Category: Trek Prep Thoughts
Scripture reading for January 1st: Matthew 1, Psalms 1 Proverbs 1:1-7
Welcome to BibleTrekToday.com, a blog that comments on a personal journey through the Scriptures in 2011! I would like to invite you to read the Bible along with me and participate in the journey for yourself.
This year I want to focus on the New Testament and plan to write 2-3 days a week so that I can do more reading and spend time in worship and prayer. I will post the readings for each day from the New Testament and Psalms and Proverbs. This will allow a more leisurely reading of Scripture and should allow for a deeper understanding of what we are reading.
Our theme for 2011 at Good Shepherd Church is “By His Spirit”. Key scriptures for this theme are found in Zechariah 4:6-7 and Galatians 5:16-25. The Holy Spirit is the Father’s gift to the Church. The Spirit marks all who belong to Jesus Christ with a seal of ownership (Ephesians 1:18) and is actively involved in helping believers live a victorious life over our flesh and enemy the devil. The Spirit brings gifts to be used as He wills in bringing understanding, healing, and revelation to build up the church. (1st Corinthians 12:4) The Spirit produces fruit that is pleasing and Christ-like as we allow Him to dwell in us. (Galatians 5:22-23)
It is the Holy Spirit who initially baptizes us into the Body of Christ at our conversion. (1stCorinthians 12:13) We are all told to “be filled (and continually filled) with the Holy Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18). This is a continuing work of grace given to those who seek to be Christ’s witnesses. (Acts 1:8, 2:4) Those led by the Spirit of God are sons of God and without the Spirit, we do not belong to God! (Romans 8:9,14)
Many in Good Shepherd Church are filled with the Holy Spirit and learning to live by the Spirit. Others are seeking to learn more. Some are not at all acquainted with the Holy Spirit and all of us can grow in our relationship to the Holy Spirit. Being led by His Spirit is the only path to fulfilling our purpose and living by faith, which ultimately pleases God. Please join us in our passionate pursuit of living life “by His Spirit” as we read the New Testament. It is going to be an exciting year!
A special thanks to my wife and ministry partner, Mary, who has faithfully edited these blogs and offered corrections!
Greetings! How do we find our way in this world? Is it blind chance? Are there natural forces and laws that operate and bring about all that happens? Are we just a chance combination of chemicals that has resulted from years of time and chance? Were our ancestors apes or monkeys? Are we really much more developed than animals? Are our thoughts just the result of chemical reactions in our brains? Is there any real moral truth? If we were to listen to much of what our secular world is saying to us, these questions nag at us. Even as Christians, we sometimes have a very poor understanding of the answers to some basic questions concerning our identity, our purpose here, our ideas, values.
Many professing Christians live as though the moral values taught by the Bible were not true and absolute. They have many of the same attitudes and actions of the unsaved when they live among them day to day. There is a big gap between what the Bible teaches and the way Christians behave. Do they understand the Bible? Do they believe and know what God has said? Are our hearts set on God and His truth? These questions also come to me regularly.
As we trek through the Bible this year, I want to grasp God’s vision for mankind and for me in a new way. I believe that how we believe and think determines how we live. As a Christian, I should know who I am, where I came from, how I lost my vision of God and how to see Him clearly again! Let’s ask God for a fresh vision of the world. Our ‘worldview’ is one of the most important aspects of our life and determines how we live. In His Love, Pastor John
“and He told them this parable: Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit?” Luke 6:39 Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” Proverbs 4:18
Greetings! The men of my church blessed me with a “Tom-Tom” GPS and I am so amazed at what it can do! I can put in an address that I don’t know how to find, and it will plot a route there and then talk me through the route, telling me when to turn and which way. If I make a mistake, it will get me back on track, or calculate an alternative route that will still get me to my destination! It will also get me back home!
I was thinking about this when I sensed the Holy Spirit speaking to me about how He helps me each day! He is “God’s Positioning System”–“GPS!” He takes the Scriptures and helps me in several ways. He helps me focus on the right path to arrive at my ultimate destination–Heaven! He speaks to me each day giving me directions along my path and when I make a wrong turn, He gently helps me find an alternate route! I am never out of range of His powerful positioning guidance. He knows the latest updates on road and traffic conditions and all the obstacles to my progress! He can get me home each trip!
We must remember a few things when using our “GPS.” We must keep it “charged” and “on” every time we go out! We must listen for the directions and follow–they are never wrong with God! We must always set our “home” address as “Heaven”–we’re just traveling through here on earth! If you faithfully follow your “GPS”, you’ll always know where you’re at and be able to find your way home! In His Love, Pastor John
“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, you will hear a voice behind you saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it.'” Isaiah 30:21; “My Sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them from my hand.” John 10:27-28
Greetings! As I considered a theme for 2009, I felt directed to a passage in the Gospel of Luke in chapter 24. The passage that came to mind was a story about two disciples of Jesus walking on the road to a town called Emmaus. It was the first day of the week following the crucifixion of Jesus. These disciples were depressed and confused as they walked along this road, talking about the events surrounding Jesus’ death. They were joined by Jesus, but did not recognize Him! Of course, they thought he had died and who expects to see a dead person?
Approaching them, Jesus asked what they were discussing. When they explained their discussion, Jesus chided them for their lack of faith and began to teach them from Scripture that this is what must have happened because it was recorded in Moses and the Prophets. He must have walked a long way with them, and when they arrived at their destination, Jesus acted as if he were going farther. They invited Him to come and have supper with them. As He broke the bread with them at the table, their eyes were opened and they recognized Him! It was Jesus! He was alive! Suddenly, He disappeared leaving them with hearts ablaze and new-found faith!
Since Jesus loves all His followers equally, would He not walk with us this year? Since He alone is the Word of God, would He share with us everything from the Scriptures concerning Himself? Could our hearts burn with love and passion and new faith? Would He break bread with us and stay at our house?
“And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” John 14:13-14
As we prepare for a new year, I’m excited about beginning a new journey through the Bible. The Bible is my favorite book of all times! I’ve read through it each year for many years now, reading it in different translations to gain fresh insights and to keep from becoming complacent. It is my intention to share this journey with any who want to join in. You are invited!
I encourage each of you to find a good devotional Bible that will help pace your reading through the year. This year, I’m using the Daily Walk Bible published by Tyndale House publishers and copyrighted in 2007. It is written in the New International Version. It has a devotion for each day of the year, dividing the Bible into 365 portions. These devotions are centered on a daily walk and will encourage you! It also has helps for each section to enhance your ability to understand. There are many Bibles available that divide the Scripture into daily portions. Let the Lord direct you to the one you should use.
In addition to this devotional, I will be sharing my personal gleaning from the Scriptures each day in this blog. I’m asking Jesus Christ to walk with me daily, as He has for nearly 50 years now. I want to know Him more intimately and follow Him more closely than ever! I need His wisdom and counsel daily. I want my heart to burn with passion for the things He is passionate about! I want to hear His voice and do what He asks and commands. I pray that this is your heart as well! Jesus is no respecter of persons! In the coming week, I will unfold the vision I feel the Lord has given me this year for my growth and the encouragement of those who journey with me in community. Would you join me on this exciting and significant BibleTrekToday?
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love Him.” 1st Corinthians 2:9