Thursday, November 8, 2018

Daily Bible Reading - November 8, 2018

Today's Reading:

Titus 1

Jeremiah 13-14

Psalm 125

Listen to the Bible







Thoughts and Commentary on Today's Reading   

There are many beautiful symbols, given in Scripture, which represent the saved people of God. One of them is Mount Zion.

Psalm 125:1-2 "They that trust in Yahweh shall be as mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth for ever. As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so Yahweh is round about His people from henceforth even for ever."

Occurring over 150 times in the Bible, the word “Zion” essentially means “fortification.” In the Bible, Zion is both the city of David and the city of God. As the Bible progresses, the word “Zion” transitions from referring primarily to a physical city to having a more spiritual meaning. On earth, in the Last Days, Zion is the saved people of God.

In the Last Days, the prophecies of a holy Zion aren't about a literal place on earth. Holy Zion is the people who trust in Yahweh.
Isaiah 51:16  "And I have put My Words in thy mouth, and I have covered thee in the shadow of Mine Hand, that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion, Thou art My people."

We are probably familiar with the call to come out of Babylon in the Last Days. But we aren't just being called out of Babylon into a neutral state. We are being called out of Babylon and into Zion!

Daily Bible Reading - November 7, 2018

Today's Reading:

2 Timothy 4

Jeremiah 11-12

Psalm 124

Listen to the Bible







Thoughts and Commentary on Today's Reading   

What does it mean to "fight" and to keep "the faith"?

2 Timothy 4:7-8 "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which Yahweh, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His Appearing."

To fight the good fight of faith means that we abide in the Word by faith, regardless of what we feel or what we think we understand. Yahshua said, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.” John 8:31.

Do not let sin rule

It is written, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21. We have passions and desires that maintain the opposite. We have human reasoning that says, “This is impossible; then they will do what they want with me; they will walk all over me,” etc. Here we have an exhortation by Paul: “Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts.” Romans 6:11-12.

Fighting the good fight of faith means that we stand firmly anchored in the Word in the power of the Spirit, reckoning ourselves dead to our feelings and our human reasoning, not letting sin rule in our mortal body by obeying its lusts. We have to do what Jesus says: Take up our cross daily and deny ourselves. (Luke 9:23) Paul also says the same thing: “But if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” Romans 8:13.

This does not happen without a fight and sufferings. Peter says it like this: “Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin …” 1 Peter 4:1. Therefore we must suffer in the flesh if we are to cease from sin. There will be sufferings in the flesh if we by the Spirit are to put to death what rises up from the flesh so that the lusts are not allowed to rule. Sin rules, and we suffer in our conscience if we do not suffer in the flesh.

A victorious life does not come automatically

Most people do not want to acknowledge this fight and this suffering. Most preachers use their abilities to present the Christian life as being as easy and as glorious as possible. They explain how Jesus has done everything and as a result we don’t have to do anything. They say, “Jesus has suffered for us; He died for us, and He has redeemed us completely. We must only believe in His finished work, and then we will automatically live an overcoming life. As long as we just look up to Jesus, the fruit of the Spirit which we read about in Galatians 5:22 will come.”

They can proclaim “full liberty” in Christ in spite of seeing the people they serve continue to live in all kinds of sins, and in spite of the fact that they themselves do not have the victory. They live in the love of money, envy, and fornication. They have come into false liberty and turn grace into licentiousness. (Jude 4) They cannot endure this sound doctrine because they have turned their ears away from the truth and have turned aside to fables. (2 Timothy 4:2-4)

Those who want to be faithful to the truth know that living an  overcoming life in the virtues of Christ is not something that comes automatically. Therefore the Scriptures speak of a narrow way, about the cross and self-denial—suffering and death. The Scriptures are full of serious exhortations. They use such words as:
“Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling …” Philippians 2:12 

“Strive to enter through the narrow gate …” Luke 13:24“Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them …” 1 Timothy 4:16 

“Exercise yourself rather to godliness.” 1 Timothy 4:7 
“But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue …” 2 Peter 1:5 

“Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your calling and election sure …” 2 Peter 1:10

Yahshua gives us weapons and power so that we are able to fight the good fight of faith. In Him we find true victory. But make no mistake. It isn't called a fight for nothing! Suit up (in the Heavenly Armor) and stand in Him. Fight the good fight of faith.

Daily Bible Reading - November 6, 2018

Today's Reading:

2 Timothy 3

Jeremiah 9-10

Psalm 123

Listen to the Bible







Thoughts and Commentary on Today's Reading   

Did you know that the prophet Jeremiah warned Yahweh's people not to keep Christmas? Oh, he didn't call it that, for it didn't have that name until many years later. 

I'm not going to comment on it much. I will just let the video do the talking - and the verse from Jeremiah 10:2-4:

"Thus saith Yahweh, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with goldthey fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not."


Daily Bible Reading - November 5, 2018

Today's Reading:

2 Timothy 2

Jeremiah 7-8

Psalm 122

Listen to the Bible







Thoughts and Commentary on Today's Reading   

Today I'd like to focus on some spiritual warfare advice which Paul gives:

2 Timothy 2:3-4 - "Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Yahshua Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please Him who hath chosen him to be a soldier."

The Word of God compares the Christian life to many things. Christians are to be fishermen of men; witnessing and winning souls in the waters of the world in which they live. (Matt. 4:19, Acts 1:8)
Christians are also called to be dutiful and diligent farmers; breaking up the fallow grounds of the hearts of men, sowing the precious eternal seed of the Word of God, weeding and cultivating the field of the world and ultimately reaping and gathering in a golden harvest of souls for His eternal Kingdom. (John 4:35, Matt. 9:37-38, Psalm 126:5-6)
Christians are commanded to be builders, even master builders: skillfully laying the foundation of Christ and then wisely structuring and building their entire life into an enduring edifice that will glorify their God eternally. (Matt. 7:24-27, I Cor. 3:9-15)
Christians are enjoined to be spiritual capitalists; as good stewards of the grace of God, carefully managing and multiplying the talents God has placed into their care. (Matt. 25:14-30)
Christians are urged to be good athletes; running the race of the Christian life according to His rule book, enthusiastically and energetically and finally faithfully finishing the course He has set before them. (I Cor. 9:27, Heb. 12:1-3, II Cor. 5:10)
But one of the most challenging metaphors of the Christian life is presented in this simple passage. Here, as in his letter to the Ephesians, Paul compares Christian life to a soldier called to wage spiritual warfare. (Eph. 6:10-18)
Many of the militant calls in the Bible to spiritual battle are based upon this easily understood analogy. Grand old hymns of the faith have been penned about the challenges and responsibilities of Christian soldiers.
Make no mistake about it, the battle of the ages is joined with Satan and his cohorts of evil. The war has been raging ever since his initial rebellion in the heavens. As the centuries pass, it only grows in its scope and intensity. (quoted from Sermon Central)
So don't expect things to be easy, if you've made a stand for Christ. But, when things get hard, soldier on. Endure the hardship. And, as it says in 2 Timothy, do not return to the old worldly things which used to entangle you. Those things weigh down the soul. Be faithful. Fight on - in His Name, Power, and Blood. 

Daily Bible Reading - November 4, 2018

Today's Reading:

2 Timothy 1

Jeremiah 5-6

Psalm 121

Listen to the Bible







Thoughts and Commentary on Today's Reading   

Jeremiah 6:16 talks about the Old Paths and the Good Way:

Jeremiah 6:16 - "Thus saith Yahweh, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls..."

I find it interesting that, originally, followers of Christ were not called "Christians", they were called "Followers of the Way". In other words, following Messiah (Who is the WAY, the Truth and the Life) also involved returning to the Old Paths or the Old Way of doing things - the Torah Way. This is against our common ideas today, considering the New Covenant vs Old Covenant teachings so pervasive in Christianity today.

Jeff Benner gave an interesting presentation on the Way of Yahweh, as follows:
A common theme throughout the Old Testament is "the way of Yahweh" - ... I have chosen him, that he may command his children and his household after him to guard the way of Yahweh by doing righteousness and justice (Genesis 18:19).
The word "way" is the Hebrew word דרך (derekhStrong's #1870) literally meaning a road or path. Israel's journey on the path of Yahweh is frequently addressed but often hidden behind the English translations.
Pointing out the road
From the root ירה (y.r.h) comes the verb ירה (yarah, Strong's #3384) meaning to cast or throw as seen in Shemot 15:4 - Pharaoh's chariots and his host he cast into the sea, and also in 1 Samuel 20:20 - And I will shoot three arrows to the side of it. This same verb can also be translated as "teach" in the sense of throwing the finger, or pointing, in a particular direction the one who is being taught is to walk - Teach me your way (Psalm 86:11). This last verse could be translated literally as Point me in the direction of your path.
Derived from the root ירה (y.r.h) is the noun תורה (torahStrong's #8451), meaning "the direction that is pointed out" or a "teaching" as in Proverbs 1:8 - Hear, my son, your father's instruction, and reject not your mother's teaching. This same word is used throughout the Old Testament for the "teachings" of God our father - but his delight is in the teachings of Yahweh, and on his teaching he meditates day and night. (Psalm 1:2).

The Nomadic migration through the wilderness
The Hebrew language is composed of a series of roots. The most basic roots, parent roots, are formed by combining two letters together. In some cases, parent roots sharing a common letter are related in meaning such as in the roots צא, צו and צי which are all related to the nomadic migration. When a third letter is added to the parent root a child root is formed and the definition of this child root is going to be closely related to the parent.

The migration
The parent root צא (ts.a) represents the migration of the nomad from one location to another. The child root יצא (y.ts.a) also has the definition of the migration. The verb יצא (yatsa, Strong's #3318), derived from this child root can be found in Exodus 20:2 - I am Yahweh your God, who migrated you out  of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. This is the beginning of Israel's migration from Egypt to the land he has promised them.

The directions
The parent root צו (ts.w) represents the directions the nomad takes on his migration. This same meaning is applied to the child root צוה (ts.w.h) and its verbal form, צוה (tsawah, Strong's #6680), can be seen in Deuteronomy 1:19 - And we set out from Horeb... as Yahweh our God directed us. God provides Israel with their directions during their migration toward the land he has promised them.
The directions can be directions for a physical journey through a land or a journey through life. The noun מצוה (mitswah, Strong's #4687), often translated as command or commandment, but more literally means a "direction," is derived from the child root צוה (ts.w.h) by adding the letter מ (m) and is used for this journey through life as seen in Deuteronomy 6:25 - And it will be righteousness for us, if we are careful to do all this direction before (Yahweh) our God.
The verb צוה (tsawah) is commonly translated as a command but this definition does not reflect the Hebraic background to the word. When we read about the "commands" of God in the Bible we have this image of a General giving his commands to his troops. But, the Hebraic concept behind these "commands" are the directions from God for our journey through life so that we will not get lost from the correct path.

The wilderness
The parent root צי (ts.y) represents the place of the nomads journey, the wilderness. From this parent root is derived the noun, ציי (tsiyiy, Strong's #6728), meaning a wilderness as in Psalm 72:9 - They that dwell in the wilderness shall bow before him; And his enemies shall lick the dust.
The wilderness is filled with landmarks which the nomad follows to guide their way. The noun ציון (tsiyuwn, Strong's #6725), derived out of the parent root צי (ts.y) by adding the letters ון (ow.n) means a landmark as seen in Jeremiah 31:21 - Set up Landmarks for yourself, make yourself guideposts; consider well the highway, the road by which you went.
God has given Israel their directions to take them from landmark to landmark. As an example God directed Israel to rest on the Seventh Day, the Seventh Day is not the direction, it is the landmark to guide them on their journey through life from one Shabbat (Sabbath) to the next.
Each of the feasts were given as landmarks and the Torah provides the directions to recognize and find these landmarks. Just as there are many different kinds of landmarks in the wilderness such as, mountains, rock outcroppings, wadis and rivers, God has placed a wide variety of landmarks to guide His people on their journey. The Torah provided the directions to these landmarks as well as what direction to take once one has arrived at the landmark.

On the path and lost from the path
When traveling the wilderness it is important to stay on course in order to find the next landmark as well as the pastures and water sources. If one was to lose their way they will become lost and may die if they do not return to the proper route. The idea of being on course and lost from the course is found in two Hebrew words, צדיק (tsadiyq, Strong's #6662) and רשע (rasha, Strong's #7563). The word tsadiyq literally means to stay on course, to remain on the path while rasha means to be lost from the path. Tsadiyq is usually translated as righteous and rasha as wicked but, these English words do not convey the original meaning behind the Hebrew very well.
One who is tsadiyq remains on the road, following God's directions but on the other hand, one who is rasha is lost and is in jeopardy of death. Consider Proverbs 10:11 which states, The mouth of the tsadiyq is a source of life but the violence covers the mouth of the rasha.

Once one realizes that he has become lost (rasha) his goal is to turn around and return to the correct path. This idea is expressed in the Hebrew verb שוב (shuv, Strong's #7725). This same verb is used in the context of repenting (returning to the path) from wrongdoing (lost from the path) and returning to the commands (directions) of God - And thou shalt return and obey the voice of the LORD, and do all his commandments which I command thee this day or, from a more Hebraic perspective - and you will return to the path and you will listen to the voice of Yahweh and you will follow all his directions which I have pointed out to you today (Deuteronomy 30:8).

The guiding light
In ancient times the stars would guide one on their journey. The Hebrew verb הלל (halal, Strong's #7725) is the shining light of these stars - For the stars of the heavens and their constellations will not give their light הלל (Isaiah 13:10). This same word is also translated as "praise," but Hebraically means to "look toward another as a shining light." When the Psalms say, Praise Yah (halelu-Yah) (Psalm 135:3) it is literally saying "Look to Yah as the light that will guide you on your journey."

Our life is suppose to be a migratory journey on God's road. The Bible is the 'map' that shows us the directions, paths and landmarks which he has pointed out to us. The Bible is also the guide to show us how to stay on the path and how to find it again if we become lost on our way. If we are not reading (a.k.a. studying) this book how can we expect to find our way to the road of Yahweh?

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path
Psalm 119:105
The Way of Life- the Old Path has not changed with time. The Old Path and the Old Ways are still the right ways. This is why Jeremiah 6:16 is so important. We are to seek the Old Path - how was it done in the Torah (Isaiah 8:20)? That is how it still to be done.

Daily Bible Reading - November 3, 2018

Today's Reading:

1 Timothy 5:23-6:21

Jeremiah 3-4

Psalm 120

Listen to the Bible







Thoughts and Commentary on Today's Reading   

Today I will focus on 1 Timothy 6:6-8. This Scripture contains some important principles of thankfulness and contentment, which are easy to admire but hard to demonstrate.

1 Timothy 6:6-8 "But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content."

The principle of "godliness with contentment" is found in the Torah (the Law of Yahweh). Its concept appears under the Commandment heading "Thou shalt not covet..." Exodus 20:17.

The principles of contentment protect us from greed.

Contentment is a principle which directly effects our finances as well as our attitudes. The IBLP Men's Manual has an excellent section on contentment, as it involves learning to live within one's means. The following is an excerpt from it:
Learning to live within your income involves recognizing your true needs and practicing contentment when those needs are met. This discipline helps you avoid debt and allows you to share surplus resources with those in need.

The temptation to get more for yourself and to store up riches for your own use and comfort is one that is common to all, because it is easy to trust in riches for satisfaction and delight. Yet Scripture warns, “. . . If riches increase, set not your heart upon them (Psalm 62:10). (Yahshua) said, “. . . Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth” (Luke 12:15).

Your Standard of Living

Contentment involves realizing God has given you everything you need for your present happiness. As God’s grace abounds in your life, you are made fruitful: “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work” (II Corinthians 9:8).

Your standard of living should be built around contentment with basics: food, clothing, and shelter. If your income exceeds what you require to provide for these needs, determine how you can use the extra resources to meet the needs of others and advance God’s kingdom, not your own pleasures. If your income is inadequate to provide for your basic needs, look for ways to decrease your expenses and pray for God’s continued provision.

Many people who have large incomes are not able to pay their bills, because they are not limiting their spending to their true needs. They spend money that should be used for food and clothing on other items. They are not poor in terms of money, but rather they are poor in terms of managing their money. In Proverbs 11:24 we are warned against hoarding resources: “There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty.”

Poverty and Wealth in the Life of the Christian

Scripture clearly teaches that a Christian’s possessions are gifts of God’s grace to meet his needs, and they are the basis for giving to others. God does not condemn a Christian for possessing wealth. However, He does rebuke those who heap up riches for themselves (see Psalm 39:6 and Luke 12:20–21), trust in their riches (see I Timothy 6:17), gain riches unjustly (see James 5:4), or set their heart on riches (see Psalm 62:10).

Just as God may grant riches, He may also allow for poverty in the lives of faithful Christians. The Apostle Paul affirmed that he and his fellow workers had no money for themselves, yet they made others spiritually rich. “But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God . . . as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things” (II Corinthians 6:4, 10). The Biblical accounts of Elijah, Job, and others indicate that there were times when these men of God had very little.

Even though a Christian may experience poverty, God never forsakes him, and God gives him a rich heritage of faith. In the final analysis, faith is more important and more valuable than riches“Without faith it is impossible to please him [God] . . .” (Hebrews 11:6). Based on this fact, God’s compensation to the poor is significant: “Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world [to be] rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?” (James 2:5).

God also gives to the poor a freedom from the fears and worries that often plague the rich. One of the rewards of this freedom is an increased potential for a good night’s sleep. “The sleep of a laboring man is sweet, whether he eat little or much: but the abundance of the rich will not suffer him to sleep” (Ecclesiastes 5:12). “Better is little with the fear of (Yahweh) than great treasure and trouble therewith” (Proverbs 15:16).

Purposes for Cycles of Wealth

God chooses different means to accomplish different purposes for His glory. Wealth—or the lack thereof—is a tool in God’s hands for testing, chastening, and redemption, depending on God’s intentions in a given  situation. “For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another” (Psalm 75:6–7). “. . . It is he that giveth thee power to get wealth . . .” (Deuteronomy 8:18).

Throughout our lives, we may experience cycles of riches, financial tests, poverty, and growth in faith. These sequences are meant to help us learn contentment and to trust in God’s eternal riches, not temporal ones.

Sometimes the loss of money indicates a violation of God’s Word. Scripture clearly states several cause-and-effect sequences between disobeying God’s ways and financial loss. When we encounter financial challenges, we should evaluate our hearts and lives and repent of any sin, but we should also recognize that the circumstances might not be a consequence of wrongdoing, as was true in the case of Job. (See Job 1:8–12.)

Finding Satisfaction in Contentment

A person can be poor by the world’s standards but be content because he has adequate food, clothing, and shelter. On the other hand, a person can have an abundance of money and still be discontent and unhappy because he refuses to be satisfied with the provision of his basic needs. In the Book of Proverbs, Agur sought what was sufficient for his needs: “. . . Give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is (Yahweh)? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the Name of my God in vain” (Proverbs 30:8–9).

As we seek to live contentedly within our incomes, the words that the Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy offer great encouragement: “Godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows” (I Timothy 6:6–10).

Daily Bible Reading - November 2, 2018

Today's Reading:

1 Timothy 5:1-22

Jeremiah 1-2

Psalm 119:145-176

Listen to the Bible







Thoughts and Commentary on Today's Reading   

Today, we complete Psalm 119, adding the final four letters to our study.

Today's reading takes us through the Hebrew letters: qofresh, shin, and tav.

The following links, as before, cover these letters in their Psalm 119 context.  

There are blank worksheets of these studies found on our website also. If you would like to print a blank copy so that you can do the studies in Psalm 119 in even more depth, go to