Today’s Bible passages are: 2 Chronicles 36, Revelation 22, Malachi 4, and John 21

By Rebecca Jean

Revelation 22

(Medium: Watercolor and Ink)

Today’s art is a response to Revelation 22:

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.

 

And he said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true. And the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, has sent his angel to show his servants what must soon take place.” (Revelation 22:1-6, ESV)

Today’s Question: What kind of God plants a tree like this?Continue Reading

Today’s Bible passages are: 2 Chronicles 35, Revelation 21, Malachi 3, and John 20

revelation 21By Hannah Anderson

In less than two days, we’ll turn the calendar on yet another year. A year that started full of promise and expectation, but slowly, as its pages turned, a year that seemed to grow tired and worn by the week-in, week-out work of moving toward its end. And suddenly, before any of us realized it, we were done. 12 months. 52 weeks. 365 days under out belt. During this last week, there is a natural packing up and putting away, a shelving of all that has happened and a desire for the freshness of the coming year.

I’ve never known anyone to resist this process. I’ve never met anyone who wants to hold onto the past year even if it was a good one. Instead, every year, we experience a bit of a thrill as December turns to January. It’s an odd sense of liberation as that final page of the calendar comes off and a new one goes up. So that even if, like me, you’re not one to make resolutions, there’s something unmistakably exhilarating about a fresh slate. We’re drawn by the sheer possibilities; we’re drawn to the fresh and new.… Continue Reading

Today’s Bible passages are: 2 Chronicles 32, Revelation 18, Zechariah 14, and John 17

12272013_AJBy Amanda Jenkins

Now I am coming to you. I told them many things while I was with them in this world, so they would be filled with my joy. I have given them your word. And the world hates them because they don’t belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. They do not belong to this world any more than I do. Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth. Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world. And I give myself as a holy sacrifice for them so they can be made holy by your truth. (John 17:13-17)

What a thing—to be prayed for by Jesus. Not only prayed for, but pored over in prayer. This whole chapter is almost too wonderful to comprehend, but there it is: Jesus, asking the Father to make us, his followers, more like him. And my favorite part? That we would know joy.… Continue Reading

Today’s Bible passages are: 2 Chronicles 31, Revelation 17, Zechariah 13:2-9, and John 16

By Kendra Roberts

2 Chronicles 31
Today’s art is a response to 2 Chronicles 31. As today’s artist Kendra Roberts writes:

Since Christmas was yesterday I thought everybody might want a break from excess… That’s why I decided to focus on giving abundantly. In this passage of Chronicles, the command went out to, “give the portion to the priests and the Levites that they might give themselves to the Law of The Lord…” The people in Jerusalem responded immediately—with the best goods and in ABUNDANCE. After months of this type of faithful, abundant giving, the priests and people were blessed. The goods were piled up in heaps! What strikes me is not the material aspect of abundance, but the response of the people to the call to give their portion. They seemed to give nothing except the best in great amounts, and God blessed them.

And Hezekiah appointed the divisions of the priests and of the Levites, division by division, each according to his service, the priests and the Levites, for burnt offerings and peace offerings, to minister in the gates of the camp of the Lord and to give thanks and praise.

Continue Reading

Today’s Bible passages are: 2 Chronicles 30, Revelation 16, Zechariah 12:1-13:1, and John 15

zechariah 12By Stephanie Rische

It’s Christmas Day, the culmination of so much waiting. We’ve been counting down days, lighting candles, wrapping gifts, making plans, and now the day is finally here. Perhaps more than any other day of the year, Christmas serves as a reminder to us who are busy and frantic and enamored with instant gratification that the best things in life are worth waiting for.

I recently heard a Christian leader describe waiting as a form of punishment from God—something of a divine time-out. He said waiting is God’s way of turning his back on us when we do something wrong so we will eventually come to our senses after feeling the pain of his silence.

Now, I have no doubt there are times God uses seasons of waiting to teach us, and it’s true that he sometimes feels distant because of our sin. But as I look through Scripture, I believe there’s something not quite right about that image of waiting. In Scripture, waiting almost always precedes something holy and breathtaking and beyond human expectations.

As we look back on the course of history, before practically every miracle, God calls for a period of waiting.… Continue Reading

Today’s Bible passages are: 2 Chronicles 29, Revelation 15, Zechariah 11, and John 14

By Mary Freeman
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Today’s art connects to several verses from today’s portion.

From Zechariah 11:

So I became the shepherd of the flock doomed to be slaughtered by the sheep traders. And I took two staffs, one I named Favor, the other I named Union. And I tended the sheep. (verse 7, ESV)

From Revelation 15:

“Great and amazing are your deeds, O Lord God the Almighty!

Just and true are your ways, O King of the nations!

Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify your name?

For you alone are holy.

All nations will come and worship you,

for your righteous acts have been revealed.” (verses 3-4, ESV)

From John 14:

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God…” (verse 1, ESV)


(Below is a journal entry from contributor Mary Freeman, including her thoughts related to today’s art post.)

Yes we believe, and yes we have faith. We have trusted God, and know in the deepest part of our soul that He is good, that His ways are best, right and good…always! But sometimes, sometimes right alongside of all that we know, we falter.… Continue Reading

Today’s Bible passages are: 2 Chronicles 27-28, Revelation 14, Zechariah 10, and John 13

revelation 14By Christie Purifoy

The routine has stayed the same for years now. A question about homework. Some tucking in of blankets. A short prayer.

The prayer has stayed the same, too. I always pray God would open her ears to hear his voice.

She doesn’t ask her question every night, but she asks it often enough that I have it memorized. I could ask it for her.

“What does his voice sound like?”

My answer is always the same: “like the roar of many waters” (Rev 1:15).

***

In my heart, I am a poet. My skill with language is no match for that title, but I carry the word with me, regardless. It is the best way I know to describe my love for metaphor. Few things speak as clearly to me as poetic imagery and wordplay.

And yet, I think I understand the discomfort some have with metaphor.

I see it in my daughter’s face when I talk about a voice like water. She thinks metaphor is a failure of language. Though she can’t quite put her frustration into words, I am sure she sees her mother’s metaphors as a symptom of the limits of our understanding and the limits of our language.… Continue Reading

Today’s Bible passages are: 2 Chronicles 26, Revelation 13, Zechariah 9, and John 12

2 chronicles 26By Teri Vogeli, Guest Contributor

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair…”

And so begins Charles Dickens epic, A Tale of Two Cities.…or does it describe the Christmas season?

We’ve roller-coastered through most of December, and Christmas itself is only a few days away. How’s your stress level? There are way too many important things to do, places to go, people to see, goodies to eat, families to appease. I’m starting a campaign to move Christmas to January. Then we can at least spread out the fall holidays a little and I’d have time to diet in between them. I might even have time to breathe. On top of it all, I’ve served myself a side of guilt because I know the flurry is not the point. It’s the best of times, and the worst of times.… Continue Reading

Today’s Bible passages are: 2 Chronicles 25, Revelation 12, Zechariah 8, and John 11

2 chronicles 25By Stacy Sharpe, Guest Contributor

There once was a king in a distant land

Who occasionally followed God’s commands.

Sometimes he heeded Godly advice,

But too often by his own flesh was enticed.

Though God was clearly on his side,

This king was brought down by false worship and pride.

(My Mother Goose rendition of 2 Chronicles 25)

It’s so easy to point a finger at King Amaziah. Just thinkin’ he shoulda learned a lesson from the lethal consequences of his dad’s spiritual compromises. Instead this ninth king of Judah did what so many of us are tempted to do: he offered God a limp handshake and a lukewarm cup o’ coffee.

Amaziah didn’t pose as an enemy of God…though as a believer, we might be tempted to call him a “poser.” As newly appointed king of Judah, one of the first things on his hit list included swift execution of his father’s assassins…but he obeyed God’s command to mercifully spare their children (Deut. 24:16). In his quest to conquer the Edomites, he rashly purchased extra troops from wayward, idolatrous Israel…but he listened to wise counsel about recruiting an ungodly army, and reluctantly returned the Israelite soldiers…even though it really stung to lose the four tons of silver he had paid to acquire them.… Continue Reading

Today’s Bible passages are: 2 Chronicles 24, Revelation 11, Zechariah 7, and John 14

By Amylee Weeks

12132013_AWwatermark
Today’s post is a response to Zechariah 7:

And the word of the Lord came to Zechariah, saying, “Thus says the Lord of hosts, Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another, do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor, and let none of you devise evil against another in your heart.” (verses 8-10, ESV)

Today’s Question: Who in your life needs a fair judgment? Or kindness? Mercy? Whom have you set your heart against, that you can “do what is right and true” to them today? (Respond in the comments.)

AmyleeW_200Amylee’s life verse is, “by the grace of God, I am what I am.”  She believes whole-heartedly in God’s leading and his words speaking directly to her as she walks this life.  She is thrilled beyond words that his leading has led her to where she is now – a licensed artist, creating art for the believer’s heart. In addition to creating and managing the artwork that she licenses nationwide, she is the owner of a busy Etsy shop (AmyleeWeeks.Etsy.com) where she sells her handmade artwork.… Continue Reading