Daily Bible Readings – Sunday, March 23, 2014

Prayer Psalm: 34

Prayer Point. David is remembering when God miraculously saved him and allowing that memory to move to worship. Take time today to think about a time when God intervened in your life and offer God your own prayer of praise.

John 5:25-29

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 would you describe Jesus’ (the Son) relationship with God the Father?  Who takes the lead?  What authority has God the Father given his Son?  Who does the Son seek to please? How are we caught up in this love story between the Father and the Son?

The Son of Man is not a generic title for Jesus, but a reference to the vision the prophet Daniel received which is recorded in Daniel 7:13-14.  In this vision there are two characters ‘The Ancient of Days’ (God the Father) and ‘one like a son of man’ (Jesus).

In my vision at night I looked and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven.  He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence.   He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him.  His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away … (Daniel 7:13-14)

How does Daniel 7:13-14 shed light on who Jesus is?

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 8:1-10

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. In Christ there is now no _______________.

Paul sets up a contrast between the ‘law of sin and death’ and the ‘law of the Spirit of Life’.  What is the Law of the Spirit of Life able to do, that the law of sin and death was unable to do? How did Jesus set us free from the law of sin and death?

The law of sin and death (Old Testament) demanded death for those who broke it, unless someone who was perfect and lived up to its requirements gave up his life as a sacrifice for those who were condemned. Jesus’ death releases us from the curse of the law of sin and death so that we might live a  new life according to the law of the Spirit of Life.

How does life controlled by the flesh/sinful nature contrast to life controlled by the Spirit?  What will the Spirit of God do for our bodies that are deadened by sin?

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 44:1-17

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. So Joseph “sells” all the grain these Hebrews can carry and then sends them on their way.  The very interesting thing here is that the boys go on their way fat dumb and happy.  For some reason, it does not occur to them that Zaphenath-Paneah may pull the same stunt again – which he does.  What is different this time?

[Joseph, again, puts the silver back into the grain sacks of his brothers, but this time he also put a silver cup (from his own table) into Benjamin’s sack.  It looks like these guys are not quick studies; they don’t seem to learn from their experiences.]

Joseph’s steward catches up with the Hebrews and accuses them of theft.  It is clear that Jacob’s sons did not check their sacks and, without looking into them, made a rash vow.  What was it?
[“But they said to him, ‘Why does my lord say such things?  Far be it from your servants to do anything like that!  We even brought back to you from the land of Canaan the silver we found inside the mouths of our sacks.  So why would we steal silver or gold from your master’s house?  If any of your servants is found to have it, he will die; and the rest of us will become my lord’s slaves.’” (Genesis 44:7-9 NIV)]

Now Joseph’s steward examined all the sacks of Judah and his brothers and lo and behold, they find the missing cup in Benjamin’s sack.  It now appears that Benjamin is under a death’s sentence.  These guys have got to be saying to themselves: “How are we ever going to explain this to dad?  This is his greatest fear and disappointment.  Remember how he said: ‘As for me, if I am bereaved, I am bereaved.’?”  Then they all return to Egypt, to Zaphenath-Paneah to face the music.  What hint does Joseph give his brothers as to his identity?
[“Joseph was still in the house when Judah and his brothers came in, and they threw themselves to the ground before him.  Joseph said to them, ‘What is this you have done?  Don’t you know that a man like me can find things out by divination?’  (Genesis 44:14-15 NIV)]

Joseph decides not to imprison nor enslave these men of Canaan.  Instead, he decides to keep Benjamin with him and to release the others.  Is this not a sentence worse than death?

You will have to wait until next week for the exciting conclusion.

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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