Daily Bible Reading, Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Prayer Psalm: 49

Prayer Point. It can be discouraging when the wicked become rich and powerful, but Psalm 49 calls us to see them and our world from God’s perspective. Wealth is fleeting, but God has ransomed our lives and given us eternal treasure. Take time to confess your attachment to the things of this world, and pray that God will wrap your heart around the hope of resurrection.

John 5:19-29

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.

Background. Jesus has just deliberately offended the crowd by violating their interpretation of the Sabbath Law. The Sabbath Law, which is the fourth commandment (Exodus 20:8-10), directed the Israelites to work six days a week, but commanded them to rest on the seventh day; Saturday. Jesus healed a crippled man on the Sabbath (see yesterday’s reading – John 5:1-18) and commanded the man to carry his mat and walk.  Both activities, the healing and carrying your mat, were ironically considered to be work and therefore unlawful  on the Sabbath.

The Jews want to kill Jesus because he had the temerity to challenge their understanding of the Law of Moses. Who does he think he is anyway? God?

Pay close attention to …

  • The relationship between the Father and the Son (Jesus). Who takes the lead and who follows. What the Father has entrusted to his Son and for what purpose. Who is dishonored if the Son is dishonored.
  • What is true of those who believe the words of the Son.
  • Where Jesus gets the authority to give eternal life to those who believe in him.
  • The event that will vindicate Jesus’ claims (see verses 28-29).

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 9:15-28

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 original readers of the book of Hebrews were Jewish Christians who were considering abandoning their faith in Jesus  because of persecution and returning  to the safe confines of the Judaism of their youth. This book was written to encourage them to hang on to Jesus. The fact that Jesus completes the traditions and promises of the Old Testament is central to the author’s argument. In other words, if you give up Jesus there is no Judaism to return.

In today’s reading, the author compares their old Judaism to the their new faith in Jesus Christ. What do the first covenant and the new covenant (covenant = special agreement or relationship between God and his people) mediated by Jesus have in common?  In what way is the new covenant superior to the first covenant? How are the sacrifices and man-made sanctuary (Most Holy Place in the temple) related to Christ’s sacrifice on the cross (see verse 23-25)? In what way is Christ’s sacrifice on the cross superior to the sacrifices offered in the Old Testament?

Why wouldn’t it make sense for the readers of the book of Hebrews to go back to Old Testament Judaism?

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 16:1-14

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. Please keep in mind that “Abram believed the LORD …”

What appears to be the problem?
[Both Abram and Sarai believe that Sarai was barren and thus unable to provide Abram with a son.]

What is Sarai’s solution to the problem?
[“So she said to Abram, ‘The Lord has kept me from having children.  Go, sleep with my maidservant; perhaps I can build a family through her.’” Gen. 16:2 NIV]

In those days, their custom was that if one slept with another that constituted a marriage contract.

Wouldn’t you know what happened next!
[The servant, Hagar, conceived.]
After the great advice Sarai gave to her husband, whom does she blame for her problems now?
[Her husband Abram]

Sarai is envious of Hagar and begins to mistreat her so much so that Hagar then flees from Sarai.

Who finds Hagar and what advice does he give her?
[The “angel of the LORD” found Hagar and told her to submit to Sarai.]

What promise does Hagar receive?
[“The angel added, ‘I will so increase your descendants that they will be too numerous to count. … You are now with child and you will have a son.’” Gen. 16:10, 11 NIV]

What name does Hagar give to the LORD who spoke to her?
[“‘You are the God who sees me,’ for she said, ‘I have now seen the One who sees me.’”  We may infer from this that the “angel of the LORD” was a manifestation of God.]

Beer Lahai Roi =  well of the Loving One who sees me.

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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