September 16  Psalm 107:33-43  Galatians 2:11-21; 3:1-9  Isaiah 38; 39; 40

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?

September 16  Psalm 107:33-43  Galatians 2:11-21; 3:1-9  Isaiah 38; 39; 40

Psalm 107:33-43

Our God brings refreshing, good health, and productivity out of situations that seem impossible. People with wisdom will recognize God at work in these stories and learn from it. Today we can look to God in this same way. Where people choose rebellious darkness God allows destruction. Where people choose the faithful love of God there is peace and healthy living. As we grow in wisdom we are able to see the faithful love of God at work throughout the events of our history. We should “take all this to heart”.

Galatians 2:11-21; 3:1-9

When Peter visited Paul (and the Antioch church, a primarily Gentile, thriving, influential church) a fear of criticism from Jewish believers caused Peter to withdraw from eating with the Gentile believers. Prioritizing the opinion of influential people, ethnic pride, and a wrong-headed church culture, brought about Peter’s mistake. Paul’s correction of Peter clarifies an essential teaching of Jesus’ Good News: we can be made right with God by faith in Jesus, not obeying the Old Testament law. We receive new spiritual life in our relationship with Jesus. This is not determined by our heritage of ancestry, ethnicity, race, or our own good deeds (they had people trying to get into heaven by being good people without a personal relationship with God). Instead, we read here that we should be drawn into a new focus on the spiritual life from Jesus Christ! Now my old life is gone. Now I have new life in Jesus. Now this salvation is available, by faith, to people of all nations.

Isaiah 38; 39; 40

Among the lessons learned from King Hezekiah, we should grow in our faith that God can change the worst circumstances of our lives. Looking to God for guidance is life-giving. Even when God says things that we may not want to hear there is truth that will prove to be what is best. We should learn humility from King Hezekiah’s prayer in Isaiah 38:16-17. There’s wisdom in considering the brevity of human life, as seen in 40:6-11. We should take comfort from the truth that God’s faithful love will last forever. With great care, God will always be leading us. God has wisdom and strength beyond anyone else. Considering God’s generous nature can bring you strength, Isaiah 40:25-31. As we trust God we will find new strength.