The Bank of Heaven

One of my dear friends in ministry was a man named John.  For years he had suffered from cancer that eventually took his life.  Every once in a while he would need to have a transfusion—new blood flowing into him. One time his medical insurance refused to pay for the expensive procedure. Besides being frightened and sad about his disease, he was angry.  

As I sat by his side, I found myself searching for ways to give meaning to his distress.  I said to him, “John, because you trust in God, I believe that there is a bank in heaven that deposits your faith so that others who are losing faith can draw from yours.”

Verse 10 of today’s reading uses the image of fire purifying us so that nothing but faith in God remains.  So take whatever is bothering you—big pain or little pain—and purify it by depositing it into the Bank of Heaven so that others can draw from your precious faith.

Isaiah 48:10-22

Tested in adversity v. 10
You laid the base of the earth. v. 13
You teach what is best for me. v. 17
Water flowing from the rock v. 21

Examples of Bible Breaths Learn More...

Mondays are dedicated to the reading of the Hebrew Prophets.

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 tablet! Check the menu options at the site for more information.

The Net of God’s Love

“Come, follow me,” he said, “and I’ll show you how to fish for people.” Mark 1:17

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”  No doubt you’ve had this question put to you, perhaps by an older person bending over to talk with you, because you were much smaller than they were.  

If someone were to have asked this question to one of the fishermen in today’s story when he was a little boy, most likely he would have said, “My family from way back only does one thing: we fish.  It’s a family business.  I never thought about being anything else in my life.”

In just five verses, this totally changes for two sets of brothers: Simon (later renamed Peter) and Andrew, and James and John.  Perhaps it is because they are very good at fishing—very patient and dedicated—that Jesus knows how these qualities would be perfect when it comes to fishing for people.  They are to gather lonely, lost people into the net of God’s love.  Whatever you want to be when you grow up, they’ll be nothing like bringing people together in love.

Mark 1:14-20

Examples of Bible Breaths Learn More…

Your eyes always upon me v. 16
“Follow me—fish for people.” v. 17
Mending the nets of my life v. 19
Leaving all to follow You v.  20

The Sunday Gospels follow the Revised Common Lectionary.
This being Year B, we are dedicated in this season to the Gospel of Mark.

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 tablet! Check the menu options at the site for more information.

The New Passover

“This day will be a day of remembering for you.
You will observe it as a festival to the Lord. You will observe it in every generation as a regulation for all time.
Exodus 14:12

The tenth and final plague against the Egyptians is about to happen: the Angel of Death will soon come to the houses of Egyptian families and kill the first born males.  How will death know the difference between the homes of Egyptians and those of the Hebrews?  Today’s reading tells what Hebrew families are to do.  Hyssop, a lovely shrub that grows around the world, is to be dipped into the blood of the lamb to be eaten and then smeared on the doorposts of Hebrew houses so that death will “Passover” those homes; thus the name for this celebration of freedom.   

  Hyssop was dipped into vinegar and brought to the lips of Jesus on the cross in John 19:29.  St. John wants us to feel the connection with the blood of the lamb smeared on the doorposts of the Hebrews and the vinegar smeared on Jesus’ lips.  The Resurrection of Jesus: the new Passover!

 Exodus 12:14-28

Examples of Bible Breaths Learn More…

You brought us out of Egypt. v. 17
The unleavened bread of Christ v. 20
Blood of Christ upon my heart v. 22
The Passover of the Lord v. 27

The Saturday passages follow the reading list that Jewish people use in their synagogue worship
throughout the world. They are taken from
“The Torah,” the first five books of the Bible from Genesis to Deuteronomy
that are read each year beginning with autumn.

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 tablet! Check the menu options at the site for more information.