Halfway There

We are halfway through 2016 so we are also at the midpoint of the Bible!  Today’s reading is Psalms 90-95.  May your reading go well and your fellowship with God be sweet.

[For more reflections on this passage see the corresponding reading in my book Cover to Cover: Through the Bible in 365 days].

Heart or Mind?

In our faith and practice, should we emphasize heart or mind?  There’s an ongoing tug-of-war between believers who are more intellectual and those who are more emotional.   Today’s reading (Psalms 86-89) shows that both the mind and the heart are important.  The psalmist (Psalm 86:11) didn’t prioritize heart over mind or intellect over emotions.  Both are part of our human nature and both are to be submitted to the worship of God.

When a scribe asked Him to identify the most important commandment of all, “Jesus answered, ‘The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.  And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’  The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:29-31 English Standard Version).

Don’t be distracted by the false dichotomy of mind and emotions. Let truth impact your thinking and love guide your actions as you walk in God’s ways.

[For more reflections on this passage see the corresponding reading in my book Cover to Cover: Through the Bible in 365 days].

What Matters?

In today’s reading (Psalms 80-85), we again find the psalmist comparing his relationship to the Lord with every other person, thing, or activity.  Sometimes we are offered many distractions and attractions.  If you know the joy of being in God’s presence, you know what it means to say “…a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere” (Psalm 84:10a).

May your time with Him be rich, filled with soul-satisfying fellowship with our Creator.

[For more reflections on this passage see the corresponding reading in my book Cover to Cover: Through the Bible in 365 days].

National Hero

What if your nation’s hero were God?  In today’s reading (Psalms 78-79), we get a lengthy review of what God did for Israel in spite of her failures and rebellions.  There were good times and bad but God remained faithful to His covenant and to His character.

Modern pluralistic democracies don’t have official religions, but that does not stop disciples of Jesus Christ from worshiping God and holding Him as our personal hero.  Be sure He is enshrined in your heart, even though He doesn’t get recognized in your nation’s history.  We are citizens of another kingdom.

“But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself”  Philippians 4:20-21.

[For more reflections on this passage see the corresponding reading in my book Cover to Cover: Through the Bible in 365 days].

Summertime Reading

It’s summer, a great time for reading.  I hope you are staying in the Bible, whatever else you read.

Here’s our schedule for the weekend.

Saturday, June 25 – Psalms 69-72 Purpose in Old Age; A Purpose for Old Age

Sunday, June 26  – Psalms 73-77 How the Powerful Rise and Fall

See you on Monday!

For more on these passages see Cover to Cover: Through the Bible in 365 Days available on Amazon in either Kindle ($4.99) or print format ($12.99).

One Day at a Time

Today’s reading: Psalms 65-68

In affluent western society, we are spoiled by the ability to always have a well-stocked pantry and plenty of supplies.  In my house, we rarely need to make an emergency trip to the store because we are able to plan ahead and never run out of the basic staples for food and life.  But the psalmist reminds us that the Lord “daily bears us up” (Psalm 68:19).   Jesus told His disciples to pray, “give us this day, our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11).

We may not live from hand to mouth, physically, but, spiritually, we have a daily need for God’s grace and strength.  We never have a month long supply so that we can ignore our need for the Lord, for His Word, for prayer, and for the power of His Spirit to see us through.  Trust Him one day at a time.

[For more reflections on this passage see the corresponding reading in my book Cover to Cover: Through the Bible in 365 days].

Spiritual Drought: Getting through It

Do you go through times of spiritual drought?  David did.  But he did not accept it as inevitable nor permanent.  In today’s reading (Psalms 58-64) we can get help seeing how to handle those dry times.

In Psalm 63:1-3, look for David’s analysis of his condition, his response to it, and the outcome that he experienced.  Does this not suggest a path out of the doldrums of spiritual lethargy?  Try it and see.

[For more reflections on this passage see the corresponding reading in my book Cover to Cover: Through the Bible in 365 days].

Confess Sin to God

How serious is sin?  Today’s reading (Psalms 51-57) helps us answer that question. We live in a time when even the concept of sin is politically incorrect, a relic of a bygone era.  Not everyone agrees.  A couple years ago, Huffington Post blogger William Bradshaw asked “What happened to sin?”  Bradshaw argued that society has gone off course as a result of ignoring God’s law.

David committed adultery, fraud, and murder.  He was caught and confronted.  To his credit, he confessed and repented.  His thorough heartfelt prayer is recorded for us in Psalm 51.  He gives us an example of the pain which sin causes and the remedy for it.

Sin is not just serious; it is lethal. But God calls us to confess our sin, to repent and to believe the good news of forgiveness and eternal life through Christ.

[For more reflections on this passage see the corresponding reading in my book Cover to Cover: Through the Bible in 365 days].

The View from a Hearse

Have you ever seen the view from a hearse?  Have you thought of how you might view life after you have departed from this one?  One of my favorite authors, the late Joe Bayly, wrote a book reflecting on that view after burying three of his children. [1]

Today’s reading (Psalm 46-50) includes perspectives on life from the vantage point of eternity.  May we gain a more accurate view of life by looking through God’s eyes at what He sees on earth and in heaven.  It could change everything.

[For more reflections on today’s passages see the corresponding reading in my book Cover to Cover: Through the Bible in 365 days].

[1] The View from a Hearse  is available here

Waiting Patiently

How long does it take to come full circle through the stages of waiting patiently?  That is, to move from despair, to prayer, to stability, to praise?  In today’s reading (Psalm 40-45), we find the psalmist going through these stages in what appears to be rapid succession.  Looking back he can report the progress as if it were almost instantaneous.  It probably wasn’t and won’t be for us either.  “I waited patiently for the Lord” he says (Psalm 40:1).

Are you waiting?  Are you patient?  Take hope in God’s faithfulness to bring you full circle in His time.  May you find peace in waiting patiently today.

[For more reflections on this passage see the corresponding reading in my book Cover to Cover: Through the Bible in 365 days].