Daily Reflections

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Feb
08
2017

Romans 11 What is God’s heart and plan concerning Israel? In spite of their rejection of Christ their Messiah (John 1:12), God is not through with Israel. Paul points to himself and says, I am a Jew, and by God’s grace, the Gospel came to me. Not only to me he says, but also the Bible promises that a remnant of Jews will believe in Messiah and be saved (see Romans 9:27). There are Jews who are elect, whom the Lord foreknew, and these will be saved. Paul reminds the reader that just because...keep reading»»


Feb
06
2017

Romans 9 Yesterday we looked at one of the most amazing verses in all of the Bible - often called "the Golden Chain". It promises us that everyone God predestines, he calls; everyone God calls he justifies.  Everyone God justifies he also glorifies.  No one who is truly saved EVER falls finally off the road and into ruin.  God finishes what he starts, even if there are twists and turns along the way - HALLELUJAH!  And yet John Piper wrote an entire book - his...keep reading»»


Feb
03
2017

Job 2 In the first chapter, Job’s faithfulness to God was tested by the removal of his possessions and children. Once again his authenticity is tried but this time by the stripping of his health. Satan’s hope was that this would cause him to curse God. And while many of us would like to proclaim that we would persist in not cursing God, it is hard for us to even imagine the reality of this situation happening in our lives. Our lives of luxury often make us quick to condemn those like Job’s...keep reading»»


Feb
01
2017

Romans 4 A vital question for every person to ask is, “How can I be saved?” Is salvation, as many believe, due to our inherent goodness? Is it by our good works that outweigh the bad?  Romans 4 considers Abraham and his example of faith. In Paul’s day, Jews boasted in their genealogy; they put their trust in their keeping of the law and in the circumcision of their flesh. Their salvation was based upon who they were (children of Abraham) and what they did (keeping of the law and...keep reading»»


Jan
30
2017

Esther 7 Chapter 7 brings the narrative in the Book of Esther to its dramatic climax. Esther reveals the genocidal plot of Haman to the King who is so enraged that he has to leave the room to compose himself. While he is out of the room Haman throws himself bodily upon the Queen to beg for mercy. Unfortunately for Haman, the King chooses that moment precisely to re-enter the room and he believes that Haman has assaulted the Queen. It is all downhill from there for the would be murderer of the...keep reading»»


Jan
27
2017

Acts 27 Acts 27 records Paul’s treacherous journey to Rome.  It is easy to get lost in this harrowing tale and to miss the lessons here for you and me.  It is also easy to try to identify Paul as the hero in the story and to miss what God is doing.  As we read carefully we see some things that we need to learn. 1.  Christians are not supposed to be red-faced, screaming, angry people. Keep reading...keep reading»»


Jan
25
2017

Esther 2 Even experienced Bible readers sometimes confess that they have a hard time understanding Esther. This is not to suggest that the story itself is confusing – it is quite straightforward. The frustration is caused by the seeming absence of God in this book. In fact, in the book of Esther, God is not mentioned by name even once.  Today’s chapter narrates a scandalous story that sounds more like what we would expect from Hollywood than from the Bible. We’re introduced to Mordecai,...keep reading»»


Jan
23
2017

Acts 23 Jesus told his disciples to be:  “wise as serpents and innocent as doves.” (Matthew 10:16 ESV) In Acts 23 the Apostle Paul very wisely divides his legal opponents. The Bible says: Now when Paul perceived that one part were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, “Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. It is with respect to the hope and the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial.” 7 And when he had said this, a dissension arose...keep reading»»


Jan
21
2017

Nehemiah 11 Nehemiah 11 relates how lots were taken to determine who would live in Jerusalem and who could remain in the towns.  Living in a mostly ruined city was certainly no easy prospect.  Food would be scarce, the water supply as yet unreliable, commerce only just recovering.  Country life would have been preferable at this stage of Israel’s recovery but Jerusalem had to exist and had to prosper for the nation to have an identity and a presence in the land.  It was the...keep reading»»


Jan
20
2017

Acts 20 There is a lot going on in this chapter of Acts.  There are a lot of travel plans included, as well as a list of companions who traveled with Paul, a weird story about a young man that Paul preached to death, literally, and some more travel plans.  Then in the final section we have Paul’s speech to the Ephesian elders. Let me suggest a few things that we can glean from a “forest level” reading of this passage. 1.  Obey, even when things aren’t going your way. Keep...keep reading»»


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