Daily Bible Readings – Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Prayer Psalm: 119:25-48

Prayer Point. Understanding and following the law of God (following Jesus) is very difficult.  Psalm 119 reminds us that we face formidable obstacles within ourselves and in the world around us.  Which obstacles are present in your life.  Lift those up to God and pray that he will give you the wisdom, the strength, the faith and the courage to follow Jesus.

John 3:22-36

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. We are introduced to John the Baptist in John 1:6-8:

John 1:6-8 There came a man who was sent from God, his name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.John’s mission was to prepare the people for the coming of their Messiah, Jesus, through his preaching and ministry of baptism.

Pay close attention to …

  • Why John the Baptist is not upset about  losing followers to Jesus.
  • How John views himself and how he sees Jesus (see bride, bridegroom and friend in verse 29).
  • How John’s destiny compares to Jesus’ (see verse 30).
  • What is true of those who accept (or reject) 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.

Hebrews 6:1-12

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. Hebrews is a letter written to Jewish Christians who are considering abandoning their faith in Jesus because of persecution.  Being a Christian meant rejection by their Jewish neighbors and imprisonment, confiscation of property and even death by the hands of the Romans.  A return to Judaism would mean an end to their difficulties.

The writer has dealt largely with the elementary elements of the faith, repentance, baptism, judgment and the hope of the resurrection, in an effort to convince them to persevere in their journey following Jesus.  In today’s reading, he hopes to push beyond the basics.

Throughout the New Testament there is a creative tension between the command to persevere in following Jesus and the belief that is God is the one that hangs on to us.  Here is one example:

Philippians 3:12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.

Pay close attention to …

  • The warning the writer of Hebrews gives to those who are considering giving up their faith in Jesus Christ.
  • Why the author is confident that this fate will not fall on his readers.
  • How these Christians are called to respond to God’s efforts to hold on to them.

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 9:18-29

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.

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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