Daily Bible Readings – Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Prayer Psalm: 36

Prayer Point:Perhaps David, who wrote this psalm, has insight into sinful hearts because he possessed one (see 2 Samuel 11-12). Where do you see your sin in verses 1-4? Confess these to God. Meditate on how faithful God is by contrast (verses 5-9) and offer him your praise. Finally, pray that God might deliver those you know from evil.

Luke 21:29-38 

Several months ago leaves sprouted on the trees in New England announcing that spring had come and summer was just around the corner. What are the “sprouted leaves”, signs that the kingdom of God is near, according to Luke 21:25-27?

When will all of these things happen according to Jesus (see verse 32)?
Scholars have scratched their heads at this verse because it was assumed that Jesus was speaking about his return which did not happen within the lifetime of Jesus’ disciples. What did happen was the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 by the Roman Army. Much of what Jesus describes in chapter 21 fits the destruction of Jerusalem. What Jesus seems to be doing is warning his disciples about the coming destruction of Jerusalem, which in turn foreshadows the return of Jesus at the end of this age.

What will never pass away even when heaven and earth disappears (Jerusalem or whatever we depend on as being “permanent”)? What is the danger in forgetting Jesus’ words and forgetting that the troubles of this world are signs that Jesus’ coming is near? By the way, “dissipation” (verse 34) is a just a polite way of saying “binge drinking and the associated hangover.”

While we will never know the exact time or place of the return of Christ, what are the followers of Christ to do and not do while they wait?

1 Thessalonians 5:12-28 

Paul wraps up his letter to the Thessalonians with some final instructions. How are church leaders to be treated (verses 12-13)? How are the Thessalonians to relate to each other (verses 14-15)? How are they to obey God’s will in their own lives (verses 16-22)?

What is Paul’s final prayer for the church in Thessalonica? Why is he confident that this prayer will be answered?

Isaiah 5:13-17         Man Is Humbled; the Lord of Hosts Is Exalted

The wickedness of the land will result in the exile of the people and their going hungry and thirsty.

What is “Sheol”? (I was tricked! In verse 14 of Chapter 5 in the ESV the word Sheol is used, alas in the NIV the translation of that word {which is “the grave”} is used. Okay, Sheol = the grave. In many places in the Old Testament in the KJV Sheol is translated as hell. The word “Sheol” does not appear in the New Testament. — j.t.)

So, what about Sheol? (The grave will be enlarged. We may agree that that means that many people will die.)

What of man and the LORD (in verses 5:15-16)? (Each to his own place: man will be humbled and the LORD will be exalted, as it should be. The irony here is that the Lord of Glory will, in fact, humble himself for his first advent! — j.t.)

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