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James 1:17

Hebrews 7:25

Ezekiel shows us the stunning contrast of spiritual death and God's power. His life-giving power overcomes even hopeless death.

Isaiah challenges us, but we can learn to relish this prophecy. Here's why and how to glean much from the prophet Jesus quoted frequently.

If we consider that the writer of the gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles was not Jewish but a Gentile and not a fisherman but a physician who never met Jesus in person (Colossians 4:14), we might expect his gospel to have a somewhat different flavor from the others. Our expectations will not be disappointed

Kingdoms fall. So what should we do? Wring our hands and weep? It happened to Israel and Judah. What can we learn from their history?

Our readings this week show that nothing in this world will ever completely satisfy us. But there is One who does fill our souls.

Ever wonder why we read about the failed kings of Israel and Judah? Are there good lessons from bad kingdoms? Yes, indeed! Read on and see.

It is hard to exaggerate all the joy of life in Christ. Do you know what it means to be in Him? This theme runs through Paul's letters.

Mary and I recently took a drive through a scenic part of our rural Virginia county on a beautiful late Spring afternoon. We drove as slowly as was prudent in order to drink in the sights and smells of newly mowed hay fields, wildflowers and honeysuckle, cows and calves, sheep and goats, rolling hills and mountain peaks.

The Bible gives us a rather in depth look at the life of David. We are fortunate in this because there are many great lessons to learn from one whose life would otherwise be an enigma.

Our emotions can be troublesome leading us down paths we later regret, but should we attempt to escape them? Or can they be redeemed by God for a good purpose?

I hope you were able to complete our scheduled reading for last week in 1 Samuel 21-31 and Psalms 16-30.

Many ask why certain occurrences happen. The Bible doesn't answer all our questions, but it does teach us what we need to know--that God is in control of the most personal details of human life as well as of the events at the highest levels of nations and empires.

The Apostle Paul exemplified the patience and grace of God in dealing with spiritual infants. Here are three ways we can be like him in our care of new and young believers.

The battle between good and evil, the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent, continues to play out in ancient Israel even in the Promised Land. Two weddings demonstrate the reality of this battle in vivid terms but also remind us of Who ultimately has won this conflict.

Names have meanings that carry over when translated from one language to another. Jesus is the Greek translation of the Hebrew name Joshua, but both names have the same meaning. Joshua the man points to Jesus the God-Man who leads us into our eternal promised land with Him.

There are four gospels in our Bibles. Do you know what is unique about the Gospel of Mark? Read on to find out how Mark gives a special look at Jesus Christ.

As Moses neared the time of his death, he prepared Israel for the transition. One of the things he did was to leave them with a song. God has given His people other songs too because they are powerful tools to shape our souls in truth about ourselves, about life, and especially about the holiness of God.

The Israelites are about to experience the first major national transition in forty years. Almost everything is going to change. Deuteronomy is the written record of Moses’ addresses to prepare them for this.

Yes, my first grade teacher did a good job of teaching me to read using phonetics. I can read, but this week I found something I could not read.

A road trip of many hours frequently elicits the whining question of kids, "Are we there yet?" But what if the trip were not for many hours but for forty years? Would we whine or would we look for important lessons to learn about God and Mankind?

In Acts we see the power of Christ to change lives. One such man

After Jesus rose from the dead and ascended to heaven, the Apostles began to preach a message that defied human reasoning. But it was good and true news then and it still is.

If Leviticus seems incomprehensible, a closer look at that book reveals amazing gospel truth about God, our sin, and our redemption from a hopeless state.

The New Testament teaches us how to read the Old. Hebrews and James are rich in instructions that open up the purpose and meaning of the Books of Moses.

It seems odd that God chose the Jews and that He showed them mercy again and again. But do we have room for pride? Are we any different?

God remembers His people and He purposefully fulfills His covenant with them. Through Jesus Christ He has secured our inheritance.

My reading this week was the Gospel according to Matthew, the first gospel in the New Testament. Matthew has the distinctive feature of including five major discourses of our Lord Jesus Christ: the Sermon on the Mount (ch. 5-7); the commissioning of the disciples (ch. 10); parables (ch. 13); humility and forgiveness (ch. 18); and the Olivet discourse (ch. 24-25).

Last week I breezed through Genesis 26-50 in two sittings. God’s redemptive plan and purposes for the world unfold in the life of Isaac and his descendants—Jacob and Esau and their children. This quick reading in “chunks” makes certain truths more obvious than would a slower reading. Here’s what I noticed:

Our first week of Bible reading took us through Genesis 1-25 The whirlwind tour of early human history moved from the Creation, to the Fall of mankind, to the flood, the tower of Babel and right into the life of Abram and on to his son, Isaac. These are important chapters which set the stage for a biblical understanding of the world and our place in it.

This reading schedule will take you through the Bible one book at a time during the year.

To stay motivated on a large project, like reading through the entire Bible, we need a firm conviction of the importance of sticking with it to completion. So how important is knowledge of the Word of God? Here are three benefits we can only obtain by knowing the Bible.

Without God's Word no one can grasp the importance of believing and serving God. Only the Bible allows us His perspective.

Those who believe God’s word flee from the "now generation" and live today in the light of a day to come when He makes all things new.

Scholars disagree over the interpretation of certain prophecies. But none can deny that Scripture affirms God’s sovereignty over everything in the cosmos.

At weddings, guests wait and wonder. "What will the bride wear?” Here we see a special bride before the ceremony. Her dress will amaze you.

God will bring final victory over all the forces of evil, therefore He calls His people to separate themselves from those who are doomed.

Both believers and unbelievers alike can lose sight of the fact that God rules over human history and will ultimately conquer all those who oppose Him.

How do you explain the widely differing responses of people to God’s judgment? Why do some repent and others do not? The answer is clear in Scripture.

How accurate is your view of God? Scripture reveals Him as having both wrath and joy. He is angry with sin but also joyful with His redeemed people.

God calls His people to endurance, by faith, even in the most severe of trials, because His promises are sure and His power is invincible.

Beware of confusing God’s apparent slowness to anger with any weakness or ambivalence. He will bring judgment sure and final in His time.[1]

Satan is at war with the children of the woman. We are faced with the choice: whose side will we serve? God’s or the dragon’s?

Three verbs capture much of what the life in Christ is about for His people of all the earth--walking, serving, fearing. Do they describe you?

No sin is more heinous than the abuse of power stemming from the presumption that God is always on our side. Heed the warning.

Many learn the hard way that without God’s grace to repent, we will hold onto unbelief until it kills us. Sin is truly a lethal weapon.

Those who boast proudly before God now will someday learn to keep silence before Him. What should be our attitude toward God?

Tribulation is real, but it is not the end for God’s people. He promises a final and ultimate restoration for all His elect.

The day of wrath is coming, and no one will be spared. Will we prepare to meet our God, as Amos urged? How can we do that?

God’s blessings and warnings to Israel did not make them faithful to Him. Only One can be found who is worthy before God the Father.

On the day of the Lord, those who know Him will worship taking refuge in Him, but those who refused Him will tremble in terror. In which group will you be?

No one enjoys adversity, but did you know that a trial is not the worst thing that can happen to you? Are you aware of the danger of prosperity?

To hate what God hates is good, but not if we do not also love what God loves. We need hearts that are in sync with God's.

No fallen human being is able to merit favor with God, but He, by the work of His Son, changed His elect people from a cloud to a kingdom.

Those in spiritual leadership must take care to contend for the faith, that is, to teach the truth accurately and oppose error. Why is this so important?

The solution to abusive authority is not to question the concept of authority altogether but to reject authority which defies God.

Since the Fall, the cosmic war has been going. Satan and his minions deceive and oppose God’s people, but they triumph through His truth and power.

Believers in Jesus Christ will not achieve sinless perfection in this life. but they should expect changed lives and faith which overcomes the world.

God shows His power in the apparently impossible and hopeless crises of His faithful children who have even been found safe in a lions’ den.

God’s people, living in a fallen world, must not be surprised if they are unrecognized, at best, and targeted for persecution and death, at worst.

Christ's disciples must live in this world but never forget that this world will ultimately pass away. And do you know what will last? Read on to find out.

Whatever else we may say about salvation and the eternal state of believers, it centers on fellowship with God. What glory it will be!

Beware! The conflict of lawless people versus God’s people began in the Garden and continues to this day. Here's how to handle it.

To experience shame for sin is a hopeful sign that repentance and faith in God are still possible. Do not fear feeling shame but rather not feeling it.

The New Covenant brought a wonderful equality and calling in the Church unknown under the Old Covenant but created a tension we must maintain.

The sufferings of Christ on the cross brought an end to the elaborate (but futile) Old Covenant sacrifices for sin and guilt. And they bring sinners to God.

History displays the ongoing conflict between Christ and Satan, but do you know how the story ends? It will culminate in glory revealed.

Honoring Christ by maintaining hope even in the midst of great trials and suffering, makes the Christian life a huge curiosity to unbelievers.

God provided Someone to care for His people, but His identity was a surprise. Have you discovered Him? Is He the Shepherd of your soul?

Seeing yourself correctly is important but here we meet someone with an inflated view of himself. Is your view of yourself clear and accurate?

God’s wrath is coming in judgment. Whom do you think will be found in trouble? The objects of His wrath and judgment might surprise you.

It behooves every human being to learn humility before God. We can find a horrible example in the history of one nation that learned the hard way.

There are two kinds of wisdom. They are very different. Which kind do you have? Learn how you can distinguish between them.

Those who trust in the Man who stood in the breach should be filled with humility and gratitude which is evidenced by mercy and impartiality toward others.

The reason God saves has nothing to do with the worthiness or performance of those He saves. So why does He do it? He makes His purposes clear.

While there’s life, there’s hope, but there’s also danger. Will you be ending well? Here is an exhortation for all of us.

God never lets us go. But what if we sin, grievously? Does He still hold on to us? His Word gives us a clear and certain answer.

Every disciple of Jesus Christ should aim to please God and to be commended by Him at the end of this age. Every other award pales in significance.

God is pleased with those who turn away from arrogant unbelief and trust Him even though death overtakes them still waiting.

Modern Man often misrepresents God as being all love and forgiveness, but, beware, for the Bible reveals a holy Judge who hates the sin we find comfortable.

The gospel teaches us that we can draw near to God confidently because Jesus Christ bore the punishment for our sins. That's why the good news so good.

Although never perfect in this life, Christians will necessarily find sweetness in God’s Word and anticipate Jesus Christ's return. Are these traits yours?

The destruction of Jerusalem brought inconsolable grief, a deep longing for the good, old days, but God had something new and far better planned.

Fallen humanity needed a priest to intercede before God, but only the perfect and eternal priesthood of the Son of God would prove effective.

Biblical history shows that when God makes a vow, He swears by Himself for there is nothing and no one greater. It will be done. Always.

Jesus Christ is the High Priest of a new, everlasting covenant that will never be forgotten. His ministry brings eternal salvation to all who obey Him.

God’s people can have confidence in the midst of any kind of trial, because He keeps His hand upon them and uses the worst circumstances for good.

Our enemy, Satan, never shows us the truth. Do you know how he uses a deceptive tactic we see in sports? Learn how he persists in confusing those he traps.

Few set out intentionally to disobey God, to defy His commands and ignore His truth, but many a drifter can be lost by carelessly neglecting His Word.

The reign of Jesus Christ, unlike that of Zedekiah, is founded on righteousness and will endure forever--the kingdom to which all God’s people belong.

All authority comes from God, so it must be used in God-honoring ways. Here we have contrasting examples of men in authority.

Those who find God’s forgiveness and restoration always recognize two things: their own sinful unworthiness, and God’s loving kindness.

God demonstrates that works--to be good--must be done with good attitudes of delight and enthusiasm never begrudgingly. And He commands that we do the same.

Can believers make a positive impact on culture without being consumed by it? How can we avoid the dangers and find the balance?

False prophets and deceptive teachers are everywhere now and always. But do you know why so many follow them? Do you know how to protect yourself from them?

What should we do to prepare for the future? Scripture is clear. Know God’s Word well and you will be ready to complete whatever assignment God has for you.

In Jesus Christ there is sure salvation. Why? Because those of us whom He saves do not depend on our own merits. Rather, He is our righteousness.

Obedience to God does not prevent all suffering. Two godly men were unjustly imprisoned, and Jesus calls His disciples to take up their cross and follow Him.

God rules over all things, including us. He promises blessings as we flee idols and honor and submit to Him willing. If not, great suffering will be ours.

When God is ignored or rejected, the vacuum left is filled with something else, something which usurps the glory due to Him.

When we neglect the Word of God and the Scriptures are not taught or not heeded or both, evil feels normal and people stand under God’s judgment.

Local churches need leaders but what do those leaders need? Here we find a clear answer from the Apostle Paul and a vivid example from the Prophet Jeremiah.

Sin causes pain and death, but the sinless Lord Jesus Christ’s pain and death resulted in a full and final cure for the iniquity of His people.

The one whose conscience no longer functions is not content to merely destroy himself, but he seeks to bring down others with him.

God is working out a plan to redeem His elect people from all the nations of the earth. It will succeed. Do you know your part in this grand plan?

In God, we see our lives are not a result of random molecules coming together, but we are chosen by Him and for Him. We have meaning and purpose.

God needs nothing from us. Everything we have comes from Him and belongs to Him. But there is something He wants from us. Does He find it in you?

Christians, beware! Although our relationship with God is secure, we can act in ways that seriously jeopardize our fellowship with the Holy Spirit.

Sin is what blocks us from seeing and hearing God. He calls us to holiness, but we disobey especially in the area of sexual purity and love toward others.

The Christian rests in his relationship to God through Christ and finds comfort when the spiritual state of those he loves distresses him.

Will the gospel win the victory? God’s word--though ignored, thwarted, ridiculed, and opposed--will always triumph. He guarantees it.

How far does salvation extend? God saves people completely and He saves them everywhere--from every tribe and tongue and nation to the ends of the earth.

Believers are under surveillance, and they are called to live so that neither their lifestyle nor their speech enable disbelief by others.

At the end of this age, God wins. Each of us must decide today. Do we take Him as our God or substitute something else, something earthly?

Do you feel incomplete in yourself? We should, because God’s full deity is in Christ and only in Him are we complete having all we could ever need.

Ultimately, nothing is going wrong, because Jesus Christ is the Redeemer of all things, including us who believe in Him. His will is being done perfectly.

Why does it seem everything is going wrong? We will never find the solution to our problems, until we find the cause of them.

The only path to acceptance before God is the way of the Savior, Jesus Christ, who alone can make us righteous. Flee from any confidence in your flesh.

What is life about? The Bible tells us there is coming a day of judgment. Every knee will bow before God and recognize Him. Life is about Him--not us.

The ultimate aim of the Christian is to bear the fruit of righteousness that comes from God and brings Him glory and praise. Our destiny is Zion.

God hates hypocrisy whether done in the name of religion or done in the workplace. We ought to be alert to its presence and repent of it promptly.

God’s people are called to walk in holiness and bear fruit that glorifies Him. By His grace and the power of His Spirit we can spiritually multi-task.

Though we live in a time of corruption and conflict, God's grand narrative for His people comforts us and assures us. He will complete it with certainty.

God’s purposes include all nations, all peoples, and all times and result in the exaltation of Jesus Christ as Lord of all.

Desperation, a sense of total helplessness and hopelessness, is essential to a minimal understanding of the love and mercy of God in Christ Jesus.

The Bible is the cosmic story of creation, corruption, and redemption. In the end, God wins because through Jesus Christ, He will re-purpose us for His glory.

God rules in judgment over all. No one escapes. For you and me, our meeting with Him could be sooner than we think. Are you ready?

Joy--not dependent on circumstances--springs up in the life of those who have God’s Spirit. Nothing and no one can steal that joy from us. It is unquenchable.

God controls history including every large and small event, every good and bad situation. Those who trust Him can rest that His grace will get us home.

We need to be watchful never to forget that the horror of our sin and the holiness of God put Christ on the cross for us who believe. It's heart check time.

Eternal salvation is no do-it-yourself project. The gospel tells us that the law was given to point us to Christ, never to save. Why does legalism die hard?

Human love is a reflection of the love of Christ for His Church. For that reason, we can learn a little about Christ’s love from human love stories.

Deep disappointment, alienation, pride, and disagreement occur in relationships, but the God of peace is glorified with reconciliation.

Love overcomes any obstacle and pays whatever price necessary for the beloved. Unstoppable is the love that Christ has for His Church.

Are you exhausted from trying to meet everyone's expectations? There is freedom not to live our lives in vain controlled by the fear of man.

One must beware of the distinction between deception which passes as true wisdom and true wisdom which can be imperceptible and overlooked.

Beware of a common saying which we hear today that implies that God doesn't care about our faithfulness but only our faith.

The gospel of Jesus Christ shows us that the earthly life of believers, while not complete as it will be in glory, is also not vain as Solomon thought.

Here we meet a group who did not let their desperate need stop their generosity. How God is glorified by such people who give despite their circumstances!

Godliness has both negative and positive sides. When we turn from sin; we turn to righteousness. Likewise when we turn to righteousness, we turn from sin.

Beware of forming alliances with fools and unbelievers. Your intention to “reach” them is likely to fail and result in your own downfall.

Life has meaning because we will all stand before an Omniscient Judge from whom we will receive our due. We must aim to please Him.

All this world offers pales in comparison to the glory awaiting those who know God’s grace in Jesus Christ. The best is yet to be.

Spiritual growth is a gradual process, like a great tree, it will not reach maturity quickly. Gather wisdom and truth and be patient. Time is a factor.

Christians are called to shoulder a heavy responsibility, one that even the Apostle Paul found daunting. Did you know you emit a distinct fragrance?

The rules in Proverbs have exceptions, but there are no exceptions to the rule that God is with His people in their deepest trials fulfilling His purposes.

Giving to the needy honors God, their Creator. It should be done in an orderly way so as to minimize the danger of misappropriation of funds.

Thoughts of life and death are never far from our mortal minds. We have death through the man of dust but life through the man of heaven.

The character of a man or woman is revealed in their response to wise instruction. The wise listen to wisdom and act. Fools choose foolishness.

God’s Word bears the force of His authority. To ignore it is death, but to study and obey it brings wisdom for blessing and life.

Christians should be inexperienced in sin, but not ignorant of what it is. Extensive experience with wickedness contributes nothing to mature thinking.

Biblical love is not a matter of mere words but expresses itself in practical ways both in what it does and what it avoids.

Wisdom and understanding which leads to the true knowledge of God and a proper fear of the Lord are keys to a blessed life. But can we attain this?

The final Psalms and the Lord's Supper prepare us for the coming grand finale of praise to God when Jesus Christ returns in all His glory for His people

Have you found a purpose for life big enough to captivate your soul to your dying breath? The Bible points the way for you!

God's word meets us in real life where we face questions that require His direction. Here we find two examples of how to deal with complex matters.

We live in a culture that shouts to us “trust yourself!” and “you can do it!” But how is that working for us? The Bible has a different perspective.

The disciple of Jesus Christ is both a product of God's workmanship and a workman in His service. Life is a path of growth in Him and service for Him.

Idol worshipers are not beyond the saving grace of God in Jesus Christ. So how should we welcome them into the fellowship of His Church?

What if Scripture seems to contradict itself? This calls for wisdom and careful study, but the result will be worth the effort. Let's get the Bible right.

Do you find yourself often restless, longing for some change of life that would make you happier and more fulfilled? God has provided security for you.

Sin among God's people should not be. Sadly, it has always existed. Here we find instructions for dealing with it. Let us take heed.

There must be discipline in the church. But what attitudes must members have to submit to discipline? How should pastors and leaders administer discipline?

Public acclaim in this world is of no consequence. What matters is the state of our hearts when we stand before God in final judgment.

God gives you a role in His work of growing disciples. But do you know your identity in the spiritual harvest? Are you taking yourself too seriously?

Biblical truth runs cross grain to worldly wisdom. How often have you heard someone praised for being simple? But you can hear that in Scripture.

Divisiveness is an ugly sin, but it will not be a problem where people seek God's glory alone. True unity flows from a passion for God's exaltation.

"Wisdom is the power to see. and the inclination to choose, the best and highest goal, together with the surest means of attaining it." J.I. Packer

What should we do when we see people in need? We can't possibly respond to every worthy cause. Here is guidance that will help us help others.

Do believers in Jesus Christ who is revealed in the New Testament need to study the Old Testament? Here is clear evidence that we do.

Why do we exist? Is there a reason for being that is great enough and noble enough to command our hearts, minds, and wills from cradle to grave? Yes!

What does God say about the role of government in the life of the Christian? Should a believer ever disobey the powers that be? If so, when?

The true disciple brings his or her whole being to God as a living sacrifice. The result is transformation by a renewed mind that loves God and hates evil.

God is too holy to be described in human words, but we must try. When we have exhausted our efforts, we worship Him by ascribing to Him all glory forever.

God uses two trees to give a warning and a promise about our relationships to each other and to Him. Expect fruitfulness. Beware of arrogance.

When current events are perplexing, bewildering, and maddening, we do well to stop and consider the wisdom and faithfulness of God. He always wins.

What believer has not felt some level of despair over his or her unsaved loved ones? What can we do? Scripture gives us some positive steps to take.

Denial of reality is a common problem for us when life grows unbearable. The Bible never hides the truth about pain or the hope which we have in Christ.

The Psalmist prayed for mercy and forgiveness, but God in Christ has given all that and much more. We are more than forgiven.

The story of the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt is amazing and inspiring, but it's nothing compared to what God did next. Wait till you hear this!

There are several correct answers to "why did Christ die?" but one very wrong answer is "so we may sin freely." Here is an important correct answer.

The prosperity gospel teaches "Believe in Jesus and you will have health and wealth." But many of us find this isn't true. What then?

Praise of God and growth in faith build on each other. Praise builds faith and faith fuels praise even when all seems lost.

God's Law and Christ's Gospel combine to change us from arrogant unbelievers to grateful disciples--people with shut mouths and believing hearts.

God blesses His people so that they shine as a light to the world and the nations come to Him in faith. But what if believers are hypocrites?

Mankind is divided into two lifestyle groups according to a basic issue of world view. Both are vividly contrasted in today’s readings. Which one is you?

Would a soldier in dire straits not flee to the banner raised by his commander? Not likely. So why do some refuse to flee to the banner of Christ's gospel?

Head knowledge and theory are necessary but when it comes to knowing God there is nothing like years of real life experience.

Not everything contagious is bad. Here we learn how confidence in the Lord in times of trial is contagious. Spread the germs.

How can you tell your faith is unshaken in a storm with sunless days and starless nights? Today's reading gives a means to test the quality of your faith.

A man, even a king, who lacks understanding of who God is and how one is saved from sin is no better than an animal. In today's reading, we have an example.

God rules over the whole earth. He is with His people at all times and no matter what overtakes them. Ultimately, He will be exalted by all.

Procrastination is the lie we tell ourselves when we don't want to take important action or make a difficult decision. Here we see a classic procrastinator.

God's people suffer, sometimes justly and sometimes unjustly. Either way, they trust in Him to deliver them for further service or to take them to glory.

Our chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. The godly believer focuses on this as life's circumstances range from monotonous to terrifying.

Isn't it illogical that the righteous suffer afflictions? Why wouldn’t God see that those who obey Him never suffer? Scripture enlightens those in the dark.

We must be careful to hear godly counsel while recognizing that even godly counsel is not infallible. Ultimately, we are responsible to obey God.

Do you know the prayer that never fails? Paul knew it. David knew it. Jesus knew it. It is a prayer that God always answers.

As a young Christian, I was told, “A man is not ready to live until he has something he will die for.” Here we meet two men who were ready to live.

A friend who knows how to encourage is always a wonderful thing. But do you know what kind of person makes the best encourager?

There is no place for both the true God of heaven and earth and the idols of humankind. The gospel and popular culture are on a collision course.

God’s children have special access to Him in prayer. But do you know that He delights in those who are His and who come to Him with their requests?

The Christian church spread widely and rapidly in the First Century. Do you know why? It can happen again if we follow the Apostles' example.

Final divine judgment is not a popular topic today. Might that explain why we struggle to find meaning and purpose in life?

God, who knows the hearts of all, is near to those who seek Him, even when His will for them may include trials and suffering.

Those who know the Lord God of heaven and earth have joy and peace unaffected by their outward circumstances because their confidence is in Him alone.

God is sovereign over salvation. He uses means, such as gospel preaching but also works directly opening the hearts of His own so they hear and believe.

God works in and through people who are imperfect to accomplish His purposes and plans perfectly. If you are His, He has plans to use you warts and all.

It is good and instructive to keep silence before God, to listen to His Word, and to observe His mighty acts. Today we meet some who learned this truth.

Does the biblical claim that God is our Creator to Whom we owe our lives and praise thrill you or irritate you? Stop and consider who and what we are.

No life is the result of personal autonomy or of random acts and choices. Rather it is God’s sovereign providence at work according to His eternal decrees.

The faithful Christian desires to please God and to glorify Him. We have examples of two men under pressure. One succeeded. The other failed.

It is a dangerous thing to receive praise from people and fail to give God the glory He deserves. Here are two men whose lives demonstrated this truth.

Here we meet a man who demonstrated that wise words spoken by one filled with the Holy Spirit can be used by God to accomplish great good for His glory.

Two truths must be kept clearly in focus at all times if we are to not lose sight of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Do you know what these are?

While no one is saved by good works or personal piety, those who are saved demonstrate their love for God through good works and personal piety.

God, who is unchanging, gives His people strength to do His will today and hope that someday our struggles and burdens will end when we see Him.

God in His Providence is able to surprise people by a switch in places either actually or figuratively for their growth in faith and godliness.

God has appointed His people to be His ambassadors to those who do not know Him. The gospel goes out by word of mouth from those who have believed.

Believers are not automatically sheltered from suffering, but God is sovereign, good, and trustworthy whether or not He reveals His purpose for it.

The dilemma of fallen man since the Garden of Eden is to learn how to be right before God. Job called in agony for a celestial mediator. And God answered.

When people lose their reverent fear of God, they are capable of all manner of atrocities toward other human beings made in His image.

RC Sproul says, “Everyone’s a theologian, but not all are good theologians.” See how speech under great stress revealed two men to be excellent theologians.

Those whom God chooses and uses for His purposes need not hold high standing in their society. Here we meet two ordinary men--nobodies until God used them.

Queen Esther risked her life to obey God. So did the apostles. We applaud them now, but at the time they had to practice obedience by faith.

The presence of God’s people within an unbelieving culture impacts that society. But will we learn from history and stand firm for the truth in our day?

How a person prays reflects much about his or her faith in and knowledge of God. Today we get a look at the prayer lives of three great men of God.

God’s people understand that our secular rulers are servants of God who must be obeyed except when they command disobedience to the Lord.

Good preaching is modeled in the Bible. But it is too scarce in pulpits today. Are you hearing sound preaching as the Bible commands and demonstrates?

Faith alone saves, but since it is invisible how do we know we are saved? Here are two concrete evidences.

The life of faith is not a cold, intellectual exercise. The presence of God manifested by His mighty works brings deep emotional engagement to the believer.

What is the relationship of the Christian to the world? God prohibits marriage to unbelievers, but sends us to evangelize them to the end of the earth.

God calls people to avoid distractions and focus on following Christ through careful study and applying of His Word. But when we fail is there any hope?

The temple was glorious but when God took on flesh and dwelt among us in His Son, He gave us more than a building. He gave us Himself. He gave us life.

God providentially and sovereignly rules over every event of history, whether the participants recognize it or not. Here we meet two examples of this truth.

Who would flee to Satan? If you think no one would ever consciously do that, read on. It is done every day by those who reject the Incarnate Son of God.

Our hope is not in the triumph of an earthly kingdom, but in the coming of the Kingdom of God. Meanwhile, we serve Him with confidence.

The price of obedience to God can be extremely high. Obedience must be by faith, because it does not always bring instant positive reinforcement.

God sends us into a hostile place, and He preserves us in it by the means of grace: His word, the sacraments, and prayer.

Here we meet the contrasting examples of the fickle King Joash and the triumphant King Jesus. We can trust in the One who overcame the world.

God will be glorified and His and our enemies will self-destruct as we maintain our focus on Him, our confidence in Him, and our praise toward Him.

The disciple of Jesus Christ walks carefully proclaiming the gospel to the lost but avoiding alliances with those who hate God.

God gives His people productive work and He supports them in it. Paul understood this when he wrote, “We are God’s fellow workers” I Corinthians 3:9.

Evil men take God’s resources and attempt to use them to oppose Him. Rehoboam and Judas exemplify this principle. But in the end, they die.

Today we meet two kings: Solomon and Jesus. Though kings they could not be more different in their lives and in their deaths.

Everyone must choose which glory to seek: the glory that comes from other people or the glory that comes from God. We cannot remain ambivalent.

Do you know the lessons of Mt. Moriah? What happened there shows us the gospel. Your response to those lessons is a matter of life and death.

To know God is the supreme privilege and responsibility of mankind. But what if we fail? Can there be mercy greater than judgment?

The path of God may take us through pain, suffering, and death, but never away from His love and compassion. Will we trust Him?

God makes assignments to His people. It may be enduring great suffering or making great music. But He is always glorified and His people always built up.

We must take God’s Word seriously. David charged Solomon to do so. Jesus showed the Jews His commitment to the truth of Scripture.

God raised a shepherd boy to king in Israel, but that was only a faint picture of what He would ultimately do--give the world the greatest Shepherd King.

Belief in God is evidenced by simple trust. No drama. Just a readiness to believe Him and to seek His direction in His Word.

Today we see the stark contrast between the godly leader and the selfish, insecure leader. We are called to follow the One who leads us to glory.

Hearing the words of God is evidence that one is of God. But disaster awaits everyone who will not hear. We can learn much from a horrible example.

The old saying, attributed to Matthew Henry, is true, “None so blind as those that will not see.” So, what can we do if we discover we are blind?

Everyone is faced with a choice of two paths: light or darkness. You must take one but only one. In which one will you walk?

Biblical genealogy shows us that even kings do not leave much of a legacy. Jesus calls us to something more than temporal significance.

"Be careful what you wish for" is a common warning. But do you know what everyone should wish for but many do not? Read on and find out.

What makes a person choose to believe or not believe? Here we see some perplexing examples but also a clear answer from Jesus.

Throughout history, God has been and is pleased with those who believe in Him, that is, who believe Him. It's no secret. Faith pleases God.

Fools seek power that is not theirs through conspiracy and murder, but there is a humble king who did not grasp the power that was rightfully His.

Seeking glory from society is a sure stumbling block to believing the truth and to living wisely and godly. Here's a warning to flee the trap.

To be at enmity with God, our Creator, is a hopelessly depressing situation, but to be reconciled to Him brings joy and peace that lasts.

Those who hold significant authority in this world need God’s help and mercy, but some find it hard to believe in Him. We can learn from two examples below.

God saves people from every nation, tribe, and tongue who come to Him by faith. Here we meet two unlikely converts: a social outcast and an army general.

How important is it that we discover the truth about God and that we believe Him? It is literally a matter of life or death. Find out more now.

Whether you seek darkness or light says a lot about your true spiritual condition. Today we read of the worst example ever and a warning from Jesus.

A two-part error of many is to think they know God, but that God doesn’t know them. Building on these false assumptions never works.

God calls us to follow Him but biblical history shows how some followed while others limped between the true God and impostors. Will you follow or limp?

Without a new birth, brought about by God, even the most informed people do not receive His Word but persist in all kinds of pagan abominations.

Our computers come with factory default positions. As fallen humans our default positions concerning faith need a reset. Have yours been reset?

Our problem is not lack of knowledge but the resistance in our hearts to believe God and to love Him more than anything or anyone else.

The way to paradise is not through our own good works. Rather, it comes by grace through faith to the repentant sinner even one dying naked on a cross.

Today we read about two kings in Jerusalem. Both made offerings for sin. But one offered animals and the other offered Himself.

What a contrast in leadership: Pontius Pilate and King Solomon! But against the backdrop of these two men we can see the glory of God in a fresh way.

Does evil in yourself and in the world overwhelm you? Scripture shows us that sin can never thwart God's wisdom. He even uses sin for His glory.

Does it seem like evil rulers get away with murder while just ones are forgotten? Beware! For they will all answer to the Eternal Judge.

Does God control both what happens and when? Jesus Christ's disciple knows that God orchestrates all of life down to the minutest detail. Timing included.

Chaos is not the new normal. It has happened before and it will happen again. But there is a wisdom and guidance from God for His people.

God providence acts at all times in the lives of all people preserving, guiding, correcting, or punishing according to His wise counsels.

The problem of devious leaders is not new. Is there nothing we can we do about manipulative leaders? No. We can do more than just complain.

Authority was an issue in David’s time and in Jesus’ day. In one case legitimate authority was abused and in the other legitimate authority was rejected.

Sin presents itself as an appealing, beautiful fruit hiding its deadly consequences. Are you learning to detect those consequences?

God often surprises us by His decrees and His ways. Read on to find out how God stunned a king and a social outcast with His grace and mercy.

The one who would follow Christ must prepare himself to lose everything, even the most precious relationships in this world. Are you prepared?

Injustice abounds in this world, but God gives His people prayer so that they may call upon Him rather than to lose heart.

No king and no kingdom have lasted for long. But we now know the identity of the King whose reign will last forever. Do you know Him?

Presumption is behavior perceived as arrogant and disrespectful. Presumption may not be a common word, but today's reading shows it is a common failure.

A person’s life and eternal destiny depends on a willingness to heed the warning. Here we see examples of one who heeded and one who refused.

A single-minded person knows whom he serves. She will be clear-sighted to make wise split second decisions. Do you know who your master is?

Today we meet two ungrateful men. If we have softened hearts, we can learn a lesson from them about being thankful for God's mercy.

Once while under arrest the apostles said, “We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29). That is true and simple but not easy nor comfortable.

Can we ever hope to be accepted by a holy God? Not on the basis of our perfect lives but there is acceptance for believers in the One who is Perfect.

Lack of humility brings disaster. Today we meet a king with great potential until he grew arrogant. His reign failed not due to invaders but to his pride.

We all must die, but will we die well? What does that mean and how can we prepare to die well? We can learn from biblical examples in today's reading.

God providentially controls our suffering. But why He sends suffering is not always obvious to us. How do we handle such situations?

Being faithful and responsible with the resources and vocations that God has given us is very important. It even became a matter of life and death for some.

Fear may be good or bad depending on the cause of that fear. Jesus explains the difference for all who are His disciples.

Life is filled with choices. When we walk by faith, it changes our priorities so that we end up choosing something greater than mere earthly treasures.

It's natural and good to be longing for the full arrival of the kingdom of God. But Jesus gave us an assignment while we are waiting. Do you know what it is?

It's easy to say, “I will love my neighbor as myself,” but it is quite another thing to do that. Read on to meet two contrasting examples.

It is not the worldly wise or the politically powerful that understand the times but the little children who get it. It's always been so. Do you know why?

All things are not good but because God is wise and sovereign He uses all things for good. Some of those things are unspeakably evil.

Despite what we may hear, truth is on the side of those who believe in the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has all authority and power.

Why do we run from the only Source of all that is true, good, and beautiful? The answer is sin makes us love darkness. But In Christ there is hope.

God's word calls us to quit believing lies and deceiving ourselves. Jesus tells us why the time is now to begin facing the truth.

Two very unlikely women became role models for us of faith and action. Find out why they were unlikely and what they did to merit such honor.

The old covenant and kingdom fell short of perfection yet it did point to the need for something better and enduring. Something only Jesus could bring.

Believers are commanded to love their enemies. But does that include marrying the enemies of our God? The Scriptures are clear on this.

What? Hated, Excluded, Reviled, Spurned, Blessed. This is how Jesus described His disciples. An odd group of words and an odd group of people.

It is natural and sensible to prefer the old to the new when it comes to wine. But this is not true when it comes to the Messiah and the Kingdom of God.

Leaders are frequently challenged by high stress situations and high maintenance people. God's Word gives guidance for effective leadership.

God rules over all people and all events in human history. His authority comes through in today’s readings as it does on every page of the Bible.

Many kingdoms have come and gone. Only one Kingdom will last forever. Do you belong to that Kingdom? Do you know the King?

God works in dramatic ways and in mundane ways to accomplish His purposes for His people. Watch for evidence of His presence in your life today.

God included the Gentiles in His plans to redeem His elect people from sin and death. Here we meet two men who saw the light on this.

Whose side is God on? It's easy to ask the question until you realize it's the wrong question. The right question is "whose side am I on?"

Fear. Is it good or bad? It depends. Fear can bring wisdom and or it can debilitate. Learn the difference in today's reading.

What or who are you leaning on for support? We can learn from two notable biblical figures who found the only eternal foundation: the arms of God.

When God gives us a dose of reality it includes not only a clear look at our own hearts but also at His. There we see mercy and grace for every need.

Where does sin come from? Does it stem from ignorance or is the problem elsewhere? God's word identifies the real source of our disobedience.

Does it cause God anguish when He punishes evil? Is it possible He felt delight as He poured out wrath on His own Son? The answer may surprise you.

The greatest injustice ever was Christ's crucifixion. The old spiritual asks: “Were you there when they crucified my Lord?” What's your answer?

Who of us has not broken a solemn vow of some kind? Where can we go with our overwhelming guilt? In Christ there is an answer.

Despite God's promises and Christ's warnings, our failure can be big. But bigger still is His grace toward us frightened and guilty sheep.

Jesus Christ fulfilled the offices of prophet, priest, and king perfectly. So how can we understand His horrible crucifixion? God had a plan.

Jesus said be watchful for His return. Moses warned against a bad watchfulness that leads to sinful disobedience. Do you know the difference?

Christians differ on the proper way to do corporate worship. But we can all agree that it is a matter of utmost importance. God's glory is at stake.

Jesus told a scribe that he was not far from the kingdom of God. What made Him say this? Would Jesus say that about you? Learn more in today's reading.

The Bible gives many examples both positive and negative for our instruction. In today's reading we can learn much from two bad examples.

Spiritual leaders give careful instructions and urgent warnings to their disciples. Moses did. Jesus did. Will we learn from them?

Jesus echoed the prophets when He rebuked the abuses in the temple during His day. God shows His grace to all the nations and Jesus made this clear.

For the guilty there was no mercy in Moses' law, but Jesus came bringing grace and giving His life as a ransom. What a great contrast between law and grace!

Through the ages, God's people learn that great blessing comes through being obedient to Him no matter the cost. May we learn this today.

God will not overlook the evil of causing others, especially His people and little children, to sin. Here is a serious warning to heed.

In the era of fake news do you wonder if you can trust the Bible? Here is evidence for the book that claims to be the inerrant Word of the Eternal God.

Those who love the world and its allurements will learn the price for that love is incalculable. Balaam became a horrible example to remember.

The Lord told Balaam to go with the Moabite princes and, when he went, God was angry with him. Do you wonder if God was unfair to Balaam?

Does the failure of leaders in the Church prove that our faith is false? Today we meet leaders who failed and what God did about it.

God teaches His people repeatedly that He is both fearsome and trustworthy. Will we ever learn that though awesome He is for us who know Him through Christ?

The providence of God is evident, but is not predictable nor understandable, not fully. Can we live with the mystery by faith?

Unbelief laughs, scorns, ridicules, and trembles. But unbelief can be overcome by a clear-eyed look at God, His power, and His promises.

God's glory shines when His Son, Jesus, saves enslaved sinners, delivering, healing, and sending them to be His witnesses to other enslaved sinners.

God makes Himself known for His mercy and His power. Have you seen how He quiets you in the midst of life's storms and chaos?

God wills that His people be blessed and flourishing. But God’s blessings depend on something else, something for which we are responsible.

Does your human family have problems? Rejoice, if you have been adopted into the Father’s family by the new birth, you are tied eternally to Jesus Christ.

The Bible mentions the number twelve often. Can we know why? Or should we praise God for His wisdom not yet fully revealed?

Do you wonder if sickness is divine punishment for sin? One man came to Christ for healing, but discovered He gives something even better.

In Jesus Christ there is true freedom to be His servant. Yet not only His servant but His friend. He redeems us to be His friends.

What would life be without time? Surely we cannot imagine it. Time is a good gift of God to us. He works in time fulfilling His plans in His perfect timing.

Missions are about making God's name known and hallowed in every nation of the world. We must pray, send, give and go till Christ returns.

Truth is essential. The claims of Jesus Christ rest in actual historical events, not merely philosophical theory. If true, how can they be ignored?

What do we do with our guilt? It torments sensitive souls, but Jesus Christ died that whoever believes in Him should be forgiven and cleansed of all guilt.

The sin and corruption in apparently godly people can shock us. How can we regular people escape? The gospel of Jesus Christ gives us the answer.

You don't know what you don't know. That's oblivion. The disciples of Jesus suffered from it but great is the love of Christ.

Does God care how we worship Him? Two priests once believed He does not. The result was death. Death at church. Find out more in today's post.

What can we, mere humans, give to God? There is nothing that He needs, but there is something He wants from us. Something He finds acceptable and holy.

In light of Jesus' parables, we might wonder if He is teaching that we are saved by our own merits. Did Jesus teach salvation by works?

God is not a capricious tyrant. His commands are good, He provides a sacrifice for our sins. And He is pleased with us when we believe Him.

It's painful to think of a great building being destroyed. But when the temple which is destroyed is Jesus Christ the result is resurrection and life.

God gave Israel a visible structure intended to portray the gospel of Jesus Christ. So when the Lord came how could they miss the point entirely?

Two qualities bring blessing to Christians but are often in short supply. Today's readings give us good and bad examples of these qualities.

Many worship practices are justified because “they work.” But do they truly honor God? Do they conform to what God says in His word?

God calls us to His fellowship, but we may not come in our natural state. We must be dressed properly. But when we are we may enjoy Him forever.

The chief priests and elders pretended concern about Jesus’ authority, but what was their true motivation?

There I will meet with you, and from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim that are on the ark of the testimony, I will speak with you about all that I will give you in commandment for the people of Israel. Exodus 25:22

Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it in the hearing of the people. And they said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient.” And Moses took the blood and threw it on the people and said, “Behold the blood of the covenant that the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words.” Exodus 24:7-8

Now these are the rules that you shall set before them. Exodus 21:1 Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity? Matthew 20:15

And the people of Israel said to them, “Would that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the meat pots and ate bread to the full, for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.” Exodus 16:3

When they came to Marah, they could not drink the water of Marah because it was bitter; therefore it was named Marah. And the people grumbled against Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?” Exodus 15:23-24

The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, “This month shall be for you the beginning of months. It shall be the first month of the year for you.” Exodus 12:1-2

But when Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the thunder had ceased, he sinned yet again and hardened his heart, he and his servants. So the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, and he did not let the people of Israel go, just as the Lord had spoken through Moses. Exodus 9:34-35

But Pharaoh hardened his heart this time also, and did not let the people go. Exodus 8:32 He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” When the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces and were terrified. Matthew 17:5-6

Say therefore to the people of Israel, I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from slavery to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great acts of judgment. I will take you to be my people, and I will be your God, and you shall know that I am the Lord your God, who has brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. I will bring you into the land that I swore to give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. I will give it to you for a possession. I am the Lord. Exodus 6:6-8

And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. God saw the people of Israel

My father made me swear, saying, “I am about to die: in my tomb that I hewed out for myself in the land of Canaan, there shall you bury me.” Now therefore, let me please go up and bury my father. Then I will return. Genesis 50:5

Then Israel said to Joseph, “Behold, I am about to die, but God will be with you and will bring you again to the land of your fathers. Moreover, I have given to you rather than to your brothers one mountain slope that I took from the hand of the Amorites with my sword and with my bow.” Genesis 48:21-22

Then Joseph could not control himself before all those who stood by him. He cried, “Make everyone go out from me.” So no one stayed with him when Joseph made himself known to his brothers. And he wept aloud, so that the Egyptians heard it, and the household of Pharaoh heard it. And Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph! Is my father still alive?” But his brothers could not answer him, for they were dismayed at his presence. Genesis 45:1-3

He said to his brothers, “My money has been put back; here it is in the mouth of my sack!” At this their hearts failed them, and they turned trembling to one another, saying, “What is this that God has done to us?” Genesis 42:28

And Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find a man like this, in whom is the Spirit of God?” Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has shown you all this, there is none so discerning and wise as you are. You shall be over my house, and all my people shall order themselves as you command. Only as regards the throne will I be greater than you.” Genesis 41:38-40

And Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn, and her name was Tamar. But Er, Judah's firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the Lord, and the Lord put him to death. Genesis 38:6-7

I tell you, something greater than the temple is here. And if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.” Matthew 12:6-8

So Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, “Put away the foreign gods that are among you and purify yourselves and change your garments. Then let us arise and go up to Bethel, so that I may make there an altar to the God who answers me in the day of my distress and has been with me wherever I have gone.” Genesis 35:2-3

Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed. He divided the people who were with him, and the flocks and herds and camels, into two camps, thinking, “If Esau comes to the one camp and attacks it, then the camp that is left will escape.” Genesis 32:7-8

When Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, she envied her sister. She said to Jacob, “Give me children, or I shall die!” Genesis 30:1

…and in you and your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed. Genesis 28:14b The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. Matthew 9:37-38

Jacob said, “Sell me your birthright now.” Esau said, “I am about to die; of what use is a birthright to me?” Jacob said, “Swear to me now.” So he swore to him and sold his birthright to Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew, and he ate and drank and rose and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright. Genesis 25:31-34

After this, Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field of Machpelah east of Mamre (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan. The field and the cave that is in it were made over to Abraham as property for a burying place by the Hittites. Genesis 23:19-20

After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” So Abraham rose early in the morning..." Genesis 22:1-3a

The sun had risen on the earth when Lot came to Zoar. Then the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah sulfur and fire from the Lord out of heaven. And he overthrew those cities, and all the valley, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground. Genesis 19:23-25

And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness. Genesis 15:6 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Matthew 5:48

So Pharaoh called Abram and said, “What is this you have done to me? Why did you not tell me that she was your wife? Genesis 12:18 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:20

So the Lord dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth and they left off building the city. Genesis 11:8 From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matthew 4:17

God exercises His power in judgment on sinful mankind with a universal flood. Even in the flood, He shows His grace and mercy by sparing Noah and his family along with a male and a female of each animal.

I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” Genesis 3:15

Today’s reading: Genesis 1-2; Matthew 1 And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. Genesis 1:31 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21

Are you considering reading through the Bible in the New Year? Let me suggest a plan and invite you to join me each day here to share the reading journey.

Have you ever read through the Bible? Many have started, but fewer have finished. As someone who has been reading through the Bible annually for most of the past fifty years, I would like to help you be successful in reading the entire book from cover to cover over the next twelve months.