October 7 – Daily Notes – Amanda

find differences

There are all kinds of ways we attempt to separate ourselves from others we disagree with or don’t approve of. This is nothing new. In today’s Colossians reading Paul lists a number of identifiers the Colossians had used to separate worthy from unworthy, good from bad. Paul reminds them that knowing and following Christ trumps all of these delineations.

Jeremiah 8:8-9:26:

  • 8-22 – The Israelites are feeling the consequences of their sin and unfaithfulness. They’re wondering if there is any remedy as they realize God is far from them at this point.
  • 1-6 – Jeremiah is grieved because of the sins of his people. He mourns because of their disconnection from God.
  • 7-11 – God’s response does not give much comfort.
  • 12-22 – The Israelites are called to mourn over their unfaithfulness.
  • 23-26 – God makes it very clear what he’s looking for. He lets the people know that they are not just to be circumcised in body, but also in heart. He is looking for faithful followers.

Colossians 3:1-17:

  • 1-10 – Paul lays out the differences between what the Colossians should focus on versus what is meaningless. They should focus on the things of God and walk away from sinful nature.
  • 11 – Commitment to Christ trumps any other delineation.
  • 12-17 – Beautiful verses! Definitely ones to memorize. Similar to the Fruit of the Spirit in Galatians, against these good things, there is no law.

Psalm 78:32-55:

  • This portion of the psalm recounts that the Israelites were not faithful despite the many reasons they should have been. It then recounts many of the reasons.

Proverbs 24:27:

  • Many of the proverbs remind us to be diligent, to plan, and not to act rashly. This one follows a similar theme. Plan and prepare first, then act.

September 3 – Daily Notes – Amanda

seesaw

Have you ever been on a seesaw when the weight distribution on either end is way off? One person ends up doing all the work. It’s not the other person’s fault. They just physically can’t get down to the ground. This is a crude analogy of what Paul’s talking about when he encourages believers not to marry nonbelievers. They are simply not equally matched when it comes to their spiritual lives.

Ecclesiastes 4:1-6:12:

  • 9-12 – These verses are key in helping us understand the importance of friendship and being in relationship in general. We are designed to lean on others and have them lean on us as well.
  • 13 – The things that we value, wealth and power, are not always the things that benefit us most.
  • 1-3 – These verses encourage us to enter God’s presence with reverence and awe. We are to listen for God first instead of assuming we know what he wants and how we should act.
  • 4-7 – It is better not to tell God we’re going to do something and not do it than to never promise anything at all. This is similar to the parable Jesus tells in Matthew 21.
  • 1-6 – Possessions truly don’t matter. Most of the time, when we have lots of things, we’re worried about maintaining possession of those things and often don’t enjoy them. This is a waste of life.

2 Corinthians 6:14-7:7:

  • 14-18 – These verses are often used when explaining why believers should not marry nonbelievers. Similar arguments could be made for going into business with nonbelievers. Believers cannot expect nonbelievers to have the same priorities, beliefs, and understandings as them. As believers we are called to be transformed and to put Christ first. This effects every aspect of life.
  • 5-7 – Paul’s unquenchable joy is so apparent here. He explains to the Corinthians the difficulties he has faced, but continues to rejoice in hearing of other believers joining in the battle with him.

Psalm 47:1-9:

  • Our God is worthy of our praise. We should sing to him and honor him with song.

Proverbs 22:16:

  • God does not take kindly to the powerful oppressing the weak in any circumstance. He calls us to care for the poor, the widow, the orphan, the child, and the one who is new to the faith.

What to Expect – Week 21

Phil Collins’ “Against All Odds” should be David’s theme song. He was the 8th son, Saul tried to kill him multiple times, and this week, we’ll read about Saul’s death, which should have meant David’s reign would start without a hitch. But it didn’t. Ish-bosheth, Saul’s only remaining son, causes a serious disruption, which almost leads to an early split of Israel.

It makes you wonder, what trials and difficulties you would face to fulfill what God had called you to?

Then, in our reading in John, we find one of Jesus’ most bold yet simple statements. In 14:6, Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” This is a statement that has been white-washed, sanitized, and shape-shifted in our culture until it has no meaning. For some reason, it has even become offensive. But why? It is not as if it is secretive. It’s not even exclusive. Instead, it is a clear if/then statement. If you want to get to the Father, you need to do so by way of Christ. If you don’t, that’s your choice. The context doesn’t suggest that he’s joking or speaking in hyperbole. Instead, it is clear and decisive. But don’t miss verses 1-3 just above it. They remind us that there’s plenty of room in God’s house. He wants us to take the way through Jesus, there’s space for you and me too.

This week, you can also look forward to spending most of your time in Psalm 119. It is the longest psalm, by far, but it is packed to the gills with great pieces of truth. Take, for instance, Thursday’s reading. Verse 37 asks God to turn our eyes from worthless things. Ugh, couldn’t we all stand to ask that!?!

So, now that you’re about to start your 6th month of reading, what have you enjoyed most? What’s one thing you learned for the first time?

We’ve already gotten through so much of the Bible and there’s so much great stuff left to go. Let’s keep moving towards the finish line. It’s well worth it!