Daily Bible Readings – Thursday, March 27, 2014

Prayer Psalm: 86

Prayer Point. How do you pray when your back is against the wall? Psalm 86 shows us how to worship and plead with God in the darkest of times. Pray this psalm on behalf of someone you know that is struggling. If you are in a difficult place, pray it on your own behalf.

Mark 6:30-46

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 just days before had sent his disciples out to carry out his ministry. They were given the authority to preach the good news of Jesus, heal the sick and cast out demons (see Tuesday’s reading, Mark 6:1-13). This was the purpose for which the disciples were called (see Mark 3:14): to watch and learn from Jesus and eventually to carry out his work when he returned to heaven. In today’s reading, the disciples have just returned from their first test mission.

Pay close attention to …

  • How Jesus models a way of life for his disciples. Look at what he asks his disciples to do when they return from their mission (Mark 6:30-31) and compare it to Mark 1:35.
  • How Jesus responds when the crowds interrupt their planned time of rest.
  • How he tests his disciples’ faith in verse 37 and how well the disciples respond.
  • The way Jesus performed his miracle and what that says about his ability to provide.
  • What Jesus does as the day comes to a close.

Obey. The three steps of Gospel obedience

  • Walk. 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 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 9:1-15

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 following background to guide you.

Background. What freedoms did Paul lay aside that were his by right as an apostle (messenger, one who was sent) of Jesus Christ? For what purpose does he surrender these rights? What good does Paul put ahead of his own personal happiness and fulfillment?

Obey. The three steps of Gospel obedience

  • Walk. 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 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 46:1-7, 28-34

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. In Chapter 37 we learn that Jacob is residing in Hebron and now sets out for Egypt.  Once they get to Beersheba (which is quite far south in Canaan) Israel offered sacrifices to the Lord.  How does the LORD allay Jacob’s fears?

[“And God spoke to Israel in a vision at night and said, ‘Jacob!  Jacob!’ ‘Here I am,’ he replied.
‘I am God, the God of your father,’ he said.  ‘Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make you into a great nation there.  I will go down to Egypt with you…’” (Genesis 46:2-4a NIV)]

Judah was sent ahead to get directions to Goshen and to prepare for Israel’s arrival.  Joseph rides out to meet his father.  How did that reunion go?

[This was a very emotional meeting between Jacob and Joseph.  “As soon as Joseph appeared before him, he threw his arms around his father and wept for a long time.” (Genesis 46:28 NIV)]

Jacob begins his reunion with Joseph with a cheery thought: “Israel said to Joseph, ‘Now I am ready to die, since I have seen for myself that you are still alive.’” (Genesis 46:30 NIV)  What does Joseph caution his brothers against saying?

[Joseph urged his brothers to refer to their livelihood as tending livestock but not shepherds because shepherding was “detestable” to the Egyptians.  The Notes in the NIV Study Bible indicates that the Egyptians’ distaste for shepherds may be cultural.  Who knows?]

Obey. The three steps of Gospel obedience

  • Walk. 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 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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