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, May 10 – Read for today: Proverbs 4

Guarding the important things

Verse 23 says, “Guard your heart above all else, for it is the source of life.” Mark Twain wrote, “What a wee little part of a person’s life are his acts and his words! His real life is led in his head, and is known to none but himself. All day long, the mill of his brain is grinding, and his thoughts, not those other things, are his history.” (Reader’s Digest [1/93], p. 155).

I would modify Twain by saying that our thought life forms the basis for and is largely revealed in our actions and words. But Twain’s comments correctly affirm that our thought life composes a major part of who we really are. Jonathan Edwards put it this way: “The ideas and images in men’s minds are the invisible powers that constantly govern them” (source unknown). Thus it is crucial for each of us to bring our thought life into submission to Jesus Christ by learning to think biblically about every aspect of life.

One of the most helpful things I have learned about the Christian life is that all sin begins in our thoughts, which the Bible often calls “the heart.” Jesus said, “That which proceeds out of the man, that is what defiles the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man” (Mark 7:20-23). No one commits these outward sins without first having committed them in his mind. If we want to grow in godliness, we must win the battle over sin on the thought level.    In Philippians 4:8 Paul tells us to develop a Christian thought life. His words should not be divorced from the context. Practicing verse 8 is essential if we want to develop and maintain healthy relationships (4:2-3, 5). A Christian thought life is also integral to a life of joy (4:4) and peace (4:6-7) in every situation. Since our thoughts form the basis for our behavior, a godly thought life is also essential for the obedience to which Paul exhorts us in verse 9. Clearly, Paul’s thought life was at the heart of the contentment he had learned in every situation (4:10-12). So Paul is telling us the way to be whole people in our relationships with God, with one another, and within ourselves.    No wonder we are commanded to “guard your hearts”.

Questions for thought:

How does someone guard his heart?  What steps do you take to guard your heart?

For further study:

Read Romans 12:1-2.  How does one go about being “transformed”?  What does Paul by renewing your mind?

Read Psalm 101:3.  How does this verse impact someone “guarding their hearts”?  Might this verse present one way to do so?

Tuesday, May 11 – Read for today: Proverbs 5

The Pain One Brings on Himself

In May 2013, the Elder Board of Discovery Church, Orlando, Florida issued the following statement about the resignation of lead pastor, David Loveless.
“It is with great sadness that we announce the immediate resignation of our lead pastor, David Loveless, following his acknowledgement of his participation in a wrongful relationship over multiple years with a woman not his wife. While David indicates that the relationship was ended approximately three years ago, we were only made aware of it when he informed us in recent days. David offered his resignation and the elders prayerfully and unanimously accepted it.

David has relinquished his pastoral responsibilities at Discovery Church and will be succeeded, on an interim basis, by Director of  Ministry, Don Cousins. These are difficult circumstances for any church, regardless of size, and serve as a poignant reminder of the frailty of man and the need to live in honest community and accountability with other believers. While we believe David Loveless can be restored to Christian fellowship and productive Christian service, we do not believe he can serve as a pastor at Discovery Church.”

The statement concludes: “This will be a test for Discovery Church on many fronts and we ask you to join with us in handling the challenges of the days and weeks to come in a way that would honor the God we worship and serve week after week. Thank you for your prayers.”    Proverbs 5:3-4 says, “Though the lips of the forbidden woman drip honey and her words are smoother than oil, in the end she’s as bitter as wormwood and as sharp as a double-edged sword.”

How many ministries have been destroyed because of this sin?  How many marriages have been destroyed because of this sin?  Adultery hurts so many people.

Questions for thought:

Do you know someone who has been affected by infidelity?  Do you know of any cases where it turned out positively, or without pain and suffering on the part of someone?

How does adultery start and/or, where does it begin?

For further study:

Do you remember our recent verse, Philippians 4:8.  How would obeying that command help protect someone from this?

Wednesday, May 12 – Read for today: Proverbs 6

Bless be the ties that bind

This chapter of Proverbs covers a great deal of material.  So much wisdom in so few verses.  What stood out to me especially verses 16-19 which covers 6 things that the Lord hates and 7 things which are detestable to Him.  One would be wise to pay special attention to items which the Bible specifically mentions that our Lord hates.  Did you notice the seventh item mentioned in this list?  The last item mentioned is “one who stirs up trouble among brothers”.

According to 1 Corinthians 12, we are all given gifts and are all part of the Body of Christ.  We have gifts that are to be used for the benefit of the Body and for the furtherance of the Kingdom of God.  In Ephesians 1:5, we are told that the Lord has adopted us into the family as children.

I have known some broken families, where the folks no longer got along, where they no longer got together.  A broken home, a broken family is a sad thing.  It goes against the Lord’s plans and intentions.  It also goes against His plans for churches, for church families to be broken and for the Body of Christ to have turmoil.

Arthritis is a terrible disease, where the body attacks itself.  It causes pain.  It causes disfigurement, and it makes it where a body is no longer able to work as it was intended.

It is also sad when a church family begins to attack itself.  It causes pain.  It causes the church to no longer look the way it is supposed to, and it makes it where the church Body is no longer able to work as God intended.  Once a church starts that, it is mighty difficult to put it back together again and to get it working like it’s supposed to.  It has been said that, “Unity among brethren is fitly compared to a cable rope, which will not easily break; but if once cut asunder, it is hard to tie a knot upon it. (Trapp’s Complete Commentary).

Is it any wonder that the Lord hates, absolutely detests people who cause trouble among brothers?

Questions for thought:

Is there anything you do which might help cause problems between brothers?  How do you think the Lord feels about that?

What might you do to help prevent trouble from occurring among brothers?

For further study:

What does Proverbs 22:10 tell us to do about those who intentionally cause problems in the family?

How might Proverbs 26:20 help us address the problem ourselves?

Answer the same question in 2 Timothy 2:23.

Read James 3:14-18.  Where does this division come from, and how can one tell if the Lord is in charge?

Thursday, May 13 – Read for today: Proverbs 7

Acting like the Lord doesn’t matter

This chapter focuses to a great extent on adultery and immorality, as the past two chapters have to some extent.  It must, therefore, be important to the Lord, and a great cause for concern in the life of many followers; and it is.  So many believers are damaged and have their witness destroyed because of this sin.  We must all be on guard.  In the midst of this chapter is another danger we must we on guard against.

In verse 14 the seductress says, “I was due to offer peace offerings; Today I have paid my vows.”  Did you see that?  This woman, in the midst of her sin, in the midst of leading another to sin, brags that she has fulfilled her “religious duties” (as commanded in Leviticus 7).

We must be careful that we do not carry on doing the things of the world and the things of the flesh, while acting as though we are doing everything we know to serve and please the Lord.

We are warned in James 1:22, “But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.”  Further, we are told in verse 27 of the same chapter in James, “Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world”.  Some believe that by completing the first part of this verse, or by doing other “good works”, that they’re good to go; paying no attention to the last part of the verse.  They are two sides of the same coin, to do anything less is to act a though the Lord doesn’t matter, or at least to act like He doesn’t really care about our disobedience.

Questions for thought:

Is there an area in your life you know the Lord is not pleased with, but you excuse?  How do you think the Lord feels about that?

For further study:

What did Jesus say was evidence of your love for Him, according to John 14:15?

Friday, May 14 – Read for today: Proverbs 8

The Freedom and Joy of Wisdom

There are many paths to choose from today that can lead a person astray from God’s truth and a life of purpose and fulfillment.  True wisdom that God can give His children is always available if we only seek it ask God for the blessing of it.  Wisdom is good advice and common sense from God that pertains to every aspect of our lives today.  We begin making decisions the moment we wake up in the morning and continue until we fall asleep that night.  Some are small but can have big consequences so everyone is important.  The mind set and motives that drive us can take us many directions but are they Godly directions?  Only our Lord can give us the direction we need in life.  We can live in victory or go from pitfalls to pitfalls as we choose.  Wisdom is not something new but has been around since before the earth began.  It is God’s path of order for the universe and every person in His world.  So, we need to take advantage of it for a quality life not just for our sakes but for everyone in our lives.  If we are not operating in wisdom troubles and disharmony will plague our lives and all around us.  This world was created by the God of all wisdom and it is evident in the balance of all God has made. Creation demonstrates wisdom and order so we should learn from God’s design and power. The question for us now is how badly do we want wisdom? Socrates was approach by a young man one day and wanted to know how he could gain his wisdom. They were on the beach and Socrates led him to the deeper water and plunged him under. He held him under until his breath was almost gone and brought him up. He told the young man that he could begin to have wisdom when he wanted it as much as the next breath of air. How badly do we want God’s wisdom?  Scripture says we must “search for it a hid treasures ” in Proverbs 2. God wants us to function daily with the knowledge He can give us and we will be happier for it, Living in ignorance only leads to trouble and never honors our God.  Let us ask God for wisdom and live a life of purpose and joy.

Thoughts to Consider:

Isaiah 11:2-Consider how Christ was blessed with wisdom. Can we have this wisdom as well for daily living?

Matthew 13:54-Will those around us see God’s wisdom in us as we live our lives and make our choices?

For Further Study:

Psalms 104:24-Consider how we can use God’s creation to demonstrate His wisdom.

Proverbs 3:19

Romans 11:33-How far can we really go in understanding God’s ways? Does wisdom teach us how far we can go and where we need to stop and just have faith in our God?

I Corinthians 1:25 This verse` helps us put things in perspective in comparing ourselves with God.

Monday, May 17 – Read for today: Proverbs 9

Fearing the Lord – Really?

An important biblical truth is “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Psalm 111:10; cf. Proverbs 1:7, 9:10). It’s not the fear of being doomed to eternal torment, nor a hopeless dread of judgment that leads to despair. Instead, it’s a reverential fear, a holy concern to give God the honor He deserves and avoid the discipline of His displeasure. It protects against temptation and sin and gives motivation for obedient, righteous living.

Such fear involves self-distrust, a sensitive conscience, and being on guard against temptation. It requires opposing pride, and being constantly aware of the deceitfulness of one’s heart, as well as the subtlety and strength of one’s inner corruption. It is a dread that seeks to avoid anything that would offend and dishonor God.

Believers should have a serious dread of sin and a yearning for what is right before God. Aware of their weakness and the power of temptation, they should fear falling into sin and thereby grieving the Lord. Godly fear protects them from wrongfully influencing fellow believers, compromising their ministry and testimony to the unbelieving world, inviting the Lord’s chastening, and from sacrificing joy.

To have such godly fear and trembling involves more than merely acknowledging one’s sinfulness and spiritual weakness. It is the solemn, reverential fear that springs from deep adoration and love. It acknowledges that every sin is an offense against a holy God and produces a sincere desire not to offend and grieve Him, but to obey, honor, please, and glorify Him in all things.

Those who fear the Lord willingly accept the Lord’s correction, knowing that God “disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness” (Hebrews 12:10). This fear and trembling will cause believers to pray earnestly for God’s help in avoiding sin, as the Lord taught them: “Do not lead us into temptation, but deliver [rescue] us from evil” (Matthew 6:13). That prayer again reflects the spiritual tension that exists between believers’ duty and God’s power.

The true believer understands the consequences of his sin—that it sorely grieves the Lord and severely impedes his own growth. That truth, combined with the love and example of Christ, the need for obedience, and the responsibility the Christian has to the Lord, spurs him on to, as the apostle Paul wrote, “work out” his salvation.

Questions for thought:

What do you normally think of when you think of fearing the Lord?

Does that describe accurately describe your relationship/approach to the Lord?

For further study:

Read Acts 13:43, & 17:4.  How does the Bible describe these folks?  Would you say they are covered by the above study?  Do you feel that is a good way to describe Christ-followers?

Read Ecclesiastes 12:13.  What does this verse say is man’s responsibility?

Tuesday, May 18 – Read for today: Proverbs 10

Working in a Christ-Honoring Way

Verses 4 & 5 deal with a practical matter of work ethics. One of the reasons for poverty is laziness, or what the Bible refers to as “slothfulness” throughout scripture. In 4 the scripture says that one will become poor if he deals with a “slack hand.”  This means being remiss about the things that we have charge over by “falling down” on the job, or “slacking off” in our work duties. Many people in today’s society have this type of approach to their jobs.  They do the least amount of work that they can do without jeopardizing their job. These kind of people will always be poor and have to accept the lesser paying jobs because they will never be promoted.

On the other hand, those who are diligent in their places of employment will be promoted. Good employers are looking for the kind of workers who do their jobs in an excellent manner, as these are the ones that will be promoted and given more responsibility and a raise in salary. I know that sometimes employers are not fair, and do not appreciate a good worker enough to raise their salaries; however, we must realize, as Christians, that we are working not just to please our employer, but most of all, we are doing our jobs to please our Master and Lord. If we take this attitude, the Lord will be the one that rewards us, as He sees our labors and our heart to please Him.

Ephesians 6:5-9 says, “Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;  With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free. And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him.”

In the scripture above, employees would be in the servant (performing services) position, while the boss would be in the “master’s” position. Notice that the Lord has instructions for both employees and employers.  As employees, we must submit to the employer’s orders (as long as they are not immoral or against scripture); while employers will be held accountable if they threaten and intimidate their employees. If we feel we are being mistreated and we take our case to the Lord, He will defend us and show us what to do. However, we must keep our heart right and not get into gossip or undermining the boss with other employees. We should pray for those in authority and allow the Holy Spirit to deal with our work problems in a godly way.

Every farmer who has a son, would desire him to be like the wise one spoken about in verse 5. This son does not slack off in the summer, but works to help gather in the harvest. The son that sleeps during this very critical time, certainly will bring shame to the family by failing to do his part.  His laziness could cause the loss of the harvest and bring poverty to the whole family, if the father does not have enough workers to get the job done.  We do not want to be a son that causes his Father shame.

Questions for thought:

How diligent of an employee are you?  By what criteria do you rate your job performance?

What kind of an employee would the Lord say you are?  Are you bringing Him honor by the way you work?

For further study:

Read Colossians 3:23-24.  Who do these verses say we are to work to please?

Read Ephesians 6:5-8.  What similar instructions are we given here?

Wednesday, May 19 – Read for today: Proverbs 11

Stand in Righteousness

The life of a righteous person is on a good foundation for himself and those that are close to him.  In this proverb we can see that the quality of life of the righteous far exceeds the evil of today.  It can appear on the surface that the evil people of this world are winning as they cheat and lie their way to get ahead of everyone else.  The politics in our own government seem to prosper in this type of mind set but the end tells the story. The things they build up will only crumble in the end.  God will not let evil prosper because only His glory will endure.  Are you on the winning side?  At the time of death in verse 7 the end of the evil person comes as all his hopes perish.  All they can do is perish because they are based on this earthly life. Beginning at verse 13 we can see a list of the good qualities of life that the righteous man will enjoy.  Here we see listed the defense that honesty brings, satisfaction in the truth, the gain of good advice, a cool temper, a good reputation, able to help others with words of comfort, the endurance of truth and joy in living .

When we choose the side we want to live on we set a path of good things in life or a life of sorrow ending in all manner of troubles. God want the best for people if they will only repent and choose Him. The wicked will only end in sorrow and emptiness but God’s children will prosper as they lean upon Him.  God’s children who know Him through a relationship with His Son, Jesus Christ, have the advantage of family blessings and a life of productiveness.  There is nothing productive in the life of the wicked as he lives totally for himself and leaves nothing behind to enrich and encourage others.  God has made us to yield good fruit in this life and we can only do this through a relationship to God through Christ.  Where are you standing today as you live your life?

Thoughts to consider:

Matthew 24:38-39-Consider the blindness of mankind in this passage before the worldwide flood and compare it to today as God’s judgment nears.

Romans 12:2-Be on guard to never run according to the pattern of this world which brings emptiness and sadness. Stay in God’s will for joy and productiveness.

For further study:

Isaiah 2:3-How is our will involved in our daily walk with the Lord? How do we today go up to the mountain of God and His house for direction in living our lives?

Psalm 27:4-How is our desire to be close to God crucial in our spiritual growth. What is involved in gazing upon God?  What does this do for us?

Thursday, May 20- Read for today: Proverbs 12

We are charged with their care

In Genesis 1:28 we are told, “God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it. Rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, and every creature that crawls on the earth.” (HCSB)     From the very beginning of creation, we have been given the responsibility of taking care of livestock, animals, the environment, etc.  Some are confused about what exactly this means.  We know it does not mean that we are all to be vegetarians.  After the Flood the Lord told us in Genesis 9:3, “Every living creature will be food for you; as I gave the green plants, I have given you everything.”     The Lord has given us dominion over the world, including the animals living here.  He has also given us permission to eat animals.

Elsewhere we are told, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When any of you brings an offering to the LORD, bring as your offering an animal from either the herd or the flock.'” (Leviticus 1:2, NIV)

Later in that chapter God includes birds as acceptable offerings and adds grains as well. Except for the consecration of all firstborn animals in Exodus 13, we do not see the sacrifice of dogs, cats, horses, mules or donkeys in the Bible. Dogs are mentioned many times in Scripture but cats are not. Perhaps that’s because they were favorite pets in Egypt and were associated with pagan religion.

God prohibited the killing of man (“You shall not murder,” Exodus 20:13) but he placed no such restriction on the killing of animals. Man is made in God’s image, so man must not kill one of his own kind. Animals, it would seem, are different from man. If they do have a “soul” that survives death, it is different from man’s. It does not need redemption. Christ died to save the souls of human beings, not animals.

While animals are not human, do not have their rights in the eyes of God, and are not created in His image, we do have a responsibility toward them.  In this chapter we are told in verse 10 that a righteous man cares about his animal’s health.  One of the ways you can tell a person’s heart, is by the way they treat the animals they have responsibility for.

Questions for thought:

What does it mean to you when you think about a person having responsibility for their animal’s health?

How does one find a balance between an animal being an animal and not human, and yet having the responsibility to take care of them?

Is there a difference between how one is to care for people and how they are to care for animals?  Is so, what is the difference?

For further study:

Read Exodus 23:12.  How are animals included in this passage?

Friday, May 21 – Read for today: Proverbs 13

Making Wise Choices

I have noticed on several occasions that when a business opens there is a testing period for success.  Some businesses thrive and grow quickly and are there for a long time while others fail after a few weeks.  One has to wonder what went wrong?  The business can be in a prime location and have many customers yet spiral downward and quickly go out of business. The conclusion I suspect is probably bad management. We can have all the tools and resources available to us but then lose what we have by bad choices.  One can over extend themselves, concentrate on the wrong places or trust the wrong people.  The same is true in our lives.  Proverbs 13 pictures for us a person who consistently makes bad choices that will bring him to ruin. We must learn from our mistakes that we all make and be truthful and diligent in our practices.  God has wisely placed certain people in our lives to guide us by example and sometimes rebuke. The foolish person will ignore this help and push ahead in his own wisdom which will be his destruction.  We need to look around us to see who God has placed in our lives to guide us.  Are we ignoring them or listening to their advice? This passage tells us that who we associate with will have a strong influence on how we live and all the choices we make.

There always needs to be fore thought and much prayer as we move through life.  We will not go far on our own wisdom and assessment of events around us. Listen to God as you spend time in His Word daily and to the special people He has placed in your life.  The foolish person is stubborn and will not admit he is in the wrong even when it is obvious. He will persist to follow his own path until he drops off a cliff and then will blame others for his poor choices.  The end result is, however, not just his fall but failure to others in his life. What will be the inheritance left by a foolish person.  It will be nothing or very little to pass along. This is a shame to him and a disgrace to family and friends.  “A poor make can have good soil” but do nothing with it. He can squander all that God has blessed him with and lose the blessing that could have been.  So let us make the wise choices by following God’s lead in our lives. Be sure we are in God’s family to begin with by trusting Christ as our Savior and then follow Him in obedience depending on His wisdom and not our own.

Thoughts to consider:

Jeremiah 7:26-Look here where stubbornness leads . The next generation falls even further than the first. II Peter 2:20

Proverbs 14:14-Consider the end here of the faithless and the good man. We truly reap what we sow.

For further study:

Exodus 32—Notice the impatience of these people and how quickly that ran after the wrong choice in turning away from their God.

I Kings 11:4-What temptations are before us today that pulls our hearts way from God? How can we remain fully devoted to God in the world in which we live and make the right choices?

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