Daily Bible Readings – Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Prayer Psalm: 48

Prayer Point. Revelation 21 describes God’s city descending out of heaven to earth.  It is a vision of God living forever with his people. That dream is echoed in this psalm.  Don’t hide from the pain you will see today, but pray that in the midst of it all, you will not lose sight of this dream.  Pray instead: “your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

Mark 1:14-28

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.  Jesus Begins His Ministry

What does it mean that “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand;”?

The Kingdom of God is simply a world where God’s people love God with all their hear, mind, and soul and love their neighbor as themselves. Can you imagine a society where everyone lived like that? That would be like heaven on earth, which is precisely what the kingdom of God is.

Jesus Calls the First Disciples

Here we see Jesus calling his first disciples. Notice their response. What was it about Jesus that made them immediately leave everything behind and follow him?

Jesus Heals a Man with an Unclean Spirit

Notice where Jesus takes his ministry. Jesus, as was the custom, went to the synagogue on the Sabbath. He began teaching and a man with an unclean spirit came and Jesus rebuked the spirit. Here we see Jesus’ authority reinforced by this miracle. How does Jesus demonstrate his authority as king of this new Kingdom 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.

1 Corinthians 1:20-31

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. What can not know God? How is it that we come to know God? Why does Jewish wisdom reject the gospel? Why do the Greeks? What has God offered in the place of human wisdom and power? Why?What does it take for someone to accept the “foolishness” and “weakness” of God?

The Corinthians’ wealth and power tempted them, as it tempts us, to trust in their strength rather than the power of God. How does Paul undercut their faith in themselves and point them to a faith in Christ?

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 37:12-24

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 background to help guide you.

Background. Joseph’s ten brothers (Benjamin could not have been among them – he would have been too young) were in Shechem tending the flocks.  Joseph was in the Valley of Hebron which was roughly thirty miles away.  What does Jacob tell Joseph to do?

[Israel tells Joseph to go to his brothers to find out how they were doing and to bring a report back to him.  Joseph goes to Shechem and there he finds out that his brothers are grazing their sheep twelve miles farther north in Dothan (a total of more than forty-two miles from Jacob).]

What dastardly deed did Joseph’s brothers devise?
[They plotted to kill him, dispose of the body, and then tell Jacob that a wild animal had attacked him.]

Reuben figures highly in this episode.  What did he do and why did he do it?
[Reuben advises against killing Joseph but rather to put him in an empty cistern (well or reservoir) so that later he could return him to Israel.]

What do the brothers settle on?
[They strip Joseph of his ornate robe, dipped it in blood, and threw Joseph in an empty cistern.  They needed the many-colored coat as evidence.)]

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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