Day 363-365 – December 29-31
Scriptures: Isaiah 60-66, Revelation 20-22, Zephaniah 1-3, Psalm 147
Isaiah 60:19–20 (TNIV)
19The sun will no more be your light by day,
nor will the brightness of the moon shine on you,
for the Lord will be your everlasting light,
and your God will be your glory.
20Your sun will never set again,
and your moon will wane no more;
the Lord will be your everlasting light,
and your days of sorrow will end.
Isaiah 65:17–19 (TNIV)
New Heavens and a New Earth
17“See, I will create
new heavens and a new earth.
The former things will not be remembered,
nor will they come to mind.
18But be glad and rejoice forever
in what I will create,
for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight
and its people a joy.
19I will rejoice over Jerusalem
and take delight in my people;
the sound of weeping and of crying
will be heard in it no more.
Isaiah 66:18 (TNIV)
18“And I, because of what they have planned and done, am about to come and gather the people of all nations and languages, and they will come and see my glory.
Revelation 21:4 (TNIV)
4‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
Revelation 21:22–24 (TNIV)
22I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. 24The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it.
11the Lord delights in those who fear him,
who put their hope in his unfailing love.
The Lord will restore and renew all things. The closing hope of scripture echoes throughout the Bible. God will right the wrongs, wipe away tears, and bring peace on earth.
All creation will sing, “Praise be to the Lord God Almighty.”
Thank you for reading through the Bible with me. I pray the New Year is filled with many blessings and encouragements.
For 2022, my current plan is to read a 5x5 plan. It’s reading exclusively the New Testament. 5 chapters a week which works out to be a chapter a day, for 5 days a week.
Blessings to you and yours in the New Year.
20He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.”
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.
21The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.
Come Lord Jesus, Come
Day 362 – December 28, 2021
Scriptures: Isaiah 56-59, Revelation 19
Isaiah 57:1–2 (TNIV)
The righteous perish,
and no one takes it to heart;
the devout are taken away,
and no one understands
that the righteous are taken away
to be spared from evil.
2Those who walk uprightly
enter into peace;
they find rest as they lie in death.
Revelation 19:7 (TNIV)
7Let us rejoice and be glad
and give him glory!
For the wedding of the Lamb has come,
and his bride has made herself ready.
Revelation 19 gives an account of the heavenly war, the destruction of the beast and the false prophet. The Word of God is victorious over evil.
Much has been written on this chapter of the Bible. Mostly fiction (Left Behind).
What we hold on to in this text is the victory and celebration. What we cling to is the Victor, Jesus Christ, the Word of God! What we cling to is the celebration of a great multitude that is deafening, shouting “Hallelujah, for our God almighty reigns!”
We can do a lot of speculating about the great victory that is to come. What or who the mark of the Beast, is or isn’t? When will the battle happen? How? Lots of questions, and speculation.
What appears to be most clear is, that those who rejoice in God, those who seek him, rather than the idolatries of the world, they will find peace. The intention of Revelation 19 is not to speculate about the future, but to find comfort in the victory of Christ. We turn our allegiances to him and walk with him. This comes with great difficulty and suffering for the saints.
But the Rider of the White horse is Faithful, and True.
Trust in Him!
Day 361 – December 27, 2021
Scriptures: Isaiah 53-55, Psalm 65, Revelation 18
14“They will say, ‘The fruit you longed for is gone from you. All your luxury and splendor have vanished, never to be recovered.’
11so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
12You will go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field
will clap their hands.
John looks and sees the mourning merchants, whose trade with Babylon (Rome) comes to an end. The fruit you longed for is gone from you.
There is a better fruit, from a better source, that truly ministers to our souls.
I’ll leave it to Andrew Peterson to share it with you:
The Sower’s Song
Days 356-360 – December 22 – 26, 2021
Scriptures: Isaiah 36-52, Revelation 14-17
I fell behind a day or two in my reading and failed to upload devotions the past couple of days. So, I caught up in my reading, and read ahead. A lot is happening in Isaiah and Revelation. I’ll oversimplify the reading here:
God is sovereign over all of his creation, God will stretch out his mighty arm and redeem his faithful ones.
I’ve chosen a selection of scriptures in the reading that were of special encouragement and challenge to me.
God bless, and Merry Christmas!
Isaiah 40:2 (TNIV)
2Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
and proclaim to her
that her hard service has been completed,
that her sin has been paid for,
that she has received from the Lord’s hand
double for all her sins.
Isaiah 40:26 (TNIV)
26Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens:
Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one,
and calls them each by name.
Because of his great power and mighty strength,
not one of them is missing.
Isaiah 40:28–31 (TNIV)
28Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
29He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
30Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
31but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 49:23 (TNIV)
23Kings will be your foster fathers,
and their queens your nursing mothers.
They will bow down before you with their faces to the ground;
they will lick the dust at your feet.
Then you will know that I am the Lord;
those who hope in me will not be disappointed.”
Isaiah 49:26 (TNIV)
26I will make your oppressors eat their own flesh;
they will be drunk on their own blood, as with wine.
Then the whole human race will know
that I, the Lord, am your Savior,
your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.”
Revelation 17:14 (TNIV)
14They will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will triumph over them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers.”
Isaiah 51:6 (TNIV)
6Lift up your eyes to the heavens,
look at the earth beneath;
the heavens will vanish like smoke,
the earth will wear out like a garment
and its inhabitants die like flies.
But my salvation will last forever,
my righteousness will never fail.
Isaiah 52:7 (TNIV)
7How beautiful on the mountains
are the feet of those who bring good news,
who proclaim peace,
who bring good tidings,
who proclaim salvation,
who say to Zion,
“Your God reigns!”
Isaiah 52:10 (TNIV)
10The Lord will lay bare his holy arm
in the sight of all the nations,
and all the ends of the earth will see
the salvation of our God.
Days 354-355 - December 20-21, 2021
Scriptures: Isaiah 29-35, Revelation 11-12
Isaiah 30:7 (TNIV)
7 to Egypt, whose help is utterly useless.
Therefore I call her
Rahab the Do-Nothing.
Rahab may be a poetic name for Egypt. Rahab is a mythological beast, whose defeat brought order to the universe. The image portrays a former formidable enemy that now sits powerless. (Faithlife Study Bible)
Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help,
who rely on horses,
who trust in the multitude of their chariots
and in the great strength of their horsemen,
but do not look to the Holy One of Israel,
or seek help from the Lord.
9No lion will be there,
nor any ravenous beast;
they will not be found there.
But only the redeemed will walk there,
10 and those the Lord has rescued will return.
They will enter Zion with singing;
everlasting joy will crown their heads.
Gladness and joy will overtake them,
and sorrow and sighing will flee away.
15The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said:
“The kingdom of the world has become
the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah,
and he will reign for ever and ever.”
17Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring—those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus.
The two days of reading are filled with visions of what is to come and what has been. In each of our readings, between Isaiah whose focus is on Israel, and Revelation, whose focus is the saints and believers in Christ, we see the grand vision of God reconciling and renewing all things.
Isaiah questions why one would go to Egypt, the useless and powerless Rahab. While John directs us to see that Satan is raging and using all of his powers to disrupt the faith of Christians.
But it is the power of the Lamb and His blood that is on our side.
We will overcome through the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony. The word of our testimony is this, Jesus Christ is Lord. The power of that word, overcomes even the greatest of enemies. Even the greatest empires of history, are not greater than this Word.
What a wonderful name it is, the name of Jesus.
Happy Christmas week,
Day 353 – December 19, 2021
Scriptures: Isaiah 25-28, Revelation 10
Lord, you are my God;
I will exalt you and praise your name,
for in perfect faithfulness
you have done wonderful things,
things planned long ago.
God is doing great work, in his time, and making all things beautiful. We can trust in his timing, that God’s kingdom will come in full.
Day 352 – December 18, 2021
Scriptures: Isaiah 22-24, Revelation 9
Isaiah 24:23 (TNIV)
23The moon will be dismayed,
the sun ashamed;
for the Lord Almighty will reign
on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem,
and before its elders—with great glory.
Revelation 9:20 (TNIV)
20The rest of the people who were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood—idols that cannot see or hear or walk.
Some of the most difficult reading in all of the Bible is found in our chapters of reading today. They are pronouncements of judgment on people and creation. There is much celebration over economies and power. But it is all flipped on its head. We see in Revelation 9:20, it unveils a tragic realization, “still did not repent of the work of their hands…”
What a tragedy it is, that despite all the consequences, suffering and judgment, there are some who still reject God, they refuse repentance. What it shows is the hardness of hearts to a level that is difficult to fathom as a believer. But it is a reality we must contend with. Some will never turn to God. We join with the tears of God over this, for he desires all to be saved. Some will always refuse.
It stirs my own examination of my own heart. Am I worshiping Jesus? Have I given my life fully to him?
Day 351 – December 17, 2021
Scriptures: Isaiah 17-21, Revelation 8
God hears our prayers. Our prayers are lifted to God.
Revelation 8:4 (TNIV)
4The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of God’s people, went up before God from the angel’s hand.
Isaiah sees visions of a world that is reconciled to God. The mighty will be humbled, and God will get his praise. They will worship with sacrifices, and make vows and keep them!
Isaiah 19:19–21 (TNIV)
19In that day there will be an altar to the Lord in the heart of Egypt, and a monument to the Lord at its border. 20It will be a sign and witness to the Lord Almighty in the land of Egypt. When they cry out to the Lordbecause of their oppressors, he will send them a savior and defender, and he will rescue them. 21So the Lordwill make himself known to the Egyptians, and in that day they will acknowledge the Lord. They will worship with sacrifices and grain offerings; they will make vows to the Lord and keep them.
God will set the world to rights.
Day 350 – December 16, 2021
Scriptures: Isaiah 14-16, Revelation 7, Psalm 23
Revelation 7:17 (TNIV)
17For the Lamb at the center before the throne
will be their shepherd;
‘he will lead them to springs of living water.’
‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’”
Psalm 23:1–2 (TNIV)
1The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
The Lamb who lays down his life, becomes the Shepherd will lead us to the quiet springs of living water.
Day 347-349 – December 13-15, 2021
Scriptures: Isaiah 3-13, Revelation 4-6, Psalm 93, 150
Christ is our wonderful counselor and mighty God.
Isaiah 9:6–7 (TNIV)
6For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7Of the increase of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
will accomplish this.
Christ will bring peace on earth:
Isaiah 11:6–9 (TNIV)
6The wolf will live with the lamb,
the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling together;
and a little child will lead them.
7The cow will feed with the bear,
their young will lie down together,
and the lion will eat straw like the ox.
8Infants will play near the hole of the cobra;
young children will put their hands into the viper’s nest.
9They will neither harm nor destroy
on all my holy mountain,
for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.
Christ is worthy to open the scroll.
Revelation 5:4–5 (TNIV)
4I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside. 5Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.”
The Lion is the Lamb – the slain one who has risen!
Revelation 5:6 (TNIV)
6Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center before the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. The Lamb had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth.
Let everything, all things worship the Lord.
Psalm 150:6 (TNIV)
6Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord.
Jordan Ickes, Minister of Etna Green Church of Christ.