Prayer Psalm: 33
Prayer Point: Psalm 33 praises God because he is both the creator and protector of our world. What is it about God’s creation that moves you to worship? How has God both protected you and provided for you in your life? Think about these things and offer God your praise.
Notice what happens here. A ruler in charge of the synagogue comes to Jesus. His daughter has died and in an act of humility and faith he got down on his knees and asked Jesus to raise his daughter. What does Jesus do when the ruler asks him to raise his daughter?
Next we see a woman who had a bleeding disorder for twelve years come on the scene. This woman was considered by Jewish law to be unclean. Imagine, for twelve years being an outcast living in isolation. Christ changes all of that and where does it begin? According to Jesus what healed the woman? Notice how she reaches out to Jesus. It wasn’t the “correct” way, but it was sufficient for her healing.
Once again we turn to the ruler and his daughter. Typical of Jewish funerals professional mourners were hired to mourn for the deceased. Jesus tells them to go away. Why does Jesus send the crowds away? What does this miracle say about Jesus’ power over life and death? Since Jesus has the power over life and death shouldn’t we trust him with all our problems?
Earlier in Ephesians, Paul exhorted his readers to put on their new life. Now Paul encourages them to put on the “armor of God.”
Paul throughout his life faced opposition and persecution from the Jewish and Roman authorities. He was beaten, imprisoned and even stoned and left for dead. But Paul does not mention Jews or Romans as his most feared enemies. Who are our true enemies?
What will the armor of God enable us to do when the day of evil comes? What sorts of things protect us and enable us to stand our ground? What kinds of things should we always be doing (verse 18) so that we will not fall when the attack comes? Paul does not ask the Ephesians to pray for his safety or to be shielded from conflict. How does he ask them to pray instead?
I really don’t like it when someone use the scripture as a Ouija board: to open the bible randomly, run a finger down a page and stop and then think that the LORD is by this means directing one’s life. I don’t honestly believe this of any of you. This kind of thinking usually shows itself more in the nature of someone trying to buttress his argument by using scripture. A passage is cited in Psalms (somewhere) and connected with some obscure verse in Obadiah simply to prove that Saturday is a day of the week. The fact is that what we looked at yesterday has a direct correlation to what we are going to look at today.
We saw yesterday that the LORD is going to establish a New Covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. Today we learn why.
For whose sake will the LORD do these things? Or, more specifically, for whose sake is he not going to do them (establish the new covenant etc.)? (“Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am going to do these things, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you have gone.’” (Ezekiel 36:22 NIV))
What is the LORD going to do next? Why? ((1)“I will show the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, the name you have profaned among them. (2) Then the nations will know that I am the LORD, declares the Sovereign LORD, when I show myself holy through you before their eyes.” (Ezekiel 36:23))
We have asked, what, why, and now “How?”. How will the LORD do this next thing? (“For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land.” (Ezekiel 36:24 NIV))
How is the cleansing discussed in verse 25 to be accomplished? (“I will sprinkle clean water on you and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols.” (Ezekiel 36:25 NIV))
Ezekiel expands on Jeremiah’s vision of the New Covenant. What vital piece of information does Ezekiel supply in his vision of this New Covenant? (“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.” (Ezekiel 36:27 NIV))