Through the Bible 2019

Saturday, August 10, 2019
Proverbs 5 and 6, 2019, Colossians 1

For Christians it all comes back to Jesus. It is not that Christians elevate Christ to a higher authority than the rest of the Trinity. It’s simply that, because of the New Testament and specifically because of the Gospels, we have more material with which to interact as we see the nature and character of God illuminated in the person of Jesus who lived among us. “He existed before all things, and all things are held together in him.” (1:17) With these few poetic words Paul gets at the core of what draws us to Christ - in him all things are held together. Jesus, with his humanity and divinity, is a window into the heart of God with whom we can identify and, more importantly, who we believe can best understand and identify with us. Jesus with his teaching, preaching, healing and miracle working presents us with so much data, evidence, and illustrative material as we grapple with God’s desire for our lives and for the coming kingdom. My favorite way of describing my faith is to identify as a follower of Jesus. Paul’s words give a powerful description of my affinity for being known as a Jesus follower - I have a strong conviction that Paul is right; all things are held together in Jesus Christ. It is Jesus I want to follow and to whom I want to point others seeking answers.

Keys For Today…

Prayer
Thank you for making yourself known to us in Christ. Amen.
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Friday, August 9, 2019
Proverbs 3 and 4, Psalm 89

I have noticed that my life being in generally good and happy times does not necessarily predict that I feel the most healthy, content and alive. It probably doesn’t hurt to be at a smooth and less challenging moment, but the real predictor turns out to be the condition of my devotional life. Am I making time for reading scripture and for prayer. Am I truly making the time and dialed into this precious time or am I looking to check off a box on a daily reading form. The times when I feel I am most in sync with who God is calling me to be, regardless of circumstance, nearly always seem to go hand in hand with the times when I am most consistent and intentional in spending time with God. Proverbs 3 would suggest that this reality is not a predictor, but is in fact a cause.
“Trust in the Lord with all your hearts,
don’t rely on your own intelligence.
Know him in all your paths
and he will keep your ways straight.
Don’t consider yourself wise.
Fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
Then your body will be healthy
and your bones strengthened.”
(4:3-8)
I am not suggesting that if one reads the Bible and prays that nothing bad will happen in your life and your health will be perfect. I am suggesting that when we are communing with God we are more likely to experience joy and fulfillment in life whatever is going on physically, spiritually and mentally in our lives. The cultivation of the relationship with our Creator is invaluable - it is the most needful thing.

Keys For Today…

Prayer
Keep me seeking you through all circumstances. Amen.
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Thursday, August 8, 2019
Proverbs 1 and 2, Philippians 4

I, unlike Paul, have not learned to be content in any circumstance. I have shown a masterful ability to be discontent in many circumstances. I don’t even need truly bad or difficult circumstances to be anxious, unhappy and discontent. I am not pleased to share this, simply wanting to be honest. I do want to work at arriving at that place where Paul was when he shared that he could “endure all these things through the power of the one who gives me strength.” (4:13) I am also drawn to the gratitude that Paul models as he gives thanks to the Philippians for their support of his ministry. I want to grow in my capacity to be thankful and to share gratitude with those who have blessed me. I find that too often I am thankful in my mind and that’s as far as it gets. It is a gift to receive blessings from others, but it is also a gift to graciously receive and then offer appropriate thanks for the way in which we have been blessed. Feeling grateful is not sufficient, it is important that I communicate how much the kind actions of others means and how much it has improved my day and in some instances helped me to experience God in surprising and moving ways.

Keys For Today…

Prayer
Holy God, help me to find contentment in being your child. Help me to be gracious and to offer thanks when those around me fill my life with blessings. Amen.
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Sorry to be late with the weekly readings...here they are for Sunday, September 8 through Saturday, September 14...

Sunday, September 8, 2019
Isaiah 13 and 14, 2 Timothy 4

Monday, September 9, 2019
Isaiah 15 and 16, Psalm 103

Tuesday, September 10, 2019
Isaiah 17, 18, 19 and 20, Titus 1

Wednesday, September 11, 2019
Isaiah 21 and 22, Titus 2

Thursday, September 12, 2019
Isaiah 23 and 24, Titus 3

Friday, September 13, 2019
Isaiah 25 and 26, Psalm 104

Saturday, September 14, 2019
Isaiah 27 and 28, Philemon
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Wednesday, August 7, 2019
Job 41 and 42, Philippians 3

I was born in Ohio. Grew up there. I came to Kentucky for college and then seminary and with the exception of five years in Missouri have lived the rest of my life to this point in the Bluegrass State. There is something of each of the places I have lived in me that connects me to those places and which I deeply love. I cannot imagine holding an earthly location closer to my heart than Kentucky. Paul has a reminder for me and for all of us who seek to follow Jesus - “Our citizenship is in heaven”. (3:20) Paul exhorts the Philippians in this passage to keep reaching for Christ. Christ has reached out to us in love; our joyful response is to reach for Christ and for our homeland in the God’s coming kingdom. This awareness keeps us pushing toward the goal of being the people God has created us to be, ever striving to imitate Christ.

Keys For Today…

Prayer
While we thank you for this earth and for all the beauty in it and the wonder of the places that are our homes, we pray that you will keep calling and guiding us towards our home with you. Amen.
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