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"a monument to our greatness"

I struggle with this as well. I am a young professional and I am doing a lot of planning and dreaming about what I want to accomplish at work and in life. The tower story really centers my motivations and humbles me before God. Everything I do should be for the glory of God but this concept just flies in the face of "worldly success" and everything we are taught growing up.

"Sermon on the Mount"

I also feel like the Holy Spirit is at work each time I review these passages. I feel like this speaks to the heart of what life is all about. It's beyond powerful.

It occured to me that today's four readings are in a pattern (ABBA if you like that sort of thing)

Genesis - a warning to the church about pride and not listening to God
Matthew - an encouragement of what the true church looks like and the blessings it receives
Psalms - an encouragement of what the true church looks like and the blessings it receives
Proverbs - a warning to the church about pride and not listening to God

Amazing how God can speak even through the ordering of a one-year bible plan. It helps me (who like Frank above struggles with monuments) try to live a lifecloaser to that of Jesus.


I try to read part of the daily readings in the mornings and the rest at night. We're doing the one year bible with a group from my church (APC Bonn, Germany) and one member suggested from his experience to break the readings up and read OT and Psalm in the morning and NT and proverbs in the evening.
So, I'm trying it and so far I really like it. Gives a good structure to the day :)

Hello! I found your site via google. And then I told others about it hoping that it will encourage others to read their bible.

I liked reading your insights after I read today's verses. I usually read when Im eating my breakfast in the morning. That "pride" thing you wrote about reminded me to be humble today.

The only verse that spoke was Matt. 5, v. 16 about the light that we're to shine so that they may see our works. Since Jesus is the "light", we have to go out into the "darkness" and be good examples to others. That reminded me of what christians are supposed to do.

"Let's make a name for ourselves!" With who? Who were they -- or should I say -- who am I trying to impress? As I read about the great tower, I wonder if mankind was trying to impress God? In the beginning, God said: "Let us make man in OUR image." It seems that ever since then, man has been devoted to try to create a god in MAN'S image. Yes, this passage certainly kicks at the feet of my proud flesh. I rejoice though that the next chapter reveals the great hope - being one of God's chosen ones. I have been called out of this land, the land of my fathers and God has invited me to a land that he will reveal to me. This world is not my home, I am a resident alien, with citizenship in heaven.

Mike, I appreciate you posting the Beatitudes using the Message. I feel particularly challenged about "getting my inside world put right so that I can accurately see God in the outside world!

Proverbs: It seems that wisdom is more spiritual than mental. Anyone can gather knowledge -- but God is the dispenser of wisdom.

I enoy reading the posts and comments - happy to be a part of God's kingdom! God bless and strengthen you today.

In His Name,

I read the Daily walk bible in the morning and the one year bible at night with my family.

I really enjoyed the comment on the Tower of Babel I must be very careful in everything that I do for the Kingdom of God that I don't try to set up a kingdom for myself. I don't ever want to thing that I can do anything without God. I want to always realize that every good and perfect gift comes from Him, without out Him I am nothing.


First, I really enjoy your site and am grateful to have been told about it! I really enjoy reading other people's insight into the Word-it brings out thoughts and meanings I wouldn't have thought of. Thank you for being obedient to the Spirit that called you to do this.

I am glad you included the Message paraphrase! It was enlightening to read it-I think it really opened up the meaning of the verses for me. I bought the Message for my son and daughter-in-law hoping it would inspire them to read the Bible more, but maybe I should read it myself and see what other insights I might glean from it.

The verse that jumped out at me today was Matthew 3:13-not the part about being the salt of the earth, but about losing our saltiness. I need to reflect on it a little longer, but to me it says to beware losing our ability to relate to the unbelievers around us or we are no longer of any use in our witness. Think about what salt does in cooking-it can actually sweeten a dish (think corn or oatmeal without salt). If we lose that ability to "sweeten" (or make better) our lives and those around us because of the work of the Holy Spirit within us-we are no longer any different from the unbelievers. Wow!

As for starting my day, I try to read from "Streams in the Desert" (or some other devotional) and I always spend some time in prayer. This is when I ask God to show me how to serve Him today. This is when I ask Him to make me salt and light to those around me for His glory. I don't think I could get through the day without my prayer time. I read the Bible online at night when I have more time to play.

Thanks and keep up the good work.

Genesis 11:1-13:4

Although we can focus upon the tower and people trying to make a name for themselves by building a monument to their greatness, the forth verse adds another layer besides the sin of “pride,” direct disobedience to a command of God uttered in the ninth chapter of Genesis, 7As for you [Noah and family], be fruitful and increase in number; multiply on the earth and increase upon it." There intent was to “hang-out” together (This will bring us together and keep us from scattering all over the world). Sin is never a “single” issue state of mind it is always a conglomerate of ideas and behaviors that are wrong. We don’t just role out of bed and commit a sin, it is several stepping stones of sin that lead to murder, adultery, rape, robbery, etc. The interesting that what was found in the land of Babylonia crept into society from the folks who came out of the Ark. It doesn’t take long for sin to take hold and overcome a people.

In chapter 12 Abram receives a call. I’ve always been fascinated by this because in the King James version it states, 1Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee:

Did this call come before or after Terah, Abram’s father took them out of Ur? Was Abram ten years late in arriving in Canaan, thus arriving just in time to meet the famine in the land? Why did he bring his nephew Lot, if God said not too? These questions always come up when I read this part because after reading through the bible for the past 20 years, every year, some of the things that Abram faced seemed to be caused by people he should not have taken, from places he should never have gone too. However, because God knows the beginning from the end, he always provides an escape for our wrong decisions. The escape will cost us added time and headaches because God’s Perfect will is always better than His Permissive will.

I’ve sometimes thought about Abram being the kind of husband I would want. He is fearful and used Sarai, his wife, as a shield to protect his life, or so he thought. Sort of like the father who doesn’t want to deal with the bill collectors “dogging” him for bills that he chose to make, by sending his wife or kids to the door or phone to tell them he’s not home. In short Abram didn’t take responsibility for his family. He “pimped” his wife in the original sense of the word. Boy or boy, God can use anybody. And because I know the end of the story, I know that He will work with us until we get it right.

Matthew 5:1-26

From Mike’s posting of the “Beatitudes” as it appears in the Message and my readings in both the NLT and NIV today, I saw something for the very first time, the mental, emotional and physical state one needs to be in to be “blessed” is one of total dependence on God. Until one realizes their need for Him, until one mourns over their situation and the situations of others around them, until one is gentle and lowly, etc, you will always relay on your own skill and cunning to get what you want.

I’m not so sure if we can “do” anything to get to the place where we can “walk” the Beatitudes, I’m thinking and will ponder this idea probably for the next couple of days. I’m thinking that it is total surrender and submission to God that brings about this “Blessing.”

It is only at that point of surrendering everything one has within their power to do, will God come into our lives and “Bless” us. When we try to make a name for ourselves, we are trying to use things that don’t belong to us to impress each other and God. Yet God is not impressed with the things we do because God is the one who gave us the things we are using to try to impress Him. It is only when we surrender our wills and trust completely in Him that God will invite us to be co-labors with Him. We’ve done it backwards; we’ve tried to invite the Creator of the Universe to become co-laborers with us.

Psalm 5:1-12

The eleventh verse of the Psalm has caught my attention, But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever. Protect them, so all who love your name may be filled with joy.

This rejoicing talked about in this Psalm is being done in the midst of danger, pain, confusion and every painful and distressful human condition. One does not have to take refuge when there is nothing to be protected from. But David, the psalmist is saying the we are to sing joyful praises, in the midst of our distress and despair. He petitions God to protect those in despair singing joyful praises so that those who love the name of God will be filled with joy. This is some statement.

Here it is implied that our happiness, our state of mind, our joy is not determined by circumstances, but our joyful statement of mind will bring about our protection. O how I’ve been guilty of trying to moan and groan my troubles away!
Proverbs 1:24-28

Wisdom surrounds us, yet we choose not to hear her. A conscience decision is make on our part to ignore her, yet when our own paltry wisdom fails us, we cry out in desperation for the advise and counsel of that which we not only have ignored but out right rejected and reviled. Then it is too late.

As for the Devotion question: My prayer time and devotion can be anytime. I read in the morning and at night. When I go to work and I’m not getting a ride from my neighbor, the subway has been a great prayer closet and study time for me. I don’t know how or why but it seems that I have the ability to shut things out when I’m on the subway. I try to keep a journal with me at all times because I never know when God will speak to me in such a way that I can write things down.

When I come home at night, which is on the subway, I ponder again what I’ve read during the day. Once I get in the house, I pick up the One-Year-Bible, read it again, and then begin to write down my thoughts in Microsoft Word.

Grace and peace,


About pride and the tower!...Well, being ill for the past three months has taught me a great lesson about pride! Never been sick for over two weeks in my life prior to this trial..but, Praise God for showing me that I do not need to DO DO DO all the time! While I claim to "DO" projects, missions, etc. in the name of the Lord--He has shown me in stillness that my ambition to "do" for Him is often greater than my ambition to just "be" for Him. And lately, I've been asking myself, Are my activities about self-exaltation and feeling good about what I've done for Him, instead of just loving what He's done for me? For the first time, I can't sink any self-worth into my "doing" because illness has a way of taking that from you--instead, I'm learning to sit and contemplate His creation from my balcony, without a prayer agenda, without petitioning him about what He'd like me to "do." I've found that being in Nature-His creation, brings me closer to Him. Like tonight, even though it was cold outside, I sat in front of the patio door and flicked on the balcony light, so I could contemplate the beauty of His snow sparkling on the wooden planks outside and on the overhang of branches.

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