April 20

16Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the Lord:  17The time will surely come when everything in your palace, and all that your predecessors have stored up until this day, will be carried off to Babylon.  Nothing will be left, says the Lord.  18And some of your descendants, your own flesh and blood who will be born to you, will be taken away, and they will become eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.”  (2 Kings 16-18)

I am spending the day catching up on my reading in the Holy Bible.  I was unable to read for the last five days and fell far behind.  So far this morning I finished 2 Kings and was reminded of the powerful purpose of this book.  From kings who did what was evil in the eyes of the Lord to the last two kings of Judah who tried to save their Isrealite people.  Kings Hezekiah and Josiah did their best to steer the people of Judah back to God.  Josiah becomes the first King since Joshua to celebrate the festival of the Passover (2 Kings 23:22).  Keep in mind that when the events are unfolding in the books of Kings, 1 and 2, the Jewish Bible was the Torah, the Books of Moses, later the Israelites would be reading about the history of the kings and the repeated errors in their ways as historical hindsight.

But, I pray you are all reading along in the Old Testament.  I love 2 Kings and how the prophet Isaiah is mentioned and someone reading the Holy Bible for the first time does not even realize how important this prophet is until you get to the Book of Isaiah and you say, “oh yeah, I remember this guy.”  Well, “this guy” is the prophet who foretells the coming salvation of the world through Jesus Christ.  We’ll be reading the book of Isaiah in the month of August.  For the rest of April, we’re going to power through 1 and 2 Chronicles, which are essentially 1 and 2 Kings written by a different author.  I am not sure why the Christian Canon has them one after another.  In the Jewish Tanakh 1 and 2 Chronicles are the last two books of their Bible, as a final example of how not to turn away from God.  

So finishing 2 Kings, you have now read the broad overview of the Old Testament.  Finish 1 and 2 Chronicles in the next ten days and the rest of the Old Testament is the writings of the Prophets and the Praises of King David (Psalms) and the wisdom of his son, Solomon (Proverbs).

I don’t know about y’all but I am having a blessed 2021.  Just as we had a blessed 2020, and an amazing 2019.  The last three years have probably been my best years on this Earth, included in that list is the year 2011 when my daughter was born, and of course the year I met my wife.  But for the four years listed, I see a common denominator in all of them that lead me to the answer to why these four years out of forty were so amazing and I am so blessed.  2011 was the year I read the Bible for the first time, cover-to-cover, reading it every day to my infant daughter.  2019 I reread the Bible while on deployment and began my first small group.  2020, I put the Common Sense Reborn Daily Devotional together while rereading the New Testament.  And, here we are today, as I am rereading the entire Bible in one year.  There’s your sign, there’s your answer.  Want to bring peace and restore calm in your life? Stop letting the world divide you and incite fear and anger.  Invest you free time into the Holy Bible and reconnect with the creator of Heaven and Earth.

The New Music Christian playlist from Spotify this week was simply amazing.  This is the first week in a long time where nearly every single released was one I personally saved into my favorites playlist.  From Tasha Layton’s newest gem all the way to the last new single by an artist named Joseph Habedank.  Plus we had a new album from Mr. Tim Timmons and two live albums released, which I am sure we will see a lot of in 2021 as artists are beginning to perform concerts again.  NEEDTOBREATHE talks about how much they missed touring due to COVID several times in their new album, which you can hear by clicking here.  But my favorite album released had to be this one by Tauren Wells.  Obviously attending a concert in person is an experience I wish everyone could enjoy in their lifetime, but with this album, it’s the next best thing.  Mr. Wells is now on my bucket list of shows to see.  For today, I want to share this track below, it’s not a song, but a four minute sermon where Tauren Wells preaches it with a passion as powerful as my favorite, Pastor Steven Furtick.

Reading plan:  John 17:1-12

Deeper reading plan:  1 Chronicles 12, 13, 14, 15

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