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Yearly Devotional

Our yearly devotional is now available to download in book format. Click here to download the devotions in digital formats (mobi and epub) that are compatible with a variety of devices (Kindle, iPad, iPhone, etc).

Yearly Bible Reading Plans

The most important thing for a Christian to do is to keep his or her relationship with God fervent. The best way to do that is with a consistent devotional life, a life of prayer and Bible study. We suggest that a Christian pray everyday, read the Bible and study it. Here we have listed for you several different programs to help you read through the entire Bible in a year. You can read straight through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, read it through in order of events (chronologically), or a few other ways, but whatever way you choose - READ THE BIBLE! Click on the title to download that program in PDF Format. Most "Through the Bible" methods were taken from backtothebible.org

Chronological

Read the events of the Bible as they occured chronologically. For example, the Book of Job is integrated with Genesis since Job lived around the same time as Abraham.

Historical

Read the books of the Bible as they occured in the Hebrew and Greek traditions (the order in which they were written). For example, the Old Testament books in the Hebrew Bible do not occur in the same order as they do in our English Bible. The New Testament books are arranged according to their date of writing as well.

Old and New Testament Together

Read the Old Testament and New Testament together. Your knowledge of the Old Testament will be enhanced by what you read simultaneously in the New Testament.

Beginning to End

With this guide there are no surprises. You simply read through the Bible from start to finish, from Genesis to Revelation.

Robert Murray McCheyne

This Through The Bible Plan was written by the Scottish preacher Robert Murray McCheyne for his congregation. The readings in the left hand column are to be read by the entire family as a family. The readings on the left are individual (or "secret" as McCheyne called them) readings. They are meant to be read during personal devotion time.


Devotion For March 1, 2024

The Just Shall Live By Faith

 

INTERESTING FACTS : "WHEN YOU READ GOD'S WORD, YOU MUST CONSTANTLY BE SAYING TO YOURSELF, ‘IT IS TALKING TO ME, AND ABOUT ME.'" --SOREN KIERKEGAARD
 
DAILY READING : DEUTERONOMY 5 - 7
 
TEXT : Deu 5:1  And Moses called all Israel, and said unto them, Hear, O Israel, the statutes and judgments which I speak in your ears this day, that ye may learn them, and keep, and do them. Deu 5:2  The LORD our God made a covenant with us in Horeb. Deu 5:3  The LORD made not this covenant with our fathers, but with us, even us, who are all of us here alive this day.
 
THEME : THE LAW OF MOSES
 
In chapter five of Deuteronomy, we have the Ten Commandments retold to Israel. Remember this is the younger generation, the children of those Israelites who died in the wilderness due to their rebellion against God's commands. The parents and elders of these "children" - now adults themselves, never reached the place where they fully trusted God. Therefore, their lives were spent in fear and discouragement because of their lack of faith. Although they had seen God repeatedly do mighty works, they still resisted the truth continually told them by Moses. That is, they were habitually told God who delivered them with a Mighty Hand from Egypt would continue to meet every need of theirs all of their lives. This of course, included conquering the seven nations that occupied Canaan. Still, they never ascended to the noble height of believing God, the standard of how every man and woman of God must live. Anyone who comes to God must believe He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him diligently. [See Heb 11:6; The word "diligently" is used nine times in the Book of Deuteronomy. That is about 25% of the total occurrence of the word. To seek God "diligently" means - "careful and persistent work or effort." {Oxford English Dictionary}; It also means - "With steady application and care; with industry or assiduity; not carelessly; not negligently."{Webster's}]
 
Therefore, in the giving of the "Second Law" [The meaning of "Deuteronomy"] there is a heavy emphasis on dedication to God that goes beyond rituals, ceremonies, worship, and mere words. What is being said in Deuteronomy to Israel is found in chapter six verses 4 - 5 which is known as the "Shema" [pronounced shi ‘ma].
 
Deu 6:4  Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: Deu 6:5  And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
 
Concerning the Shema, Albert Barnes says -
 
"These words form the beginning of what is termed the "Shema" ("Hear") in the Jewish Services, and belong to the daily morning and evening office. They may be called ‘the creed of the Jews.'"
 
Adam Clarke also states -
 
"Hear, O Israel - שמע ישראל יהוה אלהינו יהוה אחד  Shema Yisrael, Yehovah Eloheinu, Yehovah achad. These words may be variously rendered into English; but almost all possible verbal varieties in the translation (and there can be none other) amount to the same sense: "Israel, hear! Jehovah, our God, is one Jehovah;" or, "Jehovah is our God, Jehovah is one;" or, "Jehovah is our God, Jehovah alone;" or, "Jehovah is our God, Jehovah who is one;" or, "Jehovah, who is our God, is the one Being." On this verse the Jews lay great stress; it is one of the four passages which they write on their phylacteries, and they write the last letter in the first and last words very large, for the purpose of exciting attention to the weighty truth it contains. It is perhaps in reference to this custom of the Jews that our blessed Lord alludes, Mat_22:38; Mar_12:29, Mar_12:30, where he says, This is the first and great commandment; and this is nearly the comment that Maimonides gives on this place: "Hear, O Israel; because in these words the property, the love, and the doctrine of God are contained."
 
Further, diligence is enjoined in not letting their children forget the Lord as we read -
 
Deu 6:6  And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: Deu 6:7  And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. Deu 6:8  And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. Deu 6:9  And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates. Deu 6:10  And it shall be, when the LORD thy God shall have brought thee into the land which he sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give thee great and goodly cities, which thou buildedst not, Deu 6:11  And houses full of all good things, which thou filledst not, and wells digged, which thou diggedst not, vineyards and olive trees, which thou plantedst not; when thou shalt have eaten and be full; Deu 6:12  Then beware lest thou forget the LORD, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.
 
Therefore, we see the great emphasis laid on the Laws of God given by Moses [also known as the Law of Moses, or Mosaic Law]. The nation of Israel was never to forget them, though in time - they did, and when they did, they brought on themselves great sorrows and afflictions. This now brings us to the New Testament, and the New Covenant ushered in by the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. How does it differ from the Mosaic Law?
 
TRUTH FOR TODAY : THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH!
 
In the opening chapter of the Gospel according to John we read -
 
Joh 1:14  And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. Joh 1:15  John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. Joh 1:16 And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. Joh 1:17  For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.
 
From the beginning we see an emphasis on the difference between Christ and Moses. In particular we see that distinction in the first chapter of John, although the contrast between the Old Covenant [i.e. the Mosaic Law] and the New Covenant are constantly accented throughout the twenty seven Books of the New Testament. In the text of Deuteronomy 5:1 - 3 above, we have a subtle statement made by Moses that has great import in understanding the New Testament. Moses tells Israel the giving of the Ten Commandments and the rest of the Law was not given to Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, etc. It was given specifically to Israel through Moses. Prior to the giving of the Law, these great patriarchs lived by faith alone. They lived specifically by the definition given in Heb 11:6. They believed God existed and sought Him diligently.
 
Of course, God spoke to all of these great men of the Bible. However, there was no written Law to live by. They lived by the law of the Spirit and of faith, they walked in holiness and separation from the sinfulness of the world around them, but they accomplished this through their love of God and complete trust in His Word, though not [yet] put on paper. Why then did God give the Ten Commandments and the Mosaic Law? We read in Galatians, the Law was added because men sinned against God. This was not like the great patriarchs of the Bible whose faith pleased God because they obeyed Him.
 
Gal 3:19  Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.
 
Therefore, we learn the Law was given to instruct men on the nature of God until Christ ["the seed"] should come. After that, the elect of God would [return] to a life of faith in God. Again we read in Galatians -
 
Gal 3:6  Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Gal 3:7  Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. Gal 3:8  And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. Gal 3:9  So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. Gal 3:10  For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. Gal 3:11  But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. Gal 3:12  And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. Gal 3:13  Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: Gal 3:14  That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. Gal 3:15  Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto. Gal 3:16  Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. Gal 3:17  And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. Gal 3:18  For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.
 
The Mosaic Law did not annul the life of faith, it merely pointed out our need for a Savior - to forgive our sins, and also our need for the Holy Spirit - to form Christ in us and help us live a life of holiness and faith.
 
Gal 3:21  Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. Gal 3:22  But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. Gal 3:23  But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Gal 3:24  Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. Gal 3:25  But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. Gal 3:26  For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. Gal 3:27  For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. Gal 3:28  There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. Gal 3:29  And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.
 
Therefore, our life as Christians [that is, the gift of eternal life] is obtained and maintained by Christ through the Holy Spirit by faith and directed by our knowledge of sin through the Law. We cannot be saved by the Law. We can only be saved by the blood of Christ's everlasting atonement and His mercy and grace. Further, as we live by faith, we learn that love is the guiding force behind all that we say or do once we have been bought by Christ from the slave market of sin.  Read carefully the following verses from Romans chapter thirteen. It is profound in its' simplicity and clarity in summing up the Christian life, and magnifying the essence of salvation.
 
Rom 13:8  Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. Rom 13:9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Rom 13:10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
 
The just shall live [eternally] by faith, which has its evidence in love - loving God and loving each other.
 
Gal 5:6  For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.
 
Therefore, let us take the advice of Soren Kierkegaard concerning both the Law and love to God and each other. "When you read God's Word, you must constantly be saying to yourself, "It is talking to me, and about me." 
© 2024 Time For Truth Ministries | (518) 843-2121
© 2024 Time For Truth Ministries | (518) 843-2121
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