Josiah: Day 5

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DAY 5: Weekly Reflection

JOURNALING:

What’s getting in the way of you growing in your relationship with God? (e.g., your view of God, your view of yourself, self-centeredness, entertainment, lustful pleasures, jealousy, envy, etc.).

Write down at least 2-3 steps you’ll take over the next week to remove these obstacles and grow in your relationship with God.

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

Read: Numbers 16 & 17

Journal: Write it out. Following the pattern from 7 Arrows Page (click here) what did you learn from today’s reading?

 

Note: Are you looking for a Study Bible to help you engage with the Scriptures at a deeper level? If so, click here for some recommendations.

Josiah: Day 4

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DAY 4: The People Celebrate

How often do you truly celebrate something? Perhaps you celebrate a birthday, a Holiday, or another special event throughout the year, but do you really go all-out in your celebration? 

For many of us, we’ll celebrate on some levels, but not in a big way. Wedding anniversaries may be celebrated on a bigger level at 20, 25, or 50 years. Birthdays, too, may be celebrated on a larger level at certain ages. But many celebrations may be fun and enjoyable, but not an all-out wholehearted celebration. 

For the people of Judah, this was about to change. King Josiah commanded the people to celebrate Passover, an event for them to remember how God had saved his people hundreds of years prior in Egypt. And what a celebration it was! 2 Kings 23:22 reads, “There had not been a Passover celebration like that since the time when the judges ruled in Israel, nor throughout all the years of the kings of Israel and Judah.”

As you read today, consider this: What is something big God has done in your life that you, your family, and friends can celebrate in a big way over the next year? 

READING & JOURNALING:

     2 Kings 23:21-28

What is something big God has done in your life that you, your family, and friends can celebrate in a big way over the next year?

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

Read: Numbers 13 & 14

Journal: Write it out. Following the pattern from 7 Arrows Page (click here) what did you learn from today’s reading?

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, when I think about something in my life that is worth celebrating, the simplest answer is You. You are worth celebrating for sending Jesus to live and know what it’s like to experience difficult trials and circumstances. You are worth celebrating for Jesus dying on the cross and bearing the burden of my sins. You are worth celebrating for creating me in Your image. You are worth celebrating for rescuing me. You are worth celebrating for so much more. May I celebrate You for the life transformation You’re working in my life each and every day. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. 

 

Note: Are you looking for a Study Bible to help you engage with the Scriptures at a deeper level? If so, click here for some recommendations.

Josiah: Day 3

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DAY 3: God’s Covenant Renewed

In our culture today, there are a couple of topics that people shy away from discussing, especially in the workplace. Both Religion and Politics are sensitive topics, with people creating self-made lines that form into an Us vs. Them mindset. 

Things were not so different in king Josiah’s day. After having God’s Word read to him, Josiah made the decision to completely reform the nation of Judah. He wasn’t just focused on his family, or his city. Judah represented the people of God, so Josiah wanted to be certain they all worshiped God and God alone. 

How did Josiah lead? He started by having the people renew their covenant with God. This covenant was much more than a legal agreement. It was a life-commitment to God and His Word. It was a sincere dedication to rid their lives of the things that interfered with their relationship with God. It was much more than attending worship services together. It was total full-on commitment to God each and every day. 

As you read today, consider this: Is there any area of your life in which you’re not fully committed to God and His Word? 

READING & JOURNALING:

2 Kings 23:1-20

Is there any area of your life in which you’re not fully committed to God and His Word?

What steps can you take today, this week, this month, and into the next year to yield this area of your life fully to God? 

Who can you ask to help you and hold you accountable as you take these steps? 

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

Read: Numbers 11 & 12

Journal: Write it out. Following the pattern from 7 Arrows Page (click here) what did you learn from today’s reading?

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, I don’t want to enter into life with an Us vs. Them mindset. While there will always be others I disagree with when it comes to religion, politics, or other topics, I still want to live acknowledging that all people have been created by You, are deeply loved by You, and that You are regularly inviting me to love others in the same way You love me. Help me to love others better. In Jesus’ name. Amen. 

 

Note: Are you looking for a Study Bible to help you engage with the Scriptures at a deeper level? If so, click here for some recommendations.

Josiah: Day 2

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DAY 2: Real Life Transformation

Be honest: When you spend time in prayer, do you spend more time praying for your circumstances to change, or more time praying that God would truly transform your life? That you would come to know Him so strongly that He could change your perspective and see things more like He does?

In his book simply titled Prayer, Pastor and Author Timothy Keller writes, “It is remarkable that in all of his writings Paul’s prayers for his friends contain no appeals for changes in their circumstances. It is certain that they lived in the midst of many dangers and hardships. They faced persecution, death from disease, oppression by powerful forces, and separation from loved ones. Their existence was far less secure than ours is today. Yet in these prayers you see not one petition for a better emperor, for protection from marauding armies, or even for bread for the next meal. Paul does not pray for the goods we would usually have near the top of our lists of requests.”

As you read today, consider this: How are your own prayers similar to the Apostle Paul’s? How are they different? 

READING & JOURNALING:

Today’s reading is a compilation of prayers from the Apostle Paul in the New Testament. These prayers are how he prayed for his friends who were likely experiencing adversity on a level far greater than we do today. Read through these passages in the order listed, and then answer the questions below. 

Philippians 1:3-6; Philippians 1:9-11; Colossians 1:9-12; Ephesians 3:16-19; Ephesians 1:17-19; Colossians 3:12-17; Philippians 4:8-9

How are your own prayers similar to the Apostle Paul’s? 

How are they different?

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

Read: Leviticus 26

Journal: Write it out. Following the pattern from 7 Arrows Page (click here) what did you learn from today’s reading?

PRAYER:

Today, write out your own prayer to God. Don’t pray that He would transform your circumstances. Instead, invite Him to transform your life.

 

Note: Are you looking for a Study Bible to help you engage with the Scriptures at a deeper level? If so, click here for some recommendations.

Josiah: Day 1

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DAY 1: Inspiration vs. Transformation

What is the most inspiring movie you’ve ever seen, or book you’ve ever read? Now be honest, what kind of an impact did it really have on your life? 

In this day and age, you may watch a movie, read a book, or hear a message at church that is inspirational. You’re encouraged to make a change in your life, whether it’s to take on a new goal, eat healthy, exercise more, or something else. Sometimes these inspirational stories lead to real, honest life change. But many times an inspirational story doesn’t actually lead to life transformation. Transformation occurs with repeated, habitual decisions. 

King Josiah finds himself in a very unusual position of becoming king at a very young age (8 years old). 18 years later, a copy of God’s Law is discovered and read to the king. Immediately, he begins to make reforms for the nation of Judah. These reforms won’t occur overnight, but ongoing transformation will occur due to Josiah’s desire to honor God and His Word. 

As you read today, consider this: How do you think real life transformation occurs? 

READING & JOURNALING:

     2 Kings 22:1-20

How do you think real life transformation occurs? Be specific. 

Think of a time when you were inspired to change something in your life, but you didn’t actually transform that area of your life. What do you think would’ve most helped you to follow through? 

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

Read: Leviticus 23

Journal: Write it out. Following the pattern from 7 Arrows Page (click here) what did you learn from today’s reading?

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, today I confess that I regularly enjoy inspirational books, movies, or other stories, but I don’t regularly follow through when it comes to transforming these areas of my life. While there may be many reasons for this, I recognize that the main reason is that I seek out inspirational stories instead of seeking out a transformational God. You and You alone can change me in the person You’ve made me to be. Help me to be that person. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.  

 

Note: Are you looking for a Study Bible to help you engage with the Scriptures at a deeper level? If so, click here for some recommendations.

Hoshea & Hezekiah: Day 5

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DAY 5: Weekly Reflection

JOURNALING:

What’s getting in the way of you growing in your relationship with God? (e.g., your view of God, your view of yourself, self-centeredness, entertainment, lustful pleasures, jealousy, envy, etc.).

Write down at least 2-3 steps you’ll take over the next week to remove these obstacles and grow in your relationship with God.

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

Read: Leviticus 16 & 17

Journal: Write it out. Following the pattern from 7 Arrows Page (click here) what did you learn from today’s reading?

 

Note: Are you looking for a Study Bible to help you engage with the Scriptures at a deeper level? If so, click here for some recommendations.

Hoshea & Hezekiah: Day 4

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DAY 4: Hezekiah’s Blunder

Imagine living in a culture in which you don’t turn away strangers at your door. A culture in which you invite them into your home, feed them your best food, and make them feel as welcome as possible before they continue on their journey. Where do you draw the line between being hospitable, and giving away too much information about your family, or other items of value in your home? 

Late in Hezekiah’s life, he’s ill. Some messengers from a foreign land arrive asking about his well-being, and offering gifts. He receives the messengers well, and shows them tremendous hospitality. Unfortunately, Hezekiah is a bit too eager to please his guests, taking time to show off everything he owns. He avails to them all of his gold and silver, large storages of fine oil and spices, and everything else of value.

But Isaiah the prophet sees the foolishness in Hezekiah’s decision, and reveals to him that because of his lack of wisdom, the Kingdom of Judah will fall. Not to the Assyrian Empire, but to the coming Babylonian Empire. 

As you read today, consider this: How can you grow in being more hospitable to others? 

READING & JOURNALING:

     2 Kings 20:1-21, 1 Peter 4:8-9, Luke 14:12-14

How can you grow in being more hospitable to others?

What are some good boundaries to have in place that still provide you opportunities to be overtly hospitable, yet safeguard your family or other items of value? 

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

Read: Leviticus 8 & 9

Journal: Write it out. Following the pattern from 7 Arrows Page (click here) what did you learn from today’s reading?

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, even though the culture in which Hezekiah lived in much different than our own, I recognize that he offered a level of hospitality to foreigners and outsiders from which I can learn. I pray that You would stretch me in such a way that I grow in this area, yet also pray that You would provide me wisdom to not blunder in the same way Hezekiah blundered. Finally, as the end of the week draws near, I pray that You would continue to help me know You more, and know the plans You have for me. In Jesus’ name. Amen. 

 

Note: Are you looking for a Study Bible to help you engage with the Scriptures at a deeper level? If so, click here for some recommendations.

Hoshea & Hezekiah: Day 3

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DAY 3: Hezekiah’s Prayer

Do you spend more time in prayer for the things you want in life, or more time in prayer for God’s will to be done? 

As the Assyrians began to surround Jerusalem, king Hezekiah could have prayed that God would protect his life. Instead, Hezekiah prayed that God would miraculously save Jerusalem so that all of the world would know that God alone is the true God. This is a much bigger prayer, and God would respond to Hezekiah’s prayer in a really big way. 

Archaeology has confirmed that Hezekiah had a tunnel constructed in order to keep fresh water in the city while the Assyrians surrounded it. (You can still walk through this tunnel in Jerusalem today.) Archaeology has also confirmed that the Assyrian army left Jerusalem without overthrowing it. In fact, of the dozens, even hundreds of cities overthrown by the Assyrians, Jerusalem is the only city they failed to conquer.

What the Scriptures tell us is that God performed a miracle, sending his angel to slay 185,000 Assyrian soldiers. Indeed, God answered Hezekiah’s prayer in a big way! As you read today, consider this: What is one prayer God has answered in your life in a big way? 

READING & JOURNALING:

     2 Kings 19:1-37

What do you find most interesting about Hezekiah’s prayer (2 Kings 19:14-19)? 

What is one prayer God has answered in your life in a big way? (Perhaps you or others may consider it a “miracle.”)

What do you find most interesting about this story as a whole?

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

Read: Exodus 40

Journal: Write it out. Following the pattern from 7 Arrows Page (click here) what did you learn from today’s reading?

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, it’s hard for me to think of just one prayer You’ve answered in my life in a big way, because as I dwell on it, I realize that You have answered many of my prayers in a big way. Whether it happens today, in the coming weeks, or even years from now, I pray that You will continue to work in my life in a significant way. Not so that others would see me better, but so that all others would see that You and You alone are God. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. 

 

Note: Are you looking for a Study Bible to help you engage with the Scriptures at a deeper level? If so, click here for some recommendations.

Hoshea & Hezekiah: Day 2

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DAY 2: Judah (the Southern Kingdom) vs. Assyria

Imagine being confronted with a bully who seems wiling to do just about anything in order to get what he wants. How would you respond? 

In the days of king Hezekiah, Judah was perhaps the most valuable piece of property on the planet. Sandwiched between the stronghold of Egypt and the Assyrian Empire, Judah was a significant trade route that connected three continents. When Hezekiah became king, he was upset that Assyria was controlling and receiving the financial benefits of this trade route, so he rebelled. The Assyrians swiftly responded, demanding a huge financial tribute from Hezekiah. 

Hezekiah paid the tribute, but the Assyrians wanted more. They still wanted full control of Judah’s lands. King Hezekiah is stuck between a rock and a hard place. He knows that the Northern Kingdom of Israel has already fallen and the people were taken off into captivity. Now, some of Judah’s key cities were being overthrown as well. Only Judah’s capital city of Jerusalem remained. How would Hezekiah respond? 

As you read today, consider this: What is the most difficult decision you’ve ever had to make? 

READING & JOURNALING:

     2 Kings 18:1-37

What is the most difficult decision you’ve ever had to make? As you wrestled with it, how did you eventually come to the decision that you made? 

In what ways did this experience help you to grow individually? Were there any ways in which this experience helped you be able to help others? 

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

Read: Exodus 34:1 – 36:1

Journal: Write it out. Following the pattern from 7 Arrows Page (click here) what did you learn from today’s reading?

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, it’s not always easy for me to read about these ancient kings and recognize that some of the things they struggled with are some of the same things I struggle with. Today, I realize that Hezekiah had some really difficult decisions to make, and in the end he called on You and other godly people for wisdom. As difficult circumstances come my way, may I also come to You and other godly people for wisdom and direction. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. 

 

Note: Are you looking for a Study Bible to help you engage with the Scriptures at a deeper level? If so, click here for some recommendations.

Hoshea & Hezekiah: Day 1

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DAY 1: Israel (the Northern Kingdom) Falls

The Assyrian Empire had one of the most proficient militaries in history. When the Assyrian Army came knocking on your city door, chances are high that they came to knock it down. When Hoshea was king of Israel (the Northern Kingdom), the people of Israel had already received not one, but two strong warnings from the Assyrians. All they needed to do was pay tribute to the Assyrians and not rebel against them. Well, all they really need to do was turn back to God. But the people refused to see that their situation was of their own making. 

Because of their refusal to turn back to God, in 722 BC the Assyrian Empire completely overthrew the Kingdom of Israel. Not only did they overthrow Israel, they deported the people to other cities. 

At this point in time, Judah (the Southern Kingdom) is still functioning outside of Assyrian rule. Will the people there remain faithful to God? 

As you read today, consider this: When do you find it most difficult to be faithful to God? Is it when things are going well for you or when things are going poorly? 

READING & JOURNALING:

     2 Kings 17:1-15

When do you find it most difficult to be faithful to God? Is it when things are going well for you or when things are going poorly? 

Have you ever experienced such a strong tragedy that you questioned if God was real, or if He was listening? Looking back, how did He respond to that level of pain and hurt you were experiencing? 

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

Read: Exodus 32 & 33

Journal: Write it out. Following the pattern from 7 Arrows Page (click here) what did you learn from today’s reading?

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, I confess that it’s more natural for me to turn to You regularly in times of chaos or hurt than it is for me to turn to You when things are going well. But I also confess there have been times when things have been so bleak that I have doubted your presence. Today, I simply rejoice in knowing that You are with me through everything. Whether good times or bad, You are always there! Thank You! In Jesus’ name. Amen. 

 

Note: Are you looking for a Study Bible to help you engage with the Scriptures at a deeper level? If so, click here for some recommendations.