Wednesday May 13, 2020

Today’s Reading: Luke 16:1-12

“Whoever is faithful in very little is also faithful in much, and whoever is unrighteous in very little is also unrighteous in much.

Luke 16:10

Meditation: God gives us resources great and small to invest in His Kingdom. In the parable of the shrewd manager, Jesus shows how a dishonest man embodies the approach we should have towards the resources we have.

When a rich man tells his lazy manager to give him an account of what he’s done with his money, the manager, knowing that he will lose his job, makes friends with the rich man’s debtors by settling their accounts with the rich man for less than what they actually owe. He befriends the debtors, knowing that he will be able to seek their help when he is jobless. While his work is dishonest, the manager is commended by the rich man for using his resources to secure his own future.

Like the shrewd manager, we are managers of God’s resources and will one day be called to give an account of how we invested what we’ve been given. While this includes material resources, it also encompasses our time, relationships, talents, words, actions, community, and more. Like the shrewd manager, we must act now with what we have while we have the chance. Honoring God is not about how much we have to use, but about how much of what we have we are using to glorify Him. We can either invest in the future of God’s Kingdom, or in our own gain, like the shrewd manager. Working for ourselves brings only temporary security, but using our resources for God’s Kingdom grants the assurance that God secures our future through eternity. What would the world look like if every one of us invested what we had towards God’s work? Take inventory of what you have been given to use for God. Be encouraged today to invest it in His Kingdom.

Prayer:  Almighty God, You are swift and generous to bless. All that I have is because of You. Thank You for all that You have given for me to use for Your glory. Grant me Your inspiration and strength to invest these blessings back into the cause of Your Kingdom. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN.

Thru the Bible in a year (credit: Luke 16; Genesis 27:46-28:22; Psalm 21

Tuesday May 12, 2020

Today’s Reading: Psalm 20

Now I know that the Lord gives victory to His anointed; He will answer him from His holy heaven with mighty victories from His right hand.

Psalm 20:6

Meditation: The LORD brings victory to His anointed. King David, the writer of this psalm and the anointed King of Israel, knows better than anyone that God gives mighty victories not by chariots or horses, but by His Holy Name. While all other armies depended on chariots and horses, great military resources which accompanied men into battle, David trusted in God, a far mightier source of power and strength.

David had seen God give him victory, and experienced the LORD answering him in days of trouble (v.1), remembering him (v.3), and granting him the desires of his heart (v.4). But David’s declaration of trust in God’s help that we see in this psalm did more than just reveal truth about God’s power. It also prophesied about a much greater victory that God would bring through His Anointed Messiah centuries later.

Through Jesus, we see how the LORD brings ultimate victory to His Anointed. Jesus Christ, God’s Anointed Messiah, has truly brought victory to us all. Because of this victory, we can take heart in days of trouble (v.1), knowing that Jesus has already overcome the world. We have proof that God remembered us when He gave His only Son to atone for our sins (v.3). We can entrust to God the desires of our hearts knowing that as His redeemed, He seeks to do good works in us (v.4). Moreover, we can joyfully proclaim Jesus’ victory over sin and death and rest in it as our own (v.5). Take heart as a servant of God seeking to glorify Him today. The LORD has brought victory to His Anointed: Jesus. Whatever your circumstance or situation, because the LORD has brought victory to and through Jesus, you can live in the joy of victory with Him.

Prayer: Almighty God, You have won the ultimate victory. Your power and strength are unmatched. Thank You for seeing my need for a Redeemer and for bringing me Your help through His perfect work. Help me to live today with the reminder of  Your victory at the forefront of my mind. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN.

Thru the Bible in a year (credit: Luke 15; Genesis 27; Psalm 20

Monday May 11, 2020

Today’s Reading: Luke 14:25-35

“Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.

Luke 14:27

Meditation: Every thing of value costs something. Jesus teaches the crowds, as well as us today, that following Him comes at a great cost. He openly tells the cost of following Him so that all His followers are ready to meet those requirements. After all, Jesus says, doesn’t anyone starting a construction project first check to see that the project is within their budget before they break ground? Or doesn’t every good political leader first take inventory of their military resources before deciding to go to war? In varying degrees, both circumstances require thought about what it will cost to move forward. A lot is at stake in these decisions.

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Jesus’ demand for commitment was unlike that of other teachers of His time. If Jesus were not God, His requirements would seem outlandish and inappropriate. But because He is God, these requirements makes sense. He guarantees that followers of Him will need to uphold their relationship with God over all other relationships. They will need to forsake all their own desires for those of the Teacher and Savior. They will need to willingly bear their own cross and relinquish all earthly things for Jesus’ sake.

Following Jesus begins with accepting His invitation into a relationship with Him, but does not stop there. It is a choice that we are called to continually make with how we invest our time, talent, and treasure. This commitment of great price costs us everything only because it is worth everything. Every thing of value costs something. What would you exchange for the blessing of following the God of the Universe into eternity?

Prayer: Loving God, You are faithful to bless and so patient with us as we grow by Your Spirit. Thank You for Your joy which comes from seeking after Your righteousness, even when we fall short. Thank You for Your call to us to follow You. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN.

Thru the Bible in a year (credit: Luke 14:25-35; Genesis 26; Psalm 19

Sunday May 10, 2020

Today’s Reading: Jonah 3:1-10

So the people of Nineveh believed God, proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least of them.

Jonah 3:5

Sermon Main Idea: God’s Word powers true change.

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: Jonah preaches God’s message (v.1-4). Nineveh believes God and repents (v.5-9). God extends mercy (v.10).

Life Notes:

Trust God’s Word to ignite change in you. What does it mean to trust God’s Word? How would trusting in God’s Word ignite change in you?

Don’t miss the chance to trust God today. What are the dangers of missing our chance to trust God? Does God ever stop offering us chances to trust Him?

Prayer: Sovereign LORD, thank You for Your saving grace and mercy. Thank You for Your power that can change me and refine me for the better. Show me the places in my life that need Your help and strengthen me to trust in the work that You can do in me. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN.

Thru the Bible in a year (credit: Luke 14:1-24; Genesis 25; Psalm 18

Saturday May 9, 2020

Today’s Reading: Genesis 24:10-27

Before he had finished speaking, there was Rebekah—daughter of Bethuel son of Milcah, the wife of Abraham’s brother Nahor—coming with a jug on her shoulder.

Genesis 24:15

Meditation: At his master’s will, Abraham’s servant travels roughly 900 miles to Abraham’s hometown to find a bride for Isaac. Immediately after arriving in the town, he prays to God for guidance and provision and then begins his search. Unbeknownst to him, Rebekah, God’s answer to prayer, is already approaching him before he is finished praying. But more time will pass before the servant realizes that God has provided. The realization that Rebekah is a suitable bride for Isaac causes him to worship God.

God works in mysterious ways. In the case of Abraham’s servant, He meets needs even before they are uttered to Him. Because he has prays to God, the servant is able to realize that God can answer prayer.

If God knows our needs before we utter them, why pray anyway? Prayer is not only a way to communicate our needs to God, but also an opportunity for us to entrust God with those needs. By prayer we build a relationship of trust with a trustworthy God. In prayer, we grow closer to God and gain confidence in His faithfulness. Just as the servant showed through prayer that He believed God could meet his need, we can also go to God with all of our needs knowing that He will provide according to His Will.

Prayer: God, You are omniscient and wise. You are gracious to bless. Thank You for all of the ways that You hear our prayers and answer them. Draw us nearer to You, Lord, as we continually seek You in prayer. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN.

Thru the Bible in a year (credit: Luke 13:18-35; Genesis 24; Psalm 17

Friday May 8, 2020

Today’s Reading: Luke 13:10-17

Then He laid His hands on her, and instantly she was restored and began to glorify God.

Scripture Luke 13:13

Meditation: Through this miracle, Jesus displays His authority and power over demons, sickness, and disease. A woman who is “disabled by a spirit for 18 years” is finally free (v.11). For almost 20 years, this woman would have experienced both a constant physical toll on her body, as well as the shame of being ostracized by those around her. The Jews at that time believed that generational and present sins could result in physical disabilities. Therefore, the crippled, lame, blind, and long-term ill were believed to have either sinned themselves or had parents who sinned. This woman would have lived a life of not only disability, but loneliness.

By casting the demon out of this woman, Jesus restores not only her spiritual well-being and physical health, but also a place in the community. She is able to live a completely different life of peace, health, and fellowship because Jesus draws near to her. In response to all that Jesus has done for her, the woman glorifies God.

Our praise can also be simply that: a response of gratitude to God. But sometimes, we make things complicated. Like the leader of the synagogue, we can uphold our own standards over God’s desires. We can get so caught up in trying to look good enough for God that we forget about what He truly seeks from us: a heart of praise. Right now, take a moment to remember something that God has done for you. Let your praise be a simple response to what He has done.

Prayer: I praise You, God, for the love that You’ve shown me through Jesus, and for the way that You’ve changed my life through Him. Help me to live today in thankfulness and praise for what You do for me. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN.

Thru the Bible in a year (credit: Luke 13:1-17; Genesis 23; Psalm 16

Thursday May 7, 2020

Today’s Reading: Psalm 15

Lord, who can dwell in Your tent? Who can live on Your holy mountain?

Psalm 15:1

Meditation: David asks God: who is able to draw near to Him, to come into His presence, to abide or live permanently with God? The tent David refers to is the Tabernacle of God, the portable Temple for God which traveled with the Israelites during the years that they wandered in the wilderness. When approaching God’s Tabernacle, a person would offer a sacrifice, and then be cleansed with water. Even then, only the priests, the most holy among the people, were allowed to enter the actual Tent where God dwelt.

David longs to be near to God, not only to draw near to Him, but to stay near to Him. And yet, he acknowledges who is worthy to remain so close to God, Who is Holy: those who are upright in character and speech, those who love their neighbor and hate all that is evil, those who honor God at all times and keep all of their promises, those who are not swayed at all by material gain. These people, David says, are the ones who will “never be moved” from God’s presence (v.5).

But this creates a problem for us, doesn’t it? Who has ever been this righteous? Who has always done all of these things? While many of us do our best, we all fall vastly short of this standard. Seeing this truth shows us our need for Jesus, who lived in perfect righteousness and exchanged our sins for His perfect work. Because we believe in Jesus, instead of trying to live righteously in order to reach God’s presence, we can try to live righteously because God has already drawn near to us through His Son. Don’t trust in your own righteousness. It won’t get you far. Rely on the One Who is righteous.

Prayer: Lord, we come before You remembering our need for a Savior. Because we know the depth of our sin, we are able treasure the beauty of Your Cross more fully. Thank You for drawing near to us through Your Son. Thank You for the lengths to went to save us. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN.

Thru the Bible in a year (credit: Luke 12:32-59; Genesis 22; Psalm 15

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