November 17  Psalm 127  James 1  Ezekiel 32; 33:1-20

Please read the suggested passages, prayerfully consider them, and the questions below. My comments here may be helpful after those moments. The suggested daily reading is for the purpose of reading through the whole Bible within a year.

Reading the Bible is helpful in taking next steps to follow Jesus. It may not be easy and yet it can be rewarding. Digging into Scripture alongside people you know is a life-giving way to pursue answers together. We discover the love that God has for us has been expressed through Jesus.

  • What’s the plain simple truth of the verses you read?
  • Based on today’s reading, what is one thing God is saying to you?
  • What should you do about that truth?

November 17  Psalm 127  James 1  Ezekiel 32; 33:1-20

Psalm 127

Hard work alone will not bring ultimate fulfillment. What is the will of God? Where is God already at work? Yahweh God, our Creator & Redeemer, is the one who provides for us. God makes it possible for us to work and rest. If we give our best energy to a life independent of God, it will ultimately be useless. We should seek the will of God and the Kingdom of God above all else. In this way, we bring ourselves into alignment with God. It is wise to apply our hard work to the purposes of God. In a life that honors God, children are valued as a blessing from God. They can bring great joy to parents!

James 1

James, the pastor of the Jerusalem church, is the first to write an open letter that serves as one of the pastoral epistles of the New Testament. He writes to Jewish followers of Jesus a letter that is directly connected to Jesus’ “Sermon on the Mount”. He speaks to the spiritual strength we can draw from a relationship with Jesus. Challenging days bring opportunities to grow in this spiritual strength. We can walk through dark days without being overwhelmed. God gives wisdom to people who rely on Him alone. We should live with a focus on God (not our cravings). Which are you following? We should be good listeners, who choose their words carefully and are not easily angered. Seeking wisdom from God, we can learn to see our lives clearly. Perspective is critical. James warns us to not be misled, allowing ourselves to be deceived. We can receive salvation by grace and live in new healthy ways because of this new spiritual life.

Ezekiel 32; 33:1-20

God instructed the prophet, Ezekiel, to deliver messages of punishment on Egypt and its Pharaoh with a lament for the suffering to come. God was about to show His sovereign power. This mourning further reveals the loving heart of God for all people. Read Ezekiel 33:11 again. God doesn’t want to bring punishment. Our God wants everyone to turn away from their self-destructive sin and toward His life-giving love. The prophet served as a watchman, providing the people with a warning of the punishment to come. It also served as the voice of God, calling people away from such suffering and back to His committed love for them.