Just men reading, memorizing and studying the bible together!

No Reading Today

by | December 21, 2014 | In Daily Reading No Comments

Alternate Plans
Bible Order: Hebrews 7–9
Old Testament Only: Amos 5–9
New Testament Only: Revelation 7:9–8:13
(Current Plan is Chronological)

No Reading Today

Sleeping ManOur current chronological reading plan has no reading for Sundays. Take this day to reflect on what God has said to you through His Holy Word this past week.

Have a blessed day!

Your brother and servant in Christ,

Bill

Dying to self, living to serve!

Alternate Plans
Bible Order: Hebrews 1–6
Old Testament Only: Amos 1–4
New Testament Only: Revelation 7:9–8:13
(Current Plan is Chronological)

Where Do We Go From Here?

1 Timothy 1-6

Question mark in circleBrothers, we start the book of 1 Timothy today, but instead of commenting I want to write a bit about next year. A handful of you have been good about letting me know you are following along and that you find some value in this blog. I am pleased to hear that. It encourages me to keep on keeping on. We will finish our fifth year of reading the Bible together on January 3rd.

I’ve been thinking a bit on what to do next year. I have to admit to you that I’m starting to feel like I’m in a bit in a rut. While I’ve enjoyed taking a verse or two on which to ponder and comment every day, I have found myself yearning to go deeper in my Bible Study. The constrains of the yearly reading plan have kept me from stopping and spending more time on things that interest me. Every day we have to move on to the next verse, the next chapter, the next book.

What I’m considering is this; I would like to continue to provide in your inbox every day, four options for a daily reading plan, but I would like to disconnect my commentary from those reading plans. As you see at the top of this post I list three different reading plans every day and then comment on a fourth reading plan which I follow. What I would do instead is simply list those reading plans, Bible Order, Old Testament Only, New Testament Only, and Chronological Order. As far as commentary, I think I would like to simply choose a book of the Bible to study, and comment upon my study every day until I finish with the book. This means that I could go into more depth about the book in question, I could follow trains of thought on any given verse or subject until I felt I covered it, and I wouldn’t have any deadline to finish my study. Once I completed the study of one book I would jump to another book and proceed from there. As part of my study I would be reading more about what the great scholars have to say about the books and passages in question and then I would share with you what I learned from them.

Now while I started this blog in order to get my head in God’s Word every day, I also started it to encourage other Christian men to do the same. I don’t want this blog to be all about me so I am asking for your input. Please share with me what you think would be helpful for you in your growth in God’s Word. Click the comment link above and give me your thoughts. Will you stop using this blog if I stop commenting along with a reading plan? Would you find deeper study of a book more helpful? If so what books would you like to see us study? Three books that jump right out to me without any real thought at all is Genesis, Romans, and John.

If I do go forward with this idea of just studying one book until I feel ready to move on, I can’t promise I will provide any value to you whatsoever. I feel, however, that I’ve started to get a little bland and redundant. I fear repeating myself so much may make this blog of less value to you as time goes on. I’m just kind of thinking out loud here but I’ll have to make up my mind soon so we can get off to a good start on January 4th. There is a lot of work I have to do each year to be prepared for the following year. Please share your thoughts with me at your earliest convenience. As I mentioned above, feel free to click on the “comments” or “no comments” link to the right of this post’s title. If you’d rather keep your comments just between me and you then feel free to email me at bill@brothersofthebook.com.

Thanks for following along over the years brothers. You have helped me grow in Christ just knowing that you’ll notice if I don’t get my Bible reading and commentary done. I love you in Christ and whether you continue with me into the future or not I pray that God will continue to bless you and grow you into the spitting image of Christ!

Have a blessed day!

Your brother and servant in Christ,

Bill

Dying to self, living to serve!

Alternate Plans
Bible Order: Revelation 1–7
Old Testament Only: Zechariah 5–8
New Testament Only: Revelation 19
(Current Plan is Chronological)

Run Toward The Light

1 John 1-5, 2 John, 3 John

Tunnel - Light at endI love the Apostle John as a writer. I love his imagery. I love how he writes to believers with the goal of maturing us in Christ. One of the things that resonated with me in today’s reading is the following passage.

1 John 2:15-17 ESV

“[15] Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. [16] For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. [17] And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.”

Do you remember Jesus saying that a man cannot serve two masters? You cannot pursue God and the things of this world at the same time. To paraphrase John from earlier in today’s reading, we cannot walk in the light while walking in the darkness. In fact we can’t even have right relationship with God or fellow Christians if we busy ourselves with pursuit of worldly desires and passions. This world is passing away and the desires of this world will pass away with it. Life is not found in the desires of this world but in the desire of God.

The real problem with the desires of the world for Christians is that they draw our attention away from God. Have you ever seen a plant that does not get enough light? Such a plant wilts; its leaves droop and fall off. A lack of light makes a plant sickly and sad. By the same token, if you look at plants that live in the light, their leaves and branches grow in the direction of the light. Given sufficient light and water a plant will grow fast and strong.

A Christian does not have to worry about losing his salvation but what about the quality of ones walk in Christ? The things of this world only serve to sicken us by distracting us and drawing us away from the light. Brother, run from the darkness and toward the light. It is the only way to really live!

Have a blessed day!

Your brother and servant in Christ,

Bill

Dying to self, living to serve!

Alternate Plans
Bible Order: Titus 1–3, Philemon
Old Testament Only: Joel 1–3
New Testament Only: Revelation 6:1–7:8
(Current Plan is Chronological)

Who You Are In Christ

Ephesians 5-6, Titus 1-3

Question mark in circleWho are you in Christ? Well I don’t know about you but I am certainly a work in progress in Christ. I’m surrounded by a world that influences me on both a conscious and subconscious level. Our magazines, television, movies, music, art, and politics are all polluted, setting a filthy standard by which we all seem to measure ourselves. Our society preaches self-centeredness. Our advertising never ceases to tell us about all the things we “deserve” to have. We shouldn’t have to wait for what we want. They tell us that “things” are the path to happiness. Why even doing good deeds is about how it will make us feel about ourselves. With so many self-centered, negative influences in our daily lives, it becomes very hard to not reflect this negative society.

Reflecting this negative society, however, is not who we are supposed to be in Christ. We are supposed to be like Him. Paul, at the beginning of chapter 5 of Ephesians tells us that we should be imitators of God which means to walk in love. He goes on to tell us what should not be part of our life.

Ephesians 5:3-11 ESV

“[3] But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. [4] Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. [5] For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. [6] Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. [7] Therefore do not become partners with them; [8] for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light [9] (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), [10] and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. [11] Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.”

As insidious and pervasive as our society is, we are still not to reflect this society; we are to reflect God. Covetousness and sexual impurity are not to be found in us. You know what that means don’t you brother? Do not let someone deceive you into thinking that there is nothing wrong with looking as long as you don’t touch. All sin begins within the heart and mind. Thoughts lead to actions. Actions lead to habits. Habits lead to destiny. You are destined for eternity with God so let your thoughts be upon the things of God rather than the things of man. Rise above the filth of this world. Reflect God’s light so others can rise up as well. That is who you are in Christ.

Have a blessed day!

Your brother and servant in Christ,

Bill

Dying to self, living to serve!

Alternate Plans
Bible Order: 2 Timothy 1–4
Old Testament Only: Hosea 11–14
New Testament Only: Revelation 4–5
(Current Plan is Chronological)

Never Forget – You Were Renovated

Ephesians 1-4

Renovation Need!

Renovation Need!

I was reminded as I read in Ephesians today of how filthy and hopeless I was before I submitted my life to Christ. Below are the verses that painted such a vivid memory for me.

Ephesians 2:1-7 ESV

“[1] And you were dead in the trespasses and sins [2] in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—[3] among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. [4] But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, [5] even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—[6] and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, [7] so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”

As I thought about the amazing “renovation” job Christ has wrought in me, I was also reminded of those home remodeling shows they have on TV. Some of the places they renovate are real dumps. They show you how the place looked before, and while they show you bits and pieces as they renovate, it is only at the end of the show that you get to compare the before and after shots. The transformations can be rather spectacular.

Such a renovation is what happens to anyone in Christ. Let us not forget how wretched we were before Christ. We were dead. We were a bunch of zombies walking around as if we were alive, but all we really were was a bunch of walking dead. We followed the course laid out by Satan, led by the nose to pursue our most base impulses and desires. In that pursuit we were like everyone else; condemned already to eternity separated from God.

I love it when we read in the Bible “but God”. This is almost always a moment after which what we deserve is described, and a moment before we hear of God’s amazing love and grace; as is the case in the verses above. But God loved us so much that He worked an amazing renovation project in us. He chose us. He sent His son to die for us. He called us. He saved us. He is saving us. He will save us. Where in any of this are you found deserving? Nowhere. In no step along the way can you possibly say that you deserved what God has done for you. But brother, how can you appreciate your renovation if you forget from whence you came?

Let us never forget who we were in ourselves and who we became in Christ. Then let us never cease to respond as we should to God’s incredible love for us. Let us love Him in return as our proper response. Let us obey out of a desire to obey in response to His love. Keep the before and after pictures of your renovation forever in your mind for in the gap is a picture of God’s incredible love for you.

Have a blessed day!

Your brother and servant in Christ,

Bill

Dying to self, living to serve!

Alternate Plans
Bible Order: 1 Timothy 1–6
Old Testament Only: Hosea 6–10
New Testament Only: Revelation 3
(Current Plan is Chronological)

In Him All Things Hold Together

Philemon, Colossians 1-4

Laminin diagram - blue glowBrothers, Christ is EVERYTHING! We read in Philemon and Colossians today. The book of Philemon is really a letter from Paul to a slave owner concerning a runaway slave. It is an interesting little letter; one I have commented upon before. It was in Colossians, however, as I read about how all things were made by Him, and through Him, and for Him, that I was reminded of how Christ is imprinted upon the very fabric of our physical being. Below is an excerpt of Paul’s comments along this line.

Colossians 1:15-17 ESV

“[15] He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. [16] For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. [17] And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”

Actual Electron Microscope photo of the protein Laminin.

Actual Electron Microscope photo of the protein Laminin.

We’ve been doing this blog together for five years now – that is to say that we are coming to the end of our fifth year here at the end of December. I can’t remember if it was last year or two or three years ago when I shared with you the protein Laminin. Laminin forms a matrix within our bodies that holds everything together. It has been described as an integral part of the structural scaffolding in almost every animal tissue.

Above is a scientific diagram of Laminin and below that is a picture, taken through a microscope, of the actual protein. As you can see, this protein that holds everything together is in the shape of a cross. I have a cross on my desk. It reminds me of whose I am and what He suffered to save me. He holds me together spiritually as well as physically. Paul said it exactly right. In Him all things hold together.

Have a blessed day!

Your brother and servant in Christ,

Bill

Dying to self, living to serve!