Daily Bible Readings – Friday, February 22, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 95

Prayer Point. If God is our Creator, Shepherd and Savior then why do we struggle to trust him? Confess the areas of your life where you are failing to trust him and pray for the faith to rest in his goodness and faithfulness.

John 3:22-36

Background. We are introduced to John the Baptist in John 1:6-8:

John 1:6-8 There came a man who was sent from God, his name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.John’s mission was to prepare the people for the coming of their Messiah, Jesus, through his preaching and ministry of baptism.

Pay close attention to …

  • Why John the Baptist is not upset about  losing followers to Jesus.
  • How John views himself and how he sees Jesus (see bride, bridegroom and friend in verse 29).
  • How John’s destiny compares to Jesus’ (see verse 30).
  • What is true of those who accept (or reject) 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 4:11-16

Background. “Their example” in verse 11 refers to the tragic choice that was made by the ancestors of the Christians addressed in today’s reading. Over a thousand years earlier, the Israelites looked out over the land that God had promised them, but they refuse to go in. Why? Because they feared the people of Canaan more than they believed in God’s power to keep his promises.

These Christians are tempted by the same fear and unbelief.  They have begun to follow Christ, but they, like their ancestors, are considering giving up the journey.  The opposition is too stiff and their faith is growing weaker by the day. The author writes to convince them not to succumb to fear and unbelief.

Pay close attention to …

  • How they are to enter God’s rest and whose example they are to avoid.
  • How Jesus, their high priest, gives them the ability to persevere.

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 10:12-22

Background. This chapter is yet another plea to the people to turn to the Lord with all their hearts.  The language Moses employs should move these Israelites to self-examination.  He reminds them of the far past (the recent past they could remember for themselves) telling them that when their forefathers went to Egypt, they were only seventy in number.  They had become a populous people.  When the Israelites embarked on their desert journey there were over 600,000 men (not counting women and children and possibly the elderly as well).  They were prolific.  Moses brings to mind (again) the Lord’s statutes regarding the alien and the orphan and widow.

Pay close attention to …

  • What the Lord is asking of Israel (vv. 12-13 )
  • What belongs to the Lord and where he directs his affection (vv. 14-15 )
  • A “new” circumcision (v 16 )
  • Why special consideration should be shown to the alien (or foreigner) and orphans and widows (vv. 18-19 )

Since the Lord shows compassion to us he expects us to show compassion to others; most notably the orphan and the widow.  Later in scripture we learn that the Lord will hold anyone who oppresses the orphan and widow to particular judgment.

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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