Judges 11:1-12:15 ~ John 1:1-28 ~ Psalm 101:1-8 ~ Proverbs 14:13-14
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Old Testament - Today we read about Jephthah and his daughter - and the related vow. It is interesting to note that some Biblical scholars do not think that Jepthah actually killed his daughter, but that she simply died a virgin, as verse 38 says. However... verse 38 also says he kept his vow. Keep in mind that oftentimes the Bible reports "just the facts," which does not necessarily mean the "facts" or actions of what us humans did was pleasing in God's sight. Human sacrifice was not part of God's laws or plans. It is clearly forbidden in Leviticus chapter 20 verses 1-5 and in Leviticus chapter 18:21 - " 'Do not give any of your children to be sacrificed to Molech, for you must not profane the name of your God. I am the LORD."
New Testament - I am so excited that we are starting the Gospel of John today!! I won’t necessarily say that it is my favorite Gospel – because all 4 are amazing. But, I will say that John is different from the other 3. If by chance you felt like reading Luke these past few weeks has gotten repetitive when compared to Matthew and Mark, hang in there! John is different. Beautifully different. John Chapter 15 is definitely one of my favorite chapters in the Bible. I cannot wait to read it again! I actually have a powerful personal story to share with you all about John Chapter 15. I’ll do so either in a future email or on the blog when we get to this chapter.
I have a feeling there are probably a few folks who have dropped off the One Year Bible readings over this past few months. I’d like to invite you to jump back in and join us now as we’re beginning John and will soon be starting Ruth. These are 2 great books for you to start back up with us again!
One thing I’ll recommend to everyone, if you have a chance this next week, is to watch the movie “The Gospel of John”. Have you seen it? It is incredibly well done. It was released in theaters on a limited basis a few years ago, and I was fortunate enough to have caught it in the theater. It is a 3 hour movie that goes word-for-word through the Gospel of John, based on the Good News Bible translation. Or, perhaps you’ll want to read the Biblical text first and then watch the movie later. Either way. I definitely recommend this film. You can hopefully pick it up at a video rental store. A friend of mine was surprised to have found it at the local supermarket little video rental section recently. And, actually, I have the first 10 minutes of the movie in the YouTube below today, and it looks like you can watch the entire movie now on YouTube.
The Gospel of John
Date: A.D. 85-96
Content: The Gospel of John was written many years after Jesus’ death and resurrection by the apostle John so that those who read it might believe in Christ and thus have life through his name. John begins with a prologue unique to this Gospel where Jesus’ preexistent life with the Father is depicted to show that Jesus was not simply a great man, but God. Miracles of Jesus as well as many of Jesus’ teachings not found elsewhere are then described. A long section in John chapters 14 through 17 describes Jesus’ teaching to his apostles before his death. After Jesus’ death and resurrection, special place is given to Jesus’ appearance to his apostles.
Theme: The Gospel of John more than any other Gospel stresses the deity of Christ and provides us with an interpretation of his life. He is explained in figurative terms as light, truth, love, good shepherd, the door, the resurrection and the life, living water, true bread, and more. The beautiful material found in John chapters 14 through 17 shows the deep love of Jesus for the believer and the peace that comes from faith in Christ. (Above commentary is from “The One Year Bible Companion” pp. 22-23) Great commentary on John by Bob Deffinbaugh at bible.org is at this link: http://bible.org/page.php?page_id=2348
Today in John Chapter 1 verse 14 we read – “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” Do you believe that Jesus is the Word John is referring to? What does this mean to you that the Word became flesh? Do you believe that Jesus was born into this world both fully divine and fully human (yet sinless)? Why would God send Jesus, full of light, grace and truth into the world? Why was this necessary?
Today in John Chapter 1 verses 10 & 11 we read – “He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.” Do you believe that the world was made through Jesus? Do you believe the world is Jesus’ own? Have you ever gone through periods in your life where you have not recognized Jesus for who he truly is? ( I know that I have) Have you gone through periods of your life where Jesus has come to you and you did not receive him? ( Again, I know that I have) As you read through the Gospel of John this year will you prayerfully read it? Will you ask God to reveal to you through John’s Gospel who Jesus really is? And will you ask God to make Jesus more known to you this year than ever before? Do you believe this is possible – for you to know Jesus more this year than in your prior years? Do you believe the Gospel of John and prayer can help you to truly know Jesus more?
Bible.org's commentary on our readings in John today titled "What Child is This?" is at this link.
Psalms - Psalm 101 is a great Psalm of David today! Great verses, all of them. I like verse 3 - "I will refuse to look at anything vile and vulgar." This seems to be a bit tougher and tougher to adhere to in our modern world where pornography is getting more and more into the mainstream. But, it is such a beautiful and true Psalm of David for us to adhere to! Do you refuse to look at anything vile and vulgar? Do you avoid watching TV shows, reading magazines or papers, or going to see movies where you know you'll end up looking at things vile & vulgar? Don't get me wrong - I'm not saying avoid watching all TV, reading all mags & papers or avoid all movies. I'm just saying that there are some of these forms of media that we know in advance that what they "sell" us will be vile and vulgar. Why would we "buy" that garbage? Refuse to look at it. Don't give it one inch of power over you! (or your kids!)
A portion of verse 2 stood out to me today - "I will lead a life of integrity in my own home." This is powerful. How often do we have integrity outside of our home - but then not display integrity within our own home? Think this is healthy? Should we strive for leading a life of integrity within our own home?
Proverbs - Proverbs chapter 14 verse 13 teaches us today: "Laughter can conceal a heavy heart, but when the laughter ends, the grief remains." This is an interesting look at laughter!
Worship God: Today's readings remind me of For King and Country's song "Fix My Eyes:"
Where are your eyes fixed these days? Click here to fix your eyes!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on three verses of Scripture today: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made." John 1:1-3 NIV
Prayer Point: Pray that you personally are in relationship with the Word, Jesus. Pray that you know that Jesus is the eternal Alpha and Omega, first and last Word of all things. Pray for those that you know who are not in relationship with Jesus, that they will come to know the Word made flesh.
Comments from You & Questions of the Day: Some say laughter is the best medicine... and oftentimes I agree. But, this Proverb tells us that laughter may not always heal a heavy heart... Perhaps something more than laughter is needed when we have a heavy heart? Perhaps - God is needed? Also, what verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!
p.s. Download our monthly Small Group study notes for our One Year Bible readings at this link.
p.p.s. Download a schedule of our One Year Bible readings for the year in PDF format at this link.
p.p.p.s. I would greatly appreciate it if you would pray for this One Year Bible Blog ministry today. Thanks!
What jumped out at me today, in this book that records that “every man did that which was right in his own eyes (21:25),” was the reversal of relationships in doing what was evil. Yesterday and Thursday we read about Abimelech, son of Gideon, aka, Jerubbaal, the illegitimate son, killing his seventy brothers, save but one, and ruling or judging as a political judge, not a spiritual one. Today we have the legitimate sons of Gilead not killing but forcing out the illegitimate son, their half-brother. Is it just me but has anyone notice that the judges have moved from have any kind of spiritual influence to just plan brut force? It seems God is using them in spite of themselves.
I am only guessing as to why they didn’t kill him but it could have been that he was a “great warrior,” and with all great warriors they usually have a “posse.” Regardless of illegitimacy or legitimacy I saw that the perversion of God’s commands and wickedness does not dwell in a particular family, neighborhood or person. We sometimes try to compartmentalize “sin” by giving deference to a particular time, place, space and people as being sinless. Folks run from neighborhood to neighborhood, state to state looking for “good” places and communities which to raise their young, when in reality the danger that we think dwells without, really resides within.
Each one did what was right in his own eyes implies that what everyone else did was wrong, but what I do is right. This sets up the individual as his or her own god. So even though we read in this book about Israel swinging from god to God, like a trapeze artist swinging from bar to bar, the gods they really served were the gods of their own self interest, the gods that lived in their hearts.
Are we guilty of serving our own gods and calling them something else, swinging from bar to bar, from god to God thinking we are safe because the mercy of God has formed a net underneath us? If the net or when the net is removed, do we cry out to God, “Where were You? When in reality we were grabbing for the wrong trapeze.
What I absolutely love about this Gospel is the image of light and True light, and the juxtaposing of truth with non-truth. This passage mentions that John the Baptist, Jesus’ cousin and elder by birth by six months, proclaimed the “Light” that was Christ and gave testimony validating that Light.
8 John himself was not the light; he was only a witness to the light. 9The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was going to come into the world.
Take note if the writer is distinguishing between true light, know for certain there is a false one, in other words it illuminates to a point but leaves many things in the shadows.
What light am I serving? Do I need to get rid of a dimly lit bulb I’m calling the revelation of God? Thoughts that make one do some soul searching.
Mike, in the King James Version verse three reads,
I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.
Maybe the KJV and NKJV can be understood clearer this time and with this verse. The NLT using, “I will refuse to look at” leaves us helpless in keeping outside forces from passing before us. We would have to go into a cave or put our eyes out to stop the onslaught of smut that comes before our eyes just walking down the street. Working in a college it’s not so much as what some folks are wearing that comes before my eyes, but what they aren’t wearing.
The King James talks about us placing something wicked before our very own eyes. Now if something wicked this way comes propelled by a human being that we have no control over, that’s one thing, but if we stop and stare at it then we are setting “it” before our eyes.
Laughter may conceal a heavy heart, just think of all the stand-up comics and comedians through the ages who are bitter, hurting people, but surly laughter that proceeds from a merry heart brings healing. (Proverbs 15:13;17:22). The key is the state of the heart. If the heart is merry then the laughter is legitimately flowing from the inside. But only God knows what is really in the heart of a person.
Grace and peace,
Posted by: Ramona | April 29, 2017 at 07:44 PM
Amen. I enjoy this Bible Blog so much. GOD BLESS U MIKE , I pray....
Posted by: Sandra | April 30, 2017 at 06:35 AM