Daily Bible Readings – Thursday, February 6, 2014

Prayer Psalm: 74

Prayer Point. How do you pray when you lose something you believed was forever? That is the dark place this prayer originates. Asaph laments the destruction of his beloved city, Jerusalem, and God’s temple. He asks, “why have you rejected us forever, O God?” Think of someone in your life that is in this place and pray psalm 74 on their behalf.

John 6:60-71

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. Jesus’ willingness to offend people is quite striking in the gospel of John.  He is at the height of his popularity at the beginning of this chapter. Having fed five thousand people with five loaves of bread and two fish, the crowds are ready to make him king. Then Jesus offers them a greater bread …

“Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” John 6:54

The crowds are revolted by the idea of eating his flesh and blood. Can Jesus be trusted be trusted even when his teachings are difficult to accept? To answer that question Jesus will draw on another prophetic image: Daniel 7:14-15.  In Daniel’s vision we see “one like a son of man” ascending to God the Father on the “clouds of heaven.” The Son of Man is seated on the throne and is given authority to rule over God’s creation.

Pay close attention to …

  • How Jesus’ own disciples react to his teaching.
  • How Jesus reacts to his disciples doubts.
  • How he explains why some will not come to him.
  • Why Peter chooses not to abandon Jesus.

Obey. 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 and share 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.

Hebrews 11:32-12:2

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. While all the Old Testament heroes had faith in common, but their lives took very different paths. Compare the descriptions of the lives of the faithful in verses 32-35a to the descriptions in verses 35b-38. What does this tell us about what can we expect in our own faith journeys? What “disappointment” did all these faithful men and women experience (see verse 39)? How did God feel about them? Why?

The writer of Hebrews now turns his attention to us as he begins chapter 12. Why did the writer spend an entire chapter (chapter 11) relating to us the stories of the Old Testament saints? How are these stories designed to move us?

What metaphor does the writer use to describe our lives? Where are we headed? Why are we called to fix our eyes on Jesus? What do we see in Him?

Obey. 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 and share 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.

Genesis 23:1-20

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. How old was Sarah when she died?  (How old then was Isaac?  How old was Abraham at this time?)

[Sarah was 127 years old when she died.  Isaac then would have to be thirty-seven years old.  Abraham would be been 137 years old.)

Notice the deference that Abraham displays as he buys the property he needs in order to bury Sarah.  How do the Hittites view Abraham?

How much money does Abraham pay for the land?
[Abraham paid four hundred shekels (or about ten pounds) of silver for the land.]

Obey. 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 and share 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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