Daily Bible Readings – Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 47

Prayer Point. The struggles of life can easily warp our view of the world. Psalm 47 encourages us to look up, clap, sing and shout praises to God. Take time to praise him that the Jesus we crucified has been raised from the dead, ascended into heaven and has been crowned king of all Creation.

Mark 6:1-13

Background. Jesus returns to Nazareth, the town his parents were from and where Jesus spent most of his childhood. He enters the local synagogue and because he is recognized as a traveling rabbi, he is given the opportunity to teach, which involved reading from the Old Testament and then sitting down to explain the passage to the congregation.

In verses 6-13, we see the disciples move to the next level in their training with Jesus. Up until this point, the disciples had been passive observers of Jesus’ miracles and teachings. Now they are sent out to do the very things they had watched Jesus do.

Pay close attention to …

  • How the villagers respond to Jesus’ teaching and why.
  • How the villagers lack of faith impacted Jesus’ ministry there.
  • The mission that Jesus gives his disciples; the authority they are given, how they are sent out, what they take and don’t take, where they are to stay and what they do if they are rejected.
  • The results of the disciple’s ministry.

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 1:18-2:10

Background. The great controversy that rages between the lines of this letter is whether followers of Jesus need to undergo circumcision and follow Jewish Law and custom. Paul’s answer is an emphatic, “no.” Followers of Jesus are marked by their faith and obedience to Jesus, not in their adherence to Jewish tradition. That was the teaching upon which the Galatian church was founded, but soon after he left, false teachers came and undermined Paul’s teaching and convinced them to get circumcised.

Part of their argument appears in today’s reading. Paul, in their opinion, was not a true apostle because he was not one of the twelve disciples, nor was he taught by Jesus while he was on earth. Paul will point out two things in response:

1. He was taught by Christ himself (see yesterday’s reading – Galatians 1:1-17; see also Acts 9:1-31).
2. His teaching is in fact in agreement with the other Apostles (today’s reading).

Pay close attention to …

  • How the other apostles received Paul when he met with them in Jerusalem.
  • What Titus, a Gentile, was not required to do when he was brought to the apostles in Jerusalem.
  • The controversy that erupted in Jerusalem (verses 4-5) and why Paul believed that it was important not to back down in this fight.
  • How the ministries of Peter and Paul complemented each other.
  • How the other apostles view Paul and his ministry and what they asked him to do. Compare this to Acts 15:1-35.

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 44:9-20

Background.Throughout all of the Old and New Testaments the issue of idols raises its blasphemous head. Certainly through all of Israel’s history this has been a “snare” (God calls it) to them. Not ten minutes out of Egypt (hyperbole) and already the people are demanding a golden calf to worship. Jacob, hardly the model of virtue and faithfulness, had his own issues with “household gods” when his uncle/father-in-law (Laban) came looking for the household gods which were stolen from him when Jacob left. As it turns out Jacob’s own wife Rachel stole these things and sat on them when Laban, her own father, came looking for them. She gave him some flimsy excuse about it being “that time of the month” so she could not get up for him so he could complete his inspection. He went off disappointed but evidently believed her. Add to all this the First of the (Big) Ten Commandments prohibiting the worship of false gods, and there you have it. In ancient times, people were actually hired to “create” these idols and by all accounts it was a thriving business. As late as Acts Chapter 19 Paul was nearly run out of town (Ephesus) on a rail (if they had them then) because he rallied against the “manufacture” of idols. Unfortunately, we have, today, reverted to that frame of mind but, shall we say, in a less obvious fashion. The idols we make for ourselves today are more in the nature of “my indispensability”, or “my ambition”, or “my lust” or my internet access account: as long as I can’t see my need for Christ.

Pay close attention to …

  • The treasures of the idol-makers (v. 9)
  • What the defenders of idol-makers are likened (v. 9)
  • What the craftsmen are (v. 11)
  • Where these craftsmen end up (v.11)
  • The blacksmith and the carpenter (vv. 12-13)
  • How the carpenter uses the wood (v. 14-15)
  • How much sense this all makes (v. 15)
  • How much they (this carpenter and blacksmith) know (vv. 18-19)

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)

4 thoughts on “Daily Bible Readings – Tuesday, January 22, 2013

  1. Pingback: Daily Bible Readings – Wednesday, January 23, 2013 « Pacific Union Connect

  2. Pingback: Daily Bible Readings – Thursday, January 24, 2013 « Pacific Union Connect

  3. Pingback: Daily Bible Readings – Wednesday, March 26, 2014 « Pacific Union Connect

  4. Pingback: Daily Bible Readings – Thursday, March 27, 2014 « Pacific Union Connect

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