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.

Answering Prayers


Daily Bible Reading – Nehemiah 11, 12; Psalm 1; Acts 3

Today’s Key Passage – Acts 3:1-10

 

The crippled beggar positioned himself in the same place every day – right at the entrance to the temple.  He did this because he felt it was the best place for him to be to get what he thought he really needed.  In the beggar’s mind, he believed money would be the answer to his prayers, so he sat in the same place daily hoping for someone to come along and give him something.  When Peter saw him, he had a different idea.  Peter told the man “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you” (3:6) and then he promptly healed the man by the power of Jesus Christ.  Peter was unable to answer the prayer the beggar was asking for, but that he had something much better to give him.  The power of the Holy Spirit healed the man and allowed him to walk.  Undoubtedly, this was a much better gift than a couple of coins.

I think God answers many of our prayers in the same way.  Often we are like the crippled beggar, begging God to give us what we think we really need.  When we fail to receive what we were begging for, it is easy to think that our prayer went unanswered.  In reality, though, that is not the case.  Perhaps God, in his infinite wisdom, knows that what we were begging for is not really what we needed.  God is amazingly faithful.  He hears and answers all of our prayers in one way or another.  The love that He has for each of us is unending.  He wants the very best for us in everything we do on a daily basis.  His plan for all of us is perfect and He always knows what He is doing.  When we surrender everything to Him and let Him take over everything in our lives, we allow God to do more than just answer our prayers.  When we trust in Him completely, sometimes instead of giving us what we have asked for, He can give us something much better.

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 Dangerous Journey


Daily Bible Reading – Ezra 7, 8; Luke 20

Today’s Key Passage – Ezra 8:21-23

 

Ezra’s journey to Jerusalem would take him and his people about 900 miles on foot through dangerous territory, and would eventually take four months to complete.  Before heading out on this journey, Ezra took the time to fast and pray that God would protect them. (8:23)  Even before making all of the physical preparations for this trip, Ezra understood the importance of making spiritual preparations.  Ezra knew that he and his people could not make this journey alone – they needed God to help them along the way.

Like Ezra, we cannot make our journeys in life alone either.  Most of our journeys in life are not as hard and dangerous as a 900-mile walk through the desert, and maybe that is why we sometimes neglect to spend the proper amount of time making our spiritual preparations before we begin.  When we take the time to seek out God’s help, however, we can prepare ourselves for whatever might lie ahead.  Every time we put Him first in what we do, we get closer to Him.  God is at work in everything that we do on a daily basis, and if we take the time to ask Him for guidance and protection, we become better prepared to handle all of the ups and downs along the way.

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.

Out of the Lions’ Den


Daily Bible Reading – Daniel 5, 6; Psalm 130; Luke 3

Today’s Key Passage – Daniel 6

 

In today’s key passage, the prophet Daniel was working as one of the key administrators for King Darius.  He was good at his job; so good, in fact, that the other satraps and administrators were jealous of him and wanted him stopped from rising further among their ranks. (6:3)  They tried to find a flaw in his character, but only found that he was moral and upright. (6:4)  They turned to the only way they could find to attack Daniel – they attacked his faith in God.  Daniel’s enemies devised a scheme and convinced Darius to create a new law making it illegal to pray. (6:6-9)  When Daniel continued to pray despite this law, the other administrators informed Darius and Daniel was thrown into a lions’ den overnight. (6:11-16)  The next day when Darius found that Daniel was unharmed by the lions because of the protection provided by God, he executed Daniel’s accusers (6:24) and glorified God throughout the land. (6:26-27)

There are many lessons to be learned from the story of Daniel in the lions’ den.  We learn about the importance of prayer and that nothing should keep us from faithfully spending time with God.  We learn that sometimes others may attack our faith.  We learn that sometimes God will use our bad circumstances as a resounding testimony for His goodness and faithfulness, and that our hard times can bring glory to Him.  Most importantly, at least in my opinion, we learn once again that nothing is impossible for God.  No situation is too difficult for Him to solve.  There is nothing that God cannot save us from in this world.  The same powerful God that protected Daniel overnight in the lions’ den is available to save each of us from whatever “lions’ dens” we might happen to be in today.  I pray that you will study this story today, and that you will be blessed by the truth of God’s Word.

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.

Seeking God’s Will


Daily Bible Reading – Jeremiah 42-44; Psalm 48; Revelation 13

Today’s Key Passage – Jeremiah 42:1-43:7

 

The Babylonians had conquered the kingdom of Judah and Jerusalem was destroyed.  Many of the inhabitants had been taken into exile, and very few remained in the land.  Those that remained came to Jeremiah and wanted him to ask God what He wanted them to do next. (Vss. 1-2)  They wanted to seek God’s will, and they promised to obey God and do whatever He told them to do. (Vs. 6)  Jeremiah prayed to God and sought His will as requested, and ten days later, he had God’s answer. (Vs. 7)  Jeremiah told the people that God wanted them to stay where they were. (Vs. 10)  God did not want the people to go to Egypt to try to escape the Babylonians, and promised to protect them only if they chose not to go. (Vss. 11-17)  Of course, God already knew that the people would not listen to Him.  He knew that they were a rebellious people who had already planned to go to Egypt and merely wanted God to go along with their plan. (Vss. 18-22)  As expected, the people disobeyed God and forgot their promise to do whatever He told them to do, and they went to Egypt despite God’s warnings. (Vss. 43:4-7)

As followers of Christ, we all want to know what God’s will is for our lives.  We pray to Him seeking His will, and we promise to obey Him and do whatever He tells us to do next.  However, seeking God’s will is not enough…we have to be willing to follow through.  How often does God tell us His will, but it seems too big for us?  How often do we convince ourselves that we must not have heard from God because His instructions seemed too difficult?  How often do we hear God’s words but rationalize that it must have been someone else’s voice because if we obeyed we might be uncomfortable?  My prayer for each of us today is that we gain the wisdom to discern God’s voice, and the courage to act on His will.  I pray that His will be done on earth, as it is in Heaven.

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 Urgent Prayer


Daily Bible Reading – Ezekiel 15, 16; Psalm 70; Revelation 6

Today’s Key Passage – Psalm 70

 

If you are anything like me, you probably have a few different types of prayers in your arsenal.  While the words of the prayers differ depending on the day, you probably have certain times of the day in which you talk with God.  For example, I usually spend time with Him in prayer when I first wake up, before going to bed, before each meal, before reading His Word, and before writing one of these messages.  For me, these are the times in which I always pray, and it would feel strange for me to ever miss one of these.  Aside from these prayers, though, there is another type of prayer that is probably familiar to everyone.  We pray these prayers when we get bad news.  We pray these prayers when we start to feel panic.  These are the urgent prayers.

In today’s key passage, we see one of these urgent prayers.  While it is not a long prayer, it is one that cuts to the heart of the matter and expresses David’s need for God’s quick intervention. (Vs. 1)  David asks God to be saved from his enemies (Vs. 2) and from those who might mock him (Vs. 3), referring to God as his help and deliverer. (Vs. 5)  Most of us can probably relate to David’s prayer.  Most of us have probably had those times when we needed God’s immediate help.  Most of us have probably felt that level of panic and fear that David was likely feeling, and have reached out to God to feel His peace.  What is so amazing about David’s prayer is that even in the midst of his distress, he does not forget to give God praise.  Even in the course of begging God for help to save him in a desperate situation, David stops to take the time to worship God for His goodness and His salvation. (Vs. 4)  In our moments of panic, let us all learn from David’s example.  Let us not go to God with our immediate needs, and forget to honor Him with our worship and praise.  Even in the direst of circumstances, we can still find a reason to praise 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.

Jesus’ Prayer for Us


Daily Bible Reading – Jeremiah 18-20; Psalm 93; John 17

Today’s Key Passage – John 17:5-26

 

When was the last time someone prayed for you?  Was it a prayer spoken in the privacy of someone else’s heart that you found out about after the fact, or was it another believer praying over you in person?  If you have ever experienced this, you know it can be a very moving moment in our faith.  We know that, “the prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” (James 5:16)  We also know that, “if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of Him.” (1 John 5:14-15)  These two Biblical truths are what make prayer from another person so powerful, and they are also what make today’s key passage so important.

In the seventeenth chapter of John, Jesus prays an extended prayer for all of His disciples.  He prays not only for the disciples who were listening to Him at the time, He also prays for all of us who are following Him today.  In His prayer, He asks God for many things on our behalf.  He prays that we will all be unified as one body of Christ (Vs. 11), protected from the evil one (Vs. 15), and sanctified by the truth of God’s Word. (Vs. 17)  Perhaps my favorite part of Jesus’ prayer is when He asks God to allow each of us to live with Him so we can see His glory. (Vs. 24)

So why did Jesus pray this prayer for us and why is it recorded in the Bible?  Jesus had an intimate relationship with the Father, and did not need to pray this prayer aloud for His own benefit or to make sure God heard Him.  He did it for one reason and one reason only – so that we all might have the full measure of Jesus’ joy in our lives. (Vs. 13)  Experience the joy that comes from knowing that Jesus Christ prayed this prayer for YOU, and that He continues to intercede on YOUR behalf today before God.  Since no man has ever been more righteous than Jesus, no prayer has ever been more powerful or more effective.

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 End is Near


Daily Bible Reading – Isaiah 43-45; 1 Peter 4

Today’s Key Passage – 1 Peter 4:7-11

 

I played baseball for most of my childhood.  I started playing when I was five or six years old and played through high school.  During my senior year, one day about halfway through the season the realization hit me that the end was near because I knew that I did not have the skills necessary to play in college.  As mostly a relief pitcher, I never really knew when I was going to play, so I came to understand that any game could be my last.  With this in mind, I found myself working just a little bit harder in practice.  When I was called on to pitch in games, I found myself throwing just a little bit harder, and I found myself trying to relish every single minute I spent on the field.  I still remember the last game I ever played in high school.  After twelve or thirteen years of living a breathing baseball, I stood on that field one last time after the game was over.  As I stood there looking around the field, I thought about all of the fields I played on over the years.  I thought about all of the wins and all of the losses, all of the good times and the bad.  I experienced many emotions that day, but the one emotion I did not have was regret, because I knew I played all those years to the full extent of my ability.

In today’s key passage, Peter gives us a gentle reminder that the end of our days is near.  As followers of Christ, we know that we will leave this world either when Jesus comes for the rapture or when He decides our time is complete.  In either case, we do not know when our last day on earth will be.  It could be today, tomorrow, or 50 years from now.  Of course, we all realize that any day can be our last, but often we choose not to live with that in mind.  We always think we will have more time to love others or to try to save that unbelieving friend.  We think we will have more time to spend in prayer or in reading God’s Word.  We think we will have more time to live as Christ has asked and to fulfill His vision for our lives.  The bottom line, though, is that we simply do not know.  We cannot afford to procrastinate.  We cannot afford to put off until tomorrow what we could do today.  We have to live every day as if it might be our last.  When we do, we will find ourselves serving God just a little bit harder.  We will find ourselves praying just a little bit harder.  We will find ourselves trying to reach others for Christ just a little bit harder.  Then when we get to our last day, whenever that might be, we can look back on our lives without regret.  You never know when your last day will be.  Live like it is 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.

Praying for the Right Reasons


Daily Bible Reading – Isaiah 36-37; Psalm 76; 1 Peter 1

Today’s Key Passage – Isaiah 37:14-20

 

Even before I was saved, I used to spend time praying before going to sleep at night, though I vary rarely prayed for the right reasons.  For example, I would often pray that God would allow me to win the lottery.  Moreover, I did not want to win the lottery so I could do anything good like helping the homeless or building a church.  I wanted to win the lottery so I could buy a big house and a Ferrari.  Of course, looking back on it now my prayers were nothing short of sinful, yet at the time I was always at least a little surprised and disappointed when my lottery numbers failed to win.  See, I used to look at prayer the same way a small child looks at blowing out the candles on a birthday cake.  I would simply make a wish and hope for the best.  I never gave any thought to praying for the right reasons or praying according to God’s will, mostly because at that point in my life I had never actually read the Bible.

Hezekiah was a man who knew how to pray for the right reasons.  As we saw in yesterday’s reading, the Assyrian king had Jerusalem besieged, and was threatening to attack.  In the face of a seemingly hopeless situation, Hezekiah went to God in prayer.  Fortunately for us, the text of his prayer is preserved in our key passage today (as well as in 2 Kings 19).  Hezekiah began his prayer by praising and exalting God. (Vss. 15-16)  He then asked God to deliver his people from the hands of the Assyrians, but perhaps not for the reason you might think.  Hezekiah did not ask to be delivered to save himself from death or exile.  He did not even ask to be delivered simply to save his people.  Hezekiah asked God to be delivered, “so that all kingdoms on earth may know that you alone, O LORD, are God.” (Vs. 20)

When we pray, we need to constantly seek to know God’s will and not our own.  So how do we know if our prayers are in line with God’s will?  One good way to test our prayers is by asking ourselves who would benefit if our prayers were granted.  If our prayers only benefit ourselves, we are probably not praying according to God’s will.  Even if our prayers benefit others, we still may not be praying according to His will.  The true test is whether or not the answer to our prayers will advance God’s Kingdom.  The more we learn about the Lord through his Word and the more we grow in Him, the better we will get at discerning His will.  When we know and surrender to God’s perfect will, we will find that we are able to pray for the right reasons.

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.

Praying for Others


Daily Bible Reading – 1 Kings 16; 2 Chronicles 15,16; Colossians 1

Today’s Key Passage – Colossians 1:9-14

 

As followers of Christ, we all understand the power of prayer.  Prayer is a powerful thing, and it is one way that we can connect with God on a personal level.  For most new Christians, prayer typically begins with asking God for the things that they need in their own lives.  As we mature in our faith, we will usually find that more and more often we will be praying not just for ourselves but for other people.  In fact, we will likely spend more time praying for others than for ourselves.  This change in our prayers happens because as we grow in Christ and get to know Him better, we get more and more of His heart for other people.  As our love grows for others, we will want to spend more time praying for them.  If you have never spent a lot of time praying for others, though, this can seem like a daunting task.  What should we pray for?  What should we ask?  In today’s key passage, we can find the answers to these questions.  Paul is praying for the church in Colosse.  Keep in mind that Paul had never actually met the Colossians, but that did not stop him from praying for these brothers and sisters in Christ.  His prayer can be used as a model for us as we pray for others, because he prays for the things that all believers need in their lives.  Today we will look at Paul’s requests for the Colossians:

He prays they will know God’s will – (Vs. 9)

He prays they will gain spiritual wisdom – (Vs. 9)

He prays they will live a life worthy of God and pleasing to Him – (Vs. 10)

He prays they will bear fruit for God – (Vs. 10)

He prays they will grow in their knowledge of God – (Vs. 10)

He prays they will be strengthened with God’s power – (Vs. 11)

He prays they will have great endurance and patience – (Vs. 11)

He prays they will have joy – (Vs. 11)

He prays they will give thanks to God – (Vs. 12)

As we review this list of prayer requests, we can quickly see the beauty of Paul’s prayer for these people whom he had never even met.  When you think about your own life, are these not the things you would ask for yourself?  These nine requests represent the most basic of needs for any follower of Christ, so it is appropriate that these would be the things we would ask God not only for ourselves but for others as well.  I encourage you to spend time in prayer asking God for these nine things, and I encourage you to spend time praying for others.  Pray for your friends in need.  Pray for the people you know who do not know Christ.  Pray for your pastors and church administrators.  Pray for missionaries who are spreading the Gospel in far-away places.  For people you know and people you do not, pray for these nine things, and praise God for His willingness to answer our prayers and for His never-ending faithfulness.

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: