Daily Bible Readings – Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 48

Prayer Point.  In Revelation 21 there is a vision of God’s city descending out of heaven to earth.  That is where all of history is headed; God living forever with his people. That same dream is sung in this psalm.  Don’t hide from the pain you will see today, but pray that in the midst of it all, you will not lose sight of this dream.  Rather than despairing, pray: “your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

Luke 17:11-19

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. Leprosy was a killer disease with even greater social consequences. Lepers, because their disease was highly contagious, were forced to live apart from their family and friends, outside the city to await their deaths.

Ten lepers are healed by Jesus. In keeping with Jewish law, they showed themselves to the priests before in order to be admitted back into the community. It took great faith for these men to set out for the priest before Jesus healed them.

One of the lepers is a Samaritan, an ethnic group reviled by the Jews because they worshiped the God of Israel in a distorted way.

Pay close attention to …

  • The one leper out of ten who returns to Jesus. What separates him from the others? Where is he from?
  • The reason for his healing (verse 19).

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 6:3-7:1

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 the previous reading Paul argued that it is Christ’s initiative that moves us to change.

2 Corinthians 6:14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one [Jesus] died for all, and therefore all [sinners] died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for him who died for them and was raised again.

In other words, Jesus lived a self-less sacrificial life and we are called to live the same life out of gratitude. Paul continues that argument in today’s reading. Imitating the sacrificial love of Jesus Christ, he lived with his heart “wide open” with the hopes that the Corinthians will respond.

Paul in verses 6:14-7:1 will specifically describe the impact that the Corinthian’s new relationship with God will have on their relationships with the pagan world that Christ had rescued them from. The metaphor he will use is the yoke, which bound two oxen together for pulling the plow. To be yoked with Christ excludes the possibility of being yoked to the paganism of their past. Belial (verse 15) is simply a word used to describe a foreign god or idol.

Pay close attention to …

  • What it meant for Paul and his companions to live with their hearts wide open and what we asks the Corinthians to do in response (verses 6:3-13).
  • How being yoked with Christ impacts their relationship with the idol worship of the past and those who continue to practice it.

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 30:11-20

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. Our nearness to God, I think, has always been a serious issue for us. As we read about the Jews and their sojourn through the wilderness, we learn that they fashioned for themselves an idol to help represent the presence of God among them. While it was not perfectly clear to them, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob understood that to worship any other god than the LORD constituted worshipping a “false” god. Jacob even had a serious run-in with his father-in-law (Laban) over just this issue (see Genesis 31:22-55): Laban had accused Jacob of stealing his household gods [actually Rachel had stolen them unbeknownst to Jacob]. Even while Moses was up on Mount Sinai receiving the command not to make graven images, the impatient Hebrews (Moses had been gone for about forty days) felt a need to “see” their God. They fashioned for themselves the golden calf and proceeded to worship it as God. As far as Moses was concerned, ignorance of the law was no excuse.

Pay close attention to …

  • How close the word is to the people (v. 14 )
  • The conditions of life and death (vv. 15-16 )
  • The results of turning away from the LORD (vv. 17-18 )
  • The choices of life and death (vv. 19-20 )

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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