Daily Bible Readings – Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Prayer Psalm: 130

Prayer Point. We have created the oceans of pain and misery in this world. So how can we expect God to hear us when cry out for mercy? Because with God there is forgiveness. Follow Psalm 130 in prayer today by lifting up to God the pain of your life and brokenness of our world. Thank him for his forgiveness. Make space in your life to wait quietly for his answer.

Mark 10:1-16

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. Neither women nor children were held in high regard in Jesus’ day. This was reflected in local attitudes towards marriage and divorce. The controversy around divorce that Jesus was asked to address centered on the question of when it was lawful for a husband to divorce his wife. It was taken as a given that a woman could not divorce her husband. Some rabbis believed that divorce was unlawful except in cases of infidelity, while others believed that husbands could end their marriage for any reason they chose. The Pharisees ask Jesus to weigh in on this question, not because they are interested in his opinion, but in hopes that his answer will alienate some of his followers.

Pay close attention to …

  • Why God allowed men to divorce their wives.
  • God’s perspective of marriage.
  • What Jesus teaches his disciples about divorce and remarriage.
  • Jesus’ attitude toward children.
  • How Jesus saw children as a model for those who would enter the kingdom of God.

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.

2 Corinthians 2:14-3:6

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. Paul uses the image of a military hero marching through a conquered city with prisoners of war parading behind him. Christ is the conquering king and Paul and all Christians are his prisoners captive not by force, but by the force of his love. What does God do through his captive people? Why do some find the  prisoners of Christ revolting while others find in them the fragrance of life?

What are the marks of a true messenger of Jesus? What will not motivate them?

Paul was a traveling missionary who planted new churches and encouraged existing ones. Local churches often asked these traveling ministers to come with letters of recommendation to prove their authenticity. What letters of recommendation does Paul offer the Corinthian church? What does this tell about the nature of Paul’s relationship with these Christians?

There was an Old Testament prophecy that declared:

Jeremiah 31:33 This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time,” declares the LORD. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.

God had given his people Israel the Ten Commandments, the law written on tablets of stone. But as the saying goes, “you can’t legislate morality.” The law of stone could only point out our sin. It could not change us. So God announced through his prophet one day, that he would write his law on the hearts of the people so that they would love him. In other words, God himself would change the hearts of his people. Paul refers to this in 2 Corinthians 2:3-6 as the law written with the Spirit of God on the hearts of his people.

What was the result of Paul’s ministry to the Corinthians (see verse 3)? Where did Paul (and us) get the power to do this?

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.

Exodus 7:8-24

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. Care to guess how old Moses was when he began his ministry to Pharaoh?

[Moses was eighty years old when he first spoke to Pharaoh.  With the LORD age doesn’t matter: eighty is still young enough to serve the LORD.  Aaron was even older – eighty-three.]

Moses and Aaron are strengthened by the LORD’s words (Chapter 6:1) and so march in to Pharaoh with great confidence.   What demonstration do Aaron and Moses perform before Pharaoh?  What are the results?
[Moses and Aaron make their staff become a serpent but Pharaoh’s magicians manage to do the same thing.  There was only one difference: Moses’ serpent devoured the serpents of Pharaoh.]

If Moses and Aaron thought this demonstration would soften Pharaoh’s attitude about letting the people go, they are in for a great disappointment.  On the contrary, Pharaoh’s heart becomes harder.  What is next in store for Pharaoh?
[Moses and Aaron will meet Pharaoh on the bank of the Nile there to taunt him into letting the people go.  Moses threatens Pharaoh that he will change the water of the Nile and the lakes and ponds into blood and not only that, he will also change the water in various vessels into blood.  Pharaoh’s magicians also made the water turn into blood.  Then the fish will die and there will be a great stench throughout the land.  The only water untouched will be that which is dug for out of the ground.  The water will be contaminated for seven days.   And yet, Pharaoh is unmoved.]

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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s