Alright, this week, we crossed over the first 100 chapters of the Bible and capped out our week with 140 chapters so far, by doing the Horner’s Bible Reading Plan. Now, we have 66 books to read, so we have barely scratched the surface, but 140 chapters sure teaches us a lot about who God is and just how powerful and mighty He is. So, let’s get recapped and studied up from this week.
“Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest…for my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
We begin to see Jesus start his ministry in chapter 8, healing a man with leprosy. So, I’m going to list the miracles in order: 1. Centurion comes to Jesus asking his servant to be healed at his home. Jesus is amazed by his faith and heals the servant, who is far away. 2. Jesus heals Peter’s mother-in-law. 3. Jesus calms the wind and waves 4. Jesus casts demons out into a herd of pigs. 5. Jesus heals a paralyzed man, angering. the Pharisees. 6. A girl and a woman restored to health 7. Jesus heals two blind men 8. Jesus drives out demons, allowing a man who was mute to speak again. 9. Heals a man’s hand on the Sabbath 10. Healed a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute 11. Feeds the 5,000 12. Walks on water
Following the miracles, Jesus selects his disciples and gives them clear instructions for what is to come. Jesus begins to minister to towns and villages saying that He is rest for the weary. He tells us about a tree bearing fruit and that we will be known by the fruit we produce. He begins sharing parables: 1. Parable of the Sower 2. Parable of the Wheat and Weeds 3. Parable of the Mustard Seed 4. Parables of the Hidden Treasure and Priceless Pearl 5. The Parable of the Net
This week’s reading ended with John the Baptist being beheaded, which causes Jesus to grieve. He continues in His miracles by feeding the 5,000, walking on the water, and healing those who came near.
Digging Deeper: 1. In chapter 13, Jesus explains the parable of the sower. Write down each of the examples and the result of where the seeds are planted. 2. Which miracle speaks most to you? why?
“I will never again curse the ground because of human beings, even though the inclination of the human heart is evil from youth onward. And I will never again strike down every living thing as I have done.” Genesis 8:21
In this week’s reading, we start with the flood receding and God’s covenant with Noah, to never flood the Earth again. We can see God’s promise today through the rainbow in the sky. From there, we find ourselves at the Tower of Babylon, where the Lord confused the language of the whole Earth to reign over them. Abram (Shem’s lineage) is introduced and Abram and Sarai head to Canaan with Terah and Lot. The Lord comes to Abram and tells him of the blessings that will come through him. Abram and Lot choose to go their own way, due to quarreling, but must go rescue Lot due to wars.
Digging Deeper: In what ways do you see the blessing over Abram present in our lives today? What things seem familiar in Chapter 10?
“We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us…neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, not things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, not any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God that in in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:37-39
We begin learning about how life-giving the spirit is. For if we are led by the Holy Spirit, we are considered God’s sons (v. 14). We learn that sufferings will happen on Earth, but we can hope in the eternity coming soon. All things work for the good of those who love God, who are called according to His purpose. As a believer, you can triumph over the fact that nothing can separate us from Him and His love. God’s plan and way for salvation showcases His Old Testament plan for justice and his New Testament boundless mercy. It was prophesied that not all Jews would be saved and that not all Gentiles would be cut off. We learn that righteousness comes through our faith in Jesus, alone. When you believe in your heart, you gain righteousness, When you confess with your mouth, you gain salvation. We come to understand that God’s mercy extends to His remnant. Our mission is to live in perfect holiness to Jesus; to not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed. Coincidentally, I happen to be reading this during what is almost election season. Yikes; but it says clearly in chapter 13 that we are to submit to government authorities since there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are instituted by God. We end with the law of liberty and love.
Digging Deeper: What are you learning from the last two weeks about hardships and life with Christ? In Chapter 9, it talks about how God’s selection is just. In what ways can you explain his justice?
2 Thessalonians/1 Timothy
“Do not grow weary in doing good.” 2 Thess. 3:13
Paul writes Timothy for two main reasons: to address false doctrine & how to establish order within the church. It’s simple and straight to the point, but so much gold. Paul ends his letter with a section that I see so many cling to still today: “Fight the good fight of the faith.”
Digging Deeper: In what ways do you see our culture going against the grain of how Paul instructed Timothy to lead and orchestrate the early church?
“The life of every living thing is in His hand, as well as the breath of all mankind.” Job 12:10
This book just breaks my heart. Have you ever had a friend tell you that maybe if you would just do what God told you to do, everything would get better (making the assumption that your suffering has anything to do with your actions)? We have to be reminded that suffering happens to everyone, regardless of our relationship with Him or sin. Reminder: this book starts by saying that Job was a man of complete integrity. Again, Job reminds his friends that he knows who God is, but his unrelenting friends torture him with untruths that prove to be a source of further discomfort. I read a few commentaries and on gotquestions.org, they said, “Job’s friends got three things right: First, they came to him when he was suffering. Second, they empathized with him. Third, they spent time with him.” If we learn anything from Job’s suffering and his friend’s responses, may we reminder to show up and shut up. There is nothing more comforting to a suffering friend that a helpful hand and a listening ear.
Digging Deeper: In what ways does the book of Job help you to view suffering differently? How can we learn to step into our friend’s grief with a different mindset through the chapters we have read?
“The words of the Lord are pure words, like silver refined in an earthen furnace purified seven times.” Psalms 12:6
David writes so poetically that I feel like a recap on each psalm might be more helpful, so without further ado:
Psalm 8 // “Who are we to be considered so highly in God’s kingdom?”
Psalm 9 // “We can praise Him because He never abandons those who seek Him”
Psalm 10 // “God remains unchanged & His justice is for the oppressed”
Psalm 11 // “The Lord examines our every move and hates the wicked”
Psalm 12 // “God prevails over the wicked”
Psalm 13 // “A Plea for Deliverance”
Psalm 14 // “No one is good, apart from God”
Digging Deeper: How can we respond to oppression knowing the way God feels about it? How can we use scripture to interrupt culture with the truth?
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Proverbs 9:10
I’m going to treat Proverbs the same way as I did with Psalms
Proverbs 8 // “Those who search for me will find me…He who finds me, finds life”- Wisdom
Proverbs 9 // “Wisdom vs. Foolishness”
Proverbs 10-14 // “Sentence Wisdom” (great nuggets of wisdom in one short sentence)
Digging Deeper: Choose 5 “Sentence Wisdoms” that you need in your life right now. Write them on 3 notecards. Place one by your bed; one in your car; and one on the bathroom mirror. For additional structure, set 5 alarms throughout the day to ring for wisdom.
“This is what Joshua did, leaving nothing undone of all that the Lord had commanded Moses.” Joshua 11:15b
Israel takes of Ai and wins with the Lord’s help. Gibeon then comes to make a treaty with Joshua to avoid war with them. Unfortunately, Gibeon deceives Joshua by showing up in old tattered clothes, crusty food, and appearing as if they traveled from far away. Joshua makes a deal of peace with them, without consulting God and finds that they have been deceived. He tells them because of their deception that they will always be slaves. Then the Amorite kings turned to attack Gibeon, knowing that they had formed a treaty with Israel. Gibeon sent for Israel to help and they were overtaken by the soldiers and God rained hail on those who tried to flee. During the battle, Joshua asked for the sun to stand still and it remained that way almost a full day. They went to the southern cities and overtook them; they went to the northern cities and overtook them; they went to the east and west. Now, Joshua begins dividing the land to the tribes. After finishing, Caleb from the tribe of Judah comes to ask for his portion. He admits that his brothers fell away but that he followed the Lord completely and he was given the land as his inheritance.
Digging Deeper: In a lot of ways, Joshua is hard for me to read. It’s a war book and it’s gory and brutal and hard to comprehend. In what ways can we relate today to the harshness but the necessity for war? What can we learn about opposition of God and His people from this book>
“You are to regard only the Lord of Armies as holy. Only He should be feared; only He should be held in awe.” Isaiah 8:13
How cool is it that so much of Jesus’ life and afterlife was prophesied long before he was ever born and we get to read it today?
Isaiah 8 // Assyrian invasion and God’s holiness
Isaiah 9 // Jesus is coming, but God’s hand is raised against Israel
Isaiah 10 // Punishment for the wicked & Assyria’s dim future
Isaiah 11 // Reign of Jesus & Israel comes together
Isaiah 12 // Praise for all He has done
Isaiah 13 // Babylon will fall
Isaiah 14 // Israel’s Return & Downfall of the Enemy
Digging Deeper: In chapter 14, verse 14, we see that Satan says, “I will make myself like the Most High.” In what ways have you been deceived by the enemy that felt innocent? In what ways can we hope because of Jesus’ birth according to chapter 9
“It is necessary to go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God” Acts 14:22b
We begin our reading with Paul, who was called Saul, learning of his history as a persecutor. Imagine the disciples’ surprise, learning that someone who stood by, watching their friends be persecuted had now become one of them. They were terrified. Peter then has a vision revealing that God doesn’t show favoritism and there was an open door to the Gentiles to receive forgiveness of their sins through belief in Him. Repentance is for everyone! James, one of the disciples is martyred for his faith and Peter is imprisoned, but the church began to pray. Peter is rescued by an angel in the night and breaks free from prison. Church planting and mission work begins for the early church and we learn about the struggles of the early church in a world that didn’t have Jesus.
Digging deeper: Think back on your testimony on coming to Jesus. Think of the ways God has significantly used your story or you from your sin and brokenness. Imagine things from the disciples’ lens. In what ways do you believe God is calling you?
Week 3 coming soon. Thank goodness for scripture; a manual for how to live.