September 25 “It’s all grace!”

Christ's second return
Photo courtesy Jody Davis, Creative Commons

No amount of good works can make us right with God. And just as we are saved by grace through faith, we are kept by that same grace. It’s all about grace!

Today’s Readings:
Isaiah 41 & 42
Psalm 109.26-31
Proverbs 26.3-4
Galatians 3.1-29

 

Isaiah 41 & 42:

His care for the faithful

Chapter 41 was written to warn those in Israel, who persisted in ne 15 “Idolatry & Christian veneers”" href="http://donnareidland.com/june-15-idolatry-christian-veneers/" target="_blank">idolatry, but also to encourage and comfort those who remained faithful to the One True God. Chapter 42 contains many prophesies about the Messiah. Jesus quoted from this chapter in Matthew 12 speaking about Himself (Matt. 12.17-21).

These passages are to encourage us to stay faithful to God, too. We may very well be approaching a time when God’s judgment becomes more and more apparent, but He will always care for His faithful remnant.

That isn’t to say things won’t get more difficult. But God’s grace will be there to get us through it, even when we don’t entirely escape from it. Remember that even though Daniel was faithful, he still was taken into captivity. But God used him, blessed him and protected him throughout. Continue reading

July 19 “The Rapture … will you be left behind?”

confused

Two women will be grinding together: the one will be taken and the other left. Two men will be in the field: the one will be taken and the other left (Lk. 17.35-36). Which one will you be?

Today’s Readings:
2 Chronicles 34-36
Psalm 86.1-5
Proverbs 21.13-14
Acts 21.1-17

2 Chronicles 34-36:

Mercy … but then judgment

In chapter 34 Josiah had become king at the ripe old age of 8, but what a king he was! Verse 3 says that he began to seek the Lord in the eighth year of his reign. He would have been just 16 years old. By the age of 20 he was putting a stop to idolatry. Next he began clearing out the temple and getting ready to reinstate the proper temple worship. In the process Hilkiah the priest found the Book of the Law of the Lord.

Several things struck me about all this. First, the Word of God was not being taught. People were just doing whatever seemed right to them. The second thing was Josiah’s response to the Word when it was read to him. He tore his clothes, a statement of intense mourning and repentance. He was repenting, not just for himself, but for the nation as a whole, because he realized just how far they had departed from the truth. He understood that they were under God’s judgment because of it.

So he sent Hilkiah and a group of men to meet with a prophetess named Continue reading

April 2 “Total depravity, sexual immorality & cannibalism”

God offers full disclosure. He allows us to make our own choices, but we should not think we can disobey God and somehow be in control of where it ends. Today’s reading in Deuteronomy gives us a stark picture of total depravity.

total depravity

Today’s Readings:
Deuteronomy 27 & 28
Psalm 39.12-13
Proverbs 13.7-8
Luke 6.27-49

Deuteronomy 27 & 28:

Memorials and the Ten Commandments

Chapter 27.2-3, “… you shall set up for yourselves large stones, and whitewash them with lime. You shall write on them all the words of this law, when you have crossed over, that you may enter the land which the LORD your God is giving you, ‘a land flowing with milk and honey,’ just as the LORD God of your fathers promised you.”

Some people think it’s foolish to make such a big deal about things like having the “Ten Commandments” posted in the schools and other public places. But, apparently, God thinks it a pretty good idea to have reminders of the truth! We see God telling His people to set up memorials and reminders over and over in the Scriptures.

moses holding the ten commandments

The Scriptures themselves are reminders, too, and we should be faithful to read and meditate on them so we can remember His love, remember His promises, and remember His faithfulness.

The flesh of your sons and daughters

Chapter 28—it’s hard to read some of this, “…your high and fortified walls, in which you trust, come down throughout all your land; and they shall besiege you … You shall eat the fruit of your own body, the flesh of your sons and your daughters … he will not give any of them the flesh of his children whom he will eat …The tender and delicate woman … will refuse to the husband of her bosom, and to her son and her daughter, her placenta … she will eat them secretly …” Continue reading

January 8 “God’s plan or yours?”

God way or mine

Do you ever find yourself trying to help God out just a little? You believe He’s going to answer some prayer, but you keep trying to figure out how, and pretty soon, you’re trying to orchestrate one of those possibilities.

Today’s Readings:
Genesis 15 & 16
Psalm 5.1-7
Proverbs 2.6-9
Matthew 6.19-34

Genesis 15 & 16:

Our messes and His divine purposes

In chapter 15 Abram asks God about his and Sarai’s lack of children. Remember when God called him to leave his homeland He told Abram that He would make a great nation from his descendants. God reassured him that He would keep His promise. And verse 6 says, “And he believed in the LORD, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.” “He believed God …” We know this was genuine faith because God “accounted it to him for righteousness.” He was saved by his faith just as we are.

So what happens next, after this great conversation with God? Continue reading