Bible Reading Plans

A “quiet time” is simply being intentional about having a conversation with God. This usually means listening for God’s voice by reading the Bible or devotions, and speaking to God through prayer. Jesus did this numerous times in the Gospels, sometimes slipping away all night or in the early morning, to spend time with his Father.

Here are some well respected reading plans that can help you plan this time, they all come with mobile optimised options so you can even take them with you as you travel to work.

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When others saw giants in the Promised Land and wanted to return to Egypt, Caleb said, ‘The LORD…will bring us safely into that land and give it to us.’ At that point two things happened. ‘The whole...
Posted: January 1, 1970, 12:00 am
A little boy was disabled and the doctors said there was nothing they could do to help him. So his mother took an orange crate, put him in it, tied a rope around it, tied the rope to her waist, and...
Posted: January 1, 1970, 12:00 am
Your calling will always be connected to an unmet need or an opportunity to do good. It was in listening to the cries of an enslaved people that Moses discovered his calling. So did William...
Posted: January 1, 1970, 12:00 am

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‘The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom’ (Psalm 111:10). Ask God to give you a right sense of fear in his holy presence.

Posted: June 22, 2017, 10:14 pm

Acts 19

Paul in Ephesus
 1While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples 2and asked them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?"
      They answered, "No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit."

 3So Paul asked, "Then what baptism did you receive?"
      "John's baptism," they replied.

 4Paul said, "John's baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus." 5On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. 6When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. 7There were about twelve men in all.

 8Paul entered the synagogue and spoke boldly there for three months, arguing persuasively about the kingdom of God. 9But some of them became obstinate; they refused to believe and publicly maligned the Way. So Paul left them. He took the disciples with him and had discussions daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus. 10This went on for two years, so that all the Jews and Greeks who lived in the province of Asia heard the word of the Lord.

 11God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, 12so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.

 13Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, "In the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out." 14Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. 15(One day) the evil spirit answered them, "Jesus I know, and I know about Paul, but who are you?" 16Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding.

 17When this became known to the Jews and Greeks living in Ephesus, they were all seized with fear, and the name of the Lord Jesus was held in high honor. 18Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed their evil deeds. 19A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly. When they calculated the value of the scrolls, the total came to fifty thousand drachmas. 20In this way the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power.

 21After all this had happened, Paul decided to go to Jerusalem, passing through Macedonia and Achaia. "After I have been there," he said, "I must visit Rome also." 22He sent two of his helpers, Timothy and Erastus, to Macedonia, while he stayed in the province of Asia a little longer.
Posted: June 22, 2017, 10:13 pm

Perilous mocking
The name of Jesus is used as a swear word in our society. Comedians get endless mileage from the foibles of the church. High-profile academics sneer at the very idea of a supernatural realm and even some church leaders mock the idea of Jesus’ physical resurrection.

How foolish! The old simile – ‘like playing with fire’ – is laughably inadequate in this context. God will not be mocked. And neither, it seems, will the devil (v 16).

Gospel power
Paul’s message, preached with persuasive words and endorsed by powerful miracles, was not received without opposition. Some refused to believe it and then did their best to undermine it (v 9). And some tried to mimic the techniques without embracing the heart of it (v 13).

We’ll encounter opposition of all kinds too when we share the gospel. We know, though, that we worship a powerful, almighty, holy, fearsome God. One day his name will be held in honour by the whole world, and every knee will bow before him (Isaiah 45:23).

Posted: June 22, 2017, 10:12 pm

Pray that the power of God will be more real to you than the cynicism and harsh words of those who don’t believe. Pray for those you know to be confronted by the Holy One of Israel who lives in you by his Spirit.

Jo Swinney

Posted: June 22, 2017, 10:11 pm

Father, open our eyes to see what you are doing. Forgive us for always asking you to bless what we are doing; help us to do what you are blessing.

After returning to his home base in Antioch, Paul sets out on his third missionary journey. He travels through Galatia strengthening the churches and then arrives in Ephesus, the capital of the region of Asia. He remains in Ephesus for nearly three years and the impact of his ministry there is more dramatic and widespread than anywhere else he visits. This stay in Ephesus is in many ways the culmination of his missionary efforts.

The text goes to great lengths to emphasise the dramatic impact Paul had in Ephesus and throughout Asia. He operated in such supernatural power that ‘extraordinary miracles’ were happening, including aprons he had touched being used to heal the sick (vs 11,12). Vivid power encounters were happening, such as that with the seven sons of Sceva, with the result that ‘the name of the Lord Jesus was held in high honour’ (v 17). The very culture of the larger city was dramatically transformed, epitomised by many new disciples publicly burning their sorcery scrolls (vs18,19). Acts summarises all this memorably by saying, ‘the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power’ (v 20) and ‘all the Jews and Greeks who lived in the province of Asia heard the word of the Lord’ (v 10).

These astounding summary statements hint at something much bigger than just Ephesus, something that impacted the entire vast region of Asia. We know that people such as Epaphras were being trained and sent to plant churches in other cities in Asia (Colossians 1:7,8; 4:12–16) and we also know that Asia went on to be the most reached region in the empire (compare Revelation 1–3. The seven churches are all in Asia, including, of course, Ephesus). Through Paul’s ministry, Ephesus became an epicentre for a rapidly reproducing church-planting movement, which ended up impacting its entire region with the good news of the gospel.

Daniel McGinnis

Posted: June 22, 2017, 10:10 pm
Position

Ephesus was a major city in the first century, the capital of the Roman province of Asia. Situated on the mouth of the Cayster river, it was a main trade route between Rome and the East, and a prosperous business centre.

Two highways led to the interior: the Royal Road which led across Mount Tmolus from Sardis, and another route leading through the Maeander valley to the Southern Highway. The Phrygian cities of Colosse, Laodicea and Hierapolis were dependent on Ephesus for commerce and communication.

Religion

Religiously, the magnificent temple in honour of Artemis (known by Romans as Diana), originally built in the middle of the sixth century BC, was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. The harbour led via the Arcadian Avenue, a street 10.5 metres wide and flanked by large columns, to a great theatre, which can still be visited today. (The imposing Library of Celsus has been restored with the help of the German Archaeological Institute.)

Ephesus was also a centre for magical practices, and ‘Ephesian letters’, written magical spells believed to have power to ward off evil demons, were familiar even to some Jews. After 29 BC the city also became a centre for the Roman imperial cult, involving veneration of the Roman emperor as divine.

Other New Testament references

Paul’s letter to the Ephesians was probably actually a circular letter written to all the seven churches in the province of Asia, written from Rome. 1 and 2 Timothy were both written to Timothy when he was supervising the church in Ephesus. The risen Lord’s message for the church there is recorded in Revelation 2:1–7.
Posted: June 22, 2017, 10:09 pm
Read the Bible in a year.

2 Chronicles 13–15

Ephesians 2
Posted: June 22, 2017, 10:08 pm

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Posted: June 22, 2017, 10:07 pm

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Posted: June 22, 2017, 10:06 pm

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