Daily Bible Readings – Thursday, January 10, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 147

Prayer Point. This psalm reminds that it is good for us to praise our God and then gives us reasons why he should be worshiped.  Pick two or three that resonate with you and use them to form your own prayer of praise.

John 6:1-14

Background. Moses, the man who led Israel out of slavery in Egypt, made this prophecy over 1000 years before the coming of Jesus:

Deuteronomy 18:15 The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to him.

Among the events that Moses was most remembered for was the manna or daily bread that God miraculously provided his people while they wandered in the wilderness. That miracle provides the background for today’s reading as it profoundly impacted the people’s response to Jesus’ miracle.

Pay close attention to …

  • How Jesus tests his disciples in verse 5 and how well they perform.
  • The way Jesus performs this miracle and what it tells you about his power.
  • What is left over and why it is significant.
  • The people’s response to the miracle in light of Deuteronomy 18:15.

Listen. Believe. Obey. Share

What is the passage saying? About God? About ourselves? (Listen)
What is God asking us to believe? (Believe)
What is God asking us to do? (Obey)
Who can we share this with? (Share)

Revelation 3:1-6

Background. John, one of Jesus’ closest disciples, has been exiled to the island of Patmos for his faith. He is separated from the churches in Asia (Western Turkey) that he served and loved with all his heart. Like him, they are discouraged by the opposition they are faced from the Romans who appeared to be the undisputed powers of this world. But God sees the world differently and allows John to see a vision of Christ to encouraged him and the churches he served. Jesus commands John to pass on seven letters to the seven churches in Asia. Revelation 3:1-6, the letter to the church in Sardis is the fifth of these seven letters.

You may notice that John writes “to the angel of the church in Sardis.” This is not a guardian angel, the letters would not make any sense if this was the case, but a figure of speech referring to “the heart” of the local church. These letters are to be understood as personal messages from Jesus (“the words of him holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars”) to each church.

Pay close attention to …

  • What Jesus sees in the church of Sardis despite their reputation.
  • What they are commanded to do to restore their church.
  • Why Jesus finds a glimmer of hope in this church.
  • What is promised to those who follow in the footsteps of Sardis’ faithful few.

Listen. Believe. Obey. Share

What is the passage saying? About God? About ourselves? (Listen)
What is God asking us to believe? (Believe)
What is God asking us to do? (Obey)
Who can we share this with? (Share)

Isaiah 65:1-9

Background.It is unfortunate but the Jews of Isaiah’s day had what might be termed as a complacent attitude. They knew they were “in like Flynn” i.e., special. This was probably the emergence of an “us vs. them” kind of attitude. By virtue of the blood running through their veins these people believed they were secure with God. Tragically this same attitude has been adopted by many of us Christians. This complacency is the theme running through the early part of this chapter; it should serve as a warning to us no less than to the Jews of Isaiah’s day.

Pay close attention to:

  • What the Lord says to the nation that did not call on his name (v.1)
  • Whom the Lord is trying to reach (v. 2)
  • How brazen the Lord is being provoked (v. 3)
  • To where the incense is burned (v. 3)
  • The “unclean” activities of the people (v. 4)
  • Why these people are “smoke in my nostrils, a fire that keeps burning all day” (v. 5)
  • What is being “paid back” (v. 6 & 7)
  • The hope being offered (v. 8 & 9)

Listen. Believe. Obey. Share

What is the passage saying? About God? About ourselves? (Listen)
What is God asking us to believe? (Believe)
What is God asking us to do? (Obey)
Who can we share this with? (Share)

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