Daily Bible Readings – Wednesday, June 5,2013

Prayer Psalm: 53

Prayer Point.  This psalm is a hellish view of our world and a desperate plea to God for help.  Take time today to pray this psalm on behalf of our brothers and sisters who live in war zones such as Syria, Pakistan, Iraq, Burma and the Sudan.

Luke 17:20-37

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. The Pharisees were waiting for the Messiah who would bring the kingdom of God to earth. They looked forward to the coming of God’s anointed King (Messiah means “anointed one”) who would overthrow their oppressors, the Romans, and establish God’s eternal kingdom of peace and justice.

While the Pharisees anticipated the coming of the Messiah, Jesus will warn them that they are in danger of missing out on the blessings of the Messiah’s kingdom. To wake them up, Jesus will refer to two judgment stories from the Old Testament. The implication is that unless they change, they will share the same fate.

  • Noah and the Flood (Genesis 6-9)
  • Lot’s wife and the destruction of Sodom (Genesis 19)

The Pharisees are waiting with anticipation for the coming of God’s kingdom and the judgment of their enemies. What they don’t realize is that unless they internalize the teachings of Jesus and repent, they will share the same fate.

Pay close attention to …

  • How is Jesus’ understanding of the kingdom different from the Pharisees. Why can’t it be seen? Where is it located?
  • What must happen to the Son of Man, the Messiah, before the coming of the kingdom (see verse 25)?

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 7:2-16

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 chapter six Paul argued that the love of Christ demonstrated through his death and resurrection, compels us to follow in his footsteps out of gratitude. For Paul this meant living life with his heart “wide-open” (6:11) as a tribute to Christ and with the hopes that the Corinthians will follow his example.

Paul’s relationship with the Corinthian church has not been an easy one. There have been good times, when they returned their love and supported Paul’s protege Titus (verses 6-7), but there have also been difficult times. This church had twisted the grace of God into a “get out of jail free card.” They reasoned that they could sin boldly and freely without fear because they were already forgiven by Christ. As a result, they not only tolerated open sin in their church, they celebrated it. This prompted Paul to write a scathing letter to call them to repentance (see 1 Corinthians 5:1-12 specifically).

Pay close attention to …

  • Why Paul’s short-term regret about the impact of his former letter gives way gives way to joy. What does this tell you about the nature of Paul’s relationship with the Corinthians?
  • The contrast between worldly sorrow and godly sorrow and repentance. The good that comes from godly sorrow. For an example of worldly sorrow try reading the story of Judas (Matthew 27:1-10).
  • Why Paul’s confidence in the Corinthians has returned (verses 11-16).

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 31:30-32:14

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 has very little left to say: a (swan) song and the blessings to the twelve tribes and then he will ascend Mount Nebo to die. Again Moses appeals to the people to remember. He wants them to remember their own personal history: what they had experienced while wandering through the desert. He doesn’t want to burden them with someone else’s story, a story which will have no significance to them. He wants them to call to mind all that the LORD has done for them during this rather lengthy trek. He puts all of this in song, a device used to make the message easier to remember. But will they?

Pay close attention to …

  • Moses’ opening plea (v. 2 )
  • His accusation to Israel (v. 5 )
  • What Moses hopes the people will do (v. 7 )
  • The LORD’s loving-kindness toward Israel (vv. 10-14 )

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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