Reading the Bible Together – Day 26

DAY 26

A.M. Reading: Genesis 24

Genesis Questions Worth Pondering:

Sarah has died and Abraham is aging.

What does Abraham make his loyal servant swear to him?

Why did Abraham forbid his servant from taking Isaac back to the land where Abraham’s family was?

Who did Abraham say that God would send before the servant?

What does the servant pray to the Lord?

What kind of heart attitude would the girl possess who would be an answer to that prayer?

What happened regarding that prayer?

In addition to the heart attitude the servant had prayed for, how is the young maiden described?

Whose family was she from?

How did Abraham’s servant respond to the Lord?

How did he describe the Lord’s relationship with Abraham?

How did Rebekah’s family respond?

How can we, once again, see God’s faithfulness to His covenant with Abraham?

P.M. Reading: John 13:18-38

John Questions Worth Pondering:

After showing His disciples how, in humility, they were to serve one another, Jesus reveals something that one of the disciples is about to do.

Why is Jesus troubled in spirit?

Did the disciples know who He was speaking about?

How did He fulfill the Scriptures as He exposed the one who would betray Him?

Did the disciples understand what Jesus was saying to Judas?

After Judas departed, Jesus began teaching them again.

What is He explaining to them?

What commandment does He give them?

In what manner were they to perform it?

What would others know when they saw the disciples fulfill the command?

Add this commandment to your list about what Jesus was teaching His disciples before His death.

Did Peter understand what Jesus was explaining about His leaving?

How does Peter demonstrate overconfidence in himself?

How does Jesus respond?

A “think” question: How are the teachings that Jesus is leaving with His disciples still relevant to believers today?

May the Word of Christ dwell richly within!

Reading the Bible Together – Day 25

DAY 25

Abraham and Sarah learned, as the Psalmist, that whatever God has said is settled … HE WILL PERFORM IT!

A.M. Reading: Genesis 23

Genesis Questions Worth Pondering:

Genesis 23 gives the account of Sarah’s death and burial. It is interesting that Sarah is the only woman in the Scriptures whose life span is recorded.

How old was she when she died?

Recall how old she was when God promised Isaac would be born (Genesis 17:17).

So how old was Isaac when his mother died?

What can we glean about Abraham’s love for Sarah? How do you know?

Much information is given about the transaction between Abraham and the inhabitants of the land, as he seeks to find a burial place for Sarah.

What can you glean about Abraham’s character in his business dealings?

Think upon God’s faithfulness to Abraham and Sarah.

Complete this sentence: Whatever God says, He _____________________________.

Why is it important to understand the phrase: “At the appointed time”?

Think upon these truths.

P.M. Reading: John 13:1-17

John Questions Worth Pondering:

A very important transition occurs at the beginning of Chapter 13 and extends through Chapter 17. In Chapters 1-12, we saw Jesus being revealed publicly, to all who would hear. We clearly saw the division – some believed and others, in hostility, rejected Him. We saw the hardening of their hearts to the point that they desired to kill Jesus, and at the end of Chapter 12 we saw Him cry out, publicly declaring truth one last time.

In Chapter 13, Jesus turns to His disciples and begins to teach them the truths they will need to understand as He faces death and will return to the Father, from whence He came – as He completes that for which He was SENT to do!

What does Jesus know about His time?

What has He done while He was here on earth?

What had the devil put into the heart of Judas?

Even so, what does Jesus know?

As Jesus arose from the supper, what did He begin to do?

Do the disciples understand?

Describe Peter’s responses.

Again, Jesus is speaking spiritually.

What does He mean when He says they are all clean?

What does He mean when He says that one of them is not clean?

So what does the washing of the feet symbolize?

Jesus then sits down to teach them.

What was required for Jesus to lower Himself and perform the function of the lowest servant in the house?

Remember Jesus used “physical” examples to teach spiritual truth.

Thinking spiritually, what was Jesus teaching His disciples?

And what would be the result if they humbled themselves and served one another?

Start another list: “Truths Jesus Taught His Disciples Before Leaving Them.”

In your own words, put this truth first on the list.

How does this truth apply to us?

May the Word of Christ dwell richly within!

Reading the Bible Together – Day 24

DAY 24

And for us … God provided The Lamb of God!

A.M. Reading: Genesis 22

Genesis Questions Worth Pondering:

Chapter 22 is one of the most amazing accounts of the testing of faith that one could imagine.

How does God test Abraham’s faith? What does He tell Abraham to do?

How does Abraham respond?

Recall all the things that God had promised Abraham in the covenant that He had made with Abraham concerning Isaac. Even when Abraham wanted the blessings of the covenant to come through Ishmael, what had God said?

Knowing clearly what God had promised concerning Isaac, how is this command from God a test as to whether or not Abraham would believe all that God had promised?

How thoroughly does Abraham obey God?

What does Abraham tell Isaac when he asks about where the offering is?

When did God stop Abraham?

What did God now “know” about Abraham’s faith?

How did God provide?

What did Abraham call the place?

How did God, once again, reconfirm the covenant that He had made with Abraham?

Let’s “think”:

We have been learning much about who Jesus is as we have been reading through the book of John. What symbolic truths about Jesus parallel this account of Abraham and Issac? Try to think of at least three.

The Light of the World came … so that we would not remain in darkness. Praise His Name!

P.M. Reading: John 12:38-50

John Questions Worth Pondering:

Chapter 12 concludes with a tragic picture of the unbelieving Jews.

What had Jesus shown them all this time?

Yet what was the state of their heart?

John then quotes from Isaiah.

Isaiah 6 explains how Isaiah was sent to preach to the nation of Israel though they would not hear.

How was this similar to what Jesus was sent to do?

What was the state of their eyes?

What was the state of their hearts?

Nevertheless, what does John say of some of the rulers?

Tragically, why wouldn’t those rulers confess Him?

What does it look like when someone loves the praise of men more than the praise of God?

Yet, Jesus cries out one more time.

Let’s look carefully at the truths He declares.

When someone believes in Jesus, who are they believing in?

When someone by faith “sees” Jesus, who does He see?

Why did Jesus come as a light into the world?

But, what if someone hears Jesus’ words and does not believe?

Did Jesus come to judge?

What did He come to do?

For the one who rejects Jesus and does not receive His words, will judgment come?

What will judge him?

When will that judgment take place?

Did Jesus speak on His own authority?

Who commanded Him what He should say and what He should speak?

What is the Father’s command?

Therefore, what can we KNOW about everything that Jesus spoke?

Think deeply upon these truths.

May the Word of Christ dwell richly within!

Reading the Bible Together – Day 23

DAY 23

A.M. Reading: Genesis 21

Genesis Questions Worth Pondering:

God’s appointed time had come!

How does God fulfill His promise to Abraham?

What did they name this child of promise?

What had God told Abraham in Genesis 17:19?

Note: The name Isaac means “laughter” or “he laughs.”

Why is this such a fitting name for this child?

A couple years later, we see Ishmael laughing at Isaac in a different way.

What does Ishmael do?

What occurs as a result of this situation? (Include Sarah’s response, Abraham’s response, and God’s response.)

Recall what God told Hagar in Genesis 16:11-12.

Recall what God told Abraham in Genesis 17:20.

In the light of what God said, was He going to let Ishmael die?

What does God reconfirm to Hagar in 21:18?

Does God always keep His Word?

The chapter concludes with Abraham and Abimelech making a covenant with one another, not only between themselves, but also including who? (Verse 23)

In the final verse of the chapter, as Abraham worships, what does he call God?

Why is that important?

Note: In the account of Ishmael and Issac, it may seem difficult to understand why things occurred as they did and why God said to cast out Ishmael with the bondwoman. However, in Galatians 4, the Apostle Paul uses this very account to illustrate a very important truth. In a symbolic way, he shows that Hagar’s son was according to the flesh, but Sarah’s son was according to promise (by faith). He explains why salvation could never be according to the works of the flesh trying to keep the law, and that salvation is according to promise (by faith) in God’s promised Son, Jesus Christ. The works of the flesh could never inherit what God has promised in salvation by faith. Likewise, Ishmael (born according to works of the flesh) could never be heir with Issac (born according to promise by faith).

It is amazing how the Scriptures build truth upon truth!

P.M. Reading: John 12:20-36

John Questions Worth Pondering:

Jesus finally says that the hour has come.

Did you notice how God again works according to His appointed time?

What spiritual truth is He declaring as He begins to talk of the grain of wheat?

How does this relate to the death that He will soon face?

How does this also relate to anyone who wishes to serve Him?

Why is Jesus’ soul troubled?

Will He ask the Father to deliver Him from this hour? Why or why not?

What does He ask the Father to do?

Describe the Father’s immediate answer.

What explanations did those who witnessed this event give?

What explanation did Jesus give?

What did He reveal about His death?

Once again, did the people understand?

What truths did Jesus declare about light and darkness?

How does someone become sons of light?

A “think” question: What has been the consistent thing that Jesus is calling the people to do? What is the relationship between “believing” and “faith”?

May the Word of Christ dwell richly within!

The Work of Our OWN Hands

After reading in the book of Genesis, I was reminded of the serious consequences of the work of our OWN hands.

In life, situations and circumstances arise that seem difficult or impossible to overcome. It happens to us all. We are faced with the dilemma of how to handle those situations. As we look at the “earthly” situation, we must carefully guard against providing our OWN “earthly” solution. Such “earthly” solutions are made apart from God and are merely the work of our OWN hands.

Recall the account of Sarah, Abraham, and Hagar. (Genesis 16)

The “earthly” situation: Sarah had given Abraham no children.

The “earthly” (fleshly) solution: Abraham would go in to Hagar so that she would bear a child.

The result of the work of their OWN hands: Ishmael … whose descendants were forever enemies of the people of God.

Recall the account of the daughters of Lot. (Genesis 19)

The “earthly” situation: There were no husbands for them in the mountains.

The “earthly” (fleshly) solution: Get their father drunk and conceive by him.

The result of the work of their OWN hands: Moab and Ammon … whose descendants were forever the enemies of the people of God.

Recall the account of Abraham, Sarah, and Abimelech. (Genesis 20)

The “earthly” situation: Fear that the king would kill Abraham to have his wife.

The “earthly” (fleshly) solution: Lie to protect himself.

What would have been the result of the work of their OWN hands: Sarah would have become the wife of Abimelech. This would have been in opposition to God’s plan for them. And Abimelech and his household would have died.

How careful we must be when facing difficult or seemingly impossible circumstances so that we don’t attempt to manipulate and “fix” a solution by the work of our OWN hands. It will never produce good results.

Rather, we must trust the Lord and allow Him to provide the “heavenly” (spiritual) solution. His answer will be in complete accordance with His Word and His righteousness. And the result will be the work of HIS hands!

Reading Through the Bible – Day 22

DAY 22

A.M. Reading: Genesis 20

Genesis Questions Worth Pondering:

Abraham journeys on.

What deceptive tactic does Abraham use in dealing with Abimelech, King of Gerar?

Where did we see this deceptive tactic before?

In Chapter 12 (in Egypt approximately 25 years before), we saw how God intervened with Pharaoh on Sarah’s behalf.

Now, how does God, once again, intervene to protect Sarah?

Describe the interaction between God and Abimelech.

What will happen to the king if he doesn’t restore Sarah to Abraham?

Describe the interaction between Abimelech and Abraham.

As Abraham attempts to justify his behavior, what excuses does he give?

Is his faith in God and God’s promises seen in these behaviors? Why or why not?

What had God told Abraham about his wife and the promised son?

In obedience to God, how does Abimelech restore Sarah?

In what way does God bless Abimelech and his household?

A “think” question: What does God do when He sees righteousness?

P.M. Reading: John 12:1-19

John Questions Worth Pondering:

The time of the Passover is approaching. Recall at the end of Chapter 11 that people were wondering if Jesus would come to Jerusalem for the Passover.

(Very important note: Passover was the time for the killing of the sacrificial lamb in the Jewish religion.)

Six days before the Passover, where do we find Jesus?

What does Mary do?

(Note: 300 denarii was about one year’s wages for a worker at that time)

List all the things you learn here about Judas Iscariot.

How does Jesus reply to Judas?

For what two reasons did the Jews come to this house?

What were the chief priests plotting to do to Lazarus? Why?

In verse 13, many of the believers are crying out, quoting from the Old Testament.

What are they proclaiming?

(Note: These Old Testament Scriptures were proclaiming that He was the Messiah!)

What was the significance of Jesus coming into town riding on a donkey?

(Note: Jesus is showing in the fulfillment of the prophecy that He is indeed the Messiah!)

Interestingly, did his disciples understand at that time?

When did they understand?

How are the people responding?

How are the Pharisees responding?

Recall how often Jesus had said His time had not yet come. Now as the Passover is approaching, the time appointed by the Father is near. He has shown Himself to be the Messiah, sent from the Father above!

Think deeply upon these things.

May the Word of Christ dwell richly within!

Reading the Bible Together – Day 21

DAY 21

What does the Word of God say about Sodom, Gomorrah, and Lot? 2 Peter 2:6-8 explains: God turned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly; and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked; (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds) Help us, Lord, hear and heed.

A.M. Reading: Genesis 19

Genesis Questions Worth Pondering:

As Genesis 19 begins, we learn more about the men who had visited Abraham.

Who were they?

Recall why they were going to Sodom. What were they going to find out?

Why was Lot so insistent that the men stay at his house?

What did the men of the city do?

What were they demanding?

How did Lot respond to them? What word did he use to describe their behavior?

Desperate to protect the visitors inside, what does Lot offer to this sexually demanding crowd?

(Note: NOTHING indicates that Lot’s offering his daughters was RIGHT! He should have been protecting them as strongly as he was protecting the men inside. Yet, this was how he was attempting to turn away this wicked crowd.)

What do the wicked men of Sodom accuse Lot of?

How often do we hear this spoken today when wickedness is confronted?

What do the wicked men threaten to do to Lot?

How do the angels inside respond?

How can we see their “supernatural” abilities?

Through the preceding events, what have the angels determined about Sodom?

What had the Lord sent them to do?

When warned of the destruction, how did Lot’s extended family react?

How did the angels convince Lot and his wife and daughters to leave?

What were they instructed to do?

What happened to Lot’s wife?

(Note: Many, through the centuries, have disputed that this actually happened to Lot’s wife. Yet in Luke 17:32, as Jesus warned of impending judgment, He said, “Remember Lot’s wife.” If Jesus believed this account to be true, we can be absolutely certain that it is true.)

Isn’t it amazing that Lot asked to go to another city, which was also going to be destroyed?

Why didn’t he stay in Zoar?

By what means did God destroy Sodom, Gomorrah, and the surrounding plains area?

How thoroughly were these cities destroyed?

Recall Noah and the flood. What similarities can you see in these two accounts?

After all the destruction, where did Lot and his daughters finally go?

What did his daughters do?

How can we see mankind still possessed a fallen, sinful heart?

A “think” question: How can you see the daughters’ deeds as a work of their own hands … a work of the flesh? Can it produce goodness?

Think upon these truths … man’s sin … God’s judgment … God’s mercy … man’s desperate need for God and His righteousness.

P.M. Reading: John 11

John Questions Worth Pondering:

John 11 relates one of the most amazing events, further revealing who Jesus is.

Describe the situation at the opening of Chapter 11.

What was the purpose of Lazarus’ sickness?

(How is this similar to the account of the man who was born blind?)

Why does Jesus wait to go to this family?

Why do the disciples question him going to Judea?

Did the disciples understand Jesus’ description of Lazarus’ “sleep”? Why not?

How long had Lazarus been in the tomb?

How did Martha react when Jesus arrived?

What did Jesus reveal about Himself to Martha?

(Add to your list of who Jesus is.)

How did Mary react to Jesus?

How did Jesus react within His heart? How did His heart show outwardly?

What evidence do you see that neither the people around them, nor Martha understood Jesus?

Why did Jesus pray aloud in the hearing of the people?

What command did Jesus give Lazarus?

What then occurred?

(Add to your list of miracles.)

Read verse 4 again.

A “think” question: How was this sickness for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it?

How did many of the Jews respond?

But how did the other Jews respond?

What was the true concern of the chief priests and the Pharisees?

From that day on, what did they plot to do?

What command did they give?

With every miracle Jesus performed, the more dramatically He revealed that He was indeed the Son of God (God in the flesh) sent from the Father above. At every miracle, there were people who believed. But at every miracle, the opposition grew stronger and stronger!

Now that Jesus had raised someone from the dead, how can you see the chief priests’ and Pharisees’ fear, selfishness, and hatred intensify?

A “think” question: Recalling that the inward heart produces outward actions, what kind of actions can we expect from these religious leaders?

On the other hand, what inward heart and outward actions should be evident in all believers?

May the Word of Christ dwell richly within!

Reading the Bible Together – Day 20

DAY 20

As God spoke of Abraham, may we, too, be found faithful.

A.M. Reading: Genesis 18:16-33

Genesis Questions Worth Pondering:

As the men depart from Abraham, God determines to reveal another purpose for which these men have come to this region.

Why doesn’t God hide these plans from Abraham?

How does God describe Abraham?

Using God’s words, describe Sodom and Gomorrah.

What are the men going to determine?

Even though God is sovereign in all His purposes, what do we find that Abraham does?

As Abraham intercedes for Sodom, how does God respond?

Do you recall who lives in Sodom?

What is God’s final word to Abraham concerning Sodom?

What can we learn about our freedom to bring our requests to God?

P.M. Reading: John 10

John Questions Worth Pondering:

Immediately following the Pharisees’ and Jews’ response to Jesus giving the blind man His sight, Jesus turns and begins to teach.

What metaphor (symbolic example) does He use?

The people understood well about shepherds and caring for sheep. Through these examples, Jesus will teach spiritual truth.

What was the only true way to enter the sheepfold?

How does the shepherd enter?

List all the things the shepherd does for the sheep.

How do the sheep know their shepherd?

What then do they do concerning the shepherd?

Did the people understand His illustration?

Jesus speaks the truths again.

What truth is Jesus teaching when He says “I am the door”?

Contrast why the thief comes and why Jesus came.

What truth is Jesus teaching when He says “I am the Good Shepherd”?

Contrast the hireling with the Good Shepherd.

How does Jesus indicate that some of the Gentiles will also be His sheep and follow Him?

Describe the relationship between the Father and the Son.

Once again, what occurred among the Jews as a result of Jesus’ teaching?

Jesus again returns to the metaphor of the sheep.

What are the things that Jesus gives to His “sheep”?

When Jesus said, “I and My Father are one”, what did the Jews do? Why?

Had they ever done this before? Why?

Division, accusations, confusion once again. And the attempt to kill Him once again.

Yet, as He goes beyond Jordan, how did many respond to Him there?

How can you see Jesus bring His sheep to Himself?

Think about the metaphor concerning the Shepherd and His sheep?

How do these truths apply to our lives today?

Don’t forget to add to your list about who Jesus is!

May the Word of Christ dwell richly within!

Reading the Bible Together – Day 19

DAY 19

What God has said in His Word … He WILL do … at His perfectly appointed time!

A.M. Reading: Genesis 18:1-15

Genesis Questions Worth Pondering:

In the beginning of Chapter 18, where do we find Abraham?

How does Abraham greet these men?

After all the hospitality shown by Abraham and his household the visitors reveal the purpose of their visit concerning Sarah. What does God reveal?

How does Sarah respond? Why?

How is this similar to Abraham’s prior response in Genesis 17:17?

Then in response, what does the Lord say to Abraham?

When God declares what He will do, what can we be absolutely sure of?

Recall what faith is. Hearing/believing/trusting God’s Word!

Read Hebrews 11:11. What do we learn here about Sarah?

As a means of review, read Hebrews 11:1-12.

What truths do you learn about faith?

How do these truths apply to us?

Jesus asked the question … Do you believe in the Son of God? The healed blind man replied … Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?

P.M. Reading: John 9

John Questions Worth Pondering:

Describe the man Jesus encounters at the beginning of Chapter 9.

What do Jesus’ disciples ask?

How does Jesus answer?

What miracle does Jesus perform and what means does He use?

What similarity could be seen with the original creation of man in Genesis?

Though the miracle was completely performed by Jesus, what evidence do we see that the blind man believed and trusted Jesus?

How do those around him respond?

How do the Pharisees respond? How do we again see division?

Did the Jews believe the blind man’s testimony, even though he had been blind from birth?

How did fear affect the parents’ response?

Why were they afraid?

How did the Jews revile the man?

Did the blind man change his testimony?

This is the first account of someone being cast out of the synagogue because of Jesus.

What does Jesus then do? What does Jesus openly reveal to the healed man?

Jesus first gave the man physical sight. Now Jesus gives him spiritual sight. How does the man respond?

How can you see the contrast between the man who was physically blind, but now had spiritual sight and the Jews who had physical sight, but were spiritually blind?

A “think” question: How is spiritual sight and spiritual blindness connected to faith?

Another “think” question: We are seeing in Genesis how the Old Testament saints lived by faith. How do we see the same truth unfolding regarding the New Testament believers? What/Who are both groups believing?

How do these truths apply to us?

May the Word of Christ dwell richly within!

Reading the Bible Together – Day 18

DAY 18

A.M. Reading: Genesis 17

Genesis Questions Worth Pondering:

Look back in Genesis 12:4. How old was Abram when God first spoke to Him of making him a great nation?

How old is he in Chapter 17? Has he seen the fulfillment of God’s promise yet?

But God is faithful! He reaffirms His covenant with Abram (and his descendants).

List again all the promises that God makes to Abram.

What does he change Abram’s name to? Why?

God then commands Abraham and his descendants to keep His covenant.

What is the sign of the covenant? How was it to be performed?

What would happen to the uncircumcised?

What, then, does God promise concerning Sarai?

How did Abraham respond?

What does God promise concerning Ishmael?

But what son would the covenant be with?

Did Abraham delay in doing what God had spoken to him? How quickly did he obey?

Recall what the Scriptures said about Noah. “Thus Noah did according to all that God commanded him, so did he.”

How can we see similarities with Abraham?

Finish this thought: Faith hears what God has said, believes what God has said, and ______________________________________________.

Important note about circumcision: Circumcision in the flesh of the male foreskin was a part of the Old Covenant. The Apostle Paul explains more fully in the New Covenant. Read the passages below and describe where the circumcision occurs in the believer today.

For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love. Galatians 5:6

For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God. Romans 2:28-29

A “think” question: What would a cutting away of the flesh in the heart mean?

How does this apply to each of us as believers?

P.M. Reading: John 8:12-59

John Questions Worth Pondering:

In this passage, we continue to see the division, confusion, and accusations against Jesus. In spite of this Jesus continues to boldly proclaim who He is. He also reveals the hearts of His accusers.

List all the truths that Jesus declares about Himself.

Then list all the truths that He declares about the Pharisees and Jews in this passage.

Were there any believers among them? (Verse 30)

What does He declare to the believers?

Recall that God’s covenant was to Abraham and his descendants. As these Jews claim to be Abraham’s descendants, they were indeed his physical descendants. But did they demonstrate faith as Abraham by believing Jesus?

Who does Jesus declare is their father?

How are they acting like their father?

What does Jesus keep telling them about Himself?

Why do they attempt to stone Him?

Think of all the different responses to Jesus.

How do people respond to the truth about Jesus today?

May the Word of Christ dwell richly within!