The Life of Jesus Recorded

earliest-new-testament-manuscript-fragment-discovered

2nd century biblical text fragment from Egypt

Reading the Word

Luke 1:1–4 (ESV)

1 Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us, 2 just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us, 3 it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, 4 that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught.

Luke’s Gospel begins with a purpose statement. Luke is writing to a recipient he calls “most excellent Theophilus.” To open his Gospel, Luke says that his purpose for writing is to put together an orderly account of the things that have happened. He received his information from those who were eyewitnesses of the events. And he writes these things that Theophilus can be certain of their truth.

We often take the word of God for granted. Most of us have multiple copies and they often sit around on our shelves collecting dust. Imagine where we would be without God’s written word.

What if the events of Jesus’ birth, life, death, and resurrection were not recorded for us? If we knew anything about Jesus at all, we would be left to wonder what was true and what was not. Thankfully, God wrote these things down for us so that we could study the events and teachings of our Lord. We can grow in our understanding and we can know who Jesus was, why he matters, and what we need to do in response to his life and teachings. That is what we will be doing together in 2019. Let us take a moment to thank God for his word and ask him to teach us in the year ahead.

**Shaped by the Word is a daily, Bible-reading devotional. Please subscribe to this page so you can follow along each day. We will be reading through the life of Christ as recorded in the four Gospel accounts in 2019.

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Read Your Bible Every Day in 2019

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Tomorrow is a new year. We all know what that means: New Year’s resolutions. Most of us have made them. Many of us will make them again this year. Why not make one that will have an eternal significance? Resolve to read your Bible every day in 2019.

If that is something you would like to do, I would like to help. Subscribe to this page and follow along with the daily posts. Each day will include a passage from Scripture and some of my personal thoughts on what the passage means. The entire post will take no more than a few minutes to read. I know you can do it! And I know you will benefit from reading God’s word every day.

In 2019, we will read through the life of Jesus Christ together from the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John). Please join us. All you have to do is subscribe to the page and take the time to read the new posts each day. It is going to be a great year!

Read Your Bible Every Day in 2019

Bible Study Coffee Cup

Read the Bible every day in 2019! Subscribe to this page and follow along with Shaped by the Word as we read through the Life of Christ beginning January 1. Be sure to invite your friends!

The Life of Christ in 2019

Bible Study Coffee Cup

Want to read the Bible every day in 2019? Subscribe to this page and follow along through the Life of Christ beginning January 1. Be sure to invite your friends!

Let My Cry Come before You

Study Read Book Bible

Reading the Word

Psalm 119:169–176 (ESV)

169 Let my cry come before you, O Lord; give me understanding according to your word! 170 Let my plea come before you; deliver me according to your word. 171 My lips will pour forth praise, for you teach me your statutes. 172 My tongue will sing of your word, for all your commandments are right. 173 Let your hand be ready to help me, for I have chosen your precepts. 174 I long for your salvation, O Lord, and your law is my delight. 175 Let my soul live and praise you, and let your rules help me. 176 I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek your servant, for I do not forget your commandments.

Understanding and Applying the Word

We often take prayer for granted. It is an amazing thing that the great God who created everything cares to listen to the prayers of mankind. Why does he concern himself with us? We are insignificant when you think of the vastness of the universe. Yet, we are told that God does care and that he does hear and answer prayer.

The psalmist prays, “Let me cry come before you…Let my plea come before you.” It is a wonderful thing to know that God has heard. And it is also a wonderful thing to know that God answers prayer according to his word. He has not left us in the dark about his plans and purposes in the world, nor has he left us wondering what he desires from us. He has told us all of these things through his word to us. And most of all, we find that God is a God of salvation. He saves us from our sins and gives us life through Jesus Christ. Let us praise God for hearing us, for giving us his word, and for saving those who call out to him.

**Shaped by the Word is a daily Bible reading devotional. Please use the links at the bottom to subscribe to this page. You can also share this post with your friends through social media using the buttons below. Thanks for reading!

Open My Eyes

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Reading the Word

Psalm 119:17–24 (ESV)

17 Deal bountifully with your servant, that I may live and keep your word. 18 Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law. 19 I am a sojourner on the earth; hide not your commandments from me! 20 My soul is consumed with longing for your rules at all times. 21 You rebuke the insolent, accursed ones, who wander from your commandments. 22 Take away from me scorn and contempt, for I have kept your testimonies. 23 Even though princes sit plotting against me, your servant will meditate on your statutes. 24 Your testimonies are my delight; they are my counselors.

Understanding and Applying the Word

God’s word is a wonderful blessing to mankind. However, not all view it that way. Many disregard it and think of it as useless. Some even rail against it and proclaim that it is harmful. If it is so wonderful, why do some treat it with disregard?

The short answer is that we need God to open our eyes. Scripture tells us that we are all spiritually dead. We are all sinful and our sin proves this to be true. It takes an act of God in our lives to change our situation and for us to desire the things of God. The psalmist calls out in verse 18, “Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.” May we call out to God as well and ask him to open our eyes that we may love him and his word with all our hearts.

**Shaped by the Word is a daily Bible reading devotional. Please use the links at the bottom to subscribe to this page. You can also share this post with your friends through social media using the buttons below. Thanks for reading!

Your Word in My Heart

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Reading the Word

Psalm 119:9–16 (ESV)

9 How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. 10 With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! 11 I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. 12 Blessed are you, O Lord; teach me your statutes! 13 With my lips I declare all the rules of your mouth. 14 In the way of your testimonies I delight as much as in all riches. 15 I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. 16 I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word.

Understanding and Applying the Word

In this passage we find a well-known verse that reads, “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” The psalmist is concerned with living life God’s way. He desires to keep his way pure, not wander, and fix his eyes on God’s ways. He will do this by meditating on God’s word and never forgetting it.

Do you delight in the word of God? The psalmist speaks of delighting in God’s testimonies as much as in all riches. We may be quick to agree with this statement, but how many of us truly live like the word of God is the most valuable thing to us? What we spend our time on is a good indicator of what is important to us. How much time do we spend in God’s word? Can we really, truly say that we delight in it?

**Shaped by the Word is a daily Bible reading devotional. Please use the links at the bottom to subscribe to this page. You can also share this post with your friends through social media using the buttons below. Thanks for reading!

The Wonderful Word of God

Bible Law

Reading the Word

Psalm 119:1–8 (ESV)

1 Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord! 2 Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart, 3 who also do no wrong, but walk in his ways! 4 You have commanded your precepts to be kept diligently. 5 Oh that my ways may be steadfast in keeping your statutes! 6 Then I shall not be put to shame, having my eyes fixed on all your commandments. 7 I will praise you with an upright heart, when I learn your righteous rules. 8 I will keep your statutes; do not utterly forsake me!

Understanding and Applying the Word

Psalm 119 is the longest of the psalms, stretching 176 verses. The psalm is organized as an acrostic based on the Hebrew alphabet with the first eight lines beginning with the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet (aleph), the second eight lines with the second letter (beth), and so on. The focus of the entire psalm is on the goodness of God’s instruction (i.e. God’s law). Every line of the psalm uses the word “law” or a synonym for it to express the greatness of God’s word to mankind.

How wonderful is the word of God! It brings goodness and life to those who study it and obey it. Yet, for many of us, we neglect it and choose to live life our own way. This is only to our detriment as it is the Lord who created us and knows what is best for us. The good and loving God who sent his Son into the world to save us from our sin has also given us his word to guide our lives. How could we neglect the words of one who has shown us such great affection? Let us turn to his word again and again as we seek to understand this world and how to live in it.

**Shaped by the Word is a daily Bible reading devotional. Please use the links at the bottom to subscribe to this page. You can also share this post with your friends through social media using the buttons below. Thanks for reading!

Let This Be Recorded

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Reading the Word

Psalm 102:18–22 (ESV)

18 Let this be recorded for a generation to come, so that a people yet to be created may praise the Lord: 19 that he looked down from his holy height; from heaven the Lord looked at the earth, 20 to hear the groans of the prisoners, to set free those who were doomed to die, 21 that they may declare in Zion the name of the Lord, and in Jerusalem his praise, 22 when peoples gather together, and kingdoms, to worship the Lord.

Understanding and Applying the Word

“Let this be recorded,” begins this passage. The psalmist desires for the acts of God to be written down so that later generations would know of his wonderful works and give him praise.

The Bible is the recording of the words and works of God. It is through the Scriptures that we hear of all that God has done in the past in saving his people. It is through the Scriptures that we learn of and come to know our Savior, Jesus Christ and the events of the cross. We are the later generations the psalmist speaks of. And it is through the Bible, the recording of God’s work, that we know him and are drawn to worship. Praise God for his word!

**Shaped by the Word is a daily Bible reading devotional. Please use the links at the bottom to subscribe to this page. You can also share this post with your friends through social media using the buttons below. Thanks for reading!

If You Hear His Voice

Bible Study Woman

 

Reading the Word

Psalm 95:7–11 (ESV)

7 …Today, if you hear his voice, 8 do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah, as on the day at Massah in the wilderness, 9 when your fathers put me to the test and put me to the proof, though they had seen my work. 10 For forty years I loathed that generation and said, “They are a people who go astray in their heart, and they have not known my ways.” 11 Therefore I swore in my wrath, “They shall not enter my rest.”

Understanding and Applying the Word

These verses stand as a call to respond correctly to the word of God. There is a warning given using the Israelites who did not trust God in the time of the Exodus as an example. The people grumbled and complained as they were led out of Egypt to the promised land. They showed that they did not trust that God would protect them and deliver on his promises. As a result, God does not let them enter the land for forty years, which would be after an entire generation had died.

This psalm serves as a warning to us. When we hear the word of God, whether through reading it or hearing it taught, we are expected to act on it. It is not just information to fill our minds, but is intended to shape our hearts. We show that we believe and trust our God when we are willing and ready to obey him. So, let us hear God’s voice in his word and let us seek to live in obedience.

**Shaped by the Word is a daily Bible reading devotional. Please use the links at the bottom to subscribe to this page. You can also share this post with your friends through social media using the buttons below. Thanks for reading!