Daily Bible Readings – Friday, January 17, 2014

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).

John 2:1-12

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. Jesus performs his first public miracle on the third day after his baptism. Jesus and his disciples, along with his mother Mary, had been invited to a wedding in the village of Cana which was just a few miles from his hometown Nazareth. Weddings in Jesus’ time were feasts involving fine wine and food that stretched for days. But at the height of the feast, the hosts have run out of wine, much to their embarrassment.

What in the story leads you to believe that Mary is expecting her son to perform a miracle? Why do you think Jesus’ initial response is “my time has not yet come”?

Tim Keller suggests that Jesus is thinking about his wedding day when he has the wedding feast to end all wedding feasts (See Revelation 19:9). He most likely is thinking about what it will cost him to provide wine for his wedding feast which is of course his death.

Jesus does perform the miracle of changing the water into fine wine. What does this miracle reveal about Jesus? How do the disciples react to the miracle?

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 3:12-19

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. Soon after their liberation from Egypt, Moses led Israel to the edge of their new home, the Promised Land. Spies were sent out, but they brought back discouraging news: the inhabitants of the land were too big.  They could not be defeated. The people were deflated despite the assurances of two of the spies that God had given them the land regardless of the power of their enemies. In unbelief they refused to enter the Promised Land and for their sin they were sentenced to wander in the wilderness until each member of that unbelieving generation died. Their children would enter the land of rest, but they, because of their sin, would not.

This story provides the background for today’s reading. The recipients of the book of Hebrews were also discouraged. Instead of turning away from the Promised Land, they were thinking of turning away from Jesus with hopes that their persecution would end.

Pay close attention to …

  • How the Christians were called to support each other.
  • What is required of those who will “share in Christ.”
  • The lessons that are learned from the Israelites who refused to enter the Promised Land.

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 6:1-8

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. Verse two: “The sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose.” Let’s be clear, no one knows who the “sons of God” are in this passage. It is pretty clear from the passage that what was going on was most displeasing to God. How do I know that? [“Then the Lord said, ‘My Spirit will not contend with man forever, for he is mortal; his days will be a hundred and twenty years.” v. 3 NIV] This is a great passage for being unclear.

Verse four talks of the “Nephilim”. Again, no one knows who these Nephilim are. The only thing we do know from scripture (in Numbers 13:33) is that these “Nephilim” struck fear into the Jews as they were spying out the Promised Land. So let’s assume they are not to be trifled with. They are believed to have been giants. “They were heroes of old, men of renown.” v. 4b (NIV) Why was the Lord grieved? [He was grieved because of how great man’s wickedness had become; “every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.” v. 5] How does verse six describe the LORD? [The Lord was grieved that he had made man and his heart was filled with pain.] What was God’s solution to this problem? What was the hope? [The solution was to destroy all of life on earth; the hope was that Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.]

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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