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I found this note on 2 John and 3 John from the Serendipity NIV Study Bible interesting this morning and thought I would share it with you. “New churches were started and existing churches were strengthened by teachers and prophets who traveled from location to location carrying with them the Words of Jesus Christ and letters of encouragement and instruction from Paul, the apostles, and other Christian churches. Church members and believers would open up their homes and offer the teachers and prophets hospitality in the form of free room and board during their journeys. The problem was that there were false teachers and prophets who would also seek out this free hospitality. Paul instructed the churches to test their doctrine thoroughly for truth as it applied to Jesus Christ before offering hospitality to any traveling teacher or prophet. The test of truth consisted of their belief in the virgin birth of Christ, the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ for our sins, and God and Christ being one and the same. In 2 John Paul warns the churches not to offer hospitality to anyone who does not pass the test of truth and in 3 John Paul encourages church members to open their homes to those who do pass the test of truth.”

I love Psalms 125:1-2 = “Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion, which cannot be shaken but endures forever. As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds his people both now and forevermore.” What a comforting and secure feeling it is to know that the love of God surrounds us now and forever like an unshakable mountain!

God Bless!
Pat

Thanks for doing this. I just stopped by again to revisit your site as I was writing today's commentary, at the Blews.Network.

http://blews.blogspot.com/2006/12/your-citys-bible-reading-plan-for-2007.html

May God bless you (all) greatly as you (we) study His Word together in 2007.

YBIC,
Neil

I cannot express to you what a difference this Bible Study has made in my every day life. I greatly appreciate your effort to bring this to all of us that have a desire to grow and mature our understanding of God's Word.

God has been directing me to Proverbs 29:11 quite a lot lately, and confirms this direction with me as he did once again today in this study.

I have admittedly and shamefully, been quick to anger in certain situations throught my life. I have a low tolerance for people who talk down to me in a condesending manor, and for those who lack respect for others.

God has revealed to me through Proverbs 29:11 (as well as many other scriptures and examples) that "It is not all about me" and that I should use these situations to solidify our relationship as well as, when directed, fellowship with those who I would normally be angered with.

Recently, God revealed a very serious deception to me. Instead of speaking out of anger to this individual, God placed the words of conviction upon them...through me. I was, and still am, totally amazed at the power of obedience. I truly believe that obedience to god is they key to having a bountiful relationship with him...(not excluding Jesus Christ, of course).

Again, thank you for allowing God to use you and your talents to reach out to other's...such as myself. I look forward to this reading, each and every day!

Blessings,
Chris

"And now I want to urge you, dear lady, that we should love one another. This is not a new commandment, but one we had from the beginning. Love means doing what God has commanded us, and he has commanded us to love one another, just as you heard from the beginning."

~ I defenitly try to love everyone ... I have to admit it's not always easy. Cause people can make it really hard for me, to love them. But I'm a child of God and I'll always try to love them. I want to set a good example for everyone; how to love eachother and how to love God's commands. It's not always easy, but worth to try. Cause where would we be without love? Without God's love?

friends: I have been a believer since I was 9 years old. I have read the one year bible for the last 3 years but this is my first time on this site. I know deeply about the commandment to love one another. My son left for Iraq on the 26th of November and I am having alot of difficulty loving the people of that culture that are blowing up everyone and everything in sight. I am having a hard time loving the politicians who have sent our sons and daughters over there to be in danger. I know all the bible teachings and verses and I "pray without ceasing" for my son's safety, for peace, for God's will, for my own doubts and unloving thoughts but I still have difficulties in this area. My son is a believer and I know that he belongs to God-that God has "inscibed him on His palms" and that He will "command his angels to guard" my son, but I also know that it may be God's will for my son to be called home to heaven. I want to know how I can forgive them. I want God's will but I want my son too. I want to love them and forgive them and I admire the Amish people who lost their children and were so ready to forgive, but I am still so fearful. I am full of guilt as well for having such trouble with this commandment. I feel that I'm blocking out God's efforts to speak to me. I don't want this to break me and I am fighting that as well. I have always been the "strong" person in my family-I have 3 other children and a chronically ill husband so I can't break down for their sakes. I don't know that any of you can help me except by praying that God will give me some peace and help me to love and forgive the Iraqi militants.

Surrender. Try to quit putting so much pressure on yourself. God knows your desire to please Him and He knows the strain you are under with your son in Iraq, your husband disabled, and the children still at home, and He knows your strength, but I believe He may be trying to "break" you so that you will look to and depend upon Him totally.

While it is important to love one another it may be that you are putting the "cart before the horse" so to speak.

I remember when I was attending John MacArthur's Church in Panorama City. I had stumbled over the text where David was bringing the Ark of the covenant back and Uzzah had reached up to keep the ark from falling when the cart hit a rut in the road. God struck Uzzah dead. David seems shaken by it, and I know I was certainly shaken.

But John MacArthur was teaching on obedience at the time (I think we were in 1st or 2nd Corinthians), and he said that Uzzah had reacted out of "emotion," and only the Levite tribe was allowed to TOUCH the ark, so when Uzzah reached out and touched it to prevent it from falling, he had not disciplined himself to be obedient and as a result, God struck him dead.

The poignant thing MacArthur said that hit home with me was when he said, "God was perfectly capable of preventing the ark from falling," and that was the key to my understanding that phrase.

On November 27 in II Peter 1 we read

5For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. 8For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.

Is this the progression?

Faith +

Goodness +

Knowledge +

Self-control +

Perseverence +

Godliness +

brotherly kindness +

love

What I mean is: If, like, infants, we walk before we crawl, will we have to go back and learn to crawl so that none of or developmental milestones are overlooked and, hence, prevent our progress in other areas?

If, for instance, we exercise perseverence in our faith, but have not mastered goodness, knowledge, and self-control, will we have to go back and grasp onto those principles in order to be effective and productive in our knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ?

It looks like that to me.

Hope this comes across as an encouragement to you; I would not like to cause you any additional stress. Be of good courage.

Hosea 4:1-5:15


Again, today’s Old Testament reading hits me right between the eyes. I am reminded of the text that states: For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
(1 Peter 4:17 KJV)

To often I find myself focusing on the “other,” the sinner as causing me “trouble;” however, it is with the believer, the Christian, just like the pattern we see with God’s dealings with Israel and Judah, it will be the “other” that God will deal with, that is why we are to be light in a dead and dying world, but it starts with us first.

"And why worry about a speck in your friend's eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend, 'Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,' when you can't see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend's eye. (Matthew 7:3-5 NLT)


Grace and peace,
Ramona

Prov. v. 11 about anger spoke to me. I recently lost it and made a mess of things. I had to do my part to restore things and God dealt with me. You never regret keeping ur mouth shut, but you sure can wen u open ur mouth. Just b'cos i get mad doesnt mean i have to let nasty vile things come out of my mouth.

Its real hard wen i have pms...which isnt a cop out, i get super emotional at times, depressed, crying, irritable, but i also get muliple physical symptoms which disrupt my life and make me miserable (which i wont get into..but its not sumthing women made up, its real and i HATE it!). But the worst is my normally quiet spirit gets disrupted b'cos i sometimes hurt ppl i have no right to hurt...and i'm just not myself. I know God is bigger then this, He made our bodies...i gotta pray even more wen i have these times. :( Or maybe get a muzzle and a straight jacket.

hey i would like to add to the lady with the son in iraq. there is no condemnnation for those in christ jesus. god knows you are doing your best to serve him faithfully in the midst of reality, in real life with all its problems, he isnt condemning you for not thinking that you rbest is good enough. noe of our bests are good enough, thats the whole point of jesus being there to bridge that gap. i will pray for you that you can truoly forgive, but remember \god doesnt accept super humans he just wants a relationship with us, like you dont expect you rhusband or your children to do more than they can do, and you understand their weaknesses, well then how much more does God understand ours and see your heart. he knows that you want to love and forgive in your heart and right now i think that is enough for him. Its His job to give you the love for your enemies that you so rightly desire not yours to create it, i guess its in His hands, the whole thing, not jsut your sons life but everything else too, and thankfully thats where its safest!lots of love x

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