Daily Bible Readings – Saturday, April 13, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 110

Prayer Point. This psalm is a hymn of praise to king Jesus (compare verse 1 to Luke 20:40-44). If you feel like giving up, worship God through prayer by thanking him for raising Jesus from the dead and making him both Lord and King.

Luke 4:1-13

Background. Numbers are very important in the Bible.  Many believe that Jesus was tempted for 40 days to connect his experience to the 40 years of Israel’s wandering in the desert.  At the very least Israel’s temptation in the wilderness is on his mind when Satan entices him to turn the stones into bread. He replies that man “does not live by bread alone.” This is a quote of Deuteronomy 8:3 which reflects on Israel’s sojourning in the desert:

Deuteronomy 8:3 He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.

We know that Israel miserably failed their time of testing.  Now we find Jesus entering that same desert to be tempted in every way we are.

Pay close attention to …

  • Why the first temptation was difficult for Jesus.  Remember that Jesus is fully God and fully human.
  • The severity of the second temptation when you consider that God the Father offered Jesus the kingdoms of the world after his crucifixion.
  • How the third temptation calls into question God the Father’s trustworthiness and compare it to Genesis 3:1-5.
  • How Jesus succeeds where Israel (and we) failed.

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 3:11-18

Background. Cain and Abel were the sons of Adam and Eve.  Both men brought sacrifices to God, but God only accepted Abel’s because of the sin Cain harbored in his heart. Cain, rather than confess his sins to God, chooses instead to strike out against God and murdered his brother.  You can read the full story in Genesis 4. Cain serves as an example of what it means to be a child of the world as opposed to a child of God.

Pay close attention to …

  • The message we heard from the beginning.
  • How Jesus is the definition of love.
  • What love looks like for God’s people. Note the specific example that John gives in verse 17.

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 3:19-30

Background. It cannot have been a surprise to Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego that Nebuchadnezzar’s anger was at least as hot as the oven he had prepared for the offenders of his mandate.  Their apparent arrogance in the face of imminent danger caused Nebuchadnezzar to fly into such a rage that he ordered the oven heated to seven times as hot as it already was.  (The “seven times as hot” simply means as hot as the furnace can take. — j.t.)

Pay close attention to …

  • The irony of this event (v. 22 )
  • What the king notices (v. 24 )
  • Description of the fourth man (v. 25 )

Nebuchadnezzar commands Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego to come out of the furnace.

  • Condition of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego (v. 27 )
  • Who was the fourth man (v. 28 )
  • Nebuchadnezzar’s change of heart (for the time being) (vv. 28-29 )
  • The conclusion of this event (v. 30 )

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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