Wednesday, January 26, 2022

60IN60 Day 24 - Wed Jan 26

It's Day 24 and we're in Revelation 6.

As you read, listen for where God wants to speak to you. What jumps out to you? What speaks to situations you're dealing with right now? 

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verse 15 - This is going to be a horrible time. Not all that the future holds is wonderful.

Help:
- Verses 1-17 - This chapter tells of a horrible time coming in the future when for a while life on earth will be horrific. It's part of end times.
- Verse 9 - Not like hiding under a table, but obviously a huge area with an altar that's high and lifted up, with these saints standing there asking about how soon justice was coming.
- Verse 13 - "stars. . . fell" - The word "stars" here isn't defined the way that modern science does. It just means heavenly bodies. The way we define it today, the sun is the nearest "star" and that's obviously not what's in mind here.
- Verse 14 - This language speaks of earth-shattering, cataclysmic events.

If you want to read the chapter online, here's a link.

If you have a question or comment, email me at butcher@ymail.com.

Your Questions and Comments:
- "In our 60 in 60 passage today from Revelation chapter 5, both in verses 3 and 13 states who is worthy of opening the seven seals and we know that Jesus is the one to open the scroll.  But my question is in verse  But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it.  And also verse 13 also says: "Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them." Is this passage referring to those who are already punished in hell will be able to witness the opening of the scroll, or is this referencing something else?" - Yes, I think this is reference to those in hell. It could also be a reference more generally to those who have died. The larger point he is making with this language is that there is no one in the entire universe who is worthy but Jesus.
- (On Rev. 4) "Reading Rev. 4 and speaking of the 7 spirits of God as outlined in Isaiah, are the 7 spirits only for the 24 elders or can be given by the Holy Spirit to any believer?" - That reference is notoriously obscure, so I am reluctant to speculate much about what is meant there.
- "I wonder who the 24 elders are, perhaps 12 of them are the 12 apostles. Is it wrong to wonder such things or should I be reading the bible just for God to speak to me?"Many think the 24 are 12 representing the 12 tribes of Israel and then the 12 apostles, but since the Bible doesn't explicitly identify them we can't be definitive on that. Secondly, there's nothing wrong with wondering about those questions. I do it all the time! I've joked before that you don't want to be behind me in line to get into heaven because I've got a lot of unanswered questions!

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

60IN60 Day 23 - Tues Jan 25

It's Day 23 and we're in Revelation 5.

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verse 8 - It's an interesting (perhaps mostly symbolic) detail that the prayers of the saints create a sweet smell in the presence of God. It's encouraging to know that He sees our conversation with Him in that positive a way.

Help:
- Verse 5 - "Lion," "root" - Both of these are symbolic titles for Jesus, arising from the Old Testament. The lion imagery has to do with Him as a warrior and conqueror; the root has to do with Him being of the line of David.
- Verse 6 - "Lamb" - Another title, having to do with Jesus' willingness to sacrifice Himself, along the lines of a way a lamb was sacrificed for the sins of the people in the Old Testament sacrificial system.
- Verse 9 - "with your blood" - Meaning that our forgiveness comes through the sacrifice of His blood.
- Verse 14 - "fell down" - Meaning to bow down in worship, not to trip.

If you want to read the chapter online, here's a link.

If you have a question or comment, email me at butcher@ymail.com.

Monday, January 24, 2022

60IN60 Day 22 - Mon Jan 24

It's Day 22 and we're in Revelation 4.

We're going to be looking at Revelation for a few days. Revelation is a tough book with lots of challenging imagery, but it's also an important part of the Word as it points toward our future.

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verse 10 - "crowns" - When the Bible says in other places that we are given crowns as one of the rewards for our faithfulness and fruitfulness in this life, the main point of having a crown is to have something valuable to lay at Jesus' feet as an offering.

Help:
- Verses 6-8 - This is some wild imagery, isn't it? Some people take these descriptions literally; others consider the things mentioned here to be symbolic of things about these creatures.

If you want to read the chapter online, here's a link.

If you have a question or comment, email me at butcher@ymail.com.

Sunday, January 23, 2022

60IN60 Day 21 - Sun Jan 23

It's Day 21 and we're in Psalm 57.

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verse 4 - Sometimes we know that we're surrounded by those who mean us harm. In that situation, it's good to know that the Lord has our back.

If you want to read the chapter online, here's a link.

If you have a question or comment, email me at butcher@ymail.com.

Saturday, January 22, 2022

60IN60 Day 20 - Sat Jan 22

It's Day 20 and we're in Psalm 56.

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verse 3 - Easier said than done.

Help:
- Verse 8 - It's a nice thought to know that God is aware of each tear that we cry.

If you want to read the chapter online, here's a link.

If you have a question or comment, email me at butcher@ymail.com.

Friday, January 21, 2022

60IN60 Day 19 - Fri Jan 21

It's Day 19 and we're in Acts 22.

An encouragement as you read the Bible today: in Acts 17:11, it tells of some Christians in Berea who "received the Word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether [what we taught was Biblical]." Let's be like them. 

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verses 10, 18, 21 - The Lord leads where He wants to and it's usually not the way that we would choose if we were given our preference. But He knows better than we do.

Help:
- Verse 23 - "flinging dust in the air" - Apparently this was a way back then to show anger.

If you want to read the chapter online, here's a link.

If you have a question or comment, email me at butcher@ymail.com.

Thursday, January 20, 2022

60IN60 Day 18 - Thurs Jan 20

It's Day 18 and we're in Acts 21.

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verse 13 - It's not clear here whether Paul is certain that this is God's will for his life or if it's just that he has decided to do this and once his mind is made up he's not going to change. Sometimes our stubbornness gets the best of us.

Help:
- Verses 4, 11-13 - As stated above, it doesn't appear that it was necessarily God's will for Paul to go to Jerusalem. At the very least, the Spirit makes it clear to him that there is great sacrifice if he does. I'm not sure if his decision to go anyway is bravery or stubbornness.
- Verse 8 - "Seven" - It's not clear who exactly the "Seven" were.
- Verses 23-26 - This was a Jewish way of handling it.

If you want to read the chapter online, here's a link.

If you have a question or comment, email me at butcher@ymail.com.

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

60IN60 Day 17 - Wed Jan 19

It's Day 17 and we're in Acts 20.

We have lots of excuses for why we don't read the Bible: "I'm too busy," "I don't know where to start," "I tried it once and got confused," "I just never got around to it." I hope "60IN60" helps you to be able to overcome those excuses and experience a rewarding time in the Word. 

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verse 1 - Paul has to leave the area (as he does in other places too) simply for speaking about what is true. When the truth doesn't fit what we want to hear, the reaction can be radical.

Help:
- Verse 9 - This is a serious situation, of course, but since he's raised from the dead, we can joke that you're not the only one who has ever been bored to death by a sermon. ;-)
- Verse 26 - He doesn't mean that someone has accused him of murder or anything like that. He's referring to the Biblical idea that a pastor is responsible for sharing the truth with his people. If he doesn't, he is guilty before God for that transgression. See especially Ezekiel 34.

If you want to read the chapter online, here's a link.

If you have a question or comment, email me at butcher@ymail.com.

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

60IN60 Day 16 - Tues Jan 18

It's Day 16 and we're in Acts 19.

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verses 24-28 - So often (as here) what we consider "truth" is defined by our wallets.

Help:
- Verses 1-7 - This is an unusual situation that occurred because of the "in-between" nature of the time described in Acts. It's not something that would happen today.
- Verses 9, 23 - "the Way" - This was a main way that Christians referred to themselves back then. I really don't know why we don't use it more today - it's a good description.
- Verse 10 - This seems to mean that because Ephesus was a major hub for that area many people coming through there heard Paul and then took the message back to their hometowns, thus spreading the gospel.

If you want to read the chapter online, here's a link.

If you have a question or comment, email me at butcher@ymail.com.

Monday, January 17, 2022

60IN60 Day 15 - Mon Jan 17

It's Day 15 and we're in Acts 18.

One thing that's important as we read daily: being eager to hear Him speak to you. Go into your reading expectant that God desires to share something with you. 

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verse 26 - I appreciate how teachable Apollos is here. He was already seeing results. It would have been easy for him to be arrogant and presume that he knew all he needed to know. What can I learn from those around me?

Help:
- Verse 5 - "devoting himself completely" - That means that he was not tent-making. Tent-making was Paul's part-time job when it was necessary to make money to support himself during the missionary work. He is at a point here of being able to not have to do that part-time work.
- Verse 18 - It was fairly common back then for Jews to make such vows and the cutting off of one's hair at the conclusion of the vow was not unusual.

If you want to read the chapter online, here's a link.

If you have a question or comment, email me at butcher@ymail.com.

Sunday, January 16, 2022

60IN60 Day 14 - Sun Jan 16

It's Day 14 and we're in Acts 17.

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verse 16 - Does it bother me that American culture is full of idols (money, houses, power, etc.) or have I made my peace with it?

If you want to read the chapter online, here's a link.

If you have a question or comment, email me at butcher@ymail.com.

Saturday, January 15, 2022

60IN60 Day 13 - Sat Jan 15

It's Day 13 and we're in 2 Thessalonians 3.

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verse 13 - It can be easy to get tired of trying to pursue the right things in our lives. We can get lazy or sidetracked by sin. We need to persevere in doing what is right.

If you want to read the chapter online, here's a link.

If you have a question or comment, email me at butcher@ymail.com.

Friday, January 14, 2022

60IN60 Day 12 - Fri Jan 14

It's Day 12 and we're in 2 Thessalonians 2.

One thing that can impede God speaking to you is the presence of unconfessed sin in your life. Are you coming to the Word today with a clean heart or are you holding things back from God? 

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verse 15 - A significant part of our job is to simply hold onto what we've been entrusted with.

Help:
- Verse 3 - "man of lawlessness" - Many presume the reference here is to the Anti-Christ.
- Verses 6-7 - The allusions Paul makes here are ones that we're uncertain about. We don't know for sure what is "holding back" these things from happening.
- Verse 8 - "breath of his mouth" - Clearly a reference to the words that He speaks.
- Verse 11 - Why would God send them a powerful delusion? Most likely because of the lack of faith that referenced in verse 10.

If you want to read the chapter online, here's a link.

If you have a question or comment, email me at butcher@ymail.com.

Thursday, January 13, 2022

60IN60 Day 11 - Thurs Jan 13

It's Day 11 and we're in 2 Thessalonians 1.

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verse 11-12 - The second half of verse 11 is a great thing to pray. Let me see that kind of power from God in my life.

Help:
- Verse 5 - It is expected that saints (i.e. Christians) would sometimes suffer for their faith.

If you want to read the chapter online, here's a link.

If you have a question or comment, email me at butcher@ymail.com.

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

60IN60 Day 10 - Wed Jan 12

It's Day 10 and we're in Numbers 14.

Remember that your daily reading in the Bible isn't about gaining information - it's about changing your life to be more like Christ. That means that you need to take action on what God speaks to you about. 

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verse 1 - Fear is contagious.

If you want to read the chapter online, here's a link.

If you have a question or comment, email me at butcher@ymail.com.

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

60IN60 Day 9 - Tues Jan 11

It's Day 9 and we're in Numbers 13.

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verses 31, 33 - It's so easy to let our fears rule our hearts. They knew God had promised to give them the land, but their fears overwhelmed their faith.

If you want to read the chapter online, here's a link.

If you have a question or comment, email me at butcher@ymail.com.

Monday, January 10, 2022

60IN60 Day 8 - Mon Jan 10

It's Day 8 and we're in Numbers 12.

If you struggle with the feeling that you need to hurry through the reading, it can be helpful to lay aside a certain length of time for the reading. "I'm going to spend the next ten minutes reading the Bible. If I get done early, I'll go back and re-read it. If I don't get it done, that's fine. Now I can relax and not try to hurry through so I can get on with the other things I need to get done today. I'm going to be here for ten minutes." 

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verse 2 - Jealousy of a leader who is seeing God move through him is pretty common. We always need to be careful about impugning God's servant.

Help:
- Verses 1, 10 - There is an irony in the crime and punishment. Moses married a Cushite: i.e. a black woman. The punishment is leprosy: i.e. white skin.  God is pointing out their racism.

If you want to read the chapter online, here's a link.

If you have a question or comment, email me at butcher@ymail.com.

Sunday, January 9, 2022

60IN60 Day 7 - Sun Jan 9

It's Day 7 and we're in Matthew 21.

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verse 12 - I like this image of Jesus: willing to take a stand, fearless, disruptive, bold, tough.

If you want to read the chapter online, here's a link.

If you have a question or comment, email me at butcher@ymail.com.

Saturday, January 8, 2022

60IN60 Day 6 - Sat Jan 8

It's Day 6 and we're in Matthew 20.

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verses 30-31 - Don't listen to the voices telling you to keep quiet. Reach out, call out to God.

Help:
- Verses 1-16 - This is a hard parable. There are two main translations of it: (1) it's about heaven and the point is that some are believers for most of their lives while others believe just before death but both receive the reward of heaven; (2) it's about the Gentiles and the point is that even though the Jews have a long-standing relationship with God, He has the right to invite others ("late-comers") in as well. I personally prefer the first option.
- Verse 22 - They will in fact die for God.

If you want to read the chapter online, here's a link.

If you have a question or comment, email me at butcher@ymail.com.

Friday, January 7, 2022

60IN60 Day 5 - Fri Jan 7

It's Day 5 and we're in Matthew 19.

If it's hard to understand what you're reading in the Bible, make sure you have a translation that's a good fit for you. Reading the King James (a great historic translation) can be particularly difficult because of the antiquated language. Among the good options available today: New International Version (good all-around translation), English Standard Version (good all-around translation), New American Standard (a more literal translation, closer to the original manuscripts), and New Living Translation (a translation that focuses on readability and understandability). 

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verse 29 - God desires to bless those who passionately live for Him.

Help:
- Verse 17 - Those asking the question didn't see Jesus as God, so Jesus just gives them a little reminder here that only God is good, not just some teacher you're asking questions to.
- Verses 23-26 - They believed that wealth was a sign of God's blessing and approval, so it surprises them that Jesus says that it's hard for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Wealth makes it hard to come to God because we're more likely to trust in our wealth and our resources rather than realizing we are helpless and need God.
- Verse 29 - This is not saying we'll be rich in money in this life, just that God will bless us (in a whole host of ways).

If you want to read the chapter online, here's a link.

If you have a question or comment, email me at butcher@ymail.com.

Thursday, January 6, 2022

60IN60 Day 4 - Thurs Jan 6

It's Day 4 and we're in Matthew 18.

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verse 4 - We don't have to do self-promotion or trying to grab as much credit as possible. Just trust that He uses those who humbly serve.

Help:
- Verses 8-9 - The point here is not to mutilate ourselves. Even if I removed my eye, the fact that I have the image in my head would mean that I could still sin. The point He is making is the urgency of it: do what it takes to get sin out of your life! If getting rid of your foot would help, it'd be better to be without a foot than to be in sin.
- Verse 10 - This is one of the two verses that hint at the idea of guardian angels.
- Verses 15-17 - This is how we should deal with such issues. Not talking behind each other's backs, but going to each other and handling it.

If you want to read the chapter online, here's a link.

If you have a question or comment, email me at butcher@ymail.com.

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

60IN60 Day 3 - Wed Jan 5

It's Day 3 and we're in Matthew 17.

Sometimes we only want to hear words of comfort from God, but we're reminded in Hebrews 4:12 that the Bible is "sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit." It's great when we get an encouraging word, but we need to be convicted too. 

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verse 20 - He doesn't even require massive faith - we just have to have a little faith.

If you want to read the chapter online, here's a link.

If you have a question or comment, email me at butcher@ymail.com.

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

60IN60 Day 2 - Tues Jan 4

It's Day 2 and we're in Matthew 16.

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verses 9-10 - Jesus had to do the same lesson over and over before the truth of it began to sink into the disciples' heads and hearts. How many times does it take me to learn a lesson?

Help:
- Verse 4 - The "sign of Jonah" was a sign of resurrection. Jonah was in the belly of the whale for the three days and then came back; Jesus will be in the "belly of the earth" for three days and then come back.
- Verse 24 - This means that we have to be willing to obey even when it doesn't fit what we want to do. It means that we have to be willing to sacrifice for our faith. It means we must actually live out Jesus' teaching.
- Verse 25 - Abandoning ourselves to Jesus' way will lead to deeper, fuller, richer life; holding onto what we want to do will lead to losing what matters most.

If you want to read the chapter online, here's a link.

If you have a question or comment, email me at butcher@ymail.com.

Monday, January 3, 2022

60IN60 Day 1 - Mon Jan 3

It's Day 1 and we're in Matthew 15.

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verse 14 - It doesn't say to argue with them endlessly to try to prove you're right. It says to leave the blind guides alone.

Help:

- Verse 3 - Jesus is not speaking here of the Mosaic Law, but rather the traditions they'd added to it.
- Verse 24 - Why would He say this? While on this earth, Jesus had a very specific mission. There were two reasons for this: (a) He had to give the Jewish people an opportunity to receive Him as Messiah; (b) He could not be all things to all people - reaching out to the Jewish people was a sufficiently big mission for His time.

If you want to read the chapter online, here's a link.

If you have a question or comment, email me at butcher@ymail.com.

Sunday, January 2, 2022