Category Archives: 14 – 2 Chronicles

More than Just Reading


Daily Bible Reading – 2 Kings 22; 2 Chronicles 34; John 6

Today’s Key Passage – 2 Chronicles 34:14-33

 

I was looking at my contacts today when I came to the realization that there are many people listed in my phone that I have not spoken to in years.  Most likely, this does not make me any different from anyone else, but it does bring to mind a question: What is the point of having someone’s contact information if you never actually contact him?  Having the information is important, but putting that information into action is vital.

In today’s key passage, we find a lesson about this principle.  The Book of the Law of the Lord, which was either the book of Deuteronomy or the entire Pentateuch, had been lost during the reigns of the evil kings of Judah.  We read that the high priest Hilkiah found the long-lost Book in the temple, and it was taken to King Josiah. (Vss. 14-18)  When Josiah heard the words of the Book, he tore his clothes in repentance because he realized that his people were sinning against God. (Vs. 19)  He then immediately instituted reforms that would bring the nation back to God. (Vss. 29-33)  While it was important that the Book was read, it was even more important that Josiah put what he read into action and changed the direction of Judah.

We all know that reading the Bible is important.  In fact, the entire purpose of this ministry is to help each of you get deeper into God’s Word on a daily basis.  Reading the Bible, though, is about much more than just the reading.  Anyone can read a couple of chapters in the morning and then go about their day unchanged and unaffected, but that is not the point of Scripture.  The importance of our daily reading lies in what we choose to do with that information.  The importance lies in putting what we read into action and trying to live our lives in obedience to God’s will.  Do not just read the Bible for the sake of reading it.  Allow it to shape and mold you, as you put its invaluable lessons to work 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.

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

Understanding Grace


Daily Bible Reading – 2 Kings 21; 2 Chronicles 33; John 4

Today’s Key Passage – 2 Chronicles 33:1-17

 

A couple of weeks ago, we read what many call the faith hall of fame.  It is a list in Hebrews of some of the greatest people of faith in the Bible.  Today we read the story of Manasseh, one of the kings of Judah, who could arguably be placed on an opposite list of some of the “worst” people in the Bible.  When we look at his 55-year reign as king we see that it was marked by sin.  Manasseh worshiped other gods (Vs. 3) and desecrated the temple (Vss. 4-5).  He practiced sorcery, divination, and witchcraft. (Vs. 6)  He even sacrificed his own children in fire. (Vs. 6)  As we read about his life, it is pretty easy to believe that Manasseh might have fallen outside of God’s grace, and while it is true that his sins angered God (Vs. 6), Manasseh’s story is actually one of redemption.  When the king of Assyria took Manasseh prisoner and exiled him to Babylon, an amazing thing happened in his life.  We read, “In his distress he sought the favor of the LORD his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers. And when he prayed to him, the LORD was moved by his entreaty and listened to his plea; so he brought him back to Jerusalem and to his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the LORD is God.” (Vss. 12-13)

All of us have some things in our pasts that we are not proud of.  Some of us might even have past sins that we believe are “too terrible” to be forgiven by God.  The amazing thing about God’s grace, though, is that He can and will forgive all of our sins, no matter how bad we believe them to be.  In fact, Jesus tells us in Matthew 12:31-32 that there is only one sin that cannot be forgiven.  This sin, called blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, is one that many of us worry we have committed, but that is not possible.  The simple act of worrying that we have committed this sin is an irrefutable sign that we have not.  Since we know we have not blasphemed the Holy Spirit, we can safely say that nothing else we have ever done or can ever do falls outside of God’s grace and mercy.  Do not believe the lie that the worst things you have ever done cannot be forgiven.  All of our sins, even our worst ones, can be nailed to the cross of Christ.  All of us can be forgiven.  All of us can be redeemed.  That is the beauty of God’s amazing grace.

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.

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

The Restoration Project


Daily Bible Reading – 2 Chronicles 29-31; James 4

Today’s Key Passage – 2 Chronicles 29:1-30

 

When Hezekiah became king at the age of twenty-five, he knew the people of Judah needed to return to God.  After sixteen years under the leadership of the evil king Ahaz, they were in desperate need of a major restoration project.  Most of us at some point in our lives are going to stumble and fall, and when we do, we will need the same thing.  Whether we are away from God for an hour or for years, we can learn a lot about restoring our relationship with God by the steps King Hezekiah took with the people of Judah.

During Ahaz’s reign, he closed the temple, so the first step Hezekiah took was to reopen it. (Vs. 3)  For us today, our lives and our hearts are our temples, and when we turn away from God, we close them down.  To begin our restoration project, we must reopen our hearts to God.  Hezekiah knew how far the people were from God, and he recognized the consequences of their sins. (Vss. 6-10)  We must also acknowledge the consequences of our own sinfulness, and seek to place God back into the forefront of our lives.

Hezekiah’s next step was to remove everything from the temple that was offensive to God. (Vss. 16-17)  In addition, he replaced all of the unclean and evil items with items that would be pleasing to God. (Vss. 18-19)  As we continue our own restoration projects, we must do the same thing.  We must remove anything from our lives that has caused us to stray from God’s path, and replace the evil inside of us with God’s Word and His Spirit.  Just as Hezekiah rededicated the temple to the Lord (Vss. 20-23), we must rededicate our lives to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  While Hezekiah had to sacrifice animals as a sin offering to God (Vss. 24-28), all we need to do is ask God for forgiveness of our sins and recognize the perfect sacrifice already made for us by Christ.

The final step in Judah’s restoration and our own is praising God. (Vss. 29-30)  Once we have successfully restored our relationship with Him, we can praise Him for His mercy, His grace, and His forgiveness.  The wonderful thing about God is that no matter how far away from Him we might become or how broken we may be, we can always be restored to a right relationship with Him.  If you have found yourself far from God recently, begin your restoration project today.  The sooner you begin, the sooner you will be able to rest in the loving arms of 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.

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

Our Persistent God


Daily Bible Reading – 2 Kings 11,12; 2 Chronicles 24; 1 Timothy 6

Today’s Key Passage – 2 Chronicles 24:17-25

 

Joash was seven years old when he became the king of Judah, and he reigned as king for forty years.  In the beginning of his reign, Joash lived  a life that was “right in the eyes of the Lord” (Vs. 2)  After many years of idol worship and evil kings in Judah the temple was in disarray, so in the first part of his life Joash collected a tax from the people of Judah and Jerusalem that allowed him to make repairs to the temple.  The money he collected from the people was used to restore the temple of God “according to its original design” (Vs. 13) and also to reinforce it.  In addition, after the temple was restored the money that was left over was used to make “articles for the service and for the burnt offerings, and also dishes and other objects of gold and silver.” (Vs. 14)  After spending years away from God, Joash finally brought the people of Judah back to Him and burnt offerings were once again presented in the temple according to God’s original decrees.  Sadly though, when Jehoiada the chief priest died, everything changed.  Upon his death, Joash and the officials of Judah abandoned the temple and once again began worshiping idols.

In today’s key passage, we read about God’s response to the renewed interest in idol worship in Judah.  We often have a tendency to wrongly believe that when we turn away from God and sin, He immediately gets angry at us and lashes out at us in punishment, but today’s passage tells a different story.  Today’s passage tells us the truth about God.  He is a God of persistence.  When the people of Judah turned from Him, He tried many times to make the people recognize their sins and come back to the faith.  He, “sent prophets to the people to bring them back to him, and though they testified against them, they would not listen.” (Vs. 19)  When the prophets God sent were unsuccessful, God sent Zechariah the son of Jehoiada to try to convince the people to repent.  Since the people were faithful to God when Jehoiada was alive, perhaps God was hoping that his son could get through to them.  It was only after the people killed Zechariah that God finally sent his judgment to the people of Judah, and even then it was designed not to punish the people but to bring them back to Him.

Perhaps you know someone who has lived a life that was right in the eyes of the Lord for part of his life but has since fallen away from God.  Perhaps you know someone who is so mired in sin that he seems completely lost or who has begun following a false Gospel.  Perhaps even one of you reading these words is wrapped up in a pattern of sin that you cannot seem to break, and you feel yourself getting further and further away from God.  Know today that our Heavenly Father has many wonderful characteristics, and one of them is persistence.  God will not give up on His elect, no matter how far they turn from Him.  He will continue to work to bring the fallen back to Him according to His perfect will and in His perfect time.  Do not allow your frustration over a “lost” brother or sister in Christ or your own sin patterns overwhelm you.  Instead, be persistent, just as your Father in Heaven is persistent.  When we know that God will not give up on us, we are less inclined to give up on ourselves.

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.

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

Disregarding God


Daily Bible Reading – 1 Kings 22; 2 Chronicles 18,19; Colossians 4

Today’s Key Passage – 2 Chronicles 18:1-28

 

In today’s key passage, we read the story of Jehoshaphat’s alliance with Ahab.  Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah, was a man who followed God, but Ahab, the king of Israel, was evil.  Jehoshaphat aligned himself with Ahab by allowing his son to marry Ahab’s daughter Athaliah.  This decision would later haunt Jehoshaphat, but that is a story for another day.  In today’s passage, Ahab asked Jehoshaphat to help him attack Ramoth Gilead, and Jehoshaphat immediately agreed.  Jehoshaphat told Ahab that they should seek the counsel of God, so Ahab called 400 false prophets and asked them if they should attack Ramoth Gilead.  The false prophets, only concerned with keeping the king happy, told Ahab that an attack would be successful.  Jehoshaphat knew that these prophets were not speaking for God, so he asked Ahab if there were any true prophets they could call on for advice, and Ahab suggested they speak with Micaiah.  When the prophet Micaiah arrived, he told Jehoshaphat and Ahab that the attack would not succeed and that Ahab would be killed in battle.  This prophesy angered Ahab and led to the imprisonment of Micaiah, but it also created a big problem for Jehoshaphat.  He had done the right thing in seeking God’s advice about the attack, but God’s advice that the attack would not be successful clashed with the commitment Jehoshaphat made to attack Ramoth Gilead.  In the end, Jehoshaphat chose to disregard God’s advice and attack Ramoth Gilead with Ahab.  Jehoshaphat was almost killed in the battle, and Ahab lost his life as predicted by the prophet.

Jehoshaphat’s error is an easy one for all of us to repeat.  He was correct in seeking God’s counsel, but the problem was he had already made up his mind about how he was going to proceed.  When God’s advice did not match his expectations, he chose to disregard God and continue down his intended path.  Anytime we make up our minds about how we should act in a certain situation prior to consulting God, we run the risk of falling into this same trap.  Once our minds are set or we have committed to one course of action, it becomes easy for us to ignore God’s advice if it contradicts our expectations.  It is not enough for us to simply seek God’s counsel; we must be willing and ready to also act in obedience to God’s will and His plan.  From our story today, we learn the importance of seeking God’s will with an open mind, and we learn the importance of not deciding on a course of action without God’s instructions.  The next time you are facing a decision, go to God first.  When you find out His will, act in obedience even if His will is different from your expectations.  When we commit to doing things God’s way instead of our own way, we will never have to worry about going down the wrong path.

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.

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

Finding Victory over Temptations


Daily Bible Reading – 1 Kings 15; 2 Chronicles 13,14; Philippians 4

Today’s Key Passage – 2 Chronicles 14:2-15

 

In today’s key passage, we are introduced to Asa, one of the kings of Judah.  During the first ten years of his reign, Asa followed God and walked in His ways.  He did much to reform Judah, and our passage today outlines some of the things he did during these first few years.  Interestingly, while his story is not specifically about overcoming temptations, as I read it today I could not help but realize that some of the things he did in Judah can actually show us a clear path to victory over temptations.  Every one of us are going to face temptations to sin, so searching for ways to find victory over these temptations is vitally important.  Asa’s story today provides us with three key steps to finding that victory.

Removal – “He removed the foreign altars and the high places, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles.” (Vs. 3) – One of the first things Asa did was remove the items that were causing the people of Judah to be led astray from God.  To find victory over temptations, we must first remove anything from our lives that might cause us to sin.  For some people, this might mean changing some behaviors.  For others, it might mean finding a new job or moving to a different neighborhood.  If there is anything in your life that causes you to be tempted to sin, remove it from your life completely.

Preparation – “He built up the fortified cities of Judah, since the land was at peace.” (Vs. 6)  While Asa was following God, God gave him and his people peace with all of their neighbors.  During this peaceful time, Asa could have chosen to bask in the peace and get lazy, but instead he realized that the peace allowed him an opportunity to prepare.  Asa knew that if an attack occurred, it would be too late in the heat of battle to begin thinking about building up defenses, so he began the process ahead of time.  He built up the towns and put walls around them with towers, gates, and bars in preparation for an attack that would inevitably come.  Likewise, when a temptation to sin attacks us, it will be too late at that point to begin thinking about building our defenses.  Instead of waiting for the heat of temptation, we can begin building our defenses now during times of “peace”.  When we decide ahead of time what we will do when temptation strikes, we will be better able to defend ourselves from sin.

Prayer – “Then Asa called to the LORD his God” (Vs. 11)  A large army from Cush advanced against Judah.  When Asa saw the great army, he knew that he was outnumbered.  Before the battle began, he cried out to the Lord in prayer, and asked God for victory.  Though he was greatly outnumbered, God gave him victory over his enemy.  For us, when the temptation to sin strikes, we should also cry out to God.  Even when the temptation seems so strong that we do not think victory is possible, we can still go to God in prayer.  When we ask God to give us victory over temptation in these moments, we can rest assured that He will deliver us.  He will give us the power to overcome any temptation, and all we have to do is ask.

Temptations to sin will always come against us as we walk our Christian lives, and how we react in those times of temptation will define us.  When we follow the three steps provided by the story of Asa, we can get one step closer to overcoming these temptations.  When we follow these steps, we can find victory.

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.

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

God’s Promises to Us


Daily Bible Reading – 2 Chronicles 6,7; Psalm 135; Romans 4

Today’s Key Passage – 2 Chronicles 7:11-22

 

When the temple was finally completed and the Ark of the Covenant was moved into place, Solomon dedicated the temple to God.  He went to the Lord in prayer and asked Him repeatedly to hear the prayers of the Israelites.  He asked God to hear their prayers now, as well as in the future.  Through good times and bad, through times of obedience and times of sin, Solomon’s request was that God would always hear their prayers.  In today’s key passage, God provides an answer to Solomon’s prayer of dedication.  The Bible says, “When Solomon had finished the temple of the LORD and the royal palace, and had succeeded in carrying out all he had in mind to do in the temple of the LORD and in his own palace, the LORD appeared to him at night”. (Vs. 11-12)  While the Bible does not specify how much time had passed between Solomon’s prayer and God’s response, it reasonably could have been months or perhaps even years given that Solomon needed to finish the palace.  While we are not sure of the exact timeframe here, it is important to note that regardless of how much time had elapsed, Solomon had to wait for God’s answer.  Fortunately for Solomon, the wait was well worth it because God told him, “I have heard your prayer”. (Vs. 12)

There are two specific parts of Gods response to Solomon that I would like to focus on today.  First, God said, “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (Vs. 14)  While originally God was speaking about the Israelites, it is clear that He is talking about His people, who are called by His name.  As Christians, we are His people, who are called by His Son’s name.  In Gods own words here, He is promising that if we humble ourselves and seek His face and turn from our wicked ways, He will always hear our prayer.  We do not have to wonder if He hears us, because the answer is always yes!  Secondly, God said, “Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place. I have chosen and consecrated this temple so that my Name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there.” (Vs. 14-15)  Originally, God was talking about the physical temple that Solomon built.  Today, however, because of the sacrifice made by Jesus Christ, each one of us can approach God through His Son and the “temple” of God is each one of us.  In 1 Corinthians 3:16, we read, “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?” Moreover, in 1 Corinthians 6:19 we read, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own”.  Because our bodies are God’s temples, we can rest knowing that His eyes and heart will always be with us.

In today’s key passage, God reveals to us two important truths that we must always hold in our hearts.  God will always hear our prayers, and God’s eyes and heart will always be with us.  With promises like that from the Creator of the universe Himself, what can possibly stand against us?  What can we possibly have to worry about in this life?  What can we possibly fear?  Think about these truths today.  Think about what they mean to your life.  Think about how these truths put everything else into the proper perspective.  Finally, praise God for these truths.  Praise Him for His promises, and praise Him for his saving grace.

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.

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

The Proper Order


Daily Bible Reading – 1 Kings 8; 2 Chronicles 5; Psalm 99; Romans 3

Today’s Key Passage – 2 Chronicles 5:4-14

 

There are many times in life when things must be done in the proper order.  For example, you cannot eat a scrambled egg without first cracking the egg, you cannot read a book before it is written, and you cannot move into a house before it is built.  Trying to do any one of these things out of order will result in failure.  There is another time when maintaining the proper order is important, and that is in our interactions with God.  Whether in a corporate setting like a church service or an individual setting like prayer, it is important that before we go to God with all of our needs we spend some time praising Him and thanking Him first.  Solomon understood the importance of maintaining this proper order when worshiping God.

For almost 500 years, (since the exodus from Egypt) the Ark of the Covenant was largely kept in a movable tent.  The ark contained the two stone tablets given to Moses with the Ten Commandments, and it was the embodiment of God’s presence on earth.  In today’s key passage, we read that after all of this time the ark was finally moved into a more permanent structure – the temple built by Solomon.  After seven years of construction, the temple was finally ready, so the priests and the Levites brought the ark inside.  It was a time of great celebration for all of Israel, and it was a time for worshiping God.  Once the ark was in its new home, Solomon would offer a prayer of dedication to God, and would ask Him for a great many things for his people.  He would ask God to fulfill many of their needs for years to come.  Before he began asking God for anything, though, Solomon knew that they should spend some time thanking God, so, “accompanied by trumpets, cymbals and other instruments, they raised their voices in praise to the LORD.” (Vs. 13)

It can be easy to fall into the habit of going to God in prayer only when we have a need.  We go to Him and ask for protection, safety, wisdom, or relief without first taking the time to really thank and praise Him.  Do not get me wrong, God wants us to go to Him with all of our needs and desires, but He wants us to come to Him with the right heart.  When we spend time with God thanking him for his perfect goodness and praising His name for all of the blessings He has given each of us, we can prepare our hearts and our minds before coming to Him with our needs.  Remember that God is not a genie in a bottle waiting only to grant us our wishes; He is the creator of the universe who loves us so completely that He gave His only Son to die for our sins.  Instead of just approaching Him with needs, spend some time thanking and praising Him.  You will be amazed at the results as you begin to grow even closer to Him.

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.

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

More than Just Reading


Daily Bible Reading – 2 Kings 22; 2 Chronicles 34; John 6

Today’s Key Passage – 2 Chronicles 34:14-33

 

I was looking at my contacts today when I came to the realization that there are many people listed in my phone that I have not spoken to in years.  Most likely, this does not make me any different from anyone else, but it does bring to mind a question: What is the point of having someone’s contact information if you never actually contact him?  Having the information is important, but putting that information into action is vital.

In today’s key passage, we find a lesson about this principle.  The Book of the Law of the Lord, which was either the book of Deuteronomy or the entire Pentateuch, had been lost during the reigns of the evil kings of Judah.  We read that the high priest Hilkiah found the long-lost Book in the temple, and it was taken to King Josiah. (Vss. 14-18)  When Josiah heard the words of the Book, he tore his clothes in repentance because he realized that his people were sinning against God. (Vs. 19)  He then immediately instituted reforms that would bring the nation back to God. (Vss. 29-33)  While it was important that the Book was read, it was even more important that Josiah put what he read into action and changed the direction of Judah.

We all know that reading the Bible is important.  In fact, the entire purpose of this ministry is to help each of you get deeper into God’s Word on a daily basis.  Reading the Bible, though, is about much more than just the reading.  Anyone can read a couple of chapters in the morning and then go about their day unchanged and unaffected, but that is not the point of Scripture.  The importance of our daily reading lies in what we choose to do with that information.  The importance lies in putting what we read into action and trying to live our lives in obedience to God’s will.  Do not just read the Bible for the sake of reading it.  Allow it to shape and mold you, as you put its invaluable lessons to work 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.

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

Understanding Grace


Daily Bible Reading – 2 Kings 21; 2 Chronicles 33; John 4

Today’s Key Passage – 2 Chronicles 33:1-17

 

A couple of weeks ago, we read what many call the faith hall of fame.  It is a list in Hebrews of some of the greatest people of faith in the Bible.  Today we read the story of Manasseh, one of the kings of Judah, who could arguably be placed on an opposite list of some of the “worst” people in the Bible.  When we look at his 55-year reign as king we see that it was marked by sin.  Manasseh worshiped other gods (Vs. 3) and desecrated the temple (Vss. 4-5).  He practiced sorcery, divination, and witchcraft. (Vs. 6)  He even sacrificed his own children in fire. (Vs. 6)  As we read about his life, it is pretty easy to believe that Manasseh might have fallen outside of God’s grace, and while it is true that his sins angered God (Vs. 6), Manasseh’s story is actually one of redemption.  When the king of Assyria took Manasseh prisoner and exiled him to Babylon, an amazing thing happened in his life.  We read, “In his distress he sought the favor of the LORD his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers. And when he prayed to him, the LORD was moved by his entreaty and listened to his plea; so he brought him back to Jerusalem and to his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the LORD is God.” (Vss. 12-13)

All of us have some things in our pasts that we are not proud of.  Some of us might even have past sins that we believe are “too terrible” to be forgiven by God.  The amazing thing about God’s grace, though, is that He can and will forgive all of our sins, no matter how bad we believe them to be.  In fact, Jesus tells us in Matthew 12:31-32 that there is only one sin that cannot be forgiven.  This sin, called blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, is one that many of us worry we have committed, but that is not possible.  The simple act of worrying that we have committed this sin is an irrefutable sign that we have not.  Since we know we have not blasphemed the Holy Spirit, we can safely say that nothing else we have ever done or can ever do falls outside of God’s grace and mercy.  Do not believe the lie that the worst things you have ever done cannot be forgiven.  All of our sins, even our worst ones, can be nailed to the cross of Christ.  All of us can be forgiven.  All of us can be redeemed.  That is the beauty of God’s amazing grace.

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.

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

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