Today’s Bible passages are: Numbers 15, Psalm 51, Isaiah 5, and Hebrews 12
By Hannah Anderson
When I was six years old, lightening from a summer thunderstorm struck our family’s home and set it on fire. Thankfully we were away on vacation at the time, but when this kind of thing happens in your early childhood, it leaves its mark. Ever since that day, my family had referred to this event simply as “The Fire.” When we returned, we sorted through what we could, but the things that survived carried the smell of smoke and the stains of water damage for years to come. Some things we lost entirely.
At the end of Hebrews 12, the writer describes God as a “consuming fire.” In the larger context, this image conveys the holiness and majesty of God, but on first glance, these words, “a consuming fire,” can conjure up a pretty scary image. An image of a God who is unapproachable, angry, blistering, dangerous, and out of control. A God who consumes everything in His path, like “The Fire” consumed my childhood home. But such a reading is somewhat one-dimensional.
God is not intent on consuming us; He is intent on consuming our sin.… Continue Reading
Today’s Bible passages are: Numbers 9, Psalm 45, Song of Songs 7, and Hebrews 7
By Stephanie Rische
Have you ever felt like God was leading you so directly . . . but then the path took you on chaotic twists and turns, detours, and maybe even what seemed like a dead end? You were doing your best to listen to your spiritual GPS, but somehow you just weren’t getting straight from point A to point B.
Not long ago I felt God prompting to buy a Bible, and not just any Bible—one of those big, classic, leather-bound numbers. I didn’t know who I was supposed to give it to or why, but the nudge was undeniable: Buy this Bible. And so, despite feeling rather foolish, I made the purchase, wondering when I’d get my next set of instructions.
Shortly after, my husband and I were packing for a nine-hour train ride to visit his family. We were carrying everything on with us, and our bags were stuffed. Just as I was wrestling the zipper on my bloated carry-on, another prompting came out of nowhere: Take the Bible with you.
I was pretty sure I’d misunderstood, and I haggled with God over it.… Continue Reading
Today’s Bible passages are: Leviticus 36, Psalm 33, Ecclesiastes 9, and Titus 1
By Julie Chen
Today’s art is a response to Psalm 33:
The eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him,
on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,
to deliver them from death
and keep them alive in famine.
We wait in hope for the Lord;
he is our help and our shield.
In him our hearts rejoice,
for we trust in his holy name.
May your unfailing love be with us, Lord,
even as we put our hope in you. (verses 18-22, NIV)
Bonus! Julie is making today’s art available as a FREE DOWNLOAD on her site, where she also shares what this image and this passage have meant to her over the years. Read Julie’s thoughts and get your copy of her art here!
Today’s Question: Where is your hope and your trust today?
Julie Chen dreamed of being an artist and missionary since the age of six. Though she has not been around the world as a missionary (in the physical sense), her work has shown the gospel to others across the globe. She designs books for Tyndale House Publishers (including PYP founder Lisa Velthouse’s Craving Grace) and was also the designer of The Jesus Storybook Bible for Zonderkidz.… Continue Reading
Today’s Bible passages are: Leviticus 25, Psalm 32, Ecclesiastes 8, and 2 Timothy 4
By Megan Oldfield
Because a sinless Savior died,
My sinful soul is counted free;
For God, the Just, is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me.*
I have what some might call a lead foot. In other words, I like to drive fast. Really fast. Cruising around town in a minivan with three kids buckled up in the backseat has curbed my insatiable appetite for speed quite a bit. But more often than I care to admit, that speedometer needle pushes waaay past the legal limit.
Obviously this means I’ve been pulled over a few times in my life. I drive illegally not invincibly. And though I’m not proud of it, I’ve sometimes lied to try to get out of a ticket.
I didn’t know the speed limit in this neighborhood.
My cruise control must be broken.
Wait, what? I thought Montana didn’t have a speed limit.
I think I’m in labor.
None of these excuses has ever worked, especially the last one since I wasn’t even pregnant at the time.
Most recently, though, I took a slightly different approach.
“Do you know how fast you were going back there, ma’am?” the officer asked after pulling me over.… Continue Reading
Today’s Bible passages are: Leviticus 19, Psalm 23-24, Ecclesiastes 2, and 1 Timothy 4
By Erin Leigh
Today’s art is a response to Psalm 23:
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
Erin’s thoughts on her art follow:
I love Psalm 23.
All of it.
The Lord is my Shepherd
(The lover of my soul.)
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
(I go kicking and screaming.)
He leads me beside quiet waters.
(After I throw a little tantrum.)
He restores my soul.
(When I take the time to sit and listen and submit and let go.)
He provides for our every need,
thankfully not for our every want.… Continue Reading
Today’s Bible passages are: Leviticus 18, Psalm 22, Ecclesiastes 1, and 1 Timothy 3
By Brenda Chance
In my calmest yet most serious mommy voice I’d sufficiently warned them that if they asked me for one more thing I was going to lose my mind. It would unravel like a slinky on a step, twisting and tangling in on itself so as to never slinky straight again.
“Now take the string cheese you badgered out of me and for the love of unicorns and rainbows, sit down quietly and eat it…” A twenty-minute cheese standoff will have you talking like this. Without a single consideration of my mental state or the courtesy to wait for the end of my sentence, he made his vitriolic demand, “I don’t want string cheese; I want square orange cheese.” From the chessboard of my sanity this little three-year-old snatched up the queen.
I’m not exactly sure how I made it down the hall. Spinning and dizziness bumped me side to side down the walls, like a pinball launched into flight yet still trapped in its maze. Sinking into a puddle on the floor, with numb fingers I simultaneously locked the door and unhinged my anguished lament.… Continue Reading
Today’s Bible passages are: Leviticus 15, Psalm 18, Proverbs 29, and 2 Thessalonians 3
By Mollie Bozarth
Today’s art is a response to Leviticus 15. Mollie’s thoughts on the passage and her art follow here:
As I started reading through the four available passages for today, I thought, “Leviticus! I probably won’t paint anything from there.” Then I began reading the chapter, Leviticus 15, and thought, “Yes, I really don’t want to paint any of these images!” It’s all about bodily discharges and how they cause basically everything and everyone you touch to become unclean. A good, solid Leviticus passage on hygeine from a time in history when breaking the contaminated pottery killed 99.9% of germs. Within 33 verses, I counted 34 instances of the term “unclean.”
But of course God wasn’t writing an early Lysol commercial, and the issue goes much deeper than hygiene. By the time I finished reading the chapter, I knew this was the passage to paint. After all, we’re in the Lenten season. Christ came because we ARE unclean…more than that, washing our hands and avoiding contact with other people until evening would not cleanse the filth that lies within. Discharges (from the male or female mentioned in Leviticus 15) come from the private, hidden parts.… Continue Reading
Today’s Bible passages are: Leviticus 13, Psalm 15-16, Proverbs 27, and 2 Thessalonians 1
By Patty Kirk
Chapter 13 of Leviticus is hard to read, not only for its unsavory subject matter (skin disease) and entirely too repellent graphic details (e.g., close up examination of hairs growing in open sores) but for the end verdict it offers, pronounced by the Lord himself, upon the poor person unfortunate enough to suffer a skin disease that the priest deems “unclean”:
“Anyone with such a defiling disease must wear torn clothes, let their hair be unkempt, cover the lower part of their face and cry out, ‘Unclean! Unclean!’ As long as they have the disease they remain unclean. They must live alone; they must live outside the camp.” (Leviticus 13.45-46 NIV).
Pondering this chapter, I must first say I’m thankful that, of all the passages of Scripture I’ve been asked about by nonbelieving or struggling acquaintances, this has never been one of them.
What’s to be done, though, when Scripture offends—in this case, with a picture of our loving Creator so seemingly loveless as to punish a person for suffering an illness over which the person has no control?
What people typically do with me—yes, I’m the sort of struggling Bible reader who’d confront a more confident believer about this passage—is remind me of God’s sovereignty.… Continue Reading
Today’s Bible passages are: Leviticus 10, Psalm 11-12, Proverbs 25, and 1 Thessalonians 4
By Lisa Velthouse
1 Thessalonians 4 is part of a letter from Paul to the Christian church in Thessalonica. The chapter begins with the kinds of subjects that make people feel condemnation hot around their necks: sexual immorality, lust, and passion right out of the gate. These are the impurities (verse 7) Paul pits against a clear expectation of holiness, honor, and sanctification.
If the early church was anything like our churches today, they would’ve met these verses ripe with potential for missing the point.
Then as now, readers of 1 Thessalonians 4 would run the risk of splitting into two camps: those who assumed they fell on the favorable side of its prescription—holy, honorable, sanctified (verses 3-4)—and those who felt they failed it: (verses 3 and 5) immoral, wrongly passionate, ruled by lust. There would be judgment and self-righteousness on one side, defensiveness and guilt on the other. Accusations would probably be hurled.
Then as now, the point both sides would be missing would be the one that appears both before and after all the sex talk. It’s a principle that goes far beyond sex and bodies, and we see it in a little phrase that’s on repeat: more and more.… Continue Reading
Today’s Bible passages are: Leviticus 4, Psalm 1-2, Proverbs 19, and Colossians 2
By Cindi Koceich
Today’s art is a response to Psalm 1:
Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
or sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.
The wicked are not so,
but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
for the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish. (Psalm 1 ESV)
Cindi’s thoughts on her art follow:
I believe this Scripture holds the answer to living a life that is truly free in Christ – a life that is deeply nourished, bears much fruit, and is filled with light in a very dark world.
“Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, or stand in the way of sinners, or sit in the seat of mockers…”
The word blessed in this passage literally translates, “Oh the happiness.” This world offers so many counterfeits to true happiness, selling us lies that power, wealth, comfort or status will fulfill us.… Continue Reading