Daily Bible Readings – Sunday, February 17, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 103

Prayer Point. Are looking for a reason to praise God? Psalm 103 gives you a number of options. Concentrate on two or three and offer your own prayer of praise.

Mark 2:18-22

Background. Fasting was a normal part of religious life in Jesus’ day. The Pharisees (a particularly strict and dedicated sect of Judaism) were known for fasting twice a week. We know from the reading that John the Baptist’s disciples also fasted regularly.

Pay close attention to …

  • Why Jesus’ disciples don’t fast. (Note that Jesus speaks of himself as the bridegroom.)
  • When Jesus’ disciples will fast.

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)

1 Corinthians 1:17-31

Background. It has been said that history has been written by the winners. It is the successful businessmen who get their books published. It is the winning teams that attract the most fans. It is the powerful nations that accumulate the world’s wealth. This is simply the way the world is.

The message of the Jesus Christ stands against the world’s thinking. At the heart of the message is a God who is nailed to a cross, the ultimate symbol of shame and failure. That is the heart of the message that Paul has been sent to preach.

Pay close attention to …

  • The contrast between how the message of the cross is received by the wise and powerful of the world as opposed to those who are being saved.
  • How God chooses to make himself known to the world and why.
  • How the Corinthians are examples of how God uses the weak and foolish things of the world to shame the strong and the wise.

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 8:1-10

Background. This passage will instruct the people to “remember” and “do not forget”. One of the problems facing us today is that we need to be impressed continually. “Yeah, that’s nice, but what are you going to do for me today?” That was the kind of heart the Israelites had as they wandered in the wilderness for forty years. While in the desert they were introduced to a new food: manna. This “manna” [or literally “What is it?”] was peculiar. This stuff could only be gathered in the early morning and somehow it knew when one had too much because all the excess would go bad. One could not take extra except on the sixth day because there would be no manna on the Sabbath. Naturally people did not believe Moses when he explained the rules to them so they tried to gather extra or neglected to get the Sabbath’s portion on the day before. But what was the lesson of the manna? Live and learn.

Not only that but their clothes and their shoes never wore out. When one has everything he needs he tends then to take it for granted that all those things will always be around and he thus becomes less appreciative. The abundance demonstrated by God then (as well as today) is so great as to tempt us to take him for granted. One of the lessons of this section is to be thankful. Manna was called by the Psalmist “the bread of angels” or “angel’s food”. It was decidedly the “bread of heaven” because that is where the people thought it came from.

Pay close attention to …

  • To why the people should “follow every command I am giving you today” (v. 8:1 )
  • To why the people were led through the desert for forty years (v. 8:2 )
  • The lesson of the manna (v. 8:3 )
  • The clothes (v. 8:4 )
  • What the people are to observe (v. 8:6 )
  • Another description of the land (vv. 8:7 -9)
  • When to praise the Lord (v. 8:10)

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)

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