2018 Day 332 – Nehemiah 1-4

As the Jews were rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem, some opposition arose against them.  “And they all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and to cause confusion in it.” (Nehemiah 4:8)  In the next verse we read of the two things the Jews did as soon as they found out about the opposition to their work.  “And we prayed to our God and set a guard as a protection against them day and night.” (Nehemiah 4:9)  This is a great example to us all.  When trouble arose, they prayed and they also put forth the effort to try and protect themselves.  We must have faith in God’s ability to answer our prayers, but we also must be willing to put in the work that needs to be done.  If we are striving to do His will, those prayers will be answered with what He knows is best.  “And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.” (1 John 5:14)

Today’s reading: Nehemiah 1-4

 

2018 Day 331 – Deuteronomy 20-22

When His people went to battle and were doing His will, God was with them.  “And when you draw near to the battle, the priest shall come forward and speak to the people and shall say to them, ‘Hear, O Israel, today you are drawing near for battle against your enemies: let not your heart faint. Do not fear or panic or be in dread of them, for the LORD your God is he who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies, to give you the victory.’” (Deuteronomy 20:2-4)  As the Psalmist said, God continues to be here for us every day no matter what happens.  “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah” (Psalm 46:1-3)

Today’s reading: Deuteronomy 20-22

2018 Day 330 – Acts 19-20

Paul explained his example of working hard, not to benefit himself but to use what he gained to help those less fortunate.  “In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” (Acts 20:35)  If our giving is with the proper motives, we please God and show our trust in His continued care for our needs.  “The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 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 9:6-8)

Today’s reading: Acts 19-20

 

2018 Day 329 – 2 Peter 1-3

Peter explains how God makes glorious promises to us and provides us everything we need to receive those promises.  “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, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.” (2 Peter 1:3-4)  Peter continues defining those traits that we need to build in ourselves to serve God completely.  “For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.” (2 Peter 1:5-7)  He expounds on this thought letting us know that we need to always strive to have continued growth of these traits in our Christian walk.  “For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 1:8)

Today’s reading: 2 Peter 1-3

 

2018 Day 328 – Zechariah 8-14

The prophecy that Zechariah shared with the people included a promise from God of saving.  “On that day the LORD their God will save them, as the flock of his people; for like the jewels of a crown they shall shine on his land.” (Zechariah 9:16)  There was another prophecy that also brought us a promise of saving.  “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” (Matthew 1:21-23)

Today’s reading: Zechariah 8-14

2018 Day 327 – Ecclesiastes 9-10

Solomon had great wisdom, but he knew that proudly proclaiming how wise you are is a trait of fools.  “The words of the wise heard in quiet are better than the shouting of a ruler among fools.” (Ecclesiastes 9:17)  We are also told that no matter how wise our words may be, by themselves they are of little value.  “Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.” (1 John 3:18)

Today’s reading: Ecclesiastes 9-10

 

2018 Day 326 – Psalms 134-136

The Psalmist starts and ends chapter 136 exclaiming thanks to God.  In between he lists things to thank Him for and ends all 26 verses with a reason why, “for his steadfast love endures forever” (some translations say lovingkindness or mercy).  We could all put together a long list of things we are thankful to God for because everything good comes from Him.  “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” (James 1:17)  Paul explained to the Corinthians, and to us, that our abundant blessings from God should cause us to be thankful and share our blessings.  “Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.” (2 Corinthians 9:11)

Today’s reading: Psalms 134-136

 

2018 Day 325 – Ezra 6-10

As we learn God’s Word, we should be like Ezra and have a zeal to share with others.  “For Ezra had set his heart to study the Law of the LORD, and to do it and to teach his statutes and rules in Israel.” (Ezra 7:10)  In his letter to the Colossians, Paul talks about the change in us that happens as we put off the old man and become Christians.  Having a desire to teach others like Ezra did is one of those Christian traits that Paul talks about.  “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” (Colossians 3:16)

Today’s reading: Ezra 6-10

 

2018 Day 324 – Deuteronomy 16-19

God allowed His people to appoint a king like the nations around them, but He gave specific instructions for the king to follow.  Part of those instructions involved how to handle God’s words.  “And when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he shall write for himself in a book a copy of this law, approved by the Levitical priests. And it shall be with him, and he shall read in it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the LORD his God by keeping all the words of this law and these statutes, and doing them, that his heart may not be lifted up above his brothers, and that he may not turn aside from the commandment, either to the right hand or to the left, so that he may continue long in his kingdom, he and his children, in Israel.” (Deuteronomy 17:18-20)  Our Heavenly Father may not speak to us today in miraculous form, but His Written Word is just as powerful.  “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)  It is up to us to use His Word to direct our lives like He commanded these kings to do.

Today’s reading: Deuteronomy 16-19

 

2018 Day 323 – Acts 17-18

Study of God’s Word takes diligence, like the Bereans had.  “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)  Paul also encouraged us thru his second letter to Timothy that we should make sure we understand and are living by the Word.  “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)

Today’s reading: Acts 17-18