How precious is the Word of our God! We at St. Mark's and Immanuel are working on a challenge to read through our Bibles. The daily reading schedule is posted here each week. Please join us.
Reading Through The Bible — Week 101
October 26, Monday. Read 1 John 1:1-10
· If time is short focus on v.5-10
· The pictures of “Life” and “Light” appear in John’s letter just as it does in His Gospel (see especially John chapter 1). God in Jesus is Life and Light. Does that not mean that apart from Jesus there is only darkness and death?
· That is why “confession is good for the soul.” We admit there is no life or light in us. We must be connected to Jesus.
· Note also there is no “just me and Jesus.” If we are connected to Him, we are connected to all others who are also connected. If there is someone in church or family where that fellowship is strained do all you can to fix it.
October 27, Tuesday. Read 1 John 2:1-29
· If time is short, focus on v.1-12
· There are important warnings in the elder John’s words today. His words can’t help but make us stop and think. If our “Christianity” is not affecting our life (obedience, love of neighbor etc.) then it is fake… a lie. We are also warned about love of the world. There is much about this world that makes it easy to “fall in love,” but let us realize that is spiritual adultery. Finally we are warned that besides THE Antichrist to be revealed at the end, there are many “antichrists.” Note they have come out of the church. They, by denying that Jesus is true God, are no longer in the church; but they have the background, language etc. of the church. Great are the dangers! “And now dear children continue in Him” (v.28)
October 28, Wednesday. Read 1 John 3:1-24
· If time is short, focus on 13-24
· The world may not know us. (1b, 13) What is important is that we know who we are. Think about that as you read today. How do we know who we are?
· Do v.6 & 9 bother you? If it does you know who you are. God’s children are not indifferent to sin. They want to love (really love so that it shows in action.)
· Note v.20,24. however, give us the ultimate confidence of who we are. We are because our God said so!
October 29, Thursday. Read 1 John 4:1-21
· If time is short, focus on v.1-6
· There is a lot to think about when it comes to love today. It IS a loving thing to test, to judge false teachers, especially those who deny the foundation of faith: that Jesus was God in human flesh.
· Love belongs exclusively to those who are born of God. But doesn’t the world love? A worldly person may be a world-class lover in the sexual realm. But such a person doesn’t even really know what love is.
· Perfect love drives out fear. Fear has to do with punishment and Jesus’ loving sacrifice has taken our punishment (v.14,17)
· What other important lessons did you learn about love today?
October 30, Friday. Read 2 John 5:1-21
· If time is short focus on v.1-13
· Faith is confidence, faith is victory...it overcomes the world.
· Faith in what?... That Jesus is the very Son of God. That is the testimony of the Spirit. That is the testimony of the water (Jesus’ baptism… "This is My Son”). That is the testimony of the blood (the cross… “It is finished”) In fact the Spirit, water, blood, (our baptism and Holy Communion) testify to us the certainty of faith.
· What is the sin that leads to death? What can it be but a stubborn throwing of that saving faith out the window!
October 31, Saturday. Read 2 John
· If time is short, focus on v.1-8
· Two guesses are usually offered as to who the “chosen lady” was 1) and actual Christian woman and her children. 2) a congregation, whose children would be the members.
· The “disciple of love” teaches us that LOVE leads us to believe that there is a proper time to “shut the door.” We are often encouraged today to be tolerant of other people’s beliefs. And while we will not follow the terrorist mindset and try to exterminate those who believe differently than we do, neither will we in the name of love invite false teachers into our homes (that is, will not in any way support or encourage them in their wicked work.)
November 1, Sunday. Read the lessons for the First Sunday of End time, Reformation Sunday. Lord, keep us faithful to Your Word!
The Gospel Lesson, Matthew 10:16-23: Throughout the history of the Church, the story of faithfulness to the Word of God has always been the story of persecution. And rightly so, because Jesus promised it! Who would send defenseless sheep into a world of ravenous wolves? It makes no sense, yet that is precisely the plan that Jesus describes for His Church. It makes no sense—unless you are the Good Shepherd who wants His sheep to utterly depend on Him. Our trust in Jesus doesn’t guarantee an absence of persecution, but faithfulness in spite of it. We will witness to the Word of God before brothers, fathers, children, governors and princes. Jesus promised, “All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.” What comfort that must have been for Martin Luther, whose faithful witness caused him to be expelled from his order, excommunicated from his church, and outlawed from his empire. Before the kings and princes of Europe, Luther gave faithful witness at Worms: “Here I stand. I can do no other. God help me. Amen.”
The Old Testament Lesson, Daniel 6:10-12, 16-23: They didn’t persecute Daniel because of theses nailed to a church door; they didn’t accuse him because of stirring words spoken over a pile of condemned books. They persecuted Daniel because he prayed in his home. Daniel made a bold confession and faithful witness with his knees. No godless king or immutable law would change the homage due to God. No threats, no pain, not even death would change Daniel’s loyalty to the Word of God that called on him to worship the LORD his God only. So Daniel went home and prayed, just as he had done before. He was faithful, even in the face of certain persecution. For the Christian, most persecution doesn’t come from public writings like Luther, but from private acts like Daniel. We live our faith and are persecuted because of it. We don’t face a den of lions, but persecution abounds when we’re faithful to the Word. We lose relationships because of moral purity; we lose promotions because of worship priorities; we lose friendships because we won’t join in sinful talking or walking. Faithfulness to God’s Word in the face of persecution requires trust. God shut the lions’ mouths to answer the king’s question: Is your God able to rescue you? Yes, He is. God shut the lions’ mouths to show His Church of all the ages that God is able to guard and keep His own. You can trust Him and be faithful to his Word in the face of any persecution.
The Epistle Lesson, Galatians 5;1-6: Martin Luther called the book of Galatians, “My Katie von Bora—I am wedded to it.” Paul’s letter speaks clearly against work righteousness and plainly about grace. That meant much to Luther who had staked his life on both topics. Why would anyone risk so much over words? Because the very freedom of the Gospel was at stake. Either we are free by grace or slaves under the law; there is no middle ground. Attempts to justify ourselves by outward acts do not result in justification at all—whether you are first-?century Judaizers, sixteen-?century clerics or twenty-?first century moralists. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. So, Paul says, stand firm and be faithful to the Word of God that sets us free.