Please see below the Daily Bible Readings for this week:
Prayer Focus: The Apostolic Church UK and Missionaries
Prayer Focus: Youth and Children
Prayer Focus: The Body of Christ
Prayer Focus: The United Kingdom
Prayer Focus: People with Diverse Problems, Parents and Pregnant Women
Prayer Focus: The All Nations’ Center, yourself and your family
Prayer Focus: Praise, Thanksgiving and Worship
Introduction to the Books of the Bible
The Gospel of Matthew
From “Encyclopedia of The Bible“:
“The Gospel according to Matthew” has always occupied a position of highest esteem in the faith and life of the Christian Church.
This, in part, maybe because it heads the four gospels and is the first book of the NT, forming a bridge between the Old and New Covenants; but on the contrary, it would seem that the Early Church placed it in first position in the NT Canon, precisely because of the profound influence of its contents on the Church and the world; so much so, that many have termed it the greatest book ever written.
William Barclay writes, “When we turn to Matthew, we turn to the book which may well be called the most important single document of the Christian faith, for in it we have the fullest and the most systematic account of the life and the teachings of Jesus” (The First Three Gospels, p. 197).
The writings of the Early Church Fathers reveal that it was the most frequently quoted and perhaps the most widely read gospel during the first two centuries of the church’s history. In particular, it is the most complete record of the life, works and words of Jesus Christ. After the Lord’s death and resurrection, there was much interest in knowing who Jesus was and what He said and did. Many believe the gospel was written to fulfil this need.
For this reason, the gospel lessons or pericopes from Matthew to be read in the churches have been favoured by the church’s liturgies. More lessons were chosen from Matthew’s gospel than from any other.
The Book of Joshua
From “Encyclopedia of the Bible“:
The sixth book of the OT, and the first book of the Prophets, the second great division of the Hebrew canon. It is named after Joshua, the leader of the Israelites during their invasion and settlement by tribes in the Promised Land.
The Book of Joshua was written to continue the sacred history of Israel begun in the Pentateuch. Deuteronomy set forth the historical basis of God’s election of Israel and fully stated the covenant (or theocratic constitution), which Moses revised and mediated to Israel afresh before his death. The Book of Joshua shows how these chosen people under the covenant became established in its Promised Land. Herein is the record of The Lord’s faithfulness to His covenants with the patriarchs and the nation first given to it at Sinai. This Scripture inspires and guides God’s people to corresponding covenant loyalty, unity, and high morale in future generations.
The fundamental purpose of all of the prophetical books of the Heb. canon is to exhort and warn Israel to return and adhere to the Mosaic covenant (Neh 9:30; Zech 7:8-12). This book teaches that He can fully perform all of His good promises to His people (Josh 21:45), and that He is ever guiding them and overruling in the dangers that beset them. By comparing the lengthy record of Achan’s sin and punishment (7:1, 18, 19, 20, 24) with the brief report of the northern campaign (11:1-15) with all of its military features, for instance, it becomes apparent that there is a selection of materials in the account of the conquest—much interesting factual data is omitted. The precise aim is to set forth moral and religious lessons and demonstrate that Israel is God’s chosen agent for carrying forward His purposes on earth.