Daily Bible Readings – Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Prayer Psalm: 119:121-144

Prayer Point. Sometimes life is difficult even when you do the right thing. This section of Psalm 119 shows you how to pray when you are in this situation. Look at the requests David makes in this psalm and follow those requests into your own time of prayer for either yourself or someone you know that is in this situation.

John 10:1-18

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 village sheep pen that was a common feature of Jewish villages in Jesus’ day. Sheep owned by local shepherds were kept in common pens during the night for safe keeping. In the morning, the shepherd called to his sheep and only those who belonged to his flock and recognized his voice, followed him out the gate and into the pasture.

Shepherding is used throughout the Bible as a metaphor for religious and political leaders in Israel.

Pay close attention to …

  • What two things in this story represent Jesus.
  • How you can identify a thief and robber and how they contrast with the Good Shepherd.
  • The marks of a sheep belonging to the Good Shepherd.
  • What separates the Good Shepherd from the hired hands. What the Good shepherd is willing to do for his sheep.
  • The reason the Father loves the Son.
  • Who has the authority to determine when the Son will die and then pick up his life (rise from the dead).

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 John 2:12-17

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. Verses 12-14 are most likely an  early hymn of the church (note the indentation of the text).

John will warn his readers about the dangers of the world in verses 15-17. For John, the world is  fallen humanity or ‘world system’ with its values, cultures, and human institutions that are alienated from God.

Pay close attention to …

  • The hope that the hymn of verses 12-14 gives to children, young men and fathers.
  • The world values that we are called to avoid as followers of Christ.
  • What is true of those who love the world.
  • Why we should abandon the world and its values for a life that is obedient to the will of God.

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 31:25-50

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 song and dance does Laban give Jacob for his indignation at Jacob’s departure without notice?

[Laban {I believe} feigns hurt and outrage at Jacob’s departure; that he did not have any opportunity to say good-bye to his daughters and grandchildren, nor did he have the opportunity to celebrate the departure with a party (or feast).

Then Laban drops a bomb!  What was it?
[He accuses Jacob of stealing his household gods and idols.  “Now Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen the gods.” (Genesis 31:32 NIV)

How does Rachel “dance” around this predicament?
[She “claims” to be having her period and is unable to rise.  Actually, she is sitting on the household gods.   (Genesis 31:34-35)  Please note that deception follows  and pervades this family.]

To say the least, Jacob is righteously indignant.  He then launches into a long tirade of how honest he is and, how he suffered loss without whining for over the twenty years he was with Laban.  He was laying it on pretty thick.  “I worked for you fourteen years for your two daughters and six years for your flocks, and you changed my wages ten times.  If the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac, had not been with me, you would surely have sent me away empty-handed.  But God has seen my hardship and the toil of my hands, and last night he rebuked you. {See Gen. 31:24} ” (Genesis 31:41-42 NIV)

How do Laban and Jacob resolve their differences?
[They make a covenant between them.  They pile a bunch of stones in a heap.  “Laban said, ‘This heap is a witness between you and me today. That is why it was called Galeed {means “witness heap”}.  It was also called Mizpah {which means “watchtower”}, because he said, ‘May the LORD keep watch between you and me when we are away from each other.  If you mistreat my daughters or if you take any wives besides my daughters, even though no one is with us, remember that God is a witness between you and me.’” (Genesis 31:48-52 NIV)]

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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