Archive for November 2008

“… my daily bread …

November 18, 2008

When I was a boy, my good mother started encouraging me to be a “daily Bible reader”. Sometimes she would read to me … other times she would let me read to her. As I got older, she became more creative. I would come in from a date … find my Bible open on my pillow. She knew that when I saw my Bible … I would read it.

Well … her example and training worked. I am 56 years old … and I can without boasting (except in her devotion to the Lord on my behalf) say that I have been a “daily Bible reader” (give or take a day now and again) for 50 years. Thank you … Mother.

At my worst … I did the random read approach – just letting the Bible fall open and reading whatever was there without much interest or intent on hearing from the Lord. At my best … I devoured page after page of Scripture – for several years reading the entire New Testament once a month and the entire Old Testament 4 times a year – laying up words from God by the chapter and even whole books (letters) in my heart.

I don’t have the time (or maybe it is that I don’t take the time) like I once did when I was a preacher … but I still continue to daily read God’s Word, seeking my daily bread. 

About a year ago … some of our folks at the OPEN asked me for suggestions on how to develop the habit of reading the Bible daily … but they also wanted help to read the Bible through – from Genesis to Maps – in this year. Well … on January 1, 2008 … I began posting on this blog suggested readings from the Scriptures along with a brief comment that I hoped would help them get the gist of what the Lord was saying to us in each day’s reading.

We finished reading through the Bible … yesterday. Therefore, this will be my last post on this blogsite. (My math skills are suspect, because I had intended for it to take us all year.) I hope that you have found these posts helpful … whether you were intending to read the whole Bible or just seeking a Word from the Lord for the day. God bless you all … and may we all continue to look in His Word … for our “daily bread”.

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“Come, Lord Jesus.”

November 17, 2008

The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.

18 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. 19 And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.

20 He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.”

Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.
(Revelation 22:17-20; NIV. Please read Revelation 21-22.)

Are you thirsty? Do you “wish” that you could have a drink of the “water of life”? Then “come”. The Spirit and the Bride have invited you … “come”.

Are you concerned about your “share in the tree of life”? Then hear “the words of this prophecy of this book” – and do not add to them or take away from them. The consequences of such are eternal.

Are you tired … spent … worn? Join John and me in this prayer: “Come, Lord Jesus” . 

ON SECOND THOUGHT: As you finish this reading, remember that the purpose of this Book was not to reveal all of the mysteries of God’s will for the future. It was written to bless those who would read it … those who would heed it. Be blessed today.

“… each person was judged …”

November 16, 2008

Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. 15 If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
(Revelation 20:11-15; NIV. Please read Revelation 20.)

When it is all said and done … forever done … all that will matter – really matter – is where I will stand on the day that the Lord God judges the living and dead.

“Each person will be judged according to what he had done …” – so my expectation of that day of judgment now or later is fearful … disturbing. My life – with my weaknesses and failures – cannot withstand such righteous scrutiny.

But my name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. He promised me. Therefore, I will await the Day – whenever that comes – with humility … for I know what I have done and what I deserve to get … and with gratitude … for I know what He has done for me and what He has freely given me.

ON SECOND THOUGHT: When I read these words from God … I am sobered (and more than a little ashamed) of all the petty and pitiful issues that I let distract me from what really matters … in this life and the life to come. Please forgive me, Father.

“… Lord of Lords and King of Kings …”

November 15, 2008

I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war.   12 His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. 13 He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. 14 The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. 16 On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written:

KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.
(Revelation 19:11-16; NIV. Please read Revelation 19.)

I have nothing to say … except … may God open the eyes of my heart, so that I may see the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.

ON SECOND THOUGHT: Who is that group following Him? (Psst! That’s us!)

“… a woman sitting on a scarlet beast …”

November 14, 2008

Then the angel carried me away in the Spirit into a desert. There I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was covered with blasphemous names and had seven heads and ten horns. 4 The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, and was glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls. She held a golden cup in her hand, filled with abominable things and the filth of her adulteries. 5 This title was written on her forehead:

MYSTERY

BABYLON THE GREAT

THE MOTHER OF PROSTITUTES

AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.

6 I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of those who bore testimony to Jesus.
(Revelation 17:3-6; NIV. Please read Revelation 17-18.)

You may not know “who” she is (though I think the hint at the end of the chapter gives a pretty good clue) … but you know that she is going to fall. You know that … because God said so, and that is enough … but you can also predict that of her and anyone who causes or celebrates in the “blood of the saints”.

God may permit His people to suffer – even die, but He will not allow the one who causes or celebrates that suffering and death to avoid meeting the consequences of such wicked and vile behavior.

ON SECOND THOUGHT: God regularly brings the “bad guys” to justice … but there is a day, when He will judge all the world in righteousness. He had confirmed that promise by raising Jesus from the dead. He requires that all men – ALL MEN EVERYWHERE – prepare for that day by repenting. I think I will start getting ready for that day (or should I say – continue getting ready for that day) by doing some repenting of my own.

“… the song of the Lamb …”

November 13, 2008

I saw in heaven another great and marvelous sign: seven angels with the seven last plagues-last, because with them God’s wrath is completed. 2 And I saw what looked like a sea of glass mixed with fire and, standing beside the sea, those who had been victorious over the beast and his image and over the number of his name. They held harps given them by God 3 and sang the song of Moses the servant of God and the song of the Lamb:

“Great and marvelous are your deeds,
Lord God Almighty.
Just and true are your ways,
King of the ages.
4 Who will not fear you, O Lord,
and bring glory to your name?
For you alone are holy.
All nations will come
and worship before you,
for your righteous acts have been revealed.”
(Revelation 15:1-4; NIV. Please read Revelation 15-16.)

When the children of Israel saw the wrath of God come upon Egypt … they stood on the shores of the Red Sea and sang the song of Moses – a song of praise for their deliverance.

When the children of God see the wrath of God come upon their world … they will stand on the streets of glory and sing the song of the Lamb – a song of praise for their deliverance. 

Let’s stand and sing!

ON SECOND THOUGHT: One of the fun things I used to do with my children was to just start singing – making up songs about God and good things He had done for us. They loved those songs and a verse or two themselves. Nothing we sang would have ever compared to the music or style of “big church”  – but nothing I have ever sung in “big church” compared to the praise and pleasure of those songs. Try singing your own heart today  … in the shower … in the car … all alone … or with the kids … just praise the Lord for your deliverance.

“… they follow the Lamb …”

November 12, 2008

Then I looked, and there before me was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads. 2 And I heard a sound from heaven like the roar of rushing waters and like a loud peal of thunder. The sound I heard was like that of harpists playing their harps. 3 And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders. No one could learn the song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. 4 These are those who did not defile themselves with women, for they kept themselves pure. They follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They were purchased from among men and offered as firstfruits to God and the Lamb. 5 No lie was found in their mouths; they are blameless.
(Revelation 14:1-5; NIV. Please read Revelation 14.)

Do not let the number concern you … in fact, if you really knew what the number meant – it would reassure you.

Read the description of those who are standing with the Lamb on Mount Zion. Did you notice that they were “purchased” for the Lamb? Have you read that before?

If you have been reading with us for very long at all … you read about the Church being “purchased” by the blood of Jesus in Acts 20 and Ephesians 1. There are other places to confirm it … but the truth is: If you have been bought with the blood of Jesus … then you are among those standing with Him as He prepares to face the enemies of God. We have but one responsibility … “follow the Lamb wherever He goes”.

ON SECOND THOUGHT: Those standing with Jesus are described as “pure” … “without blemish”. I can make no claim on my own to have such qualities … but because of Jesus, I will stand with Him and before the Father just that way. (Check out: Colossians 1 and Jude 24.)