We have all seen a child stretch out their arms as far as they can and say “I love you this much”. The Psalmist describes the range of God’s love. “But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children,” (Psalms 103:17) His love for us has no end or beginning, it has and will always be there for us. He shows His love for us in many ways, but one way stands above all others. “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) “In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” (1 John 4:9-11) We are told here that since God loved us so much that we should show love to others as well. Jesus even said that would be how we can be recognized as His disciples. “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35)
Today’s reading: Psalms 102-104
Our Heavenly Father provides us with everything good in this life. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” (James 1:17) David knew this fact. “Then King David went in and sat before the LORD and said, “Who am I, O LORD God, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far?” (1 Chronicles 17:16) The humble attitude we see here from David shows that he knew that God gave him so much more good than he deserved. We can all say the same thing. Instead of giving us what we deserve, He shows His love for us. “He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him.” (Psalms 103:10-13)
Today’s reading: 1 Chronicles 15-19
The Bible records many times when the Israelites complained about something. On this occasion they were complaining because they had food but they did not have any meat. God was not happy with their lack of contentment. “And the people complained in the hearing of the LORD about their misfortunes, and when the LORD heard it, his anger was kindled, and the fire of the LORD burned among them and consumed some outlying parts of the camp.” (Numbers 11:1) Paul tells us thru his letter to the Philippians that complaining is not something Christians should do. “Do all things without grumbling or disputing,” (Philippians 2:14) He continues on giving us reasons why we should not complain. “that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,” (Philippians 2:15) In most every situation we can find something to complain about. In that same situation we can also find something to be thankful for, but it just depends on what we are focusing on. We know which way God wants us to focus. “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
Today’s reading: Numbers 9-12
Separation of the Bible into verses was done by men and the shortest verse we have contains only two words. “Jesus wept.” (John 11:35) But those two words tell us a lot about our Savior. He came to earth and lived as a man with the same feelings and struggles that we have. “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) “but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:7)
Today’s reading: John 10-12
Doctors make recommendations that we get some exercise to help improve our health. In his first letter to Timothy, Paul explains that there is something even better for us. “for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” (1 Timothy 4:8) Then he tells what we should add along with godliness. “But godliness with contentment is great gain” (1 Timothy 6:6) The material blessings of this world are nice, but focusing on them too much can cause us problems. “for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.” (1 Timothy 6:7-9)
Today’s reading: 1 Timothy 4-6
God’s words thru Hosea tell a reason that the people were ruined. “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being a priest to me. And since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.” (Hosea 4:6) Without God’s word to guide our lives we will only live like the world. “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2) To have the knowledge of God’s word that we need to live takes work on our part. “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) We have the Bereans as an example to follow for getting that knowledge and keeping it in our minds to guide us. “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” (Acts 17:11)
Today’s reading: Hosea 1-7
Decisions made without good information to back them up can get us into trouble. “Desire without knowledge is not good, and whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way.” (Proverbs 19:2) We can gain the knowledge we need for the most important things in our life from only one place. “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) If we diligently study His Word with an open heart, it will change our lives. “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) God knew that we would suffer trials and struggle sometimes so He made sure that His words were preserved for our benefit. “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” (Romans 15:4)
Today’s reading: Proverbs 19
The one hundredth Psalm calls itself a Psalm for giving thanks. If we count the many blessings and appreciate what God has done and continues to do for us, we will have the attitude that this psalm suggests.
Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth!
Serve the LORD with gladness! Come into his presence with singing!
Know that the LORD, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!
For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations. (Psalms 100:1-5)
The Psalm ends by reminding us that His love for us has no end. One of my favorite verses tells us what happens if we love Him in return. “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
Today’s reading: Psalms 99-101
David was not perfect, but he knew who was in control and who he could go to for guidance. “And David inquired of God, ‘Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will you give them into my hand?’ And the LORD said to him, ‘Go up, and I will give them into your hand.’” (1 Chronicles 14:10) Before he fought Goliath he also knew the Lord was with him. “And David said, ‘The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.’ And Saul said to David, ‘Go, and the LORD be with you!’” (1 Samuel 17:37) We are also promised that if we live a life following God’s word, we can be assured of that great helper. “So we can confidently say, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?’” (Hebrews 13:6)
Today’s reading: 1 Chronicles 10-14
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