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Today's reading is filled with kings who did evil before the Lord,I noted that even then,God still spoke to them through prophets.I guess then being a prophet wasn't too popular a job...if the king had no regard for God then a prophet bringing him words of rebuke from God couldn't have fared too well.Today's reading on Elijah and the widow has been used alot to promote the prosperity gospel.Give to a prophet and you'll get a prophet's reward..etc.Sometimes we forget or choose to forget that even the blessing that comes from tithing is also connected to work....crops don't just spring up...it takes work.There's another verse that says God blesses the work of our hands...The jewish people I've met don't have the idea of God just promoting them overnight,money growing by itself because they "sowed"....God wants our soul to prosper too and if we keep our minds on financial blessings all the time,we may loose sight of what God's truly interested in.I know this may sound harsh but for some people,God prospers their soul by making them depend on God daily...truly living by faith...and learning to bless God even if all's taken from them.
Yep I missed the part yesterday that Cornelius had not been saved...was God fearing,religious...but not saved.He was so excited that Peter was coming to his place that he gathered a crowd!Even some of his soldiers were devout...Having a godly leader sure is a blessing.
Speaking or not speaking...hmmm I think the way we speak the truth in "love"shows.Recently I wrote an email to my dad about some of his actions....Later he thanked me for the email and said I spoke in love....when we judge or critise...it shows.When we want to show just how spiritual we are and the other person isn't...it shows.I pray that we learn to speak to others in love and with a pure heart...not just because we are hurt/angry...to speak words that encourage and build up.I need that in my life big time...May God help us all learn to leave judgement to him.
God bless you all

Fantastic blog!

The thing that struck me reading 1 Kings for today was the long succession of kings who got it wrong - some of them were even sent to bring justice but they still got it wrong. But God never forgot about the people.

The interesting thing to me about the succession of kings was how many there were in Israel while Asa was serving faithfully in Judah. God preserved Asa's reign because he did right. The others just reaped and sowed violence after violence.

wow!
Tremendous observation from Proverbs...
My wife and I like to say sometimes we are practicing our procedure known secretly to us as "Sit and Smile" ....but being a guitar player I loved the guitar pick stating, ZIP MOUTH... And what a tremendous truth that is from GODs' Word...
Mike... I wholeheartedly agree... GODS' Word is truly a lifetime full of Blessing... Sometimes the wise and prudent practice being quiet and sometimes they must speak the truth in love... Thats the beauty of the Word... And the beauty of us as GODs' crowning creation, he gave us a mind and HIS SPIRIT to think and discern and pray about the best alternative in any situation

jb

Proverbs 17:9 can be seen as either as a positive or negative. I did some looking up because I wanted to see the Hebrew word supporting the English word “fault.” At first I was thinking, before I did any looking up, that there is a difference between a fault and a sin. I was moving toward the things people comment on or criticize when someone does not do an activity or ritual the same way we do something, then we criticize them. However, that word translated “fault” in the NLT is not the word denoting sin, but transgression and it still is a “wrong.”

"Disregarding another person's faults preserves love; telling about them separates close friends."

If the “fault” you are disregarding is a criminal act so that “love” can be preserved, than what has happened is an accessory after the fact to a crime (according to the judicial/criminal codes in most jurisdictions in the United States.) If the person loves to pick their teeth in public and it drives you crazy but the person is righteous, than disregarding, their fault is needful to keep the relationship.

Many of us enter relationships/marriages out of a touchy/feely kind of emotional distrubance love (I think the loved used here is the love with feelings and not the love as a verb type love) that covers “faults” which need to be exposed before we say, “I do.” Once this kind of love ceases, then all the faults that have been there all the time, will pop up like goose bumps on a skinny dipper diving into 30° water (2 below Celsius)

Proverbs 17:9

9a "He who covers and forgives an offense seeks love, 9b but he who repeats or harps on a matter separates even close friends." AMP

I may be off base on this proverb, but here is what I think.

Looking at the way this proverb is paired up 9a and 9b, I think this has to do with an offense, transgression, or sin against the "reader" - not on a grand scale against society.

This is before the church, and I don't think it necessarily has to do with two "believers".

If someone sins/transgresses against you, certainly you go and discuss it with them. They can be repentant, and in that case you forgive them and not bring it up again. If they are not repentant, you can still express that it is wrong and forgive them anyway, and not "run it into the ground" when you see the offender.

I think the key is verse 9b. It is when the "offended" person brings up the matter every time he sees the other person that causes relationships - even close relationships to "separate".

The other person may stay away because he/she feels guilty, they don't want it thrown in their face all the time, they feel like you are exaggerating the offense, you really are being a jerk about the whole issue, etc. - especially if you have expressed forgiveness to the "offender".

I don't think these verses are talking about something as egregious as "murder" (although I guess it can apply), but rather common everyday offenses that occur between people/friends.

Ex. Someone spreads lies and gossip about you.

You go to them and talk to them about "transgression". They repent; you forgive, the story is over. They do not repent, you tell them it is not true, you forgive them, and never bring it up again.

If you bring up the lies/gossip over an over every time you see the person - it will cause them to avoid you (separate from you).

In the first verse you are seeking the "brotherly love" between two people by being discreet versus "going ape".

In the second verse, your actions cannot possibly lead to that "brotherly love".

[NOTE: If the offender keeps repeating the transgression, then it is on him, and the dissolution of relationship (or potential for relationship) will happen because of his actions. I guess if it is serious enough - at that time - you can take it to higher authorities???? - otherwise you "shake the dust from your feet" and depart from their life????]

Readings

In 1Kings, I feel like I am reading (seeing) a WWF wrestling tag-team promotion where the bad guys one after the other tag each other and go in the ring. I surf past it on TV, but here I wade my way through it in our readings :(
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Nestled in the end of 1Kings16 is the comment on the rebuilding of Jericho by Hiel of Bethel. His oldest and youngest son died as God's Word said would happen to anyone who rebuilt Jericho.

Over and over, God's word is affirmed, but the "king(s)" never seem to heed. When your heart is not right (or turned) to the Lord, you can rationalize away anything. I can just see "Ahab" saying about Hiel - "Bad Luck" and going right along his merry way.
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I am struck how sometimes the Old Testament readings seem to "nestle" in with our New Testament readings.

Elijah and Peter

Elijah at the Cherith ("cutting") brook seems to be stripped down to essentials by God. Peter is growing and maturing in Christianity. In both cases they are having the "legalism" purged from them, and doing the unthinkable in ministering to Gentile(s). Depending only on God for their direction, needs, and marching orders.

Elijah is supplied food by ravens (unclean birds). The fact that the birds touched the food would make it "unclean" to a Jew. Elijah obeyed and ate, putting the "legalism" behind him.

Peter's vision revolved around clean/unclean animals, and how it related to Gentile/Jew.

Elijah was to go and live with the Gentile widow. Elijah obeyed. Certinly in the time there he had a chance to talk (testify) about the Lord. Possibly to others in the town. It is encouraging that at the end the woman said:
"Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the LORD from your mouth is the truth." NIV

Peter was ordered to go with the Gentiles. Peter obeyed. Peter had the amazing statement exemplifying his growth:
"I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right." NIV
Peter had an "evangelist's dream gathering" - a group of people who were ripe to be harvested.

In Old Testament is the foreshadowing of what Peter experianced - when Israel rejects God's Word from a prophet, the prophet would go out to the Gentiles with God's Word. When God's Word (Jesus) was rejected by Israel - the Gospel would go out to the Gentiles.

Ultimately to fulfill God's plan that the Church would be one Body - Gentile and Jew - united in Christ.

I have that tendancy to get upset with my wife and son when they continue to procrastinate on things or take shortcuts on areas that...require their attention. they build up into huge projects. They both have ADHD, so I know it's hard for them to focus at times. I remind them at times hoping it will change, but doesn't. The problem is.....me. Instead of nicely reminding or trying to help, I criticize & tear down. I get so frustated. I can relate to the proverbs passage for today. Who am I is the question that needs to be asked?
A mirror would be a good place to look. I have so many areas that I need to work on. I am reminded today that real love overlooks the faults of others. I will try to be more understanding and constructive in how I aproach situations & when I feel like people need some changing to do, I better consider what needs changing in my life. I can only change myself with God's help & pray that God will help them to overcome the areas they struggle in. God bless & thankyou for the words of wisdom & encouragement each day. My wife & I look forward to it. We have used the one year Bible for the last couple of years, but it wasn't till recently that God lead us to this site. We were looking for more.....deeper study.....we found it. In the truth,
Nathan

mike,

today's commentary and verses really struck me for some reason. nothing new or profound, but just a great DAY. thanks for your ministry - but don't think i'm starting to worship you ar anything ;-)

rob

Proverbs readings today ... very intersting ... I've come across this verse a couple of times. Read it here and there a couple of times and it REALLY got my attention! The Dutch translation is: "Wie onrechtvaardig is behandeld, maar daar geen ophef over maakt, bevordert de liefde. Maar wie oude koeien uit de sloot haalt, raakt zelfs zijn beste vriend kwijt".
Wie onrechtvaardig is behandeld : Who was treated unjust / wrong
maar daar geen ophef over maakt : and doesn't make a big deal out of it
bevordert de liefde : stimulates love
Maar wie oude koeien uit de sloot haalt : But whom talks about things from the past
raakt zelfs zijn beste vriend kwijt : will even lose his best friend
So, reading the Dutch translation makes me think about the bygones, don't make a big fuss over what happened a year, 6 months, 3 months or a month ago. Which means that if someone comes up to me today and tells me "Mae, you're a loser and I don't like who you are and what you do!". Then I will tell that person "Okay, that's what you think. I can't help what you think and how you feel. I'm sorry you feel this way. God loves you and so do I". Period. The biggest mistake, which I think is the Proverb warning for (the Dutch translation), is to tell this person "Well, take a good look in the mirror, because a month ago you were being a loser yourself, because you did this and that". I think there's a big difference between the 2 translation. The King James translation sais: "He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends". So somehow, when I read these translations, I think I can tell people whenever I feel I've been not treated well or I didn't like something they did. I guess I should be careful how I put it, so tell them carefully that I have experienced something with them that didn't feel right to me. Not point at them and say "You treat me wrong!". So just tell them I experienced something that didn't feel good to me and then let it go. Don't repeat it every month. Talk about it and let it go. Which I think is a good thing, why constantly bring something up what you can change in the first place?

This is a very well-written, uplifting and inspiring blog for both Christians like myself and others. Thanks for sharing.

Muy bonita su pagina de internet

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