Daily Bible Readings – Saturday, June 1, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 43

Prayer Point.  The author of Psalm 43 believes God has abandoned him but notice how he prays: “Why are you so downcast, O my soul? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.”  Pray this on behalf of someone you know who is going through a difficult time.

Luke 16:19-31

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. In today’s reading, Jesus will describe heaven and hell as locations that are separated by a large chasm, but where communication between the two worlds is possible. It is doubtful that Jesus’ intention is to give us a realistic image of the afterlife, but rather, the described features of heaven (Abraham’s side or bosom) and hell enhance the plot of this story. The point of the story is not to say that heaven and hell are two worlds divided by a great chasm, but to explain why some will miss out on heaven and find themselves in hell.

Moses and the Prophets (verses 29 and 31) served as God’s messengers to the people of Israel in the Old Testament. These messengers were sent, primarily, to teach the people the will of God and to warn them of God’s judgment for their failure to follow it.

Pay close to attention to …

  • How the rich man’s attitude towards Lazarus is the same on earth as it is in hell.
  • Why the rich man was condemned to hell and why Lazarus was taken to heaven. (See Luke 6:20-26).
  • Why warning the rich man’s five brothers is futile. Whom have they already ignored and whom will they ignore even when he rises from the dead?

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 4:13-5:10

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. Paul, at this stage of his life, is beginning to face his mortality. He understands that his current body, his earthly tent, is temporary. It would be easy to despair when faced with the end of your life, but Paul has a hope that will sustain him past the grave and give him the strength to live fully in present.

Pay close attention to …

  • Why our outward wasting away, the deterioration of old age, shouldn’t cause us to lose heart.
  • The future blessings that will overshadow our present sufferings.
  • What will replace our current earthly “tent” (body).
  • Who guarantees for us the future Paul speaks of.
  • Why death is preferable in some cases for a Christian.
  • How we must live today as we look ahead to standing before the judgment seat of Christ.

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 29:2-15

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. Moses, here, recaps the rather brief history (if you consider their history could only have been about 600 years at that point) of the Israelites and just how much the LORD had done for them over the years. Further, he reminds them that observance of the covenant will bring with it great rewards and failure to observe will bring unmitigated disaster.

Pay close attention to …

  • The reason for the Hebrews’ being in Canaan (v. 12-14 )
  • Who else is included in this covenant (vv.14-15 )

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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