Friday, February 23, 2018

Getting Into the Bible 12-Day Devotional

Welcome to an exciting 12-day adventure in God’s Word.  The Bible claims to be the inspired (God-breathed) Word.  Whether you are reading this as a believer, or just curious, dive into this reading journey with an open mind.  Before you read each day pray and ask God to help you understand and apply the passage.

Day 1 – God Spoke and It Was
Read Genesis 1:1-2:24

“And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.” 

What do you find most incredible about this account?

The Christian worldview begins with One Creator-God who has the power to speak creation into existence.  He chose to make man out of the delight of His heart, and made both man and woman in His image.

Day 2 – We Sinned
Read Genesis 3:1 – 4:16

“What is this that you have done?”

What effects did sin have on the first human couple and on their children?

The Christian worldview paints a picture of humanity that is both grand (created in God’s image) and fallen (marred by our sin).  Like Adam and Eve, each of us chooses our own way instead of God’s, and separation from God and brokenness in relationships is the result.

Day 3 – The Blessed Man
Read Psalm 1:1 – 2:12

“Blessed are all who take refuge in him.”

The Bible reveals that God’s plan is to rescue humanity from our sin through a uniquely “blessed man” who is identified in Psalm 2 as the Son.  On our own, we are the wicked. We are like “chaff”, like cigarette butts blown into a gutter.  We each need God to rescue us from that road.

Day 4 – Pierced for Us
Read Isaiah 52:13 – 53:12

“We all like sheep have gone astray…and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

Can you draw a picture of what appears to be described here?

The prophet Isaiah wrote several hundred years before the events of the New Testament.  Yet, Isaiah reveals to us a vivid picture of the suffering that God’s servant and Son would endure for us!

Day 5 – God’s Salvation Arrives
Read Luke 2:1-38

“My eyes have seen your salvation.”

What about this story differs from the American version of Christmas?

God sent His Son, Jesus to be born as a human baby in the humblest of circumstances.  Yet, those who had been prayerfully waiting for God to fulfill His promises recognized in Jesus the answer to our sin problem.

Day 6 – Sinless but Rejected
Read Luke 4:1-30

“When the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time”

Jesus faced versions of all the temptations to sin that we do, yet he never sinned.  He remained on the road of the “Blessed Man” of Psalm 1.  Then, he went and preached to his home town, but was rejected.  May God give us eyes to see Jesus as He is, the sinless One sent for us.

Day 7 – The Blessings for Us
Read Luke 6:17 – 49

“Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.”

The life Jesus offers us looks vastly different from what the world calls the good life.  Jesus wants to bless us with a keen awareness of our poverty, hunger, and mourning so that we will turn to Him alone. Are you desperate to be part of God’s eternal rule, to be truly satisfied, to laugh, and to rejoice in God?  Then ask God to bless you in Jesus and seek to walk His way as described here.  Beware, we must turn away from the sins that defined us in order to trust fully in Jesus and follow Him.

Day 8 – The Son is the Most High God
Read Luke 8:19-56

“Who then is this, that he commands even winds and water, and they obey him?”

Remember how God created the world?  God spoke, and it was.  Here, Jesus speaks, and the winds and the waves obeyed him.  Jesus cast out demons with a few words.  Jesus raised a girl from the dead by telling her to “arise.”  This power is power only the Creator God wields.  If we would follow Jesus, we must believe that He is the God of Genesis 1.

Day 9 – The Cost of Following Christ
Read Luke 9:18-62

“Let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”

What is the hardest thing Jesus asked His followers to do?

Peter professes belief that Jesus is the promised One sent from God to rescue mankind from our sins.  Then, Jesus predicts the way He will save mankind – by His death on the cross.  Finally, Jesus says to follow Him we must deny ourselves (live for God’s glory), take up our crosses daily (live as bold witnesses for Jesus ready to die), and follow Him.  This is what it means to be a Christian.  It is no light invitation.

Day 10 – The Son Dies for Us
Read Luke 22:63 – 23:49

Take a few minutes to write out what it means to you that Jesus died for your sins on a cross.

“Are you the Son of God, then?”

Jesus, the Son of God, willingly went through torture and death on a cross because that’s what our sins deserved.  He died.  If we would follow Him, we must believe that His death is our forgiveness.

Day 11 – Jesus Conquers Death
Read Luke 24:1-53

“The Lord has risen indeed.”

The Christian worldview hinges on the historic fact of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead on the Sunday morning after his crucifixion.  Then, Jesus claimed that this is what God had promised throughout the Bible, that the Son, the Blessed Man would end the curse of sin and death by dying in our place and by rising from the dead.

Day 12 – Filled with the Spirit
Read Acts 2:1-47

“Receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

Why do you think God sent us His Holy Spirit?

When God sent His Holy Spirit to empower the followers of Jesus to be witnesses, many misunderstood and thought they were drunk.  But, Peter explained to others the good news about Jesus dying on the cross for our sins and rising from the dead.  To be a Christian is to repent or turn from our sins, to believe in Jesus, to receive the Holy Spirit, and to follow the example here of early Christians.  Join a good local church and be baptized as a believer in Jesus. 

You have hopefully made it to the end of your 12-Day adventure in God’s Word.  I invite you to keep reading in the book of Acts and in the Bible generally.  If you would like to talk to someone about what it means to be a Christian, please contact our church and come visit with us.  Don’t let this be the end of your adventure with God.  Trust Christ and follow Him.  Experience the blessing of taking refuge in Jesus alone.

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