Daily Bible Readings – Monday, February 11, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 15

Prayer Point. The answer to David’s question in verse 1 is: no one. No one has lived up to the standard laid out in verses 2-5 save one, Jesus and he did it for us. How have you fallen short of God’s requirements in verses 2-5)? Confess your failures to God. Thank him for Jesus who makes it possible for us to live with God. Pray for the faith to follow the path that Jesus walked.

John 1:1-18

Background. John begins his gospel or biography of Jesus by retelling the story of creation which is recorded in Genesis chapter 1. From Genesis we learn that God spoke the universe into existence. We understand through John that the words God spoke was an actual person, “the Word,” whom we know as Jesus. Jesus will be compared to light (verses 6-9). There are two groups of people mentioned in verses 10 and 11. The world refers to humanity in general, while “his own” refers to Israel, God’s chosen people.

John introduces us to a second character, John, who is John the Baptist, the cousin of Jesus and not the author of this book which can make things a bit confusing.

Pay close attention to …

  • The Word’s (Jesus’) role in the creation of the world.
  • How Jesus the light is received by a world that is plunged in darkness. How Jesus is received by his own people.
  • What is promised to all those who receive Jesus.
  • What the Word does in verse 14 and how it changes the way we know God.
  • John the Baptist’s relationship with Jesus the Word. How he understands himself, how he understands 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)

Hebrews 1:1-14

Background. The book of Hebrews, or more properly the letter to the Hebrews, was written to a group of discouraged Christians. They were Jewish and experiencing persecution because of their new faith in Jesus. Their suffering was so severe that they were considering abandoning their faith in Christ and returning to Judaism. The letter’s purpose is to show these Christians that Jesus was the fulfillment of their Jewish faith and if they left Jesus, they would have nothing to return to.

Pay close attention to …

  • How God spoke to the Jewish people in the past and how he now speaks to his people in these “last days.”
  • Jesus’ identity in relation to God [the Father].
  • How Jesus the Son is superior to the prophets of the Old Testament and even the angels.

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)

Deuteronomy 6:10-15

Background. The Book of Deuteronomy is, simply put, a re-telling of the Law — all that stuff beginning with the Exodus extending through the Book of Numbers. At this point in their travels, the Israelites have squandered forty good years meandering throughout the desert with no apparent purpose: such is the cost of cowardice in the face of battle. Some forty years earlier Moses had commissioned twelve men (one from each tribe) to scout out the Promised Land to see (1) how good it was and (2) to determine if the Israelites could defeat the current inhabitants. These are the same people who saw the mighty hand of God deliver them from perhaps the greatest world power at that time — the Egyptians. And they didn’t have to do anything but watch. So the spies sent out scoped the land and all but two came back with terrifying reports as to the size of the inhabitants; how fully armed they were; how great were their cities. These ten men believed that the Israelites would be defeated if they ventured against the inhabitants of the land. In fairness to them, they were unaware that the Lord had put the fear of the Israelites in the hearts of those inhabitants. “And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will swallow them up. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them.” (Numbers 14:9 NIV) That message fell on deaf ears for the people wanted to rise up and stone the only two faithful men in all of Israel. It is important to note that the two men were Joshua the son of Nun (who became Moses’ successor) and Caleb son of Jephunneh. Of all the “mighty men of valor” living at that time, only these two men made it out of the wilderness alive because of their faithfulness.

This passage is intended to encourage the people on to greater victories. They were to take over the land but there was also a covenant to be remembered and adhered to. Moses is warning his people that while the land is rich, if they do not abide by the Law, particularly those laws pertaining to the prohibition of the worship of false gods, all would be lost. “Do not follow other gods, the gods of the peoples around you; for the Lord your God, who is among you, is a jealous God and his anger will burn against you, and he will destroy you from the face of the land.” (Deuteronomy 6:14-15 NIV)

Pay close attention to …

  • …your fathers…” (v. 10 )
  • …good things…” (v. 11 )
  • …do not forget the Lord…” (v. 12 )
  • In whose name oaths were to be taken (v. 13 )
  • The warning in verse 14 
  • The consequence of not taking heed to the warning (v. 15 )

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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