the word of God, then they are nothing more than empty tombs.

In the early church, the common thing that bound the churches together was the letters of the apostles, the old testament scriptures, the holy spirit and Jesus himself.  No gigantic building projects.  Only the scriptures and worship of the savior who came to free us from our sins.

Building programs are not a bad thing.  But for a revival to take place the word of God must be front and center.