Tomorrow, January 21st, is the third Monday of the month. Aside from being Martin Luther King Day, it’s also Blue Monday, supposedly the most depressing day of the year. I know it’s considered pseudoscience, but one idea about it stuck with me. By this time in the month, you’re either still following through with your New Year’s resolutions or you’ve given up. If you’ve given up, and too many people do, it’s enough to make you blue. If one of your resolutions was to get into God’s word this year and you’ve not been as persistent as you wanted to be don’t give up but rather start back up on Monday. Just pick up with Luke 15 and Psalm 9 and get into God’s word and turn this Blue Monday into a Red, or Orange, or Yellow Monday. Be my guest and take your pick for a happy color. Remember, there’s nothing more important in our lives than knowing God. There’s no way to know God than through His word. Blessings friends and keep on reading.
For those who are just finding this blog we’re following my 2019 New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs Reading Plan. I’m writing one question for each day’s reading to help us get the most out of our time in God’s word. As always, I pray that God will richly bless you as dig into His holy word.
Monday, Jan. 21 – Luke 15; Psalm 9
In these three parables about lostness – the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost son – Jesus sets his ill-disposed opponents straight about God’s welcoming attitude toward lost sinners. How do you think knowing that God diligently seeks the lost and rejoices over their return should affect the way you view the Father, yourself, and others?
Four “I will’s” launch Psalm 9 with David’s dedication to exuberant worship of the Lord. Write out the “I will” statements. How often do you live out these four proclamations in your daily life? If not often, how would your life be different if you did? Resolve today to follow David’s example. Ask a trusted friend to hold you accountable.
Tuesday, Jan. 22 – Luke 16; Proverbs 3:13-18
Once again we find Jesus discussing money. For many different reasons, Christians have mixed feelings and opinions about money (maybe it’s based on a common misquote of 1 Timothy 6:10, money is not the root of all evil). Clearly from Luke 16, Jesus did not have any issues with money. The Lord never condemns riches, only their misuse. How can you, at times, be guilty of misusing your money? What principles of money management can you draw from this chapter (especially from vv. 10-13)?
In this short hymn to wisdom (note the section begins and ends with “blessed”), Solomon praises wisdom and understanding. Why is wisdom and understanding worth more than silver, or gold, or jewels, or for that matter anything else you could desire? What are you doing to gain such godly wisdom and understanding?
Wednesday, Jan. 23 – Luke 17; Psalm 10
All ten lepers had enough faith in Jesus to ask for healing (vv. 12-13) and obey Him before they had proof of their healing (v. 14). Yet, only one returned to thank Him. What’s unique about the Samaritan’s response to Jesus? (If it’s not immediately clear ref. John 4:9) What about the other nine, what was odd about their responses? Do you thank the Lord often for your blessings? Why or why not?
In Psalm 10 injustice and evil is rampant and to the psalmist God seems disinterested. However, the psalmist’s despair at the start shifts to hope by the end of the psalm. When you endure extremely difficult circumstances how do you move from “Why, O Lord do You stand far away?” (v. 1) to “O Lord, You hear the desire of the afflicted” (v. 17)?
Thursday, Jan. 24 – Luke 18; Proverbs 3:19-26
Don’t give up praying is the message of Luke 18:1-8. What are some reasons that people (maybe even you) give up praying? To encourage persist praying, Jesus draws a portrait of a helpless widow stubbornly appealing to a heartless judge. But how is God different from the judge? In what way(s) does this picture of God encourage you to keep on praying to Him?
Solomon continues to extol the virtues of a life based on godly wisdom. From this passage note the words, “If you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet” (v. 24). Think of a time when you’ve had a restless night worrying about some trouble you’ve caused by your foolish actions? What was the situation? How would it all have been different if you would have exercised a measure of wisdom?
Friday, Jan. 25 – Luke 19; Psalm 11
I guess next to Jesus Loves Me, one of the first songs nearly any child learns in Bible class is Zacchaes. You probably know the words and don’t forget the hand motions… Zacchaes was a wee-little man and a wee-little man was he. As adults we shouldn’t merely limit Zacchaeus’ story to a children’s song, he’s much bigger than that (pun intended). How does v. 8 show that Zacchaeus understands how Jesus’ offer of friendship should affect his life? In what way(s) is this an example to you?
From its opening words, “In the Lord I take refuge” Psalm 11 expresses the confidence that the faithful may have in God, even in a time of crisis. What does it mean to “take refuge” in the Lord? Think of a crisis you could easily imagine experiencing. Describe how you will take refuge in the Lord?