Daily Bible Readings – Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Prayer Psalm: 68

Prayer Point. God is our conquering and victorious king and David invites us to praise him: “Praise be to the LORD, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens. Our God is a God who saves; from the Sovereign LORD comes escape from death.” Is there a situation in your life where God has recently delivered you? Take time today to thank God our king.

Mark 3:19-35

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.  How does Jesus’ family and the scribes react to Jesus? What do they claim has happened to him? What is the unforgivable sin according to Jesus? The power behind Jesus’ ministry was the Holy Spirit. Notice who the scribes claim is giving Jesus the power to perform miracles. Beelzebul refers to the master of demons, Satan.

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 5:1-8

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 major problem does Paul see with the Corinthians’ way of life? How should their attitude towards sin in their community change?

Paul’s command to hand the blatantly immoral brother over to Satan, is not a reference to final judgment, but a desire to see this person turn from their sin and return to God. Those who are proud of their sin and possess no desire to change were to be put out of the community (“handed over to Satan”) with the hopes that this person would struggle (as the younger son did in the story of the Prodigal Son – see Luke 15:11-31 ) and humbly return to 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 42:1-17

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. Jacob had learned that there was abundance in Egypt so then commissioned ten of his sons to travel from Canaan to Egypt to buy grain.  (Benjamin, because he was too young, remained with his father.)  What was Israel’s concern for Benjamin?

[“But Jacob did not send Benjamin, Joseph’s brother, with the others, because he was afraid that harm might come to him.” (Genesis 42:4 NIV)]

When Joseph’s brothers arrive in Egypt and are brought before him, what do they do?
[“So when Joseph’s brothers arrived, they bowed down to him with their faces to the ground.” (Genesis 42:6 NIV)]

How is this connected to one of the dreams of Joseph?
[If you remember the trouble-making dreams of Joseph, this scene is remarkably accurate.  “He (Joseph) said to them, “Listen to this dream I had: We were binding sheaves of grain out in the field when suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it.” (Genesis 42:6-7 NIV)  The “grain” in the dream is significant because that is exactly what Joseph’s brothers were seeking.]

How does Joseph have the “upper hand” in this situation?
[“Although Joseph recognized his brothers, they did not recognize him.” (Genesis 42:8 NIV)]

Of what does Joseph accuse these foreigners?
[Joseph accuses his brothers of spying. (Genesis 42:9)]

What arrangement does Zaphenath-Paneah (Joseph) make with the sons of Israel?
[“Joseph said to them, ‘it is just as I told you: You are spies!  And this is how you will be tested: As surely as Pharaoh lives, you will not leave this place unless your youngest brother comes here.  Send one of your number to get your brother; the rest of you will be kept in prison, so that your words may be tested to see if you are telling the truth.  If you are not, then as surely as Pharaoh lives, you are spies!’” (Genesis 42:14-16 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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