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Showing posts from March, 2020

bible reading apr 1

Bible reading for April 1 -- Leviticus 4; Psalms 1-2.  The two-year M'Cheyne reading schedule (arranged by D. A. Carson) covers the NT + Psalms + 1/2 OT.  The second year is the same but with the second half of the OT.  The Psalms reading is the second reading of the day for the next several weeks, and once we finish the Psalms we go back to the NT readings. You can download a PDF of this reading schedule here .   ================   "Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night."  (Psalm 1:1-2)  Israel's hymnbook.  The Psalms are prayers, laments, and praise to God written in Hebrew poetic form. This was Israel's hymnbook and was sung or recited in worship, both congregational and private.  Most of the Psalms were written by King David (c. 1000 BC), though other authors are included,

bible reading mar 31

Bible reading for March 31 -- Leviticus 2-3; John 21.  "If his offering is a sacrifice of peace offering, if he offers an animal from the herd, male or female, he shall offer it without blemish before the LORD."  (Leviticus 3:1) Types of offerings.  Offerings could be from the livestock (or doves), and some offerings could be of grain or other produce.  There were three general categories of sacrifices :  a) sin and guilt, b) whole burnt, and c) peace.  Sin offerings (guilt offerings added restitution) were burnt on the altar but part of the meat would be apportioned for the priests as their support.  Whole burnt ("holocaust") sacrifices were burned in their entirety and therefore symbolized complete dedication to the Lord.  Peace (or thank) offerings were given to the Lord and also shared as a meal with family, friends, and priests, as a celebration of God restoring the person to life and fellowship.     No blemishes.  Offerings had to be "withou

bible reading mar 30

Bible reading for Mar 30 -- Leviticus 1; John 20  "And the priest shall burn it on the altar, on the wood that is on the fire. It is a burnt offering, a food offering with a pleasing aroma to the LORD." (Leviticus 1:17)  It is common for people who decide to read the entire Bible to begin in Genesis, make it successfully through Exodus, and then collapse and die in the book of Leviticus.  Many do not make it beyond that point!  Leviticus is as inspired as every other portion of the Bible (2 Tim 3:16) but it may not be as immediately relevant to a modern reader.  In fact it may seem very strange -- it's a book about sacrifices and offerings. Following the giving of the Law and the building of the Tabernacle in Exodus this is the instruction manual for the Israelite priests (descendants of Aaron) on the sacrificial offerings in worship .  There are a lot of details, and blood.  These sacrifices would take place during the millennium and a half of Israel's his

bible reading weekend mar 28

Bible reading for weekend of March 28 -- Exodus 39-40; John 18-19  "Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. And Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud settled on it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle."  (Exodus 40:34-35)  The glory of God overshadows and fills the completed tabernacle (Ex 40).  In fulfillment of this foreshadowing, the glorious presence of God rests upon our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the true temple where sacrifice, cleansing, light, life, intercession, and the presence of God is manifested to us.  Visibly, this glory was seen at the transfiguration: "He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, 'This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him'" (Matt 17:5). But the Apostle John says that all of Jesus' life (and death) was a manifestation of that glory : "

bible reading mar 27

Bible reading for Mar 27 -- Exodus 38; John 17.  "And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent."  (John 17:3)  The high priestly prayer. This chapter has intrigued me all of my Christian life and it is one of my very favorite passages in all of Scripture.  It is at once beautiful, caring, and yet mysterious and profound.  It is a deep well of wonder, giving us a window on the relationship of the Father and the Son . Carefully note the terms and phrases Jesus uses: glory and glorify, "those whom you gave me", an accomplished work of giving his disciples the name and words of the Father, and "that they may be one", along with Father and Son.  We learn that eternal life is not merely living forever or even living forever in a new creation.  Eternal life is to know the Father, and the Son whom he has sent , and to share in that glorious relationship within the triune God . I admit freely that I h

bible reading mar 26

Bible reading for Mar 26 -- Exodus 37; John 16.  "The cherubim spread out their wings above, overshadowing the mercy seat with their wings, with their faces one to another; toward the mercy seat were the faces of the cherubim." (Exodus 37:9)  Cherubim. The Bible teaches that there are supernatural beings , not just in heaven but active on earth as well. The different names used -- cherubim, seraphim, angels, living creatures -- may designate different kinds of these beings.  Cherubim (pl.; cherub, sing.) serve as defenders of God's holiness , for example, guarding the way to the tree of life with a flaming sword (Gen 3:24).  Images of cherubim were woven into the curtains of the tabernacle (Ex 26:1).  Ezekiel saw cherubim bearing up God's glorious appearance in his visions, and Lucifer (Satan) had been in that class of cherubim (Ezek 28:14, 16).  At Sinai Moses is directed to make two gold images of cherubim as part of the mercy seat, or lid, upon the ark of

bible reading mar 25

Bible reading for March 25 -- Exodus 36; John 15.  "The people bring much more than enough for doing the work that the LORD has commanded us to do." (Exodus 36:5) Building God's house (Ex 36-40).   At least 25 times in the remaining chapters of Exodus it speaks of obeying what God had commanded through Moses in building the tabernacle.  And at this point in the story the people do so freely and generously.  The tabernacle -- and later the temple in Jerusalem --  was to be a meeting place between man and God, a place of worship and offerings, a "dwelling" for God, not in the sense that he needed a place to stay (2 Chron 6:18; Acts 7:48), but a place where he would manifest his presence to his people .  As I read through these "construction" chapters I observed a few things... -- Design and details matter. -- It is built with precious and beautiful materials. -- Some of the materials and design foreshadow the city of Rev 21-22.  -- Every

NT reading mar 24 - untroubled in troubled times

NT reading for Mar 24 -- John 14.  "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid." (John 14:27) Untroubled (Jn 14:1, 27). We, like the disciples in the upper room, are looking at a world which has great uncertainty about it .  The corona virus pandemic has people asking, "How is this all going to end up?  Will my family and my loved ones be all right? Am I ready for this?"  Of course there are practical matters to attend to: enough canned goods on the shelf, making sure children know where important papers are, and so on. On the night of Jesus' betrayal the disciples were certainly beginning to ask similar questions -- what if things turn out badly? ...what if Jesus is not going to be here? ...what will we do and how will we manage?  These days are -- as those days were -- uncertain and troubling. And Jesus begins by saying, "Let not your heart

bible reading mar 24 OT

OT reading for Mar 24 -- Exodus 35.  "Take from among you a contribution to the LORD. Whoever is of a generous heart, let him bring the LORD's contribution..." (Ex 35:5) Generosity.   A " generous heart " (35:5; cf 21, 22, 29) is literally, "willing [ or inclined ] in heart", which denotes a free-spirited, inner desire to give. Another translation is, "everyone whose heart so moves him" (TNK/JPS) . The generosity that follows reveals a true volunteer spirit among the Israelites, a free giving of their resources. This is certainly a beautiful high point in Israel's history , especially following their previous failures.  As the OT story progresses we see again and again that the heart of the human problem is the problem of the human heart.  But here was God's promise: "Your people will offer themselves freely on the day of your power..." (Ps 110:3a; cf Jer 32:39; Ezek 36:26). It is Christ's power that makes hi

bible reading mar 23

Bible reading for March 23: Exodus 34; John 13.  "When Moses came down from Mount Sinai, with the two tablets of the testimony in his hand as he came down from the mountain, Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because he had been talking with God." (Exodus 34:29) This chapter (Exodus 34) includes the following:  Moses returns to the mountain with new stone tablets and sees the glory of God as promised (34:1-9); God renews his covenant with Israel and warns against any compromise whatsoever with idolatry (34:10-28); and the face of Moses shines when he descends the mountain from being in the presence of the Lord (34:29-35). The Apostle Paul uses this last event, the shining face of Moses, to explain the difference between the glory of the Old Covenant (Mosaic) and the glory of the New Covenant (2 Cor 3).  More on the topic of "glory" below... ============   "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I h

the cleft of the rock

The cleft of the rock (Exodus 33). "Now therefore, if I have found favor in your sight, please show me now your ways, that I may know you in order to find favor in your sight. Consider too that this nation is your people." (Exodus 33:13) Where we are (Exodus 33).  The people, so powerfully delivered from Egypt and her gods, have quickly turned away from the Lord to worship a golden calf. The Lord says that he will give them the blessing of the promised land but not the blessing of his presence (33:1-6).  They, like us, are " stiff-necked ".  Literally, this is, "people of a hard back-of-the-neck". This may be translated as "obstinate, stubborn, insolent, rebellious." The picture is of an unbending will.  God in his holiness will not dwell among an unwilling, unholy people who spurn his ways .   The Bible says that the Lord relented from the disaster he could bring upon the people (32:12, 14 ). God does not in reality "change&qu

bible reading weekend mar 20

Bible reading for weekend March 20-22: Exodus 31-33; John 10-12.  "...and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with ability and intelligence, with knowledge and all craftsmanship, to devise artistic designs..." (Exodus 31:3-4) Spirit and Sabbath (Ex 31). Here is the first mention of the Holy Spirit gifting people with special skills (Ex 31:1-11; cf Eph 4:7-14). This tells us that God cares not only about how we worship, but also about art, beauty, and craftsmanship.  And we learn that Sabbath-keeping is the sign of the covenant between God and Israel (31:12-18).  In the NT the keeping of the Sabbath, at least in the form as it is kept in the OT, is not continued in the same way.  The principle of taking and giving needed physical rest, ceasing from sinful and self-righteous works, and taking time for corporate worship still continues for those of us who follow Christ today, but there is more freedom as to the form that may take (see Rom 14:5-6; Col 2:16-17;