Category Archives: Bible Study

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

“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

Through the Bible in one year 2018; 19th February

I’ve noticed reading through the last few days in Leviticus that there is a repeated instruction for the bread offerings to be made without yeast and became curious to know why this was.

Now I do know that bread made without yeast is certainly a lot easier and quicker to make as I make it for my husband who is yeast intolerant. I can prepare a loaf and it be ready to eat in less than an hour but “normal” bread takes quite some time to make as you have to leave it to prove and then knead. Sometimes you have to leave it again to prove some more so this process can take several hours. Sourdough bread is increasingly popular nowadays but this too takes days to make and is quite a tedious and delicate process.

I don’t think this is the reason though why the offerings are made without yeast. Yes it must be much easier and more practical for them especially when they were still in the desert and never knew when they would have to move on.

Can you imagine having just prepared a batch of dough and set it to prove and you have to pack up and move? I expect there would have been a few complaints from those bakers.

No; the real reason is that Yeast is often associated with sin.

Like yeast it grows. It is fed on sweet things (yeast is activated by sugar or honey)

Sin is often tempting and seems appealing to perhaps get what we want quickly or by wrongful means and most of us are naturally drawn to sweet things.

Sin once it is alĺowed grows and festers if not dealt with. We read about the punishments when the Israelites built the Golden calf. It had to be dealt with decisively so that the sin did not continue.

It then spreads and perhaps starts to impact others or becomes bigger. A lie is followed by another lie and it all gets out of hand.

But do you know what kills yeast?

If the temperature is too warm it is killed or doesn’t work. Cooking the bread kills off the yeast which is why when sourdough bread is made you have to set aside some uncooked dough to form the base of the next batch and allow the natural yeast to develop.

Salt also kills yeast. When making bread with yeast you have to be careful not to put too much salt in and to keep it separate from the yeast before all the ingredients are mixed together.

Jesus refers to us being the salt of the earth in Matthew 5 v 13.

It seasons and improves things. Salt is used to help with healing wounds. It has purification qualities but can be painful.

Recovery from the wounds of sin is a painful process but Jesus is our healer and his grace is sufficient.

The readings for Monday are;

Leviticus 9 & 10

Psalm 50

Luke 6

Through the Bible in one year 2018; 18th February

We read about Jesus temptations in the wilderness at the start of the year and I noticed how Satan tried to put doubt into Jesus as to who he was and distract him from his mission.

I won’t repeat it but can read it again here;

https://suhancock.wordpress.com/2018/01/04/through-the-bible-in-one-year-2018-5th-january/

It is clear when we read Luke’s account that Jesus knew exactly what he was doing and what his purpose was. He goes straight to Isaiah 61 and quotes from there (see the picture above)

At the end of Luke 4 all the crowds are rushing to him as word spreads about the miracles and his teaching, but Jesus remains focused on his mission.

” I must proclaim the good news” and continued to travel and teach wherever he went.

He also gave us this mission in Matthew 28 v19. Go!

What’s your story?

The readings for Sunday are;

Levitcus 7 & 8

Psalm 49

Luke 5