Daily Bible Readings – Monday, March 17, 2014

Prayer Psalm: 65

Prayer Point. David praises God in this psalm for his forgiveness, his creative and saving power, and for the way he provides for his people.  How have you experienced God’s forgiveness, power, and provision?  Offer up God a prayer of thanks in your own words.

Mark 3:7-19

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. Why are the crowds pressing to see Jesus? Where are they from? What do the healings and the casting out of demons tell us about who Jesus is? How does Jesus demonstrate his authority over the demons?

From the hundreds of people who followed him, Jesus chooses twelve to be his Apostles. The number twelve corresponds to the twelve tribes of Israel showing the continuity between the old religious system and the new one based on Jesus’ message. Many people followed Jesus, but these twelve received the most intense training. We see the impact of these men throughout the rest of the New Testament (NIV Life Application Study Bible Notes).

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 4:8-21

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.  Read this portion of Paul’s letter to the Corinthian church keeping in mind that this church was among the wealthiest of its time. How did the Corinthians self-perception of being wealthy affect the way they viewed Paul and the other apostles? How did the apostles’ way of life challenge the Corinthian way of life? How does it challenge you? You might want to compare the apostle’s experience with the way of life Jesus laid out in Matthew 5:1-11.

What would it look like for the Corinthian church to make Paul their spiritual father? How would this new father-son relationship change the way they lived? What present sins would be overcome?

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 41:46-57

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. When last we saw Joseph Pharaoh had just endowed him with a new name: Zaphenath-Paneah {which, according to the Old Scofield Study Bible page 1407, means “prince of the life of the age”.}  The Pharaoh, also in his generosity, gave Zaphenath-Paneah {Joseph} a wife from among the daughters of one of his priests Potiphera by name {which means “belonging to the sun” Scofield p. 1400}: Asenath {meaning “she who is of Neith”, an Egyptian goddess}.  I mention this only to draw attention to the fact that, unlike today, names had great significance to the ancients.  A curious coincidence is that Joseph’s father-in-law had the same name as his master in Chapter 39.

Here we learn that Joseph was thirty years old when he undertook to prepare Egypt for the years of plenty and the years of want.  How much grain was Joseph able to store up?
[“Joseph stored up huge quantities of grain, like the sand of the sea; it was so much that he stopped keeping records because it was beyond measure.” (Genesis 41:49 NIV)  This is the kind of abundance that the LORD likes to shower on his faithful servants.  Jesus said “Give, and it will be given to you.  A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap.  For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Luke 6:38 NIV)]

How many sons were born to Joseph before the years of famine came?
[Joseph had two sons born to him: Manasseh and Ephraim.]

Focus on the importance of names.  What does Manasseh mean and why did Joseph choose that name?
[Manasseh means “forget” “It is because God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household.” (Genesis 41:51 NIV)]

What does the name Ephraim mean?
[Ephraim may mean “twice fruitful” (NIV footnote}.  “It is because God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering.” (Genesis 41:52 NIV)]

Just as Joseph had prophesied, the seven (!) years of abundance were hard followed by seven (!) years of famine.  When the people begin to feel want, what is Pharaoh’s advice to them?
[Pharaoh tells the people to go to Joseph for relief. (v. 41:55)]

What does Joseph do?  How far-reaching was the famine?
[Joseph sells the grain to the people.  “And all the countries came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph, because the famine was severe in all the world.” (Genesis 41:57 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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