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BIBLE READ-THROUGH: DAY 14 REFLECTION (2 KINGS 14 – 1 CHRONICLES 10:14)

“40 Days and 40 Nights of God’s Word”

DAY 14: AUGUST 5

2 KINGS 14 – 1 CHRONICLES 10:14

This is a sobering reading. The parade of kings who “did evil in the sight of the Lord” continues, interspersed with only a few who “did right in the sight of the Lord”. But those who did right, did it mightily, as we see in King Josiah.

  • Remember that God had not yet put his law in people’s hearts in those days, so they still had to be taught right from wrong. When Josiah was presented with Moses’ book of the law, which “by chance” had been found in the temple by the high priest, he was quite rightly horrified by how far his people had strayed from what God had commanded them through Moses. But Josiah’s response was absolutely on target – he gathered everyone together, from the great to the small, the holy to the profane, and read them the book. And then, standing before the people as his witness, Josiah made a covenant with God to follow the laws written in the book with all his heart and all his soul.
  • But promises are cheap. People can say anything and seem to mean it at the time. The proof of the sincerity of their word is whether or not they follow it up with action, and Josiah did just that. Starting at the temple, he ordered a purge of everything that didn’t belong there, and then fanned out and purged everything and everyone in his kingdom that was in opposition to God’s law. The details of what he ordered are quite telling. Frankly, we could use just such a purge now in “formerly Christian” lands.
  • When God heals, he leaves no rot behind. The potential for rot to grow again is still there, but the initial healing is perfect. Whenever I buy a container of fruit, I always go through it and remove any pieces that have mold or rot on them. If I don’t, the mold will move from the moldy pieces to the pieces around them until eventually the whole container of fruit is rotten and covered in mold. As long as I have that container of fruit, I have to go through it every other day to purge the newly moldy fruit.
  • The same holds true for people. The reality is that some people are spiritually moldy and rotten inside. If you permit those people to live and spread their mold to those around them, soon everyone will be covered in mold. This reality of how spiritual mold spreads was deeply understood by believers such as Moses and Josiah. They also understood that the only way to deal with it was to cut it out and remove it entirely, and to do periodic purges in case the mold takes hold again.
  • As followers of Jesus, we can’t go around destroying demon-worshiping altars and killing those who oppose God, but we can remove ourselves from them. If we live among them, they are going to spiritually infect us eventually, just like moldy fruit rots the fruit around it. Jesus moved through the world and taught in the world, but he lived separate from it; when he wasn’t teaching or preaching or healing, he spent nearly all his time with people who loved and obeyed God.
  • You can’t live in the same house as unbelievers and think you’re somehow immune to their spiritual mold. You’re not. You also can’t live in a city or town that’s covered in spiritual mold, because the mold will start growing on you eventually. Even worse, God will see your continued presence among the rot as an indicator that you’re in agreement with it.
  • We need to live separately from those who hate God and refuse to follow Jesus. We do no-one any favours, least of all ourselves, if we live with unbelievers. Our witness is continually compromised and we come nowhere near our spiritual potential, nowhere near what God wants for us and what we can do for others. Our lost potential has repercussions not just for our time on Earth, but for all eternity.
  • Despite Josiah’s words and actions (including presiding over the greatest Passover since the days of Moses), Judah eventually fell into the hands of the heathens. After Josiah’s death, his son undid much of what his father had accomplished, as did the few kings that succeeded him, up until the siege and destruction of Jerusalem. Just how bad the destruction was is captured in the description of the deposed king Hezekiah being forced to witness the slaughter of his sons and then having his eyes put out. When God permits this level of evil to happen to the city that houses his temple and the king that leads his people, you know the situation is beyond redemption. Maybe not quite yet Sodom, but pretty close.

As I mentioned at the outset of this reflection, today’s is a sobering reading. There are a few bright spots, but most of this section of scripture is about all the evil done by the children of Israel and how they essentially became indistinguishable from the heathen around them. We are very much reliving those times today in “formerly Christian” nations. Why, then, should we expect our outcome to be any different than Judah’s?

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For a full schedule of the BIBLE READ-THROUGH on PDF, click on the links below.

BIBLE READ-THROUGH: DAY 8 REFLECTION (DEUTERONOMY 28 – JOSHUA 21:45)

“40 Days and 40 Nights of God’s Word”

DAY 8: JULY 30

DEUTERONOMY 28 – JOSHUA 21:45

  • I always get a little teary-eyed when I read the passages where marquee characters like Moses leave the earthly stage. Moses had grown from a young man who was so skittish that he’d fled the country in fear of a murder charge, to a strong and godly man who fearlessly led millions to freedom. Nothing cowed Moses in the end, not even an angry God confronting him about his wayward people; Moses simply (and always successfully) intervened for them. In this, he was the prototype of Jesus.
  • The death of Moses remains a mystery that can’t necessarily be solved by referring to the Bible. We read that Moses went alone to the top of the mountain to die, but scripture doesn’t tell us how he died. We are only told that God buried his body in the valley below and that no-one knows where his grave is.
  • I’m wondering if no-one knows where Moses’ grave is because the grave is no more? I’m wondering if perhaps Moses ascended to Heaven like Elijah and like Jesus later ascended? In the transfiguration, Jesus meets with Moses and Elijah. Elijah ascended without dying, and Moses was supposed to have died and be buried, but maybe God instead brought him home the way he brought Elijah home. That would make sense, since both Elijah and Moses were obviously up and about on Heavenly missions (such as informing Jesus of how and when he was going to die), not dead and buried and awaiting resurrection on the last day. It’s possible that Moses died and was buried and then rose to Heaven a short time later in an ascension (like Jesus), or the story of him being buried in an unmarked grave in the valley might just be a deflection from Moses ascending to Heaven straight from the mountain top.
  • Moses and God were very close. Few other characters in the Bible were as close to God as Moses. I’m sure God told Moses a lot of things that Moses didn’t tell his people (not even Joshua, his minister), the way that Jesus kept a lot of things to himself, knowing that even his closest disciples weren’t ready to handle the Truth. So it’s highly plausible that God took Moses home the same way he took Elijah home or the same way he took Jesus home, but I guess we’re going to have to wait until we get to Heaven to find out the Truth about that! However, that Moses and Elijah appeared together to Jesus is to me a huge tip-off as to what happened to Moses either at or shortly after his death.
  • I don’t know about you, but Moses’ final reminders to the children of Israel sear straight into my soul. He didn’t mince his words. He said if you do a, b and c, things will go well with you, but if you do x, y, z, you’ll lose everything. He couldn’t have made it clearer to them or us.
  • It’s hard not to look at our own lives and the lives of those who well know Moses’ words and see where we fall, whether on the side of blessings or the side of curses. It’s also worth noting that those who appear to be blessed (worldly wealth) but are not following Jesus are likely under the protection and reward of Satan and being given the same “greatness” that Satan promised to Jesus if he would fall down and worship him. My grandmother used to say “the devil is good to his own”. You’ll know who is being rewarded by God, because their lives will look like Jesus’ life.
  • The crossing of the children of Israel into the Promised Land, with the parting of the River Jordan to let them cross on dry land, is like the parting of the Red Sea 2.0, but without the Egyptians pursuing after them. It doesn’t get as much press as the parting of the Red Sea, but it’s just as miraculous. I’d love to know where those twelve stones are, but I guess I’m going to have to wait until I get to Heaven (if I get to Heaven) to find that one out, too!
  • The fall of Jericho always gives me goosebumps at the part where all the people, who’d been cautioned by Joshua to stay completely quiet (except for the blowing of the trumpets), suddenly erupt in an earth-shattering cry. How that must have sounded in God’s ears! And how that must have terrified the people of Jericho, who would then have been even further terrorized when the only thing standing between them and certain death (the walls) came a-tumblin’ down.
  • Love the story of God rewarding and protecting Rahab and her family. Interesting that they all stayed with the Israelites after their rescue from Jericho. That would mean they were converted. Scripture mentions “strangers” quite a few times, and cautions the children of Israel to accept and be kind to strangers who choose to live with them and follow God’s Commandments. This foreshadows the conversion of the gentiles to become followers of Jesus.
  • Spiritually, all those who are obedient to God are kin. Being obedient to God now necessarily includes following Jesus, too, as Jesus and God are a package deal; you can’t get one without the other.
  • From the perspective of our more delicate 21st century sensibilities, it’s sometimes difficult to read about the slaughters carried out by the Israelites. They didn’t just mow down the fighting men, but also killed all the women, children, and elderly. Everyone in the path of the Israelites was killed and their cities burned to the ground. All that escaped were livestock and a few items that could be melted down and used in the tabernacle.
  • When we read this part of scripture, we need to remind ourselves that the Israelites were doing God’s will, and that the people who were slaughtered had it coming. God’s justice was just as perfect then as it is now. The Israelites were bringing God’s justice to those who hated him. I guess the moral of this story is that you want to be on the same side that God is fighting on; you definitely don’t want to be on the side that God is fighting against, because you ain’t never gonna win that battle.

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What are your thoughts on this reading? Did something jump out at you that you hadn’t noticed before? Or if you’d noticed it, does it seem to have particular relevance this time around, either for your life or for the world in general? What is God highlighting for you? Share it with us in the comments below. Don’t be shy!

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Full schedule of the BIBLE READ-THROUGH on PDF:

BIBLE READ-THROUGH: DAY 4 REFLECTION (EXODUS 32 – LEVITICUS 17:16)

“40 Days and 40 Nights of God’s Word”

DAY 4: JULY 26

EXODUS 32 – LEVITICUS 17:16

OK – hands up if you skipped through parts of this reading!

Be honest, now. (Don’t be shy!)

My hand is up. In fact, both of my hands are up (lots of skipping going on here!). To make up for it, though, I read through the non-skipped parts twice, which I’m glad I did. As I’ve mentioned previously, no matter how many times I read the Bible, something always pops up that I hadn’t noticed before. I love those parts. That’s God highlighting things for me in invisible yellow ink, and saying: “Take note of this. It’s going to be useful for you.”

  • Still can’t get a handle on Moses’ brother, Aaron, and why he caved so quickly to the pressure to make a golden calf. I’m guessing he was a bit of an honest politician in his role as go-between and spokesperson for Moses. But dang, he sure gave in double-time to the people’s demands. Maybe he just wanted to keep the peace and avoid a riot. Whatever the reason, it didn’t take long for the people involved in the golden calf worship to forget everything God had done for them in getting them out of Egypt, though they did pay the ultimate price in the end. Aaron’s own sons later fell for the same temptation and were immediately killed. God didn’t mess around in those days.
  • I like how Moses was able to prevent God from destroying the Israelites for their sin by reminding him of his promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. You kinda have the feeling that God wasn’t actually going to destroy them, but he needed to hear the plea from Moses. It was a test; God had told Moses that if he destroyed the children of Israel, he would then make Moses’ lineage great, but Moses turned down the offer. He pleaded instead for all the children of Israel and for God to keep his promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (which, by the way, God has done to this very day).
  • As a reward for Moses’ selflessness, God promised Moses that his (that is, God’s) presence would remain with his people throughout their journey and for all time, and that in fact his presence would be the sign that separated them from the rest of the world. God’s promise to Moses, like the ones he made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, also continues to this day. We are God’s people, if we’re born-again followers of Jesus, and God’s presence is still with us. It’s what differentiates us from the rest of the world.
  • The description of the tabernacle (the actual first temple, when you think about it) and all the beautiful things that were made for it was a little bit skip-over territory for me, as were the laws on sin offerings, burnt offerings, peace offerings, etc. I read these sections enough to get a general idea of them, but I didn’t focus too closely on the details. How about you? Some believers who are more artistically inclined may have found the description of the tabernacle fascinating. The details were obviously important to God at the time and the people were expected to follow them to the letter, but that tabernacle is long gone now, replaced by the temples of the bodies of true believers. We are the tabernacles of God’s Spirit, if we’re born again.
  • The sin offerings and burnt offerings and peace offerings, etc., I also mostly skipped over, as I mentioned above. Even so, I read them enough to see which ones are referred to by Jesus later on. This is good background material and we should have a general idea of the rituals, but they’re no longer required of God’s people. Jesus was the final sacrifice once for all. No more are needed.
  • There’s a little bit more skip-over territory coming up in the next days, and then we’re back into the meat of things. But maybe you’re more diligent in your Bible reading than I am and you don’t skip over. I have to admit that I was much more interested in the details about the tabernacle this time around than in previous read-throughs. Like I said before, every time you read through the Bible, God draws your attention to something else.
  • I was particularly struck this time by how only the people who felt called to contribute to the materials for building the tabernacle were tasked with doing it. They were, of their own free will, asked to provide the gold, silver, wood, fabric, labour, skills, and so on. There were no pressure sales tactics; only those who felt drawn to do it and called to do it were tasked with doing it.
  • This is a stark contrast to today’s church obligations, where people are expected to “volunteer” to help with this or that activity or are pressured to donate, even if they don’t want to. A completely different project emerges from a group effort where all the people involved wholeheartedly want to do it compared to a group effort where only a few or even none want to do it, but are only going through the motions out of a sense of obligation. Jesus says that God is looking for people to worship him in spirit and in truth, not out of obligation. This proto-temple group effort showed what God meant by that. Scripture calls these people who willingly stepped forward “wise”. We would be wise to take note of that.

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So what jumped out at you in this reading? Did you skip over anything, or did you put me to shame and read every last word?

God loves it when his kids read his Word, especially when they read it together like we’re doing now. He wants us to respect his Word (obviously), but he doesn’t want us to worship it and to feel that we have to speak in hushed tones and walk on eggshells around it. He wants us to come to his Word exactly as we come to him – face bared, soul bared, and with no pretenses. He knows what’s in our hearts, anyway, so we might as well be open about it.

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The BIBLE READ-THROUGH SCHEDULE on PDF is directly below:

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BIBLE READ-THROUGH: DAY 2 REFLECTION (GENESIS 29-EXODUS 4:31)

“40 Days and 40 Nights of God’s Word”

DAY 2: JULY 24

GENESIS 29 – EXODUS 4:31

  • The primary themes of moving/leaving to survive, obedience to God, and having a personal relationship with God continue in this reading. Another theme has also blossomed here, which is the God-given right to deceive, if the deception means the godly survival of the one doing the deceiving. We saw this seed planted already in Day 1’s reading with Abraham passing off his wife Sarah as his sister to ensure their survival among the non-Hebrews, but it really takes off in the reading today. Deception abounds, though not all of it is blessed and encouraged by God.
  • When learning the 10 Commandments after I was born-again, I was intrigued that God commands us not to bear false witness; he doesn’t command us not to lie, although many people misconstrue the Commandment as being not to lie. So lying, in and of itself, is not a sin if it’s used for godly purposes. God gives his children leeway to lie if lying saves their butt and furthers his plan. We’ll see more of this as the readings proceed.
  • I love the story of Joseph! How he had to cheerfully endure injustice after injustice (that is, test after test) in order to end up in a position of authority that would ultimately enable him to save what would later become the 12 tribes of Israel is classic God (as in “the Lord moves in mysterious way, his wonders to perform”). It’s also a good lesson for us on how to deal with adversity (patient endurance), knowing that God is always in control and his plan is on track, even though it may not look that way while you’re in the midst of it.
  • Joseph’s love for his brothers brings me to tears every time. I cry when he cries. Joseph weeping over his brothers reminds me of Jesus weeping with Martha and Mary over the death of their brother Lazarus, even though Jesus secretly knows that Lazarus will be brought back to life shortly. The depth of Joseph’s love and compassion for his brothers’ suffering is intensely moving. He knows he has to make them suffer for what they did to him, but it hurts him to do it. He isn’t punishing them out of hatred or revenge; he is just doing what has to be done, all the while loving them.
  • As with many of the main Bible figures (our spiritual forefathers), most of the offspring of Jacob (Israel) were problem children. They were not like their father. In fact, in their younger years, some of them were downright nasty. Nonetheless, we can see during their interchanges with Joseph in Egypt that they had become godlier with age. But their father’s final blessing of them before his death reveals their core characters, and not all of them are admirable.
  • Note in particular Israel’s blessing of Judah, Jesus’ tribe. This is one of the early messianic prophecies.
  • Even so, warts and all, the twelve sons of Jacobs are the patriarchs of the twelve tribes of Israel and remain so to this day.
  • I like that scripture shows the warts and weaknesses as well as the strengths. It humanizes the people being portrayed. It gives them an immediacy that overcomes the thousands of years and different cultures that separate us. These people are our spiritual kinfolk. They served the same God we now serve. They spoke with the same God we now speak with. And they love the same God we love. This makes them our spiritual brethren, and it’s good that we get to know them through scripture. If and when we make it to Heaven, we’ll get to know them in person.
  • Really looking forward to getting deeper into the Exodus in tomorrow’s reading! Love the “rod of God” that became symbolic of Moses and is still used out of context today for other far less godly purposes.
  • Never a dull moment in the Bible!

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By the way, you’re welcome to post your own reflections of the day’s reading in the comment section. If you’ve posted it elsewhere, just copy and paste it here. One of the glories of God’s Word is that we all see different things in it at different times, depending on what’s going in our own lives and what we need to learn.

What jumped out at you in this reading? What did you see this time that you hadn’t noticed before?

Feel free to let us know! Share it with us below.

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BIBLE READ-THROUGH SCHEDULE ON PDF:

BIBLE READ-THROUGH: DAY 1: JULY 23

“40 Days and 40 Nights of God’s Word”

DAY 1: JULY 23

GENESIS 1 – GENESIS 28:22

SUMMARY:

This is probably the densest, most action-packed section of the Bible. As you can see from the Highlights below, the early chapters of Genesis cover all the major events that have become the foundational bedrock of Christianity. You don’t have to know much about the Bible to know the story of Adam and Eve or Noah or Sodom, but today you have the chance to learn about these people and events in detail and in chronological order. If you’re a born-again Christian, this is a history of your people. These are your spiritual kinfolk. Get to know them!

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • The creation
  • The temptation and fall of Adam and Eve
  • Expulsion from the Garden of Eden
  • Cain’s murder of Abel
  • Noah’s lineage from Adam
  • The ark and the flood
  • God’s covenant with Noah
  • Abram becomes Abraham
  • God’s covenant with Abraham
  • The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah
  • The birth of Isaac
  • Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac
  • Jacob and Esau
  • Jacob tricks Isaac

POINTS TO PONDER:

  • What reasons did God give for expelling Adam and Eve from the Garden? And who is God talking to in Genesis 3:22?
  • Why do you think God decided to destroy his creation with a flood instead of some other means?
  • What does the rainbow signify to God?

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Bible Read-Through full schedule (July 23-August 31) on PDF:

HAPPY BIBLE READ-THROUGH EVE!

Just a few thoughts on “Bible Read-Through Eve” (lol) before we start our 40-day trek through God’s Word tomorrow.

I posted the read-through info yesterday on Godlike Productions, which no, is not a Christian forum, but some of God’s people are there. They took the ball and ran with it, and now we’ve got a whole host of believers joining us on our journey.

Here’s the thread: https://www.godlikeproductions.com/forum1/message4852497/pg1

The GLPers also brought up some good points that I’d like to share with you.

  • A few of them mentioned keeping a notebook and pen handy while you’re doing the read-through, in case you want to write down some words that you’re unfamiliar with or make a note of passages that you want to go back and reread later. This is an excellent idea. However, if you’d rather just read and leave the note-taking for another time, that’s good, too. Do whatever works best for you.
  • Some were under the impression that we’re going to stream a live read-through, which frankly would be amazing, but that’s not what this is. This read-through is each of us reading on our own but reading the same sections of scripture on the same day. If you prefer to have someone read you the Bible, you can listen to the audio version. You can probably find one online. I prefer holding the Bible in my hands and seeing the words in front of me, but some people prefer having the words read to them. As my grandmother used to say: “To each his own!” Whatever works best for you, do it.
  • If you find the daily readings are too short and you want to keep going, you can do as you please. However, it would be best if we all read the same passages on the same day, reliving the spectrum of events together in the same order and more or less at the same time. That’s one of the reasons for doing the read-through together. Maybe instead of going ahead, you could go back and reread some sections that particularly piqued your interest, or you could do an online search on those sections that interested you, to flesh out your understanding with some background material. Or you could do some research on the Bible in general and on how it evolved to the Book we have in our hands today. Again – do whatever works for you, but it would still be best if you could stick with the schedule so that we all finish together on August 31st.
  • If you find the daily readings are too long and you’re having trouble keeping up, just skim over the words and let the ones that speak to you sink in. I can’t stress enough how important it is that the whole Bible be read, not just bits and pieces of it – the whole Bible from cover to cover. If skimming is how you can get through the daily readings, then by all means, skim. But if you find you have time after you’ve finished the skimming, then go back and try to read a little deeper. We are to do this read-through “with loins girded, shoes our feet, and staff in hand” – that means, we’re to do it in haste but with our senses fully tuned-in to our task at hand. Remember: you’ll get out of this Bible read-through as much as you put into it, so give it all you’ve got!
  • A few people on GLP were curious about which version of the King James Bible we were going to be reading. Whatever version you have at hand is the version we’re going to use. If you choose instead to use a Catholic Bible, the schedule will be slightly off and you might get side-tracked by all the footnotes. But I’m not going to tell you not to use a Catholic Bible, if that’s what you want to read. Me, I prefer my trusty olde English KJV.  😀

Finally, I’d like to remind everyone that this is not a competition or a knowledge exam. It’s an invitation and a blessing that will continue to bless you for years to come. Immersing yourself in God’s Word for 40 days and 40 nights will open new doors to you that you never knew existed. God will make a path for you where you thought there was none. I know, because I’ve done Bible read-throughs, and every time I finish, I want to start all over again. God’s Word is addictive, and the blessings that come from reading his Word from cover to cover are enormous.

But don’t just take my word for it – find out for yourself!

We start tomorrow, July 23, at Genesis 1. Here again is the full schedule:

Thank you so much for accepting the invitation to join the read-through and for handing on the invitation to others.

May God bless you for your efforts!

BIBLE READ-THROUGH SCHEDULE: JULY 23 – AUGUST 31, 2021

Please see my previous blog about the Bible Read-Through.

You can get the schedule on PDF by clicking on the dark gray oblong bible-read-through “Download” button below, or you can squint at the two images of the schedule below the Download button.

I’ll be posting the readings early on each of the 40 days from July 23 to August 31, so if you don’t want either to download or squint, you can just check back here to follow along.

This read-through is really important. As I mentioned earlier, it’s not a Bible study, it’s a “loins girded, shoes on feet, staff in hand” kind of reading. It’s urgent and it’s required. I don’t know why it needs to be done now, but God’s leading me to do it now, so I’m doing it.

If your spiritual life were a meal, this Bible Read-Through would be your spiritual veggies. You’re not expected to savor each mouthful, just get the veggies into you and swallow them down. Your body will take care of the rest.

Here’s the Download button for the schedule on PDF:

… and here’s the squinty version:

JOIN THE BIBLE READ-THROUGH: JULY 23 TO AUGUST 31, 2021

For anyone who’s interested, I’m doing a Bible read-through starting with Genesis on Friday, July 23rd, and ending at Revelation on Tuesday, August 31st, 2021.

That’s 40 days and 40 nights of God’s Word.

To read the Bible in 40 days and 40 nights, I’ve divided it into 40 readings of roughly 20 pages each. That should take around 2 hours a day. This is not a Bible study, so a deep reading is not the aim here. I’ll be reading with my lamp topped up and my loins girded, so to speak. Again, this is a read-through, not a study.

I usually read the Bible from cover to cover a few times a year, but not at that pace. (I normally take twice as long.) But God said to do it in 40 days and 40 nights and to finish it by the end of August, so that’s what I’m doing. He also said to mention it to you guys in case you might want to do it, too.

It would be great if we could all read the Bible together at more or less the same time, like a cloud of witnesses.

If you think God’s calling you to do this, I suggest you do it. We’ve got some dark days ahead. Born-agains prep by reading God’s Word and remaining in prayer with God and Jesus at all times. Doing a read-through now will help you strengthen your spiritual muscles. We need to be strong for what’s coming. We need to be strong for ourselves and for each other.

I’ll be posting the 40 daily readings later this week on my blog.

The Bible will be the King James Version.