November 19  Psalm 129  James 3  Ezekiel 36; 37

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 19  Psalm 129  James 3  Ezekiel 36; 37

Psalm 129

This Psalm says, “All my life I have been harassed by backstabbers, and yet I am not defeated. God is good. God has given me freedom from them.” When we live out of gratitude to God, we can be healthy and happy regardless of backstabbing. Even if we are attacked, we can experience peace and sing, “the Lord is good”. Our God is a source of love and healing. Our God brings freedom.

James 3

Are you salty? Have you ever heard that question? “Salty” can be used to describe a person who is agitated, angry, or upset. If we are saying things that are salty, our inner spiritual life is not as healthy and strong as it should be. A focus on God should cause us to speak blessing and not cursing. Feeding our spirits the loving truth of God will cause us to speak with grace. It also provides the self-control needed to speak without clenching our teeth. Have I received the grace of God? Am I changed for the better by a relationship with Jesus? One way to find out is by asking the people in my life if I am growing in the ability to be careful with what I say. Do I bring encouragement or harm? Even if I must bring an adjustment to someone else, do I bring it in a way that is loving, encouraging, equipping, and life-giving? Following Jesus should bring humble wisdom, gentleness, and peace-loving out of us. Wisdom from God brings humility.

Ezekiel 36; 37

Murder and the worship of anything (as more valuable than God) is pollution in our homeland. That is how God sees it. Through Ezekiel God speaks a warning that He would punish people who refused to turn from their violence, murder, and worship of idols. Our Creator offers us a complete change of heart in this new life as Jesus followers. Through this change, God will give us the ability to live in new ways, healthy, and full of life. Our God will bring life where we see signs of death, in our homes and communities. Where we cannot see hope, our God brings hope. God will speak life and bring about the restoration that seems impossible. God brought about an end to the civil war between Israel and Judah. God brought lasting peace between people in conflict. This same God offers us a covenant agreement of peace whereby we can see lasting change in our lives.