Daily Bible Readings – Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 38

Prayer Point.  Will God save us from the consequences of our own sin? Psalm 38 is proof that he does. In this psalm God will save us not only from the suffering due to others’ sin, but also the struggles that come from our own failures. What are you struggling with today? Confess your part in them to God, but also boldly ask him to save you.

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? Using the following background as a guide.

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.

Obey. What is God asking me to do?

Repent. How have I failed to obey 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?

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

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

1 Corinthians 15:51-58

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 bkground to help you understand the main points of this passage.

Background. How will perishable people like us become imperishable and inherit the kingdom of God? Whose victory makes this transformation possible? Who or what was defeated? How are we to live today in light of this amazing future that Christ has opened for us?

Obey. What is God asking me to do?

Repent. How have I failed to obey 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?

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

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

Lamentations 2:8-15

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 to help you understand the main points of this passage.

Background. What has God taken from Israel, the “Daughter of Zion”? In what way did their “prophets” fail them? What should the prophets caused the people of Israel to see?

There is one question that Jeremiah does not answer: “Your wound is as deep as the sea. Who can heal you?” That in poetic form is the central question of the Old Testament. The sin wound is so deep, who can rescue us from the his body of sin? See Romans 7:21-25a.

In what way does Christ the true prophet, succeeding where Israel’s prophets failed? Who will take on the wounds and shame of Israel in order to redeem her? Compare Lamentations 2:15 to Matthew 24:41-44.

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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