Tag Archives: schedule

July 26 Bible Reading: Mark 9-10

Only two miracles are recorded in these two chapters—healing of the boy with an unclean Spirit and blind Bartimaeus—though the miraculous transfiguration is found here as well.  Much teaching of Jesus is related, touching on familiar themes like greatness in the kingdom, divorce, children, temptation, and wealth.

For today’s daily devotional CLICK HERE

For July week 4 Bible reading introduction CLICK HERE

For July’s Bible reading introduction CLICK HERE

February 4 Bible Reading: Exodus 11:1-13:16

The Passover

The event that finally secured the Israelites freedom from Egypt would literally be remembered from that day forward.  And that was by God’s design.

God protected the Israelites from the awful tenth plague with a set of instructions by which the death angel would pass over their homes, leaving their first born untouched.  Those instructions included the offering of a sacrifice, a unique distribution of its blood, and eating a meal.  The subsequent annual Passover feast celebrated God’s redeeming His people from Egyptian bondage.

–David Deffenbaugh

For today’s daily devotional CLICK HERE

For week one’s reading schedule and introduction CLICK HERE

For February’s reading introduction CLICK HERE

February 3 Bible Reading: Exodus 7-10

The Plagues

How do you convince the most powerful ruler on earth to freely relinquish his greatest national financial asset?   In other words, how would Pharaoh ever agree to let the enslaved Israelites go?

It will take extreme measures, to say the least.  That’s precisely what the plagues were, extreme measures.  In truth, they were judgments executed by Jehovah God on the Egyptian gods (Numbers 33:4).

Still, through nine of these catastrophic events, Pharaoh would not relent.  It was going to take something else.

For that God was prepared.

–David Deffenbaugh

For today’s daily devotional CLICK HERE

For week one’s reading introduction CLICK HERE

For February’s reading introduction CLICK HERE

February 2 Bible Reading: Exodus 3-6

The Call of Moses

Forty years is a long time.

Most careers don’t even last that long, not to mention second ones.  That’s exactly how long Moses spent as a shepherd since escaping Egypt.  His story, though, is far from over.

He could have never known how much his life would change upon investigating a curious bush, burning in wilderness.

Though now 80 years old, Moses’ defining role as deliverer and Law-giver, had just begun.

For today’s devotional thought CLICK HERE

–David Deffenbaugh

For this week’s reading introduction CLICK HERE

For February’s reading introduction CLICK HERE

February 1 Bible Reading: Exodus 1-2

The Birth of Moses

God is well aware of the horrible conditions in which His people are living in Egypt.  Pharaoh’s efforts to quell the growing number of these detested foreigners included killing all the male babies.

Into this circumstance an exceptional baby is born to parents of most notable faith.  That God’s hand is with this child becomes quite apparent as one who by the king’s authority is to die, ends up nurtured and reared by that same king’s own daughter.  Coincidence?  No, providence.

Though all seems to be in order for Moses to take his place as deliverer, he instead is forced to flee for his life.  It seems that he has failed.

For today’s daily devotional CLICK HERE

–David Deffenbaugh

For the introduction to this week’s reading CLICK HERE

February Bible Reading Introduction

God Makes For Himself a People

Egyptian Bondage and Wilderness Wandering

Job had said that God “does great things beyond searching out, and marvelous things beyond number”(Job 9:10).

He, of course, is right.  And nowhere is that any more evident than when we, through the pen of Moses, are allowed a “bird’s-eye-view” of His working with the descendants of Abraham as He delivers them from the “iron furnace” of Egypt (Deut. 4:20) and brings them to himself that they might be His own possession among all the people of the earth (Ex. 19:5).

The problem, of course is to get this very large family (numbering in excess of an estimated two million) out of Egypt–where they have been enslaved–and transport them across wilderness which is absolutely incapable of supporting this mass of humanity, not to mention their herds and flocks.  There they are to be transformed from a massive clan of former slaves into a nation of people and in the process enter an unprecedented covenant relationship initiated by God.  Eventually they are to be delivered to the land that would become their home, having been previously promised to their father, Abraham.  That process, though, would include a forty-year detour of wandering before reaching the final destination.

Any single one of these accomplishments is nothing short of astounding and all of them together completely surpass the hope of comprehension.  There is only one possible explanation for what takes place as the events recorded in Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy unfold: God, who “does great things beyond searching out,” is at work.

Through all of this we meet and witness one of the most remarkable figures in all of the Bible as well as human history.  No human being has ever come close to equaling Moses.  Of all his accomplishments and achievements and triumphs, nothing speaks louder or more profoundly than that “the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, just as a man speaks to his friend” (Ex. 33:11).

We will devote the month of February to tracing out the amazing events starting in Egypt and ending up on the east side of Jordan, across from the land of promise.

–David Deffenbaugh

January 31 Bible Reading: Hebrews 7

The Genesis account tells us only briefly of a rather mysterious figure, Melchizedek, king of Salem and priest of God Most High (Gen. 14:17-24).  But in the New Testament book of Hebrews, the writer makes much of the fact that Abraham, from whom the nation of Israel would descend, offered tithes to this man.  Hebrews contends that the high priesthood of Jesus is based on the priesthood of Melchizedek, of whom we know little, and not Aaron of the tribe of Levi, of whom we know much.

 

Devotional Thought:

Jesus is our Savior and He is our Priest.

God’s people have had priests before and even we, as Christians, are priests (2 Peter 2:9).

But Jesus is different (of course!).

His priesthood is paradoxical–you know, a seeming contradiction that provides depth and breadth of meaning.

On the one hand He is just like us.  “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Heb. 4:15).

On the other hand, He’s nothing like us. “For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens” (Heb. 7:26).

We need a Savior.  We need a priest.

And in the same way that only Jesus could be our Savior, only He can be the Priest we need.

“But he holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever. Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them” (Heb. 7:24-25).

–David Deffenbaugh

January 30 Bible Reading: Psalm 37, 49, 73, 94

The book of Job (subject of our week two reading) is the lengthiest discussion in Scripture addressing the issue of God’s justice.  God sometimes acts in ways we do not understand.  It may not seem to be fair or even right to us.  Those questions plague men today just as they did in biblical times.  Job is far from the only place this issue is contemplated.  Habakkuk is another entire book based on this issue.  Today’s reading is of several of the Psalms that also delve into this difficult question.

 

Devotional Thought:

“Begin with the end in mind.”

Why is that advice so “second-nature” and at the same time so foreign?

When I get in my car I know where I am intending to go before I ever pull out of the driveway.  The “end” or destination dictates everything about the journey.

Nobody has to tell us this stuff.  We just know it.

Then why is this so hard with life?  We go about it without really thinking about where it’s going to end up.  We pull out of the driveway and start driving without ever thinking about where we’re headed.  We do what we do just because we want to and never think that this is leading me somewhere.

Not smart.

Where we intend to go should influence everything we do and even how we think.

Consider Psalm 73 and the trouble of the wicked prospering and the righteous suffering.  That’s a bitter pill to swallow.

Or, as the Psalm says, “But when I thought how to understand this, it seemed to me a wearisome task” (v. 16).

Indeed, “…but then I considered their end” (v. 17).

Where are the wicked headed?  And what about the righteous?  What is their end?

Keeping the end in mind not only keeps life on course but helps us endure the parts that make no sense.

–David Deffenbaugh

January 29 Bible Reading: Psalm 19:1-6; 33:6-9; 95:1-7; 136:1-9

Supplemental Readings for January

In each month in the year in which there are days beyond 28 in number–that of course, is all of them except February–we will use those days for supplementary readings.  These are further readings based on ideas or concepts introduced during the regular reading schedule of the month.  These are intended to provide further insight and illustrate how the Bible is a connected, unified whole–not just some loose collection of spiritual writings.

Creation, Again

Very often our considerations of the creation are from an apologetic standpoint [not in the sense of an apology, but rather a reasoned defense], that is, an effort to defend the biblical account of creation and respond to the theory of evolution.  The Bible’s emphasis is quite different.  The creation is a marvelous work of God, and only God.  It is that which elicits praise and adoration and awe.  We read on January 2, three Psalms that are based on God’s creative work (8, 104, 148).  In today’s reading we’ll read a number of selections from several Psalms that make reference to God’s creative acts.  Also, you might notice how God is so frequently identified as the one who “made heaven and earth” (Psa. 96:5; 102:25; 115:15; 121:2; 124:8; 134:3; 146:6)

 

Devotional Thought:

Hitler dreamed of a Third Reich that would stand a thousand years based on a superior Aryan race.

Lenin conceived of a perfect world society founded on common ownership of all things.

Our own forefathers brought forth “a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the principle that all men are created equal.”

Every nation that has ever risen has fallen: no matter how noble and wise or how misguided and maniacal.  They all have, or will, come to an end.

They also all have something else in common–and it’s not unrelated–all have been conceived and implemented by men.

The simple truth is, “The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; he frustrates the plans of the peoples” (Psa. 33:10).

By contrast, “The counsel of the Lord stands forever, and the plans of his heart to all generations” (Psa. 33:11).

Why is that nothing more than an empty boast?  Creation.  Verses 6-9 begin this line of thought.  It is by God’s word, His counsel, and the breath of His mouth that it all came to be, “and it stood firm.”   God’s work endures, men’s does not.

Therefore, any nation of men–founded by men and destined to fall–“whose God is the Lord” is blessed (v. 12).

–David Deffenbaugh

January 27 Bible Reading: Genesis 46-47; 49:28-50:26

With God’s encouragement Jacob accepts Joseph’s invitation to move the entire family to Egypt.  There, provided exceptional favor, they settle to live in the region of Goshen.  Jacob dies in Egypt, but according to his wishes, is returned to be buried at home in the grave of his fathers.  Joseph assures his brothers he holds no malice for their previous ill-treatment of him, understanding that though “you meant evil against me…God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive as they are today” (Gen. 50:20).

 

Devotional Thought:

Many–probably most–of the choices we make seem small and insignificant.

We are frequently wrong about that.

Others seem hugely consequential, and often turn out to be otherwise.

Jacob had a choice to make. His son, Joseph–that is his recently-discovered-alive-and-second-most-powerful-man-in-the-world son–invited him to move with all of the family down to Egypt.

Jacob balked.  He was living in the land promised by God to him, his father, and his grandfather.  Wouldn’t leaving it show a lack of faith in God?  Wouldn’t that seem to go against God?

With God’s encouragement Jacob decided to go (Gen. 46:3-4).  He and the 70 members of his family packed up and went.

Personally speaking, moving your family from one place to another is a big decision.  In the larger pictures it’s really not.  What you do is a bigger deal than where you live.

God, though, made this decision a huge deal.  For it was in Egypt that He took these 70 people and multiplied them until they were “as numerous as the stars of heaven” (Deut. 10:22).

Take care of your choices; even the seemingly small ones.  From one little decision God can cause a chain of events that grows far beyond us, our lives, and our purposes.

–David Deffenbaugh