Chronological Bible Reading Plan

Welcome to the First Baptist Lake Monroe and River of Life’s  Chronological Bible Reading Plan.  Over the next several years, the members of these sister churches will be reading through their Bibles together in a chronological way, following the events of the Bible in the order in which they occurred rather than in the order in which they were recorded.  In addition the pastor and adult Bible study teachers will be teaching from the same passages we read each week.  At times, additional passages from the Psalms will be provided along with the chronological reading portion.

I hope that you will prayerfully consider making a commitment to reading through the Bible with us. As you approach each days’ passage and questions let me encourage you to:

Pray – Pray before you read. Ask God to make the scripture real to you and show you how it applies to your life.
Read – Read the scripture passage(s).
Ask – Ask yourself, “in what I just read is there a lesson to learn, a truth to embrace, an example to follow, a sin to avoid, a mistake to dodge, a change to make or a promise to claim?”
Meditate – Think about what you have read. We are to be doers of the word and not hearers only (James 1:22).

Remember God’s promise and condition in Jeremiah 29:13.  And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

If you miss a lesson and would like it emailed to you, send me an email at rolwebperson@yahoo.com

Want a link to read the Scriptures? http://www.biblegateway.com/

Monday, November 16 – Read for today: Psalm 2

WHEN GOD LAUGHS

    The story is told of a little boy who got his first pair of “big boy britches”.  As he and his sister were getting ready to head out the door for school, his sister reminded him that they needed to pray.  He responded, “I don’t need the Lord now.  I’m a big boy”.  Sometime later in the day, he was walking across the top of a picket fence when he fell and ended up getting hung by his britches, upside down on the fence.  He decided perhaps he wasn’t quite as big a boy as he thought he was.  Don’t you think perhaps that the Lord laughed?

    In this passage we are told in verse 4 we are told that again the Lord laughs.  Why does He laugh; it’s because the kings and the people of the earth believe they can cast off His rules, and His commands, and do whatever they want to.  They are getting a little too big for their britches.

    Sadly, we are living in those days.  We are living in days when prayer is no longer allowed in our schools, the 10 Commandments are not allowed in schools or courthouses (it creates a hostile work environment for dishonest lawyers and judges), homosexual marriages are allowed (something the Lord calls an abomination), shacking up is considered normal, many claim and teach that we mysteriously “evolved” from enzymes in a mud puddle, and those who teach and strive to live by the commands of the Bible are considered out-dated and old-fashioned.    The Lord must again be shaking His head and laughing.  How can those created say they know better than the Creator?  Sadly, verse 4 is followed by verse 5 which reads, Then He speaks to them in His anger and terrifies them in His wrath:”

    My friend, God does not laugh at sin.  He does not wink at disobedience, but He does bless those who seek Him.

    When the Lord laughs, it’s not funny.  Let’s stop before He moves to the next step.

Questions for thought:

  1. Did you ever think about the Lord laughing?  Have you ever seen a young teen bow up at an experienced adult fighter; It’s the adult’s kind of laughter.
  2. Have you given the Lord cause to laugh?  Is there an area in your life where you have attempted to throw off the Lord’s restraints?  According to this passage, does the outcome of that rebellion/disobedience look promising?  What are you going to do about it?
  3. Are you praying for our country?

For further study:

Read Job 38:4-40:2.  What point was God attempting to make in this passage?  How might the people in Psalm 2, and those in our nation, benefit from learning the lesson of this passage?

Tuesday, November 17 – Read for today: Psalm 15

What God likes and dislikes

    What does this psalm teach?  What can I learn from it?    This psalm teaches me the kinds of things that pleases God and the things that displease Him.  From this psalm I am reminded that the Lord likes honesty.  The Lord likes righteousness and those who are righteous.  The Lord likes those who are honest, even in their hearts, and who are not two-faced, trying to deceive even themselves.    The Lord is displeased by those slander others, by those who harm their neighbors, and try to discredit others.

    I was recently working on a roof, when it was very hot.  The roof was very steep.  I had left some items out of the estimate and believed I was going to take it on the chin.  The job took longer than I anticipated.  I had to have a dumpster moved, per the customer’s request, that cost me additional money.  $55 dollars worth of lead boots were stolen from the job site and I had to replace them at my expense.  An inspector made me add some additional felt to the roof (the code did not require it, but the inspector was in error), which cost me additional materials and at least 1/2 a day in time.  I was an unhappy camper.

    In heat, frustration, and such, I got my nail pattern off and ended up having a number of nails fall at the wrong place on the shingles, so if they were not corrected those nails would leak in a few years.  By that time, this rental house would have been sold.  I would have had no contract with the new buyer, and it would not have been my problem.

    Can I tell you, there were a number of times when I was sorely tempted.  Each repair required several minutes inconvenience, plus interrupting the work I was doing at the time.  A verse came to mind however.  Colossians 3:23 says, Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men”.  So, I fixed all of the nails as I messed them up.

    Verse 4 of this passage says it this way, “the Lord is pleased with those who keep their word regardless of the cost”.    The result of seeking to do the things which please the Lord?  The one who does these things will not be moved.  He will not be moved by what is popular in society at the time.  She is not moved by what will make people happy or be the most beneficial to her at the time.  He doesn’t have to struggle trying to decide what to do.  She stands on the Word.  She stands on the truth.  He does what is right and does not have to struggle within himself each time he’s tempted.    By the way.  Totaling up the bill, I believed I was going to make next to nothing on the job in spite of the days of work in the grueling sun.  In the end, I made more than I had originally planned!

    It is important to do the things which please the Lord, and avoid those which displease Him!  Our Father takes care of His children!

Questions for thought:

What does it take for you to cut corners?

Do you strive to avoid slandering, and harming others?

For further study:

Read Ephesians 6:7.  What does this verse say about how we do what we do?

Wednesday, November 18 – Read for today: Psalm 22

God’s Word is faithfully true.

     A weatherman boasted, “I’m 90 percent right—10 percent of the time.” That’s a ridiculous statement, but some people resort to that type of doubletalk to cover up a poor record.

    The Bible’s prophetic record, though, truly is accurate. Let’s look at a few examples. The Lord Jesus was born in the city of Bethlehem (Micah 5:2) of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14) at the time specified (Daniel 9:25). Infants in Bethlehem were massacred as prophesied (Jeremiah 31:15). Jesus went down into Egypt and returned (Hosea 11:1). Isaiah foretold Christ’s ministry in Galilee (Isaiah 9:1-2). Zechariah predicted His triumphal entry into Jerusalem on a colt (Zechariah 9:9) and His betrayal for 30 pieces of silver (11:12-13). David had never seen a Roman crucifixion, yet in Psalm 22, under divine inspiration, he penned a graphic portrayal of Jesus’ death. Isaiah 53 gives a detailed picture of our Lord’s rejection, mistreatment, death, and burial. These few prophecies (and there are many more) should impress us with the reliability of the Bible.

    Since these predictions have all been fulfilled, let us also accept with confidence what the Bible says about the future. Remember, we have a book of prophecy that is right—all of the time!    I’ll trust in God’s unchanging Word  Till soul and body sever;  For though all things shall pass away,  His Word shall stand forever! —Luther(The Daily Bread Dec, 2003).

Questions for thought:

  1. Have you ever questioned the Bible?
  2. What difference does it make when a person believes he Bible as opposed to when someone doubts it?
  3. Do you know it to be true?  How do you know that?

For further study:

  1. Read 2 Timothy 3:16.

Thursday, November 19 – Read for today: Psalms 23

My Shepherd

     Having a shepherd for our lives is wonderful but having a personal shepherd who is the God of the universe is amazing!  He loves us unconditionally and will walk with us in hard times as well as happy times. Our Lord is aware of every need we have and will enable us for every task giving instructions as well as power to serve.  This Psalms gives a quiet assurance to our hearts like still waters in pastures of green. Life can be hard and rushed many times but a special solitude can abide with us as we walk with our Savior. Adam and Eve must have known this peace in the garden before the fall as they took those late evening walks.  It’s hard to imagine a world without sin and conflict but this will be heaven that awaits us believers someday.  This peace however can still be ours today in the middle of storms and strife. “My peace I leave with you” is a promise for His children today and it all centers around relationship.  The intimate relationship we can have with our Savior truly does restore our souls.  When we walk with Him daily He gives us confidence and joy that can override the difficulties of life even when we face the valley of death.  Many of us has seen this in friends and loved ones as they faced death.  The sting of death was truly gone for them as was replaced by peace and assurance about what was ahead. Do you have this confidence today?  It only comes with a relationship with Jesus Christ.  Be sure you know Him in this personal way by receiving Him as your own Savior and begin the walk of peace and confidence today.

     We truly will not have to fear evil in the world when He walks by our sides. All we have to do is look at the saints of old to see this courage and peace. Esther showed this courage in the face of what looked like certain death but God made a way for her. Daniel faced the lion’s den with resolve as his relationship with God was firm. His three friends also faced a hot furnace as they stayed true to God.  “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life” is a true statement for God’s children as they rely upon God’s promises and faithfulness for today and we look forward dwelling with Him in heaven!

Thoughts to consider:

Romans 6:6-What kind of quality of life do you see here for God’s children?

Galatians 2:20-What do you think it means to be crucified with Christ as far as our sins as well as how we live daily?

For further study:

II Timothy 2:11-What is involved in this promise of dying with our Savior?

Psalms 37:7-Look at the peace God gives His children in this verse even with the turmoil of evil in our world. (Also Psalms 40:1)

Friday, November 20 – Read for today: Psalm 24

Back to the beginning   

The other day, Travis, Jennie, my Mom and I were taking a tour of Blanchard Springs Caverns.  During the tour, I asked one of the guides, an elderly gentleman, what the rules were about caves and caverns and caves.  I asked, “If you own the land above the caverns and caves, does that mean (In Arkansas) that you own the caves and caverns as well.  He answered, somewhat bitterly, “You own nothing.”  He went on to say, “I may lose my job for saying this, but I’m old enough I don’t care.”  He went on to explain that his family once owned land above and near the caverns, but when the government became aware of the caverns, and decided they wanted them, that they used Eminent Domain to take the property, even though his family had owned the land for generations, had roots there, and didn’t want to sell the land.”  The government paid for and took the land.

    In verses 1 & 2 we read, “The earth and everything in it, the world and its inhabitants, belong to the Lord; for He laid its foundation on the seas and established it on the rivers.”    Why is it, that we as a people vote for a government that we allow to take/purchase against their will, property and things, because we say it is for the better good of all, and yet we so often fail to recognize the claim that God has on us, our stuff, and all around us.

    The Lord made us.  He created us.  He knows how we work best.  He knows what is best for us.  He knows what’s behind the corner of tomorrow and how things will work out and yet so often we fail to trust Him.

    Do you realize how much easier life would be if you and I would recognize that God was before everything.  He created everything and He owns everything.  If we could back to the beginning and recognize His claim on everything, including us, life sure would be much easier for all of us.

Questions for thought:

  1. Do you have trouble recognizing the Lord’s ownership of you and everything you have?
  2. Do you forget that He created everything and that He knows how things work best?
  3. How much simpler would life be if you trusted the Lord from the beginning instead of kicking and fussing about things for so long?

For further study:

Read Psalm 50:9-11.  If this passage is true, and it is; and if the Lord did and can create everything/anything, and He can; then what is the purpose of a tithe?

  • Monday, November 23 – Read for today: Psalm 47

  • The right attitude

Notice the heading for this psalm.  We are told it is a psalm from the sons of Korah.

     “The three sons of Levi were Gershon, Merari, and Kohath. The Gershonites were responsible for the care of the tabernacle and tent, its coverings, the curtain at the entrance to the tent of meeting, the curtains of the courtyard, the curtain at the entrance to the courtyard surrounding the tabernacle and altar, and the ropes—and everything related to their use. The Merarites were appointed to take care of the frames of the tabernacle, its crossbars, posts, bases, all its equipment, and everything related to their use, as well as the posts of the surrounding courtyard with their bases, tent pegs, and ropes. The Kohathites were responsible for the care of the sanctuary. They were responsible for the care of the ark, the table, the lamp stand, the altars, the articles of the sanctuary used in ministering, the curtain, and everything related to their use. They were under the direct supervision of Eleazar, son of Aaron.

     Unlike the Gershonites and the Merarites, who were allowed to transport the items under their care on carts, the Kohathites had to carry their items, the holy things of the tabernacle, on their shoulders. They had the arduous burden of transporting these items from place to place as the camp moved, but they were not allowed to actually touch the items or they would die. The priests had to wrap the sacred objects in special coverings before they were transported (Numbers 4:15). Many of the Kohathites began to disdain this task and to covet the role of the priests.

     Korah was the grandson of Kohath, and he began to run with another group of Reubenite malcontents, namely, Dathan and Abiram, sons of Eliab, and On, son of Peleth. In pride, they roused a group of 250 men together to challenge the right of Moses and Aaron to the priesthood (Numbers 16). Moses summoned the rebellious men to stand before God and burn incense. God warned Moses to let the assembly know to get away from Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, their households, and the other rebels. Then a remarkable and terrifying event happened.” (http://www.gotquestions.org/sons-of-Korah.html#ixzz3e2HgJ27J).

     In Numbers 16:28-35 we read, “Then Moses said, ‘This is how you will know that the Lord sent me to do all these things and that it was not of my own will: If these men die naturally as all people would, and suffer the fate of all, then the Lord has not sent me. But if the Lord brings about something unprecedented, and the ground opens its mouth and swallows them along with all that belongs to them so that they go down alive into Sheol, then you will know that these men have despised the Lord.” Just as he finished speaking all these words, the ground beneath them split open. The earth opened its mouth and swallowed them and their households, all Korah’s people, and all their possessions. They went down alive into Sheol with all that belonged to them. The earth closed over them, and they vanished from the assembly.  At their cries, all the people of Israel who were around them fled because they thought, “The earth may swallow us too!” Fire also came out from the Lord and consumed the 250 men who were presenting the incense.

     Now, Korah and his followers were destroyed, but evidently his sons were either too wise or too young to join in the mistake/rebellion of their father, so they were spared.  An interesting thing happened to this rebel’s sons.  During the reign of David they became mighty men, they joined him in his battles, and a group of them were appointed as singers and music leaders in the tabernacle.  The men whose father rebelled against the Lord, and whose father was destroyed in an amazing way, by the Lord, wrote this psalm!  Did you notice what they wrote in verse 8?  They, the survivors of their father’s rebellion wrote, “God reigns over the nations; God is seated on His holy throne.”  In spite of all that had happened to their father still believed that the Lord was on His throne and that He was still in control.

     What an appropriate reminder for us, in days like these.  These are times when almost daily we are told that Isis has devised new ways to execute people they don’t like (including Christians).  We see our politicians lying with seemingly no consequences.  We see the divide between the races increasing and nations (including our’s) suffering economically and printing money at amazing rates.  In these days we need to be reminded that God is still seated in His throne and He still rules over the nations!  Our God is in control and working behind the scenes to accomplish His plans.

Questions for thought:

  1. Do you sometimes feel that things are out of control?
  2. During the difficult times, do you continue to trust that the Lord is working behind the scenes?
  3. What can you do to encourage others with that fact?

For further study:

  1. Read Romans 8:28.  What does Paul encourage us with in this verse?

Tuesday, November 24 – Read for today: Psalm 68

Why Stressed?

     Stress gets to all of us. The best example of the stresses and whatnot in our lives seems to be the Super-Bowl. Imagine you are that one man whom the entire opposing side is waiting to tackle, and tackle hard.  Things tend to come at us from all directions, each one requiring all our thought and ability to try and avoid which makes it difficult for us to see a path through.

       Stress is everywhere.  We stress about our finances, we stress over our jobs or potential jobs, we stress over unaccomplished tasks on our to-do lists, we even stress over the little things like our internet connection and speeds.  There are all sorts of things that weigh our thoughts down, burdening us down and making us struggle for each task. When you think about all of those items which you absolutely need to take care of it can make you just drop down in shock!

     The thing about stress is that we never react as well to it as we would like. It affects our emotions, our physical health, our pride, our self-possession, and even our self-image. Stress attacks our body, mind, and even our soul! Of all the detrimental things that stress does in our lives, the worst is how it affects our relationship to God.

      Stress drives a wedge into our walk with God, first by eating our time that we spend with Him. It takes more of our thought and concentration to deal with stress and we suddenly have less time to spend in prayer and study. Secondly it throws doubt into our minds. “Does God really have everything under control? I don’t see anything getting better”. Finally stress tends to drive us to more self-concentration and preservation. We just have to take care of this one issue. We take control back into our own hands and away from God who can see the big picture. Once we have that control back it is even more difficult to give it back to God again.

     Stress is dangerous, very dangerous. Though I could go on into detail on how stress and pride seem to go hand in hand, I would rather focus on God’s answer. In verse 19 we read, ““Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens.” God tells us to give Him all our burdens, all our worries, all our cares. He asks us to hand over each stressor as it comes. He asks us to lay our problems and our issues in His hands. He wants us to treat Him as Father, with us as children.

       We all remember what it was like when we were children, how our parents could fix anything. If we had a scraped knee mom would kiss it and dad would put a bandage on it and it would be “all better”. If we had trouble with our homework, our parents would patiently help us with it. We never really had to plan anything while the hardest thing we had to do was try and keep our room clean.  God asks us to take that same attitude with Him. Let Him deal with everything. He is more than capable, and more than prepared to deal with anything that can stress us. And though sometimes it seems that He is taking His time or not dealing with it, when we look back we can always see His guiding hands working through the problem, and often differently than we would expect Him to.

Questions for thought:

  1. Are you stressed?  Why?  What’s coming your way that’s so big or difficult that God can’t handle it, or so surprising that the Lord didn’t see it coming?

For further study:

  1. Read Jeremiah 32:27.  What response do you think the Lord expects from this rhetorical question?

Wednesday, November 25 – Read for today: Psalm 89

Things to come

     Things are changing in our country.  Things are changing for believers.  It appears that many of us in this country may soon begin suffering for our faith and beliefs like many of our brothers and sisters around the world are already suffering.

     I see days of persecution and hardship ahead for those who stand for their faith, which we must do.  We, however, are not the first to experience such things.

     David has experienced it.  Others have as well. Among other things, David responded with prayer. In verses 50 – 51 we read, “Remember, Lord, the ridicule against Your servants—in my heart I carry abuse from all the peoples—how Your enemies have ridiculed, Lord, how they have ridiculed every step of Your anointed.”

     David knew persecution and hardship, but knew that the Lord would not forget those who brought pain into their lives.

Questions for thought:

  1. What do you see on the horizon?  What do you see coming?
  2. How does the fact that the Lord will remember those who will persecute you, impact you?

For further study:

  1. Read 2 Timothy 3:1-8

Thursday, November 26 – Read for today: Psalms 96

Exalting Our God

     We live in a world where people worship their heroes in sports and on the screen.  Much time is spent by fans bringing glory to their favorite peoples.  The crowds rush in, autographs are signed and songs are written about these celebrities and everyone seems content. However when God is exalted some seem uncomfortable and want to move on to something else. We as believers need to be the ones to reflect to the world the glory of our God and be unashamed to do so.  A Christian may be called a fanatic for this behavior but this is simply normal for believers who love the Lord. God’s children will direct praise to God before the world unashamed and boldly.  Verse 10 tells us to “Say among the nations, the LORD reigns” which is an open honor to our God before the world.  What kind of testimony do we have?  Do we lift our Lord in our conversations or practices?  Does our language glorify God along with all our choices? God is watching to see how we treat Him in our world today. Verse 11 and 12 speak of how creation points to our God the creator. The sea, the field and the trees are testimonies of His majesty!

      Verse 13 tells us that He is also coming to be a judge. He will judge in righteousness because He is a fair God but how will we stand?  We are eternally His children, but is our relationship with Him warm or cold.  When we become distant to our God it because we moved Not Him. We then become cold and little if any praise comes from us.  Satan delights in this behavior and we then have no witness to the lost around us.  Self-evaluation is a must for us and our quality of praise reflects clearly our relationship to our Lord!  An offering of praise to God coming from the heart is well pleasing to God and will not be refused.  How do we lift up our Lord?  Do we lift Him up to others in all circumstances or only when we have good days?  If we truly love the Lord there will be a consistency in our daily lives like a continuous song for the world to hear and know about our Savior!

Thoughts to consider:

II Chronicles 30:1 -How can you encourage others to worship our God allowing space for God to work in hearts rather than our pushing them?

Isaiah 2:3 “How do we depend upon God for direction and growth in our lives?

For further study:

Deuteronomy 26:10-How important is it to keep God first in our lives? What are some first fruits we can bring to Him?

Matthew 4:10- How can we combat Satan today as Jesus did in this passage?

Friday, November 27 – Read for today: Psalm 100

Why thank Him?

     This psalm gives us two very fundamental truths about the Lord.  What are those two enriching truths? #1, He is God (verse 3) and #2, He is good (verse 5)!  Anything less than that divine combination falls short.  As the people of God, we have great comfort, peace and hope because He is both God and good.

      Think about it.  If God was something less than the omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent God of the Bible—He would not have the ultimate power and authority to impose his goodness. He would be less than almighty God and then subject to external powers. And then, if God was God but He wasn’t good—we would all be deservedly doomed for eternity to a Christ-less hell.

     But the amazing thing is that He is both almighty God and He is inherently good.

     If God is God, and He is; and He is good (even when we do not understand nor enjoy everything that’s happening), and He is, then what should our response be to this good God?

     This psalm tells us that as well.

  1. We shout unto the Lord (worship) – v 1.
  2. We joyfully and whole-heartedly serve Him – v2.
  3. We acknowledge that He is (recognize and act as though) He is God.  He is in charge.  He is the Shepherd and we are the sheep.
  4. We worship and thank Him – v4.

     If you know God, and Lord the Lord, you cannot stand by and do nothing.  That knowledge and relationship will move you.

Questions for thought:

  1. Do you act and obey Him as though you recognize His Lordship over you?
  2. How is your worship and gratitude?  Do you often thank Him?

For further study:

  1. Read 1 Thessalonians 5:18.

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