Daily Bible Reading – Saturday, May 25, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 117

Prayer Point.  Think about your family, your workplace, your town and the missions projects we have around the world. Take some time today to pray that people in each of these spheres will be awakened to the love of God expressed in Christ and become worshipers of God.

Matthew 12:15-31

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 Pharisees, who were regarded by the people as the guardians of Jewish Law, were threatened by Jesus. Outwardly they were moral people, but most were motivated by a desire for power and to be loved by the people. Jesus exposed them by healing a man on the Sabbath. The Sabbath was the last day of the week, Saturday. Jewish Law prohibited work on the Sabbath. It was a day devoted to the worship of God. The Pharisee’s considered healing someone to be work and so they tried to prevent Jesus from healing a man with a crippled hand on the Sabbath. Jesus healed him anyway with the words, “it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” The Pharisees were clearly embarrassed and they sought to get rid of Jesus.

The people have been won over by Jesus’ acts of power and kindness. They follow him and he heals many of their sick, but he warns them not to tell anyone who he was. Jesus was the Messiah, but if word got out prematurely, the people would attempt to make him king by force. Jesus will climb the throne, but only after he goes to the cross.

Pay close attention to …

  • Isaiah’s prophecy (see Isaiah 42:1-4 quoted in verses 18-21) and what it tells us about Jesus and his ministry. God is the speaker and Jesus is the “servant” described in verses 18-21.

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?

Final Prayer. Pray for the faith to believe the promises of God so that you might obey and share what you have learned.

3 John 1-15

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. 3 John is a short personal letter from the Apostle John to a Christian named Gaius.

Pay close attention to …

  • The positives in Gaius’ life; what he is to continue doing.
  • Whose example he is to emulate and whose example he is to shun and why.

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?

Final Prayer. Pray for the faith to believe the promises of God so that you might obey and share what you have learned.

Deuteronomy 5:23-33

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. This is a new generation to which Moses is delivering the Ten Commandments.   It would be understandable to think that the generation of people who left Egypt were denied entrance to the Promised Land because of their sin, but that would be incorrect.  While it is true that the LORD wanted to remove Israel from his sight and to begin anew with Moses because of their “stiff-neckedness”, it was because the spineless weasels (the spies) were afraid of the inhabitants of Canaan.  “They are too many, they are too strong, they are too big… We can’t defeat them…” so the story went.  Their lack of faith that God would see them through after all the wonders performed in the land of Egypt proved too much.  Joshua and Caleb were the only spies who made encouraging reports to Moses about the land.  They were convinced that with the LORD’s help the inhabitants of Canaan could easily be conquered.  But that was not to be.  These gutless morons sought to find a leader who would lead them back into slavery.

“‘Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?’  And they said to each other, ‘We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt.'”

“Then Moses and Aaron fell facedown in front of the whole Israelite assembly gathered there.  Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had explored the land, tore their clothes and said to the entire Israelite assembly, ‘The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good.  If the LORD is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us.  Only do not rebel against the LORD.  And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will swallow them up.  Their protection is gone, but the LORD is with us.  Do not be afraid of them.'”  (Numbers 14:3b-9 NIV)

This failure of the people to trust in him causes the LORD’s anger to boil: “How long will these people treat me with contempt?  How long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of all the miraculous signs I have performed among them?  I will strike them down with a plague…”  He then tells Moses that he will make a new nation out of him.  Moses persuades the LORD to relent and to forgive the people.

“The LORD replied, ‘I have forgiven them as you asked.  Nevertheless, as surely as I live and as surely as the glory of the LORD fills the whole earth, not one of the men who saw my glory and the miraculous signs I performed in Egypt and in the desert but who disobeyed me and tested me ten times — not one of them will ever see the land I promised on oath to their forefathers. … But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the Land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it.”‘ (Numbers 14:20-24 NIV)

So it was a lack of faith that brought this disaster on the people.

Pay close attention to …

  • The (reasonable) fear of the now-dead generation when they encounter God (v. 24 -26)
  • Why this fear is reasonable (v. 28 )
  • Moses’ advice (vv. 32-33 )

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?

Final Prayer. Pray for the faith to believe the promises of God so that you might obey and share what you have learned.

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