Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Daily Bible Reading - September 13, 2017

Today's Reading:

John 16:5-33

2 Chronicles 24

Psalm 81

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Thoughts and Commentary on Today's Reading   

Psalm 81 is a Psalm specifically written for the Feast of Trumpets. Considering that this annual Sabbath is coming up this year on September 22, it is a good time to comment on the significance of Psalm 81.

Let's start off with how you can be certain that Psalm 81 is about the Feast of Trumpets.
Psalm 81:3-4 "Blow up the trumpet in the new moon, in the time appointed, on our solemn feast day. For this was a statute for Israel, and a law of the God of Jacob."
To prove that Psalm 81 is about the Feast of Trumpets, we need to cross reference each of the high-lighted words or phrases in the above verses, as follows:

1) Psalm 81 is referring to a NEW MOON day.
2) Upon this NEW MOON day, we are to blow the trumpet.
3) This NEW MOON day is also a solemn FEAST DAY.
4) The command to keep this NEW MOON day is a STATUTE in the LAW of Yahweh (so it is found in the Torah). 
Using these clues, we can quickly identify the day being mentioned in Psalm 81, for there is only one New Moon day, which is a Feast, given in the Torah, upon which we are specifically instructed to blow trumpets: The Feast of Trumpets.
Leviticus 23:23-25 - "And Yahweh spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month (the first day of the month is translated from the Hebrew words for NEW MOON), shall ye have a Sabbath (annual Sabbath), a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation. Ye shall do no servile work therein: but ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto Yahweh." 
Because Psalm 81 is a Feast of Trumpets chapter, we make a practice of reading it during our convocation on the Feast of Trumpets. But there is more...

Many believe that the annual Sabbaths (Feasts of Yahweh) are a "Jewish" thing and should not be kept by "Gentile" (non-Jewish) Christians. Yet Psalm 81 shows that Joseph certainly didn't believe the Feasts were just a "Jewish" thing... He not only kept the Feast of Trumpets himself, he went throughout the land of Egypt instructing the Egyptians to
keep it also!
Psalm 81:3-5  "Blow up the trumpet in the new moon, in the time appointed, on our solemn feast day. For this was a statute for Israel, and a law of the God of Jacob. This He ordained in Joseph for a testimony, when he went out through the land of Egypt..."
Psalm 81 not only contains key concepts related to the significance of the Feast of Trumpets, it also gives simple proof that God wants everyone to keep His holy days. And what a blessing it is to do so!

Daily Bible Reading - September 12, 2017

Today's Reading:

John 15:1-16:4

2 Chronicles 23

Psalm 80

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Thoughts and Commentary on Today's Reading   

John 15:13 says, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." 

Yahshua Himself is the quintessential example of this passage. It was His great love for us that motivated Him to suffer and die for us. Of course, Yahshua even went beyond this, in that while we were still His spiritual enemies, Christ died for us! (Romans 5:8).

There are many inspiring stories of Christ's followers who have loved Him enough to lay down their lives for Him. To live for Yah is the highest joy and to die for Him is considered a great honor.

Consider the inspiring story of Jatya, told in the magazine The Voice of the Martyrs, September 2017 issue:
A year after facing persecution for the eighth time, 90-year old Jatya is prepared to suffer yet again...
Jayta is eager to share the evidence of his faithful evangelism with visitors. The frail, yet energetic man lives in southern India, in a village heavily populated with paid informants for the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RRS). The RRS, a national volunteer organization with more than 5 million members, intimidates and even forces Christians to return to their nation's "Hindu roots".
Jatya has a manila packet stuffed with photos and newspaper articles recounting the times he has been beaten for sharing the gospel in his village.
It all started in 1992, when Jatya refused to sign a document promising to stop evangelizing. Police officers responded to Jatya's "stubbornness" by breaking all of his fingers.
Three years later, Hindu radicals beat him and dragged him to the police station, where he spent a week in jail. And the scars on Jatya's left arm and hand are constant reminders of the theird time he was persecuted for his faith. A Hindu neighbor whipped him with a bicycle chain, causing severe lacerations.
After each brutal beating, however, Jatya returns home from the hospital, grabs his Bible and heads back into his viallge. After all, people still need Christ.

"Until my last breath," he said, "I want to serve and live my life for Jesus."
Truly Jatya, and others like him, are honestly friends of God. 
"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."
What about us? We who are not yet suffering these things... Are we pursuing a friendship with God that is so deep that we would take suffer 8 times at this magnitude, when we are 90 years old - no less? 

The shema (the heart of the Torah - and the Bible) says, 
"Love Yahweh your God with all your heart and soul and might..." (Deuteronomy 6:4-9).

I pray that I will be so faithful when put to such a test! And I am not satisfied to merely leave the test results to chance. Right now, I prepare for faithfulness - in extreme situations - by developing a daily love relationship with my King. And also, "He who is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much."