To download the Bible reading plan that our faith family started on January 1st, visit this site. There is also a guide to personal worship that you can download from that site. If you haven’t been reading along thus far, no worries! Jump on in with the current day’s reading.

Readings for This Week
Exodus 7-13 & Luke 10-16

Where We Are In The Story ~ Old Testament (Exodus)

Background of Exodus: The title “exodus” comes from the Greek word meaning “going out” or “departure” and describes the major event that occurs in the book. Exodus opens where Genesis leaves off – the descendants of Abraham are living in Egypt instead of in the Promised Land. The events in Exodus occur approximately four hundred years after Jacob’s family moved to Egypt, and as prophesied in Genesis 15, Abraham’s descendants became slaves. While Genesis highlights God as Creator, Exodus focuses on God as the Deliverer of His people, for He keeps His promise to free His people and to bring them back to the land of promise.

Structure of Exodus:

    • Exodus 1-18 focuses on the deliverance of the people Israel from Egypt and God’s provision for His people.

    • Exodus 18-24 explains God’s covenant with Israel.

    • Exodus 25-31 provides instructions for the construction of the Tabernacle and explanation for the priestly role.

    • Exodus 32-34 describes God’s response to His people’s idolatry.

    • Exodus 35-40

This Week in the Old Testament: Exodus 7-10 contains descriptions of the ten plagues that God sent to deliver Israel and to judge Egypt for oppressing God’s people. Numbers 33:1-4 also explains that God destroyed all of the gods of Egypt through the plagues. The gods of Egypt were all tied to their economy – the Nile River, the livestock, the sun, etc. The plagues were not chosen at random; they specifically targeted what the Egyptians worshipped and how they made money. Through the plagues, God showed Himself as more powerful than any man or god, which is why God reiterates with the plagues that through them “you shall know that I am the LORD.”

The final plague, the Passover, resulted in the release of God’s people. When God gave Moses the instructions for this event, He did so with a view towards a greater meaning of the Passover. While God used this plague to deliver the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, He also designed it to point to Jesus Christ, the ultimate Passover Lamb whose blood enables those who trust in Him and turn from their sin to escape God’s judgment and to find freedom from slavery to sin (1 Cor. 5:7-8). After the Exodus, God instructed the Israelites to celebrate the Passover each year in order to remember God’s redemption of His people – redemption that occurred through the shedding of a lamb’s blood.

In Exodus 13, God instructs the Israelites to celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread for seven days after the Passover. The Jews recognized that leaven symbolized sin, and before the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the people were to clean out all of the leaven from their homes (Ex. 12:19). This spring cleaning was meant to be symbolic of the purity that is to come after redemption. For Israel, this feast signified the results of their deliverance. They were to remove from their lives all of the corrupting influences of Egypt. After the Exodus, the Israelites continued with this feast as a reminder of the purity that should follow being delivered by God.

Where We Are In The Story ~ New Testament (Luke)

Background of Luke: In Luke 1: 1-4, Luke explains why he wrote this book – for his friend Theophilus (and for us) to have certainty regarding the identity of Jesus and the beliefs that Christ-followers commit themselves to. While Matthew focuses on Jesus as the Promised Messiah and Mark emphasizes that He is the Son of God, Luke depicts Jesus as Savior.

This Week in the New Testament: Jesus came “to seek and to save what was lost” (Lk. 19:10), and by featuring Jesus’ interactions with three unlikely groups of people (the poor, the sinners, and the Gentiles), Luke shows that Jesus came to save all types of people – not just the Jews. These three groups were on the fringes of Jewish society, but Jesus chose to interact with them despite the comments of the Jewish religious leaders. In the parable of the Good Samaritan (Lk. 10:25-37), Jesus portrays the righteous person as a Samaritan, and despite the racial prejudice between Jews and Samaritans, Jesus teaches that His followers should love and care for all people, including those who are different from themselves. Through the three parables of Luke 15, especially the parable of the prodigal son, Jesus expresses God’s delight in saving sinners. If God finds such delight in recovering the lost, how can His followers refuse to welcome sinners who respond to God’s invitation?

Luke also addresses the subject of wealth and how it can either be used to advance God’s purposes or to distract disciples from obeying Christ. The parable of the rich fool and its subsequent teachings clearly warn believers of the folly of living for earthly things (Lk. 12:13-34). In the parable of the wedding feast (Lk. 14:1-24), the reasons people give for rejecting the banquet invitation include possessions and human relationships, and this points to the importance of Christ-followers orienting their life around following Christ and not the things of this world. The parable of the rich man and Lazarus reinforces the meaningless of wealth in comparison to eternity (Lk. 16:19-31). As followers of Christ, do we hold our money and possessions with a light grip, or are we foolishly living for money and possessions when they will not last? As Luke 16:13 states, “You cannot serve God and money.”