Sunday, June 12, 2011

Daily Bible Reading: June 13 - 19

Biblical Worldview Learning Center Friends:

Recently we added several new e-mail addresses to our list of those receiving this daily
devotional. If you are one of the recent new additions, let me welcome you to our reading
through God’s Word. This daily devotional is designed to take you through the Word of God
in three years. In doing so, we read and consider about 28 verses each day. Our focus is to
provide a devotional that will be helpful for families and young people, though we often receive
comments from adults that are blessed with our thoughts and insights.

In this week's readings, we are completing the Book of Leviticus and beginning our second New
Testament book, the Gospel of Mark. I trust that what you read here will be a blessing to you
and your family.

If you know of others that may be blessed with these daily devotionals by e-mail, please share
their e-mail addresses with us or have them contact us directly. These devotionals go to people
all around the United States and even to several individuals and groups in foreign countries. We
would be happy to add your friends and family members as well.

As we do each month, we offer some helpful materials at a special discounted price. You can
read of these materials at the end of this e-mail. They will make a nice gift to another or a great
addition to your own personal library and study.

May God bless you and your family this week,

David Barrett, Director

Biblical Worldview Learning Center


Date: June 13

Reading: Leviticus 26:1-20

Chapter 26 of Leviticus is a very interesting chapter because in it God details the blessings
Israel will receive for walking in obedience to His statutes and the cursing they will receive if
they refuse to obey. In your reading today, you read only 20 verses. Of those twenty verses,
11 addressed the blessings for obedience and 7 addressed the cursing for disobedience. One of
the interesting things about this chapter is that so many of the remaining verses will speak to the
cursing for disobedience. God’s displeasure for unfaithfulness is made abundantly clear.

Another interesting thing about this chapter is that it begins with an emphasis on two
commandments. In these two commandments, so much of what God requires of us is

First is the commandment against idolatrous worship. In this command to not make a graven
image and bow down to it, God instructs Israel, and us, that we are to worship Him according to
His instructions and not by any means we may fabricate of our own.

In the second commandment of this passage, God tells Israel to keep His Sabbaths. This word
is plural and includes more than just the weekly Sabbath. It includes the seven year and the
jubilee Sabbaths we were told about in the previous chapter. Israel of the Old Testament was
a special nation brought forth by God for the special purpose of showing forth in the natural
His redemptive nature that is also a spiritual reality. The Sabbaths were a continual testimony
of God’s gracious deliverance from the bondage of sin. It was a grievous thing to not keep the
Lord’s Sabbaths.

We, too, should take note of our relationship to God in these areas. Do we worship God as
He desires, or do we worship God only when and how it is pleasing to us? Do we honor His
Sabbath and rest from our earthly labors and find our true rest in Him? These are important
questions we will learn more about as we continue our study through God’s Word. Pray for
God’s enlightenment on what He instructs us in His Word.

Date: June 14

Reading: Leviticus 26:21-46

Today we continue the reading of the curses God declares He will bring on Israel if they do not
heed his commandments and statutes and follow them. As I mentioned yesterday, there are an
abundance of verses that speak of the curses God will bring for disobedience. Now that you
have finished this chapter you will see that 11 verses spoke of blessings for obedience and 26
verses spoke of the curses. I mentioned yesterday that this should bring to our minds the great
displeasure God has for sin in our lives. However, we should not mistakenly believe that God
punishes more than He blesses. When God blesses for obedience, and even just out of His good
pleasure, His blessings far exceed the curses and punishments He has meted out.

Though God at times uses natural disasters, situations, angry nations, and other means to punish
those people who have been taught of His ways and at one time walked in agreement with His
Word and now have turned away, He will bless those same people far beyond their punishment
should they repent of their sins.

In our individual lives, God operates in much the same way. His "wake-up" calls, though
painful, never exceed the blessing in our lives as we turn back to Him.

Date: June 15

Reading: Leviticus 27:1-34

This last chapter of Leviticus addresses acts of devotion and commitment on the part of the
Israelites. At different times in people's lives they may feel the desire to commit themselves
or part of their possessions for full-time service to the Lord. In Old Testament Israel, this was
shown be committing yourself to the service of the priests and the tabernacle. It could also be shown by giving a portion of your field or an animal to the priest as well.

For some people, this commitment was only for a short time. So, at whatever point the person
determined to end his commitment, there was a fee or redemption that was required to be paid.
This helped make the commitment of a more serious nature because a person could not simply
walk away from his vow to serve the Lord.

Today, you and I can consider the extent of our commitment to the Lord's service. Not everyone
is called to give all of their time to a work of the church, but all of us are called to give some of
our time. You should pray for God to show you how He desires you to use your time for His
Kingdom both now and when you are older.

Date: June 16

Reading: Mark 1:1-22

Congratulations on your Bible reading diligence. You have just finished the Old Testament
Book of Leviticus (the third Book of Moses) and now have begun the second book of the New
Testament – the Gospel of Mark. By gospel, we mean that they are books that focus exclusively
on the life and message of Jesus Christ. They are like biographies of Jesus.

There are four gospels in the New Testament. They are Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
The first three (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) are called "Synoptic Gospels." Synoptic literally
means "seen together." Matthew, Mark and Luke are written in a very similar manner, in that
they walk through the life of Christ, tell similar stories from His life, and even use similar

In these early verses, Mark declares His position outright, "Jesus Christ, the Son of God." From
there, he quickly tells of the ministry of John the Baptist and moves the gospel story along to
the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, the main figure of his writing. As you read each one of
the gospels, even the synoptic gospels, you will see how each has its own uniqueness. Though
Matthew, Mark and Luke bear the title, "The Synoptic Gospels" because of their similarity, they
also are marked with their own distinctness and differences. This is all a testimony to how the
Holy Spirit maintained the personalities, characteristics and qualities of each of the writers of
Scripture yet guarded the accuracy of all that was written.

Pray that God would use this second Gospel writing to further your understanding of Jesus

Date: June 17

Reading: Mark 1:23-45

Today's reading picks up with Jesus ministering in the synagogue in Capernaum. After
astonishing the people with His teachings, a man with an unclean spirit began to cry out. The
spirit, or devil, inside the man knew who Jesus was and made it known. He said, "I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God."

Jesus Christ is the Son of the Only, Living and True God. All creation knows Who He is. The
spiritual realm, both good and righteous angels and devils know Who He is. But, to be saved,
you have to know more than just Who Jesus is. He must be the one on Whom you believe and
trust for the forgiveness of your sins. This is what the devils will never do, though they know
Who Jesus is.

Jesus, as God the Son, has complete mastery over all creation, including the actions of devils.
Jesus demonstrated this by rebuking the devil, silencing him and casting him out of the man.
Jesus demonstrated to those around Him that He was the ruler of all things.

Date: June 18

Reading: Mark 2:1-28

Chapter 2 of the Book of Mark has 4 great stories from which we can learn. This time through
we will look at the first two. These are the stories of Jesus healing the man with palsy and the
astonishment of the scribes and Pharisees when they see Jesus eating with sinners.

The story of the man with palsy brings out two important facts. First we see Jesus moved
because of the faith of those who brought the man to Him. We must remember that Jesus is
capable of healing whomever He will and whenever He will. However, typically, Jesus moves in
the lives of those who come to Him in faith that He can and will work in their lives, whether it is
for personal healing or some other need. Anytime we have a need, we should seek God, in faith,
for our answers.

Secondly, this story is used to bring out the divinity of Christ. The word divinity refers to Jesus
being God. When Jesus first spoke to heal the man, He said, "Son, thy sins be forgiven thee."
That statement really made the scribes that were present very angry. Only God can forgive
sins, they said to themselves. And, they were right. Jesus, in order to demonstrate His divinity
(that He is God), then said what I consider a most profound statement. In one sentence He both
asserts His authority to forgive sins and He demonstrates His power to heal. Read again what
Jesus told these scribes, "But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to
forgive sins, I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house" (vss.
10-11). And, the man did just that.

Finally, we will take a look at verses 15-17. Here is the story of Jesus having a meal at the house
of Levi the tax collector. Tax collectors of that time were especially known for their dishonesty.
And, here is Jesus sitting in the house of one of those notorious, government-sanctioned thieves,
eating with him and other noted sinners. The scribes and Pharisees can’t understand how Jesus
could ever associate with such a crowd.

We need to pay close attention to the answer Jesus gives them. Read again what He says in
verse 17. "They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not
to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." These sinners we are told "followed him" (see the end of verse 15). They wanted what Jesus had to offer because they knew they were sinners,they knew they were sick.

The Pharisees believed they were well and that they were righteous. They did not want what
Jesus had to offer. They did not see themselves as having any need of Jesus or His gospel. They
are the one's Jesus was referring to as the "whole" and the "righteous". He wasn't saying that
they were actually that way. He was saying that they thought they were.

We need to recognize our own state of being sick and trapped in sin and needing the Great
Physician Jesus Christ just as Levi the Tax Collector and the sinners that came to eat with Jesus
at his house.

Date: June 19
Reading: Mark 3:1-35

In Mark chapter 3, Jesus chooses His 12 close disciples. They are named in verses 16-19.
In the process of naming the disciples, Mark gives us some insight into the character of some of
these followers. For example, we are told that Jesus called the sons of Zebedee, James and John,
the sons of thunder. And, of course, there is Judas Iscariot, who is already identified as the one
who betrayed Jesus.

Having called these twelve, Mark tells us that Jesus "ordained" them, "that they should be
with him, and that he might send them forth to preach." Jesus, also, gave them power to heal
sickness and cast out devils. We will see that this came to pass in their lives.

Jesus, as you have read, was already performing such miracles and such events attract
crowds. And, there were large crowds coming to Jesus. In the last chapter we read how so many
people pressed into a house where Jesus was that no one else could get in. So, the men trying
to get a sick friend to Jesus went on the roof and let the man down through a hole they made.
In this chapter, we read that so many people came to Jesus by the sea shore that He had to use
a small boat to go out into the water to speak to them (see verse 9). Also, there were so many
people pressing into the house where Jesus was meeting with his 12 disciples that no one could
sit to eat.

Yes, people get excited when miracles start happening, and they should. However, not
everyone was overjoyed by Jesus' popularity. Jesus' friends and family members think He
is "beside Himself" to put up with all these people. And, the scribes, Pharisees, and Herodians
are so upset, that they are plotting ways to destroy Jesus (see verse 6).

Jesus came to show us God's truth and love. However, in doing that He exposed the
fallacies of what the religious leaders of His day were teaching. He corrected their teachings
on the Sabbath, and even declared Himself to be "Lord of the Sabbath"(see Mark 2:28). He
has demonstrated His divinity by forgiving sins and healing. All this is more than the scribes,
Pharisees, and other leaders can tolerate.

We may not be troubled with the teachings of Scripture in the same way the scribes and
Pharisees were, but there will be things taught that will make us uncomfortable and challenge us.
We always need to pray that God would give us a teachable heart and that we would not respond
with a haughty heart and an un-teachable spirit.

No comments:

Post a Comment