Daily Bible Readings – Monday, April 8, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 4

Prayer Point. Try praying this psalm right before you go to bed as it is a prayer to close the day. Start by unloading to God the frustrations of the day and the injustices you have seen (verses 1-2). Pray for faith (verse 3). Search your own heart and quiet yourself before God (verse 4). Place yourself in the hands of God and drift off to sleep (verses 5-8).

John 17:1-11

Background. In John chapter 17 we are given the rare opportunity to listen in on a conversation between Jesus the Son of God and God the Father.  This prayer was offered during the Last Supper on the night of his betrayal and arrest.  It affords us a glimpse into the love the Father and Son shared for each other.

The word “glorify” will appear numerous times in Jesus’ prayer.  To glorify someone is to make them known to others so that they may be loved and worshiped.

Pay close attention to …

  • Jesus prays for himself (verses 1-5). What Jesus has done for his Father and how he brought glory to his Father.  What Jesus asks his Father to do for him. The authority the Father gave to Jesus. How we benefit from Jesus’ authority.  The nature of eternal life.
  • Jesus prays for his disciples, “those [God the Father] gave me out of the world” (verses 6-11). To whom the disciples first belonged and to whom they were given. What Jesus gave his disciples and how the disciples responded. What Jesus asks his Father to do for his disciples and why.

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)

1 John 1:1-10

Background. 1 John is a letter from the Apostle John, a close friend of Jesus, to the churches he oversaw in what is now western Turkey.  The letter was a circular letter, meaning that it was circulated among each of the churches and read aloud to the congregations.

Pay close attention to …

  • What John (and the other apostles) have seen and touched and why they proclaim it to the Christians who received this letter.
  • The core message in verse 5.
  • What life will look like and not look like when we have fellowship with God. How it will affect our relationships with other Christians.  How it will affect the claims we make about ourselves. The effect that the blood of Jesus will have on our hearts.
  • What is promised to those who confess their sins.
  • What is true of those who claim to be without sin.

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)

Daniel 1:1-21

Background. “Daniel was carried away to Babylon as a captive while he was still a boy.  According to the traditional view he lived and prophesied when Babylon was the most powerful empire of its day, and himself watched the activities of a number of famous monarchs (of whom Nebuchadnezzar is the best known to Bible students) for almost three quarters of a century.”  (from The Harper Study Bible, p. 1292, Harper & Row, 1962.

We have been looking at Jeremiah who had warned the people that Jerusalem (and thus Judah) would be overrun by the Babylonians and then carried away to Babylon in captivity.  Throughout Jeremiah the Lord had also warned the people to submit to this chastening by him and to go to Babylon and to establish their community (with families and marriages, etc.) and to settle there where, if obedient, they would prosper.

After the sack of Jerusalem, the Babylonians came and carried off the nobility and the “best and brightest” (the cream of the crop) of those in Judah; Daniel was among them.  Daniel was but a young boy and apparently was, even then, quite bright and exceptional.  He prophesied for the better part of the seventy years of the captivity up to the third year of King Cyrus (536 B.C.)  We will see, even from an early age Daniel was bold and courageous in the face of overwhelming odds.

Pay close attention to …

  • The original names of Daniel’s friends (v. 6 )
  • The new names of Daniel and his friends (v. 7 )

King Nebuchadnezzar intended to “make over” the best of the captives into Babylonians by insisting they change their not only their names but also their diets to conform to his own.  Of course, he would have the best of everything, wouldn’t he?  This new diet would conflict with the dietary laws of the Jews and thus created a crisis of conscience for any conscientious Israelite.

  • Daniel’s deal with the king’s official regarding the diet (v. 12 )
  • The result (v. 15 )
  • How long Daniel and his friends were trained (v. 5 )
  • The king’s impression of these four (v. 19 -20)

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