~ Click on this link for today's readings ~
2 Kings 17:1-18:12 ~ Acts 20:1-38
Psalm 148:1-14 ~ Proverbs 18:6-7
HALF-WAY - Big news! We cross the halfway threshold in our One Year Bible readings today! Whoo-hoo! Yep, June 30th marks the end of our first 6 months of readings and July 1st marks the beginning of our last 6 months of readings. Congratulations!
If by chance you’ve stopped reading the One Year Bible at some point this past six months, how about starting back up with us again as we embark on our final six months? We’d love to have you on the journey with us once again!
Old Testament - 2 Kings 17 is a sad chapter today! Israel is invaded by Assyria and its people are exiled! It is sad because the Israelites could have avoided this strife - but the chose to follow in the sins of Jeroboam and worship other gods. After much patience and many second chances by the true and living God, Israel was allowed to be invaded & exiled for their disobedience. Sad stuff. You can learn more of the history of how this all transpired at this link. An overview map of the Assyrian empire is below -
In 2 Kings 17 verse 41 we will read this about the foreigners in Israel – “Even while these people were worshiping the LORD, they were serving their idols.” If the foreigners both worshiped God AND served idols at the same time back then, do you suppose that we can fall into this same trap today? What would some examples be today of both worshiping God and serving idols at the same time? Are there any areas of your life where you might be serving idols? Will you allow those idols to be turned over to God for his healing and transformation of you? Will you worship God only? Will you leave the idols behind? Why would this be important to leave the idols behind? What is the risk of not leaving the idols behind? Or, should I say, what is the danger of not leaving the idols behind...
Verse 15 stands out and follows along in this paragraph & photo above - "They worshiped worthless idols and became worthless themselves." How true is that? Maybe another way to look at it - you are what you worship! If we worship worthless idols, we become worthless ourselves. If we worship the true living God, we become more like his son Jesus. Would you rather be worthless or becoming like Jesus in this lifetime? And how about after this lifetime?
In 2 Kings 18 we are introduced to King Hezekiah of Judah! Check out verses 5 through 7 for an overview of who Hezekiah was - "Hezekiah trusted in the LORD, the God of Israel. There was never another king like him in the land of Judah, either before or after his time. He remained faithful to the LORD in everything, and he carefully obeyed all the commands the LORD had given Moses. So the LORD was with him, and Hezekiah was successful in everything he did."
New Testament - Acts 20 verse 7 is a great look at an early church service! "On the first day of the week, we gathered to observe the Lord's Supper. Paul was preaching; and since he was leaving the next day, he talked until midnight." Paul preached until midnight? That had to have been one great sermon I am sure!
Bible.org's commentary on today's Acts readings titled "Paul's Parting Words" is at this link.
Psalms - Today we read Psalm 148, which is a call for all creation to praise God! We will read this in verse 5 - "Let every created thing give praise to the LORD, for he issued his command, and they came into being." Do you agree with this verse? That you came into being because the Lord commanded it? Do you give thanks to God frequently? And joyfully? Even in the midst of maybe some challenging times in life, can you still give praise to your Creator?
What verses or insights jumped out for you in today's readings? Please post up in the Comments section below!