Daily Bible Readings – Thursday, May 16, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 105

Prayer Point.  Romans 1 tells us that our sin is rooted in our failure to recognize God and give thanks to him. We are thankless  often because we forget what he has done for us. Psalm 105 recounts the things God did for Israel, but what has God done for you? Take note of the big and small things he has done for you and offer Him your thanks.

Luke 10:25-37

Pray. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand what you are reading.

Read. Read the passage slowly either alone or in a group and answer the following questions:

Listen. What is the passage saying? What are the main points? You can use the following “Background” and “Pay close attention to …”  sections to help you understand the main points of this passage.

Background. The question, “what must I do to inherit eternal life”, was a common one in Jesus’ day.  The Jews were expecting the arrival of their Messiah who would break the powers of evil and establish God’s eternal kingdom on earth.  The expert in the law in today’s reading is simply asking: “God’s kingdom: who’s in and who’s out.”

The usual answer was Jews who kept the Law reasonably well; that is Jews who  loved God and loved their neighbor. Samaritans and others of outside of the nation of Israel were generally excluded.  The law expert will give a similar answer, but Jesus will tell a story that will blow his assumptions out of the water.

The law expert will ask a second question.  Who is my neighbor?  Jewish rabbis did not include those outside of Israel (especially Samaritans) in the definition of neighbor.

Pay close attention to …

  • The true neighbor in Jesus’ story (verses 30-36).
  • The point of Jesus’ story (verse 37).

Obey. What is God asking me to do?

Share. What can I share and with whom can I share it?

Repent. How have I failed to obey and share what God is asking me to do? Confess those failures to God and ask for his forgiveness.

Believe. Which of God’s promises would I need to believe in order to obey and share what I have read?

Hebrews 7:18-28

Pray. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand what you are reading.

Read. Read the passage slowly either alone or in a group and answer the following questions:

Listen. What is the passage saying? What are the main points? You can use the following “Background” and “Pay close attention to …”  sections to help you understand the main points of this passage.

Background.  A covenant is simply an agreement between two or more people.  A marriage, a peace treaty and the US Constitution are all examples of covenants.  The covenant in this passage speaks of a special relationship between God and his people, Israel.  With each covenant there are requirements, blessings if the requirements are kept and curses if they are broken.   You can think of the Old Testament Law as the requirements that Israel must fulfill in order to receive God’s covenant blessings.

Pay close attention to …

  • Why the old Covenant, the former Law and its regulations, is weak and useless.
  • Why Jesus is the guarantee of a better covenant.
  • What makes Jesus a permanent priest and what that means for us.
  • What makes Jesus a greater high priest than all the others.

Obey. What is God asking me to do?

Share. What can I share and with whom can I share it?

Repent. How have I failed to obey and share what God is asking me to do? Confess those failures to God and ask for his forgiveness.

Believe. Which of God’s promises would I need to believe in order to obey and share what I have read?

Ezekiel 18:1-4, 19-32

Pray. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand what you are reading.

Read. Read the passage slowly either alone or in a group and answer the following questions:

Listen. What is the passage saying? What are the main points? You can use the following “Background” and “Pay close attention to …”  sections to help you understand the main points of this passage.

Background. Chapter 12: Ezekiel will portray visually what will happen to Judah.  The LORD has Ezekiel pack his bags for a journey [exile] in broad daylight in the sight of the people — it is important that the people watch Ezekiel pack his bags.  He does this expressly as a visual demonstration of what will happen to the Jews.

Chapter 13: The false prophets are exposed.  The false prophets are trying to encourage the people by telling them more of what they want to hear than what the LORD says.  Again, nature will ally with God to bring judgment to these false prophets.

Chapter 14: This chapter discusses that the idolaters will be judged and punished.  The prophets whom they seek out for comfort will be misleading them because they are false prophets.

Chapter 15: Jerusalem is likened to a vine which is now useless.  “I will make the land desolate because they have been unfaithful,” declares the Sovereign LORD.

Chapter 16: This chapter is an allegory of Jerusalem.  [Allegory: (1) the expression by means of symbolic fictional figures and actions of truths or generalizations about human existence; an instance (as in a story or painting) of such expression.  (2) a symbolic representation: EMBLEM.]  It is descriptive of how the LORD had nurtured his people and the loving care he showered on them.  She proved adulterous/unfaithful.

Chapter 17: Another allegory this time the nation (people) is represented by a vine which is ultimately uprooted.  This is the fate of Jerusalem.   Let’s face it, the LORD will continue to pull out the stops in an effort impress upon his people to abandon their idols and their need for him.

Pay close attention to …

  • The opening proverb (v. 2 )
  • The clarification in verses 3 and 4
  • Another clarification in plain language in verses 19-20
  • The reward of repentance (v. 21 )
  • The LORD’s heart toward the death of the wicked (v. 23 )
  • The accusation of the people against the LORD (v. 29 )
  • The overall theme of this chapter (v. 32 )

Obey. What is God asking me to do?

Share. What can I share and with whom can I share it?

Repent. How have I failed to obey and share what God is asking me to do? Confess those failures to God and ask for his forgiveness.

Believe. Which of God’s promises would I need to believe in order to obey and share what I have read?

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