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Daily Worship

Bible readings and resources for your time with God

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PRAYER PRACTICE

SPOKEN PRAYER: Out loud, pray for God to speak to you through your reading. Praise God for giving us His word. Ask the Spirit to help you read with faith, and to live out what you hear from God through the passage.

 

DAILY READING

2 Peter 3:1-13

 

REFLECTION


Sudden Judgment with Certain Grace

by Pr. Dave Mann


What do the great flood and the Day of the Lord have in common? A lot! It is a common comparison for New Testament writers – 2 Peter 2:5; 2 Peter 3:5-7; Matthew 24:37-38; Luke 17:22-27.


Noah’s flood came suddenly but with advance warning and there were scoffers. The Day of the Lord will come suddenly but with advance warning, and there are scoffers, both in Peter’s day and in ours. Both have had multiple prophets and preachers who have clearly announced the impending judgment, but with ample time to repent of sin and take advantage of God’s provision for safety and salvation.


Peter declares (as an echo of Jesus’ teaching, Matthew 24:37-39), “The Day of the Lord will come as a thief.” No one knows the exact hour or time. That means that even though there are ample warnings, the moment when it happens will be sudden and without any opportunity for a “do-over.” Now is the time for wholesome thinking – to consider with all seriousness the words of the holy prophets and the commands of Jesus, as received through those sent by him.


Do not be fooled by the scoffers. They may be clever with words. They may have a distinguished tone in their manner of speech. But they are not wise in the ways of the Lord.


Since just as in the days of Noah, many will wish for another opportunity to repent after the door of the ark is shut. The Day of the Lord will come without a countdown. But one thing we do know now – it is one day closer than it was yesterday.


Given all this, what sort of people should we be? We should be grateful that God is providing us with plenteous opportunities to repent of our sins and to trust in Jesus as our Lord and Savior.


One difference between the two events is that God used water to destroy the world in Noah’s day, but for the Day of the Lord, he will use fire. But it is the same God with the same call to repentance, with the same saving grace if we trust in his promise.


Lord God Almighty, thank you for the warnings sent by your prophets and apostles. May we and all we hold dear trust in your saving Word before the coming of that great and terrible Day of the Lord. In Jesus’ name, Amen.









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DAILY READING

Genesis 6:5-22; 8:6-12; 9:8-17


 

REFLECTION


by Elaine Pierce


God makes covenants with his people. His people break those covenants. He makes new covenants, which they also break. Ultimately, he sends his Son, his only Son, and we crucify him on a cross. He dies - for each and every one of us - and through Jesus' death, we are forgiven, and we are free to receive the gift of eternal life. It sounds so straightforward, doesn't it? But the path to the cross - and to the resurrection - has been a long one, filled with the stories of how God works in the lives of imperfect people. Let's take a look at Noah, and how this man, who lived thousands of years ago, can connect with us today.


Noah is called "a man who found favor in the eyes of the Lord (Genesis 6:8)." Also, he "was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God." (6:9) And after God tells him to build this huge ark, and gives him the precise dimensions of this project, we read that "Noah did everything just as God commanded him." (6:22) This is a man who, on the surface, is hard to relate to. My life is certainly not blameless, and I do not do everything God commands me to do. We do read later in Genesis 9 that Noah made a few missteps. And perhaps a "righteous" man is not a "sinless" man. However, Noah was a man who loved the Lord, and who followed him, at great cost. Genesis 6:11-12 describes the time in which Noah lived: "Now the earth was corrupt in God's sight and was full of violence....all the people on earth had corrupted their ways."


What would you need to change in your life to have a reputation like Noah's? I don't think being righteous and blameless equates with being a "goody two shoes." It's the condition of your heart. King David is described as a man after God's own heart (see Acts 13:22), and we know that David had a sin problem, just like we do. But he longed to serve God. In Psalm 51:10-13, when he is confessing his sin against Bathsheba, he calls out to God. Let these be our words, too:


"Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit to sustain me."


God is a promise maker and a promise keeper. Noah did all that God commanded him. David was a man after God's own heart. We have examples of imperfect people that God uses to fulfill his purposes. May it be so in our lives as well. We may not be called to build an ark, but God has a purpose and a plan for us. Ask him, and he will show you where he wants you to serve.


PRAYER


Lord, thank you for Noah, a man who followed you even when it seemed the task was daunting. Help me to look to you daily for guidance, and to ask the Holy Spirit how I can serve. Thank you for using me, sinful though I am, to bring your glory. Amen.








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DAILY READING

Genesis 3:1-11

 

REFLECTION


A Subtle Shift

by Mary Alice McGinnis


I love vacationing at the beach. Feeling the sun on my face and the power of gentle ocean waves against my body refreshes me. In an instance, I can bring to memory times of being out in the surf, chest high in the water, catching a wave as it comes in, and riding it in toward the shore. I can hear the laughter and joy of those moments. Time after time as I ride the curls of the foaming waves in toward the shore, I soon find myself quite a distance from my resting place on the beach, where my towel, chair and refreshments await me.


How does that happen? How do we so quickly find ourselves in a different place than we intended to be?


It starts with a subtle shift.


I noticed such a subtle shift as I was studying today’s passage.


“Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made."


Notice that at first God is called the LORD God. In the Hebrew text these words are LORD (Jehovah or Yahweh) and God (Elohim).


Yahweh was the name of God, held in such honor and reverence that it was thought sacrilege to even speak His Name. It is often translated as Jehovah. The sacred Name of God, Yahweh, was the name given to Moses when he encountered God in the burning bush. Yahweh means “I AM.” It relates to God’s eternal, unchanging, perfect nature.


The word Elohim – God – points more to God’s supreme authority and rule over all things.


The God who had created all the living creatures, including Adam and Eve, was both their eternal, unchangeable, perfectly good, and loving God, AND their supreme authority and ruler.


But in the Serpent’s first words to Eve, he uses ONLY the word GOD – Elohim, the supreme authority and ruler of all.


“He said to the woman, “Did God really say . . .?”


From this small shift, Satan begins to weave his seeds of doubt, and plays on the most basic of human fears – fear of missing out, the fear of lack, the fear that God is not good, that He is holding out on us, and that we must take things into our own hands.


On the opposite side, it plays on the most basic of human longings –the deceitful pleasures that tell us we can’t be whole without having what we want, the desire to be self-sufficient and our own boss and NO ONE can tell us what to do.


How does this slight shift resonate in your heart right now? Where has God’s eternal provision and love for you been brought into doubt? Where have you felt the need to “take things into your own hands”? Where have you felt the desire to shun God’s sovereignty and authority over your life and do it your own way?


The good news is that, even amid our doubts, even when we give into our fears, even when we rebelliously go our own way, our eternal good and sovereign God, Yahweh Elohim, still comes looking for us! He paved a way back for us, to restore our intimate communion with Him.



“For He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins." (Colossians 1:13-14)


Where do you find yourself hiding in shame from God? Hear His voice calling you, beckoning you, wooing you back into a deep, intimate relationship with Him.





PRAYER PRACTICE


Today, grab a pen and paper and write out a prayer to God using ACTS to frame your prayer.


A - Begin with adoration for who God is.


C - Move on to confession – being real about where you have failed to trust God's goodness, or surrender to His loving Sovereignty.


T - Give thanks to God for all that He gives (including forgiveness for the sin you just confessed!).


S - Finish with supplication – with your prayer requests to God. When you are done, tuck this away somewhere (so you can read it later and see how God has answered your prayers).








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