Morning, January 26
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Bible League: Living His Word
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, "Look, God's home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them."

There are a lot of stories in the Bible. Added together, they form one grand narrative. This narrative is not fictional, but true. If you were asked what the grand narrative is all about, you would have to say that at bottom it is all about God and His relationship to His creation. In effect, it is the story of everything, because there is nothing other than God and His creation. It begins in Genesis 1 with the story of God's creation of heaven and earth and it ends here in Revelation 21 with the story of a new heaven and a new earth.

At the beginning of the grand narrative there is the Garden of Eden, but here at the end of the narrative there is a city, the new Jerusalem. The grand sweep of the narrative moves from a simple garden situation to a complex city. Genesis tells us that God's manifest presence, his actual appearance, was there in the garden with Adam and Eve. He used to walk about in the garden (Genesis 3:8). Sin, of course, changed all that. Although God is omnipresent, after sin entered the earth His manifest presence was exclusively to be found in His dwelling in heaven. Revelation, in contrast, tells us at the end of the grand narrative that God's manifest presence will return to earth with the new Jerusalem.

The reason for God's change of dwelling is that the sin problem will have been resolved. Through the work of Jesus Christ in his first and second comings, sin will have been totally removed from the earth.

At that time, we will be able to fellowship with God face to face (Revelation 22:4), just as Adam and Eve once did.

Bible in a Year
Old Testament Reading
Exodus 11, 12


Exodus 11 -- The Plague on the Firstborn

  NIV   NLT   ESV   NAS   GWT   KJV   ASV   ERV   DRB


Exodus 12 -- Passover; Feast; Memorial; Pharaoh Urges Exodus

  NIV   NLT   ESV   NAS   GWT   KJV   ASV   ERV   DRB


New Testament Reading
Matthew 18:21-35


Matthew 18 -- Greatest and Least in the Kingdom; Parables of the Lost Sheep, Brother who sins, Unmerciful Servant

  NIV   NLT   ESV   NAS   GWT   KJV   ASV   ERV   DRB


Reading Plan Courtesy of Christian Classics Etherial Library.
Tyndale Life Application Daily Devotion
He said, “Listen, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem! Listen, King Jehoshaphat! This is what the LORD says: Do not be afraid! Don't be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God's.”
Insight
We may not fight an enemy army, but every day we battle temptation, pressure, and Satan, who wants us to rebel against God.
Challenge
Remember, as believers, we have God's Spirit in us. If we ask for God's help when we face struggles, God will fight for us. And God always triumphs.
Morning and Evening by Spurgeon
Matthew 6:26  Your heavenly Father.

God's people are doubly his children, they are his offspring by creation, and they are his sons by adoption in Christ. Hence they are privileged to call him, "Our Father which art in heaven." Father! Oh, what precious word is that. Here is authority: "If I be a Father, where is mine honor?" If ye be sons, where is your obedience? Here is affection mingled with authority; an authority which does not provoke rebellion; an obedience demanded which is most cheerfully rendered--which would not be withheld even if it might. The obedience which God's children yield to him must be loving obedience. Do not go about the service of God as slaves to their taskmaster's toil, but run in the way of his commands because it is your Father's way. Yield your bodies as instruments of righteousness, because righteousness is your Father's will, and his will should be the will of his child. Father!--Here is a kingly attribute so sweetly veiled in love, that the King's crown is forgotten in the King's face, and his sceptre becomes, not a rod of iron, but a silver sceptre of mercy--the sceptre indeed seems to be forgotten in the tender hand of him who wields it. Father!--Here is honor and love. How great is a Father's love to his children! That which friendship cannot do, and mere benevolence will not attempt, a father's heart and hand must do for his sons. They are his offspring, he must bless them; they are his children, he must show himself strong in their defence. If an earthly father watches over his children with unceasing love and care, how much more does our heavenly Father? Abba, Father! He who can say this, hath uttered better music than cherubim or seraphim can reach. There is heaven in the depth of that word--Father! There is all I can ask; all my necessities can demand; all my wishes can desire. I have all in all to all eternity when I can say, "Father."

Daily Light on the Daily Path
Hebrews 13:13,14  So, let us go out to Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach. • For here we do not have a lasting city, but we are seeking the city which is to come.

1 Peter 4:12,13  Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; • but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation.

2 Corinthians 1:7  and our hope for you is firmly grounded, knowing that as you are sharers of our sufferings, so also you are sharers of our comfort.

1 Peter 4:14  If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.

Acts 5:41  So they went on their way from the presence of the Council, rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name.

Hebrews 11:25,26  choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, • considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward.

New American Standard Bible Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, Calif. All rights reserved. For Permission to Quote Information visit http://www.lockman.org.

Evening January 25
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