Wednesday May 6, 2020

Today’s Reading: Genesis 21:1-7

Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the appointed time God had told him.

Genesis 21:2

Meditation: God fulfills the promise that He made to Abraham, despite Abraham and Sarah’s unbelief. One night, God shows Abraham all of the stars in the sky and promises that his descendants will be just as numerous. But Abraham at the time has no children, and questions how God will provide the way to that promise. On a second occasion, God declares that Abraham will conceive a son with his wife Sarah. Sarah laughs in response. Yet, at 90 years old, she gives birth to her son Isaac.

Nothing is impossible for God. He is faithful to His promises. He works in all circumstances for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purposes, and for His glory. When we are waiting on the promises of God, it is important to consider two points:

  1. Has God actually promised the things that we are waiting for? Sometimes we mistakenly prescribe promises meant for others in Scripture onto ourselves.
  2. Do we believe in the promises that God is promising us? God doesn’t fulfill His promises to us according to our time, but according to His timing. Waiting in hope for the fulfillment of His promises requires confidence that God’s Word is true.

Even if you are unsure of what God has in store for you, be encouraged to live in faith in God because of Who He is. Certainty in Who God says He is helps us to be certain that we can trust in His Word to us. Just as Abraham and Sarah continued in a relationship with God which lead to a life of fullness and purpose, we can also live lives of faith for God’s glory.

Prayer: Loving God, I thank You for Your faithfulness. I thank You that You are working in my life. I pray that the assurance of Who You are allows me to live each day in faithfulness to You. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN.

Thru the Bible in a year (credit: Luke 12:1-31; Genesis 21; Psalm 14

Tuesday May 5, 2020

Today’s Reading: Luke 11:29-32

“For just as Jonah became a sign to the people of Nineveh, so also the Son of Man will be to this generation.”

Scripture Luke 11:30

Meditation: During His ministry, Jesus performs signs which point to His authority and power as the Messiah. His works gather large crowds that are hoping see proof of Jesus as the Messiah they are expecting. But Jesus’ miraculous healings and casting out of demons divide the crowds in their understanding of Jesus’ identity. Some go as far as saying that His works are proof that He is of demons and not of God. And yet, they ask for more signs, more proof that Jesus is Who He says He is. They want a military or political Messiah. His works do not satisfy their seeking because they are unwilling to see Jesus for Who He is instead of Who they want Him to be.

In response, Jesus says that, just as Jonah had become a sign of God’s redemption and salvation, He will become a greater sign of eternal salvation through His death and resurrection. But even this sign, Jesus says, will not cause the unwilling to believe that He is sent by God. Many who sought after Jesus’ miracles failed to see that the signs were revealing Jesus as someone who was more than they had hoped for: God in human form. Jesus the Messiah was far greater than the Messiah people were expecting. Jesus’ work wouldn’t be to conquer the Roman Empire, but sin and death.

Seeking signs of God’s work in the world is difficult when we place our own expectations upon God. In our search for proof that He is working in the ways we want Him to, we risk seeing what He is actually doing. We begin to doubt that God “neither slumbers nor sleeps” (Psalm 121:4). If the signs of God’s work around you are difficult for you to see right now, take heart in the knowledge that God’s Word withstands all circumstances. The everlasting truth of God declares God Himself as our Help. Our trust in Him helps us to see more clearly His ongoing work around us.

Prayer: Sovereign Lord, Your ways are higher than my ways and Your thoughts are higher than my thoughts. Thank You for proving over and over again Your unending faithfulness. I know You are at work Lord. As I seek after You, help me to see Your work around me. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN.

Thru the Bible in a year (credit: Luke 11:29-54; Genesis 20; Psalm 13

Monday May 4, 2020

Today’s Reading: Psalm 12

The words of the Lord are pure words, like silver refined in an earthen furnace, purified seven times. 

Psalm 12

Meditation: While the words of others can be deceitful and destructive, David writes in his psalm that the words of God are pure. The process of refining silver illustrates what he means. In order to obtain pure silver from silver ore, ore is melted and heated at high temperatures. The heat melts the metal mass. Within the melted liquid, impurities sink to the bottom of the compound and leave the reflective and brilliant silver at the top. Before different modern refining processes were invented, the one ancient method of refining by heat was performed repeatedly on a mass of silver ore until all of the impurities had been removed.

Like pure silver, the Word of God has been tested and tried throughout the ages and still stands, shining brilliantly true for us today. In the midst of lies and worthless words, the Word of God guards and protects those who heed it. Because God’s Word is true, it can be trusted. We can make it our goal to understand what God is saying, knowing that how His wisdom enriches us will stand the test of time and trial. God’s Word is a pure and precious treasure worth seeking. We cannot always trust what others say, but we can trust in the Word of God.

Prayer: I praise You, LORD, for Your perfect Word. Thank You for enriching me and assuring me through it. Please help to gain Your wisdom by it. May the purity of Your Word refine me for the purpose of Your glory. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN.

Thru the Bible in a year (credit: Luke 11:1-28; Genesis 19; Psalm 12

Sunday May 3, 2020

Today’s Reading: Jonah 1:17-2:10

Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the fish’s belly. And he said: “I cried out to the Lord because of my affliction, and He answered me. Out of the belly of Sheol I cried, and You heard my voice.”

Jonah 2:1-2

Sermon Main Idea: Let go of your pride and go deep in your faith.

Listen to Rev. Solomona’s sermon from today’s 10AM Sunday Worship Livestream on our Facebook Page, Reflect on the Text Points and Life Notes below.

Text Notes: God saves, Jonah prays (v.17-2:2). Jonah accredits his dilemma to God (v.3-6). Jonah condemns, but does not confess (v.7-9).

Life Notes:

  • Superficial spirituality avoids the depth of our sin.
    • How does pride keep us from realizing the depth of our sin?
    • What should we know about facing the depth of our sin?
  • God saves according to His provision, not our preference.
    • Do you have any examples of God saving you in a way you did not prefer but later praised Him for?
    • Why does God save in ways that are not according to our preference?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I praise You for Your salvation. Thank you for saving me from the depth of my sin. Show me how to surrender more to the daily work You are doing in my life. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN.

Thru the Bible in a year (credit: Luke 10:21-42; Genesis 18; Psalm 11

Saturday May 2, 2020

Today’s Reading: Genesis 17:1-9

“As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations. No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations.”

Genesis 17:4-5

Meditation: God establishes with Abraham a covenant, a relationship, which affects Abraham’s life in many ways. First, God tells Abraham what He expects from him in the covenant they share. Abraham is expected to be faithful to God and blameless, or fully committed to God, just as God is ever faithful. Abraham is given a call to fulfill. Second, God promises that Abraham will become the father of many nations. This must have been difficult for Abraham to believe, since at this point in his life he is not able to conceive children with his wife Sarah. But Abraham’s future is affected in that by God’s word he is given numerous descendants and a lineage that connects to Jesus Christ. Third, God changes Abraham’s name. Abram, the ‘father of many,’ becomes Abraham, ‘the father of many nations’. The blessing read in Abraham’s name is increased and fulfilled by God through the covenant. Abraham’s identity has permanently changed. Moreover, his relationship with God now dictates how others know him.

This covenant between Abraham and God illustrates how our lives are affected when we share a relationship with God. God gives us expectations on how to live. God blesses us in order that we can be blessings to others. In God, we are also given a new identity which associates us with God and points others to Him. Our relationship with God affects our whole life in ways that bring Him glory and extends blessing to others. It transforms every facet of our life, resulting in blessing and joy as we grow closer to God.

Prayer: Almighty God, nearness to You is so precious. Thank You for the opportunity You give me to draw closer in relationship with You. Thank You for the fullness of blessing and joy that Your presence gives me. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN.

Thru the Bible in a year (credit: Luke 10:1-20; Genesis 17; Psalm 10

Friday May 1, 2020

Today’s Reading: Psalm 9:1-10

Those who know Your name trust in You, for You, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek You.

Psalm 9:10

Meditation: The psalmist describes God’s perfect righteousness and judgment. He has witnessed his enemies “stumble and perish” in their wickedness (v.3) as a result of God’s rule. He trusts in God the “Righteous Judge” (v.4), Who discerns what is good and evil, and knows all circumstances and every person’s heart. He is assured that because God will not forsake him, he does not have to worry in times of trouble.

The psalmist can trust God because he knows God and has seen firsthand what God has done in his life. He has witnessed God destroy all wickedness that has come against him. He has seen God judge with equity and protect the oppressed. His nearness to God has established his trust in God. And it is because of this trust that the psalmist is made glad and is moved to share all that God has done.

Today, God still “rules the world in righteousness and judges the peoples with equity” (v.8). We can be assured that He is the perfect Judge Who sees and knows all people and situations completely. Trusting in God, rejoicing in Him, and living in thanksgiving to God happens when we seek after Him, when we take the time to know Him, when we become close to Him. And in our own efforts to know God more, He gives us reason to trust in Him and tell others of His “wonderful deeds” (v.1).

Prayer: Lord God, You have indeed done wonderful deeds. I rejoice that I can trust in Your righteous rule and perfect judgment. I pray that by Your grace You would cause me to trust in You more than ever before. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN.

Thru the Bible in a year (credit: Luke 9:28-62; Genesis 16; Psalm 9

Thursday April 30, 2020

Today’s Reading: Luke 9:21-27

Then [Jesus] said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.”

Luke 9:23

Meditation: Jesus foretells His own suffering, rejection, and death. We read in the verses prior that Peter has just declared Jesus the long-expected Messiah, the One who people expected would free them from the oppression of Roman rule. But the life Jesus says He will live is very different. Instead, Jesus says that He will be tortured and killed.

Jesus spoke plainly by mentioning the cross. Like everyone else living under Roman rule, Jesus’ disciples would have known that the only cross anyone carried was a cross upon which they were doomed to die. No criminal undergoing crucifixion ever had the choice to accept the cross that was laid upon them.

But Jesus reveals that for things to come about according to God’s plan, He must “suffer many things” (v. 22). So instead of avoiding a cross wrongly placed upon Him, He would willingly choose to put upon Himself that cross for the sake of others. Jesus also tells His disciples that if they want to follow Him, they must also choose to sacrifice their own lives as well. They must daily forego their own desires for the sake of God’s desires. Today, that same call exists for all who want to follow Jesus. His example does not promise physical comfort. It guarantees suffering. But it is the only way to the Kingdom of God. Maybe you believe in Who Jesus is. Have you made the choice to follow Him and to be part of a plan far greater than your own? The cost of forsaking our own dreams is far outweighed by the blessing of following the Savior into eternity.

Prayer: Almighty God, I believe in You. Your plan of redemption through Your Son was perfect in design and execution. Help me to daily choose Your Will over my own. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN.

Thru the Bible in a year (credit: Luke 9:1-27; Genesis 15; Psalm 8

Wednesday April 29, 2020

Today’s Reading: Genesis 14:14-24

But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “With raised hand I have sworn an oath to the LORD, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth, that I will accept nothing belonging to you, not even a thread or the strap of a sandal, so that you will never be able to say, ‘I made Abram rich.’

Genesis 14:22-23

Meditation: In order to rescue his nephew Lot and his family, Abram (who will later be known as Abraham) comes to the military aid of two cities, Sodom and Gomorrah, to defeat those who have captured Lot and his family. (These are the same cities that are later destroyed by God because of the wickedness of their people.) With the help of Abram’s battle prowess as well as his 318 servant fighters, the cities’ captives and possessions are restored completely and the cities Sodom and Gomorrah are indebted to him for his help.

To repay Abram, the king of Sodom decides to reward him richly. He offers to give Abram all of the livestock and possessions of the two cities that he has restored, and that only the people of the city are returned, including Lot and his family. This is an extravagant offer. But Abram refuses to take anything from the king, in order to avoid the idea that his wealth was given to him by anyone other than God. Now, there is a hint of Abram’s wealth in the passage. When going to battle, Abram gathers 318 battle-ready servants to fight on his behalf. It can be assumed that his entire household and staff consisted of additional men and women who did not go to battle. The need for this amount of servants, and the finances required to run this type of household speaks to Abram’s great wealth before he was offered this reward from the king of Sodom. God had already blessed Abram richly, and Abram knew that his riches came from God. He refused to have anyone misunderstand its source.

Abram knew that God blessed him richly because He allowed God to be his sole provider. But could he have been so sure to proclaim God’s provision to others if he put his trust in anyone or anything else? The more we trust in God for supplying our every need, the better the position we are in to declare what He has done in our lives. What a wonderful truth it is that the more God blesses us, and the more we rely on Him for those blessings, the more testimony He puts at our fingertips to share with the world what He has done for us!

Prayer: Loving God, You are the God from Whom all blessings flow. Thank You for all that You do for me. Thank You for the countless examples You’ve given of Your grace and faithfulness. Please show me new ways to rely on You and proclaim to others what You have done for me. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN.

Thru the Bible in a year (credit: Luke 8:26-56; Genesis 13:1-14:24; Psalm 7

Tuesday April 28, 2020

Today’s Reading: Psalm 6

Turn, LORD, and deliver me; save me because of Your unfailing love.

Psalm 6:4

Meditation: The psalmist in distress cries out to God. He addresses God as LORD, which in the original Scriptures is actually Yahweh, the name God revealed to Moses and the Hebrew people. Just as Yahweh was the God of the psalmist’s ancestors, Yahweh is the psalmist’s God too. The psalmist is close to God. He shares a relationship with God.

But there is trouble in this relationship between the psalmist and God. We read that the psalmist asks God not to rebuke him or discipline him. He faces the righteous anger of God because he has done something wrong against God. As a result, the psalmist is experiencing spiritual pain with his ‘soul in anguish,’ physical weariness in being ‘worn out from groaning,’ and emotional frailty as he describes himself feeling ‘weak with sorrow.’ In his sin, his is completely depleted. And in his despair, the psalmist cries out to God for deliverance. Not deliverance based on what he deserves from God, but the deliverance that is based on God’s unfailing love. The psalmist acknowledges that he is suffering because of his own choice to sin against God. He also acknowledges that while he cannot depend on his own ability or character to be freed from the burden of sin and be restored to a relationship with God, he can trust in God’s power and willingness to repair the brokenness caused by his own actions.

Aren’t we like the psalmist sometimes? We know God and share fellowship with Him, and we celebrate and acknowledge the truth of what He’s done throughout the ages. We enjoy a close relationship with Him and experience the joy of that relationship. But soon, we turn away from God. Maybe we fail to go where He’s leading, or do what we shouldn’t. As a result, we experience consequences of going our own way.

In our anguish we can always cry out to Him with a heart that is longing to be close to God once again. Like the psalmist, we cannot trust in what we’ve done to prove any of our own goodness in God’s eyes. We can, however, have confidence in God’s character of unfailing love and faithfulness to restore us to Him. Take heart today that whatever you’re experiencing, God can and will do this because of Who He is. We need only to trust in Him. Praise be to God!

Prayer: Thank You LORD, the God of Ages, for doing Your perfect work throughout time and space because of Who You are. May the truth of Your unfailing love guide me to trust in Your Will for my life, that I may surrender every day to You. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN.

Thru the Bible in a year (credit: Luke 8:1-25; Genesis 12; Psalm 6

Monday April 27, 2020

Today’s Reading: Luke 7:18-33

When the men came to Jesus, they said, “John the Baptist sent us to You to ask, ‘Are You the One who is to come, or should we expect someone else?'”

Luke 7:20

Meditation: While in prison, John the Baptist hears the news of Jesus’ miracles that has spread throughout the region. He asks his disciples, his students, to seek clarification from Jesus: was He really the Messiah?

Now, John the Baptist revealed himself to be, as Scripture describes, the voice crying out in the wilderness, “Prepare the way of the Lord (John 1:23, as prophesied in Isaiah 40:3).” This is the same John who, upon seeing Jesus at the Jordan River declared about Jesus, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29)!” But even John experiences a season of doubt, so much so that He sends his disciples to confirm if what He said about Jesus was true.

Jesus answers John’s question and eliminates any doubt within him and his students. Instead of declaring Who He is, Jesus proves Who He is. In the presence of John’s disciples, Jesus does the work of healing many of sicknesses and diseases. He casts out demons and restores sight to the blind (Luke 7:21). And after all of that, Jesus tells John’s disciples to report back to their teacher, John, what they themselves have seen and heard Jesus doing. Not only are the miracles proofs of Jesus’ power and authority, they also fulfill prophesies of specific miracles that the long-awaited Messiah would perform (Isaiah 26, 35, 61).

Jesus meets questions with answers for those who seek to know Him. In the Bible are countless testaments of Jesus fulfilling prophesy and proving His power and authority as God the Son. For those who have come to know Jesus, and even for those who don’t know Him yet, there is also proof of His ongoing work in the world today. We have all of the answers we need to be assured that Jesus is the Messiah. As in the case of John and his disciples, we don’t have to stay in any state of doubt that we have about God. Instead, we can meet Jesus with our doubts, trusting that our knowledge of Him can replace any shade of doubt with absolute certainty that He is our Messiah, Redeemer, and Lord.

Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for meeting our doubt with certainty. Thank You that we can always come to You assured of Your saving grace. When we seek You, help us to find You, Lord. As we draw nearer to You in study and prayer, increase our faith and trust in You. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN.

Thru the Bible in a year (credit: Luke 7:18-50; Genesis 11; Psalm 5