Genuine Repentance


Daily Bible Reading – Hosea 6-9; Hebrews 3

Today’s Key Passage – Hosea 6:1-7

 

I grew up in a Christian home.  My family and I went to church every week, and if asked I would have called myself a Christian.  For the first 34 years of my life though, I had a wrong interpretation of repentance.  Though I called myself a Christian, I never actually read the Bible.  In my life, I knew that I was sinful.  I knew that I did things that were not pleasing to God.  At night, I would pray to Him and ask Him to forgive me for my sinfulness.  I would list out all of the bad things I had done that day for God and ask Him to forgive each one.  The problem was that in all of those years, I never really had any interest in changing my behavior.  I viewed God as a “get out of jail free card” in a sense.  I desired His forgiveness, His mercy, His blessings for my life, and His promise of salvation, but I did not desire actual change.

Our key passage today begins with Israel’s seeming repentance.  We read, “Come, let us return to the LORD. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds. After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence. Let us acknowledge the LORD; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.” (Vss. 1-3)  Now this all sounds really good.  It sounds like Israel is sorry for its sins and it sounds like Israel is ready to turn away from them and back to God.  The thing about God, however, is that He knows our hearts.  He knew that time and time again Israel called on Him for mercy and for help, but they never actually desired change.  God responded to Israel by saying, “Your love is like the morning mist, like the early dew that disappears.” (Vs. 4)  God knew that Israel’s claims to want to return to Him were empty.  He knew that they were only interested in the material benefits God could provide.

Many people today are still misled about repentance.  People believe that as long as they are sorry for what they do, they can continue to live their lives in a sinful way without any consequences.  In fact, some churches even preach a message like this to their congregations.  They preach a “health and wealth” message of the Gospel because it is popular and it does not require actual change in the hearts of the audience.  Sadly, these churches are doing a disservice to the body of Christ because this message is not Biblical.  Time and time again in the Bible, God makes Himself perfectly clear.  He is not looking for us to simply desire forgiveness.  He is not looking for us to simply desire His mercy.  God is looking for genuine repentance.  He wants us to turn completely away from sin and turn completely toward Him.  He wants us to give up our lives of sin and replace them with lives focused on God.  Asking for forgiveness without asking God to change you is like a person calling himself a Christian without ever reading the Bible.  It is an empty gesture, and it is not what God wants for us.  Genuine repentance is a not a fleeting feeling of remorse over a sinful act.  Genuine repentance is a lifetime commitment to stop walking in the ways of evil and instead walk in the ways of God.  Anything less is like a morning mist.  Anything less is like the early dew that disappears.  Love God with all of our heart, soul, and mind, and turn completely toward Him with everything in your life.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

To become a fan of The Daily Bible Plan’s Facebook Page, CLICK HERE.

To follow me on Twitter for inspirational tweets, click the follow button –

If you like this post, please SHARE it with others to spread the Word of God.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

The Grass is Always Greener


Daily Bible Reading – Hosea 2-5; Hebrews 2

Today’s Key Passage – Hosea 2:2-8

 

A couple of weeks ago, I noticed something that is not very uncommon as I was driving.  I was passing by a small pasture in which a couple of cows were grazing.  The grass in the pasture was a plush green, and most of the cows seemed pretty content grazing within the fences.  The thing that caught my eye, however, was a single cow standing closest to the road.  Though this cow was standing in a nice patch of green grass, she had her head through the fence and was eating the slightly brown weeds on the other side.  It seemed this cow believed that the grass was indeed greener on the other side, and she was intent on eating it instead of eating the grass in her own pasture.   When I saw it, I knew immediately that I would be writing about that moment as an illustration here, and all I had to do was wait until the day we read Hosea chapter 2.

Today’s key passage is all about the concept that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.  As we learned in yesterday’s reading, Hosea married Gomer knowing that she would be unfaithful to him.  In today’s reading we see that God’s warnings about Gomer came to fruition as we read, “Their mother has been unfaithful and has conceived them in disgrace.  She said, ‘I will go after my lovers, who give me my food and my water, my wool and my linen, my oil and my drink.’” (Vs.5)  Gomer chased after other lovers because she believed that she could find something better than what she had at home with Hosea.  Of course, Gomer’s life was a living, breathing example of what Israel did for years.  Though Israel had everything as God’s chosen people, they were continually unfaithful to God and chased after other gods to worship, all the time believing they could find something better.  Israel, like Gomer, believed that the grass was greener on the other side.

Sadly, it is easy for all of us to fall into this trap.  It is easy for us to believe that what someone else has is better than what we have.  There are people who believe that someone else’s house is better than their house or that someone else’s life is better than their life, so they covet what their neighbors have.  There are men and women who believe they can find something better outside of their own marriages, so they fall into adultery.  They wrongly believe they have more in common with a complete stranger than with the person at home to whom they have been married for years and with whom they have raised children.  In all of these cases, the focus is always on the wrong thing.  Instead of focusing on all of the blessings God has provided, when we focus on the things He has not provided we get into trouble.  I once heard a pastor say that if you think the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, spend some time watering your own grass!  Never forget that more often than not, the color of the grass in your own yard or in another’s yard is simply a matter of perception.  We think the grass is going to be greener on the other side, so we jump through hoops trying to get there.  We go out of our way to stick our heads through the fence, intent on getting to the other side and ignoring the barbed wire and the thickets that are in our way.  In the end though, all we find on the other side are slightly brown weeds.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

To become a fan of The Daily Bible Plan’s Facebook Page, CLICK HERE.

To follow me on Twitter for inspirational tweets, click the follow button –

If you like this post, please SHARE it with others to spread the Word of God.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

Painful Obedience


Daily Bible Reading – 2 Kings 15,16; Hosea 1; Hebrews 1

Today’s Key Passage – Hosea 1:2-11

 

Most of the time obedience to God is pretty straightforward.  Either we choose to obey Him or we do not.  When we do choose to obey Him, we really do it for two reasons.  First and foremost, we obey God because of our deep love and respect for Him.  There is a second reason, however, that we obey God.  In most cases, obedience to God is in our own best interest.  It stands to reason that the Creator of the universe knows better than anyone else what is good for us and what is bad for us.  When He tells us to do something, it is in our own best interest to obey Him.  To illustrate my point, stop and think for a second about the Ten Commandments.  If you really think about it, you will see that obedience to each one is in our own best interest.  Sometimes, though, complete and total obedience to God is a bit more difficult.  Sometimes, obedience to Him has nothing to do with our own best interest, and instead focuses on the best interest of someone else.  This is when obedience can become painful.

In today’s key passage, we find the beginning of the story of Hosea and Gomer.  Hosea was a young prophet called by God to prophesy to the northern kingdom of Israel.  Now keep in mind that Hosea was a man of God.  He was a good man who had great faith, and it would stand to reason to us that God would only want the best for Hosea.  God, however, had a different plan in mind for Hosea.  God needed Hosea’s life to be a living, breathing prophetic example to Israel.  God needed Hosea to do something that was in Israel’s best interest, but not his own.  God told Hosea, “Go, take to yourself an adulterous wife and children of unfaithfulness, because the land is guilty of the vilest adultery in departing from the LORD.” (Vs. 2)  Now imagine for a second that you are Hosea.  God has just told you to marry a woman who is absolutely going to cheat on you.  She is absolutely going to give birth to other men’s children.  What would you do in this situation?  The next verse of Scripture is a testament to Hosea’s faithfulness and obedience to God.  In it we read, “So he married Gomer daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son.” (Vs. 3)  Hosea did not argue with God.  Hosea did not try to get out of it or run away.  Even knowing that his obedience to God was going to be painful for him personally, Hosea simply obeyed.

Sometimes God asks us to do things that are going to be painful for us personally.  Sometimes he asks us to do things that will be difficult.  Sometimes he asks us to do things that are seemingly impossible to us.  It is in these times when our obedience is most important.  See, obedience to God for our own best interest is pretty easy, but the real mark of our character is whether or not we will obey Him when our obedience benefits others and not ourselves.  If God asks you to do something that is going to be painful, how will you respond?  My prayer today is that we will all respond the way Hosea did.  My prayer today is that we will all simply obey.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

To become a fan of The Daily Bible Plan’s Facebook Page, CLICK HERE.

To follow me on Twitter for inspirational tweets, click the follow button –

If you like this post, please SHARE it with others to spread the Word of God.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

Equals in Christ


Daily Bible Reading – Isaiah 6,7; 2 Chronicles 26,27; Philemon

Today’s Key Passage – Philemon 8-21

 

In today’s reading, we find the book of Philemon.  This short book is a personal letter written by the apostle Paul to a man named Philemon.  Philemon was a Greek landowner who was a member of the church in Colosse.  Paul was writing to Philemon about a man named Onesimus, who was a slave of Philemon that ran away and fled to Rome.  God led Onesimus to Paul, and Paul converted Onesimus to Christianity.  After his conversion, Paul convinced Onesimus to return to Philemon to reconcile, and Paul wrote this letter to try to persuade Philemon.  In the early Roman Empire, slavery was common and a landowner had a legal right to kill a runaway slave.  Paul, however, wanted Philemon to put aside his legal rights and focus instead on something much more important than what the law said.  Paul wanted Philemon to accept Onesimus back into his life.  More importantly, Paul wanted Philemon to accept Onesimus not as a slave, but as his brother in Christ.  He said, “So if you consider me a partner, welcome him as you would welcome me.” (Vs. 17)  Paul wanted Philemon to realize that despite their differences in social status, wealth, and background, he and Onesimus were members of the same family.  They were both saved by God, and they were both equals in Christ.

I think many Christians today forget about this fact.  They focus on the differences between themselves and other members of the church.  They get caught up in things like denomination, race, social status, or wealth.  These differences divide the church and hurt its overall mission in the world.  The fact of the matter is that we are all part of the same church.  Regardless of any other status given to us by the world, we are all part of the family of God.  We are all saved by His grace.  We are all equals in Christ.  Do you know anyone you have a hard time getting along with?  Do you know a person whose personality conflicts with yours?  Do you know someone who has wronged you or slighted you in some way and you are still holding a bit of a grudge?  If so, put aside these differences.  Instead of focusing on what that person has done or said, and instead of focusing on the past, focus on one simple truth.  If that person has a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, then he or she is your brother or sister in Christ.  In the eyes of God, we are all individuals but we are also all equals.  He loves each of us exactly the same.  As we work to become more like Christ, let us all remember the book of Philemon.  Let us all put aside our differences.  Let us all remember that we are equals in Christ.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

To become a fan of The Daily Bible Plan’s Facebook Page, CLICK HERE.

To follow me on Twitter for inspirational tweets, click the follow button –

If you like this post, please SHARE it with others to spread the Word of God.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

Avoiding Apostasy and False Teaching


Daily Bible Reading – Isaiah 4,5; Psalms 115, 116; Jude

Today’s Key Passage – Jude 17-25

 

Jude was the brother of James and the half brother of Jesus.  (Mary and Joseph were the parents of both James and Jude.)  In his short book, Jude tackles two topics that were as problematic for the early church as they are today.  First, he warns against false teachers.  Then, he discusses apostasy, or turning away from God.  As we read his book, we find six practical tips that we can apply today as we attempt to avoid the same pitfalls that plagued the early church.

Building – “build yourselves up in your most holy faith” (Vs. 20) – As followers of Christ, we need to constantly be building our character.  We know that this is a lifelong process, and that our building will not end until the day Jesus returns.  While we will not reach the “destination” in this life, we must always strive to be progressing forward.  One of the best ways to build ourselves up in our faith is through the daily reading of God’s Word.  The more we know of God, the more we will progress.

Praying – “pray in the Holy Spirit.” (Vs. 20) – We all know that prayer is important.  We pray with our minds and we pray with our hearts, but so often, we may miss out on praying in the Spirit.  When we pray with the power of the Holy Spirit, we will worship God wholeheartedly.  We will also ensure that we are asking for things in line with His will.

Keeping – “Keep yourselves in God’s love” (Vs. 21) – To keep ourselves in God’s love, we must live a life close to God and close to His church.  As we press in closer to God and His elect, we will become more obedient to Him and will continue to grow in our faith.

Waiting – “as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.” (Vs. 21) – Sometimes obedience to God means waiting patiently for Him.  We know the promises that God has made to us through His Word, and we know that God never lies.  We will receive the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ and we will receive eternal life with Him.  We can wait expectantly for God’s promises to be fulfilled.

Working – “Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.” (Vss. 22-23) – Even though we are waiting to receive God’s mercy and eternal life, He does not want us to wait while sitting on our hands.  We should be actively working for His purposes.  Sometimes that means having mercy on others or helping those who are struggling.  Other times it means saving the lost and helping them find God.  As we work for the Kingdom, we must be careful not to compromise on our beliefs or on God’s standards for living.  We are to hate the sin, but love the sinner.

Praising – “To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore!” (Vss. 24-25) – The final piece of the puzzle is praise.  We are to praise God in all things.  He alone keeps us from turning away from Him.  He alone keeps us from believing false teaching.  He alone allows us to appear blameless before His glory.  He alone gives us joy.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

To become a fan of The Daily Bible Plan’s Facebook Page, CLICK HERE.

To follow me on Twitter for inspirational tweets, click the follow button –

If you like this post, please SHARE it with others to spread the Word of God.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

Knowing When to Walk Away


Daily Bible Reading – Isaiah 1-3; Titus 3

Today’s Key Passage – Titus 3:3-11

 

I have many fond memories of riding around in my parent’s car as a young boy listening to music.  The songs of The Statler Brothers, The Oak Ridge Boys, and Kenny Rogers were the staples of the car trips of my youth.  My favorite at the time was a song entitled “The Gambler”.  There is a famous line in that song that most of you are probably quite familiar with that says, “You’ve got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em, know when to walk away, and know when to run.”  It might sound strange, but I thought about that song today as I read our key passage.  In his remarks to Titus, the apostle Paul warns him not to get involved in petty arguments about doctrine.  He says, “avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless.” (Vs. 9)  Furthermore, Paul warns Titus about people causing division in the church.  He says, “Warn a divisive person once, and then warn him a second time. After that, have nothing to do with him. You may be sure that such a man is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.” (Vs. 10)  In the face of petty arguments, sometimes you have to know when to walk away, and when dealing with a person who is causing disunity among believers, you have to know when to run.

As followers of Christ, each of us will likely be faced with a discussion or a debate about different aspects of Scripture.  Since there are many passages in the Bible that can be interpreted differently, it is not uncommon for two people to disagree.  Sometimes these discussions can be healthy.  If all parties involved are interested in truth and exhibit mutual respect of others’ opinions, these times of examination can lead to greater knowledge for everyone involved.  When pride becomes a factor and people begin arguing because they are interested in being correct, these discussions can quickly turn into “foolish controversies about the law” which are “unprofitable and useless”.  If this happens, sometimes the best course of action is to simply walk away.  The more dangerous moments are when we face a person who is causing disunity in the faith.  This might be a person who is arguing over basic aspects of Christianity in general, or it could be as simple as a person complaining about your church, your pastor, or the way things are done.  In these times, sometimes walking away is not the best option, as you may be led to offer correction instead.  Disunity is a virus that must be squelched quickly to avoid spreading, so offering a correction in love may be necessary to get the person back on track.  If the person continues to promote disunity after repeated warnings, it might be time to run.

We are reminded in Ecclesiastes 3:1 that “there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.”  There is a time for discussions about Scripture and there is a time to avoid those conversations.  There is a time for correcting another who is promoting disunity and a time to stay away from him in hopes that he will repent.  My prayer today is that each of us would have the discernment to know the right time for each action.  My prayer is that we would all know when to walk away, and that we would all know when to run.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

To become a fan of The Daily Bible Plan’s Facebook Page, CLICK HERE.

To follow me on Twitter for inspirational tweets, click the follow button –

If you like this post, please SHARE it with others to spread the Word of God.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

The Importance of Role Models


Daily Bible Reading – Amos 7-9; Psalm 104; Titus 2

Today’s Key Passage – Titus 2:1-8

 

How do you learn what it means to be a good parent?  How do you learn to become a good husband or a good wife?  For many things in life, we need instruction to actually learn how to do things, and we can get that instruction from a variety of places.  We can read books or magazine articles for tips and advice on different topics.  We can study historical figures to learn how they completed the tasks we are trying to learn.  One of the best ways to learn, however, is through seeing our desired results lived out in the lives of role models.  When we have strong, Godly people in our lives we can watch them to learn new behaviors.  Some of us are very fortunate in this area.  Some of us grew up in Christian homes surrounded by role models.  As I was growing up, I learned about being a good parent by watching what my own parents did in raising me.  I also learned what it meant to be a good husband by watching how my father treated my mother on a daily basis.  I continue to learn more and more about becoming a better parent and husband by the people I have surrounded myself with in my life today.  My circle of friends who are following Christ continue to influence me and effect my behavior in a variety of ways.  They do this not by telling me how to be a good parent or a good husband, but by actually living these behaviors out in their own lives.

In today’s key passage, Paul speaks to Titus about the importance of role models.  Paul knows that the young men in the church can learn a lot about life simply by watching the older men in action.  Likewise, the young women in the church can take their cues from the older women.  As Titus teaches the older people in the church with sound doctrine, these people can then in turn show the younger people in the church how to live through their everyday actions.  For example, Paul says that the older women, “can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.” (Vss. 4-5)  In addition, Paul reminds Titus of the importance of a strong pastor who can be an example to all of the people in the church.  He says, “In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.” (Vss. 7-8)

Would you like to become a better husband to your wife?  If so, surround yourself with Godly men who treat their wives well.  Do you want to learn to become a better parent?  If so, spend some time with other believers and watch how they behave around their own children.  Few things in life are more important than having strong role models.  As you seek to improve in different areas of your life, ask yourself who your role models are in that area.  Then as you learn more, ask yourself who you can be a role model to in the church.  When we have strong role models, we can all improve and can all learn to live more Godly lives.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

To become a fan of The Daily Bible Plan’s Facebook Page, CLICK HERE.

To follow me on Twitter for inspirational tweets, click the follow button –

If you like this post, please SHARE it with others to spread the Word of God.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

Facing God


Daily Bible Reading – Amos 4-6; Psalms 86,87; Titus 1

Today’s Key Passage – Amos 4:6-13

 

Amos was a shepherd from Judah who was sent by God to prophesy to the northern kingdom of Israel.  At the time, Israel was a powerful nation with a good economy, but the nation was also spiritually corrupt, so God sent prophets to try to convince the Israelites to repent.  As you read his words, you will notice the boldness of Amos and the directness of his words.  He feared no king or priest in this world, and he spoke the words of God with honesty and integrity.  He denounced the sin of all of Israel’s neighbors, likely to the delight of his Israelite audience, before turning his attention to Israel itself and denouncing their sins before God.  In today’s key passage, Amos is talking to the Israelites about their stubbornness in the eyes of the Lord.  Speaking through His prophet, God declares that He used many methods to attempt to draw His people back to Him.  He sent famine to their lands, but the Israelites would not repent.  He sent drought to their lands, but the Israelites would not repent.  He sent pestilence to their lands, but the Israelites would not repent.  God even sent plagues and death to their lands and replaced some of the leaders, but still the Israelites would not repent.  No matter what God tried, the Israelites remained an evil nation filled with sinfulness.  What was God to do?  He answered that question in verses 12 and 13 when He said, “‘Therefore this is what I will do to you, Israel, and because I will do this to you, prepare to meet your God, O Israel.’  He who forms the mountains, creates the wind, and reveals his thoughts to man, he who turns dawn to darkness, and treads the high places of the earth—the LORD God Almighty is his name.”  After constantly refusing to return to God, the Israelites were reminded that they were going to have to face God.

When I read this passage, I cannot help but think of our world today.  After repeated warnings, signs, and evidence of the glory of God, there are still many people who refuse to repent.  Despite all that God did in sending His only Son to create a bridge between the sinful world and the perfect Father, there are still many people who refuse to accept Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior.  Despite all that the Bible says, there are still many “Christians” who choose to live by the standards of this world instead of living by God’s standards.  My prayer today is that everyone in this world will be reminded that we will all have to face God.  Whether we like it or not, we all must prepare to meet our God.  That day is coming for all of us.  Are you, your family, and your friends prepared to meet the Lord?

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

To become a fan of The Daily Bible Plan’s Facebook Page, CLICK HERE.

To follow me on Twitter for inspirational tweets, click the follow button –

If you like this post, please SHARE it with others to spread the Word of God.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

The Last Words of the Apostle Paul


Daily Bible Reading – Amos 1-3; Psalm 80; 2 Timothy 4

Today’s Key Passage – 2 Timothy 4:6-18

The last book in the Bible written by the apostle Paul is 2 Timothy.  At this point in his life, he was locked away in a prison in Rome for preaching the Gospel.  Paul knew that he was nearing the end of his life, and he sent one last letter to his friend Timothy.  When I read 2 Timothy, I cannot help but feel a little bit sad and I cannot help but feel a little bit sorry for Paul.  After all, he did nothing wrong and was living a Godly life, but because of the sinfulness of this world he was persecuted, imprisoned, and eventually killed for his faith.  Today’s key passage contains the last known words we have written by Paul, and while he had every right to be depressed or even angry about his current predicament that is not what we see in his words.  As Paul was closing his letter, and in fact as he was “closing” his life, his words show that even when nearing death, Paul’s character did not change.  His words near death reflected the same three characteristics that defined his entire life – faith, love, and forgiveness.

Faith – Our passage begins with these words from Paul – “For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” (Vss. 6-8)  As Paul grew closer and closer to his last days, he had no fear of death.  He had no doubts about where he was going or about the reward that was awaiting him in Heaven.  In the face of death, Paul had the same unshakable faith that he had during his entire life.

Love – Though Paul was most likely living in a cold, damp dungeon, in his words we still see love.  Though Demas deserted him (Vs. 10), in his words we still see love.  In his words, we see the love Paul has for Luke who was the only person left with him who was faithful.  In his words, we see the love for Timothy as he asked his good friend to visit him soon.  In his words, we even see a love for Mark as he asks Timothy to bring Mark with him when he comes to visit.  If you will remember from Acts 15:36-41, earlier in his life Paul did not have the best relationship with Mark.  During his first missionary journey, Mark left Paul and Barnabas which was upsetting for Paul.  This strained relationship with Mark was so bad that it caused Paul and Barnabas to part company completely.  Obviously, though, Paul and Mark must have reconciled and we see that Paul had nothing but love for Mark.

Forgiveness – We have already seen that Paul must have forgiven Mark for his past indiscretions, but we also see a greater level of forgiveness in Paul’s words.  He says, “At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them.” (Vs. 16)  Paul forgave the people who deserted him, and he was hoping that God would forgive them as well.  Just as Jesus forgave even the men who crucified him, Paul forgave the ones who deserted him.

Near the end of his life, Paul still had a great message and he still had great character.  My prayer today is that at the end of our lives, we all have the same characteristics of faith, love, and forgiveness that Paul displayed in this book.  Since we do not know when the end will come, we have to be prepared by living our lives each day with these characteristics in mind.  There is no better day to begin that than today.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

To become a fan of The Daily Bible Plan’s Facebook Page, CLICK HERE.

To follow me on Twitter for inspirational tweets, click the follow button –

If you like this post, please SHARE it with others to spread the Word of God.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

The Origin and Purpose of the Bible


Daily Bible Reading – 2 Kings 13,14; 2 Chronicles 25; 2 Timothy 3

Today’s Key Passage – 2 Timothy 3:14-17

 

Have you ever wondered about the origin of the Bible?  Where did it come from?  Or what about its purpose?  Why do we have the Bible?  If you have ever found yourself asking these questions, then today’s key passage has the answers you have been seeking.  In it, the Apostle Paul is writing to his friend Timothy.  Timothy was a young man and was one of the first second-generation Christians.  At this point in history, most Christians were first-generation, meaning they converted because they heard the good news about Jesus Christ from an evangelist and accepted Him as their Lord and Savior.  Timothy, on the other hand, grew up learning about God.  As a small boy, his mother and grandmother read him the Holy Scriptures and taught him about God and about the Gospel of Christ, which led him to becoming a believer himself.  In today’s passage, Paul reminds Timothy of his youth, and then reminds him of the origin and purpose of the Word of God.

Origin of the Bible

Paul reminds Timothy that, “all Scripture is God-breathed” (Vs. 16).  What does this mean?  A lot of times people have a tendency to think of the Bible as simply a collection of stories about God.  They wrongly believe that the Bible represents merely our human interpretation of who God is and what He has done.  While it is technically true that the Bible was written down by the hands of human beings, that is only half of the story.  The people who wrote the Bible did not do so on their own.  They did not write it based on their own ideas of God.  Instead, they wrote exactly what God wanted them to write.  Through the power of the Holy Spirit, God inspired these writers to tell His story.  The Bible comes from God, and we can trust in it because God was in complete control of its writing.

Purpose of the Bible

Paul continues in our passage and reminds Timothy of the purpose of the Bible.  He says that the Bible, “is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness”. (Vs. 16)  Because the Bible is the inspired Word of God, we can trust what it says about Him.  We can have faith that the character of God represented in the Bible is accurate, and therefore by reading His Word we can learn about Him.  In addition, the Bible helps us to know the difference between right and wrong.  As we read it, we can begin to discern how God wants us to live our lives, and we can discern the things in life He wants us to avoid.  Through following His Word, we can be trained in righteousness, and can learn to live a holy and blameless life through faith in His Son Jesus Christ.

As we study the Bible, we must never forget one final note about its purpose.  Paul reminds Timothy that the Bible is useful, “so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (Vs. 17)  The purpose of the Bible is not simply education or training for the sake of training.  We read it to learn how to do God’s will, and it is only useful to us if it leads us to action.  We can read the Bible all day from cover to cover, but the real power of God’s inspired Word comes when we begin living it.

The next time you sit down to read your Bible, keep these things in mind.  Remember that the Book you are holding in your hands was written by the Creator of the universe.  Remember that He wrote it to show you who He is, and how you should live your life.  When you read, allow the words to strengthen your spirit and your faith in God.  Above all else, when you read, allow the words to lead you to do God’s will.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

To become a fan of The Daily Bible Plan’s Facebook Page, CLICK HERE.

To follow me on Twitter for inspirational tweets, click the follow button –

If you like this post, please SHARE it with others to spread the Word of God.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 795 other followers

%d bloggers like this: