Daily Bible Readings 6/13/2021

Reading #1 – Exodus 33

Reading #2 – Psalms 65

Reading #3 – Proverbs 3

Reading #4 – Amos 7

Reading #5 – 2 Corinthians 4

 

Notes

Exodus 33 – The Journey Resumed. Israel’s journey to the “promised land” was halted because of sin. After the sin had been repented for, Moses was given the command to get the people ready to mobilize. Unfortunately, except for a limited number, the people were living one foot in the Kingdom and one foot out hence the reasoning behind being called “Stiff-necked and rebellious” (1-3). When we are confronted with sin one of two possibilities will happen, our heart will either positively or negatively respond (4-6, Romans 2:1-4). The tent of meeting was the demarcation between the world’s ways and G_d’s ways, all that came there received from the Lord. The shekinah glory of G_d was the presence of G_d in spirit form and was evidence that the G_d Moses served was not like the world. When you walk in obedience as Moses did, the prayers you will pray will be effective (7-11, James 5:16). When Moses interceded for the people, there was a concern on his mind, “if not the Lord then who”?. Remember, Moses had not been to the promised land before the journey from Egypt to the mountain so he could not possibly have known how to get there and this, I believe, frightened him. Add to this problem, the nation Israel was looking to Commander Moses for direction. To the world, Israel was just an invading army that would be no different than the tribes already present so the nation had to be unique (1 Peter 2:9-10). So, Moses prayed to see G_d’s glory (12-16). G_d honored Moses’ prayer by showing His glory. Moses could not see G_d’s face because he would die. Moses was to stand on a rock and hidden in a cleft until the Spirit of the Lord passed by and declared the Name of the Lord the “Holy Righteous Loving G_d who never abandons His children” and this was the encouragement Moses needed (17-23).

Psalms 65 – G_d’s Abundant Favor to Earth and Man. G_d made this world over many millions of years and all that He made was unique “He made them from nothing”. When you consider all that He made, one cannot but give reverence to G_d. Sin is man-made (Mike Krier) or is “synthetic” so all of the blight of the world is not because “G_d hates us”. The good news is that the same G_d who created the world, including you and I, has the rightful authority to forgive sin. By forgiving sin, it means that the “sin” will never come back to mind unless we reopen the “kettle of worms” (1-3, Hebrews 6:4-6). The one that remains faithful in and out of storms is called before the throne and is blessed (4-5). The Lord desires to give us all that we need but, in our foolishness, we tell G_d “not yet” so he waits (6-8). The thing that we need to keep in the forefront of our mind is that this planet belongs to G_d and only He knows how to protect it and what it will take to heal the land (9-13).

Proverbs 3 – The Rewards of Wisdom. Knowledge can be learned from books but Wisdom is learned by revering the Lord above the whims of the world. Without the Lord, the words of wisdom are just some “good story” or, “witty sayings” (Proverbs 1:7). Solomon is recounting the words of his father, David, to his students. The first lesson is, “Don’t forget my Teachings”. The second teaching is, “take the wisdom to heart so that your days will be blessed”. The third is, “Don’t let mercy and kindness and truth leave you” that is, “don’t forget the goodness of the Lord and apply His goodness liberally on those around you”. We can utter the words of Solomon, the prophecies of Jeremiah, Isaiah, Moses, and John to an unsuspecting world and accomplish nothing because, if these words are not alive and breathing in and through you, it will do the world no good (1-6).

Amos 7 – Warning Through Visions. Amos stood in intercession for the nation although the nation did not deserve it. The Lord had determined the destruction of Israel so it didn’t matter how it was destroyed. Amos stood between Heaven and Earth so, in the palm of his hand stood the power to intercede or allow the destruction to push through unchallenged. Like David, though, Amos had to choose and by default, the third plan was enacted (7-8). The “plumb-line” is a measuring device that will show how straight a building is. If the building is not straight, it was to be destroyed and a new one built. The implication is that the covenant that was made would be destroyed and a new one erected (9). What Amos had to say was not popular nor was it accepted because his words were like nails on the back of a chalkboard. Amaziah the priest was sent to tell Amos to “move along this is Bethel” or the place where Jacob stopped and built an altar to G_d (Genesis 28:10-22, Genesis 33:17). The problem was that the famous landmark and home of Royalty dating back to Jeroboam was also the place of the famous “golden calf” (10-13, Psalms 106:19-23). What Amaziah heard next ought to have made his blood boil because his wife would be reduced to prostitution and his lineage would be destroyed (17-18).

2 Corinthians 4 – Paul’s Apostolic Ministry. Paul’s ministry was not without challenges, troubles, and trials. To the Sanhedrin, Paul was an “enemy of the state” and an enemy to all that worshipped under the Pharisees. Paul had a choice though, to surrender to the “status quo” or rise above it by living by G_d’s principles and commands (1-2). To the world, Paul’s teachings were absolute “gibberish” because the message was 180 degrees out of sync with the world’s reality (3-6). Just because the world thought Paul’s message was non-sense was no reason to surrender his post (7-12). The Spirit Paul is talking about is nothing new in fact, it is as old as time itself and the purpose of the Spirit is to call people from sin into life (13-15). For the struggling church at Corinth, this was a breath of fresh air because it spoke in the face of the diabolical acts done by the Devil to destroy the church if it would only wake up and listen. It is true that “sin endures for a night” but joy comes in the morning (16-18, Psalms 30:4-5).

Daily Bible Readings 6/7/2021

Reading #1 – Exodus 32

Reading #2 – Psalms 64

Reading #3 – Proverbs 2

Reading #4 – Amos 6

Reading #5 – 2 Corinthians 3

 

Notes

Exodus 32 – The Golden Calf. The people were left under the leadership of Aaron the High Priest. Moses had been in the mountains receiving the first writing of the law. One man riled the people up by challenging the people to make a G_d that would be the commander of the people to lead them back into slavery (1). So, Aaron called the people to donate pieces of gold so that a G_d could be formed (2-4). Aaron then called for a day of celebration to the Lord (5-6). It was at this point that Moses was told to go back to the people because of what was going on. The Lord G_d was angry enough with the people to destroy them without pity (7-10). So, Moses calls on the Lord’s forgiveness and reminds Him of the high points in Israel’s journey and how it would look in the eyes of the world. Of course, destroying the nation would mean that Moses was the start of a new nation. While this would be a “feather in Moses’ hat” however, he was not looking for a reward he simply wanted the people to cross the finish line. So the Lord forgave the people (11-14). When Moses came down from the mountain, Joshua declared “there is victory in the camp” but Moses’ response speaks volumes about sin and its effect on mankind (19-24). Moses knew that sin had its consequences which meant the people were not going to “get a pass” simply because the people were forgiven by the Lord. The two tablets of the law were thrown against the rock in response to the sin of the people. After all, these people had turned their backs on the Lord the moment they sinned against the Lord G_d which, in effect said “I don’t care about the law or who wrote it.” Similarly, when a church group violates the church bylaws and creed, they are saying “I don’t care what the Pastor thinks” so what good are the bylaws? The tablets held no power so they had no power to destroy anybody but violating the G_d’s laws is a personal decision (25-35).

Psalms 64 – Prayer for Protection from Secret Enemies. As children of the Kingdom, it needs to be our goal to live to honor G_d in all that we do. A “right relationship” is not about being “a Holly-Roller” but knowing that we have peace with G_d. The world has its ways and methods that cause us to be looked down on because “we’re no fun” but it is also a firewall that keeps us focused on G_d’s laws (1-4). There is no lack of chatter about the “good times” but the same people are seemingly quiet when trouble finds its way to their doors (5-7). The outcome of a righteous life is threefold: it keeps us from self-inflicted trouble, it blesses our family, and it blesses those who watch the course of our life (8-10).

Proverbs 2 – Pursuit of Wisdom Brings Security. G_d’s laws would seem to make no sense at all because they warn against the evil practices that are portrayed as “fun” but never tells us why should obey them. When we are told “avoid” or “fail not to do ___” we are not told “why”. We are simply told, “listen to me without a reason”. The thing is we find out “why” later on. Honoring G_d does not have a magic formula any more than the power David had was not because of some “built super force” it was simply a human being obedient (1-5).

Amos 6 – Those at Ease in Zion. The nations that surrounded Jerusalem were being taken into exile even though there were still people in Jerusalem. While the nations were being carted away, it must have created an “ease in the city” because they were being overlooked. The Philistines just like the other nations lived sinful lives without remorse. If G_d does not overlook the sin of the nations, how much more will He pay attention when his children sin (1-6)? Sin says, “no one will take notice of Your actions” but this is called a “lie” because sin wants people to follow her master (7-11). In the same way that sin causes its target to stumble, so it is when a horse gallops over rocks. Sin by its very nature is predicated on a lie that grows over a lengthy period. Israel/Judah had been warned right from the very beginning what would happen when they sinned (12-14).

2 Corinthians 3 – Ministers of a New Covenant. Paul is speaking to the church at Corinth which was one that Paul planted. The church was deeply rooted in a sinful community. Paul knew first hand the struggle the church was going through but never used his vantage point to condemn the church nor ask it to do something he was unable to do. In a manner of speaking, the church was Paul’s Resume to the churches as a testimony (1-3). Paul had confidence in the church that no matter what it was going through, they could succeed and do above what they thought possible. Because Paul was a “minister of the new covenant”, he understood that honoring G_d was not a matter of “do and do not” but by living a life pleasing to G_d all that was written could be completed because the Minister, Jesus said, “Because I go to the Father, you shall do this and greater” (4-6, John 14:12). After the first meeting on the mountain, Moses had to wear a veil because his face blinded the people so that they were afraid. When he was through ministering before Lord, Moses put down the veil so all the people saw was a man with a veil. When he went back into the Lord’s presence, he would take the veil off. Paul’s argument about the difference between the ministry of death and life both comes down to the word “obedience” (7-8, 13, Exodus 34:29-35). The ministry we are given is not a matter of “laws and precepts” that is, “if you do ___ you will die” but of obedience to G_d or the “two great laws” which we will do willingly or to tell G_d, I will follow you no matter where you go even if I do not understand it (17-18).

Daily Psalm 6/1/2021

Sing of the honor and glory and magnificence of His name;
Make His praise glorious.
Say to God, “How awesome and fearfully glorious are Your works!
Because of the greatness of Your power Your enemies will pretend to be obedient to You.
“All the earth will [bow down to] worship You [in submissive wonder],
And will sing praises to You;
They will praise Your name in song.” Selah (Psalms 66:1-4).

Praising G_d is not just a song nor a collection of songs, it is a lifestyle. This “lifestyle” says, “I will praise the Lord always by what I do, how I do it, and with what attitude I do it in”. We are tasked with deciding which G_d or god we will serve. If we praise the world, we must know that the grounds will shift unpredictably. If we praise the Lord, we can know that the foundation never changes (Matthew 7:24-27). 

Father,

Thank you for a new week and a new month. You are an awesome G_d who never changes His mind. You call to anyone who will listen to come and be part of your Kingdom. May all who read this post be blessed and encouraged. I pray for my families, my law enforcement officers, my teachers, my preachers, my city of Stacy, my state of Minnesota, and my USA. In your hands, I commit my day in Jesus’ name.

IHS

Mike

Daily Bible Reading 6/1/2021

Reading #1 – Exodus 31

Reading #2 – Psalms 63

Reading #3 – Proverbs 1

Reading #4 – Amos 5

Reading #5 – 2 Corinthians 2

 

Notes

Exodus 31 – The Skilled Craftsmen. When we read about G_d’s design for the Tabernacle, a question should pop up in our mind, “How do we do this”? The Lord delegated the responsibility to build the Tabernacle and everything in it. Now, the Lord answers the burning question, “How”? by pointing out who was to do the work (2-11). These two men Bazelel and Oholiab were uniquely qualified for the mission because of the skills they possessed. The articles were to be built to the exact specifications laid out by the Lord and not subject to interpretation. Moses was given the specific mission to tell the Israelites “you will honor the Sabbath”. Up to this point, the Lord had instructed Moses to build the Tabernacle and who was to build it, and where the product would come from. Giving instruction was the job of the commander and this job was not to be delegated (12-13). The Sabbath begins on Friday evening and goes until Saturday evening; during this time, no work was to be done and this was not a suggestion, it was mandatory (14-17). Moses was then given the two stone tablets of the law written by the finger of G_d (18).

Psalms 63 – Thirsting Soul Satisified in G_d. Seeking G_d’s face in the good times and places is easy because we can see our needs being met. Seeking Him when our skies turn to bronze and our earth becomes iron (Deuteronomy 28:23) is most difficult because we have to believe by faith in G_d’s providence (1-2, Hebrews 11:1). Destruction is an undying part of life in a sinful world and we are powerless to stop it however, turning destruction to praise is a personal choice (3-5) so, we can either be a victim or be an overcomer. Developing faith begins by taking note of the areas where G_d has come through, where the storms have been turned back, and/or our worst fears were a figment of our imagination (6-8). One thing we need to get through our thick heads is that we are powerless to change people’s mindsets (Mike Krier). G_d’s word does not say, “make the world live according to your beliefs”, it says “Live to please the Lord in all that you do and He will change the hearts of mankind” (9-11, Matthew 5:14-16).

Proverbs 1 – The Usefulness of Proverbs. The book of Proverbs contains wisdom for living in an unG_dly world. The book is not speaking to the “world at large”, it is speaking to the one whose heart is open and receptive (1-6). Knowing the word and living by it are two different things. Adhering to His word requires the individual to turn his/her eyes to the Lord and become blind to the world’s threats and demands. Certainly, worldly powers can take what does not belong to them, destroy credibility, and/or kill the flesh; the one thing they cannot do is destroy the soul of mankind, that is a personal choice (7).

Amos 5 – “Seek Me that you May Live”. The nation had “perfunctory praise” down to a fine science. The word of the Lord had never changed, David’s Psalms and Solomon’s wisdom never changed but the heart of the nation had (1-3). Even though the nation was on the cusp of being eradicated, there was still hope for the soul of the nation. The G_d who says to the hungry “come unto Me and I will accept you” (4-7, Isaiah 66:5) is the same One who says to the one who rejects the Lord “away with you” (8-17, Matthew 7:21-23). It all boils down to “choice” so, we can either have Heaven on earth amid despair or Hell on earth and no hope (14-16). Sin had become a way of life for the nation and it choked out all of the peace in the kingdom and the people seemed to go from the “frying pan into the fire” (18-20). Religious service and its traditions will not save a nation only by a change of heart could this be done (21-24). The Lord G_d will never contend with the idols that we set before us so, either we serve the world the Lord G_d (25-27, 1 Kings 18:21).

2 Corinthians 2 – Reaffirm Your Love. Previously, Paul admonished the church to remove a man from the fellowship because he sinned and flaunted it and no one said anything (1 Corinthians 5:1-2).  Now Paul is telling the church that it is time to heal the wounds and restore that man (1-8). Sin was destroying the church from the inside out and the church’s credibility was at stake. The thing is, there is a time for everything (Ecclesiastes 3) and now it is time to heal the wounds. The Devil loves nothing more than for there to be discord in the church because it is like fungus, it grows in the dark and takes over everything (9-11). Of course, Paul was not exempt from having to deal with discord because he too had separated from Barnabus because of a strong disagreement over taking John Mark who abandoned them (12-13, Acts 15:36-41) which Paul resolved and restored John mark (2 Timothy 4:11). We have a choice, “be a fragrance of death and allow sin to grow or, be a fragrance of life, either way, the world will always see it 180 degrees out of sync (14-17). If we allow sin to grow in the church, we are seen as hypocrites conversely, if we remove the sin, we are seen as “exclusionists” so, it is a “no-win” situation. So, we need to live for the Lord and make no provision for the flesh (Romans 13:13-14).

 

Daily Bible Reading 5/30/2021

Reading #1 – Exodus 30

Reading #2 – Psalms 62

Reading #3 – Ecclesiastes 12

Reading #4 – Amos 4

Reading #5 – 1 Corinthians 17

 

Notes

Exodus 30 – The Altar of Incense – The altar of incense is symbolic of prayer that goes up to the Father. The construction of the altar, like all of the fixtures in the temple, was uniquely designed using acacia wood overlaid in gold and carried by the chosen priests (1-4). The size of the altar was smaller than the Ark of the covenant. The altar was placed outside of the veil that blocked the entrance to the Holy of holies (5-6). Aaron would be responsible for burning incense “prayers of the saints” (Revelations 8:3-4). The incense was a special fragrant mixture that was not to be used for any other purpose (8-9). Once a year Aaron would take the blood from the “sin offering” and cover the horns of the altar (10). When a census was taken of the nation, each person had to give a ½ shekel as a ransom. The money was to be used for the maintenance of the Tabernacle (11-16). The bronze basin for ceremonial washing of the hands and feet before going into the Holy holies (20-21). The anointing oil, like the incense, was a specific mixture and not to be used for any other purpose (22-25). The oil was to be used to cover the articles of the Temple and the priests which consecrated them for service (26-31).

Psalms 62 – In G_d Alone a Refuge from Treachery and Oppression. When you compare the wicked to the righteous, the common denominator is that “they are human”. As humans, we are as subject to our passions as any other man, woman, and/or child. The difference is the attitude and the G_d or G_d the human serves. As children of the Kingdom of G_d, we should know that all of the resources of the Kingdom are available to us if we would just ask for it (1-2, Matthew 26:52-54). For now, the world tries to eradicate Christianity thinking “now we can have peace” (3-4). Our refuge in the storm is the arms of our Lord who holds us through whatever hell, whatever trial, and whatever temptation may come our way (5-7). No matter what may come our way,  “Church, trust in the Lord and make no provision for the flesh” (8, Romans 13:13-14). Oppression cannot save us no matter if it is in the form of “Democracy” or “Totalitarianism”. Even if we steal things to fill our needs it will all be taken away just as quickly as we got it. The power of our life only comes when we are in the right relationship with the Lord of Heaven and Earth. What our heart desires but looks to things of this earth to fill the void is the love and compassion of our Lord (9-12).

Ecclesiastes 12 – Remembering G_d in Your Youth. When I read this chapter, I think of the life of a town. In its infancy, it is alive and growing people are thronging to the town. In its middle age, the town is still alive but older occupants pass away and things like laws and cultural demands change causing problems for the town. In the following years, the town starts to go downhill, things are breaking, the unity in the town dwindles, and fights ensue. In its later years, the town becomes abandoned as people flock to a better place what is left behind are relics and disquiet. For this reason, Solomon the “Teacher” encouraged his students to remember the creator in their youth. While talking about G_d gathers an audience, action will spread the seeds of faith into another generation (Ecclesiastes 12: 1-8). Solomon taught wisdom to his students and though he sinned, the student was responsible for what he/she did with what they learned (13-14).

Amos 4 – “Yet You Have Not Returned to Me”. The nation was on the precipice of destruction because of sin. When you read the account of the nation’s demise, your thoughts may be on the demise of this great nation or the demise of your family. At the inception of the nation, laws were given through Moses to the elders and down through the years. In the same way, the USA had the “Declaration of Independence” and the “bill of rights”. Choosing to serve the Lord in whatever capacity is a personal decision just like “choosing to act on temptation”. The 900lb gorilla in the room is “Pride” which stands between the two polar opposites. Pride will make you blind to what is going on and think your job, your hobby, and/or a relationship will save you (1-3). The southern kingdom had a golden calf which was made in the time of Jeroboam son of Nebat and the people thought this inanimate object was responsible for the good years they had so they didn’t want to offend by stopping their oblations (4-5). The destruction that fell on Samaria was slow and painful beginning with famine and drought, then the women would eat their dead children to stay alive, and in the end, the town was destroyed and the tribes in the kingdom disappeared into history (10). Unlike Sodom and Gomorrah which were held up as a curse because they were destroyed immediately, Samaria was like a log pulled out of the fire which still had smoke and heat that is, “it was alive”. The thing is, the town was dismantled piece by piece until nothing was left. The 10 commandments which were given to Moses, began with “I am the Lord who brought you out of Egypt. You shall have no other G_d’s before Me” was forgotten by Samaria and Judah and that is where the two kingdoms started to implode from within (11-13, Exodus 20:2-3).

2 Corinthians 1 – Introduction. This  2nd letter was written around 55 CE during a time of upheaval in Asia minor. Despite the troubles he was facing, Paul set the tone of the letter to encourage the church (1-2). When Jesus was alive, he pointed out that he didn’t come to usher in a time of “great peace and prosperity but a time of fights to the death” (Matthew 10:34-36) and this is what Paul was enduring. When he rose to the position of “apostolic authority, Paul resolved to tell the truth of G_d’s word despite what the world at that time thought about it. Developing “inner peace” is a personal choice that says to the heart “no matter what goes on on the outside, I will trust my Lord through it all” (). Paul’s troubles without a doubt caused Paul pain but, how he dealt with it would minister life to those who watched him (6-7). Paul was a man with deep personal integrity that blocked the path from having wicked people stop him from conducting the ministry. By his integrity, Paul developed the church and by his integrity, he faced every storm with his eyes on the Lord (12-14). What Paul said in his letters, just like the promises he made, always came through so the church could trust him and would know he would return (15-19). Paul was offering excuses for not being in Corinth and relying instead on letters but some things were beyond his control. Despite this, Paul still encouraged the church to remain strong in their faith in the Lord Jesus (23-24).

Daily Psalm 5/29/2021

His foundation is on the holy mountain.
The LORD loves the gates of Zion
More than all the dwellings of Jacob (Israel).
Glorious things are spoken of you,
O city of God [Jerusalem] (Psalms 87:1-3).

Even the very best foundation laid by mankind pales in comparison to the Kingdom of G_d and the children who rest on His foundation. The world will take what does not belong to it and gives a paltry reward for our labor. G_d offers salvation from the struggles of this world and showed the pathway by His son Jesus. When our faith is established in Zion, the city of David, no matter what we go through, it will be said: “This one and that one were born in her” And the Almighty Himself will be his/her foundation (Psalms 87:5-6). We will not have to point it out, it will shine through even the darkest of times.

Father,

Thank you for the foundation that was built by Jesus the first son of Righteousness and the king of Salem. I desire to always stand on this foundation in all that I do. I pray for my families, my law enforcement officers, my military, my city of Stacy, my state of MN, and my USA. May righteousness once again be established in the USA not that we would be great but that you would reign in all things and in every situation.

IHS

MK

Daily Bible Readings 5/29/2021

Reading #1 – Exodus 29

Reading #2 – Psalms 61

Reading #3 – Ecclesiastes 11

Reading #4 – Amos 3

Reading #5 – 1 Corinthians 16

 

Notes

Exodus 29 – Consecration of the Priests. The word “consecration” means to be set aside of a person or thing for the service of G_d. Aaron and his sons were ordained as priests in the service of the Almighty or “Ha Shem Adonai”. The writer does not explain the importance of the specific number of animals, types of unleavened bread, oil, or wheat flour because the Holy Spirit never explained it, He simply said “do it” (1-3). Before Aaron and his sons could put on their priestly garments, they had to wash with water at the tent of the meeting (4). Moses was tasked with dressing his brother and his nephews in priestly garments (5-6). The “holy crown” was the pure gold plate with the inscription “Holy to the Lord” (Exodus 28:36). Aaron was anointed with oil which signified that Aaron was G_d’s specific agent or the “High priest” (7). The laying of hands on the animal, according to commentary, transposed the sin onto the bull and the animal was sacrificed (Zondervan commentary notes). The blood of the animal was poured out at the base of the altar which signified the animal’s death and the penalty was paid (19-20). The “wave offering” was an up and down movement or an “undulation”; the meat once, burnt, was given to the priests to eat (24-25, Zondervan notes). The meat from the second ram was also a wave offering and the meat was given to Moses as his portion (26). The peace offering or, “free-will offering” was a gift from the individual tribes for the service of the altar and was in addition to their normal offerings. The breast was heaved (side to side motion) before the Lord and the meat was burnt. Once the meat was burnt, it was given to the priests as their perpetual share (27-28).

Psalms 61 – Confidence in G_d’s Protection. When we walk in obedience to G_d, we develop confidence and faith in Him. So when troubles come our way, this “confidence” will calm our fears and quell our doubts (1-2). When we go through trials and remain faithful, we see how G_d moves in our life and makes even the most horrid things work for His glory. These events solidify our faith in Him and help us to hold on to His hand in all situations (3-4). We show our love and reverence for Him by the way we conduct our lives and honor our vows that we made before we were in trouble (5, Ecclesiastes 5:4). “Immortality” or “eternal life” is not just for the “sweet by and by” but for how people feed on our faithfulness and grow in faith to the Eternal G_d (6-7). It should be the desire of our hearts to live for Him all of the days of our life (8).

Ecclesiastes 11 – Cast Your Bread on the Waters. G_d’s word calls us to be active participants in our lives by making and acting on our decisions. While not every decision we make will turn out the way we expected, as long as the decisions we make are in line with G_d’s laws and precepts, He will always turn it for His glory (1-2). One of the easiest things we can do is “give an excuse” why we can’t do ____ or why it isn’t the right time (3-5). No one is immune from “dark days” or “days of trouble and trial” but, it should never be the catalyst that holds us in place rather, it should be fuel to propel us to move on and grow up in Him (7-8).

Amos 3 – All the Families Are Guilty. Israel was led out of slavery from Egypt, cared for, provided for, and healed. The nation loved the term “children of G_d” or “chosen ones” yet by their actions, have said, “I want to do it my way”. Unfortunately, the nation’s leadership promised them “good tidings” when the Lord promised “judgment” (1-2). Just as two people cannot walk in agreement with one of them backstabbing the other, so mankind cannot walk in obedience to G_d and yet walk in disobedience. Israel, just like you and I, rightly deserve judgment when we disobey G_d (3-5). The thing is, no one on this planet can say “I didn’t know” because His word has never changed and “sin” is still “sin” even if we disagree (6-8). When we sin, destruction always comes because of the consequences. The nation had said, “I want to be like all of the rest of the world” only to find out that the nations they wanted to emulate would be the same ones that would descend upon them (9-12). When the destruction came, everything would be taken, and everything would be destroyed (13-15). Sin is a predator because it lulls its prey to sleep by making the prey comfortable, takes what does not belong to it, kills the innocent, and makes the temple unusable (Mike Krier).

1 Corinthians 16 – Paul had directed that the churches give a donation for Jerusalem. Each person was to give as they had purposed in their hearts and in keeping with their prosperity. The donation would be couriered by Paul (1-4). The conclusion to this letter encouraged the people to remain faithful and strong in His precepts, to do everything in love, and that included giving donations, which is motivated by Lord’s example (13-14, 21-24). At that time, people came from various backgrounds and nationalities. Timothy, as an example, was from Asia minor, his mother was Jewish, his father was Greek but he was a child of the Kingdom and Paul encouraged the church to accept him in the faith, to be cordial with him, and just as they had done for Paul (15-18).