Daily Bible Readings – Saturday, February 8, 2014

Prayer Psalm: 23

Prayer Point. God’s way is a journey that leads us to the house of the LORD, but takes us through the valleys of the shadow of death. It is difficult journey, but God promises to be with us everywhere we go. Meditate on the promises this psalm offers us and prayer for the faith to believe them.

John 7:14-36

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 question of Jesus’ authority is at the heart of today’s reading. He has openly challenged the religious leaders’ interpretation of the Law.  He brazenly healed a man on the Sabbath even though the teachers of the law believed healing to be work and therefore a violation of the 4th Commandment (see Exodus 20:8-11). Who does Jesus think he is anyway? God?

Jesus teaches in the temple during the Feast of Tabernacles, which commemorated God’s provision for Israel while they wandered in the wilderness for forty years.  (See the book of Exodus for that story. It involves bread from heaven, water flowing out or rocks and meat delivered to their door.) His teaching is that of a great rabbi, but the idea of a self-taught rabbi was as absurd as a self-instructed doctor would be today. It just wasn’t done and yet Jesus, who had no rabbi, speaks with a wisdom unlike anyone who had come before him and the people don’t know what to do with him.

Pay close attention to …

  • Whom Jesus claims as his “rabbi”, the source of his teaching (see verse 16).
  • What it takes to learn the source of Jesus’ teaching (verse 17)
  • Whose honor a true teacher pursues (verse 18).
  • The people’s great sin (verse 19).
  • The connection between knowing Jesus and knowing God the Father, the “One who sent him.”
  • How Jesus exposes the hypocrisy of the belief that is unlawful to heal on the Sabbath.(verses 21-24)
  • Why the crowds are skeptical of Jesus (verses 25-27)
  • Where Jesus claims he is from, how the crowds respond and why the crowds’ plans are frustrated (see verse 30). How others in the crowd responded and why (verse 31). What the Pharisees plan to do (verse 32).
  • Where Jesus is going that he cannot be followed (verses 33-36).

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 12:12-29

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 pitfalls does the writer of Hebrews warn us against? What kinds of things can cause us to give up?

What can we learn from Esau’s failure? For more information you can read his story in Genesis 25:19-34. You might remember from our readings in chapter 11 that the Old Testament faith heroes willingly suffered in this world because they valued the next world more than the present one. In what way did Esau have the opposite values? What did he lose? Why?

“The mountain that cannot be touched.” (12:18) The writer of Hebrews is reminding his readers of the scene when God gave Israel the 10 Commandments (the Law) at Mount Sinai. In the Old Testament, the people were told to stay away because they could not approach a holy God in their sinful state. Why would you want to go back to that, when Jesus has made us holy and now God tells all people to come and be reconciled to 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 24:28-51

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. Hospitality is shown to Abraham’s servant (quite unlike the kind of hospitality we are accustomed to today).  The servant then replays the events that had just happened outside.  Whom do we meet for the first time?

[We meet Rebekah’s brother Laban.  He will be instrumental in the story of Jacob many years later.]

What is Laban and Bethuel’s response to the servant’s offer of Isaac as husband to Rebekah?
[“Laban and Bethuel answered, ‘This is from the LORD; we can say nothing to you one way or the other.  Here is Rebekah; take her and go, and let her become the wife of your master’s son, as the LORD has directed.’” (v. 24:50-51 NIV)]

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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