Daily Bible Readings – Friday, March 28, 2014

Prayer Psalm: 92

Prayer Point. The writer of Psalm 92 praises God for destroying evil and causing his people, “to flourish like a palm tree.” Here is what we know this side of the cross: God has destroyed the evil within us, without destroying us, by nailing our sins to the cross of Jesus Christ. In Jesus, God will rid the world of evil without getting rid of us. Praise God for his grace this morning.

Mark 6:47-56

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 sends his disciples across the lake ahead of him while he goes up onto a mountainside to pray. The previous had been a long arduous day of ministry. When Jesus and his disciples were looking for rest, they were mobbed by the people, but Jesus patiently taught them and miraculously fed 5000 of them with five loaves of bread and two fish. Now the disciples are straining to row their boat into a stiff head wind. It is in this place that Jesus goes out to meet them …

Pay close attention to …

  • How the disciples react to seeing Jesus walking on the water.
  • How Jesus comforts his disciples.
  • Why the disciples are amazed by Jesus’ mastery over the wind and the waves (see verses 50-52).
  • What happens to the desperate people who come to Jesus.

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 9:16-27

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 Paul live differently based on who he is preaching to?  Paul says that when he is with the Jews he lives like a Jew and when he is with gentiles (those without the law) he lives like a gentile.  Why?

For Paul to become like a Jew in order to win the Jews meant that in their presence, he held to Jewish customs and practices, such as keeping Kosher. Paul understood that he was no longer bound by these cultural practices, but for the sake of his audience, he keeps their traditions so that they will be able to hear the message of Jesus Christ.

Paul compares the Christian life to the life of an athlete in training. What would your spiritual life look like if you approached your faith the way an athlete prepares for the Olympics?

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 47:1-26

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. Joseph chooses five of his brothers to present to Pharaoh.  Of course, when they are asked about their occupation, they unhesitatingly tell him that they are shepherds.  Apparently Pharaoh (as the chief priest among the Egyptians) is unfazed by this revelation.  Pharaoh next meets the patriarch Jacob.  What is his first question?

[“After Jacob blessed Pharaoh, Pharaoh asked him, ‘How old are you?’” (Genesis 47:7b-8 NIV)]

So how old is Israel?
[Jacob, at this time, is 130 years of age.]

Joseph, at Pharaoh’s insistence, gave the choicest land to his father and brothers.  It was called the “district of Rameses” or Goshen.  Rameses (II) was Pharaoh many years later and this area was named for him.  This was edited (perhaps by Moses) perhaps to clarify exactly where the Hebrews resided.

The famine continued (only two years of five had elapsed) and was to continue for another five years.  Pharaoh had instructed his people to go to Zaphenath-Paneah (Joseph) for relief.  What did Joseph decide regarding payment for the food?
[All the people (including the Hebrews) had to buy (pay with silver) their food and once the money was gone they then had to sell their livestock.)]

What was the last resort of the people to buy grain once the money and livestock were gone?
[The “last resort” was that the people had to “sell themselves” into slavery to the Pharaoh for grain.]

Who were the only ones exempt from all this distress?
[The priests were exempt – perhaps because Pharaoh was regarded as the chief priest.]

Going forward, what was to be the policy of the land as dictated by Joseph?
[Joseph would provide seed for planting (once the famine was past) and the people were to return one-fifth of the harvest as payment to Pharaoh.)]

What was the people’s attitude toward Joseph during this time?
[“‘You have saved our lives,’ they said.  ‘May we find favor in the eyes of our lord; we will be in bondage to Pharaoh.’”  (Genesis 47:25 NIV)]

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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