Thoroughly Equipped: Jesus Revealed

Today’s reading is Genesis 8:1-10:32, Matthew 4:12-25, Psalm 4:1-8, Proverbs 1:20-23.

To recap what we have read so far, I would like to point out that the focus of the entire New Testament is revealed in the first send of the New Testament.

“This is a record of the ancestors of Jesus, the Messiah, a descendant of David and of Abraham.”  That is the first sentence.  What is the purpose of a first sentence?  It is should be an attention grabber.  This would have definitely been an attention grabber for the people of that time.  You see, God had been silent.  For 400 long years, there had been nothing to write down for people to read as insight into what God was up to.  But then came the New Testament.  And the first words would have been shocking, perhaps scandalous to some.  You see, everyone knew the prophesies of the Old Testament of a coming Savior.  And then there were these shocking words:  This is a record of Jesus, the Messiah.  The Messiah had come?! It would have been very important to include in the first sentence that Jesus was a descendant of David and of Abraham, for only a descendant of David and Abraham could be the Savior, as many prophesies told.  So, with this first sentence, Matthew had their attention.

As we read through the list of the ancestors of Jesus, we see names we recognize from our study of the Old Testament.  In fact, to me they feel like old friends.  They weren’t perfect people, but they were God’s people. And through them, God was weaving a tapestry of redemption, which was completed when a baby was born to a virgin in a quiet stable, in a small town.

This first sentence of the New Testament also reveals to us what the entire New Testament will be about…Jesus, the Messiah.  As we study the New Testament, we will see the fulfillment of the Old Testament.  As I have stated many times before, the Old Testament is Jesus concealed, the New Testament is Jesus revealed.  May Jesus not only be revealed in our minds as we read through the Bible this year, may He also be revealed in our hearts and spirits.

Thoroughly Equipped: Last Words, New Beginnings

Today, I reviewed the last chapter of the Old Testament with the last chapter of the New Testament.  And one main thing stood out to me.  Let’s look at it together. This is the last chapter of the Old Testament:

[a]The Lord of Heaven’s Armies says, “The day of judgment is coming, burning like a furnace. On that day the arrogant and the wicked will be burned up like straw. They will be consumed—roots, branches, and all.

“But for you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings.[b] And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture.On the day when I act, you will tread upon the wicked as if they were dust under your feet,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

“Remember to obey the Law of Moses, my servant—all the decrees and regulations that I gave him on Mount Sinai[c] for all Israel.

“Look, I am sending you the prophet Elijah before the great and dreadful day of the Lord arrives. His preaching will turn the hearts of fathers to their children, and the hearts of children to their fathers. Otherwise I will come and strike the land with a curse.”

The last words of the Old Testament are looking forward to the Savior, Jesus.  Who is this Sun of Righteousness with healing in its wings?  It is Jesus, of course.  He is the one to right the wrongs.  He is the one to take the curse upon him, so the threat of the curse of sin would be a thing of the past.  And yet, the last words of the Old Testament are still reflective of this curse, as God reminds us, “Otherwise, I will come and strike the land with a curse.”  The last word of the Old Testament is “curse”.  And that is a lot of what the Old Testament is about—living with the curse.  Let’s compare that with the last chapter of the New Testament, Revelation 22.

Then the angel showed me a river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. It flowed down the center of the main street. On each side of the river grew a tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit,[a] with a fresh crop each month. The leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations.

No longer will there be a curse upon anything. For the throne of God and of the Lamb will be there, and his servants will worship him. And they will see his face, and his name will be written on their foreheads. And there will be no night there—no need for lamps or sun—for the Lord God will shine on them. And they will reign forever and ever.

Oh, those sweet words written in the last chapter of the New Testament!  “No longer will there be a curse upon anything.”  Oh, praise God that there will come a time when the repercussions of the Fall will be completely gone.  There will be no more sin or sickness or death or disease or sadness or weeping or grief of any kind.  The last word of the Old Testament may be “curse”, but the last words of the New Testament are an invitation to a curse-less world:

17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” Let anyone who hears this say, “Come.” Let anyone who is thirsty come. Let anyone who desires drink freely from the water of life. 18 And I solemnly declare to everyone who hears the words of prophecy written in this book: If anyone adds anything to what is written here, God will add to that person the plagues described in this book. 19 And if anyone removes any of the words from this book of prophecy, God will remove that person’s share in the tree of life and in the holy city that are described in this book.

20 He who is the faithful witness to all these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon!”

Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!

21 May the grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s holy people.[f]

Yes, the last sentence of the Old Testament may end with the threat of the curse, but the last sentence of the New Testament ends with grace.  Amazing grace.  Grace that is bigger than all my sin.

This year, we will read through the entire Bible again.  But this year, let’s focus on the New Testament.  Now that we better understand the curse of the Old Testament, let’s savor the truth of the grace of the New Testament.  I am praying that we all experience the life-changing truth of the Word of God, this year and every year.

Schedule for Bible Reading: January

Hey, Friends!  Well, congrats are in order for all who completed our 2017 Challenge of reading through the entire Bible in a year!  Yes, I did finish, although at times I felt I was limping along.  But, it was so worth it!  I learned so much this past year about the goodness of God and His intricate plan in history and in our lives.  I read the entire Bible, but my study focus was on the Old Testament.  This year, my study focus will be on the New Testament.  (As a reminder, I use the OneYear Bible.  If you have one of those, just read what is on the appropriate date!) Will you join me?  Each month, I will post a reading schedule and I will also post my own study notes at times.  No promises as to how often my “notes” will appear on my blog, but I will plan on posting several times a month.  So, let’s do it!  There is no better New Years Resolution we could make!

As I once again begin this annual challenge, my thoughts are on a special friend, Barb Archer.  She was one of the most faithful readers of my blog, and is the one who always reminded me to post the reading schedule.  She faithfully followed the reading plan, even though many of her days were difficult.  You see, she was battling cancer and enduring treatment and yet, her faith and desire for the Word of God never waivered.  She spent the holidays in heaven this year.  Though technically, she didn’t get to “finish” our year-long challenge, she definitely finished the race set before her.  As we begin this Bible reading challenge once again, my thoughts are on Barb and her victorious “finishing”.  2 Timothy 4:6-8, says:

For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. 7I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

Friends, we don’t know what lies ahead in this year.  But we do know Who holds us close, Who holds our future.  May He bless you abundantly with great understanding and fresh vision as you faithfully read His Word!

January 1:  Genesis 1:1-2:25, Matthew 1:1-2:12, Psalm 1:1-6, Proverbs 1:1-6

January 2:  Genesis 3:1-4:26, Matthew 2:13-3:6, Psalm 2:1-12, Proverbs 1:7-9

January 3:  Genesis 5:1-7:24, Matthew 3:7-4:11, Psalm 3:1-8, Proverbs 1:10-19

January 4:  Genesis 8:1-10:32, Matthew 4:12-25, Psalm 4:1-8, Proverbs 1:20-23

January 5:  Genesis 11:1-13:4, Matthew 5:1-26, Psalm 5:1-12, Proverbs 1:24-28

January 6:  Genesis 13:5-15:21, Matthew 5:27-48, Psalm 6:1-10, Proverbs 1:29-33

January 7:  Genesis 16:1-18:15, Matthew 6:1-24, Psalm 7:1-17, Proverbs 2:1-5

January 8:  Genesis 18:16-19:38, Matthew 6:25-7:14, Psalm 8:1-9, Proverbs 2:6-15

January 9:  Genesis 20:1-22:24, Matthew 7: 15-29, Psalm 9:1-12, Proverbs 2:16-22

January 10:  Genesis 23:1-24:51, Matthew 8:1-17, Psalm 9:13-20, Proverbs 3:1-6

January 11:  Genesis 24:52-26:16, Matthew 8:18-34, Psalm 10:1-15, Proverbs 3:7-8

January 12: Genesis 26: 17-27:46, Matthew 9:1-17, Psalm 10:16-18, Proverbs 3:9-10

January 13: Genesis 28:1-29:35, Matthew 9:18-38, Psalm 11:1-7, Proverbs 3:11-12

January 14: Genesis 30:1-31:16, Matthew 10:1-23, Psalm 12:1-8, Proverbs 3:13-15

January 15: Genesis 31:17-32:12, Matthew 10:24-11:6, Psalm 13:1-6, Proverbs 3:16-18

January 16: Genesis 32:13-34:31, Matthew 11:7-30, Psalm 14:1-7, Proverbs 3:19-20

January 17:  Genesis 35:1-36:43, Matthew 12:1-21, Psalm 15:1-5, Proverbs 3:21-26

January 18: Genesis 37:1-38:30, Matthew 12:22-45, Psalm 16:1-11, Proverbs 3:27-32

January 19: Genesis 39:1-41:16, Matthew 12:46-13:23, Psalm 17:1-15, Proverbs 3:33-35

January 20: Genesis 41:17-42:17, Matthew 13:24-46, Psalm 18:1-15, Proverbs 4:1-6

January 21: Genesis 42:18-43:34, Matthew 13:47-14:12, Psalm 18:16-36, Proverbs 4:7-10

January 22: Genesis 44:1-45:28, Matthew 14:13-36, Psalm 18:37-50, Proverbs 4:11-13

January 23:  Genesis 46:1-47:31, Matthew 15:1-28, Psalm 19:1-14, Proverbs 4:14-19

January 24:  Genesis 48:1-49:33, Matthew 15:29-16:12, Psalm 20:1-9, Proverbs 4: 20-27

January 25:  Genesis 50:1-Exodus 2:10, Matthew 16:13-17:9, Psalm 21:1-13, Proverbs 5:1-6

January 26: Exodus 2:11-3:22, Matthew 17:10-27, Psalm 22:1-18, Proverbs 5:7-14

January 27: Exodus 4:1-5:21, Matthew 18:1-20, Psalm 22:19-31, Proverbs 5:15-21

January 28: Exodus 5:22-7:25, Matthew 18:21-19:12, Psalm 23:1-6, Proverbs 5:22-23

January 29:  Exodus 8:1-9:35, Matthew 19:13-30, Psalm 24:1-10, Proverbs 6:1-5

January 30: Exodus 10:1-12:13, Matthew 20:1-28, Psalm 25:1-15, Proverbs 6:6-11

January 31: Exodus 12:14-13:16, Matthew 20:29-21:22, Psalm 25:16-22, Proverbs 6:12-15





Thoroughly Equipped: Bible Reading Schedule for December

Hello, my friends!

Well, I feel like a marathon runner who trips and falls the last quarter mile of the race.  But, what do you do when you fall?  You get back up.  You start again.  So, here I am, 12 days late, posting the reading schedule for December.  I have been reading, and I hope you have been, too.  But I confess, I haven’t been studying.  I would love to say that I will finish strong with lots of commentary, but, well… the holidays…  I do have a few words to share in the next few days.  In addition, I am re-posting (with updates) my 12 Days of Christmas devotional, which first aired 4 years ago.  I hope this will give you encouragement during this hectic, but wonderful, Christmas season.  By the way, some of the devo will contain info you have studied during this Thoroughly Equipped study.  But, I’m a teacher, so review, review, review, right??

Do you, too, feel like you are limping across the finish line? No worries!  The point is to finish.  You may have missed some days, but for the most part, you can know you have read through the Bible in 2017!  So, who’s up for a repeat in 2018???

Love to you all and so very thankful you were willing to take this journey with me!

Blessings to you and Merry Christmas!


December 1: Daniel 8: 1-27, 1 John 2:1-17, Psalm 120:1-7, Proverbs 28:25-26.

December 2: Daniel 9:1-11:1, 1 John 2:18-3:6, Psalm 121:1-8, Proverbs 28:27-28.

December 3: Daniel 11:2-2:35, 1 John 3:7-24, Psalm 122:1-9, Proverbs 29:1.

December 4: Daniel 11:36-12:13, 1 John 4:1-21, Psalm 123:1-4, Proverbs 29:2-4.

December 5: Hosea 1:1-3:5, 1 John 5:1-21, Psalm 124:1-8, Proverbs 29:5-8.

December 6: Hosea 4:1-5:15, 2 John 1:1-13, Psalm 125:1-5, Proverbs 29:9-11.

December 7: Hosea 6:1-9:17, 3 John 1:1-15, Psalm126:1-6, Proverbs 29:12-14.

December 8: Hosea 10:1-14:9, Jude 1:1-25, Psalm 127:1-5, Proverbs 29:15-17.

December 9: Joel 1:1-3:21, Revelation 1:1-20, Psalm 128:1-6, Proverbs 29:18.

December 10: Amos 1:1-3:15, Revelation 2:1-17, Psalm 129:1-8, Proverbs 29:19-20.

December 11: Amos 4:1-6:14, Revelation 2:18-3:6, Psalm 130:1-8, Proverbs 29:21-22.

December 12: Amos 7:1-9:15, Revelation 3:7-22, Psalm 131:1-3, Proverbs 29:23.

December 13: Obadiah 1:1-21, Revelation 4:1-11, Psalm 132:1-18, Proverbs 29:24-25.

December 14: Jonah 1:1-4:11, Revelation 5:1-14, Psalm 133:1-3, Proverbs 29:26-27.

December 15: Micah 1:1-4:13, Revelation 6:1-17, Psalm 134:1-3, Proverbs 30:1-4.

December 16: Micah 5:1-7:20, Revelation 7:1-17, Psalm 135:1-21, Proverbs 30:5-6.

December 17: Nahum 1:1-3:19, Revelation 8:1-13, Psalm 136:1-26, Proverbs 30:7-9.

December 18: Habakkuk 1:1-3:19, Revelation 9:1-21, Psalm 137:1-9, Proverbs 30:10.

December 19: Zephaniah 1:1-3:20, Revelation 10:1-11, Psalm 138:1-8, Proverbs 30:11-14.

December 20: Haggai 1:1-2:23, Revelation 11:1-19, Psalm 139:1-24, Proverbs 30:15-16.

December 21: Zechariah 1:1-21, Revelation 12:1-17, Psalm 140:1-13, Proverbs 30:17.

December 22: Zechariah 2:1-3:10, Revelation 12:18-13:18, Psalm 141:1-10, Proverbs 30:18-20.

December 23: Zechariah 4:1-5:11, Revelation 14:1-20, Psalm 142:1-7, Proverbs 30:21-23.

December 24: Zechariah 6:1-7:14, Revelation 15:1-8, Psalm 143:1-12, Proverbs 30:24-28.

December 25: Zechariah 8:1-23, Revelation 16:1-21, Psalm 144:1-15, Proverbs 30:29-31.

December 26: Zechariah 9:1-17, Revelation 17:1-18, Psalm 45:1-21, Proverbs 30:32.

December 27: Zechariah 10:1-11:17, Revelation 18:1-24, Psalm 146:1-10, Proverbs 30:33.

December 28: Zechariah 12:1-13:9, Revelation 19:1-21, Psalm 147:1-20, Proverbs 31:1-7.

December 29: Zechariah 14:1-21, Revelation 20:1-15, Psalm 148:1-14, Proverbs 31:8-9.

December 30: Malachi 1:1-2:17, Revelation 21:1-27, Psalm 149:1-9, Proverbs 31:10-24.

December 31: Malachi 3:1-4:6, Revelation 22:1-21, Psalm 150:1-6, Proverbs 31:25-31.

Thoroughly Equipped: Bible Reading Schedule for November

Hello, my friends!  Below you will find the schedule for our Bible Reading for November.  Can you believe that we are almost finished reading through the entire Bible?!  Stay the course.  You may not understand all you are reading (warning:  most of the month we will be reading in Ezekiel!), but each verse is a seed dropped into your spirit.  It will grow and one day be harvested in understanding.  Hang in there with me!

November 1:  Ezekiel 1:1-3:15, Hebrews 3:1-19, Psalm 104:1-23, Proverbs 26:24-26.

November 2:  Ezekiel 3:16-6:14, Hebrews 4:1-16, Psalm 104:24-35, Proverbs 26:27.

November 3:  Ezekiel 7:1-9:11, Hebrews 5:1-14, Psalm 105:1-15, Proverbs 26:28.

November 4:  Ezekiel 10:1-11:25, Hebrews 6:1-20, Psalm 105:16-36, Proverbs 27:1-2.

November 5:  Ezekiel 12:1-14:11, Hebrews 7:1-17, Psalm 105:37-45, Proverbs 27:3.

November 6:  Ezekiel 14:12-16:41, Hebrews 7:18-28, Psalm 106:1-12, Proverbs27:4-6.

November 7:  Ezekiel 16:42-17:24, Hebrews 8:1-13, Psalm 106:13-31, Proverbs 27:7-9.

November 8:  Ezekiel 18:1-19:14, Hebrews 9:1-10, Psalm 106:32-48, Proverbs 27:10.

November 9:  Ezekiel 20:1-49, Hebrews 11-28, Psalm 107:1-43, Proverbs 27:11.

November 10:  Ezekiel 21:1-22:31, Hebrews 10:1-17, Psalm 108:1-13, Proverbs 27:12.

November 11:  Ezekiel 23:1-49, Hebrews 10:18-39, Psalm 109:1-31, Proverbs 27:13.

November 12:  Ezekiel 24:1-26:21, Hebrews 11:1-16, Psalm 110:1-7, Proverbs 27:14.

November 13:  Ezekiel 27:1-28:26, Hebrews 11:17-31, Psalm 111:1-10, Proverbs 27:15-16.

November 14:  Ezekiel 29:1-30:26, Hebrews 11:32-12:13, Psalm112:1-10, Proverbs 27:17.

November 15:  Ezekiel 31:1-32:32, Hebrews 12:14-29, Psalm 113:1-114:8, Proverbs 27:18-20.

November 16:  Ezekiel 33:1-34:31, Hebrews 13:1-25, Psalm 115:1-18, Proverbs 27:21-22.

November 17:  Ezekiel 35:1-36:38, James 1:1-18, Psalm 116:1-19, Proverbs 27:23-27.

November 18:  Ezekiel 37:1-38:23, James 1:19-2:17, Psalm117:1-2, Proverbs 28:1.

November 19:  Ezekiel 39:1-40:27, James 2:18-3:18, Psalm 118:1-18, Proverbs 28:2.

November 20:  Ezekiel 40:28-41:26, James 4:1-17, Psalm 118:19-29, Proverbs 28:3-5.

November 21:  Ezekiel 42:1-43:27, James 5:1-20, Psalm 119:1-16, Proverbs 28:6-7.

November 22:  Ezekiel 44:1-45:12, 1Peter 1:1-12, Psalm 119:17-32, Proverbs 28:8-10.

November 23:  Ezekiel 45:13-46:24, 1Peter 1:13-2:10, Psalm 119:33-48, Proverbs 28:11.

November 24:  Ezekiel 47:1-48:35, 1Peter 2:11-3:7, Psalm 119:49-64, Proverbs 28:12-13.

November 25:  Daniel 1:1-2:23, 1Peter 3:8-4:6, Psalm 119:65-80, Proverbs 28:14.

November 26:  Daniel 2:24-3:30, 1Peter 4:7-5:14, Psalm 119:81-96, Proverbs 28:15-16.

November 27:  Daniel 4:1-37, 2Peter 1:1-21, Psalm 119:97-112, Proverbs 28:17-18.

November 28:  Daniel 5:1-31, 2Peter 2:1-22, Psalm 119:113-128, Proverbs 28:19-20.

November 29:  Daniel 6:1-28, 2Peter 3:1-18, Psalm 119:129-152, Proverbs 28:21-22.

November 30:  Daniel 7:1-28, 1John 1:1-10, Psalm 119:153-176, Proverbs 28:23-24.