Monday, November 29, 2010

The Home Stretch

To all my sweet friends who are reading through the Bible in a year with me....we are on the home stretch! I am so grateful to have shared this year with you. We have been reflecting in our past couple of meetings as to how this discipline has been a blessing to us. I would love it if you would post your thoughts on the blog so that others can be inspired and motivated!

Press on friends!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Why did Jesus teach in Parables?

It has been said that a parable is an earthly story with a heavenly meaning. The Lord Jesus frequently used parables as a means of illustrating profound, divine truths. Stories such as these are easily remembered, the characters bold, and the symbolism rich in meaning. Parables were a common form of teaching in Judaism. Before a certain point in His ministry, Jesus had employed many graphic analogies using common things that would be familiar to everyone (salt, bread, sheep, etc.) and their meaning was fairly clear in the context of His teaching. Parables required more explanation, and at one point in His ministry, Jesus began to teach using parables exclusively.

The question is why Jesus would let most people wonder about the meaning of His parables. The first instance of this is in His telling the parable of the seed and the soils. Before He interpreted this parable, He drew His disciples away from the crowd. They said to Him, "Why do You speak to them in parables?" Jesus answered them, "To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted. For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him. Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. In their case the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which says,

‘Hearing you will hear and shall not understand, And seeing you will see and not perceive; For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, And their eyes they have closed, Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them.’ But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear. For truly I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it" (Matthew 13:10-17).

From this point on in Jesus’ ministry, when He spoke in parables, He explained them only to His disciples. But those who had continually rejected His message were left in their spiritual blindness to wonder as to His meaning. He made a clear distinction between those who had been given “ears to hear” and those who persisted in unbelief—ever hearing, but never actually perceiving and “always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth” (2 Timothy 3:7). The disciples had been given the gift of spiritual discernment by which things of the spirit were made clear to them. Because they accepted truth from Jesus, they were given more and more truth. The same is true today of believers who have been given the gift of the Holy Spirit who guides us into all truth (John 16:13). He has opened our eyes to the light of truth and our ears to the sweet words of eternal life.Our Lord Jesus understood that truth is not sweet music to all ears. Simply put, there are those who have neither interest nor regard in the deep things of God. So why, then, did He speak in parables? To those with a genuine hunger for God, the parable is both an effective and memorable vehicle for the conveyance of divine truths.

Our Lord’s parables contain great volumes of truth in very few words—and His parables, rich in imagery, are not easily forgotten. So, then, the parable is a blessing to those with willing ears. But to those with dull hearts and ears that are slow to hear, the parable is also an instrument of both judgment and mercy.

Recommended Resource: Parables of Jesus by James Montgomery Boice.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Drawn from Water

Want to watch something that will move your heart? This is one of the organizations we are going to be visiting in Ethiopia. WOW.

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." James 1:27

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


In just over two weeks, David and I will join a team of friends to travel to Ethiopia. Please partner with us in prayer as more than 60 dentists, assistants and passionate people wish to bring a smile to the children of Ethiopia. Our primary work will be in the capitol city of Addis Ababa with smaller groups on side trips during the week. One of our primary contacts there will be with World Orphans. Click here to see an amazing video.

We know our lives will be forever changed. We praise God for this opportunity and pray that He gives us an even greater vision and passion for His people around the world.

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Hole in Our Gospel

I am reading back over The Hole in Our Gospel by Richard Stearns (one of my all-time favorite books) and came across these words. They take my breath away.

"Sometimes I would like to ask God why He allows poverty, suffering, and injustice when He could do something about it."
"Well, why don't you ask Him?"
"Because I'm afraid He would ask me the same question." Anonymous

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Ezekiel's Temple

Click here to read a great article I found when looking further into Ezekiel's Temple. Fascinating!
Let me hear from you about what you are learning and discovering in the Book of Ezekiel.

Press on friends!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

A New Heart

As I often do, I take my Daily Walk Bible with me on appointments when I anticipate I might have a wait so that I can catch up or get ahead on my reading. At a recent haircut appointment, I set my Bible on the counter next to me. The hairdresser asked me what book I was reading? How convenient! I told her about my Bible reading plan and how much I enjoyed it. Her response- "The Bible is a hard read". Wow! That opened all kinds of doors....
I went on to find out that her mother is Jewish. She doesn't attend church. She opened up about some spiritual contradictions she is wrestling with. I was able to share with her the amazing privilege and heritage she had as one of God's chosen people. I told her that the Bible was chock full of stories about the Jewish people. I explained that God had given a great gift in His son, Jesus, and that some Jews had chosen to receive it and some to reject it. The conversation lasted maybe 10 minutes, but her eyes displayed a hunger for what I was saying and a desire to know the truth.

God has brought a verse in Ezekiel to mind over and over as I pray for my new friend this week:
" I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh." Ezekiel 36:26

This week, as you read Ezekiel 36, remember that one of the reasons you saturate your life with God's Word is so that you can share His Word with others and see hearts changed.

Press on friends!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Babylonian Timeline

Thanks to Irene Leyda for sending an excellent link to the history of Babylon. We discussed Babylon at our meeting last Thursday. If you are interesting in reading up on this, click here.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Christ in the Psalms

Many quotations from this book are found in the New Testament. At least twenty of these directly refer to Christ and His life and death.

Here are a couple of examples:
His prophetic office is found in Psalm 22:22
His sufferings in Psalms 22 and 69
His resurrection in Psalm 16

Jesus himself said "Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms" (Luke 24:44)

What other references to Christ do you find as you read the Psalms?

Press on friends!

Keynote Speaker

We speak of the Psalms as the Psalms of David. He has been considered the principal writer. He gives the keynote and his voice rises highest in the sacred choir.

But there were other authors besides him. Seventy-three of the 150 Psalms are assigned to him; fifty are anonymous. Psalm 90 is written by Moses. Two are written by Solomon-Psalms 72 and 127. Besides these, Asaph, David's choir leader, the sons of Korah, a family of official musicians, and Jeduthun wrote some. [H.C. Mears]

Friday, May 14, 2010

Are you prepared for an emergency?

Queen Esther had an emergency: to answer the challenge of Mordecai. She who had been placed in the palace on flowery beds of ease had not succumbed to the luxury of her surroundings. She chose a course at terrible danger to herself for the sake of her opposed people, the Jews.

There is one thing to do always. Do what is right and leave the rest to God. God prepares people for emergencies. Failure is not sin; faithlessness is. (H.C.Mears)

"And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?" (Esther 4:14)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A little history lesson!

We have just finished reading the books of Ezra and Nehemiah and we are beginning the book of Esther.
Did you know this?

Between chapters 6 and 7 of Ezra, three great world battles (Salamis, Thermopylae and Marathon were fought: and two great world leaders (Confucius and Buddha) died! Time elapsed: fifty eight years!
(516-458 B.C.)

In the Old Testament, Esther (which takes place in previously named period) follows Nehemiah; in history, the events of Esther occur thirty years BEFORE Nehemiah!

The purposes of God are sometimes delayed; but never abandoned!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Pockets of Resistance

In the reading from this past week, can you see the overriding theme? Military conquest! And the effects- both good and bad. The commentary from April 26th talks about "pockets of resistance",if left unchallenged, can lead to rebellion- both in the military and the SPIRITUAL realm.

Are there any areas of your life that have become "pockets of resistance" such as finances, pride, time with God, gossip, your thought life, time with family?

I am personally challenged. This week, I made a conscience effort to act on one of these "areas of rebellion". (whew, those are strong words!)

Praying that God would give you VICTORY to overcome!

Press on friends!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Trivia Question: Solomon's Stuff!

Where were Solomon's horses imported from?

What did Solomon make as plentiful as stone?

OK, so if you get the answers, what spiritual implication can you draw from this?
Why do you think these facts are mentioned in 2 Chronicles?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Time to share what you are learning

There is so much to take in these past few books! Wow! I am working hard to stay on track, but I really want to divert and read whole commentaries on prophets like Elijah and Elisha!

One thing that really jumped out at me was in II Kings 5:13 when Naaman's officers tried to reason with him when he was not content with the prophet Elisha's simple instructions for him to be healed. Sometimes, I think God gives us easy, simple directions and we doubt His sovereignty and wisdom. In our mind, we think a situation or remedy should be so much harder or difficult. When, in reality, He has blessed us with a simple solution!

What are the rest of you learning?

Trivia question: II Kings

Who uttered the words "Go away, baldy!" and what happened to the person or persons after they said it?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Your Talented Self

Wow! As we finish up our reading in I and II Samuel, I continue to be amazed at the versatility of David. He is the shepherd boy, the court musician, the soldier, the true friend, the outcast captain, the king, the great general, the loving father, the poet, and the sinner. But, always the lover of God.

He used every talent God gave him for the glory of his creator!

I read a great article this past week on "Tending your Talents" by Hilary Kimes.
I have included an excerpt below:

"One of the things I like best about shopping is finding the perfect gift for someone special. I'm thrilled when that person delights in my gift. If someone obviously does not appreciate the gift, I'm crushed.

How similar God must feel when we neglect the perfect gifts He gives us. As a loving Father, He created us with natural abilities and strengths and then, on top of that, bestowed spiritual gifts as well. Why has He done this? God granted us gifts and abilities so we can serve others, as well as give part of ourselves back to Him. "And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ" (Ephesians 4:11,12).

In receiving these gifts and abilities, we have several choices: We can set them aside in disappointment and pursue something that looks better in our own eyes; we can develop them for personal gain; or we can cultivate and practice them as our own gifts back to God. When it comes to long-term fulfillment, however, we find greatest satisfaction when our gifts and abilities are used as intended, with grateful glances toward the Giver.

Some people claim they don't have any special talents or gifts, or they don't pursue discovering them. But God desires every member of the body of Christ to use the abilities He divinely gave; therefore each believer has the responsibility to seek out and discover God-given talents. Doing this can launch a lifetime of enjoyable stewardship and service to God.

One way to recognize our talents is to notice things we excel at and enjoy doing. Another is to ask close friends or family members which areas they see as our strengths. Yet a third is to take one of the various tests that measure our strengths and weaknesses, as well as reveal spiritual gifts.

After recognizing our talents, however, we may compare ourselves to others and react in disappointment. Instead of trusting that our "Father knows best," we compare God's gifts for us to unrealistic personal or social expectations. Society may favor certain talents, but they might not suit us as individuals. By failing to look at a gift's true value, we not only cheat ourselves, but we cheat God as well. "Isn't He, the Potter, greater than you, the jars He makes?" asks Isaiah 29:16 (Living Bible). "Will you say to Him, 'He did not make us'? Does a machine call its inventor dumb?" God has created us for a purpose¬we should follow the direction He lays out.

Others develop their talents for personal gain. In today's "me" society, some overlook the fact that God holds all responsibility for our talents. They take the credit for themselves, either because certain things have come easily or because they worked hard for their accomplishments. Yet when we selfishly take credit for what God deserves, we fail as faithful stewards to God. Many fall into this trap because of pride and the attractions of success. When this happens, God probably feels as I would if I were to give a child an art kit and the child painted for others but never for me.Consider how pleased God must be when His children use the gifts He's given to honor Him.

The apostle Paul is a good example of someone who used his talents for himself first and then for God. When we first read in the Book of Acts about Paul (then called Saul), he was using his zeal, passion and gift of teaching to persuade people not to follow God. In fact, he persecuted and imprisoned those who believed in Christ. But after he met Christ in a personal way and was filled with the Holy Spirit, Paul used those same gifts to help lead many people to Christ. It was the apostle Paul who wrote so much in the New Testament about our gifts and talents and the use of them. Paul's life wasn't easy once he began using his gifts for God's purposes, but he experienced the joy, peace and contentment that come when we serve God in the way He's gifted us to do. We should also consider our relationships as we look at stewardship of our talents. Think of your relationships with friends and family members¬are you using your talents to help them follow Jesus? God has given us the talents we have so that we can help strengthen others.

When people use their abilities for God, an exciting thing occurs¬a diverse yet unified body functions more efficiently and serves as a better witness to the value and joy of following Christ. Since every person possesses different abilities and spiritual gifts, the body of Christ can fully function only when everyone takes advantage of what God has given them. Romans 12:6 tells us, "And since we have different gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us exercise them accordingly."

Each of us should be content with what God has given and exult in our own uniqueness. "Now there are varieties of gifts," Paul said to the Corinthians, "but the same Spirit. And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. And there are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons" (1 Corinthians 12:4-6).
When everyone does what he or she has been created to do, God's will is also accomplished more readily. In fulfilling the Great Commission, for example, if all believers were to apply their specific talents to the task of making disciples, the gospel would spread more quickly and have a greater impact.

Luke was a man who understood stewardship. As a physician, he was most likely exact, and he used this precision to write detailed accounts of Jesus and the beginning of the church. Luke wrote his gospel "so that you might know the exact truth about the things you have been taught" (Luke 1:4). By willingly using his ability to clearly present facts, an accurate account has been preserved throughout time.

And we today, by opening our hearts to the gifts God has given us, can not only further God's kingdom and find greater fulfillment in life, but can also give a heartfelt "thank you" to the one who so graciously bestowed upon us so many gifts in the first place."

Monday, March 29, 2010

Holy Week

For redeemed sinners, every good thing – indeed every bad thing that God turns for good – was obtained for us by the cross of Christ. Apart from the death of Christ, sinners get nothing but judgment. Apart from the cross of Christ, there is only condemnation. Therefore everything that you enjoy in Christ – as a Christian, as a person who trusts Christ – is owing to the death of Christ. And all your rejoicing in all things should therefore be a rejoicing in the cross where all your blessings were purchased for you at the cost of the death of the Son of God, Jesus Christ. [John Piper]

As we head into Holy Week, I would encourage you to really think about what we have been reading in the Old Testament and how that relates to the birth, life, death and resurrection of Christ. Please share what you are learning....

Press on friends! He is alive!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Recap of Thursday's meeting

Wow- so much to talk about in Ruth and 1 Samuel!
We had a great meeting today. We spent time reflecting on the story of Ruth- her faithfulness and her great faith. We looked at her family tree and noted that she was the great-grandmother of David.
We also talked about other family "connections" such as Saul being David's father-in-law and the many wives that those men had! We are wondering if anyone knows when the practice of having "multiple wives" ended?
We spent a lot of time talking about prayer-specifically that it is how we stay in communion with God and that it is a live and active discipline. (John 15:5)
I brought a photo timeline that compared other world events happening during the time of the judges and the kings. (i.e., King Tut, Pharoah Ramesses II, the Trojan wars, ) It helped to get a visual picture of the dwellings, temples and statues of those times.

If you have fallen behind in your reading, jump back in ! Catch up by simply reading the overview of each day and then start up again with II Samuel.
Press on friends!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Laura's recap of Tuesday's meeting

Laura is going to post a recap under "comments" of today's great meeting!
Thanks Laura!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Share what you are learning..

The story of Eli and his sons in 1 Samuel 2 and 3 is really profound to me. Eli the priest was a godly man, yet he failed to discipline his sons. Ultimately, this led to judgement on his entire family and the death of his two sons. (2:25) While at times it's really painful to discipline our children, it is imperative that we instruct our kids in holiness and reverence of the Lord and the consequences of disobedience to His laws.

Please share what YOU are learning....

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Why annihilation?

A friend and I were discussing the bloodshed and annihilation that we find in Joshua. This is a great commentary from her Compassion Bible that might shed some light on it for us.

"Many Christians are deeply troubled by the role warfare and genocide play in the book of Joshua. some ascribe the author's perspective to a pre-Christian (and now sub-Christian) stage of moral development that we, in light of Jesus' teaching, are to renounce. But this is the story of how God, to whom the whole world belongs, at one stage in redemption history re-conquered a portion of the earth that the powers of this world had, in reliance on false gods, claimed for themselves. War is a terrible curse that the human race brings on itself as it seeks to possess the earth by its own unrighteous ways. But it pales before the curse that awaits those who don't heed God's testimony to himself, those who oppose his rule and reject his offer of grace. The God of the second Joshua - Jesus (the Greek form of the Hebrew Joshua) - also is the God of the first. Though now for a time he reaches out to the whole world with the gospel, his sword of judgement waits in the wings - his second Joshua will wield it (Rev: 1911-16)"

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Answer to Trivia Question: Achan's sin

Several of you guessed correctly! Here's a little more detail for review:

Fresh on the heels of an astounding victory at Jericho, the young Israelite nation, under Joshua's leadership, focused on the next objective in their campaign to capture Canaan - the land promised by Jehovah. Ai, a small town, was next on the list. Upon their return, the men sent to spy out Ai advised Joshua to send only two or three thousand men against Ai "for the people of Ai are few" (Josh. 7:3). The men of Ai turned the battle into a rout, chasing the Israelites back to where they came from, striking down thirty-six men in the process, almost completely demoralizing Joshua and Israel.

Joshua could not understand why God would bring them over the Jordan only to be destroyed by the Amorites. He poured out his heart to the Lord about the matter. Then the Lord revealed the reason for this defeat. Achan had taken spoils from Jericho, which were forbidden of the Lord, and had hidden them among his stuff. This sin had to be corrected before God would permit Israel to continue her conquest of the promised land. Achan, his family, and his livestock were stoned and burned along with the rest his goods.

What a price to pay for one sin. After the matter was corrected, Israel, with the guidance and help of God, defeated Ai. (Read Joshua 7 and 8.) Achan's case illustrates the power of sin. His sin caused a whole nation to suffer.

Trivia question: Joshua

Out of a total of thirty-one battles, Joshua would lose only one. Can you name it?

What was the significance of this loss?

Friday, March 5, 2010

Grab your equipment!

I love the reminder in 2 Timothy 3:16 that "All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."

The words "all scripture" and "equipped" really jump out at me this week. I realize that the words in Joshua (even though they seem like a lot of time spent on just "setting up camp" are words that God spoke for our benefit. There is nothing added in there that God deemed not useful.

God has given us his Word to equip us for a purposeful and God-glorifying life!

Grab your equipment and let's go!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Korah's "connections"

We just recently read in Numbers 16 about a man named Korah. I find it interesting that his story doesn't stop here. Even though he died from his rebellion against Moses, many of his descendants proved to be godly men such as Temple gatekeepers (1Chron 9:19), singers and musicians in the Temple choir (1 Chron. 6:31-47) and authors of several psalms.
See below:

Korah was the leader of a rebellion against Moses. He was the son of Izhar, grandson of Levi, and a first cousin to Moses. Korah headed a group of 250 prominent men, who challenged the leadership of Moses and Aaron while the Israelites were in the desert (Num 16:1-2).

Moses challenged Korah and his fellow rebels to a trial by ordeal. They all were to bring pans with incense and the Lord would choose who were to be his rightful leaders. A fire from the Lord then destroyed the conspirators, thus vindicating Moses and Aaron. When the earth opened to swallow the rebels (Num 16:31-35; 26:9-10), Korah's three sons -– Assir, Elkanah and Abiasaph (Ex 6:24) – were spared, intimating that they may not have participated in the revolt. Later rabbinic tradition explained that this earned them their place of prominence in the Book of Psalms where the authorship of several psalms (Ps 42; 44; 45; 47; 48; 49; 84; 85; 87; 88) is attributed to "the sons of Korah", a guild of Temple singers. Some of these psalms refer to events falling centuries later than the Mosaic era, such as the Davidic dynasty (Ps 45) and the destruction of the Temple (Ps 84; 85; 87). The Korahites are also named alongside of the Kohathites as singers in II Chronicles 20:19. In Jude verse 11 Korah is named as the rebel par excellence.

Share what you are learning!

We had a great meeting today at Starbucks! A couple things we touched on:

1) "Wilderness wanderings" (Deut 8:15-18) Often God allows us to wander in the "wilderness places" in our lives for our own good-to teach us great godly lessons and for us to ultimately rely on God's strength, not our own.

2) A great summary of the history of the Israelites is found in Deuteronomy 6:21-25. Keep reminding yourself of the great journey and provision of God for His people!

3) Balaam and his talking donkey: Balaam ultimately realized the awesomeness of God, and did not resort to cursing Israel. Instead, he blessed them. "Blessed is everyone who blesses you, O Israel, and cursed is everyone who curses you."

4) Share what you are learning on the blog! It doesn't have to be that week's readings in particular, just whatever God is teaching you :)

Press on friends!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Revelation Song

Today in church, we sang Revelation Song (one of my favorites). But, this morning, it took on an even deeper meaning in light of our readings the past few weeks about the tabernacle, sacrifices and the holiness of God. I have posted the lyrics below.

Revelation Song

Worthy is the, Lamb who was slain
Holy, Holy, is He
Sing a new song, to him who sits on
Heaven's mercy seat

Holy, Holy, Holy Is the Lord God Almighty
Who was, and is, and is to come
With all creation I sing Praise to the King of Kings
You are my everything And I will adore You

Clothed in rainbows, of living color
Flashes of lightning, rolls of thunder
Blessing and honor, strength and glory and power be
to You the only wise King

Holy, Holy, Holy
Is the Lord God Almighty
Who was, and is, and is to come
With all creation I sing
Praise to the King of Kings
You are my everything
And I will adore You

Filled with wonder, awestruck wonder
At the mention of your name
Jesus your name is power
Breath, and living water
Such a marvelous mystery

Holy, Holy, Holy
Is the Lord God Almighty
Who was, and is, and is to come
With all creation I sing
Praise to the King of Kings
You are my everything
And I will adore You

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Painful Splinters

From Thursday's reading, God clearly directed Israel to completely rid the land of it's pagan inhabitants when the time came for the conquest of Canaan. He warned that any Canaanites left behind would become like painful splinters and thorns to the Israelites (Num 33:55-56).
Disobeying God, Israel failed to rid the land of its pagan populace and was eventually corrupted by immorality and idolatry.

How can this serve as a warning to us today? Are there any "splinters" in your spiritual life-secret sins...nagging habits...little things you know displease God? What you fail to remove now will only fester and cause more pain in the future.

[Daily Walk Bible, Feb. 18]

Trivia Question: the Promised Land

Who was able to enter the Promised Land?
Who was NOT able to enter the Promised Land? and why?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Numbers: Saved to Serve!

The children of Israel were saved to serve. So is every child of God today.

Numbers is often called the book of the wilderness, recording the pitiable failure of Israel at Kadesh-barnea, and the consequent wanderings and experiences of the people in the wilderness. It records the pilgrimage, warfare, service and failure of the second generation of the nation after the Exodus from Egypt.

This, however, is not all the message of Numbers. The first ten chapters give us the divine legislation; chapters 11-20 tell the story of the nation's failure; but the closing chapters of the book record Israel's return to Jehovah's favor and final victory, even in the wilderness. [H.Mears]

Only someone who is saved can serve and worship God. Remember, we are saved to serve. We are not saved by good works, but we are "created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do" (Ephesians 2:10).

How can you see God working in your "wilderness wanderings" to prepare you for His service?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Leviticus: Sacrifice and Santification

Leviticus centers around the concept of the holiness of God, and how an unholy people can acceptably approach Him and then remain in continued fellowship. The way to God is only through the blood sacrifice and the walk with God is only through obedience to His laws.

Leviticus falls into two major sections: the first dealing primarily with the sacrificial system in worship (chs. 1-17) , and the second dealing primarily with the sanctification of the people of Israel as a whole through ceremonial and moral holiness (chs. 18-27). [Nelson's Bible Maps]

If you want to remember two key words for Leviticus: Sacrifice and Sanctification

Your challenge: how does the Book of Leviticus point toward the work of Jesus Christ?
Post your comments and share your insights.

Press on girls!

Trivia Question for today

What three items were contained inside the Ark of the Covenant?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Trivia Question for today

How many offerings were established by the Lord and what were they? (See Leviticus 7:37)

Sunday, January 31, 2010

God's Reflection

I just returned from the most amazing PBC Women's Retreat. Our speaker, Laurie Cole, encouraged us to let the radiance of God's beauty shine through us in our relationships with others.

How interesting that our reading yesterday in Exodus 34:28 mentions that when Moses returned to camp from Mt. Sinai, it was impossible for him to conceal the fact that he had been in the presence of the Lord. His glowing face made it clear to all those around him.

In the previous chapter, Moses proclaimed to the Lord, "For your presence among us sets your people and me apart from all other people on the earth." (Exodus 33:16b)

Take this to heart! How will your life be a reflection of God's glory this week? How will His presence in your life "set you apart" in the week to come?

Press on friends!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Recap: Tuesday and Thursday meetings

Recap of Thursday's meeting at the Starbucks in Tom Thumb: (Laura will recap Tuesday in the comment section of this post)

We started off the meeting with a quick quiz: How many of the 10 commandments can we name without peeking? And what does "Manna" mean? Susan guessed correctly! (What is it?)

God sometimes takes us in a "roundabout" way in order to achieve His purposes in our lives. When he directed the Israelites out of Egypt to Canaan, He didn't take them the "direct route". (See Exodus 13:18) He did this for their own protection and to demonstrate His faithfulness, love and power.

We talked a lot about "the law" and the ten commandments and the very specific direction God gave through these laws. (See Exodus 20:20) The law was given to the people in order to expose their sin and to demonstrate God's holiness. It's a lot to take in and we agreed that we are still processing some of it!

We talked about some of the great personalities of Genesis and Exodus (Sarah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph and Moses) and how we can relate to some of the "stretching" and "faith-building" they must have experienced!

LOVE the great insights you all shared! Bring your questions again in two weeks.

PS- For those of you going on the retreat this weekend, we will plan to sit together at lunch on Saturday !

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Tabernacle (Exodus 25-27)

For all you "visual" learners, here is a great link to a replica of the Tabernacle!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Share what you are learning...

It really hit me again today...the God who made promises to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph and Moses in the Old Testament is MY God. He is the SAME God, then and now. His character has not changed. He knows the beginning and the end. How amazing is that?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Trivia Question: Day 20 (The Plagues)

In Exodus Chapter 9, why did God choose to spare Pharoah and the Egyptians when He could have just wiped them off the face of the earth?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Population Explosion

When Joseph brought his family to Egypt (at the end of Genesis), they numbered about 70 people. At the opening of Exodus, the nation of Israel had increased to several million. (a period of about 400 years).

Exodus, which is Greek, means "way out." The book of Exodus is the book of redemption in the Old Testament.

Let's share how we see God's "redemption" as we read through Exodus.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Setting the Stage

Genesis 12:1-3 reads:
" The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you. I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others. I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you.”"

The Old Testament is an account of a nation (the Jewish nation). The New Testament is an account of a Man (Jesus). The Jewish nation was founded and nurtured of God in order to bring Jesus into the world.

Christ's appearance on the earth is the central event of history!
The Old Testament sets the stage for it. The New Testament describes it.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Share what you are learning...

One of the most wonderful things in reading the Word together is seeing how God speaks to each of us individually! Comment on this post to share what you are learning this week.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Tuesday's meeting

Thanks to Laura for leading the Tuesday girls! She is going to comment and recap their time :)

Trivia Question: Day 12

Who were the 3 Patriarchs and 4 Matriarchs found in Genesis?

Saturday, January 9, 2010

On the Mountain of the Lord

This "insight" from today's reading in Genesis 22 (Abraham's sacrifice of Isaac) is amazing!

Genesis 22:14 says that "Abraham named this place...'the Lord will provide.'" Many aspects of this story point toward Jesus. Both Isaac and Jesus were promised sons; each was born through a miraculous conception; each carried the wood of his sacrifice; each was offered by his father on what was possibly the exact same mountain. One was saved by a lamb, and one was the Lamb. God provided. [Daily Walk Bible]

Monday, January 4, 2010

Share what you're learning...

One of the most wonderful things in reading the Word together is seeing how God speaks to each of us individually! Comment on this post to share what you are learning this week.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Satan is Doomed!

I love that we are just in the first chapters of Genesis and we are already given prophesy that Satan will be defeated and Jesus the Messiah will reign forever. ( see Genesis 3:15 "He will strike your head and you will strike his heel.")

Genesis exposes Satan as the enemy of God and the deceiver of the human race. However, it also foretells his destruction and depicts his doom! The victory is the Lord's!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Trivia question: Day 2

In today's reading, when did people first begin to worship the Lord by name?

Friday, January 1, 2010

Get Your Daily Walk Bible

As we prepare to walk through God's Word together, I encourage you to get your own copy of The Daily Walk One Year Bible. The New Living Translation is easy to read and understand. Click the Bible here to order your from Amazon or get one from your local Christian bookstore.

Here we go!

Everyone ready? We're off to a great year together! Whitney passed on this devotional to me this morning about Reading through the Word . It's a wonderful encouragement about facing the fear of failure in such challenges, accepting these challenges and being blessed.

Grab your Bible and here we go!
Press on!