The daily Bible reading devotion for young people.
Take less than 15 minutes a day to cover the whole Bible in 365 days with selected Bible readings and a full commentary from Nicky and Pippa Gumbel.
Toby Stokes introduces this edition of the Bible in One Year which encourages us not only to apply the Bible to our everyday life, but also to grow in our relationship with Jesus.
Day 62: How to Exercise Spiritual Authority
I first met him when he came to speak at a student weekend while I was studying at Cambridge University. Although he was the guest speaker, he was very gracious and I sensed a deep humility.
When he spoke, he did so with real authority. His message was simple and focused on telling people about Jesus. A few years later he came to be the vicar of Holy Trinity Brompton.
This modest and deeply spiritual man not only led our church (and others) at a key moment in its growth, but also trained some of the most influential Christian leaders in the UK over the last 40 years. David Watson, David MacInnes, Sandy Millar and John Irvine were all curates to John Collins, a clergyman who has never sought prominence or platform, but who has invested his whole life in serving others.
His authority does not come from his position in life or from worldly power. Rather, his authority comes from his relationship with Jesus Christ. It is self-authenticating.
Today people are very wary of authority. Of course, it can be abused. However, godly, spiritual authority is a source of great blessing.
Day 61: A Loving, Ongoing Relationship
In one of his last songs, Freddie Mercury, the lead singer of the rock group Queen, asked the question: ‘Does anybody know what we are living for?’
In spite of the fact that he had amassed a huge fortune and had attracted thousands of fans, Freddie Mercury admitted in an interview shortly before his death in 1991 that he was desperately lonely. He said, ‘You can have everything in the world and still be the loneliest man, and that is the most bitter type of loneliness. Success has brought me world idolisation and millions of pounds, but it’s prevented me from having the one thing we all need – a loving, ongoing relationship.’
There is only one relationship that is completely loving and ongoing, and for which we were created. Without that relationship there will always be a deep sense of aloneness and a lack of ultimate meaning and purpose.
At the heart of the Christian faith is this relationship with God where we find what we are living for.
How can you and I have a relationship with the Creator of the universe? How in practice can we begin to communicate with God? What is the basis of this relationship?
Day 60: My Eyes Were Opened
It was as if I was blind. I must have heard many times that Jesus died for our sins. But I simply did not see it. I was spiritually blind. But when I understood the cross, my eyes were opened.
Since then, I have noticed that as I have attempted to pass on the message of ‘Christ crucified’, there are different responses. Sometimes very intelligent people simply cannot see it (see 1 Corinthians 1:23–25). On the other hand, I am often amazed at the understanding of others, including very young children. For all who see it, it is life changing: ‘to us who are being saved it is the power of God’ (1 Corinthians 1:18).
I think it is fascinating that in today’s New Testament passage, after Jesus has explained his death, we have the story of blind Bartimaeus having his eyes opened (Mark 10:46–52). He says to Jesus, ‘I want to see’ (v.51). Jesus replies, ‘“Go… your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus’ (v.52). The word used for healed is the same Greek word as saved (sozo).
Do you see it? The passages for today help us to see the significance of Jesus’ death.
Day 59: Rich in Mercy
A man was having his portrait painted by a successful artist. When the portrait was finished it was unveiled. The man was most unhappy with the result. When asked whether he liked it, he replied, ‘I don’t think it does me justice.’ To which the artist replied, ‘Sir, it is not justice you need, but mercy!’
At the end of the day, we all need mercy even more than justice. God is ‘rich in mercy’ (Ephesians 2:4). The theme of the ‘mercy of God’ runs throughout the Bible. In the original Greek, ‘eleos’ (mercy) also means compassion, pity, clemency. The mercy of God is available for you. In our passages for today we see some examples of people who are recipients of God’s mercy.
Day 58: Six Characteristics of a Holy Life
Do you try to fit Jesus into your schedule? Or do you work your schedule around Jesus?
‘God cannot fit into our plans, we must fit into his,’ writes Eugene Peterson. ‘We can’t use God – God is not a tool or appliance or credit card. Holy is the word that sets God apart and above our attempts to enlist him in our wish-fulfilment fantasies or our utopian schemes for making our mark in the world. Holy means that God is alive on God’s terms, alive in a way that exceeds our experience and imagination. Holy refers to life burning with an intense purity that transforms everything it touches into itself.’
The Hebrew word ‘holy’ (qadosh) probably originally meant ‘separate’ or ‘set apart’. It came to be used to describe the ‘otherness’ of God, and how his character and nature are so much greater and more wonderful than any other person or thing. For something else to be ‘holy’ simply means for it to be dedicated to God. You are holy to the extent that your life is devoted to him and your actions reflect his character. Holiness and wholeness are closely related, and God wants the whole of your life.
Day 57: Better Than Fame and Celebrity
In a survey of millennials, 50% of young adults said that a major life goal was to become famous. In the past people wanted to be famous for doing something. Now, celebrity has become an end in itself. It has attained god-like characteristics. Not only do people want to be famous, they idolise those who have achieved celebrity status. This widespread interest in famous individuals has been described as ‘the cult of celebrity’.
Fame to the ambitious is like salt water to the thirsty. The more you get, the more you want. Madonna, who at one stage was probably the most famous woman on the planet, said, ‘I won’t be happy until I am as famous as God.’
Celebrity and fame are only a pale reflection of true glory. ‘Glory’ is used in the Bible to denote the manifestation of God’s presence. Glory is one of the most common words in the Bible. God’s glory means his importance, reputation, majesty and honour.
Perhaps it is not surprising that as society moves away from worshipping the glory of God, it turns towards the worship of the ‘glory’ of celebrity and fame. We are called to worship God’s glory and reflect it, however imperfectly, in our lives.
Bible in one year
This is so good it has one thing to listen to each day of the year and it helps you learn about the bible and has a different subject in every single one.
This is absolutely perfect especially because hey are all less than 10 minutes.
It’s very straightforward which is something I enjoy about it. Also most of it is very relatable, So well done. 🥳🥳🥳