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Julie Ferwerda Christian Blog and Commentary

OYB September 23

  • Julie Ferwerda
    Are you ready for change in 2009? Grab a One Year Bible (NLT), commit to reading it daily, and join Julie Ferwerda on an extraordinary adventure that will transform your life as you experience its relevance in a fresh, understandable way. In addition to 20+ years in Bible teaching ministry, Julie is a professional speaker and writer. Her works have appeared in publications such as Focus on the Family, Discipleship Journal, Christianity Today, Marriage Partnership, Brio, and Revolve Biblezines & Devotional Bible (for teens). She's also the author of "The Perfect Fit: Piecing Together True Love," and also the upcoming book, "One Million Arrows for God: Raising Your Children to Change the World." Learn more at www.JulieFerwerda.com.
  • 2009 Sep 23
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Today's One Year Bible Reading

I will be on the road for the next 10 days and my ability to post will be sporadic. Keep reading-we're ¾ finished! And some of the best is still being discovered!

Isaiah

41:17 "When the poor and needy search for water and there is none, and their tongues are parched from thirst, then I, the Lord, will answer them. I, the God of Israel, will never abandon them. Does it not seem that God brings us all to this point (poor and needy) before we will bend our knee to Him? Until a person reaches the absolute point of poverty of soul, they will not be ready for a LORD and Savior. There are many who are going through the motions who have not experienced this beautiful death of self.

42:1-4 "Look at my servant, whom I strengthen. He is my chosen one, who pleases me. I have put my Spirit upon him. He will bring justice to the nations. He will not shout or raise his voice in public. He will not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle. He will bring justice to all who have been wronged. He will not falter or lose heart until justice prevails throughout the earth. Even distant lands beyond the sea will wait for his instruction. What a great Messianic prophecy. I love the gentleness portrayed. On another level, this also could be God speaking about His chosen, who are also "firstfruits" for His glory. What a beautiful way to apply it! Remember that the chosen are the "body of Christ," working out His will and (someday) justice on earth.

42:5 [God] gives breath to everyone, life to everyone who walks the earth. I believe His breath is the sustaining force of the Universe! And I believe that is the secret of life. Right in Genesis, God says, "the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being" (Gen. 2:7). Whenever you read about people dying in the Bible, it says they "breathed their last and died." The breath is taken away. I was holding my mom's hand when she breathed her last, and it was a holy experience! I had not felt her breath before she took her last, and then it literally felt like a "wind" that came out of her.

42:6 "I, the Lord, have called you to demonstrate my righteousness. I will take you by the hand and guard you, and I will give you to my people, Israel, as a symbol of my covenant with them. And you will be a light to guide the nations. Again, perhaps multi-layered. Jesus and His chosen faithful. It makes sense to me that all of the relevant prophecies like this about Jesus would apply to the rest of the firstfruits/kings/priests as well. Because the chosen are Jesus embodied on earth now. I found it interesting that whomever is the subject, he/they would be a symbol of the Covenant to Israel and a light to the nations.

42:7 You will open the eyes of the blind. You will free the captives from prison, releasing those who sit in dark dungeons. Jesus primarily did this for people spiritually. Our anointing today is to continue the work spiritually in the New Covenant.

42:24 Who allowed Israel to be robbed and hurt? It was the Lord, against whom we sinned, for the people would not walk in his path, nor would they obey his law. For me, it breeds trust when God takes responsibility for the condition of people's lives. Though we don't want to think about the disciplinary side of Him, every good parent disciplines His children to try to teach. Unfortunately, these people (and most people throughout time) did not learn their lesson (vs. 25).

43:1-3 But now, O [              ], listen to the Lord who created you. O [            ], the one who formed you says, "Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I gave Egypt [our slavery to sin] as a ransom for your freedom... I love this passage! Insert your name into the text. I have often done this and it has comforted me greatly!

43:5-7 "Do not be afraid, for I am with you. I will gather you and your children from east and west. I will say to the north and south, ‘Bring my sons and daughters back to Israel from the distant corners of the earth. Bring all who claim me as their God, for I have made them for my glory. It was I who created them.'" Should we be packing? =B-) Perhaps this is at the start of the MK? Perhaps before the MK? I don't know.

43:10-11 "But you are my witnesses, O [spiritual] Israel!" says the Lord. "You are my servant. You have been chosen to know me, believe in me, and understand that I alone am God. There is no other God—there never has been, and there never will be. I, yes I, am the Lord, and there is no other Savior. Paul spoke of the spiritual Israel in contrast with the physical Israel. Remember that Israel is to be a picture of God's chosen. Physical Israel missed the mark, but the way God worked with and through them is a picture of spiritual Israel.

Ephesians

I accidentally used NIV instead of NASB in a few of the references and didn't discover until I was finished. 

2:1 (Gleeful Classic NLT) Once you [believers] were dead, doomed forever because of your many sins. (NLT Standard) Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins (better). (NASB) And you were dead in your trespasses and sins...(accurate)

2:12 (NIV)...remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in [spiritual] Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now! We are fellow citizens. I believe this is another great passage upholding the importance of the covenants. So few believers today understand the Feasts (dress rehearsals) and the Covenants.

2:15-16 (NIV) His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. Here's more on the body—one new man! There are many people today who infuriatingly try to keep divisions among believing Jews and Gentiles. Some even divide pre-Jesus Jews from post-Jesus Jews. But what does God say (besides what we just read here)?

2:19-22 (NIV) Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. How beautiful (and clear) is that?

Psalm

67:6-7 The earth has yielded its produce; God, our God, blesses us. God blesses us, that all the ends of the earth may fear Him. There's that harvest again!