Daily Bible Readings – Friday June 15, 2012

Prayer Psalm: 73

Prayer Point: It is hard to follow God when we see the wicked prospering and good people suffering. It almost caused Asaph, the author of this psalm, to lose his faith. How do we pray when we are in this place? Asaph asked to see the world from God’s perspective. Pray that we will see the temporary nature of worldly success and for the faith to cry out, “whom have I in heaven but you?”

Matthew 16:21-28

Now that Peter has finally recognized Jesus to be the Christ (that’s Greek for Messiah), Jesus now begins to explain what kind of Messiah he will be? Why is Peter shaken by the Jesus’ answer?

Jesus’ response to Peter is quite severe. Why do you think Jesus attributes the idea, that he can be King without going to the cross, to Satan? Look back at the temptation of Jesus in Matthew 4:1-11.

How are we, the disciples of Jesus, to follow the trail he blazed for us? The sight of a condemned prisoners parading through the streets on their way to their crucifixion was a sight not unfamiliar to the disciples. That is the image Jesus uses to describe our discipleship. Why would we want to do such a thing?

In verse 28 Jesus says that there are some there who would see the Son of Man (Jesus) coming in his kingdom. While many disagree, I believe that Jesus is speaking of his ascension into heaven which is described in Daniel 7:13-14 from heaven’s perspective.

Daniel 7:13-14 In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man approached the Ancient of Days [God the Father] and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.

Galatians 5:25-6:10

Galatians is a contrast between two gospels and two approaches to being right with God. The gospel that Paul taught was one where by faith in Jesus Christ we are made right with God and adopted as full heirs. Paul’s opponents taught that faith in Christ was insufficient. To be right with God required circumcision and the practice of Jewish laws and customs. The concern was that if the Gentiles believed they were right with God by faith in Christ in alone, they would lose their incentive to be obedient to God.

The irony is that their attempts to keep God’s laws led to anger and division in their church. Paul instead called them to live by the Spirit. What does life look like if you are not guided by the Holy Spirit (5:26)? How do we relate to others if we are led by the spirit? How do we handle their sin and their suffering? How do we see ourselves? How do we handle our own responsibilities?

Ecclesiastes 11:9-12:14      Remember Your Creator in the Days of Your Youth

What is the fate of the young man who is told to be happy while he is young? (“ … but know that for all these things God will bring you to judgment.” (Eccl. 11:9b NIV))

Why give up anxiety and the troubles of the body?  (“…for youth and vigor are meaningless.” (Eccl. 11:10b NIV))

Verse 1 admonishes us to “Remember your Creator in the days of your youth…”  Why?  (I think it is that the older we get the more we try to find meaning in our lives.  Solomon will spend much time reminding us how “meaningless” everything is, but there is something built in us which seeks hope.)

What is being described in verses 6 and 7?  (How fragile life is.  The silver cord is severed; the golden bowl is broken; the pitcher is shattered; the well-wheel be broken.)

Can you see the frustration in verse 8?  (Meaningless! Meaningless! Meaningless…  This is the culmination of the book.)

Find the bright note in the conclusion of this book!  (“Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.  For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil. (Eccl. 12:13-14 NIV))

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