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TAKE UP THE CHALLENGE

Jesus taught that all scripture testifies about him so that in him we might have life (John 5v39-40). King David taught that it is only by living according to God's word that we're kept on the right path (Psalm 119v9). What then could be better than reading the entire Bible? Click the menu to read about the program, choose a month or Bible book - or just work through the blog posts day by day.
Recent posts

(711) 13 December : Proverbs 31v16 / Zechariah 12-14 / Psalm 145v8-13

BEGIN WITH PRAYER "Lord open my eyes and my heart."

Read slowly so that you take in. And as you do, turn your heart to God, thanking him for the good you discover and praying his will home for you, your family, your church and the world.

Wisdom to chew on
The wife of nobel character...Proverbs 31:16
Understanding to grow in
It is comforting to know that in the end all wrongs will be righted, the humble exalted and the exalted humbled. Zechariah ends with a picture of the nations attacking Jerusalem again, just as Babylon had leading to the exile. But this time, God destroys the attackers. In that context we are told his people will then look on the Lord who they will have pierced, and by God's Spirit mourn over that with supplication. This was in some way fulfilled at Pentecost as Jews were "cut to the heart" to realise they had crucified their Messiah. But Revelation 1v7 sees further fulfilment when Christ returns in judgment and the whole world mourns. The p…

(710) 12 December : Proverbs 31v15 / Zechariah 10-11 / Psalm 145v1-7

BEGIN WITH PRAYER "Lord open my eyes and my heart."

Read slowly so that you take in. And as you do, turn your heart to God, thanking him for the good you discover and praying his will home for you, your family, your church and the world.

Wisdom to chew on
The wife of nobel character...Proverbs 31:15
Understanding to grow in
The LORD is the only God. That's the point that begins chapter 10. So prophets speaking for other gods must by lying. Because of this God’s anger burns against their leaders who should be their shepherds. Yet he promises to care for his flock (Judah) himself, making them strong and dignified, and restoring them with Joseph and the Ephraimites (those from the northern kingdom who were exiled), and bringing Egypt and Assyria down. This was partially fulfilled in the following years, but will be fully only in the new creation where in Christ all faithful Israelites will be raised from death and united in these sort of numbers, with their enemies sufferi…

(709) 11 December : Proverbs 31v14 / Zechariah 8-9 / Psalm 144v9-15

BEGIN WITH PRAYER "Lord open my eyes and my heart."

Read slowly so that you take in. And as you do, turn your heart to God, thanking him for the good you discover and praying his will home for you, your family, your church and the world.

Wisdom to chew on
The wife of nobel character...Proverbs 31:14
Understanding to grow in
It's a glorious picture of restoration: Jerusalem now faithful, in a flourishing land, where children and the elderly dwell in peace and security. And it is given as a promise to motivate the rebuilding of the temple, and an encouragement to live the godly life. Likewise, grace motivates us. What God has promised to give, moves us to honour him in thankfulness and a sense of priveledge being included in his purposes. The great goal in Zechariah 8, however, is Israel finally fulfilling their calling of being a light to the Gentiles, as ten from the nations ask one Jew out of a desire to know the LORD they know. One cannot but think of how the apostles…

(708) 10 December : Proverbs 31v13 / Zechariah 4-7 / Psalm 144v5-8

BEGIN WITH PRAYER "Lord open my eyes and my heart."

Read slowly so that you take in. And as you do, turn your heart to God, thanking him for the good you discover and praying his will home for you, your family, your church and the world.

Wisdom to chew on
The wife of nobel character...Proverbs 31:13
Understanding to grow in
The first vision probably portrays Zerubbabel and Joshua as the two olive trees, providing oil for the lampstand in the sense that their work in leading the rebuilding of the temple will lead to the presence of God again being with his people and shining as a light in the darkness of the world. This is followed by two visions stressing the sin of the people, likening them to the Babylonians, and then one of four chariots signifiying God's Spirit at work throughout the world because of God's universal sovereignty. The Spirit at "rest" in the north implies he is with the exiles still in Babylon. The next vision sees Joshua, the High Pries…

(707) 9 December : Proverbs 31v12 / Zechariah 1-3 / Psalm 144v1-4

BEGIN WITH PRAYER "Lord open my eyes and my heart."

Read slowly so that you take in. And as you do, turn your heart to God, thanking him for the good you discover and praying his will home for you, your family, your church and the world.

Wisdom to chew on
The wife of nobel character...Proverbs 31:12
Understanding to grow in
It's a principle that remains: If we return to the Lord when we sin, he will return to us. And the Jews who heard Zechariah did - unlike their ancestors. What follows are visions declaring God's sovereignty over all nations and the judgments he will therefore bring on them for how they treated his people. There is also a promise of Jerusalem rebuilt and God dwelling there, ensuring its safety - and so the lack of need for walls. The surprise is that we are told those from the nations will there join the Jews as the people of God - as is the case when Jew and Gentile come to faith in Christ. What follows explains how this is possible. As the High …

(704) 6 December : Proverbs 31v11 / Haggai 1-2 / Psalm 143v7-12

BEGIN WITH PRAYER "Lord open my eyes and my heart."

Read slowly so that you take in. And as you do, turn your heart to God, thanking him for the good you discover and praying his will home for you, your family, your church and the world.

Wisdom to chew on
The wife of nobel character...Proverbs 31:11
Understanding to grow in
The first wave of exiles returned from Babylon in 538BC. God to them spoke through Haggai and Zechariah to encourage them to rebuild the temple and renew their commitment to God under the leadership of the governor - Zerubbabel, and High Priest - Joshua. Haggai begins with a rebuke that they were prioritising the building of their own homes over building God's. And because of the lack of devotion that displayed, God was witholding his blessing so that they experienced a drought. It's a challenge to each of us in our materialistic age, to give our time, money and effort to building the church as the spiritual dwelling place of God, rather than to …

(703) 5 December : Proverbs 31v10 / Nehemiah 13 / Psalm 143v1-6

BEGIN WITH PRAYER "Lord open my eyes and my heart."

Read slowly so that you take in. And as you do, turn your heart to God, thanking him for the good you discover and praying his will home for you, your family, your church and the world.

Wisdom to chew on
Proverbs 31:10
Understanding to grow in
Through the prophets, God had promised to restore his people to Jerusalem and renew their hearts so that they could serve him faithfully (Ezek 36v24-36). But it is evident this was only partially fulfilled. The people's hearts remained the same. The very things they had committed to do they failed to do: The tithes were not being distributed properly, with the storage for offerings compromised. The Sabbath wasn't being kept. And the people were intermarrying with non-Jews. All this defiled the people and put them (yet again) in danger of God's wrath. Nehemiah set an example of a godly reformer, by seeking to put things right for the Lord's sake. But the fact was, that …

(702) 4 December : Proverbs 31v9 / Nehemiah 11-12 / Psalm 142v5-7

BEGIN WITH PRAYER "Lord open my eyes and my heart."

Read slowly so that you take in. And as you do, turn your heart to God, thanking him for the good you discover and praying his will home for you, your family, your church and the world.

Wisdom to chew on
Proverbs 31:9
Understanding to grow in
It's a challenge to be ready to move house in order to establish good churches. People were ready to move to Jerusalem to ensure God's city was well established. But the leaders set an example by moving there first. This was so commendible, that the names of those who moved are listed before any others. The completion of the rebuilding of the walls was then celebrated with the people purified, two large choirs giving thanks, and a commitment to provide for the musicians and the work of the temple. Joy has always marked the service of the people of God. The existence of the church, and the building up of the church are both reasons to celebrate. Indeed, don't even the angels…