Bible in 365 Days – Day 186

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Focus Chapters:

  • Psalms 47-49
  • Psalms 84-85
  • Psalms 87

 

Standout Verse(s):

Psalms 49:16-20 NLT

So don’t be dismayed when the wicked grow rich and their homes become ever more splendid. For when they die, they take nothing with them. Their wealth will not follow them into the grave. In this life they consider themselves fortunate and are applauded for their success. But they will die like all before them and never again see the light of day. People who boast of their wealth don’t understand; they will die, just like animals.

 

Observation (s):

  1. In this lifetime, the rich is considered fortunate and applauded for their success.

    In this life they consider themselves fortunate and are applauded for their success. But they will die like all before them and never again see the light of day.

  2. When the rich die, they take nothing with them.

    So don’t be dismayed when the wicked grow rich and their homes become ever more splendid. For when they die, they take nothing with them. Their wealth will not follow them into the grave.

Application:

The world’s definition of success is staunchly different from God’s. We tend to estimate the worth of an individual by their net worth and the size and cost of their physical properties. Some of us often become discouraged when we see the wicked becoming extremely prosperous successes, gaining more and more wealth. We consider them to be fortunate and applaud their success while they boast of or flaunt their wealth. Our view of them and theirs of themselves are often the rationale behind the accepted tendency to deem these individuals better than us and worthy of a separate category. By the world’s standards, they are successful but by God’s standards they are not.

Chase wealth but do not allow yourselves to be consumed by it. The riches of the wealthy cannot spare him from death. Like all living things, there will come a day when the “successful” wicked dies and must face judgement. No matter how fancy their lives or the quantity of their possessions, they die just like all living things before them.

Let your success be defined by your godliness. Strive to be a godly person who is wealthy.


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Bible in 365 Days – Day 185

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Focus Chapters:

  • Psalms 42-46

 

Standout Verse(s):

Psalms 44:6-7 NLT

I do not trust in my bow; I do not count on my sword to save me. You are the one who gives us victory over our enemies; you disgrace those who hate us.

 

Observation (s):

  1. The writer chose not to trust in his/her own resources to be his/her safety or saviour.

    I do not trust in my bow; I do not count on my sword to save me. You are the one who gives us victory over our enemies; you disgrace those who hate us.

  2. The writer chooses to rely on God, who gives him/her victory over his/her enemies, bringing them disgrace.

    I do not trust in my bow; I do not count on my sword to save me. You are the one who gives us victory over our enemies; you disgrace those who hate us.

Application:

A few years ago I fainted in the middle of a restaurant as I waited on a bottle of water to still my nausea. As everything went black and my body and strength failed me, a pair of arms reached out to catch me. These arms prevented my imminent crash to the ground. Had it not been for those arms, my own relied-upon resources would have failed.

God is that pair of arms who guarantees our safety and coverage. He catches us when we fall and covers us from all harm and danger. We often trust in our own resources (bows and swords), however, they tend to fail us. Sometimes these failures surpasses our imagination, occurring ways we could not even anticipate or react effectively to. When we allow God to be our safety net and wing, He ensures that no harm or danger befalls us. He gives us victory over our enemies (humans, sicknesses, etc.) and brings them to disgrace.

Allow God to wrap you in His arms and watch as your enemies fall.


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Bible in 365 Days – Day 184

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Focus Chapters:

  • Proverbs 30-31

 

Standout Verse(s):

Proverbs 31:30 NLT

Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.

 

Observation (s):

  1. We focus on being charming and beautiful to receive praise, however, these two qualities do not last.

    Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.

  2. The woman/man who focuses on pleasing the Lord shall be praised.

    Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.

Application:

In this world, charm and beauty are valued and praised highly. There are few things in this world like a handsome man who is charming or a beautiful female who has mastered charm. It’s an everyday thing to be praised and admired for being charming or beautiful. In fact, this has caused persons to go out of their way to ensure that they are meeting the beauty standards accepted by the world. This may include applying makeup, dieting and exercising religiously to be thin like a stick or undergoing surgery to achieve fuller lips and higher cheekbones. Despite all this effort, beauty does not last and when it fades, the praises fade with it.

Being charming opened the doors to new opportunities for many persons. A primary example of this is politicians whose primary responsibility during elections involves charming their constituents into placing trust in them and electing them to their offices. Once the elections end, the constituents then realize that truly charm is deceptive. This usually occurs when the politicians show their true colours or refuse to live up to their electoral promises or get caught up in a variety of scandals.

What Proverbs urges us to be like is the woman who refuses to focus purely getting praise through beauty and charm. Instead she places her trust in God and demonstrates her respect of His authority by living by His covenant. Her focus remains on something that will last forever and be of great value to her, the fear of the Lord. For this, she shall surely receive never-ending praise.

You will never gain lasting praise by being charming or beautiful. Focus on fearing the Lord. You shall be praised eternally.


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Bible in 365 Days – Day 183

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Focus Chapters:

  • Proverbs 25-29

 

Standout Verse(s):

Proverbs 25:6-7 NLT

Don’t demand an audience with the king
or push for a place among the great.
It’s better to wait for an invitation to the head table
than to be sent away in public disgrace.

 

Observation (s):

  1. When you are anointed don’t rush the process to get amongst the great.

    Don’t demand an audience with the king
    or push for a place among the great.

  2. Trust that the process that God is taking you through will end with you getting an invitation to head the table.

    It’s better to wait for an invitation to the head table
    than to be sent away in public disgrace.

Application:

I hate to wait particularly when I know that I am anointed. However, I was recently reminded of something. David was anointed king and then sent back to the field, as a shepherd. He did not leave the field until a recommendation was made to King Saul and he was sent for. Even then, despite his anointing, David did not get the recognition that his anointing deserved until he kill Goliath and started leading Israel into battles. Later on, much later on, he became king, fulfilling the calling that God’s anointing had placed on his life.

Can you imagine the reaction if David had headed to the palace the minute he was anointed? He would have probably been mocked or killed! He would never have had the seasons to prepare for battling Goliath, through his battles with the lion and bear who came for his father’s sheep. Even if Saul had let him live, he would probably have never gotten the chance to fulfil the purpose that God had set out for him or had the opportunity to enter the circle and gain the respect and loyalty of his peers, making his transition easier, when his moment came.

Do not be preemptive and force for a place at the head of the table. Trust the purpose that God has placed on your life and the process that He has set out to get you to it. God’s way is definitely worth the wait!


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Bible in 365 Days – Day 182

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Focus Chapters:

  • 2 Chronicles 29:3-36
  • 2 Chronicles 30-31

 

Standout Verse(s):

THE ACTION

2 Chronicles 30:6-9 NLT

At the king’s command, runners were sent throughout Israel and Judah. They carried letters that said:

“O people of Israel, return to the Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel,so that he will return to the few of us who have survived the conquest of the Assyrian kings. Do not be like your ancestors and relatives who abandoned the Lord, the God of their ancestors, and became an object of derision, as you yourselves can see. Do not be stubborn, as they were, but submit yourselves to the Lord. Come to his Temple, which he has set apart as holy forever. Worship the Lord your God so that his fierce anger will turn away from you.

“For if you return to the Lord, your relatives and your children will be treated mercifully by their captors, and they will be able to return to this land. For the Lord your God is gracious and merciful. If you return to him, he will not continue to turn his face from you.”

 

THE REACTION

2 Chronicles 30:10-11 NLT

The runners went from town to town throughout Ephraim and Manasseh and as far as the territory of Zebulun. But most of the people just laughed at the runners and made fun of them. However, some people from Asher, Manasseh, and Zebulun humbled themselves and went to Jerusalem.

 

Observation (s):

  1. Hezekiah sent runners out to his people urging them to return to God and come and worship at His Temple in Jerusalem.

    o not be like your ancestors and relatives who abandoned the Lord, the God of their ancestors, and became an object of derision, as you yourselves can see. Do not be stubborn, as they were, but submit yourselves to the Lord. Come to his Temple, which he has set apart as holy forever. Worship the Lord your God so that his fierce anger will turn away from you.

  2. The majority of the people laughed and made fun of Hezekiah’s runners and their message.

    The runners went from town to town throughout Ephraim and Manasseh and as far as the territory of Zebulun. But most of the people just laughed at the runners and made fun of them.However, some people from Asher, Manasseh, and Zebulun humbled themselves and went to Jerusalem.

  3. The minority listened and heeded Hezekiah’s urgings.

    The runners went from town to town throughout Ephraim and Manasseh and as far as the territory of Zebulun. But most of the people just laughed at the runners and made fun of them. However, some people from Asher, Manasseh, and Zebulun humbled themselves and went to Jerusalem.

     

Application:

When you begin to do God’s work, don’t expect everyone to be on-board.

King Hezekiah started a good work. He reopened the Temple and urged the Levites to purify themselves and take up the role that God had set out for them. Together, they got the representation of God’s presence in order. Hezekiah’s next step was to urge his people to return to God and come and worship at the restored Temple. He sent runners out with a powerful message: “Turn away from the sinful path of your ancestors. Return to God and avoid His wrath!

The runners’ delivery of Hezekiah’s message was met with two varying responses:

  1. The majority laughed and made fun of them.
  2. Some persons humbled themselves and returned to Jerusalem to worship the Lord.

Based on the responses, Hezekiah could have thrown in the towel and bowed to the pressure and swaying of the majority. Instead, he continued on the path that God has set him on and later on, receives a great blessing that blesses him personally and his nation.

When you are doing God’s work, do not be dissuaded by the negative response of the majority. They can block your blessing and the blessings of those that would be impacted by your work.


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Bible in 365 Days – Day 181

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Focus Chapters:

  • 2 Kings 16:19-20
  • 2 Chronicles 28:26-27
  • Isaiah 13-16

 

Standout Verse(s):

Isaiah 14:32 NLT

What should we tell the Philistine messengers? Tell them,

“The Lord has built Jerusalem;
its walls will give refuge to his oppressed people.”

 

Observation (s):

  1. Any city built by the Lord cannot be overthrown by our enemies.

    What should we tell the Philistine messengers? Tell them,

    “The Lord has built Jerusalem;
    its walls will give refuge to his oppressed people.”

  2. Any city built by the Lord is designed to provide His people with a refuge.

    What should we tell the Philistine messengers? Tell them,

    “The Lord has built Jerusalem;
    its walls will give refuge to his oppressed people.”

Application:

As a young child growing up, I found refuge in books. I loved reading and spent most of my time with my nose buried in a book or hiding out in my school’s library. However, my refuge could not protect me from the harshness of life. This was a life that I learned to face the realities of early and quite quickly. Quite simply, my man-made refuge could not protect me, providing a means of oblivion only for a short time.

This is quite different when we allow God to be or build our sources of refuge. God built Jerusalem and no Philistine army could invade it without His approval. When God is our Master Refuge-Builder, nothing and no one can get in or touch us without His authorization. With God as our Master Refuge-Builder, we are guaranteed a safe haven/sanctuary and peace in the eye of the storm called our enemies, even when we are sorely oppressed and are surrounded by a feeling that we are drowning.

That’s a guarantee that I can live for! Let God be or build our sources of refuge.


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Bible in 365 Days – Day 180

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Focus Chapters:

  • Isaiah 1:21-31
  • Isaiah 2-5

 

Standout Verse(s):

Isaiah 5:1-7 NLT

Now I will sing for the one I love
a song about his vineyard:
My beloved had a vineyard
on a rich and fertile hill.
He plowed the land, cleared its stones,
and planted it with the best vines.
In the middle he built a watchtower
and carved a winepress in the nearby rocks.
Then he waited for a harvest of sweet grapes,
but the grapes that grew were bitter.

Now, you people of Jerusalem and Judah,
you judge between me and my vineyard.
What more could I have done for my vineyard
that I have not already done?
When I expected sweet grapes,
why did my vineyard give me bitter grapes?

Now let me tell you
what I will do to my vineyard:
I will tear down its hedges
and let it be destroyed.
I will break down its walls
and let the animals trample it.
I will make it a wild place
where the vines are not pruned and the ground is not hoed,
a place overgrown with briers and thorns.
I will command the clouds
to drop no rain on it.

The nation of Israel is the vineyard of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
The people of Judah are his pleasant garden.
He expected a crop of justice,
but instead he found oppression.
He expected to find righteousness,
but instead he heard cries of violence.

 

Observation (s):

  1. God tended over His vineyard, Israel, in love, expecting His efforts to yield sweet fruit.

    My beloved had a vineyard
    on a rich and fertile hill.
    He plowed the land, cleared its stones,
    and planted it with the best vines.
    In the middle he built a watchtower
    and carved a winepress in the nearby rocks.
    Then he waited for a harvest of sweet grapes,
    but the grapes that grew were bitter.

  2. Despite God’s care and efforts, Israel and Judah yielded bitter fruit.

    Then he waited for a harvest of sweet grapes,
    but the grapes that grew were bitter.

    Now, you people of Jerusalem and Judah,
    you judge between me and my vineyard.
    What more could I have done for my vineyard
    that I have not already done?
    When I expected sweet grapes,
    why did my vineyard give me bitter grapes?

  3. Given its tendency to bear bad fruit, God made a decision to destroy His beloved vineyard, Israel.

    Now let me tell you
    what I will do to my vineyard:
    I will tear down its hedges
    and let it be destroyed.
    I will break down its walls
    and let the animals trample it.
    I will make it a wild place
    where the vines are not pruned and the ground is not hoed,
    a place overgrown with briers and thorns.
    I will command the clouds
    to drop no rain on it.

     

Application:

Have you ever worked really hard to accomplish a goal in the hopes of reaping its good rewards? How much time and effort did you put in? What if years upon years you put in all this time and effort for naught? Your goal remains unaccomplished and you reap only bitter fruits. Your expectations are not met! Would you continue to labour for naught?

God laboured over Israel and Judah, His vineyard. He ensured the soil was rich and fertile. He beautified the environment and ensured it was set up for a good harvest. Despite all His efforts, on harvest day, the vineyard returns bad crop. Could anyone fault His disappointment and decision to let the vineyard go to waste?

God invests His time and energies into ensuring you reap the fruits of your purpose. Through all of His efforts, God has certain expectations of you. Don’t expect to continuously fail God’s expectations without consequences. A day of reckoning will come. Don’t let Him give up on you. Meet the targets!


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