Daily Encouragement

April 21 – Phinehas Has His Answer

Joshua 22:21-23:16
Luke 20:27-47
Psalm 89:14-37
Proverbs 13:17-19

Joshua 22:2 — The presumed rebel tribes are making an appeal to the LORD. The altar is non-functioning, but a witness that while they’re across the Jordan, they are one with the rest of the tribes (Joshua 22:27). Phinehas was pleased (Joshua 22:30).

Joshua 23:8 — What does it mean to cleave unto the LORD? A man is to cleave unto his wife (Genesis 2:24). Cleaving to the LORD preserves your life (Deuteronomy 4:4). We are to fear, serve, and cleave to Him (Deuteronomy 10:20). We are to love Him, walk in His way, and cleave unto Him (Deuteronomy 11:22). If we cleave to Him (Deuteronomy 13:4), the cursed will not cleave to us (Deuteronomy 13:17), nor the pestilence (Deuteronomy 28:21), nor the diseases (Deuteronomy 28:60). Love, obey, and cleave (Deuteronomy 30:20).

Luke 20:31 — The Sadducees presented a hypothetical scenario featuring a woman who is best described as “bad luck.” Even though the Sadducees and Pharisees tried to entrap Jesus, He was able to appeal to some of them (Luke 20:39). But He was not enticed to soft-pedal His critique (Luke 20:46).

King David, Lincoln College Chapel

Psalm 89:37 — What happened to the “throne of David?” When Jesus was born the angel said, “The Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David (Luke 1:30-33).”

The Kingdom of God in the past then will be re-established with Christ as it’s king – but at this future time ALL nations will be in subjection to it. This Kingdom will bring peace to the earth and all peoples will know about God and want to please Him. We are given a few glimpses in the Bible of what this wonderful kingdom on earth will be like …


Proverbs 13:18 — Nothing is harder than accepting reproof … but that will be honored!

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Daily Encouragement

April 20 – Phinehas Returns to Punish the Wrongdoers!

Joshua 21:1-22:20
Luke 20:1-26
Psalm 89:1-13
Proverbs 13:15-16

Joshua 21:3 — From Wayne Stiles:

After Joshua parceled out the land of Canaan to the 12 tribes at Shiloh, the priestly tribe of Levi received an inheritance far different from the others (Josh. 21).

  • Rather than getting a portion of land on which the tribe could settle, the tribe of Levi acquired Levitical Cities scattered throughout the other tribes.
  • Strategically placed along main roads, this distribution of the 48 Levitical cities among the 12 tribes meant that any Hebrew who needed the wisdom of God’s Word had to travel no longer than one day to find a priest.

Years earlier, Moses had blessed each tribe, praying specifically for the Levites:

“They shall teach Jacob thy judgments, and Israel thy law.” — Deut. 33:10 The distribution of the Levitical cities made the ministry of God’s Word more accessible to His people.

Joshua 21:45 — This is a verse that deserves to be highlighted! “There failed not ought of any good thing which the LORD had spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass.” (KJV)

Joshua 22:5 — Heed the Law, love God, walk in His way, cleave to God, serve God.

Joshua 22:13 — Phinehas, the bold defender of truth! Phinehas was born in Exodus 6:25, he punished the wrongdoers in Numbers 25:8, he was the reason God spared Israel in Numbers 25:11, he was given a covenant of peace in Numbers 25:12, he was given an everlasting priesthood in Numbers 25:13, he led the Israelites in their battle with the Midianites in Numbers 31:6, and in this verse he leads the dignitaries to confront the tribes that are building an altar that they believe should be destroyed according to Exodus 34:13 and Deuteronomy 7:5. What happens? Come back tomorrow!

Tyree AME Church. This medieval stone church was originally built around 1870, with the north addition completed around 1885.

Luke 20:17-18 — Jesus spent the passage yesterday referencing the destruction of the very stones of the Temple, and now today He is saying He is the new Cornerstone!

Psalm 89:1 — Will you sing of the mercies of the Lord?

Psalm 87:9 — We pointed out earlier the fulfillment of this claim to God’s omnipotence!

Proverbs 13:15 — The biggest lie of sin is that it’s not a big deal. No, the way of the transgressor is hard!

Sin will take you farther than you want to go,
keep you longer than you want to stay,
and cost you more than you want to pay.

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Daily Encouragement

April 19 – Cities of Refuge

Joshua 19:1-20:9
Luke 19:28-48
Psalm 88:1-18
Proverbs 13:12-14

1897 Bible Pictures and What They Teach Us by Charles Foster

Joshua 20:2 — What’s the big deal with these Cities of Refuge? Moses spent a whole chapter (Numbers 35) talking about them! John Barnett of Discover the Book explains that Hebrews 6:17-20 talks about those who have fled for refuge to Jesus. Here’s an excerpt from “Christ, Our City of Refuge:”

The elders of the city would investigate the case. If he was acquitted of intentional killing, he must remain within the city until the death of the high priest. We have fled to Jesus Christ, and He is our eternal refuge. As our High Priest, He will never die (Heb. 7:23-25); and we have eternal salvation …

  1. God Himself appointed these cities of refuge (John 3:16)
  2. God’s Word announced these cities of refuge (Joshua 20:7-8, Acts 4:12)
  3. Anyone could access these cities of refuge (Joshua 20:9, John 3:16)

Luke 19:38 — Jesus the KING enters as Zechariah 9:9 prophesied. He also rebuts the Pharisees by referencing Habakkuk 2:11, part of the passage prophesying judgment coming upon Israel (Habakkuk 2:8).

Luke 19:43-44 — Jesus the PROPHET foretells the destruction of Jerusalem, as reported by Adam Clarke:

Cast a trench about thee – This was literally fulfilled when this city was besieged by Titus. Josephus gives a very particular account of the building of this wall, which he says was effected in three days, though it was not less than thirty-nine furlongs in circumference; and that, when this wall and trench were completed, the Jews were so enclosed on every side that no person could escape out of the city, and no provision could be brought in, so that they were reduced to the most terrible distress by the famine which ensued. The whole account is well worth the reader’s attention. See Josephus, War, book v. chap. xxii. sec. 1, 2, 3.

Luke 19:45 — Jesus the PRIEST cleansed the temple again in preparation for the destruction of Jerusalem. Joel McDurmon has a long post on why Jesus cleansed the temple twice:

Jesus [is] fulfilling the role of the High Priest visiting and inspecting the touch of affliction/corruption in the house. This is described in Leviticus 14:33–53. It accounts for the multiple visitations and the repeated act of removing the corruption, then finally pronouncing the house (temple) unclean and decreeing the total destruction of the house.

Psalm 88:1 — What to do when in despair and facing destruction? Call out to the Lord daily (Psalm 88:9)!

Proverbs 13:14 — What chapter of the Bible does this sound like? Perhaps Psalm 119?

IMPORTANT: Just a reminder – I may reference other sources from time to time. Quotes and hyperlinks are not an endorsement of ministries, but they merely indicate that I found a resource interesting. No authors are endorsed by me … I can’t even endorse myself! Search the Scriptures daily to see if these things are so (Acts 17:11)!

Share how reading through the Bible has been a blessing to you! E-mail us at 2018bible@vcyamerica.org or call and leave a message at 414-885-5370.

Daily Encouragement

April 18 – Zacchaeus and the Other John Newton Hymn!

Joshua 16:1-18:28
Luke 19:1-27
Psalm 87:1-7
Proverbs 13:11

Joshua 17:16, 18 — Similar to Judges 1:19. Charles Spurgeon preached a great message on “Chariots of Iron.”

Modern Khirbet Seilun, a tell or archaeological mound, dubbed in Modern Hebrew Tel Shiloh

Joshua 18:1 — The tabernacle was setup at Shiloh. In 1 Samuel 1:3, the tabernacle is still at Shiloh during the time of Samuel. Jeremiah writes that it was the first place where God set His name (Jeremiah 7:12).

Luke 19:10 — From Earl Martin:

Luke 19:2 — Zacchaeus’ story is only found in Luke.

Here’s a video of the story:

A pastor shared with me a simple outline for preaching on this passage:

  • Jesus sees me (Luke 19:5)
  • Jesus knows me (Luke 19:5)
  • Jesus saves me (Luke 19:9)

Luke 19:13 — Occupy till I come. How are you doing with your occupying? Are you faithful, or are you burying your talent?

Psalm 87:2, 3, 5 — If you have never been to Jerusalem or the Holy Land – make plans to go! You’ll never read the Bible the same way again! John Newton, author of the hymn “Amazing Grace,” used Psalm 87:3 to inspire the hymn “Glorious Things of Thee are Spoken.” Instead of an English rendition, here’s a Korean rendition so you can see the worldwide impact of godly music.

Proverbs 13:11 — Diligence is a virtue. Proverbs 6:6-8, 10:4, 12:24, 13:4, and 21:5 emphasize this. As does Galatians 6:9, James 1:12, Ecclesiastes 9:10, and Philippians 3:14.

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Daily Encouragement

April 17 – Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior

Joshua 15:1-63
Luke 18:18-43
Psalm 86:1-17
Proverbs 13:9-10

Maps of Bible Lands are not a recent phenomenon – this is the 1759 map of the Holy Land from the Library of Congress

Joshua 15:63 — The Jebusites weren’t driven out in the time of the Judges (Judges 1:21), and the Levite refused to spend the night in Jebus (Judges 19:10). It wasn’t until 2 Samuel 5:7 that Jebus was taken and became Jerusalem.

Luke 18:18 — This passage is the first to note that he was a ruler. Interestingly, this account is in all three synoptic gospels.

Luke 18:37 — Like the blind man, let’s call on Jesus before He passes by!

Pass me not, O gentle Savior,
Hear my humble cry;
While on others Thou art calling,
Do not pass me by.

Savior, Savior, Hear my humble cry;
While on others Thou art calling,
Do not pass me by.

Psalm 86:1 — What kind of person will the LORD hear? The poor and needy (Psalms 40:17, Psalm 70:5, Psalm 72:13, Psalm 109:22, Jeremiah 22:16). The contrite (Psalms 34:18, Psalms 51:17, Isaiah 57:15, Isaiah 66:2). The poor in spirit (Matthew 5:3). The broken hearted (Psalm 34:18, Psalm 51:17, Psalm 147:3). The humble (Psalm 9:12, Psalm 10:12, Psalm 10:17, Proverbs 16:19, Proverbs 29:23).

God resists the proud, but giveth grace to the humble (1 Peter 5:5, James 4:6).

Proverbs 13:10  — Speaking of pride, it not only separates you from God but from your friends through contention.

Share how reading through the Bible has been a blessing to you! E-mail us at 2018bible@vcyamerica.org or call and leave a message at 414-885-5370.

Daily Encouragement

April 16 – Revive Us Again!

Joshua 13:1-14:15
Luke 18:1-17
Psalm 85:1-13
Proverbs 13:7-8

Joshua 13:1 — A pastor and his wife called their kids together to let them know that the mother was expecting once again. Growing up with the KJV, one of the kids replied, “But mother, you’re well stricken in years!” We’ve seen Moses lead and pass on, and now it’s Joshua’s time to pass on. But there is still work to be done!

Joshua 14:6 — Notice some things about Caleb’s request of Joshua – he was asking for the scariest part of Canaan – the land of the children of Anak that scared off the other ten spies (Numbers 13:22). We have here an …

  • Old promise (Joshua 14:6) given to an …
  • Old man (Joshua 14:10) who was eventually buried in an …
  • Old tomb (Genesis 23:19, Genesis 25:9, Genesis 49:30, Genesis 50:13) … this was where Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were buried 450 years ago!

Because of Caleb’s faithfulness, he regained the burial place of the Patriarchs and the monument to God’s faithfulness to His people. He left his descendants a legacy:

  • Place of refuge (Joshua 21:13)
  • Place of Miracles (Judges 16:3)
  • Throne of David (2 Samuel 2:11)

Joshua 14:12 — As we talked about earlier, Caleb waited 45 years to take the mountain. That inspired the song:

I want that mountain! I want that mountain!
Where the milk and honey flow, where the grapes of Eshcol grow,
I want that mountain! I want that mountain!
The mountain that my Lord has given me.

Luke 18:1 — From FaithLife:

GEORGE MUELLER, the great Victorian Christian and social reformer, tells a story of persistent prayer in his diary:

In November 1844, I began to pray for the conversion of five individuals. I prayed every day without a single intermission, whether sick or in health, on the land, on the sea, and whatever the pressure of my engagements might be. Eighteen months elapsed before the first of the five was converted. I thanked God and prayed on for the others. Five years elapsed, and then the second was converted. I thanked God for the second, and prayed on for the other three. Day by day, I continued to pray for them, and six years passed before the third was converted. I thanked God for the three, and went on praying for the other two. These two remained unconverted.

Thirty-six years later he wrote that the other two, sons of one of Mueller’s friends, were still not converted. He wrote, “But I hope in God, I pray on, and look for the answer. They are not converted yet, but they will be.” In 1897, fifty-two years after he began to pray daily, without interruption, for these two men, they were finally converted—but after he died! Mueller understood what Luke meant when he introduced a parable Jesus told about prayer, saying, “Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up” (Luke 18:1).

Are you crying day and night to Him?

Psalm 85:6 — Revive us again!

We praise Thee, O God!
For the Son of Thy love,
For Jesus Who died,
And is now gone above.

Hallelujah! Thine the glory.
Hallelujah! Amen.
Hallelujah! Thine the glory.
Revive us again.

Proverbs 13:7 — Riches are not obtained by accumulation.

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Daily Encouragement

April 15 – God’s Warning about and Protection from Horses

Joshua 11:1-12:24
Luke 17:11-37
Psalm 84:1-12
Proverbs 13:5-6

Joshua 11:6 — Interesting to note God’s warning against trusting in chariots and horses. In Deuteronomy 17:16, God commanded that the kings of Israel should not multiply horses. In Deuteronomy 11:4, Moses reminds the Israelites that God took care of the Army of Egypt and their horses and chariots. In today’s reading, Joshua faces a number of horses and chariots (Joshua 11:4), but God says that Joshua will hough (“to hamstring”) their horses. Not capture but disable. In 2 Samuel 8:4, David houghed most of the horses, but not all. In 2 Samuel 15:1, Absalom prepared for himself chariots and horses. In 1 Kings 4:26, Solomon built stables for 40,000 horses (a clear violation of Deuteronomy 17:16), and even worse, they were Egyptian horses (1 Kings 10:28 and Deuteronomy 17:16)! However, God is not against horses – He happens to have chariots of fire (2 Kings 6:17).

Luke 17:19 — Because of the faith of the unclean Samaritan leper, he not only had physical healing, but he also had spiritual healing too!

Luke 17:34-36 — From Jimmy DeYoung:

At the Rapture those who are Christians will be “taken” into the heavenlies to join Jesus, forever. However, when a passage is referring to the Second Coming the ones “taken” are the ones who go to “judgment” and the ones “left” will “rule and reign” with Christ in His Kingdom to come.

To better understand this principle Jesus gives us the last verse in Luke 17. When asked where the people would be “taken” the Lord said, to “where the eagles be gathered together”, verse 37.

In that context, you may want to read Job 39:27-30 which explains that where the “eagles gather together is a place of judgment.” Therefore, those “taken” in Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 17 and 21 are all taken to judgment.

The ones “left” are the ones who will join Jesus to rule and reign. At the Rapture, a different event from the Second Coming, separated by at least seven years, the ones “taken” are the Christians.

Psalm 84:2 — What is your heart longing for?

Proverbs 13:6 — There doesn’t seem to be a middle way between righteousness and wickedness.

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Daily Encouragement

April 14 – Long Days, Lachish, and Lazarus

Joshua 9:3-10:43
Luke 16:19-17:10
Psalm 83:1-18
Proverbs 13:4

Joshua 9:14 — 

“When we neglect prayer, we can be easily deceived and make wrong decisions. And when leaders do not pray, they also fail the people under them.”


Joshua 10:13 – What happened here? BlueLetterBible.org lists seven theories of what happened, as well as cautioning against “reports of a ‘missing day’ in ancient Egyptian, Chinese, and Hindu sources … [and] the story of a Yale astronomer who found that the earth was twenty-four hours out of schedule.”

Reverence for God’s Word should encourage us to suspend judgment until more evidence is available. In the meantime, no single explanation can be made a test of orthodoxy.

(Donald H. Madvig, “Joshua,” The Expositors Bible Commentary, p. 304)

Joshua 10:32 – Lachish now entered into the Israelite orbit. “Among cities in ancient Judah, Lachish was second only to Jerusalem in importance (Biblical Archaeology Review).” Lachish is mentioned twenty-four times in the Old Testament.

Luke 16:20 – 

In the story, Lazarus never speaks. He is silent; he’s only there for contrast. He is not the object of the story. The story is not about his experience; it’s not about heaven. It is about the rich man’s experience in hell.

John MacArthur

Luke 17:10 – Serving the Lord is not doing Him a favor; it is but our reasonable service (Romans 12:1).

Psalm 83:18 – Not that they may be like the Most High (Isaiah 14:14), but that they may know Who is the Most High.

Proverbs 13:4 – Will you be a sluggard, or will you be diligent?

Share how reading through the Bible has been a blessing to you! E-mail us at 2018bible@vcyamerica.org or call and leave a message at 414-885-5370.

Daily Encouragement

April 13 – The Illogicality of Sin

Joshua 7:16-9:2
Luke 16:1-18
Psalm 82:1-8
Proverbs 13:2-3

Joshua 7:21 – Did you notice the illogicality of sin? What would you do with a Babylonish garment? You can’t wear it in public, and if you hide it under your tent, it will deteriorate. Sin relies on coveting, not on honest work.

Associates for Biblical Research believes Khirbet el-Maqatir is the Ai of Joshua

Joshua 8:1 – If you get your feelings, followers, and focus right, your fruit will follow!

Joshua 8:28 – Join Dr. Bryant Wood of Associates for Biblical Research (ABR) as they search for the Lost City of AI.

Joshua 8:30 – We read earlier about Moses’ command to the Israelites to read the blessings and curses. Here it is fulfilled!

Luke 16:9 – Jesus says to take of your perishable time, talent, and treasure, and reach people who can be new citizens of heaven who will welcome you into everlasting habitations!

Psalms 82:2 – Those who take a position of importance will be held responsible (Luke 12:48). Beware of promotion!

Proverbs 13:3 – When in doubt, say nothing! Beware of the tongue!

Share how reading through the Bible has been a blessing to you! E-mail us at 2018bible@vcyamerica.org or call and leave a message at 414-885-5370.

Daily Encouragement

April 12 – Did Jericho Really Fall to Joshua’s Army?

Joshua 5:1-7:15
Luke 15:1-32
Psalm 81:1-16
Proverbs 13:1

Joshua 5:2 — God’s command for Abraham to be circumcised extended to all his descendants (Genesis 17:10). He reiterated to Moses that it be done on the eighth day (Leviticus 12:3). But the wandering Israelites had not obeyed. Just when you thought you had heard of all their sins …

Joshua 5:13 — During the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln was asked if God was on his side. Lincoln responded, “Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God’s side.”


Joshua 6:20 — From Associates for Biblical Research (ABR), the leading scholarly and Bible-upholding archaeology ministry:

The battle of Jericho is one of the bloodiest episodes of the Old Testament. It’s a fantastic tale of victory through faith but is there any truth behind story? Archaeologist, Dr Bryant Wood, believes the physical evidence indicates the biblical account is true…

For Bryant Wood, Jericho is an archaeological puzzle waiting to be solved. On re-examining the evidence that was excavated, Wood, an expert in Canaanite pottery, dated its destruction to 1450 BC- the time of the Israelite conquest. But his investigation didn’t stop there, incredibly he also discovered evidence that he believes corroborates numerous aspects of the biblical version of events.

Joshua 7:6 — When Joshua faced a setback, he could have sent out a second force right away, but He turned to the LORD. Hezekiah tried to bribe his way out of his predicament (2 Kings 18:14), and Asa tried buying friends (2 Chronicles 16:7). Don’t go first to the natural answer; go to the Supernatural Answer!

Luke 15:2 — The dinner saga is escalating. Jesus didn’t just talk about eating with second-class citizens, He actually welcomed them near and ate with them!

Luke 15:20 — This is our Father! He is the One who found us smelling like pigs, but He had compassion, He ran to us, He kissed us, He gave us the best robe, a ring, shoes, and is now preparing a feast for us (Revelation 19:6-9)!

Luke 15:28-30 — John MacArthur preached a great message at a VCY Rally on this passage.

Psalm 81:10 — You can get a memorable recording of this verse and other Scripture passages from our friend, Earl Martin.

Proverbs 13:1 — Listen and be wise!

Share how reading through the Bible has been a blessing to you! E-mail us at 2018bible@vcyamerica.org or call and leave a message at 414-885-5370.