August 31

August 31

Jesus’ Predecessor — John the Baptist’s conception & birth.

Today’s Readings:

Reading 1: Luke 1:1-25

Reading 2: Luke 1:57-80

Reading 3: Malachi 4:5-6

After a 400 year gap, we begin to see the Story come to its peak as God’s plan for salvation moves into the key chapter – the life of Jesus.

The amazing thing about this is how many prophecies are fulfilled in Jesus the Messiah. We have one today, in the final book of the Old Testament, which predicts the coming of John the Baptist in the spirit of Elijah.

We will see many more in the days ahead as we move into the New Testament – proof again that this Story is God’s Story, HisStory, One Story. And we are part of it!

Have a great day!

Mark.

An Invitation

An Invitation

We are reading through the Bible and seeing the whole span of God’s Story in human history.

It is a wonderful journey that will help each one draw closer to God in daily life.

Tomorrow we will start reading the New Testament, the record of the life, mission, and impact of Jesus Christ on our broken, hurting world. It’s a record everyone can benefit from reading, so why don’t you forward this to a few friends and invite them to read along with you and chat about their reactions?

There’s a Forward to a friend link you can use.

If you have received this from a friend and want to join us, just click the Sign Up link to receive your own email each morning.

See you tomorrow!

Mark.

August 30

August 30

Pause and Reflect: Anticipation.

We have reached the end of the Old Testament, and we mark the moment where God paused for 400 years of silence.

This is for an increase of anticipation and focus on what will break the silence.

Take some time today to imagine the silence, and to feel the increasing anticipation: we are about to step into the central event of human history. The turning point of His Story.

Have a great day!

Mark.

August 29

August 29

Malachi — The final Old Testament prophet (400+ years before Christ) & prophecies of Christ.

Today’s Readings:

Reading 1: Malachi 2:7-17

Reading 2: Malachi 3

Reading 3: Malachi 4

“I am the lord, and I do not change”

With those words, God speaks for the last time before a 400 year silence. But in stating that he does not change, God is saying that His character revealed throughout His dealings with mankind in the Old Testament (including His dealing with Israel, His chosen people) will be fully revealed in the future.

And we will see that character revealed by Jesus in our future readings. For today, see how many references and foreshadowing promises you can see in today’s chapters, pointing to the One who is to come.

Have a great day!

Mark.

August 28

August 28

Ezra — Ezra reads the law to the people & the benefits of Bible reading.

Today’s Readings:

Reading 1: Nehemiah 8

Reading 2: Nehemiah 9

Reading 3: Deuteronomy 31:9-13

When Moses gave God’s Law to the people God chose, he promised them success and blessing if they lived by it. Of course the Story we have been following shows that they did not, but now they begin to restore those blessings.

With the wall completed, the Word is read, and the people respond in faith, repentance and prayer. God’s Word is powerful, and we can expect great results from obeying it!

Have a great day!

Mark.

August 27

August 27

Nehemiah — Nehemiah experiences opposition & needs strong hands to continue.

Today’s Readings:

Reading 1: Nehemiah 5

Reading 2: Nehemiah 6

Reading 3: Zechariah 8:7-15

We saw yesterday how the opponents (whose motivation was primarily to safeguard their own position) were gradually defeated. Interestingly, many of the leaders of the Israelites also placed a higher priority on their own comfort than on the welfare of those around them. Nehemiah saw this as evidence that they did not hold godly values, neither did they respect God’s authority. Nehemiah challenges them, just as he resists the distractions of the pagan outsiders.

Sometimes we have to resist opposition from several directions in order to prevail. In those times we have to seek God’s wisdom, as Nehemiah did.

And we see the result of such perseverance as the wall is completed in just 52 days. What a demonstration of God’s vision and blessing.

Have a great day!

Mark.

August 26

August 26

Nehemiah — Rebuilding Jerusalem’s walls & walls as a symbol of emotional control.

Today’s Readings:

Reading 1: Nehemiah 3

Reading 2: Nehemiah 4

Reading 3: Proverbs 25:28

Exciting readings today as the rebuilding begins! What significance for the people of Jerusalem as their once devastated city begins to be rebuilt!

Notice how everyone is involved: no-one makes the excuse that they are not gifted for building. Extreme circumstances require extreme measures. And extreme faith – Nehemiah has to dig deep to inspire and motivate his people as opposition comes.

But the work proceeds, and gradually the opposition is being defeated.

The writer of the Proverbs has wisdom for us, too: build self-control or you will find yourself defenseless against unwanted influences!

Have a great day!

Mark.

August 25

August 25

Nehemiah — The third return of people from captivity to rebuild Jerusalem’s walls & prayer.

Today’s Readings:

Reading 1: Nehemiah 1

Reading 2: Nehemiah 2

Reading 3: Matthew 6:7-8

When there is a great need, God raises up a great leader, and when God raises up a leader He gives clear direction.

Here, Nehemiah sees answers to his prayers at every step of the way, and that evidence of God’s answers gives him courage to resist the opposition he faces, and to inspire the discouraged leaders he finds in Jerusalem.

God loves turnarounds, and this is another of those occasions! Can you see previews of the great turnaround we shall come to soon, as we move from the Old Testament to the New?

Have a great day!

Mark.

August 24

August 24

Pause and Reflect:

Hearers and Doers of the Word.

We have seen that we are to be hearers and doers of the Word. As you review your recently journaling, highlight new areas where you are obeying God, along with any areas where God is still challenging you to say “Yes”.

Turnarounds.

We have also seen an increasing number of turnarounds in the story in the past weeks. every time there is an obstacle causing a delay, God removes it in His time. What turnarounds can you thank him for in your life recently? And in what areas are you trusting Him for a turnaround which is still to come?

Have a great day!

Mark.

August 23

August 23

Ezra — The second return of people from captivity to rebuild the people’s spiritual lives.

Today’s Readings:

Reading 1: Ezra 7

Reading 2: Ezra 8:21-36

Reading 3: Ezra 9:1-11

As Ezra leads the people back to Jerusalem, with great favor from the king, there is a contrast with the people of Israel (who were not like Ezra). While he is taking risks by faith, and following God’s instructions, they are turning their backs on God and disobeying!

We have a choice – for God or against Him. Our recent readings show us the blessings of following God’s instructions, and the perils of rejecting them.

Let’s be hearers and doers of the Word today!

Have a great day!

Mark.