Tag Archives: One-Year Bible

Faith in Christ: How do we begin? How do we continue?

Faith in Christ – How do we begin?

This morning, I read:

” . . . it might appear that there is nothing you need to do, or can do, to make salvation a reality for you.  And that is true.  Jesus has done it all.  Nothing you do can improve his work.  Nothing you do adds to God’s acceptance of Jesus’ sacrifice.  So how do the benefits of Jesus’ sacrifice become yours?  You accept the gift of salvation by faith, trusting entirely in Jesus for salvation.  You can do that now through a simple prayer: “Dear God, I trust in Jesus alone.  Please forgive my sins through him, and give me the eternal life secured by him.  Amen.”” 

[from the Life Application Study Bible, Hebrews 7:28]

I read those words from the Life Application Study Bible this morning – after I read from Hebrews 7 in my One-Year-Bible, New Living Translation.  Anyone who knows me well knows that I love using the One-Year-Bible.   Each morning, it’s the first thing I read – it’s part of what gets me out of bed early.  My One-Year-Bible has an attractive green and brown cover.  It’s an actual hard-copy Book (also available on eBook) that takes the whole Bible and breaks it up into daily readings.  No hemming and hawing, wondering where will I read today?  All I have to do is open to the particular day of the year – today it was November 6 – and read what’s there.  (Each day there’s a passage from the Old Testament, one from the New Testament, one from Psalms, and a verse or two from Proverbs.)

Right next to my One-Year-Bible sits a well-worn copy of the Life Application Study Bible, which happens to be the World’s best-selling Study Bible.  I love using it, too, because after I read in my One-Year-Bible, I like going the next step and asking – What does this mean for me?  What does this mean for my life today?  How does it help me put my life in perspective – in terms of what’s happened in the past, what’s happening now, and what will happen in the future?  Reading in the LASB helps me deal with those questions, and helps explain the verses I’ve just read (for example, Hebrews 7 included verses about how Jesus lives forever, is able to save those who come to God through Him, and intercedes with God on their behalf).  The LASB also helps me think about how those concepts make a difference in my life.

Faith in Christ – How do we continue?

“How can you draw near to God?  The Bible makes it clear that your own body is God’s temple.  Your spirit needs and wants closeness with God.  You want to know the living God personally, not as an idea or concept, not as a distant monarch.  You can draw near to God through prayer, worship, and Bible meditation.  You need not live like a monk, but you probably need more prayer in your life.  The habit of worship has become a convenience to be wedged between sports and other recreations.  Instead, make worship your top priority.  Bible meditation may include verse memory, songs, and quiet personal reading.  The Bible is the word of God for you.  Use it every day and you will draw nearer and nearer to God.” 

[from the Life Application Study Bible, Hebrews 7:19]

Once again, the Life Application Study Bible took some of the verses I’d just read in my One-Year-Bible and helped me to think about them in a personal way.

The initial faith in Christ that I began with, many years ago, is the same faith in Christ I need to continue with today.  I began my relationship with God based on faith in what Jesus had already accomplished – His sacrifice on the cross for me, forgiveness of my sin, and the hope of eternal life with Him.

Today, I continue growing in my relationship with God the same way.  It’s still based on what Jesus accomplished on the cross and what He continues to do today.  Today, seated up in Heaven next to God, Jesus intercedes with God on my behalf.   To think that He does that on my behalf is amazing.  Being reminded of what He has done for me and is presently doing encourages me to continue to live by faith in Him.

Blessings,

Ellen

 

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Psalm 23 . . . All that I Need

I was reading the 23rd Psalm this morning in my One-Year-Bible.

It’s so familiar.

It’s so refreshing.

I thought of other times I’ve read it.  I thought of how I memorized it as a child.  I thought of how encouraging it was to one of my friends, Marty Daily, in the months before she died – 14 years ago today. 

Why is Psalm 23 selected so often to be read at funerals and printed on memorial programs, I wondered.

Maybe because it speaks both to life and to death.   It assures us that with God as our Shepherd, we have all we need for both.  That’s mighty encouraging for family and friends of loved ones who have passed away –  not only in processing the death of people who’ve gone before, but also as we give thought to our own mortality.

“Death casts a frightening shadow over us because we are entirely helpless in its presence.  We can struggle with other enemies – pain, suffering, disease, injury – but strength and courage cannot overcome death.  It has the final word.  Only one person can walk with us through death’s dark valley and bring us safely to the other side – the God of life, our shepherd.  Because life is uncertain, we should follow this shepherd who offers us eternal comfort.”  (Life Application Study Bible, Psalm 23:4)

While reading Psalm 23 this morning, I listed some of the things our kind Shepherd does for us throughout our lives:


~ He leads us

~ He renews our strength

~ He guides us

~ He is close beside us

~ He protects and comforts us

~ His goodness and unfailing love pursue us all the days of our lives (I remember Dr. Daniel Block saying that he imagines two hound dogs here – (1) goodness, and (2) unfailing love – running after us and nipping at our heels for all of our lives.  I love that picture.)

~He assures us that we can live in His house forever

I’m regularly impressed with how perfectly the whole Bible fits together, and I was impressed all over again this morning.  I’ll explain.

Earlier this week, as I read through the end of the book of Genesis, I came across some tender words that grip me every time I read them.  They’re found in Genesis 48:15.  It’s the scene where Jacob knows that he has come to the end of his life, and he offers blessings to his family members as they gather around him.  Not long before he draws his feet into bed, breaths his last, and joins his ancestors in death, he says, “May the God before whom my grandfather Abraham and my father, Isaac, walked – the God who has been my shepherd all my life, to this very day, the Angel who has redeemed me from all harm – may he bless these boys . . . “

Hmmmm . . . there was that Shepherd providing again.

As if that wasn’t beautiful enough, the Psalm for that same day (January 25 in the One-Year-Bible) was Psalm 20, which included a verse about Jacob’s God:

“In times of trouble, may the LORD answer your cry.  May the name of the God of Jacob keep you safe from all harm. May he send you help from his sanctuary and strengthen you from Jerusalem.”  Psalm 20:1-2, New Living Translation

Cool, huh?

I like the verses above for several reasons:

~ They’re encouraging

~ They speak to real life – and the reality of death

~ They were spoken by imperfect heroes of faith (David, Jacob) who understood (eventually) how needy they were.  In their neediness, they exercised faith and looked to God.  And God helped them.

~ They leave me with a helpful pattern to follow

The Lord is my Shepherd; I have all that I need.

Are there times that the 23rd Psalm has been especially meaningful to you?

Blessings,

Ellen

Life Application Study Bible, copyright 2004.  Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.  Carol Stream, IL 60188.  All rights reserved.

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Morning Glory, Day Lily, One-Year Bible

What do a Morning Glory, Day Lily, and One-Year Bible have in common?

All three of them yield new delights for me each day.   Here are snapshots of the beauty I saw in all three this morning:

MORNING GLORY (from my backyard garden)

DAY LILY (also from my backyard garden)

ONE YEAR BIBLE (from Tyndale House Publishers)

Psalm 125:1 – “Those who trust in the LORD are as secure as Mount Zion; they will not be defeated but will endure forever.”

For any of you who follow this blog, I apologize for more lag time than usual in between posts.  We had lots of travel in April and May, and one of our sons and his family visited (Yeah!) last week.  I hope to get back to a more ‘normal’ blogging schedule . . .

If you happen to know how to keep morning glory leaves from getting eaten by bugs, I’d welcome your advice.  I’ve been finding some signs of pests the last few days . . .

Blessings,

Ellen

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One Year Bible for Women – Last day of Give-Away

There’s still time to enter the Give-Away for two One Year Bibles for Women. Just leave a comment on this blog sometime before midnight tonight, and two names will be chosen in a drawing over the weekend.  The Bibles have been packed into bubble mailers, and they’re sitting in my front entryway, waiting to be addressed . . . I’ll contact the winners by email for mailing addresses, and will mention their names in an upcoming blog.

For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ, and by him God reconciled everything to himself.  He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of his blood on the cross.  – Colossians 1:19-20 NLT

I reserve one drawer in my dresser for papers and notes that hold special meaning to me.  Recently I noticed that the drawer was getting a little messy, so I decided to sort through the contents, getting rid of whatever I could and tidying the rest.

As you might imagine, I got caught up in reading the notes and appreciating the memories.  One item that I’ll never part with was given to me by my oldest son, Chad, when he was six.  It consists of several small pieces of notebook paper that Chad cut, fashioned, and taped into the shape of a cross.  On the cross, Chad drew a stick figure of Jesus, with nails through his hands and feet – – and a smile on his face.

“The cross,” says Dietrich Bonhoeffer, “is God’s truth about us, and therefore it is the only power which can make us truthful.  When we know the cross, we are no longer afraid of the truth.”

Embracing the truth of the cross has made a difference in Chad’s priorities.  Because of the cross, Chad finds service to Christ more important than money, power, or pleasure.  {He’s presently teaching at a Christian School in Austria.} Because of the cross, Chad cares about other people’s hearts.  I’m grateful the cross of Christ had an impact on Chad’s young heart at the age of six and that it continues to have an impact on him today.

Father, Thank you that we can have peace with you because of Jesus’ death on the cross.  Thank you that the truth of the cross is life changing.  In the precious name of Jesus, Amen.

Taken from One Year Devotions for Moms, copyright 2005.  Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. Carol Stream, IL 60188.  All rights reserved.

May each of you have a meaningful weekend – pondering Christ’s death and resurrection.  How deeply loved we are.  What a wonderful Savior He is.

Blessings,

Ellen

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One-Year Bible, ‘Give-Away’ Week

Just a reminder that this week I’m giving away two copies of the One-Year Bible for Women. If you leave a comment somewhere on this blog before Friday midnight (April 2), you’ll be entered in the drawing.

In yesterday’s blog, I shared how The One-Year Bible almost DIDN’T come into being.  It’s an amazing story.  If you’d like to read about it, click here.

After the One-Year Bible had been out for a while, Tyndale began a new line of One-Year Devotion books.  Over the next few days, I’m going to feature a few devotionals from some of those books . . .

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has appointed me to preach Good News to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the downtrodden will be freed from their oppressors, and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come.”  Luke 4:18-19

When Jesus taught in his hometown, he chose to read a passage from Isaiah’s prophecy (see Isaiah 61), demonstrating salvation’s balance between grace and truth.  Since we moms desire to point our children to Christ, it’s good for us to think about the balance ourselves:

1. The truth is that we’re all poor, but the grace is that God has given us his riches.

2. The truth is that on our own we’re all prisoners to sin, but the grace is that there is freedom in Christ.

3. The truth is that left to ourselves we are spiritually blind, but the grace is that God can give us sight.

4. The truth is that we are oppressed, but the grace is that by faith in Jesus’ death for us, we can be released from oppression.

Imagine a poor orphan child discovering that his parents had left a special bank account for all his needs.  Image a child locked up in a room but then being freed by the one person who had the key.  Imagine a child being chased by a bully until the police officer arrested the bully.  We are all that child!

The truth is that we’re very needy, but the grace is that Jesus loved us so much that he provided for our needs when he died on the cross.  God’s salvation makes us very rich.

Father,

Thank you for the best gift in the world – the gift of salvation through Jesus’ blood.  Thank you that when we place our faith in you, you bless us with spiritual riches, freedom, sight, and release from oppression.  Amen.

Taken from One Year Devotions for Moms, copyright 2005.  Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. Carol Stream, IL 60188.  All rights reserved.

Tomorrow, I’ll include a devotional from One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard.

Blessings,

Ellen

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One Year Bible – how it began . . .

{Reminder: This is Give-Away week. If you leave a comment on this blog between now and Friday night, you might win one a copy of One Year Bible for Women. I’m giving away two copies.}

IT’S A WONDER THAT THE ONE-YEAR BIBLE WAS EVER PUBLISHED . . .

Ken Taylor, the founder of Tyndale House Publishers, came to Tyndale’s publishing committee back in the 1980’s with what he thought was a wonderful idea.  He suggested that the whole Bible be divided up into daily readings – one short reading in the Old Testament, one short reading in the New Testament, one from the Psalms, and a verse or two from the Proverbs.

At that point, Bibles had never been formatted that way.  Ken’s vision was for the actual, full text of the Bible to be divided into readings for all 365 calendar days.  January 1 would begin with a short reading from Genesis, a short reading from Matthew, a reading from Psalm 1, and the first few verses of Proverbs.  January 2 would carry on, and by December 31, we would have read through the whole Bible in one year.

When Ken Taylor brought this idea to the publishing committee at Tyndale, the committee was not keen on the concept.  “Why would anyone buy a Bible that they wouldn’t carry to church?” they asked.  They tried to talk Ken out of the idea, but Ken was not easily talked out of his ideas.  He was a quiet and humble man – but he was also quietly persistent.

In the end, because Ken was President of Tyndale, the publishing committee decided that the least they could do was to present his idea to a group of retailers and see what they think.  So that year, in Anaheim, California, the idea for the One-Year Bible was presented in a meeting to a dealer council.  With about a dozen Christian book store owners sitting around a table, Tyndale executives showed them a prototype book of a One-Year Bible.  As the book was passed around the table, the executives waited to hear what the dealers would say.

The dealers didn’t like the idea, either.  “Why would anyone buy a Bible where it was difficult to find a particular passage?”  they wondered.  Tyndale executives left the meeting thinking that they would have a difficult time selling a One-Year Bible, so they came back to Tyndale’s publishing committee suggesting that Ken not proceed with the concept.

Ken, however, overruled the publishing committee.  Since Ken owned the company, he had the last word!  He took the One-Year Bible to production, and started the project.

The One-Year Bible was first published in the 1980’s, and has now sold over 3 million copies!  It went on to be published in hardcover, softcover, leather-bound, compact, audio, large-print, and many more options.  It also inspired more ideas in the One-Year line – a whole line of One-Year Devotion books continue to be published and enjoyed.

Here are a few verses from today’s reading:

“Serve only the Lord your God and fear him alone.  Obey his commands, listen to his voice, and cling to him.”  Deuteronomy 13:4

“O Lord, you alone are my hope.  I’ve trusted you, O Lord, from childhood.  Yes, you have been with me from birth; from my mother’s womb you have cared for me.  No wonder I am always praising you!”  Psalm 71:5-6

Any particular products from the One-Year line that you have found helpful?

Blessings,

Ellen

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God welcomes needy people

What did (1) the woman with 12 years of bleeding, (2) Jairus – whose daughter was sick to the point of death, and (3) David, who had sinned and was feeling the consequences, have in common?  All three of these people showed up in today’s One-Year Bible reading, and all three were described as feeling needy and desperate.  (Mark 5:21-43, Psalm 38)

How did God respond to the intense feelings of these Bible characters?  He wasn’t repulsed by their expressions of neediness, like some of us would be.  He wasn’t indifferent to their feelings, like others might be.  Nor did He try to talk these people out of their feelings.  Instead, He welcomed them and dealt with the messiness of their circumstances.

To the trembling woman with the twelve years of bleeding, Jesus sought her and said, “Daughter, your faith has made you well.  Go in peace.  Your suffering is over.”  In response to Jairus – the father who fell at Jesus’ feet and pleaded fervently with Him to heal his daughter – Jesus traveled to the family’s home and brought the little girl back to life.  And David?  He had sinned and was feeling deep sorrow over it.  What David experienced over the course of his life, we can experience, too – God’s mercy and forgiveness.  “People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy.”  Proverbs 28:13

These three accounts are encouraging and instructive for us.  God is not scared off by our desperate feelings.  Rather, He welcomes them and has the power to deal with them.  We don’t need to feel awkward or fearful about bringing our needs to God.  He understands, He cares, and He is able to help us.

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