When we read the bible, we are doing more than reading facts, we are encountering God. The word that He spoke was made flesh, and brought forth all creation. Jesus, the Word, upholds and gathers all things together in one. I am finding that as I read the scriptures, no matter where we are in the weekly reading, I hear the Lord speak into my heart and life right where I am. By not gathering facts to become empowered, or promises to control, I find I am inside Spirit and Life. Here, my world submits, my emotions return, and I enter into His rest.
We are so blessed to have the bible and read it together. In this topsy turvy world, that will shake even more, in God’s word we rest, we hear Jesus speaking from heaven, shaking heaven and earth. Here we receive His Lordship and grace to serve God with reverence and godly fear, receiving HIs kingdom that cannot be shaken.
Acts 3 – 8
The Church is in full explosion of growth and grace. The first recorded miracle at the gate beautiful calls attention to the name of Jesus and the faith that is upon His name. The apostles are therefore arrested and brought before the Sanhedrin. Here, they testify that the name of Jesus had made the lame man, at the gate beautiful, whole. The Sanhedrin is furious, threatening Peter and John, to never speak or teach in the name of Jesus. Being released, the church gathers and prays for more boldness through greater miracles. Holy Spirit comes, house shakes, and “with great power” the apostles give witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus.
Generosity has grown to the point where people are selling their homes and laying all the proceeds at the apostle’s feet. A couple, named Ananias and Sapphira, attempt to do the same, but after selling their home have misgivings. Instead of being honest, they attempt to appear as they have given all. They die and fear comes into the church. Miracles explode, to the point of Peter’s shadow healing all who laid in the streets of Jerusalem. Another arrest happens. This time with beatings, but they still do not cease teaching and preaching Jesus, as the Christ. The church grows, deacons are appointed to administer the widows care, and more miracles. Stephen is arrested. He declares to the Sanhedrin the entire gospel ending in the glory of God, while the Sanhedrin rush to kill him. Persecutions ensue until Saul is saved in chapter nine.
Hebrews 8 – 13
We now learn of Jesus, our High Priest’s ministry, covenant, blood, and His appearing in the Presence of God over us. Access has been given, with boldness in His blood, to enter into the holiest, drawing near with a true heart, holding fast our confession of hope, and assembling together more as we see the day approaching, exhorting each other in love and good works. Patience is called for. The faith of the witnesses gone before, beginning with Abel, is celebrated.
Chapter twelve is the discipline of the Father, Mount Zion, and New Jerusalem. Everything is shaking because God is speaking. The call to consecration, praise, and God’s completion through Jesus Christ, our Lord. are our final charges.
James 1 – 2
James, the apostle of the church at Jerusalem and brother of our Lord Jesus Christ, begins the most compelling epistle of sobriety and faith. Faith will be tested. Joy is to be used in our patience. God’s completion comes through faith tested, joy found, and patience employed. The word of God, received in meekness and implanted, is able to save our souls. James calls us to no partiality in our dealings with each other. He makes it clear through Abraham that, faith without works is dead. For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. James 2:26
Leviticus 13 – 21
Laws concerning lepers and their cleansing, (A type of sin in believers) are given in chapters thirteen and fourteen. Laws, concerning bodily discharges and its uncleanness, were revolutionary to societal living.
Chapter sixteen is God’s instruction through Moses, after the death of Aaron’s two sons. God’s holiness, man’s presumptuousness, and a day to make atonement for an entire nation.
Chapter seventeen is the sanctity of the blood, “For the life of all flesh is in the blood.”
In Chapter eighteen, the laws of sexual morality will separate Israel from other nations and would be adopted in all nations as the gospel spreads.
Chapter nineteen has a plethora of sound laws, of society, You shall not curse the deaf, nor put a stumbling block before the blind, but shall fear your God; I am the Lord.
Chapter twenty addresses the penalties for breaking the law.
In Chapter twenty-one is the regulations concerning the priests.
Psalms 38 – 42
These five Psalms are standalone Psalms. Psalm 42 has special help to intercessors and worshippers who have suffered trials and feel the accusations of others, “Where is your God?” The intercessor/worshipper, must command their souls into hope again in His salvation coming.
Jeremiah 15 – 19
Jeremiah begins with the Lord saying, “Even if Moses and Samuel stood before Me, My mind would not be favorable toward this people.” Jeremiah has a confidence-breakdown as God appears to him as, “An unreliable stream, as waters that fail?” The Lord’s rebuke to Jeremiah (Jeremiah 15:19-21), to return to the Lord, has helped me in all my life journey with the Lord.
By Chapter sixteen, Jeremiah is instructed not to take a wife because of the troubles coming. But, before the chapter is finished, God decrees that He will restore Israel. Our Lord is so full of compassion and tender mercies. The chapter separates those who are blessed and those who are cursed. God makes an extraordinary promise if Israel will keep His sabbath. It’s always about our relationship with God and walking in the light. It’s never about the evil of other men.
Chapter eighteen is a field trip for Jeremiah to the potter’s house.
In Chapter nineteen, Jeremiah is called to use a potter’s vessel for a prophetic decree in the Valley of Ben Hinnom.