The Word Became Flesh

NZXT SwordThe Word Became Flesh

April 30, 2012 Bible Reading

Judges 11:1-12:15
John 1:1-28
Psalms 101:1-8
Proverbs 14:13-14

Use the links above to read today’s Word.

Audio Version – Daily Audio Bible

Brian Hardin at the Daily Audio Bible podcast does a fantastic job of covering the story of Jephthah. I encourage you to listen to it as soon as you have time, because I know you’ll have questions about how God could allow Jephthah to sacrifice his own daughter due to a vow. Brain, as usual, does a great job of revealing what the Word says and doesn’t say.

The Word Became Flesh

We begin the book of John today and so we find one of my favorite pieces of scripture. John, one of Jesus’ Disciples, wrote this book and he did so after the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke). That’s not the reason it’s one of my favorites though. The reason it’s one of my favorites is because of the way it opens up.

In the beginning the Word already existed.
The Word was with God,
and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him,
and nothing was created except through him. The Word gave life to everything that was created,
and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness can never extinguish it. (John 1:1-5 NLT)

Do you remember back in Genesis?

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. (Genesis 1:26 KJV)

God said, “Let us make man…”. The Word of God was with God in the beginning and the Word was God. The fact that Jesus is the Word of God was one of my most important discoveries (that works on so many levels;). The Word of God is not just a book we can read, but the Word lives within us. Remember in Genesis it also says that God SPOKE things into existence.

That’s pretty deep to think about. Now spending time in the Word has more meaning that just 15 minutes reading the Bible. It does remind me how powerful our words can be. Our words (because we were created in the image of God) have significance. Our words have the power to heal or hurt, to uplift or put down, to build up or to tear apart. Our words are our responsibility.

I believe that is why we are to praise the Lord out loud. Check this out…

For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. (Romans 10:10 NIV)

Yep, that’s right. Our words can work for the amazing or they cause some serious damage.

Spending time with the Word of God each day can help us fill our verbal palate with much better colors to paint with. The Word is the source of Life.

The Word is also referred to as our best weapon.

Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Ephesians 6:17 NIV)

Whether we use God’s Word or our own word, our words become weapons. It’s obvious whosew word we should choose, so why do we choose the wrong one so often? It has to do with Spirtual maturity. As believers we are becoming more mature and more like Jesus. That’s one of the reasons we are here. So, which weapons are picking up each day?

Imagine you are a warrior home from battle and enjoying time with your wife and kids. You’ve got this huge sword used normally to defeat a hostile enemy. Would you walk through your home slinging that sword around without reason or would you let your young kids take the weapon and play with its sharp edges and dangerousness? No. Just because you are home from battle out in the world doesn’t mean you’d bring that battle home with you. You would probably leave that weapon at the door.

Well our words can be a weapon. Many times we choose the words of the world and bring them into our homes. They have a lasting affect too. However, if we choose the Word of God to be our weapon against the world we would be much better off. The Word of God is safe around our kids and family and was meant to protect us, teach us, encourage us, and fortify us not to harm us.

Whew! That was quite a bit.
What was your favorite part of the reading?

Many Thanks!

Thank you to everyone that sends emails back to me about the daily reading or posts a comment on Facebook, twitter, or stumble upon. Each time you do that you are furthering the reach of God’s Word. I get emails and phone calls about that all the time. People say things like, “I saw sew-in-sew comment on your link and I started to read…” you get the idea. Keep up your prayers and efforts…. IT’s WORKING!

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The Walk to Emmaus

20120429-081051.jpgThe Walk to Emmaus

April 29, 2012 Bible Reading

Judges 9:22-10:18
Luke 24:13-53
Psalms 100:1-5
Proverbs 14:11-12

Use the links above to read today’s Word.

Audio Version – Daily Audio Bible
Use the link above to listen to today’s Word.

The Walk to Emmaus

In Luke today, we see the Lord on his famous walk to Emmeaus. Jesus is so cool. I love the way He kinda “plays” with his friends. He doesn’t fully reveal Himself to them and tests them in the flesh during their walk. It’s almost like He wanted to see if they were ready to preach the Gospel if given the chance… hey… wait-a-minute…

Anyway, I love the way Jesus DOES reveal Himself to His friends. He breaks the bread and gives it to Him. Remember this from the last supper?

And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” (Luke 22:19 NIV)

Then we see this in today’s reading…

As they sat down to eat, he took the bread and blessed it. Then he broke it and gave it to them. Suddenly, their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And at that moment he disappeared! (Luke 24:30, 31 NLT)

Jesus has style… the way He does stuff…ya know? If he concealed His identity with His friends to test them, where in my life has He done the same? I remember one place for certain. You can read about it in my Testimony, but I’m sure there are many more.

It is because of the work that Jesus completed in the reading today that Psalm 100 has great meaning for me. Check this out…

Psalm 100

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations. (Psalm 100:1-5 NIV)

What in the world could I add to that? Have a great Sunday with your family.

Own It

20120428-083556.jpgOwn It

April 28, 2012 Bible Reading

Judges 8:17-9:21
Luke 23:44-24:12
Psalms 99:1-9
Proverbs 14:9-10

Use the links above to read today’s Word.

Audio Version – Daily Audio Bible
Use the link above to listen to today’s Word.

Own It

Gideon does some amazing things today. He also does a stupid thing. That sin he invited into his life will bubble its ugly head and ultimately be the reason that Israel turns away from God again. But before Gideon built the ephod of gold from the Midianite earrings and the people worshiped it as a idol, he stepped up and owned it.

Then Zebah and Zalmunna said to Gideon, “Come on, kill us yourself. It takes a man to do a man’s job.” So Gideon killed them and took the ornaments that were on the necks of their camels. (Judges 8:21 GNT)

(God’s a much better writer than me, you really should read the verse for the whole story;)

Of course, our Lord and Savior “Own’s It”. This is the hour He came for. He finally “Owns” His moment and gives His Spirit into our Father’s hands. Focusing on the other person that owns it here we see Joseph of Aramathea steps up… Way up.

Joseph went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus to place Him in a tomb. To give our Lord and Savior a proper burial. Sounds like a big deal because of the work that went into it, but remember how big a deal it really was. This “Man” that just died hours earlier had no one that would stand up for Him not even His closest friends. That means that everyone associated with Jesus would be in some danger. The incredible courage it must have taken for Joseph to step up and listen to what the Holy Spirit was leading Him to do. Joseph “owned it”.

“Owning it” isn’t just a saying of the day or just a lifestyle. “Owning it” is also instructions from our Savior. We will account for our actions in life when we stand in judgement one day. When we choose to own our eternity a new outlook emerges.

I don’t mean that we are the authors of our eternity, that is for God to do. What I mean is that with the free will that God has bestowed on us we must be good stewards of that free will. We must take responsibility to handle ourselves in a way that is pleasing to God.

Proverbs… ahhh the Proverbs….

Your joy is your own; your bitterness is your own. No one can share them with you. (Proverbs 14:10 GNT)

If that doesn’t say “Own it” I don’t know what does. Stepping up for our actions and owning them is a step we must all take on our journey. So, my friends, today I will “own it”. Owning it means that I take the sorrows, the trials, the joy, and the what ever and I take responsibility for the things I do and the feelings I have and give. (Mr. Deany my 7th grade English Teacher is probably crying uncontrollably for the “run on” in that last sentence, but I own that too!)

Purpose and a Confession

Ear-cleaning-stick_32987-480x360Purpose And A Confession

April 27, 2012 Bible Reading

Judges 7:1-8:16
Luke 23:11-43
Psalms 97:1-98:9
Proverbs 14:7-8

Use the links above to read today’s Word.

Audio Version – Daily Audio Bible
Use the link above to listen to today’s Word.

Confession:

Let’s start with a confession. I have never read the book, The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. It’s not that I haven’t wanted to, but I just haven’t yet. That may sound surprising to you because today I feel led to write about Purpose.

I find myself enamored with the conviction that Gideon has for God’s purpose for him. Gideon answered the call that God put in his life, but not before a little arguing with the Angel of the Lord. In fact, the Angel of the Lord had to overcome some objections with Gideon. Gideon didn’t think he was adequate to do the job, he was worried about his family, and he even had doubts about the calling itself. BUT… he listened and God used him to do mighty things.

Fast forward to Luke. We find the crucifixion of Jesus today. There is so much going on in this particular part, that I could write about it for days. Pilate’s fear of convicting Jesus, Pilate’s deferment to Herod, Herod sends Him back, Pilate caves to the crowd, Jesus is beaten and that’s all before Jesus is made to carry his own cross to Golgatha to be crucified. No, we’ll save this for a topic in the Bible Study on Tuesday.

Purpose:

The point is, Jesus knew his purpose and He was fulfilling it in obedience to our Father in Heaven. Because of Jesus’ obedience you and I have the gift of Salvation and eternal freedom from sin.

So today I reflect on purpose. As humans, we tend to think of the “Purpose of Our Lives” being very grand. This probably starts with people asking us as kids, “Are you gonna be president?” and other questions like that. Regardless of where our grand ideas of our purpose come from we must boil it down a bit.

I am learning that when the purpose seems small to me… that is exactly what I’m supposed to be doing. The great things in the Bible all seem to start small. The great things that God has allowed me to be a part of started small too. I believe it’s about blooming where you are planted. God wants to use me and will according to my obedience to His purpose.

Is God Asking You To Do Something?

Boiling it down and recognizing the big purpose comes in small packages is my challenge for today. Where in your life have you come across a “little thing” that needs your help? Where in your life have you said, “I’d love to do that, but I’m waiting on what God wants me to do and I want to be ready.” Well my friend, I’m telling you that may just be the place to start. Pray about it and know for sure, but don’t ignore it.

I did for almost 10 years. Then the message got louder and louder.

“Help others see why reading the Bible in a Year is so life changing. Help others see what I have done for you by having a deeper relationship with Me.”

The Purpose Driven Life

As of the writing of this blog post, I have not read this book. I’ve always felt the “calling” to do so and keep putting it off. Today was no different. During my quick research for this post, the book title kept popping up in strange places. It’s not difficult to explain except that I wasn’t searching on the word purpose. I was searching on other things and found that Purpose has shown up to me a few times in the last few days. It is definitely a challenge though.
This is just like the way I was challenged by the Holy Spirit in my Testimony. I have been extended a challenge to read this book. I’m listening, Lord… You got it.

If you have read the book, please leave a comment and tell me what you thought of it.

What You Do With Where You Are

Beneath the trumpetWhat You Do With Where You Are

April 26, 2012 Bible Reading

Judges 6:1-40
Luke 22:55-23:10
Psalms 95:1-96:13
Proverbs 14:5-6

Use the links above to read today’s Word.

Audio Version – Daily Audio Bible
Use the link above to listen to today’s Word.

What You Do With Where You Are

When I first began reading the Bible through from cover to cover, I didn’t know what to expect. I thought I did, but I didn’t. What I did expect was examples of perfection within the families, people, and their actions. What I found was much different. Most of the people in the Bible are a mess! They disobey God, the lie, cheat, steal, kill, and destroy. Some actually hear God talk to them and deny what God says… They ignore God.

Going from cover to cover in the Bible helped me develop a sense of who God is and how He relates to His people and more specifically, how He relates to me. God uses the most unlikely characters in the world to do His work. (For those of you that know me, you know that is true. For those of you that don’t… check out that Testimony Button over on the right —>)

Look at Moses. Moses himself said he was a bad speaker and God used him to tell Pharaoh what was about to happen. Look at David. The youngest of his brothers and the weakest of families and tribes chosen to be God’s King. Jesus is no exception (He is the Rule! Sorry, couldn’t resist that one). Jesus was born in a barn, grew up in Galilee (a lowly fishing village), and was the son of a carpenter. Not the royal digs He deserved for sure.

The point is God uses the ordinary or sometimes under-ordinary to do His work. Gideon is the same. What Gideon does that is amazing is not just about him leading Israel to victory over the Mideonites. It’s about Gideon answering the call and doing what he could with what he had for God.

Blooming Where You Are Planted

Every think you can’t do what you want to do for God because of your current position in life? If so, I challenge you to rethink the previous sentence. Go ahead. Re-read it. We’ll wait…

When we feel that way we need to quit thinking from our own perspective. If we were to quit thinking from our own perspective and start asking, “What would God have me do right now in my current situation?” we would probably find ourselves on track more often. That’s what these heroes of the Bible are telling us. It doesn’t matter where you start. What matters is what you do with where you are.

Sticks and Stones

Blue NoiseSticks and Stones

April 25, 2012 Bible Reading

Judges 4:1-5:31
Luke 22:34-54
Psalms 94:1-23
Proverbs 14:3-4

Use the links above to read today’s Word.

Audio Version – Daily Audio Bible
Use the link above to listen to today’s Word.

Our journey through scripture is an amazing one each and every day. Today is no different. In Judges, we see two really powerful women rise to God’s challenge to lead his people. Deborah and Sisera. Their story is amazing, but it’s not what got me today.

The Story of Jesus praying on the Mt. of Olives, Judas betraying Him with a kiss, and Peter cutting off the ear of one of Jesus’ captors is getting warmer, but still not what cut me.

The Psalmist heartfelt prayer gets much closer to home when he says:

They pour out arrogant words;
all the evildoers are full of boasting. They crush your people, Lord;
they oppress your inheritance. (Psalm 94:4, 5 NIV)

Then the one-two punch. Proverbs…

A fool’s mouth lashes out with pride,
but the lips of the wise protect them. (Proverbs 14:3 NIV)

You guessed it… Pride. Pride can make us do strange things. We get an amnesia of sorts. We forget momentarily that we are human. We forget that God made us and not the other way around.

Lashing Out

When we lash out like Peter did with our swords we could be hurting the cause of Christ. When we lash out at others we hurt those we come in contact with. We destroy the opportunity to witness or listen to their story. Lashing out makes us feel better because we are not holding in anger, but when we let that anger out… it finds a place on that other person. It can destroy their whole day. Some of those words we let out in a moment of anger can last a lifetime with the other person.

What did you get out of today’s reading?

Leave a comment and tell how your journey is going. What you share may help others.

Breaking Bread

Breaking Bread

April 24, 2012 Bible Reading

Judges 2:10-3:31
Luke 22:14-34
Psalms 92:1-93:5
Proverbs 14:1-2

Use the links above to read today’s Word.

Audio Version – Daily Audio Bible
Use the link above to listen to today’s Word.

The Last Supper is a bitter-sweet moment in Jesus’ work for me. I have the benefit of knowing the end of the story having read it, but the disciples did not. They must have felt very confused by what Jesus was saying. Unfortunately, I as a believer have often felt confused by what Jesus has said. I think its because of my spiritual orientation at the time.

My confusion level is highest when I find myself away from God. When I reorient myself to God through the Spirit, I am able to find peace. Hey… wait a minute… that’s what the Israelites did in Judges today.

Back to Luke… It amazes me that at the very moment Jesus tells them that one of them will betray Him, that the disciples begin to bicker about which of them will be the greatest. It doesn’t detail the conversation, but we need not look far to find the same behavior almost 2000 years later. It’s posturing.

Posturing of our heart. After a little thought, it’s not hard to imagine why the conversation turned from Jesus’ point to whom would be the greatest. The disciples wanted to prove with words whom would be greatest. I love what Jesus says next,

Jesus said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. (Luke 22:25, 26 NIV)

He’s telling the disciples how to defend against the pride that crept into the room! Don’t focus on how great you are. Rather, focus on where your faith is weakest that you may be on your guard against becoming the betrayer. It’s not with words that we make ourselves great… it’s with our deeds. Make no mistake, I don’t mean that deeds can save us. Nothing can but the blood of Christ Jesus. Deeds speak of character. And character is the what you do or the way you act when no one is looking.

Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. (Matthew 7:20 NIV)

Taking This With Me Today

Where in my life have I tried to put the focus on my own “greatness” to take the focus off of my weakness? That’s a tough one to deal with because we are human. Being human is a great explanation why this issue is a tough one to deal with, but it’s not an excuse to not deal with it.

Revolution 365

The Bible Study group is picking up steam. If you are in the Evans/Augusta GA area and want to talk about what you read this week, what’s going on in your life, or just want a cup of coffee and don’t want to drink it alone, then come join us at the Panera Bread Company in Evans at 7PM Tuesday 4/24/2012.