December 18th

Revelation 7-9

  • 7:1-8 – The angels assure that the faithful people of the earth are protected before the destruction begins.
  • 7:13-17 – Here a series of people who have sinned, repented, and been forgiven are welcomed in to praise God.
  • 8:7-12 – The wrath of God is unleashed after the seventh seal is broken. As the angels blow their trumpets God’s wrath is unleashed in stages.
  • 8:13 – The eagle warns that the wrath is about to increase.
  • 9:1-6 – Well, this sounds pretty awful. Like during the first Passover, it was important to have the sign of God in order to avoid punishment. All those who God has not sealed got the locusts.
  • 9:20-21 – It’s important to remember that people are given chance after chance to repent and turn towards God, but they continually choose not to.

December 17th

Revelation 4-6

  • 4:5 – The number seven is used as a symbol of completion. The seven torches represent that the fullness of God was present.
  • 4:8-11 – This section shows that eternity will be filled with God’s praises.
  • 5:1-5 – Jesus is the fulfillment of so many things people were waiting on. He is the only one who is the Messiah they had waited on and he was the only one able to break the seals on the scroll.
  • 5:6-14 – The creatures, angels, and elders all confirm and celebrate the recognition of the Messiah.
  • 6:1-17 – Six of the seven seals are broken by the lamb. As each seal is broken, more of God’s wrath is released onto the earth. This is a part of the final judgment against evil and wickedness.

December 16th

Revelation 1-3

  • 1:1-11 – This section is used to confirm that John received a revelation in a dream from God that was intended to be given to seven churches. This is a vision of the end times.
  • 1:12-20 – The number seven is prominent throughout the book of Revelation because it represents completion.
  • 2:1-7 – Here there is a word for the church at Ephesus. They are commended for their original faithfulness, but have apparently strayed recently. This is a call to return to their original faithfulness and warning of what will happen if they don’t.
  • 2:8-11 – Here the church of Smyrna is warned of upcoming trials they will face.
  • 2:12-17 – Here it sounds like the church of Pergamum has some issues to work out. They too are given an opportunity to repent and return to God before destruction befalls them.
  • 2:20-23 – Some of the church of Thyatira had begun to engage in sins such as adultery and eating foods offered to idols.
  • 2:24-29 – The vision makes for an allotment for people in the church who had not yet fallen into deep sin. There seems to be great hope for these folks.
  • 3:1-6 – It is clear that God will not condemn whole people groups when there are still faithful people in the midst. Instead he is separating the faithful from the unfaithful while still giving the unfaithful opportunities to repent.
  • 3:7-13 – The letter to the church at Philadelphia is a positive one because they have remained faithful.
  • 3:14-22 – This may be the harshest indictment on any of the churches addressed. Laodicea’s church is lukewarm, which is viewed more negatively than even being cold towards God. They basically are choosing not to choose. This does not please God.

December 15th

Jude

  • 5-7 – Jesus came to save us all, but if we deny opportunities for salvation, our alternative is punishment.
  • 17-23 – Clearly the recipients of the book of Jude were surrounded by unfaithful people, but this letter is intended to encourage them to remain faithful.

December 14th

2 John, 3 John

  • 2 John: 1- The “elect lady” is most likely referring to the church.
  • 2 John: 5-6 – The author reminds the church that they have received God’s commandments and can show their love for God by following those commands.
  • 3 John: 5-8 – This section is encouraging all churches who followed John to accept and be open to traveling pastors and evangelists so they can all work within the same cause.
  • 3 John: 11 – The author has already explained what to do and then given an example of what not to do. This simply sums up that we should imitate the former.

December 13th

1 John 3-5

  • 3:1-3 – It’s pretty incredible to think of ourselves as children of God. We have been adopted into his family because he loves us and wants us.
  • 3:3 – “Little children” is how God is referring to us, his children. Not necessarily to children as defined by age
  • 3:16-18 – Jesus didn’t just talk about loving us, he showed us by dying for us on the cross. If we simply say we love our neighbors, our words are worthless. We must show it with our actions.
  • 3:19-24 – Salvation through grace does not exempt us from following God with our lives. We are still to follow his commands and live according to his will – actually even more so because of the gift of salvation.
  • 4:1-6 – This section encourages us to use discernment in who we trust and listen to. It also explains the difference and reminds us that the Spirit of God is greater than the spirits of the world.
  • 4:7-12 – The love we have for one another is love from God. God loved us first which then shows us how to love others.
  • 4:18 – This is how we can decipher what is true love – it does not operate on fear.
  • 5:3 – This is powerful because often we feel that if we obey God our lives will be boring and lifeless, but this reminds us that following God’s commands is actually beneficial and freeing for us.
  • 5:13-15 – When we believe in Christ, we receive eternal life. We also have a connection with him so that he hears our prayers.
  • 5:18 – When we accept Christ we are to be transformed, which means we change and leave behind sins and walk towards righteousness. This, of course, is a process.

 

December 12th

1 John 1-2

  • 2:1-6 – In order to say we follow Christ, we actually have to do the things he did. It’s ridiculous to say that we’re believers and not live as he taught us to.
  • 2:8-11 – This is convicting. If we hate our brothers and sisters (biological, spiritual, etc.) we can’t claim to be faithful. Darkness is sin and the light is walking with Christ.
  • 2:15-17 – Loving the world means putting those things first and, in essence, worshipping them. We worship things when our thoughts, time, energy and resources go towards those things.

December 11th

2 Peter

  • 1:3-11— Instructions and encouragement for faithful living. Note that Peter takes about participating in the divine nature (vs. 4). This means “to be made more like Christ”
  • 2:1-3— False prophets are not just an ancient phenomenon that we no longer need to worry about- there are still false prophets today, and we still need to be wary of them.
  • Chapter 3— This entire chapter is about Jesus coming for the second time- read it carefully, it has a lot to teach us about the Second Coming and about why we as Christians can have hope even in the bleakest situations.

December 10th

1 Peter 3-5

  • 3:1-2 – Our kindness and goodness can often draw others to Christ.
  • 3:3-6 – Outward beauty is fleeting, but inward beauty will always be beneficial.
  • 3:13-15 – The way we live our lives is a big part of our witness. We must live righteously so people don’t have anything to question, but if they do anyway, we must be ready to share the gospel.
  • 4:1-6 – As believers, we are called to live like Christ and leave behind our old ways.
  • 4:8 – Ain’t that the truth?
  • 4:10-11 – This is a great way of looking at our gifts – that they should be used to bless others. Often, we use our gifts for our own betterment or enjoyment.
  • 4:12-19 – We are told to relish our sufferings if they are received due to faithfulness. Not all suffering is because we’ve been faithful.
  • 5:6-11 – We are encouraged to always be ready for a time when Christ can raise us up. We must be watchful, however, for stumbling blocks along the way.

December 9th

1 Peter 1-2

  • 1:1-2— Peter is writing to house-churches scattered throughout the Roman empire- the language he uses here is intentionally comparing their lives to those of people who have been exiled from their homeland and live among strangers.
  • 1:13-15—These verses are antithetical to modern American culture and modern Western Christianity. We prefer to reject discipline and assume that since nobody is perfect, we don’t need to worry about being perfect either. Peter says otherwise- God’s people are supposed disciplined and should always be striving for holiness and perfection.
  • 2:9—This isn’t saying that God has chosen specific people to be Christians- instead, this is a reference to the covenant God made with the Israel in the Old Testament. Peter is stating that the old covenant now includes non-Jews