Daily Bible Readings – Saturday, January 19, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 42

Prayer Point. The low points, the dry periods of our life can be spiritually dangerous, but they can also lead us to God. Instead of medicating ourselves, lets do what Psalm 42 advises us to do. Allow the suffering, the sadness, and the emptiness to feed your hunger for God and go to him ask you today to fill, comfort and satisfy you.

Mark 5:1-20

Background. The Gerasenes was not only “the other side of the lake” (Sea of Galilee) it was also the other side of the tracks. Jesus has left the Jewish world and entered a community of Gentiles. You might notice that there are herds of pigs in this region. No God-fearing Jew would ever raise pigs and very few Jews would have traveled to this region, but Jesus sails across the lake to save one demon-possessed Gentile man.

Pay close attention to …

  • Where the demon-possessed man lived and what his life was like before he met Jesus.
  • The demon’s name and its significance.
  • How Jesus demonstrates his absolute power over this demon.
  • How the people of the region respond to Jesus’ miracle.
  • Why Jesus refuses to allow the healed man to leave with him.
  • How the people of Decapolis respond to the healed man (verse 20).

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 6:10-24

Background. Ephesians is a letter from the Apostle Paul to the church in Ephesus which he founded. His purpose is to encourage these young Christians to stand firm in their faith in Jesus Christ. In today’s reading Paul uses the image of the armor worn by Roman soldiers to describe the spiritual protection that God makes available to us so that we might stand against the attacks of the evil one.

When Paul speaks of powers, rulers, and authorities, he does not mean the men who ruled the Roman Empire, but the spiritual powers that made their domination possible.

Pay close to attention to …

  • The identity of our real enemies.
  • The defensive armor and weapon that God makes available to us.
  • The role of prayer in our war against the devil’s schemes and the spiritual powers of this world.

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 43:1-13

Background. The word “redeemed” show up in this reading. “Redeemed” seems to have lost some of its import. Usually when we think of “redeemed” we think more in terms of atonement or expiation. While that may be true, I think the better definition for “redeem” is to buy back. Our redemption is more like being rescued from bondage where someones pay a ransom to buy us back. “Redeem” can also mean to repair or restore. Jesus will return to “restore” all of nature and the earth to what it was before the fall.

Pay close attention to …

  • What the LORD says in verse 1
  • Why we should not fear (v. 1)
  • How we are addressed (v. 1)
  • How the LORD defines “redeemed” (vv. 3 & 4)
  • The return of the Jews dispersion and captivity (vv. 5-7)
  • To why the nations gather and the peoples assemble (v. 9)
  • What the people are called to be (v. 10)
  • What are the people witnesses to (v. 12)
  • Who can deliver out of the LORD’s hand

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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