July 30 – Daily Notes – Amanda

repub demo

There is a lot of political news these days that is polarizing. We can love it or hate it, but regardless of our feelings, today’s Romans passage lets us know that, as believers, we have an obligation to be faithful. Faithfulness is not always easy, but it is necessary.

2 Chronicles 26:1-28:27:

  • 1 – Uzziah and Azariah are the same person. Sometimes kings would have a throne name as well as a personal name.
  • 3-15 – This section chronicles the faithful days of Uzziah.
  • 16-21 – Like the chronicler tends to do (i.e. Joash) he splits the account of the faithful days of a king from the unfaithful days of a king. This section chronicles Uzziah’s unfaithful days.
  • 19 – Having leprosy meant that King Uzziah was unclean and would need to be separated from the rest of the Israelites.
  • 23 – He was buried in a field owned by kings instead of in the burial tombs where the rest of the kings were buried.
  • 2 – The chronicler here is commending Jotham for not entering the temple. That was the sin Uzziah committed. He entered the parts he was not allowed.
  • 1-4 – Ahaz is basically the worst of the worst.

Romans 13:1-14:

  • 1-7 – This passage applies whether you agree with the authorities over us or not. Regardless, we are called to do the faithful thing.
  • 11-14 – Darkness and light are often symbols for the things we hide versus what we do when we know people are around and watching. Once again, the analogy of being awake or asleep is used to represent being ready for Jesus’ coming or not.

Psalm 23:1-6:

  • This psalm is so comforting because it reminds us of all the things God does to support, surround, and provide for us.

June 26 – Daily Notes – Amanda

good king bad king

Have you noticed yet, in 1 & 2 Kings, what the biggest factor in a king being a good or bad one is? In general, if they follow and worship God, they’re a good king. If they do not, they’re a bad king. Do you think that translates into our culture in any way?

2 Kings 9:14-10:31:

  • 14-22 – Joram was king of Israel. Jehu wanted to be. Ahaziah was the short-lived king of Judah. Jehu confirms that he’s not coming in peace because peace is impossible while Joram still allows his mother, Jezebel’s evil ways to remain in the land.
  • 25-26 – King Ahab wanted to buy Naboth’s plot of land, but Naboth wouldn’t sell. Jezebel told Ahab to have Naboth killed, so he did.
  • 29 – This is the same Ahaziah that just died. There was also a king of Israel named Ahaziah, but he’s already come and gone.
  • 1-8 – Naturally, one of Ahab’s sons should have become king after Ahaziah’s death, but Jehu assures that doesn’t happen by killing them all.
  • 18-31 – Jehu seems to have such potential to be faithful to God by wiping out Baal from Israel, but he remains sinful in other ways.

Acts 17:1-34:

  • 1- Thessalonica is where Paul sent the Letter to the Thessalonians. He did not visit all the churches he wrote to, but this is one he did.
  • 2-9 – Jason was a local believer who allowed Paul and Silas to stay with him. He was punished with a fine for hosting the apostles.
  • 11-12 – People weren’t simply believing blindly, but were studying the Scriptures to discern and it led them to the truth.
  • 22-34 – Paul’s address to the people of Athens is powerful and convincing, even quoting some of their culture’s writings. As was always the case, some were convinced and some were not.

Psalm 144:1-15:

  • 1-2 – War was a way of life for David. While some he talks about are internal, he often is talking about real wars.
  • It is clear, due to the frequency with which David addresses God in these ways, that he views God as his provider and protector.

Proverbs 17:27-28:

  • 28 – This is the origin of the well-known adage, “Better to remain silent and thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.”

June 23 – Daily Notes – Amanda

never let go

It is far easier to hold onto what we know and never let go, even if it’s not the best thing for us. Change is hard and scary and requires trust. Many of the Jews who became believers were excited about Jesus, but didn’t trust in grace for salvation completely. They wanted to dabble in faith and in trusting the law for holiness. Peter works to make it clear you have to choose one or the other.

2 Kings 4:18-5:27:

  • 18-25 – In yesterday’s reading, this child was promised to the woman as a gift from God, and now he dies. The woman’s faith is greatly tested. She puts him on his bed and shuts the door so no one else will know he died. She seeks Elisha to explain what’s going on with her son since Elisha was the one who told her she would have this child.
  • 32-44 – Note that there are three miracles in a row. A resurrection, providing food where there is none, and providing more food than there actually was. Any time there are three of something in Scripture, we should pay attention. Elisha is clearly connected to and filled with the power of God.
  • 9-10 – Though Elisha invites Naaman to his house, he does not let him in. This is strange considering the hospitality culture of ancient Israelites.
  • 11 – Naaman wanted a grand, miraculous healing and thought Elisha’s instructions were a farce.
  • 15-16 – It was not unusual for faithful Israelites to turn down gifts from other nations. This was to show their commitment to the provision of God and so no other nation or god could take credit for the Israelites’ well-being.
  • 20-27 – Gehazi did not trust the Lord for provision and saw an opportunity. He lied to both Naaman and Elisha and his punishment was receiving the leprosy Naaman had.

Acts 15:1-35:

  • 1-11 – Some Jews, who had become believers, still felt the need to cling to the law and the sign that they were set apart. Peter urges them that the law had not worked for salvation and so it is the grace of Jesus alone that saves.
  • 19-21 – Peter makes it clear that Jesus didn’t abolish faithfulness and living to please God. There were still standards. It was just important to know that the law wasn’t a means of salvation.

Psalm 141:1-10:

  • 3-4 – David gives God permission to help control his mouth and heart so he can be more faithful.
  • 5 – David also welcomes correction from faithful people.

June 22 – Daily Notes – Amanda

good God

It’s important to read the Bible carefully. If only skimming, stories like the one of the King of Moab sacrificing his son, in today’s Acts reading, could be mistaken for something God wanted or chose. God did not want the king to sacrifice his son. God did not ask him to do that. That was the king’s own evil choice. We tend to read the Bible as if everything is telling us to “go and do likewise”. This is simply not the case.

2 Kings 3:1-4:17:

  • 9 – The kingdoms of Israel and Judah had not been united on anything since just after Solomon’s reign.
  • 13 – Elisha learned his sass from Elijah. The king of Israel’s parents worshipped Baal. Elisha is pointing out that the king wants the Lord’s help even though he hasn’t been faithful to the Lord.
  • 17-19 – It is often the simplest things that prove God’s favor or lack there of. Like when wandering in the desert, the Israelites lack water and God provides it.
  • 27 – The King of Moab who sacrificed his son did not do this to honor God. God did not ask this of him.
  • 1-7 – The Lord provided for the woman when it seemed impossible. He multiplied the oil to make it profitable for her so she could take care of herself and her son.
  • 8-10 – Above and beyond hospitality
  • 11-17 – Elisha was blessed and then asked the Lord to bless the woman in return.

Acts 14:8-28:

  • 8-10 – Healings often happened because of faith. This one is simply because Paul saw faith in the crippled man.
  • 11-18 – The people assumed that Paul and Barnabas were their gods in human form. This, for obvious reasons, greatly distressed the men of God.
  • 19-23 – When Paul later writes about suffering for the sake of Christ, he is not speaking figuratively. He truly had suffered greatly to share the gospel.

Psalm 140:1-3:

  • It is pretty incredible that, with so many aggressive enemies, David is still able to focus on and remain faithful to God. At the same time, it is pretty incredible how well God protected David from his enemies.

Proverbs 17:22:

  • Joy, a fruit of the spirit, is more than just enjoyable, it’s life giving.

March 25 – Daily Notes – Amanda

scrooge mcduck

Many of us individually and all of us as a society are wealthy in comparison to the rest of the world. We, for the most part, have everything we need and many of the things we want. It is important that we do not begin to rely on these things as our hope our or salvation. Today’s Proverb warns us against this and shows us a better alternative.

Deuteronomy 4:1-49:

  • 1 – Listening and knowing what God calls us to do is good, but the doing is where faithfulness really comes in.
  • 9 – The people of ancient Israel passed down information by telling stories. God’s faithfulness was remembered through an oral tradition.
  • 25-29 – God knows that we will stray at times and he promises that when we discover the error of our ways and turn back and seek him that he will be there ready for us.
  • 32-40 – Moses reminds the Israelites that there are no other gods like our God and that he has proven himself and his faithfulness to them in a variety of ways.

Luke 6:39-7:10:

  • 39-40 – We cannot lead others in things that we don’t know. We have to have faith in order to lead others to faith.
  • 41-42 – It is far easier for us to recognize and address other people’s flaws than to admit and deal with our own.
  • 45 – We cannot expect to do good work for the Lord when our norm is to fill our hearts with filth.
  • 46-49 – Hearing God’s word and putting it into action prepares us for the difficult times.
  • 1-10 – A couple of significant things about this passage: 1) The centurion is a Roman official and yet has faith that even amazes Jesus. 2) This is one of the few stories where Jewish religious authorities are painted in a positive light.

Psalm 68:1-18:

  • 7-10 – So much of the Bible refers back to itself. This passage refers back to God’s provision for the Israelites in the desert. We too should seek comfort and build our faith on the goodness of God to people throughout history.

Proverbs 11:28:

  • Because we have so much, it is so easy for us to rely on our own wealth and abilities to take care of ourselves. This Proverb warns that this strategy will ultimately fail.

January 9 – Daily Notes – Amanda

Genesis 20:1-22:24:

  • 1-18 – Once again, Abraham almost gets someone in trouble by telling them Sarah is his sister. God intervenes and protects Abraham, Sarah, and Abimelech. Though Abimelech may have lived in a land that did not fear God prior to this episode, now he is willing to make accommodations and offer blessings to God’s prophet, Abraham.
  • 1-7 – What is impossible for man is still possible for God. This story reminds us that God’s promises are true. They may not happen right when we expect or want, but God will be true to his promises.
  • 15-21 – Though Ishmael was not the son through which the covenant would be fulfilled, he was still Abraham’s child and God provided for him.
  • 1 – “Here I am” is the response given by many biblical characters when called specifically by God: Abraham, Moses, Isaiah, etc. This is a sign of willingness and openness to God’s call.
  • 2-12 – God tested Abraham’s faithfulness. Clearly Abraham saw everything he had as a blessing from God and would give anything that God asked for. He even, in verse 8, explains that he trusted God to provide.
  • 13-14 – In many stories in Scripture characters name locations after the way God showed up in that place. This place was called “Jehoveh-Jireh” or “The Lord Provides” because God did not actually require Abraham to sacrifice his son. He provided the sacrifice for him.

Matthew 7:15-29:

  • 15-20 – This is a good tip on how you can recognize if someone is for good and for God or not. Are they bearing the fruit that God provides: love, joy, peace, etc.?
  • 24-27 – We are capable of all kinds of great things, but if our foundation is not built on God, it’s all for naught.
  • 28-29 – This specifically contrasts the scribes’ authority with the authority of Christ meaning that the scribes were not leading through God.

Psalm 9:1-12:

  • 9-10 – Confirmation that when we seek God, he will be faithful to meet us. He does not hide from or forsake us.

Proverbs 2:16-22:

  • 20-22 – We often try to ignore the consequences of our actions assuming they won’t catch up to us. These verses remind us that there are consequences for wicked actions. It is not because of cruelty from God that we are cut off. It is because of our own wickedness.