Daily Bible Readings – Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Prayer Psalm: 53

Prayer Point. This psalm is a hellish view of our world and a desperate plea to God for help.  Take time today to pray this psalm on behalf of our brothers and sisters who live in war zones such as Syria, Pakistan, Iraq, Burma and the Sudan.

Mark 1:29-45

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.  “As soon as they left…” notice the sense of urgency. “He went to her, took her hand and helped her up.” Jesus was willing to heal Peter’s mother in law, he made it a point to go to her. What does this passage say about Jesus’ ability to heal the sick? What does it say about his willingness to heal the sick?

“He also drove out many demons, but he would not let the demons speak…” Why do you think Jesus did not allow the demons to say who he was? It was not yet Jesus’ time to be revealed as the Son of God. Jesus path to the throne went through the cross.

“Very early in the morning…” Jesus made time alone with His Father a priority. Prayer always preceded action. “they exclaimed…” shows the importance of the disciples message. Jesus’ reply, “Let us go somewhere else to the nearby villages so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.” What do we see here that Jesus is trying to convey to the disciples? What is his strategy for spreading the good news of God’s kingdom?

“A man with leprosy…” In keeping with the law in Leviticus 13 and 14, Jewish leaders declared people with leprosy unclean. This meant that they were unfit to participate in any religious or social activity. Because the law said that contact with any unclean person made a person unclean too, some people even threw rocks at lepers to keep them at a safe distance. But Jesus touched the man who had leprosy (NIV Life Application Study Bible Notes). “if you are willing…” Jesus was willing and reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing.” Immediately the leprosy left the man. Notice how Jesus responds to the man. Why does he give him a stern warning to go to the priest? Only through the Mosaic system could the man be declared clean. Jesus had come to fulfill the law, not abolish it. What does this miracle say about 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.

1 Corinthians 2:1-13

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 Corinthians, as did all Greeks, valued a speakers’ communication skills over the substance of their message just as a politicians today are judged by their ability to connect to the camera more than the validity of their ideas.

Pay close attention to …

  • Why Paul appeared to be weak to the Corinthians.
  • Why it was important to for Paul to communicate the Gospel in weakness.
  • The power that allows us to to know “the secret wisdom 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 37:25-36

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. What brilliant business option does Judah come up with?  “What will we gain if we kill our brother and cover up his blood?” (Genesis 37:26 NIV)

[Judah’s plan is that they sell Joseph to a band of Ishmaelites (a caravan) which is headed for Egypt.  They get twenty shekels of silver for Joseph.]

For some reason which the bible does not inform us of, Reuben is not among the brothers when this deal is made.  What does he do when he learns what his brothers have done?  Why?
[Reuben tears his robes when he learns that Joseph is missing.  He believes Joseph is dead and his brothers do not disabuse (correct) him of that notion.  Reuben believes the lie which will make it easier to sell to Israel.]

Human nature is rather predictable.  Jacob’s sons present him with the now dipped-in-blood coat.  What is Israel’s reaction?  To what conclusion does Jacob jump?
[Israel sees the blood-stained coat and presumes that Joseph is dead; torn apart by a wild animal.  He dons sackcloth and ashes in mourning for his Joseph.  This is evil because this is exactly what Jacob’s sons hope he concludes saving them from having to lie to him.  This is diabolical because, as in the case of Reuben, they don’t correct the false belief Jacob has embraced.  You can’t accuse them of lying to him, just deceiving him.]

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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