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 288 – Acts 7-8

As Christians were being persecuted by Saul and others, they made good use of the opportunities given them.  “Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.” (Acts 8:4)  There is similar opportunity for us in what we know as the Great Commission.  “And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’” (Matthew 28:18)

Today’s reading: Acts 7-8

2018 Day 287 – Hebrews 8-10

Jesus warned about causing others to stumble.  “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.” (Mark 9:42)  Instead of stirring up trouble, the Hebrew writer gives us something better that we can stir.  “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:24-25)

Today’s reading: Hebrews 8-10

 

2018 Day 286 – Micah 1-7

The prophet Micah prophesied about some bad things that would happen, but he knew where to look for the solution to all problems.  “But as for me, I will look to the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me.” (Micah 7:7)  Jesus also encouraged us to focus our energy toward that same source of strength.  “Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Matthew 6:31-34)

Today’s reading: Micah 1-7

 

2018 Day 285 – Proverbs 29-30

We have a proverb that reminds us where we can find protection.  “Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.” (Proverbs 30:5)  There is a psalm that makes a very similar statement.  “This God—his way is perfect; the word of the LORD proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.” (Psalms 18:30)  Jesus tells us that for that true and perfect word of God to be of any benefit to us, we must live by it.  “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” (Matthew 7:24-27)

Today’s reading: Proverbs 29-30

 

2018 Day 284 – Psalms 119

In the longest chapter of the Bible, the Psalmist asks a question and then promptly gives us the best answer.  “How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word.” (Psalms 119:9)  His advice works for not just young men, but everyone who follows it.  Later he makes another famous statement about God’s word.  “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” (Psalms 119:105)  Isaiah tells us that we do not have to worry about that guiding word ever being changed or destroyed.  “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.” (Isaiah 40:8)

Today’s reading: Psalms 119

2018 Day 283 – 2 Chronicles 16-20

Jehoshaphat appointed judges and gave them instructions on how they were to judge.  “Now then, let the fear of the LORD be upon you. Be careful what you do, for there is no injustice with the LORD our God, or partiality or taking bribes.” (2 Chronicles 19:7)  Paul also told us thru his letter to the Colossians how we should act toward our just God.  “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality.” (Colossians 3:23-25)

Today’s reading: 2 Chronicles 16-20

 

2018 Day 282 – Numbers 33-36

When God let the Israelites go into the promised land, He commanded them what to do about the people already living there.  “then you shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you and destroy all their figured stones and destroy all their metal images and demolish all their high places.” (Numbers 33:52)  He knew what bad influences could do to His people.  Paul also warned the Corinthians about this same thing.  “Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company ruins good morals.’” (1 Corinthians 15:33)  The Psalmist reminds us that we should not only avoid evil, but we should fill our lives with good.  “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away.” (Psalms 1:1-4)

Today’s reading: Numbers 33-36

2018 Day 281 – Acts 5-6

Suffering is not something that most people enjoy, but the Apostles had occasion to feel this way when they were beaten for teaching about Jesus.  “And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.” (Acts 5:41)  Peter says not only should we be prepared to suffer, we should also be prepared to explain why we are happy to do so.  “For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good? But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:” (1 Peter 3:12-15)

Today’s reading: Acts 5-6

 

2018 Day 280 – Hebrews 5-7

The Hebrew writer speaks with disappointment of those who have not grown in their knowledge of God’s word.  “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.” (Hebrews 5:12-14)  Diligent study of God’s word will give us everything we need to know to live a Christian life that pleases our Heavenly Father.  “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

Today’s reading: Hebrews 5-7

2018 Day 279 – Jonah 1-5

When Jonah finally went to Nineveh and shared with them the message from God, the people repented.  “But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was angry. And he prayed to the LORD and said, ‘O LORD, is not this what I said when I was yet in my country? That is why I made haste to flee to Tarshish; for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and relenting from disaster. Therefore now, O LORD, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live.’” (Jonah 4:1-3)  Jonah had the opposite reaction from what God and His angels have over those who repent.  “Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.” (Luke 15:7)  Jesus tells us that unlike Jonah, we should desire good for all, even our enemies.  “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?” (Matthew 5:43-47)

Today’s reading: Jonah 1-5