Daily Bible Readings – Friday May 11, 2012

Prayer Psalm: 106

Prayer Point: Psalm 106 is a psalm that looks back at the story of Israel and remembering the countless times God remain faithful despite Israel’s unfaithfulness. It shouldn’t surprise us that the psalm begins and ends with the words “Praise the Lord.” Take some time today to think about your own life. Remember the times when you failed God.  Recall the times that God has been faithful to you and offer him your own prayer of praise.

Matthew 7:1-12

Judging, according to Jesus, is a final “writing off” of a person.  ”You will never amount to anything.”  ”You will always be a liar, and I will never trust you.”  What will happen to those who judge and condemn other people?  Does Jesus command, ‘do not judge’, preclude the possibility that we might have to point out the sin in another person?  What must we do before we approach someone and point out their sin?

“Do not give dogs what is sacred, do not throw pearls to pigs …”  (verse 6)  This verse is difficult to understand and there is wide range of opinion as to what it means.  My best guess is that Jesus is drawing a contrast between giving yourself to people and putting your exclusive trust in God which follows in verses 7-11.  The “sacred” and the “pearls” would refer to the giving of our trust to another.  Will it be a fallen human being, or to God?

How are we to ask God for good gifts?  How are we to see Him?  How are we to see ourselves?

How does Jesus sum up the Old Testament Law in one sentence (see 7:12)?

2 Thessalonians 2:1-17

When Paul talks about the “day of the Lord” he means the day of Christ’s return to earth when evil will be destroyed and God’s kingdom will be fully established on earth forever. Apparently there were teachers who had come through Thessalonica teaching that Christ had already returned. You can imagine the confusion and concern this would have caused them. What two things, according to Paul, must happen before Christ’s return (verses 3-4)?

The figure described in verses 3 and 4 as the “man of lawlessness” and the “man doomed to destruction” has come to be known as the “Anti-Christ.” This Anti-Christ is not Satan himself, but a person through whom Satan acts. You can think of him as a counterfeit Jesus who falsely claims to be God.

This did not mean that Satan was not operating in the world at that time (see verse 7), but the final expression of Satan’s power was being withheld until just before his end (see verse 6). It will distressing to see the counterfeit “Jesus” come. Why shouldn’t Christians despair when it does happen? How will the deception of the masses serve God’s purposes (see verses 9-12)?

Why is Paul confident that the Thessalonian Christians won’t be deceived (verses 13-14)? What role did each member of the Trinity, God the Father (God), God the Son (Lord Jesus Christ) and God the Holy Spirit (the Spirit), play in the salvation of the Thessalonian Christians (verses 13-14)?  What are the Thessalonian Christians called to do in response to God’s salvation?  What does Paul pray that God the Father and God the Son will do for them as they respond to God?

Leviticus 23:1-22             The Feasts of the LORD (Part One)

What is special about the sabbath?  (“There are six days when you may work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of rest, a day of sacred assembly.  You are not to do any work; wherever you live, it is a Sabbath to the LORD.” (Leviticus 23:3 NIV))

This is clearly outlined in the fourth commandment “Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy.”  What does the Sabbath represent?  (The Sabbath reminds us that the LORD made all of creation in six days and rested on the seventh day.  If it is good enough for God it shall be good enough for all of us.  The Sabbath will be restored, along with everything else, once Jesus returns.)

When is the Passover to begin?  (The Passover is to be observed on the evening of the 14th day of the first month (March – April) and is to last for seven days.)

The principal feature about the Passover is the absence of ________________________.  (Yeast or leaven)
How are the beginning and the ending of the Passover celebrated?  (There is to be a sacred assembly and no one is to do any regular work.  These, then, become Sabbaths to the LORD.)

What is the next feast described? (The next feast is the Feast of the Firstfruits.)

What would be the purpose of the Feast of the Firstfruits?  (The Feast of the Firstfruits was to give thanks to the LORD for the coming harvest.  Typically the barley would be the first crop which would be followed by the wheat harvest.  So the Feast of the Firstfruits would be both a thanksgiving for the LORD’s bounty as well as the promise of more bounty to come.)

The offering to the LORD was to be a sheaf of the first grain; a sacrifice of a lamb a year old (without defect, of course); a grain offering of  two tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil which is offered by fire, and a quarter of a hin of wine.  [An ephah was about 3/5 of a bushel – whatever 1/5 of that was = the offering;  a hin equals about 4 quarts (a gallon) and in this case a quart of wine.)  What was prohibited until the very day this offering was made?  (One must not eat any bread, or roasted or new grain.)

Roughly how much time elapses between Passover and the “Feast of Weeks”?  (There are approximately 50 days between Passover and the Feast of Weeks.)

What is the rendering of this feast in the New Testament?  (The New Testament uses the Greek terminology for this time-frame: Pentecost, i.e., fifty days)

What is the reminder regarding the reaping of the harvest in verse 22?  (The reminder is not to glean the excess of the harvest, but rather, to leave it for the poor and the alien.)

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