Daily Bible Readings – Thursday, April 18, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 37

Prayer Point. Wicked men and women will continue prosper in our world and wield power.  That will not change until Christ returns.  What must change is our response to it.  Psalm 37 lists several sinful responses to the presence of evil. Repent by confessing to God the ones you see in your life.  Pray for the faith to trust God, delight in him, commit ourselves to following him and to place matters of justice into his hands.

Luke 5:1-11

Background. The highest calling in Jesus’ day was to become a rabbi’s disciple with the dream of one day becoming a rabbi: not unlike the prestige of getting into Harvard today.  Only those with the sharpest intellect and highest moral character received the privilege of being a disciple.  Those who didn’t make the cut returned home and worked the family trade which is what we find Peter, James and John doing.

Pay close attention to …

  • Jesus’ unusual choice of disciples.
  • The ease by which Jesus provides for his disciples.
  • Peter’s reaction to the miracle catch of fish. Compare this to Isaiah 6:1-8.
  • How the life direction of Peter, James and John is forever changed by their encounter with 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)

1 John 5:13-21

Background.  As John brings this letter to a close, he wants to remind his readers of the purpose of his letter and give them some final instructions.

Pay close attention to …

  • Why John wrote this letter to “those who believe in the Son of God.”
  • The confidence that comes with this eternal life and how it impacts our relationship with God.
  • What one should do if he sees a fellow Christian sin. Note that the definition of a “sin that leads to death” has been hotly debated throughout history. Most likely John is referring to a final and complete rejection of Jesus.  (See 1 John 4:2-3; 3:15).
  • What is true of those who are born of God with regard to sin.
  • Who controls the world we live in.
  • The Son of God we should cling to and the idols we should avoid.

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 5:13-30

Background. While the Bible is not clear how much time has passed between Chapters 4 and 5, we learn that the king referred to in Chapter 5 is not Nebuchadnezzar but someone named Belshazzar.  It turns out that this Belshazzar is either Nebuchadnezzar’s son or, more likely, his grandson.  [The term ‘father’ as used here is not unlike the same use of father in the expression of “king so and so did evil in the sight of the LORD and was not like his father David…”  David was referred to as the ‘father’ of virtually every king in Judah.]  The upshot is that Daniel is not known by this king and there is speculation that Daniel was quite old when this event took place.

Pay close attention to …

  • What the king and his guests drink from (vv. 2-3 )
  • The added insult — whom these people praised (v. 4 )
  • What the king and his guests saw and how they reacted(vv. 5, 6 )
  • For whom the king calls in this crisis (v. 7 )
  • The task set before these magicians, diviners and astrologers (v.  7)
  • The problem (vv. 8-9 )
  • Who suggests a solution (v. 10 )
  • Daniel’s Babylonian name (v. 12 )

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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