Daily Bible Reading – Friday, May 24, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 22

Prayer Point.  The psalmist wonders where God is when bad things happen.  Read this psalm once through and if you are experiencing suffering a dark time right now allow it be your prayer.  If this is not your experience, pray it on behalf of someone you know who is in this place.  Read it a second time and  this time look for glimpses of Jesus (see Mark 15:21-38).

Matthew 12:1-14

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 fifth commandment (Exodus 20:8) prohibited work on the Sabbath day (Saturday). The question was: “what constitutes work.” The Pharisees, who were devoted to obeying and teaching others to obey the Ten Commandments, developed an extensive list of activities that were banned on the Sabbath because they were “work.”  Two such activities appear in today’s reading: harvesting and healing.  Picking heads of grain and eating them were deemed work and therefore was declared to be against God’s law.

Jesus goes out of his way to defy the Pharisee’s interpretation of the Sabbath Law.  The Pharisees are outraged and demand to know just who Jesus thinks he is. The answer to that question goes to the heart of today’s reading.

A couple of more things to help you with today’s readings. Jesus will refer to King David eating bread from the temple which was ordinarily reserved for the priests.  That story can be found in 1 Samuel 21:1-9. He will also point out that the priests “break” the Sabbath Law in that they work on the Sabbath in order to serve the people.

Pay close attention to …

  • The two Old Testament examples Jesus cites in defense of his disciples’ actions.
  • What is more important to God than the strict, letter-of-the-law observance of his commands (verse 7).
  • The Son of Man’s (Jesus’) authority over the Sabbath (verse 8).
  • How Jesus demonstrates that the Pharisees’ belief that healing was not allowed on the Sabbath is completely absurd.
  • How the Pharisees respond to Jesus’ unassailable teaching.

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?

2 John 1-13

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. While at first glance 2 John appears to be a personal letter to a woman and her family, it is far more likely that “the chosen lady and her children” is a reference to a local church and its people. We say this for two reasons:  (one) the church is often referred to as the ‘bride of Christ’; (two) ‘your chosen sister’ in 2 John 13 appears to be a description of the church John was staying with when he penned this letter.

Pay close attention to …

  • The source of John’s great joy.
  • The command he gives this church.
  • The false teaching of the deceivers that John warns against.
  • How the church is to treat false teachers.

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?

Deuteronomy 5:1-22

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. Many years earlier (this being the fortieth year of their meandering in the desert) Moses had ascended Mount Sinai and to him was delivered the covenant in stone, as it were.  About three months after the spectacular defeat of the Egyptians in the Red Sea, Moses had spent forty days on Mount Sinai whereupon he received the Ten Commandments.  These ten items frame the most famous covenant in all of human history.  No one says that observing this covenant is easy [just ask St. Paul, he would know].  At one point of the Jews’ rebellion, Moses took the two tablets and broke them at the foot of Mount Sinai.  Later Moses cut out two more tablets of stone and the LORD re-wrote the Ten Commandments on them.

Pay close attention to …

  • The covenant at Horeb (v. 2 )
  • With whom the covenant was made (v. 3 )
  • How the LORD spoke with the people and their reaction (vv. 4-5 )
  • Review the Ten Commandments (vv. 6-21)

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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