Bible Reading Blog

Bible Reading Blog

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He Knows

Tuesday, February 09, 2021


“O LORD, you have searched me and known me!” (Psalm 139.1)

Is there anything God doesn’t know? Is there any place he couldn’t go? Are there any circumstances that take him off guard? If we believe God is Creator, the answer is “no.” He’s been there, he’s done that, he’s thought of everything. There is no circumstance or place that can elude him because he made it. You could be in the most secluded place in the world, in a secret hiding place no one knew about, and God would be aware. Not only that, but he would know what you were thinking and feeling.

To consider the level of God’s intimate knowledge in my life can be terrifying. As the old hymn writer said, “There’s an all-seeing eye watching you.” But it’s not intended to be a scare tactic. Instead, it ought to give us great comfort. His eyes were on us even before we were formed (Psalm 139.15-16a). His knowledge extends throughout our entire life into every single moment we exist (Psalm 139.16b). He was intimately involved in our conception and continues to be invested in our lives.

He is our Maker, and with that comes an inherent concern for us. Like a parent with their children, God is constantly aware and thoughtful of our well-being. He knows the challenges we will face. He knows what our desires will be. He knows the tough choices we have to make. But unlike a parent God knows EXACTLY what we need and has given us everything we NEED to make the best choices (2 Peter 1.3).

So, we must understand that God is not out to get us, as some people think. He didn’t give us his word simply to assert his dominance, but to communicate love. He knows full and well what we need. If his thoughts become our thoughts, and his ways become our ways, they take into account any challenge in our future. Ultimately, his word both restores and revitalizes our weary souls (Psalm 1.1-3; 23.3).

The psalm began with the reality of God’s awareness, and ends with a similar thought, but in the present tense. “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139.23-24). God’s power and presence are intended for our comfort and guidance; but we must acknowledge and submit to his nature. He will lead us if we humbly trust that he knows what’s best for us.

“When I told you of my ways, you answered me; teach me your statutes! Make me understand the way of your precepts, and I will meditate on your wondrous works.” (Psalm 119.26-27)

Leaning In and Looking Up

Tuesday, February 02, 2021


“… I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me.” (Psalm 131.2)

No one is more selfish than a newborn. They are demanding, insistent and brutishly unapologetic about it. Time after time you feed them, and yet 2 hours later they’re demanding your attention as if you had no idea what you were doing. By the way they act, you would think they had never eaten before.

It’s a frustrating season of life, but over time things begin to change. Children pick up on patterns from their parents. They see that mom and dad are always taking care of their needs. They may not appreciate it, but on a basic level they come to trust their parents (hence why they’re always pulling on our pant legs and begging for food). As they experience the satisfaction of getting what they need, they find peace in your consistent care. This doesn’t mean their needs have gone away. Instead, they have learned to lean into the people providing for them and whom they have come to trust.

When we feel our needs are not being met, our emotions often move towards anxiety or frustration. Even as adults, we want satisfaction, or at least resolution and become very “me-focused”. This anxiety often creates momentum in our hearts. As a result, we feel inclined to make rash decisions or allow things to come out of our mouth that are improper. Much like a nursing infant, we behave thoughtless of the One who has promised to meet our needs. We may think that life is more complicated, or our needs are different than that of a child’s; but the reality is we’re all just looking for comfort and satisfaction.

Sometimes we just need to slow down and lean into our Father. Knowing Him more intimately doesn’t get rid of our needs but reminds us that He will always meet them… and so much more (Matthew 6.25-33; Ephesians 3.20)! The peace we all desire comes when we rest in his promises. But to find rest I must acknowledge that I am just a weaned child, old enough to walk but not old enough, strong enough or wise enough to know how to get there without help.

What we desire most is what God offers; but we must learn to trust Him. Not just a verbal acknowledgment but a learned practice and appreciation of God’s providence (Proverbs 3.5-6). He works “all things together for good” (Romans 8.28), but sometimes that means we have to “wait on the Lord” (Psalm 27.14). If your heart is anxious, have you talked to your Father about it? Have you recounted the ways he has provided for you? Are you behaving like an impatient newborn or are you leaning in and looking up?

“Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46.10)

With You There is Forgiveness

Friday, January 22, 2021


“If you, O LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared.” (Psalm 130.3-4)

In a dramatic scene from “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe”, the White Witch charged Edmund with being a traitor. Although contrite about his choices, the charges were true. The witch vehemently accused Edmund before Aslan, the true king of the people, whom all the people expected to come to the defense of Edmund. But in this moment his demeanor changed, and he acknowledged that she was right. Everyone was stunned; but instead of releasing Edmund to the witch, Aslan spoke to her, and privately arranged a deal for Edmund’s justification. As the witch left the camp, Edmund breathed a sigh of relief and the crowd erupted in cheers for Aslan. Little did they know what it would cost.

Late in the evening, when everyone was asleep Aslan surrendered himself to the White Witch. He had agreed to pay the price for the young man’s choices, with his own life. With sinister pleasure the witch and her cohorts murdered Aslan. As Edmund’s sisters watched in horror, all they could ask is, “Why?”

This story depicts the consequences of sin. Regardless of how insignificant they are to us, sins require reparation. The bible centers our attention on this serious reality: “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6.23); “the soul who sins shall die” (Ezekiel 18.20); “all have sinned and fall short of God’s glory” (Romans 3.23). We may not fully understand why this is so, but the reality of these truths remind us that sin has eternal consequences which we cannot overcome. If God were to hold us accountable, we would all be condemned because God is just.

But that is not the extent of God’s character, and that is not the end of the story. In his great mercy, Jesus bore our sins and paid the price. The result is that every legal demand and right Satan has on us through sin has been paid (Colossians 2.14).

In the novel’s climax, Aslan revives, overcoming death and evil. The Witch and her powers had no right over him because there was nothing of which to accuse him. In the same way, Jesus Christ, could not be overcome by the forces of evil. Jesus boldly proclaimed “[Satan] has no claim on me!” (John 14.30). This, my friends, is good news for everyone.

But to appreciate the choices of Jesus, we must first walk in the shoes of Edmund: convicted, condemned, and at the mercy of someone greater than us. We are hopeless. But God in his great love, could not bear to let us remain that way (Ephesians 2.4). Inexplicably, God’s desire is for our salvation, even so that he would take our place to make it happen (John 3.16; 2 Peter 3.9). As we look upon the horror of Jesus’ death, we may also ask, “Why?” The psalmist tells us: “with you there is forgiveness that you may be feared” (Psalm 130.3).

God’s actions of love should bewilder us, but it is clear what he wants. He is a God to be feared, followed and honored with our thanksgiving. In Christ, he is "merciful and will remember our sins no more" (Hebrews 8.12). And so, let us “Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man” (Ecclesiastes 12.13).

“The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain” (1 Corinthians 15.56-58)

Lift Up Your Eyes

Monday, January 18, 2021


“I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD who made heaven and earth.” (Psalm 121.1-2)

The attitude of our face and direction of our eyes communicates a lot: Where we’re going. What we’re trying to accomplish. What is important to us. Who we’re looking at for help. 

Looking down naturally limits what we can know and see. We often put our head down to minimize distractions. It allows us to get focused on the task and hand what we need to do to get’ur done. We also look down when we’re discouraged. We don’t want to face the things in front of us. We’re ashamed of our failures. We’re just tired of trying. But when we look up, we not only see reality, but other options for help. 

My girls both grab my pants and look up when they want something. They know I’m bigger than them and can do more. I can reach things they can’t. I can see things they can’t see. I can lift them up to places they want to go.

The psalmist lifts up his eyes in longing and hope for God’s help. He is the Maker of heaven and earth (Psalm 121.2), who doesn’t sleep or slumber (Psalm 121.4). He keeps his people secure and grounded (Psalm 121.57). Although the psalmist appears helpless, he looks up to God and recounts the confidence of his power. God will not fail him. 

There are many people and things to which we can look to these days. The clamor in our world right now is relentless and draws our eyes to things going on around us. The drama of injustice, politics, social issues, etc. are constant and pressing. If we look around us, all we will find is brokenness and despair. We know that as long as this world is governed by men it is subject to their fickle, self-seeking passions; and yet we often look to these people to offer us a better future. The reality is none of them will give us hope or help. 

Brethren, we must not expect the rulers of this world to look out for our interests or give us hope. Only God can truly do that. And so, let us lift up our eyes. Not to Capitol Hill but to the king God has established on his holy hill (Psalm 2.6). He is bigger, greater, stronger and in control of all things. He can see more than we can. He can do far more than we could ask or think or even ask (Ephesians 3.20-21). But more importantly, he can offer true hope, peace and security. Like children looking to their Father, let’s run to him during these turbulent times. We trust in the name and promises of the LORD. Quit looking down and look up.

“Set your minds on things above and not on things below.” (Colossians 3.2)

What is Truth?

Thursday, January 07, 2021

BIBLE READING: Psalm 119.153-160 (RESH)

“The sum of your word is truth, and every one of your righteous rules endures forever.” (Psalm 119.160)

We live in a world where “truth” is regarded subjectively. The “Speak Your Truth” movement popularized by Oprah Winfrey attests to the prideful way many contextualize information. “If it makes sense to me, it must be true.” The culture may call this “truth”, but it anything but that.

God’s word reveals that truth is an objective reality that can be known by all. “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth(John 17.17). As our verse today reminds us, truth emanates from God and what he has spoken. As Creator, he has authority over this world to define what is and is not.

As such, the Word of God and His law are not true simply in the sense that they are in accord with science, human nature, or some abstract ethical principle. The great confession given by Ezra after the Jews returned from bondage emphasized God's nature as “truth” in what He did in creation, election, redemption, and the giving of the law: You came down on Mount Sinai and spoke with them from heaven and gave them right rules and true laws, good statutes and commandments,  and you made known to them your holy Sabbath and commanded them commandments and statutes and a law by Moses your servant" (Nehemiah 9.13-14)

While our post-modern society echoes the proclamation of Pilate– “What is truth?” (John 18.38) – through faith we must attest that objective truth exists and is governed, embodied, and defined by God. Last year, we heard many things that were presented as true, but turned out to be false. We became keenly aware that “truth” from men is subject to the fickle nature of men. But behind all the twists of information and agendas lie an unalterable reality: Events occurred in a definite way. Choices were made with specific motives. We will never be able to untangle the deception Satan works in this world, but God can and does because he is truth (Hebrews 4.12-13).

God has been and always will be the origin of reality and truth. Therefore, to know God through his words brings reality and life (John 17.3-19). But more importantly it confronts us with choice. The truth of God is designed to be reflected in our lives. “Only fear the Lord and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you” (1 Samuel 12.24).

Our affirmation or rejection of truth does not change the fixture of what God has determined (Psalm 119.89). Jesus came to attest to this truth (John 18.37). As time continues, we see that “every word of God proves true…” (Proverbs 30.5). And so, let us remember that “man does not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4.4, cf. Deuteronomy 8.3).

“You will know the truth and the truth will set you free” (John 8.31-32)

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