Daily Bible Readings – Wednesday July 18, 2012

Prayer Psalm: 38

Prayer Point: Guess what? You can ask God to save you from the consequences of your own sin and psalm 38 shows us how! Take time today to confess your sins to God and ask him to save you, not only for eternity, but today. He will answer, because your sins have been covered by the life, death and resurrection of Christ.

Matthew 25:31-46

Jesus, who referred to himself as the Son of Man, is about to die on the cross, rise from the grave and return to his Father. His disciples will be expected to continue to serve him until he returns. This story focuses on Jesus’ return and his judgment on the world. Everyone will be judged based on what they did in his absence.

What is the major difference between the sheep, who are welcomed into God’s kingdom, and the goats, who are sent off into eternal fire? What did the sheep do that the goats did not do?

Why did the King place such a high importance on how the hungry, thirsty, naked, sick and the prisoner were treated (see verse 40)? Did the sheep know that they were serving the king by caring for the poor (look closely at verses 37-39)?

It is important to remember that the sheep are surprised that they had served the king. The key here is that they were not serving the poor in order to get rewards from the king. They served the poor because that is what sheep do. Likewise, we serve the poor, because we belong to Christ and that is what Christians do.

The Apostle John put it this way: “If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?” (1 John 3:17)

Romans 11:25-36

What are the Gentiles warned against?  How long will the hardening of the Jews last? How are Gentile believers instructed to view unbelieving Jews?  How does God use the disobedience of Israel to position others to receive the gospel? What is it that causes Paul to break out into spontaneous worship?

Joshua 3:1-13          Crossing the Jordan

Joshua settles the Israeli army at the Jordan.  How will the army know when to move and where to go?  (“When you see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, and the priests, who are Levites, carrying it, you are to move out from your positions and follow it.  Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before.” (Joshua 3:3-4 NIV))

What warning does Joshua give to the moving army?  (“But keep a distance of about a thousand yards between you and the ark; do not go near it.” (Joshua 3:4 NIV))

What would be the consequence of someone getting too near the ark of the covenant?  (The answer is not in this passage, but the consequence usually associated with being too close to the ark was that one would be struck dead.)

What is the sign Joshua says the LORD will give to show that he is among the people?  (“This is how you will know that the living God is among you: … as soon as the priests who carry the ark of the LORD – the LORD of all the earth – set foot in the Jordan, the water flowing downstream will be cut off and stand up in a heap” (Joshua 3:10, 13 NIV))

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