Daily Bible Readings – Monday, May 6, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 77

Prayer Point.  Asaph, the author of Psalm 77, is thinking back on how he prayed during a dark period of his life. He cried out to God and refused to be comforted. He also reminds God of the great things he has done in the past and asks him to do it again.  Try following this prayer pattern today, either for yourself or someone you know who is going through a difficult time.

Luke 9:18-27

Background. While Jesus performed many miracles and preached with an unmatched authority, he largely kept his true identity as the Son of God under wraps.  He does want the world to know him, but he will reveal his divinity through his crucifixion and resurrection.  Consequently, the people are intrigued by him, but not quite sure who he is.  One possibility is that he is Elijah, which makes sense, because the Old Testament taught that Elijah would return before the coming of the Messiah (Israel’s long awaited liberator-king). That was the role John the Baptist played (Mark 9:9-13), for the role of Messiah (Christ) is reserved for Jesus.

Pay close attention to …

  • Whom the crowds believe Jesus to be.
  • Peter’s answer and Jesus’ response to his confession.
  • The unlikely future of the Son of Man (Messiah) and what it means for Jesus’ disciples.

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)

James 1:1-15

Background. The book of James is a letter written by James, the brother of Jesus, to the church in its early days.  It is an decidedly practical book as it focuses on the life that is to be lived in response to the gospel.  It is a description of what our lives will look like if we place our trust in Jesus, the one who lived, died and rose again for us.

James 2:17 … faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

Pay close attention to …

  • Why the difficulties of life are to be considered joys and the good that can flow from them.
  • The instructions for a person who lacks wisdom.
  • How rich and poor believers should view themselves and why.
  • The blessings promised to those who persevere through difficult times.
  • The nature of temptation.

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)

Deuteronomy 8:1-10

Background. By this time in Israel’s (the Hebrews) walk with the LORD, they have been wandering in the wilderness (read “desert”) for the better part of forty years: so much has happened!  Bear in mind also that Moses is pretty much on his last legs as it were.  Moses is now about 120 years old, and to quote Deuteronomy 34:7 “And Moses was an hundred and twenty years old when he died: his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated.” (KJV)  While one would not say that Moses was in the bloom of youth, still he was a force to be reckoned with.  This dissertation or valedictory was delivered very shortly before he died.  Like the Lord Jesus’ long teachings on the night he was betrayed, Moses wanted to make his last words to the Hebrews his most important ones.  Deuteronomy, simply put, is a re-telling of the law.  In this reading, Moses emphasizes the importance of “remembering” the LORD — a practice, unfortunately,  still not mastered to this day (2013).  As a spiritual exercise (and a mental one) read the first seven chapters of Deuteronomy which will launch you into a more proper frame of mind when reading Chapter eight.  It will certainly give you the context of the reading.

Pay close attention to …

  • Why obedience is important (v. 1 )*
  • Why the LORD led the Hebrews through the wilderness (desert) (v. 2 )
  • How Moses helped Jesus so many years later in his own battle with Satan (see Matt. 4:4) (v. 3 )
  • How the LORD met the daily needs of the people (v. 4 )
  • What “…as a man disciplines his son…” means (v. 5 )
  • How Moses describes this “Promised Land” (vv. 7-9 )
  • The final exhortation in this reading (v. 10 )

*Obedience sounds like such a restrictive way of life.  Here Moses puts obedience in the best possible light: vested self-interest — to wit: “that you may live and increase…”  Obedience offers so much more, but Moses wants the people to be eager to follow the commandments.  Moses will spend some time talking of the pros and cons of obedience vs. disobedience later in Chapter 28.

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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