Genesis 3:1-4:26; Matthew 2:13-3:6; Psalm 2:1-12; Proverbs 1:7-9
Sin can have devastating effects on our lives. Sin is anything that displeases God. Where we end up after sin is always worse than when we began. All sin begins with a temptation! We are tempted to listen to someone else’s voice above God’s voice. We are tempted to follow a path different from the path God has laid out for us. We are tempted to think that we know more than God.
The good news today is that sin will not have the final word! Even though Adam and Eve sinned against God, their sin was not the end of the story. God put in place a plan to bring all of us back to Him. Jesus is the way back to God! If you are struggling with sin in an area of your life, you do not have to fight it alone. You have Jesus who is willing to help you get out of it.
Ask for Jesus’ help! Surrender your life to Him. Receive His forgiveness and strength to keep moving forward. Jesus knows how to lead you out of sin! You may have to do it moment by moment or day by day. It’s okay. Because as long as you are pursuing a relationship with Jesus, you will move further and further away from sin until you are free. “So, if the Son sets you free, you are truly free!” (John 8:36) This is true wisdom. Act on it today and receive God’s amazing grace!
Tomorrow’s Reading: Genesis 5:1-7:24; Matthew 3:7-4:11; Psalm 3:1-8; Proverbs 1:10-19
Genesis 1-2:25; Matthew 1:1-2:12; Psalm 1:1-6; Proverbs 1:1-6
Today is all about beginnings. While beginnings are new to us, they are not new to God. Look at the precision with which He constructs the world. Each day, He accomplished another aspect of His creation. Can you hear Him speaking, “Let there be Light?” He started His creation with intentionality. The same is even true with our lives. Would God put so much care into designing the world without putting the same amount of care into our lives? Of course not!
As you start out in this New Year, be as intentional as God. Let your words create the reality that you want to see. Design your life day by day. Review each day with a sense of how the next one can be better. And, when tomorrow comes, make it better by accomplishing exactly what God tells you. He knows how to make all things good!
Each day you enjoy on earth is a good day because God created it. Prepare to be amazed by God’s goodness and overwhelmed by His love. He gave you this new year to give you an opportunity to experience more of Him.
Tomorrow’s Reading: Genesis 3:1-4:26; Matthew 2:13-3:6; Psalm 2:1-12; Proverbs 1:7-9
Ezekiel 21:1-22:31; Hebrews 10:1-17; Psalm 108:1-13; Proverbs 27:12
Every precious metal has impurities. It is only in the process of smelting (refining) the metal that the impurities rise to the top so that they can be skimmed off. In the best of us, there is impurity and in the worst of us, there is purity.
Israel had become so depraved that God refers to them as “slag” which is the impurity in silver. God created us to be precious and special but when we walk away from Him and disregard His instructions, we trade our precious metal for worthless dross.
Whenever we are tempted to disobey, we must choose to let our heart be sensitive to God so that we would not trade what is precious for what is cheap. Walking away from God is cheap living. Trying to find the solutions to life without God is a cheap approach to life. When we live our lives to honor God and follow His Word, we live precious lives. Be clear: we are always precious to God regardless of our state (silver or slag). We just devalue ourselves by our actions. You matter to God! Live like the precious person you were created to be.
Tomorrow’s Reading: Ezekiel 23:1-49; Hebrews 10:18-39; Psalm 109:1-31; Proverbs 27:13
Ezekiel 20:1-49; Hebrews 9:11-28; Psalm 107:1-43; Proverbs 27:11
Lacking the ability to hear from God is a dangerous state to be in. Israel had rebelled against God so much that they lost the ability to hear from Him. The leaders came seeking a Word from God and God refused to speak to them!
Instead of giving them a new Word, God reminded them of all the things He had spoken to them in the past. How often do we want to receive a new Word from God when we have not acted on the Word He has already given to us.
If you find yourself in a season where you cannot hear from God or sense His presence, go back to the last instruction you received from Him and act on it. God wants to speak to His children and give us the direction that we need. But, He cannot speak to us if we do not put ourselves in a place to hear. Hearing God’s voice is precious to the Believer. Don’t ever jeopardize it.
Tomorrow’s Reading: Ezekiel 21:1-22:31; Hebrews 10:1-17; Psalm 108:1-13; Proverbs 27:12
Ezekiel 18:1-19:14; Hebrews 9:1-10; Psalm 106:32-48; Proverbs 27:10
Some things cannot be passed down from generation to generation. There was an old saying that conveyed the falsehood that the sins of the fathers would be taken out on the children. Children thought their lives were capped at whatever their parents did (or didn’t do).
What a way to live! You could not determine your own future. Those who came before you limited your life. God tells Israel to stop saying this because each person has a right and responsibility to choose righteous or unrighteous actions. Even those who start out doing right can turn and do evil or vice versa.
God desires for everyone to live righteous lives and reap the rewards of such living. As God’s children, we have an open door in front of us. If we choose God’s way, there are no limits to how far we can go! Reject that false belief that your education, pedigree or economics will determine your future. It can’t and it won’t. God can take you places your degrees and networks never could. Stick with God. No one can stop Him!
Tomorrow’s Reading: Ezekiel 20:1-49; Hebrews 9:11-28; Psalm 107:1-43; Proverbs 27:11
Ezekiel 16:42-17:24; Hebrews 8:1-13; Psalm 106:13-31; Proverbs 27:7-9
Under the Old Covenant, all sin had to be paid for and once the price was paid, life went back to normal except, the person lived with the shame and stigma of having been punished. (Similar to going to prison and then being released.)
God told Israel that after they had stayed in exile long enough, He would bring them back home and restore them and other nations who had broken His laws. Yet, when they came back, they would still remember with regret all the bad decisions they made which caused them to go into exile. Though everything would be restored, they would always remember what they had lost because of their rebellion.
Thank God for the New Covenant. In this New Covenant, Jesus paid the price for our wrongdoing and suffered all the humiliation and shame so we would not have to. This is what grace is all about! Grace means getting what we don’t deserve! We deserved to die for our sins and forever be remembered as sinners but God loved us enough to make us righteous through someone else’s sacrifice. We don’t deserve righteousness and it cannot be earned. It is received. Receive God’s righteousness and know that you are a beloved child of God fully accepted by the Father.
Tomorrow’s Reading: Ezekiel 18:1-19:14; Hebrews 9:1-10; Psalm 106:32-48; Proverbs 27:10
Ezekiel 14:12-16:41; Hebrews 7:18-28; Psalm 106:1-12; Proverbs 27:4-6
God takes it personally when his children abandon Him and go after other “gods”. After God has done so much for us, how can we go after those who have not invested in us? God paints a vivid picture of Israel and how He found her abandoned. God nurtured her when she could not take care of herself. God provided and protected her. But once Israel matured, she left the love of God and went after foreign nations.
This kind of disloyalty does not happen over night. It very subtly creeps in when we are not aware and before we know it, we are worshipping a false god who cannot help us. The temptation of idols is all around us everyday. It could be our money, our job, our friends, a habit or even, ourselves!
Every idol that we chase will disappoint us. The gods of this world can never care for us like our Heavenly Father. Idols make promises that they cannot keep. They give us a false sense of security that quickly is ripped from us. Though we may be tempted to stray, there is nothing greater than “dancing with the one who brought you.” God has loved us from the beginning and He will never leave us or stop loving us. He’s worthy of our faithfulness.
Tomorrow’s Reading: Ezekiel 16:42-17:24; Hebrews 8:1-13; Psalm 106:13-31; Proverbs 27:7-9
Ezekiel 12:1-14:11; Hebrews 7:1-17; Psalm 105:37-45; Proverbs 27:3
Those around you can affect your future. We have heard it said, “Birds of a feather flock together.” The people we spend time with are a reflection of what’s going on in us and they will paint the picture of our future. More than human wisdom, the Bible says it this way, “bad company corrupts good character” (1 Corinthians 15:33).
Israel was full of people who refused to listen to good counsel and see the path that God laid out for them. The rebellious people corrupted the good people. It is a simple formula: when negative is introduced, it corrupts everything around it.
If you have people around you who speak and act contrary to God’s love and plans, please be careful! You are setting yourself in a position to fall away from God’s purpose for your life. These relationships may need to be eliminated. These are tough actions to take but your life and future depend upon it.
Tomorrow’s Reading: Ezekiel 14:12-16:41; Hebrews 7:18-28; Psalm 106:1-12; Proverbs 27:4-6
Ezekiel 10:1-11:25; Hebrews 6:1-20; Psalm 105:16-36; Proverbs 27:1-2
God cannot be contained in a building. No matter where we are or where we go, God is always there. When Israel was exiled from Jerusalem they no longer had access to the Temple where God’s presence resided. What made their exile worse, was knowing they could not get to God. In fact, God’s presence had withdrawn from the Temple.
God tells Israel, “I will be a sanctuary to you during your time in exile” (Ezekiel 11:16). In other words, though you cannot get to me, I will come to you. God is not only going to be with them but God is going to be Their Sacred Dwelling Place.
It is good to know that no matter where we go, it is never away from God! Even if we are experiencing the consequences of our own actions, God will not let us be cut off from Him unless we reject Him. How near is God? Just a whisper away! Call out to Him and He will answer you no matter where you are.
Tomorrow’s Reading: Ezekiel 12:1-14:11; Hebrews 7:1-17; Psalm 105:37-45; Proverbs 27:3
Ezekiel 7:1-9:11; Hebrews 5:1-14; Psalm 105:1-15; Proverbs 26:28
God is so passionately in love with His people that He is jealous! We have to be careful about this word because we think when we hear it that it means what we see on reality TV shows. God desires to be our Heavenly Father and that we would seek no other gods but Him.
He is passionately protective of your relationship with Him. He will do anything to protect that relationship. When the Bible speaks of God’s jealousy, it is not speaking about the petty games that humans play. It speaks about a God who goes all out for His children and when His children ignore Him and go looking for other gods, then it breaks His heart.
God, however, never abandons us! He continues to pursue us, even when we are running away from Him. He will not give up on us, even when we give up on Him. When we put God at the back of the line, He just waits there patiently for His turn.
This is the true meaning of God’s jealousy! He is zealous for us and that is why God sent His one and only son, Jesus, to die for us!
Tomorrow’s Reading: Ezekiel 10:1-11:25; Hebrews 6:1-20; Psalm 105:16-36; Proverbs 27:1-2