Daily Bible Readings – Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Prayer Psalm: 12

Prayer Point. If Psalm 10 is a protest against the prosperity of the wicked, Psalm 12 calls attention to the suffering of good people. Pray this psalm on behalf of a suffering brother and sister in Christ.

John 1:29-42

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. How does John the Baptist describe Jesus in verse 29? In the Old Testament it was often a lamb that was sacrificed for the sins of the people. What do you think it means for Jesus to be the Lamb of God? How is the coming of Jesus the fulfillment of John’s mission?

In the time of Christ baptism was a rite reserved for Gentile pagans who wanted to convert to Judaism. What is interesting to note here is that John baptizes the Jews who are coming to him. How does Jesus’ baptism compare to John’s? What is the difference?

What causes two of John the Baptist’s disciples to leave him and begin to follow Jesus? How does this fit with John’s mission? What is the first thing that Andrew does as a follower of Jesus? How does Andrew identify Jesus to Peter? What does Jesus do upon meeting Peter?

The right to rename someone was reserved for kings. Here Jesus is demonstrating his authority by giving Simon a new name, Peter. The name Peter, which means “rock”, will take on a special significance as the story unfolds.

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.

Hebrews 2:11-18

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 Hebrews was written to Christians struggling with persecution and contemplating a return to the Judaism of their childhood. By abandoning their faith in Christ they could avoid the scorn of their neighbors and the suspicion of the government. In today’s reading, the writer reminds them of their new identity that was achieved for them through the sufferings of Christ.

The author compares Jesus to a high priest in verse 17.  The high priests in the Old Testament offered sacrifices on behalf of the people before God.  They are called sacrifices of atonement because they served to turn away God’s righteous wrath against the people’s sins.

Pay close attention to …

  • The new relationship they enjoy with Jesus and how Jesus looks at them.
  • Why Jesus shared in our humanity.
  • What qualifies Jesus to help us in our temptations.

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.

Genesis 4:1-16

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. So Cain is the elder brother. Abel came next. What was Cain’s line of work? [He tilled the land – he was a farmer.] What did Abel do for a living? [He raised sheep – well, actually he kept flocks; could be sheep or goats.] Both of the boys brought offerings to the Lord. The LORD liked Abel’s offering but Cain’s – not so much. From this passage, why do you think that was? [“Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the LORD. But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock.]

What is Cain’s response to the LORD’s assessment of his offering? [He pouts and develops a chip on his shoulder, one that will prove deadly.] What is the LORD’s solution and warning to Cain? [“Do what is right,” if not “sin is crouching at your door, it desires to have you, but you must master it.” v. 7.] What audacious thing does Cain do next? [He invites Abel to go out to the field and there “attacked his brother Abel and killed him.” v. 8.]

Again, it is assumed that the LORD doesn’t see anything. When the Lord confronts Cain about Abel with “Where is your brother Abel?” how does Cain answer him? [In typical Jewish fashion – you answer a question with a question: “Am I my brother’s keeper?”] This is a dangerous and sarcastic response to a most powerful God. The Lord accuses Cain of murder but he does not require his life. What does he do instead? [Cain is told that the land will no longer give its yield to him and he is banished from the presence of the LORD. Further, he is given some kind of mark or indicator on his person which will fend off anyone who seeks to kill him.] As names are of some importance in Jewish literature, the land of Nod is translated by the NIV as the land of “wandering”.

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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s