Blog Scripture Readings for 12-9 Through 12-15-18

Aside

THIS WEEK’S SCRIPTURE READINGS FOR STUDY AND DISCUSSION:

Parashat Vayigash — Genesis 44:18 – 47:27
Haftarah — Ezekiel 37:15–28
Prophets — 1 Samuel 25:1 – 31:13
Writings — Psalms 69:1 – 75:10
Testimony — Mark 10:35 – 13:37

Most of this week’s blog discussion points will be on these passages. If you have general comments or questions on the weekly Scripture readings not addressed in a blog post, here’s a place for you to post those. Just use the “leave a reply” link below.

The full “Read Through The Scriptures In A Year” schedule, broken down by each day, can be found on the right sidebar under “Helpful Links.” There are 4 sections of scripture to read each day: one each from the Torah, the Prophets, the Writings, and from the Testimony of Yeshua. Each week, the Torah and haftarah readings will follow the traditional one-year reading cycle.

Weekly Blog Scripture Readings for 12/09/18 through 12/15/18.

 

Is a quiet spiritual revival occurring across the planet?

From Christianity Today at  https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2018/december/most-popular-bible-verse-2018-youversion-app-bible-gateway.html

Here is some good news for a change!

The Top Bible Verses of 2018 Don’t Come from Jesus or Paul

For the first time in recent years, YouVersion and Bible Gateway users searched for and shared verses from Old Testament prophets the most.

 The Top Bible Verses of 2018 Don’t Come from Jesus or Paul

It’s a charge that extends back to the earliest parts of Scripture, gets repeated from the lips of Jesus, and resonates the modern world. It’s also the message of the most popular Bible verse of 2018 on YouVersion, the world’s most-downloaded Bible app.

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God,” reads the year’s top verse, Isaiah 41:10. “I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

That exhortation from the Old Testament prophet Isaiah was shared, bookmarked, and highlighted more than any other passage by hundreds of millions of YouVersion users.

The year’s top honor at Bible Gateway comes from another Old Testament prophet. The most-read verse on the Bible website was the familiar Jeremiah 29:11: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”

On the leading Bible website, either Jeremiah 29:11 or John 3:16 have topped the annual list every year. (The oft-quoted line from Jeremiah has come to be considered one of the most frequently misinterpreted Bible verses.)

The rest of Bible Gateway’s top 10 come from Psalm 23 (verses 1, 4, 6, and 6), Romans (Romans 8:28 and Romans 12:2), and Matthew (6:33).

YouVersion’s top verse, Isaiah 41:10, ranked thirteenth on Bible Gateway. Bible Gateway’s top verse, Jeremiah 29:11, also spiked to No. 1 in several countries worldwide, according to the YouVersion data.

The two Bible platforms’ lists end up being pretty different from one another each year, evidence that users tend to look up different verses online than they highlight or share during their study time on an app.

This year, Bible Gateway ranked popular verses based on 920 million searches across versions of the site. YouVersion’s picks stem from more than 1.7 billion highlights, bookmarks, and notes on more than 350 million devices.

Previously, YouVersion’s verse of the year award has gone to Joshua 1:9 (2017), Romans 8:28 (2016), and Proverbs 3:5–6 (2015). This year marks a shift to a prophet, but continues the theme of biblical reassurance to digital readers.

“This year’s data shows people worldwide are continuing to turn to the Bible in search of comfort, encouragement, and hope,” said Bobby Gruenewald, pastor and innovation leader for Life.Church and YouVersion founder.

While Isaiah 41:10 was the app’s most popular verse overall in 2018—and the top pick in the United States, France, Italy, the Netherlands, and Spain—several others were ranked as No. 1 in various countries.

Joshua 1:9, the global favorite in 2017, remained the most popular verse in the Central and South American countries of Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico. John 3:16 took the lead spot in Bangladesh, Nepal, and Turkey. 1 Peter 5:7 topped the list in Egypt, India, and Iraq, and Matthew 6:33 was most popular in Thailand and Vietnam.

Not only was Jeremiah 29:11 the most popular verse of the year on Bible Gateway, it also claimed the YouVersion top spot in countries in the developed West (Australia, Canada, Japan, and the United Kingdom) and the Global South (Ghana, Indonesia, Nigeria, the Philippines, and the United Arab Emirates), spanning demographics in a way that other verses didn’t.

At Bible Gateway, top searches for passages included Psalm 91, Psalm 23, Genesis 1, Romans 8, and Matthew 6. Its leading keyword searches of the year were “love,” “peace,” and “faith,” respectively (“amor,” which means love, was the top keyword in Spanish, too). “Holy spirit,” was the eighth-most searched word, “forgive” ranked 15th, and “truth” came in as the 19th most commonly searched term.

And with the help of an emoji-based search on YouVersion’s Bible App, which allows users to tap images corresponding to various emotions, individuals conducted more than 18 million searches to find what the Bible might say to them in the midst of their emotional highs and lows.

YouVersion celebrated the 10-year anniversary of the app in July. In the decade since it originated as one of the Apple App Store’s first 200 applications, the Bible App has grown to include more than 1,800 versions of the Bible in more than 1,250 languages. Across the globe, via the Bible App, 27.2 billion Bible chapters were read in 2018; there were 4.2 billion audio chapter listens; more than 400 million verses were shared; and nearly a billion days of Bible plan readings were completed.

Engagement with God’s Word rose across continents. In Asia, Japan led the way in increased use of the Bible App, doubling over 2017, largely due to the addition of a new Japanese translation of the Bible within the app. Nepal (69%), Indonesia (61%), and Vietnam (59%) also saw big boosts in digital Bible engagement.

European countries like Romania, Spain, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Italy amplified their use of the leading Bible application, with increases of 100 percent, 67 percent, 60 percent, 57 percent, and 53 percent, respectively. South American countries also contributed to rising overall engagement, with use in Chile increasing by 79 percent and in Argentina by 60 percent.

“Many of us grew up with the ability to read the Bible in our heart language, but countless people around the world don’t have that privilege. That’s why we’re passionate about making the Bible available in more languages through the app,” said Gruenewald.

Overall Bible engagement on the YouVersion platform reached a new pinnacle this year, featuring a 27 percent year-over-year increase in daily use from 2017. The group’s Bible App for Kids, which launched in 2013 and is now available in 42 languages, saw an increase of 55 percent in installations in the last year, reaching 27 million devices worldwide.

 

The Yeshua Model of Evangelism

Mark 10:17–22, Yeshua’s model for one-on-one evangelism is here revealed. In his encounter with the rich, young ruler, Yeshua reveals a method of evangelizing in a one-on-one scenario. He uses the following five-step approach:

  1. Yeshua first establishes the character of YHVH Elohim and how man falls short of this in comparison. Namely, YHVH is good, and man is not. 
  2. Next, Yeshua presents the Torah as Elohim’s moral and spiritual standard that determines the definition of good—right and wrong. 
  3. Yeshua then shows the young man that he was violated that standard of goodness by violating the Torah’s standard of righteousness.
  4. He advises the young man then to repent of his Torahlessness (or of breaking YHVH’s laws, which is the biblical definition of sin, see 1 John 3:4).
  5. Finally, Yeshua invites the young to make the total commitment to being a good person and to follow him.

We see this evangelistic model again in Acts 17:24 when Paul addresses the Greeks on Mars Hill.

 

Ye shall reap if ye faint not!

Genesis 45:5, 7, 8, Elohim sent me. Joseph was sold into slavery at age 17, was freed from prison and made ruler of Egypt at age 30. After that, seven years of plenty followed, and then two years of famine had passed by the time he was reunited with is brothers. Only after 22 years in Egypt did Joseph finally figure out Elohim’s grand and wonderful plan for his life, and how it involved the saving of his family.

Had Joseph lost faith along the way, become embittered over his multiple misfortunes, and turned away from Elohim, the nation of Israel may have never been preserved.

Keeping one’s eyes on Elohim, and refusing to lose faith during the dark times of one’s life can yield some amazingly triumphant outcomes, as we learn from the life of Joseph.

 

What you do now may affect generations to come!


Genesis 44:32–34, Became surety for the lad. Christian commentator Matthew Henry on this passage states, “Judah’s faithful cleaving to Benjamin, now, in his distress, was recompensed long afterwards by the tribe of Benjamin keeping with the tribe of Judah, when the other tribes deserted it” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible, p. 56).

It is amazing that some 800 years later the fraternal love between these two brothers remained in the collective psyches their descendents such that the tribe of Benjamin remained loyal to that of Judah. What does this say about generational blessings (and curses) or attitudes that are passed on down to one’s descendants? If curses can be passed on down to the third or fourth generation (Exod 20:5), how about blessings? The Book of Proverbs states that, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit,” (Prov 18:21) and that, “ A wholesome tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit,” (Prov 15:4). ­Generations of our descendants can be affected positively or negatively by the inclination of our hearts and the words of our mouth.

It had been Judah’s idea to sell Joseph to slave traders. In the meantime, Judah’s heart had changed so that he was willing to lay down his life for his brother, Benjamin, Joseph’s only full brother. This change of heart on Judah’s part and the resulting outpouring of love for his youngest brother had lasting positive results. What are the prophetic implications of this relationship between Joseph (Ephraim and Manasseh) and Judah?

 

The Babylon the Great New World Order Matrix and YOU

The “Matrix” Revisited

The matrix. You’ve heard of the movie series by that name, but let’s go beyond that to see what the Bible has to say about another matrix that shares similarities with the movie, but is much more sinister, is soul-damning and which is actually described in the prophecies of the Bible. 

So what actually is a matrix? Let’s answer this question by doing what Yeshua often did when answering the religious philosophers of his day: Answer a question with another questions to get people to think. The question is this: Who is your mother?

Everyone had a physical mother who birthed, nurtured and raised you. She was your source of life and sustenance while your were young. But now that you’re grown up, who is your mother now? Who is your source of life? Who instructs you on what to do? Who do you rely on for wisdom and direction? From whom do you receive your physical and spiritual sustenance? Who do you want to become like ultimately? Who is the motivating force in your life that is guiding you spiritually, and is helping you to formulate your life vision—who you are, who or what will you become, where you’re going, and what is your purpose and destiny in life? In this regard, who is your mother?

To answer these questions, let’s first define the English word mother. Mother derives from the Latin word mater, which literally means “breeding female, womb and mother.” We find this word mater in many familiar English words such as maternity, alma mater (loving or beloved mother), matriarch, matron, maternal, matriculate and matter, material and matrix.

As in many spiritual realities, there is an earthly and heavenly or spiritual counterpart—as above, so below. There are also satanic counterfeits of the heavenly patterns. In order to confuse and to ultimately destroy humans, Satan, the god of this world, has created counterfeits that feign themselves as being the genuine thus deceiving many people! Let’s explore this truth.

A Great Satanic Counterfeit

The Bible speaks about the (New) Jerusalem “who is the mother of us all” (Gal 4:26). Satan has his counterfeit version of the New Jerusalem as well. The Bible calls it Mystery Babylon the Great, which is likened to a city (Rev 13, 17, 18). This end times Continue reading

 

Yeshua Warns About Sectarianism, Offenses and Worthless Salt

Mark 9:38–50, Avoid strife and contention. This is a very enigmatic passage that commentators struggle with trying to explain, since Yeshua links together so many seemingly disparate concepts. I say “seemingly,” since there is nothing average about the Master’s intellect, or his knowledge of spiritual truth. Our inability to comprehend his sayings should only spur us onward to dig all the more into their heights and depths of meaning, thus uncovering the nuggets of truth from within the transcendent intellect of our Master and Creator!

Yeshua the Master begins his discourse by discouraging sectarianism. “Those who aren’t against us are for us.” He then promises rewards to those who are kind to his disciples, implying that his disciples should in turn be kind to others who, though they may not be a part of your particular group, they may not necessarily be working against you, for they may also be kingdom workers but with a different assignment than yours (vv. 38–41).

Next, our Master warns against offense—especially those who offend (or cause to stumble) the little ones who are still young and tender in their faith. Linked with the preceding thought, the implication may be that Yeshua’s servants need to beware of not Continue reading