New Testament In a Year: November 30 – 2 Peter 3

new-testament-in-a-year-november-30

2 Peter 3
(1-13) The Day of the Lord Will Come
This Scripture passage reminds us that the second coming of the Lord will take place. There are some who do not believe that it will happen, and there are others who mock and scoff at the predictions and prophecies regarding His coming. It appears as if the world is continuing as it was since the beginning of time. But just as the world (temporarily) perished once by water, it will (permanently) perish again by fire. The world that was created by the word of God will also be destroyed by that same word of God.

While it may appear as if nothing is happening and that the world is secure as is, we must remember that time in Heaven with God is different from time here on earth. With God, one day is like a thousand years and a thousands years is like one day. It is not out of slowness that Christ has not yet returned, but it is out of patience for His creation. It is not His desire for anyone to perish when the world perishes. Instead, He desires for everyone to come to repentance and be saved, both physically and spiritually.

Because we know that the heavens will one day pass away, and the earth will be burned up, and all the works that have been done will be exposed, we ought to live differently. We ought to live lives of holiness and godliness, looking forward to the coming of the Lord. We do not cling to the present heavens and earth. We are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which everything and everyone will be righteous.

Favorite verse: (10) But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.

Advertisements

Women of the Word: Midian Women

midian-women-wotw

The Midianites were enemies of Israel, and in Numbers 11 God tells Moses to carry out His vengeance on them. So twelve thousand Israelite men go to battle against the Midianites. They kill every single Midianite man. They burn all the towns of the Midianites. But the women and children, they keep alive, claiming them and all other plunder for themselves. Numbers 31:9 reads:

The Israelites captured the Midianite women and children and took all the Midianite herds, flocks and goods as plunder.

When the Israelites return to their camp, however, they meet Moses who is angry that the women have been kept alive. This is because in an earlier event, the Midian women had followed the advice of the wicked prophet Balaam and enticed the Israelites to be unfaithful to the Lord. So, Moses commands the Israelites to kill all the Midian boys and kill every Midian woman who was not a virgin. All other women and girls could be spared. Numbers 31:15-18 reads:

“Have you allowed all the women to live?” he [Moses] asked them. “They were the ones who followed Balaam’s advice and enticed the Israelites to be unfaithful to the Lord in the Peor incident, so that a plague struck the Lord’s people. Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.”

This must have been a very sad day – one that was filled with the shedding of blood and tears. One moment, these Midian women were living their lives, some of them with husbands and children. And then the next day, they had everything ripped from them – their homes, their fathers, their husbands, their brothers, their sons; and some of them even had their own lives ended. Continue reading

New Testament In a Year: November 29 – 2 Peter 2

new-testament-in-a-year-november-29

2 Peter 2
(1-22) False Prophets and Teachers
Just as there were false Christian prophets and teachers in Peter’s day, there are and will be false prophets and teachers today. We must be on guard against these types of characters to ensure that we do not allow ourselves to be led away from the faith. Everyone who claims to be of Christ, is not! Those who follow false teachers are denying the truth of Christ and will only bring destruction upon themselves.

God will deal with false teachers in the same way He has dealt with other ungodly people. He judged the angels of Lucifer’s rebellion by casting them into hell and darkness. He judged the ancient world by destroying it with a flood. He judged Sodom and Gomorrah by turning these two cities to ashes. However, in each of these cases only the ungodly were punished and the righteous were saved. The angels who did not join in Lucifer’s rebellion remained with God in Heaven. Noah and his family were preserved on an ark. Lot was rescued from the destruction of the wicked. So it will be in the last day – those who were false teachers of Christ and those who did not believe in Christ at all will be judged, but those who believed and lived righteously will be saved.

Favorite verse: (16) But was rebuked for his own transgression; a speechless donkey spoke with human voice and restrained the prophet’s madness.

New Testament In a Year: November 28 – 2 Peter 1

new-testament-in-a-year-november-28

2 Peter 1
(3-15) Confirm Your Calling and Election
We must not rest in our salvation once we have accepted Jesus the Christ as Savior. Instead, we should seek to grow and strengthen our faith. Virtue, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection, and love are all qualities that should be added to our faith. This keeps our faith from being ineffective or unfruitful. When we grow in the knowledge of Christ and practice Godly qualities, we will not easily stumble and fall in sin.

Peter intends to always remind fellow Christians to practice Godly qualities because he knows he will not physically be with them forever. He will soon put off his natural body and depart earth to be with God in Heaven. When he is gone, he wants Christians to be able to remember the good things he has told them to do.

(16-21) Christ’s Glory and the Prophetic Word
The Gospel accounts of the birth, life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus the Christ are not myths that the disciples devised in their minds. We can be confident that what we read about today truly happened because Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John were actually there with Jesus. An eyewitness is a person who has personally seen something happen and can give a first-hand description of it. This is exactly who the disciples were. With their own eyes, they saw Jesus perform miracles, walk on water, raise people from the dead, and heal the sick. They knew that Jesus was the Christ because they heard God’s voice from Heaven saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”

The Word of God was not written based on the thoughts and wills of men, but on the Holy Spirit of God.

Favorite verse: (5) For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge.

New Testament In a Year: November 27 – 1 Peter 5

new-testament-in-a-year-november-27

1 Peter 5
(1-11) Shepherd the Flock of God
All people who make up the body of Christ, regardless of their age, are to honor God through their behavior and by the way they interact with one another. Those who are older are to act as willing shepherds, not trying to gain material wealth or domineering over those under them. They are to set godly examples. Those who are younger are to submit themselves to those who are older, and everyone is to show humility toward one another. God opposes people who are proud. He gives grace to people who are humble.

When we humble ourselves under God’s mighty hand, we give ourselves an opportunity to be uplifted by Him. Because He cares for us, we do not have to contain our anxieties on the inside. We can give them all to God and trust Him.

The devil is always seeking to destroy us, but we must resist him by being sober-minded and watchful. Even when we suffer, we must be firm in our faith, knowing that we do not suffer alone. Christians throughout the world are experiencing the same kinds of suffering. God will use this suffering to restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish us in His eternal glory in Christ.

Favorite verse: (7) Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

New Testament In a Year: November 26 – 1 Peter 4

new-testament-in-a-year-november-26

1 Peter 4
(1-11) Stewards of God’s Grace
As followers of Jesus the Christ, when we do not engage in the same behavior as those who do not yet believe in Him, we should not mind if they don’t ‘get it’. We should be more concerned with what Christ expects of us than other people. After all, we will not have to give an account to them at the end of our lives, but to God.

Our lives should be lived in light of eternity, with the end in mind. As such, we are to be self-controlled and sober-minded, earnestly loving and showing hospitality. We are not to take the grace that God gives us for granted, but should instead manage and care for it by using the gifts He has given us to serve others. If we have the gift of speaking, we are to speak the words God wants us to speak. If we have the gift of serving, we are to serve with the strength of God. If everything that we do is done for Christ, then God is glorified, and nothing we do will be done in vain.

(12-19) Suffering as a Christian
Fiery trials, unwanted sufferings, and hard times should be embraced by us as Christians because we should remember how Christ suffered. If we share in His sufferings, we will also share in His glory when He returns. If we do something wrong and we suffer for that wrongdoing, that is shameful. But if we follow Christ and suffer for His name, that is a blessing. Those who suffer as Christians have nothing to be ashamed of because we know that God is faithful and are trusting in His will.

Favorite verse: (8) Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.

New Testament In a Year: November 25 – 1 Peter 3

new-testament-in-a-year-november-25

1 Peter 3
(1-7) Wives and Husbands
Another set of instructions are given here on how wives and husbands are to love and respect one another. But much of it can really be applied to relationships besides that of a married couple such as relationships between good friends, classmates, roommates, or the like. As Christians who follow Jesus the Christ and obey His Word, our conduct should reflect our faith. We should imitate Christ so when those who do not yet believe in Jesus see our conduct, they too may be won to Christ without us having to say much at all. Even in matters of faith, actions speak louder than words.

We all should be more concerned with making sure that our hearts are beautiful and adorned with gentleness and kindness. Our internal state matters more to God than our external state. We should live with others in understanding, and show honor to all people.

(8-22) Suffering for Righteousness’ Sake
Christ has called us to live abnormal lives. When we are angrily criticized, we do not respond in the same manner. When something evil is done to us, we do not repay that evil with evil. Instead, we bless. We refrain from speaking lies. We turn away from doing wrong. We seek good and pursue peace. God hears all prayers that are made to Him, but He is more inclined to answer the prayers of those who are living righteously. He is not for those who do evil.

Even if we do what is right, we will sometimes be treated wrong. This should not trouble us or cause us to fear. We should be sure of our faith and be able to explain why we do the good we do and why we love the way we love. There is no shame in suffering for doing good. There is no embarrassment in being reviled for having faith. Christ, the righteous, once suffered for us, the unrighteous, so that we could have salvation. He was put to death so that we could be brought to God. There is no shame in Christ’s death because He suffered for doing good, not evil, and it was the will of God.

Favorite verse: (11) Let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it.

New Testament In a Year: November 24 – 1 Peter 2

new-testament-in-a-year-november-24

1 Peter 2
(1-12) A Living Stone and a Holy People
If we are sincere in our pursuit of holiness, some things that will not be found in our lives are malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy and slander. Instead of engaging in such behavior, we will desire the pure spiritual milk of God’s Word so that our faith can grow and so we can taste the goodness of the Lord – for He is good.

Jesus the Christ is a living stone and the cornerstone of God’s church. We also are living stones. Those who believe are being built upon the foundation of Christ. But those who don’t believe, stumble over Christ because of their disobedience.

As followers of Jesus the Christ, we no longer belong to ourselves. God has taken possession of us and called us out of darkness and into His marvelous light so that we can proclaim His Gospel and His glory. We are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, and a holy nation. Once we were not God’s people, but now we are. Once we were without mercy, but now we have received mercy and received it abundantly. Because of this we are to stand out from those who are not yet God’s people do that they will see our good deeds and believe.

(13-25) Submission to Authority
Because we are God’s people, our behavior ought to reflect our status. Even though this world is not our home, we are to keep the law and obey authority. We are to: do good, honor everyone, love others, fear God, and honor governmental leaders. Servants are to obey their masters (this can also be applied to an employee/employer, student/coach, etc.). Even if a servant has a master who is unjust, a servant who believes in Christ is to still show respect to that master. Christ is our perfect example in this matter. Even though He did nothing wrong, He endured much suffering and mistreatment. Instead of retaliating, Christ entrusted Himself to His Father, God, who sees all that takes place and judges all matters fairly. Christ carried our sins in His body on the cross so that we could die to sin and live to righteousness.

Favorite verse: (9) But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.