chronological day 273 :)

Today, please read: Luke 5:1-11, Mark 1:40-45, Matthew 8:1-4, Luke 5:12-16, Mark 2:1-12, Matthew 9:1-8, Luke 5:17-26, Mark 2:13-17, Matthew 9:9-13, Luke 5:27-32, Mark 2:18-22, Matthew 9:14-17, Luke 5:33-39. Come on back and let’s visit – what is your highlight today?

Then Jesus, moved with compassion, stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, “I am willing; be cleansed” Mark 1:41

Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Matthew 8:3

Then He put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Luke 5:13

I know its easy to skim, and repetition can be repetitive 😉 but here it’s important to notice: every one reported the cleansing of the leper in the same way – the leper said, “If You are willing” and Jesus replied “I am willing” – Jesus WANTS to heal us! He WANTS us to trust Him in everything, praise His Name. Different writers, different perspectives, but there was only one way to communicate this story: Jesus was willing to heal!

Jesus always followed His passion and let His purpose dictate: He was about inviting outsiders, drawing people from any walk of life closer to God. Let’s be the same!

chronological day 272 :)

Lots of Jesus today – I love that!  The writers of the Gospels often record the same histories – if you will take the time to read each one, you might notice slight differences in their perspectives.  Remember that repetition is good as you are studying! Please read Mark 1:14-15, Matthew 4:12-17, Luke 3:23, John 4:46-54, Luke 4:16-30, Mark 1:16-20, Matthew 4:18-22, Mark 1:21-28, Luke 4:31-37, Mark 1:29-34, Matthew 8:14-17, Luke 4:38-41, Mark 1:35-39,  Luke 4:42-44, and Matthew 4:23-25.  What’s your take-a-way today?


“Time’s up! God’s kingdom is here. Change your life and believe the Message.”                     Mark 1:15 MSG

Matthew 4:20 says the disciples didn’t even ask questions – they just dropped their nets and followed Jesus. Sometimes (all the time), it takes that kind of crazy faith to truly follow Christ successfully: don’t ask, just go. Don’t worry, just trust. Don’t hesitate, just act in obedience because you have that much trust in the One leading you.

p.s. I did just say “don’t ask, just go”, but let me qualify that.  By now, we know each other well enough for a little grace, but just in case: We are ALWAYS allowed to ask!  There is never anything wrong with asking!  As you are following the Lord, He encourages the dialogue – He wants to speak to us – but it’s as we are following, while we are following. Sometimes, we can get deceived into thinking that our questions are more important than God’s wisdom. Sometimes we can allow our questions (and the answers that in our limited wisdom we think are missing) to stop our progress.  Allow a learning curve to be part of your process.  Trust that as you follow Jesus, more and more will become clear.  He is always working things out for your benefit.  Don’t let a question stop you in your tracks – move forward to the Answer!

Didn’t have time to hit all the highlights, but what else did you notice? I see that Jesus healed everyone. He didn’t allow the devil to speak.  He is always representing the Father well. What a tremendous example!

chronological day 271 :)

Today, we are reading John 3, John 4:1-45, Luke 3:19-20.  Check it out and come on back!

I like reading the New Testament in a translation I’m not used to – makes it hard to “skim” in the familiar passages! Look at how the MSG translates John 3:

“There was a man of the Pharisee sect, Nicodemus, a prominent leader among the Jews. Late one night he visited Jesus and said, ‘Rabbi, we all know you’re a teacher straight from God. No one could do all the God-pointing, God-revealing acts you do if God weren’t in on it.’

Jesus said, ‘You’re absolutely right. Take it from me: Unless a person is born from above, it’s not possible to see what I’m pointing to—to God’s kingdom.’ ” John 3:1-3 MSG

Jesus always pointed back to the Father, always reflected the Father’s goodness. We ought to do the same!

chronological day 270 :)

So much going on today!  Please read Mark 1:12-13, Matthew 4:1-11, Luke 4:1-15, John 1:19-51, and John 2.  Got a highlight?  Please leave a comment and share – I’d love to hear your thoughts!


“Jesus answered by quoting Deuteronomy: ‘It takes more than bread to stay alive. It takes a steady stream of words from God’s mouth’ ” (Matthew 4:4 MSG)

Fasting is such an important discipline, and now Jesus carries it into the NT.  It takes discipline to know the Word.  Once you recognize that your spirit must be fed even more than your physical body must be fed, you must respond with discipline to be in the Bible and in prayer every day – and hey, you are doing it!  Here we are on day 270! 

The wedding at Cana, Jesus’ anger directed at the sellers in the temple…. Too much to hit it all in a minute!

chronological day 269 :)

Loving the change from Old Testament to New Testament!  Today, we’ll read Matthew 2, Luke 2:41-52, Mark 1:2-8, Matthew 3:1-12, Luke 3:1-18, Mark 1:9-11, Matthew 3:13-17, Luke 3:21-22.  Let’s go!


 “After Jesus was born in Bethlehem village, Judah territory— this was during Herod’s kingship—a band of scholars arrived in Jerusalem from the East. They asked around, ‘Where can we find and pay homage to the newborn King of the Jews? We observed a star in the eastern sky that signaled his birth. We’re on pilgrimage to worship him.’ When word of their inquiry got to Herod, he was terrified—and not Herod alone, but most of Jerusalem as well. Herod lost no time. He gathered all the high priests and religion scholars in the city together and asked, “Where is the Messiah supposed to be born? (Matthew 2:1-4 MSG)

When I read Matthew 2 today, I was struck that the wise men and Herod were searching for the birthplace of the Messiah at the same time.  It reminded me of when we read Isaiah 21, and the watchman warned that the darkness and the light were both coming (not together, but simultaneously). We must be so sensitive to the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

I notice how John told the truth without fear, I notice how Jesus lived and breathed obedience.  What a tremendous example!

chronological day 268 :)

Today, we’ll read Luke 1:39-80, Matthew 1:18-25, and Luke 2:1-40.  I have lots of highlights, but just want to focus on one.  What stands out to you today?


Just short today:

“Mary didn’t waste a minute” (Luke 1:39 MSG)

Lord, help us rush to obedience!


chronological day 267 :)

WE MADE IT TO THE NEW TESTAMENT!  Is anyone else ready for some Jesus up in here?Mark 1:1, Luke 1:1-4, John 1:1-18, Matthew 1:1-17, Luke 3:23-38, Matthew 1:1-17, Luke 3:23-38, Luke 1:5-38.  As the Gospels share many histories (four disciples sharing many of the same events from their unique perspectives), there will seem like lots of repetition here.  Hang in there – remember, when there was repetition in the Old Testament, we reminded ourselves often that it was good for us.  What’s your highlight today? 


The good news of Jesus Christ—the Message!—begins here, following to the letter the scroll of the prophet Isaiah.

Watch closely: I’m sending my preacher ahead of you;
He’ll make the road smooth for you.
Thunder in the desert!
Prepare for God’s arrival!
Make the road smooth and straight!

(Mark 1:1-3 MSG)

Yay! I’m ready for some NT and some Jesus! Some 400 years have passed Malachi and Joel – God has been silent these 400 years and now He comes with the Word became flesh! It’s hard not to highlight everything – one more before we close today:

The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood.
We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory,
    like Father, like Son, Generous inside and out,
    true from start to finish” (John 1:14 MSG)

And now God, in the flesh, coming to us!

chronological day 266 :)

WE ARE DOWN TO DOUBLE DIGITS!  What a day – only 99 days to go!  Here we go! Please read Malachi 2:10-17, Malachi 3, Malachi 4, and Joel 1, 2, 3. What is your highlight today?


Wow – look at this:  

“You make God tired with all your talk. ‘How do we tire him out?’ you ask. By saying, ‘God loves sinners and sin alike. God loves all.’ And also by saying, ‘Judgment? God’s too nice to judge’ ” Malachi 2:17 MSG)

Don’t we say these things even today? God is not being unkind by judging us – we NEED His correction desperately.  Don’t make this mistake and misunderstand His love in this fundamental way.

“I am God—yes, I Am. I haven’t changed. And because I haven’t changed, you, the descendants of Jacob, haven’t been destroyed. You have a long history of ignoring my commands. You haven’t done a thing I’ve told you. Return to me so I can return to you,” says God-of-the-Angel-Armies” (Mal 3:6-7 MSG)

So powerful. God always wants us back.  He has never changed, and we benefit constantly from His great compassion, even today. 

“Change your life, not just your clothes. Come back to God, your God.
And here’s why: God is kind and merciful. He takes a deep breath, puts up with a lot,
This most patient God, extravagant in love, always ready to cancel catastrophe.
Who knows? Maybe he’ll do it now, maybe He’ll turn around and show pity.
Maybe, when all’s said and done, there’ll be blessings full and robust for your God!” (Joel 2:13-14 MSG)

Change your heart, not your clothes. Receive this most patient God, He loves you extravagantly. Let’s let this God-change in us be honest, from the inside out.

chronological day 265 :)

Today, we are reading Nehemiah 12:27-47, 13:1-6, 5:14-19, Nehemiah 13:7-31, and Malachi 1, Malachi 2:1-9.  We’re only 100 days away from being finished, can you believe it? 


“Judah was so appreciative of the priests and Levites and their service; they, along with the singers and security guards, had done everything so well, conducted the worship of their God and the ritual of ceremonial cleansing in a way that would have made David and his son Solomon proud. That’s the way it was done in the olden days, the days of David and Asaph, when they had choir directors for singing songs of praise and thanksgiving to God” (Nehemiah 12:45-46 MSG)

They did their work so well it would have made David and and his son Solomon proud – what a compliment!

A few highlights from Malachi 1 – how about these?

“God said, “I love you’ ” (Malachi 1:2 MSG)

Doesn’t He always? ❤

God describes worship:  

“Isn’t it true that a son honors his father and a worker his master? So if I’m your Father, where’s the honor? If I’m your Master, where’s the respect?” God-of-the-Angel-Armies is calling you on the carpet: “You priests despise me! You say, ‘Not so! How do we despise you?’ “By your shoddy, sloppy, defiling worship” (Malachi 1:6 MSG)

Let’s not respond to God’s great kindness with half-hearted worship and praise. (I’m excited to be in Malachi – maybe we are getting close to the New Testament!)

chronological day 264 :)

A little Nehemiah, a little 1 Chronicles.  Please read Nehemiah 11, Nehemiah 12:1-26, and 1 Chronicles 9:1-34. What are you thinking about?  Here’s what’s on my heart today:


“The singers got their orders from the king, who drew up their daily schedule” (Nehemiah 11:23 MSG)

Did you notice in Neh 11 that the singers got their schedule “daily” from the king?  Us too! We ought to worship and look to the King every day! Great example for us!