Coming Soon: December 22-31, 2019 (Sun-Tues): Read through Job and Revelation

Coming soon to a theater near you. Do you remember the big hoopla surrounding Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame movie as it completed the story set in motion by the previous movie Avengers: Infinity War? It was highly anticipated since fans just had to see what would happen after many of their screen heroes [spoiler alert] had dissolved into the wind in Infinity War. There was much speculation about how the writers would deal with all of the superhero deaths from Infinity War. Anticipation mounted and eventually came to a head at the release of Endgame, and over $350 million dollars later after the close of opening weekend, apparently many fans saw the outcome. Many people can’t care less about superhero movies, so they go about their lives in ignorance to Thanos and Iron Man and Captain America. They don’t care about infinity stones and the life-vanishing snap, and, in reality, they’re right. The Marvel movies are just far-fetched make-believe.

What I want you to see through this is the anticipation and build-up for a grand finish. In a much more superior way, Jesus has left the earth to prepare a place for believers, for His people. The anticipation is not waiting a mere one year for the concluding movie. It’s waiting generation after generation for the unknown return of Jesus, the King of kings and Lord of lords, the Ruler of the universe who has the actual power to snuff out life with a snap. At the end of the book of Revelation, Jesus says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Then John the apostle follows up with “Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!”

Are you prepared to meet Him? How’s your anticipation?

This week you’ll read…

Job 33-42: The Lord said to Job, “Can you send out lightning bolts, and they go? Do they report to you: ‘Here we are’?” (Job 38 CSB)

Revelation 13-22: “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end” (Revelation 22 CSB).

CSB are daily readings linked to The Christian Standard Bible on BibleGateway.com.

MSG are daily readings linked to The Message Bible on BibleGateway.com.

NLT are daily readings linked to The New Living Translation on BibleGateway.com.

Looking: December 15-21, 2019 (Sun-Sat): Reading through Job and Revelation

Have you ever looked and looked for something and couldn’t find it? You misplaced your cell phone. Did you set it down somewhere? Did it fall out of your pocket? At times, our lost objects end up staying lost. Maybe most of the time, we find our lost things. At other times, we may know where it is, but it’s lost to us like when a teenager dropped an iPhone down an outhouse-type toilet on top of a mountain in the Colorado Rockies. The teen knew where it was—20 or more feet down, but it was gone for good.

Speaking of looking, a middle-aged wife was looking for something and couldn’t find it anywhere. The husband was encouraged to look as well, and, upon his finding it, he let his wife know that he had found it. Then he turned to her and said, “Honey, you just don’t look as good as you used to.”

The Old Testament man Job was in a looking moment, too. God allowed the devil to afflict him, and he was also being verbally pummeled by his know-it-all so-called friends. Job felt that he couldn’t find God. In the midst of his affliction, he was looking, but he was turning up empty-handed. “Then Job answered: …His hand is heavy despite my groaning. If only I knew how to find Him, so that I could go to His throne. …If I go east, He is not there, and if I go west, I cannot perceive Him. When He is at work to the north, I cannot see Him; when He turns south, I cannot find Him. Yet He knows the way I have taken…” (Job 23).

Isn’t that how we feel at times, too? We journey through some dark valley, and it seems that God doesn’t hear our cries or has abandoned us. We feel that our prayers are not reaching Him for some reason. God’s silence can be an awful noise to us when we’re in a bad way. Now the truth is that we could have unconfessed sin or an unrepentant lifestyle to blame for the silence, but sometimes there is not really any human reason why the silence exists. It could be as in Job’s case: we’re just getting our fill of affliction from the enemy. However, we need to do some soul-searching anyway. Our affliction should be a reminder to return to God whether we’ve strayed or not, and if we still can’t find God, trust that He’s there even when we can’t feel Him—even when our feelings are betraying us.

This week you’ll read…

Job 22-32: “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look with lust at a young woman” (Job 31 NLT)

Revelation 6-12: “Then war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon. The dragon and his angels also fought, but he could not prevail, and there was no place for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was thrown out—the ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the one who deceives the whole world. He was thrown to earth, and his angels with him” (Revelation 12 CSB).

CSB are daily readings linked to The Christian Standard Bible on BibleGateway.com.

MSG are daily readings linked to The Message Bible on BibleGateway.com.

NLT are daily readings linked to The New Living Translation on BibleGateway.com.

Reveal: December 8-14, 2019 (Sun-Sat): Read through Job, Ecclesiastes, and Revelation

One of the greatest parts of Christmas is the revealing of a gift to a child. Anticipation builds throughout the season as a young boy sees his gifts under the tree just waiting for him to tear into the wrapping paper and find out what’s inside. A young girl’s eyes widen as she sees her long-awaited toy. At times, one of my daughters will open a present with joy, and her tender heart will begin leaking from her eyes. My wife and kids think that I don’t like my presents because I’m reserved in my expression and more even keeled, but I enjoy the big reveal as much as them, well, maybe not as much as my youngest. Now let your thoughts travel across the world. Imagine the anticipation which a child has in a third world country as she is waiting to receive her Operation Christmas Child shoebox filled with toys and essentials. At Christmas, we relish the revelations, but truly the greatest part of Christmas is the meaning of it—the revelation of God to the world in the person of Jesus. However, let’s not merely focus on God as the Babe in Bethlehem. We must reinforce to our children and ourselves that He is also the Humble Healer from Nazareth, the Sinless Savior on Calvary, the Death Destroyer in the Garden, and the Returning Redeemer from Heaven.

In John’s Revelation of Jesus Christ, we get a glimpse of the Conquering King. God began the big reveal to mankind when Jesus came to the earth to live within Mary’s womb and be birthed on that bright-starred night. However, Jesus’ second coming will be completely unveiled and revealed to the world. “Look, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen” (Revelation 1:7 CSB). Are you longing for His return—His revelation? Are you prepared to meet Him?

This week you’ll read…

Job 13-21: “If only you would shut up and let that be your wisdom!” (Job 13 CSB)

Ecclesiastes 9-12: “When all has been heard, the conclusion of the matter is this: fear God and keep His commands, because this is for all humanity. For God will bring every act to judgment, including every hidden thing, whether good or evil” (Ecclesiastes 12 CSB).

Revelation 1-5: “And they sang a new song: You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because You were slaughtered, and You purchased people for God by Your blood from every tribe and language
and people and nation. You made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they will reign on the earth” (Revelation 5 CSB).

CSB are daily readings linked to The Christian Standard Bible on BibleGateway.com.

MSG are daily readings linked to The Message Bible on BibleGateway.com.

NLT are daily readings linked to The New Living Translation on BibleGateway.com.

Do-Nothing Sin: November 22-30, 2019 (Fri-Sat): Read through Proverbs, Ezekiel, and John

Have you ever sinned? Of course, you have. That’s our problem. We sin by doing wrong things. A needlessly harsh word is spoken to a loved one, employee, or co-worker. Unethical business practices lead us down a dead-end street. Sexual temptation gets the best of us. Uncontrolled anger spills out. But we sin in our minds as well. We dwell on thoughts that tear us down. Bitterness takes root as we harbor unforgiveness in our hearts. An affair begins in the mind with a co-worker. Self-hate robs our joy because we’re preoccupied with ourselves and not the Lord. Sin is an act, or it can be locked away in our heads. Either way, it brings destruction into our lives and into the lives of others.

However, there is do-nothing sin as well. Sometimes we fail to act. We don’t want to get involved, so we pass up people in need. We don’t have time to serve, so we miss out on ministry and turn a blind eye to servants who are in desperate need of ministry partners. We get preoccupied with our own abilities and neglect prayer or Bible study. We hold on to the gospel as our personal treasure unwilling to see it as a ransom to be shared with the world. God spoke through Ezekiel telling us of the watchman who could see a threat coming but did nothing to warn the people. Whether warned or not, the people were culpable for their own sin, but the watchman heaped sin upon himself by not warning the people. Their blood would be on his hands. It was a do-nothing sin.

As you go about your life this week, avoid committing sin. Think about what’s right and good, but also do the good which you know that you should be doing because if you don’t do it, your doing nothing is contributing to the sin in our land and helping unrighteousness to flourish.

This week you’ll read…

Proverbs 23-31: “Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord will be praised” (Proverbs 31 CSB).

Ezekiel 32-48: “‘However, suppose the watchman sees the sword coming but doesn’t blow the trumpet, so that the people aren’t warned, and the sword comes and takes away their lives. Then they have been taken away because of their iniquity, but I will hold the watchman accountable for their blood’” (Ezekiel 33 CSB).

John 15-21: “Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of His disciples that are not written in this book. But these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name” (John 20 CSB).

CSB are daily readings linked to The Christian Standard Bible on BibleGateway.com.

MSG are daily readings linked to The Message Bible on BibleGateway.com.

NLT are daily readings linked to The New Living Translation on BibleGateway.com.

Shepherd: November 15-21, 2019 (Fri-Thurs): Read through Proverbs, Ezekiel, and John

When I was younger, I would have described a shepherd as a dude wearing a robe and having a towel tied around his head. He also would be wearing sandals and carrying a crooked walking stick. While that does describe the attire of shepherds in Jesus’ day (and some in this day, too), a shepherd is much more that what he wears. In fact, Jesus is the greatest example of a good shepherd. Let’s explore Psalm 23 and John 10 which both talk about the Good Shepherd.

The Good Shepherd cares and provides for His sheep. “The Lord is my shepherd; I have what I need. He lets me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He renews my life; He leads me along the right paths for His name’s sake…You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows” (Psalm 23:1-3,5).[1] Jesus said, “When He [the Good Shepherd] has brought all His own outside, He goes ahead of them” (John 10:4). The Good Shepherd leads out the sheep each day so that they can graze and find water.

The Good Shepherd leads His sheep. “He leads me beside quiet waters…He leads me along the right paths for His name’s sake” (Psalm 23:2-3). Jesus said, “He calls His own sheep by name and leads them out. When He has brought all His own outside, He goes ahead of them. The sheep follow Him because they know His voice” (John 10:3-4). The Good Shepherd knows His sheep intimately, and they know Him such that they recognize His voice and follow Him.

The Good Shepherd protects His sheep. “Even when I go through the darkest valley, I fear no danger, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff—they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4-5). Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep” (John 10:11). The Good Shepherd is alert for danger because He cares for His sheep, and He is willing to give it all for the sheep because He loves them.

The Good Shepherd loves His sheep and is good to them. “Only goodness and faithful love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord as long as I live” (Psalm 23:6). “I am the good shepherd” (John 10:11). The Good Shepherd didn’t begin loving the sheep because they loved Him first. The Good Shepherd initiated love for the sheep, so His love is not contingent on the sheep’s love.

The Good Shepherd doesn’t abandon His sheep. “for you are with me…and I will dwell in the house of the Lord as long as I live” (Psalm 23:4,6). “The good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. The hired hand, since he is not the shepherd and doesn’t own the sheep, leaves them and runs away when he sees a wolf coming. The wolf then snatches and scatters them. This happens because he is a hired hand and doesn’t care about the sheep” (John 10:11-13). Because the Good Shepherd’s love is not based on the sheep’s love for Him, He doesn’t abandon them when times are tough or when their love for Him wanes.

I love the Good Shepherd.

This week you’ll read…

Proverbs 16-22: “All a person’s ways seem right to him, but the Lord weighs motives” (Proverbs 16).

Ezekiel 21-31: “‘Your heart became proud because of your beauty; For the sake of your splendor you corrupted your wisdom. So I threw you down to the ground; I made you a spectacle before kings” (Ezekiel 28).

John 10-14: “Jesus wept” (John 11).

CSB are daily readings linked to The Christian Standard Bible on BibleGateway.com.

MSG are daily readings linked to The Message Bible on BibleGateway.com.

NLT are daily readings linked to The New Living Translation on BibleGateway.com.


[1] All Scripture from CSB (Christian Standard Bible).

Signs Part 2: November 8-14, 2019 (Fri-Thurs): Read through Proverbs, Ezekiel, and John

We can be tricked by out-of-towners. People have been deceived by snake oil salesmen in earlier days. Shysters abound in our world including in religious circles. A miracle worker can have plants in his/her healing service and “heal” them at the appointed time. A stranger can be “healed” in your presence, but what do you have to go on? All you have is the stranger’s word and the miracle worker’s claim. They don’t have any history there. Now, don’t jump to conclusions. People are healed in the world today, but beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing.

Once, Jesus encountered a man that was lame. He’d become pretty hopeless about being healed, so when Jesus asked if he wanted to be healed, he just started whining. This lame man was not a stranger. He’d been lame for 38 years, and lame people in Jesus’ day didn’t do much traveling. The guy was known. People knew his story. Was it an accident that left his legs twisted? Did he fall off a roof and break his spinal cord? Did he suffer from an illness that left him lame or paralyzed? Whatever it was, he was the guy with a story which his neighbors knew. That’s why when they saw him one day walking, or maybe running, jumping, or dancing, they knew something miraculous had happened. Come to find out Jesus did it. This guy was not a plant. He was a real guy with a real story who experienced a real healing by the real Son of God. Just another sign that Jesus is who He claimed to be.

A.W. Tozer once said, “The average person in the world today, without faith and without God and without hope, is engaged in a desperate personal search throughout his lifetime. He does not really know where he has been. He does not really know what he is doing here and now. He does not know where he is going. The sad commentary is that he is doing it all on borrowed time and borrowed money and borrowed strength—and he already knows that in the end he will surely die.”[1] Are you seeing the signs that He’s left along the way? I pray that you’ll fall on your knees and cry, “Jesus, You are Lord. I place my trust in You.” That could be for the first time like the lame man, or it could be a renewed trust in Christ as you’ve been bombarded with doubt and discouragement. Say it out loud: Jesus, I place my trust in You.

This week you’ll read…

Proverbs 8-15: “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people” (Proverbs 14 CSB).

Ezekiel 12-20: “The word of the Lord came to me: ‘Son of man, you are living among a rebellious house. They have eyes to see but do not see, and ears to hear but do not hear, for they are a rebellious house’” (Ezekiel 12 CSB).

John 5-9: “Jesus replied, ‘Truly I tell you, the Son is not able to do anything on His own, but only what He sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, the Son likewise does these things” (John 5 CSB).

CSB are daily readings linked to The Christian Standard Bible on BibleGateway.com.

MSG are daily readings linked to The Message Bible on BibleGateway.com.

NLT are daily readings linked to The New Living Translation on BibleGateway.com.


[1] Morgan, R. J. (2000). Nelson’s Complete Book of Stories, Illustrations, and Quotes (electronic ed.) (213). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Signs: November 1-7, 2019 (Fri-Thurs): Read through Proverbs, Ezekiel, and John

I saw a sign today. Speed Limit 55 mph. Only fifteen characters, but it gives me direction on the road. We see a plethora of signs every day. They point us in a particular direction. Jesus performed many miracles during His time on earth, but John, in his gospel, calls these signs. Jesus’ miracles are signposts declaring Himself to be the Messiah, the Son of God. Just as some people heed signs while others ignore them, so the people of Jesus’ day and throughout time since then have heeded His signs or ignored them. John gives us seven signs of Jesus plus the resurrection. John could have shared a multitude of miracles which Jesus performed on this earth, yet, under the Holy Spirit’s inspiration, he only saw fit to include eight. Thus, we can see these miracles as strategic signs of Jesus’ divinity.

This week, we’ll read about the wedding in Cana where Jesus turned water into wine. We’ll also read about a healing. Jesus touched many afflicted people, and they were healed. However, in the account of the healing of the royal official’s son in John 4, the son is near death about 17 miles away from Jesus. The Son of God assures the official that his son will live, and the father finds out when he meets his servants that it was at that hour that his son recovered. Jesus is not bound geographically regarding healing. He can pronounce something here that will be done there. Now, the account also notes that the father believed Jesus and left to go home. This surely is a key to the story, but it doesn’t diminish Jesus’ authority for He often works in conjunction with our faith. However, our faith doesn’t force God’s hand. We are merely choosing to respond in the way that He already wants us to respond to Him. The signs are all around to prompt faith to sprout and grow. Are you reading the signs? Is faith in Jesus flourishing in your heart?

This week you’ll read…

Proverbs 1-7: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; in all your ways know Him, and He will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3 CSB).

Ezekiel 1-11: “I looked, and there was a whirlwind coming from the north, a huge cloud with fire flashing back and forth and brilliant light all around it. In the center of the fire, there was a gleam like amber” (Ezekiel 1 CSB).

John 1-4: “Jesus did this, the first of His signs, in Cana of Galilee. He revealed His glory, and His disciples believed in Him” (John 2 CSB).

CSB are daily readings linked to The Christian Standard Bible on BibleGateway.com.

MSG are daily readings linked to The Message Bible on BibleGateway.com.

NLT are daily readings linked to The New Living Translation on BibleGateway.com.