Daily Bible Readings – Sunday, February 16, 2014

Prayer Psalm: 19

Prayer Point. David is moved to worship God as he meditated on the heavens with its sun, moon and stars, and his law that guides us in the path to a full and satisfying life. Get outside and meditate on the glory of the night sky. Spend time reading his word and allow it to move you to worship.

Mark 10:23-31

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. Wealth, especially when it was experienced by those who were outwardly moral, was considered to be a sign of God’s favor. Yet, when a rich young man came to Jesus asking for eternal life, Jesus asks this man to sell his possessions, give the money to the poor, and come follow him. He goes away sad and the disciples are shocked. It was assumed that wealthy people who had received their riches through virtuous living and hard work would be among the first to receive eternal life. But Jesus declares, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!”

How does Jesus answer the disciples question, “Who then can be saved?” What promise does Jesus offer to those who leave everything to follow Him? When will the rewards be experienced? Read verse 30 closely.

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.

1 Timothy 3:14-4:10

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. 1 Timothy is a letter from Paul to Timothy, Paul’s “son in the faith”.  Timothy was a young missionary who was personally mentored by Paul.  He traveled with Paul planting churches across the Roman Empire.  At the time this letter was written, Timothy is now on his own.  Paul continues to guide him through letters such as this one. “I am writing these instructions so that … you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household …” (1 Timothy 3:14-15)

What is the foundational truth upon which the church is built? ‘He’ in verse 16 is Jesus. His appearance = Jesus’ birth. His vindication = resurrection. “Taken up in glory” = Jesus’ ascension to heaven.

What challenges will the church face?  In the Roman Empire, the dominant intellectual force was the remnants of Greek philosophy.  The Greeks taught the physical world was evil while the spiritual world was good.  These ideas began to filter their way into the church.  Since the physical world was evil, some Christian teachers taught against marriage and indulging in certain foods.  These pleasures were marked as ‘worldly’ and therefore evil. Does Paul agree with the Greeks?  Is the physical world good or bad?  Why or why not? How does Paul compare being spiritual to physical training? How are they similar? How are they different?

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 29:20-35

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 goes wrong?

[Laban tricks Jacob.  Jacob had agreed to work for Laban for seven (!) years for the hand of Rachel. Jacob thought he was working for Rachel, but Laban married off his elder daughter Leah to Jacob instead.]

What is the irony of this event?
[Jacob calls Laban a “deceiver”; the very name he was given at birth.  He was tricked by someone who was better at it (deceiving) than he.]

What was Laban’s excuse for the “sleight of hand” played against Jacob?
[“It is not our custom here to give the younger daughter in marriage before the older one.”  (v. 29:27 NIV)]

What is the next bargain Jacob makes?
[Jacob agrees again to work another seven (!) years, this time for Rachel.]

What is the “bridal week” referred to in verse 27?
[It is a seven year period.]

What happened to Leah as a result of Jacob’s dealings with Laban?
[Jacob preferred Rachel to Leah.  “He loved Rachel more than Leah.” (v. 29:30 NIV)]

How did the LORD come to Leah’s rescue?
[“When the LORD saw that Leah was not loved, he opened her womb, but Rachel was barren.” (v. 29:31 NIV)]

How many times had Leah given birth during this time?  What were the names of her children?

[Leah gave birth four times: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah.  Reuben is the firstborn who loses his status as firstborn for what amounts to rebellion (or usurpation); Levi will be ancestor of both Moses and Aaron; and Judah is the ancestor of both David and 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.

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