Daily Bible Readings – Monday, February 3, 2014

Prayer Psalm: 64

Prayer Point. Before you pray this psalm, put yourselves in the shoes of someone you know who is a victim of injustice. Following the flow of this psalm pray that: God will hear them, cause the plans of the wicked to backfire, and that God’s intervention will cause our world to fear and worship him.

John 6:27-40

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 people of Israel were enslaved by the Egyptians for four hundred and fifty years until God sent Moses to rescue them. This victory was temporary, because it was God’s intention to send a second and greater Moses who would lead his people out of bondage to sin and into eternal life. Moses foreshadows Jesus. His miracles point to the greater miracles that Jesus will perform. One of which was the manna or daily bread that God fed his people each day in the wilderness.  With no crops with which to make bread, manna appeared each morning on the ground like the dew giving the Israelites just enough to get through the day. Today Jesus will speak of a greater bread.

Pay close attention to …

  • The food Jesus encourages the crowd to work for and why it is greater than the miracle bread and fish he had just given them (see John 6:1-15).
  • The work we must do to receive the food from God that endures to eternal life.
  • What bread Jesus offers the people that is greater than the bread God gave to the Israelites through Moses.
  • What is promised to those who come to Jesus, the bread of life.
  • Who will come to Jesus and why.
  • Why Jesus came down from heaven.
  • The Father’s will in verse 40.

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 11:1-12

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 was written to encourage a group of Christians of Jewish ancestry who were considering giving up following Jesus. They were experiencing persecution, suffering that would cease if they returned to returned to Judaism. The writer inspires them to hang on by pointing to heroes of the faith that have gone before them.

Pay close attention to …

  • The definition of faith in verse 1.
  • How the lives of Abel, Enoch, Noah and Abraham exemplify this faith.
  • The only way sinful people like us can please God (verse 6).

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 19:1-29

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. What does Lot do that mimics what Abraham had done when visited by three strangers?

[“… he got up to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground.” (v. 19:1 NIV)   He then urges,  or rather insists, that they spend the night at his house where he can prepare a meal for them and give them refreshment.]

What demand is made of Lot by the men of the city of Sodom?
(v. 19:5)

What bargain does Lot try to make with the men of Sodom in exchange for his visitors?
[Lot offers his two virgin daughters to the depraved men of Sodom only to protect his visitors.  Lot does “a shocking, cowardly, and inexcusable act (even if he intended this only as a bluff, or expected the offer to be rejected).  The reaction of the crowd only confirms the truly evil nature of their intentions.” (From the ESV Study Bible notes p. 83)

What charge do the men of Sodom bring against Lot?
[“This fellow came here as an alien, and now he wants to play the judge!” (v. 19:9 NIV)

What do Lot’s visitors do to the men of Sodom in retaliation?
[They reached out and pulled Lot back into the house and struck all the men outside with blindness. (v. 19:10)]

What is the mission of Lot’s two visitors?
[“… we are going to destroy this place.  The outcry to the LORD against its people is so great that he has sent us to destroy it.” (v. 19:13 NIV)

What do we learn about Lot’s two virgin daughters in verse 14?
[We find out that they are engaged (betrothed).]

Lot tries urgently to warn his prospective sons-in-law about the destruction about to be visited on Sodom.  What is their reaction to the news?
(v. 19:14)

The visiting angels are fierce in their mission to save Lot and his family.  What do they do to hurry Lot’s departure from Sodom?  Why?
[“When he {Lot} hesitated, the men grasped his hand and the hands of his wife and of his two daughters and led them safely out of the city, for the Lord was merciful to them.” (v. 19:16 NIV)]

What is the parting warning given to Lot by the visiting angels?
[“Flee for your lives!  Don’t look back, and don’t stop anywhere in the plain.  Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away!” (v. 19:17 NIV)  The command “Don’t look back…” will be crucial in a few verses to follow.]

Verses 19:18-22 speak of a bargain of sorts that Lot makes with the angels.  Lot thinks that he is unable to make it to the mountains before the judgment befalls Sodom, and so suggests that he be allowed to go to “Zoar” (meaning “small”) to wait out the planned calamity.  Here the angels tell him that he must hurry “because I cannot do anything until you reach it.” (v. 19:22 NIV)  That begs the question: why would Lot not have enough time to get to the mountains?  The angel was going to wait anyway…  (I don’t know the answer to that one. j.t.)  So the LORD rains down destruction on both Sodom and Gomorrah and wipes out every form of life there.

What was Mrs. Lot’s fatal mistake?
[“But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.” (v. 19:26 NIV)  Jesus refers to Lot’s wife in Luke 17:30-32.]

Abraham sees the destruction from afar and from his perspective it is like dense smoke as from a furnace.  The important phrase in verse 29 is “he [God] remembered Abraham…”

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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