Daily Bible Readings – Thursday, March 13, 2014

Prayer Psalm: 46

Prayer Point. It is easy to despair over the evil in our world. We fear for our safety. The wicked prosper and the righteous suffer. The economy is uncertain. Psalm 46 calls us to fix our eyes on another reality, God’s reality. Pray that we might know that God truly is “our refuge and strength” so that “we will not fear, though the earth give way.”

Mark 2:1-12

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.  Jesus says, “Son your sins are forgiven” before saying to the paralytic, “Get up.” What was it about this statement that made the teachers of the law upset? To the Jewish leaders this statement was blasphemous, claiming to do something only God could do. According to the law the punishment for this sin was death [Leviticus 24:15-16] (NIV Life Application Study Bible Notes).

What was the purpose of Jesus’ healing of the paralytic? What was he proving about himself?

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 2:14-3:15

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 role does the Holy Spirit play in our coming to know God?

Why does Paul consider the Corinthian church to be worldly and infantile?

How does Paul see himself, Apollos, and God working together and not in competition with each other? Think about Paul’s farming analogy. What roles do people play in spreading the message of Jesus? What role does God play?

Think now about Paul’s construction analogy. What is the foundation? Who builds the house? How will we know if our work has been of any value?

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 39:1-23

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. In verse two we see that “the LORD was with Joseph”.  This has to mean something.  According to verses two and three what does this mean?

[Joseph prospered “and that the LORD was with him and that the LORD gave him success in everything he did.”]

How does Potiphar “tap into” this favor that Joseph enjoyed?
[Potiphar put Joseph in complete charge of his household “and he entrusted to his care everything he owned.  From the time he put him in charge of his household and of all that he owned, the LORD blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph.” (Gen. 39:4b-5 NIV)]

What additional “benefit” does Potiphar experience because he had so favored Joseph?
[Potiphar experienced “peace of mind” (“…he did not concern himself with anything except the food he ate. Gen. 39:6); he did not worry about anything Joseph was commissioned to take care of.]

Now things begin to heat up.  What entices Potiphar’s wife to try to seduce Joseph?
[“Now Joseph was well-built and handsome…” (Gen. 39:6 NIV)]

What is Joseph’s response to these attempts?
[“But he refused.  ‘With me in charge’, he told her, ‘my master does not concern himself with anything in the house; everything he owns he has entrusted to my care.  My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife.  How could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?’ (Gen. 39:8-9 NIV)]

Mrs. Potiphar does not give up.  She continues to taunt Joseph until one day…  Joseph flees from the wife of Potiphar but she snags his cloak.  Bear in mind: “Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, not hell a fury like a woman scorned.” (William Congreve 1670-1929)  So Potiphar’s wife uses the evidence “in hand” and, in essence, screams “rape”.  What is Potiphar’s response to these developments?
[Naturally, (and if he knew what was good for him) he believed his wife and sent Joseph directly to jail. “…he burned with anger.” (Gen. 39:19 NIV)]

Virtue has its own rewards but I doubt jail was one of them.  We saw back in verse two that “the LORD was with Joseph”.  How does this help Joseph now, if it does?
[Again Joseph gains favor in the sight of his superiors – in this case the prison warden.  Joseph, in essence, becomes a trustee and is put in charge of the prisoners.  Now it’s the warden’s turn not to worry about anything put in Joseph’s care.]

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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