You did it! You finished! Today is your last day of reading…for 2017. I hope you gained so much from your reading and now feel closer, in some way, to God. It may be too soon, but may I encourage you to pick up the new plan tomorrow? The Bible is the living word of God. As you read through it again, you’ll gain new insights, read things differently, and hear from God in a new way. It was worth it this year. It will be worth it in 2018 too!
- 1-7 – Part of this prophecy sounds like it’s talking about the Messiah and part sounds like it’s John the Baptist. Either way, it is later fulfilled.
- 1-3 – A day of judgment is prophecied.
- 5-6 – John the Baptist was often associated with Elijah.
- 8-9 – As we all do, John confused something of God with God and worshipped the angel. The angel quickly redirected him to worship God.
- 17 – This is an open invitation to all who recognize their need for Christ to come and receive new life.
- Whatever you have, praise God with it. No excuses.
- These verses make it clear what should matter in a woman’s worth. Physical beauty is not one of them.
How do you imagine perfection? Not just partial perfection or perfection in one person, but full, true perfection? God’s kingdom fully on earth is what true perfection looks like. The end of Revelation depicts what the new Jerusalem will look like. It is the return of what God intended for earth. This is something we should long and pray for.
- 1-5 – The words love and hate could be exchanged for “chose” and “did not choose”. God chose Jacob to set up his people. He did not choose Esau. Not only did Esau forego his blessing and birthright, but his descendants often fought against the Israelites. They brought God’s curse upon themselves.
- 6-14 – The Lord denounces the blemished offerings the priests put before him. These half-hearted offerings showed their lack of devotion to God.
- 1-9 – The priests had been given special authority. God asked that they honor him and lead the rest of the people in spiritual practices. Here he rebukes them for failing to do so.
- 10-16 – Scholars disagree on whether this is actually talking about marriage and marrying foreign women or metaphorically speaking of idolatry. Either way, the Judeans were practicing things God did not approve of.
- 1-7 – This scene depicts God’s kingdom officially and completely coming to earth, like we pray in the Lord’s prayer.
- 9-27 – The scene depicts the new Jerusalem where God will dwell negating the need for a temple, any other source of light, and presumably many other things necessary in our current construct.
- 1-5 – So many of the psalms instruct us to praise God and a large percentage of those instruct us to praise him specifically with songs. It is important that we, as a people, do not get out of this habit.
- 10-24 – These verses describe an excellent wife. Her characteristics include productivity, generosity, care for others, integrity, and preparedness.
Zechariah and Revelation are both about enemies and destruction. So, on a happier note, our psalm reminds us that we should all offer praise to God simply because he gave us life. So let’s all praise God!
- 1-21 – This chapter describes the day of the Lord and what God’s enemies should expect on that day. It does not sound good for his enemies.
- 1-6 – This thousand year time period seems to be one of relative calm in the vision. The angel has contained Satan and those who have been faithful thus far are rewarded.
- 7-15 – Satan, all those who were judged as unfaithful, and death and hades are all thrown into the like of fire – aka hell.
- This psalm encourages nature and all of humanity to praise God. The only reasoning given of why is simply that God gave it all life. That sounds like reason enough.
- Our world would have a lot less sin and pain if those of us with power would stand up for the weak. Instead we often give ourselves the pass asking, “what can I do?”
Today’s portion of Revelation may have been written specifically for 8 year old boys. There’s a battle scene, Jesus on a horse, a beast, and a dragon. So, let your inner 8 year old boy out for this one.
- 1-5 – This oracle explains that Judah and Jerusalem will both be a challenge for anyone who possesses them and tries
- 10 – Most people would consider this a prophecy fulfilled by Jesus.
- 1-6 – This alludes to Christ’s death when people are freely forgiven of their sins.
- 7 – The church is believed to be the bride of Christ.
- 10-21 – Jesus is portrayed as a warrior on a horse. This begins the battle between Christ and the evil forces led by the beast, dragon, and false prophets. We see steady progress of Christ towards victory.
- 1-6 – The psalmist calls for us to offer praise to God and then gives reasons why we should.
- 4-7 – Here, leaders are instructed not to get drunk because it can only harm their reign. Instead the proper place for mind-altering drinks is listed.
It’s so neat when we know things that happened in the Bible and then we read more obscure parts that explain them. Did you know that Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey was prophesied into today’s Zechariah reading? It was! Reading Scripture consistently brings so much into the light.
- 1-8 – The prophecy announces judgment to come down on a variety of Israel’s enemies.
- 9-13 – This prophecy is fulfilled by Jesus when he rides into Jerusalem on a donkey on Palm Sunday.
- 8 – Note that when talking about God we say, “Who was, and is, and is to come”, but here, when talking about the beast, it is described as “who was and is not and is to come.”
- 14 – Even though the beast is powerful and will gain power as the kings give it to him, Jesus will still conquer.
- 10-21 – There are many references throughout Scripture about not just humanity, but all creatures and natural things giving praise to God. Obviously, as humans, we have the greatest ability to do so, so let’s use that ability for all it’s worth.
- A good lesson for us all. If what you’re saying isn’t of great value, stop talking.
When was the last time you cried out to God? In today’s psalm, David cries out because Saul has chased after him for a while, trying to kill him. At times, our suffering and difficulty are exhausting and seem never ending. You’re not alone. And like he did for David, God will come through for you too.
- 1-7 – Clearly it was not going to be through merely physical effort that God’s purposes would be accomplished. It was by God’s spirit working through Zerubbabel’s words that ultimately did so.
- 8-10 – Zerubbabel was charged with rebuilding the temple. God blessed its completion.
- 1-5 – A special song of praise was reserved for the 144,000 righteous ones who were set apart.
- 13 – Traditionally, Jews believed death was a separation from God. This suggests that now death is a good thing because one can rest.
- 14 – Son of man is a term Jesus used for himself.
- 15-20 – This seems to be another removal of the unfaithful.
- David is crying out to God in the midst of Saul’s attempts to murder David. This chase lasted a long time and must have been exhausting for David.
- 21-23 – These are all shifts from a lowly state to a far more respected and accepted one. The earth would tremble because it’s so foreign from the way the earth typically works.
Want a guaranteed 100 on a pop quiz? Simply ask yourself the questions in verse four of today’s Proverb and answer “God” every time. It’ll work. I promise. And, in the process, be reminded of God’s incredible and matchless power.
- 1 – This establishes that God will use Micah as a prophet and that he is to communicate God’s message to a series of kings of Judah.
- 2-9 – Judah will receive punishment and all the idols will be destroyed because of its sin.
- 1-11 – God declares the destruction those who work evil will face. Like in other books, God makes clear that he will not tolerate oppression of the weak.
- 1-12 – This chapter denounces rulers and prophets, but it only denounces those who are not following God and are leading people astray. This is definitely not denouncing all prophets, because it is being spoken through a prophet that God has chosen to use.
- 6-13 – The Lord promises to rescue Zion. Zion is the mountain where Jerusalem is located.
- 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.
- This is another Psalm of Ascent, which would have been recited on the way up to Jerusalem. It must have been a joyful one as they all sang praises as they approached the city.
- 4 – These are a series of rhetorical questions to which the answer is always God alone.
Fear, to some degree, is something we all struggle with. Media, culture, and advertising thrive on this. If we fear, we feel out of control and tend to look to gain control through all kinds of options. But today’s Proverb reminds us that when we have faith, we have no need to fear. We can know that God has ultimate control and will take care of us and protect us fully.
- 1-9 – This portion of the prophecy declares that Edom will be humbled and brought low because of their pride.
- 10-18 – The violence Edom has inflicted on Judah is remembered and God promises to return Judah to prominence and warns Edom not to get too cocky despite their temporary victory.
- 5 – The number seven is used as a symbol of completion. The seven torches represent that the fullness of God was present.
- 8-11 – This section shows that eternity will be filled with God’s praises.
- 11-18 – This is God’s promise to keep David’s line in the throne forever. This is fulfilled with Jesus.
- 25 – Fear has no hold on us when we are grounded in our faith in Christ.
You woke up this morning, right? Great! Then you have reason to give God praise. You were given this day as a gift! Now praise him for it and go out and treat it as the gift that it is.
- 28-49 – This is a continuation of Ezekiel’s vision of what the new temple should look like. Like the first time it was built, there are very specific instructions regarding all the details.
- 1-4 – The Most Holy Place was a place where only the chief priest could go once a year. It was separated from the rest by a curtain. This curtain was torn in half when Jesus died and bridged the gap between us and God.
- 1-3 – This is inviting us to ask God for things. Note that we are to ask for things not to fulfill our selfish wants, but for God’s glory and for our good and the good of others.
- 4-10 – Friendship with the world entails loving things and loving what the world tells us we need more than we love and follow God. Instead, we are to draw near to and worship God.
- 13-17 – We are to submit everything, even our futures, to God’s will.
- 24 – No matter our circumstances, we can always rejoice because God made this day and gave it to us as a gift.
- 29 – This is an exclamation repeated often in Scripture. It is a reminder that God is constant in his faithfulness and that we are loved.
- 5 – This is an interesting point. If we seek the Lord, he steers us to what is good and pleasing in his sight.
Don’t miss today’s reading! There is a ton of great stuff in here! It’s even hard to decide what to entice you with here, but I’ll go with this: if you think you’re beyond restoration or repair, read today’s Ezekiel passage. God raises dry bones back to life! No one is beyond forgiveness! No one can stray so far that God can’t redeem them! That means you too!!
- 1-14 – Ezekiel’s prophecies over the dry bones give hope that God can restore Israel even though their situation seems hopeless and their nation seems lifeless.
- 15-23 – God promises to reunite Israel and Judah and to, once again, be their God.
- 14-23 – Though Gog had seen success against Israel, God makes it clear that Israel will rise again and it will not bode well for Gog.
- 22-25 – Reading Scripture alone is not enough. We must also live what it tells us to do. Otherwise we are like a foolish person.
- 27 – If we truly want to follow God we must care for the most vulnerable in his name.
- 1-9 – We tend to want to associate with those who are powerful and can lift us up, but God does the opposite. He lifts up the lowly. God is calling us to share in his work.
- 10-13 – We tend to want to make our sins seems less egregious, but once we have sinned, we are sinners.
- 14-17 – This can be confusing because we know that faith in Christ is what saves us. We can’t save ourselves through works. This does not mean we’re not supposed to do the works though. Our salvation is intended to make us more like Christ, how worked diligently to care for those in need and bring others into God’s family.
- Why do we praise the Lord? Because he loves us.
- When we’re entrapped in sin, we constantly have to watch our backs and wait for the other shoe to drop. When we are living faithfully, there is freedom from this fear.