Daily Bible Readings – Friday, April 19, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 105

Prayer Point. Psalm 105 is a call to remember, thank, and praise the God who saves us.  Verses 10-45 tells the story of God’s faithfulness to Israel, but what is God’s story with you? Take time to remember those times when God saved you, offer him thanks and share that story with someone in your life.

Luke 5:12-26

Background. Lepers were outcasts in Jesus’ day. It was a highly contagious and fatal disease whose devastating effects on the nervous system was only surpassed by the loneliness of those who were afflicted by it.  Lepers had to leave their families and live outside the city.  They had to declare themselves to be “unclean” to all those who approached them.  To touch a leper made one unclean and placed them at risk of catching the disease.

A clean man who touched someone who was unclean, became himself unclean and needed to undergo an elaborate ritual in order to be eligible to enter the temple and worship God.  With Jesus this is all about to change.

The second healing in today’s reading is all about Jesus’ authority.  The Pharisees and teachers of the law have gathered from all around Israel in order to evaluate Jesus who brought with him new teaching with an authority that not been seen before.  They want to know where he received his authority since he had not been trained by any of the rabbis of their day.

Pay close attention to …

  • The method Jesus uses to heal the leper and what it says about his power, authority, compassion and courage.
  • Why the Pharisees and teachers of the law are so angered when Jesus forgives the sins of the paralyzed man.
  • Jesus’ purpose in healing the paralyzed man.  Note that “Son of Man” is a title Jesus used for himself that conveyed his divinity and power.  It is a reference to Daniel 7:13-14.

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)

2 John 1-13

Background. While at first glance 2 John appears to be a personal letter to a woman and her family, it is far more likely that “the chosen lady and her children” is a reference to a local church and its people. We say this for two reason:  one, the church is often referred to as the ‘bride of Christ’. Second, ‘your chosen sister’ in 2 John 13 appears to be a description of the church John was staying with when he penned this letter.

Pay close attention to …

  • The source of John’s great joy.
  • The command he gives this church.
  • The false teaching of the deceivers that John warns against.
  • How the church is to treat false teachers.

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 6:1-15

Background. A week ago (Thursday of last week) we examined Nebuchadnezzar’s first dream, the one where he wanted the magicians, soothsayers, astrologers and seers first to tell him his dream and then to interpret it.  In that dream Nebuchadnezzar saw a giant statue with a head of gold (that was Nebuchadnezzar, of course) and next was a chest of silver (the Medes and Persians) followed by thighs of bronze (Greeks) and finally legs of iron with feet made partly of iron and clay (Roman).

One down three to go!

Yesterday we saw the fall of the Babylonian Empire to the Medes under Darius.  With the advent of a new ruler, people have to prove themselves yet again.  Darius had installed 120 satraps (something like a governor) who themselves were supervised by three administrators; one of which was Daniel.  At this point Daniel is getting rather old and yet envy among his enemies has reared its ugly head.  Daniel’s administration was without flaw so his enemies sought to trap him by using his God as a catalyst.

Pay close attention to …

  • The strange law of the Medes and Persians (v. 8 )
  • The decree itself (v. 7 )
  • Daniel’s behavior (v. 10 )
  • Darius’ regret (v. 14 )
  • The enemies’ victory (v.15 )

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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