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In the Beginning, God

Putting God in the beginning of all we do!

In the Beginning, God

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”

Genesis 1:1

God was in the beginning of everything, now we want to put God in the beginning of everything we are and do, even our day.

Welcome!

Welcome to the daily Bible reading devotional for the Christians who meet on Livingston Avenue in Lutz, Florida for our annual 2016-2017 theme.

Download the reading schedule here. Read along with us 5 days a week and come here to get a daily devotional that goes along with the reading. If this benefits you, pass it on to your friends.

You can also subscribe and get the devotional sent directly to your inbox.

Our first day of reading and devo will be September 5, 2016.

See you then.

Featured post

The Gospel of the Kingdom

Today’s reading is Daniel 7-8.

For a while I’ve struggled with passages like Matthew 4:23; 9:35; and Mark 1:15. How could Jesus preach the gospel of His death, burial, and resurrection at this stage of His ministry? It hadn’t happened; people wouldn’t understand it; His apostles didn’t even understand the concept of His death much later in His ministry. Wrestling with this has helped me understand a key part of the gospel I have often missed. The word “gospel” means “good news.” The “gospel of the kingdom” then is the “good news of the kingdom.” When Jesus was preaching the “good news” at this time, it wasn’t that He was teaching about His coming death, burial, and resurrection; He was talking about the kingdom revealed to Daniel in Daniel 7:13-14. The great thing for us is now that Jesus has died, been buried, and risen from the dead, the kingdom isn’t “at hand;” it is here and we can be in it. That is good news indeed. If you want to be part of this kingdom, let us know. We can help.

Tomorrow’s reading is Daniel 9-10.

Continue reading “The Gospel of the Kingdom”

Avoiding the School of Hard Knocks

Today’s reading is Daniel 5-6.

Do you ever wonder why God seemed to be so patient with Nebuchadnezzar, giving him multiple opportunities to repent, but with the first infraction brought Belshazzar to ruin? Is it possible that Belshazzar, having grown up on the stories of Nebuchadnezzar was actually supposed to learn from him? All too often, we view it as a kind of right of passage to get to make my own mistakes and learn my own lessons. Wouldn’t we be better off, however, if we let someone else go through the hard knocks and we learn the lessons from their example? God seemed to think so when he judged Belshazzar immediately. Certainly, there are lessons we will likely only learn through our own hard knocks, but perhaps we should look around us and listen to others and see if we can’t learn from theirs instead. You might begin by learning the lessons God taught Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar.

Tomorrow’s reading is Daniel 7-8.

Continue reading “Avoiding the School of Hard Knocks”

Trial by Fire

Today’s reading is Daniel 3-4.

Putting God in the beginning doesn’t mean He will keep us out of the fire. It does mean He will always be with us in the fire. Whatever you’re facing, remember that. Praise the Lord!

Tomorrow’s reading is Daniel 5-6.

Continue reading “Trial by Fire”

Glory to God

Today’s reading is Daniel 1-2.

Can you imagine being taken captive and trained by foreign dignitaries, essentially being held as a ransom to make sure your relatives back home toe the line and submit to the conquering king? Realize that every day is a danger. No matter what happened yesterday, today could be the day you are used are executed as an example or a lesson to your brethren back home. What pressure might there be to prove yourself as worthy and necessary to the people holding you captive? What pressure might there be to show yourself indispensable? And yet, when Daniel has the opportunity to claim he was able to ascertain and interpret Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, he is certain to explain no person, which includes himself, had the ability to do what Nebuchadnezzar wanted. Rather, the one, true, living God in heaven was the only one who could accomplish this. When we put God in the beginning, we put His glory before ours, no matter what. Glory to God!

Monday’s reading is Daniel 3-4.

Continue reading “Glory to God”

Clean and Unclean

Today’s reading is Proverbs 30-31.

“There are those who are clean in their own eyes
but are not washed of their filth.
There are those–how lofty are their eyes,
how high their eyelids lift.”
Proverbs 30:12-13

I once heard a person claim, “It’s hard to read the label when you’re inside the bottle.” If we are going to put God in the beginning, it is not enough to just believe we have put God in the beginning. We need to develop relationships with some honest people who have permission to let us know our uncleanness. Let’s face it. We all have room to grow. Let’s give someone permission to show us where or we will wallow in our squalor without ever knowing it.

Tomorrow’s reading is Daniel 1-2.

Continue reading “Clean and Unclean”

The Flight of the Wicked

Today’s reading is Proverbs 28-29.

“The wicked flee when no one pursues,
but the righteous are bold as a lion.”
Proverbs 28:1

I had to mention this one today. I think this may have been the only proverb my dad knew. Of course not. But it is the one he quoted to me the most. “Why you looking, nervous son? You know the wicked flee when no man pursues.” I always wanted to respond, “But you are pursuing, Dad.” In any event, understand this: sin plays on us like a tell-tale heart (ask your American Lit teacher). But that is not necessarily a bad thing. When our own guilt leads us to make our sin known by our behavior, we might be at the beginning of repentance. When you find you want to flee and no one is pursuing, think about why and perhaps you’ll find your way back to God.

Tomorrow’s reading is Proverbs 30-31.

Continue reading “The Flight of the Wicked”

Trial by Fire

Today’s reading is Proverbs 26-27.

“The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold,
and a man is tested by his praise.”
Proverbs 27:21

A trial by…praise? Really? That is a trial by fire? I can think of all kinds of other things I would call a trial by fire. Being attacked by false teachers. Being attacked by brethren. Getting fired for teaching the truth. But praise? I love praise. I long for praise. Praise makes me feel good. And therein is the problem. The praise is due God, and my heart is tested in the fires of praise to see who is really my God. To God be the glory.

Tomorrow’s reading is Proverbs 28-29.

Continue reading “Trial by Fire”

Don’t Rejoice When Your Enemy Falls

Today’s reading is Proverbs 24-25.

“Do not rejoice when your enemy falls,
and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles,
lest the Lord see it and be displeased,
and turn away his anger from him.”
Proverbs 24:17-18

As far as I can tell, there is only one way to actually pull this off. We have to learn to love our enemies. Only when we love our enemies will we refrain from joy at their struggles, stumbles, and falls. When we love our enemy, we are trying to bring them to repentance so they can be saved from falling. This, by the way, is not saying, “Keep your joy secret and to yourself.” It is actually saying we should be sad at the demise of our enemies. And again, that gets us back to loving our enemies, praying for those who misuse us. Only then will we live by this proverb.

Tomorrow’s reading is Proverbs 26-27.

Continue reading “Don’t Rejoice When Your Enemy Falls”

Don’t Envy Sinners

Today’s reading is Proverbs 22-23.

“Let not your heart envy sinners,
but continue in the fear of the Lord all the day.”
Proverbs 23:17

This gets back to our earlier post about Now and Later. Sometimes we look at sinners now. They seem to be having fun. They appear to have many pleasures. In those moments, it may appear that righteousness and wisdom are merely ways to limit our fun. We think we are missing out and envy the sinners their good time. If only we could see them later when their sins have come home to roost. Often their sins come home to roost even in this life, leaving them in the wake of broken relationships, empty lives, disconnected from all good things. However, sometimes it doesn’t come home to roost until this life is over and like the rich man of Luke 16 he finds himself in torment. Don’t see the sinner now, keep your eyes on what is coming later and don’t envy the sinner.

Monday’s reading is Proverbs 24-25.

Continue reading “Don’t Envy Sinners”

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