Ready for another week of this Bible Reading Challenge? Ready to be stretched in your thinking? Ready for another week in which God, through His Word, will make you grow and sanctify you? As we keep reading we see that the hardest part of this challenge, of wearing this new habit is not necessarily finding the time to read, or fully understanding what we are reading. The hardest part might be seeing how some passages would be wonderful for our friend, or our husband, or our children to read, but forgetting that the Word is a mirror in which we ought to see ourselves first. The Word of God is for all His people, yes, but it is also for you personally. The Gospel message is powerful to change people -including you. So, let’s pray this week, as we come to His Word, that He will change us into His image. That He will show us the areas in our lives in which repentance is needed, that He will speak to us and humble us, and revive us and make us strong. He will hear and He will answer us.
This week we will finish reading the book of Numbers. Numbers started with directions for His people in the desert and will end with directions on how God’s people will need to live in cities. New rules, new patterns will be needed in their new life after the crossing of the Jordan River and again, God will not leave His people without directions. He will make His ways known to them. Matthew Henry says in his commentary on Numbers 36:13, “Whatever new condition God, by His Providence, brings us into, we must beg him to teach us the duties of it, and to enable us to do them, that we may do the work of the day in its day, the duty of a place in its place.”
We will also finish reading the 1st epistle of Paul to the Corinthians. In it we will read how we are to live as people of God in this world. And just like it was impossible for the Israelites to live according to all the laws, it is impossible for us to live according to God’s demands apart from the power of the Cross. Paul in this letter, explains how we can live pure and clean lives, lives set apart because we believe in the power of the Gospel. Obedience is possible because Christ is risen and He is at work in us. The way of love is possible because He has given us His Spirit. Building each other up is possible because the risen Christ is what brings us together. The theme of the resurrection of Christ and the believers is an important theme in this epistle, so pay attention, you don’t want to miss all of the treasures in it!
After a catch-up day on Friday, we will start with the epistle of Mark and Deuteronomy, the last book Moses wrote in the desert on the plains of Moab before entering Canaan. It is important to note that in both, 1 Corinthians and Deuteronomy we will find many strong warnings against idolatry. God is God, and He is Holy and Zealous, and He has never changed. The gods people serve, the idols we make change. But God remains the same and His character remains the same.
Mark opens with a powerful phrase, “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God…” (ESV) The same Gospel that later Paul proclaimed and we believe is true because God became man and conquered sin on the cross. Jesus starts His ministry doing what no one would have ever dared to do (and now we understand this much better!): He touched the unclean, the outcasts and made them whole. He also starts calling His disciples one by one, and we see that He chooses them to be His own, just like He chose Israel in the Old Testament out of the pure pleasure of His will.
Friends, we pray and trust that God will continue to bless you as you open His Word. May we have eyes to see His glory in the words we read and may we be transformed by it. Our prayer this week will be, “Father, help us this week to strive to excel in building up the church.” (1Cor. 14:12b ESV)
Under His sun and by Hs grace,
Becky Pliego and the team of Christ Church Ladies Fellowship