Daily Bible Reading

Fulfilled

When I make a promise, to the best of my ability, I try to keep it. When someone else makes a promise for me, depending on what it is, I try to keep that, too. If a complete stranger says I’m going to do something, I’m not likely to do it—unless I want to or already planned on doing so.

Jesus came to earth and fulfilled every promise made about him—whether he’d met the person who made it or not. Some things just happened the way they’d been foretold centuries before.

So they said, “Let’s not tear it but throw dice to see who gets it.” This fulfilled the Scripture that says, “They divided my clothes among themselves and threw dice for my robe.” So that is what they did.

John 19:24 (NLT)

Others made sure to record fulfilled prophecies so that we would know and recognise what had taken place.

This report is from and eye-witness giving and accurate account; it is presented so that you can also believe.

John 19:35 (NLT)

And yet others, Jesus made sure he fulfilled. Even on the cross after being whipped and beaten and nailed to a tree, Jesus knew there were a few things he still had to do so that things strangers had said about him would come to pass.

Jesus knew that everything was now finished, and to fulfill the Scriptures, he said, “I am thirsty.”

John 19:28 (NLT)

That is the Jesus we know. The Jesus we serve. The Jesus we love. The man who, while hanging on the cross near the point of death, would make a request in order to fulfill words that had been spoken centuries before. All so that we would know who he truly was.

There was no benefit to Jesus in stating his thirst. All he got for it was a taste of vinegar. But what we get is one more prophecy fulfilled amongst hundreds of others that only Jesus could fulfill. We get to see the impossibility of one man fulfilling all those words become possible. Jesus not only fulfilled prophecy in his words and action, he is the fulfillment of promise.

Daily Bible reading: Ezra 1-2, John 19:23-42

Daily Bible Reading

Witness to the world

These are dark days we live in where the persecution of Christianity is not only widely accepted, but praised. Our faith is under open attack. There are those around us who would have our freedom to speak the truth of the Gospel taken away. And, in many cases, it is becoming increasingly difficult to declare truth without having someone try to shut us down.

Why are so many Christians surprised by this? Who told them that a life of following Jesus was supposed to be the easy one? Jesus himself warned us of this very thing.

But beware! For you will be handed over to the courts and beaten in the synagogues. And you must stand trial before governors and kings because you are my followers. This will be your opportunity to tell them about me—yes, to witness to the world.

Matthew 10:17-18 (NLT)

Church, this is our opportunity. This is not the time to back down or to muddle the truth so much that it is no longer truth at all. This is the time to stand up—no matter what the consequence—and declare Jesus! When the words of mere men may fail us, the Word of the Lord stands forever.

When you are arrested, don’t worry about what to say in your defense, because you will be given the right words at the right time. For it won’t be you doing the talking—it will be the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.

Matthew 10:19-20 (NLT)

Good Christian men (and women), rejoice! We don’t have to come up with any of the arguments. Jesus has promised that, should we have to defend Him, the Spirit will give us the words to say. So let’s stop trying to win an impossible argument with our own words. Instead, lean on the Spirit of Truth to witness to the world.

Daily Bible reading: Genesis 29-30, Matthew 10:1-23

Daily Bible Reading

A little less conversation

For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk, but in power.

1 Corinthians 4:20 (ESV)

You are being watched. The government has a secret system, a machine that spies on you every hour of every day.

If you are a fan of the TV show Person of Interest, you’d have heard the voice of Harold Finch recite the above quote many times.

We are being watched. Maybe the government has a machine, but more than that the world around us is the machine. We are being watched nearly every hour of every day.

As time goes by, it become more and more evident that words are no longer enough. They mean nothing. They are empty. No one is listening. It is our actions that speak so much louder.

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

1 Corinthians 13:1 (ESV)

If your words are only adding to the noise, perhaps it is time to be silent and let your actions speak for you. Is love something we merely talk about or is it something we do?

Daily Bible reading: Psalm 119:49-104, 1 Corinthians 4

Uncategorized

Every Day

I’m not good at talking to people. Socialising is about the last thing on my list of things I enjoy doing. When it comes to sharing the Gospel, I’m usually at a complete loss as where to start.

And I’m quite sure I’m not alone in this struggle.

But I wonder what would happen if we all worked on it? How many people could we reach if we just started talking about Jesus. Not as some far off being we sort of believe in, but as a real person whom we have a real relationship with.

In the book of Acts, the apostles were imprisoned because they spoke of Jesus. When an angel came to let them out, he said:

Go and stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this Life.

Acts 5:20 (ESV)

Of course, we know that this Life is Jesus. They weren’t commissioned to speak some of Jesus’ words or just the ones that they liked, but all of his words.

By the end of the chapter, the apostles had been called before the council, beaten and let go, and told not to talk about Jesus. So what did they do?

And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.

Acts 5:42 (ESV)

Do you think that maybe we could work on talking about Jesus? And not just about him, but speaking his words. His words of Truth and Life. It’s going to be a challenge for most of us.

But if we don’t speak all the words of this Life, who will?

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Rejoice

I’ve had people look at me strangely when I’ve discovered something in the Bible I’d never seen or noticed before.

Do you ever have those moments? Where God’s Word truly comes alive and you feel as though God is pulling words of the page for you so that you can see and understand them in a different way?

Israel had this experience. Once they returned to Jerusalem from exile, they took the time to read the Book of the Law in the presence of everyone who was able to understand it. Not only did they read it, but they presented it clearly and with interpretation so that every would understand it. Men, women, and children stood for hours listening to scripture.

What’s your response when you’ve grasped a new revelation from scripture. Do you tell someone? Do you pause to think about it? Or do you do like the people in Jerusalem?

And all the people went their way to eat and drink and to send portions and to make great rejoicing, because they had understood the words that were declared to them.

Nehemiah 8:12 (ESV)

When you understand more than just the literal meaning of the Word, rejoice! When you’ve taken hold of a deeper meaning in scripture, see it for what it is – God personally revealing Himself to you.

These are God’s words. Living words. Active words. And He has given them freely to you.

For the word of God is living an active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of the soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

Hebrews 4:12 (ESV)

Daily Bible reading: Nehemiah 7-8; Acts 3

Uncategorized

Glorified

We hear often in the church that we must bear good fruit. If you were raised in the church, you know the songs that go along with Galatians 5:22-23. You know what the Fruit of the Spirit are (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control). But do you know what they’re for?

Sure, being loving and kind makes us look good as Christians. It may even help draw people into our churches, but is that the only reason we’ve been commanded to display these traits?

By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.

John 15:8 (ESV)

If we do everything as unto the Lord according to Colossians 3:23, God gets the glory. That’s the point of all of it. God gets glory, people see that we are His followers, and those same people are attracted by our traits that reflect God.

By your words and actions, the people you associate with can see who you’ve been spending time with. You reflect their traits and, in a way, bring glory to them because you’ve deemed them important enough to emulate. Do we do the same with God? Do the people around us know that we’ve been spending time in the presence of God by the traits we reflect? Is God glorified by our behaviour?

Daily Bible reading: 2 Chronicles 17-19; John 15

Uncategorized

Hear for you

When you sit in church and listen to the pastor speak, whose words are you hearing? Do you hear the voice of the pastor and his opinion or do you hear the voice of the Lord?

If you’re keeping up with your daily Bible reading, yesterday you would have read about the Samaritan woman at the well. Jesus called her out about her sinful behaviour without ever having met or spoken to her before. The woman, amazed at what Jesus had told her, went back into town and told everyone she knew what Jesus had said to her.

In today’s reading, the woman gets another mention.

Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me all that I ever did.” So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them, and he stayed there two days. And many more believed because of his word. They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this in indeed the Saviour of the world.”

John 4:39-42 (ESV)

A few believed because of what the woman said. Even more believed because of what Jesus said.

Many churches these days are filling up fast. Many preach the Word of God, but sadly, many do not. There are pulpits filled with fancy words coming from eloquent preachers, but the words belong to man, not God. Man’s words may make believers, but God’s words make disciples.

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.

Matthew 28:18-20 (ESV)

In order for people to hear God’s word, we have to speak God’s word. Put your own voice aside and speak the words that have the power to change lives.

Daily Bible reading: 2 Kings 6-8; John 4:31-54