Daily Bible Readings – Thursday, April 10, 2014

Prayer Psalm: 142

Prayer Point. David prayed this prayer while hiding in the back of deep, dark cave.  If you  know someone in this place pray Psalm 142 on their behalf today.

Mark 10:17-31

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. The people of Israel in Jesus’ day were eagerly awaiting the Messiah. This Messiah would establish God’s kingdom on earth and those who were allowed to enter it were given the gift of eternal life. The question: who is in and who is out? The rich man who approached Jesus asked the same question this way: “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

The common belief was that good people; that is people who did a reasonably good job of keeping God’s commandments were in, and bad people were out. Riches were largely seen as a sign of God’s blessing so the disciples expected Jesus to reassure this man that had already done enough to inherit eternal life. Instead Jesus has a question …

Pay close attention to …

  • The only person Jesus considers to be “good.”
  • The man’s assessment of his record in keeping the 10 Commandments.
  • How Jesus exposes the one thing this man lacks. What he loves more than God and his neighbor (See also Mark 12:28-31).
  • Why it is difficult, but not impossible, for a wealthy man to enter the kingdom of God.
  • The reward that Jesus offers in this life as well as the next, to those who leave everything to follow him.

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 3:7-18

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 continues his contrast between the “ministry that brought death” with its letters on stone (a reference to the Law and the 10 Commandments) and the “ministry of the Spirit”. You can not understand this passage without the background of Exodus 20 where God gives the 10 Commandments through Moses. When Moses descended from Mount Sinai with the stone tablets written by God his face radiated with such an intensity that the people could not look upon his face. They could not bear to look at the reflection of God’s glory on his face.

Now, Paul says, things are different. Through the followers of Jesus Christ, there is a new ministry of the spirit. How is this ministry of the spirit different from the old ministry of death? Notice especially what Paul says about the veil. Who takes away the veil that the people had previously begged Moses to wear? What happens in verse 18 to those with unveiled faces?

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 7:25-8:19

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. This guy Pharaoh is going to be a hard nut to crack.  This was the first plague; there are yet nine more to go.  What is the next plague and what is the result?

[For the next plague Moses brings upon the land of Egypt frogs.  Not to be outdone, Pharaoh’s magicians also “bring up” frogs.   They were everywhere!  Everywhere!  So Pharaoh asked Moses to pray to the LORD to remove the frogs.  In order to show Pharaoh that this was from the LORD, he asked Pharaoh exactly when he would like the frogs to be gone.  Moses delivers.  The frogs suddenly die at the very hour designated by Pharaoh.]

The bible tells us that when Pharaoh sees relief, his heart is hardened.  He is still not listening.  What is the next plague?  What distinction is now being made?
[The next plague is one of gnats.  The gnats were covering everything – just like dust.  The difference this time is that Pharaoh’s magicians cannot produce gnats.  These priests tell Pharaoh, “This is the finger of God.” (Exodus 8:19 NIV)  Again, 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.

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