Daily Bible Readings – Saturday, June 8, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 139

Prayer Point.  Have you ever contemplated that the Creator of the universe knows you?  He was there when you were conceived. He will be there when your life come to an end.   He has been and will be there for every step of your journey. How would your life change if you believed this? Confess your unbelief to God and ask for the faith to believe this amazing promise.

Luke 18:15-30

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” and “Pay close attention to …”  sections to help you understand the main points of this passage.

Background. Children were low on the social ladder in Jesus’ day and that attitude is reflected in their treatment by the disciples.

The ruler’s question, “what must I do to inherit eternal life” was on most peoples’ minds in Jesus day. Many believed that the Messiah’s coming was imminent and when he came he was going to establish God’s kingdom on earth. The righteous would be welcomed into this new kingdom and receive eternal life. The wicked would be cast out forever.

Jesus answers the rulers’ question by quoting the second half of the Ten Commandments which describes what it means to “love your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus leaves out commandments one through four which explain what it means to “love God with your heart, mind, and soul.”

Pay close attention to …

  • Jesus’ attitude towards children and their position in the kingdom of God.
  • How children are a model of what it means to receive the kingdom of God.
  • Jesus’ initial response to the ruler’s question in verse 19. If Jesus is good, who must he be.
  • The ruler’s confidence that he has kept the commandments and how Jesus deflates him.
  • Why salvation is still possible even if it is impossible for us to achieve.
  • What Jesus promises to those who leave everything for the sake of the kingdom of God; both in eternity and in this life.

Obey. What is God asking me to do?

Share. What can I share and with whom can I share it?

Repent. How have I failed to obey and share 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 and share what I have read?

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 9:1-15

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” and “Pay close attention to …”  sections to help you understand the main points of this passage.

Background. Paul has sent a delegation made up of Titus and a few other Christian brothers to collect the monies that was promised by the Corinthian church. The donations are going to the church in Jerusalem which was on the brink of starvation due to a severe famine.

Pay close attention to …

  • The principle of sowing and reaping.
  • How Paul connects generosity to faith in God.
  • How giving is both an expression of love for neighbor and love for God.

Obey. What is God asking me to do?

Share. What can I share and with whom can I share it?

Repent. How have I failed to obey and share 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 and share what I have read?

Final Prayer. Pray for the faith to believe the promises of God so that you might obey and share what you have learned.

Numbers 3:1-13

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? Use the “Background” below to help you understand the main points of this passage.

Background. What tribe does Moses belong to? (Moses is a Levite. Since Aaron will be chosen as High Priest, and since only Levites can be priests, and since Moses was Aaron’s brother, that makes Moses a Levite.)

How many sons did Aaron have? (Aaron originally had four sons but two of them proved themselves worthless. Nadab, the firstborn, and Abihu after they were anointed priests had desecrated themselves by coming before the Lord in an unworthy fashion – they were drunk! See Leviticus Chapter 10 for more details.)

Since Nadab and Abihu were dead, who was left to serve Aaron the high priest. (Eleazar and Ithamar)

What function was the tribe of Levi to perform? (They are to do the work of the Tabernacle. (v. 7))

What grave warning does the Lord give in verse 10? (“Appoint Aaron and his sons to serve as priests; anyone else who approaches the sanctuary must be put to death.” (Numbers 3:10 NIV)

What do the Levites represent? (They represent the “first male offering of every Israelite woman” (Numbers 3:12 NIV))

Why are the first born (males) so important? (The first born (males) represent all of the first born of Egypt when the Lord went through the land and struck them dead.)

Obey. What is God asking me to do?

Share. What can I share and with whom can I share it?

Repent. How have I failed to obey and share 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 and share what I have read?

Final Prayer. Pray for the faith to believe the promises of God so that you might obey and share what you have learned.

Sirach 46:1-10 *Sirach is not considered to be Scripture, but is still worthwhile reading.

We know much about Joshua: he was from the tribe of Ephraim [one of the two sons of Joseph]; he was chosen by God to be Moses’ successor; he was only one of two courageous men who wanted to invade Canaan when the Lord had planned it (about thirty-eight years earlier); and his name means “Jehovah [YHWH] is Salvation”.

While Joshua came from the tribe of Ephraim, Caleb was of the tribe of Judah [the same tribe Jesus comes from]. Of Caleb we know much less, but what we do know is that he was, like Joshua, a courageous man. He, alone with Joshua, stood against the ten spineless weasels who were sent to spy out Canaan. The ten came back with frightening reports of giants and well equipped armies who would easily overthrow the Hebrews. Caleb and Joshua lobbied to take on the inhabitants with their current force and have the LORD bring the victory. The weasels prevailed. These spineless (and faithless) men tried later to “repent” of their bad decision but by then the LORD had decided upon another course of action and the venture failed.

As it turns out, only Joshua and Caleb, of all those who left Egypt, survived to enter the Promised Land and take possession of their inheritance.
Sirach
Chapter 46
Verses 1-10

1 Joshua son of Nun was mighty in war,
and was the successor of Moses in the prophetic office.
He became, as his name implies,
a great savior of God’s elect,
to take vengeance on the enemies that rose against them,
so that he might give Israel its inheritance.
2 How glorious he was then he lifted his hands
and brandished his sword against the cities!
3 Who before him ever stood so firm?
For he waged the wars of the LORD.
4 Was it not through him that the sun stood still
and one day became as long as two?
5 He called upon the Most High, the Mighty One,
when enemies pressed him on every side,
and the great LORD answered him
with hailstones of mighty power.
6 He overwhelmed that nation in battle,
an on the slope he destroyed his opponents,
so that the nations might know his armament,
that he was fighting in the sight of the LORD;
for he was a devoted follower of the Mighty One.
7 And in the days of Moses he proved his loyalty,
he and Caleb son of Jephunneh:
they opposed the congregation,
restrained the people from sin,
and stilled their wicked grumbling.
8 And those two alone were spared
out of six hundred thousand infantry,
to lead the people into their inheritance;
the land flowing with milk and honey.
9 The LORD gave Caleb strength,
which remained with him in his old age,
so that he went up to the hill country,
and his children obtained it for an inheritance,
10 so that all the Israelites might see
how good it is to follow the LORD.

If these thumbnail sketches serve anything, it is to show that hindsight is always twenty-twenty. Their purpose, of course, is to encourage the people to have a deeper faith in the LORD. If only….

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