A DAILY GUIDE TO READING THE BIBLE IN A YEAR

Christians Under Attack

Day 300 Jeremiah 51:1-53; Titus 2:1-15; Psalm 99:1-9; Proverbs 26:17

Christians Under Attack

The Spectator, a British publication, noted that "According to the International Society for Human Rights, a secular observatory based in Frankfurt, Germany, 80 percent of all acts of religious discrimination in the world today are directed at Christians. Statistically speaking, that makes Christians by far the most persecuted religious body on the planet."1 A few years ago at a conference on discipleship, the speaker challenged the audience with this question: “If you were to live in a country where Christians were persecuted for their faith would your life betray you as follower of Christ?” The question was not about whether or not we were seen attending church, or whether or not we wore a cross, but whether or not our very lives bore witness to our faith in Christ. This is the point that Paul is making here in his letter to Titus: "Make sure you present yourself as a pattern of good works. Your teaching must be consistent and serious, in healthy speech that is beyond reproach. That way, our opponents will be ashamed, since they won’t have anything bad to say about us." Do our relationships within our families bear a resemblance to the sacrificial love that Christ demonstrated on the cross? Heavenly Father, help us to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and to live lives that are self-controlled, upright, and godly while we wait for the blessed hope and the manifestation of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all iniquity and to purify for Himself a people of His own who are zealous for good deeds. Amen. The Rev’d Sarah Bronos Church of the Good Shepherd Maitland, FL
  1. https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/the-war-on-christians

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A Just God

Day 299 Jeremiah 49:23-50:46; Titus 1:1-16; Psalm 97:1-98:9; Proverbs 26:13-16

A Just God

In Psalms 97 and 98, we read of justice and righteousness. This makes me want to pause. God is a just God, and we, who are His people, are often neither just nor righteous. The justice that is spoken of in these Psalms is more than honesty or fairness. This justice is an active intervention on behalf of the poor and the helpless. Our own judicial system appears to fall far short of the biblical definition of justice. Biblical justice speaks of restoration and vindication, seeking to restore balance to a situation that has become imbalanced through the excesses of one party or another. Vindication does happen for some. It appears that restoration is more difficult to come by. Once a serious wrong is done, our lives are forever changed. To restore, in this case, may mean to make the situation better with God’s help and wisdom. This blessed restoration can cause us to be wiser and more patient.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” - Matthew 5:6
The Rev. Patricia Acker Grace Church Port Orange, FL

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Holding on in Hope

Day 298 Jeremiah 48:1-49:22; 2 Timothy 4:1-22; Psalm 95:1-96:13; Proverbs 26:9-12

Holding on in Hope

If there was an Old Testament writer who saw things at their very best, it was Solomon. Nonetheless, he knew how upside-down life is this side of the Fall: fools pass off “wisdom” that should be marked “DANGER – FLAMMABLE!” (Prov. 26:9). Jeremiah saw things at their very Old-Testament-worst when, in exile for her sin, Israel came to know what it was to be a laughingstock among the nations (Jer. 48:16). At the end of an amazing career of launching the gospel in Europe, Paul writes his last words in prison (again!) for the Gospel. He tastes as much emotional pain from friends who have deserted him (2 Tim. 4:16) as he does antagonism from the “lions” who seek to destroy him (4:17). How do you not lose hope? You remember that God has always shown patience that outlasts His anger. Psalm 95 calls on Israel to let the years of rebellion stay in the past (v. 8-11) and live joyfully in the presence of His shepherding care. You remember that God is always working a plan that will see perfect equilibrium established (Ps. 96:10), through the coming of that psalm’s promised King (v. 10,13). You recall that God promises that one day He will both restore faithless Israel and also heal the prideful nations through whom He has judged His people (Jer. 48:47; 49:2,6). Finally, you recall that Paul held out for himself – and for all who “long for Christ’s appearing” – the hope for “the crown of righteousness” from the Righteous Judge (2 Tim. 4:8). There is always cause to keep holding on in hope! Reggie Kidd The Cathedral Church of St. Luke Orlando, FL

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God’s Perseverance

Day 297 Jeremiah 44:24-47:7; 2 Timothy 2:22-3:17; Psalm 94:1-23; Proverbs 26:6-8

God’s Perseverance

Have you ever thought about God’s perseverance in trying to woo a people who so often turned away and rejected Him? In Jeremiah, the Hebrews who were living in Egypt had rejected God and begun worshiping the “Queen of Heaven.” There was a temple to Yahweh and His supposed consort (wife) Anath in the Egyptian city of Elephantine. It had begun to make sense to the Jews living among other pagan religions that the Hebrew God would have a wife like the other gods, and if He did, then that wife should be honored as well. It seems no one had inquired of God what He thought, and they worshiped a god of their own making to their own destruction. Time and again God would call His people to turn to Him and be saved but they would not. In spite of this, God never gave up. He poured out His wrath on the nations who had turned Judah’s head like a protecting father or husband. He allowed His people to suffer the consequences of their actions and then called them back into a relationship after their rebellion had been dealt with. This is the God who cares about us so much that He reveals to us the best way to live and gives His God-breathed love letters for us to get to know Him and follow Him. In spite of our disobedience, God has remained faithful. How will you respond to so great a love? The Rev. Paul Head St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Winter Haven, FL

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Praise Him

Day 296 Jeremiah 42:1-44:23; 2 Timothy 2:1-21; Psalm 92:1-93:5; Proverbs 26:3-5

Praise Him

I had the honor and privilege of attending New Beginnings 101 a couple of weeks ago. It was a very powerful weekend designed to help middle school youth learn about the unconditional love of Jesus. One of the highlights of the weekend was when the praise band played. They had us all on our feet joyfully singing praises to our God for who He is and what He does. For me, Psalm 92 captures the feeling of praise and thanksgiving... a joy of knowing and giving glory to God. Have you ever noticed that when we enter into a state of praise to God it often helps us to feel better? In this Psalm, you almost feel the joy of the author as he praises God for His mighty works. Is there anything better to reflect on? And did you notice the subtitle of the Psalm, “A Song for the Sabbath”? What better day to sing the praises of our God than on the Lord’s Day. However, we do not have to wait for the Sabbath to praise the Lord. Today, right now, stop and recall God’s mighty works in your life and take a moment to praise Him. You could simply praise Him for the beauty of creation. You could praise Him for His saving grace in bringing you to salvation. Praise Him in prayer and in song… Make a joyful noise to the Lord. As the Psalmist writes, “It is good to give thanks to the Lord…”  Bless the Lord! The Rev. Deke Miller Camp Wingman Central Florida

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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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