Daily Bible Reading

Bonus post: Already passed

When you accepted Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, did you feel any different? Did you feel invincible? As though you could take on anything and triumph? Did you feel as though you’d live forever? If you felt any of that, how long did it last?

Ask anyone who’s been a Christian for more than ten years. Odds are that they do not feel invincible. I can guarantee they’ve aged since their conversion. And they’ve probably failed at more than a few things.

After being in the faith for a while, verses that claim we are more than conquerors can become challenging to truly believe. We may even begin to doubt what the Bible says about us, yet wait for the day when we can claim eternal life.

But did you know that, if you’ve accepted the incredible gift of salvation, you are already alive? As in alive forever? Never to die. I don’t mean physically. I’m not sure I’d even want to live forever. But that moment when your spirit cries out to the Holy Spirit a miracle takes place. That dry, dead spirit is brought to life.

I assure you, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life.

John 4:24 (NLT)

Already passed. As in it’s happened. Done. Not something we need to wait for. Our eternal life doesn’t begin when we die. It begins when we come alive in Christ. Hey Church, let’s stop acting like dead people who have no life! We have the Way, the Truth, and the Life living inside of us! Because Jesus is alive, we’re alive.

Daily Bible Reading

12 Years

12 years, if you’re 12, is just a short while. Life is just beginning. You’re just starting to experience real life. But 12 years, if you’re sick, can be an eternity. Every day stretches on and on without relief and, though you’re alive, you never really live at all.

In Mark 5 beginning in verse 21, we are first made aware of a little girl. She’s 12. She’s dying. Before she’s ever had a chance to really live, she’s on death’s door. Her father, Jairus, is convinced that Jesus can solve this problem.

While Jesus and his followers are on their way to see to the little girl, we meet another girl. A woman. She’s been sick for 12 years. Since the time the little girl’s life began, this woman’s has been miserable. She’s suffered at the hands of doctors to no avail. While the little girl’s life was beginning, the woman’s life was literally draining out of her.

But, like Jairus, this woman knew that Jesus was the answer. If only she could get close enough to touch him, her days of suffering would be over.

I believe that, in the moment the woman touched the hem of Jesus’ garment, the little girl died. One life was restored while the other was destroyed.

When Jesus felt the healing power leave him, he didn’t have to stop. The woman already knew that she’d been healed. I like to think that this was Jesus showing off a little. He made a point, while being crushed by a crowd, to single out the one person who’d touched him with enough faith to draw the power from him.

Side note: When you approach Jesus, do you just bump up against him like the rest of the crowd or do you go after him, like the woman, intent on pursuing him until you get what you need?

The woman presented herself to Jesus and he announces to the crowd—remember, she already knew she was healed—that this woman’s faith has made her well. Jesus made sure that everyone had stopped and was listening. They all heard his announcement that the woman’s faith had made her well.

When Jesus got to the house, he booted out everyone who had no faith. This left himself, the girl’s parents, and three disciples—considering this man went around healing people all the time, the faith of the crowd was weak.

At Jesus’ word, what had died the moment the woman with the issue of blood was healed, was revived. The little girl got up and walked around.

We would understand the gravity of what Jesus accomplished if we didn’t know how long the woman suffered from her illness or how old the little girl was at the time of her first death. So why is 12 so important?

Jesus’ first recorded words were taken when he was 12 years old. There were 12 tribes in Israel, 12 disciples chosen by Jesus. The number is referred to 187 times in the Bible. So what does it mean?

12 is considered a perfect number symbolising God’s authority. It’s a picture of completeness or perfection as well as the authority given to man by God.

Jesus showed the fullness of his authority by healing a woman who’d been living with illness for 12 years and by raising to life a girl who died after only 12 years. He proved to be the God of the living as well as the God of the dead. It was a display of perfect, complete authority. The same authority he gave to us.

Daily Bible reading: Numbers 11-13, Mark 5:21-43

Daily Bible Reading

Irrevocable

One of my Bible school teachers once said that, if God were done with you, you’d be dead.

I’m not retired. Not even close to it. I know I’ve still got a lot of time and a lot of work ahead of me. I think a lot of people give up way too early, though. When they retire from their career, they retire from the ministry. That’s not to say that you can’t take it easy in old age, but many people act as though their calling ends when their job does.

For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.

Romans 11:29 (ESV)

IRREVOCABLE: not to be revoked or recalled; unable to be repealed or annulled; unalterable

No matter what your age or stage in life, God’s purpose and plan for you will never be called back. The call is permanent. You’re not done until you’re dead.

Daily Bible reading: Psalm 93-95; Romans 11:22-36

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Grace

What is grace? To some, it is the Get Our of Jail Free card because, after all, God will always forgive me, right? It would mean that we can do anything and, as long as we ask forgiveness, we’re good. But if you’re never truly repentant, can there ever be true forgiveness?

What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?

Romans 6:1-2 (ESV)

The doctrine of grace is this: we are born into sin because of Adam’s sinfulness in the Garden. Because of that sin, we are ever separated from God and can never be reconciled with Him. Grace is what we have been offered through Jesus’ blood as a way to come to God. One of my Bible school teachers put it this way:

Faith is our grip on God.
Grace is God’s grip on us.

Grace is not an excuse to sin, but rather an excuse to stay away from sin. We can either be alive in Christ and dead to sin or alive in sin and dead to Christ. We cannot be both alive to sin and alive in Christ. If Christ, the light of the world, be in us, darkness cannot also dwell there.

In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

John 1:4-5 (ESV)

Daily Bible reading: Psalm 75-77; Romans 6

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Confidence

Are you a confident person? What makes you so? Your own ability? Your position?

Is not your fear of God your confidence, and the integrity of your ways your hope?

Job 4:6 (ESV)

In his despair, Job’s friend reminds him of who he is.

If our confidence is in ourselves, we will lose it. Not only will we let others down, but we will surely let ourselves down.

But if our confidence is in God, how will we ever be let down? God never changes. The same God that provided manna for the Israelites in the wilderness is still the same God we serve today. He’s the same God who both parted and calmed the seas. He’s the same God who raise Christ from the dead so that he could be alive in us.

Have confidence in that God.

Daily Bible reading: Job 4-6; Acts 7:20-43