Words to Encourage

The final chapters of Paul’s letter change from teaching to encouragement. Make a list of the imperatives that he uses to encourage his beloved Roman Christians to grow in their commitment to Christ.  

The essence of Jewish worship was animal sacrifice.  Paul takes this concept and urges his listeners to have their bodies become a “living sacrifice.” 

Similar to his thought in 1 Corinthians 12, Paul reminds his people that their oneness in the body of Christ means that they belong to one another.  It is Paul’s way of stating a truth found in the very beginning of the Bible about Cain and Abel: you are your brother’s keeper.  Spiritual gifts special to each person are described just as Paul did in that same chapter of 1 Corinthians.

When you conclude the reading, rest … wait … write—what further words of encouragement does the Spirit speak within you. 

 Romans 1213

Check out Study Tools in BibleGateway.
I especially recommend the free resource
in Matthew Henry’s Commentary.

Thursdays are dedicated to the letters of Paul, other letters,
the Book of Acts, and the Book of Revelation.

These Firestarters are from a new edition of The Bible Through the Seasons being developed for families with children. For the Firestarters in the original edition, I recommend the ebook.  You will have the entire program of well over a thousand of these introductions with you on your phone or table! Check the menu options at the site for more information.

The Lord, My Rock

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David’s pain in all its detail flows out from him, mingling with verses that celebrate the comfort he finds in God’s protection.   We can model our prayer after the tenderness which makes his pleas in prayer so sweet. 

Verse 5 was on the lips of Jesus and Stephen at the moment of their deaths: “Into our hands I commit my spirit” (Luke 23:46; Acts 7:59).  From verse 9, we pray for all those who are suffering in the way that David is.

The Lord as a rock of safety is a key image of protection for David.  Find others which especially touch you, writing them down on post-it notes to stick in places where you can see them in the course of the day.  These spots will be resting places with the Lord, your rock.  

   Psalm 31

Check out Study Tools in BibleGateway.
I especially recommend the free resource
in Matthew Henry’s Commentary.

We read the Psalms in numerical order on Wednesdays

These Firestarters are from a new edition of The Bible Through the Seasons being developed for families with children. For the Firestarters in the original edition, I recommend the ebook.  You will have the entire program of well over a thousand of these introductions with you on your phone or table! Check the menu options at the site for more information.

Friendship Is Wonderful!

Saul’s jealousy gets stronger and stronger. He is so desperate, that all he wants to do is kill David.  How similar it would be for the blind pride and jealousy of the Pharisees seeking to kill Jesus, son of David, a thousand years later!

In David’s desperate need for food, he eats of the Bread of the Presence.  Three Gospels tell of Jesus’ reference to this incident as an example of how religious rules need to change where there is need to  stop suffering. (Mt 12:3,4; Mk 2:25,26; Lk 6:3,4).  Though David flees from Saul, David is ever in the Lord’s presence.

Contrasted with the flow of Saul’s hatred,  is the sweetness of profound friendship between Jonathan and David.  Friendship is so wonderful!  How about you and a friend sharing in these daily readings?  It would make your friendship greater by God’s Word speaking to you both.

 1 Samuel 2022

Check out Study Tools in BibleGateway.
I especially recommend the free resource
in Matthew Henry’s Commentary.

Tuesdays are dedicated to the Old Testament books of history
and the Hebrew “Writings.”

 

These Firestarters are for families with children. For the Firestarters in the original edition, I recommend the ebook.  You will have the entire program of well over a thousand of these introductions with you on your phone or table! Check the menu options at the site for more information.