Daily Bible Readings – Friday, January 18, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 35

Prayer Point. When we are hurt by sinful people we have two choices, either we seek revenge ourselves or we leave matters of justice in the hands of God. Pray for the faith to leave vengeance to God. As you do that, there is one more thing to keep in mind. This psalm also describes Jesus’ experience, who was rejected and killed for our sin. He trusted God to vindicate him and God raised him from the dead.  Pray for the faith to believe that he will raise us as well.

Mark 4:35-41

Background. The sea was the most feared natural force in the ancient world and was regarded by many as a place of evil.

Pay close attention to …

  • The ways that Jesus demonstrates his power over the sea.
  • Why Jesus is disappointed in his disciples.
  • The disciples’ reaction to Jesus’ miracle.

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)

Ephesians 6:1-9

Background. Paul has spent much of this letter describing the grace of God. Through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ we have gone from being people who were separated from God and slaves to our own desires to becoming children of God. With this new identity comes new freedom and new responsibility. As children of God, we are now called to imitate God in the way we relate to others.

One of the relationships considered in today’s reading is the relationship between master and slave. Slavery was pervasive in Roman society, and the church was slowly coming to grips with the implications of Christ’s teaching and the institution of slavery. Paul is not condoning slavery, but is practicing the Christian idea of “submissive subversion”. Just as Christ took down Rome, and the power behind Rome (death), by submitting to death on the cross, so also Christians were called to bring down injustice, not through armed revolution, but by submitting to it.

The Romans believed that slaves should obey masters simply because masters were their superiors. You’ll notice that Paul gives a very different reason as he addresses slaves.

Pay close attention …

  • How parents and children are to relate to each other as children of God.
  • How slaves and masters were called to treat each other.

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 42:1-17

Background. Again we are met with the “servant” of the LORD. While the “servant” of the LORD can be either an individual or the nation, in this case we are talking about an individual. I say this only because the pronouns relating to this servant are he, his, and him. But mostly because Jesus cites this passage in Matthew 12:18-21 as referring to himself. “Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight…” (Isaiah 42:1 NIV) While the words are not identical, the spirit of them is also found in two events in Jesus’ life: his baptism (or manifestation — Theophany) and the transfiguration.

Pay close attention to …

  • What the servant will do (v. 1)
  • What he will do (v. 3)
  • What he will establish (v. 4)
  • Who “gives breath to its [the earth’s] people” (v. 5)
  • What the LORD will make his servant (v. 6)
  • Who will prophesy things “before they spring into being” (v. 9)
  • The song of praise to the Lord (v. 10-14)
  • How the LORD describes how he feels (v. 14)
  • Those who trust in idols (v.17)

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)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s