Daily Bible Readings – Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Prayer Psalm: 5

Prayer Point. “In the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.” Before you begin your day today, give your concerns to God, lay them at his feet and then sit in silence.  Having sat quietly, now go through the day with an expectation that God can and will act.

John 14:18-31

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.  This is Jesus’ last night with his disciples before his death. He will be leaving, but he has promised to send the Holy Spirit in his absence. This is why Jesus says in verse 18 that I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” That coming refers to the Holy Spirit, and that is how the disciples will “see him” and “live” even though he is gone.

What will Jesus’ followers understand about his relationship with the Father through the Holy Spirit? How will they be related to Jesus through the Holy Spirit? What is the connection between obedience to God and love for God? What does God promise to do for those who love him?

Jesus easily could have revealed himself to the world through some incredible miracle as Judas wanted to see, but he chooses not to. Look to see how people come to know God and his teachings in the coming verses.  Jesus gives these teaching to his disciples directly because he is still with them. Who will teach the disciples once Jesus returns to his Father?

Why should the disciples be glad that Jesus is returning to his Father? Why did he feel the need to tell his disciples of his departure ahead of time?

Think about the context for a moment.  This is the Last Supper.  That night Jesus will be betrayed and arrested.  He is going to be crucified the next day.  What do you think Jesus means by ‘the prince of this world is coming’?  How is Christ the example of what it means to love and obey 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.

1 Peter 1:13-25

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. Now that Peter’s readers have received the good news of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, how are they called to live in response? Who do they imitate? (See verse 16 Be holy because ______)

Whom do they now belong to? What was the purchase price?

Lambs were an important part of Israel’s story. It was a lamb that was sacrificed on the night Israel became a free people. The lamb was killed, the blood of the lamb was put on the doorposts of every Jewish house. When the Angel of Death came through, he “passed over” the homes with the blood of the lamb, but in the Egyptian homes without the lamb’s blood every first born son died.

Jesus is now being compared to that first born son. We are free not because God killed the firstborn son of our enemies, but because he sacrificed his firstborn son for our sakes. That was the purchase price of our forgiveness.

How do we purify ourselves through Christ (see verse 22)? What is the most important in our obedience to God according to Peter in verse 22. How is such a life possible according to verse 23?
Here is where it gets interesting, Jesus not only died to buy us back from death (verse 18-19), but Jesus also lived that we might be changed forever (verse 23).

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 15:1-21

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 is this song about?  (The song is about the final defeat of the Egyptians by the LORD in the Red Sea.)

Why is this history delivered in song?  (Events are easier to remember if they are put to song.  Songs are used to tell stories, history, even theology.  Also songs are easier to convey from one generation to another.)

Who is the focus of this passage?  (The LORD is the central focus of this song.)
Which verse is repeated as “bookends” to this psalm?  (Verses 1 and 21)
What kind of a relationship is inferred beginning in verse 2?  (The relationship is more personal: “The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.  He is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.” (v. 2 NIV))
Pharaoh’s chariots and his army have been hurled into the sea. (v. 4)  Why does this have a wider significance than just to the Jews?  (At that time Egypt was the “superpower” in the world.  An Egyptian defeat would send a strong message throughout the civilized world: who is this God of Israel? (v. 11)  See vv. 14-16)
Who, in this battle between Egypt and the LORD, is not mentioned?  (The Israelites are not mentioned.)
What were these people doing while all this was going on?  (They were spectators.  I think the point was that the people would see the awesome power of God and that they would then submit to him.  It proved to be wishful thinking.)
What is the destination of the people (the Israelites)?  (In this case, the destination is “the mountain of your inheritance – the place, O LORD, you made for your dwelling, the sanctuary, O LORD, your hands established. (v. 17))

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.

Daily Bible Readings – Monday, April 28, 2014

Prayer Psalm: 2

Prayer Point. It is easy to forget about the power of God when we watch news or read the papers. Psalm 2 reminds us that Jesus, the Anointed One, is on the throne.  He is in control. Pray that these words might become real to us, that we might live in our world with bold, fearless love.

John 14:1-17

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 setting of today’s reading is Jesus’ final meal with his disciples before his crucifixion the next day.  He has just informed them that he will be leaving, which greatly troubles them and he now seeks to calm their fears.

Pay close attention to …

  • Why Jesus’ departure and return to his Father should cause the disciples to rejoice.
  • The only way to know and go to the Father.
  • Jesus’ relationship to his Father.
  • The evidence that confirms that Jesus is who he says he is.
  • What is promised to those who put their faith in 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 Peter 1:1-12

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. 1 Peter was a circular letter written by the Apostle Peter and passed among the churches in what we call Western Turkey today. The church was rapidly expanding during this time and the Apostles oversaw and cared for growing numbers of churches scattered around the world. Letters such as these were a means for the Apostles to guide these churches while they were away.

What does Peter call these Christians in verse 1?

Peter mentions all three members of the Trinity (the Father, Son and Holy Spirit) in relation to this church. Notice how the three members of the Trinity work together:

_____________ according to the foreknowledge of God the Father.
through _________________________________ of the Holy Spirit.
For ________________________ to Jesus Christ and ______________________.

Peter’s letter in typical fashion of his time follows a familiar pattern: Author, recipient, greetings and now in verse three Peter begins with a blessing.

What has God the Father done that causes Peter to praise him? What are we born into through Christ? What is special about the inheritance we receive? How does this inheritance give Peter’s readers hope even though they are presently suffering? What good can come of trials?

When Peter speaks of prophets, he means the prophets of the Old Testament (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Moses, etc.)  What guided these prophets? What two things did they point to? Whom were they serving?

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 14:21-31

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.  When last we left our heroes (the Israelites), they were poised between Pharaoh’s army and the Red Sea.  Things look hopeless.  What does the LORD do?  (He divides the sea in twain as an escape for the Israelites; he throws the Egyptians into confusion.)

The Egyptian host pursues the Hebrews.  Let’s allow that you don’t know the rest of the story of the flight from Egypt.  Why do you think Pharaoh continued to follow the Israelites?  Does this seem reasonable to you?  (Pharaoh pursued the Jews because the LORD had hardened his heart (Exodus 4:21; and 14:8).  It is unreasonable to me that Pharaoh would follow after the Israelites simply because of the wonders done in Egypt culminating with the death of the firstborn of the land.  Have you ever been so “mad” that you cannot think straight?  Pharaoh would have been so blinded to his own limitations (and his own sin) that he would do something so irrational as to pursue the Hebrews into the sea.)

What moment of sanity do the Egyptians demonstrate in a vain attempt to salvage their mission?  (They say, “Let us get away from the Israelites!  The LORD is fighting for them against Egypt.” (Exodus 14:25 NIV))  How successful are they?  (Not very.  All of the Egyptians in pursuit of the Hebrews were drowned in the midst of the sea.)

What (temporary) ray of hope do the Israelites display regarding their faithfulness to the LORD, as a result of this final encounter with the Egyptians?  (“And when the Israelites saw the great power the LORD displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the LORD and put their trust in him and in Moses his servant.” (Exodus 14:31 NIV))

Why do I think that this display of faith is temporary?  (The history of the Israelites with Moses shows that they will not remain faithful.  Moses demonstrates the power of God to the people in an effort to secure their trust in God, but time and again they complain and seek to return to Egypt.)

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.

Daily Bible Readings – Sunday, April 27, 2014

Prayer Psalm: 113

Prayer Point. This psalm offers us some reasons to praise the name of the Lord.  Meditate on the ones that resonate with you and offer God your own prayer of thanksgiving.

John 14:1-7

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 setting of today’s reading is Jesus’ final meal with his disciples before his crucifixion the next day.  He has just informed them that he will be leaving, which greatly troubles them and he now seeks to calm their fears.

Pay close attention to …

  • Why Jesus’ departure and return to his Father should cause the disciples to rejoice.
  • The only way to know and go to the Father.

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 John 1:1-7

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. 1 John is a letter from the Apostle John, a close friend of Jesus, to the churches he oversaw in what is now western Turkey.  The letter was a circular letter, meaning that it was circulated among each of the churches and read aloud to the congregations.

John emphasizes that he is a witness of Jesus.  Notice how he drives this point home in the first four verses.  How has John experienced Jesus? What is John’s relationship with the Word of Life (Jesus) and God the Father?  What message does John have for his readers? Why does he write to them?

What message has John received from God that he passes on to his readers and to us? What is God? What does it take to be in fellowship with God? What happens to us if we walk in the light 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.

Exodus 14:5-22

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 do we know that Pharaoh has not learned his lessons from the LORD?  What does Pharaoh do next?

What does the LORD do to Pharaoh to provoke him to action?

What is the first response of the Israelites?  How much have the Israelites forgotten?

What does the LORD say to Moses to provoke the people to move (verse 15)?

What is the whole point of the exercise?  (The whole point is to depend upon God.)

How does the LORD protect his people?  (The cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night.)

Here’s an easy one: the Israelites are poised between the Red Sea and Pharaoh’s army.  How does the Lord solve this problem for the last time?

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.

Daily Bible Readings – Saturday, April 26, 2014

Prayer Psalm: 104

Prayer Point. Why is God worthy of our praise? He created our world; the valley, the mountains and the seas.  He has given rhythm to our world with days, nights, weeks, seasons and years. He is our provider and he is our Savior. Think about the world God has made, meditate on Jesus’ death and resurrection and offer God your own psalm of praise.

Mark 12:18-27

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. Both the Pharisees and the Herodians wanted to trap Jesus in his talk. The two groups couldn’t have been more diametrically opposed. The Pharisees held to a strict observance of the law. The Herodians were a loosely organized group who looked to advance the political and economic influence of the Herodian family. The Pharisees and Herodians were adversaries on many political and religious issues, but here we see them collaborating to trap Jesus and find cause to get rid of him once and for all.

The Pharisees and Herodians try to butter Jesus up with flattering speech. Jesus sees this as hypocrisy and calls them on it. Jesus knows they are trying to trap him, but notice how he answers them.

He asks for a coin which contains the image of Caesar on it. (This would have been an offense to any Jew because of the law which states that they should not make or bow down to any graven images). The likeness of Caesar and the inscription which read “Augustus Tiberius, son of the divine Augustus” would have been a definite slap in the face to any Jew who was looking for the messiah to come. On the other sign of the coin it read, “High Priest.” You can easily see why Jesus says to render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.

What is Jesus saying here to the Pharisees and Herodians as well as the disciples within earshot? What was Caesar’s and what was God’s according to Jesus?

Mark 12:18-27. Here the Sadducees come and try to trick Jesus. The interesting thing about the Sadducees is that they did not believe in a resurrection. So to ask Jesus a question about resurrection was quite scandalous. Of course Jesus knows right away that they are trying to trick him.

According to this passage what kind of relationships do we have in heaven? Is marriage an issue? How does Jesus demonstrate the reality of the resurrection from the Old Testament?

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 4:16-5:10

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’ve all seen it: the deterioration of old age, the ravages of cancer and other terminal diseases. Why shouldn’t these things cause us to lose heart? What do we have to look forward to that will overshadow our present sufferings? What guarantee has God given us so that we will know the certainty of God’s promises?

Why is death preferable in some cases for a Christian? If it is God’s will for us to continue to live, what goals should drive us in this life?

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 13:17-14:4

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.  Why doesn’t the LORD take the shortest route (through Philistia) to the “Promised Land”?  Why would the people be armed for battle as they make their way toward the “Promised Land”?  (“When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter.  For God said, ‘If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.’” (Exodus 13:17 NIV)

To where does the LORD lead the people?  (The LORD led the people around the desert toward the Red Sea.)

Whose dying wish was fulfilled in this Exodus? (Joseph wanted his bones to be carried from Egypt to the Promised Land for burial.)

How does the LORD present himself to the people as they journey?  (The LORD appears both as a pillar of fire and a cloud to lead the people both day and night.)

What is the LORD’s plan for both Israel and Egypt?  (The Lord is planning on one more encounter with Pharaoh to show his power through 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.

Daily Bible Readings – Friday, April 25, 2014

Prayer Psalm: 118

Prayer Point. This psalm is a song welcoming the Messiah (Savior) to the city of Jerusalem. It’s true meaning was not realized until the crowds sang as Jesus rode into Jerusalem on his way to the cross. Praise God  because when we cried out for help, he sent Jesus to die for our sins. Give him thanks and remember that  his love to us endures forever.

Luke 24:1-12

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. At first light on Easter Sunday morning, women from Jesus’ community of disciples hurried to the tomb to complete the preparation of Jesus’ body for burial. They don’t find the body of Jesus. What do they encounter instead? Why do you think they reacted the way they did? Why do the angels say that they shouldn’t be surprised that Jesus had been raised from the dead? Why do you think they, and all the disciples, had such a hard time believing it?

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 15:51-58

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 will perishable people like us become imperishable and inherit the kingdom of God? Whose victory makes this transformation possible? Who or what was defeated? How are we to live today in light of this amazing future that Christ has opened for us?

What can’t “flesh and blood” and “perishable” inherit? How will this problem be solved? You’ll have to read tomorrow’s reading.

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 13:1-2, 11-16

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. Why is the firstborn male to be consecrated to the LORD?   Can you think of any “firstborn” males (in Israel) who had been consecrated to the Lord? (The firstborn male is to be dedicated to the Lord because of the price exacted of the Egyptians – all of the firstborn of both man and beast died on the night of the Passover.  Examples: Samson, Samuel, Jeremiah (Jeremiah 1:5); John the Baptist, and of course, Jesus.)

Verse 13 commands that “every firstborn among your sons” be redeemed.  What does “redeem” mean?  (It actually means to “buy back”.  The redeeming of the firstborn male was later to be designated to the tribe of Levi once the Israelites enter the Promised Land.  The redeeming is another reminder of what happened in Egypt.)

What will “your son” ask you in days to come as outlined in verse 14?  (“‘What does this mean?’  Say to him, ‘With a mighty hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.  When Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go, the Lord killed the firstborn of both people and animals in Egypt.  This is why I sacrifice to the Lord the first male offspring of every womb and redeem each of my firstborn sons.” (Exodus 13:14-15 NIV))

Again with the sign on the hand and forehead.  This must be significant.  What do these symbols represent?   (Heart and hand – thinking and doing)

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.

Daily Bible Readings – Thursday, April 24, 2014

Prayer Psalm: 149

Prayer Point. New songs were sung when God intervened and saved his people by defeating their enemies.  God’s ultimate victory was Christ’s death and resurrection. Meditate on what that victory means for us and pray a prayer of thanksgiving to God.

Matthew 28:16-20

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. Verse 17 says that ‘some doubted’. Why do you think that there were still doubters among the disciples even after the resurrection of Jesus? How does Jesus handle this?

Jesus before his ascension gives the disciples the mission they (and we) are to carry on in his absence. The central command is “make disciples.” Just as an apple tree is designed to make more apple trees, so Jesus’ disciples were made to make other disciples. All the other statements describe what it means to make a disciple.

From among what people were the disciples to make disciples? What two things were they to do with those they were calling to be disciples of Jesus?

In what way is Jesus still with us even though he has ascended into heaven? (See Acts 2:1-4.)

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 15:41-50

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. Like a seed, our physical bodies will die only to have new life emerge with a new “spiritual” body. How will our new bodies compare to the one we have now? How does the first Adam (Adam, the first human being created in Genesis 1) compare to the last Adam (Jesus Christ)? How are we like the first Adam? How will we become like the Second Adam?

What can’t “flesh and blood” and “perishable” inherit? How will this problem be solved? You’ll have to read tomorrow’s reading.

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 13:3-10

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. Because people are so forgetful, what does Moses do to fend off their tendency not to remember?  (“This observance will be for you like a sign on your hand and a reminder on your forehead that this law of the LORD is to be on your lips.  For the LORD brought you out of Egypt with his mighty hand.  You must keep this ordinance at the appointed time year after year.” (Exodus 13:9-10 NIV))

How significant is it that this observance be like a sign on one’s hand and a reminder on one’s forehead?  Where have we seen these allusions to both the hand and forehead before?  (See Deuteronomy 6 and Revelation 13)  (The sign on the hand and forehead means that it would be in the mind and ever before them.  In Deut. 6 this is Moses’ admonition to the people regarding the Law and how they are to keep it in mind.  In Revelation it is on these parts of the body where the anti-Christ will place his number (the famous number of the beast).)

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.

Daily Bible Readings – Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Prayer Psalm: 115

Prayer Point. An idol is anything we trust for our security and significance outside of God. We all have them and without God’s intervention, we will become like the lifeless gods we serve. What idols have a hold on your heart? Confess them to God today and pray for the faith to believe that God will keep his promises and satisfy our souls.

Matthew 28:1-16

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. What question weighs heavily on Mary, Mary and Salome as they approached Jesus’ tomb? Jesus’ tomb had been sealed by Pontius Pilate with a detachment of soldiers left to guard the tomb. The concern of the religious leaders and the Romans was that the disciples would come and steal the body and claim that Jesus had risen from the dead. Who is it that opens the tomb? What do the women hear from the angel? Who do they see on the road back to the disciples?

The soldiers guarding the tomb also have a story to tell and they hurried back to share it with the chief priests. How do the chief priests conspire to keep the story secret? Why were the soldiers willing to go along with the story? What does this event tell you about the condition of the chief priests’ hearts?

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 15:29-41

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.  Why is the resurrection of the dead, not just Christ’s but our own, so central to the Christian faith? What sacrifices in Paul’s life would be pointless if the resurrection was not true?

The idea of a physical resurrection was absurd to a Greek culture like the city of Corinth. The Greeks believed that the spiritual world was good, but that the physical world was bad. The body was something to escape from, not restore.

Why be resurrected, if the physical world is what you want to be liberated from? For Christians, the physical world was created good and will be restored by Christ.

What does Paul point to show that resurrection is built into God’s creation? How is our life experience like that of a planted seed?

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 12:40-41

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 long had the Israelites been in Egypt?  Why is the “vigil” so important?  (“Because the LORD kept vigil that night to bring them out of Egypt, on this night all the Israelites are to keep vigil to honor the LORD for the generations to come.” (Exodus 12:42 NIV))

What are some of the restrictions regarding those who may partake of the Passover meal?

Why, do you suppose, the bones may not be broken? (v. 46)  Psalm 22 may be of some help with this one, or Psalm 34.  (“It must be eaten inside the house; take none of the meat outside the house.  Do not break any of the bones.  The whole community of Israel must celebrate it.  A foreigner residing among you who wants to celebrate the LORD’s Passover must have all the males in his household circumcised; then he may take part like one born in the land. (Exodus 12:46-48 NIV)  “I am poured out like water and all my bones are out of joint.  … All my bones are on display; people stare and gloat over me.” (Psalm 22:14, 17)  “A righteous man may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all; he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken.” (Psalm 34:19-20 NIV))  See John 19:31-37.

What is an absolute requirement of any male who wants to partake of the Passover meal?  Why?  (All males must be circumcised.  This, I believe, is because circumcision was the original covenant made with Abraham and is a sign of being an Israelite.)

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.