Through the Bible in one year 2018; 25th February

In Luke 11 we see Jesus teaching on a wide variety of subjects and some of it is not pleasant to read.

In particular he condemns the current generation for their lack of response to his message and that of John the Baptist and the prophets before him.  They have seen all the miracles and many of them know the word but continue to ignore God and carry on their sinful ways.

He says that the people of Ninevah would condemn them because they responded and repented when they heard Jonah.

We see around us a decline of moral standards, an increase in evil and war.  Mass killings in so called civilised societies who at the same time condemn people who do not share the same views as them.  

“Celebrities” get on their soap box and condemn the actions of an abuser but continue to accept parts in films or TV shows where murder, abuse and sexual scenes are expected and accepted and “normal” (even when not in the original books).  They make pop videos flaunting their bodies (to make up for the lack of any actual talent) and make violent movies and video games, then wonder why our young people don’t seem to know right from wrong.

If you do stand up and say something is wrong you are condemned for having an opinion different to “the majority”

We saw in Matthew 11 Jesus said that even Sodom and Gomorrah would have responded and would rise up and condemn the current generation.

Oh how we need to pray with Jesus “Our Father, Your kingdom come”

The readings for Sunday are;

Leviticus 21 & 22

Psalm 56

Luke 12

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Through the Bible in one year 2018; 24th February

Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me (Psalm 54 v4)

Life can be hard sometimes. We all have different situations to deal with and I often wonder how people who don’t have God in their lives cope.

You see when “life” takes over and all the stress it brings it is very comforting to know that even when things appear to be going wrong or everything seems to be happening at once, the knowledge that God is in control, that he loves us and has promised to care for us, is very reassuring. With that we can be sure that somehow, if we are trusting Him, it will all work out.

When we decided we needed to move to a smaller home we had planned on taking about a year to sort out a few things on our old home and put it on the market before looking for our new place.

However for health reasons we realised that perhaps we need to get the process started…..

Lots happened that would take too long to tell you about but to give you a taste;

A few weeks later the Dr. advised that an operation was required more urgently than scheduled and to try and get it brought forward (virtually impossible in the UK) We were booked immediately after to meet with the vendor of a property we had seen to confirm our purchase offer. From there to contact hospital re surgery “oh yes we can fit you in next Tuesday (Our house was scheduled to go on the market Monday)

This would mean hubby would be “out of action” for 6 weeks and that he would not return to his job.

Um. OK Lord, we think you know what you are doing.

The legal process in England is stressful and that is another story but Gods timing is perfect.

We had a few weeks to settle into our new home (and more importantly get the cat settled) when we had a family bereavement which meant a lot of travelling for a while.

There is a lot more I could tell you about there too but this is a blog not a book ⏳

God has sustained us and provided for us through this time and many others and we know that he will continue to do so.

The readings for Saturday are;

Leviticus 19 & 20

Psalm 55

Luke 11

Through the Bible in one year 2018; 23rd February

Todays readings were quite long and there is so much we could look at but I think the most important point is Jesus’ question in Luke 9 verse 20.

Who do you think I am?

He had been talking with his disciples about who he was, who people thought he was and who did the disciples think he was.

If you have been following this blog then you may remember reading about Jesus interrogation before he was crucified.  It was  clear that He thought he was the Son of God

https://suhancock.wordpress.com/2018/01/27/through-the-bible-in-one-year-2018-january-28th/

Some people think that he did not make such claims bit as we have just read; He clearly did. He knew exactly what he was saying.  So that brings us to the question; Was He the Son of God? What do you think?

You see we can’t ignore his statement of who he was.  If he was not then he was either a liar (in which case we cannot say that he was a good man) , or he was mad/deluded/insane(but the quality of his teaching was astounding and he healed so many people), or quite simply;

He was who he said he was.  The son of God.  In which case we have to make a choice to accept Him as our Saviour or reject Him.

He does not give us a weak excuse to say that he was just an historical figure but calls us to follow him.

The Psalmist says in Psalm 53

The fool says in his heart “there is no God”…..

There is no one who does good

So what about you? Who do you say he is? Will you? like Peter, acknowledge him as Lord?

The readings for Friday are;

Leviticus 17 & 18

Psalm 54

Luke 10

Through the Bible in one year 2018; 22nd February

Today I am doing things slightly differently.  I have already shared a blog today, part of which relates to today’s readings so I am going to leave this with you for today

https://suhancock.wordpress.com/2018/02/21/billy/

The readings for Thursday are;

Leviticus 15 & 16

Psalm 53

Luke 9

“Billy”

I usually refrain from making any comments or “tributes ” when I hear of the death of someone famous.

It’s not that I don’t care or feel sad at the news, I do, but feel that my thoughts are irrelevant especially as in the majority of cases I have not actually met the person and am mindful to respect their families and loved ones as they have lost someone precious to them who is more to them than a famous person (singer/sportsperson or whatever they may have been)

So what is special about today?

Well today we heard the news that Billy Graham had died at the age of 99.

No I never met him and as far as I can recall never attended any of the meetings that he spoke at but have met people who’s lives were changed from hearing him speak many years ago and have always been inspired by the wisdom with which he spoke or in his writing.

His message was always simple and to the point. We are all sinners and need to repent and accept the love and forgiveness offered to us in Jesus Christ. There is no other way.

The number of people his ministry impacted is immeasurable as there are many who went on to impact the lives of others (like me)

He was an example of simple faith and humble obedience to God and although recognised accross the world and by Kings, Queens and Presidents did not let this fame affect his message or attempt to achieve personal gain from his fame. He spoke the same message to his farmer neighbour as he did to a president.

Now there is another reason why I have a particular “fondness” for Billy Graham.

Before I tell you though, please do not take any of this story to be disrespectful as it is not intended to be but has always captured my imagination and sense of humour since I was quite young.

Although as far as I am aware there is no family connection to Billy Graham, my Grandad was also a Graham and although not his first name was always called “Billy”

Born in 1907 in a small remote village in the far North of England, my Grandad was a quiet simple man who worked hard. He was never a man of many words and would usually be quite happy with the simple life he lived.

Like many hardworking men of his generation a Friday evening vist to the local “Pub” was his weekly treat.

Now because they lived quite frugally and they lived in a small town, they didn’t have for a long time things that we living 250 miles away in the South took for granted. They did not own a telephone or television so most commuication was done by letter or in an emergency a neighbour could be called upon to get them.

Alternatively my Mum would wait until Friday evening when she thought her Dad might be at the pub and telephone there.

Can you imagine calling a small village pub and asking “is Billy Graham there?”

As a youngster it would amuse me to think “I wonder what would happen if the evangelist Billy Graham was actually there, not just my Grandad” Of course I would think that there was no way that a Godly man like him would frequent a pub, but now I’m not so sure.

You see in my reading today Luke 8 begins with Jesus travelling from one town to another proclaiming the good news and he would mix with the ordinary people and love them and gently teach them.

I see now that Billy Graham would have been quietly following the example of his Lord and sharing the gospel message with those around him over a soda. I imagine too that the religious leaders of today would be horrified but he would simply say as Jesus did in Luke 4 v 43 “I must proclaim the good news”

So I will remember both “Billy Grahams” with great fondness and gratitude for what they both meant to me in different way.

Through the Bible in on year 2018; 21st February

Today we read one of the more well known Psalms.

David had committed adultery with Bathsheba and then attempted to cover it up by arranging for her husband do be in a place where he would be killed.

He was then confronted by Nathan the prophet who told him a story about a rich person taking someones lamb. At first David is indignant until he realises that the story represented him and what he had done.

David had always been very careful to stay close to God and obey his laws and we see his repentance in this Psalm. He feels cut off from the most precious person in his life; his God.

“Against you and you only have I sinned”

We saw a couple off days ago how yeast represented sin and how it quickly grows. Davids initial sinful desire for a beautiful woman quickly escalated and resulted in death and the ruin of his reputation.

Again we see David recognising that all the sacrifices he could offer mean nothing if his heart is not right. God sees our heart just as Jesus saw the heart of he woman who washed his feet. She wanted to be cleansed from her sin but the Pharisees were weighed down with all their laws and rule.

If you are reading this and don’t know God’s cleansing forgiveness in your life, you can. Just ask him.

The readings for Thursday are;

Leviticus 13 & 14

Psalm 52

Luke 8

Through the Bible in one year 2018; 20th February

When I read Psalm 50 I noticed a couple of things.

Firstly, like many of the Psalms there is a little note heading. In this case it says “A Psalm of Asaph” so who was Asaph? I thought.

I brief investigation informed me that there are several references to people either by the name of Asaph or of his descendants.

Specific mention is made in 1 Chronicles 6 v 39 and 2 Chronicles 5 v 12 of Asaph being a skilled musician and singer. He and his descendants were responsible within the tribe of Levites for leading worship. The name was also attributed to a group of singers and musicians in the temple.

The Psalm itself is quite a solumn one yet I find it quite exciting.

Several years ago I embarked on a study course which looked at finance and money in the Bible (can’t quite get rid if the accountant in me)

In this Psalm God is saying that He doesn’t need all the sacrifices as everything is his anyway. All the cattle, birds and animals are His and all the world and everything in it.

How exciting to realise that God has everything at His disposal and he can therefore supply all our needs.

The purpose of the sacrifices and offerings is highlighted in verses 23 & 24. They are to keep the people from forgetting their God and remain blameless before him.

The readings for Tuesday are:

Leviticus 11 & 12

Psalm 51

Luke 7