Day Thirty

Psalm 111, Leviticus 17, Isaiah 22, Galatians 2

Psalm 111

Ps. 111:3Full of splendor and majesty is his work, and his righteousness endures forever. – What a beautiful and fitting description of the work of the Lord. Have you ever partnered with God in His work? It’s an amazing and awe-inspiring process. I had a chance recently to see God just perform miraculous works in the life of a person that I know. It was so great to see their despair turn to hope, and their hope turn into reality. Keep your eyes out for where God is at work, and join him. His work is the best!

Ps. 111:7-8The works of his hands are faithful and just; all his precepts are trustworthy; 8 they are established forever and ever, to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness.- Do you ever just need to see the proof of something before you will believe it? I do. And, sometimes I need to be reminded of a truth that I know by seeing it on paper, in a life, or on a screen, right in front of me. These verses are like that. I need reminders many times about the faithful and just work of the Lord. I need to be reminded that He is trustworthy. I need to be reminded that even though following Him can sometimes hurt, it is always worth it. If God says that He will do something, He will. Take confidence in Him today!

Ps. 111:10The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever! – I was fortunate enough to spend my elementary years as a student at the Wheaton Christian Grammar School. It was a good place for me and my brothers. Our school’s key verse was this one. It’s an appropriate verse for a Christian school, and an appropriate verse for any Christian. True wisdom begins and has its end in God. If we have no fear of God, we are ignorant and we are seeing the world through warped lenses. That is not to say that a quality education cannot happen in a secular institution. The best education should happen in our homes and in our churches. May we remember that if we are not seeking God, we are not wise. Pity the person who tries to live their life with minimal interference from God.

Leviticus 17

This chapter deals with the laws regarding the place of the sacrifice and laws against eating blood. I did not add any notes to my Bible in this chapter.

Isaiah 22

This chapter deals with the oracle against Jerusalem. I did not add any notes to my Bible in this chapter. But, I was stuck by the judgement that God pronounced on His holy city. It was sad to see God have to punish the city He loved so much.

Galatians 2

Gal. 2:16yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified. – Aren’t you glad that we aren’t made right before Christ because of our good works? It is God who justifies, through Jesus Christ. Forgiveness, new life, hope, joy, peace, true love cannot be found apart from Jesus. He is our hope and our salvation.

Gal. 2:2020 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. – This is one of my favorite verses in the Bible. It is always a tough verse to read, because we see in it the demands that are placed on the follower of Jesus Christ. To be a follower of Jesus requires that it is He who lives in us, and not ourselves. We die to our desires to live for His desires. And, that is the work of the Holy Spirit within us.

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Mist Stories at Woodbury Community Church

How will the pages of history record the story of your life? We’re all only given one life to live. How we live that life matters. James 4:14 says, “14Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” The pages of Scripture are full of the stories of people whose lives were mist. They lived. They died. Their stories live on. Sometimes inspiring, sometimes sober, they were people like you and me. They experienced life’s highs and lows, failure and success. God is the common thread in their lives. Join us for Mist Stories: The Intersection of Faith, Life and Love.

May 3: Your Life Is A Mist – What Are You Doing With It?
May 10: Faith In The Midst Of Grief – One Mother’s Unwavering Faith
May 17: “Perhaps God Will Go With Us” – The Armor Bearer and the Prince
May 24: Mist In A Fire
May 31: For Such A Time As This

Day Twenty-nine

Psalm 110, Leviticus 16, Isaiah 21, Galatians 1:11‐24

Psalm 110

Ps. 110 – This is considered a royal psalm. It tells about the special place that David’s Kingdom had in the heart of God and in the life of the Children of Israel. God had a special place for David’s Kingdom. David was a man after God’s own heart, chosen by God to rule His people. The psalm deals with the favor that God would grant David’s kingdom.

Leviticus 16

Lev. 16 – The law for the Day of Atonement is laid out in Leviticus 16. I’m blown away as I read this chapter the grave seriousness with which God required Aaron to come into His presence. I’m also stuck tonight at how God chose to use Aaron as His priest despite all of Aaron’s obvious flaws, not the least of which was leading the Children of Israel into the worship of a golden calf in the desert. God is merciful, holy, and uses flawed people for His holy work. I’m glad he does.

Isaiah 21

Is. 21 – Isaiah’s oracles from the Lord continue in Isaiah 21. This oracle concerns the fall of Babylon. It is a terrifying oracle describing the riders who will come in and take the land. Words like traitor and destroyer are used to help complete the picture of an empire on the brink of collapse. The oracle ends by stating that the collapse will be in the next twelve months. What terrifying words to receive.

Galatians 1:11-24

Gal 1:18-19Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas and remained with him fifteen days. 19 But I saw none of the other apostles except James the Lord’s brother. – God has afforded me the unique privilege of serving alongside of some of this generation’s choice servants for Jesus Christ. These are men and women that have taught me much about what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ. I’ll be forever grateful for the love that they have shown me and the lessons learned. But, I have to admit that as I read Gal. 1:18-19, my human jealousy gets me a bit. I would have loved to have been able to be present for the 15 days that Cephas (the Apostle Peter) and Paul spent together. James, the brother of Jesus and the leader of the church at Jerusalem was there too. So, who are some of the Christians in your life that have had the biggest impact on your walk with Christ? Take some time to thank the Lord for them today.

Gal. 1:23-24 They only were hearing it said, “He who used to persecute us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.” 24 And they glorified God because of me. – What a beautiful picture of how God changed Paul’s life. Don’t you love that we have a God of grace who loves to transform people? I wonder how many people we will meet in heaven some day with similar stories to Paul — people that no one would have expected God’s love to reach out to, but who received it and were changed by it.

Day Twenty-Eight

Psalm 109, Leviticus 15, Isaiah 19‐20, Galatians 1:1‐10

Psalm 109

Ps. 109:26Help me, O Lord my God! Save me according to your steadfast love! – David was at a difficult time in his life when he wrote this Psalm. His accusers were all around him, lying about him and seeking his destruction. When his world was falling apart, he knew that he could trust in God’s steadfast love. Isn’t it great to know that God will never fail us?

Leviticus 15

I added no notes to my body from this section of Scripture.

Isaiah 19-20

This is an oracle against Egypt and Cush. I added no notes to this section of Scripture.

Galatians 1:1-10

Gal. 1:6-9 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. – Paul was so sad that the Galatians were deserting the Gospel and falling for false doctrine. Like a good pastor/shepherd, Paul calls the Galatians on this and calls them back to the faith. He knew this wouldn’t be popular, but he wasn’t seeking man’s approval, he was seeking God’s approval.

Day Twenty-seven

Psalm 108, Leviticus 14:33‐57, Isaiah 17‐18, 2 Corinthians 12:14‐13:14

Psalm 108

Ps. 108:5Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let your glory be over all the earth! – Psalm 108 is a psalm of David, and as he does in many places, David emphasizes the glory of God. God’s glory is displayed throughout the earth. It is displayed above the heavens. But, there was something in David’s writing that inferred that he wanted to glorify God everywhere that he went as well. I love people like King David. Those who truly glorify God with their life are inspiring and encouraging people.

Leviticus 14:33‐57

Lev. 14:33-57 – deals with the laws for cleaning houses where cases of leprous disease have been. I did not add anything to the notes of my Bible in this section.

Isaiah 17‐18

Is. 17:1bBehold, Damascus will cease to be a city and will become a heap of ruins. – What awful words! Think about being a resident of Damascus and hearing this oracle delivered to you. The city of Damascus had so enraged God that destruction was their ultimate end.

Is. 17:10-11For you have forgotten the God of your salvation and have not remembered the Rock of your refuge; therefore, though you plant pleasant plants and sow the vine-branch of a stranger,11 though you make them grow on the day that you plant them, and make them blossom in the morning that you sow, yet the harvest will flee away in a day of grief and incurable pain. – It’s too easy to forget the good things that God has done for us. What is it about human beings that makes us want to be so self-reliant, and to take credit for the things that God deserves credit for?

Is. 18 – is an oracle concerning Cush. I added no notes to my Bible in this section.

2 Corinthians 12:14‐13:14

2 Cor. 12:20-21For I fear that perhaps when I come I may find you not as I wish, and that you may find me not as you wish—that perhaps there may be quarreling, jealousy, anger, hostility, slander, gossip, conceit, and disorder. 21 I fear that when I come again my God may humble me before you, and I may have to mourn over many of those who sinned earlier and have not repented of the impurity, sexual immorality, and sensuality that they have practiced.- Paul’s pastor’s heart is shown in this passage. His concern for the Corinthian believers and the Corinthian church is so evident in these words. He is sickened by some of the things that he hears are going on in the church.

2 Cor. 13:5Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test! – Paul warns those who are living lives that don’t glorify God that they should examine themselves to see if they are truly Christians. Paul’s advice is good for all of us. It’s important to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. When our lives look no different than the world around us, when we run to the same things that the world runs to, and when we don’t run to God, then we need to ask the tough questions.

2 Cor. 13:12 Greet one another with a holy kiss. – When I was in high school, this was my life’s verse. Okay, just kidding. But, the Eastern European church still practices this. I’ll never forget my first time speaking in Russia and being kissed by all of the believers in the church. While it seemed strange to me as a western Christian, it was really a beautiful picture of the love that the Russian believers had for one another.

Day Twenty-six

Psalm 107, Leviticus 14:1‐32, Isaiah 15‐16, 2 Corinthians 10:13‐12:13

Psalm 107

Ps. 107:2Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he has redeemed from trouble – Psalm 107:2 really sums up what this psalm is all about. This is a psalm of celebration for the multitude of times that God had saved his people from their distress. We too should be quick to give God the credit for His marvelous works in our lives.

Leviticus 14:1-32

Lev. 14:1-32 – deals with the laws for cleansing lepers. Whereas chapter 13 dealt with what do do when a person has leprosy. It must have been a wonderful thing to be cleansed from this afflicting disease.

Isaiah 15-16

Is. 15-16 – This is the third oracle that Isaiah shares, and it concerns Moab. The oracle begins with the sudden destruction of Moab. It is so severe that even God mourns for them. The lesson to learn from Moab is that pride placed in anything but God is misplaced. God is the only one Who has a right to be proud. The people of Moab needed Him, and their rejection of Him would lead to their humility, three years after this oracle was given.

2 Corinthians 10:13-12:13

2 Cor. 10:17 “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” – This is a great reminder in light of the passage we just read in Is. 15-16.

2 Cor. 11:16-33 – This is one of the most mind-blowing sections in all of Scripture. It is a direct rebuke to the false Gospel of prosperity theology that is taught in so many churches. Following God meant that Paul endured incredible hardship. From shipwrecks to stonings, to beatings, to hunger and thirst, to exposure to the cold, lies and so much more, Paul endured so much for God. But, to Paul, it was worth it! It is a joy to suffer with Christ. Never let anyone ever tell you different.

2 Cor. 12:9-10But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. – I love these verses. Paul has just finished talking about his vision of heaven, and then talks about his weaknesses. He can boast in his weakness because the power of Christ shows through him when he is weak. I love when God works shows His power in my weakness.

Day Twenty-five

Psalm 106, Leviticus 13, Isaiah 13‐14, 2 Cor 10:1‐12

Psalm 106

Ps. 106:6Both we and our fathers have sinned; we have committed iniquity; we have done wickedness.- I appreciate the fact that the writer of Psalm 106 confesses the sin of his people, not just the ancestors of his people. Psalm 106 is a historical look at the grievous sins of the Children of Israel. Throughout the history of the great nation, there had been sin. Over and over again the Israelites turned from the God of Israel to pagan gods. And, over and over again God forgave them. When we have sinned, we need to confess it. We need to own up to the fact that we have sinned. And, we need to turn from that sin and to God. Don’t blame others for the sin in your life. Humanity has been doing that from the beginning (see Adam blaming Eve for his sin in Genesis 3) and it’s not very original.

Ps. 106:20They exchanged the glory of God for the image of an ox that eats grass.- In the long litany of sins that the psalmist writes regarding the Israelites relationship to God, this one stuck out to me. It seems crazy to me that a group of people would exchange the glory of God for the image of an ox that eats grass. How stupid can you be? And yet, so many of us do the same thing today. We trade the glory of God for our own pleasures that cannot now, or ever, compare to God’s glory. Don’t be like the Children of Israel! Worship God, and God only. Nothing else is worth it.

Leviticus 13

Lev. 13 – This chapter concerns itself with the laws about leprosy. Leprosy was a terrible and all too common disease in the ancient near east world. It’s sad to read how difficult life was for those who struggled with the disease.

Isaiah 13-14

Is. 13:11I will punish the world for its evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; I will put an end to the pomp of the arrogant, and lay low the pompous pride of the ruthless. – The proud Babylonian people had ignored God. They tried to make a mockery of the Jewish religion. But, God warns Babylon that judgment is coming.

Is. 14:12-20 – There is a major parallel shown here between the fall of the King of Babylon and the fall from heaven of Lucifer.

2 Corinthians 10:1-12

2 Cor. 10:1-12

2 Cor. 10:5-6 – We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, 6 being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete. – There is something so beautiful about Paul’s defense of his ministry in this section of Scripture. I love that Paul and his partners in ministry were taking every thought captive., so that they might obey Christ. This is never easy but always worth it.