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.

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