End of the year!

Well, it’s November yet again. Some eager folks are beginning to play Christmas music, after all, Mel Tormé wrote the Christmas Song in June. 😉

This also means the year is winding down. Those in school can see the light at the end of the tunnel, or perhaps are under the crunch of finishing up papers and preparing for exams. Christmas break is coming, even if you’re a grown-up who has to work for a living, December is usually a time when we have more time.

So why don’t we make the most of it this year…

#1 Think about spiritual things this holiday season. It’s not just a cliché, Jesus really is the reason for the season.

#2 Think about people. Why did Jesus come? The purpose of Christmas was to provide a way for people to worship God. Invite a friend to church. Reach out. Keep the gospel on your mind.

#3 In addition to other Bible reading plans you may be doing (like ours), let’s do an intensive reading for December!

So here’s a plan to read the entire New Testament in the month of December! How cool would that be?!

Day 1: Matthew 1 – 8
Day 2: Matthew 9 – 15
Day 3: Matthew 16 – 23
Day 4: Matthew 24 – 28
Day 5: Mark 1 – 7
Day 6: Mark 8 – 13
Day 7: Mark 14 – Luke 2
Day 8: Luke 3 – 8
Day 9: Luke 9 – 13
Day 10: Luke 14 – 21
Day 11: Luke 22 – John 2
Day 12: John 3 – 8
Day 13: John 9 – 15
Day 14: John 16 – Acts 1
Day 15: Acts 2 – 8
Day 16: Acts 9 – 15
Day 17: Acts 16 – 21
Day 18: Acts 22 – Romans 1
Day 19: Romans 2 – 10
Day 20: Romans 11 – 1Corinthians 6
Day 21: 1Corinthians 7 – 15
Day 22: 1Corinthians 16 – 2Corinthians 12
Day 23: 2Corinthians 13 – Ephesians 4
Day 24: Ephesians 5 – Colossians 4
Day 25: 1Thessalonians 1 – 1Timothy 6
Day 26: 2Timothy 1 – Hebrews 6
Day 27: Hebrews 7 – James 2
Day 28: James 3 – 1John 1
Day 29: 1John 2 – Revelation 4
Day 30: Revelation 5 – 22
Day 31: Pray and prepare for 2018!!!

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Jeremiah 32-33

37 Behold, I will gather them from all the countries to which I drove them in my anger and my wrath and in great indignation. I will bring them back to this place, and I will make them dwell in safety. 38 And they shall be my people, and I will be their God. 39 I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear me forever, for their own good and the good of their children after them. 40 I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from doing good to them. And I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me. 41 I will rejoice in doing them good, and I will plant them in this land in faithfulness, with all my heart and all my soul.

God is gathering for himself a people. He is touching hearts and changing lives. This is who he is. He is seeking for those who will worship him. He wants you to dwell in safety and he wants you to have reverence and appreciation for who he is. He wants to touch your heart and he does not desire for you to turn away from his ways, because it is what is best. Trust him today, with all your heart and soul.

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Jeremiah 30-31

 “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, 32 not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord. 33 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

The days are here. The long awaited messiah came bringing the blessing of a new covenant. A new agreement between God and man whereby we can have access to God. It’s not an agreement we can simply break and it have no power. Now God puts the reflection of his character, his law, within us. He writes it not upon stone, but upon our hearts. We no longer rely on teaching about God, because we can actually know God personally. God does not simply have a relationship with our leaders and spiritual guides, he knows us all. He has forgiven our sin and all we need to do is enter into this covenant, cut with the blood of his son, Jesus. Have you trusted in him today?

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Isaiah 14-16

For the Lord will have compassion on Jacob and will again choose Israel, and will set them in their own land, and sojourners will join them and will attach themselves to the house of Jacob.

How many times did God have compassion on His people in the Old Testament and remain faithful… many. God is not a fickle friend, He will remain true to you even when we mess-up over and over again. Just never give up! Keep following. Keep going. As a believer in Jesus Christ, you have the Holy Spirit in side you to give you the strength to carry on. God doesn’t change, He still loves His people…

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Isaiah 11-13

There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse,   

and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.

And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him,   

the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,   

the Spirit of counsel and might,   

the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.

And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.

Jesus is the one who came. He was a Hebrew from the Jewish people, but he is much more than that. He is the branch of that family tree who actually brought forth fruit. Real salvation. Not temporary relief from oppressive governments or land, but eternal life. God’s Spirit was with him, he knew why he was here. He was wise beyond man and able to accomplish more than is humanly possible. He put God the Father’s will as supreme, he did nothing apart from the father. Jesus is this one who would come, predicted over 700 years before he was born. God is amazing. Trust in Jesus, the branch.

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