Daily Bible Readings – Thursday July 19, 2012

Prayer Psalm: 37

Prayer Point:  We live in a world where wicked men prosper and the righteous suffer. The danger is that we will allow anger and despair to overwhelm us. Psalm 37 shows us the remedy. Pray that you will see the world from God’s perspective and that  through the Holy Spirit, you will put delight in God, put your trust and hope in him, and be still and patient before him.

Matthew 26:1-16

It is important to remember that Jesus is no weak victim. He goes to the cross, because he willed it, not because forces more powerful than he took him.  Here is what Jesus said about his impending death.

John 10:17-18 “The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life – only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again.

What groups scheme to take Jesus’ life? How do you know that this neither surprises Jesus, nor is it outside of his will?

Who is the only one who seems to understand what Jesus is about to do? What reward will she receive? How do you know that Jesus’ own disciples don’t get it?

Romans 12:1-8

After having spent the first half of the letter to the Romans describing the love and grace of God given to us in Jesus Christ, Paul now describes the life we are to live in response to this love.

What are we to offer God in worship in response to his mercy? What pattern don’t we conform to anymore?

In what ways are we called to see ourselves differently?
What image does Paul use to describe the church? Where do we, as individuals, fit into that picture? How is this a change from the way we normally see ourselves?  What determines our role in the church, or as Paul describes it, “the body of Christ”?

Joshua 3:14-4:7         The Jordan: The Red Sea Revisited – The River is Parted

What happens in the Jordan when the priests’ feet touch the water’s edge?  (“The water from upstream stopped flowing.” (Joshua 3:15b-16a NIV))

How is this water stoppage described?  (The water piled up in a heap.)

How was this similar to the crossing of the Red Sea?  (“The priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan, while all Israel passed by until the whole nation had completed the crossing on dry ground.” (Joshua 3:17 NIV) Back in the book of Exodus we learned that Israel passed through the Red Sea on dry ground.)

The LORD told Joshua to choose twelve men from among the tribes of Jacob – one from each tribe – each one to pick up a stone.  What was the purpose of this?  (These stones were heavy enough where they had to be carried on the shoulders.  The stones were to serve as a sign (or reminder) to the people of their crossing the Jordan on dry land.  “…when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD.  When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off.  These stones are to be a memorial [reminder] to the people of Israel forever.’” (Joshua 4:7 NIV))

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