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
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
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
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
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
The Psalmist shared his experience with prayer to God. “Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will tell what he has done for my soul. I cried to him with my mouth, and high praise was on my tongue. If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. But truly God has listened; he has attended to the voice of my prayer. Blessed be God, because he has not rejected my prayer or removed his steadfast love from me!” (Psalms 66:16-20) We can read words from James where he also talks about the power of prayer. “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” (James 5:16) James includes a warning to keep our motives right. “You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.” (James 4:3) And greatest of all, Jesus explains to us how our Heavenly Father will respond to our requests. “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” (Matthew 7:7-11)
Today’s reading: Psalms 66-68
God allowed Solomon to build the temple that his father David was not able to build. “Now it was in the heart of David my father to build a house for the name of the LORD, the God of Israel. But the LORD said to David my father, ‘Whereas it was in your heart to build a house for my name, you did well that it was in your heart. Nevertheless, you shall not build the house, but your son who shall be born to you shall build the house for my name.’” (1 Kings 8:17-19) We are told many of the details of this build. It took tens of thousands of men seven years to complete the temple. Only the best materials were used to build it. I am sure it was an amazing sight to see. This temple was described as the house that Solomon built for God. As marvelous as this house may have been, we have been promised an opportunity for one even better. “For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” (2 Corinthians 5:1)
Today’s reading: 1 Kings 5-9
God gave Moses very specific instructions on building the tabernacle and everything related to it. Moses shared those instructions with the Israelites and they completed the work. “According to all that the LORD had commanded Moses, so the people of Israel had done all the work. And Moses saw all the work, and behold, they had done it; as the LORD had commanded, so had they done it. Then Moses blessed them.” (Exodus 39:42-43) These verses tell us they did ALL the work as it was commanded and they were blessed. They knew the importance of following every detail of this project and not leaving out or changing anything. God has given us the Bible as an instruction manual for our life. He wants us to follow every detail of His Word to live a life serving Him.
Today’s reading: Exodus 37-40
When Jesus was asked which was the greatest commandment, He gave the answer and also gave the second greatest commandment. “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:30-31) For Him to share with them the next commandment as well must mean that it is important for us all to follow. And who is my neighbor? That same question was asked to Jesus by a lawyer. Jesus told him the story we all know of the Good Samaritan. At the end of the story, Jesus used a question back to the lawyer. “Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.” (Luke 10:36-37) To follow Jesus command, we also should be willing to “go, and do likewise.”
Today’s reading: Luke 9-10
In his letter to the Galatians, Paul wrote to them about equality of all people when it comes to our Savior. “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28) In the verse just prior to that statement he reminded them what it takes to get in Christ. “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” (Galatians 3:27) Just like Paul told the Galatians, we can put on Christ and have a new life in Him. “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:3)
Today’s reading: Galatians 1-3