Thursday, May 26, 2022

60IN60 Day 25 - Thurs May 26

It's Day 25 and we're in Jonah 1.

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verse 3 - Why did Jonah run away?  Because the Ninevites were enemies of Israel and he didn't want to go preach to them and give them the chance for mercy.  It's sobering to know that God loves everyone - even my enemies.

Help:
- Verse 2 - "come up before me" - That means that the accumulated weight of their sin had reached a place where it demanded action.  It wasn't that God wasn't paying attention before that or was unaware before that.
- Verse 5 - "asleep" - This could be because he's so exhausted because of the stress of the event or it could be that he is at peace about running away from God and finds sleep easy.
- Verse 7 - "lots" - God obviously doesn't always influence the outcome of such things, but in this situation, He spoke to the sailors through something they could understand.
- Verses 8-10 - They believed in provincial gods - gods that had a limited scope of power.  When they heard Jonah say that his God was the God of the sea, they knew why the storm had happened.

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, May 25, 2022

60IN60 Day 24 - Wed May 25

It's Day 24 and we're in Genesis 9.

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Nothing jumped out to me again today.

Help:
- Verse 21 - And this was the good guy!
- Verses 24-27 - Two important things to remember: 1. All that Noah does isn't approved by God.  We see throughout Genesis example after example of the person of God doing things that are less righteous than you'd want to see.  This is an example.  What Noah does is immature and wrong.  2. This passage has been twisted down through the centuries by racist pastors to say that black people are cursed and deserve the slavery they were enduring at that point.  That's simply manipulating the text to make it say something that it absolutely does not say.

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, May 24, 2022

60IN60 Day 23 - Tues May 24

It's Day 23 and we're in Genesis 8.

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Nothing jumped out to me today.

Help:
- Verse 1 - "remembered" - This doesn't mean that God had forgotten about them like we might forget and leave the iron on when we leave the house.  It's Old Testament language for the fact that the time had come for God to act again.
- Verses 4-5 - My presumption is that the verse 5 references to the "tops of the mountains" means the tops of all the mountains, since there is a verse 4 reference to one mountain being revealed.  I take it mean that the water had receded sufficiently that all the mountains (and not just the tallest ones) were now visible.

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, May 23, 2022

60IN60 Day 22 - Mon May 23

It's Day 22 and we're in Genesis 7.

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verse 13 - I wonder if his sons and daughter-in-laws believed or if only Noah did?

Help:
- Verse 2 - The additional animals were for sacrifice.
- Verse 6 - The ages were much longer back then.  There comes a point in Genesis where the evil is sufficiently great that God shortens lifespans.  It sounds impossible, but it's been interesting in recent years to read about discoveries within human DNA that seem to point to the ability to lengthen or shorten human life simply by tweaking the DNA.

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, May 22, 2022

60IN60 Day 21 - Sun May 22

It's Day 21 and we're in Genesis 6.

Note that we skipped chapter 5.  It's mostly genealogical information.

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Nothing really jumped out to me.  Genesis has been a struggle for me in that way.

Help:
- Verses 1-4 - The nature of the Nephilim is fairly obscure.  Some take it to be a reference to angels in human form; others take it to be a group of particularly strong and large people.

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, May 21, 2022

60IN60 Day 20 - Sat May 21

It's Day 20 and we're in Genesis 4.

Please note that tomorrow we will be jumping to Genesis 6, skipping chapter 5.  That's because chapter 5 is mostly genealogical information.

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Nothing really jumped out to me today.

Help:
- Verses 4-5 - We are told in Hebrews 11:4 that the difference was not what was brought for the offering, but the heart of each one as they offered their offering.
- Verses 10-12 - Why no death penalty for him?  I don't know - we're not told.
- Verses 23-24 - The main point of this obscure poem seems to be that violence was increasing on the earth (if it use to be sevenfold vengeance, now it was seventy-seven).

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, May 20, 2022

60IN60 Day 19 - Fri May 20

It's Day 19 and we're in Genesis 3.

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verse 16 - I think it's important to note that these things are part of the curse, not the way things originally were.

Help:
- Verse 1 - The presumption is that Satan was speaking through the serpent.  Passages like Revelation 12:9 and Revelation 20:2 lead toward that.
- Verse 9 - It's not that God didn't know where they were - He's simply calling them out.
- Verse 11 - They were in a state of innocence before the Fall.

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, May 19, 2022

60IN60 Day 18 - Thurs May 19

It's Day 18 and we're in Genesis 2.

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Nothing jumped out to me today.  That's ok - there will be days like that.

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, May 18, 2022

60IN60 Day 17 - Wed May 18

It's Day 17 and we're in Genesis 1.

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Nothing jumped out to me today.  That's ok.  There are times like that.

Help:
- Verses 1-2 - Many believe that there is a time gap between verse 1 and verse 2.  That is, way back in the beginning God created everything.  Then, as we pick up the story of the creation of humanity, the earth was formless and void (verse 2).  That would allow for things like the dinosaurs.

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, May 17, 2022

60IN60 Day 16 - Tues May 17

It's Day 16 and we're in Philippians 4.

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verse 19 - I've certainly seen Him do that for me in recent weeks!

Help:
- Verse 4 - We don't have to rejoice for everything, but we are supposed to find reasons to be thankful and joyful even when we're struggling.
- Verses 6-7 - These are great verses to deal with worry.
- Verse 17 - Paul wasn't desperate for their financial gift, but he did want them to have the opportunity to give and have that generosity credited to them by 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.

Monday, May 16, 2022

60IN60 Day 15 - Mon May 16

It's Day 15 and we're in Philippians 3.

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verse 12 - I have not arrived yet where I need to be spiritually.  I need to continue to press on.

Help:
- Verse 2 - He is referring here to teachers who were trying to direct believers back to keeping the Jewish customs.

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, May 15, 2022

60IN60 Day 14 - Sun May 15

It's Day 14 and we're in Philippians 2.

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verse 2 - As a pastor, it does bring joy to see your flock living out the truth.

Help:
- Verse 17 - "poured out as a drink offering" - He means "even if I die in serving you."
- Verse 30 - "deficient in your service to me" - He wasn't criticizing them, but noting that Epaphroditus had been able to do tasks for Paul that the Philippians were not able to help him with.

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, May 14, 2022

60IN60 Day 13 - Sat May 14

It's Day 13 and we're in Philippians 1.

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verse 6 - He's continually working to finish what He's started.  He's not going to leave us stuck beside the road halfway home.

Help:
- Verses 12-14 - It's not that Paul is glad to be imprisoned, but he can see where God is moving in that.
- Verses 15-18 - Some have good motives for their preaching; some don't.  Paul focuses on the fact that Christ is being preached and rejoices in that.
- Verse 21 - Living meant more opportunities to make a difference for Christ; dying meant going to be with Jesus, where things would be even better than here on earth.
- Verse 29 - Suffering is part of the deal in becoming a Christian.

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, May 13, 2022

60IN60 Day 12 - Fri May 13

It's Day 12 and we're in Proverbs 4.

Sometimes things get busy and you miss a day or two.  Don’t get discouraged and quit.  Just lay aside those readings you missed and jump in with today’s reading. 

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verse 7 - Do I prize wisdom that heavily?  Do I want to be that insightful?

Help:
- Verses 1-3 - This is true, of course, only if you have a wise father.

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, May 12, 2022

60IN60 Day 11 - Thurs May 12

It's Day 11 and we're in Proverbs 3.

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verse 5 - Our thoughts and conscience are not infallible.  God's truth is.

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, May 11, 2022

60IN60 Day 10 - Wed May 11

It's Day 10 and we're in Proverbs 2.

If you've got questions about your reading, I love answering those. Feel free to email me. Unless it's something personal, I'll usually anonymously share the question (and answer) in the following day's email so everyone can benefit from it. 

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verses 1-5 - Wisdom is accessible.  It's not something you're born with.  But you have to want 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.

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

60IN60 Day 9 - Tues May 10

It's Day 9 and we're in Proverbs 1.

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verse 23 - It's hard to hear those words that step on our toes, but we need them because they'll move us in the right direction.

Help:
- Verse 7 - This fear is not a cowering terror, but a respect for who God is and the power He has.

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, May 9, 2022

60IN60 Day 8 - Mon May 9

It's Day 8 and we're in Mark 8.

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verse 36 - This is one of my life verses.

Help:
- Verses 23-25 - Why did the miracle come in phases?  We don't know.  It gives me comfort to know, though, that not all miracles happen the same way.  Sometimes it's instantaneous and sometimes it's in phases.
- Verses 26, 30 - Jesus regularly tells people to not spread the word of the miracles He's done.  Why?  Two reasons: 1. He was trying to maintain a timetable for when things would happen as far as His crucifixion and didn't want to get ahead of that. 2. He knew that the interest that brought people out to see the miracles was generally a shallow faith that would be unlikely to bloom.
- Verse 34 - "deny himself" - This means that we have to be willing to put aside our desires and obey Christ's commands, believing that will take us to somewhere better.
- Verse 34 - "take up his cross" - This means that there will be sacrifice involved in this walk of faith.
- Verse 35 - "save, lose" - This means that when we cling to our hopes and desires, we end up losing out.  When we lay those aside and run after Jesus' commands, we will find real life.

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, May 8, 2022

60IN60 Day 7 - Sun May 8

It's Day 7 and we're in Mark 7.

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Nothing jumped out to me today.

Help:
- Verse 27 - This sounds harsh.  Jesus was focusing His mission during His earthly life on ministering to the Jews.  He was trying to stay focused on that mission.  Her overwhelming faith, though, pushes Him to make an exception.
- Verse 33 - Why did Jesus do it this way?  We don't know.  I find comfort in Jesus doing miracles different ways at different times.  It reminds me that God doesn't work the same way in every situation.

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, May 7, 2022

60IN60 Day 6 - Sat May 7

It's Day 6 and we're in Mark 6.

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verses 31, 46 - Time alone with God was essential for Jesus and it is for us as well.  Further, just having some down time to decompress is essential too.

Help:
- Verses 2-3 - We sometimes think that Jesus being the Son of God must have been obvious to everyone who ever saw Him, but obviously those from His hometown didn't have an expectation that He was going to do something extraordinary like this.
- Verse 3 - "brothers" and "sisters" - These would be half-brothers and half-sisters.  They were born to Mary and Joseph after Jesus was born.  Catholics believe they were Joseph's children from a previous marriage.
- Verse 5 - People's faith or lack of faith made a difference in what Jesus could do for them.

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, May 6, 2022

60IN60 Day 5 - Fri May 6

It's Day 5 and we're in Mark 5.

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verse 17 - The power of God sometimes creates fear rather than a desire to have more from God.

Help:
- Verse 10 - "out of the country" - That's another way to say that they didn't want to be sent into the abyss (Luke 8:31).
- Verse 39 - "asleep" - This doesn't mean that He thought the child was just taking a nap.  Saying someone is asleep when they are in fact dead is an idea that's used several places in the New Testament in emphasizing resurrection.  "They're not gone forever; I can bring them 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.

Thursday, May 5, 2022

60IN60 Day 4 - Thurs May 5

It's Day 4 and we're in Mark 4.

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Nothing really jumped out to me today.

Help:
- Verse 12 - This sounds like Jesus is deliberately trying to keep them from the truth.  In fact, the idea that's trying to be conveyed is that they don't want to know the truth.  We see this in the longer version of this in Matthew 13:15.  We also see in later in Mark 4 in verses 21-22 when Jesus follows up the explanation of this parable by saying that there is no point to putting a light under a basket.  I think the point the verse is trying to make is: I'm teaching in parables and that allows those who want to understand to access it while those who don't want the truth are left outside.
- Verses 13-20 - Only the final "seed" is a true believer.  Fruitfulness is a defining characteristic of a true Christian.
- Verses 24-25 - Verse 25 sounds a little unfair at first but what He's saying is: the person who wants the truth is going to get even more while the person who doesn't want the truth will lose his grasp on even the little that he once had.

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, May 4, 2022

60IN60 Day 3 - Wed May 4

It's Day 3 and we're in Mark 3.

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verses 2, 5-6 - Their spiritual blindness in missing the larger point is breathtaking.  Are there areas where I'm so stuck in my tradition that I miss what God is doing right in front of me?

Help:
- Verse 9 - I think a major reason He got in the boat was that people were continually coming up to touch Him in hope of a miracle.  He needed to teach them too and that helped Him be able to.  See verse 20.
- Verse 12 - As I've noted before, the main reason for Him saying things like this was, I think, maintaining the timetable He wanted.
- Verse 21 - This is a verse worthy of some pondering.  Rather than the fact that He was the Son of God being obvious to everyone who ever saw Him, His family is concerned that He's gone off the deep end.
- Verses 29-30 - The sin against the Holy Spirit is not one you can accidentally do or anything like that.  It's a deliberate choice to ignore God's leading and ascribe things of the Spirit to Satan.
- Verses 31-35 - While He still had a physical family, He's saying here that His spiritual family is His real family.

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, May 3, 2022

60IN60 Day 2 - Tues May 3

It's Day 2 and we're in Mark 2.

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verse 17 - We have to keep central in our view that this was His mission.  It's too easy to make our religion one that keeps us from the broken and "sick" rather than trying to draw them to God.

Help:
- Verse 5 - Why did Jesus do this first instead of physical healing?  One, it was the bigger deal; 2. He knew that it would provide Him a chance to confront the Pharisees.
- Verse 14 - He had met Levi before - He was not calling someone He'd just met for the first time.
- Verse 20 - Yes, that means you should be fasting.
- Verses 21-22 - This means that Jesus is coming to bring a new thing.  The new thing is the church, as opposed to just sticking with the Jewish nation.
- Verses 24-27 - The religious rules that the Pharisees had come up with made the Law the supreme thing and put burdens on people they couldn't maintain.  Jesus here reminds them that man is the higher thing, not the Sabbath.

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, May 2, 2022

60IN60 Day 1 - Mon May 2

It's Day 1 and we're in Mark 1.

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verse 35 - If it was important to Jesus to get away from everyone to have time in prayer, how much more do I need it?

Help:
- Verse 8 - "baptize you with the Holy Spirit" - That simply means that through Jesus we will receive the Holy Spirit for power in life.
- Verses 16-18 - Jesus had talked to them before.  This kind of makes it sound like He just walked up to someone He'd never met.
- Verse 24, 34, 44 - Why didn't Jesus want the demons or the healed people telling who He was?  The best answer I've heard is that He was trying to control the timetable and didn't want things to get too big and provoke the final confrontation with the Pharisees too early.  Additionally, He knew that faith that came from seeing miracles was often a shallow 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.

Sunday, May 1, 2022

60IN60 Day 56 - Sun May 1

It's Day 56 and we're in Nehemiah 5.

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verses 7-8, 10 - "Usury" is an Old Testament term for charging interest. This is condemned by Nehemiah as exploitative. It is a different context (a small town struggling to climb out of a mess), but it's still worth pondering that God is unhappy with them charging interest. And the interest was only 1% (verse 11). It really makes you wonder what God thinks of some of the things we do in banking.

Help:
- Verses 17-18 - Nehemiah would have had to tax the people to pay for all this stuff. Instead, he bore the cost himself.

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.