Reading the Bible Cover to Cover in 365 Days - Day 53

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Welcome to Day 53 of Reading the Bible Cover to Cover in 365 Days!

Let us pray:

O Lord, soften our hearts so we can understand Your Word, learn new Truths, and learn more of You. May we receive everything You desire us to receive. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s see what’s happening in Luke chapter 9!

We start out with Jesus giving power and authority over all demons as well as healing power to His disciples. Imagine that! Verse 6 says, “And departing, they went about from village to village, preaching the Gospel and restoring the afflicted to health everywhere.” They received the power Jesus gave them and then operated in it to the benefit of so many people. When they came back to Jesus, their fame and His fame increased throughout all the territory, so people came from all over to receive their healing. We read about Jesus feeding the 5,000 men with 5 loaves and 2 fish. Noteworthy here is verse 13 which says, “But He said to them, You [yourselves] give them [food] to eat. They said, We have no more than five loaves and two fish – unless we are to go buy food for all this crowd.” This was a teaching moment for them. Jesus knew they didn’t think they had the ability to provide for all the people, so He told them to. Teachers do this. They give us an assignment we don’t think we can carry out. It raises our awareness because we are faced with a challenge. And challenges make us think. As He challenged them to feed the people, they offered rather poor solutions. Then they were actually ready to learn. They watched Jesus praise God and thank God for what He had and then asking God to bless what He had. There were 12 baskets of food left over. A great teaching moment for them and us! God desires to bless us. He also desires our praise and thanksgiving as we learned a few days ago in Psalm 50 where God said He didn’t need their animal sacrifices. He simply desired their sacrifice of thanksgiving. Let us remember to be thankful and praise God.

Verse 23 shows us we won’t always be able to go our own way – hence a sacrifice of praise is needed. Not all things seem good to us but are good as we serve the Lord. Verse 23 says, “And He said to all, If any person wills to come after Me, let him deny himself [disown himself, forget, lose sight of himself and his own interests, refuse and give up himself] and take up his cross daily and follow Me [cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying also].” Jesus had just told the disciples He would be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes and be crucified. Imagine knowing who would betray you as Jesus knew. He knew the Jewish elders, priests, and scribes would put Him on the cross. An excruciating death. Betrayal of this sort would, I dare say, be insurmountable for us to bear. Whatever we suffer here on this earth, falls so short of what Jesus endured. Let’s take heart today and lean into Jesus, His example, His grace, and His power as we face the difficulties in front of us. There is no mountain we cannot climb with Him by our side.

Let’s see what Paul is writing about in I Corinthians chapter 9!

Paul writes about support – something we would call tithing today. He writes about all the ways he is due their support but doesn’t ask for it. He makes his own way and doesn’t want to burden the Corinthian church with his needs even though he has poured himself into their spiritual growth. He even writes about the rights of the priests which we know about as Moses advised the Levitical priests about what they are to eat from the sacrifices. Again, Paul asks for nothing from the church. His reward is the blessedness he receives through their spiritual growth. That is enough for him.

Next, he writes that he becomes different for different people. Because he was raised under the law as a devout Pharisee, he could easily become all that the Jewish people needed him to be in order to teach them about Christ. Likewise, he was called to teach the Gentile people, and would live as a free person in Christ when he was among them so they could receive the message of Christ.

No matter who he was to whatever people, he wrote about disciplining himself in all matters concerning Christ because he desired to finish the race strong and be invited into the kingdom of God. He compares an athlete’s discipline to the kind of spiritual discipline we need to have to win the crown – the real prize which is eternal life.

Let’s see what God has to say to Moses and Aaron in Leviticus chapters 15 and 16!

In chapter 15, God gives Moses and Aaron instructions if either a man or woman are unclean due to a discharge. There are rules to follow – according to verse 32 a law to follow – and offerings to be made to be considered clean. They were, again, to stay out of the tabernacle or they would defile it. And nothing unclean could enter this holy space.

In chapter 16, the Lord gave Moses the instructions for the day of Atonement. The day of Atonement was one day a year when all the sins of the Israelites were atoned for. The chapter starts out with God reminding Moses about the 2 sons of Aaron who were killed because they offered unholy fire to the Lord. Then God tells Moses that Aaron could only enter the Holy of Holies one day a year. God’s glory would reside in the Holy of Holies all the other days. If Aaron entered on any other day other than the day of Atonement, he would die. Then God gave Moses the specific instructions for that day. He entered the Holy of Holies 3 times that day. One time for to burn the incense for the Lord. Another to sprinkle the bull’s blood against the mercy seat for himself, and the last time to sprinkle the blood of a goat for the Israelite’s sin. Then he did the same procedure for the Tent of Meeting.

There were 2 goats used on this day. The first one was killed while the other was sent away. Verse 23 is underlined in my Bible and says, “The goat shall bear upon himself all their iniquities, carrying them to a land cut off (a land of forgetfulness and separation, not inhabited)! And the man leading it shall let the goat go in the wilderness.” Psalm 103:12 says, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” This psalm takes on a new meaning as does the sacrifice of Christ. Let us remember that our sins are remembered no more because of Jesus. This chapter in Leviticus shows us that God has always provided a way for all sins to be forgotten. He shows His love and graciousness to all His people – past and present.

Let’s take a look at Psalm 53!

Psalm 53 is essentially the same psalm as written in psalm 14. When you get to this reading, look at psalm 14 and compare the two. Psalm 14 was written when King David’s son, Absalom, tries to overthrow the kingdom. David was at an all-time low here in spirit. Since both psalms are essentially the same, both end with a positive outlook even though both are mostly dismal. “Oh, that the salvation and deliverance of Israel would come out of Zion! When God restores the fortunes of His people, then will Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad.” God is a God of restoration. There is no question that He will restore His chosen people to Himself. And this is a perfect example of God’s promise to do so.

Let us pray:

Dear heavenly Father, we thank You for Your Word which teaches us Truths about You. May You bless these Truths to our hearts and help us understand more about You. In Jesus’ precious name, amen.

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