2018 Day 212 – Leviticus 22-24

Under the old law punishments could be very severe.  “Whoever takes a human life shall surely be put to death. Whoever takes an animal’s life shall make it good, life for life. If anyone injures his neighbor, as he has done it shall be done to him, fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth; whatever injury he has given a person shall be given to him.  Whoever kills an animal shall make it good, and whoever kills a person shall be put to death.  You shall have the same rule for the sojourner and for the native, for I am the LORD your God.” (Leviticus 24:17-22)  These were laws to be enforced by those in power, but some people had tried to use them as excuses to carry out retaliation for themselves.  In His sermon on the mount, Jesus refutes the idea of retaliation.  “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well.  And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.” (Matthew 5:38-41)  As Christians this is the law that we are to follow today.  No matter how bad we may want to get revenge on someone, God tells us to do good toward that enemy and leave the revenging to Him.  “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.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.”  Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:19)

Today’s reading: Leviticus 22-24


2018 Day 211 – John 1-2

Without any form of light it is difficult for us to do anything good.  God’s word contains many comparisons between evil and darkness.  “The way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know over what they stumble.” (Proverbs 4:19)  We read of Jesus being called the light that fight off darkness.  “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:5)  If we follow His perfect example in the way we live our life, we will stay out of that darkness.  “Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”’ (John 8:12)

Today’s reading: John 1-2


2018 Day 210 – 1 Thessalonians 1-3

In Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians he complimented them for being magnificent Christian examples to others.  “And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia.  For not only has the word of the Lord sounded forth from you in Macedonia and Achaia, but your faith in God has gone forth everywhere, so that we need not say anything.” (1 Thessalonians 1:6-8)  No matter what we say, our actions will speak louder than our words.  Jesus told us to be that Christian light to others, but not to glorify ourselves.  “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)

Today’s reading: 1 Thessalonians 1-3

2018 Day 209 – Ezekiel 37-42

Several times in this section of scripture we see the phrase “know that I am the LORD”.  (Ezekiel 37:6, 37:13, 38:23, 39:6, 39:7, 39:22, 39:28)  God showed His power so that all people would know that He was the one in control.  He does not use miraculous ways today to show us that He is Lord, but the more we study His word the better we will know Him and His power.  The apostle John told us the key for our knowing God.  “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.  He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” (1 John 4:7-8)  This is the same key that Jesus said would show that we were followers of His.  “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” (John 13:35)

Today’s reading: Ezekiel 37-42


2018 Day 208 – Proverbs 13

It has been said that you become like the 5 people that you spend the most time with.  Solomon may not have followed his own advice, but he knew friends were important.  “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.” (Proverbs 27:17)  “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.” (Proverbs 13:20)  Paul gave a similar warning in his first letter to the Corinthians.  “Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” (1 Corinthians 15:33)  Our book of Psalms begins by telling us that happy is the person who spends time in God’s word rather than spending time with unrighteous people.  “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.” (Psalms 1:1)  Jesus, the perfect influence and best friend a person could have is there for us if we want him to be our friend.  “You are my friends if you do what I command you.” (John 15:14)

Today’s reading: Proverbs 13

2018 Day 207 – Psalms 87-89

Our Heavenly Father is always available to hear our prayers.  No matter how desperate our situation, God is the answer.  “Let my prayer come before thee: incline thine ear unto my cry; For my soul is full of troubles: and my life draweth nigh unto the grave.  I am counted with them that go down into the pit: I am as a man that hath no strength:” (Psalms 88:2-4)  Sometimes it is hard to even find the right words to say to Him, but we have help there also.  “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.  And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” (Romans 8:26-27)  Even though God knows our thoughts, He still wants to hear from us with the good and the bad in our lives.  “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

Today’s reading: Psalms 87-89


2018 Day 206 – 2 Kings 16-20

Sennacherib, king of Assyria, sent a threatening message to Hezekiah, king of Judah.  “Thus shall you speak to Hezekiah king of Judah: ‘Do not let your God in whom you trust deceive you by promising that Jerusalem will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.'” (2 Kings 19:10)  The message listed many other countries that had been taken by Sennacherib and basically said that Judah was next on his list.  Hezekiah did the best thing that he could have done and went directly to prayer.  “So now, O LORD our God, save us, please, from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you, O LORD, are God alone.” (2 Kings 19:19)  After this prayer Isaiah brought words from God telling how He felt about Sennacherib’s attitude and actions.  “But I know your sitting down and your going out and coming in, and your raging against me.  Because you have raged against me and your complacency has come into my ears, I will put my hook in your nose and my bit in your mouth, and I will turn you back on the way by which you came.” (2 Kings 19:27-28)  No matter what may threaten us, if we are like King Hezekiah and take it to our Heavenly Father first, we can rest assured in Him.  “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.” (Isaiah 40:28)

Today’s reading: 2 Kings 16-20


2018 Day 205 – Leviticus 19-21

God sent thru Moses to His people a command on the attitude they should have toward their neighbor.  “You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD.” (Leviticus 19:18)  In Jesus’ sermon on the mount He also tells us to love our neighbor, but He adds a little more.  “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:43-44)  Paul quotes from Proverbs with actions we should take toward those enemies.  To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” (Romans 12:20)  Showing love toward someone who does not treat us well is not easy, but it shows the heart of a true Christian.

Today’s reading: Leviticus 19-21


2018 Day 204 – Luke 23-24

Jesus lived on this earth as the perfect example for us to follow.  As He was being crucified His forgiving heart was extremely evident.  “And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”… (Luke 23:34)  Forgiveness is one of the attitudes that are part of a true Christian’s character.  It is also a command that we must follow if we want the same in return.  “For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (Matthew 6:14-15)

Today’s reading: Luke 23-24


2018 Day 203 – Colossians 3-4

In Paul’s letter to the people of Colossae, he listed certain traits that Christians should exhibit in their interactions with others.  “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience,  bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.” (Colossians 3:12-13)  Paul continues this thought and adds the one thing that completes a Christian’s attitude.  “And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” (Colossians 3:14)  Jesus told His disciples that this same attitude is what would prove to others that they were His followers.  “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35)

Today’s reading: Colossians 3-4