May 25th

I read Romans 15 today:

Paul writes to encourage believers in Rome to be patient with the weak, and encourage them and accept them. He plans to visit and collect from them for a gift to the poor in Jerusalem. He invites them to join in prayer with him. Pray for safety from the unbelievers in Judea, and for God’s will to be done.

(Archived audio)

I listened to (Week 15, Day 75) of the Immerse reading Messiah reading plan. It starts with an introduction to the book of Revelation, explaining the context and what the original readers would have thought, considering the circumstances they found themselves in.

Revelation 1:

John wrote about his circumstances and exile, and what he was doing when he suddenly heard a voice and saw a vision, being spoken to by who seems to be a glorified Christ, telling him to write down all that he will be shown, to be shared with seven specific churches.

Revelation 2:

The first part was to be sent to the church in Ephesus. They are good at telling truth from lies, but the have not been loving Christ. The second part is written for Smyrna. They are poor and suffering, but are really rich. The Jews that are opposing them are speaking blasphemy. The third letter is to Pergamum. Their city is described as Satan’s city, and they are allowing false teachers to continue without intervention, and should not allow this. They need to repent or God Himself will have to intervene. The fourth letter is to the church in Thyatira. They are allowing Jezebel to lead people astray into sin and evil deeds. God will need to intervene against her. Hold tightly to the truth until He comes.

Revelation 3:

The fifth letter is to Sardis. They had a reputation of being alive, but they are dead. They are encouraged to wake up. Some among them are still walking with God, and they will be alright. The sixth letter is to Philadelphia. They are encouraged because they obeyed God, even though they have little strength, yet they still persevere. God is proud of this church. The seventh letter is to Laodicea. They are neither hot nor cold, and are putting their trust in their riches. They are encouraged to buy gold from God and then from their indifferent, luke warm state. We(who have ears to hear) are all encouraged to hear what the Spirit of God says to the churches.

May 24th

I read 2 Kings 7 today:

Elisha prophesied that a starving kingdom would have plenty and the man who doubted will see it, but not eat any of it.

(Archived audio)

I listened to (Week 15, Day 74) of the 16 week Immerse reading plan together with members of my local church.

2 John 1:

John writes to churches about traveling preachers who teach error, that Christ did not come in real flesh. He encourages them not to support or encourage those false teachers in their mission.

3 John 1:

John writes to Gaius, who is following Christ, and he encourages him. He also warns him about Diotrephes, who is rejecting traveling teachers who teach the truth, and promoting himself above others, and putting others who support these teachers out of the church. He is being a bad example, and should not be followed.

May 23rd

This morning I read 2 Kings 6:

Elisha made a lost axe head float so that it could be recovered from the water by it’s concerned borrower. Elisha is a wanted man, but plans to kill him fail and his would be attackers are blinded, yet shown kindness in their helplessness by their enemies.

(Archived audio)

Today is Day 73 of Week 15 of the Immerse Audio I am keeping up with. The audio starts with an introduction explaining the cultural context of the writing of 1st John.

1 John 1:

God is light and truth, we need Him, we are sinners, but are cleansed and no longer live in habitual sin.

1 John 2:

Don’t sin. Keep doing the right thing. Live in the power of the Holy Spirit. Be ready for Jesus.

1 John 3:

We are God’s children. We don’t go on sinning. We believe and we obey God, because we are His children.

1 John 4:

God is love. Do not fear or hate, and do not believe others who do not believe Jesus did not come in the flesh. Love each other. Those who hate their fellow believers are not children of God.

1 John 5:

Believe in the son of God. Believe in the testimony of God about the Son. Pray for sinning believers. Don’t allow anything to take the place of God in your hearts.

May 22nd

(Archived audio) Today’s Chapter reading was

2 Kings 5:

Elisha healed Naaman of his leprosy to show that there is a God in Israel, and refused the gifts he offered, but Gehazi secretly ran after Naaman to deceptively accept the gifts Naaman offered, and was punished, getting leprosy himself, because Elisha knew what he had done.

Immerse reading was (Week 15, Day 72) and read John 18-21.

John 18:

Jesus and His disciples went to an olive grove they had been to before, and some men came to arrest Jesus. Jesus asked who they were looking for, and said “I Am he”, which caused them to fall to the ground. He asked that his disciples not be also taken into custody, since they were only coming for Him. Peter denied Jesus when individuals asked him if he knew Jesus. Jesus was questioned by the high priest about what He was teaching. He answered that He taught publicly in the temple and the synagogues, and he should ask those who heard Him, so they slapped His face. Then He was sent to Pilate (the Roman Governor) to be tried and executed.

John 19:

Jesus was whipped and people yelled for Him to be crucified, even though the Roman Governor didn’t believe that He should be crucified. So he sent Jesus to be crucified. Jesus asked a disciple to take care of His mother for Him and died on the cross, without His legs being broken as the two others being crucified had done to them. A secret disciple asked to take Jesus’ body and put it in a tomb.

John 20:

Mary found the tomb open early on Sunday morning. She told Peter and another disciple about it and they ran to check out the tomb. They believed and went home. Later angels appeared and asked Mary why she was crying, and then she turned and saw Jesus, but didn’t recognize who He was until He spoke to her. Jesus also appeared to the disciples and taught them to believe and receive the Holy Spirit, and did other miracles that were not written down.

John 21:

Jesus appeared in shore while some disciples were fishing without any caught. He instructed them to throw their net on the right side of the boat, and they caught 153 large fish. He made breakfast for them and asked Peter if he loved Him three times. Then He told Peter about how he would be martyred, and Peter was curious about how the disciple Jesus loved would also die eventually, but Jesus wouldn’t tell him. Jesus did so many other miracles that they would not be able to be recorded even if they tried to.

May 21st

(Archived audio) I read 2 Kings 4 this morning.

Elisha cured a woman’s infertility, raised her dead son to life, solves a ruined stew problem, and fed 100 men with 20 loaves of bread.

For today’s Immerse Reading, I listened to (Week 8, Day 36) of the 8 week Immerse podcast, which should cover 9 chapters for today. John 13-17. (for Week 15, Day 71 of the 16 week plan I am doing with my local church) this mp3 link may still not work

John 13:

Jesus washed His disciples’ feet, then predicts His own betrayal. Jesus tells his disciples that He will be going and they can’t come with Him. Peter says he is willing to die for Jesus, but Jesus tells Peter that he will deny that he even knows Jesus three times that night.

John 14:

Jesus explains that He and the Father are interchangeable, and that knowing and seeing Him is the same as knowing and seeing the Father. To love God is to obey Him. He will send the Holy Spirit after He leaves.

John 15:

Jesus teaches that He is the vine and the disciples are the branches. They will produce fruit according to whose they are. The Holy Spirit will come and they are commanded to love each other as Jesus has loved them. They are no longer slaves, but friends. The disciples will be hated too, as Jesus was hated first. They are to testify about what they have seen and heard.

John 16:

Jesus tells His disciples that there will be people who want to kill them, and will believe they are doing a holy service to God by executing them. He teaches them using figures of speech, and tells them that soon He will speak plainly about these things to them. They say that they now believe, but He tells them that actually they will soon be scattered and leave Him alone.

John 17:

Jesus prays to God the Father for the disciples. He also prays for those others who believe God beyond those specific men who were disciples at that time. He prays for unity in the believers, and the love of the Father to also be in them.

May 18th

Today I read 2 Kings 2, which described the process where Elijah was taken up to heaven in style and Elisha received a double portion of Elija’s spirit because he didn’t take his eyes off of his mentor. (archived audio)

16 Week Immerse Audio (Week 14, Day 70) link May not work yet.

So I listened to the 8 week Podcast (Week 7, Day 35) which should cover yesterday (John 7-9) and today’s readings. (John 10-12)

John 7:

Jesus avoided going to Judea, where His death was being plotted. He went behind them secretly though, and then later taught in the synagogue. The Pharisees got angry at Him.

John 8:

Jesus refuses to condemn an adulteress, and tells her not to sin anymore. Jesus condemns the Pharisees and calls then sons of the devil and admits He is God, so they try to stone him, but He disappears.

John 9:

Jesus heals a blind man and the miracle becomes the topic of heated debate, because Pharisees think that it was sinful of Jesus to heal on the Sabbath, while others think that it proves Jesus is a prophet, or possibly the Messiah. Jesus points out that the Pharisees are in greater error because they are spiritually blind, but claim they can see.

John 10:

Jesus teaches that He is the good shepherd, and the Pharisees try again to stone Him for blasphemy, claiming to be God. Jesus explains that God said to certain leaders of the people that they are gods, so why call it blasphemy for Him to call Himself the son of God? He also points out that they don’t need to believe Him unless He carries out His Father’s work.

John 11:

Jesus resurrected Lazarus and shocked everyone by the miracle. The Pharisees got very serious about arresting Jesus and so He and His disciples stayed in another area for a while. The leaders publicly declared that Jesus was now a wanted man.

John 12:

Jesus came to Bethany and was anointed with expensive perfume. Later He went to Jerusalem and rode on a donkey’s colt while people celebrated His arrival. Lazarus was also there, and many people believed in Jesus because of Lazarus’ resurrection. Jesus clarified publicly that trusting in Him was trusting in God, and that He was going to die. Jesus was troubled because of His impending death, but knew He would defeat the purpose of His whole mission if He asked to be relieved of it, so He asked for God to be glorified, and God the father replied audibly to His public prayer, for the benefit of the public. Many still did not believe in Jesus even after all of that.

May 17th

Today I read 2 Kings 1:

A King fell and was recovering in his bed from his injuries, so he sent for prophets of Baal to find out whether or not he would recover, but God spoke to Elijah to intercept and answer the Kings request for a prophet to say that the king would never recover, he would die in that bed. The king sent a military troop to forcibly command Elijah to come and present himself to the king three separate times, but only the third group came with fear and respect for God’s power, which was used to call fire from heaven to incinerate the first two companies of men who came for Elijah. God told Ejijah that he should go with the third group and spare their lives. The king was told by Elijah that he should not have requested the counsel of the prophets of Baal-zebub rather than the LORD, and that he will die in his bed, and then the king died there.

(Archived audio)

16 Week Immerse Audio (Week 14, Day 69) link May not work yet.

So I listened to the 8 week Podcast (Week 7, Day 35) which should cover today (John 7-9) and tomorrow’s readings. (John 10-12)

John 7:

Jesus avoided going to Judea, where His death was being plotted. He went behind them secretly though, and then later taught in the synagogue. The Pharisees got angry at Him.

John 8:

Jesus refuses to condemn an adulteress, and tells her not to sin anymore. Jesus condemns the Pharisees and calls then sons of the devil and admits He is God, so they try to stone him, but He disappears.

John 9:

Jesus heals a blind man and the miracle becomes the topic of heated debate, because Pharisees think that it was sinful of Jesus to heal on the Sabbath, while others think that it proves Jesus is a prophet, or possibly the Messiah. Jesus points out that the Pharisees are in greater error because they are spiritually blind, but claim they can see.

John 10:

Jesus teaches that He is the good shepherd, and the Pharisees try again to stone Him for blasphemy, claiming to be God. Jesus explains that God said to certain leaders of the people that they are gods, so why call it blasphemy for Him to call Himself the son of God? He also points out that they don’t need to believe Him unless He carries out His Father’s work.

John 11:

Jesus resurrected Lazarus and shocked everyone by the miracle. The Pharisees got very serious about arresting Jesus and so He and His disciples stayed in another area for a while. The leaders publicly declared that Jesus was now a wanted man.

John 12:

Jesus came to Bethany and was anointed with expensive perfume. Later He went to Jerusalem and rode on a donkey’s colt while people celebrated His arrival. Lazarus was also there, and many people believed in Jesus because of Lazarus’ resurrection. Jesus clarified publicly that trusting in Him was trusting in God, and that He was going to die. Jesus was troubled because of His impending death, but knew He would defeat the purpose of His whole mission if He asked to be relieved of it, so He asked for God to be glorified, and God the father replied audibly to His public prayer, for the benefit of the public. Many still did not believe in Jesus even after all of that.

May 16

I read 1 Kings 22 this morning.

A king was considering a battle to retake land that his kingdom had lost, so he inquired of his hundreds of prophets, who all prophesied success in the battle. None of them were prophets of the LORD. When he inquired of the one prophet of God, He prophesied that the king would die and everyone would scatter away leaderless.

(Archived audio)

I was scheduled to listen to Immerse audio (Week 14, Day 68) but the audio link was not active at the time I checked. I believe it covers John 4-6

(I already listened to the Podcast episode for week 7, Day 34 of the 8-week plan yesterday, which included the passage for yesterday and today’s readings)

John 4:

While the disciples were getting food, Jesus was thirsty and sat down near a well. He asks a woman for a drink of water, but she is confused as to why He would want to even talk with her, and they discuss many things and she hears that Jesus is the Messiah, and she excitedly tells all the people in the town. Later Jesus heals a boy remotely while talking to his father.

John 5:

Jesus heals a paralyzed man and angers the Pharisees for asking the man to pick up his mat on the Sabbath day. Jesus points out the bad situation the Pharisees are in with God because of their misplaced priorities.

John 6:

Jesus has compassion on 5,000 men and their wives and children too, so He miraculously feeds all of them with a boy’s lunch. Later lots of people were so focused on the miraculous food program that they missed the point of the miracle and the authority of Jesus Himself. Jesus walked on water to catch up with his disciples who were traveling by boat, and taught that people were going to have to eat His flesh and drink His blood to have eternal life, so His followers were reduced to those 12 who believed completely, but one of them he said was a devil, because He knew he would later betray Him.

May 15th

I read 1 Kings 21 this morning.

King Ahab was sad that one of his subjects refused to sell property to him to use for a garden and deferred his Totalitarian authority to his wife Jezebel who then arranged for the man to be falsely accused and then executed by stoning. God sent Elijah to prophesy the dishonorable end of Ahab and Jezebel’s life. Ahab humbled himself, so his curse was modified and slightly delayed.

(Archived audio)

Today’s Immerse reading was (Week 14, Day 67 of the 16-week plan) this link may still not be active yet. I believe it will be about John 1-3: (Immerse audio introduction to John and a few chapters)

(I just listened to the Podcast episode for week 7, Day 34 of the 8-week plan, which includes the passage for today and tomorrow’s readings)

John 1-6: (an audio introduction)

John writes a gospel, telling a story of new creation. An audio introduction describes what the book of John is like. It describes it as a portrait of Jesus on the backdrop of Israel’s history.

John 1:

Jesus is the Word, and is God. His coming was foretold, and has authority.

John 2:

Jesus does a miraculous sign at a wedding party, turning water into wine. (Really good wine). Later He threw out people from the temple because they were turning it into a marketplace.

John 3:

Jesus meet Nicodemus and teaches him about being spiritually reborn, and about being saved from sin and death through faith in God’s one and only Son.