KG Oct. 30 – Nov. 5

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October 30, Sunday——————–ACCOUNTABILITY REMINDER

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Made to Rejoice — The formal dedication of the rebuilt wall of Jerusalem was a spectacular event.  Hundreds of people lined the top of the wall on opposite sides of the city to thank God with loud singing, accompanied by musical instruments.  An interesting statement in the description of this celebration is that the people “rejoiced, for God had made them rejoice with great joy…” (v. 43).  God gives joy; He is the ultimate source of our joy.  Isaiah said of God, “You have multiplied the nation; you have increased its joy” (Isa. 9:3).  Joy is part of the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22).  Paul prayed about the Roman Christians, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy…” (Rom. 15:13).  God wants us to be joyful and He provides joy for us.  Singing also brings us joy, so let’s sing along with this song of praise:

He Has Made Me Glad – YouTube

ACCOUNTABILITY REMINDER!  If you are up to date in your reading as of October 30, and did not report yesterday, please click here or let me know today at accbibleread@gmail.com.

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October 31, Monday——————ACCOUNTABILITY FINAL DAY

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Restored — I can imagine that Psalm 126 was one of the songs sung upon the walls of Jerusalem in that great dedication ceremony.  God had restored His people to their own land.  They had a new temple, surrounded by secure walls.  They had sowed tears in Babylon for 70 years; now they were reaping with songs and shouts of joy.  God had done great things for them.  Even the nations around them were exclaiming, “The LORD has done great things for them” (v. 2).  Here is a project for you today: Look around you all day, reflecting on all the good things God has given you!  Remember the times when you were struggling financially under debt, then praise God for restoring you!  Think about when you were sick or struggling with some physical pain.  Have you been restored?  If so, then thank and praise Him.  When He opens up an unexpected parking spot for you, tell Him that you recognize His help.  When someone compliments you for a positive quality they see in your life, give the glory to God.  He has done great things.

Great Things – YouTube

FINAL ACCOUNTABILITY DAY! — If you did not report in the last two days,
please let me know today where you are in your reading for this month,
whether you are caught up or not (accbibleread@gmail.com).  Thanks.

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November 1, Tuesday

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Cutting Corners — These challenges came from Malachi almost 100 years after the Jews began returning from Babylon.  The temple and the walls had been rebuilt, but the spiritual climate of the people—even the priests—had slipped significantly.  The people were taking shortcuts, cutting corners in their worship practices.  God had declared that only unmarred animals were acceptable as sacrifices, and the priests were assigned the responsibility for inspecting the animals brought as sacrifices.  But the people and the priests had fallen into a “good enough” attitude.  Their worship was careless; they were not honoring God.  In fact, God said that the priests “despise my name” (v. 6).  Then, three times, Malachi prophesied about a future time when “my name will be great among the nations” (vv. 11, 14).  That seems to be speaking of our time, after the Messiah’s appearance.  The name of Yahweh is now known far and wide, and His followers are worshiping Him with “a sacrifice of praise … the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name” (Heb. 13:15).  We are our own priests, who check the quality of our “sacrifice of praise” that we bring to God.  Let’s be genuine and wholehearted in our worship.  Check yourself when you are singing in church; is your heart really into it?  Don’t be cutting corners, despising His name!

We Bring the Sacrifice of Praise – YouTube

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November 2, Wednesday

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Breaking Covenants — God criticized His people through Malachi about two covenants they had broken.  God said that His first covenant was “my covenant with Levi” (v. 4).  Levi was chosen by God to be the representative and example for worship and understanding of the Law.  But this is what God said about the faithless priests of Malachi’s day: “You have corrupted the covenant of Levi” (v. 8).  They not only “turned aside from the way” themselves, but they also “caused many to stumble by [their] instruction” (v. 8).  The spiritual leaders had tripped, and then, had tripped others.  Although not many of us are official spiritual leaders of our churches, we are still spiritual leaders among our church friends, our families, our workplace, and our neighborhoods.  We represent who God is in our example to others.  The second broken covenant was that of marriage, with “your companion and your wife by covenant” (v. 14).  Marriage is a three-way covenant, with God as the witness (v. 14), and God hates divorce (see NASB translation of v. 16).  Christian marriage is a picture of the relationship of Christ and His Church (Eph. 5:32), so it is also an example to everyone who knows the couple.  God is a faithful covenant-keeper and He expects the same from us, whether we are leaders in a church or partners in a marriage.

Promises – YouTube

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November 3, Thursday

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Testing God — The subject of testing God is mentioned twice in this chapter, once in a positive sense and once in a negative sense.  First, God challenged His foot-dragging people to “put me to the test” (v. 10) in the area of giving a tithe to the Lord.  Since it was a requirement in the Law, God said of their reluctance to give: “you are robbing me” (v. 8).  So many Christians today have the same hesitation about giving back to the Lord, claiming that they can’t afford to give even a tenth of their income back to God.  So, the Lord would encourage both ancient and modern believers to “test God” by letting Him show that He would be generous to those who are generous to Him.  The next paragraph mentions the negative side of testing God.  The semi-committed Israelites in Malachi’s time were looking around at people who were not even trying to serve God (the “arrogant” and the “evildoers”), and yet they seemed to prosper.  It was thought that “they put God to the test and they escape” (v. 15).  Those people were testing the patience of God, and because of His long-suffering, it looked like the evildoers were getting away with their sinful ways.  But God’s justice will eventually apply the promised punishment to them.

Restore, O Lord, the Honor of Your Name – YouTube

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Meditation: There is a great statement in this chapter about the immutability (unchangeableness) of God: “I the LORD do not change” (v. 6).  What this means is that God never changes who He is—His character.  The character quality that is in focus here is His faithfulness (His promise-keeping), which is why God’s statement is followed immediately by, “…therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed” (v. 6).  God had made a covenant with Israel in which He committed that they would always be His people.  God does, however, sometimes change His planned actions, depending on the response of people to His warnings.  An example follows in the next verse: “Return to me, and I will return to you” (v. 7).  God is always the same, but He will bend His actions at times for the benefit of His people.

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November 4, Friday

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Final Judgment — We end our chronological journey through the Old Testament today with Malachi’s prophecy of God’s final judgment, which will have two sides: a time of punishment for “all the arrogant and all evildoers” (v. 1), and a time of healing and joy for those “who fear my name” (v. 2).  It is interesting that Malachi looked both backwards and forward at the conclusion of his prophecy.  Looking into the past, we are told to “Remember the law of my servant Moses” (v. 4).  Those laws were the standards God laid down at the beginning.  The view forward sees John the Baptist representing Elijah, and fulfilling the role that Elijah brought to King Ahab and the northern nation of Israel.  Jesus confirmed this connection, saying about John the Baptist, “…if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah who is to come” (Matt. 11:14).  John rebuked the sinner and introduced the Savior.  Jesus brought the final opportunity to face the final Judgment Day with joy.  God is a God of justice, but that justice includes mercy for those who are willing to follow Him.

God of Mercy, God of Grace – YouTube

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November 5, Saturday

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Tempted and Tried — The book of James leads us into the New Testament on our search for Bible passages that speak about who God is and what He does.  We will skip over the Gospel accounts for now since we plan to cover them next year in our “Knowing Jesus” series.  We will now go chronologically through the rest of the New Testament, looking primarily for information about God the Father.  In our passage for today, we see God in relation to our trials and temptations.  He is involved in our “trials of various kinds” (v. 2), which God uses so “that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness” (v. 3).  God does test us sometimes, just to make us stronger.  That means, then, that our attitude during hard times should be turned toward God’s good purpose for us.  In that way, we can “Count it all joy…” (v. 2).  That is hard to accomplish, but it is critical to our understanding and benefiting from trials.  We must remember that trials and their results are part of “Every good gift and every perfect gift … from above” (v. 16).  James then shows us God’s relationship to our temptations.  God is not involved in bringing temptations to sin (“God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one”—v. 13).  The same Greek word is used for being “tried” and being “tempted,” but the meanings are very different according to the context.  That is like the English word “sanction,” which can mean a penalty for breaking the law or a positive approval for an action, depending on the context.  We are both tempted and tried, but Satan’s forces and our own selfishness tempt us, while God tries us.

Farther Along – YouTube

Published by abibleread

This website honors the Bible as the inspired Word of God through which God speaks to us as we read and study it.

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