Monday Morning Coffee with Mark

The Year with God - 2023 Bible Reading Plan

January 02, 2023 Mark Roberts Season 3 Episode 1
Monday Morning Coffee with Mark
The Year with God - 2023 Bible Reading Plan
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Welcome to the Westside church’s special Monday Morning Coffee podcast with Mark Roberts. Mark is a disciple, a husband, father and grand dad, as well as a certified coffee geek, fan of CS Lewis’ writings and he loves his big red Jeep. He’s also the preacher for Westside church.

Speaker 1:

Hello, and welcome to the Westside churches special Monday Morning Coffee podcast on this podcast, our preacher Mark Roberts will help you get your week started right. With look back at yesterday's sermon so that we can think through it further and better work the applications into our daily lives. Mark will then look forward into this week's Bible reading so that we can know what to expect and watch for. And, he may have some extra bonus thoughts from time to time. So grab a cup of coffee as we start the week together on Monday Morning Coffee with Mark.

Speaker 3:

Good morning. Good morning. Welcome to the Monday Morning Coffee podcast from Monday, January the second. Happy New Year. Great to have you on the podcast this morning. I'm Mark. I've got my Bible open to the prophets. I've got some notes from yesterday's sermon, some things that I would love to have had the opportunity to say, you cannot say everything in a sermon. We'd still be there That wouldn't work out so well, would it? But we are busy with the week getting the week started. Maybe you still have a little bit of holiday time left, but it's all coming to a crashing in. Kids are going back to school, we're going back to work. But in all of that we want to hold on to the spiritual energy momentum that we picked up yesterday in worshiping God together. And we especially want to be effective in our daily Bible reading. That is exactly what this podcast is all about. I'm holding a cup of coffee and I am ready. Let's get started. Let me just give you a quick note from the sermon yesterday. I think that sermon stands on its own and introduces us to the reading and the prophets in, in a good way. But I would love to have said something about the courage of the prophets that may be a really big bonus takeaway for all of us this year because when we read the prophetic books, we think in terms of sermons, but none of those sermons were delivered in a church building to 300 like-minded people who were all trying to serve God and patted the prophet on their way out saying, good sermon today. We appreciate how much you are dedicated to the cause of the Lord. No, the reaction the prophet's got most of the time was just terribly unfavorable. We'll read in Jeremiah when there is serious public debate about whether we ought to just murder this guy now. And when someone says, no, we can't be doing that, he's a prophet. Someone else pipes up and says, well, there was this other guy who was a prophet, we killed him, which I'm sure Jeremiah must have just absolutely been mortified to hear that kind of conversation going on about him. And then in Amos, in Amos seven in verse 10, Amaziah, the priest of Bethel sent to Jba King of Israel and said, Amaziah, uh, Amos has conspired against you in the midst of the house of Israel. The land is not able to bear all of his words. And he goes on to say in verse 12, Amos, you just need to go away. Go back to Judah, get outta the northern kingdom and quit bothering us. And Amos says, I'm not gonna do that. I'm not gonna do that. And continues to prophesy. These are men of great courage. Many times they faced an angry audience scowling and muttering threats at them. Or maybe we would just, if we are imagining their audience, see people hurrying by without giving them so much as a glance way too busy with their lives, making money and chasing women and partying and going to idle temples to even give any attention to what these prophets are saying. But these people, these prophets, they spoke for God in difficult times to difficult audiences and that underscores their courage. And I think all of us feel some of that hostility and animosity in our world today. And what we are looking for is some courage. Come read the prophets. You'll get a double dose of just boldness and care for people who don't care for the truth and preaching and teaching with courage. I think that's gonna be a big help to us this year as we read the prophets and draw closer to the Lord. Let's think a little bit about our reading for this week because you may find that you're a little surprised when you open your Bible to the first reading today because yeah, it's, it's not in the prophets. Let's talk about why. So we're beginning the new year in the book of Deuteronomy. We'll read today in Deuteronomy the 28th chapter verses one to 22. And I made mention of this yesterday that this is maybe not the place you would've thought a prophetic reading plan is going to begin, but it's a great place for us to begin because this section of Deuteronomy contains the covenant blessings and curses. The book of Deuteronomy really is about the covenant between the Israelites and between God. And there's a couple of places that that really stands out right before where we're going to be reading in chapter 26 in verse 16 here. Moses says this day, the Lord your God commands you to do these statutes and rules. You shall therefore be careful to do them with all your heart and with all your soul. You have declared today that the Lord is your God and you will walk in his ways and keep his statutes and his commandments and his rules and will obey his voice. And the Lord has declared today that you are a people for his treasured possession as he has promised you and that you are about to keep and that you are to keep all his commandments and that he will set you in praise and in fame and in honor high above all nations that he has made and that you shall be a people holy to the Lord your God as he promised. So this is at the conclusion of the wilderness wandering. And here this generation has arisen that knew the time of the wilderness wandering, but their parents were unfaithful. And so before Moses lets them go into the land of Canaan, they covenant again covenant anew with God to be his people. And so the book of Deuteronomy contains the stipulations of the covenant. This is what you need to do and this is what God is going to do and this is what will happen if you fail to do what you promise to do. And this is what God will do about that. And so you can already tell why we're reading this material because the prophets are just going to constantly be referencing this section of Deuteronomy. They're constantly saying, Hey, you're not living up to what you promised. You are not walking in his commandments and statutes and rules. You're not obeying his voice. You are not acting as the people of the Lord. And so this section of Deuteronomy is very, very important for us to read so that we get the covenant in front of us before we start reading about them, breaking the covenant and a bunch of prophets showing up saying, excuse me, anybody read Deuteronomy recently we made a covenant with God and we need to be holding up our end of that deal. So in chapter 27 in verse nine, Moses and the Levitical priest said to all Israel, keep silence and hear, oh Israel, this day you have become the people of the Lord your God. And then in chapter 30, we'll read this on Friday in chapter 30 in verse 19 there Moses says, I call heaven and earth to witness against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life that you and your offspring may live, choose to be the covenant people of God. That is what this section of Deuteronomy, that's what all Deuteronomy is about. But that is what this section of Deuteronomy particularly highlights and it's a great place for us to begin our reading plan. So let me give you a couple of quick notes here out of chapter 28 verses one to 22. So a couple of things that you'll notice in our reading today. First and foremost, there's more verses about curses than there are verses about curses. Wow, kinda like that. There's more verses about curses than there are verses about blessings. Now why is that? And that is because the full description of the misery that will come Israel's way if they are not faithful to the Lord serves to motivate them to do what is right. God does not want them to do what's wrong. God does not delight in people being lost. Sometimes people read these sections of the Bible and have this image of God as if he is just thrilled to death to be condemning and judging and uh, bringing waves of judgment upon these people. Absolutely not if that's who God is. He wouldn't have told'em any of this stuff. He'd have just let'em suffer and they'd all been wondering, I wonder what went wrong with this. No, it's carefully and very explicitly spelled out to warn them, to teach them, to instruct them so they will not do these things. And again, it's about covenant. These blessings will come upon you and overtake you. Verse two says, I love that language. The blessings of God just overtake us and the Lord will establish verse nine, uh, you as a people holy to himself as he's sworn to you, if you keep the commandments of the Lord your God and walk in his ways, all these great things are gonna happen. If you will do God's will, if you'll follow the commandments primarily in this section of Deuteronomy, faithfulness here is about fidelity to God and not going after idols. That's verse 14. If you don't turn aside from any of the words which I command you today to the right hand or to the left to go after other gods to serve them, that is the big temptation in Canaan and it's going to be the problem that the Israelites have for the next several hundred years. One of my good friends and an outstanding preacher that in many ways helped in shape me, uh, in much of my preaching. La Mott, he wrote the following, the curses become the history of the nation written in advance because they are not faithful. They chose the curses instead of the blessings. Wow, right there, right there. We're starting to make some practical headway. What does our text teach us about sin and its influences. What is God doing to influence and teach and discipline his people? What's the physical situation here? What characteristics of God are being stressed? Look at those questions, the back of your reading schedule and spend some time thinking about that so that these, these blessings and curses verses will drive us to choose blessing. Choose blessing, choose God in his way. See you tomorrow. We'll keep reading in chapter 28. Welcome to Tuesday and today we continue in Deuteronomy chapter 28 reading verses 23 to 45. And I don't think this is a difficult set of material to understand. Just keep it flowing in the context of what we talked about yesterday. Maybe you would particularly notice here a couple of things. Notice the emphasis on the Lord. That's a repetitive expression. Anytime we see something being repeated in the Bible, we want to really see that something's being hammered down over and over again. It says the Lord will strike you. The Lord will do this. The Lord will cause. The Lord will make the Lord will cause. The Lord will do. God is not embarrassed by this. He is not shy about this. I will bring these things upon you if if you do what's wrong. God is the actor here. He's not blaming anybody else. He's not trying to act like it's somebody else's fault. He's telling Israel I will do this. If you do not maintain your fidelity to the covenant and some of that, look at verse 23, the heavens over your head shall be bronzed in the earth. Under it shall be ironed. The Lord will make the reign of your land powder from heaven. Dust shall come down upon you until you are destroyed. We will read about times of drought and famine and that's not arbitrary and it doesn't just happen. It happens that way. Think about during the time of Elijah and the famine there with Ahab and Jezebel, that's a consequence of violating the covenant that is specifically spelled out in Deuteronomy and that consequence falls underlining in your Bible. Verse 45. All these curses shall come upon you and pursue you and overtake you. Remember what was said about blessings. Now it's curses that will overtake you until you are destroyed because you did not obey the voice of the Lord your God, to keep his commandments in his statutes that he commanded you Always. Some folks trying to figure out some way to reconstitute physical Israel, put the Jews back there, they're the people of God and on and on and on. And there's the reading of the promise to Abraham about the land and so forth. And where they're missing it is they haven't read Deuteronomy and they haven't read the prophets, both of which announce that if God's people aren't faithful, consequences will fall and those consequences include being evicted from the land. We'll see more of that in our reading tomorrow. See tomorrow it is Wednesday and we're finishing Deuteronomy chapter 28. Just call your attention to a couple of passages here. Please note verse 47, because you did not serve the Lord your God with joyfulness and gladness of heart because of the abundance of all things. Therefore, you shall serve your enemies. This section really does begin to talk about invaders coming in siege warfare and all those kinds of things, but I am intrigued by this idea of serving the Lord your God with joyfulness and gladness of heart, not just out of rote obedience, not just we're beat down, we have to do this, we want to do this. We're the people of God. We are so blessed. We love God. We serve God out of joyfulness and gladness of heart. That is a powerful little passage for us today. Verse 58, if you're not careful to do all the words of this law that are written in this book that you may fear this glorious and awesome name the Lord your God, careful to do all this law. And then finally verse 68, some controversy there, some difficulty there, the Lord will bring you back in ships to Egypt, a journey that I promise that you should never make again. There you shall offer yourselves for sale to your enemies as male and female slaves, but there will be no buyer. There are a couple of possibilities with what's meant there in verse 68, 1 of which is to return in slave ships i e um, as slaves who have been taken in battle and are sold and then they go back to, to Egypt. Nobody even wants them there or there are some questions about the Hebrew there, um, that it could be translated that you'll go casually, they're always wanting to go back to Egypt. And so the Lord is saying, I'll let you go into. I will let you go as you wish into Egypt and Egypt. There may be a metaphor for Assyria or Babylon. There is Wednesday. I'll probably talk a little bit more about this joyfulness and gladness of heart tonight in Bible talk. That verse is worth underlining, isn't it? Hope that helps you. And I hope after reading Deno chapter 28, we're taking God a little more seriously because that is exactly what this chapter was designed to do to help the Israelites take their covenant with the Lord seriously and the prophets will be the ones that are, are reminding them of what they need to do. It is Thursday and here we go. We are in Deuteronomy chapter 29. There is a historical review here of the Israelites, where they've been who they are. Notice again, it's about covenant verse 13, that he may establish you today as his people, that he may be your God as he promise you and swore to your father's, to Abraham, to Isaac, into Jacob. There's the link to the promises of Abraham. Genesis chapter 12, really love verse 18 and 19. You will hear so often the Old Testament was just about law and performing and obedience. The New Testament is about the heart. That is an absolutely false dichotomy. Don't buy into that. We're gonna see over and over again this year with the prophets that it is about the heart. Verse 18 and 19, really underline that look again at verse 25. People will say it's because they abandoned the covenant. It's the covenant that matters. The people of Israel are in a covenant with God. It is a sworn oath verses 10, 11, 12, and 13. They promised, God promised and the prophets will help them see they need to keep their promise. One more thing today, verse 29 is very famous. The secret things belong to the Lord our God. We use Juno, me 29, 29 all the time to say, Hey, there's things we don't know, only God knows those things. Secret things belong to God in this context. The secret here is the future, and the idea is don't worry about the future. You need to obey God. Right now, the secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that our reveal belong to us and our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law. Don't you love it when you encounter a famous verse you've heard, quoted a gazillion times and suddenly in its context you realize that it really has a very different meaning than how it's often employed and used. Do you know what I mean? 29. 29 says, we don't know what's gonna happen tomorrow, but we know what we can do today. We can obey God and keep the covenant. See you tomorrow. On Friday we read Deuteronomy chapter 30. Welcome to Friday. You made it through the first week of a brand new year and we're finishing the week in Deuteronomy the 30th chapter. This is a fabulous chapter for us to read. I'm so glad it's on our reading schedule because once again, there is this tremendous emphasis on heart underlining your Bible, the word heart. Heart in verse two, look at verse six. You circumcise your heart in the heart of your offsprings so that you may love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul. Verse 10, with all your heart, all your soul. God wants these people to want him to want to do what is right, to want to serve Him. Huge emphasis on that in Deuteronomy. The 30th chapter gonna be a big emphasis on that in the prophets all year. Then notice beginning in verse 11, this commandment is not too hard for you. It's not too far off. It's not in heaven. Verse 12, that we have to say, Hey, can someone go up there and get it for us? It's not beyond the sea. Verse 13, who's gonna swim the ocean and get the commandments of God? This is quoted in Romans chapter 10. Paul uses this section to say, the gospel is not too hard for us to do. It is possible for us to obey God. It's not so difficult. There's not secret things that we can't know about. There's not crazy hard stuff. You gotta climb up to the top of Mount Everest and dig it out of the snow. No, we can do what's right and Moses is saying to the children of Israel, I can't obey for you, but you need to choose life. Verse 19, choose life that you and your offspring may live. What a challenge for us as we begin the new year. It's not impossible for you, for me to be disciples to serve Jesus Christ. We can do this. We can do this. We can obey the commandments of the Lord our God. Verse 16. We can love God by walking in his ways and by keeping his commandments in his statutes and his rules and we'll live and multiply. The Lord will bless us. This chapter so well frames everything the prophets are going to be about and helps us start the new year in such a wonderful way. Appreciate you reading the Bible with me. I know you're excited about this prophet reading plan. Look ahead a little bit next week we're gonna get some history, get set in the context, know what's going on, and then we are gonna start hearing these great prophets preaching the word of God sometimes to people who really didn't want to hear it, didn't love the Lord, didn't wanna walk in his statutes, didn't choose life. Well, I appreciate you listening to the podcast. Thanks so much. If you like the podcast, hope that you will share the podcast with someone else. Subscribe, follow ray, and review it. This is a great time to be talking Bible reading with people, hand out Bible schedules, urge'em to listen to the podcast. It will help people stay in the Bible reading. So until next week, I hope your coffee is delightful. I hope your Friday is wonderful and that the Lord will be with you today all day. I'll see you on Monday with a cup of coffee.

Speaker 1:

Thanks for listening to the Westside Church of Christ Podcast. Monday morning Coffee with Mark, far more information about Westside. You can connect with us through our website, just and our Facebook page. Our music is from That's upbeat with two ps u ppp, B E A t, where creators can get free music. Please share our podcast with others and we'll look forward to seeing you again with a cup of coffee. Of course, on next Monday.

Sermon Notes
Monday Deuteronomy 28:1-22
Tuesday Deuteronomy 28:23-45
Wednesday Deuteronomy 28:46-68
Thursday Deuteronomy 29
Friday Deuteronomy 30