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I'm a new (and grateful!) Christian so this is my first read through the entire Bible. It's also my first comment on this Blog. I'm in the habit now of reading first thing in the morning, after praying and I usually read sitting in my "prayer chair" in my bedroom. I'm reading a Tyndale NLV One Year Bible - I still like the "feel" of paper.

I'm so enjoying this incredible journey! The Blog is so helpful in reflecting on what I've read. This journey for me, so far, has been a bit of a roller coaster of emotions - Joy, anger, admiration, love, disgust, laughter, bewilderment, sadness and triumph - It's been a long time since I've ever had anything capture my mind, heart and soul like reading the Bible has. I marvel at how at my age, I am delightfully learning in such a child-like manner.

I've loved the story of Joseph! I admire his character and how he was able to appreciate the BIG picture and give God all the glory. Great lesson for me in staying positive and focused.

Psalm 19 moved me almost to tears. It was so beautiful! I, along with many others, understand that experience of witnessing that indescribable, perfect beauty that He creates all around us - everywhere - when we take the time to really notice. Those moments are precious to me and before I ever knew God, He was showing Himself to me. Now can I praise him and I desire to be in a right relationship with him and don't want jeopardize that. Poetic justice to His glory!

I have heard God speak to me in a very audible to my ears voice. He commanded me to do something very important. I don’t talk about this much as I have had people in the past doubt me. However, I believe what I heard was the voice of God.

In Genesis 46:29 I understand that Joseph really missed his dad

I had to laugh when Jacob tells the king that he has ONLY lived 130 years. To us these days that is a lot.

Matthew 15
Be ever vigilant the state of your heart. Always make sure it is clean and wholesome. Living and yearning for God.

Psalm 19
1The heavens keep telling the wonders of God, and the skies declare what he has done.
I often look around me and think God is the greatest artist ever. Recently I have been thinking about how awesome it is that people across the world have told me they have seen the comet McNought and I too have heard people in my own country having seen it. God really is awesome with the way he has created nature.

11By your teachings, Lord, I am warned; by obeying them, I am greatly rewarded.
What a wonderful verse. He warns us what is sin. By living His way we are rewarded with more than we could ever want or need

Does God speak to us? Does God reaffirm his love to us? Does God tell us that he will be with us on this new thing - as he did to Jacob in this chapter? - Absolutely YES! God speaks to us in a number of ways. The question is are we listening? God reaffirms his love and is always with us btu sometimes we can get so caught up in "us" that we turn a deaf ear to Him. I believe by reading the Word daily and spending time with God will help us to hear God's still small voice. I do believe that He opens and closed doors for us in His perfect timing. There are several things right now in my life (husband's job, a baby) that God is just saying "wait" - but I have a peace about waiting (most of the time...LOL!) - It's when I get my eyes off Jesus that I get all anxious again. His peace is amazing.

Psalm 19:14 is awesome! I used to have a real problem with profanity and thankfully that is one of the first areas God "cleaned" up in me! I still have to stop and think before I speak. I tend to be a bit harsh in my words...brutally honest, if you will. Ahhh...the gift of prophecy! God wired me this way so I know it's okay to an extent, but I'm finally learning how to be honest and loving at the same time....what a journey!

I've been so excited about this opportunity to read thru the Bible with all of YOU! I love the interactive ability! Mike, thank you for your efforts & thought provoking questions.

One question: We are told in Matthew 10:5 that the disciples were to go first to the Jews. 10:6 "Go to the lost sheep of Israel."
Again Jesus states Matt. 15:24 "I was not sent except to the lost sheep of Israel."

So, at what point did Jesus open his ministry openly to the Gentiles? Does any one know this? Was there a turning point? I'd appreciate any input. Thank you!

I do hope that this One Year Bible experience will allow you to tune-in a little bit more whenever you hear your pastors or ministers or priests teaching you from the Bible in church. I know this is the case with me. Thanks to reading the Bible each day, I now have better context of what is being taught from the pulpit and it makes going to church a richer experience overall. ~ Ohhhh, you have no idea!!!!! I'm so proud of myself!!!! A couple of years ago, when I felt that I needed to get more out of myself and my life, I started to look for Jesus Christ. From time to time I tried to read the Bible but it was just too hard. I tried different books, different part, different pages, verses etc. But I just didn't understand what it was about. It's so weird, even the stories from Noah, Jozef and Moses were hard to read. Since my rebirth and since I join this Bible-study I have come to know so much more about the Bible! I actually understand what I'm reading! Sure, I bump into things that are hard, but over all I understand what I'm reading and I can treasure it in my heart! I'm so proud when my pastor mentions verses from the Bible during the service and I know exactly where he's talking about and I've been reading it not too long ago! I'm all like "Yes... I know where you're talking about!!!". It's wonderful to experience this all! It's a wonderful journey and I love being able to use all the wisdom in my life. I can feel myself grow every day and it's all because of God and His wonderful word!

Verses that stood out for me were from Matthew 15.
11 "It’s not what goes into your mouth that defiles you; you are defiled by the words that come out of your mouth".
18 "But the words you speak come from the heart—that’s what defiles you".
19 "For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander".
Proverbs 4:19 "But the way of the wicked is like total darkness. They have no idea what they are stumbling over".
All these verses kind of match together ... I feel that the unsaved mostly don't know what it's like to be God's child. Not too long someone thought that me being a Christian included: not watching tv, not listerning to rock music, not to drink. Funny thing that I talked about it with my pastor right before this, he told me it's not nesecerally ( I still don't know how to spell it!!) to stop watching tv ... it's to know when you want to stop watching that particular show, when the thoughts come or when the cursing come. You know when you want to stop watching that show. Some of the unsaved just don't know ... and that's why they have no idea what they are stumbling over. They think to be God's child means that you HAVE to stop doing things. While they continu thinking that they have no idea what they are stumbling over ... stumbling while all things come from their heart like evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying and slander ... So sad ... And they probably try to talk all this wrong, right ... even more sad... They truly need to make the decesion to walk with God ...

Ahh it feels great to be back. I got a new fan in my computer and Jesus had me take care of some buisness that needed to be taken care of and now I feel as if I am a better person for relieving myself of my sins. Ever get that feeling??

I spent it with my family, school started and little E is in school and mommy will be teaching next week and time will be valued with the family but I have prioiritzed myself, I have a calendar and Jesus will take care of us as he always does. But this snow to drive in makes one tired. I hope tomorrow I can rest.

I sure missed being with my "Mae and my jenny" :) but enjoyed your emails :)

Of course God speaks to us all the time. He speaks to us through a dream, in our conscience. I believe God is with me always. If I didn't I don't think I would be here writing this. I know I would be scared all the time. Who would I have to look up to?

My heart is close to Jesus and I yearn for Jesus every day. I think I would be lost without Jesus everyday now that I look for the Bible for answers for my questions. I mean I have a lot of questions for Jesus when I get to Heaven's doors. :)

Profanity: yes i am not ashamed I use it sometimes when i stump my toe or something happens that hurts my feelings. Jesus doesn't like to hear those things and I don't like for my little boy to repeat them so we have a rule in our house we don't say the "d" word or the ultimate no no word. so we don't cuss in our house at all..or we try not to cuss..and therefore our little man doesn't use it.

Mae- Necessarily- it's N.ever E.at C.hocolate. E.at S.alad S.andwiches ARILY - Least that's how we remember in England!! ;o)

Sorry I know that wasn't particularly spiritual but I just had to share it, it's really helped me and now I can spell the word every time ;o)

Haven't really got anything to add/share on todays readings but I have to say I'm really enjoying this, although I am struggling to manage the full four every day. I've been a Christian for years, since I was a little girl but my knowledge of the bible is very poor and I've always "put off" reading it all the way through. I'm so glad I did this year and for the first time ever the Old Testament is really coming alive for me (thanks to the Blog and the commentaries) I'm finding it so interesting and God is really speaking to me, especially through the life of Jacob. Thanks ever so much for dedicating the time you are doing to this Blog it's been really helpful to me.

Hi Kim. I feel like a new Chrisitan since I just recomitted my life back to Christ. I actually got saved back when I was 16 years old, 16 years ago and that was the end of that. I didn't take it any further. Early last year I just gave up. My life was in shambles and I just surrended and said, Ok, Lord I cannot do this without you so please just take over and that is exactly what He did.

I have been enjoying the ride every since. I was so excited when I found this blog as well it has been so helpful. I am determined to get thru the whole bible this year. Last year I did not even make it past Genesis, LOL.

As for profanity. I used to cuss like a sailor as mom & dad did while growing up but I have to say that I am so happy because that seemed to have been the first thing that I was delivered from. Thank you, Lord!He is working on my husband, LOL!

Mike, you are AWESOME!

JOSEPH AND THE DISTRIBUTION OF GRAIN:

Mike, what Joseph did was quite remarkable for that time. First of all, the grain belonged to the Pharaoh and it wasn’t his to give away. Secondly, the Pharaohs of that time were businessmen who never gave anything away without getting something in return. The only reason that he gave to Joseph’s family was because of the profits he was getting from Joseph’s management of all of Egypt and he also expected the men in the family to take care of his livestock as well.

Now for the actions of Joseph – first he sold grain for money and turned over all the money to Pharaoh. Next, he traded grain for livestock because there was no more money and he gave all the livestock to Pharaoh. After the money and the livestock were gone, he traded grain for their land and servitude. The land was given to Pharaoh along with the pledge of their servitude. At this point we see God working through Joseph because the people no longer owned the land but they would be tilling the soil and raising the livestock. They were given the food they needed to sustain them during the remainder of the famine and they were assured that from that day on they would get to keep four-fifths of everything produced on the land. The Pharaoh owned the land, the livestock, the seedbed, everything – but – he was only going to collect one-fifth of the profit from the land. That was unheard of in that day. Matter of fact, it is still unheard of in this day. What business do you know of today where the worker(s) get to keep four-fifths of the profits and the owner(s) only get one fifth? No wonder the Egyptian people praised Joseph for saving them!!!

God Bless!
Pat

Walking on water

Matt 14:25
"During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake." NIV

[a repost from last year]

Although gospel of John is not a synoptic gospel, it too includes the story of feeding of 5,000+. Included in the recount is this verse:

"Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself." - John 6:15

The Jewish people were waiting for a Messiah that would be a king, sit on David's throne, and throw off the yoke of Roman oppression. They were expecting a MAN, to many the idea of God coming in Man's body was not possible. The simple reason was: God would become corrupted if in a man's body. Maybe they were influenced in this thought by Greek and Roman mythology - I don't really know?

So the Crowd wanted to make Jesus king by force, and since the Disciples were also Jewish I maintain that they also were caught up with this idea of Jesus as king.

Jesus went up into the mountain, but he also made, constrained, forced the disciples into the boat (matt 14:22, mark 6:45) (Gk. Anagkazo). My conjecture is that he wanted to separate his disciples from the train of thought going on in the crowd.

Perhaps in Jesus' quiet time on the mountain, he prayed for the crowd, but I think he was praying especially for the disciples. When the time was right, in God's will and led by the Father, Jesus came to the disciples "walking on water". Perhaps to show them AGAIN that he was not purely a MAN but Deity.

I always marvel at how the disciples saw all this evidence of the deity of Christ, but in times of stress or tumult would waver in their understanding. (Just like us???)

The important point here is Jesus did not perform this miracle off the cuff, but consulted God the Father in prayer. Just like we should do, especially during pivotal times in our lives.

Cannanite Woman

Matt 15:21-28

[a repost from last year]

Hardly anyone ever comments on this passage. Some that do actually criticize the Lord for being too harsh.

Only use of Canaanite in New Teastament. A Gentile people despised by Israel. She knows she is going to be embarrassed yelling after Jesus (a Jew), and she does it anyway. "Dog" was the common derogatory term applied to Gentiles by Jews. She accepted the term and even applied it to herself.

"Then Jesus answered, "Woman, you have great faith!" The only time in gospels that great (Gk. megas) is used in regards to faith. This Canaanite "dog" woman believed Christ was the Son of David, and could heal her daughter. She would not take no for an answer.

Samuel Rutherford perceptively wrote: “It is said he answered her not a word; but it is not said,
he heard not one word: these two differ much. … his not answering is an answer, and speaks thus, ‘Pray on, go on, and cry; for the Lord holdeth his door fast bolted, not to keep out, but that
you may knock and knock.” [The Trial and Triumph of Faith, 115]

The Lord has been dealing with me on just this area, the tongue. In other words think before you speak. You can uplift someone or damange them. Choose what is right. Thank you for this good teaching.

i like what you wrote Bible dude about reassurance in God's peace for our decisions...and about feeling like a scared child running to God in times of change. I sure do!
I read the text before reading the blog....i didnt think Joseph was being harsh. I believe God gave him wisdom, as he was in charge of Potapher's lot, he was a businessman, but he showed compassion for the hungry. What was their response? in v. 25 "You have saved our lives," they said. "May we find favor in the eyes of our lord; we will be in bondage to Pharaoh." They were grateful!
Definately our heart matters...thats what God is looking at! my actions, words, can be whatever i want them to be, but not before God....He sees my motives, my heart. I need to constantly pray for a clean heart because my heart cannot be trusted!
Ha, one of my pastors was going over this years back and He pointed out how Jesus put the Pharisees right in their place, He called them for what they were (cause He knew their hearts/motives), hypocrites, a brood of vipors, etc. My pastor said, due to the whole tolerance movement today, people would now say to Him, "now Jesus, that isnt very Christ-like!" haha.

I definately agree with what you said about hearing pastors teach on scripture we read and songs, it makes it all the more richer! Often times I will be reminded of things I have heard from pastors...they stick in your mind and are recalled when you read that section. It completely enhances your BIble reading experince. I often listen to KWAVE 107.9 and hear teachings on the BIble, along with church on sunday and wednesdays. Its an awesome way to grow. Yes, even songs...its funny how you realize where the artists got their lyrics, 'oh! from that passage!'

I like Ps. v14 "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer."
amen!
Prov stood out also. V 19 "But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble." :( how true!

oh, and i used to have a fowl mouth! really bad, it was out of control. I tried to control it, but couldnt. Notice "I" tried to control it. I had to give it over to the Lord and He healed my heart in that regard...not saying i dont slip up now and again, but I detest when I hear that language, especially if it comes from my mouth!

Joseph

The Son saves the remnant.

Gen 47:10
"Then Jacob blessed Pharaoh and went out from his presence." NIV

"Pharaoh acknowledged Jacob was a man of God by accepting his blessing. In the Egyptian religion, Pharaoh himself was thought to be a god. They considered Pharaoh the human embodiment of Ra, the sun god. This means that it was remarkable that he allowed Israel to bestow a blessing on him." - David Guzik

I may be wrong here, but I see something in Joseph's handling of the Egyptian state during the famine.

Perhaps it is a picture of salvation process, or relying on God.?? The Egyptians know about the prophecies (they must have!), and refused to store up on their own during prosperous times. Just as sometimes we as Christians ignore God and go our own merry way when prosperous.

Times are tough - they turn to Joseph. We turn to God.

They go through money, livestock, and finally submit themselves to bondage. We may go half-hearted, and then a little more, before we totally submit and recommit to God.

Egyptians are taken care of - God extends grace to us so that we can bear fruit for Him.

May be a bit far-fetched, and I think the words can be played with to also get a picture of Salvation. However, I think it plays into the concept of relying on, trusting in, and depending on God that I am looking at this year.

Need to ponder it some more :).

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