March 24 – Daily Notes – Amanda

BOGO

The law that Moses gave the Israelites was very just. If you sinned, you paid for it. If you sinned against someone, you had to give them back an equal amount. In our Luke reading today, Jesus introduces different ways to extend grace. Grace is like the greatest buy one get one free sale ever! You get far more than you deserve. If someone steals your cow, instead of asking for it back, give them another. It was revolutionary then and it still is today.

Deuteronomy 2:1-3:29:

  • Note that God had given specific land to people other than the Israelites, namely Lot and Esau. Esau was from the same family as the Israelites, but wasn’t included in the Promised Land because he gave up his birth right as a young man.
  • As the Israelites were faithful in trusting God and respecting the borders he gave them, he was faithful in giving them what he promised.

Luke 6:12-38:

  • 13-16 – The full list of disciples. Most often they are listed with only a few of them together.
  • 20-26 – Matthew’s account of the beatitudes only includes blessings while Luke’s records blessings and woes.
  • 27-31 – God’s law given to Moses for the Israelites was based on justice. If you kill your neighbors cow, you give him one that’s just as good. But Jesus introduces opportunities to offer grace and to give people better than what they deserve.
  • Much of Jesus’ teaching was countercultural.

Psalm 67:1-7:

  • The Psalmist asks that God be gracious to him so that he can then make God more known. This should be the purpose for the blessings we request.

Proverbs 11:27:

  • If you look for trouble, you’ll find it.

March 21 – Daily Notes – Amanda

our moment

As if you didn’t already know that One Direction had a fragrance…

To be honest, I thought the bottle said “One Moment” instead of “Our Moment”. “One moment” makes me think of today’s Luke reading where the soon-t0-be disciples encounter Jesus one time. They have one experience with him and he tells them to follow him and they do. How many times did I have to hear about Jesus before I decided to follow him? But also, it makes me want to share Jesus with people as often as possible, because maybe they’ll just need one moment to get it.

Numbers 32:1-33:39:

  • Moses sniffs out the fear of the leaders of the tribes of Reuben and Gad. They do not want to go to war to inherit the land God has promised to them. Eventually they come to a compromise where they will still fight, but leave their children and livestock behind.
  • 3-4 – This is referring back to the original death of all the firstborns in Exodus. This is not a new series of first borns who die.

Luke 4:31-5:11:

  • 33-34 – Though most people did not recognize Jesus’ identity, spirits, both clean (the Holy Spirit inside of Elizabeth) and unclean, seemed to recognize him.
  • 43 – Many people believe that Jesus’ sole purpose on earth was his death. Verses like this refute that and prove that Jesus’ life and ministry also held great importance.
  • 10-11 – One encounter with Jesus caused these men to leave their regular life to follow Jesus.

Proverbs 11:22:

  • Jewish people consider pigs to be unclean. Wasting gold on an unclean animal is like wasting the beauty and goodness of a woman on someone who will throw themselves around as if they weren’t created in the image of God.

February 22 – Daily Notes – Amanda

bald

I find verse 40 in today’s Leviticus reading really funny. Can’t you see all the middle-aged Israelite men running up to Moses wondering what ritual cleansing they needed to undergo in order to stop their plight? “No, it’s cool man, you’re just going bald. Nothing to worry about.”

Leviticus 13:1-59:

  • Interesting that the priests even had power over medical conditions.
  • 40 – You laughed at this one, right?
  • 48 – The warp is the longitudinal thread in a woven fabric and the woof is the latitudinal thread.

Mark 6:1-29::

  • 1-6 – Instead of astonished and amazed at Jesus’ words and deeds, his hometown became angry because he was only a carpenter’s son from a small town.
  • 10-11 – It was customary to welcome travelers into your home.
  • 12-13 – The disciples watch Jesus for a while and then he invites them to be a part of his ministry.

February 20 – Daily Notes – Amanda

ernie-bath

At the end of today’s Leviticus reading, Moses reprimands Aaron’s remaining sons, the priests, for offering sacrifices incorrectly. Aaron is also concerned because, as a priest, he is to eat the sin offerings. If they were not offered correctly, they would not have been ritually clean, thus, he would not have been either. If he had then entered God’s presence, he would have died. Not because God is mean, but because he is holy. Holiness and uncleanness cannot mix.

Leviticus 9:7-10:20:

  • 1-2 – We’ve read in previous readings this year that the Lord does not desire sacrifice but mercy. Clearly God desires for us to follow his instructions exactly.
  • 16-20 – Moses does his best to assure that the priests follow God’s instructions perfectly.

Mark 4:26-5:20:

  • 30-32 – The mustard seed does not form the largest tree, but it does grow extremely quickly and in wild fashion.
  • 39-41 – Jesus, through his actions and words is consistently having to remind the disciples of his power and ability.
  • 12-13 – Interesting that Jesus allows a demonic spirit to influence his decision.

January 14 – Daily Notes – Amanda

Genesis 30:1-31:16:

  • 1-6 – This is one of many examples in Scripture of barrenness driving people to desperate acts. Not all desperate acts were sinful. Hannah was driven to prayer and dedicating her child to God’s service. Offspring, particularly male, were a woman’s greatest value so you can understand why people would become so desperate.
  • 14-15 – Mandrakes were a fruit that was, and still are today, used for help in child-bearing. Clearly Rachel was hoping these would do the trick, but they didn’t.
  • 22 – God “remembering” Rachel means that he heard and answered her prayers. He did not necessarily forget her, but that’s what it felt like to Rachel.
  • 33-39 – Neither Laban or Jacob were being 100% on the up and up. Both were skewing the situation in their own favor.
  • 11- “Here I am!” is a common response when called by God or one of his angels. It is a response of willingness and alertness.

Matthew 10:1-25:

  • 1 – Jesus had modeled for his disciples what could be done and then he sent them out to replicate his ministry. This is the ideal discipleship model.
  • 5-6 – Jesus’ ministry was initially to the people of Israel. Many of them rejected him so his message was opened up to gentiles as well.
  • 7-15 – The gospel is a message offered to us, but never forced upon us. Jesus instructs the disciples to offer the good news to the townspeople, but the people themselves had to choose to accept it or not.
  • 19-20 – Encouragement for all of us to evangelize without fear.

Psalm 12:1-8:

  • 6 – The silver purification process is very intense. The metal is heated until it becomes a liquid so that impurities can rise to the top and be scraped off. This happens over and over. Just think what could happen if we allowed our words to be scrutinized to such a degree.

Proverbs 3:13-15:

  • Many of us who went through youth group in the 90s will recognize this verse as having been made into a worship song.

Cut it some slack, it’s been around a while.

January 11 – Daily Notes – Amanda

Genesis 24:52-26:16:

  • 52-61 – This seems so strange to us because we would never allow a stranger to take your daughter away to marry some other stranger. But to them, marriage was essential for women and having a house full of children and countless offspring, which is the blessing her mother and brother give her, was the greatest gift possible.
  • 23 – This was unusual. Normally the oldest son received the power and blessings.
  • 29-34 – Esau’s birthright, as the oldest son, was the choice land and livestock, and more. In his haste, he allowed a temporary condition to cause long-term destruction.
  • 2-5 – God extends and confirms the covenant he made with Abraham to Isaac.
  • 6-7 – Interesting that Isaac commits the same sin as his father.
  • 12-16 – This is not the only time the Israelites will grow to be numerous and powerful and the people who’s land they’ve settled in feel threatened. This is the same reason the Egyptians enslave the Israelites later on.

 

Matthew 8:18-34:

  • 18-22 – Though both men wanted to follow Jesus, the scribe who volunteers is met with resistance because Jesus knows he will not be open to his nomadic, unsettled lifestyle. The disciple, however, was called by Jesus. It was cultural practice to honor the dead by burying them, particularly a parent. Jesus shows that his way will be countercultural and the disciple will need to choose which path to follow.
  • 23-27 – The disciples, even though they had dropped everything to follow Jesus, still often worried and feared. Jesus continually reminds them, in a variety of ways, to trust him.
  • 28-33 – This story is reminiscent of when Abraham prayed to God and convinced him to have mercy on the righteous in Sodom and Gomorrah. Here, though, the one requesting something of Jesus and changing his mind, is a demon.
  • 34 – Jesus has significantly disrupted the townspeople’s norms and scared them with his power so they ask him to leave.

 

Psalm 10:1-15:

  • The psalmist seems to be describing someone who is wicked and sinning purposefully. And seemingly, it is someone who is sinning and wicked towards him. Though the judgment and request for punishment sounds harsh, we would probably feel the same way towards our true enemies.

 

Proverbs 3:7-8:

  • Rarely do we think about the benefit of acting wisely and fearing the Lord. This proverb describes these things as having a physical benefit.