Daily Bible Readings – Sunday, March 16, 2014

Prayer Psalm: 84

Prayer Point. Without pain, we would lose our hunger for heaven. Pray that God will use the pain in our lives to increase our longing for heaven, our true home, and God, our true Father.  Pray for God’s strength to persevere while we wait.

John 5:19-24

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 following background to guide you.

Background. Jesus has just deliberately offended the crowd by violating their interpretation of the Sabbath Law. The Sabbath Law, which is the fourth commandment (Exodus 20:8-10), directed the Israelites to work six days a week, but commanded them to rest on the seventh day; Saturday. Jesus healed a crippled man on the Sabbath (see yesterday’s reading – John 5:1-18) and commanded the man to carry his mat and walk.  Both activities, the healing and carrying your mat, were ironically considered to be work and therefore unlawful  on the Sabbath.

The Jews want to kill Jesus because he had the temerity to challenge their understanding of the Law of Moses. Who does he think he is anyway? God?

Pay close attention to …

  • The relationship between the Father and the Son (Jesus). Who takes the lead and who follows. What the Father has entrusted to his Son and for what purpose. Who is dishonored if the Son is dishonored.
  • What is true of those who believe the words of the Son.
  • Where Jesus gets the authority to give eternal life to those who believe in him.
  • The event that will vindicate Jesus’ claims (see verses 28-29).

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.

Romans 6:3-14

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 picture here of baptism is one of immersion. Here the sinner is placed under the water which symbolizes the death or the drowning of our old lives. When the convert is raised out of the water, he is raised from the dead and into a new life.

In what ways does our baptism connect us to the life and death of Jesus Christ? What is the significance for us in Christ’s death? What has died in us as we died with Christ? What difference does Christ’s resurrection make in our own lives?

What is true about sin in our lives now that we have died and risen with Jesus Christ? Why can we never say “I am a sinner and I can not change”?

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 41:14-45

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 background to help guide you.

Background. 

So Joseph is freed and summoned to Pharaoh’s court whereupon Pharaoh recounts both of the dreams which he had.  What is Joseph’s rather succinct assessment?
[“Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, ‘The dreams of Pharaoh are one and the same’” (Genesis 41:25)]

But, that is not all.  What is the interpretation of the dreams?
“It is just as I said to Pharaoh: God has shown Pharaoh what he is about to do.  Seven (!) years of great abundance are coming throughout the land of Egypt, but seven (!) years of famine will follow them.”  (Genesis 41:28-30a NIV)

What is the significance of the dream being in two forms?
[“The reason the dream was given to Pharaoh in two forms is that the matter has been firmly decided by God, and God will do it soon.”  (Genesis 41:32 NIV)]

The next scene is one of shameless self-promotion.  Who else could Pharaoh have chosen to undertake the management of the country’s resources than Joseph?  So Joseph is chosen by the very wise Pharaoh to take care of Egypt’s food supply.  And more than that!

How high does Pharaoh raise Joseph?
[Joseph is named second only to Pharaoh in power and authority.  He becomes, as it were, like a prince among the people.]

Why, do you suppose, Pharaoh changed Joseph’s name?  (The bible is not helpful with this question.)
[We have seen this several times already.  God changed Abram’s name to Abraham; God changed Jacob’s name to Israel; and we have seen that Daniel and his friends names were changed when they were removed to Nebuchadnezzar’s court in Babylon.  Abram’s name was changed to Abraham after “he believed God” about God’s promises that he would become the father of many nations.  Jacob’s name was changed because he wrestled with God and prevailed – which is what Israel means.  Joseph would have been considered very wise and shrewd – especially, as it turns out, he was right – that Pharaoh would have honored him with a new name.

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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s