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You are the man... I am the deacon at my home church that is the "go to" deacon for help with bible reading and so glad to be in that role...
I have pointed lots of people towards your wonderful daily sight and blog and have enjoyed being a part of the Reading thru the Word for lots of years now, with different plans... This plan is by far the "BEST PLAN out there, and just had a chance this past January to usher 4 new people at my church on to the plan.... Glad to be associated with someone that respects the Word like you do and with someone that respects the Church, like you do... You are "right on track" keep up the great work for the LORD


also be aware Mike was certainly right also, just finished watching a young praise band on YOU TUBE do a nice job with Chris Tomlins song... "King of Glory" also....


Finding the balance between work, play and rest is surely not easy. I like your new adage "Work Smart and Play Smart."

I think I need to think about the ant more from now on :)

Psalm 25
A plea for Forgiveness and Deliverance

David had a heart for God. Yes, David sinned and was flawed, but no one seems to repent and come back to God as strongly as David. This Psalm is David's plea, but it is also instruction on how we (as Christians) are to go to God when we are in distress and are in sin. David has it right on the mark, and he professes it with great love and a heart for God.
Verse 1-3
Is about David's trust in God.

You cannot lift up your soul to God, if your back is to God. If you are turned to God, or have returned to God - you can lift yourself and give yourself to God.

If you trust in, rely on, and depend on the Lord you will never be put to shame. Lots of bad things (persecution, ridicule) can happen here on earth, but ultimately we will be with God in heaven.
Verse 4-7
An attitude of surrender

This life is not about us. It is not about what we want to do, or how we want to do things. David , and we as Christians, surrenders and says - show me your ways - guide me and teach me. I give - let me do it your way.

David pleas:
Psalm 25:7
Remember not the sins of my youth
and my rebellious ways;
according to your love remember me,
for you are good, O LORD.

I like the KJV translation in this context as "according to your mercy..". Don't see us as we are, but see us through the eyes of mercy (for Christians see us as covered by the blood of Christ.) when God sees us in this manner, then we are acceptable to be in His presence at death.
Verses 8-11
An attitude of Humility

Literal translation of "Good and upright" is "Merciful and just". At the cross God's mercy was extended and when we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior - God can with a sense of being "just" embrace us as children and teach us as a Father His ways.

"He guides the humble..." Remember what Jesus has been saying in Matthew readings. It is the ones with a humble atitude - they are the ones that are in the kingdom of heaven. When we have humbled ourselves and accepted God's plan and Christ - then God begins teaching and guiding us.

All the ways of the Lord are faithful and loving for those who keep the demands of the covenant. The over-riding demand of the "new" covenant is simple: Just believe and receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.

Do all this Lord and forgive my sin - not because I have done anything to earn your forgiveness, but do it for your name's sake - for your Glory.
Verse 12-15
An attitude of fear (in Hebrew - awe/reverance)

"The LORD confides in those who fear him;
he makes his covenant known to them."

When you revere and are in awe of God - you acknowledge who He is and what He does for us. Then you can turn to Him, trust Him, and depend on Him for your life. Not just for salvation, but for giving you life now and in abundance through walking the righteous path. We do not get eternal life at death - it starts now when we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior.

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Hey Mike, I just had a thought: you set an excellent example of what 'an ant' is like - diligent in studying the Word of God, and inspiring others to do the same!

Thank you for your faithfulness in the ministry of one year bible blog. You are a blessing to many!!

Proverbs 6
The Folly of Laziness

Fourteen times in Proverbs Solomon warns about falling into "laziness".

Four things characterize a "sluggard":
- Procrastination
- Will not finish things
- Full of excuses
- Dissatisifed - he needs and wants things, but because of laziness things aren't done.

Sluggard should look to ant who needs no supervision, no prodding, and knows the time and what things need to be done for down the road.

You may say - 'that is not me'. I work hard and diligently at my job, for my family, take care of my children. This is great advice, but I am on top of things".

That is great. When I think of lazines in my life, it reminds me of the times when I have been a "sluggard" in my spiritual life.

Procrastinate: Have you ever put off reading God's Word? Oh, I'll just catch up tomorrow, or the next day, or the next.... Knowing a Christian brother or sister is hurting put off giving them a call? Too tired, too inconveniant, to exhausting to talk to THAT person,.....Do you ever put off getting involved in your church in a ministry? I am too new, nothing seems right for me, they already have plenty of people in what I want to do....Put off prayer? I am too tired, I'll just pray laying down and then you fall asleep, I prayed once today already, God doesn't answer my prayers anyway, I prayed at church this week....

- Excuses - see above

- Ever not finish anything? Just can't seem to get through the whole Bible. Give up on a ministry because of other stuff. Stop going to a study provided by your church because of inconveniance or time. Stop sharing with a non-believer because it just isn't working.

- Dissatisfied. Because of our belief and receiving of Christ - we have spiritual needs. God can and will provide us with these needs through the Holy Spirit. Satan does everything in his power to provide excuses on why we could put off God's instruction in us. When we listen to Satan, the Holy Spirit convicts us. When we ignore the Holy Spirit - we have a sense of dissatisfaction in our Christian walk. How we react to that dissatisfaction is everything. go back to Psalm 25. Return to God, trust in God, surrender to God, ask God for forgiveness for your "laziness" and then get up and go about your Christian walk.

I have been guilty of spiritual "laziness", and I pray that God will forgive and restore me on His righteous path, and enable me to do the things He has predestined for me to do since before time began.

(Lesson from the ant)
Persevere regardless of obstacles.
Enjoying this experience for the second year.
Many thanks to all.

Matthew 20
The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard

This parable is bookended by the verses below:

Matt 19:30 But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.

Matt20:16 "So the last will be first, and the first will be last."

I think it is safe to assume that this parable illustrates this concept. I have struggled with these verses in the past as I tried to apply them to myself. Thinking because I came late in life to Christ, that I may be better off in heaven then those who came early in life. Thought this for a variety of reasons, but now I realize that this was just pride rearing its ugly head.

What God is saying is that in the race for salvation. For those that cross the finish line accepting salvation. It does not matter when you accept Christ - early or late in life. The last will be first, and the first will be last. It is a TIE. We are all the same, no one is greater than another that is a Christian. We all got there. We all will have glorified bodies and will be perfect. We are all the same.

This is reinforced by reading a few days ago that whoever is humble as a child is greatest. You have to be humble and repentant to accept God's gift of salvation, and when you do you get there (heaven) - you have eternal life. Everyone does - it is a tie. The same thing applies in "mother's request" in today's reading. You must be a servant and slave to other Christians. Not just fill up your head with knowledge of the Bible, but have a Christ-like attitude. One can only have that attitude if they have believed and received Christ. Then you are great in heaven - because you made it. Period.
The Parable

It is God's vineyard, people are saved all day long, we all will be working for God as a Christian but of varying lengths of earthly time, the payoff is heaven and it is the same for everyone - perfect and glorified bodies.

The important application that I see today is: Don't grumble. In the Greek - don't disontentedly complain because you have worked all your life for God, and this guy on death row who believes gets to heaven, or some rotten guy who all his life rejected God is saved in his later years. Don't think - this is not fair. I have worked all my life for God, and this guy gets to be in heaven - this johnny-come-lately. Don't be like the other son in the Parable of the Prodigal son. Don't be standing outside the banquet hall complaining and being sullen. Rejoice in God's work that another sheep has been brought into the fold. Embrace them, work with them, and be glad for them.

Exodus 12
The Passover

The foreshadowing of Christ is everywhere in the Old Testament. Perhaps nowhere more prominent and obvious than in the description of the first Passover in Exodus 12.
Passover and Foreshadowing of Christ: Exodus12:1-12

Hebrews were given a new calender. This month, when the sacrifice of Passover is done, is to be the first month of your (Hebrew) year. It is your beginning in me.

Lamb must be year old male - mature - Christ was 33 and in prime of life at the cross.

Without defect - Christ was spotless, blameless, perfect.

Bring them inside until the sacrifice - Christ was in the temple and in prison until the cross.

Slaughter them at twilight - Christ expired at 3:00 pm - the Jewish day ends at 6:00 pm - 3;00 pm is twilight.

The meat must be eaten and any leftovers burned in fire. It must be totally consumed. Christ was totally consumed on the cross. He gave everything for us.

Eat bread without yeast - leaven symbolizes sin. Christ was the bread of life that was spotless.

Bitter herbs are eaten - not because of the Hebrews bitter times in Egypt, but because of the anguish experianced by Christ and the Father, and the harshness of the execution.

Why blood on the door? An angel can see inside, he would know who had sacrificed and eaten the Passover meal. So why an external symbol?

Doors in ancient times represented security. Jesus is the door - the secure entranceway to God. This sacrifice would be an abomination to the Egyptians (Exodus 8) done under their very noses. God is saying it is time to make a choice. Do you choose God or do you choose Egypt (symbol of the World)? I want you to advertise whose side are you on - will you submit and show yourselves marked by the blood of the Lamb.

Will you humble yourselves and admit that you cannot save yourself, will you acknowledge me and my plan, will you believe in me, will you accept the covering of blood that the lamb provides you and yours.

If so, then I will take you to the Promised Land (heaven), and I will guide eyour steps on the way, and I will never foresake you.

It was true then and it is true now.

I once worked for a boss who was caring and kindly but not a Christian who applied the Parable of the Workers to us who worked for him. We received an hourly wage paid out of his pocket. If anyone was a slaggert, carelessly coming to work late or leaving early, they would not qualify for his generousity. But, if you were a dedicated worker, one that he could rely upon day in and day out, then this benefit would apply to you whenever you needed it. There were times that my child was sick, or some family member needed my assistance. After calling in I might arrive at work in late afternoon, or there were times that I needed to leave even before lunch. No matter how few hours I worked that day, this man would quietly credit me for a full days work. When I pointed out to him that I didn't work the full shift and didn't qualify for the full days pay, he gently put his hand on my shoulder and said, "Art, you just concentrate on working. I'll handle the payroll.

It's not that I was merely a favorite. Others in the group benefitted the same as myself. Sure, there were complainers, a few who worked all day for the same wage that we received. Funny about that...they were the same ones who tried their best not to give this man their best days work on a regular basis. And when their turn came, there was nothing there for them.

It’s been a few days since I’ve posted, but I’ve been here. Thanks Mike for keeping me stead fast in at least reading the daily readings.

I don’t think I found the balance between work and play. I put very long hours in at work and then I’m too tired to play. I make commitments to myself that I’m going to leave work at my prescribed quitting time and go home. I’m single and I feel that I should also be out socializing with people, but the commitment doesn’t last long and I’m right back into my old habits of focusing on work. One of the problems that I have is that I’ve been blessed with a job and career path that I truly enjoy. When I go to work it’s not like going to work. I really do enjoy my job. So maybe I’m trying to find balance where there doesn’t need to be any. I don’t know? I like your analogy, “Work well and play well” and “Work smart and play smart”. I actually like the later best. We should be smart about how much time we spend working and how much time we spend playing. For me that’s easier said than done.

Psalm 25:7 stood out to me today. “7 Do not remember the rebellious sins of my youth. Remember me in the light of our unfailing love, for you are merciful, O Lord.” (NLT) I am so thankful for Gods mercy and for the fact that he does not remember our sins once we’ve confessed them and repented from them. Knowing that He does not remember my rebellious, alcohol soaked youth and grants mercy to me is sooooo very comforting! Praise to you Lord for your mercy and unfailing love!

Yours in Christ

Work "as unto the Lord" and play will be a refreshing to your mind, soul and body

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