Day 13 & 14 Bible Reading

Genesis 14 - War breaks out in the Valley of Siddim; Abram rescues Lot; Abram eats with Melchizedek, priest of the Most High and king of Salem.

Nehemiah 3 - The building of the walls and gates;  repairs to houses of prominent Jews in the area; repairs to all areas in Jerusalem and who did them.

v.12 Shallum the son of Hallohesh, leader of half the district of Jerusalem; he and his daughters made repairs. I think it's awesome that the guy had his girls out there doing heavy work alongside the men...and the fact that it is mentioned is pretty big. Maybe all he had were daughters! One thing's for sure, he had some useful chicks!

Matthew 13 - Parables and parables explained; Parable of the seed on the soils; Parable of wheat and tares; Parable of Mustard Seed; parable of treasure, pearl, and dragnet;

v.12 For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.

Wesley's Notes
13:12 Whosoever hath - That is, improves what he hath, uses the grace given according to the design of the giver; to him shall be given - More and more, in proportion to that improvement. But whosoever hath not - Improves it not, from him shall be taken even what he hath - Here is the grand rule of God's dealing with the children of men: a rule fixed as the pillars of heaven. This is the key to all his providential dispensations; as will appear to men and angels in that day. Mt 25:29 (parable of talents); Mark 4:25 (light of the world aoncrext); Luke 8:18 (light of the world again); 19:26 (parable of talents).

v. 57 - So they were offended at Him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house.” 58 Now He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief.

We think we know a person because we grew up around them. But unless God gives us the revelation, we don't know them like He knows them: as they truly are.

Acts 13 - Holy Spirit requires Barnabas and Saul to be sent; Saul called Paul in Paphos; Paul and the sorcerer; they go to Antioch and Paul expounds on the Old Testament;

v. 3 - Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away.

(laying on of hands reference!)


Day 12 Bible Reading

Nehemiah 2 - Nehemiah is granted leave to go and rebuild the walls of Jerusalem; While there he treaties his people to rebuild and is ridiculed by the locals

Genesis 13 - Abram and Lot separate to different lands because they can't both dwell on the same land with all their posessions.

Matthew 12 - Jesus and the Pharisees - Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath; Heals withered hand on Sabbath; Isaiah prophecy fulfilled that He should be secret and also for the Gentiles; A kingdom divided will not stand; v. 31 blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men; Brood of vipers!; tree known by it's fruit; held accountable for every idle word, v.37 "for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned"; sign of prophet Jonah; "Who is My mother, and who are My brothers?" "Whoever does the will of My Father"

Acts 12 - James killed with sword by Herod; Peter freed from prison; Herod fails to give glory to God and is struck down and eaten by worms and dies. Barnabas and Saul/Paul take on John Mark.


Day 11 Bible Reading

Acts 11 - Peter defends God's grace to the Gentiles; Barnabas and Saul/Paul in Antioch

Matthew 11  - John the Baptist asks if Jesus is the Christ; Jesus identifies and appreciates him; Jesus rebukes the cities; "hidden from the wise, revealed to babes"; "...and I will give you rest.";

v. 11 - John the baptist is "greatest" among "those born of women". But even the "least" in the kingdom of heaven is "greater" than he. After a little research i have found this to mean that a Spirit-filled Christian with the least amount of faith is closer to God than someone who keeps the law but does not have the perfection of Jesus living within them.
v. 19 - I like this: "...wisdom is justified by her children." I almost sense as though the wisdom that the LORD gave to my parents is evidenced in me. Perhaps the wisdom the LORD and my parents gave me will be seen in what my children are like as adults, by the grace of God.
v.28-30 - "Come to me all you who labor and are  heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Need I say more?

Genesis 12 - Promises to Abram; Abram's journey; Abram says Sarai is his sister

Nehemiah 1 - intro; the king's cupbearer


Day 10 Bible Reading

Genesis 11 - Tower of Babel; Shem's Geneology; Terah takes Abram, Sarai, and Lot to Canaan

Ezra 10 - Last chapter of Ezra; putting away of pagan wives and children

Matthew 10 - The Twelve Apostles are sent; Jesus builds them up
v.8b - "Freely you have received, freely give."
v.14 - "And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet."
v. 16 - “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves."
v.19, 20 - "But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; 20 for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you."
v. 26b - "...For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known."
v. 27 - “Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops."
v. 30 - "But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows."
v. 32 -  “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven."
v. 34 -  “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword."
v. 38 - "And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. 39 He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it."
v. 42 - "And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward.”

So many scriptures from Matthew 10 that I have used in the past. The way God takes care of those who do his work. I need all of this guidance to stay on the path. Every word that Jesus spoke was so valuable, like gold falling from His lips and I am catching all of it. LORD, let Your Word live in me as I walk out this life.

Acts 10 - Cornelius the centurion; Peter preaches to Gentiles and they receive Holy Spirit; Gentiles baptized


Day 9 Bible Reading

Acts 9 - Saul on Damascus Road, conversion; Ananias obeys God; Saul receives sight and the Holy Spirit; Peter prays for Tabitha the seamstress, she rises from death.

Genesis 9 - God tells Noah how it's going to be; Noah gets drunk on wine; Ham's indiscretion brings a curse to Canaan. Noah lived 950 years!

Genesis 10 - Geneology of Sons of Noah; Set up for Babel dispersion

Matthew 9 - Jesus forgives paralytic and calls Matthew from his Tax office; Matt invites all his tac collecting friends to dine with Jesus (probably); Fasting associated with mourning and new wine/cloth; Raises girls, heals bleeding woman from hem touch, heals blind men and tells them not to tell, but they do anyway; Heals mute demon-posessed man; Jesus sees multitude and is moved; "The harvest plentiful..."

Verse 17 - My interpretation of Jesus' words about the new wine and new cloth are: don't require a new believer to practice the deeds of someone who has had many years to be changed and sanctified.

Ezra 9 - Intermarriage with Pagans; Ezra mourns and laments to God about their guilt in intermarrying.


Day 8 Bible Reading

Genesis 8 - Rain and waters cease, Noah exits the ark from the "Mountains of Ararat", God makes convenant with Rainbow.

Matthew 8 - Jesus cleanses/heals Leper, Centurion's faithful servant, Calms the sea, Casts demons into pigs

Verse 17 - The prophet Isaiah had said that Jesus took and bore our infirmities and sicknesses. There is always a cost to the healing, it's not some magic trick.

Ezra 8 - Appointing the people to build and attend the temple, fasting at the river Ahava, sacrificing on the way to Jerusalem

Verse 21 - fasting as a way of humbling ourselves before the LORD to ask His guidance.

Acts 8 - Saul persecutes the church, Simon the Sorcerer, Phillip and the Ethiopian

Verse 16, the Holy Spirit is referred to as He, just in case there is any argument.
Verse 18 - Simon is some illusionist who craves fame and not the things of God, Peter doesn't mess around. LORD, help me never to see Your Spirit as a means for me to gain glory for myself.
Verse 37 - Believe with all your heart before baptism...


Day 7 Bible Reading

Genesis 7 - The Flood

Verse 11 - In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.

I wonder what that means. Woah, now that is a Nat Geo special I would pay to see.

Verse 16b: ...went in as God had commanded them; and the Lord shut him in.
Verse 24: And the waters prevailed on the earth one hundred and fifty days.

Matthew 7 - Judge Not (Plank, pearls before swine, ask seek knock, golden rule, narrow gate)

Ezra 7 - Ezra on the scene, after Zecharaiah and Haggai had come and gone, took him four months to get from Babylon to Jerusalem,

Verse 10 - For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the Law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach statutes and ordinances in Israel.

Interesting that Ezra had prepared his own heart...how we are part of God's plan. We choose to nurture the desire God places in our hearts before we are born. God doesn't want automatons for children. Ezra loved the Lord so much and made his life a prophet's life by preparing his heart to seek, do, and teach His word.

(Definition of Nethinim - servant; specifically of the temple and priests/Levites)

Acts 7 - Stephen's Address: "The Call of Abraham", Stephen is Martyred
I love this part... I don't love that beautiful Stephen is killed, but I love his response.

LORD, may I have even the slightest atom in common with Stephen someday. Help me to suffer the onslaught of peoples' negative reactions with your love and grace for them. Help me first to serve as Stephen did and then to "die" to myself as he did. Help me speak the truths of Your word with boldness no matter the cost. Help me be guided in this by Your Spirit so that I won't be led astray by my own will. I love You.


Bible Reading Day 1, 3, 5 & 6 and POEM

Day 1
The word I will describe my first reading with shall be: Establishment. Not only am I beginning a reading plan today but I am reading some amazing starts to some amazing books. Genesis, Ezra, Matthew, and Acts.

God is establishing Earth, His will for rebuilding His temple, His descending to Earth, and His church. Four parts to God's intricate plans for His children are described in each of these chapters. I feel like I am embarking on a grand adventure into a world more beautiful than imaginable...the mind of God.
LORD, please fill me with the food of Your word as I "open the pages" and meditate today on these verses. I love you. Amen.
Day 3
Gen 3 - God is so loving to His creation even after rebellion and sin...
Ezra 3 - 13 So that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people: for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the noise was heard afar off.

Could not discern - "The mixture of sorrow and joy here, is a representation of this world. In heaven all are singing and none sighing; in hell all are wailing, and none rejoicing: but here on earth we can scarce discern the shouts of joy from the noise of the weeping, let us learn to rejoice with them that rejoice, and weep with them that weep. Meantime let us ourselves rejoice as though we rejoiced not, and weep as though we wept not.(ref 1Corinth. 7:30)" - Wesley's Explanatory Notes

On Guard
May I, when I am sad remember Heaven.
May I, when I have joy remember Hell.
So tears may not be something that can drown me
So laughter won't convince me all is well.
For though my soul is saved and looking forward
To sweet eternal bliss forevermore
My sorrow for the lost and unrepentant
Will keep me doing battle in this war.

Matthew 3:7-10 - Let me just say that John the Baptist was one scary guy and I wouldn't want him yelling at me! I would take him seriously since he pretty much lived on nothing but sanctuary with the LORD. When a man like that says to repent, I would repent. He is very much like a loud prophet who won't be ignored. Can't wait to meet the guy.
Matthew 3:13-17 - The Baptism of Jesus. When we are baptized it is a public recognition that we have chosen repentance and salvation. Jesus was revealing Himself through His baptism as the Son of God and our salvation. Not only is it a celebration but the angels and principalities see it and take note, take heed.

Acts 3 - The lame man leaps! This, I believe, is part of Jesus' prayer "...Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven..." In Heaven this man would leap! We have power from Heaven through Christ who lives God's Heavenly will through us. When we believe, we become reflections of the REAL life and TRUE reality that exists in Heaven. Born again, I live in Heaven yet I am here. That's so like The Matrix (I mean The Matrix is such a picture of that) :)

Acts 3:16 And His name, through faith in His name, has made this man strong, whom you see and know. Yes, the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.
"...through faith in His name..." The LORD has yet to reveal the mystery of the power of His name to me. It's not some magic word that if we say it enough will work. It's so much more than that and in this mindset and my culture I have a hard time with power being in a name. Like Juliet, "What's in a name?"

DAY 5 Acts 5 - Ananias & SapphiraEzra 5 - King Darius receives a letter about the rebuilding of the templeGenesis 5 - Begats, Geneology of Adam and those up till Noah (Enoch walked with God...)Matthew 5 - The Beatitudes & Similitudes; Sermon on the Mount
Genesis 5:29 And he called his name Noah, saying, “This one will comfort us concerning our work and the toil of our hands, because of the ground which the Lord has cursed.”

I wonder how Noah comforted his earthly father's generation. Perhaps when God sends the flood is does a lot to restore the soil and make it ready for planting again. It would definitely change the ground because up until then the water supply came up from springs rather than rainfall, it is thought. The "firmament" being a constant cloud cover that finally fell during the Great Flood. Hence, the rainbow was first seen after the sun was made to shine in a blue sky rather than overcast. So many thousands of years they never saw the magnificence of the sun or were made to roast in it. Rain must have been a very preposterous notion since they had no need of it. It's a great mystery.
NotesMatthew 5:37 But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.

I forget this part of the verse! How the enemy of our souls fills our minds with so much chatter and excuses... Whatever is more than a simple yes or no is manipulation or a broken promise waiting to happen. A solid yes or no is the best evidence of integrity. To agree to do something is human, to follow through is Divine. :)
Matthew 5:44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you...

This brings to mind the Muslim terrorists and locally, the militant gays. While I won't be seeking out these people while I am a mom of two young ones, I will keep them in mind in my prayers that they may be found.

Genesis 6 - Mankind's years lessened; sons of God & daughters of men; Noah finds grace
Matthew 6 - Sermon on the Mount Continued; The LORD's PrayerEzra 6 - King Darius decrees to help the temple to be built; Passover is had on 14th day of first month; Pilgramages are made;Acts 6 - Stephen, full of faith and power; Stephen is framed; Stephen has face like an angel

NotesMatthew 6
Concerning deeds and prayer in the first part of Chapter 6: It is lovely to me that our deeds and our prayers are gifts to God that He cherishes so much that He wants them all for Himself.

"Deliver us from the evil one.."
Thus verse in the Lord's Prayer reminds me of a verse in the last chapter: "Do not resist an evil person." The LORD is our deliverer and He should be acknowledged and glorified as such in our lives. That is why we pray "Deliver us from the evil one..." By the way, I don't know how it turned from "evil" to "the evil one" but I have a feeling it is suppose to be the latter translation. The enemy's best offense is to convince people he isn't a real person.

"Forgive us our debts..."
14“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. "

This is the only thing Jesus expands on in His prayer model. It is also the only part of the prayer that is a statement. It is assumed that if we are asking for forgiveness that we have already forgiven all that we are responsible to forgive. It is our act of "good faith" in our act of praying through faith.

"When you fast..."
The word "secret" is mention two times in this paragraph about fasting. It definitely should be a secret as much as is possible. I look forward to being able to deny my flesh. It would be such good practice!