Daily Bible Readings – Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Prayer Psalm: 78

Prayer Point. This prayer is about passing the knowledge of God on to the next generation. Pray that your church will remember what God has done; not only in the Bible, but in our own lives. Pray that we will be faithful in sharing what God has done with the next generation, so they in turn will tell their children.

Mark 6:1-13

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 returns to Nazareth, the town his parents were from and where Jesus spent most of his childhood. He enters the local synagogue and because he is recognized as a traveling rabbi, he is given the opportunity to teach, which involved reading from the Old Testament and then sitting down to explain the passage to the congregation.

In verses 6-13, we see the disciples move to the next level in their training with Jesus. Up until this point, the disciples had been passive observers of Jesus’ miracles and teachings. Now they are sent out to do the very things they had watched Jesus do.

Pay close attention to …

  • How the villagers respond to Jesus’ teaching and why.
  • How the villagers lack of faith impacted Jesus’ ministry there.
  • The mission that Jesus gives his disciples; the authority they are given, how they are sent out, what they take and don’t take, where they are to stay and what they do if they are rejected.
  • The results of the disciple’s ministry.

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 7:32-40

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 does Paul encourage unmarried men and women to remain single? What advantages are there to remaining single? For what reason should a single person pursue marriage? What does Paul have to say to widows and widowers? Why do you think Paul is keen on encouraging us to stay ‘as we are’?

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 45:1-15

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 background to help guide you.

Background. Zaphenath-Paneah dismisses all of his servants and attendants and is left alone with his brothers.  The moment has finally arrived: Joseph reveals himself to his brothers amid great weeping and wailing – so much so that the attendants in an outer room could hear.  His brothers’ jaws must have dropped.  It must have been quite an emotional scene; of course it is likely that Judah and the others did not believe this Egyptian at first.  Why do you think Joseph picked this pivotal moment to reveal himself?  Whom does Joseph first inquire about?  

[“Joseph said to his brothers, ‘I am Joseph!  Is my father still living?’” (Genesis 45:3 NIV)]

Of course their reaction to this news was stunned silence.  How does Joseph comfort his brothers?
[“Then Joseph said to his brothers, ‘Come close to me.’  When they had done so, he said, ‘I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt!  And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you.’” (Genesis 45:4-5 NIV)]

Joseph goes on to tell his brothers of the prophecy concerning the current famine and that it will last yet another five years.  What commission does Joseph give his brothers?
[“Now hurry back to my father and say to him, ‘This is what your sons Joseph says: God has made me lord of all Egypt.  Come down to me; don’t delay.  You shall live in the land of Goshen…’” (Genesis 45:9-10 NIV)]

To say the least, it took some time for Judah and his brothers to absorb all of this miraculous information.  How they must have pondered how they would be able to convey this turn of events.  Suddenly Joseph is alive and thriving in Egypt – prime minister, as it were.  Then they shared a “group hug”: “Then he threw his arms around his brother Benjamin and wept, and Benjamin embraced him, weeping.  And he kissed all his brothers and wept over them.” (Genesis 45:15 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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