Reflections on My Daily Bible Reading Sunday, June 13, 2010

Today’s Scripture: Ephesians 4-6

Things to remember in today’s reading:

*Paul exhorts the Christians at Ephesus to unity, instructs them about using various gifts, and teaches about the new life in Christ being experienced by the Gentile Christians (4:1-32).

*Paul gives general instruction for holy living as he teaches about purity of life by avoiding evil deeds and and associations and adopting holy practices (5:1-20).

  • Paul teaches about submission to others (5:21-6:9).

*Paul urges the Christians at Ephesus to put on the whole armor of God, standing in the strength of the Lord, standing firm and being constant in prayer (6:10-20).

*Paul concludes his letter by greeting various individuals who have meant so much to him in his Christian walk (6:21-24).

Things God is teaching me in today’s reading:

*There is a “walk” that we are to practice that must meet a certain standard! That standard is “the calling to which we have been called.” The grade we are to achieve is called here by Paul, “worthy.” Not just any half-hearted attempt will do!

*This “walk” will cause us to eagerly desire to “maintain the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace”! It will motivate us to celebrate the “ones” we have in common in Jesus!

*What a wonderful work He has given us, this work of the ministry for building up the body of Christ!

*When we do not equip ourselves appropriately, and “grow up in every way…into Christ,” we expose ourselves to the dangers enumerated by Paul: being carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, and by craftiness in deceitful schemes!

*We all need to be renewed in the spirits of our minds.”

*The model for pure living for us to strive for is described here.

The model for the family relationships for us to strive for is described here.

Things to act on in today’s reading:

*I will speak the truth in love to my neighbor!

*I will let no corrupting talk come out of my mouth, but only that which is good for building up!

*I will put away all bitterness, and wrath and anger and clamor and slander!

*I will be kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving to my brothers and sisters in Christ!

Things to pray about in today’s reading:

*To be renewed in the spirit of my mind, everyday putting on the new self created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness!

*Courage and love to motivate me to speak the truth with my neighbor!

*To be angry and sin not

*That I give not opportunity to the devil!

Thanks for reading with me dear friend. Have a blessed day!!

— Randy Sexton

Reflections on My Daily Bible Reading Saturday, June 12, 2010

Today’s Scripture: Luke 11-12

Things to remember in today’s reading:

*The Lord teaches His disciples to pray, declares confidently that it is the finger of God that is at work in him to cast out demons (1:1-23).

*Luke describes the process that occurs when an unclean spirit goes out of a person (11:24-26).

*Jesus defines “the blessed” as those who hear the word of God and keep it and He denounces the current generation for seeking a sign (11:27-32).

*Jesus teaches about light, washing before meals, and pronounces several woes on the Pharisees and lawyers (11:33-12:3).

*Jesus teaches about fear of the physical vs. fear of the spiritual, about acknowledging Him before men and about covetousness (12:4-21).

*Jesus teaches about being anxious, about being ready, about commitment even when it brings division, about interpreting the times and about settling with your accuser (12:22-59).

Things God is teaching me in today’s reading:

*When we pray, we should express words of adoration (v1), confession (v4), thanksgiving (v3) and supplication (“your kingdom come” and “lead us not into temptation”). This simple prayer provides a pattern we can follow that we can remember with the acronym ACTS.

*We can be so persistent in pressing for specifics of right and wrong, that we neglect love (11:42).

*We can be guilty of seeking glory for ourselves for what we do rather than giving glory to God (11:43).

*We can so hinder others that we “take away the key of knowledge” (11:52).

Things to act on in today’s reading:

*I will pray!

*I will work to share the key of knowledge to God’s word!

*I will consider the birds and the lilies of the field when I begin to feel anxious!

Things to pray about in today’s reading:

*For courage!

*For an obedient spirit!

*For anchoring in Jesus

Thanks for reading with me dear friend. Have a blessed day!!

— Randy Sexton

Reflections on My Daily Bible Reading Friday, June 11, 2010

Today’s Scripture:

Things to remember in today’s reading:

*Speaking to a community forced from it’s home, Ezekiel sets the scene for an awesome vision of the glory of God (1:1-28).

*Ezekiel receives his commission to prophesy, through swallowing a scroll, given him by God. This scroll strengthens him and trains him in obedience (2:1-3:11).

*The glory of God withdraws and Ezekiel’s role becomes that of a watchman, then God’s glory returns to him in the valley telling him to shut himself within his house (3:12-27).

*Ezekiel receives his first vision of judgement against his own nation of Judah (usually called Israel in the text), prediction of death of one-third by pestilence, one-third by famine, an one-third by sword (4:1-5:17).

*Ezekiel receives his vision against the “mountains of Israel” (6:1-14).

Things God is teaching me in today’s reading:

*It is right to vindicate the holiness of our Go and to attempt to restore His glory before people who have spurned it!

*As we preach and teach, we will encounter those who “have a hard forehead and a stubborn heart” (3:7).

*Ezekiel stood on the cusp between those who called for repentance by threatening judgment and those who called for repentance by promising restoration. He influenced those who came after him (ESV Study Bible, p. 1497).

Things to act on in today’s reading:

*I am thinking about what it might have been like to live in the time of Ezekiel.

*I am writing a note to encourage one of my brothers who has rebelled against God’s rules and has not walked in His steps and is doing wickedness that even many in the world around him recognize as immoral.

Things to pray about in today’s reading:

*That I might be an influence, on those who will follow me, in the same positive way that Ezekiel was.

Reflections on My Daily Bible Reading Thursday­­­­­­, June 10, 2010

Today’s Scripture: Proverbs 4

Things to remember in today’s reading:

  • After making his fourth appeal to his son to walk securely in wisdom (3:21-35), the father makes his fifth appeal that wisdom is a tradition worth maintaining (4:1-9).
  • His sixth appeal is that there are two ways that lie before all of us that require us to choose the way of wisdom or the way of folly (4:10-19).
  • The father’s seventh appeal to his son is for him to maintain a heart of wisdom (4:20-27).

Things God is teaching me in today’s reading:

  • Godliness and prudence are part of the legacy we should maintain as a family heritage (4:3-4).
  • Keeping hold of instruction of godly fathers and mothers will allow children to walk without their way being hampered and to run without them stumbling 4:12-13).
  • Out of the heart flows “the springs of life,” affecting our speech, what we look at, where we go and how we conduct ourselves (4:23).

Things to act on in today’s reading:

  • Impress upon my sons the importance of putting away “crooked speech” and “devious talk” that they have a tendency to pick up from their friends in the world (4:24)
  • Discuss with my sons, ways they can keep my instructions to them within their hearts and what it means to hold fast to my words (4:4, 20-21).

Things to pray about in today’s reading:

  • That I always have humility as I give “good precepts,” and that “my teaching” and the wisdom that I impart to my sons is what God intends for them to receive!

Thanks for reading with me dear friend. Have a blessed day!!

— Randy Sexton

Reflections on My Daily Bible Reading Wednesday­­­­­­, June 9, 2010

Today’s Scripture: Psalm 69-71

Things to remember in today’s reading:

  • In this psalm, the author laments his suffering at the hands of attackers who are taking advantage and making worse what he is experiencing as a result of his own wrongs (69:1-36).
  • In this psalm, the author prays urgently for rescue from enemies who delight in his hurt (70:1-5)
  • In this psalm, the author laments his plight at the hands of wicked, unjust, and cruel men and requests deliverance based upon his trusting in the Lord from his youth (71:1-24).

Things God is teaching me in today’s reading:

  • We sometimes grow weary waiting for our God but then we remember, at an acceptable time, He will answer in His saving faithfulness (69:3, 13).
  • The Lord hears the needy and does not despise His own people who are prisoners (69:33).
  • God will not cast us off in the time of old age, when our strength is spent, if we have remembered Him in the days of our youth (71:6, 17-18; Ecclesiastes 12:1).
  • God has done great things; he has seen us through many troubles and calamities and will revive us again, when the flame grows dim (71:19-20).

Things to act on in today’s reading:

  • I will keep on camping toward Canaan’s happy land!

Things to pray about in today’s reading:

  • Teach me Lord to wait!
  • Revive me again – rekindle with fire from above …

Thanks for reading with me dear friend. Have a blessed day!!

— Randy Sexton

Reflections on My Daily Bible Reading Tuesday­­­­­­, June 8, 2010

Today’s Scripture: 1st Kings 10-13

Things to remember in today’s reading:

  • A description of the glory of Solomon’s kingdom continues from the previous chapter (10:1-29)
  • Solomon turns from the Lord when he is old, loving foreign women and going after other Gods, so God raises adversaries against him (11:1-26).
  • The most important of these adversaries, Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, is chosen to receive ten of the tribes at the death of Solomon (11:27-43)
  • Solomon’s son Reheboam reigned in his place at his death but has to deal with the providential plan of God to give ten of the tribes to Jeroboam (12:1-25
  • “Solomon had been given great gifts from God, but instead of responsibly using these gifts in obedience to God, the king allowed himself to be influenced by others. Christ’s followers need to stand against pressure to compromise our faith and what we know be true.” (The Devotional Bible by Max Lucado, p 401)
  • When Jeroboam builds golden calves, the Lord sends a Man of God to speak against it (13:1-34).

Things God is teaching me in today’s reading:

  • We must be on guard to not allow things in our lives to bring us to the same condition that Solomon found himself in when he was old; “his heart was not wholly true to the Lord his God” (11:4)
  • With blessings come responsibilities (Luke 12:48). “Those who are given understanding, ability, goods, money, authority or fame have a responsibility that the less favored do not bear; failure to fulfill it produces fearful punishment…. Whatever level of opportunity is given to us, both God and man expect us to give a certain standard of performance. Favor carries with it responsibility. As the favor increases, the responsibility increases.” (From The Secret Kingdom by Pat Robertson)

Things to act on in today’s reading:

  • To explore the responsibilities I have been given to serve God!

Things to pray about in today’s reading:

  • For help to stand against the harmful influences of others!

Thanks for reading with me dear friend. Have a blessed day!!

— Randy Sexton

Reflections on My Daily Bible Reading Monday­­­­­­, June 7, 2010

Today’s Scripture: Leviticus 1-3

Things to remember in today’s reading:

  • Instructions are given for the burnt offering (1:1-17)
  • Instructions are given for the grain offering (2:1-16)
  • Instructions are given for the peace offering (3:1-17)

Things God is teaching me in today’s reading:

  • As God’s people, we must address our sin and impurity so that God will dwell among us!
  • As worshippers, we must be wholehearted in our devotion!

Things to act on in today’s reading:

  • I will present my body as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God! I will NOT be confirmed to this world! I will be TRANSFORMED by the renewing of my mind, because He has delivered me from the domain of darkness and TRANSFERRED me to the kingdom of His beloved Son (Romans 12:1-2, Colossians 1:13)

Things to pray about in today’s reading:

  • For wisdom to fight off all of the deceiving schemes of the prince of the domain of darkness!

Thanks for reading with me dear friend. Have a blessed day!!

— Randy Sexton

Reflections on My Daily Bible Reading Sunday­­­­­­, June 6, 2010

Today’s Scripture: Ephesians 1-3

Things to remember in today’s reading:

  • Paul writes to “the saints who are in Ephesus” to remind them that Christ has blessed them with “every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” (because they were chosen and predestined “for adoption as sons”) and had redeemed them through His blood. He praises them for their faith, telling them that they are continually in his prayers (1:1-23).
  • He reminds them of their hopelessness and helplessness without Christ and contrasts that with the hope this is in Christ and encourages them to even greater faithfulness to join in what God is building – a holy temple (2:1-22).
  • Paul elaborates on his call to be a minister to “preach to the Gentiles the unreachable riches of Christ and continues his prayer for their spiritual strength (3:1-21).

Things God is teaching me in today’s reading:

  • What amazing blessings God has “lavished upon us” because of His grace (1:7). “It is in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone” (1:11-12 – The Message).
  • What incredible hope we have if we are Christians!
  • What a privilege we enjoy to live in a time where it has now been revealed that which was not made known to other generations!

Things to act on in today’s reading:

  • “To preach the unreachable riches of Christ and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages.”

Things to pray about in today’s reading:

  • That my eyes may be focused and clear that I may see what Jesus is calling me to do!
  • For boldness and courage to preach God’s plan for redeeming the soul of man!

Thanks for reading with me dear friend. Have a blessed day!!

— Randy Sexton

Reflections on My Daily Bible Reading Saturday­­­­­­, June 5, 2010

Today’s Scripture: Luke 9-10

Things to remember in today’s reading:

  • Jesus sends the 12 Apostles out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal, Herod the tetrarch is perplexed by all that is happening and seeks to see Jesus, Jesus feeds the 5,000 and Peter leads the Apostles in stating their recognition of Him as “the Christ of God” compared with who “the crowds” were saying He was (9:1-20).
  • Jesus foretells His death, teaches the Apostles and others about daily cross bearing and is transfigured before Peter, John and James up on the mountain where Jesus had gone to pray (9:21-36).
  • Jesus heals the boy with the unclean spirit, astonishing the people “at the majesty of God,” and again tries to get across to His disciples that He would soon be “delivered up” to be crucified” (9:37-45).
  • Jesus continues to interact with His disciples, teaching them about the true nature of greatness, about potential reactions to their preaching, and about the cost of discipleship (9:46-62).
  • Jesus sends 72 other disciples on a mission of preaching and healing, meets the tests of the lawyer and teaches about loving God and loving your neighbor, and accepts an invitation to go to Mary and Martha’s house and teaches about physical aspects of serving vs. discipleship and fellowship with Jesus (10:1-42).

Things God is teaching me in today’s reading:

  • Daily cross bearing is required to follow Jesus. It often requires saying “no” to other tasks (9:57-62).
  • The transfiguration of Jesus on the mountain while He was praying was an important event, instilling in Peter, John and James the conviction they would need concerning the coming kingdom and the power with which it would come (see Peter’s statement in 2nd Peter 1:16-18).
  • Interesting is the statement by Jesus, “Let these words sink into your ears” and the comment by Luke, “But they did not understand His saying an it was concealed from them so that they might not perceive it.” (9:44-45). The concealing was not by God. (I disagree with the ESV Study Bible which comments here, “The disciples lack of understanding is due to the meaning of Jesus’ words being concealed from them by God.” I agree with the commentator Albert Barnes who says, “They had imbibed the common notions of the Jews that He was to be a prince and a conqueror to deliver the nation…. In this way it was hid from them – not by God, but by their previous false belief.”)
  • Things that are good in themselves, can distract me from the most important (i.e. close fellowship with the Lord).

Things to act on in today’s reading:

  • I will not allow the physical aspects of my service to cause me to neglect “sitting at the Lord’s feet” and “listening to His teaching.”

Things to pray about in today’s reading:

  • That I may take up “my cross” today and ever day!
  • That I may always see the glory of Jesus and listen to Him!
  • That I may never be distracted from an intimate walk with Jesus!

Thanks for reading with me dear friend. Have a blessed day!!

— Randy Sexton

Reflections on My Daily Bible Reading Friday­­­­­­, June 4, 2010

Today’s Scripture: Lamentations 1-5

Things to remember in today’s reading:

  • “How lonely sits the city,” begins the book of Lamentations, as it describes the devastation of Jerusalem and her calls for help. The reason for this devastation is clearly stated, “The Lord has afflicted her for the multitude of her transgressions.” (1:1-22)
  • The effects of God’s punishment are described, counsel is given to cry out to God and Jerusalem is depicted as responding by asserting God’s lack of pity (2:1-22).
  • “I am the man who has seen affliction under the rod of his wrath,” begins the writer (whom many consider to be Jeremiah) who has encountered suffering and experiencd God’s faithfulness. He expresses confidence in God’s continuing concern (3:1-66).
  • “How the gold has grown dim, how the pure gold has changed!” Thus begins this chapter as further description is made of the conditions in Jerusalem, as the result of Babylon’s siege of Jerusalem in 587 B.C. (4:1-22).
  • “Remember O Lord, what has befallen us! Look and see our disgrace!” Thus begins the final chapter, a pleas for a restored relationship with God (5:1-22).

Things God is teaching me in today’s reading:

  • If we “take no thought of our future” (1:9), we place our children in jeopardy to be taken away “captives before the foe” (1:5).
  • God removes His protection, leadership, revelation, and direction from a nation when it ceases to recognize Him (2:9, 14)
  • When “I have forgotten what happiness is” (3:17), I will “call to mind … the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end (3:21-22).
  • Every morning is a new opportunity to experience the grace and mercy of God (3:23).
  • God has seen the wrongs done to His people and will repay (3:58-66).
  • When spiritual leaders fail to lead, they will be judged accordingly (4:13).

Things to act on in today’s reading:

  • I will prepare my children for the future by teaching them not to rebel against God’s word (1:18, 20).
  • I will wait quietly for the Lord and hope in Him (3:25-26) in a posture of prayer and expectation.
  • I will test and examine my ways and return to the Lord (3:40).
  • I will learn from the history of the Bible and NOT repeat the mistakes of the past.

Things to pray about in today’s reading:

  • Let me learn to “sit alone in silence” and “put (my) mouth in the dust,” when I must bear the punishment for my sin!
  • Let me not be complacent in my service to God!
  • Let me renew my faith every morning as I declare, “Great is your Faithfulness, O Lord!”

Thanks for reading with me dear friend. Have a blessed day!!

— Randy Sexton