Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The One Year Bible

Two weeks down and I hope things are proceeding well with your reading plan. Hopefully you have settled down into a routine. The key is daily discipline. Making daily Bible reading a habit will have a tremendous impact on your life in Christ. Let me give you a suggestion. Find a buddy to read with or better yet ask a friend who is not reading The One Year Bible to join you this year. It’s not too late to start. You can fill them in on the story so far and then you can keep each other accountable every day. One great website that I mentioned last week I want to highlight again. Check out The One Year Bible Online for a reading list and even the readings for the day. This is a great resource if you forgot your Bible at home or left it at work. You can keep up with the readings even if you can’t locate your Bible. I put a link to this site on this blog. On to the study...

Where We Have Been

Old Testament
The story of the Patriarchs continues. The first week sped through many generations as well as many years but this week we have been focusing on one family. Last weeks readings started with Jacob taking his fathers blessings with the encouragement of his mother. If this sounds a bit dysfunctional you are right. We will see plenty of dysfunctional behavior in the Old Testament. Remember the Old Testament is setting the stage for the coming of the Messiah, the one that was to save the people. Just wait until we get into the book of Judges and then we will see some real dysfunctional behavior. That PLR (people, land, relationship) promise that we talked about last week comes back (in whole or in part) four times. I hope you begin to see that this is an important promise. This becomes the foundation for all the other promises that God will make in the Old Testament, including the coming of the Messiah. We read about Jacob and his rather strange relationship with his father-in-law, and then his odd relationship between him and his bickering wives. Once again we see some facets of dysfunctional behavior, but we also see that God will be faithful and keep his promise. The reading for today gets into one of the longest stories in the Old Testament, the story of Joseph. His dreams will come into play a bit later so don’t forget them.

New Testament
Jesus still continues to teach, and heal and now he is starting to generate some interest. John’s disciples start to question him about things and we get a deeper glimpse into the ministry of Jesus. Chapter 10 has some interesting things to say about going out and speaking about Jesus, but remember that Jesus was speaking to 12 Jewish men in Israel almost 2000 years ago. It can be dangerous to make some one for one comparisons with these teachings and today. One very interesting section in our reading is found in chapter 12:13. Jesus uses some Old Testament stories to bring light to his earthly ministry. He gives us some clues about the end of his earthly ministry as he compares himself to Jonah. This is a fascinating passage for theologians as it sheds light not only on the work of Jesus but also the reason that the book of Jonah is in the Old Testament. Jesus also says that he is greater than Solomon. This was a big claim because no one was a wise as Solomon especially in the eyes of a Jewish person.

Where We Are Going

Old Testament
Pay attention to the many details of the story of Joseph as you read in the next couple of days. We will spend some time talking about this in the coming weeks. For now, try to get all the details straight in your mind. Try to see some parallels between Joseph’s life and the life of Jesus.

New Testament
We are about to get into some of the parables of Jesus. Remember that parables are often called an earthly story with a heavenly meaning. Pay close attention to any parable that is explained and remember it can only mean what Jesus said it means. Another thing to remember is that almost all parables have one meaning. Be careful not to put your own meaning into them. I will spend some time next week talking about parables.

Key Verses

Most of the key verses this week come from the mouth of Christ. Add these verses to your list you started last week. If you don’t memorize them, try to memorize where they are so you can find them when you need to. You might want to even write them in the front of your Bible to help you remember.

Matthew 9:12-13
Matthew 9: 37-38
Proverbs 3:13-15
Matthew 10:29-31
Matthew 10:40
Matthew 11:28-30 (I love these verses)
Matthew 12:35

Let me know if you have any questions. May God continue to bless you!!!


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