DBR Schedule

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Through the Bible, August 16

Reading: Luke 4:14-5:39

Summary: As with the other Gospel accounts, Luke’s record touches on several themes, some of them conflicting.  He speaks of Jesus’ growing popularity as well as His rejection in His home town. He heals many people, casts out unclean sprits, preaches in synagogues, calls disciples to follow Him, and is challenged by religious leaders.

Devotional Thought:

Jesus Goes Viral

The word today is “viral”.  It’s always been a medical or biological concept, but in the current day of advanced communication technology (think computer, internet, smart phones, and social media—FaceBook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, etc.), a blog post or Tweet or FaceBook post or YouTube video can “go viral.”  That is, it gets shared and spread nearly everywhere spontaneously.

Going “viral” isn’t a new thing.  It can just happen quicker and have a further reach now than ever before.

Jesus went viral.  “Reports about him spread quickly through the whole region” (Luke 4:14; NLT).  Also take a look at 5:15 and 7:17.  People everywhere, it seems, were talking about Jesus.

The business and marketing worlds talk about “word of mouth” advertising as the very most effective form. Some people call it “creating buzz.”

This kind of thing can’t be manipulated, planned, or controlled.  It just happens.  But it all begins when someone starts talking.  You never know what might come of it. But nothing ever will if we don’t talk about and spread the news of Jesus.

If it were up to me, would Jesus ever even have a chance to go viral?

Through the Bible, August 15

Reading: Luke 3:1-22; 4:1-13

Summary: Luke’s account of Jesus’ public ministry begins appropriately with his account of the forerunner, John the Baptist.  As with Jesus’ birth, he puts it into a very precise historical context (see Luke 3:1-2).  His account closes with the record of John’s arrest by Herod the tetrarch.

Like Matthew, Luke introduces Jesus’ ministry with accounts of both His baptism and temptation.  Between these two events, Luke records Jesus’ genealogy.  We previously read this text along with Matthew’s genealogy (see July 2’s reading).

Devotional Thought:

You Snake!

How to Lose Friends and Alienate People (a 1937 parody of Dale Carnegie’s best selling How to Win Friends and Influence People by Irving Tressler) may seem to have been John the Baptist’s intention when he addressed the multitudes who came to hear him preach. “You brood of vipers!  Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?” (Luke 3:7).

Oh my!  What was John thinking?

Was it because those who came did so insincerely?  That “they had come to be baptized because it was the fashion of the hour, and was esteemed as a mark of propriety and reverence” and that it was all for the sake of appearance? (J. S. Lamar, Commentary on Luke, 62).   Heaven knows that style of religion is certainly around today.

If we don’t already know it, we must come to realize the intense gravity of our sin, the absolute necessity of repentance, and our abject unworthiness to come near most Holy God.   Any attitude less than absolute reverence is wholly unacceptable.  If our approach to God and faith is in any way casual, half-hearted, or merely for appearances, “offspring of snakes” (BBE) isn’t too strong at all.

Coddling their vain religion would serve no good purpose.  They needed shaken and startled to reality.  Soft and gentle words would achieve no such end.  They needed straight talk and John was the one to give it.

Which raises some questions; about what do I need spoken to very strongly?  What reality do I need shaken to see?  Who will lay it on the line, unvarnished, for me?  And, will I listen?

Through the Bible, August 14

Reading: No scheduled reading

Thoughts and Reflections: Today is the regularly scheduled day to catch up on your reading for the second week of August. Please take advantage if you’ve fallen behind. Otherwise, below are some thoughts for your consideration for today from this week’s readings.

  1. Jesus knew that His leaving earth would pose an extremely difficult adjustment for the apostles. So, in the upper room, Jesus repeatedly spoke of the Holy Spirit that would come.  He called Him the “Helper,” the “Spirit of truth,” and “guide” (14:26; 15:26; 16:13).  Jesus knew they would need not only this reassurance but also all that the Spirit would provide.  Jesus would not leave the twelve “as orphans” and neither will He leave us without providing every spiritual need (14:18).
  2. Never underestimate the value and power of God’s written word. We may think that we are somehow disadvantaged as ones having never literally heard Jesus preach or been an eyewitness to one of His miracles.  But John says that what has been written is sufficient to produce faith and this faith leads to life (John 20:31-31).
  3. One may wonder why John included some of the information that is found only in his Gospel. For instance, he tells of the “restoration” of Peter (21:15-23).  Perhaps by the end of the first century (the time this Gospel was written) some Christians had begun to think or speak poorly of Peter because of his denying Jesus.  There’s not any way to really know this for sure, but it certainly seems a possibility.  And what encouragement we receive from this—we too, in spite of our failings and mistakes, may also be restored to the Lord.

Devotional Thought:

What a Disciple Needs

The hours Jesus spent in the upper room were brief by comparison to the three years of His ministry.  Though the time was short Jesus had much to accomplish.  This was His final opportunity to prepare these men for the events of the coming days they could not begin to comprehend, not to mention the coming years and their world-changing work.

Notice what Jesus did during this final evening with the twelve.  Hear what He taught.  Observe His emphasis.   See His concerns and intentions.

  • He washed their feet showing the supreme role of service (13:1-20).
  • He identified their love for each other and the bearing of much fruit as the means by which the world could identify them as His disciples (13:35; 15:8).
  • He comforted them, in view of His impending departure, with the assurance of His return (14:1-4).
  • He affirmed His role as the only means to God (14:6-7).
  • He promised the coming Holy Spirit who would provide for them the infallible guidance they needed to fulfill the Master’s mission (14:16-17; 15:26-27; 16:13-14).
  • He warned them of the world’s hatred (15:18-23; 16:2)
  • He prayed for them, that God would guard them and that they might be sanctified (17:6-21).

Other matters were undoubtedly discussed.  These, though, help us see the things Jesus knew His disciples needed.

Do I not need the same?

Through the Bible, August 13

Reading: John 21

Summary: John finishes his gospel with the account of a resurrection of Jesus found only in his Gospel, which is typical. Ample space is devoted to the restoration of the broken relationship of Peter with Jesus—such a stark contrast to Judas’ failed response to his own failure.

Devotional Thought:

What’s My Job?

Sometimes a person can take on more responsibility than is really theirs. We try to fix the world. We try to correct the mistakes of others.  We want everyone else to be just as we are.

Now it is true that we do have the responsibility to “reprove” the unfruitful deeds of darkness and restore any brother who may be caught in any transgression (Eph. 5:11; Gal. 6:1).  Our highest priority and greatest good, though, is much simpler.

After Jesus spoke directly to Peter about his future Peter wanted to know about John and what would happen with him. In essence, Jesus told Peter not to worry about John but take care of his own responsibility.  “Jesus said to him, ‘If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!’” (John 21:22).

There is it. Our greatest responsibility is to follow Jesus.  It’s so easy for our attention and interest and concern to be focused on lots of other people and in all kinds of directions.  Really, it should only be for one thing; that I follow Jesus.

Archived weeks and months:

DBR 07/30 – 08/05
DBR 08/06 – 08/12

DBR July / 2017
DBR June / 2017
DBR May / 2017
DBR April / 2017
DBR March / 2017
DBR Feb / 2017
DBR Jan / 2017

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Through the Bible, 2017 Reading Program Overview

2017 Bible Reading Plan

This year’s Bible reading plan will have the purpose of recounting the Bible’s story line.  The goal is not to read through the entire Bible. Instead, we’ll focus on tracing the events of God’s eternal plan from Creation all the way through to Christ, the church, and the ultimate hope of heaven.

We’ll use the framework of the twelve calendar months and the four weeks in each of those months as the basis for our schedule.  The “extra” days in each month (that is, those beyond 28–each month will have 2 or 3, except February) we’ll use for additional readings related to that month’s portion of the story line.

The Bible reading schedule will also contain some explanatory notes, tying the story line together and telling some about each of the books and their role in the account.  Again, we will not be reading the entire Bible (though we will be reading the entire New Testament) but at least a sample reading from each book will be included in the reading schedule.

The reading schedule will be published daily and made available online. At the beginning of each month a month’s overview will be provided as well as weekly overviews at the beginning of each week.

Also, readings will be scheduled for 6 days of each week.  The seventh day can be used to get caught up or do additional readings if you may have chosen to read through the entire Bible in the year.

Following is an overview of our schedule by month:

January

Creation to the flood to Abraham,  Isaac, Jacob and Joseph, also Job: Genesis,  Job

February
Egyptian bondage, the Exodus, Mt. Sinai, and wilderness wandering: Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers

March
Preparation for and conquest of Canaan.  Dividing the land and the time of the Judges: Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth

April
The monarchy begins: God’s people ruled by kings Saul, David, & Solomon: 1 & 2 Samuel, 1 Kings 1 11 1 Chron. 10-29; 2 Chron. 1-9

May
The wisdom of the kings: Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes: Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes; Song of Solomon

June
The kingdom divides into Israel & Judah.  God begins a more extensive use of Prophets. Israel falls to Assyria:
1 Kings 11-2 Kings 17; 2 Chron. 10-28; Hosea, Amos, Jonah, Micah, Isaiah

July
Judah alone remains. Jerusalem and Judah fall to Babylon: 2 Kings 18-25;2 Chron. 28-36; Zephaniah, Nahum,  Jeremiah,  Lamentations, Habakkuk, Obadiah

August
Babylonian captivity.  The return and rebuilding of Jerusalem,  the close of Old Testament history: Ezekiel, Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi

September
Jesus: His life, ministry, and teaching: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John

October
Jesus: His ministry ends, the crucifixion, and resurrection: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John
November
The establishment and spread of the church; Christian living: Acts, Romans, 1 & 2 Corinthians Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Philemon, 1 & 2 Thessalonians
December
The church, Christian living, and the hope of heaven: 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus, Hebrews, James, 1 & 2 Peter, 1, 2, & 3 John, Jude, Revelation