One Year Bible

One Year Bi·ble (OYB): A Bible study program designed such that the reader completes the entire Bible in a one-year period, through daily readings from the Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs. Posts in this category pertain to my observations and commentary from participating in the One Year Bible study program.

OYB May 3

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Today´s reading:
OT: Judges 17-18
NT: John 3:1-21
Ps: Psalm 104
Pr: Proverbs 14:20-21

Gospel Thread - OT:

In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit.

Judges 17:6 (NIV)

The phrase "Israel had no king" is used four times in these closing chapters of Judges. The phrase always jumps out at me each time it is used, because it coincides with the continual downward spiral of a nation moving farther and farther away from their call as God's chosen people. If only Israel had pursued God, and walked in His ways, they never would have needed an earthly king. Eventually, even the earthly kings God would establish over Israel would themselves lead the nation further into depravity. This outcome served to prove that Israel - and the rest of the world - did not need earthly kings, but rather a spiritual one: God Himself, through Jesus Christ, our eternal prophet, high priest, and king.

Gospel Thread - NT:

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.

John 3:16-18 (NIV)

I believe these words of Jesus are self-explanatory.

Gospel Thread - Psalms/Proverbs:

No direct gospel reference in today's Psalms/Proverbs reading.

The One Year Bible Blog´s comments for today.

OYB May 2

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Today´s reading:
OT: Judges 15-16
NT: John 2
Ps: Psalm 103
Pr: Proverbs 14:17-19

Gospel Thread - OT:

No direct gospel reference in today's Old Testament reading.

Gospel Thread - NT:

His disciples remembered that it is written: "Zeal for your house will consume me."

John 2:17 (NIV)

According to the NIV footnotes, Jesus' clearing of the temple fulfills Psalm 69:9.

Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days."

John 2:19 (NIV)

Jesus is predicting his resurrection on the third day following His death.

Gospel Thread - Psalms/Proverbs:

2 Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits-
3 who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion

Psalm 103:2-4 (NIV)

These three verses beautifully encapsulate the message of the Gospel.

The One Year Bible Blog´s comments for today.

OYB May 1

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Today´s reading:
OT: Judges 13-14
NT: John 1:29-51
Ps: Psalm 102
Pr: Proverbs 14:15-16

Gospel Thread - OT:

4 Now see to it that you drink no wine or other fermented drink and that you do not eat anything unclean, 5 because you will conceive and give birth to a son. No razor may be used on his head, because the boy is to be a Nazirite, set apart to God from birth, and he will begin the deliverance of Israel from the hands of the Philistines.

Judges 13:4-5 (NIV)

One of the most notable and important aspects of the story of Samson is that he was set apart to God in order to fulfill God's purpose for his life. God decreed that Samson was to be a Nazirite (Numbers 6:1-21) from the moment of conception; that is, he was to be set apart as "holy unto the Lord."

In fact, the concept of "setting apart" is foundational to God's intent for His people: repeatedly in His enumeration of the Law to the Israelites, God states, "Be Holy, for the Lord your God is Holy". Holiness - the state of being set apart from sin - is both God's intent and desire for mankind and also the ultimate purpose of God's plan of redemption. It is holiness to which we are called, and holiness to which we are to aspire.

Gospel Thread - NT:

Philip found Nathanael and told him, "We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph."

John 1:45 (NIV)

The Israelites understood the Old Testament scriptures - both the Law and the Prophets - to refer to the Messiah Who was to come. (Note that the purpose of this Messiah is found in verse 29 of this chapter: to take away the sin of the world.)

He then added, "I tell you the truth, you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man."

John 1:51 (NIV)

Jesus here is alluding to Jacob's Ladder (Genesis 28:11-13), and in so doing is implying that He is the means by which one ascends and descends between heaven and earth. Jesus will later make a more explicit statement that He is the only way through which to access the Father in heaven (John 14:6).

Gospel Thread - Psalms/Proverbs:

No direct gospel reference in today's Psalms/Proverbs reading.

The One Year Bible Blog´s comments for today.

OYB April 30

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Today´s reading:
OT: Judges 11, Judges 12:1-15
NT: John 1:1-28
Ps: Psalm 101
Pr: Proverbs 14:13-14

Gospel Thread - OT:

No direct gospel references in today's OT reading.

Gospel Thread - NT:

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.

John 1:1-3 (NIV)

10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God. 14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

John 1:10-14 (NIV)

If any passage in scripture clearly indicates that Jesus Christ was God Who came to earth as man, to die in order to provide man a way out of the bondage of sin, it is this one. This passage is one of my favorites in all of scripture.

John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, "I am the voice of one calling in the desert, 'Make straight the way for the Lord.' "

John 1:23 (NIV)

According to the NIV footnotes, this fulfills Isaiah 40:3.

Gospel Thread - Psalms/Proverbs:

The faithless will be fully repaid for their ways, and the good man rewarded for his.

Proverbs 14:14 (NIV)

In the end, God, the Ultimate Judge, will bring ultimate justice. So often it seems that bad comes to those who are good, and that good comes to those who are evil. While this observation may be true within the limited vantage point of our lives, in the perspective of eternity, the principle in this proverb will prevail.

The One Year Bible Blog´s comments for today.

OYB April 29

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Today´s reading:
OT: Judges 9:22-57, Judges 10:1-18
NT: Luke 24:13-53
Ps: Psalm 100
Pr: Proverbs 14:11-12

Gospel Thread - OT:

14 "Go and cry out to the gods you have chosen. Let them save you when you are in trouble!" 15 But the Israelites said to the LORD, "We have sinned. Do with us whatever you think best, but please rescue us now." 16 Then they got rid of the foreign gods among them and served the LORD. And he could bear Israel's misery no longer.

Judges 10:14-16 (NIV)

It is often very difficult for us to understand the various aspects of God's character. On one hand, God is holy, and sin cannot exist in His holy Presence. On the other hand, God is love and compassion - so much so, that God would come to earth as man and die to rescue us from our sin. How is it that God can so completely separate our being from our sinfulness and sinful nature? The Israelites continually returned to sin and depravity, yet every time they recognized their sin and cried out to God, He in His compassion rescued them. We see this cycle repeated again and again in Scripture, to the point that one might conclude that God's patience is infinite; however, Scripture also tells us that the time will come when we no longer have the chance to repent. Paul speaks with such urgency that he refers to the time of God's favor as "now", and the day of God's favor "today" (II Corinthians 6:2).

Gospel Thread - NT:

He said to them, "This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms."

Luke 24:44 (NIV)

Jesus mentions the gospel thread! Here Jesus confirms that the Law, the Prophets, and the Psalms (in other words, all of the Old Testament) refer to and speak of Him. The death, burial, and resurrection of Christ for the redemption of mankind is the purpose and outcome of the Old Testament.

Though, I must admit that it is incredibly humbling to read the reactions of Christ's disciples to these events, and to realize that even they were blinded to the truth until Christ opened their eyes. How much do we misunderstand - or of how much are we ignorant - without God's revelation? Yes, we have the Word; but so did the Israelites. Paul refers to this "great mystery" that God kept hidden until it was fulfilled in Christ (Romans 16:24-25, Ephesians 3:8-10, Colossians 1:25-27). We have the privilege of understanding this mystery, but what remains hidden?

This realization ought to be sufficient to keep each of us in God's Word daily, earnestly seeking to understand what God wants to teach us through His Word. Every day God reveals more and more to me through His Word: more of my own sin, as well as more of His promises and blessings; more of His principles for living, and more of His character. I pray that I always remember the example of his disciples, and never become too proud or complacent to continue searching His Word.

Gospel Thread - Psalms/Proverbs:

There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.

Proverbs 14:12 (NIV)

Perhaps the single most insidious lie is that no single belief holds truth exclusively. In other words, all religious beliefs are equally true; the mere existence of one's faith is sufficient for salvation. This lie exists among theists as well as atheists. The problem with this belief is that it is not merely the existence of one's faith that matters, but also the object of that faith.

An atheist would consider this matter not one of "salvation", but rather simply one of morality: the definition (or standard) of morality, and that which allows or causes one to uphold that definition or standard. (Note that this understanding works equally well for theists; the only difference being that theists would then tie conformance to the standard of morality to the concept of salvation.)

The problem that then immediately confronts us is that of who or what determines this standard of morality. In Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis argues rather persuasively that the existence of a universal moral standard demands the existence of a universal standard-giver. (While I have plans to address this matter in more detail in response to some blogs of a friend of mine, for now and for the purposes of this blog post, I will accept it as the working principle.)

Thus, if we accept this "universal standard-giver" as God, we are left with the myriad theist beliefs that exist. While at times we may be enticed by the idea that "all religions are correct" in the vain hope that this understanding will bring about peace among the adherents of these many religions, we must accept, when we honestly examine the many beliefs, that they cannot all be true.

In fact, Christianity mutually excludes itself, by claiming to be the only truth and the only way to life and to God (John 14:6). It cannot be true that all religions are true. Either Christianity is true, or it is not. The same mutual exclusivity exists at least for the other major monotheistic belief systems (Judaism, Islam) that comprise the vast majority of religious beliefs.

Do not believe the lie that the existence of a faith apart from the object of that faith is sufficient.

The One Year Bible Blog´s comments for today.

OYB April 28

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Today´s reading:
OT: Judges 8:18-35, Judges 9:1-21
NT: Luke 23:44-56, Luke 24:1-12
Ps: Psalm 99
Pr: Proverbs 14:9-10

Gospel Thread - OT:

But Gideon told them, "I will not rule over you, nor will my son rule over you. The LORD will rule over you."

Judges 8:23 (NIV)

God's original intention was to the sole ruler over mankind - to be man's sole and benevolent source for leadership and governance. However, due to man's sin, our perfect relationship with God was broken, and mankind has had to endure being ruled by fellow man. Christ's redemption of man will one day bring about the restoration of God's original intention, when Christ returns to establish His eternal kingdom. What a wonderful day that will be, when we once again look to our Lord as our sole source of governance!

Gospel Thread - NT:

6 He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 7 'The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.'

Luke 24:6-7 (NIV)

Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection are the balance point in the history of civilization, and the pillar of God's plan of man's redemption from sin.

Gospel Thread - Psalms/Proverbs:

Fools mock at making amends for sin, but goodwill is found among the upright.

Proverbs 14:9 (NIV)

True repentance and godly sorrow bring about not only a desire to flee from sin, but also a desire to righting the wrongs of our past sin.

The One Year Bible Blog´s comments for today.

OYB February 20

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Today´s reading:
OT: Leviticus 9:7-24, Leviticus 10
NT: Mark 4:26-41, Mark 5:1-20
Ps: Psalm 38
Pr: Proverbs 10:6-7

Gospel Thread - Psalms/Proverbs:

37 Consider the blameless, observe the upright; there is a future for the man of peace.
38 But all sinners will be destroyed; the future of the wicked will be cut off.
39 The salvation of the righteous comes from the LORD; he is their stronghold in time of trouble.

Psalm 38:37-39 (NIV)

Today I will just leave you with these three great verses from today's Psalms reading.

The One Year Bible Blog´s comments for today.

OYB February 19

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Today´s reading:
OT: Leviticus 7:28-38, Leviticus 8, Leviticus 9:1-6
NT: Mark 3:31-35, Mark 4:1-25
Ps: Psalm 37:12-29
Pr: Proverbs 10:5

Gospel Thread - OT:

Today's reading finishes up instructions on the levitical sacrifices and offerings, and also the anointing of the tabernacle implements and the priests, all previously discussed.

Gospel Thread - NT:

11 He told them, "The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables 12 so that, " 'they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!' "

Mark 4:11-12 (NIV)

According to the NIV footnotes, this fulfills Isaiah 6:9-10.

Gospel Thread - Psalms/Proverbs:

Turn from evil and do good; then you will dwell in the land forever.

Psalm 37:27 (NIV)

God's call to man has always been to repent - to turn from evil and to do good - so that man's relationship with God might be restored, and so that God might be able to bestow His blessings upon man.

The One Year Bible Blog´s comments for today.

OYB February 18

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Today´s reading:
OT: Leviticus 6, Leviticus 7:1-27
NT: Mark 3:7-30
Ps: Psalm 37:1-11
Pr: Proverbs 10:3-4

Gospel Thread - OT:

Today's reading continues the explanation of the levitical sacrifices and offerings, previously discussed.

Gospel Thread - NT:

Whenever the evil spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, "You are the Son of God."

Mark 3:11 (NIV)

Even the demons knew the truth of Jesus' identity. They recognized that He was God, but they did not understand that He was the Messiah who was to come. They recognized His divinity, but they did not understand His plan.

Gospel Thread - Psalms/Proverbs:

5 Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this:
6 He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.

Psalm 37:5-6 (NIV)

"Commit your way to the Lord" and "trust in him" are another way of saying, "accept as Lord and Savior" - it is through these two that one is saved, and it is through these two that God imparts righteousness to the believer.

The One Year Bible Blog´s comments for today.

OYB February 17

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Today´s reading:
OT: Leviticus 4-5
NT: Mark 2:13-28, Mark 3:1-6
Ps: Psalm 36
Pr: Proverbs 10:1-2

Gospel Thread - OT:

If a member of the community sins unintentionally and does what is forbidden in any of the LORD's commands, he is guilty.

Leviticus 4:27 (NIV)

Ignorance is not a legitimate defense; sin is sin. God gave man His Law not to give new definitions for sin but rather to reveal and expose the sin that already existed. Rather than viewing the Law as an imposition, we should recognize that the Law was a great gift from God to man (see Romans 7:7-13). Man is guilty of the sin he commits, whether or not he does so with the knowledge that his actions are sinful. God holds man accountable for the sin he has committed. Therefore, God showed great love and grace to man, that He would give such a clear explanation of that which is sinful.

Gospel Thread - NT:

And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, he pours new wine into new wineskins.

Mark 2:22 (NIV)

Jesus is answering the Pharisees' challenge of His disciples' failure to observe rabbinical fasting requirements, and is using a practical example to explain his point.

As part of the fermentation process of winemaking, yeast feeds on sugar from the grapes, converting the sugar into alcohol and producing carbon dioxide gas as a by-product. In biblical times, new (unfermented) wine was placed into a wineskin and allowed to ferment. Fermenting the new wine in a closed vessel such as the wineskin would prevent the by-product carbon dioxide gas from escaping, thus causing the wineskin to expand. Therefore, placing unfermented (new) wine into a wineskin that had already been used to ferment wine would result in the (old) wineskin, which had already been expanded, to burst when the new wine fermented.

Jesus' point was that the gospel/new covenant could not be contained within the confines of rabbinical law and tradition. This analogy could be extrapolated in many ways, but I will leave the explanation as it is.

Gospel Thread - Psalms/Proverbs:

For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light

Psalm 36:9 (NIV)

Jesus is our source of both life and light. He is our fountain of life, and he is our light.

The One Year Bible Blog´s comments for today. Note the explanation of how the location of disposal of burnt offerings foreshadows Christ's crucifixion outside of Jerusalem.