Blog Archives

Led Astray From Jesus


Daily Bible Reading – Psalm 124; 2 Corinthians 11-13

Today’s Key Passage – 2 Corinthians 11:1-15

 

As we discussed yesterday, the people in Corinth were being led astray from Jesus Christ.  False teachers had come in preaching a false gospel and shook the faith of the Corinthians.  Paul was worried for them.  He loved the Corinthians and did not want to see them fall away from their faith by following the wrong leaders.  He compares what is going on with the false apostles to what happened when Satan deceived Eve in the Garden of Eden, and he worried that the Corinthians would be led astray from their sincere and pure devotion to Christ.

When people first accept Christ, they experience this sincere and pure devotion to Jesus Christ that Paul describes.  When the Holy Spirit moves a person to begin a personal relationship with Jesus, he or she decides to put Jesus first in everything.  After the “bloom is off the rose” though, sometimes things change.  Sometimes, when hard times hit, people can be led astray.  Sometimes other things come up in life that take over the position of importance that was once reserved for Christ.  When a new believer turns to Christ, the enemy will do whatever he can to try to lead them back away from Him.

Jesus wants to be first in our lives.  He wants to come before everything else in our hearts.  When we put other things before Jesus, we are not truly honoring what He did for us the way we should.  It is an easy temptation in this world to get caught up in other things.  People can easily put money, work, school, relationships, addictions, and sin before Jesus.  Before long, people can begin spending less and less time with Him.  Prayers turn into an afterthought – something we do quickly right before we go to sleep.  Reading the Bible slows down and eventually stops altogether.  The person who was once “on fire” for the Lord is suddenly only lukewarm and then eventually ice-cold.  It is a real danger, and it happens a lot.

Daily devotion to Jesus Christ can keep us from being led astray.  Everyday, we should spend time thinking about what Jesus did for us.  Remember the joy you felt when you first encountered the living God?  Think of that joy daily.  Think about the changes He has made in your life.  Praise Him daily for His greatness.  Make reading the Bible and prayer a priority, scheduling a time and place daily to spend with the Lord.  Ask God for His help in putting Him first above everything else in your life.  When you sin, immediately confess it to God and ask for His forgiveness.  Trust in the Lord in all that you do, and never forget His enormous sacrifice for you.  Remember that the Holy Spirit is living inside of you and enables you to obey, and then rest in your new identity 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.

Advertisements

Bad Company Corrupts Good Character


Daily Bible Reading – Psalm 149; 1 Corinthians 15, 16

Today’s Key Passage – 1 Corinthians 15:1-34

 

We are all surrounded by unbelief.  We all have people in our lives that are unbelievers.  We might also have people in our lives who claim to be followers of Christ but then unapologetically act contrary to the Gospel.  Television shows and movies are abound with non-Christian values and morals.  Books, newspapers, magazines, and blog posts attack Christianity and teach false Gospels.  For followers of Christ, there is no getting around it – we are all going to be faced with “bad company” from time to time.

Jesus and the disciples were also faced with bad company.  They spent much of their time surrounded by unbelievers, because Jesus knew that the sinners were the ones who needed to be saved.  We too must be in contact with unbelievers if we plan to fulfill the Great Commission and preach the Gospel to those who do not know it.  None of us can live in a protective bubble of only coming in contact with other believers if we intend to reach people for Christ.  This is why Paul’s words in today’s key passage are so important to us.

Even though we are surrounded by unbelief, we must not be misled.  We all have to guard our hearts from allowing bad company to corrupt good character.  When someone we know attacks our beliefs, we must stand firm.  We cannot waiver in our faith even for a second if we want to be effective witnesses for Christ.  We must let the Holy Spirit overflow from us, as He gives us the power to be surrounded by bad company without being corrupted.  In 1 Corinthians 16:13-14, Paul gives the church in Corinth instructions while they wait for him to return to them.  He says, “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love.”  These were good instructions to the Corinthians waiting for Paul’s return and they are good instructions for all of us today as we await the return of Jesus 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.

The Unlikely Messenger


Daily Bible Reading – Job 3, 4; Acts 8, 9

Today’s Key Passage – Acts 9:1-22

 

In today’s key passage, we find the conversion of a man named Saul.  Saul, later called Paul, was a notorious persecutor of Christians who witnessed and approved the stoning of Stephen for preaching the Gospel (7:54-60).  One day, as Saul was walking to Damascus in search of Christians to imprison, the Risen Christ met him on the road.  This meeting with Jesus, as well as the events that followed with a disciple named Ananias, led to Saul’s miraculous conversion to Christianity.  He was immediately baptized and began preaching the Gospel to others, spreading the good news about Jesus.

Paul’s encounter with the living Christ led to a dramatic transformation in his life.  He went from hunting Christians to leading them, and would go on to shape the history of Christianity more than perhaps any other apostle.  While Paul undoubtedly had lived a sinful and evil life before he came to Christ, his transformation made him an amazing witness to others of what Jesus can do in a person’s life.  Jesus did not let Paul’s past get in the way of the mission He had in mind for Paul, and even though Paul was certainly not looking for a personal relationship with the living God, Jesus still searched him out and found him in His own time.

The story of Paul gives all of us hope.  It proves that no one is too far away from God.  It shows us that no matter what we have done in the past, and no matter where we might be in the present, God is searching for us and has a plan for our future.  Due to his past, Paul was an unlikely messenger of the Gospel who was transformed into one of the greatest messengers of all.  God continues to encounter people every day and transform their lives to advance His kingdom.  Do you know someone who might be far away from God due to his or her past or present?  Share with them the story of Paul today, and let them know that there is hope for the future in Jesus 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.

The Guilt of Sin


Daily Bible Reading – Ezra 9, 10; Psalm 131; Luke 21

Today’s Key Passage – Ezra 9:1-9

 

Ezra knew the seriousness of sin, and he knew that no one sins without affecting others.  Ezra was so overcome with guilt and sorrow over the sins of his people that he “tore [his] tunic and cloak, [and] pulled hair from [his] head and beard” (9:5).  Ezra also knew that despite his sins and the sins of his people, God’s love and mercy had spared the nation when they did nothing to deserve it.

For many people, religion and guilt go hand in hand.  Sometimes we can all feel like religion or church puts an unwanted spotlight on our sin, and it causes us to feel guilty for what we have done, but this is not what God wants.  God loves each of us so much that he made the ultimate sacrifice – he gave his one and only Son to take away all of our sin and our guilt.  We can live guilt-free knowing that through Jesus Christ we are saved – not by what we have done or not done in our past, but by what He did for us.  God saved us by His grace and mercy alone.  It is a free gift and all we have to do is receive it.  When we do sin, the freedom of Christ allows us to go to God, confess this sin to Him, and ask for his help in repentance.

Instead of trying to run away from God out of guilt or shame, we can run TO God for help in restoring our relationship with Him.  God will always accept us and love us just as we are.  While it is true that He abhors sin, He truly loves us unconditionally just as we love our own children. When you sin and are truly sorry, confess this to God, ask for His forgiveness, and then accept his grace and mercy.  Accept that your sin has been washed away and that God has forgotten it.  Then, turn from that sin and run toward God by making the necessary corrections and walking in step with Him.  Never let the guilt of sin weigh you down.  Instead, focus on the wonderful grace and mercy of God.

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.

Lost and Found


Daily Bible Reading – Zechariah 13-14; Psalm 147; Luke 15

Today’s Key Passage – Luke 15:1-32

 

In today’s key passage, we find three of Jesus’ most well known parables.  The parables of the lost sheep (15:1-7), lost coin (15:8-10), and lost son (15:11-32) all speak of God’s unwavering forgiveness, but each is unique in the way in which each item is lost and how it comes to be found.  In the parable of the lost sheep, the sheep foolishly wanders away from his shepherd.  In the parable of the lost coin, the woman’s coin is lost through no fault of its own.  In the parable of the lost son, the son blatantly defies his father’s will.  In the first two parables, the shepherd and the woman frantically search for their lost items, but in the third the father patiently waits for his son to return.  In all three cases, when what was lost is found there is a great celebration, just as there is a celebration in Heaven every time a lost soul comes back to the Father.

Every person in this world starts out as lost.  Some are lost through no fault of their own, perhaps growing up not knowing about Jesus.  Others are lost because they foolishly wandered away from God.  Still others are lost because they have blatantly defied God’s will and have rejected Him.  In any case, God spends a lifetime searching for these lost souls.  Sometimes, He finds them relatively easily, and other times He has to wait patiently for them to return to Him.  Has Heaven celebrated your return yet?  If so, rejoice in knowing that you are saved and help others find their way back to God.  If not, it is time to start heading home.  No matter what sins we have committed or how far we are from Him, we can always return to our Father’s house.  When we do, we will not be turned away, rejected, or ridiculed for our mistakes.  Instead, we will be welcomed by the loving arms of Jesus, and the celebration will finally begin.

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.

Counting the Cost


Daily Bible Reading – Zechariah 10-12; Psalm 126; Luke 14

Today’s Key Passage – Luke 14:25-35

 

In late 2011, the lease on my vehicle was set to expire, and my wife and I were left with a decision.  We could choose to keep my vehicle and pay off the remaining balance, or purchase a new vehicle.  In anticipation of this decision, I poured through magazines and websites counting the true cost of each option.  I researched things like fuel mileage, insurance premiums, and predicted reliability to ensure I was well informed on exactly what each option would end up costing us down the road.  My goal in all of this research was to be able to make an educated decision based on all of the expected costs, because anything less would have been irresponsible.

Likewise, Jesus wanted His disciples to count the true cost of following Him.  Being a disciple, both then and now, involves more than just knowing about Jesus or trying to apply some of His principles to our lives.  He is not looking for a halfhearted commitment or a passing acknowledgment of faith.  Instead, Christ is asking each of us to be willing to give up everything to follow Him.  To be His disciple, we are called to love Him more than our families, friends, possessions, and even our own lives. (14:26-33)  The cost of following Jesus can be high, but the reward far surpasses that cost, because when we truly decide to give everything to Jesus and trust Him as our Savior, we are rewarded with eternal life.  I once heard it said that following Christ costs more than anything in this world except NOT following Him, and that is a price I pray more people are willing to pay.

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.

Returning to God


Daily Bible Reading – Zechariah 1-3; Luke 11

Today’s Key Passage – Zechariah 1:1-6

 

The prophet Zechariah was another of the minor prophets who spoke to the Jews in Jerusalem who had returned from captivity in Babylon.  Like his contemporary Haggai, Zechariah preached a message to the people asking them to resume their work on the temple.  In today’s key passage, Zechariah received a word from God that he shared with his people.  As I read it today, I was struck by how appropriate God’s message was: not only for the returning exiles, but also for all of us today.  It is not a complex message, but it is one that is both meaningful and powerful.  Speaking through Zechariah, God told the people, “Return to me…and I will return to you.” (1:3)

There are many times when each of us may feel as though God is far away.  We may feel this way when we are dealing with persecution or grief.  We may wonder where God is when we are facing difficult financial times or when struggling with a major life change.  There is a funny truth, though, about this feeling that God is far from us.  See, God has not actually gone anywhere.  He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.  When we feel like He is far from us, it is not because He has moved but because we have.  God is faithful and true, and He will never turn away from us.  Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of us.  Throughout history, man has continually turned away from God in one way or another, and each time we do, the distance between us and God grows.  If you are feeling like God is far away from you, remember His words to the people of Judah.  “Return to me…and I will return to you.”  If we want to feel closer to God, all we have to do is turn toward Him and move in His direction.

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.

A Time to Act


Daily Bible Reading – Haggai 1, 2; Psalm 129; Luke 10

Today’s Key Passage – Haggai 1:1-2:5

 

Yesterday we saw how the opposition facing the Jews caused them to temporarily stop rebuilding the temple.   In today’s reading, over 15 years had elapsed and the people of Jerusalem had still not gone back to the construction project.  Instead of building the temple, the Jews spent their time building their own houses, and they rationalized their lack of service by saying that it was not yet time to work on the temple. (1:3)  Fortunately, the prophet Haggai received a word from the Lord that would spark the Jews into action.  He told them that it was time to get back to work, and after 15 years of delays the people of Jerusalem went back to work only 23 days after hearing Haggai’s message.

Many times, we all know what God wants us to do, but we fail to act.  We might receive direction from him in our prayer time, while reading His Word, or when listening to a powerful message at church, but then we quickly forget about it or delay actually getting started.  While it is important that we wait for God’s timing and prayerfully move forward only when He tells us to, it is equally important that when we know His direction we act swiftly and decisively.  Do not allow yourself to rationalize delays when God tells you it is time to act.  Instead, listen to His words in Haggai 2:4 – “Be strong…and work.  For I am with you.”

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.

Questions about Jesus


Daily Bible Reading – Ezra 1; Psalms 84-85; Luke 7

Today’s Key Passage – Luke 7:18-35

 

John the Baptist knew what his role was in this life.  He knew that he was to prepare the way for God’s chosen one – the Messiah.  He had heard all of the stories about Jesus, and he knew that Jesus must have been sent by God.  The only problem was that he was not sure if Jesus was just another prophet or the Anointed One of God, so he sent two of his disciples to Jesus to ask him. (7:18-20)  Jesus response to John’s disciples tells us a lot about Him.  He could have been upset about being questioned.  He could have been angry that John felt the need to ask questions about Him instead of simply believing blindly.  This, of course, was not Jesus’ response.  Jesus told John’s disciples to report back to John all the things He had done. (7:22)  Jesus healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, and raised the dead, among other miraculous deeds.  He wanted John the Baptist to decide for himself if Jesus was the Messiah based on the evidence at hand.  Then, as further evidence that Jesus was not upset about being questioned, He spoke to the crowd about John the Baptist’s greatness among men. (7:28)

Most of us, whether we are followers of Christ or not, have had questions about Jesus.  They might be questions we have already answered, or they might be lingering thoughts that appear from time to time.  Is Jesus really the Messiah?  Does He really know me?  Did He really die for my sins?  Does He really see me as perfect and beautiful?  Does He really love me?  If you have ever felt guilty for asking yourself these questions about Jesus, today’s key passage will be a real blessing for you.  See, Jesus does not get angry about being questioned.  Having questions about Him does not mean there is something wrong with your faith or that you are not a “good Christian”.  Just like John, Jesus invites us to examine the evidence about Him and decide for ourselves that He is who He says He is.  The more we learn about Him through reading God’s Word and spending time with Him in prayer, the fewer questions we will have about Him.  Then, as we answer our questions about Him, we will grow to trust Him and love Him with all our hearts, souls, minds, and strength.

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.

Living in Nazareth or Capernaum


Daily Bible Reading – Daniel 7, 8; Psalm 137; Luke 4

Today’s Key Passage – Luke 4:14-37

 

In today’s key passage, we find Jesus preaching in two different places to two very different results.  First, we see Jesus preaching in his hometown of Nazareth. (4:16-27)  On the Sabbath day, He went to the synagogue and preached to the crowd, but they were resistant to His message.  They were so resistant, in fact, that they tried to kill Him. (4:28-30)  The problem was that the people in Nazareth were so familiar with Jesus that they failed to listen to His teachings.  They knew all about Jesus because they had seen Him living in their town for years.  They had seen Him grow up from a boy, and they were unable to overcome their preconceived notions about who Jesus really was, so they rejected Him.

Following His unsuccessful trip to Nazareth, Jesus went to preach in Capernaum. (4:31-37)  Just as He did in Nazareth, Jesus preached to the people on the Sabbath, but this time the result was much different.  Instead of resisting His message, they accepted it with joy.  They listened to Jesus’ teaching and they were amazed at His authority, and because of their response to Jesus, many people were healed and many people followed Him.

Spiritually speaking, all of us are either living in Nazareth or Capernaum.  Personally, I spent the first 34 years of my life living in Nazareth.  I knew all about Jesus.  I grew up in a family that went to church every weekend and who talked about Jesus all the time.  The problem was that I was so familiar with Jesus, I took Him for granted and I ignored Him.  I knew about Him, but I did not really know Him personally.  I let my preconceived notions about who He was keep me from really finding Him, and even though I knew about Him, I chose to live my life as if I did not.  Fortunately, all of that changed for me in March of 2010 when I “moved” to Capernaum.  I finally listened to His teaching.  I finally responded to His call.  I finally met the real Jesus, and my life will never be the same.

Where are you living today?  Are you living in Nazareth, so familiar with Jesus that you are ignoring Him and taking Him for granted; or are you living in Capernaum, receiving His message with joy and spreading the news about Him?  I pray that you will all move with me to Capernaum, and I pray that you will know the real Jesus.

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.

%d bloggers like this: