Daily Bible Readings – Saturday, January 12, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 104

Prayer Point. God is both the creator and the sustainer of our world that is why he is to be praised. Take some time to think and meditate about the world around you and how God provides for you through his Creation and then offer God your thanks.

John 9:1-12, 35-38

Background. Most Jews in Jesus’ day assumed that birth defects such as blindness were punishments from God for sin.

Jesus uses the term, “Son of Man” to refer to himself in verse 25. Far from being a generic way of saying, “I’m just a guy like you,” the term was Jesus’ way of saying, “I am God.” It is reference to a vision of God in Daniel 7:13-15 …

Daniel 7:13-15 In my vision at night I looked and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him …

Pay close attention to …

  • Jesus’ explanation of the reason for this man’s blindness and how his healing fulfilled that purpose.
  • The blind man’s full healing in verses 35-38.

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)

Galatians 3:23-4:7

Background. Sons were the exclusive heirs to their family estate in the Roman world. The boy from age six to sixteen was placed under the care of a slave who made sure that he went to class and stayed out of trouble. He was under the supervision of this slave until he came of age and received his inheritance.

Paul, the author of the letter to the Galatians, is comparing our experience to that of a young Roman heir. The slave that served as our guardian was the Law. We did not come of age and receive our full inheritance until Jesus (“this faith came”) entered the world. It was at that point that we went from a slave, the experience of the heir while he was still a child, to a full heir and son of God.

The Law of God did several things to us. It restrained us through fear of punishment. We were held back from acting according to all the dark desires of our heart. Second, the Law reminded us that we needed a Savior. The Law of God said that anyone who failed to keep it, that would be all of us, are under the curse of death. None of us is able to keep the law’s demands because we are born with corrupt hearts. The Law’s purpose is force us to face our broken selves, see the curse that we are under and create in us a need for Jesus.

Some may be put off by the fact that Paul speaks only of sons. This only reflects the cultural reality that only sons were eligible to receive the family inheritance. Imagine how radical it was for Paul to address the church made up of men and women, Jew and Gentile, slave and free and call them all “sons of God.”

Pay close attention to …

  • The contrast between our lives before Jesus’ coming and after.
  • How Jesus freed us from the curse.
  • What the Holy Spirit does for us once we go from being a slave to a full son or daughter of God.

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 66:1-2, 22-24

Background. We are about to encounter a recurring theme throughout the bible. Humility. This is very difficult to understand. Well, we know what humility is but it is as elusive as a cloud. No sooner do you have than you’ve lost it. Humility is an attitude of the heart more than something one does. This attitude will manifest itself in “humble” behavior but probably not obviously to the individual himself. I used to work with a person who was magnificently self-centered but blissfully ignorant of it. I found that I began to love him for his naiveté and obliviousness. Humility is something like that. Perhaps it is more like a cloud one can’t quite grasp.

The latter part of the reading describes “the new heavens and the new earth”. Isaiah does not describe anything about the new heavens and the new earth except to tell us that it is designated for the Lord’s faithful ones.

Pay close attention to …

  • What the earth is (v. 1)
  • What we, as men, can do “for” God (v. 1-2)
  • The whom God esteems (v. 2)
  • How long the new heavens and new earth will endure (v. 22-23)
  • How long the fire for the rebellious will endure (v. 24)

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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