Daily Bible Readings – Thursday, May 30, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 37

Prayer Point.  Anger at the unpunished evil in our world can easily derail our spiritual lives. Psalm 37 calls us to respond differently. Pray for the faith to: trust and commit your life to God, delight yourself in him, be still before him, wait patiently for him, to do good to those who do evil and have compassion on the wicked who will perish if they don’t return to God.

Luke 16:1-9

Pray. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand what you are reading.

Read. Read the passage slowly either alone or in a group and answer the following questions:

Listen. What is the passage saying? What are the main points? You can use the following “Background” and “Pay close attention to …”  sections to help you understand the main points of this passage.

Background. Jesus taught that our possessions belong to God. We are only managers of God’s stuff, not owners. Some day we will have to make an account of what we did with his things.

This parable is a strange one because the master seems to praise his manager for his dishonesty. This story will confound you if you read it straight. Jesus’ stories are meant to throw us off our game in order to help us see the world through new eyes. This story drips with irony giving it an edge that drives the point home.

Pay close attention to …

  • What causes the manager to change the way he handled his master’s possessions.
  • How the master feels about having his money given away.
  • The lesson Jesus would like us to learn from this story (verse 9).

Obey. What is God asking me to do?

Share. What can I share and with whom can I share it?

Repent. How have I failed to obey and share what God is asking me to do? Confess those failures to God and ask for his forgiveness.

Believe. Which of God’s promises would I need to believe in order to obey and share what I have read?

Final Prayer. Pray for the faith to believe the promises of God so that you might obey and share what you have learned.

2 Corinthians 3:1-18

Pray. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand what you are reading.

Read. Read the passage slowly either alone or in a group and answer the following questions:

Listen. What is the passage saying? What are the main points? You can use the following “Background” and “Pay close attention to …”  sections to help you understand the main points of this passage.

Background. Apparently, there was some question regarding Paul’s credibility and in chapter three he will address it. He comes not with letters of recommendation, but something better. Look for that as you read today.

In verse 7 Paul will begin to contrast the “ministry that brought death” with its letters on stone (a reference to the Law and the 10 Commandments) and the “ministry of the Spirit”. You cannot understand this passage without the background of Exodus 20 when God gave the Ten Commandments through Moses. When Moses descended from Mount Sinai with the stone tablets, on which the commandments were written, his face radiated the reflected glory of God with such an intensity that the people could not look upon his face. In order to speak to the people, Moses is forced to wear a veil.

Now through the ministry of the Spirit, Paul declares, things are different.

Pay close attention to …

  • Paul’s “living” letters of recommendation which render written ones unnecessary.
  • The source of our competence to serve as ministers of God’s new covenant (God’s new relationship with us through Christ).
  • How the ministry of the spirit is greater than the old ministry of death. Notice especially what Paul says about the veil. Who takes away the veil that the people had previously begged Moses to wear.
  • What happens in verse 18 to those with unveiled faces.

Obey. What is God asking me to do?

Share. What can I share and with whom can I share it?

Repent. How have I failed to obey and share what God is asking me to do? Confess those failures to God and ask for his forgiveness.

Believe. Which of God’s promises would I need to believe in order to obey and share what I have read?

Final Prayer. Pray for the faith to believe the promises of God so that you might obey and share what you have learned.

Deuteronomy 16:18-20; 17:14-20

Pray. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand what you are reading.

Read. Read the passage slowly either alone or in a group and answer the following questions:

Listen. What is the passage saying? What are the main points? You can use the following “Background” and “Pay close attention to …”  sections to help you understand the main points of this passage.

Background. If we could learn anything from reading the Old Testament it is this: they cannot be trusted to rule themselves. Moses proved himself to be the paragon of any prophet/leader in Old Testament times. Any prophet would blush to be compared to him. Chapter 18 will speak of a “Prophet” like Moses who will be raised up from among the people. That would be a ponderous mantle to assume. In this chapter he will address nature and mission of the judges and the kings.

Pay close attention to …

  • What the judges should do and should not do (vv.16:19 -20)
  • Who is to select (choose) the king (v.17:15 )
  • Who the king cannot be (v.17:15 )
  • What the king must not do (v.17:16-17 )
  • What the king must write for himself and what he is supposed to do with it (v. 17:18- 19)
  • How the king is to consider himself (with respect to everyone else) (v. 17:20 )

Obey. What is God asking me to do?

Share. What can I share and with whom can I share it?

Repent. How have I failed to obey and share what God is asking me to do? Confess those failures to God and ask for his forgiveness.

Believe. Which of God’s promises would I need to believe in order to obey and share what I have read?

Final Prayer. Pray for the faith to believe the promises of God so that you might obey and share what you have learned.

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