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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Chañel

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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 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 178

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Focus Chapters:

  • Hosea 9-14

 

Standout Verse(s):

Hosea 13:5-6 NLT

I took care of you in the wilderness,
in that dry and thirsty land.
But when you had eaten and were satisfied,
you became proud and forgot me.

 

Observation (s):

  1. When the Israelites were down in the wilderness, God took care of their needs.

    I took care of you in the wilderness,
        in that dry and thirsty land.

  2. When their needs were satisfied, the Israelites became proud and forgot God, their Protector and Supplier of their Needs.

    But when you had eaten and were satisfied,
    you became proud and forgot me.

     

Application:

I recently came across an article about a survey that was done. The survey found that in today’s society a large amount of women have admitted to going on a date because of the promise of a meal. Following the meal, they never talk to their dates ever again. This freeloading practice have outraged many, men and women alike.

Whether we want to admit it, there are many of us who are just like these women when it comes to our relationship with God. The only reason why we reach out and connect with Him is because of what He is able to provide us with when we are hungry and thirsty or in a desperate situation. Once God fills those two basic needs, we move on with our lives, filled with pride and forgetting Him in the process until the next major need arises.

This is no way to live our lives. If this practice is not okay in the physical realm, it should not be okay in the spiritual. Don’t make it a practice to freeload off God.


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Bible in 365 Days – Day 177

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Focus Chapters:

  • Hosea 2:14-23
  • Hosea 3-8

 

Standout Verse(s):

Hosea 6:6 NLT

I want you to show love,
not offer sacrifices.
I want you to know me
more than I want burnt offerings.

 

Observation (s):

  1. God desires us to show love as much as we offer sacrifices.

    I want you to show love,
    not offer sacrifices.
    I want you to know me
    more than I want burnt offerings.

  2. God desires us to connect with and know Him more than He desires burnt offerings.

    I want you to show love,
    not offer sacrifices.
    I want you to know me
    more than I want burnt offerings.

     

Application:

It is quite easy to get caught up in the motions of doing things out of habit or because it is expected of us. Regrettably most of us spend our lives on autopilot, never connecting or doing things from the heart. For example: we throw tithes because we should, we attend church because it is expected and participate in church events because it would look weird or questionable if we don’t. Despite all these actions, we never take the time to talk to God or read His word or listen to His voice for His directions. We shun connecting with God but embrace disconnection through the false reality of appearing to connect.

God does not desire us to do things on autopilot, particularly as it relates to Him. God requires sacrifices and offerings that are backed by a desire to please and connect with Him. He does not delight in sacrifices when it is done because it is expected rather than a pure gesture of love. He has no interest in burnt offerings when we make no effort or have no desire to know Him.

Our religious actions, without the requisite and necessary connection with God, is for naught. Embrace the opportunity to connect with God.


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Bible in 365 Days – Day 173

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Focus Chapters:

  • Amos 7-9
  • 2 Kings 14:28-29
  • 2 Kings 15:8-29
  • 2 Kings 15:6-7
  • 2 Chronicles 26:22-23
  • Isaiah 6

 

Standout Verse(s):

Amos 9:11, 13-15 NLT

“In that day I will restore the fallen house of David.
I will repair its damaged walls.
From the ruins I will rebuild it
and restore its former glory.

“The time will come,” says the Lord,
“when the grain and grapes will grow faster
than they can be harvested.
Then the terraced vineyards on the hills of Israel
will drip with sweet wine!
I will bring my exiled people of Israel
back from distant lands,
and they will rebuild their ruined cities
and live in them again.
They will plant vineyards and gardens;
they will eat their crops and drink their wine.
I will firmly plant them there
in their own land.
They will never again be uprooted
from the land I have given them,”
says the Lord your God.

 

Observation (s):

  1. God demonstrates His love for His children by punishing them for continuously ignoring His ordinances and then restoring them to the places He had blessed them to.

    “In that day I will restore the fallen house of David.
    I will repair its damaged walls.
    From the ruins I will rebuild it
    and restore its former glory.

     

Application:

As kids, when we were naughty, our parents punished us by giving us a time-out. Oftentimes the time-out was easy, requiring us to go stand, facing a corner, and reflect on our actions and their consequences. Other times, it meant enduring severe punishment such as a beating. However, one thing was sure! When the time-out wass completed, we were then restored to our former positions and made to continue, hopefully with a changed attitude.

In the spiritual realm, God often gives us time-out when we are naughty. It is a guarantee that God will punish His people if they refuse to heed His ordinances. However, the good news is that even God doesn’t punish you and then leave you out in the cold. When He punishes you, His final intent is to restore you completely. Our Good Father designs His punishments to strip us of our prideful and sinful nature that separates us from Him, giving us time to contemplate our actions and their consequences and His role in our lives. Once we are stripped and the duration of our designated punishment is passed, our formal restoration process begins. At the end, He blesses us, returning our restored selves to the lands and glory that He had given to us and blessed us with.

Are you currently in spiritual time-out? Don’t fear! God intends to restore you wholly, spiritually, mentally and physically. Open yourself up to Him.


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Bible in 365 Days – Day 170

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Focus Chapters:

  • 2 Kings 13:1-11
  • 2 Kings 12:17-21
  • 2 Chronicles 24:23-27
  • 2 Kings 13:14-25

 

Standout Verse(s):

2 Kings 13:1-5 NLT

Jehoahaz son of Jehu began to rule over Israel in the twenty-third year of King Joash’s reign in Judah. He reigned in Samaria seventeen years. But he did what was evil in the Lord’s sight. He followed the example of Jeroboam son of Nebat, continuing the sins that Jeroboam had led Israel to commit. So the Lord was very angry with Israel, and he allowed King Hazael of Aram and his son Ben-hadad to defeat them repeatedly.

Then Jehoahaz prayed for the Lord’s help, and the Lord heard his prayer, for he could see how severely the king of Aram was oppressing Israel. So the Lord provided someone to rescue the Israelites from the tyranny of the Arameans. Then Israel lived in safety again as they had in former days.

 

Observation (s):

  1. Jehoahaz did even in God’s sight and God allowed the consequences of his actions to occur.

    He followed the example of Jeroboam son of Nebat, continuing the sins that Jeroboam had led Israel to commit. So the Lord was very angry with Israel, and he allowed King Hazael of Aram and his son Ben-hadad to defeat them repeatedly.

  2. Jehoahaz cried out to the Lord for assistance when the consequences of his actions became too much to bear. Even in His anger, God heard his prayer and delivered His people.

    Then Jehoahaz prayed for the Lord’s help, and the Lord heard his prayer, for he could see how severely the king of Aram was oppressing Israel. So the Lord provided someone to rescue the Israelites from the tyranny of the Arameans.

  3. God’s deliverance was not just to now. His deliverance ensured that His people was safe, as when He covered them fully in the former days.

    Then Israel lived in safety again as they had in former days.

     

Application:

As a child, there were many times when I disobeyed my mother and ended up in trouble. When the trouble came, I cried out to my mother for help. My mother always responded to my cry for help although she was upset with me and my trouble was caused by my disobedience to her. I was a brat but she loved me enough to heed my cry for help. Similar to our earthly parents, even in His anger, God does not forget His people.

Jehoahaz did evil in God’s sight and led the Israel nation on a path that was not pleasing to God. Disappointed, God allows them to face the consequences of their actions. He allowed their enemies to conquer them repeatedly! When the consequences become too much, Jehoahaz cries out to God. The loving Father that He is, God comes to the rescue of His children. He delivers them from the consequences of their actions, restoring them to the peace that they formerly knew, under His wings.

Even with your bratty behaviour God still cares for you. Open your heart and return to Him and He will take care of you.


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Chañel