August 17 – Daily Notes – Amanda

story of stuff

Chocolate. Money. Cell Phones. These things are all enjoyable and not bad in and of themselves. But any can easily become a god to us if we allow it to. Our proverb, today, reminds us what role our stuff should have in our lives.

Nehemiah 12:27-13:31:

  • 27-43 – This was a large celebration, led by the Levites, to give thanks for the restoration of Jerusalem.
  • 6 – Remember that Nehemiah has asked for leave in order to restore the walls of Jerusalem. At this point, he returns to the king.
  • 15-18 – Working on the Sabbath disobeyed one of the 10 Commandments. Nehemiah reminds the people of this and explains that they are engaging in the same kinds of sinful acts that their fathers did which eventually sent them to exile.
  • 23-27 – The children not being able to speak the language of Judah is just an example of how intermarrying caused the Israelites to lose their national purity.

1 Corinthians 11:3-16:

  • 6 – Apparently short or shaved hair was a disgrace for women at the time. Paul is relating to the present culture to make his point.
  • 11-12 – God brought man and woman’s dependence on one another full circle by having woman be created from man in the beginning, but now men come from women in birth.

Psalm 35:1-16:

  • 1-6 – David seeks God’s help in his fight against his enemies. David is quick to trust God for help throughout the psalms.

Proverbs 21:17-18:

  • 17 – It is not bad to love pleasurable things, but it is bad to let them rule us.

April 9 – Daily Notes – Amanda

chicken or egg

Like the argument of the chicken and the egg, one of the biggest points of conflict between Jesus and the Pharisees was whether Sabbath laws trumped human need or vice versa. Today, in our Luke section, Jesus heals on the Sabbath. He clearly chooses human need over Sabbath Law.

Deuteronomy 33:1-29:

  • Moses offers blessings to each of Israel’s tribes based on the role they tended to play. Some were larger, some had great warriors, some were set aside for teaching God’s law to the rest of the people.
  • 29 – He rounds out his blessing with a reminder of how adeptly God cares for them and that they are truly set apart.

Luke 13:1-21:

  • 10-17 – The synagogue’s authorities yet again become enraged by Jesus’ actions because he “does work” by healing on the Sabbath. Jesus reminds them that they do too do work on the Sabbath, but have found a way to justify it, while he does work on the Sabbath to bless and love people.
  • 18-19 – There are many interpretations of why the mustard seed is a good comparison for the Kingdom of God. Some say that it’s because a mustard seed is tiny and grows quickly into something great. Others say it is because a mustard seed grows in a wild, uncontrollable fashion. Others say it is because the birds make nests in the mustard tree just like we can make a home and be welcomed into the kingdom of God.
  • 20-21 – Leaven activates ingredients do to what they’re supposed to do. Leaven also makes dough rise.

Psalm 78:65-72:

  • There are several times in Scripture where it describes God as silent. Before he calls Samuel and when there were no prophets for 400 years before John the Baptist arrived are some examples.
  • 68 – Judah was the tribe that both David and Jesus came from.

Proverbs 12:25:

  • Anxiety is normally equated with worry. The Bible often equates worry with a lack of trust. God continually gives us reason to trust as he continually proves himself faithful.

March 23 – Daily Notes – Amanda

leap of faith 2

We have been tainted by a very small group of people who take advantage of peoples’ faith, asking them to give money in order to prove their faith. These faithful folks are promised more financial blessings if they go ahead and give from what they have. Though today’s Proverb may sound like it’s saying the same thing, our blessings can come in a variety of forms and many blessings we receive are far more valuable than money.

Numbers 36:1/Deuteronomy 1:46:

  • The Book of Numbers was about counting the tribes, establishing rules to live and function by, and getting the Israelites to the Promised Land.
  • 9-18 – Until now, Moses was the Israelites leader, judge, and connection to God. In this statement he spreads the power amongst leaders and judges of the individual tribes.
  • 30-31 – It’s helpful to look back at God’s faithfulness in our past so we can be assured that he will continue to be faithful.
  • 39 – God kept his promise to give the Promised Land to the Israelites. He did not give it to the older generation because they were unfaithful, but saved it for the younger generation.

Luke 5:29-6:11:

  • 29 – Tax collectors were some of the most despised people in this society. They were known for charging way too much for taxes and gaining wealth at the expense of others.
  • 29-32 – This is true of us today as well. Jesus wants people who are willing to admit their failures and recognize their need for a Savior. He grants the wishes of those who believe they can handle things on their own and don’t need help.
  • 36-39 – Jesus’ new ideas and ways of practicing faith did not fit into the Pharisees’ older ways of thinking. Old practices were cherished and had value in that society, so bringing in a new way of acting/thinking was threatening.
  • 1-5 – Jesus uses David as an example because he was such a well-respected figure.
  • 1-11 – Jesus’ point was not to dishonor the Sabbath. He realized God’s desire for us to rest on the Sabbath was for our good. If some action was necessary for someone’s wellbeing, that trumped the need to rest.

Psalm 66:1-20:

  • It is important to celebrate the good things God has done in order to share his goodness and faithfulness with others.

Proverbs 11:24-26:

  • This should not be mistaken for “the prosperity gospel” that God wants to make all the faithful people rich. Vs. 24 might sound like this, but often we go richer and things far more important than money when we choose to trust God with our finances.

February 10 – Daily Notes – Amanda

beauty of the earth.jpg

Today’s proverb paints a beautiful picture of the intricacy and wisdom with which God created the earth. As you read, picture what it’s describing in your mind.

Exodus 30:11-31:18:

  • 15 – How had people become rich or poor since they all came out of slavery and all have been wandering in the desert? Possibly some had plundered the Egyptians more fiercely than others.
  • 1-6 – Bezalel and Oholiab probably thought their talents were going to waste as they made bricks in Egypt and wandered in the desert, but God had a plan to use them.
  • 16 – Keeping the Sabbath holy is resting and dedicating a day to only worship God.

Matthew 26:47-68:

  • 51-54 – How often do we take matters into our own hands instead of trusting God’s plan for us?
  • 59-64 – The religious leaders have been trying to trick Jesus into saying something they can arrest him for throughout his ministry. Jesus calling himself the Son of Man and referencing that he would sit at the right hand of Power seems to be enough.

Psalm 32:1-11:

  • This is one of many Psalms where David references various ways God protects him. David was often at war and many nations were against Israel so it makes sense that he would relate to God in this way.

Proverbs 8:27-32:

  • God created the earth with wisdom – this makes sense because of the complex balance and intricacies in the environment.

February 2 – Daily Notes – Amanda

focus

Today’s psalm is simply beautiful. Read verse 4 a couple of times. It’s worth it. Can you imagine if you had one and only one focus – and that focus was to be in the presence of God? How different would your life look?

Exodus 15:19-17:7:

  • 24 – Just 3 days after God parted the Red Sea to protect the Israelites, they complain because of a lack of drinkable water
  • 26 – God often offers us rules and limits to protect us. It is our job to decide if we will accept and follow or not.
  • 3-21 – God provides food through quails and manna. He asks them to only take enough for a day. Many still don’t trust and take more to assure they’ll have some for the next day.
  • 29 – God offers people a Sabbath. The 10 Commandments, which have 1 commandment about the Sabbath have not been written yet.
  • 32 – Remembering things from generation to generation was frequent.
  • Be sure to read the footnotes. They can be helpful.

Matthew 22:1-33:

  • 1-14 – a parable explaining the peoples’ contempt for and rejection of Jesus’ message. The person at the end without the wedding garment represents the judgment of those who did not accept Jesus as the Messiah.
  • 17-22 – Caesar’s image was on the coin. It belongs to Caesar. God’s image is on all of us. We belong to God.
  • 29-33 – The Sadducees try to stump Jesus but he explains that there question is irrelevant because terms need to be redefined in light of the resurrection.

Psalm 27:1-6:

  • 1 – One of the most comforting verses in all of Scripture.
  • 4 – 1 thing – singular focus is seeking God

Proverbs 6:20-26:

  • 21-22 referring back to Deuteronomy 6
  • This proverb offers encouragement to put in the time before you’re tested to know, trust, and believe God’s commandments will pay off

January 17 – Daily Notes – Amanda

Genesis 35:1-36:43:

  • 10 – God gave Jacob a new name and thus his 12 sons become the 12 tribes of Israel.
  • 11-12 – God’s words to Jacob are very similar to those in his covenant with Abraham. This seems to be a reaffirmation of God’s covenant with Abraham’s family.
  • 22 – This would have been like stealing.
  • Sometimes we get lost in the genealogy because, these days, who knows anyone further back then their great-grandparents? In Israelite culture, however, your lineage was a big part of your honor or shame. It could give you status and importance or take it away.
  • 31 – The Israelites were designed not to have a human king but for God to be their only king. They didn’t get a human king until Saul many many generations later.

Matthew 12:1-21:

  • 1 – According to Mosaic law, Jews were not supposed to do any work. Anything as simple as cooking, lighting a candle, etc. would be considered work.
  • 3-8 – The Pharisees put their greatest stock in following the law and had no room for exceptions. In verse 7, Jesus, for the second time, quotes the prophet Hosea explaining that God’s true desire was for the faithful to show mercy to others, not to receive a rote ritual out of obligation.
  • 6 – Jesus is referring to himself as the something that is greater than the temple.
  • 9-14 – God’s law was written for our good, not to see if we could be good enough. When laws were followed over love of people, they ceased to be good.
  • 17-21 – Matthew was intent on showing prophecies fulfilled. Here is another prophecy Jesus fulfilled.

Psalm 15:1-5:

  • 2-5 – These give examples of what a blameless man, who would be worthy of dwelling with the Lord, would do.

Proverbs 3:21-26:

  • Worry and anxiety are so common in our world, but this proverb reminds us that our hope and confidence are in the Lord. If that is true, we can rest peacefully.