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 262 – 2 Chronicles 1-5

After Solomon had made sacrifices to Him, the Lord spoke to Solomon.  “In that night God appeared to Solomon, and said to him, ‘Ask what I shall give you.’” (2 Chronicles 1:7)  Solomon could have asked for endless riches or fame, but he did not.  “Give me now wisdom and knowledge to go out and come in before this people, for who can govern this people of yours, which is so great?” (2 Chronicles 1:10)  God was so pleased that He gave Solomon what he had asked for and then some.  “God answered Solomon, ‘Because this was in your heart, and you have not asked for possessions, wealth, honor, or the life of those who hate you, and have not even asked for long life, but have asked for wisdom and knowledge for yourself that you may govern my people over whom I have made you king, wisdom and knowledge are granted to you. I will also give you riches, possessions, and honor, such as none of the kings had who were before you, and none after you shall have the like.’” (2 Chronicles 1:11-12)  James tells us that we have the same opportunity.  “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” (James 1:5-8)  We should not expect to get the same result that Solomon did with great wealth, but we can receive something much more valuable.  If we truly desire to know God’s word better we must not only pray for it, but we must also give it diligent study.

Today’s reading: 2 Chronicles 1-5

 

2018 Day 261 – Numbers 21-24

Balaam asked God what he should do about the messengers that Balak had sent.  “God said to Balaam, ‘You shall not go with them. You shall not curse the people, for they are blessed.’” (Numbers 22:12)  Balaam passed along that message to the first group that asked, but when a second group came asking the same question, Balaam went to God again even though he knew what the answer should be.  God was not pleased with Balaam.  “But God’s anger was kindled because he went, and the angel of the LORD took his stand in the way as his adversary. Now he was riding on the donkey, and his two servants were with him.” (Numbers 22:22)  Our Heavenly Father gave each one of us the free will to make our own decisions just like he did with Balaam.  When it comes to making the decision to follow the Lord or not, we have the words of Joshua.  “And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” (Joshua 24:15)  God gives us all ample opportunity to follow Him.  “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)  He is patient with us, but as the next verse tells us there will be a day of judgement.  “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.” (2 Peter 3:10)

Today’s reading: Numbers 21-24

 

2018 Day 260 – John 19-21

After Thomas was told he missed the opportunity to see the resurrected Jesus, he made a statement that helped get him the nickname Doubting Thomas.  “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”  After Jesus showed him the scars, He contrasted Thomas’ faith to those who have not seen Him.  “Jesus said to him, ‘Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.’” (John 20:29)  Peter reminds us what we can inherit if we have a true faith even though we have not seen.  “Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” (1 Peter 1:8)

Today’s reading: John 19-21

 

2018 Day 259 – Titus 1-3

Salvation has been made available to all people.  “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,” (Titus 2:11)  But there is a way that we must live to gain the salvation that is promised to all.  “Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” (Titus 2:12-14)  We are to strive to be that “peculiar people” that stand out from the world by being “zealous of good works.”  Peter also gives us motive to be zealous for doing good.  “Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good?” (1 Peter 3:13)

Today’s reading: Titus 1-3

 

2018 Day 258 – Amos 1-4

We hear a lot about the love of God, but there is a characteristic of Him that we do not hear about as much.  “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.” (John 3:36)  The wrath of God is not something to be taken lightly.  “Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’” (Romans 12:19)  Amos shared God’s feelings toward Judah for their rejecting of His word.  “Thus says the LORD: ‘For three transgressions of Judah, and for four, I will not revoke the punishment, because they have rejected the law of the LORD, and have not kept his statutes, but their lies have led them astray, those after which their fathers walked. So I will send a fire upon Judah, and it shall devour the strongholds of Jerusalem.’” (Amos 2:4)  As a just God He will not allow evil to go unpunished.  “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.” (Romans 1:18)  On the day of judgement the wrath of God is not something that any of us wants to face.  “Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.” (Romans 2:3-5)

Today’s reading: Amos 1-4

 

2018 Day 257 – Proverbs 23-24

Twice in chapter 24 Solomon tells us how we should feel toward those who do evil.  “Be not envious of evil men, nor desire to be with them, for their hearts devise violence, and their lips talk of trouble.” (Proverbs 24:1)  “Fret not yourself because of evildoers, and be not envious of the wicked, for the evil man has no future; the lamp of the wicked will be put out.” (Proverbs 24:19)  Paul told us thru his letter to the Romans what our future will hold if we join with those who do evil.  “He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. For God shows no partiality. (Romans 2:6-11)  We have the best solution to fighting off any evil that may threaten us.  “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,” (Ephesians 6:10-18)

Today’s reading: Proverbs 23-24

 

2018 Day 256 – Psalms 108-110

The Psalmist begged God to save him from his enemies.  “Help me, O LORD my God! Save me according to your steadfast love! Let them know that this is your hand; you, O LORD, have done it!” (Psalms 109:26-27)  In another Psalm he reminded us that with God on our side there was no need to fear.  “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalms 27:1)  Jesus also told us not to fear men.  “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:28)  Paul, who had been through many trials himself, had an opinion on this too.  “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31)

Today’s reading: Psalms 108-110

 

2018 Day 255 – 1 Chronicles 25-29

In 1 Chronicles chapter 29 we read a prayer from David not long before he died.  The humbleness in his heart is evident as he speaks to our Heavenly Father.  “Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and you are exalted as head above all.” (1 Chronicles 29:11)  David knew and acknowledged that every good thing he had ever received was a gift from God.  “Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name.” (1 Chronicles 29:12-13)  David questioned how we could give anything of value to God when all that we own was a gift from Him to start with.  “But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able thus to offer willingly? For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you.” (1 Chronicles 29:14)  It is no secret that God has and will continue to provide everything we need in this life.  “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence,” (2 Peter 1:3)

Today’s reading: 1 Chronicles 25-29

 

2018 Day 254 – Numbers 17-20

When God told Moses to speak to the rock and water would come out, Moses disobeyed.  He struck the rock twice instead of just speaking to it.  God let Moses and Aaron know right then what their punishment would be.  “And the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, ‘Because you did not believe in me, to uphold me as holy in the eyes of the people of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land that I have given them.’” (Numbers 20:12)  Moses took into his own hands what needed to be done to solve the problem.  He did not trust God nor give God the credit for the water that appeared.  No matter what is going on in our lives, if we will take it to God in prayer and truly trust Him, He will provide the best solution.  “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:28)

Today’s reading: Numbers 17-20

 

2018 Day 253 – John 16-18

Not long before Jesus was crucified, Pilate asked Him if He was King of the Jews.  Jesus answered, ‘My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.’” (John 18:36)  God’s word provides us with knowledge of the kingdom that Jesus was referring to.  “Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:” (Colossians 1:12)  Peter tells us about the way into the Kingdom.  “For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 1:11)  In the verses preceding this one, Peter explains how we can be fruitful servants in the Kingdom. (2 Peter 1:3-10)

Today’s reading: John 16-18