Daily Bible Readings – Friday, February 1, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 73

Prayer Point. How do we reconcile a good God with a world where the wicked prosper? This is Asaph’s question in Psalm 73 and I have to believe it troubles us as well. Follow Asaph’s lead by telling God the injustice you see. Ask him to help you see the wicked from his eternal perspective. Finally confess your attachments temporary things and pray for the faith to say, “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

Mark 9:2-13

Background. Jesus had veiled his true glory in his dealings with his disciples. He looked like an ordinary man, albeit a man who was capable of miracles unlike any other who had come before him. Peter, James and John, Jesus’ inner circle of disciples are given a glimpse of Jesus’ true glory. These men are dazzled not only by Jesus’ appearance, but also by the two men who appear with him: Moses, Israel’s great lawgiver and Elijah their greatest prophet. Jesus is declaring, by way of vision, his true purpose. He came to fulfill the prophecies of the Old Testament. He is greater than Israel’s greatest heroes. Moses and Elijah point Israel to their savior, Jesus.

There is a reference to Elijah returning in verse 13. Jesus is speaking of John the Baptist who suffered and was beheaded for his faithful service to God (see Matthew 11:11-14).

Pay close attention to …

  • Jesus’ appearance and compare it to Revelation 1:12-18 and Daniel 7:9-14.
  • Peter’s almost comical reaction to what they were witnessing.
  • What the voice says about Jesus and what it commands the disciples to do.
  • When Peter, James and John were allowed to speak of what they witnessed.
  • What the disciples don’t get in verse 10.

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 5:16-24

Background. Back in chapter 4 verse 6, Paul tells the Galatians that they received the Holy Spirit when they put their faith in Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit not only reminds us that we are true children of God (see Galatians 4:6), but he is also the power within us to live a new life.

Pay close attention to …

  • What is true of those who live by the Spirit. 
  • Why those who live by the Spirit are no longer under the supervision of the Law.
  • The contrast between the fruits of our sinful nature and the fruits of the Holy Spirit.

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 50:1-11

Background.This is another look at the “suffering servant”. Isaiah opens with the reason for the judgment visited upon Judah. It seems puzzling that people who claimed to believe in God and to have some kind of covenant with him found him inadequate to help them in their most troubling times. The point of celebrating the Passover was to remind the people just how powerful the God of Israel is. Perhaps they were too far removed from the Exodus to appreciate its significance. If we learn anything in this endeavor of going through the bible over the last two years, I hope it is the importance of remembering. “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord our God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.” (Deuteronomy 6:4-9 NIV) Moses spent a good deal of time in Deuteronomy trying to impress on the people to remember all that the Lord had done for them as they left Egypt and as they wandered throughout the desert.

Pay close attention to …

  • Why the people were “sold” and their “mother” was sent away (v. 1)
  • How inadequate they thought their God was (v. 2)
  • Why God must continue to prove himself (vv. 2-3)
  • An instructed tongue and an ear to listen (v. 4)
  • His servant’s back offered to those who beat him and his cheeks to those who pull out the beard and his spat-upon face (v. 6)
  • That Romans 8:33 is an echo of: “Who then will bring charges against me?” (v. 8)
  • That Romans 8:34 is an echo of: “Who is he that will condemn me?” (v. 9)
  • Whom to trust when in darkness and whom to trust when in the light (vv. 10-11)

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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