Friday, May 24, 2024

60IN60 Day 19 - Fri May 24

It's Day 19 and we're in Genesis 27.

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 20 - This happens pretty often - God's name gets invoked in a lie to make it fly.

Help:
- Verses 6-13 - This is very dysfunctional.
- Verses 33-36 - Although it was taken by deception, there was authority that God had granted to Isaac to speak the blessing and there was authority when he spoke it.  It's somewhat similar today to, for instance, the authority that is granted to a pastor to speak God's Word and that authority can be used for good or hypocrisy.
- Verse 46 - Rebekah is using this as a cover to get Jacob out of town before Esau kills him.

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 23, 2024

60IN60 Day 18 - Thurs May 23

It's Day 18 and we're in Genesis 26.

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verse 24 - It's interesting to me that Abraham's influence is lingering even after his death.

Help:
- Verse 7 - Yes, he just made the same stupid mistake that his father made twice.

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 22, 2024

60IN60 Day 17 - Wed May 22

It's Day 17 and we're in Genesis 25.

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 6 - The fact that Abraham had concubines is an uncomfortable truth.  It's one to wrestle with.

Help:
- Verse 6 - Given the larger life story of Abraham, we presume that these concubines were later in his life.
- Verse 7 - Back then people lived longer.
- Verse 21 - This is not to say that God's hand is usually the deciding factor in such things.  Given what we read in v. 26, this is an unusual situation with implications for what God is doing in bringing about Israel.  I believe that, normally, fertility issues are not specifically driven by the hand of God.
- Verse 22 - "If it is so" - She's saying, "If this is from God, then why the struggling within me?"
- Verse 28 - Remember that not everything the Bible describes is approved by God.  A lot of the behavior of the "heroes of the faith" is sinful.  Here, this idea of playing favorites among the children is a recipe for disaster, which is exactly what they get.
- Verses 31-34 - Esau was obviously someone who didn't think through the implications of his decisions.

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 21, 2024

60IN60 Day 16 - Tues May 21

It's Day 16 and we're in Genesis 24.

We'll be reading the stories of Isaac and Jacob from Genesis.

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verse 14 - God doesn't usually grant requests like that, but sometimes His mercy is unusually generous.

Help:
- Verse 2 - "place your hand under my thigh" - This was the equivalent of a handshake back then.  It seems odd to us, but then again if someone 600 years from now heard that we pressed the palms of our hands together and shook them up and down, they might think that weird too.
- Verses 21, 27, 38 - He was wondering whether this woman was of Abraham's house.  Yes, it seems odd to us to marry fairly close relatives, but it was common back then when tribes and towns were usually relatively small.
- Verse 51 - The family had a lot more say back then in arranging marriages.  This seems weird to us because we're used to romantic love being the only standard for marriage.  Before we judge their system too harshly, we should probably remember the divorce rate that our system has created.
- Verse 67 - That means he married her.

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 20, 2024

60IN60 Day 15 - Mon May 20

It's Day 15 and we're in 1 Corinthians 8.

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 9 - Don't use your freedom in Christ in a way that causes a brother or sister in Christ to stumble.

Help:
- Verse 1 - Food sacrificed to idols was a big issue back then.
- Verses 2-3 - If you think you know it all, you're not as smart as you think you are.
- Verses 4-5 - If food is sacrificed to an idol God, nothing has really happened with that food because that idol isn't real and can't affect the food.  There is only one alive God.
- Verse 7 - Some weaker Christians were bothered by the fact that the food had been sacrificed to the idol even though the idol isn't real.
- Verses 9-10 - Don't use your freedom in Christ in a way that trips up a fellow believer.  An example today: Biblically I have the freedom to drink wine if I want to but I don't because it might cause a weaker believer to stumble in seeing his preacher drinking.
- Verse 13 - He vows to avoid meat sacrificed to idols if it's going to hurt his brother in Christ.

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 19, 2024

60IN60 Day 14 - Sun May 19

It's Day 14 and we're in 1 Corinthians 7.

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

Help:
- Verses 1-5 - If we get married, we need to fulfill the sexual aspects of our commitment.
- Verse 7 - Paul was single and he argues that you can do more for the Lord without the obligations of a family.  He also recognizes that not everyone can do this.
- Verses 10-11 - This is a hard teaching.  It's important to read all the New Testament passages on divorce together in order to get a clear understanding of what's acceptable and what's not.
- Verse 14 - The unbelieving spouse is drawn closer to God through the presence of the believing partner.  Similarly, the children are raise with at least one Christian parent.
- Verses 27-34 - The basic point: life is short, the time till judgment is short, and we should treat the time as precious for serving the Lord.
- Verses 36-37 - This gives a lot more authority to the father in determining who to marry than they exercise today.  It was a common thing in that culture, but that's not to say that we are obligated to live that way.

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 18, 2024

60IN60 Day 13 - Sat May 18

It's Day 13 and we're in 1 Corinthians 6.

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verses 9-10 - It strikes me that out of this list of sins we would likely first note that homosexuals are listed, given our current political battles.  We're not nearly as likely to note that "covetous" are in there too, since that's a sin that almost all of us are committing.

Help:
- Verse 1, 4-6 - Paul teaches that we should not sue other Christians in public court.  Instead, the church should find a wise person within the congregation to decide the matter.  Sadly, I do not know of a single instance of this being obeyed.
- Verses 2-3 - We will be part of ruling with Christ.
- Verse 7 - There are bigger things that losing a little money.
- Verse 13 - The issue here was food sacrificed to idols.  Paul notes that both the food and our earthly stomachs will someday be gone (when we die).  Our focus instead needs to be on the larger question of honoring God with all we do.
- Verse 15 - Having the Spirit within us, we are the Temple of God.  To go to a prostitute, we'd be physically uniting the Temple of God with a prostitute.
- Verse 18 - Sexual sin is different because our physical bodies are involved in the act of committing the sin.

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 17, 2024

60IN60 Day 12 - Fri May 17

It's Day 12 and we're in 1 Corinthians 5.

Father, what do You want to teach us today through Your Word?

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verses 9-10 - We get this wrong so often.  We act like we're supposed to be staying away from the sinners in the world.  That's absurd.  Of course they're doing things that are wrong - the Bible teaches that you need the Spirit within you to live a truly good life.  It's the people who are claiming to be Christians and yet are still living in their sin that we should stay away from.

Help:
- Verse 1 - Someone had married or was having sex with his father's second wife (not his mom, but still inappropriate).
- Verses 2-5 - When Christians fall into major sin, it is the responsibility of the church to exercise church discipline and confront that sin.
- Verse 6 - Having a little bit of unrepentant sin condoned in the church would quickly spread to a larger accommodating of sin.
- Verses 7-8 - We are to be a new people, with the old sin cleaned out.
- Verses 9-13 - Another passage on church discipline.  When there is major sin within the church, it needs to be confronted.  Conversely, sin among those outside the church is to be expected since they don't have God in their lives.  We are to work to win them to Christ, not avoid them because they're sinners.

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 16, 2024

60IN60 Day 11 - Thurs May 16

It's Day 11 and we're in 1 Corinthians 4.

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verse 20 - I want to see His power unleashed in my church and in my life.

Help:
- Verse 3 - "I do not even examine myself" - I think what he means by that is he recognizes that his own evaluation of his life isn't the final one.  God's is.  So he doesn't excuse or praise himself based on his own evaluation of his life.
- Verse 8 - They were arrogant and full of themselves, so Paul mocks them as thinking they're "kings."
- Verse 10 - Paul was willing to abandon himself to the things of Christ even if it didn't look good publicly.  The Corinthians were concerned about appearances.
- Verse 15 - That is, he was the one who led them to faith.
- Verse 16 - Not that he's perfect, but the chapter clearly shows that they were still in an immature state, so he's encouraging them to walk more like he is.
- Verse 21 - When he came to visit them, did they want to have their act cleaned up or did they want him to come with discipline?

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 15, 2024

60IN60 Day 10 - Wed May 15

It's Day 10 and we're in 1 Corinthians 3.

If you come across something in your reading that doesn't make sense at first, be quick to re-read and to ask questions. If I can help answer anything, drop me an email.

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verses 13-14 - I do not want the work of my life to be burned away.  It want it to deserve to be rewarded.

Help:
- Verses 1, 3 - The reference to "men of flesh" is part of a comparison of between people who are spiritually-minded and those unsaved people who are focused on earthly, fleshly pursuits.
- Verse 2 - He gave them basic teaching, like a baby would require basic food like milk.  They should have been ready for the more advanced teaching.
- Verse 4 - They were picking their favorite preachers and dividing into camps.
- Verse 8 - We're all part of the process of seeing spiritual growth and Kingdom expansion and we will receive our reward based on the part we played.
- Verses 12-15 - This is about the final judgment for Christians.  We are not judged for salvation, but for rewards.  If my life has honored Christ and my work has been for Him, my work will stand up to the fire of judgment.  If I've lived for this world and its fleeting loves, my life's work will be burned away as being worthless.
- Verse 20 - Earthly "wisdom" is often considered folly in God's eyes.

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 14, 2024

60IN60 Day 9 - Tues May 14

It's Day 9 and we're in 1 Corinthians 2.

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verse 9 - God knows how to be generous.

Help:
- Verse 14 - "natural man" - That means a person doing what the world says is important and who is still in their sin (i.e. they haven't been saved).
- Verse 15 - Only God judges us ultimately.
- Verse 16 - Through Jesus' teaching, we have been given insight into the mind of Christ, that we might obey Him.

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 13, 2024

60IN60 Day 8 - Mon May 13

It's Day 8 and we're in 1 Corinthians 1.

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verse 17 - It's interesting that Paul didn't normally baptized the people who were saved in his ministry.  I'll have to give some thought to why that is.

Help:
- Verses 19-20 - This simply means that the best "wisdom" this world can come up with doesn't match up to what God has.
- Verse 26 - These were not people who had a lot to recommend them from a worldly perspective, but God still wanted 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.

Sunday, May 12, 2024

60IN60 Day 7 - Sun May 12

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

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verse 11 - Trust His heart.

Help:
- Verse 6 - This is obscure, but seems to mean that we need to be aware of who we're talking to when we're sharing spiritual truth.
- Verses 13-14 - What is the small gate and narrow way?  It's following Jesus, defined as actively living out His teachings.  (See verses 15-27 and how many times it emphasizes doing what Jesus said to do.)  The defining characteristic of a Christian is obeying Jesus' teaching.

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 11, 2024

60IN60 Day 6 - Sat May 11

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

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verses 3-4, 6, 25 - The Spirit really jumped out all over the place today.  Lots to chew on.

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 10, 2024

60IN60 Day 5 - Fri May 10

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

You are not reading the Bible to gain trivia knowledge. You're reading the Bible for life change. Father, change our hearts to look more like Your's.

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verse 5 - Christians aren't supposed to be arrogant jerks - they're supposed to be gentle.

Help:
- Verses 17-20 - Jesus didn't come to lower the standard.  If anything, He came to raise the standard.  But through what He did for us, He opened the door to us having a new nature (being a new creation) and having the Holy Spirit within us, so we could live out what He desires for us to.
- Verses 29-30 - The idea of throwing away your eye is intended to emphasize this idea: do whatever it takes to avoid hell.  If you getting rid of an eye would do that, you'd be better off doing that than going to hell.
- Verses 31-32 - This is the general rule, but there are further discussions in other passages.
- Verses 39-42 - The idea of being struck has to do with being insulted, not being assaulted.

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 9, 2024

60IN60 Day 4 - Thurs May 9

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

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verse 9 - "I will give you" - I don't think we adequately appreciate the power and authority Satan has.

Help:
- Verses 19-22 - Jesus had met them before.  This sounds like He walked up to random people and asked this.  We know from other gospels that they'd talked before this.

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 8, 2024

60IN60 Day 3 - Wed May 8

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

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 12 - The fire is an image to dwell on for a while.

Help:
- Verse 11 - "with the Holy Spirit and fire" - It's not completely clear what the fire represents.  It could be a reference to the Day of Pentecost; it could refer to judgment; it could refer to a burning passion within us.

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 7, 2024

60IN60 Day 2 - Tues May 7

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

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verses 22-23 - There was an interesting detail here about Nazareth - I'll have to do some digging on it.

Help:
- Verse 10 - The Magi did not follow the star in the sky all the way to Jerusalem.  The star appeared in the opposite direction from which they traveled.  Verse 2 tells us it appeared in the east, but they would have had to travel west to go to Jerusalem.  They saw the star, knew (somehow) it was a sign about the birth of the king of the Jews, so they took the next logical step: go to the capital of Israel.  This is why they're so excited in verse 10 when the star reappears.  They'd been without it for their journey and now it showed up again.

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 6, 2024

60IN60 Day 1 - Mon May 6

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

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:
- Verse 18 - It's striking to me that the way in which the birth came about probably led to the damaging of Mary's reputation.  People could count months and must have presumed that the quick marriage was the result of an unexpected pregnancy.

Help:
- Verses 1-17 - The genealogy makes for boring reading, but it's important to Matthew to establish the heritage of the Messiah.

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 2, 2024

60IN60 Day 60 - Thurs May 2

It's Day 60 and we're in Psalm 10.

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verse 1 - It's encouraging to me that the Psalmist felt free sharing honest doubts and struggles with 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.

Wednesday, May 1, 2024

60IN60 Day 59 - Wed May 1

It's Day 59 and we're in Psalm 5.

Where God Spoke to Me:
- Verse 1 - I like the fact that the Bible includes laments.  There are times in life when we need to be able to speak words of grief and pain to 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.

Tuesday, April 30, 2024

60IN60 Day 58 - Tues Apr 30

It's Day 58 and we're in Psalm 4.

A little reminder from James 1:22 - "Do not merely listen to the Word and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says!" 

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verse 4 - This is hard: to quietly meditate (i.e. think with focus about God) and be still.

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, April 29, 2024

60IN60 Day 57 - Mon Apr 29

It's Day 57 and we're in Psalm 2.

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verse 12 - We don't like to think of the wrath of God, but the Bible is clear that wrath is part of His justice.

Help:
- Verses 4-6 - The idea of the Lord laughing here has to do with Him laughing at how they think they can overcome Him.
- Verse 9 - The idea here is that Jesus will someday rule over those who oppose Him and in that moment He will shatter their resistance and judge them.
- Verse 12 - The evil of sin demands that God be wrathful.  What kind of God would He be if He looked at the evil in the world and was not bothered by 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.

Sunday, April 28, 2024

60IN60 Day 56 - Sun Apr 28

It's Day 56 and we're in Psalm 1.

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 3 - I love that image of strength and solidness.

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, April 27, 2024

60IN60 Day 55 - Sat Apr 27

It's Day 55 and we're in Luke 24.

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verse 32 - There are times when I know He's speaking, even if I can't explain how I know.

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, April 26, 2024

60IN60 Day 54 - Fri Apr 26

It's Day 54 and we're in Luke 23.

One problem that regularly bothers me as I read is a wandering mind. A word in the text will make me think of something that I have to do that day and my mind is off to the races, leaving the Bible behind. I've found it helpful to have something near me that I can make a note on when that happens so I can write down that thing I need to do later and get back to concentrating on the reading in front of me. 

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verse 56 - It had to be difficult for them to obey the command to rest on the Sabbath when they wanted to go and finish the burial work.  Yet it was (a big) part of the plan.  Too often we want to go outside God's commands to "help" God get His work done.

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, April 25, 2024

60IN60 Day 53 - Thurs Apr 25

It's Day 53 and we're in Luke 22.

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verse 32 - "I have prayed for you" - That's quite a thought.

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, April 24, 2024

60IN60 Day 52 - Wed Apr 24

It's Day 52 and we're in Luke 21.

One reason to be in the Bible regularly? It provides the answers to life's most pressing questions: "Why am I here?" "What value does my life have?" "What does God want out of me?" "What does a life well spent look like?" For all the time we spend daily on trivial things, it's essential that we spend some time on the big questions. 

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verse 4 - The measure of our generosity is not the amount of money, but the amount of sacrifice.

Help:
- Verse 18 - Given verse 16, this has to mean that we will be given life beyond this life.
- Verse 32 - Two possibilities: a. it's a reference to the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70; b. the word used there is the word for "race," which means that this will happen before humanity is done.

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:
- "My question is about the parable of the pounds. I always thought it was about gifts. But now I don’t think that anymore. I’m not quite sure what it’s about. Is it really just about them taking the money and making him more money? And the one servant was too lazy and scared of the master to invest the money?" - The parables of the pounds (also known as the parable of the minas) in Luke 19:11-27 tells of a king who entrusts servants with a mina (an amount of money from back in those days). He tells them to put the money to work and then goes away. When he returns he calls the servants to see what they've done with what he has entrusted to them. One has earned ten minas with the mina his master entrusted to him. The master says, "Well done." A second has earned five. The master says, "Well done." A third servant has hidden his mina and earned nothing with it. He is rebuked. This parable is a picture of us as the servants of God using what God has given us to bear fruit for Him. The mina represents our time, our spiritual gifts, our money, and all the other things God has given us. He expects us to use our time, gifts, money, etc. after we become Christians working for Him. As we do that, our lives will bear fruit for Him. The fruitfulness varies (some 10x, some 5x, etc) but one thing He will not approve is "burying our talents" and doing nothing with what God has given us. This may seem surprising to some because there is often the thought that once we're saved He doesn't expect anything else from us. That's not Biblical. As we obey the teachings of Christ we will naturally be fruitful (John 15; I just did a sermon on this a couple weeks ago). For a deeper discussion of this idea of expected fruitfulness, see chapter four of Christian Pharisees.

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

60IN60 Day 51 - Tues Apr 23

It's Day 51 and we're in Luke 20.

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verses 46-47 - I do not want to be a hypocrite, with only an outward appearance of faith.

Help:
- Verses 6-7 - They wanted to accuse Jesus, but also did not want to lose the support of the people.
- Verses 9-16 - This is directed at the Jewish leaders, who are rejecting the messengers that God is sending and are therefore facing judgment.
- Verses 17-18 - Jesus is that chief cornerstone rejected by the Jewish leaders.  In rejecting Him, they will be crushed.
- Verses 22-23 - If Jesus just says, "Pay the taxes," they'll accuse Him of being a patsy for Rome.  If He says, "Don't pay the taxes," they'll report Him to the Romans as a rebel.
- Verse 28 - It seems strange to us today since we exclusively marry for romantic love, but this was fairly common in the ancient world.
- Verses 41-44 - This is an obscure puzzle.  Jesus is saying that David speaks of someone who was coming after him, yet referring to him as Lord.  Normally, the ancestor (in this case, David) would get the more respectful title.  Why did David do that?  Because the one coming after him was none less than the Son of 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, April 22, 2024

60IN60 Day 50 - Mon Apr 22

It's Day 50 and we're in Luke 19.

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 27 - This is hard to hear, but there is punishment for disobedience.  Hell is real.

Help:
- Verses 8-9 - Zaccheus' action shows a change of heart.
- Verses 17, 19 - "authority over ten cities" - This is an idea that plays out in the coming Kingdom of God.  We will rule with Christ.  Those who have been faithful will be given authority to rule with Christ.
- Verses 20-22 - This man had kept (as well as he could) the commandments, but Jesus is asking him to give up what he gets his security from in order to totally trust in Jesus.

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, April 21, 2024

60IN60 Day 49 - Sun Apr 21

It's Day 49 and we're in Luke 18.

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verse 22 - What is the thing that is that valuable to me (like the rich man's possessions were to him) that I have to be willing to lay aside if asked?

Help:
- Verse 8 - Jesus asks if faith will be found because that's incredible valuable to Him.  This ties into verses 1-5 because it takes faith to continue to pray when you're not getting a quick answer.
- Verse 19 - The man was looking at Jesus as just another human teacher, which is why Jesus asks him why he's calling Him "good."
- Verse 22 - This is not a general command to all of us.  It's something that Jesus is asking from this young man because his money was what was holding him back from being fully committed to God.
- Verses 25, 27 - Jesus is not saying it's impossible for a rich person to be saved (see verse 27), just that it's more difficult.

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, April 20, 2024

60IN60 Day 48 - Sat Apr 20

It's Day 48 and we're in Luke 17.

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verse 6 - I want to have earth-moving faith.

Help:
- Verses 7-10 - These verses are tied back to verses 4-5.  The point of verses 7-10 is that we as servants of God shouldn't be impressed with ourselves when we do what we've been asked.  We should just say, "I've done what I've been asked to do."  That ties into verses 4-5 because there the apostles act like what Jesus is asking of them is too much.  It would be easy, in moving forward and fulfilling Christ's command, to think highly of yourself for doing something so great.  Jesus essentially says that we should not be impressed with ourselves, but just say that we are doing what we were asked.
- Verse 19 - It's unclear whether "your faith has made you well" is a reference back to the physical healing or if in that moment Christ gave him spiritual healing.
- Verses 34-36 - Some take this as a rapture reference.  Others as a reference to persecution.

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, April 19, 2024

60IN60 Day 47 - Fri Apr 19

It's Day 47 and we're in Romans 16.

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 19 - May what God is doing among us be sufficiently great to merit being spread all over the place.

Help:
- Verse 16 - The "holy kiss" is not mandatory, but was their custom back then.

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, April 18, 2024

60IN60 Day 46 - Thurs Apr 18

It's Day 46 and we're in Romans 15.

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verse 20 - I resonate with his desire to start a work from scratch and be a part of that type of work.

Help:
- Verse 8 - This verse is simply saying that Jesus came to earth as a Jew.

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, April 17, 2024

60IN60 Day 45 - Wed Apr 17

It's Day 45 and we're in Romans 14.

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:
- Verse 17 - It's not outward things that define our faith, but that inward change that results in abundant life: righteousness and peace and joy.

Help:
- Verses 2, 5 - These were controversial issues back in Paul's day: v. 2 has to do with eating meat that was sacrificed to idols and v. 5 has to do with whether to celebrate holidays.  Those issues aren't really pressing to us today, but other ones are controversial.  In the larger passage, Paul is saying that we each need to be fully convinced in our own minds and not condemn our brothers and sisters in Christ when we disagree on minor issues.

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, April 16, 2024

60IN60 Day 44 - Tues Apr 16

It's Day 44 and we're in Romans 13.

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 14 - "put on the Lord Jesus" - It's a daily (well, actually, moment by moment) choice to use the resources that Jesus has made available to us for spiritual victory.  I want to do that.

Help:
- Verses 1-6 - These verses on being subject to the government are the general approach that we are to have to government.  Of course, there are times when government wants us to do things that are wrong and then our loyalty to God is a higher priority and demands disobedience to the state.
- Verses 12, 14 - "put on" - This is an important spiritual growth idea.  We have to choose to use the things God has given us for spiritual growth.  It's like having a raincoat - I have to choose to put it on before I go out or I'm going to get soaked by the rain.  It's our choice whether to use the resources God has given us.

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, April 15, 2024

60IN60 Day 43 - Mon Apr 15

It's Day 43 and we're in Romans 12.

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verse 2 - Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

Help:
- Verse 20 - "heap burning coals on his head" - The idea there is that when you do something kind to an enemy, it robs him of the angry response he was expecting.  Your actions then can make him feel guilty for his actions, hopefully leading him toward repentance.

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, April 14, 2024

60IN60 Day 42 - Sun Apr 14

It's Day 42 and we're in Romans 11.

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verse 18 - We were not the original inheritors of the promise.  We've been "grafted in."  That should lead to humility and thankfulness.

Help:
- Verse 2 - "foreknew" - That is the word for the idea that God - being God - knows everything past, present, and future, so he knows what's going to happen in the future.  He is never surprised.
- Verse 7 - When Israel chose to disobey, God then allowed their hearts to become hard.
- Verses 11, 14 - God is not done with Israel.  One of His purposes in working right now among non-Jews (i.e. Gentiles; i.e. us) is to create a desire within Israel to return to Him.
- Verse 17 - Using a tree analogy, Israel's disobedience led to some branches being removed and our faith in Christ has led to us being grafted into the tree.
- Verse 32 - Our disobedience puts us in a position where we are rightly to be judged.

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, April 13, 2024

60IN60 Day 41 - Sat Apr 13

It's Day 41 and we're in Romans 10.

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verse 11 - There have been a number of times in my life - while waiting on God to come through for me - that I've had all my eggs in that basket.

Help:
- Verse 5 - If you say you're going to live by the Mosaic Law, then that's the path you're using to try to get to God.  (And you will fail.)
- Verse 10 - Being made right before God ("righteousness") is a gift from God through our belief in Christ.
- Verses 18-21 - They had already heard and rejected.

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, April 12, 2024

60IN60 Day 40 - Fri Apr 12

It's Day 40 and we're in Romans 9.

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verses 15-21 - These are verses that I struggle with because they are so heavy toward predestination.  Still, you've got to keep digging into passages, even on the ones that initially seem problematic.

Help:
- Verse 3 - Quite an offer: Paul is so burdened for Israel's lostness that he says he wish he was lost if that would somehow make Israel faithful again.
- Verses 6-8 - This simply means that those who have believed God are the spiritual descendants of Abraham.
- Verses 15, 18 - Various passages in the Bible note the two sides of the equation: some emphasize our human freedom, some emphasize God's actions.  This one points toward what God does.

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, April 11, 2024

60IN60 Day 39 - Thurs Apr 11

It's Day 39 and we're in Judges 8.

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verse 33 - Two things here: a. It's worth realizing how big a difference one person can make in the life of a nation, a town, a family, or a church; b. It's pathetic how quickly people can revert back to their godless ways.

Help:
- Verses 1-3 - Gideon gives a gentle answer, which causes their anger to subside.  Verse 2 compliments them by saying that their newest grapes are better than the vintage grapes of other places.
- Verse 17 - This is harsh.  Gideon apparently felt it justified because of the war situation.
- Verse 27 - My presumption is that Gideon did not intend it to become a source of pagan worship, but the people twisted what he did.

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, April 10, 2024

60IN60 Day 38 - Wed Apr 10

It's Day 38 and we're in Judges 7.

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verse 9 - God goes ahead of us to fight for us.

Help:
- Verses 4-6 - It's not entirely clear what was superior about that method of getting water.  Some speculate that it's because they were on their feet, as opposed to kneeling.  Others think it's just because it was the method used by fewer soldiers and God wanted to whittle the number down so it would be clear that He brought the victory.  I tend toward the latter.

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, April 9, 2024

60IN60 Day 37 - Tues Apr 9

It's Day 37 and we're in Judges 6.

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verses 11-12 - Gideon is hiding in a wine press to thresh the wheat and yet the angel calls him "valiant warrior."  God sees who we could be, not merely who we are.

Help:
- Verses 36-40 - God is merciful to Gideon in answering these prayers, but this is not anything we can count on God to do.  He will not usually answer prayers 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.

Monday, April 8, 2024

60IN60 Day 36 - Mon Apr 8

It's Day 36 and we're in Luke 16.

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verse 10 - Be faithful with what you've got now if you want Him to trust you with more.

Help:
- Verses 1-8 - This is an unusual parable.  The point is this: use what you control to accomplish your goal.  The manager used what he controlled (his master's wealth) to accomplish his goal (finding a job).  We are to use what we control (our money) to accomplish our goal (bringing people to Christ).  See verse 9.
- Verse 9 - This is the point of verses 1-8: use your money not on empty consumer purchases, but rather use as much of it as you can to point people to Christ so that you're heavenly homecoming will be joyous.
- Verse 16 - "forcing his way in" - The meaning is uncertain.  It likely just means that people were responding with enthusiasm to what had happened since John.
- Verse 18 - This is the basic teaching on divorce.  Jesus goes into more detail in other passages.
- Verse 23 - "in his bosom" - That's just a way to say "with Abraham."

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, April 7, 2024

60IN60 Day 35 - Sun Apr 7

It's Day 35 and we're in Luke 15.

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verse 20 - I love how much he loved his son.

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, April 6, 2024

60IN60 Day 34 - Sat Apr 6

It's Day 34 and we're in Luke 14.

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verse 11 - Stay humble, do God's will, and He will lift you up.

Help:
- Verse 26 - "Hate" by comparison to our love for God.  Obviously if the second greatest commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself, it can't mean despise them.
- Verse 27 - To "carry your cross" means to be willing to make sacrifices for Christ.
- Verse 33 - This is something we have to willing to do.  If He asks material sacrifices of us, we need to be willing to do that.  It doesn't mean that we should become homeless.
- Verse 34 - This seems to mean that our faith has to have the "flavor" of all that He's asking us to do, not be a bland, generic "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.

Friday, April 5, 2024

60IN60 Day 33 - Fri Apr 5

It's Day 33 and we're in Luke 13.

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verse 9 - He expects fruit.  And if not, then we weren't a real disciple.

Help:
- Verses 1-5 - The main idea here is that evil happening in our lives in not always a direct result of something sinful we've done.  (Sometimes it is.)  He directs us to use those moments of seeing bad things happen as reminders that we need to be right with God ("repent").
- Verses 6-9 - The point of this parable is that God is looking for fruit from our lives.  He is patient, but eventually if we don't produce fruit our time runs out.
- Verse 24 - This doesn't mean that people genuinely wanted to be saved by the right means but God rejected them.  It means that many want to claim a relationship with God without doing what He's said is necessary.
- Verses 25-27 - At Final Judgment, many will claim to have some connection with God, but Jesus will tell them that it wasn't a genuine one, but rather one they made up for their comfort.

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, April 4, 2024

60IN60 Day 32 - Thurs Apr 4

It's Day 32 and we're in Luke 12.

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verse 5 - We don't have sufficient respect for God's authority.

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:
- "Luke 11:24-26 - What do these verses mean? Is this a reference to backsliding?" - It does initially sound like a backsliding passage because the person mentioned ends up in a worse situation than he started in. But it can't be about backsliding by a Christian because it mentions the person being possessed by a demon and then multiple demons. Christians can't be possessed by demons because we have the Spirit within us. I believe what this passage is about is how often self-improvement ends up being futile. The passage mentions the person made some efforts at getting things better (v. 25) during the demon's absence. But without God in his life he is unable to resist the attack of multiple demons (v. 26a) and ends up in a worse situation (v. 26b). The biggest point to me in all this is the necessity of God as the foundation of lasting life change.

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

60IN60 Day 31 - Wed Apr 3

It's Day 31 and we're in Luke 11.

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verse 9 - Got a problem?  Keep asking.

Help:
- Verse 19 - His argument is basically: if I'm doing great miracles and you say it's by Satan's power, then by what power do your sons do their little miracles?
- Verses 49-50 - The idea here is that they have all the warnings of the past examples.  They are more guilty because they have so many warnings.

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, April 2, 2024

60IN60 Day 30 - Tues Apr 2

It's Day 30 and we're in Luke 10.

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verse 21 - Their success made Him "rejoice greatly."  Our obedience and fruitfulness presumably does the same thing.

Help:
- Verse 4 - The idea here was that they were to be dependent on the Father's moment by moment provision.  As for not greeting: their mission was urgent and they need to get to the towns to preach to large crowds.
- Verse 7 - They weren't to look for "better deals" on where to stay.
- Verse 18 - The meaning of this is not certain.  It may have been that Satan was in heaven complaining to God about what Jesus was doing and God gave no ground, so Satan came back to earth ("fell to earth") defeated.
- Verse 19 - This is not a general truth.  This was true for them at that time as part of that mission.  "Don't try this at home!" 

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, April 1, 2024

60IN60 Day 29 - Mon Apr 1

It's Day 29 and we're in Luke 9.

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verse 25 - One of my life verses.

Help:
- Verse 3 - They were to be dependent on God's ongoing provision.
- Verse 4 - This has to do with their lodging.  They weren't to move from house to house when they got offered a "better deal."
- Verse 23 - This means that I need to be willing to make sacrifices for the Kingdom.
- Verse 24 - This means I need to put aside my desires and pursue what Jesus is calling me to, believing that is the path to real life.
- Verse 27 - This presumably means the advent of the church at the start of the book of Acts.
- Verse 59 - The best explanation of this is that the man's father was not dead at that moment, but rather that he was asking permission to wait until his ailing father passed away and the funeral was completed.

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, March 31, 2024

60IN60 Day 28 - Sun Mar 31

It's Day 28 and we're in Proverbs 12.

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verse 4 - I know from personal experience that the first half of this verse is absolutely true.

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, March 30, 2024

60IN60 Day 27 - Sat Mar 30

It's Day 27 and we're in Proverbs 11.

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verse 22 - Isn't that true?  There's a woman who looks beautiful when you first see her but then as you talk to her and see her personality and character, you're repulsed.  Internal beauty is more important than external.

Help:
- Verse 13 - Concealing a matter means not gossiping, not withholding crucial information in a situation like someone being abused.
- Verse 31 - Presumably the "reward" in mind here includes positive and negative.

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, March 29, 2024

60IN60 Day 26 - Fri Mar 29

It's Day 26 and we're in Proverbs 10.

We'll be in Proverbs for three days.  A reminder of what a proverb is: it's a saying that is generally true.  For instance, in the Proverb that says that if you train up a child in the way of the Lord, when he is old he will not depart from it - that is not a ironclad guarantee that every single child that was raised in church will come back to church.  Rather it is a proverb - it is generally true that children who are raised in church will come back to the Lord.

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verse 19 - A reminder that I should be quicker to listen than talk.

Help:
- Verse 22 - This is the idea that ultimately every blessing comes from God, including wealth.

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, March 28, 2024

60IN60 Day 25 - Thurs Mar 28

It's Day 25 and we're in Genesis 23.

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verse 4 - It's worth pondering that after all this time and all the promises God fulfilled that Abraham still dies as a stranger in a foreign land.

Help:
- Verses 3-16 - This is a depiction of the back and forth of an ancient negotiation.

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, March 27, 2024

60IN60 Day 24 - Wed Mar 27

It's Day 24 and we're in Genesis 22.

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

Help:
- Verse 2, 10 - This is a troubling scene.  God is testing Abraham to see if He will trust Him even with his most beloved thing.  Still, even knowing that, the scene is disturbing.  We do know from verse 5 as well as from Hebrews 11:19 that Abraham expected God would raise Isaac from the dead.  Still. . .

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, March 26, 2024

60IN60 Day 23 - Tues Mar 26

It's Day 23 and we're in Genesis 21.

Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verse 1 - "The Lord did just as He promised" - You can count on Him for that.

Help:
- Verses 10-12 - This is a troubling incident.  Part of it goes to the fact that it was not God's will for Ishmael to be born.  Part of it that the focus needed to now be on the chosen child.  But in either event, it's a hard thing to watch a son being sent away by his 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. 

Monday, March 25, 2024

60IN60 Day 22 - Mon Mar 25

It's Day 22 and we're in Genesis 20.

Where God Spoke To Me: 
- Verse 6 - Because he has acted in innocence, God keeps him from sin.  We need to make sure we're acting "in the integrity of [our] heart."

Help:
- Verse 2 - Yes, he's going to make the same stupid mistake again.  Just like we so often do.
- Verse 7, 17 - It does seem weird that the one who was in the wrong here has to pray for the one who was in the right.  Why?  Even though Abraham is in the wrong, he still has authority that's been given to him because he is God's chosen.  I think of it like God saying to the king, "See that guy over there?  The one that caused all this problem?  Yeah, well, he's my guy.  I know, I know, he was stupid in what he did.  But he's the one I chose a long time ago.  So go have him pray and we'll get this taken care of."
- Verse 12 - In the rural, often nomadic culture of that day, this 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.