Daily Bible Readings – Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 101

Prayer Point. King David pledges to live a blameless life and purge his kingdom of the wicked. What troubles me is that I see myself (and David for that matter) in the description of “faithless men.” This psalm moves me to repent, and I’d like to encourage you to use in the same way.  What sins disqualify us from being blameless? Confess those to God and ask for his forgiveness on account of the fact that Jesus was cut off for our sakes.

John 6:27-40

Background. The people of Israel were enslaved by the Egyptians for four hundred and fifty years until God sent Moses to rescue them. This victory was temporary, because it was God’s intention to send a second and greater Moses who would lead his people out of bondage to sin and into eternal life. Moses foreshadows Jesus. His miracles point to the greater miracles that Jesus will perform. One of which was the manna or daily bread that God fed his people each day in the wilderness.  With no crops with which to make bread, manna appeared each morning on the ground like the dew giving the Israelites just enough to get through the day. Today Jesus will speak of a greater bread.

Pay close attention to …

  • 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).
  • The work we must do to receive the food from God that endures to eternal life.
  • What bread Jesus offers the people that is greater than the bread God gave to the Israelites through Moses.
  • What is promised to those who come to Jesus, the bread of life.
  • Who will come to Jesus and why.
  • Why Jesus came down from heaven.
  • The Father’s will in verse 40.

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 8:1-11

Background. Paul has just discovered in chapter 7 that his battle with sin is so deep, that he is unable to save himself. Trying hard to follow God’s Law has left him in despair.  The Law, in fact, made Paul want to sin more. He was a prisoner of his sin and unable to free himself. If you don’t believe this, try this experiment.  Tell yourself not to lust for a day and watch what happens.  I’d imagine that your attempts would end the way Paul’s did.

Romans 7:24 “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death!”

The answer to this desperate question comes in chapter 8. Two heroes will be introduced: Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Jesus will be compared to a sin offering in today’s readings. The Law of Moses demanded that perfect animals be sacrificed for the sins of the people.  The animal symbolically died  for the sinner. The Scripture is clear that the blood of bulls and goats could not forgive sins.  This, instead, was a picture of what Jesus, our true sacrifice would do for us.

Pay close attention to …

  • Who can free us from the law of sin and death and how
  • What Jesus the Son did which the Law could not.
  • The contrast between life according to the sinful nature (flesh) and life according to the Spirit.
  • Who frees the Romans from the control of the sinful nature.
  • What the Holy Spirit did for Christ that he will also do for us.

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 18:1-11

Background. Seventy or so years before Jeremiah, Isaiah also used the imagery of the potter and the clay.  His was in an attitude of submission: “Yet, O LORD, you are our Father.  We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.”  (Isaiah 64:8 NIV)  Unfortunately submissive is not the attitude today (Jeremiah’s day).

Pay close attention to …

  • What Jeremiah observes at the potter’s house (v. 4 )
  • How this observation is applied to the house of Israel (vv. 6-10 )
  • What amounts to a “final warning” (v. 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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