Category Archives: Preschool
Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light for my path. Psalm 119:105
How much do you read the Bible?
A lot? A little bit? Never?
I have not taken the time to investigate statistics, but judging from my conversations with countless people over the years, I would guess that 90% or more of Christians do not read the Bible on a consistent basis. I’m sure many read the Bible. I’m sure some read it semi-regularly. But I would guess that those who do so 5-7 times a week are few and far between.
What is your Bible reading experience?
Perhaps you try your best, but often forget. Perhaps you have good intentions, but sometimes are too busy or too tired. Maybe you don’t even know where to start. Maybe you never have before.
How about this other question then: Have you ever read the whole Bible–every last chapter, verse, and word? Again, I don’t know for sure, but I would guess that the number of people who have done so is very, very small.
Well now is your chance!
Change things. Change your routine. Change your habits. Change your life. Or better yet, let God change your life.
The psalm writer says that God’s word is a lamp for our feet and a light for our path. It guides us. It strengthens us. It empowers us. And much, much more.
So change things now. Stop walking in the darkness. Watch the Word of God works powerfully in your life!
I challenge you to read your Bible. Read it more, read it regularly, read it all the time. And as for right now–I challenge you to get started by attempting to read the entire Bible in just 90 days.
It might seem impossible. But it’s not. It breaks down to about 15 chapters of the Bible per day. That will only take you 30-45 minutes per day to read. Take 20 minutes in the morning and take 20 minutes at night and you’ll get through it all with no problems! This is very possible to accomplish!
I’ve attached a schedule to help you along the way. You can download it at the bottom or right here.
Note that the schedule starts in the New Testament with Matthew. Sometimes part of the trouble of reading the Bible is just getting in the habit. Beginning in the easier-to-read New Testament could help to get you going with this new habit. Also note that the schedule is really for only 80 days, but allows for 10 extra days of being busy or forgetting. Even with missing 10 days you could still do it!
Why not give it a try? Why not let the Word of the Lord be a lamp and a light for you every day, starting with this 90 day challenge?
The challenge starts on Monday, October 1, 2012. It will end on the 91st day, New Years Eve, 2012.
I’ll be blogging about my experience along the way. I would love to hear from you along the way too!
Blessings on your reading!
Devotion Text: Mark 9:30-37
Are you proud to be a Christian?
On first glance, that statement seems foolish. Of course, we are proud to be Christians. We wear the name of Jesus proudly on our hearts as we let our lights shine and carry out his command to be the salt of the earth. We gladly put “Jesus fish” on our cars and cross necklaces around our necks.
Yet, the pride of a Christian can be a tricky thing. As we learn in our devotion today and as we have learned in sermons for the past few weeks, the life of a Christian is not described as something full of victory. Instead, Jesus tells us to “pick up our cross and follow him.” He reminds us, constantly, that our life here should be one of humility as we look toward our heavenly home
So, Christ reminds us today that his love is not a love of pride, but a love of humility. It would have been loving, certainly, for Jesus to remain here forever and take away all of mankind’s sicknesses and hunger. More loving, however, was Christ’s humble death on the cross to take away our sin.
We echo that humility as we live out our lives as Christians. “Every knee shall bow” to Christ our king on the last day. Until then, our goal is never to browbeat or humiliate others into faith. We preach Christ crucified in our speech and through our words and actions. Our faith centers around the Jesus’ cross as we carry our own. Our love is a pale expression of his, yes, but a love that shows itself in humility is more than anything this sinful world could offer.
Prayer: Christ Jesus, let my love reflect you every day. Let me reflect your love in my thoughts, words and actions as I seek not to be better than others, but to serve them as you serve me. Crush my willful disobedience and selfish pride. Strengthen my faith and lead me to seek your truth continually. Let my life be a fitting sacrifice to you as I walk heavenward and let my love brighten the lives of others as I share your word with them. Amen.
Text: James 3:13-18
Have you ever been standing in line at the store, looked at all the celebrity magazines, and thought, “Wow! What a mess!”
It’s true that the lives of the rich and the famous are often a disorderly disaster. Yet interestingly, we often look up to these celebrities and athletes as people we wish we could be like. If only we were as smart as __________ . If only we were as rich as __________ . If only we were as famous as __________ .
Yet there is a reason that the lives of most the rich and famous are disasters: Humility.
That is, they don’t have any!
James reminds us today that where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. Sure enough, all the envy and selfish ambition leads celebrities to lives that are filled with chaos and sinful choices.
Instead, James counsels us today to find true wisdom in that one simple concept: Humility.
This kind of wisdom comes from heaven and is inspired by our gracious God in heaven. It is wisdom motivated by a Savior who humbled himself to live and die for us. It is wisdom that leads us to be humble before others and serve them in love. It is wisdom that leads us to be humble before our God, serving him with a quiet and peaceful life.
That kind of life won’t win you any magazine covers. But it is the wiser choice and it is a God-pleasing choice. Yes, the wisdom of the Christian is in continually striving to say, “If only I could be like . . . Jesus!”
God continually work in us and through us to strive to do so!
Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me to live a quiet life of humility and love. Keep me from the temptations of desiring the lifestyles of the rich and famous. Help me to continually see that only in your love and grace will I find true happiness and peace. I humbly pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Text: Numbers 12:1-15
“Why can’t I do that too? I’m just as good as he is! I deserve that just as much as he does! I could probably do that better anyways!”
We don’t know exactly what the jealous thoughts of Aaron and Miriam were against their brother Moses. We do know that they were starting to stir up trouble by talking against Moses because of his foreign wife. But we could imagine that this was just a surface argument covering up years worth of jealousy.
Think of all the things that Moses had done! He was chosen by God himself as the leader of the people. He performed miracles. He was on Mt. Sinai alone with God for many days. He personally received the 10 Commandments. Moses even records for us that as he did all those things he remained the most humble man that ever lived (How it must have felt awkward for God to have him write those words about himself!).
All this added up to jealousy, anger, and a desire to supplant Moses’ position and power. God wasn’t having it though. He quickly humbled Aaron and Miriam and taught them a lesson in true humility.
This week our devotions and worship on Sunday focus on Christian love that shows itself in humility. Moved by Christ’s humble love for us, Christians have a unique kind of attitude: They desire to serve. They desire to help. They don’t want to be first. They don’t have to receive fame or glory.
In other words, Christians love and live just as Christ loved and lived. Aaron and Miriam being rebuked by the Lord reminds us today that such an attitude of humble love is what God truly desires.
Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, as you humbled yourself and became obedient to death, even death on a cross, out of love for me, so fill my heart with humble love for you. Let that love spill over in my daily life as I deal with friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers. I pray in your name. Amen.
Text: 1 Peter 4:12-19
I can’t believe this is happening!
Some things really catch us by surprise in life. How could it be that this could happen to me? How could this happen to me right after that happened to me?
Peter reminds us though that we shouldn’t be surprised at the painful trials we are suffering. Not only is this part of everyday life, but this is part of being a Christian. Since Christ suffered so much here on earth, we can expect to be a part of his sufferings as well.
Yet interestingly, Peter also reminds us that we can rejoice in the sufferings that we have. If we are suffering, we know that we truly are part of the family of God. Moreover, if we are suffering, we can be ever mindful of the perfection and sorrow-free joys of heaven. Best of all, we can rejoice through sufferings that we can commit ourselves and our lives to our faithful Creator God. He watches over and guides us through every day of our lives–good, bad, and ugly.
If you are suffering now, turn to God in prayer for help. If you suffer tomorrow, turn to God in prayer for help. If you suffer in the future, turn to God in prayer for help. Then rejoice. Rejoice that you are a part of Christ and his sufferings. Rejoice that soon you will be sorrow free in heaven!
Prayer: Lord God, I know that suffering for your sake is to be expected. I pray then that you be with me day by day as I suffer for your name. Give me strength to persevere. Give me joy to grow and learn. Give me hope in the eternal peace of heaven. I pray in your name. Amen.