Prayer Psalm: 103
Prayer Point: Psalm 103 lists a number of reasons to praise God today. Pick a couple that resonate with you and craft your own prayer of worship.
It was believed that suffering and ill-fortune were signs of God’s displeasure. How does Jesus interpret the insults, persecution and false accusations his followers will receive? What is promised to those who suffer for the sake of Jesus? Who else was treated in this way?
In ancient times salt was used as a preserving agent as well as for flavoring food.
What is Jesus saying about the “flavor” of the citizens of the kingdom? In what way are Jesus’ disciples light? What should our good deeds cause those outside of our faith to do?
Many believed that Jesus came to destroy the teachings of Moses and the Jewish Prophets. What did Jesus come to do with the Law and the Prophets?
We have all broken the Law of God, but Jesus came to fulfill the Law by keeping it perfectly, dying the death the Law demanded for our sin, and breaking the power of sin in our lives so that one day we also will keep the law perfectly. That is the only way our righteousness could exceed that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law. Will the righteousness of the Pharisees and the Teachers of the Law be sufficient to enter the kingdom of heaven?
Revelation 14:1-7, 13
God will preserve his people and they will emerge victorious in the end, despite the present suffering. That is the theme of the book of Revelation. As chapter 14 opens we see a vision of the hope that makes our present suffering worth it.
What symbol refers to Jesus (see John 1:29)? How are the people of God represented? How is God’s ownership and protection of his people symbolized? The 144,000 are singing before the throne. How did they learn the song? From last week you might remember that the four living creatures represent creation which reflects God’s glory. The elders of symbolic of God’s people who have died and are now in the presence of the Lord.
What role do the three angels play? What is their message to the unbelieving world? What is their message to the church? Think about John’s readers, think about all the Christians who suffer persecution. They all get the message of this book. Persevere today. Stay faithful today for God’s salvation is coming tomorrow.
Job 25:1-6; 27:1-16 – Bildad and Job
What probing question does Bildad pose to Job (and to everyone)? (“How then can a man be righteous before God? How can one born of woman be pure?” (Job 25:4 NIV) Actually, there is an answer for that question today; but at that time the question would be rhetorical – j.t.)
Job dispatches Bildad with a wave of sarcasm. (I knew I liked this guy!) Job delivers a list of some of God’s most powerful attributes and closes with “And these but the outer fringe of his works; how faint the whisper we hear of him! Who then can understand the thunder of his power?” (Job 26:14 NIV) [This was not part of the assigned reading! – j.t.] Moving on to Chapter 27. Job continues.