Daily Bible Readings – Saturday, April 20, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 42

Prayer Point. Spiritual dryness and general sadness can either drive us to our addictions that dull our emptiness, or we can allow that thirst to fuel our pursuit of God. Pray Psalm 42 today, that the emptiness and brokenness in your life will drive you to Jesus.

Luke 5:27-39

Background. Tax collectors were not good disciple material because they were regarded as the most sinful class of Jewish society and with good reason. They worked for the Roman occupiers and became rich by inflating tax bills and pocketing the difference.

You can imagine Levi’s shock when Jesus greeted him the words that rabbis used to accept potential disciples, “follow me.”

Pay close attention to …

  • Levi’s response to Jesus’ call and compare it to the response of Peter, James and John (Luke 5:11).
  • How the Pharisees and teachers of the Law are scandalized by Jesus’ behavior.
  • Why Jesus eats with tax collectors and what it says about us.

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)

3 John 1-15

Background. 3 John is a short personal letter from the Apostle John to a Christian named Gaius.

Pay close attention to …

  • The positives in Gaius’ life, what he is to continue doing.
  • Whose example he is emulate and whose example he is to shun 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)

Daniel 6:16-28

Background. Daniel is moved by his own personal integrity into a position which puts him at odds with his king, thanks to his enemies.  They maneuvered the king to issue a decree for the sole purpose to discredit Daniel and to get him out of the way.  The sentence for disobeying the decree was to spend a night in the (presumably hungry) lions’ den.  This incident parallels slightly an event in the life of Joseph.  He was falsely imprisoned as well and only had his faith in the God of his father to keep him going.  That’s all that Daniel had.

Pay close attention to …

  • The king’s plight (v. 18 )
  • King’s voice the next morning (v. 20 )
  • Daniel (vv. 21- 22 )
  • The false accusers (v. 24 )
  • The new decree (v. 26-28 )

This story of Daniel in the lions’ den is a favorite for children because it speaks of bravery in the face of certain death.  To adults this story should speak to our hearts with respect of the faith that Daniel had displayed against such overwhelming odds.  This was the very same kind of faith displayed by Daniel’s three friends Meshach, Shadrach and Abednego when they faced the fiery furnace.  This is the season of Easter so such examples are meant to encourage us as we face our daily trials (which, I’m sure, don’t measure up to either the lions’ den or the fiery furnace).

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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