Daily Bible Readings – Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 97

Prayer Point. The power of the recent storms in our area has reminded us how fragile and unpredictable our lives can be. It calls us to rely on a power that is greater than a hurricane or thunderstorm: God. Jesus, who calmed the storms has been raised to life and is now both Lord and King. Take time today to confess your lack of faith and worship God who rules this world.

John 6:16-27

Background. For a teacher like Jesus the world was the classroom and life was the curriculum. He wasted no opportunity to teach his disciples.  In yesterday’s reading, he tested his disciples by asking them to provide bread to five thousand people; an impossible task with little or no money.  At the end of that difficult and tiring day, the disciples sail across Sea of Galilee without Jesus and straight into a storm.  The sea was regarded in those days as as place of evil and ferocious power precisely because of storms such as these.

Pay close attention to …

  • How the disciples react to seeing Jesus walking across the water towards them.  If the sea was the most powerful known natural force, what does this say about Jesus’ power?
  • Why the crowds pursued Jesus across the lake.
  • The food Jesus encourages the crowd to work for and why it is greater than the miracle bread and fish he had just given them (see John 6:1-15).

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)

Romans 7:13-25

Background.  We are sinners, not because we sin once in a while, but because we have bodies that have been corrupted by sin. It is an infection that reaches even our hearts.

Sinful thoughts, words and deeds flow forth from this darkened heart automatically and compulsively, as water from a polluted fountain.  (Richard Lovelace)

Enter God’s Law.  It does not have the power to save us but it is a necessary tool in God’s hands as he rescues us from slavery to sin. The disease of sin has progressed so deeply within us, that unless we die, we will never be free.

Pay close attention to …

  • What the commandment (law) was able to do for Paul even though it couldn’t save him.
  • The conflict between Paul’s sinful nature (flesh) and the Law.
  • Paul’s desperation as the chapter comes to a close.  What does he cry out? What is the answer?

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)

Jeremiah 17:19-27

Background. Jeremiah 17:1-18 describe how the LORD feels about Judah’s waywardness.  “Judah’s sin is engraved with an iron tool, inscribed with a flint point, on the tablets of their hearts and on the horns of their altars.” (Jeremiah 17:1 NIV)  Things don’t improve as the chapter progresses.  The curses outlined by Moses many hundreds of years earlier are coming to pass as described here.  “My mountain in the land and your wealth and all your treasures I will give away as plunder, together with your high places, because of sin throughout your country.  Through your own fault you will lose the inheritance I gave you.  I will enslave  you to your enemies in a land you do not know for you have kindled my anger and it will burn forever.” (Jeremiah 17:3-4)   The root of the problem of sin in man is in his heart as indicated above.  This is why there is constant admonition for the people to circumcise their hearts — in other words: convert.  The whole purpose of the season of Lent is to remind us all that we all need to repent and to “return to the LORD”.  We may think that Judah’s sin is greater than ours, but when compared with absolute holiness (GOD) we are no better than Judah.  Even the smallest sin in this scenario falls miserably short.

Pay close attention to …

  • What command the LORD wants observed and the reward for obeying (vv. 24, 25 )
  • What happens when the Sabbath is not observed (v. 27 )

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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