Daily Bible Readings – Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 111

Prayer Point. Psalm 111 is a prayer thanking God for what he has done. Think about what God has done in your life over the last few weeks and give him thanks.

John 14:1-14

Background.  The setting of today’s reading is Jesus’ final meal with his disciples before his crucifixion the next day.  He has just informed them that he will be leaving, which greatly troubles them and he now seeks to calm their fears.

Pay close attention to …

  • Why Jesus’ departure and return to his Father should cause the disciples to rejoice.
  • The only way to know and go to the Father.
  • Jesus’ relationship to his Father.
  • The evidence that confirms that Jesus is who he says he is.
  • What is promised to those who put their faith in 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 2:33-47

Introduction to Acts 2-4

Background. Jesus, before he left his disciples to return to his Father in heaven, promised to send the Holy Spirit to continue the mission of establishing Jesus’ kingdom on earth.  In the beginning of Acts 2, the Holy Spirit descends on the church and the disciples are empowered to proclaim the message of Jesus.  Jerusalem’s population has swelled with pilgrims from all over the world  who have come to celebrate Pentecost.  The miracle is that each one hears the message of Jesus proclaimed in their own language.

The crowds are stunned by the sight of the disciples preaching Christ in languages the disciples not known and all wonder what this could mean.  Peter stands up to explain to the crowd what they have just experienced. He connects the coming of the Holy Spirit to the life, death and resurrection of Jesus and now he will reveal what this means for those who have just witnessed these events.

Pay close attention to …

  • How Peter connects the miracle to Jesus (see Acts 2:33).
  • The crowds reaction to hearing that this Jesus they crucified was now Lord and Christ.
  • The two things Peter asks the crowd to do in order to receive God’s forgiveness and the gift of the Holy Spirit.
  • To whom the gift of the Holy Spirit is offered.
  • The number of people who responded to Peter’s message.
  • Those who believed the message of Jesus Christ became a part of the church in Jerusalem.  What kind of church was it?  What did they do? What was the community like?  Why did it grow?

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)

Isaiah 30:18-22

Background. At this point in Isaiah, Jerusalem is being menaced by the Assyrians and out of fear of them, the Israelites have sought refuge from (of all people) the Egyptians.  That, to the contrary notwithstanding, the LORD would have taken umbrage anyway simply because the Israelites did not seek him for the help they needed.  Think in terms of Our LORD’s resurrection and the benefits accrued to us because of it.  One of those is the promise of the gift of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

Pay close attention to …

  • The first word of verse 18
  • The word “gracious” in vv. 18, 19
  • The “voice behind you” (v. 21 )
  • What will be done to the idols without, as it were, prompting from God (v. 22 )

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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