Daily Bible Readings – Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 49

Prayer Point. Nothing is more discouraging when the wicked become rich and powerful, but Psalm 49 calls us to see them and our world from his perspective. Wealth and power is fleeting, but God has ransomed our lives through the death and resurrection of Jesus. Take time to confess your attachment to the things of this world, and pray that God will wrap your heart around the hope of resurrection. If we patiently trust God, he will redeem our lives from the grave and take us to himself.

Luke 6:27-38

Background. In yesterday’s reading, Jesus appointed twelve apostles who will take his teaching to the world.  The nations have already begun to stream to Jesus and standing out on a level place he begins to teach those who have gathered around him.

What follows is what scholars call the Sermon on the Plain (Luke 6:20-49) which like the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7), represents the core of Jesus’ teaching.  It is a blueprint of life in the kingdom that Jesus came to establish on earth.  It is a lifestyle where we are called to imitate God. This is what it means to be a “son or daughter of God”: we live and love as God does, because as they say, “Like father like son.”

This is a way of live that will deeply challenge all of us, especially those who were listening to Jesus.    They had suffered under Roman oppression. It was very likely that they knew someone who had been murdered or even crucified by the Romans.

Pay close attention to …

  • Why Jesus asks us to love our enemies and why only loving those who love us back is not enough.
  • How our love for our enemies mirrors God’s love for us.
  • What is promised to those who give and forgive and refuse to condemn and judge.

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)

Colossians 1:24-2:7

Background. Paul sees himself as a servant of the Gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ.  His desire is to see Gentiles, like the Colossians, come to believe the gospel, receive its hope and forgiveness and become followers of Jesus Christ.  This is everything for Paul.

Pay close attention to …

  • The cause that Paul gladly suffers for.
  • The mystery that God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles through Paul.
  • The purpose of Paul’s proclamations, admonishments and teachings.
  • Why Paul wants these Christians to know the extent of his sufferings on their behalf.
  • If we began our journey with Christ through faith.  How do we continue to walk with Christ? (verses 6-7)

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)

Exodus 33:1-23

How can a holy God live with a sinful people?  This is the question that drives the plot of the Bible and is central to the understanding of this passage.   Why is God unwilling to go with his people to the promised land?  What will he do for Israel instead?  God will give Israel the land he promised them, but he will not go with them.  How do the people respond to such a proposal?  What seems to matter more to them, God’s presence or the land and prosperity?    Why do you think the tent of meeting was located outside of the camp?  In what way did God appear to Moses at the tent of meeting?

Who goes and intercedes for Israel?  Why does God grant Moses’ request?

God blessed Israel because he was pleased with Moses.

God blesses us because he is pleased with _____________.

Moses is still not satisfied with God’s answer.  What daring request does he make of God?  Why do you think God partially, but not fully, honors this request?  What part of God could he not see?

Wisdom 4:16-5:8 (Not Scripture, but still worthwhile reading for the Christian)

Wisdom of Solomon 4:16-5:8

Chapter 4
Verses 16-20

16        The righteous who have died will condemn the ungodly who are living,
and youth that is quickly perfected will condemn the prolonged old age of the unrighteous.
17           For they will see the end of the wise
and will not understand what the LORD purposed for them,
and for what he kept them safe.
18        The unrighteous will see, and will have contempt for them,
but the LORD will laugh them to scorn.
After this they will become dishonored corpses,
and an outrage among the dead forever;
19        because he will dash them speechless to the ground,
and shake them from the foundations;
they will be left utterly dry and barren,
and they will suffer anguish,
and the memory of them will perish.

20        They will come with dread when their sins are reckoned up,
and their lawless deeds will convict them to their face.

Chapter 5
Verses 1-8

1         Then the righteous will stand with great confidence
in the presence of those who have oppressed them
and those who make light of their labors.
2        When the unrighteous see them, they will be shaken with dreadful fear,
and they will be amazed at the unexpected salvation of the righteous.
3         They will speak to one another in repentance,
and in anguish of spirit they will groan and say,
4         “These people whom we once held in derision
and made a byword of reproach — fools that we were!
We thought that their lives were madness
and that their end was without honor.
5         Why have they been numbered among the children of God?
And why is their lot among the saints?
6         So it was we who strayed from the way of truth,
and the light of righteousness did not shine on us,
and the sun did not rise upon us.
7         We took our fill of the paths of lawlessness and destruction,
and we journeyed through the trackless deserts,
but the way of the LORD we have not known.
8          What has our arrogance profited us?
And what good has our boasted wealth brought us?

Pay close attention to …

  • The blindness of the unrighteous (vv. 4:17-18 )
  • What convicts the unrighteous (v. 4:20 )
  • How the righteous stand (v. 5:1 )
  • What amazes the unrighteous (v. 5:2
  • The repentance which is too little too late (vv. 5:4-5 )
  • The confession (vv. 5:6-8 )

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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