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A Day of Grace | NTC Day 40

We did it! The entire New Testament Challenge in eight weeks. How does it feel? We’ve heard from many who met God in powerful ways. Some read the Bible for the first time. Others noticed things in Scripture they overlooked in the past, and it’s helping them grow immensely.

If that’s you, today is your day to celebrate. Enjoy your day off!

What if you didn’t finish though? If you got behind or stopped reading along the way, how should you feel today? Read more

Hope | NTC Day 39

As I read the final chapters of Revelation, it brought me back to my childhood.  I know that must sound strange—childhood memories and Revelation. Please don’t think I had a scary or weird childhood.  It’s just that my dad was a small church pastor who built his preaching ministry on “end times” theology.   Read more

Hauntingly Beautiful | NTC Day 38

Today’s reading opens with one of my favorite passages (Revelation 4, pp. 431-432). A description of Jesus receiving the worship he deserves—a scene of reverence and passion, exalting the One who created us and died for us.

I love the thought of my Lord receiving worship, and I long one day to worship him in ways I cannot now.

One worship leader turned this scene into a powerful worship song. Take a moment to listen to it here. Read more

Eyes Up! | NTC Day 37

Can you envision Jesus coming back to Earth? I mean, can you really envision it? The Apostle John was given a vision of this directly from God, which he shares with us in today’s reading (Revelation 1.9-18, p. 428).

If I really let the notion of Jesus coming back to Earth sink in for a minute, I’m left with more than one emotion. Read more

The Most Important Thing | NTC Day 36

All of our lives are full of “urgent” matters: work, family, finances, friendships, ministry responsibilities, vacation plans, etc. As I was reading John’s letters, it occurred to me that he is trying to describe the most important thing. Did you pick up on this? Read more

When God Becomes Your Friend | NTC Day 35

When I was in college, I studied American and English literature. As you can guess, I had to read a lot of books. At about that same time, I also became a Christian. So alongside all of the novels I had to read, I began to read the Bible. Because I was reading so many stories for my classes at that time, I think I naturally began reading the Bible the same way—I began reading it as my story. Read more

Brave | NTC Day 34

Any time there is a story where Jesus is helping someone with a disability it pulls at my heart. Let’s take a look at the story in today’s reading where Jesus heals the blind man (John 9, pp. 387-389).

This man was at the mercy of everybody on a daily basis.  A needy beggar. And Jesus healed him (don’t you love that he did it on the Sabbath?). Read more

Truth and Grace | NTC Day 33

One of my favorite passages in the Bible is found in today’s reading. It’s the interaction between Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4.1-26, pp. 376-377).

There is so much beauty to be found in this story. Read more

Paying Attention… | NTC Day 32

Recently, I apologized to my 16-year old son. This, in itself, cannot be a surprise. Opportunities as a parent to get things wrong abound with a teenager in the house. In this particular instance, though, I believe my apology held greater significance than others. Read more

The Honor of Suffering | NTC Day 31

In Peter’s first letter he addresses the suffering and trials his readers are facing.  He encourages them by saying: “…rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed” (1 Peter 4.13, p. 357).

That’s great. But how?  How are we to rejoice and be overjoyed in suffering?  Sounds like what James said last week. And as Marie Mossner described so well, no one likes to hurtRead more