The Bible makes great claims. It clearly states that its author is God who is the Creator of all things. It claims to reveal God and His purpose with creation and it speaks with authority about how we can seek and find Him. If this claim cannot be upheld, then the Bible is the greatest and the most cruel hoax which has ever deluded mankind. However, if the claims of the Bible are true, then we are in possession of the worlds greatest treasure.
The Bible is indeed God’s message and is unique. As the true Word of God it contains the key to peace and everlasting life. Within it’s pages the answers to perplexing questions concerning the meaning and purpose of our existence and the final outcome of the struggle between right and wrong can be found. Understanding the message of the Bible is the key to finding salvation through the saving name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The message of the Bible is far too important to be ignored or to be left to others to tell us what it says. We must read the Bible for ourselves.
READ THE BIBLE TODAY
An objective view of world events and the state of mankind, shows that time is fast running out for this world and thus for you. So make TODAY your opportunity and start reading this wonderful book now. Begin today to find out how to prepare for the return of the Lord Jesus Christ.
There are many different versions of the Bible in many languages. Even those in English range from using the language of the 17th Century to modern versions translated into the way we speak and write today.
Whichever version you use, you will find the same basic message. Some people prefer the poetic language of the Authorised or King James Version. Others the modern style of for example the New King James Version, the Revised Authorised Version or the New International Version. It is a matter of personal preference. Select the version which suits you best. These Bible reading notes are based upon the Authorised Version unless stated otherwise.
If you intend to purchase a Bible it is well worth the extra to have a Bible with marginal references.
HOW TO USE THESE NOTES
These notes are structured around reading one chapter of the Bible every day. Daily Bible reading is a worthwhile habit to acquire.
By following this pattern the six STEPS will be covered in exactly fifty two weeks. So in one year it will be possible to get a very good overall view of the message of the Bible.
Within these notes, each STEP starts with an introduction giving an overview of the chapters and parts of the message to be covered. It is recommended that the sequence be followed right through.
Each day’s chapter should be read carefully and in conjunction with the Daily Note. Other relevant Bible passages will be suggested as worth referring to. Looking up these other references is important and will help your overall understanding of the Gospel message. Reading the Bible as a whole will show how the message of the Bible is consistent. Indeed all parts of God’s word have something to teach us.
Numbers 14:21 means the Book of Numbers, Chapter 14 and Verse 21. The 66 books of the Bible are usually listed at the front of the Bible to assist in finding them.
Although this Planner lasts one year it has not been dated so there is no need to wait until next January 1st. You can start at STEP ONE right away.
So do it TODAY.
SUGGESTIONS FOR STUDY
1. Find time to read through the chapters in the Bible carefully without rushing. Settle down comfortably and quietly for study.
2. When a passage from the Bible is quoted, look it up in your Bible and read the passage. Check for yourself that the verses are not taken out of their context. Look at the verses before and after those quoted and be certain that you understand what the passage teaches.
3. Try and set aside a little time each day for reading at a time when you are not likely to be disturbed.
4. If you have any questions about anything contained in the days reading write it down and feel free to contact us for an answer.
5. We are told in the Book of Acts of the Apostles in the New Testament about Cornelius. He wanted to learn more of God and of His will. He prayed to God for help and his prayers were heard and answered. (Acts 10).
BIBLE READING HINTS
Look first to the Bible for answers to questions
Read all of the Bible to find answers to your questions
Use clear passages to explain more difficult ones
Write down your questions [It may be a while before you get answers]
Expect quick answers
Look at isolated passages and draw conclusions
May God bless your Bible study.
STEP 1: WEEK1
SUNDAY Psalm 19
MONDAY Genesis 1
TUESDAY Luke 2
WEDNESDAY 1 Corinthians 13
THURSDAY Mark 4
FRIDAY Ecclesiastes 3
SATURDAY 2 Timothy 3
Begin each day’s readings with a prayer asking God to bless your studies of His word.
The readings in Step One are an interesting selection from various parts of the Bible.
The unity, truth and divine origin of the 66 Books of the Bible become increasingly certain as you read them. Although written by many different writers over 1,500 years, God is the Author and His message is the same throughout.
Read consistently, thinking about what you read carefully.
SUNDAY – Psalm 19 – Creation speaks of the power and glory of God (verses 1-6) but only the Bible makes known His purpose and His ways (verses 7-14).
MONDAY – Genesis 1 – God made all things. He established the laws of nature and prepared the earth as man’s home. Consider the wonders of creation, the beauty of the heavens, the wonder of your own body and life. All is governed by precise laws of physics and nature. We must be created and have not just ‘evolved’.
TUESDAY – Luke 2 – The miraculous birth of Jesus brought promises of peace (verse 14) and of salvation for Jews and Gentiles (verses 29-32).
WEDNESDAY – 1 Corinthians 13 – Charity (love) is the supreme quality for us to follow and has promise of an eternal future (verses 11-13). Think about how the practical aspects of love should be demonstrated in our lives.
THURSDAY – Mark 4 – The word of God is a precious seed to be cultivated and become fruitful in our lives for the glory of God.
FRIDAY – Ecclesiastes 3 – Life is short and fragile. We need to use our time wisely to serve God and to prepare for the day of judgment (verse 17). The principle is that God must come first in our lives.
SATURDAY – 2 Timothy 3 – The world today is described in verses 1-7. The Bible is given by God to make us godly, showing us how we should live our lives and lead us to salvation (verses 15-17).
STEP 2 INTRODUCTION
Step Two covers two weeks – one in the Old Testament and the second in the New Testament. Week two looks at the events following the Creation, in the early chapters of Genesis. Week three looks at the new beginning when Jesus began his ministry proclaiming the gospel message. It is important to realise that the Bible is wholly the word of God and what we find in the New testament has it’s foundation in the Old testament.
In creating the earth and the first man and woman, God had an ultimate purpose in mind.
This purpose is that the earth will be filled with men and women who have chosen to serve God and give Him glory. (Numbers 14:21). Men and women who desire to develop attributes and characteristics that reflect God’s glorious character (Exodus 34:5-8) just as Jesus does.
These people who believe God’s word and have faith will be given everlasting life in the kingdom of God on earth (Isaiah 45:18,23. Matthew 5:5. Daniel 7:27).
An essential stage in this plan was the miraculous birth of God’s Son – Jesus Christ. His perfect obedience to God’s will was vital to the plan.
The Bible is vital as a means of telling us what we have to do.
STEP 2: WEEK 2
SUNDAY Genesis 2
MONDAY Genesis 3
TUESDAY Genesis 4
WEDNESDAY Genesis 5
THURSDAY Genesis 6
FRIDAY Genesis 7
SATURDAY Genesis 8
The name Genesis’ means the book of the beginnings’. It tells us about the beginnings of the earth and of man and woman. God tested man to see if he would fulfill the reason for his creation and genesis tells of man’s subsequent disobedience to God’s commandment. Thus we also find out how sin and death came into the world.
It contains the first references to God’s provision of a way out for sinful mankind. In fact, Genesis is a vital foundation for understanding the whole Bible.
SUNDAY – Genesis 2 – Note the special creation of man (verse 7) the life style man was given (verse 15) and of woman (verse 22) and the true marriage relationship (verse 24).
MONDAY – Genesis 3 – God had said that sin (disobedience) would bring death (verse 3) and so it did (verse 19). See Romans 5:12. Note the reason for sin – pride (verse 6). Note also how an idyllic setting was lost and man now had to work for his food (verses 17-18)
TUESDAY – Genesis 4 – Man was now dying and in need of salvation. He could serve God by faith, living his life in humble obedience to God’s commands and as a result have hope of eternal life (verse 4 with Hebrews 11:4) or give himself over to sin like Cain who killed his own brother (verses 5-8).
WEDNESDAY – Genesis 5- Cain’s descendants (of chapter 4) are contrasted with the better line from Seth (verse 3 onwards) leading to Noah (verse 29).
THURSDAY – Genesis 6 – Only Noah and his family were separate from the violent society around them. God showed them what to do so that they could be saved (verse 14) and also how to do it (verses 15-16). The Bible tells us what we must do and the life of Jesus shows us how we may please God.
FRIDAY – Genesis 7 – Noah believed what God had said and he built the Ark. We need faith in God’s way (Hebrews 11:7) and must prepare for the judgment to come (2 Peter 3:1-7, 11-13).
SATURDAY – Genesis 8 – God remembered Noah (verse 1). The dove with the olive branch has become a symbol of peace (verse 11). God will never completely destroy the earth (verse 22 and Genesis 9:13-15).
STEP 2: WEEK 3
SUNDAY Matthew 1
MONDAY Matthew 2
TUESDAY Matthew 3
WEDNESDAY Matthew 4
THURSDAY Matthew 5
FRIDAY Matthew 6
SATURDAY Matthew 7
The new Testament begins with the family tree’ of Jesus to show his connection with Abraham (Genesis 12) and King David (2 Samuel 7) in the Old Testament.
Matthew (the tax collector who became a disciple) was chosen by God to write down one of the Gospel records. In Matthews record he shows that Jesus was the promised Messiah foretold in the Old Testament.
As you read through the chapters notice the frequent references to the Old Testament with such words as: ‘as it is written.’
SUNDAY – Matthew 1 – Jesus is the Son of God (verses 18-20). Through his mother, he was also a descendant of David (1,000 BC) and of Abraham (2,000 BC) as promised in the Old Testament. Notice fulfilled prophecy in verse 23 which quotes from Isaiah 7:14.
MONDAY – Matthew 2 – The son of David was destined to be a King and, like David, would be born in Bethlehem as foretold by the prophet Micah (700 BC) (Micah 5:2 and Luke 1:32). Note again how prophecy is fulfilled: verse 15 – Hosea 11:1; verse 18 – Jeremiah 31:15.
TUESDAY – Matthew 3 – God’s promise to send a Saviour, with a forerunner (John the Baptist) was made through Isaiah (700 BC) (Isaiah 40:1-5). Jesus had no sin to repent of but was baptized by John as an act of humble obedience (verses 15-17). It is this example that those who desire to follow Christ must also follow (Mark 16:16)
WEDNESDAY – Matthew 4 – Jesus used the Old Testament for guidance in dealing with problems and temptation (verses 4, 7, 10). Note how Jesus counters temptation with the comment “it is written”. It is only by reading the Bible regularly that Christ’s disciples can learn God’s word and put it into practice in their own lives.
THURSDAY – Matthew 5 – The Sermon on the Mount (chapters 5-7) is often thought impractical today, but these are Jesus’ rules for the Christian life and every follower of Christ must try to live by them.
FRIDAY – Matthew 6 – The prayer of Jesus is a pattern on which we may base our prayers. We should pray for God’s kingdom to come on earth and for Jesus to return (verse 10).
SATURDAY – Matthew 7 – We need to build on the sure foundation of Christ and God’s word, to be safe (verses 24-27). Salvation is not for everyone but for those few who really desire it (verses 13, 19, 21).
STEP 3 INTRODUCTION
Step Three will occupy three exciting weeks and will introduce us first to the Genesis record of the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Looking at this foundation will help us to understand what the rest of the Bible is about. In the New Testament for example we learn that the gospel was preached to Abraham (Galatians 3:8).
Side by side with this we shall continue to read about the life and ministry of Jesus, as recorded in the gospel record of Matthew. We will see Jesus as the Lord of all, what he taught about the cost of discipleship and the true works of faith. We will learn what Jesus taught about the Kingdom of God and learn of some of the miracles he did.
Please remember to read consistently, carefully and prayerfully. The attitude we must have is that taught by Jesus in the words: “He who has ears to hear let him hear” Matthew 13:9.
STEP 3: WEEK 4
SUNDAY Genesis 11
MONDAY Genesis 12
TUESDAY Genesis 13
WEDNESDAY Genesis 14
THURSDAY Genesis 15
FRIDAY Genesis 17
SATURDAY Genesis 19
GOD CALLS ABRAM
Abram (later called Abraham) was commanded by God to leave his home country Babylonia, a land of false religion, separate from his fathers house and go to a land that God would show him. (Genesis Ch’s 11-12). If Abram was willing to do this then God promised him great blessings and a future inheritance in a new land – the Promised Land. This was Canaan, later called Palestine. Abraham was also promised that through his descendant, all nations would be blessed.
Abram’s obedience and faith were remarkable and Abraham became the pattern to follow for all who want to please God. Because Abram believed in God, God esteemed him as righteous (Romans 4:12-13 and 19-25). Those who display the same faith and obedience in their own lives, are promised that God will count their faith as righteousness and that they also will inherit the promises made to Abraham. (Romans 4:22-24 and Galatians 3:14&29)
Abram’s faith was later demonstrated by his actions, in other words he lived by his belief, putting faith into action in his life.
SUNDAY – Genesis 11 – Despite the continuing disobedience of mankind and how man wanted to make a name for himself rather than honour the name of God (verses 4-6) the plan of God continued unchanged. We notice how God selected the family of Shem, a son of Noah, leading up to Abram (verses 10-26).
MONDAY – Genesis 12 – There are 7 parts to the important promise made by God in verses 2 and 3. The fulfilment of God’s word to Abram affects all nations. Notice how Abraham puts faith into action and obeys God’s word (verse 4)
TUESDAY – Genesis 13 – When Abraham separates from Lot ( his kindred as instructed in Gen 12:1) God makes further promises to him (verses 14-17) which involve the eternal inheritance of the land of Canaan. This pattern of willing obedience in order to receive the promises is one that true disciples of Christ must also follow. Note that Abraham is promised the land forever – Abraham is dead, but God does not change and will honour His word, thus Abraham must rise from the dead to inherit the promises.
WEDNESDAY – Genesis 14 – Melchizedek (verses 18-20) was a king and priest. We note how great this King was for Abraham gave him a tithe of all he had (verse20). Jesus is a Priest now for true believers and will come back to be King in Jerusalem. We note in Hebrews 5:6; 7:17 how Paul draws a link between Melchizedek and Jesus.
THURSDAY – Genesis 15 – Abram was counted righteous because he had FAITH in God’s promises (verse 6). God foretold that Abram’s descendants would become slaves for a time (verses 13-14). The Hebrews did subsequently become slaves in Egypt just as prophesied.
FRIDAY – Genesis 17 – God’s promises were renewed (verses 1-8) and Abram’s name was changed to Abraham (a father of many nations). The promise was to go through Isaac, not Ishmael (verse 19) showing that the choice rests with God not human descent.
SATURDAY – Genesis 19 – God remains concerned about the moral condition of the world, as He was in the time of Lot. (See Luke 17:28-32). Sodom has lent its name to wickedness which is not acceptable to God (Genesis 18:20) and which He will punish.
STEP 3: WEEK 5
SUNDAY Matthew 8
MONDAY Matthew 9
TUESDAY Matthew 10
WEDNESDAY Matthew 11
THURSDAY Matthew 12
FRIDAY Matthew 13
SATURDAY Matthew 14
THE KINGDOM OF GOD
Matthew tells us about Jesus as the King of the coming Kingdom of God that was promised in the Old Testament. So we see a direct link with the promises made to Abraham.
The kingdom of God is also described as ‘the kingdom of heaven’ (because it belongs to God) but it will be on EARTH with Jerusalem as its capital. This also means that Jesus will return.
The ‘call of Christ’ is in many ways like God’s call to Abram. It requires belief in the same promises that are confirmed in Jesus Christ and a life of willing discipleship.
PARABLES OF THE KINGDOM
Jesus often taught in parables. They were designed to help the humble of heart to understand the gospel of the Kingdom and to confound the proud and antagonistic. The parables can teach much to ‘those who have ears to hear’ and they are wonderful aids to the memory.
Some parables, like the Sower (Matthew 13) tell of the preparation stage of the Kingdom. Others, like that of the Sheep and Goats (Matthew 25) tell us of the future.
SUNDAY – Matthew 8 – The many miracles performed by Jesus were a witness to the truth of his teaching and his ability to help those in need. Note the many expressions of faith for example the Roman Centurion verses 8-10 and how Jesus rebukes the disciples for their lack of faith verse 26.
MONDAY – Matthew 9 – Verses 1-8. Forgiveness of sins is possible through Jesus. Note how healing is associated with sin being forgiven (verses 4-6). Matthew was called to follow Jesus (verse 9). Note the immediate response by Matthew . We also need to learn about Jesus and hear his words as recorded in scripture if we are to follow him acceptably.
TUESDAY – Matthew 10 – Verses 2-4. The Twelve left everything to follow Jesus. We need their faith which puts God first in our lives (verses 38-39).
WEDNESDAY – Matthew 11 – Verses 2-3. Jesus’ reply to John’s enquiry was to quote from Isaiah 35 (which is about the future kingdom). We all have problems in life that are often difficult to cope with, but by trusting in Jesus we can find a very real peace (verses 28-30).
THURSDAY – Matthew 12 – Verses 15-21. Jesus’ attitude fulfilled Isaiah 42, verses 1-4. God’s servant was to invite, not to force people. We have free will to listen to that invitation and respond or to reject the Gospel message. But each choice brings its own consequences – reward or condemnation.
FRIDAY – Matthew 13 – This chapter contains seven parables about the Kingdom. Notice the important stages in verse 23: (a) Receiving . . . (b) Hearing . . . (c) Understanding God’s Word.
SATURDAY – Matthew 14 – Jesus always had the best interests of others in mind – the sick (verse 14), the hungry (verse 19), Peter’s faith (verse 29), Peter’s fear (verse 31). But we must also note that behind all Jesus did there was a spiritual lesson for them and us to learn.
STEP 3: WEEK 6
SUNDAY Genesis 22
MONDAY Genesis 26
TUESDAY Genesis 27
WEDNESDAY Genesis 28
THURSDAY Genesis 29
FRIDAY Genesis 30
SATURDAY Genesis 31
THE FAMILY OF ABRAHAM
God chose members of Abraham’s family to continue the line which would eventually lead to Christ. We see that the choice of who inherited the promises did not depend upon human decision for example being the eldest, but solely upon selection by God. See what Paul has to say in Romans 9:11-16
To those whom God chose He repeated the same promises to them, promises which would be fulfilled through one particular seed or descendant – Jesus Christ.
SUNDAY – Genesis 22 – God did tempt’ (verse 1 – tested) Abraham to give opportunity to demonstrate his faith. Abraham was willing to give his son though this was not in the end required. However we learn from this chapter how these events point to the time when, later, God was to give HIS own Son! See how it is used in the New Testament (Galatians 3:8-9,16).
MONDAY – Genesis 26 – God’s promises to Isaac (verses 1-4) are related to Abraham’s obedience (verse 5) and again concern all nations of the world.
TUESDAY – Genesis 27 – Rebekah knew Jacob was to be blessed (Genesis 25:19-34). Even so, she should have waited, for God to do it rather than take matters into her own hand. However we see how the choice of God was vindicated, for Esau despised the promises, whereas Jacob highly valued them.
WEDNESDAY – Genesis 28 – God (not Isaac now) gives Jacob the Promises, as made first to Abraham (verses 13-15). He is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (verse 13).
THURSDAY – Genesis 29 – Jacob had to learn patience and trust in God. He was 20 years in Laban’s house, serving for Leah, Rachel and cattle (Genesis 31:41).
FRIDAY – Genesis 30 – The sons born to Jacob, including Joseph’s sons, were to be ancestors of the 12 tribes of Israel (Genesis 46:3 and Exodus 1:1-7). Thus we see how God begins to fulfill the promise that from Abraham would come a great nation.
SATURDAY – Genesis 31 – God brought Jacob (whose name was changed by God to Israel) back again to his homeland, just as He promised (Genesis 28:15). God has also promised to bring the nation of Israel back to the Land of promise in our day (Jeremiah 30:3; 31:8-11).
STEP 4 INTRODUCTION
Step Four spreads over four weeks. We hope that now you are getting used to reading the Bible on a regular basis. During these four weeks we continue to read about the patriarchs, from Genesis, and the life of Jesus, from Matthew.
As you read look out for interesting parallels between the life of Joseph (Genesis 37-50) and the life of Jesus. (Some are listed later under week 8. It is intriguing to see throughout the Bible how many similarities can be seen in the lives of faithful, prominent characters that we come across, whose lives like that of Joseph, in some way have similarities with the life of Jesus.
Always remember to take you time reading the Bible and do it consistently, carefully and prayerfully.
STEP 4: WEEK 7
SUNDAY Matthew 15
MONDAY Matthew 16
TUESDAY Matthew 17
WEDNESDAY Matthew 18
THURSDAY Matthew 19
FRIDAY Matthew 20
SATURDAY Matthew 21
ISRAEL UNDER THE ROMANS
Roman domination of the land and people of Israel in the days of Jesus was almost total. Many patriotic Jews therefore would eagerly have followed anyone who could promise them hope of freedom from the Romans.
Jesus of Nazareth obviously had the power to overcome Roman rule, the miracles that the Jews had seen showed that. However contrary to their hopes and expectations Jesus was not to establish the Kingdom at this time. Jesus had already rejected the temptation to grasp human glory and take power for himself. His Kingdom was to be a future one and would be given to him by his father. First Jesus must conquer sin in order to free men from its bondage and from death. Then he would be fit to be to be the future King of the Earth.
All who desired to follow Jesus must also learn to rule themselves, before they could become rulers of others. And their concern must be for the Kingdom of God, not for the politics of this world
SUNDAY – Matthew 15 – Jesus knew that sin arises from the heart (or mind) of man. It is that which needs cleansing (verses 18-19).
MONDAY – Matthew 16 – Jesus is the Christ (the Jewish Messiah) and he is the Son of God (verse 16). He foretold his death (verse 21). Would-be disciples must follow the path of self-denial (verses 24-26).
TUESDAY – Matthew 17 – The transfiguration of Jesus was a foretaste of Jesus in glory as future King. See Matthew 15:28 and 2 Peter 1:16-17.
WEDNESDAY – Matthew 18 – To be ‘as little children’ (verse 3) means to be trusting (not childish), taking God at His word.
THURSDAY – Matthew 19 – Everlasting life and joy in the coming Kingdom will be given to those who follow Christ (verses 27-29).
FRIDAY – Matthew 20 – Jesus knew what was going to happen to him (verses 18-19). The Old Testament had foretold it. He believed he would be raised from the dead (verse 19).
SATURDAY – Matthew 21 – Verses 1-11 only partly fulfilled Zechariah 9:9. The rest will happen when Jesus comes again as King of the world.
STEP 4: WEEK 8
SUNDAY Genesis 32
MONDAY Genesis 33
TUESDAY Genesis 37
WEDNESDAY Genesis 39
THURSDAY Genesis 40
FRIDAY Genesis 41
SATURDAY Genesis 42
JOSEPH LIKE JESUS
The divinely recorded life of Joseph (Genesis 37-50) contains many parallels with the life of Jesus. This is one of many ways in which the Old Testament prefigures the coming Christ and even foreshadows his rejection by his own people.
1 – Joseph was loved by his father Jesus was God’s well-beloved Son
2 – Joseph was hated by his brethren Jesus was rejected by his own people
3 – Joseph learned patience through experience Jesus was ‘made perfect through sufferings’
4 – Joseph was imprisoned but later released Jesus was released from the grave by God
5 – Joseph was called Zaphnath-paaneah (The Saviour of the world) Jesus IS the Saviour of the world!
6 – Joseph saved his brethren and forgave them Jesus will forgive his people and save them
7 – Joseph was exalted to be next to the King Jesus has been exalted to receive God’s Name and will be King of the world
SUNDAY – Genesis 32 – Jacob’s name was changed to ISRAEL (a prince with God) because he trusted God.
MONDAY – Genesis 33 – Jacob now acknowledged that all his blessings are from God, including his children (verse 5) and his goods (verse 11).
TUESDAY – Genesis 37 – Joseph was made family priest. The ‘Coat’ was the priestly garment. This made his brothers envious. His dreams were God’s revelation of the future.
WEDNESDAY – Genesis 39 – Joseph, like Jesus, served others faithfully and resisted temptation (verses 7-8).
THURSDAY – Genesis 40 – Even in prison Joseph continued to serve, but he was soon forgotten, (verse 23). In this too he was like Jesus, forsaken by those he came to help.
FRIDAY – Genesis 41 – It was God who brought about the release of Joseph.
SATURDAY – Genesis 42 – Joseph knew his brethren before they recognised him. It is the same with the nation of Israel today who do not yet recognise their Saviour. But just as Joseph saved his brethren, Jesus will save his people and Israel will learn that Jesus is their Messiah.
STEP 4: WEEK 9
SUNDAY Matthew 22
MONDAY Matthew 23
TUESDAY Matthew 24
WEDNESDAY Matthew 25
THURSDAY Matthew 26
FRIDAY Matthew 27
SATURDAY Matthew 28
JESUS LIKE US AND YET LIKE GOD
By his birth, Jesus was the son of Mary and shared our human nature and as such is titled in scripture ‘The Son of man’. Jesus is also the Son of God and the very centre and pivot of God’s plan with creation and our salvation.
The gospels underline these two facts. If you read the following verses from Matthew you can see that they demonstrate this wonderful truth. (Matthew 1:1, 18, 23; 3:16-17; 16:16; 22:41-45; 26:63; 27:40,43,54).
Jesus is God’s Son yet was born of a woman that he might be the Redeemer of mankind. God is his true Father and the Father’s love for us was to be made known in Jesus. Paul writes:
“For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people.” Hebrews 2:17
Jesus was completely obedient to his Father’s will, despite as Paul writes having being ‘tempted in every way, just as we are” But unlike us Jesus was completely “without sin”. Hebrews 4:15
SUNDAY – Matthew 22 – The wedding garment (verse 11) represents the covering from sin we each need, if we are to be acceptable to Christ at his coming.
MONDAY – Matthew 23 – Jesus never condemned the sinner who was trying to do right, but those who made a pretence at being good received his strongest condemnation.
TUESDAY – Matthew 24 – In this chapter Jesus foretold first the scattering of the Jews in AD7O and then events leading to his return (verse 30).
WEDNESDAY – Matthew 25 – Three parables in this chapter show that there will be a judgment when Christ returns. We need to be ready (verse 13).
THURSDAY – Matthew 26 – Jesus enters his darkest hour as foretold in the Scriptures. The bread and the wine symbolise the giving of his life (verses 26-29)
FRIDAY – Matthew 27 – All knew Jesus was innocent, yet he was crucified. The title over the cross spoke of his true mission (verse 37).
SATURDAY – Matthew 28 – The Lord is risen indeed and his victory is complete. His work continues through the apostles with the full authority of God (verses 18-20).
STEP 4: WEEK 10
SUNDAY Genesis 43
MONDAY Genesis 44
TUESDAY Genesis 45
WEDNESDAY Genesis 46
THURSDAY Genesis 47
FRIDAY Genesis 49
SATURDAY Genesis 50
BURIAL IN THE PROM1SED LAND
Most of the patriarchs asked to be buried in the land of Canaan, thus showing their faith in God’s promises.
God had promised to them a literal inheritance of the land – for ever. The word of God does not change, nor will it fail. The patriarchs never inherited the land during their lifetime, therefore this means that God would one day raise them from the dead to fulfil his promises (Acts 7:5 with Luke 13:28-30).
Meanwhile, as evidence that their inheritance was FUTURE and not immediate, they were to be ‘strangers and pilgrims’ on the earth, not yet in possession of it (Hebrews 11:13,39-40).
So Abraham BOUGHT a piece of land in which to bury Sarah. Abraham himself was buried there as also were Isaac and Rebekah and Leah (Genesis 49:29-31) and Jacob (Genesis 50:13).
SUNDAY – Genesis 43 – Joseph met all of his brethren and they bowed down before him (verse 28). Remember Joseph’s dreams? Had Joseph taught his steward about God? (verse 23). Those who know about the God of Israel should tell others.
MONDAY – Genesis 44 – Joseph’s brethren were being led to confess their faults (Genesis 42:21; 44:16). Notice that Judah was the first to plead with Joseph. See chart on page 10.
TUESDAY – Genesis 45 – Joseph did not seek revenge. He knew that his sufferings had been for his brethren’s sake (verses 5-8). In this he was like Jesus.
WEDNESDAY – Genesis 46 – Here is a prophecy of the Exodus of Jacob’s descendants from Egypt (verses 3-4). See Exodus 3:8.
THURSDAY – Genesis 47 – Jacob wanted to be buried in the land of promise (verses 29-30), because of his FAITH (Hebrews 11:8-16).
FRIDAY – Genesis 49 – Judah was the chosen tribe from which ‘Shiloh’ would come. The name means: ‘Whose it is’, and refers to Jesus. See Ezekiel 21:27.
SATURDAY – Genesis 50 – Joseph too wanted to be buried in Canaan, because he had the same FAITH (Hebrews 11:22). he died believing the promises (verses 24-25).
STEP 5 INTRODUCTION
This Fifth step forward takes you through sixteen weeks to complete a half-year of reading God’s Word. Already in your reading of the Bible you will have seen marvellous and comforting records of God’s work and love.
These notes can be only be brief in order the reduce the size of the pages but by now you will probably be picking out vital points from the chapters for yourself. If you would like to study any particular subject in more detail please contact us.
There are sometimes difficult or obscure matters in the readings. God has wisely designed the Bible so that we shall always have plenty of interesting and exciting things to discover all through our lives. We shall never finish finding out ALL there is to know from God’s Word.
The key to growing in Christ is to learn, understand and then most importantly, put the word of God into practice in our lives. Studying the word of God is very rewarding. The message of the Bible can be viewed as a bit like a diamond. When looking at one facet all the other facets are seen reflected in it. It is indeed a wonderful book, God’s word is boundless!!
We can, however, (and we must) come very soon to learn the essential teachings and message. If we come across problems it is always best to let Scripture interpret Scripture. The answers to our questions are often in the same chapter as our problem, if not the answers will be found elsewhere in the Bible, we just have to look for them.
So look back at what you have already read, make use of marginal references or of a ‘concordance’ if you have one (that is a list in alphabetical order, of words in the Bible and the verses where they occur).
Always remember to take your time reading the Bible and do it consistently, carefully and prayerfully.
STEP 5: WEEK 11
SUNDAY Mark 1
MONDAY Mark 2
TUESDAY Mark 3
WEDNESDAY Mark 6
THURSDAY Mark 7
FRIDAY Mark 8
SATURDAY Mark 9
MARK’S DIVINELY INSPIRED RECORD OF THE LIFE OF JESUS
Mark (John Mark) was a friend of Peter (1 Peter 5:13) and a companion of the Apostle Paul (Acts 12:12).
His record of the life of Jesus may have been the earliest. It is certainly the shortest and there is a note of URGENCY about the account.
Notice the frequent use of ‘urgent’ words such as: ‘immediately’ – ‘straightway’ – ‘astonished’ – ‘forthwith’ – ‘amazed’.
The urgency and impact of the message will not be lost on us if we read earnestly and prayerfully.
Mark makes several references to demons’ and evil spirits’. These are not evil gods. Devils (demons) are not supernatural beings. People with mental disorders were said to have ‘evil spirits’ – which means disordered minds. There is only one God. The supposed devils of heathen religions did not exist. (1 Corinthians 10:20; Acts 17:18 – strange gods = demons; Isaiah 45:5, 7).
SUNDAY – Mark 1 – Jesus is the Son of God (verses 1,11). His compassion is great. The many miracles which Mark records underline these facts.
MONDAY – Mark 2 – Jesus can provide forgiveness (verse 10) but cannot help the ‘self-righteous’ – those who think they have no need of salvation (verse 17).
TUESDAY Mark 3 – ‘Hardness of heart’ (verse 5) is another great obstacle to faith. The apostles were chosen (verses 13-19).
WEDNESDAY – Mark 6 – John the Baptist was not afraid to speak out against wickedness and was faithful even to death.
THURSDAY – Mark 7 – Our own cherished ideas sometimes have to be dropped (verse 7). We must make sure our beliefs are Scriptural.
FRIDAY – Mark 8 – Jesus gave thanks for food (verse 6). Do we show the same gratitude for daily blessings?
SATURDAY – Mark 9 – Mark has three references to Jesus’ knowledge of what lay ahead for him. (See Mark 8:31; 9:31; 10:33).
STEP 5: WEEK 12
SUNDAY Exodus 1
MONDAY Exodus 2
TUESDAY Exodus 3
WEDNESDAY Exodus 4
THURSDAY Exodus 5
FRIDAY Exodus 6
SATURDAY Exodus 7
THE BONDAGE OF EGYPT
The experiences of Israel in Egypt under bondage to Pharaoh are likened, in Scripture, to our bondage under sin and death.
Egypt later becomes a symbol for ‘the world’ in its ungodliness and its sin. We need to be saved from it and thereafter have no desire to return.
The word EXODUS – the name given to the second book written by Moses – means ‘the coming out’.
Being ‘called out of Egypt’ is a great blessing for God’s children. Follow this interesting chain of references: Exodus 4:22, Hosea 11:1, Matthew 2:15, Hebrews 2:15, Romans 8:21 and Revelation 7:14.
SUNDAY – Exodus 1 – Israel thrived in Egypt despite being slaves. Evil men may try to eliminate God’s people but they will fail in the end.
MONDAY – Exodus 2 – Moses was to deliver God’s people and to give them God’s law. A mother was paid to bring up her own son! (verse 9). The faith of Moses’ parents was rewarded (Hebrews 11:23).
TUESDAY – Exodus 3 – Moses in exile was called by God to do His work. Verse 6 ‘The God of Abraham’ is a reminder of God’s promises to Abraham (e.g. Genesis 15).
WEDNESDAY – Exodus 4 – ‘Israel is my son, even my firstborn’. Here, (verses 22-23) Pharaoh was warned in advance of the tenth plague (Exodus 12:29).
THURSDAY – Exodus 5 – Compare Pharaoh’s attitude (verse 2) with that of the Assyrians in later days (2 Kings 18:35).
FRIDAY – Exodus 6 – The seven promises to Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3) are matched by seven promises to Israel (verses 6-8).
SATURDAY – Exodus 7 – Pharaoh asked for a miracle (verse 9), but he did not repent. God gives us evidence. Do we heed it?
STEP 5: WEEK 13
SUNDAY Mark 10
MONDAY Mark 11
TUESDAY Mark 12
WEDNESDAY Mark 13
THURSDAY Mark 14
FRIDAY Mark 15
SATURDAY Mark 16
Mark’s record contains many references to miracles performed by Jesus.
Some people try to dismiss miracles as impossible or unnecessary. A little thought however shows just how important the miracles are.
Miracles have been different for different ages in history:
For Pharaoh – the ten plagues
In New Testament times – miracles of healing
In later days – the preservation of the Bible
TODAY – the miracle of the survival of Israel
Miracles are acts performed by God in the affairs of men in order to bring them to faith or to warn them of judgment to come. They were evidence that God was at work in the prophets and in Jesus.
SUNDAY – Mark 10 – Jesus came to redeem men and women by his superlative life (verses 43-45). Son of David’ (verse 47) was the title of the Messiah. See God’s promise in 2 Samuel 7:12-16; Isaiah 9:6-7.
MONDAY – Mark 11 – Jesus came to Jerusalem for the last week of his life. The fig tree (verses 12-14) was a symbol for the nation of Israel and the action of Jesus significant. See also Mark 13:28-29.
TUESDAY – Mark 12 – ‘The God of Abraham’ (verse 26) is another echo from Exodus 3:6 which we read last week.
WEDNESDAY – Mark 13 – Verse 33. ‘Take heed watch and pray’ is good advice for us, with Christ’s coming so near.
THURSDAY – Mark 14 – The breaking of bread looks forward to the coming Kingdom (verse 25). Note Peter’s fear (verses 66-71). Compare this with Acts 4:31. Only the fact of the risen Christ could account for such a change!
FRIDAY – Mark 15 – If the manner of Jesus at his death showed he was the Son of God (verse 39) how much more would his resurrection prove it!
SATURDAY – Mark 16 – The greatest morning since Adam left Eden! Jesus IS Son of God, the Saviour and coming King. Baptism should follow belief of this gospel (verses 15-16).
STEP 5: WEEK 14
SUNDAY Exodus 8
MONDAY Exodus 9
TUESDAY Exodus 10
WEDNESDAY Exodus 11
THURSDAY Exodus 12
FRIDAY Exodus 13
SATURDAY Exodus 14
THE DELIVERANCE FROM EGYPT
The Exodus, accompanied as it was by many great miracles, demonstrated that God is the only God.
Each plague was a direct challenge to the so-called ‘gods’ of Egypt, which were powerless.
The slaying of the firstborn (the plague of death), was brought about by Egypt’s refusal – nine times – to release the Israelites and was God’s final act of deliverance of His people, His firstborn.
The deliverance from Egypt and the slaying of the ‘passover’ lamb (so called because the angel of death could ‘pass over’ the houses where the blood was sprinkled) are remembered in the yearly Passover Feast of the Law of Moses, by Jews.
Jesus Christ is the Christian’s ‘Passover Lamb’ provided by God. His blood delivers from sin and death as his true followers regularly remember in bread and wine.
SUNDAY – Exodus 8 – To deny the miracles in Egypt would be to believe in ten impossible coincidences! We would still be left with the question: How did Israel get out of Egypt?
MONDAY – Exodus 9 – My people’ (verse 1). The Hebrews (children of Israel) are God’s witnesses (Isaiah 43:12,21).
TUESDAY – Exodus 10 – We should teach our children and grandchildren about God and His ways (verse 2).
WEDNESDAY – Exodus 11 – Eleven times in seven chapters God says ‘that ye may know’. He gave ample evidence of His existence to the Egyptians, yet they refused it.
THURSDAY – Exodus 12 – The Passover Lamb pointed forward to Jesus, the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world’ (John 1:29).
FRIDAY – Exodus 13 – God chose to lead Israel towards the Red Sea (not the normal caravan route to Philistia) (verses 17-18).
SATURDAY – Exodus 14 – The miraculous crossing through the Red Sea (verse 22) was like a baptism for Israel. See 1 Corinthians 10:1-2. It spelt death for the Egyptians.
STEP 5: WEEK 15
SUNDAY Luke 1
MONDAY Luke 2
TUESDAY Luke 4
WEDNESDAY Luke 5
THURSDAY Luke 7
FRIDAY Luke 9
SATURDAY Luke 10
LUKE’S DIVINELY INSPIRED RECORD OF THE LIFE OF JESUS
Luke, the physician, was a Gentile helper of the Apostle Paul; he also wrote the Book of Acts. See Acts 1:1.
He set out ‘in order’ (verse 3) the events of Christ’s life against the historical background of the Roman times. See for example: 1:5; 2:1; 3:1; 13:1; 21:24.
The record shows Jesus as the Great Physician, and as Son of man and Saviour, first of Israel but also of the Gentiles. See Luke 2:32.
In chapter 3 Luke gives us the genealogy of Jesus via Mary, daughter of Heli (verse 23), though Joseph her husband is named after the custom of the times. The line is traced back through Nathan, a son of David, back to Adam who was made by God (verse 38). Thus Jesus is shown as being linked with all men, for we are all descendants of Adam.
SUNDAY – Luke 1 – The Son of God (verses 32-35) will sit on David’s throne in Jerusalem, for ever (verse 33). He is a virgin’s son (verse 27) and God is his Father by the Holy Spirit (verses 31,35).
MONDAY – Luke 2 – Jesus, born in David’s town will bring joy (verse 10) and peace (verse 14) to the world when he is King.
TUESDAY – Luke 4 – Jesus endures temptation and then commences his great work of preaching and redemption as foretold in Isaiah 61:2.
WEDNESDAY – Luke 5 – Jesus still says: “Follow me” (verses 11, 27). Dare we? It needs a new outlook (verse 38). Peter knew that (verse 8).
THURSDAY – Luke 7 – Jesus was always moved (verse 9) when anyone showed FAITH. He still looks for FAITH from us. Jesus knows the hearts of all (verses 39-40, 47).
FRIDAY – Luke 9 – Jesus was indeed the greatest of the prophets, but he was also the Messiah, Son of God (verses19-20).
SATURDAY – Luke 10 – Knowledge about who Jesus is may be hidden to those who are proud (verse 21). The Good Samaritan is a challenge to everyone.
STEP 5: Part 2
This Fifth step forward takes you through sixteen weeks to complete a half-year of reading God’s Word. Already in your reading of the Bible you will have noted how God has shown His love and mercy. You will have seen God’s plan and purpose unfolding in the promises He made and in His dealings with Israel. You will also have begun to explore the great work of salvation revealed in Jesus Christ the Son of God.
This section covers weeks 16-20 of the Bible Reading Planner and continues our look at Exodus and the Gospel record of Luke, then moves on to look at chapters from Leviticus and Numbers from which valuable lessons can be learned.
STEP 5: WEEK 16
SUNDAY Exodus 16
MONDAY Exodus 17
TUESDAY Exodus 19
WEDNESDAY Exodus 20
THURSDAY Exodus 24
FRIDAY Exodus 25
SATURDAY Exodus 32
THE WILDERNESS JOURNEY
Israel’s journey through the Sinai wilderness contains lessons for us.
We are called on to make the journey from ‘bondage’ to the land of Promise (the Kingdom of God).
SUNDAY – Exodus 16 – Israel soon forgot God’s goodness and began to murmur. The ‘Manna’ (verses 14-18) had to be collected and eaten daily – like our daily ration from the Scriptures.
MONDAY – Exodus 17 – The smitten rock (verse 6) pointed to Christ who would be a fountain of life. (1 Corinthians 10:4)
TUESDAY – Exodus 19 – Israel were special to God (verses 5-6) as those in Christ also are (1 Peter 2:9).
WEDNESDAY – Exodus 20 – The Ten Commandments were guides to Israel’s happiness. See Mark 12:28-34 and Luke 10:25-28.
THURSDAY – Exodus 24 – Israel said they would be obedient (verse 7) but failed. We ALL need a Saviour!
FRIDAY – Exodus 25 – The Tabernacle, at the centre of the Camp, pointed forward to Christ who should be at the centre of our lives.
SATURDAY – Exodus 32 – It is important to worship God in His way, not our own (verse 5). Man makes his own gods but they are always degrading.
STEP 5: WEEK 17
SUNDAY Luke 11
MONDAY Luke 12
TUESDAY Luke 13
WEDNESDAY Luke 14
THURSDAY Luke 15
FRIDAY Luke 16
SATURDAY Luke 17
PRAYER AND WORSHIP
The Lord’s Prayer (Luke 11) contains the vital elements of all prayer – recognition of God and His greatness, humility, praise, recognition of God’s will, His coming Kingdom, His daily provision and our own need of forgiveness and strength.
God is Holy (Luke 11:2). If we are to come to Him, our sins must be covered in the way that He provides, that is through Jesus Christ.
Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. There is no other way, no other Truth and no eternal life without him.
Christ is the only real mediator between God and men (1 Timothy 2:5). It is through him that prayer and worship must finally be offered and is acceptable to God (Heb 2:17-18).
SUNDAY – Luke 11 – Our daily bread, both physical and spiritual comes from God and we must thank Him for both.
MONDAY – Luke 12 – Verse 31. If we seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness He will make provision for all we really need.
TUESDAY – Luke 13 – Jesus longed for the Jews to repent that he might save them (verse 34). One day soon they will (verse 35 and Zechariah 12:10).
WEDNESDAY – Luke 14 – Nothing must come before God in our lives, preventing us from accepting His invitation (verses 15-20). Humility is the way of Christ (verse 11).
THURSDAY – Luke 15 – Men and women are ‘dead’ (Ephesians 2:1) until they return to God (verse 24), but like the father of the parable, He gladly blesses those who repent.
FRIDAY – Luke 16 – ‘Moses and the prophets’ and the resurrection of Jesus provide joint evidence sufficient for all (verse 31).
SATURDAY – Luke 17 – The Pharisees professed to be waiting for Christ but did not recognise him when he came. He was ‘within’ (among) them and they would not accept his teaching (verse 21).
STEP 5: WEEK 18
SUNDAY Leviticus 8
MONDAY Leviticus 10
TUESDAY Leviticus 16
WEDNESDAY Leviticus 17
THURSDAY Leviticus 23
FRIDAY Leviticus 25
SATURDAY Leviticus 26
The Tabernacle (the word means a tent) was to be the central point of worship for Israel in the wilderness. The Tabernacle was the meeting place between God and His people, a place of worship, praise and seeking the mercy of God.
Into the Most Holy Place only the High Priest was allowed to enter, once a year, on the Day of Atonement, to seek forgiveness for the whole nation of Israel. All the construction, furnishings, ritual and order of worship used in the Tabernacle pointed forward to the salvation that would be provided through Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ indeed fulfilled all the things that the law and tabernacle stood for.
Leviticus is the book about priests (from the tribe of Levi) offerings and the importance of true worship.
SUNDAY – Leviticus 8 – Careful preparation of our heart is necessary if WE are to serve God. (verse 5).
MONDAY – Leviticus 10 – Again it is important to serve God in HIS way (verse 3).
TUESDAY – Leviticus 16 – The Day of Atonement was observed every year; but Christ obtained eternal redemption (Hebrews 9:12; 10:19-22).
WEDNESDAY – Leviticus 17 – The life is in the blood (verse11). The ‘blood’ of Christ meant the giving of his life (Hebrews 13:20).
THURSDAY – Leviticus 23 – This chapter describes the Jewish spiritual calendar for each year. By this means the nation was united.
FRIDAY – Leviticus 25 – The land of Israel is God’s land, though today He is still not recognised as its owner (verse 23).
SATURDAY – Leviticus 26 – Verse 33. This prophecy came true in every detail. Israel are God’s witnesses testifying to His existence whether in blessing or in cursing.
STEP 5: WEEK 19
SUNDAY Luke 18
MONDAY Luke 19
TUESDAY Luke 20
WEDNESDAY Luke 21
THURSDAY Luke 22
FRIDAY Luke 23
SATURDAY Luke 24
THE WAY OF THE CROSS
Jesus knew that the cross [ though rather than being a cross as tradition states, it may well have been a simple stake or post as this is what the Romans used to crucify their victims] lay ahead of him, yet he ‘set his face to go to Jerusalem’. You will find it interesting to follow this trail of references. Luke 9:51-53; 17:11;19:28, 37, 41, 45. Jesus was finally crucified outside the city (Hebrews 13:12-14).
THE TEMPLE AND CITY
The Temple of Herod was to be destroyed (Luke 21:6) and the city trodden down of the Gentiles (Luke 21:24).
‘The stone (Jesus) rejected of the builders’ (20:17) is the foundation of God’s real House, the Temple the people in whom He will dwell (Ephesians 2:19-22).
SUNDAY – Luke 18 – Humility and recognition of our own unworthiness is essential when we come to God (verse 14).
MONDAY – Luke 19 – the establishment of the Kingdom is future – to be seen when the nobleman who represents Jesus (verses 11-12) returns.
TUESDAY – Luke 20 – Jesus quotes Psalm 110 as a reference to himself as God’s Son and David’s ‘Lord’ (verses 41-44).
WEDNESDAY – Luke 21 – The release of Jerusalem (verse 24) from non-Jewish domination will be accompanied by world wide disasters (verses 25-26) and heralds Christ’s return (verse 27)
THURSDAY – Luke 22 – Jesus looked forward to sharing bread and wine with his disciples in his Kingdom (verses 16-18).
FRIDAY – Luke 23 – The thief (verse 43) believed in the coming Kingdom (verse 42) when the earth will be a ‘paradise’ (garden).
SATURDAY – Luke 24 – Understanding the Old Testament involves seeing Christ through its teaching (verses 25-27, 44-45). The risen Christ still used the Old Testament; essential to true Christianity.
STEP 5: WEEK 20
SUNDAY Numbers 14
MONDAY Numbers 17
TUESDAY Numbers 20
WEDNESDAY Numbers 21
THURSDAY Numbers 22
FRIDAY Numbers 23
SATURDAY Numbers 24
THE BOOK OF NUMBERS
Numbers, the fourth book of Moses, is so called because it contains two ‘numberings’ (censuses) of Israel in the wilderness (Numbers chapter 1 & chapter 26).
Nearly all the generation that left Egypt at the time of the Exodus died in the wilderness because of lack of FAITH. A new generation was then given the opportunity to show more faith in the word of God.
Numbers continues the account of how the 12 tribes became a nation ready to occupy the land of Canaan.
CHRIST AND THE WILDERNESS JOURNEY
Israel’s experiences provide many ‘types’ or ‘shadows’ pointing forward to Christ.
In NUMBERS we meet several examples, including:
Caleb – man of faith of the tribe of Judah (14:24).
Joshua – his Hebrew name is the same as the Greek name Jesus and he too became leader of God’s people (14:30).
Aaron – the High Priest. Jesus is the greater High Priest (Hebrews 7:11,22).
Aaron’s rod that budded (17:8). See note below.
The smitten rock (Exodus 17:6 compared with Numbers 20:11, 1 Corinthians 10:4).
The brazen serpent – like Christ crucified (Numbers 21:8-9; John 3:14).
SUNDAY – Numbers 14 – Verse 21. In spite of man, God will fulfil His promise to fill the earth with His glory. Compare Habakkuk 2:14.
MONDAY – Numbers 17 – Verse 8. The almonds coming from a dead rod point forward to Christ and the resurrection.
TUESDAY – Numbers 20 – Moses was commanded to speak to the rock (verse 8) but he smote it (verse 11) and displeased God.
WEDNESDAY – Numbers 21 – Neither the tabernacle nor the sacrifices of the Law could help Israel on this occasion, but faith in what God prescribed, pointing again to Christ.
THURSDAY – Numbers 22 – God’s angel was an adversary (the Hebrew word is ‘Satan’) to prevent Balaam cursing Israel (verse 22).
FRIDAY – Numbers 23 – God will keep His promises about Israel, made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (verse 19 and Romans 11:29).
SATURDAY – Numbers 24 – Verses 17-19. This is a prophecy about Jesus who will appear, and save Israel in a time of trouble ‘in the latter days’ (verse 14).
STEP 5: Part 3
This is the final part of step five of the Bible Reading Plan. This section covers weeks 21-26 and completes Step 5. For the previous weeks readings please go to Part 1 which covers weeks 11-15 and Part 2 which covers weeks 16-20.
In the Old Testament we will be taking a look at chapters from Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges and Ruth. Then in the New Testament we will be looking at the Gospel record of John and learning much more about the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus. Then taking a look at the Acts of the Apostles.
STEP 5: WEEK 21
SUNDAY John 1
MONDAY John 3
TUESDAY John 4
WEDNESDAY John 10
THURSDAY John 11
FRIDAY John 15
SATURDAY John 17
JOHN’S DIVINELY INSPIRED RECORD OF THE LIFE OF JESUS
John, ‘the disciple that Jesus loved’ presents a deep, profound account of the work of Jesus. He states his purpose in chapter 20, verses 30-31.
He shows Jesus as the only begotten Son of God who is His representative and who was in God’s mind and purpose even before Creation. In that sense Jesus was ‘in the beginning’ though he did not exist until God’s word (plan or purpose) was ‘made flesh’ at the birth of Christ. (See how Peter describes this in 1 Peter 1:19-20).
This gospel must be read carefully, consistently and prayerfully to get a true and balanced view of Jesus. Many people who read only John’s Gospel have a wrong idea about him. Remember God gave us four gospels and we need to compare the Gospel records to get the full picture about the life, ministry and teachings of Jesus.
SUNDAY – John 1 – Jesus came to show us what God is like. God Himself did not appear (verse 18). Even so, Jesus would be rejected.
MONDAY – John 3 – To believe in God’s Son is vital (verses 15-18, 34-36). Baptism too is essential (verse 5).
TUESDAY – John 4 – Note the woman’s growing understanding of who Jesus was (verses 9, 15, 19, 25, 29).
WEDNESDAY – John 10 – Jesus Christ will give eternal life to his sheep (those who believe and follow him) (verse 28).
THURSDAY – John 11 – Resurrection means a bodily raising from the dead Jesus taught his disciples to believe in resurrection at the last day (verse 24 and John 5:29).
FRIDAY – John 15 – Are we Christ’s friends? (verse 13). He lays down the conditions of friendship (verses 10 and 14).
SATURDAY – John 17 – This is the great prayer of Jesus for his followers of that time, and those who would come to believe through them (verse 20).
STEP 5: WEEK 22
SUNDAY Deuteronomy 1
MONDAY Deuteronomy 2
TUESDAY Deuteronomy 3
WEDNESDAY Deuteronomy 6
THURSDAY Deuteronomy 8
FRIDAY Deuteronomy 18
SATURDAY Deuteronomy 28
THE BOOK OF DEUTERONOMY
The name means ‘a repetition of the law’. See Deuteronomy 17:18.
Moses shortly before his death re-told the history of the wilderness journey and all that God had done for His people. He was addressing a new generation, but God knew that Israel as a nation would not be obedient.
Moses dealt with the unchanging principles of how faith is achieved and maintained. Jesus Christ taught and lived exactly these same principles.
But Israel did not understand the message taught to them, nor were they obedient. Moses’ prophecy, given by God, in Deuteronomy 28 is a vivid forecast of the sufferings of the Jews, especially since AD 70.
SUNDAY – Deuteronomy 1 – Only two of all the men who were numbered when they left Egypt would enter the Promised Land, Caleb (verse 36) and Joshua (verse 38).
MONDAY – Deuteronomy 2 – The bulk of the generation that left Egypt died in the wilderness. See Hebrews 3:17-19.
TUESDAY – Deuteronomy 3 – Joshua would lead the Israelites into Canaan (verse 21). Jesus is the leader for all who will be obedient to him, leading them to God’s Kingdom.
WEDNESDAY – Deuteronomy 6 – God’s word should be in OUR heart (verse 6). We should teach it to our children and talk about it always (verse 7).
THURSDAY – Deuteronomy 8 – We cannot really LIVE except by the word of God (verse 3). Jesus knew this (Matthew 4:4).
FRIDAY – Deuteronomy 18 – Jesus is THE PROPHET like Moses (verses 15,18) to whom WE should hearken. Compare with Acts 3:22-26.
SATURDAY – Deuteronomy 28 – The words of God’s prophet Moses came true in the coming of Christ (see John 5:46-47) and in the overthrow of Israel in AD 70.
STEP 5: WEEK 23
SUNDAY Acts 1
MONDAY Acts 2
TUESDAY Acts 3
WEDNESDAY Acts 4
THURSDAY Acts 5
FRIDAY Acts 6
SATURDAY Acts 7
BOOK OF ACTS
The book of Acts was written by Luke (Acts 1:1) and is a continuation of his gospel record.
It could rightly be called ‘The Acts of Jesus and his apostles’ See verse 1 – ‘all that Jesus BEGAN both to do and to teach’.
Christ victorious over death was now at work, establishing through the apostles companies of believers in Israel, in Samaria and everywhere (Acts 1:8).
The same themes continue, based on the promises contained in the Old Testament:
The coming Kingdom on earth.
The work of Jesus as Saviour and King.
The resurrection of Jesus was the assurance of resurrection for his followers and of the Kingdom of God.
The need for men to repent, believe the gospel and be baptised.
SUNDAY – Acts 1 – Notice the clear promise, early in the hook, that Jesus will come back in person to earth (verse 11).
MONDAY – Acts 2 – Peter who denied Jesus three times now witnesses fearlessly in Jerusalem. Repentance (turning, thinking again), belief and baptism are essential (verses 38, 41).
TUESDAY – Acts 3 – Jesus will return to restore God’s Kingdom as stated by all God’s holy prophets including Jesus himself (20-21).
WEDNESDAY – Acts 4 – What a claim! (verse 12). Only Christ and his teaching can offer salvation. No other ‘religion’ can.
THURSDAY – Acts 5 -Notice the continuing witness to the resurrection of Jesus (verse 30) and the proclamation of him as both Saviour and King (verse 31).
FRIDAY – Acts 6 – The evidence of the resurrection was overwhelming. Even many of the Jewish priests believed (verse 7).
SATURDAY – Acts 7 – The first death of a believer witnessing for Christ. Stephen showed how Israel as a nation had always rejected God and had now rejected His Son (verse 52). Saul of Tarsus was party to the execution (Acts 8:1).
STEP 5: WEEK 24
SUNDAY Joshua 1
MONDAY Joshua 2
TUESDAY Joshua 3
WEDNESDAY Joshua 4
THURSDAY Joshua 6
FRIDAY Joshua 20
SATURDAY Joshua 24
THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN
At the time of Joshua the Land of Promise (Canaan) was inhabited, by the Amorites and Canaanites who were idolatrous and immoral in their way of life. God had waited a long time before bringing punishment upon them (Genesis 15:16).
Because God was with them, Israel were able to overcome the people of the land. They were to destroy them before inhabiting their territory, so that they would not fall into the same sins and become involved in their worship of idols. The conquest of the land, under Joshua was miraculous.
But later, faithlessness and compromise by Israel resulted in many of God’s enemies remaining in the Land, only to cause trouble later.
SUNDAY – Joshua 1 – Joshua (like-Jesus) made daily meditation in God’s word an essential part of his life (verse 8).
MONDAY – Joshua 2 – Verses 8-11. Rahab’s acceptance of God’s people was evidence of her FAITH. See Hebrews 11:31. Notice the reputation of Israel, some of it 40 years old (verse 10).
TUESDAY – Joshua 3 – The Ark of the Covenant (verse 11) went first. God led the way to the Kingdom for Israel – as Jesus does for us.
WEDNESDAY – Joshua 4 – Israel crossed the river Jordan, to enter the Promised Land; the promises to Abraham began to blossom. Years later they were made sure in Jesus Christ.
THURSDAY – Joshua 6 The walls of Jericho came tumbling down and its ruins are known today. Rahab’s faith was not forgotten and the promise to save her was kept.
FRIDAY – Joshua 20 – Christ is OUR ‘city of refuge’ into which we must enter, by belief and baptism, to escape from sin and death.
SATURDAY – Joshua 24 – God’s readiness to deliver us, as He did Israel (verses 1-13) should bring a response from us. (verses 14, 24).
STEP 5: WEEK 25
SUNDAY Acts 8
MONDAY Acts 9
TUESDAY Acts 10
WEDNESDAY Acts 11
THURSDAY Acts 12
FRIDAY Acts 13
SATURDAY Acts 14
THE SPREAD OF THE GOSPEL
The public work of Jesus began from his baptism in the river Jordan, the river over which Joshua and Israel had passed. Jesus travelled throughout his own country before his death, preaching about God’s Kingdom (Luke 8:1).
After ascending to heaven, Jesus continued to work through his apostles in spreading the Gospel outwards from Jerusalem.
The Gospel was first preached to the Jews, then Samaritans, then Proselytes (converts to Judaism – like the Ethiopian in Acts 8:27). Then the Gentiles (non-Jews) were called (Acts 10).
SUNDAY – Acts 8 – Notice the continued importance of belief in the things concerning the Kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, followed by baptism (verses 12, 37-38).
MONDAY – Acts 9 – Paul too believed and was baptised (verse 18). See Acts 22:16. His sins were forgiven at baptism.
TUESDAY – Acts 10 Even a good living man like Cornelius (verse 2) had to learn what he must do (verse 6). He believed (verses 42-43) and was baptised (verse 48).
WEDNESDAY – Acts 11 – Gentiles as well as Jews can inherit the promises of life (verse 18). Notice the first occurrence of the word ‘Christian’ (verse 26).
THURSDAY – Acts 12 – Although the disciples had prayed for Peter’s release from prison (verse 5), they were taken by surprise when the answer came (verses 12-15).
FRIDAY – Acts 13 – Christ’s resurrection from the dead (verses 30-37) had been foretold in Psalm 16:10. He will fulfil other Old Testament prophecies such as 2 Samuel 7:13. We can be linked with this – see Isaiah 55:3.
SATURDAY – Acts 14 – We can take courage, the door of faith is still open (verse 27).
STEP 5: WEEK 26
SUNDAY Judges 4
MONDAY Judges 7
TUESDAY Judges 14
WEDNESDAY Ruth 1
THURSDAY Ruth 2
FRIDAY Ruth 3
SATURDAY Ruth 4
THE BOOK OF JUDGES
The Judges ruled for over 400 years, from the death of Joshua until Samuel, during which Israel often left the right way of serving God and turned to idolatry. Then God delivered them into the hands of their enemies in order to try to turn Israel back to Him. Each time they repented of their ways and sought God, He forgave their sins and raised up ‘judges’ or leaders from time to time to save them. See Judges 2:16-19.
Judges like Deborah and Barak, Gideon and Samson were people of great faith. They were named or included in a list of those who had outstanding faith found in Hebrews Ch. 11 and who are examples for those who are Christians, in the true sense of the word, to follow.
THE STORY OF RUTH
During the period of the Judges the beautiful story of Ruth the Moabitess took place.
She married into Israel by becoming the wife of Boaz at Bethlehem of the tribe of Judah. Their son continued the family which ultimately led to the Saviour Jesus Christ. So through faith Ruth became an ancestor of Christ.
See Ruth 4:18-22.
SUNDAY – Judges 4 – The decisive victory of Deborah and Barak (verses 14-15) delivered Israel from oppression and is used later on as a picture of Christ’s victory over sin. See Judges 5:12, Psalm 68:18, Ephesians 4:8.
MONDAY – Judges 7 – God did not need a big army – just faithful men ready for battle (verses 1-8).
TUESDAY – Judges 14 – Verses 5-6. Samson’s strength came from God. See David’s fight (1 Samuel 17:34-36) and Paul’s deliverance (2 Timothy 4:17).
WEDNESDAY – Ruth 1 – Ruth was a stranger from Moab. But she chose the God of lsrael (verse 16) and God blessed her (Ruth 4:13).
THURSDAY – Ruth 2 – Verse 11. Ruth left her own people (like Abram did) and took refuge under the wings of the God of Israel (verse 12).
FRIDAY – Ruth 3 – Boaz, who in some ways pointed forward to Christ, proved himself honourable and acted as a true kinsman – redeemer (verse 13).
SATURDAY – Ruth 4 – So Ruth was purchased (verse 10) as Jesus purchased his Church to be his Bride.
STEP 6 INTRODUCTION
Step Six takes you through the rest of the year. This section has been divided up into 5 parts and covers 26 weeks. God willing (and we should always think in those terms – see James 4:15) you will be able to build on the foundations already laid in the previous weeks readings and to see how all parts of God’s word fit into a pattern.
KEEP IT UP!
Reading the Bible is not something which comes easily. God says:
“My thoughts are not your thoughts . . . for as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9).
However, if we allow the word of God to influence our minds, it will give us an increasing desire for God’s ways, as we can read “0, taste and see that the Lord is good!”
THE WORD OF GOD IS POWERFUL
The scriptures have been designed by God to instruct us in the right principles, enabling us to turn from wrong ideas and to furnish the mind with all that is good and to make us wise unto salvation (2 Timothy 3:15-16).
The process is steady but sure. We cannot rush reading and understanding the Bible. Gaining a thorough understanding of the Bible is vital for our present happiness and our future well-being. Eternal life depends on our acceptance of God’s Way of salvation as outlined in His word (Acts 20:32).
Remember to read every day, carefully, consistently and prayerfully.
STEP 6: WEEK 27
SUNDAY Acts 15
MONDAY Acts 16
TUESDAY Acts 17
WEDNESDAY Acts 18
THURSDAY Acts 19
FRIDAY Acts 20
SATURDAY Acts 21
THE JOURNEYS OF PAUL
We continue the exciting story of the Acts of Jesus and his Apostles. The Apostle Paul made extensive missionary journeys often at great danger to himself. Christ appointed him particularly to preach to the Gentiles, but, even so in the area’s that Paul visited, he usually preached to the to the Jews at the local synagogue first of all.
The Roman world, with its improved roads and largely common language, was the background against which the Gospel spread rapidly. This was no accident. God chose to use the good communications of the Roman empire to spread His word.
SUNDAY – Acts 15 – Verses 14-17. The events of this chapter were crucial to the success of the Gospel. The call of the Gentiles was foretold in the Old Testament (for example, Amos 9:11-12).
MONDAY – Acts 16 – Belief (verse 31) and Baptism (verse 33) are again seen to be essential for all who want to be saved (verse 30).
TUESDAY – Acts 17 – The resurrection of Jesus is God’s guarantee that He will send him to judge the world (verse 31).
WEDNESDAY – Acts 18 – The Jews had waited for MESSIAH = CHRIST = God’s anointed prophet, priest and king. Jesus is the Christ (verse 28).
THURSDAY – Acts 19 – It is all too easy to go with the crowd in an unthinking manner. See verse 32. But Christ is greater than Diana, other false god, or indeed anything else which men worship.
FRIDAY – Acts 20 – Notice the affection among the disciples (verses 1, 31, 36-38).
SATURDAY – Acts 21 – The company (fellowship) of other believers is one of the great blessings of life in Christ (verses 4, 5, 7, 8, 16, 17). It involves caring for one another and sharing one another’s joys and problems.
STEP 6: WEEK 28
SUNDAY 1 Samuel 1
MONDAY 1 Samuel 2
TUESDAY 1 Samuel 3
WEDNESDAY 1 Samuel 8
THURSDAY 1 Samuel 9
FRIDAY 1 Samuel 10
SATURDAY 1 Samuel 15
ISRAEL WANT ANOTHER KING
The Book of Samuel continues the history of Israel to the start of the kingdom. Samuel was the last of the ‘judges’ and Israel demanded that he should make way for a king, so that they could be like the nations around them.
But Israel had forgotten that God was their King. In rejecting Samuel they really rejected God. Saul was given to them as king but he did not obey God (1 Samuel 15) and God eventually rejected him and chose another, more faithful man to be King.
The story opens with the birth and ministry of Samuel. The Philistines were the main enemy of Israel at this time. The Ark of the Covenant was captured by them (1 Samuel 4) though it brought them trouble (1 Samuel 5).
They were defeated when Israel returned to the worship of God (1 Samuel 7) under Samuel.
SUNDAY – 1 Samuel 1 – The ‘temple’ (verse 9) was the Tabernacle (tent) set-up in Shiloh. Israel had become decadent, and their priests had become self-centred and greedy.
MONDAY – 1 Samuel 2 – Compare verses 1 -10 with the words of Mary in Luke 1:46-65. Hannah’s prayer of faith had been answered and she rejoiced. Samuel was given back to God as promised, to serve Him in the Temple.
TUESDAY – 1 Samuel 3 – Verse 4. Samuel was called by God, and the old man Eli told him how to answer. We should also listen as God speaks through His work.
WEDNESDAY – 1 Samuel 8 – God was the judge and King of Israel whom they had rejected (verse 7). Israel was the kingdom of God at that time but did not appreciate it.
THURSDAY- 1 -Samuel – Saul was a tall man (verse 2) and looked up to by the but not big enough spiritually for the Kingdom of God, as chapter 15 will show.
FRIDAY – 1 Samuel 10 – Note how God helped Saul at first (verses 6, 9, 26). God wanted Saul to trust Him and ensure success in his kingship.
SATURDAY – 1 Samuel 15 – Saul failed to put God first and did not fully obey His instructions. Although sacrifice was commanded, it was only a means to an end – obedience. Obedience which was far more Important (verses 22-23).
STEP 6: WEEK 29
SUNDAY Acts 22
MONDAY Acts 23
TUESDAY Acts 24
WEDNESDAY Acts 25
THURSDAY Acts 26
FRIDAY Acts 27
SATURDAY Acts 28
THE WAY OF THE CHRISTIAN
The Apostle Paul’s experiences in going up to Jerusalem and possible death, and his various trials before both Jews and Romans were like those of his beloved Master Jesus.
Later, however, he was to go, by sea, as a prisoner to Rome, there to face trial before Nero, the Roman Emperor. His journey resulted in the Gospel being spread even more widely. Several letters which form part of the New Testament were written by him from Rome.
SUNDAY – Acts 22 – Christianity was called the Way (verse 4). See Acts 9:2; 19:9, 23; etc, Jesus is the Way of approach to God (John 14:6).
MONDAY – Acts 23 – Paul is told to ‘be of good cheer’ (verse 11) for he was to be a witness to the Gospel message in Rome. God even used the Roman army to protect Paul and help to spread the Gospel (verses 23-24).
TUESDAY – Acts 24 – The Way involved belief in the Old Testament promises (verse 14) and in resurrection (verse 15).
WEDNESDAY – Acts 25 – Paul’s experiences were similar to those of Jesus’ own trials in Jerusalem. (verses 2,6).
THURSDAY – Acts 26 – Verse 18 contains a summary of the Gospel. Paul’s powerful preaching had a dramatic effect on King Agrippa (verse 28).
FRIDAY – Acts 27 – “Be of good cheer” or “take heart” NKJV (verse 22) is more than just the optimistic ‘Cheer up’. It is a reminder that we have every reason to be full of hope and courage when we believe in God.
SATURDAY – Acts 28 – Being lightly chained to a soldier must have been hard for the much traveled preacher, but it was God’s way. From here many of the New Testament letters were written.
STEP 6: WEEK 30
SUNDAY 1 Samuel 16
MONDAY 1 Samuel 17
TUESDAY 2 Samuel 1
WEDNESDAY 2 Samuel 2
THURSDAY 2 Samuel 5
FRIDAY 2 Samuel 7
SATURDAY 2 Samuel 24
GOD’S CHOICE OF A KING
God rejected Saul (1 Samuel 1 5:22-23) and sent Samuel to anoint DAVID, the son of Jesse and a descendant of Ruth, to be king (1 Samuel 16).
DAVID means ‘Beloved’. He was loved by God because his heart was right (Acts 13:22).
David had to wait to become King. Saul reigned 40 years and was desperately jealous of David, even to the point of seeking to murder him.
GOD’S COMING KING
David was the finest king Israel ever had. It is stated in scripture that God loved him as “a man after his own heart.” and it was to David God made great promises about the Messiah.
Jesus is the Son of David (2 Samuel 7:12-16 & Matthew 1:1) and it is Jesus who will sit upon David’s throne in Jerusalem.
Jesus is God’s choice of a PERFECT KING to rule over His Kingdom. See 2 Samuel 23:3-4.
SUNDAY – 1 Samuel 16 – God’s choice took into account the heart for He knows all our thoughts and motives. His Son Jesus has the same power – see John 2:24-25.
MONDAY – 1 Samuel 17 – David’s victory was in some ways like Christ’s victory over Sin. Compare Genesis 3:15 with Hebrews 2:14-15.
TUESDAY – 2 Samuel 1 – David’s lament for his friend Jonathan, and for Saul who hated him, is among the most noble expressions of real love in the Bible.
WEDNESDAY – 2 Samuel 2 – David was accepted first by his own tribe of Judah and made king in Hebron.
THURSDAY – 2 Samuel 5 – David was later accepted by all Israel, and reigned in Jerusalem.
FRIDAY – 2 Samuel 7 – This links directly with the promises made to Abraham. David’s greater Son, Jesus, will reign in Jerusalem and build God’s House (verses 12-16).
SATURDAY – 2 Samuel 24 – Verse 16. The angel stopped at Jerusalem, where Jesus was to be offered and where the Temple was later built (2 Chronicles 3:1).
STEP 6: WEEK 31
SUNDAY Romans 5
MONDAY Romans 6
TUESDAY Romans 8
WEDNESDAY Romans 9
THURSDAY Romans 10
FRIDAY Romans 12
SATURDAY Romans 13
THE LETTERS OF PAUL
Many of the Books of the New Testament are letters written by the Apostle Paul to individuals and groups of believers in different parts of the world.
Some were written while Paul was making his missionary journeys as described in the Book of Acts.
THE LETTER TO THE ROMANS
This letter was written during Paul’s third journey. See Acts 19:21 and Romans 15:25-26.
The ‘ecclesia’ at Rome consisted of both Jewish and Gentile converts. Paul tells them that they all needed salvation as children of Adam by whom sin and death came into the world. He praises the mercy and grace of God in Christ by whom salvation is available to all.
We are all born ‘in Adam’ and all need salvation through faith and baptism into Christ (Romans 6).
SUNDAY – Romans 5 – As Adam’s descendants, we are all sinners by nature (verse 12). Righteousness and eternal life are offered only through Christ (verses 19, 21).
MONDAY – Romans 6 – The ‘old man’ (associated with Adam) must be buried and the ‘new man’ (associated with Christ) put on, in baptism (verse 4).
TUESDAY – Romans 8 – Verse 8. They that are ‘in the flesh’ (still ‘in Adam’) cannot please God. But if we follow Christ we shall be saved by his sacrifice and love (verses 28, 38-39).
WEDNESDAY – Romans 9 – Righteousness cannot be achieved through our own ‘works’, but by faith in Christ (verses 30-32). It is a gift, not a right.
THURSDAY – Romans 10 – Faith in Christ comes by hearing God’s word (verses 13-17). We must believe that Jesus died and rose again, and that he is Lord (verse 9).
FRIDAY – Romans 12 – God asks for LIVING service, not dead sacrifices (verse 1). See also what James has to say about faith James 2:17; 21-26
SATURDAY – Romans 13 – World governments are installed by God (verse 1, compare Daniel 4:17, 25, 32). Time is precious. (verse 11). We need to ‘put on’ Christ (verse 14).
STEP 6: Part 2
Step Six takes you through 26 weeks, from week 27 to week 52 God willing (and we should always think in those terms – see James 4:15) you will be able to build on the foundations already laid in the previous weeks readings and to see how all parts of God’s word fit into a pattern.
In this section in the Old Testament we continue our look at the Kings of Israel learning about the life of Solomon, both his wisdom and his folly. We the will explore some of the beauty and wisdom found in the Psalms. In the Psalms you can find expressions of: humility, praise confession, outpourings of the heart and restatements of the Hope of Israel and of the Promises of God.
In the New Testament we will look at some chapters from Paul’s letters to the churches in Corinth and Galatia. Paul emphasizes the unity of the Gospel message, based as it is on ‘Jesus Christ and him crucified’ (1Corinthians 2:2). The only way by which, through the wisdom of God, salvation can be found.
STEP 6: WEEK 32
SUNDAY 1 Kings 3
MONDAY 1 Kings 5
TUESDAY 1 Kings 12
WEDNESDAY 1 Kings 17
THURSDAY 1 Kings 18
FRIDAY 2 Kings 5
SATURDAY 2 Chronicles 36
KINGS OF ISRAEL AND JUDAH
Solomon was chosen by God to follow David as king over God’s Kingdom. His wisdom and wealth were proverbial. He built the first temple in Jerusalem.
During his days there was a measure of peace, but there were seeds of trouble even whilst he was alive. Despite his wisdom and knowledge Solomon was not immune to sin. He turned aside from God and upon his death the Kingdom was divided (1 Kings 12).
SUNDAY – 1 Kings 3 – Solomon asked for the right gift (verse 9). See Proverbs 4:7, etc.
MONDAY – 1 Kings 5 – Gentiles and Jews together built the Temple. So in Christ both Jews and Gentiles are accepted by God.
TUESDAY – 1 Kings 12 – Solomon’s sin (1 Kings 11:1-3) and Rehoboam’s lack of wisdom (verse 11) resulted in the division of the Kingdom.
WEDNESDAY – 1 Kings 17 – Elijah was sent by God to try to turn Israel back to Him. Miracles were performed by Elijah, showing he was from God (verse 24).
THURSDAY – I Kings 18 – The worship of idols introduced by Solomon and then by Jeroboam (1 Kings 12:28-30) was temporarily halted by Elijah’s prayer (verse 36) and action (verse 40).
FRIDAY – 2 Kings 5 – Though Israel was rebellious, Naaman, a Syrian obeyed and was cleansed. See Luke 4:25-27.
SATURDAY – 2 Chronicles 36 – God sent messengers and prophets (verse 15) to His people. But they were still rebellious. As a punishment they were taken captive into Babylon for 70 years (verses 17-21).
STEP 6: WEEK 33
SUNDAY 1 Corinthians 1
MONDAY 1 Corinthians 2
TUESDAY 1 Corinthians 3
WEDNESDAY 1 Corinthians 10
THURSDAY 1 Corinthians 11
FRIDAY 1 Corinthians 13
SATURDAY 1 Corinthians 15
THE FIRST LETTER TO THE CORINTHIANS
During the Apostle Paul’s second missionary journey he visited CORINTH in Greece (Acts 18:1-11).
Later, while he was at Ephesus during his third journey (Acts 19), he wrote to the brethren and sisters at Corinth. Disunity and strife had arisen there and some of the first principles regarding behaviour and of belief were seriously neglected.
Paul emphasizes the unity of the Gospel, based as it is on ‘Jesus Christ and him crucified’ (1 Corinthians 2:2). The gospel of a Messiah who was crucified was a stumbling block (unthinkable) to the Jews. It was foolishness to the Greeks (Gentiles). But in the wisdom of God it was the only way to bring salvation (1 Corinthians 1:23).
To be ‘in Christ’ and to remember him as the head of the church, without whom we have no hope, is the theme of this wonderful epistle. Christ is indeed risen and our faith lives and will save us because of him.
SUNDAY – 1 Corinthians 1 – Verses 26-31. Humble faith in Christ is better than all worldly wisdom. (Jeremiah 9:23-24).
MONDAY – 1 Corinthians 2 – God has promised much for those whose wisdom is based on the Bible (verses 9-10). By this means we have the mind of Christ and begin to think in the same way as he did (verse 16).
TUESDAY – 1 Corinthians 3 – Verses 18-20. Those whose trust is in God will inherit all things; but beware the wisdom and conduct of the ungodly (verse 17).
WEDNESDAY – 1 Corinthians 10 – Verses 1-12. Humility demands that we recognise that we can fail as Israel did in the wilderness. God is merciful even in temptation (verse 13). He will help us to overcome if only we will ask for his help in prayer.
THURSDAY – 1 Corinthians 11 – Verses 23-26. The regular remembrance of CHRIST (in the Bread and Wine) was ordained by him, “until he come” (verse 26). His disciples are to do this to remember his sacrifice and the way they were delivered from sin.
FRIDAY – 1 Corinthians 13 – This is one of the most loved chapters in the Bible. The word “Charity” in some older translations is translated “love” in modern versions. The abiding quality of Divine Love, demonstrated in Christ, must be seen in us also.
SATURDAY – 1 Corinthians 15 – The death and resurrection of Christ were foretold in the Old Testament (verses 3-4 and Luke 24:25-27, 44). Those in CHRIST will be raised from the dead at his coming. See verses 22-23.
STEP 6: WEEK 34
SUNDAY Psalm 1
MONDAY Psalm 2
TUESDAY Psalm 6
WEDNESDAY Psalm 16
THURSDAY Psalm 19
FRIDAY Psalm 22
SATURDAY Psalm 23
THE BOOK OF PSALMS
One of the most beautiful aspects of God’s word are the Psalms or Songs. These are principally concerned with prayer and worship, though man yare also prophetic in nature and we can learn a lot from them about the purpose of God and about the Lord Jesus Christ. Although expressing the experience of individuals in times past, they are timeless in their message. In the Psalms you can find expressions of: humility, praise confession, outpourings of the heart and restatements of the Hope of Israel and of the Promises of God.
Here the Lord Jesus gained solace and strength, as he did from all the Scriptures. Some of the Psalms may have been written by Moses, Solomon, Hezekiah or others but the majority were Psalms of David. All were inspired by God as their contents prove.
Many Psalms are ‘Messianic’, that is, they point forward to the Messiah – to his sufferings and death, to his resurrection, to his Divine Sonship and to the glories of his coming Kingdom.
Scores of quotations from the Psalms occur in the New Testament.
THERE ARE PSALMS FOR ALL SEASONS AND CIRCUMSTANCES . . . whether you are in sorrow or in joy, in fear or in exultation.
SUNDAY – Psalm 1 – Christ also had a delight in God’s word. He meditated in it day and night (verse 2).
MONDAY – Psalm 2 – Christ is God’s Son (verse 7), the appointed King who will rule in Zion (verse 6) over all the earth (verse 8). (Quoted Acts 4:25; 13:33 and Hebrews 1:5; 5:5).
TUESDAY – Psalm 6 – Death is an enemy (verse 5). Deliverance is only for those who believe in Christ (John 3:16).
WEDNESDAY – Psalm 16 – Deliverance from death was promised for Christ himself (verses 8-11). (Quoted in Acts 2:30-32; 13:35).
THURSDAY – Psalm 19 – Only the word of God (verses 7-11) can show us up for what we really are (verse 12) and make us what we really should be (verses 7-9).
FRIDAY – Psalm 22 – Jesus Christ came to save sinners (verse 5). His sufferings are foretold in this chapter (for example, verses 16, 18).
SATURDAY – Psalm 23 – Christ, like God, can be our shepherd to save us from death (verse 4) and guide us to eternal life (verse 6).
STEP 6: WEEK 35
SUNDAY 2 Corinthians 11
MONDAY Galatians 1
TUESDAY Galatians 2
WEDNESDAY Galatians 3
THURSDAY Galatians 4
FRIDAY Galatians 5
SATURDAY Galatians 6
The word ‘Gospel’ means ‘good news’ or ‘glad tidings’. These good tidings are about the Kingdom of God and the Lord Jesus Christ, and how men may be saved.
There is only one Gospel. It cannot be changed (Jude 1:3).
LETTER TO THE GALATIANS
Certain Jews had already tried to take the Galatian believers away from the one Gospel by insisting also that they kept the ritual of the old law. So Paul writes to them.
The Gospel is that Jesus is the Promised Seed (descendant) of the woman (Genesis 3:15; Galatians 4:4) and of Abraham (Genesis 12:3; Galatians 3:16) and that Jews or Gentiles can by faith inherit a share in the PROMISES but only if they are IN CHRIST (3:27)
SUNDAY – 2 Corinthians 11 – There is only one Gospel (verses 3, 4) and it must not be altered. Note how Paul had suffered for the defense of that Gospel.
MONDAY – Galatians 1 – There is only one Gospel (verses 6-9) and it must not be altered! It is the Gospel we too must believe.
TUESDAY – Galatians 2 – The old law has been replaced by the grace of Christ (verses 20-21).
WEDNESDAY – Galatians 3 – Notice that the Gospel was preached to Abraham (verse 8). Faith in Christ and baptism into him make us also heirs of the PROMISE (verse 29).
THURSDAY – Galatians 4 – We need to be sons of God (verse 6) and children of the PROMISE (verse 28) if we are to inherit the earth.
FRIDAY – Galatians 5 – Those who are Christ’s must put to death their own wrong desires (verse 24).
SATURDAY – Galatians 6 – There will be a judgment at the return of Jesus (verse 7-8).
STEP 6: WEEK 36
SUNDAY Psalm 32
MONDAY Psalm 37
TUESDAY Psalm 45
WEDNESDAY Psalm 46
THURSDAY Psalm 48
FRIDAY Psalm 49
SATURDAY Psalm 51
SCRIPTURAL THEMES IN THE PSALMS
Like all the Books of the Bible, the Psalms, because they come from God, contain the same unity of teaching and message. Some of the Gospel themes to be found include:
the suffering Messiah
the Son of God
the future King
THE KINGDOM OF GOD:
will really be established on earth with Israel at its centre and Jerusalem as its headquarters.
DEATH OR LIFE :
the facts of sin, pain and death are underlined, the hope of life, through God’s mercy, is sure to those who seek forgiveness and trust in Him.
SUNDAY – Psalm 32 – God will provide a covering for our sin (verses 1-2), if we seek him in time (verse 6). See Genesis 3:21; Galatians 3:27; Matthew 22:11.
MONDAY – Psalm 37 – The meek (humble) believe God and will be those who, with Christ, shall inherit the earth for ever (verses 11, 18, 22, 29, 34, 37).
TUESDAY – Psalm 45 – This Psalm describes the King and his bride. Jesus is the King, the bride represents the people of the Kingdom.
WEDNESDAY – Psalm 46 – God will make war to cease everywhere (verse 9) when He sets up His Kingdom. All will honour Him (verse 10).
THURSDAY – Psalm 48 – Zion (Jerusalem) will be the capital of the future Kingdom (verse 2), (Matthew 5:35), after a time of world trouble (verse 6,8-9).
FRIDAY – Psalm 49 – Without the Gospel, man has no hope. Death is the end of life. True believers will be raised from the dead.
SATURDAY – Psalm 51 – David was the repentant sinner of this Psalm, but it can give us hope too (verses 8-19). Repentance takes place in the heart (verses 6, 10).
STEP 6: Part 3
Step Six takes you through the rest of the year . . . 26 weeks, from week 27 to week 52 God willing (and we should always think in those terms – see James 4:15) you will be able to build on the foundations already laid in the previous weeks readings and to see how all parts of God’s word fit into a pattern.
In this section in the Old Testament we will continue reading the Psalms looking at how now, while we live is the time to choose between the path to life and the path to death, to obediently seek God willingly, or reject His gracious offer of salvation.
In the New Testament we will continue to explore the letters of Paul to the various churches in Ephesus, Philippi and Thessalonica, then read Paul’s letters to Timothy and see the lessons we also can derive from these epistles.
STEP 6: WEEK 37
SUNDAY Ephesians 4
MONDAY Ephesians 5
TUESDAY Ephesians 6
WEDNESDAY Philippians 1
THURSDAY Philippians 2
FRIDAY Philippians 3
SATURDAY Philippians 4
PAUL’S LETTERS FROM ROME
After the journey to Rome, described in Acts 27-28, the Apostle Paul wrote further letters (epistles) to some of the brethren and sisters he had visited on earlier journeys.
THE EPISTLE TO THE EPHESIANS
This contains the wonderful theme of the Church as the Body of Christ.
It calls believers to a united and exalted life in Him.
THE EPISTLE TO THE PHILIPPIANS
This also speaks of the need for unity in Christ in our spiritual warfare. The letter is full of joy.
Paul speaks of how true disciples of Jesus should fight against sin and strive to follow the example of Jesus (Philippians 2:5). They should show Godly values in their lives (Philippians 3:20) and not be anxious for anything but rather trust in God to provide (Philippians 4:6)
SUNDAY – Ephesians 4 – Those who have the ONE FAITH (verses 4-6) and the new outlook (verses 22-24), together become the Body of Christ’ (verses 13-16).
MONDAY – Ephesians 5 – Christ is the Head of the Body (the true Church) (verse 23) and he is the heavenly Bridegroom (verses 25-27). Note the principles of a good marriage (verses 22-29).
TUESDAY – Ephesians 6 – Discipleship is possible for all kinds of people (verses 1, 4, 5, 9). The sword of the Spirit is the word of God (verse 17) to be used in being valiant for truth.
WEDNESDAY – Philippians 1 – Be valiant for what is true, like a good soldier of Jesus Christ (verses 27-28).
THURSDAY – Philippians 2 – Christ gave up all (verses 7-8). So God later exalted him to be Lord of all (verses 9-11).
FRIDAY – Philippians 3 – It is worth us giving up all to be associated with Christ (verses 7-14). He will return to earth (verses 20-21) and we then may be exalted to share his rule.
SATURDAY – Philippians 4 – God can give us victory and peace through Jesus Christ (verse 7). Pure thoughts make men pure (verses 8-9).
STEP 6: WEEK 38
SUNDAY Psalm 67
MONDAY Psalm 72
TUESDAY Psalm 88
WEDNESDAY Psalm 90
THURSDAY Psalm 91
FRIDAY Psalm 95
SATURDAY Psalm 96
DEATH OR LIFE?
Death is real (Psalms 88, 90). It came into the world because of sin (Romans 6:23).
Everlasting life in the Kingdom of God is the true Bible hope. Therefore there must be a resurrection from the dead for those who are heirs of the Kingdom.
Those who thus put their trust in God will be blessed abundantly with everlasting joy and peace in His Kingdom.
The Psalms continue to proclaim this theme and to show us that NOW is our opportunity to choose between death and life.
SUNDAY – Psalm 67 – This Psalm describes the future Kingdom of God. Only God can bless and provide His people with PEACE. See Numbers 6:24-26.
MONDAY – Psalm 72 – The future Kingdom is again described. The king will be Messiah who is Christ. Note what devastating moral, social and political changes there will be. Compare verse 19 with Numbers 14:21.
TUESDAY – Psalm 88 – Verses 10-12.There is no consciousness in death. While we are still alive we have chance to prepare for the second coming of Jesus.
WEDNESDAY – Psalm 90 – This Psalm was written by Moses. It contrasts the eternity of God with the brevity of man’s life. Therefore we should use our time wisely (verse 12) for we do not know when our lives will end.
THURSDAY – Psalm 91 – God is the refuge and protection of those who trust Him. Those who have faith will be saved. Jesus applied this Psalm to himself (verses 11-12: Matthew 4:6).
FRIDAY – Psalm 95 – Here are more references to the need for faith and action while we still live. There is a final day of rest for the faithful (verse 11).
SATURDAY – Psalm 96 – God will judge the world with righteousness when Jesus comes (verse 13 and Psalm 98:9). See Acts 17:31 which echoes this Psalm.
STEP 6: WEEK 39
SUNDAY 1 Thessalonians 1
MONDAY 1 Thessalonians 2
TUESDAY 1 Thessalonians 3
WEDNESDAY 1 Thessalonians 4
THURSDAY 1 Thessalonians 5
FRIDAY 2 Thessalonians 1
SATURDAY 2 Thessalonians 2
THE RETURN OF JESUS CHRIST
The personal return of Jesus Christ to the earth in power and glory is the way in which God’s plan will be marvelously completed. Unless Jesus returns:
Then death is the end for all.
There will be no resurrection or future life.
There will be no salvation for the righteous.
Mankind will utterly ruin itself and the earth by sin and selfishness.
God’s people will not be blessed.
His Promises will remain unfulfilled.
His glory will never fill the earth.
His Plan will have failed!
THE EPISTLES TO THE THESSALONIANS
The believers in Thessalonica formerly worshipped idols. The Apostle Paul wrote them two letters, under the inspiration of God, to instruct and encourage them in their new life.
There are repeated references to the return of the Lord Jesus as the great consolation for the faithful.
SUNDAY – 1 Thessalonians 1 – See verse 10 for reference to the return of Jesus from heaven.
MONDAY – 1 Thessalonians 2 – Verse 19 refers to the return of Jesus to his followers. There are frequent references to ‘brethren’ which is how believers regarded each other.
TUESDAY – 1 Thessalonians 3 – See verse 13 for reference to the return of Jesus to judge his followers.
WEDNESDAY – 1 Thessalonians 4 – See verses 13-17 for reference to the return of Jesus to give life, and to be with his people.
THURSDAY – 1 Thessalonians 5 – See verse 23 for reference to the return of Jesus to bring salvation to his people. His return will be sudden and we must prepare for it now (verses 3-5).
FRIDAY – 2 Thessalonians 1 – See verses 7-10 for reference to the return of Jesus, when he will punish the wicked.
SATURDAY – 2 Thessalonians 2 – See verse 1 for reference to the return of Jesus to his people, and verse 8 for the destruction of the wicked.
STEP 6: WEEK 40
SUNDAY Psalm 103
MONDAY Psalm 104
TUESDAY Psalm 110
WEDNESDAY Psalm 122
THURSDAY Psalm 146
FRIDAY Psalm 149
SATURDAY Psalm 150
JERUSALEM, THE HOLY CITY
Jerusalem was chosen by God to ‘place His Name there.’ (Deuteronomy 12:5; 1 Kings 8:29; Psalm 87).
In the world wide Kingdom of God, Jerusalem will be the focal point for religious and civil law backed by the authority and power of Jesus Christ (Isaiah 2:3-4).
It will be the capital city of the great King (Psalms 2, 122, 149), at the centre of the continents, just as Jesus foretold (Matthew 5:35).
SUNDAY – Psalm 103 – God bestows countless benefits on man but, finally, man dies (verses 14-16). God will save those who are His children (verses 3-4, 11-13).
MONDAY – Psalm 104 – God makes Himself known by His gracious provision for mankind. Man should gratefully acknowledge the goodness of God (verse 33) before it is too late (verse 29).
TUESDAY – Psalm 110 – This is the Psalm which Jesus quoted to prove his divine origin (Matthew 22:44) and it speaks of his coming kingdom on earth.
WEDNESDAY – Psalm 122 – The peace of Jerusalem (verse 6) will mean peace for the whole world when Jesus reigns with his helpers (verse 5).
THURSDAY – Psalm 146 – God is good to the helpless (verses 7-9) and men should trust Him and not the great men of the earth who must, in any case, die (verses 3-4).
FRIDAY – Psalm 149 – When Jesus and his followers reign in Zion (verses 1-2) they will rule with irresistible authority (verses 6-9).
SATURDAY – Psalm 150 – While you are still alive, give thanks for God’s goodness and way of salvation (verse 6).
STEP 6: WEEK 41
SUNDAY 1 Timothy 1
MONDAY 1 Timothy 2
TUESDAY 1 Timothy 6
WEDNESDAY 2 Timothy 1
THURSDAY 2 Timothy 2
FRIDAY 2 Timothy 3
SATURDAY 2 Timothy 4
FIRST PRINCIPLES… IN THE EPISTLES TO TIMOTHY
Timothy was a young man converted by the Apostle Paul. He had been brought up, at Lystra, with a good foundation of Scriptural knowledge (2 Timothy 3:15).
When he became the ‘bishop’ or guide of the believers at Ephesus, Paul wrote to him with sound advice.
It was at Ephesus that Paul had warned of the dangers of departing from the one true Gospel (Acts20:2 & 32).
In these Epistles written soon before his martyrdom in Rome, Paul again outlines the essential Foundation Teachings of the Faith which cannot be altered.
SUNDAY – 1 Timothy 1 – First principles: ‘Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners’ (verse 15) God alone is King over all: He is worthy of all honour and glory. (verse 17).
MONDAY – 1 Timothy 2 – A first principle: There is one God and one mediator between man and God, the man Christ Jesus (verse 5).
TUESDAY – 1 Timothy 6 – A first principle: God alone has immortality and has never been seen by man (verse 16).
WEDNESDAY – 2 Timothy 1 – A first principle; immortality is promised but only through Jesus Christ (verse 10).
THURSDAY – 2 Timothy 2 – A first principle: Jesus Christ is of the seed of David and was raised from the dead (verse 8).
FRIDAY – 2 Timothy 3 A first principle: All Scripture is given by inspiration of God (verses 15-16).
SATURDAY – 2 Timothy 4 – First principles: Jesus will return, raise the dead and judge them, and establish his kingdom on earth (verses 1,8).
STEP 6: Part 4
Step Six takes you through the rest of the year . . . 26 weeks, from week 27 to week 52 God willing (and we should always think in those terms – see James 4:15) you will be able to build on the foundations already laid in the previous weeks readings and to see how all parts of God’s word fit into a pattern.
In this section in the Old Testament you will read some Chapters from the prophetic books of Isaiah and Jeremiah. God sent His prophets to Israel and Judah to try to turn them from false religion back to Himself. But we read ‘they mocked the messengers of God . . . until there was no remedy’ (2 Chronicles 36:16). There are many valuable spiritual lessons we can learn from these books.
In the New Testament you will read through some chapters from Paul’s letter to the Hebrews and from the epistle of James. In Hebrews we see Jesus as the central pivot of the purpose of God and in James we learn that faith in the Gospel message is the foundation of our relationship with God (Hebrews 11:6). But also that faith must be a living and active faith, put into daily practice in our lives.
STEP 6: WEEK 42
SUNDAY Isaiah 1
MONDAY Isaiah 2
TUESDAY Isaiah 9
WEDNESDAY Isaiah 11
THURSDAY Isaiah 25
FRIDAY Isaiah 26
SATURDAY Isaiah 32
God sent His prophets to Israel and Judah to try to turn them from idolatry and false religion. But ‘they mocked the messengers of God . . . until there was no remedy’ (2 Chronicles 36:16).
ISAIAH prophesied and spoke the word of God during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, when Judah was surrounded by the Assyrians. He made known many wonderful promises concerning Jesus the promised Messiah and the future Kingdom of God on earth.
SUNDAY – Isaiah 1 – Sin is like leprosy (verses 5-6) and uncleanness (verse 16) but God is willing and able to cleanse the repentant (verse 16-18).
MONDAY – Isaiah 2 – A glorious picture of the Kingdom (verses 2-4) precedes a warning of God’s wrath against sin and pride (verses 10-22).
TUESDAY – Isaiah 9 – Jesus will sit on David’s throne for ever (verses 6-7). the guarantor is God himself (verse 7).
WEDNESDAY – Isaiah 11 – The child promised is Jesus of the line (ancestry) of Jesse and David (verse 1).
THURSDAY – Isaiah 25 – Those who trust God will inherit joy and life everlasting (verses 8-9). See also 1 Corinthians 15:54 and Revelation 21:4.
FRIDAY – Isaiah 26 – There is hope and peace for those who trust God (verses 1-3). Some men will never rise from the dead (verse 14) but others will (verse 19).
SATURDAY – Isaiah 32 – When Jesus and his followers rule on earth (verse 1) there will be real peace based on righteousness (verse 17).
STEP 6: WEEK 43
SUNDAY Hebrews 1
MONDAY Hebrews 2
TUESDAY Hebrews 3
WEDNESDAY Hebrews 4
THURSDAY Hebrews 5
FRIDAY Hebrews 10
SATURDAY Hebrews 11
THE EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS
This Epistle, addressed first of all to Jewish (Hebrew) believers, sets out the supreme position of Jesus Christ above all that had gone before.
Jesus surpasses anyone or anything else, except for God. Jesus is the central pivot of the purpose of God, who has raised Jesus to the highest position in all creation.
He is the one promised in the Old Testament who will come again to fulfil the PROMISES and reward the faithful of all ages. (see chapter 11)
SUNDAY – Hebrews 1 – God sent His word by the angels and the prophets, but best of all through his Son, Jesus (verse 1), who is greater than all.
MONDAY – Hebrews 2 – Although he was the Son of God, Jesus shared our nature so as to overcome ‘the devil’ (sin) and death (verse 14), and provide salvation for many (verse 10).
TUESDAY – Hebrews 3 – We need faith in the Son of God (verse 6) but, having believed, we must remain steadfast to the end (verse 14).
WEDNESDAY – Hebrews 4 – Joshua at the time when Israel entered the Promised Land did not give Israel eternal rest (verse 8) but Jesus will eventually provide it for his people (verses 9-11).
THURSDAY – Hebrews 5 – Although Jesus is the Son of God, he needed to learn obedience and to be saved from death (verse 8). But he will be a King-Priest like Melchizedek (verse 10). – See Genesis 14:18.
FRIDAY – Hebrews 10 – Jesus Christ is the perfect, final and only effective sacrifice for sin (verses 11-13). We need to have faith in this sacrifice (verse 38).
SATURDAY – Hebrews 11 – Faith is confidence in God’s promises (verse 1). Without faith it is impossible to please God (verse 6). All the people whose names are listed in this chapter are people who had faith in God’s PROMISES (verses 39-40). Their faith changed the lives that they led for they put their faith into action in their lives. If we also have faith, then we will have the same reward – eternal life in the Kingdom of God.
STEP 6: WEEK 44
SUNDAY Isaiah 40
MONDAY Isaiah 42
TUESDAY Isaiah 52
WEDNESDAY Isaiah 53
THURSDAY Isaiah 55
FRIDAY Isaiah 60
SATURDAY Isaiah 61
God provides ample evidence for mankind that He alone is God, that He is unchanging and that His word is true.
The heavens and their wonders tell of His power (Psalm 19).
His Word, so miraculously preserved (1 Peter 1:25) proclaims His plan and purpose with man and creation.
Jesus Christ is His faithful and true witness (Revelation 1:5) who by his way of life, his miracles, his death and his resurrection proclaimed the true God and eternal life (1 John 1:1-2).
The apostles, prophets and all true believers witness that God is true by their works and manner of life.
The nation of Israel is God’s special witness that the Lord God is the only God. They are witnesses that God is in control and that what He says is trustworthy and will always come true (Isaiah 43:12).
SUNDAY – Isaiah 40 – God speaks words of comfort to frail mankind (verses 1-8) and promises wonderful things through Jesus Christ (verses 6-11, 31).
MONDAY – Isaiah 42 – This is the first of a series of promises concerning ‘The Servant’. Jesus was God’s servant and witness (verses 1-8). This chapter is quoted in the New Testament (Matthew 12:18-21; 3:17).
TUESDAY – Isaiah 52 – Jesus was God’s messenger (verse 7) and servant (verse 13). God’s people should also be holy or separate (verse 11).
WEDNESDAY – Isaiah 53 – A marvellous description of the rejection of Jesus 700 years before it happened. God’s servant (Jesus) would suffer because of sin and sinners (verse 11) but would triumph at the last (verses 10, 12).
THURSDAY – Isaiah 55 – God has given Jesus as a witness and a leader (verse 4). If we respond now (verse 6) we can have forgiveness (verse 7) and become heirs of the PROMISES (verse 3).
FRIDAY – Isaiah 60 – God’s special people Israel will be restored – further witness to God’s goodness, faithfulness and power.
SATURDAY – Isaiah 61 – Jesus knew that verses 1-2 referred to him and he read them aloud in Nazareth (Luke 4:16-21). He is the bridegroom who will bless the nations (verses 10-11).
STEP 6: WEEK 45
SUNDAY Hebrews 12
MONDAY Hebrews 13
TUESDAY James 1
WEDNESDAY James 2
THURSDAY James 3
FRIDAY James 4
SATURDAY James 5
FAITH AND WORKS
Faith is the foundation of our relationship with God (Hebrews 11:6). We must learn to trust His gracious promises and realise that we do not and can never deserve them.
The existence of our faith is proved by the effect it has upon our lives, if it cannot be seen in our lives then it does not exist! James writes that faith without works is dead and meaningless. James 2:20, 26 Thus those who believe the gospel message must display an active faith in their lives.
THE EPISTLE OF JAMES
James was a half-brother of Jesus and he was not converted until Jesus rose from the dead. Later he became the ‘bishop’ of the church (or ‘ecclesia’) at Jerusalem (Acts 15).
His epistle is very practical and shows the inescapable need for faith to be demonstrated by actions.
SUNDAY – Hebrews 12 – We have many fine examples of faith to follow (verse 1) but the best of them all is Jesus and we must look to him (verse 2).
MONDAY – Hebrews 13 – Jesus is the greatest example for us all (verses 7-8). We only have hope by his death and resurrection (verses 20-21).
TUESDAY – James 1 – Temptation is from within (verse 14). See what Jesus said in Mark 7:21. Wisdom, re-birth and eventually a crown of life are blessings from God for men and women of faith (verses 5, 18, 12).
WEDNESDAY – James 2 – Faithful thoughts must result in faithful actions (verses 21-26).
THURSDAY – James 3 – The tongue can only be controlled by a mind filled with God’s word (verse 17).
FRIDAY – James 4 – The ‘world’ (verse 4) means those who live without God. We must choose between ‘the world’ and God. Humility is essential (verse 10).
SATURDAY – James 5 – The people of God must live and work patiently till the coming again of Jesus Christ (verse 7).
STEP 6: WEEK 46
SUNDAY Jeremiah 1
MONDAY Jeremiah 17
TUESDAY Jeremiah 30
WEDNESDAY Jeremiah 31
THURSDAY Jeremiah 33
FRIDAY Jeremiah 36
SATURDAY Jeremiah 38
THE PROPHECY OF GOD THROUGH JEREMIAH
Jeremiah was the son of a Jewish priest. His work as a prophet began in the reign of Josiah, king of Judah and lasted 40 years until the captivity in Babylon.
He did not want to be a prophet (Jeremiah 1:6), but God put His word into his mouth (verse 9) so that he prophesied about Israel and all the nations round about (verse 10).
He had much to say about the forthcoming sufferings of God’s people, both in the Book of Jeremiah and in his Lamentations which follow.
Like all of God’s prophets Jeremiah suffered because of his work (chapter 38). He told of the suffering of the coming Messiah and the restoration of the nation after many years of suffering. He also prophesied of the establishment of the Kingdom of God.
SUNDAY – Jeremiah 1 – God told Jeremiah what he must say (verse 9). There would be punishment for the sins of the people of the nation of Judah (verse 16). It would come from the North (Babylonian invasion) (verse 14 and Jeremiah 4:6; 6:1).
MONDAY – Jeremiah 17 – Judah’s only hope was in God (verses 13-14) and so is ours (verses 7-8). See Psalm 1:3 and Revelation 22:1-2.
TUESDAY – Jeremiah 30 – The preservation, and restoration of Israel was foretold (verses 10, 11, 24). This began after the First World War and increased following the Second World War.
WEDNESDAY – Jeremiah 31 – Israel as a nation will eventually have a new heart (verses 31-34). See Hebrews 8:7-13. She will finally acknowledge Jesus Christ as her king.
THURSDAY – Jeremiah 33 – God’s PROMISE (Genesis 8:22) to preserve the earth is a guarantee of His promise to Israel (verses 19-26).
FRIDAY – Jeremiah 36 – Jehoiakim tried in vain to destroy God’s word (verse 23) but another scroll was written (verse 32) and God’s word came true.
SATURDAY – Jeremiah 38 – Jeremiah’s own experiences (verse 6) pointed forward to those of Jesus who was himself put in ‘the pit’ (the grave).
STEP 6: Part 5
Step Six takes you through the rest of the year . . . 26 weeks, from week 27 to week 52 God willing (and we should always think in those terms – see James 4:15) you will be able to build on the foundations already laid in the previous weeks readings and to see how all parts of God’s word fit into a pattern.
In this final section weeks 47-52 complete the year. In the Old Testament we continue looking at the prophetic books. First looking at the book of Ezekiel who was a priest taken into captivity in Babylon. Having been chosen by God he prophesied to the Jews in captivity. Next is Daniel who received wonderful prophesies of God’s plan throughout the ages leading up to the setting up of the Kingdom. Finally you will read through some of the minor prophetic books which although short are full of important prophesies and messages for us to learn in our day.
In the New Testament you will read the epistles of Peter, John and Jude, then finally culminate the year by reading some of Revelation. This last Book of the Bible completes God’s message about Jesus Christ and the coming Kingdom.
STEP 6: WEEK 47
SUNDAY 1 Peter 1
MONDAY 1 Peter 2
TUESDAY 1Peter 3
WEDNESDAY 1 Peter 5
THURSDAY 2 Peter 1
FRIDAY 2 Peter 2
SATURDAY 2 Peter 3
Peter the fisherman was a faithful disciple of Jesus for more than three years. Peter often acted upon impulse see for example Matt 14:28-30. Peter staunchly followed Jesus and even when Jesus warned that the disciples would desert him it was Peter who said “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” Mark 14:31. But to his bitter regret, Peter did deny that he knew Jesus three times when Jesus most needed his support.
By the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Peter’s faith was rekindled and Jesus gave him the commission to ‘feed his flock’ (John 21:15-18).
Peter became a prominent early preacher of the Gospel, first to the Jews (Acts 2-9) and also to the Gentiles (non-Jews) (Acts 10-12). He suffered imprisonment on several occasions and according to tradition, was finally martyred, as prophesied by Jesus.
His epistles, addressed to the Jewish believers scattered throughout the world, proclaim the leadership of Jesus as the Chief Shepherd of the flock. Believers are reminded of their holy calling in a dark world. They must expect suffering and trial, but God’s promises in Jesus Christ are sure and will be fulfilled. Through Jesus we also can escape the judgments coming on the world.
SUNDAY – 1 Peter 1 – God in heaven has reserved an inheritance for the faithful. It will be revealed, eventually, on earth (verses 4-5) at the second coming of Jesus (verse 7).
MONDAY – 1 Peter 2 – Like Israel of old, believers are called to be a special people (verses 9-10) with consequent responsibilities (verse 12). They must try to be blameless, like Jesus in their daily lives (verses 13-17).
TUESDAY – 1 Peter 3 – Jesus Christ is our example and we must suffer for him if necessary (verse 14). We must be baptised into him (verse 21) to be saved (like Noah).
WEDNESDAY – 1 Peter 5 – Jesus Christ is the Shepherd of his people and will glorify them when he comes again (verse 4).
THURSDAY – 2 Peter 1 – God makes great and precious PROMISES through Christ (verse 4) of eternal glory in His Kingdom (verse 11). The Bible is totally reliable as God’s word (verse 21).
FRIDAY – 2 Peter 2 – God saved Noah (verse 5) and Lot (verse 7) and can save us from the coming judgments (verse 9), if we remain faithful followers of Jesus Christ (verse 20).
SATURDAY – 2 Peter 3 – The ‘heavens and the earth’ (verse 7) means human governments and people (the ‘world’). They will be replaced by the Kingdom of God (verse 13). See Isaiah 65:17-25.
STEP 6: WEEK 48
SUNDAY Ezekiel 2
MONDAY Ezekiel 3
TUESDAY Ezekiel 18
WEDNESDAY Ezekiel 36
THURSDAY Ezekiel 37
FRIDAY Ezekiel 38
SATURDAY Ezekiel 39
THE PROPHECY OF EZEKIEL
Ezekiel was a priest who was taken captive to Babylon, where having been chosen by God he prophesied to the Jews in captivity
He was called upon to enact many prophecies. He was called a ‘man of sign’ and ‘son of man’, pointing forward to Jesus Christ.
A most exciting prophecy in chapter 37 relates to OUR DAYS! It describes the revival of Israel a modern miracle, and forecasts her coming King (verse 22). The land will however, once again be invaded from the North (chapter 38) but it is at this time that God will intervene to save His people. It is following this event that the Kingdom of God will finally be established in the earth.
SUNDAY – Ezekiel 2 – God’s message must be passed on, whatever the response from the hearers (verse 5).
MONDAY – Ezekiel 3 – Those who know the truth have a responsibility to tell others (verses 17-18). Ezekiel faithfully carried out this task.
TUESDAY – Ezekiel 18 – Individuals, once they understand, must accept responsibility for their own sins (verses 4, 32).
WEDNESDAY – Ezekiel 36 – This chapter describes the Arab opposition to the creation of Israel. Israel is protected for a time by God, even though they do not recognise His hand at work.
THURSDAY – Ezekiel 37 – The revival of Israel today, after nearly 2,000 years, is a miracle and a witness to God’s word. What other explanation is there of Israel’s dramatic revival?
FRIDAY – Ezekiel 38 – A forthcoming invasion of Israel from the North (verse 15) will be overthrown by Divine intervention (verses 18-23).
SATURDAY – Ezekiel 39 – Israel finds peace when she turns to God and her enemies are destroyed. God will then bless and purify her from her sins.
STEP 6: WEEK 49
SUNDAY 1 John 1
MONDAY 1 John 2
TUESDAY 1 John 3
WEDNESDAY 1 John 4
THURSDAY 2 John
FRIDAY 3 John
JOHN’S EPISTLES, JUDE’S EPISTLE
John, the disciple of Jesus, was inspired to write a Gospel record, three short epistles and the Book of Revelation.
He is described as the ‘disciple whom Jesus loved’ (although Jesus loved every one of them!) and the twin themes of LOVE and TRUTH occur frequently in the epistles.
Even at this time false teaching was gradually creeping into the early Church. By the end of the second century AD the truth of Jesus’ teaching had been largely replaced amongst so-called Christians by false doctrines, many of which are still common today.
Compare the basic Bible teachings as listed with the ideas of many ‘religions’ today! Those who truly desire to become true followers of Jesus Christ and accept the Gospel message of salvation will seek out, prove and accept only the teachings of the Bible, rejecting what cannot be found within it’s pages. They will accept only Bible truths, not the ideas of men.
Jude was possibly a half-brother of Jesus. The theme of his book is an urgent appeal to defend the one true faith.
SUNDAY – 1 John 1 – Fellowship with God and with Jesus Christ is only possible for those who walk in the light of God’s word (verse 7). Confession of our sins paves the way to forgiveness and cleansing (verse 9).
MONDAY – 1 John 2 – Those who walk in the light are God’s children. Together they await Christ’s coming (verse 28). The way of the world and those who follow it will pass away (verse 17).
TUESDAY – 1 John 3 – What wonderful love God has shown for us (verse 1). Those who are God’s children will be made like Christ at his coming (verse 2).
WEDNESDAY – 1 John 4 – Those who are God’s children know the Truth (verse 1) and love one another (verse 7). They try to be ready for the day of judgment (verse 17).
THURSDAY – 2 John – Those who are God’s children know the Truth (verse 1) and love one another (verse 5).
FRIDAY – 3 John – Those who are God’s children walk in the Truth (verses 1-4) and show love to all (verse 5).
SATURDAY – Jude – Those who are Christ’s need to earnestly contend for the faith (verse 3) which was once given for all time. God can preserve our steps until Jesus comes again (verses 24-25).
STEP 6: WEEK 50
SUNDAY Daniel 2
MONDAY Daniel 3
TUESDAY Daniel 5
WEDNESDAY Daniel 6
THURSDAY Daniel 7
FRIDAY Daniel 9
SATURDAY Daniel 12
THE PROPHECY OF DANIEL
Daniel was one of the captive Jewish princes taken to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon.
His inspired book is a blend of prophetic dreams and exciting events showing God’s care for His people.
THE KING’S DREAM
God gave Nebuchadnezzar a dream portraying the history of certain world empires that were to come, the first being the Babylonian empire. Following this empire, a series of other empires would come each in turn dominating the land of Israel. In the last days a final confederation of nations would come into being and oppose the returned Lord Jesus. At this time man’s dominion would be finally broken and the last empire, which is the Kingdom of God, would be established. The Kingdom of God will grow to fill the whole earth and never end. The rest of the prophecy of Daniel develops this theme.
SUNDAY – Daniel 2 – The present kingdoms of man will be replaced by the Kingdom of God (verse 44) which will stand for ever.
MONDAY – Daniel 3 – We must only worship God. The courage which comes through faith will enable us to face anything which man can do to us (verses 17-18).
TUESDAY – Daniel 5 – The kingdoms of man (like Babylon) are ‘weighed in the balances and found wanting’ (verse 27). They will be replaced.
WEDNESDAY – Daniel 6 – Daniel’s experiences pointed forward to those of Jesus Christ who was put in a sealed tomb (verse 17) but God saved him also.
THURSDAY – Daniel 7 – The kingdoms of man are like beasts, in God’s eyes. God will set up His own Kingdom (verses 14, 27).
FRIDAY – Daniel 9 – Despite Israel’s sin God promised a Messiah and Saviour (verses 25-26) in swift response to Daniel’s prayer (verse 21).
SATURDAY – Daniel 12 – God’s people will be delivered (verse 1), there will be a resurrection and judgment (verse 2).
STEP 6: WEEK 51
SUNDAY Hosea 13
MONDAY Joel 3
TUESDAY Micah 5
WEDNESDAY Zechariah 8
THURSDAY Zechariah 12
FRIDAY Malachi 3
SATURDAY Malachi 4
THE ‘MINOR’ PROPHETS
The Twelve books which in the English and many other Bible translations follow Daniel in the Old Testament are sometimes called the ‘Minor’ prophets. This is because they are shorter in length, not because their message is any less important than the other prophetic books
Their message from God is indeed just as important for us to read and the great themes found in them are the same as those of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel.
We can only now look briefly at five of these books but when you proceed to Step Seven you will eventually read ALL the books.
SUNDAY – Hosea 13 – This prophecy depicts God’s love despite Israel’s unfaithfulness. God’s people (whether Jew or Gentile) (1:10) need to be led (verse 5), need a King (verse 10) and need to be saved from death (verse 14). See 1 Corinthians 15:54-57.
MONDAY – Joel 3 – All nations are to come to Jerusalem in battle. Then God will intervene through Jesus Christ.
TUESDAY – Micah 5 – Jesus, born in Bethlehem (verse 2), is the Good Shepherd who will save and lead His people (verses 4-5).
WEDNESDAY – Zechariah 8 – When Israel are fully restored and have repented (verses 7-8), all nations will have to respect them as examples of God’s marvelous dealings (verse 23).
THURSDAY – Zechariah 12 – Only when Israel accept Jesus Christ as their Saviour (verse 10) will they be fully restored.
FRIDAY – Malachi 3 – Israel will be purified (verse 3) when Jesus comes in judgment (verse 2). If we, now, reverence God and commit ourselves to him He will treasure us (verse 17).
SATURDAY – Malachi 4 – The Old Testament closes on a note of blessing (verse 2) or cursing (verse 6). Which will it be for us? Israel failed to please God. We have the opportunity now to be different!
STEP 6: WEEK 52
SUNDAY Revelation 1
MONDAY Revelation 2
TUESDAY Revelation 3
WEDNESDAY Revelation 5
THURSDAY Revelation 19
FRIDAY Revelation 21
SATURDAY Revelation 22
THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST
The last Book of the Bible completes God’s message about Jesus Christ and the coming Kingdom.
It was given by God to Jesus (Revelation 1:1) to show his servants things which were yet to happen before Jesus is revealed from heaven.
It was made known to John while he was an exile in the isle of Patmos.
Given in highly symbolic language (‘signified’ 1:1) it can only be understood in the light of the rest of Scripture. In other words to understand the symbols and message found in Revelation we must seek the answers in both the Old and New Testament writings.
The early chapters are easier to understand, being addressed to the seven ‘churches’ (ecclesias) in Asia . They contain vital advice for faithful followers of Jesus today.
SUNDAY – Revelation 1 – God gave this Book, through Jesus, to teach His servants (verse 1). Are we His servants? If so, we read, hear and keep his word (verse 3).
MONDAY – Revelation 2 – If we have ‘ears to hear’ then do we listen to God’s word? (verses 7, 11, 17, 29). Watch for the promises to the faithful.
TUESDAY – Revelation 3 – It is better to be cold or hot, rather than lukewarm believers (verse 15). Which are we? Who are those who ‘overcome’?
WEDNESDAY – Revelation 5 – Those who are Christ’s will reign on earth over all nations (verse 10). Are we Christ’s’?
THURSDAY – Revelation 19 – Those who are Christ’s are covered by his righteousness (verse 8) and will be united with him for ever (verse 7).
FRIDAY – Revelation 21 – The ‘new Jerusalem’ is the Bride of Christ – those who are united with him for ever (verses 2, 9, 10). But some will be excluded (verse 8).
SATURDAY – Revelation 22 – The Bible ends with a prayer for Christ’s return (verse 20). Is this our prayer, and are we ready for him to come?