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bible reading nov 15-16

 


Bible reading for Nov 15 -- 16

Nov 15 -- Amos 4 and Psalms 148-150

Nov 16 -- Amos 5 and Luke 1:1-38

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"Take away from me the noise of your songs; to the melody of your harps I will not listen. But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream." (Amos 5:23-24)  

PREPARE TO MEET YOUR GOD (ch 4). Amos calls out the women for self-indulgence and all the people for their idolatry (vv 1-5). The Lord brought various judgments upon the nation in the forms of drought, famine, blight, mildew, and pestilence. "Yet you did not return to me," says the Lord repeatedly. "Therefore thus I will do to you, O Israel; because I will do this to you, prepare to meet your God, O Israel!" (v 12)

LET JUSTICE ROLL DOWN (ch 5). Amos calls the people to do a 180: "Hate evil, and love good, and establish justice in the gate; it may be that the LORD, the God of hosts, will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph." The people did not need more "me time" or "you do you" or "love yourself first" or any such nonsense, they needed to let justice roll down like a refreshing stream, honoring God above all, and generously caring for others in need. Our contemporary culture shares the religion of self-worship with Amos' generation in Israel.  Thaddeus Williams writes about the Six Commandments of Self-Worship here... 

These are the sacred commandments of this ancient and still-trending world religion:

--Your mind is the source and standard of truth, so no matter what, trust yourself. 

--Your emotions are authoritative, so never question (or let anyone else question) your feelings. 

--You are sovereign, so flex your omnipotence and bend the universe around your dreams and desires. 

--You are supreme, so always act according to your chief end, to glorify and enjoy yourself forever. 

--You are the summum bonum—the standard of goodness—so don’t let anyone oppress you with the antiquated notion of being a sinner who needs grace. 

--You are the Creator, so use that limitless creative power to craft your identity and purpose. 

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"Let everything that has breath praise the LORD! Praise the LORD!" (Psalm 150:6) 

CRESCENDO OF PRAISE (Ps 148-150). Psalm 148 calls on all of creation to worship and praise God. Psalm 149 focuses on the joy of God's salvation (v 2, 4). The Lord delights in his children, and we are to rejoice in him with music and dancing. But we should not forget that we live in the presence of enemies (Ps 23:4-5). "Let the high praises of God be in their throats and two-edged swords in their hands..." (149:6; cf 2 Cor 10:3-5; Heb 4:12). Herman Bavinck wrote, "Truth always seeks to be honored as truth and can never be at peace with error and deception." Psalm 150 concludes by calling all of creation to worship God (vv 1, 6), to praise him for his character and works (v 2), to praise him with music and dance (vv 3-4), and to praise him resoundingly (v 5). "In commanding us to glorify him, God is inviting us to enjoy him" (C. S. Lewis). We were created to know God, and worship is that knowledge in bloom. 

BEGINNING LUKE (ch 1). Luke's gospel is a researched, chronological account of Christ's life, teaching, death, and resurrection. He writes, "that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught"(v 4).  Matthew and John were disciples of Christ and witnesses of his resurrection. Mark was a protégé of the Apostle Peter, and Luke was a protégé of the Apostle Paul. Likely, while Paul was imprisoned at Caesarea Maritima, ca. AD 57-59, prior to his journey to Rome, Luke spent those two years interviewing key people in Jerusalem and writing his gospel account, followed soon by the Acts of the Apostles. This is why Luke has so much information on the birth of Jesus, as well as John the Baptist. Luke, being a physician, gives special attention to the human nature of Jesus and to the mercy he shows to individuals, women, the poor, and the marginalized. This is a great gospel to begin with for those who want to know more about Jesus!

MARY'S FAITH. Zechariah asks how he can be sure of what the angel said (indicating his doubt), but Mary asks how (in what way) the conception and birth will come about, and says, "Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word" (1:38). The angel Gabriel's words, "For nothing will be impossible with God" (1:37) echo the angel's words to Abraham and Sarah, "Is anything too hard for the LORD? At the appointed time I will return to you about this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son" (Gen 18:14).  Our salvation, from beginning to end, from Christ's coming into the world to our final destination with him in glory is an "impossible" thing. Speaking of our salvation, Jesus said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible" (Matt 19:26). Forgiveness, life, righteousness, power, holiness, perseverance -- all are beyond us. Salvation must be received as a gift! When we receive the Lord Jesus we receive every spiritual blessing with him.        

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Image credit: source unknown. About this newsletter: I'm Sandy Young, and I post three times a week on my Bible reading, following the Robert Murray M'Cheyne (RMM) two-year reading schedule, as arranged by D. A. Carson. Subscribe for email at Buttondown.email/Sandy. Scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. A very helpful resource is the NET Bible with its excellent notes at netbible.org.  


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