Posts made in January 2021

January 30, 2021 ~ JOURNEY THROUGH THE BIBLE CHRONOLOGICALLY

JANUARY 30 READINGS…Job 38:1-40:5.
I don’t usually write devotions on the weekend, but this weekend we are coming to the end of the book of Job…and we must look at God’s response to everything we have read.
Though Job was declared righteous by God there was still much about God he needed to learn. What human can fathom the depths and the heights of who God is? The only way we humans can know God at all, is because of His grace in revealing Himself to us. We humans will always find ourselves coming up short when we think we know everything about God. Truth is if you think you have God all figured out, that you know everything about Him, and that you can somehow control Him…then you actually have a false god of your own imagination.
God reveals Himself to Job in today’s readings. In questioning Job God reveals that He is the Omniscient One…though Job did not know the answers to God’s questions, God knows all things. And Job could not answer where he was when all things came into being…God the Omnipresent One was there, as He is everywhere. Finally, God’s questions to Job revealed just how impotent Job and we humans are next to the Omnipotent God.
We need to learn from Job that though there are things we will never know…there are places we will never be…and there are things we cannot do; that is not true of God. He is the eternal, all knowing, all powerful God who is everywhere…and He is Sovereign over His creation.
Please share your impressions of today’s readings. Aren’t you glad that we serve and worship such a wonderful God?
TOMORROW’S READINGS… Job 40:6-42:17.

January 29, 2021 ~ JOURNEY THROUGH THE BIBLE CHRONOLOGICALLY

JANUARY 29 READINGS…Job 35:1-37:24
I just have to say that if Elihu was not such an arrogant, self-centered, know it all…he would be much easier to receive some truth from. In his response to Job he is neither entirely correct, or entirely in error. His demeanor though would keep most people from receiving anything good he might have to say. There is zero compassion and empathy in his words. Their is no sense that he has any love of God in him for Job. He has some knowledge…but thinks he has all knowledge. He reminds me of Paul’s word in 1 Corinthians 13:2…“If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing.”
Elihu has some correct doctrine, and he has some incorrect doctrine. When he speaks of God’s power he does a masterful job. What he lacks is the understanding of God’s justice and mercy. Of course God’s justice is perfect…but He deals with we sinful people with His mercy. Elihu misses the mark in his assertion that God will always bring prosperity to those who are living according to His ways. There is never a guarantee of a material prosperity to those who faithfully follow God…there is the promise of His blessings and spiritual prosperity. What those blessings are will be determined by God…and will be what brings Him the most glory.
I am sure Elihu walked away certain he had set the world right with his great knowledge. Sadly, he actually walked away and its like know one ever heard a word he said, or cared he said it. Job never even responded to him…and you will notice in this weekends readings, that while God spoke to Job’s other three friends, He doesn’t bother with Elihu. Such is the reality for the young know it all’s who can’t be bother to sit, listen , and learn. We are called to be teachable…and you can’t teach one who knows all things, anything.
What are your thoughts on today’s readings. Bless you all as you continue in your reading of God’s Word.
TOMORROW’S READINGS…Job 38:1-40:5.

January 27, 2021 ~ JOURNEY THROUGH THE BIBLE CHRONOLOGICALLY

JANUARY 27 READINGS…Job 30:1-31:40.
We come to Job’s final defense. It begins with Job once again lamenting the lack of both empathy and understanding from those who would offer him counsel. It is a reminder to us that unsolicited advice, without compassion or an attempt to understand, comes off as callous and even judgmental. There is no attempt to bring healing and be helpful in the counsel given by the “friends” of Job. Their words become mockery in the ears of Job. Their words are cruel and absent any genuine concern for Job or for his well being. Job was troubled and he needed someone who really cared about him to speak into his situation and bring real help. These “counselors” merely wanted to be proved right, self justified, and heard. They should have sought to care, spend real time with Job to understand, and then give the words that actually bring help and healing to Job.
Job concludes his speaking with a statement of his innocence. Job honestly wanted to understand why these things were happening to him. He had much of the same understanding as his contemporaries did concerning that when bad things happened to people, they must have deserved it. That is why Job was struggling so much with what was happening to him…he knew that he was right before God. And if we would remember it was God Himself that at the beginning of this book that declared that Job was a righteous man. Job goes through his walk and evaluates that he has kept his eyes and mind from lust…he had spoken truth…he had treated his servants honestly…he ministered to the poor and orphans…he was not boastful about his riches…he never rejoiced when others had fallen into hard times…and finally he was honest about his own shortcomings and sins. He was genuinely wondering what was happening to him. Have you ever felt that way? How did you work through it? We need to realize that there are not always answers this side of heaven.
Please share any insights that you have from today’s readings. I continually pray that each of you are being nourished and nurtured by the Word of God.
TOMORROW’S READINGS… Job 32:1-34:37.

January 26, 2021 ~ JOURNEY THROUGH THE BIBLE CHRONOLOGICALLY

JANUARY 26 READINGS…Job 26:1-29:25.

In today’s reading we come to the end of the input from Job’s three friends…Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar. In a couple of days, we will meet and hear from another of Job’s friends, Elihu. Job responds to Bildad one more time…reminding him that his input is of no help whatsoever. Bildad speaks with empty platitudes. Job tells him that though Bildad was speaking there was no wisdom in his words. He even challenges Bildad as to what spirits were speaking through him. Advice is cheap and readily available…especially from those who care little for others as human beings, but more about sharing their great “wisdom” and “agendas” to others. Be careful of those who are always anxious to share their opinion into your situation. I would rather receive from those who are hesitant to begin telling me how to be right…to do right…and be made right.

The second part of our readings today is all from Job. Job begins with standing on his integrity, and that he would never concede that his “advisor’s” input is correct. Job speaks of the reality that there are times that the wicked do prosper…but that time is limited…for finally God will deal justly with the wicked. He speaks of how difficult it is for people to find both wisdom and understanding…its never been easy for we mere mortals to grasp these two. I believe that is why James tells us to ask the Lord for it. We see Job becoming melancholy, as he remembers the good times of old. Sometimes in the midst of life happening to us, especially when life is difficult, that all we have to hold onto are the memories. Though we are told not to live in the past…those memories are gifts of God that, at times, will carry us through those tough times. We need to remember that whatever we may go through, God is always faithfully there, and fully who He always is.

Please share any insights that you have from today’s meetings. I know you are being blessed as you spend time in the Lord’s Word.

TOMORROW’S READINGS…Job 30:1-31:40.

January 25, 2021 ~ JOURNEY THROUGH THE BIBLE CHRONOLOGICALLY

JANUARY 25 READINGS…Job 22:1-25:6.
Before we get into today’s readings we must go back to something very important that we read yesterday. As you know on weekends there is no devotional, so I want to share this from yesterday found in Job 19:25-27…“But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives,
and he will stand upon the earth at last.
And after my body has decayed,
yet in my body I will see God!
I will see him for myself.
Yes, I will see him with my own eyes.
I am overwhelmed at the thought!”
I hope you all saw the incredible truths that Job spoke here. He speaks of his Redeemer…a reference to the coming Messiah. He spoke that Messiah would stand upon the earth. And Job spoke of his own resurrection…as after his body decay’s he will actually see the Messiah with his own eyes. These are incredible statements of faith from a man who lived in the time of the Patriarch’s. Job’s hope is our hope. Our Redeemer has come…our Redeemer redeemed us with His blood on Calvary…our Redeemer died, was buried, and rose from the grave and is alive every more…our Redeemer is coming again and every believers who has died will be raised, and every one alive, will see Him with their own eyes!
In today’s reading Eliphaz’s take his accusations against Job to the next level. He has begun to specify what particular sins he believes that Job must be guilty of. He is speaking from a place of ignorance, but none the less of great personal piety. He unloads his bag of things that Job “must” have done for God to be punishing him. The disciples did this with the man born blind…”Who sinned that he would be born blind, him or his parents?” Jesus said, “Neither, but for the glory of God.” Do we look at people who are going through hard times and assume they must have sinned? What happens when hard times hit us? Who sinned then? Could not what we go through be part of God’s great plan that brings glory to Him?
Finally, Job asks the question that has plagued mankind since creation…”Why do the wicked prosper?” The short answer is that they do…for a season. But, God is just…everyone will have their time of judgment before Him…and He will repay, He said so. Keep walking in the Holy Spirit…stay obedient to Christ in all things…trust God in the good and in the bad…know that God will fulfill every promise He has given you in Christ Jesus…and be assured that the wicked will be judged by our righteous and holy God!
Please share any insights that you have in today’s readings. Keep faithful in your time in the Word…it is our food from God. Take the words off the page and live them in obedience to God.
TOMORROW’S READINGS…Job 26:1-29:25.

January 22, 2021 ~ JOURNEY THROUGH THE BIBLE CHRONOLOGICALLY

JANUARY 22 READINGS…Job 12:1-14:22.
Today’s reading reveals much to us about Job. Job clearly knew the Lord. Many of his statements demonstrate the Lord has given him understanding of many truths about God. God is in control…and God is sovereign. Which means that God does not answer to anyone concerning what He does. Who can judge God? Who can tell God that what He is doing, or allowing, is not fair or right? Job knew deep within His heart that he had not sinned against God…yet his “friends” are confident that all the things Job is going through is a result of his sin. They all have been preaching to him…when they need to be loving on him. Our theology is meaningless if they it does not move us to love one another, and meet each other’s needs like Jesus did.
Job was an honest man…he was a man of integrity. This was true of his dealings with other men, and this was true of his dealings with God. He felt abandoned of God, and he sincerely wanted to know why. He could not understand why God had brought this upon him…though he acknowledges that God can do what He wants to do…and who can challenge Him, or judge Him. But Job wanted to have the opportunity to plead his case…and even in doing so he declares that only by the grace and permission of God could he do that. I have long felt that we believers have a habit of dishonesty with God…and I also believe that what God wants from us is honesty and genuineness. One thing about Job that we can all learn is to fear and honor God, and at the same time always approach Him with intergrity.
Please share your thoughts. I know Job can get tedious, but hang in there with your readings…the Holy Spirit is teaching us so much. Be blessed as you read.
TOMORROW’S READINGS…Job 15:1-18:21.

January 21, 2021 ~ JOURNEY THROUGH THE BIBLE CHRONOLOGICALLY

JANUARY 21 READINGS…Job 8:1-11:20.
In today’s readings two more of Job’s “friends” add their opinions to Job’s dilemma. First, Bildad pretty much tells Job that he needs to stop talking…to stop sharing his wondering why all these things have come upon him…stop asking God where He is in all this. Bildad seems to think he must defend God against Job’s honest inquiries. Then Zophar joins in and tells Job again to be quiet…his words are empty and useless. Zophar’s piety requires him to tell Job that he cannot understand God, no one can…then Zophar begins to explain the God that nobody can understand. Zophar is impressed with his own understanding of theology. Both of these “friends”, like Eliphaz, remind Job that he must have sinned or God would not be punishing him.
Job continues to call out to God. He doesn’t understand, and in his misery he is moved to the place of genuine despair. Have you ever been there? Has life ever come crashing down on you to the place of despair? Have you ever called out to God and asked Him if He is there? Have you ever wonder why God would allow you to go through such hard things? If we are honest, I believe we would all have to confess that we have been there, to one degree or another. I want to remind you that we have a BIG God! He is big enough to handle our honest inquiries. He doesn’t answer to us, that is for sure…but He is open to our questions, and He is merciful in His answers. As we go through life we are promised the presence of the Lord…that presence means that not only is He there, but He is active in His presence. Call out to Him…share your heart with Him…then rest in His loving, caring, and merciful presence.
Please share any insights you received in today’s reading. As always, be blessed as you spend time in the Word of God.
TOMORROW’S READING…Job 12:1-14:22.

January 20, 2021 ~ JOURNEY THROUGH THE BIBLE CHRONOLOGICALLY

JANUARY 20 READINGS…Job 5:1-7:21
In today’s readings we see Job’s “friend”, Eliphaz continues to pontificate his personal view of who God is, and how God works. If Job will just get right with God…God will get right with Job. Job is getting what he deserves, because there is some unconfessed sin in his life, and God is paying him back for that sin. This is Eliphaz’s words of “hope” and “comfort” to Job. Eliphaz reminds me of the self-righteous Pharisees of Jesus’ time, and the self-righteous “Pharisees” of our day. “Do the right thing, and God will do the right thing for you.” “There must be some sin in your life…or you would not be going through such trouble”. These empty platitudes offered by so many Christians are like offering a thirsty man a drink of water that is filled with poison. These words do not refresh the spirit, rather they kill the spirit. Eliphaz had all the right clichés…but he did not have a genuine understanding of God’s truth.
Job, as you can imagine is filled with grief…even to the point of wanting to die. Can a child of God really get in the state of mind and being? Yes, of course we can. We are not immune to grief, extreme sorrow, and even depression. Sometimes life comes crashing down on us and we feel like we have no where to turn. We feel abandoned, even by God. This is how Job was feeling, and who can blame him, considering what he has been through. Theologically we know that we are never abandoned by God…but life, at times, can sure make us feel that way. When we are ministering to friends, family, or fellow Christians who are walking through such times, we need to be careful not to fall into the trap of offering empty words. Sometimes words can get in the way of meeting someone’s need in the time of their great grief. Like Job, many Christians know what the truth of God’s love, care, and presence are…they just are overwhelmed with their situation. They don’t need reminded from a self-righteous brother or sister…they need to be loved and cared for.
What in today’s readings touched your heart? Is there a truth or perspective that you gleaned from today’s readings? Please share your insight.
TOMORROW’S READINGS…Job 8:1-11:20.

January 19, 2021 ~ JOURNEY THROUGH THE BIBLE CHRONOLOGICALLY

JANUARY 19 READINGS…Job 1:1-4:21.
The book of Job can be a hard book to read…it is hard to understand at some points…but stay with it, the concluding chapters are worth it.
As I read today’s opening chapters of Job it struck me how it was the Lord who pointed out Job to Satan. Satan is our accuser, he hates us, we are told in Revelation 12:10 that he accuses us before God day and night. So it is clear that though Satan is a fallen angel…he still has access to heaven. Not sure why the Lord allows this, but it clearly is part of His plan. When I saw God pointing out Job to Satan, the thought ran through my head was…can God trust my faith in Him enough to point me out to the enemy? What does our faith and our walk look like to God? We worry how it looks to other people, but how does it look to God…shouldn’t that be our main concern? God knows us…He knows we are made of clay…He knows our failings and shortcomings. Yet He is still able to look at us and evaluate our lives and even commend them to the heavenly hosts, and to Satan himself. More than anything I want to live a life that is commendable to God…I fear that far too often I do not. What does God see when He looks at your faith and walk?
The second thing that stuck out to me was the first response of Job’s friend Eliphaz. Eliphaz seems to have the ideology that only those deserving are punished by God. He tried to tell Job that it is clear that he must have sinned or all this calamity would not have come on Job. Eliphaz’s experience was that the righteous are always blessed, and it is only the sinner that has to suffer, and suffer rightly for their sin. Eliphaz was a clear believe in “karma”. I hear even Christians promoting the philosophy of karma…”they got what they deserve.” Jesus made it clear that hard times and loss happens to all people…and it is not based on the “forces” of karma. Jesus said in Matthew 5:45, “…it rains on the just and the unjust”. It is hardly comforting or helpful to tell someone going through hard times that they are merely getting what they deserve. We know in reading Job that his torment was not because of his unrighteousness, but in fact it was the opposite, it was because God had declared him righteous that Satan attacked him. Be careful giving advice merely from your own experience or perception…it may be advice based in ignorance.
Please share your thoughts on today’s reading. Stay the course daily in your reading…I guarantee you will be blessed as you spend time in the Word of God.
TOMORROW’S READINGS…Job 5:1-7:21.

January 18, 2021 ~ JOURNEY THROUGH THE BIBLE CHRONOLOGICALLY

JANUARY 18 READINGS…Genesis 47:28-50:26
Today we finish the book of Genesis. Just think about it…you did it! For many this is the first time they have read through an entire book of the Bible. This is just the beginning of this glorious journey. I look forward to continuing this journey with you.
There are two things I want to share in today’s devotional. First, as Jacob approaches his death you read that he gathered his sons for a final word over them. Some call this a final blessing, though I am not so sure everything that Jacob said over his sons would fall into the category of a blessing. The two that really stuck out to me were Joseph and Judah. The good words that Jacob spoke over Joseph come as no surprise, but what he spoke over Judah clearly was led by the Holy Spirit, and was prophetic. Judah receives the longest and the most positive blessing. It is said that he would be the father of kings, and more specifically the father of the One who would come as the ever living King…the One who would be honored by all nations. This is a prophecy that Messiah would come out of the tribe of Judah. Once again we see the promise of Genesis 3:15 being fulfilled through Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and finally through Judah. As we continue to read through the Bible, remember that this wonderful book is about Jesus the Messiah.
The second thing that stuck out to me was what happened after Jacob’s death and Joseph’s response. Joseph’s brothers were worried that he would seek revenge on them for what they had done to him. Joseph’s response is what is important here. “What you intended to harm me, God intended to use for good”. This truth should give us great confidence, even in the face of attacks and mistreatment from our enemies. Listen, ultimately our enemies do not have the final say over us…we are in God’s hands, and there is no safer place. We can cower in the corner because our enemies attack and intend to do us harm, but the reality is they cannot touch us unless God allows it…and if God allows it then He will fulfill His great purpose through us in it. With God there truly is, “no weapon formed against us that will prosper”. What a wonderful truth…our God is greater than our enemies, and He will always accomplish His purpose in and through us!
With the completion of reading Genesis our chronological readings will take us into the book of Job. Most scholars believe that Job lived somewhere in the times of the patriarch’s. So now in Job we will journey through a time of discovering much about the sovereignty of God. Please share any insights you have from today’s readings, or any part of Genesis. Bless you all as you read through the Word of God.
TOMORROW’S READINGS… Job 1:1-4:21.