Bible in 365 Days – Day 210

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Focus Chapters:

  • 2 Kings 21:1-9
  • 2 Chronicles 33:1-9
  • 2 Kings 21:10-17
  • 2 Chronicles 33:10-19
  • 2 Kings 21:18
  • 2 Chronicles 33:20
  • 2 Kings 21:19-26
  • 2 Chronicles 33:21-25
  • 2 Kings 22:1-2
  • 2 Chronicles 34:1-7
  • Jeremiah 1
  • Jeremiah 2:1-22

 

Standout Verse(s):

Jeremiah 1:5‭-‬8 NLT

“I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.” “O Sovereign Lord ,” I said, “I can’t speak for you! I’m too young!” The Lord replied, “Don’t say, ‘I’m too young,’ for you must go wherever I send you and say whatever I tell you. And don’t be afraid of the people, for I will be with you and will protect you. I, the Lord , have spoken!”

 

Observation (s):

  1. God ordained and set Jeremiah apart for a specific purpose before he was even born.

    “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.”

  2. God guarantees that He will guide you, when He appoints us to fulfil our purpose. We have no need to fear.

    “O Sovereign Lord ,” I said, “I can’t speak for you! I’m too young!” The Lord replied, “Don’t say, ‘I’m too young,’ for you must go wherever I send you and say whatever I tell you. And don’t be afraid of the people, for I will be with you and will protect you. I, the Lord , have spoken!”

     

Application:

God knew and ordained Jeremiah as His prophet before he was even born.

Life can get so confusing and hard at times. Despite this confusion, I can’t help but feel comforted when I hear that I was created for a specific purpose. It takes some of the fear and anxiety of the process, knowing that God is beside me every step of the way. Imagine, if you are ordained and following the plan, God laid out for you, you have no reason to fear or doubt. Your age doesn’t matter. Look how God guided young Samuel and Josiah. Your personal ineptitudes doesn’t matter either. Moses had a stutter but with God by his side, he became a great leader.

Don’t be afraid. You are ordained and God is with you and will guide you through anything He has ordained you to do.


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Bible in 365 Days – Day 207

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Focus Chapters:

  • Isaiah 52:13-15
  • Isaiah 53-57

 

Standout Verse(s):

Isaiah 52:13‭-‬15 NLT

See, my servant will prosper; he will be highly exalted. But many were amazed when they saw him. His face was so disfigured he seemed hardly human, and from his appearance, one would scarcely know he was a man. And he will startle many nations. Kings will stand speechless in his presence. For they will see what they had not been told; they will understand what they had not heard about.

 

Observation (s):

  1. God’s servant did not have the appearance that was appealing by the world’s standards.

    But many were amazed when they saw him. His face was so disfigured he seemed hardly human, and from his appearance, one would scarcely know he was a man.

  2. Despite his unappealing appearance, he lived his purpose and was highly exalted to the point where he was brought before kings.

    And he will startle many nations. Kings will stand speechless in his presence. For they will see what they had not been told; they will understand what they had not heard about.

     

Application:

We place a lot of emphasis on appearances. When I first got baptized, I felt a lot of pressure to fit into the appearances of my church. When I attended school, there was a lot of pressure to look a certain way, even though we all wore the same uniform. When we enter the work world, there are a whole set of rules and regulations about what is deemed appropriate professional wear. And at home, even there, we often find no peace. Despite the emphasis, our appearances does not often effectively declare the merits of our character.

The Lord reference to his servant pinpoints one integral thing: We are judged by our appearances yet our appearances have nothing to do with our purpose and how God chooses to use us. God’s servant’s appearance was not pleasing to the eyes. In fact, many would have probably overlooked him. Instead, this all changed when he begun to fulfil his purpose. He warranted a second and a third and a fourth look. Kings gave him audience and stood speechless before him. Many looked on in amazement. This man who was hard to look at became highly exalted!

Don’t worry too much about fitting in, appearance-wise. Focus your energies on being available to be used by God to fulfil your purpose. Good appearance or not, being used by God will make room for you.


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Bible in 365 Days – Day 206

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Focus Chapters:

  • Isaiah 48:12-22
  • Isaiah 49-51
  • Isaiah 52:1-12

 

Standout Verse(s):

Isaiah 51:7 NLT

“Listen to me, you who know right from wrong, you who cherish my law in your hearts. Do not be afraid of people’s scorn, nor fear their insults.

 

Observation (s):

  1. Don’t allow your fear of being scorned or insulted to prevent you from doing what is right.

    “Listen to me, you who know right from wrong, you who cherish my law in your hearts. Do not be afraid of people’s scorn, nor fear their insults.

     

Application:

Our fear of isolation and being considered different can cause us to ignore what is right. I can think of a couple times over the years of my Christian life when I’ve let my fear of being “the only one” push me into rejecting all outside appearances of my relationship with God. I was a Christian at church and a Christian nowhere else.

As Christians, we are called to be different and avoid conforming to the world. Do not be afraid of being insulted or scorned because you choose to do what is right and follow God’s law. The man who avoids the risk will never taste the rewards of daring to be different and standing up for God. When you proudly associate yourself with God, He will proudly associate Himself with you. Do not allow the fear of isolation and scorn to be the reason you disassociate yourself from God.


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Bible in 365 Days – Day 204

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Focus Chapters:

  • Isaiah 40-43
  • Isaiah 44:1-5

 

Standout Verse(s):

Isaiah 43:2 NLT

When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.

 

Observation (s):

  1. If you are going through deep waters, God is there.

    When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.

  2. If you are going through rivers of difficulty, God has promised that you will not drown.

    When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.

  3. If you have to walk through flames of oppression, you will not be burned, neither will the flames consume you.

    When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.

     

Application:

In the cartoon, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Aang is innately able to control and manipulate the earth, air, water and fire elements. This ability makes him the ideal candidate to fight the enemy of the nations, the Fire Nation, and restore balance throughout the world.

From this perspective, God is our version of the Avatar. He is master over all elements, nations and things. When we go through deep waters, we can rest assured that He is there with us and capable of controlling the watery abyss. When we face rivers of difficulty, we should be comforted in the knowledge that we will not drown because the Master of all Water Bodies is right there to help us. We should not worry when we walk through the fire of oppression because God is master of that element too. Thus, the flames will not consume us and we will not be burned. If you are faced with winds to blow you down or earth to drag you under, our capable Lord is right there to pull you up.

Why worry when you have the Lord who controls all elements, on your side? There is no element or situation that He cannot handle. There is no situation that you can face that God is not there with you and able to help.


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Bible in 365 Days – Day 203

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Focus Chapters:

  • 2 Kings 20:1-11
  • Isaiah 38:1-8
  • 2 Chronicles 32:24-31
  • Isaiah 38:9-22
  • 2 Kings 20:12-19
  • Isaiah 39

 

Standout Verse(s):

THE ACTION

2 Chronicles 32:31 NLT

However, when ambassadors arrived from Babylon to ask about the remarkable events that had taken place in the land, God withdrew from Hezekiah in order to test him and to see what was really in his heart.

Isaiah 39:1 NLT

Hezekiah was delighted with the Babylonian envoys and showed them everything in his treasure-houses—the silver, the gold, the spices, and the aromatic oils. He also took them to see his armory and showed them everything in his royal treasuries! There was nothing in his palace or kingdom that Hezekiah did not show them.

 

THE REACTION

Isaiah 39:3-6 NLT

Then Isaiah the prophet went to King Hezekiah and asked him, “What did those men want? Where were they from?” Hezekiah replied, “They came from the distant land of Babylon.” “What did they see in your palace?” asked Isaiah. “They saw everything,” Hezekiah replied. “I showed them everything I own—all my royal treasuries.” Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Listen to this message from the Lord of Heaven’s Armies: ‘The time is coming when everything in your palace—all the treasures stored up by your ancestors until now—will be carried off to Babylon. Nothing will be left,’ says the Lord.

 

Observation (s):

  1. God decided to test Hezekiah.

    However, when ambassadors arrived from Babylon to ask about the remarkable events that had taken place in the land, God withdrew from Hezekiah in order to test him and to see what was really in his heart.

  2. Despite the envoys coming to learn of the remarkable events in Hezekiah’s life, Hezekiah spends the visit showing them all “his” earthly treasures.

    However, when ambassadors arrived from Babylon to ask about the remarkable events that had taken place in the land, God withdrew from Hezekiah in order to test him and to see what was really in his heart. Hezekiah was delighted with the Babylonian envoys and showed them everything in his treasure-houses—the silver, the gold, the spices, and the aromatic oils. He also took them to see his armory and showed them everything in his royal treasuries! There was nothing in his palace or kingdom that Hezekiah did not show them. 

  3. Allowing pride to take the forefront results in Hezekiah’s downfall.

    Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Listen to this message from the Lord of Heaven’s Armies: ‘The time is coming when everything in your palace—all the treasures stored up by your ancestors until now—will be carried off to Babylon. Nothing will be left,’ says the Lord.

     

Application:

Pride goes before a fall! Hezekiah’s story is one that is continuously overshadowed by his demonstrations of pride.

Hezekiah is a God-fearing king who allows his steps to be ordered by the Lord. He struggles with one thorn, pride. Throughout his reign, God blesses him exponentially and heals him, adding 15 years to his life. When Babylonian envoys visits him to learn about the remarkable events that have occurred, God decides to test him. Hezekiah gets the opportunity to testify of God’s goodness. Instead, he lets his pride take the leading role and he fails his test miserably.

Throughout his time with the envoys, he focuses on showing off “his” kingdomly wealth and treasures, everything he owns. Eventually, this action and failure leads to the down fall of his kingdom.

Do not let your pride blind you to an opportunity to minister to others. God has been good to you, use every opportunity provided to let others know that you are successful because of His blessings, not your acts.


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Bible in 365 Days – Day 199

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Focus Chapters:

  • Isaiah 30-33

 

Standout Verse(s):

Isaiah 31:1 NLT

What sorrow awaits those who look to Egypt for help, trusting their horses, chariots, and charioteers and depending on the strength of human armies instead of looking to the Lord, the Holy One of Israel.

 

Observation (s):

  1. We tend to place our trust human resources that are bound to cause of sorrow.

    What sorrow awaits those who look to Egypt for help, trusting their horses, chariots, and charioteers and depending on the strength of human armies instead of looking to the Lord, the Holy One of Israel.

     

Application:

We have a common saying, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” In fact, many of us choose to live by this saying, choosing to rely on the forces of our enemies’ enemy to defend us or partner with us in our fight against our enemies. This is a flawed plan, especially when one considers all the variables that can change without notice. There has been too many occasions when our enemy of yesterday became our ally today.

Look at the Israelites. The Egyptians were their enemies for hundreds of years, yet when the fight with the Assyrians materialised, Israel sought out an alliance with Egypt. There is no guarantee that a similar relationship shift won’t occur between Egypt and Assyria change.

God also highlighted one primary flaw in Israel’s military strategy: the error of relying on human armies and resources when they have an All-Powerful God on their side. That strategy leads to sorrow because human armies and resources do not guarantee a win. God does!

How about you ally yourself with God? Through His strength and your trust, you are bound to win.


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Bible in 365 Days – Day 198

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Focus Chapters:

  • Isaiah 24-27
  • Isaiah 29

 

Standout Verse(s):

Isaiah 27:7-8 NLT

Has the Lord struck Israel as he struck her enemies? Has he punished her as he punished them? No, but he exiled Israel to call her to account. She was exiled from her land as though blown away in a storm from the east.

 

Observation (s):

  1. God’s punishment of our enemies is different from His punishment of us.

    Has the Lord struck Israel as he struck her enemies? Has he punished her as he punished them? No, but he exiled Israel to call her to account.

  2. God punishes us so that we can take responsibility for our actions and eventually get back on track.

    No, but he exiled Israel to call her to account. She was exiled from her land as though blown away in a storm from the east.

Application:

I can’t count the number of times that I went to bed crying, hating my mom and plotting to run away, after being punished. Growing up, our parents often punished us but that didn’t mean that they didn’t love us. The punishments were generally well-intentioned and geared towards getting us, the children back on track. Though we, as the kids, didn’t necessarily agree with the methods, sooner or later, we recognized and understood the means and their benefits.

Similar to our earthly parents, God, our Heavenly Father, has to punish us when we give Him reason to. His punishments are designed to call us into account and get us back on track on the road to our purpose. The one thing we can take comfort in is that God’s punishments are well-intentioned and delivered with love. He does not see it fit to punish us, His children, in the same way that He punishes our enemies. Even whilst we are being punished, we, God’s children, are given special treatment.


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Chañel