Daily Bible Readings – Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 68

Prayer Point. God is our conquering and victorious king. That is why David invites us to praise him: “Praise be to the LORD, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens. Our God is a God who saves; from the Sovereign LORD comes escape from death.” Is there a situation in your life where God has recently delivered you? Have you thought about how Jesus rescued us from the curse of death and offers us the hope of resurrection? Take time today to thank God our king.

Mark 8:1-10

Background. A prophecy was spoken by Moses over a thousand years before the coming of Christ.

Deuteronomy 18:15 The LORD your God will raise a prophet like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to him.

God had fed Israel with daily bread, manna, while Moses led them through the wilderness (see Exodus 16). In today’s reading, we see a prophet like Moses miraculously feed his people.

Pay close attention to …

  • What moves Jesus to feed the crowds.
  • What he asks of the disciples.
  • The way Jesus performed this miracle and what it tells us about his ability to provide.

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 4:12-20

Background. Paul was a trailblazer in Christian mission. He was the first to realize that someone could become a true follower of Christ without becoming an observant Jew and undergoing circumcision. All his life Paul had zealously followed Jewish law, but now he was taking the radical step of leaving his Jewish customs aside so he could share the gospel with the Gentiles. He lived like a Galatian so that he could win the Galatians over to the gospel.

But now the Galatians have come under the influence of false teachers who lured them away from Paul’s gospel and convinced them to follow Jewish laws and customs in order to become true followers of Jesus.

Pay close attention to …

  • How the Galatians have changed since they came under the influence of the false teachers and how their relationship with Paul has changed.
  • How Paul feels about the church he founded.

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 48:12-21

Background. This expression “I am the first and I am the last.” (v. 12) tells us that there is no other god than the Lord. The next time this expression shows up will be in the first Chapter of Revelation: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death ad Hades.” (Rev. 1:17-18 NIV) Again the Lord is announcing that his “chosen ally” will carry out his purpose. This “ally” is, in fact, Cyrus who will show up in about 125 years. God is again trying to warn his people that the Babylonians will “capture” and carry them off to Babylonia. Of course, no one wants to hear this and thus no one listens. Jeremiah will have a very difficult time trying to get the people to listen to this truth even as the Babylonian army is at the gates of the city.

Here Isaiah is almost pleading with the people to pay attention: [Speaking for the Lord:] “If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river…” (v. 18)

Pay close attention to …

  • Whose hand has laid the foundations of the earth and spread out the heavens (v. 13)
  • What the Lord’s ally will do (vv. 14 &15)
  • “And now the Sovereign Lord has sent me with his Spirit” This is generally thought to be a veiled reference to the Trinity: Sovereign Lord = Father; me = Son; and his Spirit = Holy Spirit. The truth is we don’t actually know if this is what it means. Jesus will use similar words (also spoken by Isaiah in Chapter 61 (vv. 1-2a “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor…” (NIV) See also Luke 4:18-19
  • “Who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go” (v. 17)
  • What paying attention would yield (v. 18)
  • What the descendants would be like (v. 19)
  • The reference to the rock which gushed out water (v. 21)

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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