New Years Day is traditionally a time when people start reading through the Bible. I found this plan that looks quite good. It is called “The Essential Jesus” and is very similar to the E100 program.
Here is some information about it from the website http://essentialjesuschallenge.com/ …
“Based on the book, The Essential Jesus, the Challenge guides participants through the list of short Bible passages following the storyline of Jesus Christ—25 from the Old Testament and 75 from the New Testament—over a 20-week period. The program is undated and can be started at any time during the year. And it’s designed to be flexible, too; it fits any time schedule and works with any Bible translation. You can start with just the Essential Jesus Planner and use the convenient “track your progress” punch out card to keep you on track as you take the Challenge. Or you can combine it with the Challenge Guide for personal and small group studies. And if you really want to go deeper faster you can use the helpful commentary in The Essential Jesus book, also. Just find the way that works for you. You can receive free downloadable resources including Sermon outlines, a poster, and a bulletin insert form you can use to make The Essential Jesus Challenge an effective Bible engagement experience for the whole church or your small group.”
It is available of Youversion.com to read for free here https://www.youversion.com/reading-plans/56-the-essential-jesus
I was reading 2 Timothy chapter 1 just now and verse 7 jumped out at me. It says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”
When we come to Christ God gives us a deposit of Himself – the Holy Spirit who takes up residence inside us (Romans 8:11). It is a seal of our salvation (Ephesians 1:13) and He empowers us (Acts 1:8).
His Spirit gives us the power to live the Christian life and serve God, to love others the way God loves and be disciplined in the way we live.
This last part about discipline really jumped out at me afresh today. If we feel we don’t have the discipline to really live the Christian life we are wrong.
We don’t have to live timid defeated lives because the Holy Spirit lives inside us. He give us the power, love and discipline of God Himself.
You have the discipline inside you to do all you need to do. Believe it. Live it. And walk in it today.
Christmas can be a time where many people rush around. They try to get the last minute presents or get the house ready for the “big day”. In short it can be really stressful for some.
Today I want to give you a reminder from Jesus. It comes from Matthew 11:28. It says…
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
I invite you to come to Jesus today. Take a few moments and sit down quietly. Stiil your heart and mind and meditate on the Words of Christ.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
Exchange your business and burdens for His rest and peace. Take on His yoke which is light and easy to bear. Let Him teach you and give you rest for your weary soul (Matthew 11:29).
I love this short passage from Titus chapter 3. It explains what Christ has done and the hope we have…
4 But—“When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, 5 He saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. 6 He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. 7 Because of his grace he declared us righteous and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life.”
I think this is a great passage of Scripture and one every Christian should have memorised. Hint hint 😉
Romans 12:3 says, “Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.”
Healthy self-esteem is important because some of us think too little of ourselves. While there are others who overestimate themselves.
I believe the key to an honest and accurate self evaluation is knowing the basis of our true self-worth—our identity in Christ.
Apart from Christ, we aren’t capable of very much by eternal standards. However in Him, we are infinitely valuable and capable of amazing things.
When we evaluate ourselves by the worldly standards of success and achievement, it can cause us to think too much about our worth in the eyes of others and thus miss your true value in God’s eyes.
Having the right view of ourselves is vital to be all we can be for Christ. This view must clearly be based on our level of faith God has given us and who God says we are in the Bible.
This morning my wife and I were reading the book of Jude. It is a short book but has lots in it. One section is titled, “A call to remain faithful”. As we read three things jumped out of verses 17-23.
1. Scoffers will come (v17-19)
In the first section it reminds us that in the last days scoffers will come to cause divisions amongst us. The will be people who live to satisfy their own desires and who follow there own instincts, not trust and obey God. We need to be on guard for them.
2. Build each other up (v20-21)
In the next section it reminds us to build each other up in our most holy faith and pray in the Spirit. When we do these things we are strong and less likely to fall away or be deceived. It also tells us to wait expectantly for Jesus’ return and the eternal life He brings.
3. Look out for those around you (v22-23)
Finally it tells us to be on the lookout for those who may be wavering in their faith and commitment to God. We need to get along side them and remind them of God’s love, His Word in the Bible and the Great Hope we all have in Jesus’ return.
The Book of Jude reminds us to remain faithful to God and not lose the hope we have in Christ. A part of this is being mindful that scoffers will come, to encourage one another and to look out for those who are wavering in their faith.
Here is today’s Our Daily Bread. I thought it was quite good.
by Dennis Fisher
Read: 2 Peter 3:1-13
Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness? —2 Peter 3:11
People’s attitudes toward Bible prophecy vary widely. Some believers are so preoccupied with it that they are constantly talking about the latest world events, thinking they are biblical signs that Christ could return at any moment. Others are so casual in their view of prophecy that it seems as if they don’t believe it’s relevant to the Christian life at all.
So is prophecy important? Here are some facts to help put things in perspective. There are 31,124 verses in the Bible. Of these verses, 8,352 have prophetic content of some kind. That’s 27 percent of Scripture!
Because prophecy occupies more than a quarter of Scripture, the believer should deeply value its role in God’s revelation. But in doing so, we should remember why God put it there. After describing how the world will end, Peter concludes, “Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives” (2 Peter 3:11 niv). In other words, we should make choices daily for godly living that conform to our future dwelling place.
God has given us information about the future to glorify Himself, to assure us of His sovereign control of history, and to challenge us to godly living.
He is coming! I shall know Him,
Jesus! My beloved Lord!
Changed forever to His likeness;
Oh! what joy this will afford. —Dimmock
Look for Christ’s return and you’ll live for Christ’s glory.
There has been a lot of talk about the world ending soon. Here is a reminder of what the Bible says about the end of the world…
Matthew 24:36 says, “However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows.”
No one knows the date or time when the end will come. Don’t let yourself be caught up in all the end time talk surrounding the Mayan prophecies.
As Christians we need to look to the Bible and what it says. We need to trust the eternal God and His eternal Word.
Remember the Mayan’s are a race of people that died out many years ago. They did not predict their own demise and did not know when the end of the world was coming.
With Christmas fast approaching I thought I would include some of the Bible passages I re-read in the lead up to the big day. If you haven’t got a Bible you can click on the links to open the passages on your screen.
The Birth of Jesus foretold
The Birth of Jesus
The Shepherds and the Angels