Daily Bible Readings – Friday, January 25, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 51

Prayer Point. Doubt that God can forgive even the worst sins, then you need to read this psalm. David, the author, has just committed adultery and then murdered the husband to cover his crime and yet there is hope for him. How do we come clean when we sin? Use this psalm as your guide.

Mark 6:47-56

Background. Jesus sends his disciples across the lake ahead of him while he goes up onto a mountainside to pray. The previous had been a long arduous day of ministry. When Jesus and his disciples were looking for rest, they were mobbed by the people, but Jesus patiently taught them and miraculously fed 5000 of them with five loaves of bread and two fish. Now the disciples are straining to row their boat into a stiff head wind. It is in this place that Jesus goes out to meet them …

Pay close attention to …

  • How the disciples react to seeing Jesus walking on the water.
  • How Jesus comforts his disciples.
  • Why the disciples are amazed by Jesus’ mastery over the wind and the waves (see verses 50-52).
  • What happens to the desperate people who come to Jesus.

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 3:15-22

Background. It might help to know a little Jewish history in order to understand today’s reading. God appeared to Abraham, the father of the Jewish people, bearing three promises that had implications not only for Abraham and his family, but for the whole world. God promised Abraham that his family would become a great nation, enjoy God’s protection and receive a land chosen for them. The purpose of these blessings is what is important. Abraham is being blessed so that through him, God could bless the nations of the world. That blessing would be none other than Jesus Christ. This set of promises and blessings is called the covenant with Abraham. Abraham shared in this covenant and is blessed by God because he believes the promises of God.

Fast forward 400 years. Abraham’s descendents are quite numerous, but they are slaves in Egypt. They have yet to receive the land that was promised them. God hears the cries of his people and remembers his promise to Abraham and liberates them from slavery. He parts the Red Sea and brings Abraham’s family to the foot of Mount Sinai and there he gives the 10 Commandments.

God has now given his Law to Israel, but the fundamentals of his relationship with Israel have not changed. The Law was given to show the people their sin, their need for God and what it means to love God and love their neighbor. The Law was not the means of becoming right with God, it is the way we live because God has graciously given us the blessings of Abraham through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.

Pay close attention to …

  • To whom were the promises of God given. 
  • What the Law does not do to the covenant that was given to Abraham.
  • What the inheritance depends on and does not depend on.
  • The Law’s purpose according to verses 19-22.

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 45:18-25

Background. The Lord closes this chapter with some rather stunning declarations about himself. In the final verses of this chapter we learn some of the reasons why God even bothered with creation at all. The Lord seems eager to save and redeem not just his own people but anyone: “Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth.” (v. 22 NIV) Some of the pictures drawn here were also used by Paul, most notably in Philippians: “Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him a name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of the Father.” (Phil. 4:9-11 NIV)

Pay close attention to …

  • Why God formed the heavens to be (v. 18)
  • Where the Lord does not speak (v. 19)
  • What he declares (v. 19)
  • Who the ignorant are (v. 20)
  • “There is no other.” (v. 22)
  • God’s “mouth” and the integrity of his words (v. 23)
  • Where are “righteousness and strength” (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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