Daily Bible Readings – Friday, April 11, 2014

Prayer Psalm: 143

Prayer Point. Does God hear the prayers of sinful people? This psalm reminds us that we would have no hope if he didn’t, for all people are unrighteous in the eyes of God, and yet he answers all those who call on him in faith. How are you empty today? What are you afraid of? Where do you need wisdom in your life?  Take these all today to our gracious God.

Mark 10:32-45

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. There is fear mixed with excitement as Jesus leads his disciples to Jerusalem. The disciples are afraid because the chief priests and teachers of the law, who were based in Jerusalem, were looking to kill Jesus. They are excited because they believe Jesus may be the Messiah and is about to establish the kingdom of God. They reasoned that as members of his inner circle, they would be given high positions in his new government. What the disciples don’t understand is that Jesus’ path to the throne leads to the cross. Instead of killing his enemies, he must first lay down his life for them.

Pay close attention to …

  • What Jesus says is going to happen to him.
  • The pressing argument that ensues among the disciples and how it demonstrates that the disciples don’t understand what is about to happen 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.

2 Corinthians 4:1-12

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. We not only receive forgiveness through the death and resurrection of Christ, we receive a new calling; a new ministry. We are ministers of God’s new covenant, a new relationship with God where God gives his Holy Spirit to those confess their sins and place their trust in Jesus. Just as this new covenant gives us life, as ministers of this new covenant, we are to share this new life with others.

Pay close attention to …

  • How Paul presents God’s message to the world. What does he do? What does he not do? Why does he not try to change his tactics to convince those from whom “the gospel is veiled”?
  • The one that lifts the veil and allows the “light of knowledge” to shine in our hearts.
  • How our possession of the Gospel is compared to a treasure housed in jars of clay. What is the treasure? What are the jars of clay?
  • How God entrusting the treasures of Christ to us demonstrates his power, even through our suffering and death.

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 9:13-35

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. You will have noticed that we are not discussing the plagues of flies, the plague on Egyptian (only) livestock; and the plague of boils.  Very briefly, while these plagues devastated all the lands and households of the Egyptians, the Hebrews were unscathed by any of them.

Again, the LORD sends Moses and Aaron to Pharaoh.  At this point someone should be afraid.  Moses might well be afraid to go to Pharaoh and certainly Pharaoh could easily be afraid of what Moses could do next.  Undaunted, Moses goes in to Pharaoh,  What is the next plague and what message does the LORD deliver specifically to Pharaoh?

[“Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Get up early in the morning, confront Pharaoh and say to him, “This is what the LORD, the God of the Hebrews, says: Let my people go, so that they may worship me, or this time I will send the full force of my plagues against you and against your officials and your people, so you may know that there is no one like me in all the earth.   For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the earth.”’” (Exodus 9:13-15 NIV)]

Why has the LORD been very patient with Pharaoh to this point?
[“But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” (Exodus 9:16 NIV)]

It is important to remember that these plagues afflicting Egypt are not for the Egyptians alone.  As stated above, these demonstrations of power are done to proclaim the name of the LORD to all the earth.  It is hoped that the Israelites might learn something from these object lessons visited upon the Egyptians.  What is the next plague?  Is there any distinction being made?
[The next plague is one of hail.  This hail storm came equipped with thunder and lightning and was touted as the worst ever in the land of Egypt.  Again, in order to prove that the LORD is author of this disaster, the land of Goshen (where the Israelites lived) will be untouched.]

Of course, when the disaster is passed, so is Pharaoh’s resolve to release the people.  This time Moses didn’t even bargain for Israel’s release.  Once Pharaoh summoned him to abate the storm, Moses told Pharaoh that he had not yet reached the point of repentance.  How do we know this?
[“Moses replied, ‘When I have gone out of the city, I will spread out my hands in prayer to the LORD.  The thunder will stop and there will be no more hail, so you may know that the earth is the LORD’s  But I know that you and your officials do not fear the LORD God.”

“So Pharaoh’s heart was hard and he would not let the Israelites go, just as the LORD had said through Moses.”  (Exodus 9:35 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.

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