Daily Bible Readings – Monday, April 15, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 9

Prayer Point. Why should God be thanked and praised? Psalm 9 reminds us that he secures justice for us (we don’t do it ourselves), he protects the oppressed, provides for the needy and gives hope to the afflicted and that is just the beginning.  Read through this psalm slowly and pick two or three examples that you have personally experienced and thank God for them.

Luke 4:14-30

Background. Today’s reading marks the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry on earth.  He has just been baptized (Luke 3:21-22), tempted in the wilderness (Luke 4:1-13) and now he is ready to begin.

He chooses a synagogue service for his inaugural address.  Visiting rabbis were often invited to read from the Old Testament and then sit down to explain to the congregation what had just been read.

Jesus is initially well-received, but their adulation will quickly give way to rage.  The sudden change that came over the crowd has everything to do with the stories Jesus cites in verses 24-27.   These are stories about Elijah the prophet who is forced to leave Israel and minister to its enemies because Israel had flatly refused to listen to God and his prophet.  See 1 Kings 17:7-24 and 2 Kings 5.

In other words, Israel had waited a long time for their Messiah only for their Messiah to announce that they will reject him and he will be forced to bring salvation, not to them, but to their enemies.

Pay close attention to …

  • The content of the prophecy in verses 18-19 and how it relates to Jesus’ upcoming ministry. What will the Messiah do and how does that square with how you viewed Jesus’ mission.
  • How this prophecy relates to Jesus and his ministry (verses 21).
  • Why the crowds try to kill Jesus and why they are unable to.

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 3:19-4:6

Background. John wants his readers to have confidence and peace before God.  In today’s reading he will lay out the path to this destination. There will be things his readers must do and people they must avoid.

The path to peace and confidence before God and receiving from him whatever we ask, is to do what he commands.  Here is what he commands: believe in the name of his Son and love another.
Those who obey these commands live in him and he in them and this is confirmed by the Holy Spirit.

Pay close attention to …

  • What two things we must do to have confidence before God and expect to receive from him whatever we ask (verse 3:23).
  • John states that those who obey God’s commands live in God and he in them.  Who confirms to us that God is living within us (verse 3:24).
  • How one can distinguish the Spirit of God from the spirit of anti-Christ.  In other words what will teachers who are filled the spirit of God teach as opposed to those who teach according to the spirit of Anti-Christ (verses 4:1-3).
  • How will true teachers relate to the teachings of John and the other apostles as opposed to false ones (verses 4:4-6).

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 4:19-27

Background. King Nebuchadnezzar has been plagued again by yet another dream.  This time he does not fool around with his “seers” and magicians by withholding the details of the dream.  This is the one about the huge tree which gives life and shelter to all the birds and animals around.  Like the first dream, none of the king’s soothsayers, magicians and seers could probe the meaning of this dream so he sent for his “chief magician” Daniel to help unravel this mystery.  All of this is described in Daniel 4:4-18.  [You will notice that this section is indented (in the NIV) — this is only because this dream is described in a letter Nebuchadnezzar is sending throughout his kingdom.]

Pay close attention to …

  • Why we know this dream is not good news for the king (v. 19 )
  • Whom does the tree represent (v. 22 )
  • Daniel’s retelling of the dream (v. 23 )
  • The decree of the Most High (vv. 24-25 )
  • The “good” news for the king (v. 26 )
  • Daniel’s advice to the king (v. 27 )

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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