Daily Bible Readings – Monday, April 1, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 66

Prayer Point. Psalm 66 invites us to “shout to joy to God!”  and then proceeds to tell us the reasons why. “Come and see what God has done …” and what follows is the story of God’s rescue of Israel from slavery in Egypt. How has God saved you from a difficult place in your life? Remember what God has done and offer him your own prayer of thanksgiving.

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 Word 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 another John, John the Baptist, the cousin of Jesus and not the author of this book.

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)

Acts 2:14, 22-32

Introduction to Acts 2-4

Background. Although Jesus was returning to his Father, he promised that not abandon them alone. Ten days after his ascension he sends them the Holy Spirit as recorded in Acts 2:1-13. The Holy Spirit’s mission is to make Jesus known to the world by empowering the church to proclaim him through word and action.

The Spirit descends on Jesus’ followers and empowers them to testify about him in languages they hadn’t learned.  Utterly amazed, the crowds ask what this means.  Peter, representing the apostles, stands up and explains to the crowds what they have just witnessed.

Peter will quote from Psalm 16:8-11 which is a psalm by David, the great king of Israel.  Even though the Psalm was hundreds of years old, Peter claims that David was not speaking of himself, but Jesus.

Pay close attention to …

  • How Peter connects the miracle to the death and resurrection of Jesus.
  • How man’s wicked actions fit into God’s plan (see Acts 2:23).
  • Why Jesus, not King David, is the fulfillment of the prophecy in Acts 2:25-28.
  • How Peter and the Apostles see themselves in relation to the risen Jesus (see Acts 2:32).

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)

Jonah 2:1-9

Background. Some time ago we looked at Jonah.  I referred to him then, as the “reluctant” prophet or the “failed” prophet because (1) he did not want to go to Nineveh at the LORD’s request because he deeply hated the Assyrians to whom he was sent to minister; and (2) because what he prophesied did not happen (because these people actually listened to what Jonah preached and repented and reformed).

What we are focusing on today is the time Jonah spent in reflecting on his choices after “running” from the LORD.  When commissioned by the LORD to go to Nineveh, our reluctant prophet took the shortest route out of town and fled to the sea to go to Tarshish (probably Spain).  Undaunted, the LORD followed him across the sea and made life difficult not only for Jonah, but also for his shipmates.  Their ultimate solution was to heed Jonah’s advice and to throw him overboard in order to save the ship and the people left on it .  This worked, for once Jonah hit the sea a great calm came over the waters.  Happily, (or not) Jonah was swallowed by a “great fish” which provided Jonah this badly needed “time out” to rethink his options.  Notice that Jonah spent three days and three nights in this “period of reflection”.  This, of course, parallels Jesus’ journey into the land of the dead; Jesus himself making reference to Jonah’s experience to emphasize what will happen to him (see Matthew 12:38-41)

Pay close attention to …

  • Jonah’s description of his surroundings as he prays to the LORD (v. 2 )
  • Jonah’s acknowledgment regarding his predicament (v. 4 )
  • From where Jonah was “brought up” (v. 6 )
  • When Jonah “found religion” [sorta]  (v. 7 )
  • Jonah’s great insight about “worthless idols” (v. 8 )
  • As is typical when people are faced with life and death situations — promises (or vows) are made to God in exchange for “redemption” (delivery) from the current crisis.  (v. 9 )

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)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s