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 168 – Ezekiel 1-6

God had important information to share with His people and He spoke those words directly to Ezekiel.  “And he said to me, ‘Son of man, stand on your feet, and I will speak with you.”’ (Ezekiel 2:1)  He also has important information to share with us today.  “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: Ezekiel 1-6


2018 Day 167 – Jeremiah 42-46

God is love (1 John 4:8), but that does not mean that His people are free to disobey His word.  God sent word thru Jeremiah to the Jews letting them know His displeasure with their actions.  “Yet I persistently sent to you all my servants the prophets, saying, ‘Oh, do not do this abomination that I hate!’  But they did not listen or incline their ear, to turn from their evil and make no offerings to other gods.  Therefore my wrath and my anger were poured out and kindled in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem, and they became a waste and a desolation, as at this day.” (Jeremiah 44:4-6)  The wrath of God is something to be feared, but we have opportunity to be saved from that wrath.  “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.” (Romans 5:8-9)  We are all given the chance to come in contact with that saving blood of His death.  “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?” (Romans 6:3)

Today’s reading: Jeremiah 42-46


2018 Day 166 – Proverbs 4

Normally when we travel there is a particular destination that we are headed toward.  Without that destination to focus on, we would just be traveling aimlessly forever.  Solomon tells us how our daily walk should be focused.  “Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you.  Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure.  Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil.” (Proverbs 4:25-27)  If we keep our focus on serving God and daily following His word, our final destination will be a home with Him.

Today’s reading: Proverbs 4


2018 Day 165 – Psalms 69-71

In the Psalms David wrote many words that showed the love and respect he had for our Heavenly Father.  He realized that God knew all and was in control of all.  “O God, you know my folly; the wrongs I have done are not hidden from you.” (Psalms 69:5)  Even though God knows all the mistakes we make, His love for us is still greater than we can comprehend.  “But as for me, my prayer is to you, O LORD. At an acceptable time, O God, in the abundance of your steadfast love answer me in your saving faithfulness.” (Psalms 69:13)  He gives us all the opportunity for salvation if we will follow His word.  “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)

Today’s reading: Psalms 69-71


2018 Day 164 – 1 Kings 10-13

In God’s word there are many instances of people being influenced negatively by those around them.  One of those is Solomon.  “Now King Solomon loved many foreign women, along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women, from the nations concerning which the LORD had said to the people of Israel, “You shall not enter into marriage with them, neither shall they with you, for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods.” Solomon clung to these in love.” (1 Kings 11:1-2)  Even though Solomon was a very wise man, when it came to who he married he did not make wise decisions nor did he follow God’s command.  These decisions had the exact result that God said they would.  “For when Solomon was old his wives turned away his heart after other gods, and his heart was not wholly true to the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father.” (1 Kings 11:4)  Paul had a similar warning for the people at Corinth (and for us today).  “Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company ruins good morals.’” (1 Corinthians 15:33)

Today’s reading: 1 Kings 10-13


2018 Day 163 – Leviticus 1-3

Moses brought to the Israelites very specific commands from God on how they were to offer sacrifices.  “And the LORD called unto Moses, and spake unto him out of the tabernacle of the congregation, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, If any man of you bring an offering unto the LORD, ye shall bring your offering of the cattle, even of the herd, and of the flock.  If his offering be a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish: he shall offer it of his own voluntary will at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the LORD.” (Leviticus 1:1-3)  The instructions continued on with many different types of sacrifices that they were to offer.  That included burnt offerings, meat offerings, peace offerings, and sin offerings.  Even if they sacrificed exactly as God commanded, there were limits to their benefits.  “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.” (Hebrews 10:4)  Only our Savior Jesus could be that perfect sacrifice that has power to save us from our sins.

Today’s reading: Leviticus 1-3


2018 Day 162 – Luke 11-12

Jesus told His disciples not to be worried about anything because God is in control.  “And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried.  For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them.  Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you.” (Luke 12:29-31)  If we seek to serve Him like He told these disciples, our treasure and our heart will be together.  “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Luke 12:34)

Today’s reading: Luke 11-12


2018 Day 161 – Galatians 4-6

Paul used another farming analogy to explain to the Galatians that whatever they spent their time and energy on would determine how their life would turn out.  “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.  For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.” (Galatians 6:7-8)  He then reminded them to keep on doing good even when they were not getting instant gratification.  “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.  So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” (Galatians 6:9-10)  Paul’s words are still fitting for us today just as much as they were for the Galatians.

Today’s reading: Galatians 4-6

2018 Day 160 – Jeremiah 37-41

Jeremiah brought commands from God to King Zedekiah, but the king doubted the plan.  “King Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, “I am afraid of the Judeans who have deserted to the Chaldeans, lest I be handed over to them and they deal cruelly with me.”  Jeremiah said, “You shall not be given to them. Obey now the voice of the LORD in what I say to you, and it shall be well with you, and your life shall be spared.” (Jeremiah 38:19-20)  Sometimes like King Zedekiah we may not understand God’s plan, but His plan is always better than anything we could do on our own.  We are not promised a life without pain and suffering, but if we are like Jeremiah and put our full trust in Him we will be saved.  “For I will surely save you, and you shall not fall by the sword, but you shall have your life as a prize of war, because you have put your trust in me, declares the LORD.’” (Jeremiah 39:18)

Today’s reading: Jeremiah 37-41

2018 Day 159 – Proverbs 2-3

God has blessed each one of us with more than what we deserve.  Those blessings are not just for our own desires.  “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.” (2 Corinthians 9:8)  Paul even tells the Ephesians (and us) that doing these good works is why we were created.  “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)  According to the wise words of Solomon, we are not to put off doing those good works if we have the opportunity.  “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.  Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come again, tomorrow I will give it”—when you have it with you.” (Proverbs 3:27-28)

Today’s reading: Proverbs 2-3