Starting off 2018 like Joshua

The book of Joshua begins with the Lord preparing a leader to replace Moses.  Two times in the first chapter God tells Joshua to be strong and courageous (vs. 6, 9) and a third time He tells him to be strong and very courageous (v. 7).  In between those admonitions He speaks to Joshua the words recorded in verse 8, “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.”

These words were spoken to Joshua for his encouragement and they were preserved by our Heavenly Father for our encouragement as well.  The goal of this blog is to help us as we strive daily to follow all of God’s Word.  Each day’s post will include a scripture reading for the day and a few encouraging words.  Read each day’s scripture and you will have read the entire Bible by the end of 2018

The first reading for the year is Matthew chapters 1 and 2.  Starting off the reading is rather tedious going thru all those names.  But as you read down to verse 21 of chapter 1, the angel tells Joseph “She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”  Here is the beginning of our hope of salvation if we will follow the path set before us in His inspired word.

Today’s reading: Matthew 1-2

2018 Day 318 – Ezra 1-5

As they were rebuilding the temple, the people got emotional.  “And they sang responsively, praising and giving thanks to the LORD, ‘For he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever toward Israel.’ And all the people shouted with a great shout when they praised the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid.”  They knew that the goodness of God has no limit and no end.  “For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.” (Psalm 100:5)  We also have opportunity to receive that goodness.  “The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.” (Lamentations 3:25)

Today’s reading: Ezra 1-5


2018 Day 317 – Deuteronomy 13-15

Part of God’s command to the Israelite people was how they would handle those who were less fortunate.  “For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’” (Deuteronomy 15:11)  We can read some Proverbs that also let us know God’s feeling toward those who share their blessings.  “Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will repay him for his deed.” (Proverbs 19:17)  “He who has a generous eye will be blessed, For he gives of his bread to the poor.” (Proverbs 22:9)  According to Jesus, any help given to those in need is help given to our Savior himself.  “Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” (Matthew 25:37-40)

Today’s reading: Deuteronomy 13-15


2018 Day 316 – Acts 15-16

Paul and Barnabas did a lot of work together, but their relationship was not without issue.  “And there arose a sharp disagreement, so that they separated from each other. Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus, but Paul chose Silas and departed, having been commended by the brothers to the grace of the Lord.” (Acts 15:39-40)  Notice they did not let their disagreement stop them from doing good.  They both continued to do God’s work and actually turned what would have been one trip into two.

Today’s reading: Acts 15-16


2018 Day 315 – 1 Peter 1-3

We all have things that give us joy, but James has an idea of joyous occasions that might seem odd.  “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.” (James 1:2-3)  Peter also talks about our faith being tried and how great that can be for us.  “In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 1:6-7)  James gives us encouragement of what lies ahead if we do stay faithful thru the trials of this life.  “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.” (James 1:12)

Today’s reading: 1 Peter 1-3


2018 Day 314 – Haggai 1-2

God spoke thru the prophet Haggai giving the people something they needed to do.  “Now, therefore, thus says the LORD of hosts: Consider your ways.” (Haggai 1:5)  Again in verse 7 we see repeated “consider your ways”.  Like was commanded to them, sometimes we need to do a self-examination and consider our ways, making sure they are in accordance with God’s Word.  James reminds us to compare our lives to God’s Word, and be willing to make changes when we are not living in accordance with that Word.  “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deluding your own selves. For if any one is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a mirror: for he beholdeth himself, and goeth away, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But he that looketh into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and so continueth, being not a hearer that forgetteth but a doer that worketh, this man shall be blessed in his doing.” (James 1:22-25)

Today’s reading: Haggai 1-2

2018 Day 313 – Ecclesiastes 5-6

God gave Solomon wealth that He said was greater than any other king would ever have.  Even with all that he possessed, Solomon still knew there was truth in that saying ‘money cannot buy happiness.’  “He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity.” (Ecclesiastes 5:10)  Paul also gave warning that it’s not money but the love of that money that can cause a person big problems.  “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.” (1 Timothy 6:10)

Today’s reading: Ecclesiastes 5-6


2018 Day 312 – Psalms 128-130

The Psalmist knew that if we were judged strictly on our conduct, we would all be in trouble.  “If you, O LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared.” (Psalms 130:3-4)  That forgiveness is available because our Savior came to this earth and was sacrificed for each of us.  “Let it be known to you therefore, brothers, that through this man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you,” (Acts 13:38)  “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” (Luke 19:10)

Today’s reading: Psalms 128-130


2018 Day 311 – 2 Chronicles 33-36

When Josiah was king he followed God’s commands, but later found out there were parts of God’s word that he was not aware of.  “Then Shaphan the secretary told the king, ‘Hilkiah the priest has given me a book.’ And Shaphan read from it before the king. And when the king heard the words of the Law, he tore his clothes. And the king commanded Hilkiah, Ahikam the son of Shaphan, Abdon the son of Micah, Shaphan the secretary, and Asaiah the king’s servant, saying, ‘Go, inquire of the LORD for me and for those who are left in Israel and in Judah, concerning the words of the book that has been found. For great is the wrath of the LORD that is poured out on us, because our fathers have not kept the word of the LORD, to do according to all that is written in this book.’” (2 Chronicles 34:18-21)  Today we have God’s Word readily available, but we can also be guilty of not following It fully.  The Bereans were an example of a people desiring to know and follow the entire Word of God.  “Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.” (Acts 17:11)  We have an additional source of help to gain knowledge that goes along with diligent study of His Word.  “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” (James 1:5)

Today’s reading: 2 Chronicles 33-36


2018 Day 310 – Deuteronomy 10-12

God gave specific instructions that He wanted His people to follow.  “These are the statutes and rules that you shall be careful to do in the land that the LORD, the God of your fathers, has given you to possess, all the days that you live on the earth.” (Deuteronomy 12:1)  At the end of those instructions being told, it was reiterated that He was serious about them following His instructions.  “Everything that I command you, you shall be careful to do. You shall not add to it or take from it.” (Deuteronomy 12:32)  The need for animal sacrifices ended with the one true sacrifice of our Savior, but God’s words have been preserved for a purpose.  “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” (Romans 15:4)

Today’s reading: Deuteronomy 10-12


2018 Day 309 – Acts 13-14

Paul had people with vastly different opinions of him.  Some treated him as a god, but not much later some were stoning him.  “And when the crowds saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in Lycaonian, ‘The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!’” (Acts 14:11)  “But Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having persuaded the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead.” (Acts 14:19)  In his letter to the Galatians he made it clear that whatever feeling men had of him did not matter.  “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” (Galatians 1:10)  Jesus warned us that if our aim is to please men, we will receive our reward on this earth rather than in eternity.  “And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.” (Matthew 6:5)

Today’s reading: Acts 13-14