A DAILY GUIDE TO READING THE BIBLE IN A YEAR

Support the Ministry of the Bible Challenge for #GivingTuesday

If you are an email subscriber of The Bible Challenge, you will have seen that we are working on raising funds for an overhaul and upgrade of this site. Some powerful facts about our reach:

  • The Bible Challenge site was visited 1,564 times in the past month.
  • Of those, 775 visits originated from web searches.
  • In the past month, The Bible Challenge had visitors from 56 different countries, representing every inhabited continent on the globe.
  • Last month, our most popular pages were the Old Testament and New Testament Study Guides, with more than 500 hits each. People are thirsting to understand the Word of God!
  • 360 people subscribe to the daily devotional emails.
Won't you help us make The Bible Challenge an even more powerful ministry by broadening the appeal and making it more shareable? Every small donation will help. Click to donate amazonsmileAnother way you can support the upgrade and regular maintenance of The Bible Challenge is by choosing our parent organization, Bible Study Media, as your recipient charity on AmazonSmile. If you select us as your preferred charity, then a percentage of all the purchases you make through Amazon will be donated to us as long as you go through smile.amazon.com. Click here to learn more about the AmazonSmile program, and click here to choose Bible Study Media as your recipient organization. Please make sure to do this before you do your Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping on Amazon! We are grateful for your support and the way God is working through this site!

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Perfect Jesus for Imperfect People

Day 309 Ezekiel 12:1-14:11; Hebrews 7:1-17; Psalm 105:37-45; Proverbs 27:3

Perfect Jesus for Imperfect People

The message from Hebrews about Jesus' unique identity, His perfect qualifications as our heavenly High Priest, and His once-and-for-all sacrifice breathes faith and hope into the lives of so many even in the midst of turmoil and tribulation. Today's text from Hebrews reveals just how much more perfect and available our path to God's presence is now that Jesus has become our "high priest." The nature of Jesus' sacrifice as once-for-all, coupled with Jesus' own personal sin-free life, means that His intercessory power and saving presence are available at all times and in all places. Jesus is always available to each of us and makes it possible for us to have an intimate relationship with God – the CREATOR of everything. The forgiveness Christ obtains for us brings us into our heavenly home as full members of the divine family, where we are protected and cherished, nurtured and taught at the knee of our divine Parent. Anyone who is a parent knows that parenting is an all-encompassing undertaking. It doesn't matter if your child is an infant, a teen, or a senior, you are forever on duty. Think how much more far-reaching is the parental care that we may receive from God, who as our divine Parent is not limited by time and space. As every human parent and every child knows, there are some times, some experiences, which each individual must face without the support of others. But as long as we have let Christ open the way to a personal relationship with God, there is never again any experience in life, or death, that we must face alone. No matter how great our fear, how severe our pain, how lingering our wait, how deep our doubts, the promise of the gospel is that God is there for us and with us all the time. But God doesn't stop there. Because God is eternal, God's love for us extends beyond the short years of our time on earth. The divine arms that hold us throughout our lives don’t suddenly let go and abandon us at death. You and I are embraced in the Lord’s arms forever. Phyllis Bartle St. Jude's Episcopal Church Orange City, FL

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Tasted the Heavenly Gift

Day 308 Ezekiel 10:1-11:25; Hebrews 6:1-20; Psalm 105:16-36; Proverbs 27:1-2

Tasted the Heavenly Gift

"It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace." - Hebrews 6:4-6
This scripture seems to say two things in Hebrews 6:4-6: After becoming a Christian one can “fall away,” and once one has fallen away, it is impossible for that person to be restored to repentance. Some argue that these were not yet Christians who fell away. However, they are described as those who have “once been enlightened,” “have tasted the heavenly gift,” “have shared in the Holy Spirit,” and “have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come.” How better to describe a Christian? Some argue that the Christians spoken of did not really fall away, that their condition was somehow exaggerated. That is to our shame and is as circular and fruitless as saying they were not really Christians. “For it is impossible . . . to restore them again to repentance.” The prophet Nathan told David he would die for his tryst with Bathsheba and arranging the death of one of his mighty men and friends, Uriah. Yet David, upon repenting in sackcloth and ashes, was allowed to live. Nineveh was told by the prophet, Jonah, the city would be destroyed for its evil ways. The whole city repented, and God spared them. Paul persecuted Christians and presided over the stoning of Stephen, yet he would become the most prolific writer of the New Testament. In all due respect to the author of Hebrews, I have a sense from the whole of the Bible that, if apostates of that era were to have repented in earnest as did David, all of Nineveh, Paul, and many others, our Lord, full of grace and mercy, would not forget His love for us all, and they, too, would have been received and restored. Perhaps there is someone in your life who thinks he or she has gone too far, crossed a line, given up faith of an earlier time, even denied the existence of God. Holy Scripture is rife with hope and encouragement for anyone in such condition. Joe Pollock St. Peter’s Episcopal Church Lake Mary, FL

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Jesus the Great High Priest

Day 307 Ezekiel 7:1-9:11; Hebrews 5:1-14; Psalm 105:1-15; Proverbs 26:28

Jesus the Great High Priest 

In the time of Jesus, the high priests of the temple were appointed by the people themselves. They were chosen to act as the intermediates between the people and God.  While they offered up sacrifices for the sins of the people, they themselves were not without transgression. God had a better idea. He sent His own Son, Jesus, who without sin was God’s only true mediator and perfect High Priest. The example of Christ is the example for every Christian, whether ordained or lay. Jesus submitted Himself to the Father in absolute obedience. He is the perfection of royal priesthood, and it is Jesus alone who mediates on our behalf. We are saved by our faith in Him. His blood alone atones for our sins, and not for ours only, but for the sins of the whole world. The Rev. Danielle Morris Winter Park, FL

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Sabbath Rest for the People of God

Day 306 Ezekiel 3:16-6:14, Hebrews 4, Psalm 104:24-35, Proverbs 26:27

Sabbath Rest for the People of God

Moses’ job was to lead the people of God from the bondage of slavery in Egypt to the Sabbath Rest of the Promised Land. The movement in creation was from chaos to Sabbath (Genesis 1). We are being called by Jesus out of an even greater chaotic bondage to sin but to an even greater Sabbath Rest in the Promised Land—“the mystic sweet communion with those whose rest is won.”(1) God is calling and inviting us to press into the divine fellowship of the Holy Trinity. As given to the people of old, the warning for us now is to renounce an “evil, unbelieving heart.” God is described throughout the book of Hebrews as “the living God.” He is not a religious idol or a concept or philosophy. God is alive, speaking to us, calling to us, and inviting us into a personal relationship with the Father, through the Son, in the Holy Spirit. The people of God of old failed where we can succeed! They hardened their hearts to the promise in the very moment God was purposing to bless them. We are still hearing His voice today. The Living God is speaking through His Word and Spirit. Take your lesson from the people of old and press into the Sabbath Rest of God. So long as it is Today, encourage one another to stay tender-hearted toward the Lord. In this way, we come to “share in Christ”. The King James Version says we have become “partakers of Christ”! What is the ultimate Sabbath Rest for the People of God? It is a resting from our labor in Christ. As we come into the presence of the living God in a worship service, we are being addressed by the Holy Spirit through the liturgy of the Word to press into communion. The aim is that we would be willing to be led into the throne room of Lord Sabbath—The Living God who has rested from His creative work and is beckoning us to join Him. Today, are we responsive to the call? Or are the occupations and distractions of this world preventing us from truly engaging with the Holy? The Rev. Charlie Holt The Church of St. John the Divine Houston, TX (1) - Samuel John Stone, Hymn, "The Church's One Foundation"

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The Heart of the Christian
Life is rooted in Three
Redemptive Acts.

Through them, Jesus enables and
equips followers to carry His love
and forgiveness into the world.
The Christian Life Trilogy is a
20-week Bible study curriculum
that is divided into 3 studies:

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Old Testament Study Guide

New Testament Study Guide

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