Showing Tue Nov 28 - Sun Dec 24, 2017

2017 Series

Monday, November 27, 2017: Job 40-42

Concluding chapters of Job – God shames Job by reminding him of His mighty power and of the frailty of humanity. (41:10 “Who then is he that can stand before me?”) To the proud, this word of Law is needed. It may bring about Godly repentance. To the discouraged, however, this can cause unhealthy feelings of shame. To them, the Gospel message is needed to lift them up.

Do I need to hear God’s humbling word of Law or encouraging Gospel message today? Ask God to open your heart to His voice.

—Rob Hartwell (Village, Bronxville)


Tuesday, November 28, 2017: Genesis 12-13

Genesis 12 – God calls Abram (vs. 1-3) and Abram follows God’s command (vs. 4 “So Abram went…”) Consider: Can you think of an area of your life where God is calling you to action?

—Rob Hartwell (Village, Bronxville)


Wednesday, November 29, 2017: Genesis 14-15

Genesis 14– Separation of family or friends can be a hard decision, yet often it may be the healthiest course of action. Note how Abram and Lot separate, but without strife (recall 13:8). Today the value of their bond is demonstrated by Abram’s saving of Lot from the enemy raiders that took Sodom (and Lot and his family) captive (vs. 12). Consider: Is there a loved one from whom you have separated? Perhaps you no longer even speak! Might God be calling you to reconciliation?

—Rob Hartwell (Village, Bronxville)


Thursday, November 30, 2017: Genesis 16-17

Genesis 17 – God makes a covenant with His people through circumcision (vs. 11). This covenant included God’s protection and the people’s faithfulness. In the New Testament, Holy Baptism is called the sign of the “new” covenant. (Col. 2:11-12). This new covenant is characterized by God’s mercy despite our unfaithfulness. Make the sign of the cross, remember your Holy Baptism and thank God for His faithful love!

—Rob Hartwell (Village, Bronxville)


Friday, December 1, 2017: Genesis 18-19

Genesis 18 - Brave Abraham tries to convince God that there is a faithful remnant in Sodom and that God should spare the city. (vss.22-33). In this section of the Torah, the reader is given a beautiful foreshadowing of Jesus, the great mediator between God and humanity. Through His life, death and resurrection, Jesus pleads for mercy for sinners and we are justified freely by God’s grace. Consider: What mercy has God showered upon you this day?

—Rob Hartwell (Village, Bronxville)


Saturday, December 2, 2017: Genesis 20-21

Genesis 21 – Unto Abraham and Sarah a child is born (vs. 2). This Advent season, we too have been given the gift of a son (Isaiah 9:6), the Son of God, Jesus. Consider: Am I filled with joy at the gift of baby Jesus for me and for my sin?

—Rob Hartwell (Village, Bronxville)


Monday, December 4, 2017: Genesis 22-23

Genesis 22 – Abraham willingly offered his son Isaac, yet God spared him. (vs. 12). Can you imagine the feeling of gratitude? How much more joyful that we have the blessing (vs. 17) promised to Abraham and fulfilled in the birth, life, death and resurrection of God’s only Son, Jesus. During this Advent season of watchfulness and prayer, say a special prayer of thanks for God’s good gifts.

—Rob Hartwell (Village, Bronxville)


Tuesday, December 5, 2017: Genesis 24-25

Genesis 24 –Rebekah’s match to Isaac, as prayed for in advance (vss. 12-14), and Rebekah’s comfort to Isaac after the death of his mother, Sarah (vs 67), are both powerful reminders of God’s providence. Consider: How has God blessed you through the presence and caring actions of those around you?

—Rob Hartwell (Village, Bronxville)


Wednesday, December 6, 2017: Genesis 26-27

Genesis 26 – Abimelech requests a treaty with Isaac (vs. 26). Cooperation and collaboration are a key way the church can grow. Consider: Are there any partnerships that your congregation may need to work on for the sake of mission and ministry?

—Rob Hartwell (Village, Bronxville)


Thursday, December 7, 2017: Genesis 28-29

Genesis 29 -”But Rachel was barren.” (vs. 31) God has compassion on all couples that deal with issues of infertility. Especially during this Christmas season, which often emphasis the joy of children, say a pray for all who long for children but are unable to conceive. Pray that God would bless them as they carry this heavy burden.

—Rob Hartwell (Village, Bronxville)


Friday, December 8, 2017: Genesis 30-31

Genesis 31 – “Jacob saw that Laban did not regard him with favor as before.” (vs. 2). Consider: What is your reputation? Could it be that your actions diminish your reputation or is your character revealed by good living?

—Rob Hartwell (Village, Bronxville)


Saturday, December 9, 2017: Genesis 32-33

Genesis 33 - Reconciliation is a theme of God’s Word and we see this as Jacob and Esau reunite. A key step to reconciliation is forgiveness. Let us pray today that we may forgive the debts (trespasses) committed against us, just as we have forgiven (Matthew 6:12).

—Rob Hartwell (Village, Bronxville)


Monday, December 11, 2017: Genesis 34-35

Genesis 34 – The sad story of Shechem (vss. 1-4) and his abuse of Dinah reminds us of all who are abused by others. In your prayer today, pray for victims, and for God’s protection and peace.

—Rob Hartwell (Village, Bronxville)


Tuesday, December 12, 2017: Genesis 36-37

Genesis 37 – The story of Joseph reminds us how tragedy can lead to God’s gracious will. Consider: Do you need to pray for faith to trust God during times of crisis?

—Rob Hartwell (Village, Bronxville)


Wednesday, December 13, 2017: Genesis 38-39

Genesis 38- Tamar is a tragic story and a sad event in the life of Judah. The evangelist Matthew specifically singles out Tamar as an ancestor of Jesus (Matthews 1:3). Consider: As we prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus, what does this ancestor of the Christ Child reveal about God’s love for all, even those on the margins?

—Rob Hartwell (Village, Bronxville)


Thursday, December 14, 2017: Genesis 40-41

Genesis 41 – Pharaoh saw Joseph’s faith and attributed it to “the spirit of God” (vs. 38). Consider: What does your witness say to the world around you about your faith?

—Rob Hartwell (Village, Bronxville)


Friday, December 15, 2017: Genesis 42-43

The process of reconciliation between Joseph and his brothers seems quite drawn out and detailed. Besides “repetition” being a literary feature that Moses used while writing Genesis, what might this say about the need for patience in conflicted situations and working towards reconciliation?

—Rob Hartwell (Village, Bronxville)


Saturday, December 16, 2017: Genesis 44-45

Genesis 44- Israel laments about losing Benjamin, “If you take this one also”…”you will bring me down…” (vs. 29) This focus on Israel and his preoccupation with his son, reminds us how God so loved the world that he “gave up” his son, Jesus, so we could live.

—Rob Hartwell (Village, Bronxville)


Monday, December 18, 2017: Genesis 46-47

Genesis 46- Israel thought Joseph was dead, and when he is reunited with him Holy Scripture describe how ”he fell on his neck and wept on his neck for a good while.” (v. 29) Consider: How might you feel when you are reunited with loved ones who have died on the day of Resurrection. What a day of rejoicing that will be!

—Rob Hartwell (Village, Bronxville)


Tuesday, December 19, 2017: Genesis 48-50

Genesis 50 - Paul speaks of his willingness to engage foreign culture (1 Corinthians 9:19-23) for the sake of the Gospel. Notice that Joseph when he died was embalmed (vs. 26), an Egyptian cultural practice which would have been foreign to the Jewish mindset. Consider: How might your desire to share God’s love help you bridge culture barriers like Paul and Joseph?

—Rob Hartwell (Village, Bronxville)


Wednesday, December 20, 2017: Exodus 1-2

Exodus 1 – The slavery of the Jews began as a new Pharaoh came to power “who did not know Joseph” (vs. 8) Joseph was very important to his people. He was the right man at just the right time. Consider: What gifts do you have that are crucial to your family or community? Are you exercising your gifts to in service to others?

—Rob Hartwell (Village, Bronxville)


Thursday, December 21, 2017: Exodus 3-4

Exodus 3 – Moses is surprised by God’s call on his life. He says, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh?” (Vs. 11). Consider: Does God’s call to faith in your baptism surprise you? Do you marvel at His love for you? The message of your baptism is one of “good news of great joy” (Luke 2:10)! Thank God today for His baptismal promise of grace to you!

—Rob Hartwell (Village, Bronxville)


Friday, December 22, 2017: Exodus 5-6

Exodus 6 – Moses says he is a man of “uncircumcised lips.”(vs. 12). He seems to feel that his actions and speech do not match the faith of his covenant relationship with God. We might say we have unrepentant heart. Consider: Is there an area of your life (action or speech) that is at odds with your professed faith? Ask for forgiveness and the grace to amend your sinful ways.

—Rob Hartwell (Village, Bronxville)


Saturday, December 23, 2017: Exodus 7-8

Reading several chapters on plagues seems odd on Christmas Eve. Yet the story of the plagues and exodus is the story of God’s salvation of the slaves in Egypt trough Moses. It prefigures the Christmas story, where God sent Jesus, born of a Virgin, to set us free from the slavery to sin, death and the devil. Merry Christmas! Happy Exodus!

—Rob Hartwell (Village, Bronxville)