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.

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