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Daily Bible Reading

Listen to the entire NLT Bible using a well-designed 365-day reading plan.

Tracks

NL-Day116 Joshua 10-11; Psalm 71; Acts 22
JOSHUA 10-11:The king of Ai trusted in appearances, and was defeated. And the leaders of Israel trusted in appearances and failed to ask God for guidance, leading to a problem that would later cause more pain. PSALM 71:This is a poem written by an senior citizen with examples for our prayers that are appropriate for ‘youth’ of all ages. ACTS 22:In the last part of Acts 21, people from the Roman province of Asia recognized Paul and started a riot in the temple. Paul was arrested and now gives his speech to the angry mob. NLT Translation notes:Josh. 10:39 He captured the town, its king, and all of its surrounding villages. He completely destroyed everyone in it, leaving no survivors. He did to Debir and its king just what he had done to Hebron and [0/to ] Libnah and [their kings//its king].==== ====Ps. 71:6 Yes, you have been with me from birth;    from my mother’s womb you have cared for me.    No wonder I am always [singing your praises//praising you]!Ps. 71:22 Then I will praise you with music on the harp,    because you are faithful to your promises, O my God.I will sing praises to you with a [harp//lyre],    O Holy One of Israel.  [Who knows what a lyre is these days. But people still know what a liar is.] ====Acts 22:11 “I was blinded by [that/the] intense light and had to be led by the hand to Damascus by my companions.28 [The commander scoffed, “Oh yeah, I’ve heard that one before! Now you’re gonna say, ‘It cost me pleanty to buy my citizenship.’” //“I am, too,” the commander muttered, “and it cost me plenty!”]   Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
26:00 4/25/24
NL-Day115 Joshua 8-9; Psalm 70; Acts 21:20-40
JOSHUA 8-9:Yesterday the walls of Jericho “came a-tumbling down” after some skillful trumpet playing while marching around the city for 7 days. The city was devoted to destruction, meaning that this was God's judgement upon them, and that everything was to be destroyed. Right after this amazing victory, Israel learned through a man named Achan that keeping treasures devoted to destruction makes oneself devoted to destruction. PSALM 70:David pleads in this psalm for help against his enemies. And this poem is a repetition of the last part of Psalm 40. ACTS 21b:Paul, Luke, and the other companions arrived in Jerusalem. On the way, Paul heard the prophecies that he should not go to Jerusalem. Once there, he received advice from James and the others which turned out to be disastrous in the end. Should Paul have followed the advice he was given by prophecy? My opinion is that he did the will of God which had already been revealed to him before those prophecies. In other words, the information in those prophecies that Paul would be arrested and beaten was from God. The interpretation that Paul should not go there was added by people, and Paul was right in not following their advice. NLT Translation notes:Ps. 70:2 May those who [are trying//try] to kill me be humiliated and put to shame. May those who take delight in my trouble be turned back in disgrace.5 But as for me [now], I am poor and needy; please hurry to my aid, O God. You are my helper and my savior; O  Lord , do not delay.   Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
21:23 4/24/24
NL-Day114 Joshua 6-7; Psalm 69:19-36; Acts 21:1-25
JOSHUA 6-7:In yesterday’s reading, Joshua lead the people across the Jordan on dry ground, and they set up 12 stones in two places to be memorial reminders for the people of this miracle. All the men were circumcised, and the angel who is the commander of God's army revealed himself to Joshua. PSALM 69:In yesterday’s reading, I appreciated that the writer appealed to God based on the Lord’s ‘constant love’. Let’s continue the reading of Ps 69 with four verses appropriate to Jesus’ life. Note that verse 22 is quoted by Paul in Romans 11. ACTS 21a:Yesterday we heard Paul's speech to the Ephesian elders. The Holy Spirit had revealed to him that they would never see him again. He warned them to be faithful in shepherding the people and to watch out for false teaching. In Revelation 2 we find out that they did as Paul commanded, but in their zeal to protect from error, they forgot to be loving. NLT Translation notes:Ps. 69:30 Then I will praise [Your name, O God//God’s name] with singing,and I will honor [You/him] with thanksgiving.31 For this will please [You/the] LORD more than sacrificing cattle,more than presenting a bull with its horns and hooves.32 The humble will see their [You, O] God[,] at work and be glad.Let all who seek [your help, O God//God’s help] be encouraged. Acts 21:4 and 12 NLT has 'not go on' and I read 'not go'. My mistake! But many other translations do not have the word 'on' and I didn't see it both times.   Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
21:54 4/23/24
NL-Day113 Joshua 4-5; Psalm 69:1-18; Acts 20:17-38
JOSHUA 4-5:In yesterday’s reading, Joshua sent out two spies. Rahab, who was a prostitute and later became an outstanding example of God's grace, protected them and eventually became a full member of Israel. The people of Israel crossed the Jordan miraculously on dry ground— even though the river was in flood stage, as Joshua leads following God's instructions. PSALM 69:This poem contains words that were quoted about Jesus (v. 4 and 9). Those verses give us an inside view of the nature of Jesus’ suffering while on earth in his public ministry. ACTS 20:In yesterday’s reading, Paul left Ephesus and prepared other churches for his departure. In Troas, Paul preached all night. Eutychus had trouble staying awake. And today we will hear all of Paul's speech at Miletus to the elders from the church at Ephesus. NLT Translation notes:Josh. 5:13 When Joshua was near the town of Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with sword in hand. Joshua went up to him and [asked him//demanded], “Are you friend or foe?” ====Ps. 69:3I am exhausted from crying for help;my throat is parched.My eyes are swollen with weeping,waiting for [You] my God to help me.====Acts 20:18 When they arrived he [began his speech//declared], “You know that from the day I set foot in the province of Asia until now 21 I have had one message for Jews and Greeks alike—the necessity of repenting from sin and turning to God, and of [fully believing//having faith] in our Lord Jesus.25 “And now I know that none of you to whom I have preached the [Good News about God’s] Kingdom will ever see me again. 28 “So guard yourselves and God’s people. Feed and shepherd God’s flock—his church, purchased with his own blood—over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you as [elders//leaders].   Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
19:13 4/22/24
NL-Day112 Joshua 2-3; Psalm 68:19-35; Acts 20:1-25
JOSHUA 2-3:Yesterday we started the book of Joshua, named after the man God chose as Moses’ successor. In this book we will see the victory of the Chosen People in conquering the Promised Land (chapters 1-12) and then the occupation of the Promised Land (chapters 13-24). Three times i n Deuteronomy 31, we heard the charge, “Be determined and confident,” and that command was repeated three more times to Joshua in chapter 1. PSALM 68b:This psalm starts with the words Moses spoke whenever the Ark of the Covenant was taken up to be moved to another place:“1 Rise up, O God, and scatter your enemies.”And David adds, “Let those who hate God run for their lives.” ACTS 20a:Yesterday we heard of how Demetrius— the silver-smith shrine-making businessman, incited a riot against Paul. NLT Translation note:Ps. 68:31 NLT Version difference in Line B: let Ethiopia bow in submission to God.Acts 20:25 “And now I know that none of you to whom I have preached [this news about//the] [God’s] Kingdom will ever see me again.   Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
18:37 4/21/24
NL-Day111 Joshua 1; Psalm 68:1-19; Acts 19:23-41
JOSHUA 1:Yesterday we read the conclusion of Deuteronomy with Moses blessing eleven  of the twelve tribes with a prophetic blessing. And then Moses died and the Lord buried him in an unknown location in Moab. Now we turn to Joshua, the book named after the man God chose as Moses’ successor. In this book we see the victory of the Chosen People in conquering the Promised Land (chapters 1-12) and then the occupation of the Promised Land (chapters 13-24). Three times in Deuteronomy 31, we find the charge, “Be determined and confident,” and that command is repeated to Joshua in the beginning of this book. PSALM 68a:This beautiful song of praise is filled with poetic imagery celebrating the victories God gives his people. So this song is very appropriate for us to read as a preface to the book of Joshua. This starts with the words that Moses spoke whenever the Ark of the Covenant was moved. Paul quotes from v18 and 20 in Eph 4. ACTS 19b:Apollos was introduced in yesterday's reading. And Paul returned to Ephesus and had a miraculous and fruitful ministry there for three years.   Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
15:09 4/20/24
NL-Day110 Deuteronomy 33-34; Psalm 67; Acts 19:1-22
DEUTERONOMY 33-34: In yesterday's reading, Moses showed Israel that the leadership was given to Joshua, and he gave the command that this book of Deuteronomy be kept near the Arc of the Covenant. Then God gave Moses a long song to teach people, to help them remember. In this song, God described some future events as happening in the past tense. This is a feature many prophetic writings. Here is one detail you might want to notice today in chapter 33: In Moses’ blessings for the tribes of Israel, only 11 are listed. So I’m giving a digging deeper challenge: Which tribe is left out, and what theory do you propose for that one being left out? PSALM 67: The theme of this beautiful psalm is that the salvation that God gives is to be made known to people everywhere, to every ethnic group. ACTS 19a: Yesterday in Acts 18, Paul met and began working with Aquila and Priscilla in Corinth. When put on trial before Gallio, God defended him so that he didn't even need to speak. Then that night Jesus strengthened him to keep on speaking boldly. NLT Translation note: Ps. 67:7 Yes, [You, O ] God will bless us, and people all over the world will fear [You/him].   Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
18:00 4/19/24
NL-Day109 Deuteronomy 31-32; Psalm 66; Acts 18
DEUTERONOMY 31-32:Yesterday in Deuteronomy Moses reviewed the covenant and again stressed that the choice is between life and death, and between experiencing blessings or curses. Be aware that in the poem dictated to Moses by the Lord, the Lord speaks of things that were in Israel’s future as if they had already taken place. This is called propleptic past tense, and is a feature of prophetic writings. PSALM 66:Our glorious God deserves glorious praise. Note that this psalm shows the importance of confessing our sins to God. ACTS 18:In Acts 17, opposition hounded the steps of Paul, Silas and Timothy, first in Thessalonica and then in Berea. The people of Berea are an example for us all, and that’s why so many churches are named after their city. Then Paul in Athens debated with the philosophers of his day. NLT Translation notes:Deut. 31:51 For both of you betrayed me [before/with] the Israelites at the waters of Meribah at Kadeshm in the wilderness of Zin. You failed to demonstrate my holiness to the people of Israel there.====Acts 18:5 And after Silas and Timothy came down from Macedonia, Paul spent all his time preaching the word. He testified to the Jews that Jesus [is/was] the Messiah.   Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
22:47 4/18/24
NL-Day108 Deuteronomy 29-30; Psalm 65; Acts 17
DEUTERONOMY 29-30:Yesterday in Deuteronomy Moses ratcheted up the fear index to the red level. And the scary thing about the threats he used to motivate the people to obedience is that they later all came true, as we will see in books like Judges and 2 Kings. PSALM 65:Today’s Psalm is a hymn of joy and mighty praise. ACTS 17:Yesterday we heard of how Paul and Silas were beaten and put in jail. This was as a result of freeing a slave girl from demonic bondage. Their overnight in jail led to the jailer and his family becoming followers of Christ. But the next day, as requested, Paul and Silas left town. NLT Translation notes:Ps. 73:27 Those who desert [You, O Lord//him] will perish,for you destroy those who abandon you.28 But as for me, how good it is to be near God!I have made [You O//the] Sovereign LORD my shelter,and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things you do.   Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
21:57 4/17/24
NL-Day107 Deuteronomy 28; Psalm 64; Acts 16:19-40
DEUTERONOMY 28:Yesterday we read of the ceremony that Moses commanded the people to perform when they entered the promised land. The Levites were to loudly proclaim curses from Mount Ebal over anyone who violates the laws. PSALM 64:If you feel that people are looking for opportunities to slander you, this psalm is for you. ACTS 16b:Yesterday in in this chapter— via the change of pronouns, we understood that Luke joined with Paul as one of his traveling companions. Also note that the Holy Spirit can also be called the Spirit of Jesus. These are one and the same Spirit of God. NLT Translation notes:Deut. 28:20 “The Lord himself will send on you curses, confusion, and frustration in everything you do, until at last you are completely destroyed for doing evil and abandoning [him//me].Deut. 28:51  Its armies will devour your livestock and crops, and you will be destroyed. They will leave you no grain, [no//new] wine, olive oil, calves, or lambs, and you will starve to death.Ps. 64:9 Then everyone will be afraid; they will proclaim the mighty acts of God and realize all the amazing things he [has done//does].Acts 16:18 This went on day after day until Paul got so exasperated that he turned and said to the demon within her, “I command you in the name of [ Christ Jesus// Jesus Christ] to come out of her.” And instantly it left her.31They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved. [And the same is true for//, along with everyone in your household.”]   Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
19:51 4/16/24
NL-Day106 Deuteronomy 27; Psalm 63; Acts 16:1-24
DEUTERONOMY 27:Yesterday in Deuteronomy, Moses continued with miscellaneous regulations. One repeated in the New Testament is to not muzzle an ox to keep it from eating when it is treading out grain. Paul used that as a metaphor for something else. PSALM 63:This is another poem of David, including beautiful imagery. Pray like David, if you want to be blessed like David or need protection as David did. ACTS 16a:Yesterday in Acts we heard how Barnabas and Paul with Silas and Judas/Justus delivered the letter from the leaders in Jerusalem. And afterward, Paul and Barnabas had their falling out over the issue of whether to take John Mark along on their next trip. Silas— who evidently had come back to Antioch, became Paul's new ministry partner. NLT Translation notes:Ps. 63:11 But the king will rejoice in [You, O ] God.All who trust in [You/him] will praise [You/him],while liars will be silenced.==== Acts 16:18 This went on day after day until Paul got so exasperated that he turned and said to the demon within her, “I command you in the name of [Christ Jesus//Jesus Christ] to come out of her.” And instantly it left her.   Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
15:18 4/15/24
NL-Day105 Deuteronomy 25-26; Psalm 62; Acts 15:19-41
DEUTERONOMY 25-26:Yesterday we read some laws for what kind of people could not enter into the congregation of Israel, and how long before their descendants could enter into the congregation of Israel. And we heard laws about cleanliness based on the fact that God was living with the Israelites. And, God wanted his people to be kind, fair, and thoughtful of the needs of the poor. PSALM 62:Here is a psalm to pray and an example to follow when you feel the world is against you. ACTS 15b:Yesterday in the first half of this chapter we heard how the controversy over circumcision started and we heard the speeches of Peter and James. NLT Translation notes:Ps. 62:11 But the king will rejoice in [You, O ] God. All who trust in [You/him] will praise [You/him], while liars will be silenced. ====Acts 15:18 This went on day after day until Paul got so exasperated that he turned and said to the demon within her, “I command you in the name of [Christ Jesus//Jesus Christ] to come out of her.” And instantly it left her.   Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
18:37 4/14/24
103: Reader: Take Note Buckling the Belt of Truth 1
A few years ago I published a YouVersion reading plan entitled Buckling the belt of truth. In this podcast I’m reissuing the first episode of that reading plan. Here I am at 72. I'm beginning to not be so surprised at my own age. Being so very elderly, perhaps it is time to share some grandfatherly advice. Maybe I have some of you fooled. Some of you may think that an elder missionary like me has it all together and that I don't ever sin. You might think that I have conquered all weaknesses and no longer have episodes of sinful thoughts. You would be wrong. And I suspect that I don’t fool everyone. People who really know me have seen my weaknesses. However, if I am working with the right information, a lot of you have struggles with sin the same way I do. So let me start by calling our attention again to these frequently quoted verses: 2 Peter 1:3-4 NLT'15 3 By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. 4 And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires. 2 Peter 1:3-4 ESV: 3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, 4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. Those are great verses, but they leave me asking, even crying out, “Which promises?! I don't think I have “escaped the world's corruption” yet! Have I been overlooking a key promise somewhere?!” Peter follows verses 3-4 by urging his readers to take steps for spiritual maturity found in verses 5-8. While Peter gives great advice in those verses (which I hope you will study), I still keep coming back to verses 3-4 and asking, “How do I put golden promises found somewhere in the Bible into effect?— so that through them, I can ‘share in God’s divine nature’ and truly ‘escape’ from bondage to sinful desires. What are the practical steps to do that?” Where can I find the promises that unlock moral excellence and self-control? Just like any college curriculum, before you start advanced courses, you need to take the prerequisites. So also, for you to get the most from this study, here are the prerequisites. This study is for true believers in Christ who are mature enough in following Jesus to have experienced the frustration I just explained above. The 5-7 studies I am starting with this session won’t be much help to you if you are living in gross disobedience to basic commands in God’s Word. Using an extreme example, if you make your living by stealing packages, you need to get an honest job before taking this course. This course is for those seeking spiritual maturity. The first step in becoming a maturing follower of Jesus is for you to repent of all openly disobedient life-styles. Another foundational step toward maturity is being a member of a local Bible-believing church, being baptized, and taking part in the Lord’s supper with your fellow believers. I can imagine some readers complaining about my saying this. I urge you to understand that membership in an organized fellowship of believers is a baked-in part of how God designed humans to live. The picture of community life starts in Genesis and goes through the whole Bible. You will not be successful in your quest for spiritual maturity if you are attempting to live as a Lone Ranger Christian. Other readers will say, “I don’t want to be a lone ranger, but there isn’t a Bible believing church near me.” I recognize that finding a church that is faithfully teaching the Bible will become increasingly difficult at this time— especially in some countries, but also anywhere in the increasingly post-Christian world. Look for a home fellowship that you can join. Finally, an important foundational prerequisite step is to cultivate a scheduled Bible reading habit. If you fit this profile, please continue to listen/read. 1. My first step to finding the golden promises Peter mentioned and escaping moral corruption is to Put on the belt of truth. This is one of seven parts to the Christian’s armor found in Ephesians 6. But I suggest that we make this clarification: Buckle the belt of truth by believing what God says about you in the Bible. NLT'07 Ephesians 6:14: 14 Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth … If you are a Christian, you believe a lot of true things already about Christ and the Bible. (You believe Christ came to earth to save us. You believe the Bible is God’s message to us.) But do you reject believing other things the Bible says about you? If you do, it is like putting on a belt— putting it through your belt loops, but not buckling it. So let’s learn how to buckle the belt of truth. In this lesson, I want to sensitize you to realize when you don’t actually believe it when the Bible says incredibly awesome things about YOU as a believer in Christ. Having the realization is often the hardest part. After that, ask God to renew your mind to fully accept the new truth. Let’s make one thing clear about believing. Believing isn’t something that just sort of happens. Believing is an act of the will. You decide if you believe something or believe in Somebody, or not. This is why in Scripture we read that God commanded people to believe and do what He told them, and He punished them for a stubborn refusal to believe His commands. Just look at the people of Israel who followed Moses all the way from Egypt and through the wilderness. They got all the way to the border of the promised land, knowing all the time what they would have to do. But when the Lord, “Now it’s time to enter and conquer that land,” they said, “Surely you couldn’t mean us!” Let’s go back to where we started. Peter said, “he (God) has given us great and precious promises. These are the  promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires. Here’s the basic principle I hope you will learn: When you encounter ‘great and precious promises’ in your Bible reading, telling you about wonderful things God has done for you or given to you, ask God to make those things real to you. Ask him to open your mind to receive that truth about you, and help you live in the light of that truth. You will need to pray asking God for such help, because for your whole life, Satan and his friends have been feeding lies to you. Now let’s turn to Ephesians 1. You might want to follow the episode notes so that you can see the words I have highlighted. NLT'15 Ephesians 1:1-23: 1 This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus. I am writing to God’s holy people in Ephesus, who are faithful followers of Christ Jesus. 2 May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace. This letter written to the normal believers in Ephesus, is therefore written to us too. For now let’s skip the idea that Paul called them ‘holy people’, because Paul comes back to that idea more than once below. 3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. 4 Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. 5 God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. 6 So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. 7 He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. 8 He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding. This paragraph turns our normal understanding upside down. I think that most people think of God as the angry judge that will destroy us. But these verses have God as the actor doing all these wonderful things, which are too many for me to comment on now. Let me highlight just two of them: God loves us and called us in advance. Change what you think about God and yourself: Tell this truth to yourself: God loves even me. God called me long ago, before I was born (amazingly, before He made the world). Let’s claim another truth here: As a believer in Christ, you are united with Christ. A literal translation will say, ‘in Christ’. Jesus spoke of this unity when He said, “I am the vine and you are the branches.” (John 15:5) NLT'07 John 15:4: 4 Remain in me (joined to me), and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me. This idea of being ‘joined’ to Christ (or ‘in Christ) is spoken of in many places in Paul’s writing, and it becomes one of the themes of this letter. But, dear friend, it’s time for you to start believing this idea about yourself! This is a key concept in believing that you are accepted as ‘holy’ in God’s sight. If you see yourself as separate from Christ, sadly, you will act like you are not connected to Christ. Now with this connection, we also have the reason we are holy. It’s not that we are in any natural sense ‘saints’, but we have been made holy by Christ. We have received his holiness. Out of the incredible richness of this paragraph, I want to pull out one more gem. God has adopted you and me into his family. In the Greek Paul used a legal term here which means you have been given ‘sonship’ or ‘legally adopted as a son’. In Roman law, the adoption of a son could not be undone. It was permanent. (Ladies, in this spiritual reality, don’t let the male gender of this term rob you from considering yourself permanently adopted.) Dear friend, it's time to revise how you think of yourself. You’re not a nobody. You’re not unloved. You are a permanent member of the most powerful royal family! Let’s skip down to the middle of v.13. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago. 14 The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him. Think about this: God has given you a guarantee that he is going to give you a wonderful inheritance. Stop saying, “Well, as long as I get to heaven I don’t need an inheritance.” God wants us to think about that inheritance. It is healthy for us to think longingly for our inheritance in heaven. Our guarantee is not some flimsy card that we will misplace. Our guarantee is the presence of the Holy Spirit in our hearts! Our text says, “when you believed in Christ, he (God) identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit,” It is crucial that you have a sense of belonging to God given by the Holy Spirit. Think of how personal and intimate is this bond we now have with God. I think you will find that this intimate bond is something you want to keep. This is one of our main motivations in seeking to live a holy life in God’s sight. NLT'07 Romans 8:9: 9 … (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.) It’s no wonder that in the John 15 passage we quoted about Jesus being the vine and we the branches, He mentions prayer: NLT'07 John 15:7: 7 But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! If we aren’t praying, then we aren’t believing the truths I just listed for you. Power points: God is for us and loves us. God is the actor for most of this chapter. This love from God the Father is counter-intuitive for us. We won’t believe it unless we realize our lack of belief and pray to God asking Him to make it real to us. God went to great lengths to put his plan into action. This gives us great confidence that we have really been called by Him. We are one with Him, joined to Him. We are united to Christ, so much so that He considers us actually part of his body. We have a powerful guarantee, the Holy Spirit, which is not an external thing, but an inward witness that we are joined to Christ. We are God’s holy people, not because we have the power to be holy. But God has made us holy by our unity with Christ. This is our identity! Take this identity. Believe and preserve this identity by taking care of the unity you have with the Holy Spirit. Paul wants us to understand all these things so that we understand that God will use his power to help us. Homework: 2PE.1.3-4 EPH.6.10-18 EPH.1 EPH.2.1-10  
25:16 4/13/24
NL-Day104 Deuteronomy 23-24; Psalm 61; Acts 15:1-21
DEUTERONOMY 23-24:Yesterday we read an odd collection of regulations: Cleansing the land from unsolved murder, marrying a captive woman after a war, rights of a first-born son when a man has more than one wife, the responsibility of helping neighbors, and various problems concerning adultery.PSALM 61:This is one I love to sing.ACTS 15a:In Acts 14, we heard of the incredible turn of events for Paul and Barnabas. At one moment they were hailed as gods, but after a very short time Paul was stoned. As they tell the believers, “We have to go through many hardships before we enter God's kingdom in heaven.” NLT Translation notes:6 [Since you have made me king, O Lord,] Add many years to [my life.//the life of the king!]    May [my//his] years span the generations!7 May [I/he] reign under [your//God’s] protection, [even] forever.    May your unfailing love and faithfulness watch over [me//him].       Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
17:44 4/13/24
NL-Day103 Deuteronomy 21-22; Psalm 60; Acts 14
DEUTERONOMY 21-22:Yesterday we heard an explanation of why cities of refuge were needed. And we heard interesting rules concerning war. In the war and conquest of Canaan that we will read about in Joshua, I urge us to remember that God spoke repeatedly about the wickedness of the Canaanite nations that Israel would conquer (beginning with what He said to Jacob way back in Genesis 15:16). Included in the detestable customs of the nations mentioned, is that they sacrificed human babies, burning them alive, plus all of the other sins Moses told the people not to imitate. PSALM 60:This poem is again based on David’s experiences. I think that this psalm must show how David prayed before the victories mentioned in the rabbinical title. ACTS 14:In chapter 13 we completed the story of Paul and Barnabas' short but successful ministry in Pisidian Antioch. They were too successful, so were run out of town. This is just the first time that will happen! NLT Translation notes:Deut. 21:6 “The elders of the town must wash their hands over the heifer whose neck [has been//was] broken.====Ps. 60:6[O] God [You have/has] promised this by [your/his] holiness:“I will divide up Shechem with joy.I will measure out the valley of Succoth.12With [Your help O God,//God’s help] we will do mighty things,for [You/he] will trample down our foes.====Acts 14:22 where they strengthened the believers. They encouraged them to continue [believing in Christ//in the faith], reminding them that we must suffer many hardships to enter the Kingdom of God.23 Paul and Barnabas also appointed elders in every church. With prayer and fasting, they [surrendered//turned] the elders over to the care of the Lord, in whom they had put their trust.27 Upon arriving in Antioch, they called the church together and reported everything God had done through them and how he had opened the door of [belief//faith] to the Gentiles, too.   Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
23:26 4/12/24
NL-Day102 Deuteronomy 19-20; Psalm 59; Acts 13:26-52
DEUTERONOMY 19-20:In yesterday’s reading we heard that the duties of the king included having a copy of the Law made, or perhaps making it himself (the Hebrew is unclear on that point). This is something we never hear of happening. (I don’t think what was given to King Josiah at his inauguration qualifies.) Then Deuteronomy 18 is very import in its prohibition against all kinds of witchcraft and fortune telling. Then there is one of the most important prophecies regarding Jesus: God was going to send a prophet like Moses and the people must listen to him. Another important point about this prophecy is the specific requiremant that the prophet would come from the people of Israel. PSALM 59:Because of David’s unique situation, he certainly learned how to pray for protection from enemies. ACTS 13b:In the first part of chapter 13, we heard how God called Barnabas and Saul in the city of Antioch— the one in the Roman province of Syria, and the church sent them out. We repeat some verses from Paul’s important speech, which took place in the other city called Antioch, the one in the province of Pisidia. NLT Translation notes:Ps. 59:10 In [your/his] unfailing love, [You] my God will stand with me.[You/He] will let me look down in triumph on all my enemies.====Ac 13:51 So they shook the dust from their feet as a sign [that God would judge the because of their rejection of the message they brought//of rejection] and [then they] went to the town of Iconium.13:52 And the believers [there] were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.   Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
19:48 4/11/24
NL-Day101 Deuteronomy 17-18; Psalm 58; Acts 13:1-33
DEUTERONOMY 17-18:In yesterday's reading we heard about the release of debts and slaves in the Jubilee Year (also called the year of restoration), and a reminder about 100% participation for the males in three festivals. PSALM 58:This poem celebrates that God will indeed give justice to His people, even though many times it seems to us that there is no justice on earth. ACTS 13a:In yesterday’s reading, we heard how Herod decided to go after the top apostles, killing James. But Peter escaped. As a result, 16 soldiers died. Then Herod met his richly deserved end. NLT Translation notes:Deut. 17:22 If the prophet speaks in [my//the LORD’s] name but his prediction does not happen or come true, you will know that [I, the LORD//the LORD] did not give that message. That prophet has spoken without my authority and need not be feared.’====Ps. 58:9 [You, O] God will sweep [those unjust people/them] away, bothyoung and old, faster than a pot heats over burning thorns.====Acts 13:52 And the believers [there] were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.   Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
21:20 4/10/24
NL-Day100 Deuteronomy 15-16; Psalm 57; Acts 12
DEUTERONOMY 15-16:Yesterday's reading included Moses' warning about being led astray by anyone, including false prophets or even close family members. No one who proposed idolatry was to be allowed to live. Then we heard a repetition of the laws about which animals were to be treated as clean/edible and those unclean/detestable. Psalm 57:This Psalm is beautiful and often quoted. It again is from David's experiences. ACTS 12:In Acts 11 we heard how Peter needed to defend what he did in sharing the Gospel with Gentiles. The result was that the church leaders joyfully accepted that God was giving salvation to more than just the Jews. Then we heard how Barnabas visited the predominantly Gentile believers in Antioch and then called Saul to join him. NLT Translation note:Ps. 57:2 I cry out to [You—] God Most High, to [You//God] who will fulfill [your//his] purpose for me. 3 [You//He] will send help from heaven to rescue me, disgracing those who hound me. Interlude[You, O] My God will send forth [your//his] unfailing love and faithfulness.[In v.2-3 the honorific 3rd person was changed to ‘You’ for English discourse naturalness.]====Acts 12:9 So Peter left the cell, following the angel. But all the time he thought [“this must be//it was]  a vision.” He didn’t realize it was actually happening. 15 “You’re out of your mind!” they said. When she insisted, they decided, “It must be his [guardian/0] angel.”18 At dawn there was [no little//a great] commotion among the soldiers about what had happened to Peter. 20 Now Herod was very angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon. So they sent a delegation to make peace with him because their cities were dependent upon Herod’s country for food. [With the aid of a little bribe money, the//The] delegates won the support of Blastus, Herod’s personal assistant,   Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
22:56 4/9/24
NL-Day099 Deuteronomy 13-14; Psalm 56; Acts 11
DEUTERONOMY 13-14:In yesterday's reading Moses continued to stress the need for faithfulness to God and all his commands. It is clear that Moses loves the people and is marshaling every argument possible to convince them to keep on obeying God. PSALM 56:This is another psalm from the experiences of David. This is a good psalm for us to pray when we feel that our lives are out of control and that people are against us. ACTS 11:In yesterday's reading, Peter didn't even get to finish his speech before the Holy Spirit took control of the Gentile listeners. The new believers were baptized by the astonished Jewish-background believers from Joppa. NLT Translation notes:Ps. 56:4 I will praise [You,/0] God, for what [You/he] has promised.I trust in [You,/0] God, so why should I be afraid?What can mere mortals do to me?Similar changes in v. 9-11====Acts 11:2 [So/But] when Peter ar13 He told us how an angel had ap o Joppa, and summon a man named Simon[, also called//0] Peter. 17 title-name order: Christ Jesus   Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
18:20 4/8/24
NL-Day098 Deuteronomy 11-12; Psalm 55; Acts 10:21-48
DEUTERONOMY 11-12:In yesterday's reading, Moses continued to hammer on the people not to think that they have been favored by God because they are such good people. Moses gave his first hand account of being in God's presence for 40 days and 40 nights on two occasions, one right after the other. He also again models in his prayer for Israel the way to effectively pray for people— which is to base our prayers on God's character and his promises. PSALM 55:This poem was written out of the discouragement caused by betrayal. It includes the figure of speech called apostrophe. That is where the writer, David, speaks to his enemy as if he were present. The same part which includes that figure of speech is often quoted as it shows us how Jesus must have felt about Judas’ betrayal. ACTS 10b:Yesterday we heard of the wonderful way the Lord called Peter to go to Cornelius' house. In preparation, God gave Peter a vision (repeated three times to leave no doubt whatsoever) to the effect that God was now opening the door to the Gentiles to be cleansed and included as God's people. NLT Translation notes:Ps. 55:19 God, who has ruled forever,will hear me and humble them.Interlude For my enemies refuse to change their ways;they do not fear [you,/0] God.====Acts 10:5 Now send some men to Joppa, and summon a man named Simon [and also called//0] Peter.18 they asked if a man named Simon [and also called//0] Peter was staying there.22 They said, “We were sent by Cornelius, a Roman officer. He is a devout and God-fearing man, well respected by all the Jews. [An angel from God//A holy angel] instructed him to summon you to his house so that he can hear your message.” 28 Peter told them, “You know it is against our laws for a Jewish man [like me//0] to enter a Gentile home like this or to associate with you. But God has shown me that I should no longer think of anyone as impure or unclean. 32 Now send messengers to Joppa, and summon a man named Simon [and also called//0] Peter. He is staying in the home of Simon, a tanner who lives near the seashore.’ 36 This is the message of Good News for the people of Israel—that there is peace with God through [Christ Jesus//Jesus Christ], who is Lord of all.43 He is the one all the prophets testified about, saying that [through Jesus,//0] everyone who believes in him will have their sins forgiven [0//through his name].”48 So he gave orders for them to be baptized in the name of [Christ Jesus//JC]. Afterward Cornelius asked him to stay with them for several days.   Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
26:24 4/7/24
NL-Day097 Deuteronomy 9-10; Psalm 54; Acts 10:1-29
DEUTERONOMY 9-10:In yesterday’s reading, Moses continued his stern lecture. I note particularly that Moses did all he could to stress that the Israelites must not get proud or think they’re great people based on their own merits. The reading also included the famous words, “people do not live by bread alone; rather, we live by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.” PSALM 54:This poem is a short cry for help, when David was under severe stress and being attacked. ACTS 10a:We are prepared for today's reading by the two notable miracles performed by Peter in Acts chapter 9. NLT Translation notes:Ps. 54:3 For strangers are attacking me;violent people are trying to kill me.They care nothing for [You, O/0] God.====Acts 10:5 Now send some men to Joppa, and summon a man named Simon [and also called//0] Peter.18 they asked if a man named Simon [and also called//0] Peter was staying there.22 They said, “We were sent by Cornelius, a Roman officer. He is a devout and God-fearing man, well respected by all the Jews. [An angel from God//A holy angel] instructed him to summon you to his house so that he can hear your message.” 28 Peter told them, “You know it is against our laws for a Jewish man [like me//0] to enter a Gentile home like this or to associate with you. But God has shown me that I should no longer think of anyone as impure or unclean. 32 Now send messengers to Joppa, and summon a man named Simon [and also called//0] Peter. He is staying in the home of Simon, a tanner who lives near the seashore.’ 36 This is the message of Good News for the people of Israel—that there is peace with God through [Christ Jesus//Jesus Christ], who is Lord of all.43 He is the one all the prophets testified about, saying that [through Jesus,//0] everyone who believes in him will have their sins forgiven [0//through his name].”48 So he gave orders for them to be baptized in the name of [Christ Jesus//JC]. Afterward Cornelius asked him to stay with them for several days.   Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
21:05 4/6/24
NL-Day096 Deuteronomy 7-8; Psalm 53; Acts 9:17-43
DEUTERONOMY 7-8:Yesterday in Deuteronomy we heard Moses repeating the 10 Commandments and pleading with the people that they remain faithful in obeying all the commands and regulations the Lord gave. The reading ended with an important statement to remember when considering the difference between the old and new covenants: NLT: 6:25 “For we will be counted as righteous when we obey all the commands the LORD our God has given us.’” PSALM 53:This is another Psalm that is quoted in the New Testament, and therefore, often quoted in general. This is a tell-it-like-it-is psalm, not a sweet and flowery poem. ACTS 9b:In the first half of this chapter,  we heard most of the story of Saul's dramatic conversion on the road to Damascus. NLT Translation notes:Deut. 7:4 for they will lead your children away from [the LORD//me] to worship other Gods. Then the anger of the LORD will burn against you, and he will quickly destroy you. [GNT says ‘the LORD’ here. Many translations do not catch the fact that Moses is speaking, not the LORD. Actually the Hebrew also says 'me'. Either the scribe writing Moses' words forgot that Moses, not the LORD, was speaking, or else he forgot to show where Moses began quoting the LORD.]Acts 9:14 And he is authorized by the leading priests to arrest everyone who calls upon your name [here//0].”21 All who heard him were amazed [and asked//0]. “Isn’t this the same man who caused such devastation among Jesus’ followers in Jerusalem?” [0//they asked]. “And didn’t he come here to arrest them and take them in chains to the leading priests?”25 So during the night, some of [his fellow/the other] believers lowered him in a large basket through an opening in the city wall.34 Peter said to him, “Aeneas, [Christ Jesus//Jesus Christ] heals you! Get up, and roll up your sleeping mat!” And he was healed instantly.   Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
18:01 4/5/24
NL-Day095 Deuteronomy 5-6; Psalm 52; Acts 9:1-21
DEUTERONOMY 5-6:Yesterday we heard Moses expound on the most important  command to never worship any idol or any god other than the Lord. He based this on the Israelite's experience of hearing God's voice and not seeing his form. Moses was realistic and knew that Israel would eventually leave God, and that God would judge them. He gave them this amazing promise: “from there (where you have been exiled by your enemies) you will search again for the LORD your God. And if you search for him with all your heart and soul, you will find him.” PSALM 52:This is another psalm from David's experiences. He was betrayed by a man called Doeg, and then that man killed priests who had done nothing wrong. This psalm stands as testimony that God notices such things and will eventually bring just punishment for all injustice. ACTS 9a:In chapter 8, we heard the fantastic way the Lord led Philip. The Lord wanted a certain Ethiopian high official to be saved. The traditional church in Ethiopia still traces its history to that official. And Philip had the privilege of being miraculously teleported to a new location. He continued from there in preaching the Gospel, all the way to Caesarea, which is where we find him later. NLT Translation notes:Ps. 52:9 I will praise you forever, O God, for what you have done. I will trust in your good [reputation//name] in the presence of your faithful people.====Acts 9:14 And he is authorized by the leading priests to arrest everyone who calls upon your name [here//0].”21 All who heard him were amazed [and asked//0]. “Isn’t this the same man who caused such devastation among Jesus’ followers in Jerusalem?” [0//they asked]. “And didn’t he come here to arrest them and take them in chains to the leading priests?”25 So during the night, some of [his fellow/the other] believers lowered him in a large basket through an opening in the city wall.34 Peter said to him, “Aeneas, [Christ Jesus//Jesus Christ] heals you! Get up, and roll up your sleeping mat!” And he was healed instantly.   Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
19:50 4/4/24
NL-Day094 Deuteronomy 4; Psalm 51; Acts 8:25-40
DEUTERONOMY 4:Yesterday Moses gave his personal account of how God led the people of Israel in not attacking three nations, but finally led them in attacking two kings. Moses pleaded with God to allow him to cross the Jordan into the promised land, but God refused to let him. PSALM 51:This is one of the most quoted and most famous psalms. David's sincere and broken-hearted prayer for forgiveness is a pattern for all of us to follow. ACTS 8b:Yesterday we heard how the believers in Jerusalem were scattered by a wave of persecution following Stephen's martyrdom. Philip (the deacon, not the apostle) is given the wonderful privilege to turn many to the Lord in Samaria. My own thought about why the Holy Spirit was not given when the believers were baptized is because Peter really was given the “keys to the kingdom.” Peter was present when the Jewish people received the Holy Spirit, and when the despised mixed-breed Samaritans received the Holy Spirit, and when non-Jews received that same gift. NLT Translation notes:Ps. 51:7 [Please perform the ritual of purification over me to cleanse me from my sins//Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean;]wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,and make me willing to obey you [once again//0].15 Unseal my lips, O Lord,that my mouth may praise you [again/0].====Acts 8:12 But now the people believed Philip’s message of Good News concerning the Kingdom of God and [about Jesus as the Christ or Messiah//the name of Jesus Christ]. As a result, many men and women were baptized. 16 The Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them, [although/for] they had [0/only] been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.28 and he was now returning. Seated in his carriage, he was reading aloud from the book of the prophet Isaiah [while a driver was driving the carriage//0].30 Philip ran over and heard the man reading [aloud/0] from the prophet Isaiah. Philip asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?”   Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
22:43 4/3/24
NL-Day093 Deuteronomy 2-3; Psalm 50; Acts 8:1-25
DEUTERONOMY 2-3:Yesterday we heard Moses preaching and confronting the people of Israel about their bickering and their incredible stubbornness in refusing to believe the Lord's commands, and their refusal to believe God’s loving intent in his commands. PSALM 50:Remember what Moses said yesterday in Deuteronomy? This Psalm tells us what God wants most from his people. ACTS 8:Yesterday we heard the conclusion of Stephen's speech. He confronted the high council with the indisputable fact that the people of Israel had always refused to follow what God told them and killed the prophets. “They (our ancestors) even killed the ones who predicted the coming of the Righteous One—the Messiah whom you betrayed and murdered.” Shortly after saying that, Stephen died as Saul watched. NLT Translation notes:Ps. 50:14 Make thankfulness your sacrifice to [Me, your] God,and keep the vows you made to [Me,/0] the Most High.23 But giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors me.If you keep to my path,I will reveal to you the salvation [given by Me, your God!//of your God].”====Acts 8:12 But now the people believed Philip’s message of Good News concerning the Kingdom of God and [about Jesus as the Christ or Messiah//the name of Jesus Christ]. As a result, many men and women were baptized.16 The Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them, [although/for] they had [0/only] been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.28 and he was now returning. Seated in his carriage, he was reading aloud from the book of the prophet Isaiah [while a driver was driving the carriage//0].30 Philip ran over and heard the man reading [aloud/0] from the prophet Isaiah. Philip asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?”   Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
25:08 4/2/24
NL-Day092 Deuteronomy 1; Psalm 49; Acts 7:30-60
DEUTERONOMY 1:Yesterday in the conclusion of Numbers, we learned that each clan's allotment of land must stay within that clan, even when parcels of land could be inherited by daughters. Mears says, “Deuteronomy is a book of remembrance. The name ‘Deuteronomy’ means “second law,” which indicates that the law is repeated. Moses did this to remind the people what God had done for them and what they were to do to serve Him when they reached the Promised Land. This book omits the things that relate to the priests and Levites but includes the things that the people should know. And the happenings in this book would cover only about two months, including the 30 days of mourning for Moses.” I love this book because it seems to be a transcription of Moses’ last sermons to the people. Imagine sitting at the feet of the aged and revered leader and hearing him tell what is most important! I love the way this book frequently records Moses speaking in the first person. PSALM 49:This powerfully thought-provoking psalm shares important wisdom which should help us be content with whatever our situation is in this life. Note the parallels with Jesus' teaching. ACTS 7:Yesterday we heard the first part of Stephen's speech. Shephen was accused of two things: “This man is always speaking against the holy Temple and against the law of Moses. We have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy the Temple and change the customs Moses handed down to us.” So far it is clear that Stephen was NOT teaching against the laws or customs Moses gave the people of Israel. NLT Translation notes:Ps. 49:14 Like sheep, they are led to the grave, where death will be their shepherd.In the morning the godly will rule over them.[The bodies of those so-called wise people//Their bodies] will rot in the grave,far from their grand estates.====Acts 7:37 “Moses himself told the people of Israel, ‘God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from among your own people.[That Prophet is Jesus!]42b ‘Was it to me you were bringing sacrifices and offerings during those forty years in the wilderness, Israel?43 No, you carried your pagan gods—the shrine of Molech,the star of your god Rephan,and the images you made to worship them.[This is not to be taken literally. This is hyperbole which highlights that the people were not faithful to the tabernacle.]48 However, the Most High doesn’t live in temples made by human hands. As [God said through a prophet,//the prophet says,]56 And he [said/told] to them, “Look, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing in the place of honor at God’s right hand!”   Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
21:34 4/1/24
NL-Day091 Numbers 36; Psalm 48; Acts 7:1-39
NUMBERS 36:Yesterday we heard about the boundaries for the nation of Israel, the 12 clan leaders appointed by the Lord, and about cities set aside for the Levites and cities of refuge— to protect from unjust prosecution of murder. PSALM 48:This psalm praises God for Jerusalem and  shows that Jerusalem is a reflection of God's glory. It is clear that more than the earthly Jerusalem is the topic. God has prepared a city for us! ACTS 7a:Yesterday in chapter 6 we heard how grumbling in the ever-expanding group of believers in Jerusalem required that seven helpers (the first deacons) be appointed. (The word ‘deacon’ comes directly from a verb in Greek that means ‘to serve’.) One of them, Stephen, became the object of controversy with the Greek-speaking Jews. Before the council, his face shone with radiance like that of an angel. The false witnesses made two accusations against Stephen, and today we hear his defence against the first of them. NLT Translation notes:Acts 7:37 “Moses himself told the people of Israel, ‘God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from among your own people.[That Prophet is Jesus!]42b ‘Was it to me you were bringing sacrifices and offerings during those forty years in the wilderness, Israel?43 No, you carried your pagan gods—the shrine of Molech,the star of your god Rephan,and the images you made to worship them.[This is not to be taken literally. This is hyperbole which highlights that the people were not faithful to the tabernacle.]48 However, the Most High doesn’t live in temples made by human hands. As [God said through a prophet,//the prophet says,]56 And he [said/told] to them, “Look, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing in the place of honor at God’s right hand!”   Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
16:25 3/31/24
089: JoySightings 12 The Enchanted City
I am releasing this episode number 12 of Joysightings at the DBRP feed in order to let you know about my recordings of Tales of the Kingdom and Tales of the Restoration, by David and Karen Mains. You can find the other chapters of these two books at Joysightings.info. It was perhaps in 1989 that a precious friend sent the two books to us, when we were living in the rainforest of Papua, Indonesia. Our children were at just the right ages to enjoy the full impact of these stories. It is a joy for me now to share these with you also. Each book consists of 12 chapters written as allegories. You will enjoy the deep symbolic meanings that underlie the story of characters with names like Caretaker, Mercy, and Hero. At the Joysightings.info site, the first chapter of Tales of the Kingdom is episode 12, and the first chapter of Tales of the Resistance is episode 25. When I made the podcast recordings, I was reading from the first edition of the two books of Tales, published in 1983 and 1986 by David C. Cook. The books have beautiful color pictures (one per chapter) by Jack Stockman. I tried repeatedly to reach out to David C. Cook to ask for permission to share these recordings on my podcast. In 2019 I reached out to David and Karen Mains via their Facebook page, and David answered giving his permission for my podcasts. Now in 2023 I discovered that the copyright for the books now belongs to Mainstay Ministries. In February I attempted to more formally re-confirm the Mains’ permission for my podcasts. However I found that the Mainstay Ministries website is not currently working and both numbers given for contacting them have been disconnected. If any of you listeners can connect me with the Mains family, I would appreciate it very much. The two sites I find for Mainstay Ministries are https://www.sundaysolutions.com/ https://kingdomtales.com/  
22:22 3/30/24
NL-Day090 Numbers 34-35; Psalm 47; Acts 6
NUMBERS 34-35:Yesterday we heard the listing of the stages of the nomadic journey of the people of Israel. God began giving instructions for the time when the people would enter the promised land. PSALM 47:This is a jubilant song of praise. This has been a special Psalm for our family. We remember singing this whole Psalm with one of our favorite churches. And when we were in Indonesia, they made a recording and we listened to it many times. ACTS 6:Yesterday we heard Peter and the apostles give fearless testimony before the Jewish high council. They were beaten, but counted it an honor. NLT Translation notes:Acts 6:5 Everyone liked this idea, and they chose the following [men//0]: Stephen (a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit), Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas of Antioch (an earlier convert to the Jewish faith). 10 None of them could stand against the wisdom [given by the Holy Spirit//and the Spirit], with which Stephen spoke.   Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
17:18 3/30/24
NL-Day089 Numbers 33; Psalm 46; Acts 5:17-42
NUMBERS 33:Yesterday we heard how the tribes of Gad, Reuben, and half the tribe of Manasseh promised to go ahead of their fellow Israelites into battle on the west side of the Jordan, because they were receiving land on the east side of the Jordan. In hindsight, I must say this was not a great idea. Because of how often all the men were required to go to Jerusalem for the holy assemblies, it must have been very easy to not attend those events and grow increasingly far from the Lord. PSALM 46:This was the inspiration for the hymn A Mighty Fortress Is Our God. The word translated by the GNT as ‘shelter’ in v.1 can also mean ‘refuge’. And the word translated as ‘refuge’ in verses 7 and 11 can also mean ‘secure height’. ACTS 5b:Yesterday we heard the sobering story of Ananias and Sapphira. Then, just when God was using the apostles to perform many miracles, they were arrested. GNT Translation notes:Acts 5:28 “We gave you strict orders not to teach [by the authority//in the name] of this man,” he said; “but see what you have done! You have spread your teaching all over Jerusalem, and you want to make us responsible for his death!”   Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
16:12 3/29/24

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