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December 10 + Daily readings & notes

DAY 344 DAILY READINGS1 Peter 3-5 & Psalm 34 DAILY NOTES 1 Peter 3 The "same way" for wives and husbands refers back to the example of Christ in Chapter 2.  Both spouses have a part in upholding the integrity of the faith.Likewise, we've already heard of Christ's suffering.  Now, we turn our attention to the suffering that Christians may be facing because of their faith, probably, for Peter's audience, a new found faith.Accept the sufferings as a blessed act because you are following the lead of Christ who suffered.  Defend yourself and your faith, but do it with "gentleness and reverence."   1 Peter 4 What a life goal: "live for the rest of your earthly life no longer by human desires but by the will of God.  This charge ensures the believer is able to truly turn away from what s/he once was.  In so doing, now, the believer is a steward of God's grace.  Our lives become service to others.4:18 is from Proverbs 11:31. 1 Peter 5 The book ends w…
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December 9 + Daily readings & notes

DAY 343 1 Peter?  Yes, there's a Bible Project video for that.


DAILY READINGS1 Peter 1-2 & Psalm 33

December 8 + Daily readings & notes

DAY 342 DAILY READINGSJames 4-5 & Psalm 32 DAILY NOTES James 4 Friendship with the world does not mean having friends that are not church-going people.  It is about an unbalance of commitment to God's way.  The Israelites were charged with that same failing.  We are, when we waver, are double minded, professing that we want God's way, but living for our own.For James, the cure for such double mindedness is total submission to God, being completely humble before God.James offers a good understanding of what it means to judge someone in the biblical sense.  He invokes the image of the law and judges.  The law puts someone in their place.  When we try to do that, we are taking the place of law...judging.Part of our double mindedness is making our own plans, following our own desires.  Humility before God also means asking God what directions he wants for our lives and the things we do. James 5 The issue in the first part of James is not just being rich.  It's becoming and …

December 7 + Daily readings & notes

DAY 341 We're reading the book of Jacob......James.  Here's today's Bible Project video.


DAILY READINGSJames 1-3 & Psalm 31 DAILY NOTES James 1 James reminds us that the testing of faith has an effect on our lives.  Temptation is often, wrongly, attributed to God.  1 Corinthians 10:13 gets misquoted by saying that God won't give us more than we can bear--that's not what it says.  Then, when we get that straightened out, it still gets twisted as to suggest God won't tempt you more than you can bear.  James tells us where temptation comes from (See Verse 14).As you get rid of that which is not from God (See Verse 21), you can see yourself doing more what God asks of you. James 2 Giving our attention (and priority) to the cool kids rich people makes us a judge of others.  God has not made distinction, but in our doing so we have dishonored God's care for the poor.Our faith is built on the idea that we are saved by faith alone: sola fide.  James 2 is often a…

December 6 + Daily readings & notes

DAY 340 Another book down! DAILY READINGSHebrews 11-13 & Psalm 30 DAILY NOTES Hebrews 11 The faith chapter!  This is a who's who of the faith.  As faithful as these people were, as much as they were able to accomplish through faith, they "did not receive what was promised."  That is, there is something that the Hebrews (audience of the letter) has available to them that they great faith figures did not: Jesus. Hebrews 12 The "great cloud of witness" helps us move forward in our own faithfulness.  But so does the fact that Christ sits as the "pioneer and perfecter of our faith."The writer seems to consider what "trials" the Hebrews have endured as part of God's discipline.  There's no way to tell if the Hebrews believed that or not.  Still, the writer is sure that whatever discipline they have faced will be for their own good and lead to the "peaceful fruit of righteousness."Verse 16 gives an example of someone who was no…

December 5 + Daily readings & notes

DAY 339 DAILY READINGSHebrew 9-10 & Psalm 29 DAILY READINGS Hebrews 9 Hebrews takes what we know about the first sanctuary of God and relates is to what Christ has done.  Christ has taken the place of the high priest to make offering to God on behalf of the people.  But his offering is once and for all.  Words like "eternal redemption" and "eternal inheritance" speak to the finality of what Christ has done in comparison to the need for other high priests to have to repeatedly offer to God sacrifice.  We tend to think of Christ's sacrifice in terms of eternal salvation in heaven.  That is true, and Hebrews seems to affirm that, but the focus is more about replacing the old covenant.  Notice in Verse 14 that Christ shed his blood to "purify our conscience from dead works to worship the living God!"  That has more to do with today than some day in heaven.The saving of people that happens, according to Chapter 9, is what Christ does when he comes back…

December 4 + Daily readings & notes

DAY 338 DAILY READINGSHebrews 7-8 & Psalm 28 DAILY NOTES Hebrews 7 The last chapter mentioned Melchizedek.  Now, we get a better understanding of what the reference means.  Look at Genesis 14 for the Abraham-Melchizedek interaction.  Melchizedek shows up in Genesis and never reappears.  He has no recorded genealogy; think about how different that is from other people we read about in the Old Testament.  It was thought that he lived forever (See vss 3 & 8).  Abraham tithed to Melchizedek.  And the priests who followed him received tithes, too.  They served a function of Melchizedek.All the priestly work, however, had limits.  Christ came to fulfill the true priestly function and did so not because he was a descendant of a certain family, but because he had the "power of an indestructible life" (Verse 16).Notice the language of "better," sometimes state "more excellent." Hebrews 8 Our priest now remains forever as high priest.  He sits at right hand …