Daily Bible Readings – Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Prayer Psalm: 103

Prayer Point. Are looking for a reason to praise God? Psalm 103 gives you a number of options. Concentrate on two or three and offer your own prayer of praise.

John 6:30-33, 48-51

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 guide you.

Background. Pandemonium spread like wildfire through the hills beside the sea of Galilee. Jesus of Nazareth, one of their native sons, had fed a crowd of 5000 people with five loaves of bread and two fish. Crowds of people, believing Jesus to be the Messiah and wanting to make Him king, went on a frantic search for him. They found him on the far side of the lake.

Jesus understands that the crowd that pursue him are  motivated by and working for food that spoils.  What greater food are the crowds called to work for? What kind of work does God require for the food that endures to eternal life (see verse 29)?

One reason the crowds are so energized is that Jesus reminds them of Moses who led Israel from slavery in Egypt to freedom in the Promised Land. While Israel wandered in the desert, God provided daily bread or “manna” that fell like dew on the ground. They believed it was Moses who gave them “bread from heaven.” Jesus had given them a taste of Moses. They wanted him to do it again but Jesus has a greater bread in mind.

Who or what  is the true bread or bread of life that comes down from heaven? What happens to those who come to Jesus? Why doesn’t everyone come? Who is able to come to Jesus? What is Jesus’ mission on earth? Whose will is He carrying out?

The crowds who pursued Jesus were hoping for someone who would miraculously give them free food. Jesus announces that the true bread is not the bread he fed the 5000 with. The true bread is Himself. How do the crowds respond to Jesus’ announcement that he is the true manna (see Exodus chapter 16) or bread from heaven? Why are they skeptical?

How does Jesus explain their unbelief? What does Jesus say here about how people come to him? Who draws the people to Jesus? How does Jesus relate Himself to the Father here in this passage? What happens to those who believe according to verse 47?

In what way is Jesus a greater bread than the manna that Israel’s forefathers ate in the desert? What will happen to those who eat the “flesh” of Jesus?

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.

Colossians 1:1-14

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 to guide you.

Background. The “book” of Colossians is a letter from the Apostle Paul to the church in the city of Colosse. Paul writes to encourage and guide this young church.

Letters in the ancient world followed a format similar to emails today.

From (verse 1) ___________

To (verse 2) ______________

Instead of a subject line, letters in the ancient world offered a blessing as a greeting (verse 2b).

Pay close attention to …

  • What two things causes Paul to be thankful for the church at Colosse (verse 4)
  • The source of the Colossians’ faith and love (verse 5).
  • How the Colossians first heard the gospel (verse 7).
  • What Paul specifically prays daily for this church (verse 9) and the purpose of his prayer (verse 10).
  • How God empowers us to live for him (verses 11-14).

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.

Deuteronomy 8:1-3

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 guide you.

Background. Before your eyes glaze over… It is unfortunate that the richness of Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy go untapped because of the minutiae [serious details] of the laws. Genesis and Exodus tell wonderful stories of the formation of the people of God and how he released them from bondage and the dramatic delivery of the Ten Commandments. The next three books actually serve as a manual for living. They are to the Old Covenant what the book (letter) of James is to the New. [j.t.]

Introduction to the book of Deuteronomy

Why is it important to follow every commandment Moses has delivered to the people (see verse 1)?  What was the purpose of the forty year exercise in the desert (see verse 2)? How had the Lord humbled the people in the desert (see verse 3)?  Read chapter 16 in Exodus about the “grumbling” of the people.  What is “manna” and what was the valuable lesson to be learned?  [Manna is the bread from heaven but the word’s origin actually comes from what the people said when first they saw it “What is this?”  “… to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.” v. 3]   Where else in scripture is this lesson effectively demonstrated?  [In Chapter 4 of Matthew this is the verse Jesus quotes in response to Satan’s temptation that Jesus change the stones into bread when he was hungry after his 40-day stint in the desert.  Notice that Jesus spent 40 days in the desert – one day for every year that Israel spent there.]  What does this say about “give us this day our daily bread”?  [ Ref. Exodus Chapter 16: The point was to be so dependent on the LORD; that he would provide bread each day as needed.]

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.

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