Sunday, January 29, 2017
14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens—Jesus the Son of God—let us hold fast to the confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tested in every way as we are, yet without sin. 16 Therefore let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us at the proper time.
Thursday, January 26, 2017
But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
Praise the Lord, all nations!
Extol him, all peoples!
For great is his steadfast love toward us,
and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.
Praise the Lord!
Wednesday, January 25, 2017
But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek your servant,
for I do not forget your commandments.
“See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven. What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.
Tuesday, January 24, 2017
"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field."
I rejoice at your word
23 And Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” 25 When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” 26 But Jesus looked at them and said, x“With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” 27 Then Peter said in reply, “See, we have left everything and followed you. What then will we have?” 28 Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world,2 when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold3 and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.
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Monday, January 23, 2017
At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
“Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.
The sum of your word is truth,
and every one of your righteous rules endures forever.
Saturday, January 21, 2017
- Pick a translation that works for your family. Don't restrict your family to one translation necessarily. You may have a preferred translation for reading and study. Or maybe your church has a common translation for their pew Bible. Those are good, but pick something that is good for your family. If your children are older, go for a more literal translation like the ESV or NASB. If they are a little younger go for something like the NIV, NET, or HCSB. These are all good translations. Pick one that is good for your family. That said, set the bar high. Don't read them a children's Bible which is a paraphrase. Read them the actual words of God. They pick up more than you might think.
- Start with narrative and work up to didactic. With kids it is good to spend the majority of your reading time in a narrative text. Pick something that tells a story. Something that has characters, a plot line, tension, and resolution. Go back to the beginning with the book of Genesis. Recount the great working of the Holy Spirit in the Acts of the Apostles. Or maybe take a desert tour in the book of Exodus. Start with narrative and you will hold your family's attention as they listen to the greatest story ever told; the story of God's redemptive work. As your kids grow older you can begin incorporating didactic texts; that is, texts that teach, books like the epistles. Having read through the historical accounts of God's redemptive work, they will be better suited to understand the theological implications and applications of that great redemption.
- Alternate between Old Testament and New Testament. Your goal is to expose your children to the breadth and depth of God's word. Read through a book in the Pentateuch. Then, read through one of the gospels. As you alternate between the two testaments, you maintain a healthy variety. At the same time, you also begin to show your family the vast panorama of Scripture.
- Read a Psalm. Or two. After reading a chapter of narrative, end your reading with a psalm. Your kids might not grasp every poetic nuance. They might not identify with the voice of the psalmist. But they will begin to hear the glory of biblical praise to a wondrous God. You might have to read slowly and explain a few words, but it is worth it.
- Read a proverb. Perhaps last night you read a psalm after your main narrative chapter. This evening, read a pithy wisdom statement from the book of Proverbs. That is all you need, one proverb, one verse. Then explain it to them. You can make a big impact in your children's lives by simply explaining in bite-size pieces how to skillfully live the godly life.
Friday, January 20, 2017
I will keep your statutes.
I call to you; save me,
that I may observe your testimonies.
I rise before dawn and cry for help;
I hope in your words.
My eyes are awake before the watches of the night,
that I may meditate on your promise.
Hear my voice according to your steadfast love;
O Lord, according to your justice give me life.
They draw near who persecute me with evil purpose;
they are far from your law.
But you are near, O Lord,
and all your commandments are true.
Long have I known from your testimonies
that you have founded them forever.
Thursday, January 19, 2017
The other motivator for me was that as a pastor, I want to be able to model godly leadership in the home. Family worship is an essential part of leadership in the home. I had some work to do.
The good news is for the last several months we have had regular, simple, uplifting family worship. And I would urge you to look at beginning this vital practice yourself. To that end I want to share some of the things I have learned about leading family worship and offer some practical advice on how you can do the same.
A good place to start would be picking up Donald Whitney's Family Worship. You can find it here. Tomorrow, I will look at selecting a text for family worship. Stay tuned.
Have any thoughts or tips you have found helpful for leading family worship? Let me know in the comments.
“Have you understood all these things?” They said to him, “Yes.” And he said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house, who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.”
The unfolding of your words gives light;
it imparts understanding to the simple.
Wednesday, January 18, 2017
At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
My eyes shed streams of tears,
because people do not keep your law.
Tuesday, January 17, 2017
but I love your law.
You are my hiding place and my shield;
I hope in your word.
Depart from me, you evildoers,
that I may keep the commandments of my God.
Uphold me according to your promise, that I may live,
and let me not be put to shame in my hope!
Hold me up, that I may be safe
and have regard for your statutes continually!
You spurn all who go astray from your statutes,
for their cunning is in vain.
All the wicked of the earth you discard like dross,
therefore I love your testimonies.
My flesh trembles for fear of you,
and I am afraid of your judgments.
Monday, January 16, 2017
Sunday, January 15, 2017
“Husbands, love your wives and do not be embittered against them.”