Bible Reading Update #1

Hello there!  It’s sure been awhile since I last posted!  Recently, God led me to begin a summer Bible reading plan to encourage others to read their Bibles each day.  I send out weekly update emails as a way to keep in touch with those involved and encourage them.  Here is the first update from June 1-7.  If any of you would like to join the Bible reading group, or would like more info about it, please let me know!

Congratulations!!
You have completed the first week of our Bible reading plan!  I hope you have all been encouraged through reading Matthew this week.  I certainly have!  I found myself highlighting several new verses this week that have never stood out to me before.  I trust that each of you has learned at least one new thing this week as well.  I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Throughout this next week, please send any key verses you read, and insights or questions you have, so I may send them out anonymously in a weekly email, such as this!Here is some feedback that I received this past week:

~ “In Matthew 2, I noticed that, at least four times, something was done to fulfill a prophecy.  For example, it was necessary for Joseph, Mary, and Jesus to flee to Egypt after Jesus’ birth not only because Herod was trying to kill Jesus, but also because it is prophesied in Hosea 11.  It just shows that God perfectly planned each incident in the Bible.”

~ Matthew 2: “When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy…they saw the young child…and fell down and worshiped Him” (Mt. 2:10-11).  I asked, “How am I worshiping Him?”  “Do I fall down and worship my Lord as I ought, with the right heart, with love, reverence, and awe, with thanksgiving and praise?” “Do I rejoice with exceedingly great joy before Jesus?”

~ Matthew 2: “And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him” (Mt. 2:11).  I asked myself, “What gifts to I present to my Lord?”  “What gifts should I be presenting to Him?”  Here are a few gifts that Scripture says I should give:  thanks (1 Thes. 5:18); glory to God (Ps. 115:1); my body as a living sacrifice (Rom 12:1); love (1 Cor. 13:2); prayer(2 Cor. 1:11); ministering to the saints (2 Cor. 8:4); a good account (1 Pet. 4:5), a reason for the hope in me (1 Pet.3:15); a heeding to His Word (2 Tim. 4:8).  And how should I be giving?  Cheerfully and bountifully (2 Cor. 9:6).  The revelation that stood out to me is that all of my giving is really from God.  It is by His grace and goodness that I can even give in the first place, for “every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights” (James 1:17).
~ “Matthew 3:10 stood out to me because it says, “The axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”  This is simply saying that one who does not produce good fruit  (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control) will suffer in Hell.  This is a scary statement but true nonetheless.
~ “Matthew 4 encouraged me as it shows how Jesus responded to Satan’s temptations.  Each time he was tempted, he immediately answered the tempter with Scripture.  What do we say when we are tempted?  Do we know enough Scripture to quote when we are in trouble or being tempted?”~ “Matthew 5:47 stood out to me.  It talks about not just loving or greeting our brothers (other Christians), It’s easy to only greet or show love to people who are like us.  Rather we should love even the worst of sinners, or tax collectors, as the passage says.”

~ “A verse that majorly stood out to me was Matthew 7:24.  In this verse Jesus says, “Therefore anyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on a rock.”  He goes on to explain how, when rains and wind come, the man whose foundation is built on the Rock (Jesus), will not be moved when rains and wind (temptation, struggles, fears, doubts, etc.) come.  I’ve heard that verse before, but it never jumped out to me that Jesus is the Rock that we should build our “house” upon.  We will never fall as long as our faith is built on the Rock.  Also, the beginning of verse 24 says, “anyone who hears ‘these words’ of mine…” I looked back through the chapter to find the “words” that it’s referring to.  I found six verses earlier in the chapter where Jesus specifically commands us to do something: “Do not judge” (verse 1-6),
“Do not give what is holy to dogs” (verse 6), “Ask, seek, and knock” (verse 7), “Treat others the way you want to be treated” (verse 12), “Enter through the narrow gate” (verse 13), and “Beware of false prophets” (verse 15).”

One of you also expressed to me the importance of praying before we read God’s word that He would open our eyes that we may see wonderful things from His word (Psalm 119:18). This is a great idea!   I also recommend reading your Bible in the morning before you begin your daily work. Otherwise, time will slip away and the day will be over before you realized you haven’t read your Bible yet.

I hope these insights were an encouragement to you!  May the Lord bless you as you seek Him in the coming week!

Praying for you,
Katey

 

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