66 in 52 Challenge

Acts – Week 38 {66 in 52 Challenge}

This is part of the 66 in 52 Bible Journaling Challenge. Over the course of the 52 weeks in 2018, I will focus in on one verse from each book of the Bible with many others who have signed up to join me. Each week I will be posting a summary page with some thought about that week’s book(s) of the Bible along with some links that may help our reflection. Click here to sign up if you want to join us at any point along the journey!

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Week 38 - Acts

The Big Picture of Acts:

Acts is the story of the very beginning of the Christian Church. While Jesus was on earth he trained and walked with His disciples preparing them to carry out His mission once He left. In Acts we see the Holy Spirit come (as Jesus promised it would before He left) and the church exploded throughout the world. Paul (named Saul at the beginning of the book) and Peter are two of the men we see God use in these early stages. This time in the early church was not always easy as those who followed Jesus faced great persecution. Despite this persecution the church continued to spread and because of the faithful work of the men and women we read about in this book, the church continues to spread to this day. Now it’s our turn!

Main Timeline of Acts:

  • AD 30 – Jesus dies, rises from the dead, and ascends into heaven
  • AD 30-33 – God sends the Holy Spirit and the Church begins to spread, Saul persecutes the early church
  • AD 34/35 – Jesus meets Saul on the road to Damascus and changes his life (and his name… the rest of his life he’s known as Paul)
  • AD 34-62 – Missionary journeys and other events of Acts
  • AD 60 – Paul imprisoned
  • AD 62 – Paul on trial and preaches around Rome

A Few Key Verses and Possible Reflection Questions/Prayers:

Some of us are planning to read through the whole book or books each week, while others are just focusing in on one verse per book. This section of the weekly intro post might help you narrow down a verse to reflect on for the week, but you do not have to choose one of these verse, pick any section of the book you want! These are just some ideas.

  • From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands.  God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.”  Acts 17:26-27
    REFLECTION: Where has God put you during this time in history? Literally where are the places you go each day? Where do you live? In what ways do you see verse 27 true that God put you there so people, including yourself, might seek and find Him?
  • “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.  Acts 2:42
    REFLECTION: What is one way you can commit (or mentally re-commit) to Christian community this week? /
  • “In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.”  Acts 2:17
    REFLECTION: Who is the Holy Spirit to you? What have you learned in reading Acts that tells you about Him?

Some Other Resources:

The Challenge:

So now it’s your turn! Pick a verse and settle in this week, or read through the whole book. If you post any picture or blogs on social media, tag them with #66in52challenge so we can all share in this journey together!

66 in 52 Challenge

John – Week 37 {66 in 52 Challenge}

This is part of the 66 in 52 Bible Journaling Challenge. Over the course of the 52 weeks in 2018, I will focus in on one verse from each book of the Bible with many others who have signed up to join me. Each wee

k I will be posting a summary page with some thought about that week’s book(s) of the Bible along with some links that may help our reflection. Click here to sign up if you want to join us at any point along the journey!

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Week 37 - John

The Big Picture of John :

Over the last few weeks of reading Matthew, Mark, and Luke we’ve gotten various perspectives of primarily the same events. As we head into reading John this week we’ll hear the life of Jesus in a completely new way. Instead of thinking about the beginning of Jesus’ story at his birth, John shows us that Jesus has been around since before the beginning of the world (John 1:1). Where Matthew, Mark, and Luke tend to tell narrative stories of what Jesus did, John seems to highlight more of his character and identity as both fully God and fully man. There is also a high emphasis on the signs and miracles in John’s book. It is believed to be written much later than the other three gospels with a clearly declared purpose that readers would believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God and that we’d find life as we believe (John 20:30-31).

The “I Am”s in John:

One thing that seems to be true is that John was passionate to prove that Jesus IS God. One of the ways he did this was by using the phrase “I Am” many times throughout the book. For the Jewish readers, this would have been an obvious claim to Jesus’ as God as they would instantly recognize it as the very name for God. Back in Exodus when God was calling Moses to go rescue the people out of slavery in Egypt, Moses asks God, “If I go to the people of Israel and tell them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you.’ they will ask me, ‘

What is his name?’ Then what should I tell them?” God’s response to Moses: I AM WHO I AM. Say this to the people: I AM has sent me to you.” This was a powerful declaration of the name of God. So when Jesus shows up on the scene and starts using this phrase, people took notice. Here are some of the key places we see it in John’s Gospel:

  • “…but he called out to them, ‘Don’t be afraid. I am here!'” – John 6:30
  • “That is why I said that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am who I claim to be, you will die in your sins.” – John 8:24
  • So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man on the cross, then you will understand that I am he. I do nothing on my own but say only what the Father taught me. – John 8:28
  • Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, before Abraham was even born, I am!” – John 8:58 (When he said this the Jewish religious leaders even picked up rocks to try to stone him. There is no doubt in their minds Who He was claiming to be.)
  • “‘I am he,’ Jesus said.”- John 18:5
  • “I am the bread of life “- John 6:35, 48, 51
  • “I am the light of the world” – John 8:12, 9:5
  • “I am the door of the sheep” – John 10:7, 9
  • “I am the good shepherd.”  – John 10:11, 14
  • “I am the resurrection and the life.” – John 11:25
  • “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” – John 14:6
  • “I am the true vine.” – John 15:1

A Few Key Verses and Possible Reflection Questions/Prayers:

Some of us are planning to read through the whole book or books each week, while others are just focusing in on one verse per book. This section of the weekly intro post might help you narrow down a verse to reflect on for the week, but you do not have to choose one of these verse, pick any section of the book you want! These are just some ideas.

  • And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”  John 1:14
    REFLECTION: How do you see both grace and truth played out in Jesus’ life? What does it look like to be full of both in our every day lives?
  • “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one–as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me. … May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.”   John 17:20-21, 23
    REFLECTION: This whole section is the prayer Jesus prayed right before he died. These specific verses in essence are what God prayed for US today. He had US on his mind as he prepared to go to the cross. What are your thoughts about His prayer? Where do you see unity or disunity among God’s church today? How might unity be crucial in showing the world the love of Jesus?
  • “The disciples say Jesus do many other miraculous signs in addition to the ones recorded in this book. But these are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you will have life by the power of his name.”   John 20:30-31
    REFLECTION:What are your thoughts about John’s purpose for writing the book? How do you think that shaped what He chose to put in the book?

Some Other Resources:

The Challenge:

So now it’s your turn! Pick a verse and settle in this week, or read through the whole book. If you post any picture or blogs on social media, tag them with #66in52challenge so we can all share in this journey together!

66 in 52 Challenge

Luke – Week 36 {66 in 52 Challenge}

This is part of the 66 in 52 Bible Journaling Challenge. Over the course of the 52 weeks in 2018, I will focus in on one verse from each book of the Bible with many others who have signed up to join me. Each week I will be posting a summary page with some thought about that week’s book(s) of the Bible along with some links that may help our reflection. Click here to sign up if you want to join us at any point along the journey!

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Week 36 - Luke

The Big Picture of Luke:

I love the first few verses in Luke. Where Matthew and Mark seem to be writing to groups of people, Luke’s intent wasn’t quite so broad. We see the author was presenting this gospel as an investigation report to a man named Theophilus (which means ‘one who loves God’). It is possible that this was the person who would circulate this book, but it seems there is also a personal nature to the writing. Luke longed for Theophilus to be able to be certain about what he had heard so far about Jesus and so Luke interviewed those who were there and pulled together the best report he could. Luke fact checked his info and presented the case. He seems to outline his book in three main parts in connection with Jesus’ presence in three geographical areas: in and around Galilee (4:14-9:50), Judea and Perea (9:51-19:27), and Jerusalem (19:28-24:53).

Women in Luke’s Gospel:

Perhaps more than any other of the four gospels, Luke seems to highlight the role women played.  Here are some of women he tells us about:

  • Elizabeth – mother of John the Baptist and wife of Zechariah (chapter 1)
  • Mary – Jesus’ mother (chapter 2, 19)
  • Anna – prophetess in the temple when Jesus was presented as a n infant (chapter 2)
  • Simon’s mother-in-law (chapter 4)
  • Widow whose son was raised back to life (chapter 7)
  • Woman who anoints Jesus (chapter 7)
  • A dead girl (and her mother) and a sick woman (Luke 8)
  • Mary and Martha (chapter 10)
  • Crippled woman healed on the Sabbath (Chapter 13)
  • Women used in as an example in a parable (Chapter 15, 18)
  • A widow giving an offering (Chapter 21)
  • Women who followed Jesus during his crucifixion and stood watch at the cross while he died (Chapter 23)
  • Women who went to prepare Jesus’ body in the tomb (Chapter 23-24)
  • Women were the first to see Jesus alive – Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James and others (Chapter 24)

A Few Key Verses and Possible Reflection Questions/Prayers:

Some of us are planning to read through the whole book or books each week, while others are just focusing in on one verse per book. This section of the weekly intro post might help you narrow down a verse to reflect on for the week, but you do not have to choose one of these verse, pick any section of the book you want! These are just some ideas.

  • “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come and has redeemed his people. He has raised up a horn of salvation for us … to rescue us from the hand of our enemies and toe enable us to serve him without fear in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.”  Luke 1:68-69, 74-75
    REFLECTION: What fears are creeping up in your life? What would it look like to serve God all our days without fear? How might our lives be different?
  • “And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it…. But seek first his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. Do not be afraid, little flock, for Your Father has been pleased to give you the Kingdom.”  Luke 12:29, 31-32
    REFLECTION:What are you setting your heart on? What does it look like to receive the Kingdom?
  • “For the Son of man came to seek and to save what was lost.” Luke 19:10
    REFLECTION: What does this tell us about Jesus’ mission on earth? If we are to join Jesus on His mission in the world, what might this look like for us?

Some Other Resources:

The Challenge:

So now it’s your turn! Pick a verse and settle in this week, or read through the whole book. If you post any picture or blogs on social media, tag them with #66in52challenge so we can all share in this journey together!

66 in 52 Challenge

Mark- Week 35 {66 in 52 Challenge}

This is part of the 66 in 52 Bible Journaling Challenge. Over the course of the 52 weeks in 2018, I will focus in on one verse from each book of the Bible with many others who have signed up to join me. Each week I will be posting a summary page with some thought about that week’s book(s) of the Bible along with some links that may help our reflection. Click here to sign up if you want to join us at any point along the journey!

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Week 35 - Mark

The Big Picture of Mark:

Mark’s Gospel telling of Jesus’ life was likely the first of the four written. While some feel it leaves some key pieces out (like Jesus’ birth), once it was discovered that it came first and others likely built their versions off of his adding in details that were important to them individually. Where Matthew seemed to focus in on proving that Jesus was the fulfillment of all the Old Testament Prophesies, Mark seems to focus in on the action of the story–what Jesus DID. Often this book as described as being in two main sections. The first (1:1-8:26) focuses on Jesus’ ministry in Galilee. The other half of the book is given entirely to the events surrounding Jesus suffering, death, and resurrection beginning with Jesus’ own prediction that it would happen. One key story in chapter 8 provides the shift between these two parts. Jesus is walking with His disciples and asks them who people say He is. Eventually he gets direct and asks: “But who do YOU say that I am?” (8:29 emphasis added). Peter simply replies: “You are the Messiah”. From this point on, there is one focus in the book leading straight up to the crucifixion and Jesus rising from the dead.

Discipleship Opportunities in Mark:

One key pattern we see various places in Mark is Jesus saying something, the disciples failing to understand or act, and then Jesus using that as a teaching opportunity. We see three of these close to each other in chapters 8, 9, and 10*, all related to Jesus’ own predictions about His death:

  • 8:31 – Jesus tells the disciples that he will suffer, be rejected, killed and rise after three days
    • Peter rebukes Jesus (8:32-33) saying that can’t really happen.
    • Jesus calls them to deny themselves, take up their own cross and follow him (8:33-9:1)
  • 9:30-31 – Jesus says again that he will be killed and rise after three days
    • The disciples don’t get it and stay quiet not wanting to ask him about it. (9:32)
    • Jesus uses the chance to tell them that the first must be last and talks about welcoming children in His name. (9:33-50)
  • 10:33-34 – Jesus’s third prediction about his condemnation, mocking, flogging, crucifixion and resurrection.
    • James and John ask if they can sit right next to Jesus in Heaven. (10:35-37)
    • Jesus teaches that to be great they must become servants and that he came to give up his life to serve many. (10:38-45)

* based off a chart in the ESV Global Study Bible, found online here.

A Few Key Verses and Possible Reflection Questions/Prayers:

Some of us are planning to read through the whole book or books each week, while others are just focusing in on one verse per book. This section of the weekly intro post might help you narrow down a verse to reflect on for the week, but you do not have to choose one of these verse, pick any section of the book you want! These are just some ideas.

  • “In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed.”  Mark 1:35
    REFLECTION: When and where have you found most useful to connect with the Father? What benefits might there be in mimicking Jesus and starting your day like this?
  • “Then he asked them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ …”   Mark 8:29
    REFLECTION: This is perhaps the most important question we can answer in our lives and WITH our lives. Who do YOU say that Jesus is? How would respond in everyday words to someone who asked you this question.
  • “Then Jesus said, ‘Let us go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.’ He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his apostles didn’t even have time to eat.”  Mark 6:31
    REFLECTION:Whether this or another story you read, reflect on what it tells you about Jesus’ character, nature, and heart. What can you learn about him from even one verse?

Why Mark is Important Today:

As I mentioned before, it is likely that Mark’s gospel is the first written account of Jesus’ life. This has enormous importance not just in history, but in seeing the Bible as accurate and true today. Also, because Mark put great effort into showing how Jesus lived, it helps us figure out what our lives can look like. Mark’s version of the great commission includes listing the types of things those who believe in Jesus will be about and do in their lives. These imitate the things Jesus did in His life on earth. We can be about the things He was about namely bringing restoration, hope, and salvation to the whole world one life at a time.

Some Other Resources:

The Challenge:

So now it’s your turn! Pick a verse and settle in this week, or read through the whole book. If you post any picture or blogs on social media, tag them with #66in52challenge so we can all share in this journey together!

66 in 52 Challenge

Matthew – Week 34 {66 in 52 Challenge}

This is part of the 66 in 52 Bible Journaling Challenge. Over the course of the 52 weeks in 2018, I will focus in on one verse from each book of the Bible with many others who have signed up to join me. Each week I will be posting a summary page with some thought about that week’s book(s) of the Bible along with some links that may help our reflection. Click here to sign up if you want to join us at any point along the journey!

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Week 34 - Matthew

The Big Picture of Matthew:

Matthew is the first book in the New Testament and the author (supposed by the early church to be Matthew) does a great job of connecting the New Testament with the old. Each of the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) document the time Jesus lived on earth and each does it from their own vantage point of the scene. Matthew really seems to be focusing in on helping people, especially the Jews, understand that Jesus really is the Messiah the prophecies of the Old Testament all talk about. Chapter 2 alone quotes 4 prophecies from at least three different Old Testament books. Not only does Matthew want readers to see that Jesus is the Messiah, but also that he was Immanuel (God with US), a new “Moses” delivering the people from bondage, and a new “Abraham” head of family of God that now includes both Jews and Gentiles who follow Him. I am finding it especially fun to read Matthew after having just finished the whole Old Testament seeing all the connections. With all of that in our minds, we have a better idea of what the everyday Jew would have as reference at the time when Jesus showed up on the scene.

Prophesies Mentioned in Matthew:

There are dozens of prophecies mentioned throughout the book and often are quoted directly out of Old Testament books. Here are just a few:

  • The Messiah would be a descendant of Abraham (Genesis 12:3, 22:18),  Isaac (Genesis 17:19, 21:12), Jacob (Numbers 24:17), Judah (Genesis 49:10), and King David (2 Samuel 7:12-13, Isaiah 9:7) – Matthew 1:1-17
  • The Messiah would be born of a woman (Genesis 3:15) Matthew 1:20
  • The Messiah would be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14) – Matthew 1:22-23
  • The Messiah would be called Immanuel (Isaiah 7:14) – Matthew 1:23
  • The Messiah would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2) – Matthew 2:1
  • The Messiah would spent a time in Egypt (Hosea 11:1) and grow up to be called a Nazarene (Isaiah 11:1) – Matthew 2:14-15, 23
  • The Messiah would bring light to Galilee (Isaiah 9:1-2) – Matthew 4:13-16
  • The Messiah would speak in parables (Psalm 78:2-4, Isaiah 6:9-10) – Matthew 13
  • The Messiah would be betrayed (Psalm 41:9, Zechariah 11:12-13), spat upon and struck (Isaiah 50:6), given vinegar to drink (Psalm 69:21), and crucified with criminals (Isaiah 53:12) – Matthew 26:14-16, 67, 27:34, 38
  • The Messiah would be called a King (Psalm 2:6, Zechariah 9:9) – Matthew 27:37
  • The Messiah would be buried with the rich (Isaiah 53:9) – Matthew 27:57-60
  • The Messiah would rise from the dead (Psalm 16:10, 49:14) – Matthew 28:2-7

A Few Key Verses and Possible Reflection Questions/Prayers:

Some of us are planning to read through the whole book or books each week, while others are just focusing in on one verse per book. This section of the weekly intro post might help you narrow down a verse to reflect on for the week, but you do not have to choose one of these verse, pick any section of the book you want! These are just some ideas.

  • “And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”  Matthew 1:21
    REFLECTION: What sins have you trapped right now? Where do you need to call out on the name of Jesus to “Save me!”?
  • “Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.” Matthew 3:2
    REFLECTION: Reading through Matthew 3, what similarities and differences do you see between John the Baptist’s words and those of the prophets in the Old Testament?
  • “So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s troubles are enough for today.” Matthew 6:34
    REFLECTION: What are you worrying about today that’s actually a trouble for tomorrow? How can you set those future worries aside and focus on today?
  • “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” Matthew 9:36
    REFLECTION: What people or groups in our world today seem “confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd”? How can you show compassion on them instead of judging or criticizing them?
  • “He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen….” Matthew 28:6
    REFLECTION: What do you think it would have been like to be one of the women hearing this from the angel at the tomb after thinking the One you thought was the Messiah, and your friend, had died?

Why Matthew is Important Today:

Each of the Gospels document Jesus’ life on earth. We hear not only God’s words, but see how that plays out in real life situations. Specifically with Matthew, we also see the importance of the Old Testament along with the New. So often it’s easy to throw out the old for the new. Matthew reminds us of the value of both and how Jesus did not come to get rid of the law but to fulfill it fully.

Some Other Resources:

The Challenge:

So now it’s your turn! Pick a verse and settle in this week, or read through the whole book. If you post any picture or blogs on social media, tag them with #66in52challenge so we can all share in this journey together!

66 in 52 Challenge

Ezra and Nehemiah – Week 14 {66 in 52 Challenge}

This is part of the 66 in 52 Bible Journaling Challenge. Over the course of the 52 weeks in 2018, I am focusing in on one verse from each book of the Bible with many others who have signed up to join me. Each week I will post a summary page with some thoughts about that week’s book(s) of the Bible along with some links that may help our reflection. Click here to sign up if you want to join us at any point along the journey! Click here to see where we’ve been so far!

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Week 14 - Ezra, Nehemiah

The Big Picture of Ezra and Nehemiah:

Originally, Ezra and Nehemiah were considered one book. In some later manuscripts they were divided into three, telling the three main stories of the book, though most modern Scriptures have two books. Together they tell of the return of some of God’s people from exile. First, Zerubbabel leads a group to rebuild the temple. Then Ezra works on reminding the people of God’s commands, and Nehemiah returns in the midst of this to rebuild the city walls. This all happens over the course of almost 100 years (Approx. 538 B.C. – 443 B.C.).

Key Events in Ezra and Nehemiah:

(The approximate dates below were found at this website.)

  • Ezra 1 –  – King Cyrus declares that the Jews can go back to Jerusalem (Approx. 538 B.C.)
  • Ezra 2 – A list of all who returned and the gifts they gave to rebuild the temple.
  • Ezra 3 – Altar restored, sacrifices were made, temple reconstruction begins (approx. 536 B.C.)
  • Ezra 4 – Construction on the temple stops (approx. 535 B.C.)
  • Ezra 5-6 – Temple construction resumes and is completed (approx. 515 B.C.)
  • Ezra 7-8 – Ezra returns to Jerusalem with more exiles (approx. 458 B.C.)
  • Nehemiah 2-3 – Nehemiah returns to lead a group of people to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem (approx. 444 B.C.)
  • Nehemiah 4-5 – Conflict with people surrounding the city trying to stop them from rebuilding
  • Nehemiah 6 – The wall rebuilt in only 52 days
  • Nehemiah 8 – Ezra reads the Book of the Law to the people (approx. 443)
  • Ne

A Few Key Verses and Possible Reflection Questions/Prayers:

Some of us are planning to read through the whole book each week, while others are just focusing in on one verse (two this week since we’re in two books!). This section of the weekly intro post might help you narrow down a verse to reflect on for the week, but you do not have to choose one of these verse, pick any section of the book you want! These are just some ideas.

  • ‘Rise up, this matter is in your hands. We will support you, so take courage and do it!” Ezra 10:4
    REFLECTION: Sometimes we need to stop and let someone else, maybe even God take care of a situation. Other times we need to rise up and do what we’ve been called to do. What “matter is in your hands” this week that you need to take courage and do? Who is around you to support you?
  • “With praise and thanksgiving they sang to the Lord.” Ezra 3:11
    REFLECTION: What can you praise and thank God for today? Is there a song your can play or sing that represents your praise well?
  • Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.” Nehemiah 4:14
    REFLECTION:  What does fighting for your family look like this week? Who is “them” that you need to not be afraid of? How can you focus on the great and awesome Lord who fights for your family in the middle of whatever you’re facing this week?
  • “Yet our God turned the curse into a blessing.” Nehemiah 13:2
    REFLECTION:  Where has God turned a bad situation into a blessing in your life recently?

God’s Grace in Ezra and Nehemiah:

Grace is all about what’s undeserved. Multiple times throughout these two books these leaders get undeserved gifts. Just take Nehemiah for example. When he asks his leader, the king, for permission to return, God’s favor is upon Nehemiah. The King not only lets Nehemiah go, but sends all kinds of supplies to help in the process. God provides all Nehemiah needs to do what He has called him to do. This grace had to be encouraging to him as he thought about the huge task before him and endure great opposition. I am so thankful that we serve a God who provides all we need… and then some.

Some Other Resources:

The Challenge:

So now it’s your turn! Pick a verse and settle in this week, or read through the whole book. If you post any picture or blogs on social media, tag them with #66in52challenge so we can all share in this journey together!

66 in 52 Challenge

2 Chronicles – Week 13 {66 in 52 Challenge}

This is part of the 66 in 52 Bible Journaling Challenge. Over the course of the 52 weeks in 2018, I plan to focus in on one verse from each book of the Bible with many others who have signed up to join me. Each week I will be posting a summary page with some thought about that week’s book(s) of the Bible along with some links that may help our reflection. Click here to sign up if you want to join us at any point along the journey!

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Week 13 - 2 Chronicles

The Big Picture of 2 Chronicles:

Last week I mentioned that 2 Chronicles can sometimes feel like a repeat of stories we’ve already heard.  Originally 1 and 2 Chronicles would have been one book, so obviously this second book picks up where the first leaves off around the time of the death of King David. Solomon is now King and this book recaps history all the way up to the time of Jerusalem being captured. It literally means “the events of the years.”

The Message and Purpose of Chronicles:

I shared the following last week from the “She Reads Truth” Bible about 1 and 2 Chronicles. I was originally planning to change this section, but as I glanced back through it I found it interested to read here right in the middle of the book. Perhaps take some time to think about where you have seen these things already and then watch for them again as we read this week.

“Having resettled in Jerusalem after the exile, the Israelites needed to reconnect with their identity as the people of God. Chronicles met this purpose by reminding them of their heritage and by directing them back to God’s presence in their midst as symbolized by the temple. The important ideas emphasized in 1 and 2 Chronicles are:

  1. A direct connection to God’s people in the past
  2. The continuity of the line of David on the throne of Judah
  3. The centrality of the temple and its rituals in focusing on God
  4. The importance of music in worshiping God
  5. The invincibility of God’s people when they obey Him
  6. The inevitability of punishment when God’s people disobey Him.”

(She Reads Truth Bible, pg 595)

A Few Key Verses and Possible Reflection Questions/Prayers:

Some of us are planning to read through the whole book each week, while others are just focusing in on one verse (two this week since we’re in two books!). This section of the weekly intro post might help you narrow down a verse to reflect on for the week, but you do not have to choose one of these verse, pick any section of the book you want! These are just some ideas.

  • Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14
    REFLECTION: What would it look like for you to humble yourself and pray and seek God’s face this week? 
  • “Solomon went up there before the LORD to the bronze altar which was at the tent of meeting, and offered a thousand burnt offerings on it.” 2 Chronicles 1:6
    REFLECTION: Wow. A thousand burnt offerings. That’s a lot. What kind of extravagant worship and sacrifice can you offer God this week as a way to praise and honor Him?
  • “…For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” 2 Chronicles 20:12
    REFLECTION: Where in life right now do you feel like, “God, I just don’t know what to do!!!” What can you do today to get your eyes back on God even in the middle of that uncertainty?

God’s Grace in 2 Chronicles:

God’s grace in some books like 2 Chronicles might be described a little like “tough love”. At first a lot of what we read seems so harsh and rigid. Yet, when we take a step back, we see that God sometimes allows His children to experience the consequences of their sin because it’s in their best interest. My pastor often talks about how God first tries to woo his children and win them over with His love and kindness. However, if that doesn’t work, He is willing to let hard things happen to them in order to draw them back to Himself. It’s not out of wrath or meanness that He allows punishment, it’s out of His strong desire to have relationships restored. I guess, like an earthly parent does for their kids, it’s true that sometimes we do need a little tough love in order to get us back on the right track, the place that’s best for us. We see this a lot in 2 Chronicles and, at least for me, it causes me to long for the day our Savior King, Jesus, will come and reign in all His glory with no more pain, tears, sin, or hurt.

Some Other Resources:

The Challenge:

So now it’s your turn! Pick a verse and settle in this week, or read through the whole book. If you post any picture or blogs on social media, tag them with #66in52challenge so we can all share in this journey together!