2April2012 @ @ RandyP comments: index:BIBLEREADPLAN1 April2 Two pictures I gather from todays reading: the picture of how easy it is to run awhoring after other gods, and how fearful it often was to have been in the presence of Jesus as He performed His many miracles. As meek and humble as we try to present Him today, the testimonies recorded of that time for us are dotted with the uncomfortable reactions individual and collective of people. The revealor of their thoughts, lives and souls in the balance, miracles never seen before nor after, an immediacy and sharpness to the reality and prophetical fulfillment happening before their eyes. Face to face, His reality versus our vain imagination and approximation, not a person in attendence could be said to be wholely devoted to Him; we all have easily corrupted and/or whored to a false god of one type or another intending to or not.
3April2012 @ @ RandyP comments: index:BIBLEREADPLAN1 April3 Who do people say that I am? Who do you say that I am? The line of questioning reverberates still today. No doubt the disciples had had their ears close to the street; as did Herods advisors. What the masses think is of importance especially to a civil leader. What the individual thinks is important man of God. One man seeks to influence from the top mass down, the other from the bottom soul up. One man uses influence and propaganda. Jesus commanded his diciples at that time not to tell others that He was Christ, leaving that till the end of His work and to the conviction of the Holy Spirit. His work is now complete and our conviction is to go tell others.
10April2012 @ @ RandyP comments: index:BIBLEREADPLAN1 April10 In todays reading Israel has foolishly lost possession of the Ark to the dreaded adversary Philistine. No doubt they had deemed the effort right in their own eyes, but this was of their own construct and not of God's. We should know that we too often do what we think is right but is actually a flagrant misuse of God's power/blessings. This is contrasted with the Lord's exhortation to be watchful and prepared for His coming and to clear your name with an adversary before he brings you before the judge. How embarrassing if He had returned at this low point in Israel's preparations.
10April2012 @ @ RandyP comments: index:BIBLEREADPLAN1 April10 The story of Eli is a peculiar one. I am sure there are a great many good things in His ninety some years Eli accomplished for which he'd rather be remembered. Instead he is largely remembered for the mis-deeds done by two of his sons (and for proceeding Samuel). The two-sided coin is: 1) that he was ineffective in dealing with those two sons 2) that they were extremely dishonoring and self opportunistic to their dad's revered national position and rebellious and sinful to God's. The saga ends losing the Ark to the Philistines; one of the biggest embarrassments ever recorded in the odd history of Israel. By what else should he be known? To those whom much is given, much is expected.
14April2012 @ @ RandyP comments: index:BIBLEREADPLAN1 April14 Todays readings touch on the difficulties we often find in the scriptures when we don't pursue possible answers further and more honestly. The Spirit has meant these as points to challenge our current understanding and foster growth in the search for a more complete understanding. Critics intend for these to be bus stop points to drop gospel passengers off back into reality at. Much is to be revealed about the heart of man and his true intentions at these points. How simple minded can it be to think that the Word of the Almighty God was just going to be obvious and simple and smooth as a babies skin when man's rigid heart is not.
15April2012 @ @ RandyP comments: index:BIBLEREADPLAN1 April15 The interplay today of the passages brings up the question of what if... What if Saul had had a repentant heart? Perhaps he could have ended in a better spot, maybe loosing his reign but, saving his family this great trouble. Saul shows sign of trying to be religious but certainly not repentant. David on the other hand did just as badly at times but remained repentant. Notice too how God's anointing didn't bring David immediately to the throne. Instead God sought a lengthy process and testing using Saul as a grinding stone as opposed to the near immediate accession to the throne previously by Saul.
16April2012 @ @ RandyP comments: index:BIBLEREADPLAN1 April16 King Saul and the Prodigal Son. At some point you'd figure that Saul would realize the error of his way and come back to God. Maybe he squandered his throne but, what is that in terms of family and friendships and renewed spiritual growth in the Lord; eternity. What a joyous day that would have been. Sadly, not everyone comes back home and rarely is evil rational. Both he and his family paid dearly as a consequence. Surely there is more to Saul's story than we know or else God would have not allowed an evil spirit to continue to torment him. Often God gives men completely over to the desire of their heart. Saul may have commingled gods and religions but, we are not told directly. Once God withdraws His Spirit though what spirit is their left to take over? Especially for kings of a holy nation!
17April2012 @ @ RandyP comments: index:BIBLEREADPLAN1 April17 Saul spared by David compared to the unjust steward. David was said to be a man after God's own heart. He actively sought God's peace and forgiveness personally, He extended like peace/forgiveness to others; even aggressors like Saul. Saul is delivered into David's hands today. Saul was once God's anointed; David is now. David looks to Saul as still having an anointing despite his irrational tyrants. He seeks Saul's peace rather than an end to his life. All stewards of God's kingdom, having received the peace/forgiveness/annointing of their God, are wise to do the same.
18April2012 @ @ RandyP comments: index:BIBLEREADPLAN1 April18 There are several characters for us to watch in today's OT/NT interplay. We have Nabal, a self destructive angered rich man and Abigail the wife that must make up for and be punished by his deficits. We have Saul, a self destructive angered rich king and David who shows uncommon mercy and respect to Saul even though it means exile. We have the rich man who callously ignored the beggar Lazarus in this life. Is the common thread then riches? No the common thread is their considerations of themselves. They thought themselves rich but, did anyone else? There are people in each of our lives that mean us well just as there are people in our lives that feel as if they possess us. There is often a vast gulf between reality and our considerations.
18April2012 @ @ RandyP comments: index:BIBLEREADPLAN1 April18 There are even more characters at play here; two are most noticeable by their complete absence. Present are General Abner loyal to the death if need be and young Abishai seeking to prove his loyalty likewise; Abraham called upon to quench the tormented thirst and warn the living. So much reasoning and rational and intent and allegiance and duty from all sides. But where is Israel? Where is the rich man's brethren? Far and distant no doubt, doing whatever served themselves best. Why aren't either present, watching, reasoning, deducting, observing the signs? Where is the intellect, the connectedness, the engagement, the desire for God and the goodness of all mankind? Far and distant no doubt. So will they soon see? Will they become alert? Become persuaded? Will they do what is right? Perhaps not. Will you?
19April2012 @ @ RandyP comments: index:BIBLEREADPLAN1 April19 Such a sorted mess we find all men in in today's passages. Men chasing, men running, men making poor alliances, men being flushed out, men preparing for war, men abusing children, men not able to forgive, men taking advantage of the forgiving, men finding it even harder forgive counting the times, men being instructed that to have more faith that they have to think much less of themselves, men receiving deliverance from leprosy without displaying gratitude. Did I miss anything? And yet the Father loves these men having subjected them to this vanity in hope (kjv@Romans:8:20). And yet Jesus loved the Father and these men enough to willingly die for their sins. And yet for many of us this all works out perfectly in the end. God be praised!
21April2012 @ @ RandyP comments: index:BIBLEREADPLAN1 April21 A bloody civil war and the faith of a little child. It is too natural for us as bible reading audiences to read the scriptures with a sanitized expectation. We often think of walking with God as being calm and peaceful and prosperous without any of the unpleasantness described in any of these passages. In our own lives we rarely consider that it sometimes takes 25 or more years for a promise/anointing to be fulfilled, that sometimes we will be left to our own answers, our own consequences, that tough decisions would have to be made, alliances and confederacies kept, blood spilled. Further yet, once the promise is fulfilled we do not consider that there wouldn't be more of the same to sift through. People call out to God and God speedily avenges but, perhaps not as we would have imagined. People presume themselves righteous but, are abased. In the end two people are left standing today, a publican that shamefully confesses that he is a sinner and a child with that enviable child like faith that just believes; believes in a God of mercy, believes in a God of a sovereign plan and reason, believes that even in the midst of this vanity God has for him a hope: Christ Jesus. There and there only does the Lord coming find our faith.
30April2012 @ @ RandyP comments: index:BIBLEREADPLAN1 April30 Just leaders and loyal followers. He that ruleth over men must be just kjv@2Samuel:23:3. We see the loyalty of David's valiant men. We see the loyalty of the temple guards on Mt. Olive. We see the loyalty of the Disciples. We see the loyalty of Jesus to the Father. Men are ruled by loyalty just as much as by free will if not more so. Today we see 70 thousand additional die because of a wrong decision made by David and likewise we see the chief priests follow through on a decision that will destroy and disperse Israel for the next 2000 years. We see the temporary shock and despair of the Son's loyal few as they scatter. We see the loyal Son ask of the Father concerning a cup that can not be turned away from, a two sided cup containing the constant unjust rule of mankind and the constant just rule of a merciful God. Which rule do you think will win out? Which rule would you be loyal to? The loyal Son must drink of that cup. He is comforted by the Father with a brief re-acquittance from and Angel.
30April2012 @ @ RandyP comments: index:BIBLEREADPLAN1 April30 Just leaders and loyal followers (Part2). So many today criticize the notion of a "just" God. How could justice and compassion meet together? Ask yourself this: There are those who have been loyal to God even to the giving of their own lives (including His own Son), there are those who have been everything but loyal throughout their lives, the loyal have done most of what God has commanded them or at the very least tried, to whom then shall He have the most compassion? Would He be "unjust" in doing so?
1May2012 @ @ RandyP comments: index:BIBLEREADPLAN1 May1 Power and the transition of power. Today David dies, Solomon has to makes some bloody decisions in transition, and the mob mentality takes over against Jesus. We build ourselves into this pristine intellectual cocoon where others in power can be judged but not ourselves. It is them, it is power that corrupts, it is greed, it is gritty human ugliness. That is the simplistic way of seeing it. It is our sinful nature rather that puts kings over us, that gives them the power they hold, that necessitates alliance and confederation and collusion and blood. It is our collective nature that turns against as a mob, acts out violently and unconsciously and insanely. Justice, truth, reasoning, ration; where do these things go to so suddenly when innocent blood hits the infested waters? This is the reality outside the cocoon; the less than pristine world beyond our intellectual imaginations and vanity. It is proven daily though we neglect to consider it within our world, within each other, within ourselves.
2May2012 @ @ RandyP comments: index:BIBLEREADPLAN1 May2 The understanding to discern and the understanding to placate. Today, Solomon prayed for and received the discernment to properly judge people and peoples affairs. Today, Pilate and Herod had not this gift, they had a peculiar discernment to placate an angry mob. But, at what cost are these judgments made? The cost of justice. The ideal is for justice to be blind however that is a near impossibility. The eyes may at times be blind but the ears are not deaf. It may be blind, but, that doesn't mean that it has to be spineless. We observe the dynamics of a cruel mob, we see the courts that are supposed to protect us from such, and in that we should see the resemblance of justice. Man's judgment is not just all the time but it is all the time reprobate.
3May2012 @ @ RandyP comments: index:BIBLEREADPLAN1 May3 The building of the temple and the signal of it's end. kjv@1Kings:6:11-12 and kjv@Luke:23:27-30 frame today's readings, how it wasn't so much about a temple of a nation as it was the temple of the people's hearts. Much had transpired between there and here and we see that the people for so much of the time had it wrong. Having every good intention and the reality of what we actually do are two different things. The temple, whether of the heart or of the nation is the place where the presence of God dwells among us. If we don't allow Him to dwell of what use is such a temple? Jesus replies "cry for yourselves".
4May2012 @ @ RandyP comments: index:BIBLEREADPLAN1 May4 Our Lord dies today; special reflection should be made of that. What most onlookers don't understand is why. "Why did Jesus die?" "I know that it is for my sins, but, I really haven't sinned enough for Him to have to die". I contend that none of us allow ourselves to understand sin, what it is, what it does, how opposed to any amount of it God really is. We limit it down to obvious grotesque actions (murder, adultery, etc...) forced upon others. A reading of Jesus' gospel words reveal sin at the level of thoughts and intents and imaginations and beliefs. The Old Testament readings reveal it at a level of idolatry and a constant reverting back into a spiritual compromise and unconsciousness. Even as believers we barely comprehend sin and therefore misunderstand what a reading like today's means for us. Just what Jesus really did for us in totality may not fully be known until we stand face to face with Him on Judgment Day. Then we know for sure the meaning of His love.
4May2012 @ @ RandyP comments: index:BIBLEREADPLAN1 May4 One temple is dedicated another readied to be torn down. The veil hanging atop the Temple wall is torn amidst signifying the beginner of the end. Within 35 years secular history will record it's total destruction just as Jesus foretold. All of the dedication for the first Temple that we read today has been failed upon by the Jews (not only once but twice/continuously) yet fulfilled or succeeded by one man, Jesus. One must ask what the Temple was supposed to mean "the dwelling place of God's name", the measuring stick of man, the schoolmaster of the earlier Mosaic law, the bullhorn to the nations. It has been all of that, but, not because of our own inherent goodness.
5May2012 @ @ RandyP comments: index:BIBLEREADPLAN1 May5 The testimony following Solomon and the testimony following Jesus. If not for a promise made to David, Solomon's reign would have ended long before his death; that is where all of his wisdom got him. To follow is the testimony of a divided nation and a house divided cannot stand; Israel does not ever reunite or regain it's splendor. He is acknowledged for building the Temple, but, even much of that was provided for and secured by David. How wise was he then really. We then see the opposite, we see the beginning of a body of believers, of the faithful that will become the bride of the risen Christ. Jesus was not only wise he was obedient to the Father. He was not only raised to the Father's right hand side he also raised those who would repent and confess His Holy name. Where He is lifted up he gathers others unto Himself, he inclines their hearts unto the Father. Quiet a contrast between the two.
7May2012 @ @ RandyP comments: index:BIBLEREADPLAN1 May7 The righteousness of man verses the righteousness of God. The sorted history of the kings of divided Israel/Judah from the Temple onward gives us a quick contextual handle from which to understand the radical nature of kjv@John:1. The first century Jews that would read this passage will reject the claims of the Light, of the preexistent triune nature, of the incarnation, and authority of Jesus of Nazareth. The history of Israel itself is shown to be not all that shiny and brilliant given the covenant and the Law and the promised land and the Temple. John describes our universal condition as being darkness in need of light, they counter that the Torah and the Traditions are the God given light, John concludes that the Torah and Traditions speak of one singular Messiah that is the Light. John describes Jesus as the Word, they would counter that the final word is their interpretations of both written and oral traditional teachings of the Jewish religion. What were are left to answer is the question who is right? Is righteousness an exclusive hand me down tradition and birth right or a singular preexistent person of the Godhead?
8May2012 @ @ RandyP comments: index:BIBLEREADPLAN1 May8 Prophets and prophets. We are surrounded with prophets in today's reading. Two groups of fifty hidden away for protection against Jezebel, another one being fed by ravens by a dried up brook, another one in the wilderness eating locust. In the other corner there are the lavished 450 of Baal foolishly agreeing to a miracle showdown of deities. Two of these prophets listed still stand out and are remembered by name yet today, Elijah and John The Baptist. Now I understand that as Christians the age of prophets for now has diminished being that the revelation is complete in Jesus, but, where are the non-christian prophets of modernity? We are warned of false prophets that they would be many were we not? Are some within our own ranks? Are there many? Are we beholden to their cause to such an extent that we don't see them for who/what they actually are? So when our son's and daughters begin again to prophecy what will they be prophetic about? Our corrupted commingling hearts? "Repent for the Kingdom is at hand" still rings true.
10May2012 @ @ RandyP comments: index:BIBLEREADPLAN1 May10 God and gods. The brutal and ugly post-temple history of the nations of Israel/Judah continues. The thing that seems to come most easily to these people is the ease of finding themselves another god. Other gods are easy because you simply have to believe "in" them. The difficulty is when you actually have to believe that god, that this god said this or commands that or wills the other. Since these other gods are imaginary and created by men they don't insist on anything other than what the flesh insists upon. God's are constructed to meet the needs of their worshipers. Jehovah is a different God. He is not a God to be believed "in" He is the God to be believed. He is not the God who serves what we insist upon, He is the God who insists that we serve, that we serve Him in a suitable way with regenerated heart having been transformed and separated by the birth and presence of His Spirit within.
12May2012 @ @ RandyP comments: index:BIBLEREADPLAN1 May12 I perceive thou art a prophet. We see reading today the uncommonness of prophets. While many claim to be prophets, not anyone can call prove themselves a prophet, true prophets do and say extraordinary and miraculous things that only men of God can do. Not one thing said or done can fail. Elisha almost fails today, it takes extreme effort to resurrect the young man, but it happens. We also see that true prophets are recognized by people beyond their own religion. We also see how various men misconstrue their obligations to prophets, prescribing means and methods that they have no business prescribing. And then we see the Great Prophet Jesus accurately predict the soon radical shift of spiritual worship to come, the worship of the born again in truth and Spirit. Shall that be misconstrued as well?
13May2012 @ @ RandyP comments: index:BIBLEREADPLAN1 May13 Spreading the word without and within. This morning my thoughts of this reading are on how God spreads His seed and waters it without and within. Foreigners no doubt observe His strength yet are emboldened against Him/us. They carry the seeds of His choosing like thorns in their socks to far distant reaches. Their zeal against is used as masterfully by Him as our zeal for. We are often poor envoys of His seed. We mistakenly reduce our field of vision to our own limited abilities and resources, we fail to step out to spread His word for fear of our meager grasp of who He is and what He is doing. Critics do the same. One might ask how the spread of the Gospel will ever reach the remote Islands of the Pacific? They are limiting God's power down to man's feeble abilities. You might be asking how are you going to reach that stubborn friend of yours? What have we learned today?
14May2012 @ @ RandyP comments: index:BIBLEREADPLAN1 May14 The way the Bible teaches us. The thought occurred from today's reading that the way that the Bible teaches us is one more proof that the Bible is divinely inspired. It is not written as a instruction manual or textbook. Much of it is a narrative. We not only receive a lesson, we see people's varied reactions to it. Often times we even see a response to the reaction. Three primary teachings with a myriad of underlying layers available for us to sink our teeth into, each developing the flavor of the next. Put into the context of the meals surrounding that we have a full banquet feast of spiritual education all housed within a small compact space that we can carry under our arm anywhere we go; even hand off to another person to feed upon, better yet feed together!
16May2012 @ @ RandyP comments: index:BIBLEREADPLAN1 May15 Teachable moments. A sad day today when Israel is made captive and Judah has taken a sharp turn in the same direction. Jesus uses the occasion of the crowds hunger as a teachable moment to Phillip. God has not given up on Israel, Israel has not for a long time listened to God during such moments, now they will have to. Phillip will miss the mark, Andrew will as well, neither really knows yet what the Lord is getting at, but they will soon learn and remember. Judah is now at one of those moments given what has just happened to Israel. And will they miss the mark? Will we? How will we respond?
19May2012 @ @ RandyP comments: index:BIBLEREADPLAN1 May19 More more more! How much is enough? Today we the impossibility of the Lord's situation. Judah is closed down and the Temple is burnt to the ground even after a recent revival. Mercy after mercy, deliverance after deliverance, enough is just enough. The crowd surrounding Jesus is seeking more miracles saying if He was Christ he'd be doing more. What kind of miracles, how many, what number, how many are enough and of the correct type to believe? How many bail outs? How many I told you not to do thats? This is the truth about human logic... it is never enough, the heart and it's slave intellect will always justify itself in seeking more... then more. Of what?
22May2012 @ @ RandyP comments: index:BIBLEREADPLAN1 May22 The Gospel as witnessed to those in Abraham's Bosom. Jesus delivers His gospel today in very clear concise terms - lift Him up and then you'll know. This passage in John is alongside a continuing passage in 1Chronicles listing many historical names and families in the course of Israel. We theorize that up until the death and resurrection these souls were being watched over in Abraham's Bosom awaiting the witness of the triumphant Lord Jesus Christ. All souls in the New Heaven must believe on Him that He is the promised Son of God and Messiah including these patriarchs. So how did the Lord witness to them? Were they watching as He walked the earth? Were the three day's spent with them literal days as they were on this side? How many did not believe? Am I thinking this through correctly?
26May2012 @ @ RandyP comments: index:BIBLEREADPLAN1 May26 Father and Son. We read today of a promise made to David by God. We read of a Shepherd whose voice is known by his sheep, who would give his life for his sheep. If a son whose throne will be established forever, was this throne Solomons? Certainly not. Who was it the He would be a father unto and a son unto him? A throne forever? Jesus claimed to be that Son, that His throne would be established forever not only for the Hebrew fold but for the fold of gentile believers to follow. Any other shepherd would be a thief.
1June2012 @ @ RandyP comments: index:BIBLEREADPLAN1 June1 Dedication to the temple and the central theme of the gospel revealed. Solomon prays before the crowd from a scaffold explaining why, why a temple. Jesus stands before a multiplicitous crowd explaining who, who the Son of Man is. To know why He came one must know who He is. To draw near one must know He was lifted up. Solomon speaks of a foreigner's prayers, Jesus is visited by Greeks. The promise of God is for all who believe.
1June2012 @ @ RandyP comments: index:BIBLEREADPLAN1 June1 This is what a temple without the person of Christ becomes. Solomon describes what the new Temple should become. Jesus is confronted with what the Temple has become (for long has been). There are the chief rulers and others that believe but remain silent, everyone knowing the where abouts of Jesus and does not tell will be cast out of the Temple. Jesus will be soon be put to death in part because of this temple's form of worship and the duplicities dwelling within. He will be lifted up in order to reignite the fuller extent of worship. Temples without the person of God serve the opposite purpose, the opposite god. We must be mindful that God very much developed this storyline toward His purpose of teaching us just this very thing. It is the person that matters.
2June2012 @ @ RandyP comments: index:BIBLEREADPLAN1 June2 The will to do good. Solomon is given a choice even though God knows the outcome. The disciples are given a choice even though Jesus knows the outcome. We are each given a choice to do good. How is it that our outcome will be any different? No doubt each of us intends to do good, we can point to a couple really good things that we've already done and set our sights on a whole lot more good to come in the future. We can get upset when others try to bring up all the good that we've intended but never followed through on. But, the will to do good and the effort to do good and the resources to sustain doing good are separate things. Jesus said to know and to do good; well that should be our mark. How then do we achieve that outcome?
10June2012 @ @ RandyP comments: index:BIBLEREADPLAN1 June10 Questions beyond man's answers. When considering the Bible people often discuss the answers presented by the Bible and rightfully so. When people consider science or other religions answers are weighed as well. There is another realm of consideration however often missed, the realm of profound questions. There are questions presented in the Bible that few if any secular sources brave to bring up let alone resolve. Today alone we are faced with questions as to why isn't an Assyrian king satisfied with his own considerable kingdom? Why must he always expand hi s reign? Why does it take so much effort to produce good and so little to destroy it? Why are even good leaders tested? Where do the trusted and empowered of such revivals hide to in the absence of such leaders? Why do the son's rebel so frequently against the goodness and the establishments of their fathers but not their evils? Why does momentum for good turn so quickly? What does it take to sustain goodness? Why is a bad person that turns to good is still remembered for his bad and not his good? How would we really react if confronted by extreme intimidation and fear. Is Jesus our king because we have been told so or because we have determined such on our own? And given all of this, what is the nature of truth? Not bad for a day's reading hey?
11June2012 @ @ RandyP comments: index:BIBLEREADPLAN1 June11 Rulers and control. A good king is struck through with an arrow being in a place he was told not to be. An Egyptian king captures Jerusalem thereafter just to rub their nose in it. A Babylonian Emperor sees his opportunity to take it all. A roman territorial consulate washes his hands of the matter in vindictive scorn. The nation of Judah mocks and kills it's remaining prophets. A crowd of frenzied dupes cry out for crucifixion. Jesus hangs at the cross innocent between two criminals with a engraved plank over His head. It has been quiet a day. These rulers rule as if they control what is taking place. They are pawns in a much broader spiritual warfare. If these rulers are such, then where does that leave us? If a follower of Jesus, right in the middle with Him under His mighty rule and control.
16June2012 @ @ RandyP comments: index:BIBLEREADPLAN1 June16 The beginnings of something great. Nehemiah begins his epic restorative work on the wall of Jerusalem today. The Holy Spirit begins it's wondrous pentecostal work on mankind on a day dedicated to the feasts of first fruits and harvest. One work begins with a thorough repentance and the hand of God over a king and several tribal leaders, another begins as a promise from the ascended Savior and His disciples patiently gathered obediently waiting in one accord. One work results from obvious observance of the consequences of sin, another results from the prophetic fulfillment of the tremendous goodness to come in Christ Jesus. Both are strongly opposed by outsiders and both are valiantly pursued the faithful even to their own death. We should be thankful for the accounts of both to inspire us in our daily walk with our loving and merciful God.
20June2012 @ @ RandyP comments: index:BIBLEREADPLAN1 July20 Together. Today we consider the dwelling together as a cross generational people, as a nation, as a communal testimony. We live and are judged as a people. We are judged by others and we are judged by God. There are the sins of our fathers, the sins of our brothers, the sins of our children, the sins of our own. There is the big us, there is the remnant. We come together, we come apart, we give strong testimony, we also give a terrible example. We live in one accord, we make alliances with foreign leaders and foreign wives and foreign gods. It is a trick of the reprobate mind to think that we live merely for ourselves; a diminuation of the corporate sin we all swim in. It is for some as well a false rationalization of the "grace upon us".
26June2012 @ @ RandyP comments: index:BIBLEREADPLAN1 June26 Two perspectives. Today Job wrestles with the perspective of being destroyed and broken, Stephen is shown the Son of Man at the right hand of God's throne. One man is taken from this life, harshly by our vantage point but gloriously by his, the other man is left with his friends to ponder the meaning of a harsh bitterness. The difference? One man sees through the eyes of the Holy Spirit.
27June2012 @ @ RandyP comments: index:BIBLEREADPLAN1 June27 Dispensations. Today, Job and friends share their insights into Job's sufferings and the Holy Spirit is acknowledged to have crossed over into the Gentiles. One must wonder how Job's situation would have been different had he lived under our present dispensation with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit that was unavailable for the most part in his time. We, like Job suffer, but we also have the Holy Spirit who is called the "Comforter" and often prays for us when we know not how to pray ourselves in great moans and utterances. How much then can Job's trial be practical to us today and how much is more historical?
29June2012 @ @ RandyP comments: index:BIBLEREADPLAN1 June29 Directions and redirection. In the past few days we've seen persons going in their many directions, friends coming to Job's aid, Saul on his appointed way to Damascus, a man in Damascus going about his daily business, an Ethiopian on the road returning from worship. Many of these directions, though they seem right/godly at the time are not necessarily the direction God would have us to go; they are our self determined directions. Then we see God's redirection. Philip is redirected to Gaza to correct the Ethiopians understanding and then to Azotus, Saul is redirected to blindly wait for further instructions in Damascus, the Ananias is redirected to go direct to the "persecutor of the brethren" to give Saul those further instructions. These men could have thought to do these things in their own self determined way, but, often not even that is God's way. They could have delayed by waiting for further confirmation or study or counsel. These men instead were moved and moved and God moved mightily through them; this through complete redirection. Remember this spiritual principal well.
June2012 @ June2012 @ RandyP comments: index:BIBLEREADPLAN1 June Building in the flesh or in the Spirit. Looking back on my journal for the month I see the building and destruction of a temple verses the building of the Christ given new covenant Holy Spirit. I've seen a predictable cycle of intending to do well, starting out doing well, the inability to sustain good, the ease at which good is confiscated and destroyed. All of these good things though approved by God fall short having been pursued in the flesh. With the coming of the promised Spirit, the seal of our covenant with the risen savior however, we see a developing spiritual principal of redirection. God is moving the faithful like the wind (not knowing where it has come or where it goes to kjv@John:3) redirecting them to events and situations and purposes beyond their own constructions with great success relying only upon their trust and obedience. The good intention becomes being receptive to His will even when not all of the details are evident, allowing Him to build a good eternal work.
May2012 @ May2012 @ RandyP comments: index:BIBLEREADPLAN1 May The heart of man, the faithfulness of God. This month we have seen the dividing of a nation, a series of bad kings, a series of captivities and losses. We have seen crowds of people gathering around Jesus supposing to know well but, knowing very little at all. Foreign gods are gods because they reflect our nature. Kings are kings because they reflect our nature. Temples are temples because they reflect our nature. We look at all these things and wonder as to why it all is so corrupt? Jesus is Jesus because He reflects God's nature; a nature we are confused by, discomforted by, challenged by. It is a nature unlike our own; a nature described as faithful, to the creator first and to the faithfulness the creator has toward His better intents for creation.
7July2012 @ @ RandyP comments: index:BIBLEREADPLAN1 July7 One on one. After spending so much time in Judges Kings Chronicles, seeing things on a national scale it is so refreshing to begin seeing things in Job and Acts at a personal one to one level. Job is certainly personal, Acts is about individuals fitting into a group/body. We should not forget that our faith/religion is largely about the nation/body but, never lose sight that each is made of single individuals both in their own need and outwardly trying to fit in. The Gospel has much to say to both.
12July2012 @ @ RandyP comments: index:BIBLEREADPLAN1 July12 Enemies. The psalmist speaks consistently about enemies, wearing him down, setting snares, unjustly accusing and slandering. The Apostles are chased from town to town barely escaping with their lives. We look at ourselves today and for the most part there is calm and quiet. How is that? The Lord is known by the judgment that He executes. The Lord today is largely not known even by us. We hold back, we are called intolerant. We step forward we are call bigots. We speak the Holy word it is called hate speech. So we became mostly silent. The tactic observed reading again today is the tactic of inciting crowds against us. Who would do such? How reprobate from God would they have to be? Maybe we could begin to see how it is that the psalmists pray such judgmental things against the Lord's enemies. We would not know because we are not engaged in the battle, we avoid it. Those they do engage are few. They are looked down on even by our huddled ranks. The weight of both the defense and the offensive battle seems to be on their lone weary shoulders. Isolation. Modern Enlightenment? All in all the tactic is still the same and remains quiet effective.
13July2012 @ @ RandyP comments: index:BIBLEREADPLAN1 July13 Arrows. If an arrow was shot at you you would try to move out of the way. What about one hundred arrows? Today we read descriptions of the wicked and their preoccupation utilizing the poor against the righteous for the purposes of lording over us all. We see a group of philosophers delighting to hear the newest thing, the city of Athens filled to the brim with a myriad of idolatry's. What do any of these care about the poor and needy? What do they care about the things of God? Nothing. Their worlds are built upon the backs of the poor. The poor are pawns to fight their battles and to shoot at us. God has been reduced, He has been reasoned away, He has been softened, He is to serve their pleasures, He requires nothing of them so they are free to do as they wish; They wish for this to remain so. They wish for the righteous to leave. They shoot their arrows. A few godly men are stirred.
15July2012 @ @ RandyP comments: index:BIBLEREADPLAN1 July15 Hidden and not so hidden treasure. David speaks of a deliverance and mercy he has received, Asia speaks of a powerful spiritual outpouring the early Christians are receiving. Enemies are told of a hidden treasure and their bellies being filled in this life; of being used by the hand of God to prove and test the believer. David speaks of running through the enemy line, leaping over walls, heavens thundering; Asians speak of healing by hankies and scarfs, of tongues and prophecies, of demons divulging who they know and who they don't. If these people knew about these things in their respective days, what do we know about them in ours? Better yet what should we know?
16July2012 @ @ RandyP comments: index:BIBLEREADPLAN1 July16 Devices unable to be performed. A mass uprising over a statue of tribute to Diana puts Paul's associates in grave danger today, the containment of law and order easily broken. All of this because of the gospel's intrusion into the profits of a group of local craftsmen. We wonder what enemies the psalmist so rudely prays against. We read of multitudes moving against him. Today we read of a literal hell reserved for those intending evil against God and wonder how evil does that intention have to be? Could it be those in this mob so easily stirred into a frenzy keeping the work of the Lord from being done? Not just the instigators but the participants? We have been told quiet often now that the intention is to modify or lessen or deny God, to distort/corrupt His image with ours; secret presumptuous sins. That then is the device we learn that we are ultimately unable to perform. He will remain the unchanging eternal God!
18July2012 @ @ RandyP comments: index:BIBLEREADPLAN1 July18 By all appearances. It occurred to me as I sorrowed for our beloved Paul along with all the brothers and sisters in Asia who will never see his face again whether I would have liked Paul as much in person. He certainly had his enemies. I am uncomfortable with enemies. He certainly put others at risk. I am uncomfortable with risk. All this coming and going and being run out of town, what is all that? Not knowing from a book what God was doing through him and his historical importance to the Church, I probably would have been very cautious if not put off by Paul. Same with David. Isn't there a part of you that doesn't think that somehow these men didn't bring this enemy stuff upon themselves? Enemies without and within? Thankfully, we do have the book, we do know God's intentions, we know the spiritual connection, we know the historical consequence. And we know that we are to be bold enough in our relationship to God to emulate their example even if it means making enemies of our own.
21July2012 @ @ RandyP comments: index:BIBLEREADPLAN1 July21 "Don't let the truth stop you". Two men accused falsely by the enemy today David and Paul; snares laid, controversies spread, false perceptions further developed. To many leaders there is nothing that is a problem, not even the truth, everything is an oppurtunity to further their cause. That is the problem with relative truth, perception being reality; perception can easily be distorted by those that intend nothing but their own gain, that are willing to tear down the institutions of justice in this pursuit. These enemies lack the moral strength to resist their own demise, how then can we expect them to be guardians of our best interest? The ends do not always justify the means when the means is destroying those who fight for the best possible ends of the greater whole; men like David and Paul.
22July2012 @ @ RandyP comments: index:BIBLEREADPLAN1 July21 Ends cut off. It is three days now since the bloody mass murders in our cinema down the street. I read in Psalms of the wicked, that there is no fear of God; that God will not require of it. I read cut off the end of the wicked. I suddenly realize that our lone killer may not fear God, that he may not think that God wont require it, that he has laid in his bed nights devising his schemes, and may have even had an expectation of the rush of supreme pleasure and adrenaline that he was going to receive by committing this most evil act. But that is not all that this man and others that will follow need to consider. The fact is, and you can ask this man if this is not true, that God indeed cut him off from his end. The rush he began to feel at the first pull of the trigger was never as much as he expected, hardly satisfying, insignificant and momentary, the persona or message he had hoped to convey tossed aside silent, the ends cut off. And now they haunt him. Now they eat upon his flesh and soul. Now his broadening tree removed. The victims? The families? They have the righteousness and mercy of God! The shooter? He has hell to pay and all for what? The imaginary buildup of excitement of a hope and secretive scheming that is left much unfulfilled. Surely every word of God is true and just.
24July2012 @ @ RandyP comments: index:BIBLEREADPLAN1 July24 Where did all David's oppressors go? Paul is in court today in the hands of the Romans because the Jewish high counsel and a band of forty sworn murders have sought to kill him. They have hired the F. Lee Baily of their day to present their case to the imperial territorial magistrate Felix. They begin their defense by accusing the roman chief officer of standing in their way. David faced similar false witness and opposition to the extent that he feared for his life and prayed for a deliverance only God could give. The opposition seems much the same in both cases. Where is this opposition nowadays? Do we dare stand up/out?
27July2012 @ @ RandyP comments: index:BIBLEREADPLAN1 July27 Waiting on Thy name. We have a great deal to consider in our reading today. A good size dose of praise and thankfulness in the understanding for who God is. A good size dose of who we are, who we have been, what He is doing on us, what we will be. A short statement of what will happen to the man who closes his ears to these things. And a fantastic trip across the tempestuous sea's by one of God's greatest servants. We are left with the conclusion that there is no better reason for us to wait/serve than the very name of God and what so much that name means to us; to wait/serve under each and every situation or circumstance with no other fear; to humbly offer our thanks and to contritely pay our every vow.
29July2012 @ @ RandyP comments: index:BIBLEREADPLAN1 July29 The wearing of trials. David has clearly been through much. Paul has been through much. Both are going through something few of us will ever experience nor understand. THe two men deal with their trials in similar ways. David takes out a psaltry and a harp and sings praises. Paul spends time in fellowship with unexpected brethren. They rejoice. They are refreshed. They go right back into the battle with renewed vigor. Everything that they do they do for God; you would think that they would just want to step away for a moment, take a break from the service. Instead, this is what they live for, these are the true moments, this is the experience that they wish to share most with others, this is their brook of fresh mountain water: Praise and Fellowship.
July2012 @ July2012 @ RandyP comments: index:BIBLEREADPLAN1 July Job, David, Peter, Paul and the enemies of God. Another month of reading and journaling. What sense do I take out of it? Job had Satan a wife and three friends. David for all his court and counselors was surrounded to the point of trembling fear and depression. Peter was imprisoned, freed, but, then his congregation was persecuted and dispersed. Paul was stoned, scourged, left for dead outside many a town. In each and everyone of them God receives great praise. And then there is us. Where do we stand in this multi millennial transcendent struggle? Has the battle been won that we don't experience this any longer? Has the enemy just collapsed and retreated or changed tactic? Job, David, Peter, Paul, all of these men were surrounded by friends that thought they were doing right, thought that they were on their side, giving their support and wise counsel, only to be a passive or duplicitous audience. We should consider well the sheer evidence of mathematical probabilities here. We would like to think that we are moving forward and in the right, perhaps similar to one of these heroic icons. Yet the chances are more likely that we are doing little or nothing for or are moving against the modern heroes of our faith.
5August2012 @ @ RandyP comments: index:BIBLEREADPLAN1 August5 Knowing the heart. Today I wrote of knowing our spiritual infirmity, how it invents ways to perceptually distance God from us. I also wrote of the only two available conscious daily decisions we have to make having been crucified in Christ, serving the flesh or serving righteousness. It is one or the other. Serving righteousness is often difficult, tough choices have to be made and pathways established, self sacrificing. Serving the flesh is often quite easy, very little has to be done or sacrificed, tearing down is the norm not building up. This is why even as born again believers we make wrong choices; because we suddenly have choices. We fool ourselves into thinking that every choice we make is automatic and right. And then we have the audacity to further deduct that God has distanced Himself, withheld His promise, hung us out to dry. This too is serving the flesh, but, hey having two choices are better than having none. Which choice shall we make today?
6August2012 @ @ RandyP comments: index:BIBLEREADPLAN1 August6 The Law versus The Faith. How interesting that today we would be reading a lengthy recap of the effects of the Law and a scholarly explanation of the need for a new and better covenant. The results of the Law is seen over a millennium wide multi-generational record proving by the Law man may know what is right but lacks the ability to perform it. The effect of the new covenant in Christ is that the sin exposed by the Law is put to death and we are new creatures in Christ no longer married to it, that Christ has performed what we could not.
16August2012 @ @ RandyP comments: index:BIBLEREADPLAN1 August16 How did God fail? Two pictures. A picture of Israel not being able to sustain a focus on their miraculous God for any length of time; seems the harder He pushed the more resistant they became. The second picture one of the successful ministry of Paul to the Gentiles. One from the top down nation to individual. The other bottom up from the individual to the nation (or nations). The difference? The empowerment of the Holy Spirit brought within us by the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus Christ. If God had failed in the first instance, what then is it that drove us to need a Jesus Christ? God did not fail. The situation surrounding sin and our sin nature is much much deeper than we would carnally allow. Thousands of years were spent ahead of time to prepare us for this stark conclusion. There is no other conclusion left to be made for God did not and can not fail!
19August2012 @ @ RandyP comments: index:BIBLEREADPLAN1 August19 The world by wisdom knew not God. Today's reading in Psalms leads us through some magnificent praise; not just empty praise, but, praise filled with particular knowledge about who God is and what God is doing. One has to seek deeper into it to see just how deep this knowledge really goes. By starting today in Corinthians we see a different knowledge, a knowledge the world would call knowledge that doesn't lead to any particular knowledge of God, a form of knowledge that God has promised to put to an end. We see a local church that should be a place to praise such magnificent praises being torn by divisions. The world's knowledge would see that and determine that this god type knowledge is as defiled as the rest; that is what the world knowledge is seeking to find from the god knowledge to begin with. To the un-pure in heart everything is defiled, everything is relative, everything is a personal perspective, it's knowledge is based entirely on just that. By the time Paul is finished we see this situation in a different light, a light where no one is to glory except in the Lord. What advantage then has the believer? That he is the Lord's. That the Lord will do with him what in the long run is merciful and right.
22August2012 @ @ RandyP comments: index:BIBLEREADPLAN1 August22 Faithful affliction. Interesting how today's reading in the 119th Psalm speaks speaks of man observant and conversant in God's statutes and precepts because the reading in Corinthians speaks of the Apostles life. The one reads that he is faithfully afflicted by God the other reads that he is afflicted for our sakes. Perhaps each one is speaking of the other. Both suffer, both require the Lord's help, both glory in the course laid upon them, both pursue despite the affliction all the more.
6September2012 @ @ RandyP comments: index:BIBLEREADPLAN1 September6 Open minds. Open mindedness is often no more than scorn and self justification. Today in the Proverbs we read of the fear of the wicked and how it will inevitably come upon them. We also read of the central core of the gospel faith "Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures...is risen...all things subjected to Him...Him to Father". Many will scorn. Many will go about as they've always done searching the secret and stolen depths. They would call all this open minded but, is it? Their fear shall come upon them. Then we shall see how locked tight their minds really were.
20September2012 @ @ RandyP comments: index:BIBLEREADPLAN1 September20 Today we read Solomon's conclusion that we should fear the Lord and keep His commandments, In Paul's testimony we see a man that did just that. It looks quiet a bit different than we might expect. Paul is not the only to suffer to bring us the wisdom and instruction called for by the truth. Truth must suffer the hands and tongues of the foolish. Fearing God is not in fearing what others may do to you, it is putting all of this aside for the unmovable service of/to God.
4October2012 @ @ RandyP comments: index:BIBLEREADPLAN1 October4 The Law and the Spirit. Today we find Isaiah speaking of the man on the street view of a rebellious people fleeing to Egypt to get away from the anger of the Lord. There is no doubt that living under the Law is hard for it is meant to be impossible. One eventualy has to come to the conclusion that it cannot be done and that all efforts to fulfill it are futile, might as well run or ask for the Lord's election to cease. Being the Lord's standard barer amongst heathen nations is no less an impossible task; much easier just to fit in especially when this Law thing just aint workin'. In Ephesians, Paul is writing to us of taking on the power of the Lord's might, preparing daily for spiritual warfare. The difference in this case is that the Law has been fulfilled by one man as it was meant to be, in Him we are equipped to fight His fight of dominion and principality. The Law served it's purpose leading us to Him and now we move forward in Him toward the heavenly task at hand by His strength, His Holy Spirit.
2012 - pBiblx2 Field Wise Bible System Version 2.0.9d - GPL3