Daily Bible Readings – Monday June 18, 2012

Prayer Psalm: 77

Prayer Point:  It is during times of trouble, stress and fear that we are most tempted to turn to the addictions and idols to dull the pain. Psalm 77 calls us to a different path. First, Asaph cries out to God and refuses to be comforted. He does not hide from his pain, but he acknowledges and screams it to heaven. Second, he remembers all that God has done and meditates on it. Follow this pattern as you pray to God. Refuse to be comforted. Cry out to God. Remember what he has done and pray for the faith that he will do it again.

Matthew 17:14-21

Why were the disciples unable to heal the demon possessed boy? Why do you think this angers Jesus?
How much faith is needed to make an impact on our world? How does this challenge your own understanding of faith?

Romans 1:1-15

The church in Rome (the ‘saints’ to whom this letter is addressed) was a diverse community of Jews and Gentiles (non-Jews sometimes referred to as ‘Greeks’) struggling with the question of how someone becomes righteous or acceptable to God.  The Apostle Paul (the letter’s author) writes that the answer lies in the gospel, the good news or message of Jesus.

I am not ashamed of the gospel.  It is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes, first for the Jew and then for the Gentile.  (Romans 1:16)

How does Paul identify himself to the Romans (verse 1)?  How does Paul understand his mission (verses 2-6)?  What do you think he means by “the obedience that comes from faith” (1:5)?  How does Paul see the Roman Christians? How does God feel about them? What are they called to do?

What is happening at the church in Rome that causes Paul to give thanks? How often does Paul pray for this church? What does he pray for? Why does he hope to visit them? What does he want to see happen?

Numbers 9:15-23; 10:29-36      The Cloud and Hobab

The cloud associated with the Tent of the Testimony signified the presence of God.  What was the cloud’s appearance during the night?  [“The cloud above the tabernacle looked like fire.” (Numbers 9:15 NIV))

What role did the cloud play with regard to the movement of the Israelites?  (“Whenever the cloud lifted from above the Tent, the Israelites set out; whenever the cloud settled, the Israelites encamped.” (Numbers 9:17 NIV)  The cloud carried the weight of the LORD’s command or the word of the LORD for setting out or for remaining in place.)

Who was Hobab (verse 10:29)?  (He was Moses’ brother-in-law (“the son of Reuel [Jethro] the Midianite, Moses, father-in law” Numbers 10:29 NIV))

What does Moses ask of Hobab?  (Moses asked Hobab to sojourn with the Israelites with the promise that he would treat him well.)

Why does Moses want Hobab to travel among the Israelites?  (Moses knew that Hobab was familiar with the desert (after all, he lived there) and he would know the best places to set up camp.)

What does Moses say each time the ark set out? (“Rise up, O LORD!  May your enemies be scattered; may your foes flee  before you.” (Numbers 10:35 NIV))

What did Moses say when the ark came to rest?  (“Return, O LORD, to the countless thousands of Israel.” (Numbers 10:36 NIV))

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