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 233 – Numbers 5-8

We read here of some of the many sacrifices that had to be made under the old law.  There were offerings of grain, oil, goats, bulls, ram, and lambs.  I am thankful that we do not live under that law.  It sounds like a lot of work and a lot to remember.  The one Sacrifice came to this earth and suffered to be a replacement for the requirements of the old law.  “For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.” (Hebrews 10:4)  “And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” (Hebrews 10:10)  When we struggle in this life, we can look to the One who understands what we are going thru.  “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15)  He was our sacrifice and perfect example and we should strive daily to glorify and honor Him.

Today’s reading: Numbers 5-8

 

2018 Day 232 – John 7-9

Scribes and Pharisees brought to Jesus a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery.  They questioned Him on whether or not they should stone her as punishment.  “So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” (John 8:7)  This was not the only time that Jesus warned about looking too hard at other people’s sins and missing our own.  “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:3-5)  But it is our Christian duty to help that sinning person get back on track.  “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.” (Galatians 6:1)

Today’s reading: John 7-9

 

2018 Day 231 – 1 Timothy 1-3

Paul knew that he was saved, but he was humble in his attitude.  “Faithful is the saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief:” (1 Timothy 1:15)  He also knew that Christ’s saving blood was shed for everyone, not just him.  “This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; who would have all men to be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:3-4)  Like Paul, we have all sinned.  “for all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God;” (Romans 3:23)  But the power for us to be saved is the same power Jesus described to His disciples when telling them how hard it was for a rich man to get to heaven.  “And when the disciples heard it, they were astonished exceedingly, saying, Who then can be saved?  And Jesus looking upon them said to them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:25-26)

Today’s reading: 1 Timothy 1-3

 

2018 Day 230 – Daniel 7-12

In this section of scripture we read of the visions that Daniel received.  Daniel also received interpretations of these visions.  These were prophecies that came true exactly as they were told.  Only God has this kind of power and His power was shown in the kingdom that was described to Daniel.  “I saw in the night-visions, and, behold, there came with the clouds of heaven one like unto a son of man, and he came even to the ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all the peoples, nations, and languages should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.” (Daniel 7:13-14)  We have opportunity to be part of this kingdom that was described to Daniel.  It is the kingdom that Christ purchased with His blood.  “knowing that ye were redeemed, not with corruptible things, with silver or gold, from your vain manner of life handed down from your fathers; but with precious blood, as of a lamb without spot, even the blood of Christ:” (1 Peter 1:18-19)

Today’s reading: Daniel 7-12

 

2018 Day 229 – Proverbs 17-18

Numerous times in God’s word we are told of the importance of being humble.  Several of those times are from the wise Solomon.  “Before destruction a man’s heart is haughty, but humility comes before honor.” (Proverbs 18:12)  “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.” (Proverbs 11:2)  “The reward for humility and fear of the LORD is riches and honor and life.” (Proverbs 22:4)  “A man’s pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit.” (Proverbs 29:23)  These are just a few of them, but it is obvious the value in not thinking too much of ourselves.  James and Peter both explain a reward available to us for our humility.  “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.” (James 4:10)  “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:: (1 Peter 5:6)  As the Psalmist says, if we realize how desperately we need the Lord, He will guide us.  “Good and upright is the LORD; therefore he instructs sinners in the way. He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way.” (Psalms 25:8-9)

Today’s reading: Proverbs 17-18

 

2018 Day 228 – Psalms 96-98

According to the Psalmist there are things God provides for those who live righteously.  “Light is sown for the righteous, and joy for the upright in heart.” (Psalms 97:11)  Peter tells us that this joy we have with Christ is beyond description.  “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 1:8-9)  If we are living for Him, this joy will be part of the fruit that is produced in our life.  “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23)

Today’s reading: Psalms 96-98

 

2018 Day 227 – 1 Chronicles 5-9

This section of scripture continues the genealogies.  Some of these names we know nothing about other than their relatives.  At first glance we might think this person did nothing of value in their life.  Just because they were not known for some great accomplishment does not mean they did not live a life faithful to God.  If we live all of our days faithful to Him and never gain any fame or fortune, our reward will be great.  If we live our life striving to be seen and honored by men, Jesus tells us the reward we will receive.  “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.” (Matthew 6:1-5)

Today’s reading: 1 Chronicles 5-9

 

2018 Day 226 – Numbers 1-4

Aaron’s four sons were the anointed priests, but he lost two of them.  “But Nadab and Abihu died before the LORD when they offered unauthorized fire before the LORD in the wilderness of Sinai, and they had no children. So Eleazar and Ithamar served as priests in the lifetime of Aaron their father.” (Numbers 3:4)  The event is also mentioned in Leviticus 10:1-2.  In neither place are we told what this “unauthorized fire” was exactly.  Some translations call it “strange fire”.  Whatever it was did not agree with God’s commands.  He had given very specific instructions for the duties of these priests and the way He wanted to be worshiped.  These two men obviously did not follow God’s specific commands.  Their deaths are not the typical punishment from God, but we are promised that He will discipline us in the way that we need it.  “And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? ‘My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.’ It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?” (Hebrews 12:5-7)  In all that he went thru, Job still reminded us to be happy when God disciplines us.  “Behold, blessed is the one whom God reproves; therefore despise not the discipline of the Almighty.” (Job 5:17)

Today’s reading: Numbers 1-4

2018 Day 225 – John 5-6

When Jesus walked on water toward His disciples, they were afraid.  “But he said to them, ‘It is I; do not be afraid.’” (John 6:20)  That was not the only time that He told them to not be afraid.  “And be not afraid of them that kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:28)  If our focus is living like Christ, there is nothing that we should be afraid of or worry about.  “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 6:33-34)

Today’s reading: John 5-6

 

2018 Day 224 – 2 Thessalonians 1-3

Our Heavenly Father is a just God and His judgement is righteous.  That means He will keep His word on the things He has commanded us, even if it means eternal punishment for those that he loves.  “This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering— since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed.” (2 Thessalonians 1:5-10)  I do not think any of us want to receive God’s vengeance for not obeying the gospel of our Lord Jesus.  The gospel that we are to obey is the Good News of Jesus being resurrected from the dead after He had been crucified on the cross.  If you have not obeyed the gospel, read Romans 6 for instructions on how to do so before it is everlastingly too late.

Today’s reading: 2 Thessalonians 1-3