Daily Bible Readings – Sunday, April 28, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 8

Prayer Point.  If you need a bigger view of God and a smaller view of yourself then get outside at night and look up at the stars as David, the composer of Psalm 8 did. How is it that the God who made the stars even notices us?  How is it that our insignificant planet played host to Jesus, the Son of Man and the Son of God? Let the wonder of that move you to worship God in prayer.

Matthew 7:7-14

Background.  Today’s reading is a portion of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7).  This Sermon represents the core of Jesus’ teaching and this section outlines the nature of our new relationship with God the Father.

Jesus will speak of a gate in verses 13-14. John 10:7 tells us that Jesus himself is the gate.

Pay close attention to ..

  • The manner in which we are to approach God with our requests.
  • How God the Father compares to our earthly fathers and why this should encourage us to ask boldly.
  • The summary of God’s Law in verse 12.
  • How the gate and road of Jesus compares to the gate that leads to destruction.

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 Thessalonians 2:13-17

Background. We worship one God, but this one God exists as three persons: the Father,  the Son and the Holy Spirit.  All three worked together to bring the universe into existence. Today’s reading celebrates that all three, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, work together to bring about our salvation.

Paul, the author of this letter, will mention a few terms that warrant some explanation:
Gospel. Good news or specifically the message that the Jesus we crucified by our sin has been raised from the dead by power of the Holy Spirit and elevated by the Father to the throne from where he now rules as eternal king of the universe. Jesus, our new king, offers the promise of forgiveness and eternal life to all those who humbly return to him, confess their sin and believe this good news.
Sanctifying.  The process of becoming holy. Through God, not only is sin’s guilt forgiven, but its power is slowly destroyed. We have been saved through Jesus’ death and resurrection. We are being saved in that God is slowly sanctifying us and making us more like Jesus.  We will be saved in that one day we will stand before God sin-free.

Pay close attention to …

  • The distinct roles that the Father (God), the Son (Jesus Christ) and the Holy Spirit (Spirit) play in our salvation (verses 13-14).
  • How we are to respond to God’s initiative (verse 15).
  • Paul’s prayer for the Thessalonians and for us (verses 16-17).

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)

Leviticus 8:1-36

The ordination of Aaron and his sons as priests.

The clothing of the High Priest.

The High Priests clothing.

The turban of fine linen held a plate of pure shining gold, on which were engraved the words, “Holy to YHWH (God)”

The ephod (a colorful linen torso garment held by a skillfully woven waistband) had two shoulder pieces, each holding an onyx stone.  The names of the twelve sons of Israel were engraved on these stones.

The cloth breastpiece of judgment had four rows, each with three precious stones.  Each of these stones had engraved upon it the name of one of the tribes of Israel.  The breastpiece was attached to the ephod by gold chains and rings.

The blue robe was worn under the ephod (Leviticus 8:7-8); colorful imitation pomegranates lined the hem of the robe, alternating with golden bells.

The white coat or tunic of checkered weave and fine linen was probably held by the embroidered sash under the robe.

The ordination of Aaron and his sons followed 7 steps each step ends in the text with the phrase: “as the Lord commanded.”  Go through each of these steps and see if you can piece together what each step meant.

Wisdom 7:21-8:1  (Not Scripture, but still worthwhile reading for the Christian)

Background. Wisdom is far more complicated than just knowing the best response to any given situation.  Notice all of the adjectives attributed to the spirit of wisdom in verses 7:22-23.

Wisdom of Solomon 7:21-8:1
Chapter 7
Verses 21-30

21    I learned both what is secret and what is manifest
22    for wisdom, the fashioner of all things, taught me.
There is in her a spirit that is intelligent, holy,
unique, manifold, subtle,
mobile, clear, unpolluted,
distinct, invulnerable, loving the good, keen,
irresistible,  23  beneficent, humane,
steadfast, sure, free from anxiety,
all-powerful, overseeing all,
and penetrating through all spirits
that are intelligent, pure, and altogether subtle.
24    For wisdom is more mobile than any motion;
because of her pureness she pervades and penetrates
all things.
25    For she is a breath of the power of God,
and a pure emanation of the glory of the Almighty;
therefore nothing defiled gains entrance into her.
26    For she is a reflection of eternal light,
a spotless mirror of the working of God,
and an image of his goodness.
27    Although she is but one, she can do all things,
and while remaining in herself, she renews all things;
in every generation she passes into holy souls
and makes them friends of God, and prophets;
28    for God loves nothing so much as the person who lives with wisdom.
29    She is more beautiful than the sun,
and excels every constellation of the stars.
Compared with the light she is found to be superior,
30    for it is succeeded by the night,
but against wisdom evil does not prevail.

Chapter 8
Verses 1

1    She teaches mightily from one end of the earth to the other,
and she orders all things well.

Pay close attention to …

  • What wisdom is described as regarding the “power of God”  (v. 25 )
  • The “mirror” of God (v. 26b )
  • How wisdom makes holy souls friends of God (v. 27 )
  • The comparison of the sun and stars (v. 29 )
  • What cannot prevail against her (v. 30 )

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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